How to support Milton Keynes’ charities this Christmas by MK Charities

The impact of the pandemic has hit every sector, but perhaps the most considerable impact is on our charity sector. This year, it is estimated that charities face a £12.4 billion shortfall due to cancelled fundraising events, lack of funding and of course general tightening of purse strings. I work for charity so I know how important this sector is to people’s livelihoods. I’ve also used the services of a few charities myself, so again, I know how invaluable the support can be.

In addition to my ultimate independent Milton Keynes Christmas gift guide, I asked Charlotte Moyle and Jo McClaren from MK Charities to write a guest guide for my blog all about alternative gifts. Whilst it’s important to support local businesses this year, you might want to think about supporting a charity after what has been a devastating year.

Where to buy charity gifts this Christmas

This year, Christmas may be a little different but that doesn’t mean you can’t say thank you and spread some joy. We’ve compiled a list of ways you can support some local Milton Keynes charities this Christmas gifts on behalf of a friend, family member or yourself.

Bus Shelter MK

The Bus Shelter MK is a local charity that turns homelessness to hope. The Bus Shelter MK provides a temporary home and one-to-one support to help people experiencing street homelessness in Milton Keynes to rebuild their lives. For every MK Christmas card you buy from Little Prints Charming, a 50p donation is made to this essential charity. And who wouldn’t want a Concrete Cow Christmas card!?

Visit thebussheltermk.org to find out more and purchase Christmas cards from Little Prints Charming.

UK Astronomy

UK Astronomy educates local residents on the night’s sky, helping us to enjoy it and see life beyond planet earth. For the stargazers in your life, you can sponsor a star and put your family member, colleague, partner or even your pet’s name on it to raise funds for UK Astronomy.

Visit this website to sponsor a star.

Curly Tails

Curly Tails is a local pig sanctuary. It provides pigs with a safe and loving home – and plenty of mud! Like many charities of this kind, they rely on visitors to generate income, but lockdown has cut this funding dramatically. Help them out by sponsoring a pig on behalf of a friend or family member or gift a piggy lover with their very own Curly Tails merchandise!

To sponsor a pig please email contact Curly Tails directly. 

YiS

Shop small and say thank you to a YiS volunteer. YiS is a charity supporting young people’s mental health. Their ‘champions’ are young people that have experienced mental health and want to help support others going through similar experiences, so we want to thank them for doing an awesome job. This Christmas, YiS has partnered with The Little White Box Company who will gift a pamper box to volunteers to say thank you. Boxes are £10 and can be ordered by messaging The Little White Box Company on Facebook and quoting ‘YiS Gift Guide’. 

Toybox

Toybox is on a mission to change the world for street children. You can help support Toybox’s mission by purchasing a gift of your choice for Christmas, on behalf of yourself on someone else. Gifts include clothing packages, hygiene packs and first aid kits. Your chosen ‘recipient’ will receive a thank you note to tell them how they have helped to support a child in desperate need.

Visit Toybox’s website to purchase Christmas gifts. 

Medical Detection Dogs

Medical Detection Dogs is a phenomenal charity that trains dogs to detect disease. You can help them continue their groundbreaking work by sponsoring a puppy. You or your chosen recipient will receive a welcome pack and watch the sponsored puppy go from a bundle of fur to a fully qualified Medical Detection Dog with regular updates on how they are getting on.

Visit Medical Detection Dog’s website to find out more about sponsoring a puppy. 

National Autism Society

Buy a wax melt from Scentimental MK and 10% of the profit goes to National Autism Society Milton Keynes. You can purchase three types of gift boxes; fresh box, rainbow box or fragrance box to say a little thank you this Christmas. Find out more on their website.

Ihezie Foundation

This one is for the bookworms! Ihezie Foundation is a charity that gives people the opportunity to be lifted out of poverty by being provided with educational opportunities through books. This Christmas, with lockdown putting a hold on sending out books to schools and centres, Ihezie is asking for people to sponsor books. Just £5.00 a month will help us distribute 20 books to a school library in Africa for children who haven’t had the opportunity to read a book before. 


St. Mark’s Meals

St Marks Meals is on a mission to make sure no child goes hungry in Milton Keynes they need your support. You can gift a meal to a child and send a gift note to a loved one that you have done this on their behalf. Buy a child a meal today.

Work Tree

Work Tree is a Milton Keynes charity that has a wealth of knowledge in working life through their wonderful volunteers who aim to develop young people’s career aspirations. This year, with now over three times the population of Milton Keynes being redundant, Work Tree wants to pass their knowledge on to the community. The perfect stocking fillers for your loved one who is on the job hunt or looking for a career change: Find Your Job In 25 Applications Book or Find Your Job Cards.

About MK Charities

MK Charities is an initiative that was founded at the beginning of the pandemic after realising just how many charities are going to need support from our community. We are here to connect the dots and create opportunities for charities in Milton Keynes to raise their online presence. For more information go to check out MK Charities’ website.

If you are a local charity and would like to be added to this alternative gift guide, please get in touch with me or email charlotte@mkcharities.com.


Thank you MK Charities for producing this gift guide to show the people of Milton Keynes how they can support local charities this Christmas. If you do have to do any of your Christmas shopping through Amazon this year, make sure you shop via smile.amazon.co.uk. Every time you make a purchase, a small donation will go towards a charity of your choice, which for me makes shopping via Amazon feel a little less guilty. Many local charities also have Amazon wish lists, so do take a look and see if there is anything, in particular, that they are in need of. It’s a really easy way to support them!

What local charities will you support this Christmas?

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Hello!

I'm Sophie, a 20-something blogger and content creator helping you to discover great independent eats and adventures in Milton Keynes. I work with and champion local businesses to show people that there's more to MK than chain restaurants and roundabouts.

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