How can I safely help in my community?
There are many ways you can provide support to a friend, family member or neighbour who is in isolation, or other members of your community who need help.
You should not physically visit people who are in isolation as this would put you at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others.
This means you shouldn’t enter their house or go on a car journey with them.
If you are supporting someone who is in isolation, you should keep a distance of at least 2m (6 feet) apart, and regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
If you have offered to help other people, please do not place yourself in compromising positions where you may feel unsafe, for instance helping late at night.
Things you can do to help
Help with food shopping
If people staying at home because of coronavirus need some shopping you could do this yourself and leave the groceries on the person’s doorstep. You could pick up essential items for others when you do your regular shop, or 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. You can also help by thinking of others when you shop for yourself and your family. Try to shop considerately and only buy what you need, so that others can get what they need too.
You can collect medications 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, but make sure that they have collected the medication before leaving.
Stay in touch over the phone or via social media
Join local online communities
Does your local area have chat forums or Facebook groups? These are great places to keep in touch with other local people or find out who is looking for support. When doing so, make sure to stay safe online and ensure groups are providing information that is supported by the guidance on this page.
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.