Hey! It’s been an age. Life has changed. Last time I posted I was talking about my husband being gluten intolerant. Since then pasta has become more rare than gold, toilet paper was being traded on the black market and pubs are closed. Finding restaurants with a good GF menu has become pointless, but we are glad that toilet habits have changed to conserve that much needed loo roll!

I digress. This ‘situation’, whilst bringing out the worst in some people, has also seen some magnificent shows of benevolence, charity and generosity.

Whilst all charities are worthwhile in terms of the fact they’re there to do good (at least you would hope), there are certain ones that I think are really worthwhile right now, in terms of the benefits they can deliver to people who are suffering as a direct result of Coronavirus.

Trussell Trust / food banks

With people being furloughed, illegally made redundant or having no income if they’re self employed, the demand for support from foodbanks will be higher than ever before (and it was already too high for a western country). With social distancing and rules around reduced movement and travel it may not be so easy to physically donate food stuffs and supplies to your local food bank collection point, so a donation of money will enable them to speak to suppliers, order exactly what they need, and help those who need support.

Make a one off donation here.

Mental health charities

Physical health is obviously, and understandably, at the forefront of people’s minds right now, but mental health will also be a big player. Whether it’s those with already poor mental health or those whose mental health will deteriorate due to circumstance – whether financial or social – it’s quite possible there will be a mental health crisis when we all get back to “normal”. And in the meantime, call lines need financial support to stay operational to support those who may be facing financial ruin, stuck in 4 walls, have no-one else to turn to, or working on the frontline and struggling with everyday life and what’s expected of them.

Click here to donate to Mind.

Click here to donate to CALM – a movement against suicide

Domestic violence charities

It makes absolute horrific sense that domestic violence cases will increase during this time; people will be at home together more, unable to leave the house to escape conflict, and the additional pressures of everything going on (not an excuse) will lead to increased levels of aggression and, in some cases, death. Labour MP Jess Phillips is a vocal supporter of the need for more DV assistance, and heads up the APPG on Domestic Violence and Abuse (All Party Parliamentary Group – basically about the subject regardless of your political party). Jess stands up in parliament and reads out the names of women who have been killed by their partners to give them an identity rather than being a statistic (I know DV affects men too, before anyone says anything). Videos from previous readings show ridiculously low numbers of MPs in attendance, but that’s one for another day.

You may want to look for domestic violence charities in your local area, but there are country wide ones which would welcome your support and apply it where needed too. (worth noting that mental health charities also deal with DV cases for both genders)

Donate to Women’s Aid

Donate to Refuge

Donate to Mankind – specifically for male domestic abuse victims

Donate to Men’s Advice Line – a free phone support for men affected by DV

Last but by no mean’s least – our NHS workers

Where do I start? Can you even imagine? I have friends who work frontline in the NHS and they’re petrified to do their jobs, petrified to be at home with their family in case they infect them. I have friends working in other areas of the NHS who have been deployed to frontline and are outside of their usual comfort zone.

It doesn’t mater if you’re a receptionist, a doctor, a paramedic or a cleaner, our NHS are wonderful right now. They’re doing jobs most of us wouldn’t want to do. And for all the claps and the rainbows in windows and the appreciation, the NHS needs cold hard cash. Whether it’s to subsidise their salary, feed them a hot meal, pay their parking fines (don’t get me started) or get them much needed PPE which the government has failed to provide (don’t get me started, part 2!) then all cash donations to the NHS are welcomed right now.

Side note to say – they shouldn’t be necessary because the NHS is supposed to be government funded and accessible by all parts of our society. The NHS is NOT a charity. But in times of need we pull together and protect those who protect us, and then (hopefully) we hold the government to account later.

Again, there will be lots of local places you can donate, including local restaurants who are supplying hot meals whilst their restaurants are closed by the government and organisations who are working on PPE – donate here. Always check the legitimacy of Just Giving accounts and the like, but do support locally while you can.

Finally an honourable mention to War Veteran Captain Tom Moore who, at 99 years old, decided to raise money for the NHS by walking the length of his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday at the end of April. He hoped to raise half a million, but is currently at over a staggering £8 million. For a man who should be enjoying his retirement to be busting his ass when our government are being so shit (sorry, I’m bitter) is incredible, and just shows the WW2 war spirit he obviously had when serving our country.

Captain Moore, if I was wearing a hat I would take it off to you.

In the meantime I will be donating to Tom’s 100th birthday walk, and you could too by clicking here!

In addition, it’s Tom’s 100th birthday on 30th April so there’s a campaign to get birthday cards for him on social media – whichever channels you use, tagged #MakeACardForTom Do get involved and make a real hero very happy!

Everyone stay safe! Take care of yourselves, and each other (wasn’t that Jerry Springer’s by-line?

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