With the festive season around the corner, we wanted to provide you with some fun and creative fundraisers. Our Charity elves have even included a checklist with each idea to help you make your event totally tree-mendous!

Where required, don’t forget to apply for a street collection licence from your local council as soon as possible, as these are limited.

If you would like any help or guidance on any of the ideas below, please contact you local Charity Community Fundraiser.

And remember to post your activity on social media – tagging us in – so we can support your un-fir-gettable festive event!

Jump to: December Ascender | Engine Pull | Engine or Sleigh Collection | Drive Through Santa’s Grotto | Christmas raffle or tombola | 12/24 Days of Christmas Tree | Christmas Fair | Carol Singing | Flash Mob | Supermarket Collection | Santa Swap | Santa’s Shopping List

December Ascender

We’re asking stations across the UK to take part in their own December Ascender event. The concept is simple: one ladder, one team of ten, and one hour. Set up your fundraising page and get climbing to raise vital funds for our Charity.

  • The event will run from 1 November – 31 December 2023. The challenge can only be re-scheduled to January if postponed due to work or weather related or unforeseen circumstances, provided we are informed by the date you would have taken part
  • You must register for the challenge to take place on a date during November or December 2023
  • Only one person is allowed on the ladder at a time. If you decent down an additional ladder, one person is allowed per ladder
  • An adjudicator from a different station must record and confirm the number of ascents achieved and sign to verify
  • Wholetime, retained and volunteers are invited to take part
Ladder size
  • You can choose to sign up to the 13.5 metre or the 9 metre ladder challenge, but the same rules apply for each category
The Challenge
  • 1 team of up to 10 – can be several watches or with another station
  • You must register for the challenge to take place on a date during November or December 2023
  • Climb the ladder as many times as possible in one hour
  • Prizes for most money raised
  • Prizes for most ascents

Register your December Ascender

Christmas Engine Pull

The Christmas Engine Pull is a great variation on the traditional fundraiser!

Tips for organising an Engine Pull

  • Choose your dates/places carefully, like a busy high street or shopping centre near to pay-day
  • Decorate your engine as festive as possible – there’s no such thing as “over the top”
  • Have some Christmas music playing, to attract attention
  • Commandeer 9 willing “pullers”, or have a team to swap as you go if it’s a long distance
  • Adorn the pullers with antlers, ensuring the front “reindeer” also has a red nose!
  • Make sure you have plenty of bucket collectors on hand

Register your Engine Pull

Christmas engine or sleigh collection


This popular fundraiser is back for another year!

Tips for organising a Christmas engine or sleigh collection
  • Choose your dates/places carefully, around your local community, a busy high street, or shopping centre – on or just after pay-day is a good date!
  • Plan and promote your route on social media, in the local press or radio so the community know when to lookout for you
  • Or tap into someone else’s popular festive event as an “added attraction”
  • Make a sleigh, or decorate your engine as festive as possible – there’s no such thing as “over the top”
  • Have some Christmas music playing, to attract attention
  • Make sure you have plenty of bucket collectors on hand – antlers or Santa hats are a must!

Register your Engine or Sleigh collection

Drive Through Santa’s Grotto

Bring some Christmas joy to the little ones this festive season and invite families to a Drive Through Santa’s Grotto. Festively decorate the appliance bay, get the Christmas music on and have the Crew dress up as elves, reindeers and, of course, Santa.

Tips for organising a Drive Through Santa’s Grotto
  • Promote the event to all your local community groups: cubs/brownies, dance/gymnastics/sports/martial arts classes, primary schools
  • Make it a real community effort, by asking local businesses to donate selection boxes, books, soft toys
  • Organise a one-way route for cars to drive into Santa’s grotto to see Santa
  • Everyone can stay in their vehicle – This could be of particular benefit for children with additional needs, who may not feel comfortable visiting a traditional grotto.
  • Santa passes a gift to the children with the help of the elves
  • Have a 2nd stopping point with a donation bucket, Just Giving link and QR code, and contactless payment machine etc. so all means of payment is available – this can be before or after entering
  • You can include a post box, so children can post their letter to Santa
  • As an additional fundraiser, Mrs Claus could provide refreshments, “drive by” style!

Register your Drive Through Santa Grotto

Christmas raffle, tombola or quiz 

  • Ask local businesses to donate gifts or voucher (you can either use the vouchers as a prize or buy an item as a prize)
  • If holding a raffle you could group lower value items into a “Goody hamper” as one prize
  • With a Christmas quiz, make sure the questions cover a variety of Christmas-themed topics to make it inclusive to as many individuals as possible
  • Having 20-30 raffle prizes won’t sell more tickets and people get bored waiting for all the numbers to be called/ prizes to be collected. If you have around 5 higher value prizes, consider raffling those and using the others for a tombola (30-50 prizes make a decent tombola) or a “Prize Every Time” 1 gift per gift bag – pay £1, choose a bag

Register your Christmas tombola, raffle or quiz

12/24 Days of Christmas Trees

There’s nothing better than decorating a Christmas tree to get you in the festive spirit! So why not spread the joy and ask local landowners/Christmas tree growers/retailers/ forest management businesses to donate 12/24 small trees (3-5 ft, real, artificial or homemade) – or a combination of these – to display in your local community.

