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The winter months are a tough time for many, and this year could be harder than most. The Helpful Ways for Brighter Days activity, which is of part of Clear Your Head mental health campaign, is shining a light on ways to give and get support this season, sharing advice and resources from a range of charities and organisations across Scotland pitching in to help people in need during these challenging times. Whether you need mental health support, tips on how to stay in touch with loved ones, guidance on how to help out safely this year, or maybe just a chat on the phone one evening – there’s a huge range of help available to you in Scotland.

For more tips on how to improve your mental health this winter, visit ClearYourHead.scot

You can also find out about other ways to play your part and help others in your community year-round, either by supporting some of the work already happening in your area or by starting something new.

Meal Makers

Meal Makers is a food-sharing project connecting people who love cooking and are happy to share an extra portion of home cooked food with an older neighbour who would love a freshly prepared meal and a friendly chat. Meal Makers strengthens communities and provides a flexible way to volunteer your time and skills locally. Find out more at: http://www.mealmakers.org.uk/Account/Register

Tech Connection Network

The Tech Connection Network connects individuals supported by Scotland’s care services with their loved ones. By donating an unused or unwanted device, you can help those receiving care across Scotland maintain invaluable face-to-face communication with their nearest and dearest. Find out more at: https://scottishcare.org/tech-connection-network/

Scottish Book Trust

This Christmas will be a difficult one for many families. Help Scottish Book Trust to spread some joy and create special moments by gifting books to vulnerable families over the festive season. Books help families to bond, bringing calm and togetherness. Find out more at: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/donate/christmas-appeal

Maggies

Maggie’s offers the best possible support free to anyone with cancer and their families – by phone, email, online and through eight centres across Scotland. There are many ways to volunteer your time to help Maggie’s continue to support people with cancer. Find out more at: https://www.maggies.org/get-involved/volunteer

Social Bite

Social Bite’s ‘Festival of Kindness’ aims to provide 250,000 meals and essential items as well as accommodation to homeless and vulnerable people. The impact of Covid-19 means that people need help more than ever this Christmas. Social Bite hopes to create a movement of kindness and spread festive goodwill to those who need it most. Find out more at: http://festive.social-bite.co.uk/

The Daily Mile

The Daily Mile™ encourages children, young people and adults to incorporate a 15-minute walk, jog, run, wheel into their daily routines. It’s fully inclusive and accessible to all. There has never been a more important time to increase physical activity for physical, mental and social health. Find out more at: https://thedailymile.co.uk/

Paths for All

Paths for All are bringing some cheer, motivation and inspiration to help take care of ourselves. A daily walk is a great way to socialise safely and boost your immune system in these chilly months. For a winter boost to body and mind, join in and pledge to walk every day this winter. Find out more at: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/whats-on/event-details/walk-winter

Breathing Space

Breathing Space offers free advice and listening in a safe and supportive space to adults who are experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. Christmas can be an especially difficult time for some, and new booklet ‘Little Book of Caring Ways’ highlights the benefits kindness and positive relationships can have on our mental wellbeing. Find out more at: https://www.breathingspace.scot/news/2020/new-booklet-available-now/

Smart Play Network

Smart Play Network supports play services and providers and delivers projects to promote the power of play. The PlayTalkRead project provides low-cost tips in playing, talking and reading for parents and carers with little ones aged 0-4. On 22 December you can join in the Christmas Special Facebook Live for stories, songs and craft activities for families. Find out more at: https://www.smartplaynetwork.org/resources

Scottish Libraries

Scottish Libraries are encouraging people to stock up on books and resources to see them through a quieter festive period, and to feel that little bit more connected by making use of online support services including Santa visits and book groups. Find out more at: https://scottishlibraries.org/christmas

Naval Families Federation

The Naval Families Federation works with and supports serving sailors, marines and their families. Over the winter period, they are supporting families who are facing difficult times with periods of separation from their loved ones with a new Winter Glow campaign thanks to the generosity of the Annington Trust. Find out more at: https://nff.org.uk/winterglow/

Fathers Network Scotland  

This winter, Fathers Network Scotland wants to spread a little kindness at a challenging time for families, encouraging everyone to check-in with their buddies and ask how they’re doing by joining in the #BrewWithYourBuddy virtual fundraising event on 15th December. Find out more at:  https://www.fathersnetwork.org.uk/brew_with_a_buddy

Projectability

Projectability is a visual arts charity supporting people with disabilities and experience of mental ill-health to express themselves and achieve their artistic potential. From ordering original art from the Christmas Shop, donating materials, and volunteering, there are many ways to show your support this festive season. Find out more at: https://www.project-ability.co.uk/support/

Cyrenians

The Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution (SCCR) is a national resource centre set up by Cyrenians to help young people and their families, and professionals working with them, by promoting best practice conflict resolution and early intervention. With relationship breakdowns being a major cause of youth homelessness, they support families with information and free resources. Find out more at: https://scottishconflictresolution.org.uk/

Erskine

Erskine provides unrivaled support to Veterans in Scotland, through four care homes and a Veterans Village, comprising of 44 cottages, an Activity Centre, five Assisted Living Apartments and 24 Single Living Apartments (currently under construction). Find out more at: https://www.erskine.org.uk/ 

MCR Pathways

MCR Pathways is a mentoring programme supporting young people throughout the country to realise their full potential through education. Volunteer Mentors from all walks of life can support a young person to find, grow and use their talents and progress onto positive post-school destinations. Find out more at https://mcrpathways.org/

Stay Informed

Ready Scotland regularly publishes alerts on both Twitter and Facebook. Follow and like our pages to keep up to date wherever you are.

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