How to spread kindness not coronavirus

As the UK government urges people to work from home and reduce social contact, a growing wave of kind acts within the community are helping to boost morale and protect the most vulnerable.

As coronavirus spreads and the UK government urges people to work from home and reduce social contact, a growing wave of kind acts within the community are helping to boost morale and protect the most vulnerable. Here are some of the best ideas:

Postcards through doors

A print-at-home template for a postcard is being circulated on social media, designed to provide support for elderly neighbours. You fill in your name, address and phone number and offer a selection of things you can help with, ranging from a friendly phone call to urgent supplies. Download the template or search the hashtag #viralkindness. No printer at home? Try making your own postcards and bring a bit of creativity into the day. 

Join a Facebook or other community group

In these times of isolation and health anxiety, Facebook has come to the fore, and specifically Facebook groups that connect like-minded or local communities. Whether it’s a customer community like the Riverford Tribe, where discussions cover recipe ideas and how to use up leftover veg, or a local neighbourhood Facebook page to help support in your community, find one that suits you and join for advice, tips and local information. Climate activists Extinction Rebellion have also mobilised their networks to help offer coronavirus support, offering help through leaflets and Whatsapp groups.

Prioritise the elderly

Avoiding social contact with elderly people at higher risk from coronavirus doesn’t mean ignoring them altogether. Now is the time to check in with a friendly phone call to grandparents and other relatives, whose worlds are suddenly restricted to their own houses. For a grander gesture, take inspiration from the group of American children who serenaded their self-isolating elderly neighbour with an impromptu concert. Offer to do the shopping for an elderly neighbour or share news of an initiative by Iceland who has opened branches for an hour exclusively for elderly people, and called on other supermarkets to follow its lead.

Thank you veg man
A kind-hearted message left out for a Riverford van driver who are avoiding contact during deliveries.

Start a letterbox book club

Stuck at home for self isolation? Why not start a neighbourhood book swap scheme, posting a book through the letterbox and encourage the chain to continue. Or go one step further and trade food, spices, seeds, tools or even poems. It’s amazing how little gestures of neighbourly support can help ease the long hours and help rediscover a little touch of humanity on the other side of a wall.

Crowdfund to help the community

There are some amazing stories of charities, food banks, and other volunteers stepping up to help those who are already on the frontline of any crisis. Some business, like this cookery school in Hackney, have switched from providing classes to providing a free food delivery service. Search for local charities that you could help with or support them virtually through donating to a crowdfunder.

Be kind

It’s a worrying time for everyone and that worry can translate into stress, which is taken out on friends, or strangers, particularly online. Instead, make it your mission to brighten someone’s day – show your appreciation for those who are still working, providing vital healthcare, teachers, and those involved in food supply, along with many others. Think before you vent your frustrations and be kind to others who are all facing the same concerns. Simply being kind is free and can make all the difference to someone’s mental health.

8 Comments

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  1. How about setting up a community art gallery, where people are invited to put pictures, drawings, multimedia designs in your window, so people can see something lovely when they go for a walk. Art is great to relieve stress and boredom. A new Facebook page is being set up called We are in it Together. let us know if your street, village or town joins in.

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  2. How about everyone showing kindness and thought, through the way they shop too. Riverford like many places have been inundated with extra orders to the norm. I appreciate things are a concern for all presently, but bulk buying if not needed, is adding another problem to the health one that is already out there. If we all bought each week what we need, then, everyone has a chance of having the food and goods they need. And things could go back to normal there. I order for an older friend as well as myself, and didnt realise that everyone had gone mad this week, and when it came to getting our normal shopping we couldnt get all we needed. Others must be experiencing the same. Someone told me people are panicking in case there are no drivers. Surely if things did ever get to that state(and hopefully it won’t!), there must be lots of people out there desperate for some work, who dont need to isolate, or the army could be used. So let’s be positive and be thoughtful and untimately be kind, with our shopping too! Would also help all the wonderful people who are getting our food into our shops and homes too!

    Riverford – a big thank you for all your efforts. How about we all do without packaging, not just in the packaging free box, if that would help? We dont need it!

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  3. I totally agree with Muffin. The majority of veg don’t need packaging, just place straight into the box, just as you put your allotment veg in your basket to carry them home.

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  4. I am so glad that I joined the Riverford ‘Family’. I have never been disappointed by the quality of the produce and the service is second to none. In the present circumstances all staff and suppliers deserve a BIG thank you.

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  5. Happy to deliver veggie boxes! And thankyou last Thurs delivery man who had to leave my box at flats reception but then took the trouble to phone me and let me know.

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  6. Thank you to everyone involved in making Riverford, I am very appreciative of the fabulous produce and ethos. You all deserve a round of applause and much respect

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