6 Ways You Can Still Give Back During Self-Isolation
With more and more people self-quarantining and working from home, there are fewer hands to help charities support the vulnerable members of their communities. So how can you get involved?
If history has taught us anything, it’s that the human spirit is resilient. Sure, we’re not able to ladle hot meals at the local homeless shelter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still give back from the confines of our homes.
Eager to lend a virtual hand during these tough times? Here are six ways you can help those affected by the Coronavirus while still practising the government recommended social distancing.
1. Donate basic hygiene essentials
We’ve all seen the effects that panic shopping have had since the onset of the pandemic. That means certain hygiene projects like toilet paper and hand soap are becoming harder and harder to find. And not everyone has the means or ability to queue early outside stores to stock up on necessary essentials, let alone leave their house. So how can we support those people during these difficult times?
Consider giving the following:
- Toilet paper
- Soap (for adults and babies)
- Body wash
- Hand sanitiser
- Laundry detergent
- Baby essentials
You can donate online or find a local drop off point in your neighbourhood (permitted it is safe to do so). Make sure to check with the individual charity to see what sort of donations they are currently accepting.
2. Why not give someone a call?
Ever thought of becoming a befriender? Well, there’s no better time than now, especially as the government has issued strong warnings for anyone over the age of 70 to self-quarantine. Charities like Age UK are on the lookout for local befrienders to call people stuck in hospitals or at home with no access to family, friends or social media.
So if you want to help you, consider picking up the phone and calling someone who may be facing a long period of isolation. You can also use the app Nextdoor to find out if any of your neighbours need assistance.
We recommend creating WhatsApp groups with your community—these are a great way to ensure you’re still communicating with your friends and family, and you can set up the occasional video call to catch up. You’ll be surprised what an effect just hearing someone’s voice can have!
3. Consider giving blood
With so many people staying home, the number of blood donations is expected to fall drastically over the coming months. As hospital patients are still relying on lifesaving donations, hospitals are taking extra safety precautions to ensure that blood donations can continue.
According to the NHS, you can still donate blood as normal, as long as you haven’t recently travelled to a high-risk area or been in contact with someone who has the virus. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the virus being transferred through blood, tissue or stem cells. So if you already have an appointment to donate, by all means, keep it. But keep in mind this will involve some travel to get to the hospitals.
Download the NHS Give Blood app to book an appointment today.
📅 Please keep your appointment if you can.
🩸 We’re asking blood donors to keep donating as normal to help us be prepared for the coronavirus. Safety is always our number one priority.
— GiveBlood 🩸🅰️🅱️🆎🅾️🧼🖐 (@GiveBloodNHS) March 13, 2020
4. Don’t forget about digital donations!
Many face-to-face fundraising events have been cancelled to prevent the spread of the virus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t send a few digital pounds to the amazing charities that are going above and beyond to help those most affected. Maybe it’s your local homeless shelter or a mental health organisation helping the millions of people suddenly adjusting to an indoor lifestyle.
Just consider how much money you’re saving on travel and not buying that cup of coffee on your morning commute. Those extra pounds can go a long way and believe us the charities would absolutely love your financial support—especially now.
Don't miss another post, sign up to our weekly newsletter
5. Support families and parents with special needs
With schools closing, many parents are suddenly having to figure out ways of homeschooling and entertaining their kids while still working from home. This is not an easy task to begin with but add on the complexity of having a child with special needs or an older grandparent in the household and things can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where you come in.
If you have a background in education or childcare, you could provide virtual aid for struggling parents. Otherwise, you can help connect them with one of the local community support groups that are popping up across the UK.
6. Continue to support small businesses
Have a favourite restaurant or local pub? Well, chances are the forced closures are hurting their chances of survival. But you can still back small businesses in your community either through online purchases or takeaway orders.
Most businesses will communicate how they’re operating on their social media channels or website, so take a look to see if you can still purchase food or goods from them. Though pubs and restaurants can’t take sit-down customers, they can still accept pickup and delivery orders for food and beverages. So if your food supplies are looking a bit thin, consider ordering dinner from that pub down the street—they’ll appreciate it, believe us.
But above all, stay safe
More than anything, the current volunteer climate is about adaptation and flexibility. Volunteer groups which would have once met face-to-face are now setting up Facebooks and WhatsApp groups to keep in touch. Just remember to stay safe and try to limit your physical interactions with others where you can.
If you’re interested in getting involved, reach out directly to a charity to see how you can help. For more information about local groups you can support, check out Covid-19 Mutal Aid UK. Otherwise, have a look at the volunteer opportunities currently available on CharityJob and start helping out!