People will soon be feeling isolated from their community due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and some people may struggle to carry out simple everyday tasks. This could be older or disabled people, single parents with children, people with mental health issues, etc. However, in the coming weeks and months we will all be affected by social distancing and isolation, so it is important to reach out to people in your community to offer support where needed.
Here are 10 simple ways you can help people out in your local community:
Offer to help your neighbours.
Complete a “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help” card and pop it through your neighbours’ doors. This provides your contact details and how you can help your neighbours. Then if they do need your help, they can contact you directly.
2. Telephone your neighbours.
Individuals in your neighbourhood or your friends may get lonely. Usually you might pop in for a chat and a coffee with them but now why not give them a telephone call and see how they are doing and if you can help in anyway?
3. Do some shopping.
People that need to self-isolate may need some essential items such as milk, bread, fresh vegetables and fruit, toiletries, cleaning products, etc. Offering to do the shopping will be a huge help for these individuals. Money could be left in an envelope with a list of the shopping needed in a safe place outside their house (e.g. under a door mat or a plant pot). When you return with the shopping you can leave it on the door stop and perhaps ring the bell to notify your neighbour the shopping is there. Please remember to keep your distance and contact from anyone affected with COVID-19 or is self-isolating.
4. Collect prescriptions.
When individuals do get ill then they may need medicines or prescriptions collected from a local pharmacy or supermarket. Knowing someone who can do this for them will really help to get them feeling well and fit again soon!
5. Dog walking.
If a neighbour has a dog that needs walking, then you could offer to do this if they are unable to. This will be of benefit of to the dog and their owner who may be feeling guilty if they can’t walk the dog!
6. Offline and online resources for children.
Children that need to stay home with parents through quarantine or self-isolation will need to be entertained. Schools will have plans in place for online learning but think of how you can share ideas between parents to keep children occupied (which could be online or offline ideas). Could you encourage parents to get children to paint or draw pictures for older people in nursing homes or to draw pictures or cards to say Thank you to all the doctors and nurses at the NHS? Could children’s books and DVD’s be shared between neighbours?
If your neighbour needs to self-isolate or is disabled or older, then offer to mow their lawn. You could also plant up some basic herbs that they could then use in cooking, e.g. coriander, basil, thyme, etc. Gardening helps to keep their garden tidy which not only is a great help to them, but it also keeps the area looking neat and tidy. Planting herbs and watching them grow will help people to be more self-sustaining but it is also therapeutic for people’s mental health when herbs grow and are fresh!
8. Bring the bins up the drive.
Bringing the bins up and down the driveway is a great way to help your older neighbours who might find them too heavy to lift and move. Find out when local bin collections take place in your area by visiting: www.cumbria.gov.uk/planning-environment/waste-management/default.asp
9. Group video call.
Could you set up a What’s App group for your street or do a Facebook group video call once a week, so neighbours are connected and feel less isolated? It could be a simple way of checking in with everyone and making people feel they are part of their community and looked after.
10. Food Bank.
If you can spare any tinned food, rice, pasta, tea bags, coffees, sugar, cereal, snacks, toilet rolls, toiletries, cleaning products, etc then please think about donating this to your local Foodbank. Often you will find supermarkets have Foodbank collection points after your check out. It enables people who are in crisis to have accept to basic food and hygiene essentials. For details of your local foodbank please visit: www.cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/foodbank.asp
For information about volunteering please visit: www.cumbriacvs/coronavirus.
For information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit www.cumbriaaction.org.uk/News-Events/News
For information from Cumbria County Council visit: www.cumbria.gov.uk/coronavirus/