There’s so much to be excited about at Christmastime. Fabulous parties, festive fare and, of course, the John Lewis advert. But amid all the seasonal trappings, we sometimes lose sight of what this time of year is really about: giving back.
Giving back: Our guide to supporting Knightsbridge charities this Christmas
As Mother Teresa so perfectly put it: ‘It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.’
And few types of giving show as much love as supporting a charitable organisation. Since charity begins at home, we’ve rounded up some of the most incredible charitable, community and social impact initiatives in and around Knightsbridge.
Power to the people
An absolute paradise for anyone who loves afternoon tea and Instagrammable decor, Feya Knightsbridge (146 Brompton Road) is a must-visit. But did you know that it also supports women’s equality? Feya Cares is a social initiative by founder and chef Zahra Khan to empower women and fight the gender gap. You can support it this Christmas by shopping from Feya’s retail line, where 10% of sales go towards female empowerment, fostering entrepreneurism and bolstering employability. That means its salted caramel hot chocolate not only makes the perfect stocking stuffer, it could also help change someone’s circumstances for the better.
Protecting our planet
Although we often long for a white Christmas, this year we’re here to make the case for a green one. Whether you take a moment of quiet reflection at the Diana Memorial Fountain or your soul is soothed by an afternoon spent boating on the Serpentine, you know how special London’s Royal Parks are. They are beautifully cared for all year long by The Royal Parks charity – and they can always do with more support. This Christmas, why not dedicate a bench to a loved one or simply make a donation? A £25 contribution can pay for a bird box to provide a safe nesting habitat for one of the many species that call the Royal Parks home.
You may not have heard of Octavia Hill but you’ve almost certainly felt her impact. The Victorian philanthropist and social reformer was a pioneer of social housing, a founder of the National Trust and the first clean air campaigner for London. Part of her incredible legacy is the Octavia Foundation, an organisation that connects people affected by unemployment, ill health, social isolation or low incomes in central and west London with opportunities for positive personal change. So, how can you support this remarkable foundation? Octavia has a flagship retail space at 211 Brompton Road, where you can donate goods (including clothing, jewellery, homeware and toys), volunteer your time in-store or simply buy some of your presents there. It’s good for the planet and great for the community.
Christmas is, of course, an important time for those who follow the Christian faith, and the true meaning and roots of the season can often get lost in materialism. Whatever your beliefs, why not consider a donation to St Paul’s Knightsbridge church this year? Describing itself as a ‘lively 21st-century church’, St Paul’s welcomes one-off donations via its online system (starting at just £10) or members of the congregation are encouraged to pledge weekly, monthly or annual donations that will go towards maintaining the church and its community-centric initiatives. On Tuesday 5 December, St Paul’s will be hosting its annual Foundation Carol Service, with stunning music, festive readings and servings of chilled champagne and hot mulled wine to put you in the Christmas spirit while doing good.
Another local initiative you could donate to this Christmas is is the Household Cavalry Foundation, the official charity of the Household Cavalry, which has longstanding ties to the Knightsbridge area. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has been based at Hyde Park Barracks since 1795, and you can spot horses and their rides on practise trots in the Royal Park throughout the week. If you’d like to go a step further than a donation, the Household Cavalry Museum’s fabulous shop is somewhere you can visit in-person or online. This important and long-standing charity supports ‘all the members of the Household Cavalry “family”: our serving soldiers, operational casualties, veterans and dependants’. It also takes care of retired horses, often finding them new homes. Its Christmas cards and adorable Cavalry stuffed toys will tickle the fancy of any horse-lover or, for those more inspired by Christmas cocktails, it has its own range of craft gin.