How to support your local community
Supporting the local community is something many of us have been thinking about a lot more than usual since March 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has reignited a sense of community that was starting to disappear from modern society and this is one of the few benefits to come from this difficult past year. Neighbours started to talk more, healthy people offered to do shopping for the vulnerable, we started to smile and say hello to strangers in the street and when we asked people how they were doing we stopped to really listen. Just because we are now on the roadmap out of the pandemic and back to a new version of normal life, that does not mean we need to leave this reignited community spirit behind too. If you want to help out in your local community and support vulnerable families and people in need, we have put together this list of ideas to help you get started.
5 ideas on how you can help and support people in your local community.
1. Fostering – Fostering is at the top of the list, of course. Fostering gives children and young people a safe and caring home environment to allow families time to make the required changes with the right support. The need for foster carers has grown over the course of the pandemic and our independent fostering agency is continuing to recruit new foster carers all across the West Midlands. Foster carers offer support, guidance and love to children in need and fostering is an incredibly rewarding career.
2. Donate to a food bank – There are thousands of families living in poverty across the UK and far too many people are going without enough food. A simple way you can support families in need of food in your local community is to donate to your local food bank. You can find a food bank near you by visiting The Trussell Trust website. There are also often large baskets by supermarket exits where you can add food donations. Just popping an extra few tins into your own trolley and adding them to the donation basket is a quick and easy way you can help out local families who are struggling to afford to eat.
3. Volunteering – If you have the time to do so, volunteering is a fantastic way to help out in your local community. You can volunteer in a charity shop, a park clean or to help out with children’s clubs and community events. You can find local volunteering opportunities by searching online; examples of volunteering websites include Volunteer Match and Reach Volunteering.
4. Join a befriending service – The older members of society have been greatly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and loneliness has hit this generation harder than any other. Many elderly people have spent a large portion of the last year away from family and friends, shielding and many have lost their loved ones. Befriending services can give elderly people a friend and someone to talk to. The role of a befriending volunteer can include just popping over to have a cup of tea and a chat with an older person, doing someone’s shopping or helping out with household tasks and sometimes it can just be something as small yet meaningful as a half hour phone call. To find befriending services in the West Midlands visit the Housing Care website or search ‘Befriending Services near me’ on Google.
5. Support local businesses – Small businesses have suffered severe losses over the last year. Many shops, hairdressers, cafes and other businesses have been either closed or operating under strict guidelines over the last year and their owners may be struggling to make ends meet. If you are taking the children for a play in the park, maybe buy their post run around treat from the family run bakery down the road instead of from the supermarket, for example. When buying gifts, food and clothes shop small and local if you can. Shopping at small local businesses not only helps boost the local economy but you will be helping a local family to keep their business going, feed their families and ease the financial stress they are likely to have experienced over the past year.
There are so many ways you can support your local community, fostering is just one of them. If you are interested in fostering and want to find out how you can join our West Midlands based independent fostering agency, please contact us on 0800 527 4797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, please read the following pages on our website:
Types of foster care.
Who can foster?
How to become a foster carer with Focus Foster Care.
Fostering – frequently asked questions.
The benefits of fostering with Focus Foster Care.