Last night, like many others across the UK, I showed my support for the NHS by clapping outside my door at 8pm. A small gesture, but it made me feel so much better. A way of showing my gratitude to people who are risking their health and wellbeing to save ours.
This gesture led me to research other organisations who also need our help and support. This morning I donated £5 to 5 differed charities who I feel need it most during this challenging time. If, like me, you have felt useless and unproductive during this isolation, you too might want to consider giving what you can to a charity who needs it. I know money is tight for a lot of us, but just a couple of quid donated to one charity is something.
If you are interested in doing something similar, I thought I’d share the charities I have chosen to donate too. Some, very close to my heart, came immediately to mind, whilst others I have researched to ensure I am targeting the most vulnerable people in our society who need these systems of support. The 5 charities I chose were:
1). Help Refugees
You may also know this organisation as Choose Love. I follow them on instagram and think their work is incredible. So creative in the way that they raise funds for refugees across Europe. They continue to remind us that refugees are still very much around and struggling, more so now than ever. I chose to donate to them because they don’t have warm homes to self-isolate in, their issues go beyond not being able to go to work or meet up with friends. Help Refugees have specified that they need donations for hand sanitiser points in camps and hygiene packs, as they desperately try to educate overcrowded camps on the importance of hand washing. On top of this, basic essentials are still needed, from food, water, sleeping bags, nappies, female sanitary items and more. Hear it from the CEO herself, Josie Naughton, in this recent news article, where she still implores the charity’s main message, asking people to “choose love” and stand by vulnerable communities.
2). Age UK
I think we all know that the elderly are being hit hard by this pandemic. Not only are they one of the most vulnerable demographics for the coronavirus, one which puts their lives at risk, many are also fending for themselves in regards to every day essentials. Unable to do their own food shops, or receive their usual medical attention, and without families or partners to look out for them some will be suffering from severe loneliness. I have often felt that the elderly in our society do not receive the right level of respect and care that they deserve. Most of us have elderly people in our family, or know of someone who is. Age UK’s services have increased by 30% during the coronavirus outbreak as more and more over 70’s call in for expert advice, food supplies and general comfort and reassurance. I want these calls to be answered, and that’s why I donated to Age UK.
3). Cancer Research UK
With close family members suffering from this horrible disease, Cancer Research is a charity close to my heart that I felt I couldn’t not support it. Cancer patients are within the increased risk group in regards to coronavirus. Their weakened immune systems means their bodies do not have the same ability to fight infections. If you have cancer or know of someone who does, you might want to visit this advice page on coronavirus and cancer. I am donating to Cancer Research because I want the fight against cancer to continue during this pandemic, and for those affected by this destructive disease to keep receiving essential support. Donations go towards kitting out research labs with essential chemicals, aiding early diagnosis, funding clinical trials and state-of-the-art equipment.
4). The Benjamin Foundation
Another very personal choice – the Benjamin Foundation is a local charity for me, who help bring opportunity and stability to children, young people and families across Norfolk and Suffolk. Their services include housing and homelessness, childcare, youth support, and emotional wellbeing support. Like everyone else, the charity has had to take certain measures in the wake of COVID-19, including having to close their re-use stores and cancel their events. This has resulted in the charity losing a lot of money, fundraising which they rely on to keep their services running. In an attempt to combat this they are appealing to the general public to donate to their COVID-19 Emergency Fund. This was an easy choice for me, as I knew I wanted to donate to a homeless charity, to help those on the streets who have almost been forgotten amongst the pandemic panic. How can they self-isolate if there is nowhere for them to self-isolate to? Their priorities remain shelter, food and water – basic means of survival.
With the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought, also comes much stress, anxiety and depression. These are feelings which are more wide spread than ever. But for those who already suffer with such feelings, their mental health may take a serious toll. This is something which I think we can all relate to on some level, and so for those who find it harder to cope than the rest of us, charities such as Mind are crucial. With their proactive attitude and professionalism, Mind are tackling COVID-19 head on, regularly sharing help and advice across their website and social media platforms. However, with the closure of their shops, campaigns and events, Mind need donations so they can be there for those struggling with their mental wellbeing. They need donations so they can carry on their work of raising awareness, sharing advice, offering support and answering vital calls.
These 5 charities go some way in encompassing the many vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19 – refugees, the elderly, the clinically sick, the homeless and the mentally ill.
This blog post is by no means a plea for donations, but rather an action that has helped me. If you can’t leave the house and feel stuck as to what to do, these charities are here. If you feel you are in no position to give money away, then don’t. Instead, give your time, awareness, skills, in whatever way you can. It made me feel better, and no doubt it will help someone else in greater need.