All for one and one for all! – That most famous of quotes from the Three Musketeers. In other words, members of a group support each of the individual members, and the individuals pledge to support the group.
It feels like a very apt sentiment at the moment, as the divisions of the last couple of years seem to have disappeared, and communities and neighbourhoods come together to help each other out. From the solidarity of the Thursday clap to Captain Tom’s phenomenal efforts, through to individual examples of kindness, if there’s a silver lining to this challenging situation, surely this is it.
In a change from our usual blogs, we thought it would be nice to highlight some of the positive examples we’ve come across that have made us feel proud to be human.
Hundreds of thousands volunteer
When the government asked for volunteers to help the sick and elderly, who are isolating, with shopping and prescription collection, they were hoping for 250,000 to apply. In fact, three times that signed up, to the extent that the registration has had to be paused. So many people are prepared to give up their time for free to help those in our communities that are most vulnerable.
Sewing for the frontline workers
When reports emerged of front line staff worried about access to PPE, the seamstresses and tailors of Britain took to their Singers en masse. From facemasks, to scrub sets sewn from unwanted sheets and laundry bags made from old pillowcases, thousands of people are spending lockdown making these items and sending them to local organisations in need of them.
WhatsApp groups soar
Reportedly thousands of new WhatsApp groups were set up over the course of a few days at the start of lockdown; the platform is being widely used to create a way for close neighbours to communicate and ask for help from one another if needed. By combining shopping trips for a few households, it gives a way for people to minimise the exposure of each individual in supermarkets. Likewise, combining online shopping reduces the demand for slots, leaving more available for others. And knowing help from someone you know and trust is just a message away is very reassuring.
Companies are offering help for free
Sometimes in a crisis, you see profiteering. But this time, companies seem to be looking for ways to help. We came across a training company running weekly webinars to give people a safe place to acknowledge their difficulties and explore coping strategies. With mental health a real concern during lockdown, giving this type of support can really make a difference. Other organisations are running professional qualification courses so that workers can return from furlough with improved skills. Some companies have donated free items, for example, Honda has given tens of thousands of PPE items to their local hospital, whilst TK Maxx donated Easter eggs to children of care workers.
Facebook groups form to share child entertainment ideas
With many in the community struggling to not only work from home but cope with children needing to be kept occupied, many Facebook groups have sprung up that share ideas. From cooking, crafts, and building projects, from the 10-minute game to major projects, people have been open to sharing what’s worked for them, in the hope of helping others who are struggling. We’ve also heard of people setting up virtual story time sessions for children missing library visits, and of course we all know of Joe Wicks and his infamous exercise classes.
Kitchens deliver free meals to people in need
Many schools are using their kitchen facilities to make their usual school meals and then deliver them to the homes of families who they know may be struggling. With some children relying on their school dinner as their only main meal, this could be a real lifeline for the most vulnerable families. Likewise, we know of restaurants that have also been making and distributing meals for those in need in their local communities.
The list could go on. These are just a few examples of people showing their humanity and coming together to support their neighbours and communities. Have you heard of any great examples of kindness during the pandemic? Do share them with us by commenting below.
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