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COVID-19: How can I help safely?

Monday 30 March 2020

You probably know that volunteering is crucial to make sport happen, and it is all the more important in wider society today as the UK battles COVID-19.

There are so many ways that you can volunteer and help support others during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are well and have no symptoms, and are not part of the most at-risk groups (over 70s, those who are pregnant and those with underlying health issues), you can help others. Below we have compiled some ways that you can get involved.

GoodSam NHS Volunteer Responders – Click here to visit their website

NHS Volunteer Responders has been set-up to help support those who are working in the care sector at the front line, tackling the Coronavirus pandemic and caring for those who are seriously ill.

Volunteers must be over 18 and be fit and well and the majority of the roles can be carried out whilst maintaining safe social distancing. You can help by becoming a Community Response Volunteer (collecting shopping, medication and other essentials for those who are self-isolating), a Patient Transport Volunteer (supporting the NHS by transporting patients home, who have been discharged), a NHS Transport Volunteer (transporting vital equipment and medical supplies between NHS sites) or a Check-in and Chat Volunteer (short-term telephone support to those are most at risk of loneliness during the pandemic). Click on the link above for more information and to register to help.

British Red Cross – Click here to visit their website

The British Red Cross has partnered with the National Emergencies Trust (NET) to help support vulnerable communities during the Coronanvirus pandemic. The NET ensure people who need support can apply to do so with a simple application form and get financial aid quickly. By clicking the link above, you can make donations to the National Emergencies Trust or register as Community Reserve Volunteer, where you can help your local community get back on track following the impact of the pandemic.

Community Support Hubs

Many local authorities have their own community projects that you can register to help with. Community projects can involve supporting those in self-isolation by delivering their food shop, picking up their prescriptions and delivering essential medication and donating to food banks, who have really felt the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

You can either search for your council online or visit the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) website here where you can find your local NAVCA member and help support their community Coronavirus projects.

Everymind Matters – Click here to visit their website

Working from home, self-isolation and social distancing can really impact your mental health. Everyone reacts in different ways. Everymind Matters offers some great advice on how you can support someone who is struggling with their mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic and has some tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing. It also gives advice on how to cope with anxiety on the pandemic. Click the link above for more information.

NHS Donations – PPE and other essential items

The motorsport world is also doing it’s bit to help the NHS during this tough time. Prodrive is helping by making ventilators at it’s base in Oxfordshire and FormulaE driver Alexander Sims has started a relief aid project by asking for donations of face masks, goggles, gloves, shoe covers, aprons etc, and has organised a direct route to personnel who need this vital equipment. The NHS is is over-stretched and this equipment can help protect those on the front line and help save lives. You can find out more about Alexander’s project on his Twitter and by clicking here, including how to get in touch with him, if you can help.

Other ways of volunteering

Volunteering Matters – Registrations open for individuals to volunteer in their communites and for businesses who are able to offer their support.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – Offers advice on how you can help your neighbours whilst keeping safe with links to other charities and community projects.

GOV.UK – Offers tips and advice on how you can help safely.

Looking after yourself when looking after others

  1. If you have been advised to self-isolate, if you’re showing any symptoms or if you’re in the at risk group, please follow the Government advice and stay at home.
  2. If you are well and able to help, remember to maintain social distancing and keep 2m (6ft) apart from others.
  3. Be sure to wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds and if you have to cough or sneeze, make sure you do so into a tissue or your elbow. Wearing gloves and a face mask whislt helping out in the community will also help protect you and those around you.
  4. If you are delivering food or medicial supplies to people in your community, do not enter anyone’s home. Leave items on the doorstep, ring the bell or knock and step back 2m before they open their door.
  5. Whilst you are helping others, make sure to take care of your own personal wellbeing too and ask for support if you need it.

For additional updates and information about COIVD-19 in motorsport, visit our dedicated COVID-19 page: https://www.motorsportuk.org/covid-19/