Supporting Your Community During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Last Updated: 21/09/2020 at 10:36

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, measures have been brought in that mean we all have to spend more time at home. 

There are still ways that you support people in your community and we have had lots of requests from young people about how to do this.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can help out during the outbreak and help everyone feel a little better.

Have a phone conversation

Most of us rely on our daily trips out for socialising with others, and even though the rules around this are relaxing a little bit, you can still only meet with people from four other households per day outside and the group can be made of no more than fifteen people. Check-in with your friends, neighbours and relatives who may be feeling lonely. A quick ten-minute phone call every couple of days can really help to lift spirits, for both you and the person you're calling. 

Support local charities 

Local charities support people in your community everyday. They will be well placed to support your community and know the needs of the people that live there. Search for local charity websites and have a look on social media to see if there are ways you can support them, that might be by volunteering your time online (there are more and more digital opportunities now), donating money or donating food to a local foodbank. 

On 30th March, the Scottish Government launched the Scotland Care campaigns which encourages people to volunteer during the coronavirus. People who are healthy and not at risk can volunteer to provide practical or emotional help to those most in need. Find out more.

Support local businesses

Many local businesses are now re-opening after being closed for several months. Look online and see if your favourite shop in the area or local cafe is open or planning to open soon. The past few months have been tough for many smaller businesses so any support you can give them will go a long way.

For those that are still shut, consider buying a voucher for yourself or a gift card for a friend to use when they are open again.

During August, you could get money off at selected restaurants between Monday and Wednesday inclusive – any many businesses have made the decision to continue the deal into September. So, why not consider supporting a local place by spending some money there? Find the places in your area where you can get 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in. 

Remember – physical distancing rules still apply and it's important to keep up good hygiene. As of 10th September, the First Minister announced that staff must wear face coverings in hospitality venues such as restaurants. Also, customers must wear face covering when moving around (such as leaving and entering a venue or going to the bathroom. You don't have to wear a face covering when eating or drinking or if you are exempt for other reasons.

Donate blood

You can still donate blood during the coronavirus outbreak. The NHS is always looking for donors to keep its supplies of blood full for those who need it and with additional hospital admissions expected, this will be really important. Guidance on who can and can't give blood, as well on information on how to donate, can be found on the NHS Blood and Transfusion website.

"Giving blood and platelets is a medical need and a form of helping vulnerable people. It is essential to patients and the NHS. Please keep donating." - NHS Blood & Transplant

Local community support

There are many local groups on websites such as Facebook and Nextdoor.co.uk, which aim to organise support for communities by taking requests from those that need it and matching them to those offering to help. If you want to help but don’t know where to start, consider looking for a group local to you.

Be a great friend 

It's natural to feel nervous and anxious at the moment with everything that is going on. Many of your friends and family will probably be feeling this way. Take time to be a good friend, especially to anyone who may be self-isolating - have a dinner date video conversation, play an online game or send frequent voice notes. Keeping in touch and supporting your friends during this time, is really important. And remember to ask for help if you're struggling too. 

More information from Young Scot on Coronavirus (COVID-19)