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How to help those in need in your community to have a happy Christmas

Date published: 2021-11-18 | Category: Focusing on prevention, Communities and volunteering

food donations

Organisations across Bath and North East Somerset helping people who are struggling to make ends meet are sharing details about the best way to donate and volunteer this Christmas for anyone who wishes to spread some festive cheer.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has worked with food banks, food pantries and other volunteer groups to compile a list of what is needed and when to help residents wanting to brighten up Christmas for others.

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “We are fortunate to have a generous community in Bath and North East Somerset, but sometimes people wishing to donate or volunteer are unsure about the best way to help. The volunteer organisations do a fantastic job of distributing the items that people have kindly donated, but in previous years there has been an excess of certain items that unfortunately end up not being used as much as the kind donors intended. That’s why we’ve compiled this list to help anyone who wants to support people struggling to put food on the table to have a happy Christmas.

“If you are in a position to donate, have a look at what is needed locally to you. Not all of the support needed is food – you might be able to help with driving or even lead a Christmas singalong! Thank you to everyone who helps to bring the festive spirit to those in need this Christmas.”

Claire Henwood from Oasis Pantry said: “We are grateful to everyone who donates and offers help at this time of year. It lets people know they are considered and cared for and makes such a difference. We want to make the most of all donations and support so letting the public know how best to help us will make for a happier Christmas for people coming to our pantries.”

“Last year we had this feedback from a family: ‘Wanted to thank you so much for the food and presents from Oasis. Really, really helped. Thanks so much. I pretended the elves left the activity bag on the doorstep for them on Christmas Eve…big excitement! Thanks so much to all you very kind people.’”

 Donations and support are welcomed by the organisations as per the chart below.

Residents can also find the information on the council’s Live Well website.


Support needed

Support not needed

Extra info and contact details

Bath Open Christmas

  • Keyboard player and singers to lead some festive music.
  • Technical support with internet/Podio database so project can move to online volunteer applications
  • Cash donations are welcomed in preference to gifted items, in order to buy the goods required to make 400+ lunches.


Roger Barnard:


FOOD Clubs in Children’s Centres

for families with school age children

  • Volunteers always required, especially anyone who has an interest in supporting families in need and an interest in food. Driving advantageous
  • Bulk food items preferred to individual donations
  • Toiletries
  • Sanitary products
  • Cooking equipment


The FOOD Clubs at Keynsham Civic Centre and Radstock Library will continue to run weekly throughout the festive period, except the week between Christmas and New Year.


Jed Parsons


Pete Godden


Somer Valley Foodbank


  • Food donations at other times of the year except Christmas
  • Cash donations welcomed
  • Any Christmas items received will be distributed or go to someone who makes Christmas hampers for Radstock Children's Centre.


Please do not donate for Christmas this year to avoid an excess of mince pies and Christmas puddings. Please consider other charities if you wish to donate these items.

Paul Woodward:



Action Pantry



No donations, money or volunteers needed at present

Christmas plans not yet firmed up but do get in touch if you’d like to find out how you can support.


Fiona Wakeley


Weston Welcome Café And Food Club  



No donations, money or volunteers needed at present

Christmas Party on Monday 20th December at noon at Weston Hub.

All welcome. No need to book. Closed on 27th December and 3rd January. 


Peter Heywood:




Volunteers are always welcomed! 


We would prefer cash donations of any amount this year in order to buy specific Christmas food items, and a small gift for each pantry member.  Donations can be made through our Just Giving site, linked here:



Closed in Southdown on Monday 27th December.  Monday 3rd January TBC.  The city centre pantry will be open each week as normal.


Claire Henwood


FoodCycle Bath



All meals are free but donations will be accepted from any guests who wish to contribute.





Offering a free Christmas Dinner at 7:30 on Wednesday 15th December at Nexus Methodist Church in Bath (enter the church hall via the side entrance on the footpath).

The final free community meal in 2021 will be at 7:30 on Wednesday 22nd December at Nexus.

Weekly community dining in 2022 begins at 7:30 on Wednesday 5th January at Nexus.


John Taylor




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