There are lots of things we can all do to feel better in the midst of the pandemic and make a difference to others too. Here are our suggestions...
1. Donate to your local foodbank
A sad fact about coronavirus is that with people stockpiling (or just filling cupboards in case they need to self-isolate), food banks have seen a dip in donations. Next time you do an online delivery, you could take a look at the Trussell Trust website to find your local food bank. Maybe organise a collection on your street.
Self-isolating? No problem. You can donate online instead.
2. Give to your local hygiene bank
Well, see above. But replace tinned pasta for nappies and soap. Hygiene banks are also in dire need and you can help them out here.
If you’re self-isolating and can’t get to a bank, online donations are easy through The Hygiene Bank too.
3. Support your local independent businesses
Coronavirus is impacting many people financially and small local businesses are among the worst hit. But many of them are also tenacious, hard-working and diversifying like crazy so they stay in business. So support them.
Call your local bookshop and find out if they’re delivering instead of going to Amazon. When it’s lean times on the food department because you couldn’t get a delivery slot, you could order takeaway from your local Thai instead of getting a Dominos. Many cafés are even doing coffee delivery.
Pick up toilet roll from the local shop instead of the supermarket. Even if you’re self-isolating, there are a whole load of ways to help.
4. Call your elderly neighbours and check in
If there are any elderly neighbours on your road, you could knock on their door to see how they're doing and need anything. But do stay a safe distance from them. Give them a call if you have their number or drop yours through their letterbox with a note to say you can help, if they need anything. If you can, offer to drop some food or other supplies on their doorstep.
5. Get charity bags ready to go
Many charity shops are now closed but will need donations when they re-open. What better time to get that sort-out done? You’ll have the bags ready to go for when we do all get out and about again (and we will).
6. Support us and become an NCT member
Becoming an NCT member helps us achieve so much as a charity. We provide local community support to new families, a free Infant Feeding Support Line, peer-to-peer breastfeeding support and campaign on the issues that matter to parents.
7. Buy vouchers
Your small local baby group isn’t going to be taking much money now. But they may well be offering vouchers for use at a later date. And impossible as it may seem now, one day we will all sit in a circle singing ‘Wind The Bobbin Up’ again, with our greatest problem being the battle over the bubble machine.
8. Pay people anyway
Of course, you may be hit by coronavirus financial worries yourself. But if you can afford to, pay anyone you know who will be badly hit. Your cleaner, your nanny, your childminder.
It could be in advance of when you know you will need them again, or see it as a bonus. They will hugely appreciate it and you want these businesses to survive and still exist on the other side too so everyone wins.
9. Be a part of an online community
Many baby classes and local groups for parents are moving online. It’s a way to keep you busy at home and also to support those small businesses again.
There are still many NCT groups and activities running online. Visit our local activities and meet-ups page, enter your postcode to search for your local NCT group and then contact your closest branch to see what's happening in your area.
10. Check in
A card to your pregnant friend who is more anxious than most about coronavirus. A bunch of flowers sent to your neighbour who’s powering through for the NHS. One positive thing about a crisis these days is that there is a lot we can do from our sofas.
Stay safe, everybody.
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
Interactive, engaging and social, check out our virtual antenatal courses. They’re a great way for you to meet other parents, local to you, as well as providing essential unbiased information and knowledge about pregnancy, birth and early days with your baby.