Village response to supporting elderly or vulnerable people

Our village’s ladies social group (on Whats app) discussed soon after lockdown, what could we do for local residents. It was agreed that we could together, do some practical tasks such as shopping, dog walking or phone calls to help combat isolation. One person volunteered to advertise their home phone number, a “flyer” was produced that offered all kinds of practical and emotional help to residents and to ring the main volunteer’s number, who would then arrange others to undertake support tasks. The leaflet was distributed to every household in the village by a number of volunteers.

Illustration by Nextdoor

Leaflet given out to every household. A number of people requested help with shopping for essential items and were allocated a volunteer.

It was quick and easy to do. Sharing tasks meant no one person was trying to do everything. People felt support was there (even if they didn’t need it).
It linked to Nextdoor ap which was used throughout UK.

Story shared by Cath Howard, United Kingdom.

For more info please contact at cath.papcastle@gmail.com

Young boy’s 6th birthday

It was a 6 year old boy’s birthday and he could obviously not invite his friends to a birthday party. They stay in a suburb where people stay behind high walls to protect them against crime and people do not really socialise. In an effort to make something of the birthday his mother phoned the people in her street to ask if they would participate in making his birthday special by putting a little present for his birthday at their gate the next morning. Everyone was lockdown so they could not buy special presents.

Picture from Harrogate Mumbler

On his birthday the mother took the boy for a drive in the street and stopped at each gate where a little present was placed. Much to their surprise almost everyone in the street participated and the boy was delighted by all the surprise presents. The little boy was very happy with his surprise birthday and that was the beginning of people in the street talking to each other.

People need a little stimulation to reach out to others. The difficult situation lead the mother to reach out to neighbours and the neighbours were keen and willing to participate. Most people are keen to experience a sense of community.

Story shared by Maretha Visser, South Africa

More info please contact: maretha.visser@up.ac.za

KlangKunst: Creative Choir Rehearsal during Lock-Down

The Covid-19 pandemics changed everything for the ‘Klangkunst’-Choir we are proud to be part of: the lock-down stopped a perfectly planned trip of the choir in April to New York City to perform ‘Carmina Burana’ at Carnegie Hall. Even worse, like for many other music groups, it went from ‘very busy’ preparing performances to ‘no rehearsals at all’ on to ‘online rehearsals restricted by internet quality’ and ‘singing on your own at home’.

Picture sent by Wolfgang Stark

Our longing to sing together created inspiring ideas: to meet as a regular choir was impossible due to Corona restrictions; but when public rallies with up to 50 people have been allowed again by local authorities, Andrea, our choir director, asked for permission for a public rally called ‘Klangkunst Choir Public Rehearsing’. Physical distancing and each singer’s individual place has been assured using colorful knots on a ‘chorus line’ (see picture).

Singing in the parking lot in the back of the town hall 6 feet from each other has been both a special and beautiful experience for all of us: late April has been cold, but lovely in Germany and it was not easy to listen to your singing buddys. But, the idea of singing in public inspired us and changed our view of the value of not only doing music together but also feeling as a community and sharing our common passion.

Story shared by Wolfgang Stark, Germany

More info here or at wolfgang.stark@stw.de

COVID-Comedy-Video-Series

My sister and my brother-in-law made a series of comedy videos during the lockdown. These videos were sent to family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues to spread cheerfulness and laughter in this serious, disturbing time.

The recipients of the videos were pleased that they could at least see my sister and my brother-in-law in the video, since personal meetings were not possible. Thus one felt closer again, despite the distance. In addition, the funny content of the videos was a welcome change in the midst of the disturbing news. Many recipients felt that a newly released video was often the highlight of the day, as it made everyday life, which was marked by social withdrawal, a little happier.

With regard to social interaction: The videos were a good occasion to get in touch with each other and to exchange ideas. The effort that went into creating the videos was worth it, as it brought cheerfulness to the recipients and gave them a sense of closeness. With regard to technology: An Internet connection that is too slow has often meant that the videos could only appear after a considerable delay.

Picture by John Barnard Whittaker “Comedy and Tragedy”, Brooklyn Museum.

Story shared by Franziska Schulz, Germany

More info at franziska.schulz@hochschule-bc.de

Kansans Turn To Each Other For Help During Coronavirus Outbreak

In Kansas, there were several examples of Mutual Aid Networks and about restaurants providing free meals for those in need.

“After one crowded lunch service, Heriford said, she could no longer justify the risk to her staff or customers. The restaurant closed March 14, though she and a small number of staff haven’t stopped working. The Ladybird is offering free bagged lunches for anyone who needs them. Heriford buys the food from her usual distributor, prepares it and leaves it on carts in front of the restaurant.”

Picture by Nomin Ujiyediin, Kansas News Service

Story from the USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool box

Highlighting Organizations Preventing Violence Amidst the Pandemic

PreventConnect, a project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, is spotlighting organizations doing work to stop violence during the pandemic. With more and more families experiencing unemployment, housing insecurity, and hunger, people may feel a loss of power and control. This loss of power and control contributes to violence at home. Organizations featured thus far provide support for rural and tribal communities, immigrants and indigenous communities, Black women, Texans seeking mental health services, preventing child sexual abuse, and strengthening communities.

Story from USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box



Mutual Support Between Frontline Workers and the Socially Isolated

As millions of courageous healthcare workers continue their work to combat the COVID-19 crisis, this new service allows you to send messages of love and support to a frontline hero—and get one in return. #TextForHumanity has people identify themselves as either a frontline worker or someone living in isolation. Senders choose which group of frontline worker to send a personalized message of thanks and support. Frontline workers include anyone from nurses and doctors to delivery drivers and grocery store staffers. After sending a message, people in isolation receive a supportive text back from their frontline worker. Text For Humanity is enabled by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and regular text messaging so it’s easy for anyone with even the most basic phone to join. This is particularly important for the elderly who are among the least likely to own a smartphone. To join the service, text JOIN to 37352 (U.S. only) or +1 833-421-4726. Additional international number options and links to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are available through the platform’s website: Text For Humanity

Story from the USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box


Neighbourhood Watches in England Provide Aid for their Residents and Communities

Neighbourhood Watch Associations all over England have been stepping up to help residents and their greater communities during the pandemic. Residents are organizing phone trees, socially distant street parties, music performances, and supply deliveries for their neighbors to provide entertainment and support. To support their communities, one Neighbourhood Watch Association purchased 3-D printers to make PPE visor shields while another has its residents sewing masks and scrubs for hospital staff. Read more about each Neighbourhood Watch’s efforts.

Story from the UK.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box

St. Louis Coronavirus Response Resources

Community volunteers and the St. Louis Regional Data Alliance (RDA) built STL Response, a dashboard that brings together resources to help St. Louis residents through the COVID-19 crisis. The dashboard features the number for a crisis hotline and resource directory, coronavirus information from the CDC, resources in multiple languages, and space for people to seek or share their own resources.

STL Metro Covid Stats Compiled by Chris Prener

Story from the USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool Box