shop differently this christmas
At a time when many of us are a little disconnected from ourselves and each other, we’ve been busy looking for alternative Christmas gift ideas that you know will be making a positive impact and even bringing people together. If you’re bored of a mad dash to the shops before Christmas, maybe even spending money you don’t have on gifts that friends and family don’t necessarily need, then here’s a round-up of some brilliant initiatives to spend your money on instead.
The gift of social good
Back in October, we teamed up with The Social Society to host our first festival, The Big Session. It was an incredible day celebrating the amazing community we live in here and the six local charities they support. This Christmas, they’ve created the perfect gift for all your friends and family, which is an exclusive 3-month membership to The Social Society, an innovative charitable giving model. For just £32, the lucky member will have access to over 40 hours of volunteering each month from January 2020 as well as skill-sharing opportunities with their six local charities. THey’ll also get access to a designated member platform to develop existing skills and learn new ones, as well as the opportunity to meet like-minded people at their monthly Social Sessions.
Support the Global Social Club
Brighton’s Global Social Club is an awarding winning youth service that local charity The Hummingbird Project run with their partners at the Young People’s Centre, Pathways to Independence and the Refugee Council. They started the weekly meet up to reduce stress, isolation and loneliness among young refugees in the area after they expressed an interest to meet more people their age. Since starting, they’ve welcomed over 200 young people into the space, building friendships, sharing cultures, accessing specialist support, and having a lot of fun. Thanks to a grant given to them by Brighton & Hove City Council, in 2019 they’ve been able to do cooking classes, horse riding lessons, as well as trips to London. To be able to keep their amazing work up and provide a weekly space that is important to a lot of young people in the community, they’ve got a crowdfunding campaign going, so what better gift to give than a donation to help keep the club going as an integral part of our community to support young people? Exactly!
Give the gift of friendship this Christmas (featured image)
A new study by Age UK found that the bereaved are hit hardest at Christmas, with more than 750,000 widowed people feeling isolated over the festive season. That doesn’t fill us with festive cheer, which is by we’re big advocates for the amazing work that local charity Time to Talk Befriending do. They match hundreds of befriending volunteers with older people in our community to help prevent isolation and loneliness, and you could help. The good news is that this year they’ve launched their gift cards, which makes supporting the charity even easier. Perfect for a secret Santa budget, their £8 gift card will send five birthday surprises to older people who receive little or no birthday cards anymore. For £10 your gift will help fund their community outreach events, where people come together over a good old cuppa. You can also gift a card that will fund a befriending match between an isolated older person and their new friend. You can’t put a price on funding a friendship! (OK, you can, but it’s only £25!).
Goodmoney = good times
By gifting a Goodmoney gift voucher, you’re giving the lucky recipient access to over 150 businesses in Brighton, Hove and Sussex. From pizza to pints, the vouchers can be spent at some great food and drink venues around the city including Pizza Face, Bison Beer, Fatto a Mano, Boho Gelato, hiSbe, Purezza (pictured) and Quaff. For someone that’s hard to buy for, this is the perfect gift, as they can choose to treat themselves to something from gorgeous gift shops Present in the Laine or Little Beach Boutique, or for the more active types an energetic climb at Boulder Brighton or even a relaxing massage. They will definitely find plenty to spend the voucher on so it’s win, win, whilst also helping to keep more money in the local economy for longer by shopping local this Christmas.