For Christians, Lent is often a time to emulate the sacrifices made for humanity by Jesus, practise abstinence, and strengthen your willpower. Secular participants might take it as a chance to break a habit or give up an unnecessary indulgence. But thanks to a growing number of resources, people can choose to celebrate Lent by giving instead of giving something up.

For those who are homeless, going without the little luxuries many of us take for granted is normal. But rough sleepers are also often isolated and lack emotional support, which can take a toll on their self-esteem and ability to help themselves. That’s why many communities and campaigners are joining together to encourage a way of looking at Lent that is not just good for you, but better for the world.

Here at Church Housing Trust we’re looking forward to Lent as an extra opportunity to give, reflect and have a bit of fun. Check our social media for comments, ideas and daily thoughts on Lent and how you might use it to expand your experiences, make others’ lives more interesting, and give back to the world around you.

You can find our own Lent resources online here, plus daily updates and ideas throughout the festival. With the ability to Tweet, blog and post live videos, both individuals and churches can immediately show and share the positive difference their actions make. Share using the hashtag #DoLentGenerously and tweet @ChurchHousing to let us know what you’re up to!

It’s always been clear that a great part of being part of a church, community or indeed the human race is the ability to give. It feels great, it helps others, and it’s good for the soul. The overarching message is that around the world, Lent now provides the opportunity to give rather than ‘give up’.