Guide Volunteering top tips and how to help safely

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5. What can I do?

There are many ways you can help friends or family as well as neighbours who are in isolation.

Help with food shopping

If people staying at home because of coronavirus need basic necessities, you could do this yourself and leave the groceries on the person’s doorstep. Try to limit the amount of time you spend outside of your home by picking up essential items for others only when you do your own shopping.

Or you could help those who aren’t as familiar with online shopping by placing an order for them or by talking them through the process over the phone.

Collecting medication

You can pick up medicines on someone else’s behalf. People should only request medication that they need, in their usual quantities. Remember to keep a safe distance when leaving any items on the person’s doorstep or drop off area, and make sure that they have collected the medication before leaving.

Stay in touch over the phone or via social media

Staying at home for a long time can be a lonely experience and may impact on people’s wellbeing. Just saying hello and regularly checking in over the phone or by video-chat is important, or you could help people by recommending information from organisations like Every Mind Matters.

Encourage people to stay mentally and physically active

People who have experienced staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning or watching films. Swap suggestions about how people you are supporting can keep themselves busy. If people are well enough, encourage them to do some light exercise and keep active around the home, perhaps by using an online exercise class.

Share trusted sources of information

It’s easy to become worried by online information, some of which may be deliberately designed to mislead people. Help your community by sharing trusted information from the NHSPublic Health England or the Department of Health and Social Care.