Edinburgh Greens have suspended all face to face campaigning activity and are encouraging members and supporters to join in the city-wide effort to help vulnerable people at this most difficult time.
Our two Green MSPs have been focusing on working with the Scottish Government to ensure that the right measures are in place nationally to protect and support people. Our 8 Green councillors are taking part in a cross-party leadership panel to oversee city council responses, as well as working in their own wards.
And there are many ways for everyone to get involved if they able to and in good health.
Firstly, look after yourselves. Pay heed to official guidance on personal safety, social distancing and watching out for symptoms. Be careful with articles or visuals from unofficial sources.
Secondly, help out in your immediate neighbourhood within the guidance on going out unnecessarily: in your stair, or people in your part of the street. These are usually practical things like getting urgent shopping, walking a dog, posting mail for people who aren’t able to get out. This is really for people who are local to you and who know you as neighbours: hyper-local is best.
There is a city-wide facebook group for Coronavolunteering and linked to that a Local Group Locator which allows you to get in touch with a local group. If you sign up for the Neighbourhood group “NextDoor” you can type in your postcode and find a local group. At street level, some areas have WhatsApp groups. Or you can simply get in touch with a local residents association or church/faith group, many of whom are actively helping. Coming soon there will be locality “hubs”, with the council and voluntary sector, to make sure use of volunteers follow appropriate rules for safety, welfare and confidentiality.
City-wide, the NHS is looking for volunteer assistants for wards and if you have been unfortunate enough to lose work or face a big drop in income, then many food retailers are desperate for staff. And so much more.
Even if you can’t get out and about there are ways you can help. A friendly phone call or message to an isolated friend or neighbour, for example; or, if you are able, donating to one of the many voluntary projects tackling the crisis.
Above all, stay safe, support each other and be kind.