5 new ways to help this week (Lockdown Edition)

WCWD is an independent volunteer-run social enterprise and we have a team based all over the world dedicated to creating our website and content that helps empower and inform everyone to activate their inner activists.

Each week the WCWD team adds 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 5 new things for you to get involved in this week,

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

1) Volunteer for the NHS

In the UK, more than a million people have been vaccinated with the Covid-19 jab.

Help the NHS's efforts by volunteering on their vaccination programme. You can become a volunteer vaccinator, patient advocate or vaccination carer. For a full description of each role and how to get involved head over to St John Ambulance's website. Full training is provided for each role.

Read more about the UK's vaccination programme on the BBC.

You can also help by becoming a NHS Volunteer responder and support those self-isolating by collecting shopping, medicines and other important items, conducting regular check in phone calls and providing lifts for those attending medical appointments. Get involved via the NHS website.

Image: Edward Howell on Unsplash

2) Support Food Banks

Last year, a record 1.9 million food parcels were given by the Trussell Trust. In April 2020, there was a 107% increase in the number of emergency food parcels provided for children. - The Trussell Trust

Support your local food bank by donating items and/or money. To find your nearest food bank check out The Trusell Trust and Food Aid network maps. You can also donate virtually via Bankuet and the Spareable app.

You can help by volunteering at a food bank however if this is not possible during the current lockdown there is plenty you can be doing online. Spread the word on social media by sharing posts from your local food bank and prompt your family and friends to donate.

You can also buy “Think Food Bank” stickers to put into your local supermarket during your next shop! To read more about Think Food Bank’s stickers check out our Voices of Change blog.

Finally, write to your MP demanding the government adopts the National Food Strategy's recommendations to end Child poverty. Read the full recommendations here and to learn more about how Covid-19 has effected Food poverty check out The Trussell Trust's report.

Image: Think Food Bank stickers

3) Donate and Fundraise

Between January and June 2020, the public donated a total of £5.4 billion to charity – an increase of £800 million compared to the same period in 2019! - Charity Aid Foundation

Let's make 2021 even bigger! Donate to charities you care about and those that help people with Covid-19 related hardships including Sudden Bereavement Care , NHS charities Together, Crisis and UK Youth.

If you're not in the position to donate, consider holding a virtual fundraising event (for inspiration check out this blog) or complete a sponsored walk, run and/or mediation.

The third lockdown will have particular consequences for local theatres, music venues and hospitality. You can support the hospitality industry by buying Hospitality Action’s invisible chips here. To read more about Hospitality Action’s work check out our Voices of Change blog. Support creatives by donating to your local cultural centre and consider donating to Help musicians UK and Theatre Support Fund.

4) Reach out and Check in

It is predicted that a further 500,000 people in the UK will need mental health support as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. - Centre for Mental Health

Take the time to check in with loved ones, especially those living alone, experiencing bereavement or unemployment. If you find they are struggling make them aware of helplines including Anxiety UK, Rethink, Hullo, CALM and Mind and Chit Chat’s. To learn more about supporting those living with mental health problems check out the Mental Health Foundation blog and to learn more about the work of hullo (formerly chit-chat) check out our Voices of Change blog.

You can also volunteer as a telephone befriender via Age UK here and write letters to NHS frontline workers and care homes via The Crisis Project here.

To support your own mental health check out: Five Ways To Support Your Mental Wellbeing During Lockdown

Image: Harli Marten on Unsplash

5) Keep up the online activism!

Fighting for something you care about is a great way to focus your time and energy during lockdown. Ways to make change from your sofa include emailing your MP, volunteering remotely, sharing resources online and creating and signing online petitions on Change.org and Petition Parliament.

It's also a great time to reflect on your own activism. Get inspired by reading the online resources from Campaign Bootcamp , The Center for Artistic Activism and "198 methods of nonviolent action" on the Albert Einstein institution website. Taking online courses is also a great learning experience. Check out WCWD’s top recommendations on our Instagram!

Also check out:

Clicktivism: What are the pros and cons of online activism in lockdown and beyond?

Why Sign that Petition?

Black History Month: A traffic light system for taking action

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 inspire others to make change? Then please get in touch.

Contributor for this blog: Laura Toms

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