Have you experienced that nice feeling inside when you do something to help someone else and know that they have really appreciated it? It follows that volunteering to help others is good for both you and the person you help.
Giving your time to help others can be formal or informal.
Looking at more formal opportunities, there have been recent calls for volunteers from both national government and local authorities with an overwhelmingly generous response. At this stage there may not be the capacity to find roles for further volunteers, especially if you do not already have a recent DBS check.
If you know of local charities that support vulnerable people it may be an idea to contact them, but many have also been overwhelmed with kind offers.
Town and Parish councils are locally based and often have good knowledge of their local community. In Northamptonshire many are helping to run Community Larders and so may require voluntary help. In Bedfordshire, the Bedfordshire CVS has a weblink to local voluntary groups who may welcome some assistance https://www.cvsbeds.org.uk/covidsupport and in Buckinghamshire the council website list similar groups https://directory.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/ .
There may be scope to help others less formally, and if you enjoy it follow it up with something more formal once this crisis is over. Here are a few ideas:
- As part of ‘Connect’, it was recommended that you make a list of friends that you have not spoken to in a while and may benefit from a regular or one-off phone call. Maybe get in contact with old friends or people you meet through interests and clubs. This mutual support can be very beneficial.
- In the ‘Connect’ section taking part in the weekly Clap for Carers at 8pm on a Thursday was also mentioned. Many people are forging new relationships with neighbours through this show of unity which could lead to longer chats over the garden fence, while still maintaining social distancing.
- If you know someone living near you who could be lonely, you could pop a note through the door to see if they would like any help or would just appreciate a regular letter, card or phone call.
- Whatever you do at the front of your home is likely to add interest and be appreciated by your community. It could be planting some flowers in a border or pots or putting up some art in your window to show appreciation for our front-line workers.