Tips for organising a 12/24 Days Christmas Tress event
  • Ask local businesses to make a small donation (suggest £20 or £50) to have the privilege of decorating one of the trees
  • Encourage participants to decorate the trees, including battery operated/solar lights, according to their business e.g. a hairdresser could use hair rollers, a butcher, plastic sausages.
  • Place the trees around your station/community/business, where they can easily be seen by the public, and also utilise social media
  • Each business can be given a shiny cardboard star to add their business name/logo to top the tree
  • Have either:
    • One big switch-on, encouraging the community to attend (include a bucket collection!) – perhaps at the end of a Christmas Fair or Open Day, OR
    • Light a different tree every day during Advent.
    • Do this at the same time every day and post on social media with your QR code donation link

Register your 12/24 Days of Christmas Tree event

Christmas Fair

This is the perfect festive activity to bring the community together around the holidays.

Tips for organising a Christmas Fair
  • Choose a date and publicise well in advance to give people the opportunity of adding it to their diaries
  • Ask for donations from local businesses for refreshments, prizes
  • Invite local crafters and makers to take a stall
  • Charge £10 or £20 depending on the size of your event
  • Ensure there is only one stall per product e.g. preserves, handbags, jewellery, wood carving etc. to ensure stalls aren’t competing with each other
  • Include your own fundraising stalls, such as a tombola, raffle, cake stall, name the cuddly toy
  • Ask a few local community groups (church/WI/Scouts etc.) if they’d like a table to promote their cause, or fundraise, but ensure they DON’T do the same fundraising as you – tombola/raffle etc. as it will dilute your fundraising opportunities
  • Have A Santa’s Grotto, complete with Mrs Claus and elves!
  • Have a “Stage” area, for local performances, and have a timed programme throughout the day
  • Ensure collection buckets are to hand during all displays

Register your Christmas Fair

Carol Singing

Spread some festive cheer by singing Christmas carols to family, friends, neighbours, and your community.

  • Ask your local shopping Centre or supermarket if you can have a slot for Carol Singing
  • Ask a local choir or brass band to join you if you’re not confident singers
  • Make sure you have plenty of bucket collectors to hand
  • You can add this to traditional supermarket bucket collections, for added interest and crowd-pulling

Register your Carol Singing event

Festive Flash Mob

Grab the public’s attention this Christmas with a festive flash mob!

  • Ask your shopping Centre or supermarket if you can perform a “Flash Mob”
  • Perform the dance routine in uniform
  • Choose your tune wisely and rehearse well!
  • Have plenty of bucket collectors to hand
  • This can be repeated at several locations if you have big enough venues – even outdoors!

Register your Festive Flash Mob

Supermarket collection/Bag pack

Please note: You’ll need to booking these well in advance to get slots during November & December.

  • Ask as many locations as possible
  • Don’t just stick to supermarkets, ask discount stores too, such as Iceland, B&M, The Range, Home Bargains, Pound shops
  • We can provide a template letter for you to use, simply ask our Customer Care Team.
  • If doing a bag pack, try to have 1 bag-packer per till, perhaps family and friends could help?

Register your Christmas supermarket collection

Santa Swap

What can you swap a chocolate coin for? We’ve all heard about the man who turned a paper clip into a house in just 15 swaps! Well, what can you upgrade a chocolate coin for?

Tips for organising a Santa Swap event
  • Charge your participants just £5 per to enter, then provide them with a chocolate coin.
  • Participants have just 40 days of swapping and trading up their items, to turn their chocolate coin into something really valuable, unique, or special
  • Participants can raise sponsorship via a fundraising page (e.g. Just Giving), asking family & friends to donate a small amount each time they post an image of their new item

For suggested Terms and Conditions to use for this event, please speak to your local Community Fundraiser.

Register your Santa Swap event

Santa’s Shopping list

Can your team of elves be the first to gather everything on Santa’s Shopping List without paying for anything?

Tips for organising a Santa’s Shopping List fundraiser
  • Your team could consist of 4 elves
  • Charge just £5 per person and you are required to raise sponsorship via a fundraising page (e.g. Just Giving).
  • Ask someone to adjudicate. They must supply Santa’s Shopping List 5 minutes before the start of the event (to prevent cheating!) and you have just 2 hours to gather as many items as possible
  • You can ask people to help you by donating or supplying the items free of charge BUT the items must be collected by your team members only
  • You can interpret the items on Santa’s Shopping List in any way you choose, but the judge’s decision will be final

For suggested Terms and Conditions to use for this event, or help with ideas for your Shopping List, please speak to your local Community Fundraiser.

Register your Santa’s Shopping List fundraiser

Whatever you do to support us this Christmas, we want to say a HUGE thank you! With your help, we can continue to be there for our UK fire family now, and in the future.

< Back to the Fire Family Christmas page