Give…A Few Words this Christmas

Christmas is often celebrated with joy, spent in the company of loved ones, and marked by the exchange of gifts and cards. However, not everyone experiences this festive season in the same way. Many individuals in the UK grapple with social isolation and loneliness, particularly during Christmas.

This year, Give…A Few Words, a Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Kirklees, launched the #LettersForChristmas campaign. Collaborating with care homes, charities, voluntary organisations, and individuals facing solitude across Calderdale and Kirklees, the campaign aims to address feelings of isolation during the festive season by sending positive post.

Staff members from housing association Yorkshire Housing along with VSI Alliance joined forces with Give…a Few Words for a dedicated day of letter writing, craft making, and card making to bring joy and support to those in need.

Yorkshire Housing proudly takes part in an employer-supported volunteering scheme, this is where an employer offers its staff several paid days to volunteer and give back to their local community, an initiative in which every company is urged by voluntary organisations to take part in.

VSI Alliance Volunteer Hub Co-Ordinator, Kate Hornby, brokered a relationship between the two organisations, ensuring they could come together and have a worthwhile day of volunteering to spread that much-needed Christmas cheer.

Each Christmas recipient will receive a postal pack containing five items tailored to their special interests, ensuring that the messages received are personal and uplifting.

The scheme was originally started in March 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic by Sharron Wilkinson after a local care home in Kirklees was looking for ways to alleviate the isolation and loneliness faced by its residents due to various restrictions, leaving many unable to be visited by loved ones.

Dedicated volunteers contributing to the initiative come from various corners of the UK, with some even participating from across Europe and as far away as Australia.

These individuals generously offer their time to express their passions through pen and paper, as well as keyboard and monitor.

Their shared interests encompass a wide range, including a love for animals, travel, literature, nature, musicals, sports, art, cooking, and many more.

Their collective goal is to give the invaluable gift of written communication to those less fortunate, individuals who lack access to social media and those with few loved ones.

Kate Hornby, VSI Alliance Volunteer Hub Co-Ordinator said:

“Thank you to Yorkshire Housing and Give…A Few Words for coming together for this wonderful experience working as a team to help people feeling isolated in Calderdale. I am hopeful this will be a close partnership between the two organisations for years to come.

The opportunity to focus on doing something creative to help alleviate another person’s loneliness over the festive period was a very special experience. I think we all gained from this workshop – both staff volunteering through work, Give…A Few Words and those who will receive the pictures, origami, cards and letters. We have come away with a feeling of wellbeing and hopefully what we created will bring a smile to faces this Christmas.”

Unfortunately, submissions for this year’s #LettersForChristmas campaign have now closed, however, Give…A Few Words are always looking for volunteers to send letters all year round.

If you would like to be matched with someone to write a letter to please visit:

You don’t need a qualification and you can be any age!

If your company or organisation participates in an employer-supported volunteering program and seeks assistance in connecting with Give…A Few Words or another charitable organisation, or if you prefer to volunteer independently and explore one-time volunteering opportunities, please reach out to the VSI Alliance Volunteer Hub:

Do you or your organisation have inspiring stories that need to be heard? If so, the Community Journalist is eager to listen and share your stories!

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