How you can help others

We all need to look after ourselves and our families the best we can.

There are also things we can do to help others:

  • Shop sensibly. If we all shop for what we need there’ll be enough for everyone. Many people don’t have enough money or storage to buy in bulk.
  • Many parents use formula milk and nappies but can’t afford to buy in bulk. Just buy what you need so there’s enough to go around.
  • Paracetamol and CALPOL are the recommended medicines to take if you have symptoms of Coronavirus. There are plenty of stocks of these, so just buy what you need so that there’s enough for everyone.
  • Give to foodbanks. Many people don’t have enough money for food and rely on food banks. These are running low, so donations of goods through your local supermarkets, or of cash, are needed; some food banks are also looking for volunteers.
  • Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund is asking for funds so it can help those who need it; all funds go directly to families.

Volunteering during the crisis

There are lots of different ways to volunteer from providing emotional support to practical tasks that you can undertake if you are not self-isolating.The Ready Scotland website provides ideas and opportunities for helping others.

Helping the elderly, vulnerable and those who have to stay at home

People who are self isolating and don't have family nearby may need help. Informal groups are springing up all over Scotland and many charities are ramping up their volunteer support. 

People who are vulnerable (for example, older people over 70 and people who have health issues) are being asked to self-isolate (stay at home) or keep away from others (social distance). If you are well, you can help by:

  • Shopping and delivering shopping and any other items they need.
  • Helping them stay in touch by setting them up on FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype if possible.
  • Keeping in touch with them by phone and social media.

There’s a form you can print off here and give to your elderly relatives, neighbours or others to help with picking up and dropping off food and medical supplies. It tells you how to keep yourself safe while helping others.

Helping communities

Local self-help groups are posting on Facebook (search the groups section for 'Coronavirus volunteering + your area') and other social media. An online group called Covid-19 Mutual Aid has a list of local groups on its website.

The BBC is planning to keep people in touch with what’s going on in their area. Through ‘Make A Difference’, every local radio station is joining with local volunteer groups to co-ordinate support for the elderly, housebound or at risk, and to make sure people know what help is available in their area.