Christmas certainly is a time of goodwill, with the number of people wanting to help their vulnerable friends and neighbours increasing over the festive season.

With such a strong focus on commercial commodities over the holidays, many wish to offset their karmic footprint by spreading some of their food, gifts and financial indulgence to those less fortunate.

And all this – coupled with generosity, kindness and cheer – to help the elderly, homeless, lonely and neglected because, quite frankly, it’s the right thing to.

Yet, it isn’t something that should simply be restricted to December, and often it isn’t.

With news that Britain’s Muslim community are often on the frontline of Christmas soup kitchens and food banks while most of the population spend Christmas Day at home, it is a reminder that bringing together people from different communities is one of the very positive side effects of working towards a common good.

In Birmingham, several organisations are on hand throughout the year, helping the needy through outreach work, food banks, soup kitchens and support work. Many of them will still be out in full force this Christmas weekend, while individual volunteers will be giving up their time to do their bit.

Here’s some local aid initiatives taking place between now and New Year’s Day, with most still actively seeking volunteers:

#1 Soup kitchen and food distribution at Birmingham Central Mosque

The Birmingham Central Mosque in Highgate is hosting a Soup Kitchen for ten days over the Christmas periodAdam Yosef
The Birmingham Central Mosque in Highgate is hosting a Soup Kitchen for ten days over the Christmas period

Who: Birmingham Central Mosque
What: A hot soup kitchen and dry food distribution in a specially set-up marquee in the mosque’s car park, being held every day until and on New Year’s Day.
Where: Birmingham Central Mosque, 180 Belgrave Middleway, Highgate, B12 0XS
When: Saturday 23 December 2017 – Monday 1 January 2018 | 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Volunteers: You can turn up on the day and join in. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before start time.

 

#2 Free hot meals for the vulnerable at Digbeth pub

Matt Deakin from The Old Crown Pub, where staff will be providing a full festive meal to the homeless and vulnerable on Christmas EveAdam Yosef
Matt Deakin from The Old Crown Pub, where staff are providing a full festive meal to the homeless on Christmas Eve

Who: The Old Crown inn
What: Free full Christmas dinner and essential items for the homeless, lonely and vulnerable at the city’s oldest pub.
Where: The Old Crown, 188 High St, Digbeth, Birmingham B12 0LD
When: Sunday 24th December (Christmas Eve) only | 12pm – 4pm
Volunteers: Some volunteers still needed. Call ahead on 0121 248 1368, email [email protected], or pop in to check.

 

#3 Homeless street blanket distribution with Mr Birmingham

Current 'Mr Birmingham' title holder Andrew Stelly will be distributing blankets to rough sleepers on Christmas EveAdam Yosef
Current ‘Mr Birmingham’ title holder Andrew Stelly will be distributing blankets to rough sleepers on Christmas Eve

Who: ‘Mr Birmingham’ Andrew Stelly
What: Distributing warm blankets to rough sleepers, the homeless and vulnerable individuals on the streets in the cold weather.
Where: Birmingham city centre (Meeting point outside front of The Mailbox)
When: Sunday 24th December (Christmas Eve) only | 12.00pm
Volunteers: You can turn up on the day and join in. You can also tweet ahead @stellytalks.

 

#4 Hot food & drink, warm clothes and good company for the needy

Birmingham Homeless Outreach founder Rik James (right) with volunteers Paul Wheeler and Mr KhanAdam Yosef
Birmingham Homeless Outreach founder Rik James (right) with volunteers Paul Wheeler and Mr Khan

Who: Birmingham Homeless Outreach Charity
What: Welcoming homeless and vulnerable friends to their unit in Digbeth, where they have free hot and cold food, drinks, clothes; and provide aid and assistance to help people find accommodation and support.
Where: BHO, 186 Barford St, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 7EP
When: Everyday between 9.00am – 10.00pm (including Christmas Day)
Volunteers: Always needed, everyday. To help, contact 07704 301698.

