‘Reverse Advent Calendars’ Welcomed by Charities

Advent calendars are a much-anticipated part of the Christmas tradition—but this year charities and food banks are urging the nation to adapt their advent celebrations to help those in need.

The reverse advent calendar has become a popular way for charitable Brits to mark the days in the lead up to December 25. The idea is simple – put aside an item each day to donate to a charity or food bank.

Once the advent donations are collected, take them to a donation point on the final day so the charities can distribute to families in need of help ahead of Christmas Day.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of Food poverty charity, the Trussell Trust said: “Reverse advent calendars are a lovely way to support people who are struggling to afford the basics at Christmas time. Food banks really appreciate every single donation – it makes such a difference in the short-term.”

Food poverty has been of increasing concern in the UK, especially with the pandemic affecting jobs and family life. UNICEF estimates that some 2.5m young people in Britain lived in ‘food insecure’ homes in 2019.

Mental health campaigner and author, Matt Haig, has declared his support for making reverse advent calendars this year, calling it “a new Christmas tradition, though one that shouldn’t have to exist” in an Instagram post.

If you’d like to make a reverse advent calendar, donations of food and clothes are welcomed by homeless charity Crisis, whilst the Trussell Trust has donations points across the country – visit their website to find your local collection point.  Many supermarkets have also set up ‘drop-off areas’ for donations.

If you are self-isolating or cannot get to the shops to purchase items for your reverse advent calendar, some of the major supermarkets have created ways for you to contribute online:

  • Morrisons – Purchase a £10 food bank voucher that goes towards one of 50 food banks that are most in need of donations
  • Waitrose – Add their charitable digital ‘green token’ at their checkout page when you shop online
  • Tesco – Clubcard vouchers can be converted to a donation to the Trussell Trust