5 New Ways to Help this Week (16/08/2020)

Each week the What Can We Do? Team add new content to the site – we keep it relevant to make sure you’re informed on the latest! But because we also know it can be overwhelming with so much information flying around, we’ve collated five new things for you to get involved in this week – whether you do one or all five, you can make a difference.

1. Appalled by the way refugees are being treated? So are we…

79.5 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced at the end of 2019 
Every 20 minutes, someone leaves home to escape war, persecution or terror

This week’s Spotlight blog on Refugees guides you to organisations you can aid by volunteering, donating, fundraising or campaigning, to help refugees and asylum seekers. 

This week we are suggesting 3 quick ways to help from your sofa - you only need to sign!

ONE. Let's change the dehumanising media coverage of refugees and asylum seekers crossing the channel. 

Sign Change.org’s petition, ‘Apologise and stop dehumanising filming of asylum seekers crossing the Channel’. This petition calls on the BBC and Sky to apologise and affirm that they will not dehumanise refugees and asylum seekers crossing the channel again. Read more about the issue here.

TWO. To continue support for the better treatment of refugees in the UK, sign the open letter to Priti Patel with 38 degrees UK, ‘Don’t punish those trying to find safety’, to ensure the UK prioritises saving lives rather than punishing refugees and migrants risking their lives to get to the UK by boat.

THREE. Write to the Education Secretary to prevent them stopping free meals for refugees. Thousands of children face going hungry at school when the Government stops providing free school meals to children from migrant families. 

Read this week’s Spotlight blog on Refugees to direct you to practical ways you can help and support refugees in the UK and abroad. The Spotlight includes information to keep you informed, provides campaigns and petitions to support and gives you proactive ways to help, e.g. with the way you shop.

Keep reading to see how you can choose to shop in a helpful way.

2. Show your support for refugees with what you wear

Need a t-shirt? Shop and support refugees. There is more information in our Spotlight blog, but for this week why don’t you buy yourself a stylish t-shirt from the Choose Love charity clothing store, choose from their classic designs or special pride tees.

Additionally, the British Red Cross’s online shop sells tea towels or tote bags designed by refugees who participated in their art therapy programmes. Help Refugees’ Choose Love online store sells real items that refugees need, from hot meals, nappies, warm clothing and tents through to women’s safe spaces, trauma support and education

You can also buy ‘Choose our NHS’ and ‘Choose our Carers’ t-shirts to raise funds during the coronavirus outbreak, for UK NHS Charities Together and the Care Workers Charity. The ‘Choose Pride’ t-shirts can also be purchased, to help raise funds for LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers

3. Sign up to MyRideLondon

Save the UK’s charities, which are facing a £12.4 billion shortfall this year due to coronavirus! Register with My Prudential RideLondon or ActionAid UK and set up your online fundraising page for a charity of your choice. 

You can choose to fundraise for the charity of your choice with organisations such as Farm Africa, Meningitis Now UK or for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Choose your distance to bike, scooter, skateboard or tandem and complete your challenge over a weekend.

4. Meet the charity: The Baytree Centre

Based in Brixton, The Baytree Centre, a social inclusion charity for women and girls runs numerous programmes for young people, including after school clubs, a mentoring programme, summer activities, holiday activities and supports girls that are not in school. 

They are in need of more volunteers to be mentors and also need donations to help families in challenging situations during the pandemic.

Check out our Voices of Change blog in which Olive Ahmed, youth service manager for The Baytree Centre discusses her work during COVID-19 and beyond supporting girls and their families through the pandemic. Olive talks about he role of kindness in their work where kindness is “an important value of ours by remembering people’s humanity and giving them that dignity”.

They are setting an important example during this time!

5. Simple switch in the kitchen - less plastics!

Of course our blog can’t be complete without suggesting some simple actions which benefit you and the planet!

Why don’t you try replacing cling film with eco-friendly reusable beeswax alternatives? Cut down on single-use plastics AND support local beekeeping and use of bee products.

Beeswax wraps are multi-size sheets which can be moulded into any shape of your choice. You only need to buy them once and you can keep re-using since they are washable. To wash beeswax wraps, rinse the wrap with cool or lukewarm water and soap.  They are excellent alternatives to cling film and perfect for covering leftovers or wrapping your lunch!

You can easily find UK produced wraps online - within a single click! Cheap and easy to find with Etsy, The Beeswax Wrap Co, Lucy Cooper Loves or BeeBee Wraps and more, choose the colours and patterns of your liking. Cut down on single-use plastics.

Read more about how to be plastic bag free in our blog.

Image credits to BeeBeeWraps.com

Come back again next week for more ideas about how you can get involved and make a difference. In the meantime, if you know of any initiatives in your community that you think we should promote get in touch.

Have some more time to give? Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and at our website for more inspiration.

Do you want to be our next guest blogger for our Voices of Change blog series or want to write for our Spotlight series? Then please get in touch.

More things you might like:

The British Lebanese Association | Voices of Change The Shadow Pandemic | Spotlight On: Violence Against Women and Girls

FEAST! | Voices of Change

Hospitality Action | Voices of Change

The Big Cs | Spotlight On: Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer

Happy Space | Voices of Change

Breaking the Taboo | Spotlight On: Suicide

MASK | Voices of Change

Chit-Chat | Voices of Change

How signing petitions can make a difference

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