The global Coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected each and every one of our lives in some way. After the announcement of the government-imposed lockdown, our safest bet is to #StayHome to protect ourselves, our loved ones and hopefully help reduce the spread of the illness.

It is crucial to remember and reflect on the vulnerable groups in our society who need our help more than ever during these unprecedented times. Whether you can donate food, skills or simply lend a hand, here are some ways you can help your community in need during the Coronavirus outbreak. Through compassionate behaviour, we can support each other through this crisis and flatten the curve. There are numerous ways for the community to assist one another – even from our own homes during self-isolation.

Reach out to your neighbour

If you are yet to meet your neighbour, now is the opportunity to introduce yourself. Those who are at high risk of contracting the virus have been advised by the government to stay Virtual Kindnessindoors. This includes those over the age of 70, pregnant women, people with a disability and those with preexisting health conditions. Many people will not be able to leave the house to pick up groceries, necessities or prescriptions as they must remain in total isolation. Think of those who may not have an Internet connection, preventing them from ordering delivers online.

If you have not met your neighbours before, a postcard template has been created for you to print off and post through their letterbox. Whether they need help with shopping or just someone to talk to, you could be of huge help to someone living alone with no nearby relatives. Print off the template here.

Support the NHS

Our National Health Service is straining from the mounting pressure of people needing treatment. The NHS recently put out a call to gather 250,000 volunteer responders to battle this national crisis, such as to help deliver medicines, transport patients to appointments and take people home from hospital. Due to the struggles with empty supermarket shelves and staff shift patterns, hospitals are accepting food from certified local delivery apps (Deliveroo, Dinner2Go, Just Eat) to help feed the NHS staff. Hospitals ask that members of the public do not make these deliveries themselves. A crowd-funding page has also been launched to raise funds to ensure “NHS Staff at BSUH NHS Trust have the resources and support they need to conquer coronavirus whilst remaining healthy, energised and well-rested”.

Sign up to volunteer for the NHS

Donate to food banks

Image result for food bankWith supermarket shelves left bare from panic buying, food banks are in desperate need of donations more than ever. Due to the virus, food banks have been advised to close on-site activity to protect their volunteers and clients, with some using home deliveries instead. Check the food bank’s specific requirements, as some are stopping people from providing items to avoid spreading the virus. Certain organisations have been asking for cash donations payable online (Brighton Food Bank). Brighton & Hove Food Partnership has specialised information about emergency food distribution points and free-meal services on their website. If you can spare anything at all, please consider donating to your local food bank.

Help your local charities, support mental health

Living in isolation can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. Charity and volunteer work are vital to support vulnerable individuals during this difficult time. Why not donate what you would have spent on your commute in a week? There are plenty of worthy causes specialised to different needs in Brighton & Hove, all trying to continue their services with the pressure of Covid-19.

Skill Swaps

With what feels like a never-ending lockdown already, now is the time to learn a new skill or share one you already have. Every Monday for the next few weeks, The Social Society is offering a skill-sharing webinar to offer support and innovation to small businesses and local community groups. Social Webinar coronavirusmedia is also a great tool during this time, with many local businesses posting on Facebook groups to offer free classes via Zoom. It is also worth noting which celebrities are offering lessons online in replacement of school teaching, for example, David Williams – English; Joe Wicks – P.E; Carol Vorderman – Mathematics.

From the whole BN1 team, we wish you all well during these uncertain times. Stay indoors, stay safe and wash your hands.

On Facebook? Check out the following groups to offer your services and support: Hanover Community Noticeboard, Brighton Covid 19 Mutal Aid, Brighton Girl, Brighton People.