Different groups in our communities are at increased risk, and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages.
Whilst the neighbour to neighbour connection is vital, existing local infrastructure and charities are well established and set-up to support vulnerable and/or isolated people.
Remember, it may not be obvious who the ‘vulnerable people’ in your area are – it’s not just older people, or those with a visible disability. Think about people, of all ages, living on their own, with other health conditions, or for whom English isn’t their first language.
Here's how you can support vulnerable/or isolated people in your community...
There are plenty of ways you can contribute your help, such as becoming a volunteer:
Sign up to make calls to lonely and isolated people through
Sign up to make calls to lonely and isolated people throughRe-engage.
Become an NHS Volunteer Responder
SCVO - directory of organisations that need help in Scotland.
Volunteer Scotland - Coronavirus volunteering opportunities.
Register to volunteer in NI through Volunteer Now
Here's a few ways you can help out people in your community:
Donate food to your local food bank. Support and basic supplies are needed more than ever. Search for a local Trussell Trust food bank here, there may be others near you, ask what they are most in need of – and consider a financial donation if you’re able to.
You can also share surplus food with neighbours using the OLIO app.
Donate to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus appeal, to help struggling communities across the UK.
Stay in touch with isolated friends, family and neighbours. Regularly check in to see how they're doing. Pick up the phone, send a letter or use online video calling if possible. Here are some more ways you can connect.
Campaign to End Loneliness has some great tips on how to help lonely or isolated people affected by Covid-19.
Over 15 million people are either not online or cannot get online regularly. Community Organisers have launched a campaign to create the largest free to use open WiFi network for communities during the Covid-19 outbreak, find out more about #OperationWiFi here.
Citizens Advice have resources to support people taking their first steps online and Get Safe Online have advice on how to avoid scams and stay safe whilst more of us are online for more time for work and socialising.
OLIO have launched #Cook4Kids to help ensure no child goes hungry whilst the schools are closed. Join in!
If you are volunteering, or planning to volunteer time, it’s important that you take safeguarding yourself and others seriously. Here are some things to remember:
Don’t divulge personal information (yours or anyone else's) without permission.
Let family and friends know what you're doing.
Keep safe; don't enter other people's homes and stay at least 2 metres away from other people.
If you’re worried about a child, or vulnerable adult please report this to social services, or call 999.
Here's some useful information on safeguarding from The National Food Service for Covid-19 mutual aid groups.
Most importantly; Look after yourself - eat, drink, sleep and exercise. It’ll help you stay well and support others.
Doctors of the World UK, have created Coronavirus resources and guidance based on the government’s updated advice and health information, in 21 different languages.