Where and how to volunteer during the Covid-19 crisis

It’s crucial that we’re all observing self-isolation right now. But the need to provide help and support to others is also more important than ever. Whether it’s donating goods or money to those who are less fortunate than you or cooking meals for your friends and neighbours who are either still working or too vulnerable to leave the house, every little bit helps. There are a multitude of ways that you can volunteer during the Covid-19 crisis but we’ve compiled our own list of easy ways that you can get involved – read on to discover an option that suits you.

1. Cook For Your Community

If you know someone who works for the NHS or in hospitality, it’s likely that they’re still going into work. Whatever their profession, they might be struggling to make it to the supermarkets whilst the shelves are still stocked. It’s no secret that comfort food soothes the soul, so what better way to help your friends and neighbours out than by cooking up some of their favourite recipes?

The great thing is that you can easily do this whilst avoiding contact with others – just leave these meals on your friend’s doorstep! Not forgetting that cooking can help to qualm any stress and anxieties you may be feeling about coronavirus. Check back here for our top recipe recommendations coming soon!

2. Assist Food Banks Under Strain

Food banks are an essential community service but are under immense pressure to ensure that no one goes without during the coronavirus crisis. The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest network of food banks as well as smaller, local food banks will press on to provide as much support as they can to communities during the outbreak.

So how can you provide much-needed reinforcement to food banks at this critical time? Provided you are not at-risk yourself and have the time needed to volunteer, click here to find your local food bank. You can also volunteer by finding out and donating their most needed food items – these will differ from day to day so keep checking back to find out their most needed items.

3. Look Out For The Vulnerable In Your Community

The government’s advice is that we must now avoid all but essential social contact. As a consequence, this will mean that for most of us, we need to wave goodbye to many of our regular social activities and accept that spending a majority of our time at home will become our new normal. As we adjust to this new and different pace of life, it’s important that we keep up our contact with others, whether by phone calls, social media or video chats – find new ways of staying close to those who matter to you.  

If you are aware of someone in your building, community or neighbourhood who could be at risk of feeling isolated (pay particular mind to over 65’s or the elderly), volunteer to be their point of contact during this period of uncertainty and separation. This could involve being ready to do their shopping, video calling them regularly, or batch cooking their meals if they are less able to do so. 

4. Walk Your Neighbours Dog And More By Joining Your Local Mutual Aid Group

More than 1,000 community focused mutual aid groups have been popping up across the UK. Umbrella organisation, Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is coordinating localised groups designed to support those who are self-isolating. Whether it’s dog walking, shopping, delivering medicine or other daily tasks, they’ll connect you with people in your local area who you may not otherwise know are in need of help. So far tens of thousands of people have come forward to offer their support.

Here is a comprehensive and growing list of nationwide Covid-19 mutual aid groups, making it quick and easy for you to find one in your local community. There’s also the opportunity to help shape and run these groups even if you’re the one self-isolating. If you’re fit and healthy, this is a great way to volunteer to keep your community afloat and to provide hope to elderly residents who could be forced to self-isolate for four months.

5. Volunteer Virtually

If you can’t leave the house either because you’re self-isolating or you’d simply prefer not to, there are a myriad of ways that you can spend your time constructively by volunteering online. The Covid-19 Mutual Aid group is currently searching for people who can digitally facilitate and build digital tools. From researchers to product managers to engineers to designers, let them know what skills you can offer and how much time you can commit and they’ll get in touch to help you get started.

Alternatively, check out our list below to discover an online volunteering opportunity to suit your needs:

Mental health & crisis support:

Education:

Crafts:

Global support:

  • Assist global crisis relief efforts with Missing Maps
  • Find out how your skills can help the UN

Whilst many of these options may be suited to you, if they haven’t sparked your interest try using do-it.org or Reach Volunteering. Both have ‘do it from home’ preferences enabling you to narrow down your search for a remote volunteering opportunity that you can get behind. Why not also check out Remote Volunteering Options That Work For You? There you can check out more options and some top tips on how to get started today.