Saturday, 14 March 2020

#coronavirius What you can do to help in your community and neighbourhoods

We cannot count on the Government to do everything this crisis we as neighbours MUST do our bit, this guide will I hope to help you safe lives by being a good neighbour whilst being able to help those self-isolating, children that if schools close will go without free school dinners and people like you, who may work as care workers, are self-employed who have no access to sick pay or savings and will be desperate, whilst our public services are certain to be overwhelmed as we move forward.
1/ You will probably have noticed an elderly person in your street, block, estate as well as a person or family struggling day today, many will be proud and not want to accept your kindness or help, stage one, write a card or note with your name, address and phone number and if you have ever spoken or engaged remind them of you, offer to in present crises to help do their shopping or say politely you have stocked up on food and with supermarket shelves empty you are happy to share what you have, some may not take your offer, but if they have a cat or dog, leave pet food by their front door and say the food is for the Cat or the Dog, this will ensure they use the money they spend on their pets to feed themselves.
2/ Speak to your Neighbours over the phone or through a Window NEVER close and spray and clean milk cartons, food containers or anything you give to ensure your kindness does not infect them through the food.
3/ Use your local Social media to highlight the area you live and that you are a group of local neighbours supporting each other in crises, ask people to help or if they need help to contact you privately direct, people do not want to admit in public or even to the family they are in a crisis
4/ We expect the crises to hit our neighbours hard when the Schools close, 2 million people will have suddenly no access to food or many any cash income, 3 million children presently get free school meals the public sector will not be able to help and the state will depend on us in the same way we run Food Banks to feed people.
5/ Fareshare Lookup online, has branches across the Uk you can get access to free and cheap food that you can bag up and help reach your neighbours, ASK what your people who contact you need, Do they have a cooker? many people these days only have a kettle, do they have dietary requirements? What do they need? NEVER just give people stuff and expect them to be grateful, If you cannot access what you need to ask YOUR neighbours to chip in and help, set up a gofundme page. ( This is ours for Lewisham as example GoFundMe,
6/ You could set up a kitchen in your home, ask who can help cook, make sure everyone has gloves to prepare and use the highest level of hygiene, then ask people to help deliver-drop of, Soup, Rice, Pasta meals one meal a day will be enough as you may feel overwhelmed.
7/ Homeless in your community, CALL your local council homeless unit find out what services are available and help and ask what you need to do to get the Council to help your homeless people in your community, once you have this information, you can then engage in a positive way as many on the streets will have no idea what help is available or how to get it.
8/ You do not have to do ALL of these proposals, you may choose to focus on one neighbour or one homeless person, this is ALL good, just help in the way you can, my book Food Bank Britain about what i learned establishing Uk Largest independent food bank also comes as an ebook you can buy online, the profit funds my work, whilst the book will give you guidance on all the issues and questions you may have.
9/ Please never underestimate the difference YOU can make and the importance your help can make to vulnerable people in crises.

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