Updated: Feb 21, 2021
Below is a directory of resources which I hope may be able to support you during the COVID-19 Pandemic. There are suggestions for ways to volunteer and connect with others in a social capacity during lockdown and while social distancing. There are also resources for mental and physical health and additional practical concerns such as financial, parenting and employment worries. I hope you find some of these of use to you. If you have any you would like to add, please do let me know.
Community and Connection
The Great British Home Choir
Pioneered by Gareth Malone, an ambitious initiative to unite self-isolating singers. This project provides daily choir rehearsals to users online.
The Sofa Singers
A free weekly online singing event that takes place via zoom. Register to receive a lyric sheet and access code half an hour before the rehearsal starts. You can see other users via video, but if you prefer not to show your face than you can simply participate via audio.
The Silent Book Club
Described as the "introverts happy hour". Participants read a book quietly for an hour and then spend time discussing it and chatting about what they have learned. No need for awkward social interactions, participate as much or as little as you wish. It was started in the US, but there are 'chapters' (local groups) all over the globe.
The Quarantine Book Club
The Quarantine Book Club hosts two Zoom talks a day with an author. They plan to continue everyday while people remain at home. Past authors include. Tickets are $5 for each event, with proceeds going to the authors and event organisers (Mike Monteiro and Erika Hall, two designers who live in San Francisco and started the club when their own work opportunities dried up).
Health and Wellbeing
A free, confidential telephone and web-based service for people experiencing low mood, anxiety and/or depression. Available for people over the age of 16 based in Scotland.
Below are a selection of links which I hope can provide some comfort or support to those experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse.
If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999, and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak. If you are calling from a landline, pressing ‘55’ will not work. If you can’t speak you should stay on the line and the operator will connect you to a police call handler. If you need to put the phone down, the line will stay open for 45 seconds. If you pick it up again during this time and the operator is concerned for your safety, they will put you through to a police call handler. Calling 999 from a landline means the police may be able to retrieve information on your location to send help.
Freephone 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline (run by Refuge): 0808 2000 247
Up-to-date advice and guidance by NHS Scotland and the Scottish government regarding COVID-19. Includes guidance on social distancing, staying at home and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms or are in a higher risk category.
Corona Virus guidance for older people and for those caring for older people.
Information and resources to help parents cope with the additional demands placed upon them due to social distancing and the lockdown. Contains support on adjusting to the "new normal".
Specific information for those who are expecting or who have newborn babies. The current advice is to continue to attend health appointments if you are well, although partners and other children are unable to accompany mothers.
Samaritans Scotland Helpline
Samaritans have resources for wellbeing you might find helpful. Samaritans has help for looking after your mental health, remote working, social media, coronavirus symptoms, if you're finding things tough or if you're worried about someone else and if you're a key worker. Their telephone lines are also still operating 24/7. Call 116 123 to contact the Samaritans for telephone support.
Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
Corona Virus mental health information hub. Provides links to other useful resources too.
Shielding Advice and Support
Information for the particularly vulnerable who are in higher risk categories.
Student minds are currently collating guidance and developing resources for students worried about the pandemic and how this may affect their studies and wellbeing.
Information for young people and ways to look after your physical and mental health during the pandemic.
British Red Cross
By becoming a community reserve volunteer, you will help your community get back on track in the event of a major local emergency, for example by supporting the NHS or local authorities. Further details are available on the British Red Cross Website. Anyone who is aged 18 or over and understands that they will be called upon in a crisis in their local community is eligible to sign up.
Covid Mutual Aid
Connect to Local Groups Who Need Help. A group of volunteers working with local communities to provide volunteers. Search the map to find an up-to-date list of volunteer groups near you.
Health and Social Care Workers
Students and people who want to return to work in NHS Scotland or social care can sign up to support the NHS during the pandemic. You can sign up on the NHS Careers website.
Volunteer Scotland is working closely with the third and public sector to support a joined-up response to COVID-19. Their website provides advice on keeping safe while volunteering and tips on how to contact those who require volunteers at this time.
Advice Direct Scotland
Consumer Rights Advice regarding travel, cancellation of events, deliveries, online orders and planning for price increases and shortages.
Citizens Advice Scotland
Contains advice on health, money, employment, rent, benefits, school closures, going to work and scams.
Employment Rights Advice
Impartial information and advice for employers and employees. Topics covered include sick pay, furlough, using holidays, taking time off to care for someone and what to do is someone exhibits COVID-19 symptoms at work.
Small Businesses and Self-Employed
Advice and guidance for small businesses and those who are self-employed.
Home Energy Scotland
Tips for conserving energy use during lockdown. Home Energy Scotland is a network of local advice centres providing free and impartial advice.
Use this app to have a virtual party with friends, family or colleagues. The app has different "rooms" and interactive games you can play together including Heads Up!, Trivia, Quick Draw, and Chips and Guac!
Daily pub quizzes at 7pm each night. Round up a team or challenge yourself to answer the pub quiz of the day, live streamed on Twitch. Submit your answers via a Google form and tune in the following night to find out the results.
Not just for teens, this platform showcases a selection of short videos from around the globe. Try and take on a dance challenge, or watch cute videos of animals.
Virtual Escape Rooms
Escape Rooms have become all the rage recently, so why not test your skills in a virtual setting! Even muggles can try a Harry Potter themed Escape Room (created by Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA) or try a wide range of themed Escape Rooms ranging from scary, adventure, indoor or outdoor escapes created by 365 escape.