We asked Voscur members and local organisations to send us details of their Christmas or seasonal campaigns. These ranged from products on sale to fundraising appeals and, of course, ongoing support running throughout the holidays into 2021.
At the end of a very challenging year for the city and the VCSE sector, we hope you will take the time to donate to these campaigns, or help promote them, to raise awareness.
Shopping that gives back to local people
- Aid Box Community’s Refutrees is back, which means Christmas trees are now on sale to help refugees – you can buy in person from the pop-up shop in Montpelier, or click and collect (home delivery ended on 15 December).
- Lovewell helps Bristol women leave enforced sex work and learn to make candles, bath salts and bath oil. Having lost income due to Christmas fairs and markets being cancelled this year, every sale they make is even more important right now.
- Unique Voice CIC, which supports vulnerable children in the city through creative projects, PSHE programmes, and out of school provision, has a Christmas raffle being drawn on Friday 18 December via social media. Prizes include local artwork and Christmas hampers. The money raised will support local children over the holidays.
- One25 raised over £40,000 in one week in its Big Give Christmas Challenge, to fund the Peony service. One25 supports women sex workers and other vulnerable women to move towards independence and recover from crisis and trauma; the Peony service is for women who are further along in their journey, who can build up their self-esteem and skills with workshops and wellbeing activities.
- Changes Bristol’s Big Give Christmas Challenge needed funding to help run mental health support groups. The campaign raised over £6,800 in one week. The organisation’s support groups are free, currently online, and held in the daytime and evenings. Some sessions are open access, and others are closed groups for either women, men or the LGBTQ+ community.
- The Lord Mayor of Bristol's Children Appeal will help disadvantaged children in the city, thanks to the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jos Clark. Throughout the year, volunteers have worked hard to raise £66,000, which will go towards food vouchers and clothing or gift vouchers for our most vulnerable children and young people. Donations are still welcome.
- A new crowdfunding campaign will launch soon to provide emergency support for people in Bristol living in fuel poverty, or struggling to keep their homes warm. The campaign has been created by Bristol Energy Network and a range of local partners, including ACORN, Ambition Lawrence Weston, Baggator, CHAS Bristol, Disability Equality Forum, Eastside Community Trust, Heart of BS13, Lockleaze Hub, and Re:Work.
Support during the season
- Caring in Bristol’s Caring at Christmas helps Bristol's homeless with food, shelter and companionship. The charity is asking for donations of £21 to cover regular hot meals, shelter, medical and emotional support or help with housing services.
- Marmalade Trust’s Christmas Cheer is an annual project to support people (mainly aged 50+) facing loneliness in Bristol. Referrals are still being accepted, but volunteer roles are full.
- Bristol Credit Union’s My Bristol Christmas Hero campaign celebrates the city’s lockdown community heroes – not just key workers in the pandemic, but also family members, friends and neighbours helping local people during the two lockdowns. Nominations are closed, and the heroes will be announced soon.
Something festive and creative
- Bristol Old Vic's Angels in Bristol sees Tom Morris, Julia Head and Vanessa Kisuule (Bristol City Poet 2018-20) team up with schools and communities across Bristol to create a piece of drama about the nine miracles of Christmas. It will be split into nine episodes that you can watch from home from 20-28 December. Donations, which are optional, will be split 50/50 between Bristol Old Vic and homeless charity St Mungo's.
- Barton Hill-based Travelling Light theatre company is crowdfunding to publish an illustrated Christmas storybook for children and families, which will be distributed for free through local children's centres, food banks and nurseries. The book, called Igloo, is based on the company's theatre show.
Thank you to all of these organisations for their hard work supporting the community at the end of a difficult year.