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Christmas is around the corner and thoughts turn towards family and friends. It is a time of giving and receiving and many of us are occupied with food, presents and the thought of time off from work. But away from the busyness of everyday life we have a chance to think and consider others less fortunate than ourselves. Many of us donate, support and contribute to charities either through giving money or our time. We are all different and have our own favourite charities and causes, but have you thought about combining your snowsport passion with giving back? Below are some ideas:

SnowCamp focus on using snowsports, both snowboarding and skiing, to help inner-city young people make positive life choices allowing them to grow in confidence. Their life-skills programme enables young people to develop new skills which they can use to influence their future.

How can you get involved?

  • They have a number of fund-raising events such as The Alpine Challenge where teams of four people snowboard or ski a minimum of 150km over two days.
  • Download their free App called Ski 2 The Moon which allows individuals to set their own ski or snowboard target and contribute towards the collective goal of travelling 238,855 miles.
  • You can select a number of fundraising challenges to participate in or dream up one of your own.

Disability Snowsport UK: has an ethos to ensure everyone can participate and enjoy snowsports regardless of their disability. They want everyone to experience the thrill and joy of snowsports, and their aim is to make that happen through adaptive equipment, specialised instruction and support if needed.

How can you get involved?

POW (Protect Our Winters): was started by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones to bring the snowsport community together to fight against climate change. This social movement of like-minded people can see the effect global warming is having in the mountains and want to work together to lobby politicians and policy-makers.

How can you get involved?

  • Take note of the POW Seven list which details the most effective actions you can take to make a difference.
  • Join POW by making a donation of $20 or more to get discounts on POW gear, monthly newsletters, stickers and more.
  • If you live in the USA call your Senator and ask him or her to support the Clean Power Plan.

Ski 4 Cancer: is a charity which provides alpine respite care for British families affected by cancer. It allows those touched by the disease to have some relief away from the hardships of living with the illness. The charity will also support research into the positive effects of sport in preventing cancer and helping with recovery after diagnosis.

How can you get involved?

  • Make a donation.
  • Volunteer to help in a variety of roles such as selling raffle tickets or inputting data.
  • Participate in numerous fundraising projects such as The Everest World Record 2016 where, as a group, upto 500 people will attempt to descend the height of Mount Everest (29,029 ft) raising funds for Ski4Cancer. Another event is the Arctic Husky Challenge 2016 which involves a week travelling through northern Norway and Sweden camping out in temperatures well below zero.

We hear about the over-commercialisation of Christmas and how kids demand the latest gadgets and toys. It is easy to get sucked into the hype and, at times, feel cynical and jaded by all the razzmatazz. But you can redress the balance by thinking about the spirit of Christmas and giving to others, so if you want to transfer the passion you have for snowsports and channel it into making a difference to others the above charities and causes are a good place to start.

It really just leaves me to wish you peace, contentment and a very Merry Christmas.

Enjoy the festivities,