It’s easy to feel scared and on edge about the current situation with COVID-19, but while some people are fighting over the last toilet roll in the supermarket, and others are stock piling on pasta, we ask you to do something kind and think of others who are in desperate need of your help during the coronavirus outbreak. From the vulnerable and elderly, to local food banks and homeless shelters, donate to one of these worthy charities below, and do your bit to help your community.
Age UK offers an incredible service to the elderly in our communities, helping to provide companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most. As you can imagine, if more older people do have to self-quarantine, this can lead to them feeling isolated and low. By donating to Age UK, you could help the charity answer more calls to their advice line and provide regular friendship calls to those who are lonely during coronavirus self-isolation.
Compliments of the House
Compliments of the House is a small London-based charity that collects fresh, surplus food from supermarkets and restaurants like Pret, Marks & Spencer, Costa and Franco Manca and redistributes it to those in need, whether they're rough sleepers, homeless or simply struggling to make ends meet. With the government's announcement to close restaurants and cafes, COTH needs you more than ever. The charity was created by Sinead Browne, who grew up in foster care before experiencing homelessness herself. Through a scholarship, Sinead managed to go to university and train as a lawyer but after three years working at different firms, she gave up her career to put all her savings into her charity. Giving back to her community has always been her focus. Sadly, the charity's food re-distribution hub has had to temporarily close its doors because it relies on supermarket and restaurant donations. This is also for the safety of the charity's clients, many of whom have weakened and compromised immune systems. In the meantime, the charity is desperately fundraising, so help Sinead rebuild and re-open COTH by donating on the JustGiving page, becoming a regular donor or a patron. And when COTH is back up and running, do check out their Brixton-based centre and consider volunteering your time to help give out food to the vulnerable clients. Follow their Instagram page here.
Beauty Banks is a charity that helps people and families in Britain who live in such serious poverty that they can’t afford to purchase toiletries and stay clean. With the sudden influx of people stockpiling shower gel and soap during the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no time like the present to donate one or two hygiene products to charity. Beauty Banks distribute unused toiletries – think toothbrushes, shampoo and sanitary products - to registered charitable organisations throughout Britain who, in turn, distribute these out to those who need it most.
Sufra, a food bank and kitchen based in North London, has launched the Coronavirus Emergency Appeal. Through this appeal, every £10 you give will provide an emergency food parcel to someone in desperate need, and £50 will feed and supply a family of four. The charity notes that this parcel includes nappies, milk and nutritious food for babies.
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Self-isolating can be difficult for many people struggling with their mental health, and who normally rely on human interaction for help. By donating to Mind, you’ll be able to help those in need access help. A donation of £8 could answer a call to the Mind Infoline, providing someone with vital support and information about help in their area, whilst £21 could run our online peer support community Elefriends for an hour, helping people connect with others and feel less alone during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust is on a pledge to stop UK hunger, and the charity has over 1,200 food bank centres in their UK network which they use to provide emergency support to those in need. You can make a difference by donating either a monetary amount or unused food, giving peace of mind to people who can’t source food during COVID-19 and beyond.
Situated in Leicester, Action Homeless is a charity committed to improving the lives of people affected by homelessness. The charity recently tweeted that "#Foodbanks across #Leicester rely heavily on public donations to support people in need. Our Food Stop alone saw a 60% drop in last week. When you are shopping this week please show your support by making a #donation in your shops collection basket." You can support locally during the coronavirus pandemic by donating canned food and basic products like sugar, coffee and tea.
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Little Village – the London based charity that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry championed - provides for free good quality baby clothes and equipment to those in need. During the coronavirus outbreak, they’re requested nappies of all sizes, wipes, toiletries and menstrual products. All of these can be ordered via their Amazon wishlist or you can make a financial donation where the volunteer staff will purchase the products.
Opening Doors London
Opening Doors London is a charity providing support to the elderly and isolated LGBTQ+ community. There’s a real issue with reaching lonely and socially isolated members of LGBTQ communities, many of have no access to digital services. Having just launched an urgent crowdfunding campaign in a bid to secure £15,000 of funding to help train volunteers to use their telefriending service, they need help from the public in order to reach the vulnerable.
Pin Your Thanks
#PinYourThanks is an exciting new initiative which provides people with the opportunity to give a beautifully designed pin badge to someone who deserves a heartfelt and personal thank you for supporting them during this challenging time. Entirely volunteer-led, all profits from the pin badge purchases will go to Volunteering Matters and NHS Charities Together. For the launch, #PinYourThanks has teamed up with well-known figures from the world of music, sport, art and design - Keira Knightley, Ringo Starr, Joe Lycett, David James MBE, Dame Sarah Storey, Anoushka Shankar and artist Ian Berry - to design their own unique pin badge.
NHS Charities Together
NHS Charities Together is a collective of more than 250 NHS charities across the UK and most of them focus on helping our hospitals do more. During COVID-19, it's launched an urgent appeal to provide essential support for NHS staff and volunteers. The appeal has been " put together in liaison with NHS England and national bodies, our member NHS charities and national giving platforms," according to the NHS Charities Together website.
Tragically, there has been a surge in domestic violence during Covid-19 crisis, and charity Refuge is appealing for donations to help vulnerable women and children. They state that staying at home increases the risk of domestic abuse for thousands of women and children, and your donations will be used towards keeping Refuge's life-saving services running during COVID-19.
Abimbola used Beam to become a healthcare assistant
A social enterprise called Beam is working hard to tackle the cycle of homelessness, and lets you fund job training for a homeless person on its platform, allowing you to follow their journey through training and into work. When you donate, you can also leave a message of encouragement which the homeless person can read, which is a lovely added extra. During Covid-19, Beam has refocused to support homeless people get into roles that are now in-demand due to the pandemic, such as carers and warehouse operatives. It's new campaign, "Fund A Future", aims to highlight the sectors in most need of workers, and showcase the opportunity for where homeless people can help.
Make 2nds Count
Make 2nds Count is a charity that focuses on giving hope to women and men living with secondary breast cancer, by rraising awareness and funding medical research that will contribute to advancing an increased quality of life for a patient. The charity has launched a COVID-10 Hardship Fund which is providing financial grants for patients who may be struggling to put food on the table or pay bills as a result of the global crisis. Patients can also take part in the weekly 'tea and a chat' zoom calls which have been put in place to improve communication during lockdown.
Make a stand. Say #HelloToKindness.
Join HELLO!'s #HelloToKindness movement to promote positivity on social media and in daily life. A kind ethos underpins everything we do at HELLO! and we urge our community to get involved. Find out more about the #HelloToKindness movement.
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