The government has issued very strong advice to Stay at Home unless your journey is essential. This is in all of our interests as we need to work urgently, together as a nation, to flatten the curve of the rate of increase of infection to enable our National Health Service to cope.
As a community volunteer who is staying at home there are some key things you can do:
Promoting the stay at home guidance
Read the Full guidance on staying at home and away from others on staying at home and think about how you can communicate this to the people in your networks. We know that this is going to be a very difficult time for poor people, older people, disabled people and that not everybody has English as their first language so the message may not have got out fully yet.
Think about all the people whose phone numbers you have who might be really isolated right now. Give them a call and ask if they want to talk about the situation, any trouble they are having and also check that they understand the announcement and what it means for them? If they are experiencing particular difficulties, and they live close to you, you might be able to pick up some shopping for them. But remember your own safety and, if this is beyond your capabilities, ask them to call the Lewisham Local central helpline on 03330 150378
If you are on social media is there a way that you can share what you are doing to manage the stay at home guidance?
Build community morale
What can you do to raise morale in your community? This is a really difficult time for everybody and people’s fears are not necessarily unfounded. But it is important to try and be positive, especially as we know that many people will have real difficulties with their mental health during this tough time.
In Italy and in some parts of the USA the children decorated their windows with handmade pictures of rainbows. This means that people passing by on the street saw a rainbow in lots of windows. The rainbow is a symbol of hope in some religions but everybody can do it and perhaps share a picture, using the hashtag #LewishamRainbow Could you encourage your whole street or everybody in your children’s class to make and share rainbows or other cheery pictures?
Our NHS and other emergency staff are exhausted and deserve our respect and solidarity. On 26 March at 8pm there is a campaign to give a nationwide round of applause to show appreciation for doctors, nurses, carers and NHS staff. Can you do this from your front door, balcony, hostel doorway or simiilar? If you are sharing this on social media tag it #clapforourcarers
Do think of other ideas for how you can raise spirits locally and do not underestimate the impact of small acts of kindness at this difficult time.
And remember it is crucial to look after ourselves and our general health and encourage those around us to do so too!