We’re a nation of givers. In 2017 Britons gave more than £10bn to charity, and the most common month to donate in is December. So this Christmas, why not give to a good cause?

Some UK charities run Christmas-based donation campaigns, especially those who support vulnerable people at what can be a difficult time of year. Here are just some of the brilliant initiatives running over the festive season.

The Sunday Times Christmas Appeal

This year, the Sunday Times is fundraising for the Education Endowment Foundation. In some of the most deprived areas of this country, children rely on free school meals. Some go hungry if they don’t have access to those meals in school. Your generosity will help to keep local schools open over the Christmas holiday, so that these children have something hot to eat and somewhere warm and safe to play. They’ve almost reached their target of £500,000 – you can help them to make it by donating here.

The Samaritans

Samaritans answer a call for help every six seconds. They work around the clock to speak to people going through a dark time, and focus on preventing suicide. Christmas can be especially difficult for some – and last Christmas, Samaritans responded to over 300,000 calls for help. Even the smallest donations make a huge difference – just £12 could train and support a volunteer for three months. You can donate here.

The Salvation Army

At more than 700 centres across the country, the Salvation Army will be celebrating Christmas with carols, present donations, and Christmas lunches for local communities in need. They particularly help older people at Christmas, which can be a lonely and poignant time of year. If you’d like to help, you can donate here.

The Independent’s Christmas campaign: The Homeless Fund

In partnership with The Evening Standard, The Independent is running this year’s Christmas campaign to raise money for the homeless. The issue has worsened over the last few years, and the total number sleeping rough has sharply risen. It has created a new fund, The Homeless Fund, which will financially support the many services trying to help those without a home. You can donate here.

Alzheimer’s Society: a dementia-friendly Christmas

Dementia can cause unexpected difficulties at Christmas for those who are living with it, and for their carers. It might be the noise of a busy household, or the distress of a change to routine.  Alzheimer’s Society has brought together a series on how you can make sure that Christmas celebrations this year are suitable for a loved one with dementia, and you can find out more about it here. It’s a brilliant charity, working on an issue that is so profound to so many people. If you’d like to donate to Alzheimer’s Society, you can do so here.