We all do a lot of small and large charitable acts throughout the year, so why am I talking about more charity work at the busiest and most rota-hectic time of year?

Crisis leaflet
Unlike many homeless hostels, Crisis provides a happy Christmas for both pet and owner.

It’s because volunteering is good for you.

Yes, studies have shown those who volunteer are happier and live longer than those who don’t – so what can you do to join in?

At this time of year, Crisis hosts Christmas hostels for homeless people across the country; providing three days of warmth, food and rest for the many people unable to access support at this time.

And your little dog too…

Homeless people with dogs often find it hard to get space in a hostel, as most can’t take dogs. So what does Crisis do? It provides a happy Christmas for both. The owner can enjoy time in the hostel and the dogs get cared for too, receiving a free veterinary check and a goodie bag. Owners can even visit their dogs, so the bond stays strong.

Crisis is looking for many volunteers across the three-day period (you can check all volunteering opportunities here), and it needs people with veterinary expertise and those used to handling dogs they don’t know.

The season of goodwill

We get media pressure every year, urging us to travel miles in order to stay with family at this time of year. However, I’ve found some of my best festive seasons have been spent with friends or colleagues. And not everyone celebrates Christmas; not everyone wants enforced days off.

So this year, instead of giving in to the family pressure or covering more shifts than you’re asked, consider Crisis or a small local charity that might need your experienced hands. It is the season of giving after all, and what is more valuable than you?

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