IT is the season of goodwill and giving, but with the pandemic hitting charities this year many of their traditional fundraisers had to be cancelled and they took a financial hit.

So how can you help county's charities in this unusual festive period?

We spoke to some of the charities of our region to find out how you can support them.

St Richard's Hospice

Tricia Cavell, fundraising director at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “The pandemic has taken its toll on our fundraising in 2020.

"Many of our usual events were postponed, and our shops temporarily closed for both lockdowns.

“However, we are hugely grateful to our community for their support through what has been a very challenging year for everyone.

“Over the festive season, there are many ways to support St Richard’s. From making a donation, to registering your Christmas tree for collection, or taking part in one of our virtual challenges – there’s plenty to get involved in.

“Once again, we would like to send our heartfelt thanks to our incredible supporters for helping fund our free care to patients and their loved ones. We wish you all a safe and merry Christmas, and a peaceful new year.”

St Richard’s Hospice is running its fifth Christmas tree recycling campaign. On January 8, volunteers from a host of organisations will collect and recycle real Christmas trees from homes in return for a donation towards its care.

Trees can be registered for collection until Monday, January 4. To find out more, and register your tree, visit

Meanwhile if you are looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for the gin-lover in your life, the St Richard’s limited-edition 2020 gin is a perfect present. Created by Hussingtree Gin, it is a juniper-led, premium dry gin with nuttiness delivered through baked poppy seeds and subtle sweetness from black pear.

To order a bottle visit

And in the new year the charity is inviting supporters to swap treats for a donation towards its work. Visit for more details.

To make a donation to the charity visit

Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Magda Praill, chief operating officer Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire, said: "Over the course of this year, ourselves along with other organisations have faced many challenges but none more so than the older people in our county who have been left isolated, lonely and scared due to the pandemic.

"Our work has become more important than ever to reach people, their carers and families to support them in the best ways we can.

"We will be continuing to support people throughout the festive period and if you or someone you know are feeling lonely or isolated, or feel that some extra help could be of use, please get in touch with us on 0800 008 6077.

"We are closed on Christmas day and will be available again from December 29.

"We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received but desperately need funding to be able to increase our capacity to reach more people."

The charity also runs a companion line to support people who may benefit from a regular call from one of its volunteers.

The service is for anyone over the age of 18, living in Worcestershire.

To make a donation to the charity's work visit

St Paul's Hostel

St Paul’s Hostel's Christmas campaign this year is focused on encouraging Worcester residents to see past the stereotypes, and think more deeply about social and health inequalities that lead to homelessness.

Jonathan Sutton, chief executive of the charity, said: “We want the public to think differently, we want to change minds.

"There are a lot of urban myths out there. We cannot just soak up the narrative ‘they are homeless because it is their own fault.’

“There has been a lot of success this year, with people who have reconnected and moving onto a pathway to becoming an integrated, contributing citizen, which is often not what people think St Paul’s is about.”

Mr Sutton said the campaign had partly came about after the nation’s focus on rough sleeping in the pandemic.

“That was a good thing,” he said.

“There is a danger of just focusing on rough sleeping of course. It is on the list of misconceptions - rough sleeping isn’t homelessness, people think it is - it is just the tip of the iceberg. Loads of people are below the water line. There is hidden homelessness, where people stay in unsuitable places.

“Homelessness can be solved. As we saw from the government’s campaign in the spring and summer, where there is a political will there is always a way. But of course getting rough sleepers off the streets doesn’t solve the problem. They have got to be helped to recover. You need to help with why they drink, or take drugs, or gamble."

To support the work of the Tallow Hill hostel, including to make a donation, visit

Acorns Children's Hospice

The charity's main fundraiser this Christmas is the Shining Stars Appeal, which is dedicated to helping families with life limited children make magical memories to treasure forever.

The future can seem very uncertain for many families that use the hospice, which is why the charity is asking people to give a gift this Christmas by helping to fund the shining stars who provide its lifeline care and support.

The appeal recognises the amazing work of the nurses, family team workers, physiotherapists, health care assistants and volunteers who make up the Acorns care team.

Droitwich mum Chantelle Marshall, whose daughter Sophia uses Acorns, said the charity's team was "remarkable" and like family to them.

“We had a really scary start with Sophia," the mum said.

"We didn't really know what was happening. We were panicked. The cardiac arrest starved her of oxygen and caused eight brain bleeds.

“The doctors discovered that Sophia had 11 heart defects, which is what caused the cardiac arrest. They also found out that she has a condition called heterotaxy. This means that although she has all her organs they aren’t in the right place, so this causes lots of complications.”

Sophia was referred to Acorns when she was eight-months-old. The family has benefited from a whole range of services including stay and play groups, hydrotherapy and day care. Both Mrs Marshall and husband Samuel receive support through Acorns parents’ groups.

“I was very nervous to walk through the door, but we got the warmest welcome – they were all so lovely," Mrs Marshall said.

"There were children and staff having fun and smiling.

“Coming to Acorns is great for me too because I meet other parents. We all have very different stories, but they are all quite relatable. Until you've been through a journey like this, I don't think you truly understand what it’s like.

“It's hard being 'that' mum - the one who is always worried about their child and has to keep an eye on them. At Acorns everyone understands and will talk to you about what is going on with you. I feel like the normal mum for once when I’m here.

“Sophia is four now, so the staff have seen her grow. She was the tiniest little baby when she first started coming to Acorns. She’s now walking and talking and is happy running off with one of the nurses. She gets so excited when she knows she is coming to stay, she even plans out what she’s going to wear.

“Coming to Acorns was the best thing we ever did. I’m so happy when we’re here. This is definitely our happy place.”

To make a donation visit

To download one of the charity's fundraising packs visit, or to donate any unwanted Christmas presents visit the nearest Acorns Charity shop that can be found at