You may be thinking about ways in which you can help your local community during this difficult time. If so, here are some ideas if you need a bit of inspiration!
Despite the current ‘stay at home’ rules, there are still plenty of ways that you can volunteer:
Support your local neighbourhood
- One of the simplest things you can do is to look out for your neighbours, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable and offer to help with shopping and other errands. For example, you might want to drop notes around with your contact details asking how you can help.
- Find out if your neighbourhood has a local neighbourhood group or resident association. If so, contact the person in charge and find out what you can do to help.
- Support stretched pharmacists, supermarket workers and delivery drivers by contacting your local shops and pharmacies to find out if they need help with food or medicine delivery.
- Many foodbanks are now reporting a decrease in donations. Either donate to your local foodbank or make an online food delivery to a foodbank.
- If you need help finding a foodbank near you, use the Trussell Trust foodbank finder.
Stay in touch
Self-distancing can lead to loneliness, so keeping in contact with the elderly or vulnerable in your local area, as well as your older relatives and friends is essential:
- Call your neighbours to let them know that you are available to talk on the phone
- Volunteer as a telephone buddy
- Video-call older relatives and friends
Join a group
Lots of initiatives are being set up by local charities, volunteer centres, neighbourhood groups and local resident associations. Here are some ideas:
- Contact your local volunteer centres, the Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) and local charities as they will have a good understanding of what initiatives are happening locally and where you can best support. Search for your local volunteer centre via the Mayor of London’s website or the NCVO website.
- Organisations such as Volunteering Matters and Do-it can connect you with local charities.
- Mutual Aid groups: Search for your local Mutual Aid group to find out what’s happening in your area.
- Use NextDoor, Facebook and Twitter to find out about other local groups that have been set up by neighbours, councillors or MPs.
- Support the NHS: We need to do everything we can to support the brave NHS workers saving lives on the frontline. If you are fit and healthy, sign up as a NHS Volunteer Responder.
Most importantly, ensure that you stay safe when helping others! Follow these steps:
- Don’t volunteer if you are self-isolating
- Wear protective clothing if possible
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day for at least 20 seconds
- Remember to stay at least two metres apart from people
- Wash your clothes frequently if you are leaving your home to volunteer
- Let family and friends know what you are doing
- Leave shopping outside the front door when running errands for neighbours or family members
- Support family, friends and neighbours by phone or video call
- Don’t take on too much – it’s better not to offer to help than to let someone down
This article was written by Katherine Newnham, Marketing Coordinator at The Return Hub
* The Return Hub is an executive search firm that places professionals who want to relaunch or transfer their careers with employers in the financial services sector. They also advise on and implement practical strategies that companies can use to target, assess, hire and support returning talent.