Supporting Your Community This Festive Season


Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been sharing our tips on some of the small things you can do to make a positive impact this Christmas. So far we’ve covered how to shop more sustainably and how to reduce waste, so in this blog we’re turning our attention to something that’s become more important than ever in 2020: our local communities.

From finally getting to know the people that live on our street to that weekly takeaway from the neighbourhood restaurant, the pandemic has meant that we’ve relied on those around us perhaps more than ever.

But with heavy restrictions still in place across the country, and many businesses and families in precarious financial circumstances as a result, our communities still need our support. This Christmas and going into the new year is an opportunity to give something back, whether that’s spending, donating or simply giving your time. Here are some of our suggestions on how to do that.

Shop local

With lots of us opting to do our shopping online this year rather than head to the high street, it’s sadly no surprise that many small businesses are struggling for survival.

But according to research from Visa, almost half of small business owners say that if everyone in their local community spent just £5 extra per week with them, it could help to keep their business open in the long term.

There are lots of ways to support local businesses this year, whether it’s ordering your Christmas dinner ingredients from your local deli or butchers, or checking out whether your local bookshop offers click and collect.

Still not keen on leaving the house? You can shop online while supporting independents. The famous Bath Christmas market has gone virtual, with many other markets following suit, and even charities such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have a selection of gifts available online.

Gift a voucher

The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the events of this year; one in three businesses in the sector fear they’ll struggle to survive the next three months, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

Christmas is a good opportunity to show your local restaurant, bar or pub some love by buying a voucher or two - a great gift for your foodie friends (or for your future self!)

Donate

This year has been a turbulent one, and sadly there are many still facing an incredibly challenging time.

If you are able to make a charitable donation, consider supporting your local food bank. Research from the Trussell Trust has found that there is likely to be a 61% rise in requirement for food banks this winter, partly as a result of rising unemployment. A donation to your local food bank could help support the families most in need this Christmas. You can find your nearest food bank here.


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