As of the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday evening, the UK is now adhering to a nationwide lockdown, where residents can only leave their homes for limited reasons. But there's still lots of things you can do to help, whilst keeping safe and obeying the rules.
Online Give It A Go Events
Since our in-person volunteering events have been cancelled, our Give It A Go programme are now offering opportunities to volunteer remotely! Here's what we've got planned:
Knit Baby Booties
If you've already got some wool at home, you could participate in our baby booties knitting event! We'll be donating these to the maternity ward in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (hopefully at the end of month!)
Share photos of your progress with us by mentioning us and using the #RemoteGIAG. Not sure how to make them? Our Woolly Matters coordinator, Lydia, has made a video tutorial to show you how it's done! For more information, please see the Facebook event.
Random Acts of Kindness
Volunteer remotely by performing a random act of kindness and posting a photo on social media! Use the #RemoteGIAG and tag us to share what you've been up to. Here's some random acts of kindness you could do at home:
- Do a food shop for someone in self-isolation whilst you do yours - only go shopping when necessary!
- Sign a petition: Check out Change.org
- Do a different social action and tag us in it to show us what you did (please see government guidance here to ensure your social action is being done safely!)
Perform in an Online Open Mic
If you've got a talent, why not brighten someone else's day by posting a video of yourself on social media for our online open mic event? Because of social distancing measures, we've had to cancel this fundraiser, but we'll soon be launching it on social media instead! All kinds of talents are welcome, and we hope this event will bring a smile to lots of people who are self-isolating.
If you'd like to get involved, post your talent video to Facebook or Instagram, and mention us! Don't forget to include our fundraising link: bit.ly/winchesterhubopenmic
Register your interest for more volunteering opportunities...
- Write letters or talk on the phone to elderly care home residents who are self isolating
- Create worksheets for schools to send to children
Make sure you're following us on social media for the latest updates!
NHS Volunteer Responders
On Wednesday, the NHS called for an army of volunteers to help vulnerable people stay safe during the pandemic. The elderly, the immunocompromised, and other high-risk groups are much more vulnerable to Covid-19, and are less able to leave their homes safely. Therefore, the NHS are looking for 250,000 volunteers nationwide to assist with:
- delivering medicines from pharmacies
- driving patients to appointments
- bringing patients home from hospital
- making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home
Join a Mutual Aid Group
Similar to the NHS Volunteer Responders, informal mutual aid groups have appeared on Facebook and WhatsApp so vulnerable people can still get the supplies they need.
Recent lockdown measures have made volunteering in person more difficult, but if you are delivering supplies to elderly neighbours, or to other vulnerable people, this can continue under current lockdown rules (announced 23rd March 2020). This is because it counts as a medical need - as it would be a big health risk for elderly and immunocompromised to leave their homes for supplies.
If you're thinking about volunteering with a mutual aid group, read Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK's advice about keeping yourself safe and following lockdown rules.
Support Charities and Local Businesses
Recent social distancing, and now, lockdown procedures, will have affected lots of small charities and businesses. Lots of charities have had to cancel their fundraising events, and many businesses have been forced to close.
If you're able to, giving a small donation to a local charity or buying an eGiftcard online for a small business can help them stay afloat. If you're unsure who to support at this time, your local foodbank will always be grateful of either a financial or edible donation! Find your nearest foodbank here.
Use your skills
The UN also have a database of online volunteering opportunities, where you can use your skills to work for peace and equality. Whether you're a writer, editor, translator, teacher, artist, administrator, or researcher, your skills are valuable!
Volunteering with these projects does require more commitment than micro-volunteering, but each of these projects are extremely worthwhile, and would look fantastic on your CV!
You might create maps of roads and buildings in rural Tanzania to protect women and girls from FGM, or design a Wordpress website for the PAAJAF foundation. Find these projects and browse others available here.