7 acts of kindness helping people through the coronavirus pandemic

A sign on the A194 dual carriageway in South Shields warns motorists of the symptoms of coronavirus and the measures that can be taken to avoid it. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
A sign on the A194 in South Shields warns motorists of the symptoms of coronavirus. (Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)

Please let us know in the comments below if you know of anyone or anything helping the local community

The UN has urged people to “Be kind” as the world battles to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, and Britons are taking heed.

Kindness cards

Becky Wass, a copywriter from Cornwall, has created a postcard for people to offer help to vulnerable neighbours affected by the pandemic.

“After weeks of news about the coronavirus, I felt as I’m sure many people did, very scared and helpless,” she told the Huffington Post.

“[My husband] and I were talking about how it must feel if you are at risk or can’t leave the house. We wanted to do something to help, but without making things worse.”

So Wass created the postcard – which can be downloaded here – and shared it on social media. It soon went viral.

She said: “I’ve been so overwhelmed with the positive reaction it has had. I really feel that kindness is going viral.”

Supermarket’s ‘pensioners’ hour’

A supermarket in Northern Ireland will open early just for elderly customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Iceland in West Belfast said: “Iceland Foods will be opening their store between 8-9am for the elderly commencing Tuesday 17th March.

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“Could the wider public please respect this hour, and understand that this time is allocated for elderly people only. Iceland appeal to peoples better nature when realising who needs priority.”

The move was made amid chaotic scenes as shoppers stockpiled goods such as toilet roll, hand sanitisers and bread, leaving supermarket shelves empty.

Iceland in West Belfast, which will open early exclusively for the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic.
Iceland in West Belfast, which will open early exclusively for the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Edtech firms offer free online resources

Educational technology company Twinkl has offered a month’s free subscription to its teaching resources for UK parents affected by potential school closures.

A message to parents and teachers on the Twinkle website read: “These KS1 School Closure Home Learning resource packs for students in Year 1 and Year 2 will help with distance learning due to the Coronavirus outbreak.”

The company has created a code – UKTWINKLHELPS – for anyone wanting to create a free account and continue primary school education with their children if they can’t get to school.

A mother helps her nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter to do school homework on March 15, 2020 in Dinslaken, Germany. As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection continues to rise daily across Germany so is the impact of the virus on everyday life. Businesses are increasing home office work, airlines are decreasing their flight capacity, schools with cases of the virus are closing temporarily, some sports events are void of spectators, shops are selling out of disinfectants and large-scale public events are being cancelled. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Parents are preparing to homeschool children if coronavirus forces long-term closures of schools, and Edtech firms are offering free help (Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Free hygiene products for people in poverty

Beauty Banks founders Jo Jones and Sali Hughes have launched a Go Fund Me campaign enabling people to donate so that those living in poverty can have access to basic products such as soap, sanitisers, and sanitary products.

Using the hashtag #helpinghands, the charity is appealing for people to “join virtual hands” and support people who can’t afford to protect themselves and their families against the pandemic.

“Every moment matters,” the appeal says. “As the virus spreads in the UK, people living in poverty are among the most vulnerable to the worst outcomes of the virus, because they can’t afford basic hygiene essentials, can’t afford to stockpile essential everyday items, and rely on food banks for basic hygiene essentials.”

By Monday afternoon almost 3,000 people had donated a £62,342, with the total still rising.

OXFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 01:  Sali Hughes, beauty journalist and broadcaster, at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival on April 1, 2017 in Oxford, England.  (Photo by
Journalist Sali Hughes has launched a campaign with Beauty Banks partner Jo Jones to fund essential hygiene products for those living below the poverty line. (David Levenson/Getty Images)

Caring couple’s deliveries to pensioners

Shop owners Asiyah and Jawad Javed have spent around £2,000 providing free packs of face masks, sanitiser and wipes to local over-65s in Stenhousemuir, Falkirk.

The pair, who run the Day-Today Express, will deliver their packages to those unable to make it into the shop – including 30 to a local care home, and hundreds more to elderly or disabled residents in the Scottish town.

“I met an old woman, crying as she had been to the supermarket and there was no handwash,” said Asiyah, who stocked up early when she feared the virus could take hold.

“Some people are asking for them to be delivered as they’re old, disabled or don’t drive.”

Shopkeepers Asiyah and Jawad Javed are donating thousands of pounds worth of essential items to local pensioners (Katielee Arrowsmith SWNS)
Shopkeepers Asiyah and Jawad Javed are donating thousands of pounds worth of essential items to local pensioners. (Katielee Arrowsmith SWNS)

Football club donates food

With matches called off as players and managers began to fall victim to coronavirus, Aston Villa offered up food to local charities that was meant for 850 staff at Saturday’s postponed game against Chelsea.

After appealing on Twitter on Friday, the West Midlands club shared the free packed lunches and hot dinners through its Aston Villa Foundation.

By the end of Saturday, all the food had been allocated to local homeless charities and housing shelters.

Free therapy for the vulnerable

Support networks are springing up to help vulnerable people forced to self-isolate.

The Help Hub is a free online clinic in West Oxfordshire, supported by Blenheim Palace, which is offering 20-minute therapy sessions by phone, Skype or FaceTime to the elderly or medically at-risk, and those in need of support if they have had to self-isolate.

Founder Ruth Chaloner told Yahoo News UK: “This is both a practical and an emotional community service for those who are feeling isolated, scared and panicked.

“This is the generation that fought a war. But you can dodge bombs in the war – you can’t dodge this virus.”

See www.thehelphub.co.uk for more information.

Therapist Ruth Chaloner founded The Help Hub to offer free support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ruth Chaloner founded The Help Hub to offer free support during the coronavirus pandemic.