Thank you to those who came forward to offer support with the local COVID-19 effort. We were bowled over by the number of offers of support we received, but we expected nothing less. We are blessed with an incredible community in Dudley.
How you can help make a difference in your local community
We know that all sorts of people will be feeling isolated from their communities, whether they are vulnerable or not. Some people will be self-isolating, some will be staying at home because they are most at risk of being hospitalised by COVID-19, some will be struggling to carry out every day tasks, and some may have already been isolated and lonely and will be at increased risk.
There is still something we can do to help our communities, whether we are self-isolating, staying home because we are vulnerable to infection or able to go to the shops.
Think about what you are able and comfortable to offer
Can you go to the shops? Would you be able to pick up a few things for someone else during your shopping trip?
If you’re unable to leave home, do you have a good internet connection which means you could connect with others online for mutual support? Do you have a phone? Could you offer telephone befriending to someone who would like some contact?
Think about how you’re going to keep yourself safe with whatever you will be doing.
This video from our friends at VODA might help
Here are a few things you could do to be a good neighbour and support your community.:
If you’re self-isolating or cannot leave the home
i. You could donate to a local charity
We know that Black Country Foodbank is currently facing huge demand. You can donate to them here so that they can continue supporting people in poverty: https://www.blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk You can also donate non-perishable food supplies (such as tinned food, packets of pasta, UHT milk) if you would prefer.
Please bear in mind the Charity Commission’s guidance on giving safely in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
ii. You could offer to be a telephone befriender or online befriender
You could start with your current contacts. Call or message your friends or neighbours whose contact details you already have. These might be people you pop to see, meet up with. They might be feeling lonely and might be grateful for you checking in on them.
Our friends at VODA have created a video giving guidance on telephone befriending. Watch it here:
You could also search for a mutual aid group that might have set up in your community. This website also provides some useful information for informal volunteers / volunteering groups: https://covidmutualaid.org/resources/
You could join Facebook groups operating in your local area.
If you have skills, could you share them in an online class or trade school? Perhaps in return you’ll learn something from someone else!
IMPORTANT: Personal data: Only give people your contact details that you are comfortable giving and never expect anyone to give more than they are comfortable with.
If you’re able to leave your home
IMPORTANT: Please make sure you follow current government instructions regarding the circumstances in which we can leave our homes.
i. Offer to help your neighbours
You could complete a “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help” card. On this, you can specify what help you are able to offer and you can provide your preferred contact details. If they need some help, they can then contact you directly.
IMPORTANT: Some people may not want leaflets pushed through their doors and may be feeling vulnerable. If you don’t hear back from your neighbours, respect their privacy and don’t contact them again.
ii. Pick up some shopping or collect prescriptions
People who need to self-isolate or are unable to leave their homes may need some essential items such as fresh food, toiletries, cleaning products, etc. Offering to do the shopping will be a huge help for these individuals.
You will need to follow social distancing measures, so think about how the shopping will be dropped off while staying a minimum of 2 metres apart. Also think carefully about how money will be exchanged safely, if it needs to be. NEVER ask someone for their card, their card details or their bank details.
iii. Walk a neighbour’s dog
IMPORTANT: Please follow social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines.
You could offer to do some gardening for a neighbour who cannot leave their home to keep it tidy. Gardening has mental health benefits and could help you to feel less anxious yourself. You could also grow some basic herbs to be used for cooking at home!
v. Bringing up the bins
Perhaps you could bring a neighbours bin up their path while you’re moving yours.
vi. Create and share offline and online resources for children
Perhaps you could help to share ideas for keeping children entertained while they are at home. You could share ideas between parents of how to keep their children entertained, such as drawing pictures to be put in windows, making thank you cards for doctors, nurses and key workers.
Keeping people safe is everyone’s responsibility. Some people are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, such as children or adults who need extra support or care. Follow these simple hints and tips:
- Do not enter people’s homes
- Do not ask people for their bank details or bank card
- Do look out for vulnerable neighbours and report anything suspicious to the police
If someone reveals they are being harmed:
- Listen to them and remain calm
- Do not promise to keep secrets
- Do not try to investigate the situation
- Write down what they say and report your concern to the Council
- If there is an immediate threat of harm, call the Police
Community Action Response : Covid-19
Launched by Eden Project Communities with partners The National Lottery Community Fund, Nextdoor, Neighbourhood Watch, Campaign to End Loneliness and Eco Attractions Group, the Community Action Response has been created because of the unprecedented challenge that Coronavirus presents for people in every neighbourhood in the UK. Eden Project Communities is a UK wide network that has grown out of community building campaign The Big Lunch, which reaches over six million people in communities every year. The organisations are calling for everyone to take steps that will help communities cope when the worst impacts of the virus hit.
Community Action Response – five things you can do:
- Think of others, consider your actions & be kind: People in every community will face the challenges of Covid-19 in some way – from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.
- Connect and reach out to your neighbours: as self-isolation increases, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers and stay in touch.
- Make the most of local online groups: Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations using platforms like Nextdoor.
- Support vulnerable or isolated people: different groups in our communities are at increased risk and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for local support services or donating to food banks to help.
- Share accurate information and advice: Support anyone who may be anxious about Covid-19. Signpost them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.
Join COVID-19 Virtual Support Network as an Organisation or Group
Register as an individual looking to help
Subscribe to our e-bulletin for latest Covid-19 updates
COVID-19 COMMUNITY ACTION AND SUPPORT
Co-ordinating community response to COVID-19 in Dudley borough.
Voluntary organisation & community group INFORMATION & ADVICE
Information and guidance for your organisation including, keeping healthy and safe, where to look for information on charity finance and fundraising, managing your organisation, local updates and useful resources.
INFORMATION FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC
The symptoms of COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and those around you healthy and safe.