Spreading kindness - how to support those less fortunate

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Helping others is in our human nature, but before you commit yourself to anything please bear in mind that the best thing you can do to help the spread is stay home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

However, one of the 4 reasons you can leave your house is to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

If you are doing this then try to minimise any time spent outside your home, and make sure that you are always at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household.

Who can help out?

Unfortunately, not everyone can help others, due to the risks that there are to themselves and to others. Gov.uk states that you can only provide support to people in isolation if you fulfil all the conditions below:

  • You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature, and neither does anyone in your household
  • You are under 70 years old
  • You are not pregnant
  • You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus

Who needs help?

Households who are self-isolating need help as nobody can leave their home. Find out who in your local community need help, either by posting on local message boards or even by dropping messages through doors.

Helping safely

Reducing contact with others helps slow the spread of infection, and this remains the same while helping others.

You should not go inside the homes of anyone you do not live with, even if you are helping them. If you do, you run the risk of catching the disease, or infecting others.

If you are picking up food or medication, try to do it in the same trip as when you do your own shopping, to reduce the amount of time spent outdoors.

Always stay 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with. You shouldn’t even share a car journey with anyone you do not live with.

Regularly wash your hands with soapy water for 20 seconds, especially after being outdoors.

If you are helping others, then make sure you do not put yourself into any situations where you feel unsafe, for example: going somewhere late at night.

Ways you can help

There are loads of ways in which you can help and give back to your community, such as:

  • Help with food shopping

People who are staying at home may struggle buying food, so this can be where you step in. Get a shopping list from them, buy the food and leave it on their doorstep. Don’t be tempted to hand the groceries over face-to-face as you run the risk of spreading infection. Alternatively, you could place an online shopping order for anyone who can’t do it themselves.

  • Collect medication

You can collect prescriptions for other people. Same as above but remember to keep a safe distance when dropping off the medicine, and make sure that they have collected the items before you leave.

  • Stay in touch

Lots of people will be feeling lonely, so why not drop some cards with your contact details with neighbours and specify times you’re available for a chat. You’ll be surprised at how much of a positive difference human contact can make to a person’s well being.


Volunteering work that requires leaving your house is only permitted in certain circumstances.

Places you can volunteer at are Do-It, Volunteering Matters, Reach Volunteering and National Association for Voluntary and Community Action.

Other ways to help

Foodbanks play a vital role in providing food and supplies to families in need but are facing an uncertain time with COVID-19. Take a look at the Trussel Trust website to find out how you can help.

The homeless are incredibly vulnerable at the moment, and Crisis are asking for any donations possible.

The NHS still need blood donations, so if you can, become a blood donor.

AgeUK are also appealing for donations due to the heightened demand of their services.

Finally, be kind. Follow Government advice and stay home, wash your hands and look after the people around you. We are all in this together.

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