Many of our readers have gotten in touch with us asking how they can help their local community so we’ve created a COVID-19 Community Guide.
It includes how you can reach out to your community and help those in need. And because times are admittedly tough – whether you are old, young, a business owner, or a resident – please remember to take care of yourself as well. And you can find out how here, as well.
Stay strong Roman Roadies. This page is part of the Roman Road Covid-19 Help Hub.
If you liked this, you might also find these links useful.
Local businesses that are open, deliver or do click and collect
How to keep well and fit during Covid-19
Useful links for businesses and residents
Live local updates
How to help others
1. Volunteer for a community action group
Local community groups are currently being organised to give out leaflets and provide other services. Events are moving very fast right now and local volunteers are doing an amazing job getting organised, but things are still in flux.
So please keep an eye on our website and social media feeds as more community drives and organisations surface that you can get involved in.
- Tower Hamlets Council – there are live volunteer roles advertised by the council to assist those severely impacted by Covid-19. Please go to: vcth.org.uk if you are interested. They are also organising an urgent drive for local food banks. The collection point is at Simply Fresh. Check their Twitter for more information.
- Carers needed – Tower Hamlets Council is also looking to employ carers during COVID-19. No experience is necessary. Email CareWorkerRecruitment@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 2280.
- Covid-19 Tower Hamlets Community Support – A local, resident-run group organised on a street-by-street basis to send leaf-letters and provide assistance. Join their group here but please take care not to post any personal information on the Facebook page and join the appropriate WhatsApp group for your street.
- St. Paul’s Old Ford Church – The closing of schools present extra challenges for many families. St. Paul Old Ford church is handing out free school meals for those in our area and are looking for additional volunteers. They are also in touch with other community leaders who are likely to be organising additional events. Apply to be a volunteer here.
- FoodCycle Bow Road – FoodCycle Bow Road turns surplus food from partners into community meals and are looking for volunteers. Volunteers are to comply with government guidelines regarding Covid-19. This might change after Friday’s announcement by the government. Please go here for FoodCycle’s latest updates and contact details.
- Poplar HARCA – with Women’s Inclusive Team, are running a food delivery and community assistance service and are looking for volunteers.
- Yard Theatre – They are organising a group of local volunteers to support elderly residents at Hackney Wick’s Trowbridge Estate. If you are feeling well and can get out and about, text 07462 051997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours – have set up a new telephone and befriending and advocacy service for lonely and socially isolated older people. You can donate to their necessary initiative here.
- Bromley-by-Bow Centre – this NHS connected charity is running a fundraiser to make up for their funds lost from having charity events like the London Marathon cancelled due to Covid-19. Donate to their drive here.
- Bethnal Green Foodbank – This food bank running out of St. Matthew’s in Bethnal Green is looking for non-perishable items. Check their Twitter for dates and times when you can drop off food and email them at email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering.
- The Match – are you a furloughed worker looking to do something productive with your time? The Match are searching for volunteers to help out creative businesses and charities. Read more about their initiative here and sign up here.
- Free Iftar meals delivered to the vulnerable – the East London Mosque are delivering hundred of free meals to the elderly, those in need and NHS staff on duty at the Royal Hospital. A £3 donation will provide one person with a meal and so on. You can donate here.
- Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park – their appeal has recently surpassed £25,000 in donations. Donate to their fundraiser here.
We’ll keep this page updated with more opportunities as they emerge. Do you know of any groups that should be included? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Reach out to those in need with a leaflet
You may have seen an image like this one being circulated around social media.
You can reach out to your neighbours who may need help by printing out or writing down a note with your name, contact details and what services you are able to provide: a friendly phone call, posting mail, picking up groceries or walking their dogs.Then simply slip them through the front doors (practicing good hand-hygiene, of course).
3. Donate to foodbanks
With foot traffic down, food banks need to ensure they have sufficient supplies. If you are able to get out and go for a walk (while carefully observing social distancing measures, of course) you can drop off some food at your local food banks below, or donate remotely where possible.
- Bow Foodbank – They are currently open for donations at Sundays between 1-2.30pm at St. Mary’s Church on Bow Road. These hours may change so please check Bow Foodbank’s website before visiting. If you would like to donate you can do so here.
- Hackney Foodbank – Hackney Foodbank are asking for volunteers and food donations. They are especially asking for tinned food items, jam and peanut butter. For more information, please contact them at email@example.com.
- We’re Ghana feed our community – Donate to this drive by Zoe Adjonyoh (of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen) to partner up with local providers, like Roman Road’s St. Paul’s Church, delivering hot meals to vulnerable local people.
And if you know any charity or community drives that you think should be included, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on any of our social media platforms. This list of local causes will continue to be updated.
4. Support your local businesses
Stop by your favourite independent shop during these tough times, especially now that ‘non-essential’ businesses are opening up again. Alternatively, many cafes and restaurants and even pubs do delivery and takeaways so you can buy a pint from your favourite local.
Find out about discounts, new services and changes of opening hours being offered by local businesses in response to #WorkingFromHomeLife in our Roman Road LDN Twitter feed.
How to look after yourself
Times are tough right now. And the more vulnerable among us are largely stuck in our homes and may feel isolated. So it is important that we lean on each other, and yourself as well.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you are particularly vulnerable during this time and need assistance, please reach out.
We are all part of the same community. It is more important to rely on our family and friends than ever. So if you need to, please call a loved one, or even the kind neighbour who has slipped you a leaf-letter offering assistance.
Register here for government support, including options like food deliveries- if you are a vulnerable resident and cannot rely on family, friends or neighbours for help.
2. Keep yourself and others informed
The news is moving at breakneck speed, so it is important to rely on trusted, authoritative sources for information.
Sign up to the Tower Hamlets Council newsletter for Covid-19 updates on a local level.
Not sure where to go for help? Here is a list of helplines and useful links for businesses and community members.
And finally, go to our Covid-19 Help hub.
Can you help us?
As a not-for-profit media organisation using journalism to strengthen communities, we have not put our digital content behind a paywall or membership scheme as we think the benefits of an independent, local publication should be available to everyone living in our area.
If a fraction of the local 40,000 residents donated two pounds a month to Roman Road LDN it would be enough for our editorial team to serve the area full time and be beholden only to the community. A pound at a time, we believe we can get there.