Easy ways to make a difference without spending any money

Volunteering isn’t the only option

At this time of year we’re particularly conscious of good causes which need support, but how can students, without much money to donate, help them? Here are six easy and innovate ways you can make a difference without spending a single penny.

Cut your hair: do you have long hair? Little Princess Trust provides free, real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their hair through cancer treatment. If you can spare a minimum of 17cm, why not get a new style and help a child at the same time? More details on their website https://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/donate-hair/

Collect stamps: at Christmas, if we’re lucky, Royal Mail will be busy delivering cards and gifts to our homes. You can make your gift go further by saving used stamps for the Royal National Institute for Blind People, who will recycle them into much-needed funds and help people with sight loss access the information, support and advice they need. All used stamps are welcome, whether they’re first or second class, foreign, first day covers, presentation packs or albums. For more information please see https://www.rnib.org.uk/donations-and-fundraising/fundraising-your-commu…

Get clicking: we all search the web multiple time a day so why not use your browsing to plant trees by switching from Google to Ecosia, a social enterprise search engine that uses its profits to plant trees. More information can be found at https://info.ecosia.org/

Get fit: walk, cycle or run your way to helping your favourite charity without badgering anyone to sponsor you! The free app Fit4Change will donate 5p for every mile; what are you waiting for?! You can find out how it works on https://www.fit4change.com/.

Swap your books: just past the ticket barriers at Hammersmith Tube Station (Piccadilly and District line) you will find the Book Swap case. You can leave books you’ve enjoyed but won’t read again for another commuting bibliophile – and take one for yourself! Alternatively you can donate your books to a charity shop instead and there are many on King Street (near the school) which would welcome them.

Donate unwanted stationery and arts and craft materials: we all have felt pens, colouring and lead pencils, rulers, glitter and so on cluttering our homes. Now you can get rid of them and help primary schools and communities at the same time. ReusableUK run “scrapstores” which stock unwanted but useable art and craft materials for the benefit of community groups. You can watch a film about their work here: https://www.reusefuluk.org/about/scrapstores-film. Although the film talks about corporate donations, I called the store closest to school and they confirmed they accept donations from individuals too. The address is 137 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London E9 6AS Tel: 0208 985 6290.

Amara V