There are numerous ways to offer help and get involved, from lending a hand to local charities, to supporting the unstinting efforts of the NHS.
As a result of the recent Government initiative and call for volunteers, NHS England has seen an inspirational response from the public to become NHS Volunteer Responders.
This should not discourage anybody from coming forward to assist in local volunteer centres or locally based charities or indeed the NHS. ( NHS England Coronavirus volunteer) In these restricted times, it makes sense to contribute to the local community. Both Volunteering Matters (https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk) and Do-it Volunteering made easy (https://do-it.org) are designed particularly to link you to charities close to your home. (https://reserves.redcross.org.uk)
For those with a specialist skill set, Reed can assist with opportunities across many fields of expertise. (https://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/voluntary-jobs)
Covid-19 Mutual Aid has been set up specifically to organise good neighbour initiatives with advice as to how to help people locally, together with lists of local volunteer groups.
It has useful guidance as to how exactly to assist people safely.
Neither age, nor health issues, need to preclude people from volunteering and helping their neighbours or community. Email, text and telephone calls are all hugely valuable means of communication for those isolated during this time.
Charities - Donate if you can.
Many charities will suffer severely in the current circumstances. The vast majority of their fund raising events, marathons, fetes, sponsored cycle races etc will be cancelled for the next few months. Together with the closure of their retail outlets, charities will see a very significant drop in revenue. Any small donation will make a difference.
Perhaps most of all, if daunted by the scale of this pandemic, we can take courage from the idea that charity begins at home. Patience in our households, and a smile, or cheery wave, at our neighbours may make us all feel a bit better.