Please let us know in the comments below if you know of anyone or anything helping the local community
The UN has urged people to “Be kind” as the world battles to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, and Britons are taking heed.
— UN Development (@UNDP) March 15, 2020
Becky Wass, a copywriter from Cornwall, has created a postcard for people to offer help to vulnerable neighbours affected by the pandemic.
“After weeks of news about the coronavirus, I felt as I’m sure many people did, very scared and helpless,” she told the Huffington Post.
“[My husband] and I were talking about how it must feel if you are at risk or can’t leave the house. We wanted to do something to help, but without making things worse.”
So Wass created the postcard – which can be downloaded here – and shared it on social media. It soon went viral.
She said: “I’ve been so overwhelmed with the positive reaction it has had. I really feel that kindness is going viral.”
Becky my wonderful wife came up with a great idea last night, and it's already going viral. Wash your hands, print this, fill it out and pop it in your neighbour's letterbox. Simples. #viralkindness #COVID_19uk #coronavirusuk https://t.co/wnxVhvk742 pic.twitter.com/tnVQMIiSMI
— Jonny Green (@MrJonnyGreen) March 13, 2020
Supermarket’s ‘pensioners’ hour’
A supermarket in Northern Ireland will open early just for elderly customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Iceland in West Belfast said: “Iceland Foods will be opening their store between 8-9am for the elderly commencing Tuesday 17th March.
Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice
“Could the wider public please respect this hour, and understand that this time is allocated for elderly people only. Iceland appeal to peoples better nature when realising who needs priority.”
The move was made amid chaotic scenes as shoppers stockpiled goods such as toilet roll, hand sanitisers and bread, leaving supermarket shelves empty.
Edtech firms offer free online resources
Educational technology company Twinkl has offered a month’s free subscription to its teaching resources for UK parents affected by potential school closures.
A message to parents and teachers on the Twinkle website read: “These KS1 School Closure Home Learning resource packs for students in Year 1 and Year 2 will help with distance learning due to the Coronavirus outbreak.”
The company has created a code – UKTWINKLHELPS – for anyone wanting to create a free account and continue primary school education with their children if they can’t get to school.
Free hygiene products for people in poverty
Beauty Banks founders Jo Jones and Sali Hughes have launched a Go Fund Me campaign enabling people to donate so that those living in poverty can have access to basic products such as soap, sanitisers, and sanitary products.
Using the hashtag #helpinghands, the charity is appealing for people to “join virtual hands” and support people who can’t afford to protect themselves and their families against the pandemic.
“Every moment matters,” the appeal says. “As the virus spreads in the UK, people living in poverty are among the most vulnerable to the worst outcomes of the virus, because they can’t afford basic hygiene essentials, can’t afford to stockpile essential everyday items, and rely on food banks for basic hygiene essentials.”
By Monday afternoon almost 3,000 people had donated a £62,342, with the total still rising.
Caring couple’s deliveries to pensioners
Shop owners Asiyah and Jawad Javed have spent around £2,000 providing free packs of face masks, sanitiser and wipes to local over-65s in Stenhousemuir, Falkirk.
The pair, who run the Day-Today Express, will deliver their packages to those unable to make it into the shop – including 30 to a local care home, and hundreds more to elderly or disabled residents in the Scottish town.
“I met an old woman, crying as she had been to the supermarket and there was no handwash,” said Asiyah, who stocked up early when she feared the virus could take hold.
“Some people are asking for them to be delivered as they’re old, disabled or don’t drive.”
Football club donates food
With matches called off as players and managers began to fall victim to coronavirus, Aston Villa offered up food to local charities that was meant for 850 staff at Saturday’s postponed game against Chelsea.
After appealing on Twitter on Friday, the West Midlands club shared the free packed lunches and hot dinners through its Aston Villa Foundation.
By the end of Saturday, all the food had been allocated to local homeless charities and housing shelters.
850 staff packed lunches and hot food for tomorrow’s postponed game is being donated to support homeless charities.
If your organisation is interested and able to collect food from Villa Park by 4.30pm today, please contact the @AVFCFoundation on 0121 327 2299 ext 5700. #AVFC pic.twitter.com/qNHAsJfFff
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) March 13, 2020
Free therapy for the vulnerable
Support networks are springing up to help vulnerable people forced to self-isolate.
The Help Hub is a free online clinic in West Oxfordshire, supported by Blenheim Palace, which is offering 20-minute therapy sessions by phone, Skype or FaceTime to the elderly or medically at-risk, and those in need of support if they have had to self-isolate.
Founder Ruth Chaloner told Yahoo News UK: “This is both a practical and an emotional community service for those who are feeling isolated, scared and panicked.
“This is the generation that fought a war. But you can dodge bombs in the war – you can’t dodge this virus.”
See www.thehelphub.co.uk for more information.