With so many vulnerable people isolating to protect themselves from coronavirus, a lot of individuals and entire families are reliant on the good will of others. If you are fit and healthy, and still able to get out and about during the pandemic, you may be thinking about organising care packages for friends, family and neighbours.
Where to start
The first thing to do is to identify who needs help and the kind of things they require. If people are isolating themselves inside their own homes, this can be easier said than done. Luckily, there is a handy printable postcard designed by Becky Wass that can help kick the process off for you. It’s worth printing out a batch of these and putting them through the doors of vulnerable people you know locally, then wait for your phone to ring.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Kelli McClintock
What to put in a coronavirus care package
Some people will let you know if they have specific needs you can help them with, but it’s worth putting together some basic care packages that will get those in isolation through. As we all know, certain items are proving hard to come by at present, so we’re all having to adapt. Try to include:
Pasta, rice, UHT milk and canned foods are great to include in a care package, as they can be kept and used as and when your neighbour needs them. The problem is that many of these things have become short with people stockpiling. Think about what you can actually get instead, with lentils, couscous and powdered milk good alternatives.
Try and include a couple of pieces of fruit or some vegetables in each care package, as it’s important to get vital nutrients and enjoy fresh ingredients at this time. Think about the other foods you’ve included and how they could be combined together. If you’ve got a meal in mind, you could also include a simple recipe as a serving suggestion.
A toilet roll or packet of tissues will be greatly received by those who can’t get to the shops. If you’ve managed to get hold of a multipack, then splitting it up to distribute around the community will help to overcome the issues that have arisen as a result of panic buying. Soap is another essential item and here at Heyland & Whittle we have plenty in stock and available for next-day delivery. Stock up on Mini Favour Soaps to pop into your care packages or order a Soap Brick to cut into pieces for the ultimate in value-for-money bulk buying.
Being inside all the time can take its toll and with decreased social interaction, keeping busy is vital. Add some form of entertainment to your care package. This could be a crossword or sudoku book, or a novel you’ve already read if your neighbours are elderly. Isolating households with children will be in need of activities and if they have a bit of outside space, a skipping rope could be very useful to keep the kids active. Otherwise, colouring-in books, games and picture books are all good options.
While it’s really important to make sure people’s basic needs are met, it’s also vital to keep morale up. That means adding something a little bit frivolous to each care package. It could be a bar of chocolate, a small tube of Hand Cream or some flowers. These items show a kindness beyond survival and are guaranteed to make the receiver of your package smile.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Evelyn Paris
How to deliver care packages
It’s important to listen to the people you are trying to help, as everyone will have their own ideas about what they’re comfortable with when it comes to isolating. As a general rule, you should stay two metres away from others to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. Ring the doorbell and take a few steps back or simply leave the package on the doorstep to be collected once you have left.