It’s times like these we often see communities coming together in new ways (in this case not physically!) which is amazing to see. Here are some practical ways you can help your local community during this time. 

You can help by speaking to elderly or vulnerable relatives and make sure they have what they need – medication, food and other supplies. Go one step further by organise online deliveries for them.

Many communities have local Facebook groups or mutual aid groups to show what support is available with people offering their services. You can find your local Mutual Aid group on the Covid-19 Mutual Aid website. There are new groups being set up all the time, but if there aren’t any services in your local area the group recommend you to set up a new one.

Alternatively, you could post notes through neighbour’s doors and in blocks of flats nearby to let people know you’re there to help. It’s all of our responsibility at this time to get to know our neighbours, build relationships, find out who is vulnerable and offer them support and help. If you’re comfortable with it, include your phone number – Just 10 minutes on the phone could really make someone’s day. You can also offer to set up Skype or Zoom for them so that they can keep in contact with loved ones and neighbours.

Nursing homes are particularly at risk – you could get in touch with your local nursing home to see if there are any ways you can volunteer to help. Being kind to others is good for our own wellbeing too. You can also contact local food banks and see if they need help with food deliveries.

If you have a friend or family member experiencing mental health problems, talk to them about their worries throughout this time. You may not have answers to their problems, but you may have some solutions and be able to help out, reducing the impact of isolation.

For those who need medication from pharmacies or support from therapists or mental health teams, call ahead to find out what their processes are at this time. They may be able to have medication delivered, or someone may be able to pick it up for them. Doctors’ appointments may be taken over the phone or via a conferencing call. Call ahead to know what your plans are to avoid a last-minute panic.

Thank you to Mental Health UK for this guidance.