Helping your local community
From giving an elderly neighbour a friendly phone call to donating to local charities, there are many ways you can make a difference.
With people spending more time apart while social distancing, showing consideration for others is more important than ever. Providing you respect the Government safety guidance and you have the time, there is always a way you can help your local community.
Am I allowed to get involved in community based activities?
If you are looking to get involved in community-based activities, the Government guidance says you can do so as long as the following applies:
- You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does
- You are under 70
- You are not pregnant
- You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus
- You're following local guidance and restrictions, which you can found out about at www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19
Here are a few suggestions on how you can help:
Reach out to your neighbours who might be vulnerable or alone.
Self-isolation can impact on physical and mental wellbeing. Having someone to talk to each day can make a big difference to someone who is feeling lonely.
- Arrange to chat over the fence – providing you can still maintain social distancing measures.
- If you have a smartphone, apps such as Skype and Whatsapp enable you to make video calls for free. Arrange to have a virtual cup of tea and a chat with your neighbours to let them know they’re not alone.
- Join local online community groups. Keep up to date and make a positive contribution to discussions.
Offer to do your neighbours shopping or pick up medical prescriptions
The next time you go to the shop, consider if you could offer to pick up some essential items for a vulnerable neighbour too. This will help your neighbour and reduce numbers out shopping too.
Support your local food bank
You can help make sure that people in crisis continue to access the services they need during this period by donating funds, food or your time. Find out about a food bank near you here: www.trusselltrust.org/coronavirus-food-banks/get-involved/
Find out about volunteering opportunities near you
Local volunteer centres and national organisations can link you up with charities close to where you live:
- Liverpool https://www.lcvs.org.uk/
- Wirral https://communityactionwirral.org.uk/volunteering-in-wirral/
- Cheshire East www.cvsce.org.uk
- Greater Manchester https://www.gmcvo.org.uk/
- Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside www.actiontogether.org.uk
- Wyre and Fleetwood https://www.wyre.gov.uk/makingadifference
The NHS First Responders Scheme is currently at capacity for volunteers, with over 750,000 people offering their time and help. Keep an eye on their website for more information. https://www.england.nhs.uk/participation/get-involved/volunteering/nhs-volunteer-responders/
Opportunities to help charities within the Regenda Group
Petrus, part of the Regenda Group is a homeless charity in Rochdale. Their staff are working hard to ensure that people can access meals and washing facilities. They are seeking donations of food and new unused food containers so they can continue to provide a takeaway service. If you can help, call 01706 526 289 to arrange donation drop offs. You can also donate online here: www.petrus.org.uk/donate
Centre 56 Nursery provides domestic abuse support for families and children. Providing childcare, information and support for families who have suffered, or are at risk of suffering from, domestic abuse or a crisis situation.
For the time being they are unable to accept physical donations at the nursery such as children's clothes and toys. But to donate online, please visit: www.centre56.org.uk/donate
You can also help others without leaving your front door
There are lots of ways you can do your bit while you are isolating, particularly for people who are feeling lonely. For ideas and advice on how you can help older people feel connected visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/loneliness-in-the-elderly-how-to-help/
Helping others is not only beneficial to others but will also make you feel good. Volunteering and supporting other people is proven to improve both physical and mental health. As long as you stick to the Government health and safety guidance you too will reap the rewards!
Tell us about how you are making a difference by getting in touch with us on social media.