HOW TO (SAFELY!) HELP YOUR COMMUNITY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

A rolling list of ways in which you can safely help your community and the vulnerable, during these strange* times.

*We can’t bring ourselves to say unprecedented ever again. Except that time.

FIRST THINGS FIRST – KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!

Please do bear in mind that for any of the suggestions below that involve face to face contact, it’s incredibly important that you do all you can to avoid adding to the spread of infection. Those who are self isolating or displaying symptoms should avoid any physical volunteering – though you can still get involved with online or phone based aid.

Even if you’re feeling tip top, please familiarise yourself with these guidelines on how to support others without spreading the infection. Be sensible and vigilant. Wash your hands regularly and stay at least 2 metres away from anybody you come into contact with.

Looking after the vulnerable on your street WITH COVID-19 MUTUAL AID.

This one is doable, even if you’re still busy working from home or looking after the kids.  Covid-19 Mutual Aid was set up to connect neighbours provide aid to the vulnerable folks living closest to them, and has quickly been adopted nationwide. There are plenty of ways to get involved,  through running errands or picking up essential groceries for those in particularly at-risk groups, or even something as simple as reaching out for a check in and chat on the phone, to help stave off loneliness.

Head to their website to find your closest local group.

VOLUNTEER AT YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK

Panic buying super noodles and loo roll isn’t an option for the 14 million people who live in poverty in the UK. Food banks in the Trussell Trust network need urgent help to continue to provide essential community services to people in crisis. There are a variety of roles available across the country, from sorting and packing donations in a warehouse, to collecting donations from supermarkets, or delivering food to people in greatest need.

Pop your postcode in the Trussell Trust website to find volunteering opportunities at a food bank near you.

BECOME AN NHS VOLUNTEER RESPONDER

Our NHS has never needed us more. They’re recruiting for an army of volunteers, to help support the folks most at risk and there are a variety of roles available..

  • Community Response Volunteer: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.
  • Patient Transport Volunteer: Support the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring that they are settled safely back in to their home.
  • NHS Transport Volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
  • Check In & Chat Volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

To apply for any of the above, register here. Once the correct checks have taken place, you’ll be given a log in to the GoodSAM App. Switch the app to ‘on duty’ and you’ll be able to see the local tasks available in your area, and get stuck in.

VOLUNTEER WITH FARESHARE

FareShare are an amazing charity, who distribute surplus food to charities, who in turn create meals for those in need, providing just under 1 million meals a week to 11,000 frontline charities and community groups. They’ve done great work at Shambala in the past, delivering our festival food waste to community cafes and charities – and now they need your help. 

FareShare has capacity to double the volume of food they redistribute but they need volunteers to help them step up to this challenge. There heaps of ways to get involved, some involving driving and warehouse work and others that can be done at home, such as becoming a social media ambassador. Find out more here.

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