London isn't all take, take, take, y'know. Here are five ways to give back to the city.
Someone out there would love your old floral-pattern sofa. You might even find a person desperate to rehome your collection of Happy Meal toys (except the Teenie Beanie Babies – you’re hanging on to them). Post your items on the Freecycle website, and a sofa-poor, shit-toy-loving queue will form at your door.
PAY IT FORWARD COFFEE
Black Sheep Coffee on Charlotte Street runs an excellent ‘pay it forward’ scheme. Buy an extra cup of joe at a discounted rate, and it can then be claimed by a homeless person when they come to the shop.
THE GOOD GYM
Ah, running: as boring and pointless as Kanye up a crane at Glasto. But not any more! The Good Gym is a scheme where you combine your run with helping a person or project. You could transform a community garden, repaint a wall or deliver a newspaper to an elderly person. The greater sense of purpose should spur you on when the tedious old health benefits no longer cut it.
Thousands of tons of surplus food are thrown away every year. FoodCycle takes some of it and cooks meals for vulnerable people such as the elderly, low-income families, the homeless and asylum-seekers. You can help by volunteering in one of the charity’s London projects.
Volunteering charity Time Bank matches inspirational mentors like you with people who might benefit from your support and advice. You could find yourself helping young people about to leave care, leaders of small community organisations or ex-servicemen and women who are finding it hard to adjust to civilian life. Whatever your field, Time Bank can find a Daniel-san for your Mr Miyagi.
By Dan Frost
Once you're done with your good deed for the day, take a look at the 16 lies that keep London going.