How to help others during the corona crisis

Illustration shows three young people helping each other up a hill in the sunshine

What can I do to help?

This new world can feel scary at times. But amidst the doom and gloom, are some amazing acts of kindness appearing – communities are coming together, doing positive things for each other and proving they care.

If you’ve been wondering how you can make a positive difference, we’ve got lots of ideas to get you started. And if you need one extra reason to start do-gooding, it’s this proven fact – helping others is one of the best ways to improve your mental health (more so than exercise or even eating salad).

Show some love for your neighbours

Lived in the same area for several years but still not got a clue what anyone’s name is? Now’s the time to get in touch and do something neighbourly.

Join a Mutual Aid Group

These groups have been set up around the country to support vulnerable people. Once signed up, you may be asked to help by collecting somebody’s shopping or by having a chat with an isolated, elderly person. Find your local group here, and if there isn’t yet a group in your area, think about setting one up – there’s plenty of info on the website about how to do this.

Support a food bank

Food banks are needed more than ever. Can you help by volunteering at your local food bank or by donating a few things from your weekly shop? Find your local food bank here.

Start a gardening club

If you’re one of those folk with a garden or a balcony, how about kickstarting a gardening revolution in your area? Buy a bunch of seeds, share with your neighbours and watch as your street or building becomes more colourful over the months.

Set up a WhatsApp group

Set up a chat for your neighbours. This way, anyone who is self-isolating or in need of a helping hand can easily reach out.

To help those people who aren’t so familiar with ‘The WhatsApp’, another way to reach out is by posting them this postcard, offering to pick up shopping, post mail and have a friendly chat.

Big up local businesses

 Small businesses are having a hard time of it and many of them are worrying they won’t survive Corona. Show your support for the local businesses you love by…

Buying from independent food shops

Rather than queuing up for the supermarket, can you buy your bits and bobs from local, indie shops instead? Some grocers, bakers and butchers are still open, so show the little guys you care. Many of these shops are now offering delivery too.

Treat yourself to a takeaway

Although they’re not open, a handful of cafes and restaurants are offering takeaway and delivery options.

Buy vouchers and gift cards

Buy now and redeem your goodies later with vouchers or treat someone in need of a treat to a gift card.

Write a nice review

If your budget is stretched at the moment, help businesses in a different way. Writing a positive review online can be hugely supportive for indie businesses and will be much appreciated.

Cheer up your friends and family

Whether it’s an elderly family member, a friend struggling with their mental health, or a tired NHS worker, we all know someone who’s finding this a difficult time. Here are some ways to put a smile on their faces.

Send a care package

Fill a box with goodies (we’re thinking books, snacks, a USB stick full of films, bubble bath and the sort) and send to someone in need. Just be ultra-careful when sending packages, that they’re not contaminated.

Send a virtual care package

If you’re strapped for cash, a virtual care package might work better for you and is just as thoughtful. Send your special someone an email filled with links to playlists you’ve made, film recommendations, silly videos, recipes etc.

Post a letter

Phone and video calls are great, but there’s something extra special about getting something in the post, don’t you think? How about sending a letter to someone enclosed with a couple of meaningful photographs?

Use the internet

Could you help your older family members access video calling, online choirs and exercise classes? Or could you organise an online quiz or games night for your friends and family?

Do something for the kids

Young children must be bored as hell right now. Can you help the ones you know by setting them fun challenges? Or by sending them silly videos to make them laugh?

I feel guilty that I can’t do anything right now

Everyone is going through a really tough time at the moment and we’re all still adjusting to a temporary new way of life. If that means that you need to focus on feeling ok in yourself for a little while, that’s completely fine and there’s no reason to feel guilty about it. Once you feel ready, all these ideas are waiting for you and might even help lift some of your anxiety.

If you need to talk then The Mix are always here for you. Reach out to our team today and get some free, confidential support.

Next Steps

  • Search Do-it for information about volunteering and opportunities in your local area.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By Olivia Capadose

Updated on 08-Apr-2020