 

#5 Free meals for the homeless at Erdington chippy

Classic Fish Bar in Erdington will be sharing free hot meals with the homeless on Christmas DayGoogle Street View
Classic Fish Bar in Erdington will be sharing free hot meals with the homeless on Christmas Day

Who: Classic Fish Bar
What: Laying on turkey dinners for rough sleepers and the elderly at their chip shop and takeaway
Where: Classic Fish Bar, 276 High St, Erdington, Birmingham B23 6SN
When: Monday 25th December (Christmas Day) | 12.30pm – 3.00pm
Volunteers: None requested. To enquire, contact: 0121 373 1019

 

#6 Fancy cuisine at Manjaros for the homeless on Christmas Day

Boxer David Hayes outside Manjaros Restaurant on a previous visitManjaros
Boxer David Hayes outside Manjaros Restaurant on a previous visit

Who: Manjaros Restaurant
What: Feeding the homeless on Christmas Day at their restaurant in Sparkhill
Where: Manjaros Restaurant, 205-213 Stratford Rd, Birmingham B11 1QZ
When: Monday 25th December (Christmas Day) | 12.00pm – 3.00pm
Volunteers: To enquire, contact: 0121 77 22 631

 

#7 Free daily meals for ‘Homeless Heroes’ in Digbeth

Homeless Heroes founder Javed Iqbal (left) with West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy StreetAdam Yosef
Homeless Heroes founder Javed Iqbal (left) with West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street

Who: Homeless Heroes
What: Feeding the homeless hot meals daily between Thursday and Sunday every week
Where: Homeless Heroes, 10 New Bartholomew St, Birmingham B5 5QS
When: Thursday to Sunday, every week | 7pm – 8pm
Volunteers: Always needed. May turn up an hour early and join in, or call ahead on 07971 888736

 

#8 Free Caribbean turkey dinner for the homeless in Dudley

Dee's Soul Food in Dudley will be giving out hot dinners on Christmas Day to the homeless and vulnerableGoogle Street View
Dee’s Soul Food in Dudley will be giving out hot dinners on Christmas Day to the homeless and vulnerable

Who: Dee’s Soulfood
What: Serving up turkey dinners with a Caribbean twist for the homeless, and free woolies!
Where: Dee’s Soulfood, 149 Wolverhampton Street, Dudley, United Kingdom, DY1 3AH
When: Monday 25th December (Christmas Day) | 3.00pm
Volunteers: None requested.

 

#9 Providing a roof for hundreds of rough sleepers in Brum

Birmingham Christmas Shelter provide a roof for rough sleepers during the Christmas periodAdam Yosef
Birmingham Christmas Shelter provide a roof for rough sleepers during the Christmas period

Who: Birmingham Christmas Shelter
What: Offering food, warmth, shelter and companionship to homeless and lonely people in the Birmingham area over the Christmas period.
Where: St George’s Hub, Great Hampton Row, Newtown, Birmingham, B19 3JG
When: Saturday 23rd – Wednesday 27th December (Shelter Week 2017)
Volunteers: Registration for Shelter 2017 opened on the 1st November and places have now been filled.

 

#10 Feeding the homeless outdoors daily with Midland Langar Seva Society

The Midland Langar Seva Society are out in Albert Street in Birmingham every night from 6.30pmAdam Yosef
The Midland Langar Seva Society are out in Albert Street in Birmingham every night from 6.30pm

Who: Midland Langar Seva Society (MLSS)
What: Daily food distribution and soup kitchen every evening, providing hot vegetarian food and beverages.
Where: Albert Street (outside the car park), Birmingham city centre
When: Every day including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day | 6.30pm
Volunteers: Always needed. May turn up and join in!

 

If you know of any events, soup kitchens, food banks or initiatives operating over the Christmas period to help the homeless and vulnerable, drop us an email at [email protected], or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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