5 new ways to help this week (21 December 2020)

This weekly blog marks our final one of 2020, before the WCWD team takes a well-earned two week break.

Since this website was founded in March 2020, we have grown from two co-founders, to a team of 16 volunteers all based across the world. Every single day we have been dedicated to bringing together all the ways that we can help the UK through COVID-19 and beyond. Everything on this site is vetted so you can trust the causes you're supporting.

We believe everyone can make a difference no matter who you are, where you are, or how much time or money you have. We are here to help you activate your inner activist through regular informative content on social media, and our website's unique time and causes filter.

But enough about us!

In a week that has been tough to say the least, we have collated 5 ways you can take control and make a difference to the UK.

Whether you do one or all five, you can make a difference.

1. Take time to rest

After what has been a rollercoaster of a year, take this festive break to stop, reflect and re-energise your batteries. To take care of others, you must take care of yourself.

However you relax, give yourself the time and space to do these things.

If you need any ideas, check out our spotlight on looking after yourself whilst trying to change the world and our blogs on supporting your mental wellbeing during a Covid Christmas and during a lockdown.

Following the recent emotionally-charged governmental u-turn about the lockdown restrictions over Christmas, this is more important than ever.

If you need help please be kind to yourself and reach out whether that's to your friends and family, a helpline or an organisation. Grab hold of the things you can control.

Through kindness to ourselves and others we can get through this difficult time.

Credit: Everymind At Work

2. #IamSanta: Be a Secret Santa for a vulnerable child with Action for Children

Last week, Unicef offered support to UK families struggling with food poverty for the first time in its history.

Unicef has put its funding behind a scheme designed to provide breakfast boxes to 1,800 families over the course of the Christmas holidays – marking the first emergency response in the UK by the organisation since it was founded in 1946 The Independent

The £25,000 grant will help support the work of School Food Matters for children in Southwark and South London. This should be a wake up call. Despite increased funding from the government, Covid has seriously exacerbated poverty.

Before coronavirus hit, more than 4 million children in the UK were locked in poverty. That’s the equivalent of nine children in every school class of 30. Action for Children

Help vulnerable children this Christmas by becoming a secret Santa and donate to Action for Children who will make sure children have access to hot meals, presents and safe spaces to sleep.

Last year, people like you helped us reach 368,648 children, young people and families in the UK. Action for Children

3. Become a NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Volunteer

Support the mass Covid-19 vaccination programme by becoming a NHS Volunteer Responder.

Working with St John Ambulance you can assist in vaccinating patients, supporting patients on arrival and discharge and providing welfare to patients during their vaccination visits.

You will be provided with full training for all roles and will work alongside medical professionals.

To read more about each role and to register head over to the NHS website.

This is the next important step in the fight against Covid-19 so make sure you get involved!

4. Sign petition to stop Instagram unfairly censoring nudity and sexuality

Instagram’s new, updated Terms of Use have left sex workers, pole dancers, sex educators and erotic artists across different backgrounds, gender identities and walks of life very concerned about their place on the platform and the future of their profiles. Carolina Are, online inequalities researcher, pole dance instructor, blogger, activist at @bloggeronpole

It is feared that recent changes to Instagram’s Terms of Services will de-platform and silence marginalised users, many of whom have used their accounts as a means of income during the Covid-19 pandemic.

References to strip club shows, erotic dances, references to arousal and directing users to platforms such as OnlyFans will now be banned.

Stand with those who will be disproportionately discriminated against and sign the petition launched by multiple people in the industry on Change.org.

We ask the platform to be more inclusive of nudity and sexuality, to allow marginalised communities to still earn a living during the pandemic, to educate young people and to allow self-expression. Change.org petition

5. Sustainable swap: Present Wrapping

Swap your wasteful single use wrapping with one that lasts!

Each year, 80 square kilometres of wrapping paper ends up in the bin. We use so much wrapping, we could gift-wrap the entire island of Guernsey. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Instead reduce your waste by wrapping presents in reusable gift bags. You can purchase present bags made from recycled materials from Wrag Wrap. You could also use material found around your house. Tea towels and scarves are a great start!

If however you like a more “traditional” unwrapping experience, use paper you’ve already used such as magazines and newspapers. It gives the paper a second life and helps make your present look snazzy.

If you’ve already purchased your wrapping paper do not worry! Just make sure you keep the paper and use it again next year!

Sustainable swap: Christmas Crackers

Another wasteful tradition is the Christmas Cracker. Luckily, there are many eco-friendly alternatives!

You can make your own cracker using cloth, toilet roll and string! Simply fill the roll with a few treats and fasten the cloth shut using string.

If however you’re a sucker for that Christmas bang, check out these plastic free recyable crackers from Nancy and Betty. Each cracker is created from English sustainable paper stock, meaning for each box bought another tree will be planted.

You can also use Jamie Oliver's how-to guide!

Image credits: JamieOliver.com

Positivi-tea: 2020

Despite this year disrupting all of our plans and turning the world upside down, there’s been plenty of positivi-tea that we can take pride in!

Captain Sir Tom Moore at the age of 99 raised £33 million for NHS workers.

The iconic Parisian bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, was saved from a Covid close down after receiving over 5000 online orders after a social media call out.

Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free period products.

Covid-19 vaccines were approved and rolled out.

750,000 individuals signed up to the NHS volunteer scheme to help those most vulnerable.

Our amazing heroic key workers have worked full out year round to keep the UK on its feet.

No matter how awful the world feels you can count on one thing. The generosity and kindness of human beings. Keep your head up, you’ve got this! Here’s to a fabulous 2021!

Come back again next year 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.

Contributor for this blog: Laura Toms

More things you might like

Spotlight on: Sustainability

How to cope with a Covid Christmas

Five ways to support your wellbeing during lockdown

Turn your Black Friday green: how to shop sustainably

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