The Changing Lives Reverse Advent Calendar 2018

Our Reverse Advent Calendar appeal is a simple and rewarding way to make a big difference to your local community. It is also a great way to share the true spirit of giving this Christmas.

Last year, our generous supporters donated £30,000 of gifts and goods to help the vulnerable people who use our services.

These including people experiencing homelessness and exploitation, escaping domestic abuse, overcoming addiction, or facing a difficult Christmas due to long-term unemployment and poverty.

This year we want our Christmas Reverse Advent Calendar appeal to be bigger and better than ever, so we’re ready for you to get collecting right now!

Download our Changing Lives reverse advent calendar flyer 2018 to let more people know about our appeal.

How to create your reverse advent calendar

It’s so easy to create your Reverse Advent Calendar for Changing Lives.

  1. Check the list of collection points below to make sure there is a project near you that you can support.
  2. Double check whether they have any special needs that differ for our standard list (below)
  3. Grab a box – any box will do! – and pop in an item from the list each day. New items only please.
  4. Drop it off at your local Changing Lives (make note of when they’re open)

Well done! You’ve just made Christmas safer, happier and easier for vulnerable and socially excluded people in your local community. Together we are Changing Lives!

What we need

Our standard list of items is below. We need new items for men and women, as well as a limited number of items for children and young people. Please look at the list of drop-off locations for more information about any specific needs at your local project. 

Warm clothes

We reach out to people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough on the streets. Warm gloves, socks and hats help keep very vulnerable people warm over winter. We’ll distribute them via our outreach projects and drop-in centres.

Toiletries

We support 17,500 people each year, including a large number of residents in our accommodation projects. We always need deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary products, moisturiser etc

Gift sets

Gift sets are great! They make a lovely treat for residents who may not receive any other gift this Christmas due to estrangement or isolation from family and friends. For some residents who can’t afford to purchase presents for their families this Christmas, they provide the chance for them to give a gift this Christmas.

Sleepwear

Pyjamas can be a luxury when you’re living in poverty and nights can be cold if you can’t heat your home. Can you help vulnerable people get cosy this Christmas?

Toys and gifts for children

Some of our residents aren’t able to provide gifts for their children. Can you donate new toys, books and craft items for parents to give this Christmas? We need items from baby right through to late teenage. (Please note that our greatest need is for items for adults, however.)

Diaries

People who use our services often have a lot of appointments to keep track of and many don’t have a mobile phone to record them in. Diaries are always really useful and popular to help people who use our services to remember when and where they can get help.

Please don’t include…

  • No alcohol, razors or blades please.
  • Please don’t wrap your gifts as we’ll need to unwrap them to check suitability.

Who are you helping?

We support 17,500 vulnerable and socially excluded people across England each year. Some of the people who benefited from your generosity last year included:

  • people experiencing long-term poverty who could not afford to provide gifts for their children at Christmas without your kind donations
  • people experiencing homelessness who cannot afford warm clothes for winter or toiletries
  • women and their children escaping domestic violence, who have had to leave home without clothes or toys
  • young people aged 16-25 who have had to leave the family home and are facing Christmas alone
  • people who would not have received a present from anyone this Christmas without your kindness

So no matter what you can afford to give, you know that you are really CHANGING LIVES this Christmas.

‘Last year, we used reverse advent calendar donations to make up Christmas gift boxes for our residents and put on a special Christmas lunch. There were people who hadn’t had Christmas dinner or a present in 10 or more years. It was incredibly moving to see the joy that a simple pair of gloves and some Christmas treats could bring’. Helen, Area Manager, Changing Lives

Where to drop-off

Doncaster

Changing Lives, 2-5 Prince’s St, Doncaster DN1 3NJ.

  • Open for donations: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 9.30am to 3pm.
  • Needs: Standard list but women’s items only please. Children’s items from birth to 16 years also very welcome.

Durham

Changing Lives, The Fells, Great North Road, Chester-le-Street, DH2 3NL

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above. Men’s items only please.

Gateshead

Changing Lives, Central Office, Unit D13 Marquis Court, Tenth Avenue West, Team Valley, Gateshead, NE11 0RU.

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above

Changing Lives, Eslington House, Bolam Street, Gateshead, NE8 2TZ

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above, particularly aimed at young people aged 16-25

Changing Lives, Gifford House, 11 Denmark Street, Gateshead, NE8 1NQ

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above, but men’s items only please.

Liverpool

Changing Lives, Kirkby Women’s Centre, 101-105a Cherryfield Drive, Kirkby, Merseyside, L32 8SA

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list but women’s items only please. Children’s items from birth to 16 years also very welcome.

Newcastle

Changing Lives, c/o Fareshare North East, Palatine House, Stamfordham Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 5HH

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above. This project can also accept non-perishable food such as tinned goods, cereals, pasta and rice etc.

Changing Lives, Ridley Villas, 91 New Bridge Street, Newcastle, NE1 2SW

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list but women’s items only please. Children’s items from birth to 16 years also very welcome (in particular ages 10-16)

Northumberland

Changing Lives, Sextant House, Freehold Street, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 2BA

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above

Nottingham

Changing Lives, The Renewal Trust, Business Centre, 3 Hawksworth Street, Nottingham, NG3 2EG

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm by appointment. Please call  0115 958 7409 or 07812 665040 to arrange.
  • Needs: Standard list but women’s items only please. Children’s items also welcome

Tees Valley

Changing Lives, Suite 5b, Marlborough House, 30-32 Yarm Road, Stockton, TS18 3NG

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above

Tyneside

Changing Lives, 126 Whitehead Street, Tyne Dock, South Shields, NE33 5NE

  • Open for donations: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
  • Needs: Standard list, see above

York

Changing Lives, Union Terrace Hostel, Union Terrace, York, YO31 7ES

  • Open for donations: Any day, 9am to 5pm. If you need parking to drop-off please call 01904 630 500 to arrange.
  • Needs: Standard list, see above.

What else you can do

Spread the word!

Download our Changing Lives reverse advent calendar flyer 2018 to display at work or give out at school, to let more people know about our appeal.

Text donate…buy a bed for the night

A donation of £10 can help someone off the streets and into one of our warm safe beds for the night. Text CLIV45 £10 to 70070 to donate £10 via your mobile phone.

Set up a regular donation to help all year

A regular donation can do even more, providing vital funds that we can deploy where the need is greatest. See our Donate page for more info on how you can help homeless people this Christmas.

Why do we need new items?

We’re so grateful for your donations and are happy to accept secondhand goods at our charity shops in Gateshead and Newcastle. For this appeal, however, we do need new items not secondhand please. This is because:

  • Your donations may be used as gifts to our clients and their children
  • Many toiletries have expiry dates and we can’t use things that are out of date or have been opened
  • Second hand items are not always complete or in full working order and the scale of this appeal means we do not have staff capacity to check all items received

Thank you for your understanding.

Make a donation

Donate today and help our dedicated staff and volunteers around the UK continue to support over 17,500 vulnerable people and their families every year.

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