During this past week as we watched the country adapt to isolation and the World continued to battle Covid-19, we found ourselves feeling helpless. For those without medical experience and who are continuing to adhere to the strict lockdown rules, we’ve pulled together a couple of ways you can help ease the pressures on others during this time – both by volunteering and getting out of the house or from the comfort and safety of your own homes.
First and foremost, the NHS is under an unprecedented strain. It’s in constant need of more supplies, resources and medical professionals to help. They’ve also set up the NHS Volunteer Responders to support the NHS and care sector during the pandemic.
There are four different volunteering options for those who are able to help. All you need to do is download the GoodSAM app, register and undertake a check – then you can sign up for tasks and help locals in need. You must of course be free of any symptoms and maintain social distancing measures throughout. You can also donate to their crisis fund.
These guys redistribute food away from landfills and to those in need across London. Right now, they’re in need of food, funding and volunteers. Their vans are still out on the road in what must seem like a post apocalyptic London, feeding London’s most vulnerable during this crisis. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the need for their services has sky-rocketed.
They’re located in West London, just a stone’s throw away from Notting Hill. If you’re over 18 you can volunteer to help sort food into parcels for each of the organisations they support. They’re also looking for help from those in the food and hospitality industry, or with warehouse, driving and logistics experience. You can sign up to volunteer here. If you’re not local, a £10 donation can help them feed 40 people and you can donate here. If you have any food to donate, get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AKT provide care and support to young, LQBT homeless people – the most marginalised people in our community. They are working so hard to continue to support those in need of their help during these difficult times, providing urgent support and maintaining their ongoing vital work.
You can donate to AKT to help provide; cleaning and essential hygiene supplies for a young person, mobile credit to help someone feel safe and supported, provide nutritious food packages and accommodation for self-isolation if a young person has no network to rely on. They’ve also been posting really helpful information and resources on their social media accounts and would undoubtedly appreciate their messages being shared – @AKTCharity.
Refugee Action, like of all of us, is so aware that the coronavirus threatens the most vulnerable in our communities. As we turn to family, friends, colleagues and neighbours for support, there are thousands of people in the UK who have been separated from their networks. Refugees experience greater difficulty in accessing healthcare, are more likely to have pre-existing health conditions and experience homelessness or poor quality of housing. Refugee Action are ensuring translators and interpreters are available to make sure the people they support understand the latest government advice and have moved most of their support online where possible. You can learn more about the work they carry out on a day to day basis online and donate to their continued efforts to protect refugees and asylum seekers here.
With over a million young women struggling to live on low or no pay, Young Women’s Trust are working to protect those experiencing the financial and emotional impact of the coronavirus. Despite the extensive measures introduced by the government, women are more likely to be in precarious and unprotected employment contracts. They’re reorganising their work to ensure they can continue to support economically vulnerable young women during this crisis.
You can volunteer for their Work It Out service which offers support for women aged 18-30, helping them build their skills and strengthen their mental health. They are anticipating that this phone-service will needed now more than ever. You can also donate to their work here.
We’re now over a week into lockdown and the value of our safety and support networks have become so apparent. Tensions are running high and the future looks a little uncertain, but the strength shown across our communities is nothing short of astonishing. Slowly, we’re moving through these times of unprecedented crisis and the work carried out by these charities has never been more important. Please show some support where you can, it will be received so gratefully.