HOW TO VOLUNTEER DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

There’s no denying that life under lockdown is strange and lonely but even though we may be apart (at least two metres, you know the rules), people are finding ways to come together and support the most vulnerable by volunteering. From national appeals to local community aid groups, there are so many ways for you to help people in isolation through the crisis, whether it’s delivering supplies or picking up the phone and having a chat. Food distribution charities City Harvest and FareShare need help in getting their food to vulnerable people, and here are just a few more ways you can get involved…

NHS Volunteer Responders

After asking retired medical professionals to return to work to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, the government has also put out a call for 250,000 volunteers to support the NHS. You can apply to be a community response volunteer, collecting and delivering supplies for those in isolation; a patient transport volunteer, helping patients who are discharged get home and settled; an NHS transport volunteer, to assist with delivery of medical supplies; and a check-in and chat volunteer, to provide support for those experiencing loneliness as a result of isolation. All the sign-up deets are here.


Adopt Your Local Health Worker

The NHS staff, from the doctors, nurses and paramedics through to the porters and cleaners, are on the front line fighting the coronavirus outbreak. You can give back to them by offering to help with simple tasks, like getting groceries or giving lifts to work. Check here for any local health care workers that need help and see what you can do.


onHand

onHand is online volunteer platform that helps to match DBS-checked volunteers with people across London who need help with errands. Now they are focusing on doorstep deliveries of food and medical supplies to vulnerable people and those who a self-isolating. They are also currently waiving all costs and asking for donations to help cover DBS checks and staff the phones taking requests. More info here.


Made in Hackney

Community cookery school Made in Hackney launched an emergency COVID-19 appeal to help them cook and deliver meals to those in need. They’ve partnered with Angelina in Dalston to ensure that the preparation of the food follows the strictest hygiene standards but they still need volutneers to help process the massive wholesale food deliveries coming in to Angelina and to help brief about hygiene protocols and clean the cycle couriers bikes. If you’re interested, you can email volunteer manager Khin.


GAIL’s Bakery

As well as baking breads and pastries for the general public, GAIL’s is supplying charities and front line NHS teams with fresh food, and they need more help to get it where it needs to be. If you want to lend a hand, drop them an email.


Cook-19

Cook-19 is a new initiative providing cooked meals to NHS key workers who are isolated or unable to cook for themselves. The team collects donations which are then turned into hampers and meals and delivered by volunteers. They need more professional chefs as well as more volunteer drivers and packers, so head here for more info.