Gifts that give back

If you’re struggling for a present idea, why not give a gift that really makes a difference? Here’s a selection of gifts for under £10 that could transform someone’s life . . .

For hungry babies

Just £7 can buy a week’s supply of life-saving micro-nutrient peanut paste for hungry babies and children around the world.
WHAT YOU GET: The friend or relative you buy for will receive a card with a personal message from you and a Wish list certificate so they know what gift has been given in their name.
WHERE FROM: Save the Children’s Wish List. For full details visit or call 020 7012 6400

For schoolchildren in Africa

£10 will buy a school desk for a primary school in Burundi, a megaphone for a teacher to call children to school, communicate with parent groups or deliver HIV and Aids training in the community, or a teacher’s chair for a nursery teacher working with pre-school Sudanese children.
WHAT YOU GET: A gift card left blank for your own personal message and a card describing your gift selection.
WHERE FROM: The Gift List -  Presents That Matter from Cord, 01926 315301.  Cord works to help people caught up in conflicts around the world rebuild their lives.

For women in India

Give a gift that is both pretty and practical to a woman in India. £9 will buy a sari, blanket and special Christmas meal
WHAT YOU GET: A handmade  paper Chhristmas card from a community project in Mozambique and a gift certificate.
WHERE FROM: Lifeline Christmas gifts from ROPE (Relief for Oppressed People Everywhere). Visit or call 01494 866724

For victims of rape

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country struggling with the aftershocks of a decade of violence, women remain vulnerable to sexual violence. Just £8  could provide transport for a victim of rape to access medical treatment and care.
WHAT YOU GET: A living gift voucher, which you then give to your friend or loved one, enabling them to choose where the money goes
WHERE FROM : Living Gifts from Tearfund, visit or call 0845 241 7782 for details.

For the elderly and infirm

It only costs £1 to cover the bus fare for many elderly or ill people in parts of Eastern Europe who would otherwise have to walk miles in freezing weather to get from A to B.
WHAT YOU GET: A Christmas card and photo note  for each gift ordered.
WHERE FROM: Eurovangelism’s Bare Necessities catalogue.  Visit or call 0117 961 5161

For children here in the UK

If you know someone with a love of words, why not buy them their very own piece of the English language? Children’s communication charity I CAN, supported by Britain’s biggest dictionary publisher Collins are giving people free reign of the Collins Dictionary for £20 a word. All proceeds go to I CAN and its work to help children here in the UK who struggle to speak or understand words.
WHAT YOU GET: Ownership of a word for one year, plus an official certificate, welcome booklet, personalised message and bookmark.
WHERE FROM: Available online only

Cards and calendars

Choose your Christmas cards from a range all seeking to convey the real meaning of Christmas from Gospel Cards Etc. Packets of 10 cards coast from £2.60 and proceeds from sales go towards the work of 38 Christian charities. A selection of calendars and diaries are also available. Visit or call 01656 647551 for details.

Christmas posting dates

Ensure all your post arrives on time! Post codes can be checked at and the Royal Mail are reminding customers that cards larger than 240mm x 165mm x 5mm will need a large letter stamp.

Last recommended posting dates

For airmail:

5th December  for South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Far East, Asia, New Zealand and Australia
10th December for Japan, USA, Canada and Eastern Europe
12th December for Western Europe

For UK mail:

18th December Second class post

20th December First class post
23rd December Special delivery