There are plenty of people and businesses who need support during these difficult and unique times.
Personally, I’ve got plenty to do with homeschooling 3 children with a wide age range, I can clap for the NHS, I can even volunteer for them and I can put hand drawn rainbows in windows, but aside from that, I’m feeling a bit useless. So I’ve come up with a few other ways anyone can help, specifically with businesses in Norwich, as that’s where this blog is based.
The Feed is a not for profit social enterprise and charity providing catering services and a cafe on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. Their social purpose is to prevent poverty, hunger and homelessness in Norwich. They use food to motivate change, improve confidence and gain employment skills.
The Feed has a comprehensive list of how you can continue to help here: The Feed during Covid-19 including
- ‘Pay it Forward’ online. Go to their website and click on the Virgin money giving button. A hot drink can be redeemed by someone in need, no questions asked.
- ‘Community Fridge’ this has opened to those in need of access to fresh food and long shelf life food. If you can spare any food items, please consider the community fridge. Details on website.
- ‘Monthly donation’ if you are saving money on your commute or cups of coffee during this time, perhaps consider a regular donation to keep the work of The Feed going.
A message from the Trussell Trust: “Food banks sometimes run low on certain items, and we know there are different pressures on stock levels in different areas. We’re not sure about what the impact of the pandemic will be on food stock levels in the coming months, so we really encourage you to support your local food bank if you’re able to.”
In Norwich, the Foodbank remains open at 10 centres as at 26th March but the situation could change at any time. Perhaps you could donate food, time or money. Please see their website:Norwich Foodbank
Friend in Deed
A charity working across East Anglia supporting intergenerational friendships. Families with babies and toddlers and also schoolchildren regularly visit care homes and dementia day care centres to play and spend time with the residents. Amazing relationships are forged. During this time of social isolation, they are all missing each other.
You can still get involved even if you haven’t come across the charity before. You or your child could write letters to elderly residents, draw pictures or film video clips to send (you must sign a permission form to share video).
Find out more about Friend in Deed here: Friend in Deed
The Norfolk Community Foundation: Covid-19 Community Response Fund
Set up by the Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF) just a week ago, the Covid-19 Community Response Fund is designed to enable the county’s local charities and community groups to rise to the challenge posed by coronavirus.
The aim of the fund, to which individuals and businesses can donate, is to amass a pot of money from which to distribute grants of £1,000.
Right now, several organisations need funding to continue their work; these vital groups are:
- getting food to people who are isolated and in greatest need
- protecting the most vulnerable children while schools are closed
- helping people who have recently left hospital to recover at home
- supporting people with their mental wellbeing
- helping people who are struggling with debt.
If you would like to find out more or to donate, please go to this website: https://www.norfolkfoundation.com/news-events/norfolk-people-step-up/
Several companies need extra workers at this point. Here are some in Norwich:
- Cera: Home Care Company seeking help
- Delivery drivers
- Aldi, Lidl, Co-op, One-Stop, Domino’s pizza; all need assistants
- NHS: And OF COURSE, if you have any previous experience of working as a Registered Nurse, Doctor or Allied Health Professional in any healthcare setting, you can sign up to Team NNUH now here: NHS
- NHS volunteer responder: Volunteer Responder
Specialist help with the UEA
A project has been launched at the UEA and Norwich Research Park to help provide supplies and equipment. The project will 3D print ventilator parts and masks. Find out more here: https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/ventilators
The project needs help from people with software skills, particularly Solidworks for CAD design, and those trained in 3D scanners and conversion of files to STIL files (printable version). They are also looking for printers – specifically Fused Deposition Modeling (FMD), that uses thermoplastic filaments, brands Makerbot or similar, and SLA types printers which use liquid resins.
The scope of the project may move into re-purposing or reconfiguring existing ventilators, rapidly developing new ventilators and producing other medical supplies such as PEEP valves and face shields.
This list is not an exhaustive one. But I’ve put it together to help prompt a few ideas if you are looking to support others during this time.