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Helping out in your community

Helping and supporting others is essential in times of crisis. NCVO, which champions the voluntary sector and volunteering, has some good suggestions on ways you can get involved with your community during the coronavirus outbreak:

Look out for your neighbours

The simplest thing everyone can do right now is look out for their neighbours and offer help with shopping and other errands.

It’s not just about neighbours who are self-isolating or vulnerable. Other people in the community who might also appreciate help are:

  • stretched medical staff and volunteers
  • staff and volunteers in key worker roles
  • supermarket workers
  • delivery drivers.

Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint – your help will be even more crucial in a few weeks’ time. For now, the best thing to do is to check in on neighbours.

Stay safe when supporting others

  1. Keep washing your hands often for 20 seconds.
  2. Stay at least two metres away from people you’re helping.
  3. If you’re helping someone with very serious issues – don’t be afraid to flag with appropriate statutory services.
  4. Support family, friends and neighbours by phone or video call.
  5. Offer to run errands for people but stay outside of people’s homes.
  6. Let family and friends know what you’re doing.
  7. Don’t take on too much – it’s often better not to offer at all than to let someone down.

Volunteer with organisations providing support

Charities are working with the government and local authorities to create ways for people to get involved.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you don’t have a particular charity in your local area, contact your local Volunteer CentreCVS or visit the Do-it website.
  • You can sign up to NHS Volunteer Responders who are supporting the NHS during the covid-19 outbreak.. Once you’ve registered and checks are complete – you’ll be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app.

Other ways to help charities

Supporting charities including as a volunteer or trustee would be incredibly valuable to help keep their work going.

Getting involved locally

Why not check your local council’s webpages? Kent County Council’s website has a ‘How Can I Help?’ section with a handy list of local authorities in Kent and links to the sort of volunteering support they’re after. And you can register to help in and around Medway on the Medway Voluntary Action website.