How and where you can volunteer to lend a hand to help the needy in Leicestershire this Christmas

By Tom Dye

During the Christmas season, many are compelled to help the less fortunate and, with the winter well and truly adding to the cost of living crisis, we’ve found some centres and groups who you can donate some time to.

In Leicestershire, plenty of groups are setting up soup kitchens, safe sleeping spaces and workshops that are available to people who need it.

We’ve compiled a short list of places always looking for volunteers including the Beacon Christian Centre in Loughborough, The Bridge Leicester, The Y and The Leicester Salvation Army, though these are by no means your only options.

The Beacon Christian Centre in Park Road, Loughborough, runs soup kitchens every Thursday at 7:30 pm hosted by Rachel and Swanny, two members of the church who describe it as an “event that’s all about helping people experience the presence of God in a down to earth way.”

The Salvation Army team in South Wigston are looking for donations this winter with their website advertising free fundraising packs and tips for organising fundraising events. Second hand stores and donation centres around Leicester are also looking for volunteers and can be contacted in person or through their website.

The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope is based in Melton Street, Leicester, and offers lots of different programs to help unhoused people and has opportunities to volunteer.

The group prides itself on providing medical help, help getting both temporary and permanent housing and its community café which serves hot food for free on a first come first served basis.

For volunteering, The Bridge is asking for enthusiastic and supportive people to get stuck in with “no experience of working or volunteering in the homelessness field required.”

Another option in the city centre for volunteers is The Y, also known as the Y theatre and part of the Leicester YMCA, which is also looking for volunteers and currently running its donation campaign “The Big Give” which doubles donations to help the vulnerable and young people in the city up to a £15,000 target. More details can be found at

Each Group can be contacted through the links below:

Locations of some of the soup kitchens