While Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, it can also be used as an opportunity to give to charity.
And for people who love Devon and care about its communities, a donation to the charity Love Devon is a way to give back to the county, embrace the true meaning of Christmas and help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Love Devon is the trading and fundraising arm of Devon Communities Together, which works with a very broad range of people, from rural and coastal communities to more urban centres; people like you, or people you might know.
It tackles a whole raft of challenges such as lack of affordable housing, fuel poverty, disappearing services, lack of local employment and the increasing issue of rural isolation and loneliness in an ageing population.
Love Devon’s chairman Chris Coward said: “Love Devon was set up so that people can get involved, whether it be through monthly donations or their own fundraising events and support the work of Devon Communities Together. It is an incredible charity that for many years has gone under the radar, but that really makes a huge difference to so many people’s lives. Christmas is the perfect time to encourage everyone to think about their own communities, and how they can support their neighbours, should they need it.
He added: “There’s an idea that living in a rural area is an idyllic lifestyle choice, but there can be many challenges associated with rural life. They might not have access to public transport, jobs might be seasonal, houses might be old and difficult to heat. Devon is also a low wage economy with rents that are increasingly high, and people can be underemployed. We also have a growing older population, with many people without family support, and they find themselves isolated.”
Devon Communities Together tackles all these challenges and more besides, working with communities in areas such as entrepreneurship, community buildings, sport and play, health and wellbeing, and making Devon green, with the team focused on inspiring, up-skilling, training, supporting and advising groups and individuals to make changes and achieve positive outcomes for their communities.
To give a Christmas present that will make a difference, visit www.devoncommunities.org.uk/donate where there are options to pledge a monthly, annual or one off donation.