The importance of giving back

From helping others to helping keep you occupied while you’re at home, giving back is an important pass-time in the current circumstances. We look at how you can help others in your local area, from the comfort of your home and online.

If you can, giving back can be incredibly rewarding for you and helpful for others, it is especially important during difficult times like the current coronavirus outbreak.

There’s plenty of ways to give back whether you are still able to leave the house or if you are self-isolating and staying at home.

In your local area

Due to the current situation foodbanks are under greater strain than usual and are appealing for new donations. Giving to your local foodbank is one of the easiest ways to give back in your local community.

Whether you can afford to donate a can of food every week or a few different items, there is no minimum or maximum to what you can give. Most supermarkets have an area where you can donate food for your local foodbank, or you can locate your closest foodbank through the Trussel Trust.

If your health allows it you could also volunteer with a local foodbank, community centre or care service to deliver essential items to neighbours.

Now, more than ever, it is important to remain positive.

Even exchanging a smile with your neighbours when out for a walk or in the supermarket could change their day for the better.

At home

If you are unable to leave the house at all due to health reasons, there is still ways you can help others. Volunteering for text, email or phone mental health services provides essential support to people who are currently struggling with their mental health.

Demand on these services has increased since the beginning of the lockdown to help prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

You could volunteer with a service like YoungMinds, Samaritans or SHOUT. Organisations like Volunteer Scotland are also providing specialist sections of volunteering roles you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Along with volunteering to help people you don’t know, it is important to be there for the people around you, too. You might not realise when friends or family are struggling to come to terms with the current situation.

Offering a listening ear to those around you can go a long way and reassure you that your loved ones are safe during this time.

Online

Along with volunteering online there are other ways to connect with others and build a community.

If you are an expert in a certain area or want to share your knowledge on a hobby, try making an online group through social media.

This could give people a place to go for a small distraction, to learn a new skill while they are at home, or to meet people they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to.

If you are a healthcare professional or work for an organisation that can help with the current situation, you can offer accurate information and advice on social media to reassure and inform communities around the country.

How have you been giving back? Share your ideas with the #EnableCommunity on Twitter and Instagram.