How can I help my community?
Last week our CEO Emily detailed how the pandemic is disproportionately affecting women and is turning into a girls’ rights crisis. With help being harder to access than ever before, I want to inspire change and show how you can help if you have the ability.
Covid 19 Mutual Aid UK aims to set up small groups of people to help in local communities. These groups are made up of volunteers and can be found all over the UK. The small groups set up are independent, which means they are able to cater for their own community, meeting the needs that they demand. However, this also means that Covid -19 Mutual Aid is not an official organisation, each small group is advised to do what is best for them and the community and so can centre help where needs must.
The organisation within this small group is carried out through Facebook and WhatsApp and is easily accessible for people who want to get involved or for people seeking help. Just by scrolling through the Facebook pages, the demand for help is evident and the solutions are there, they just need more volunteers.
However, at Irise we recognise that the people who most need help, are often not seen. We want to focus on the vulnerable women and girls who are powerless. This could be because they are stuck at home with an abuser, or they are unable to access products to manage their periods. But there are ways to overcome this, together.
If you can, keep donating to food banks, especially period products. In Waitrose there are often donation points where you can donate supplies to those who need it. Also when buying period provisions, be mindful of the people who need access to these products by shopping responsibly.
The spread of information is also an essential way to help. Let’s keep each other informed of the relevant help lines and places to seek support.
Recently, Victoria Derbyshire was praised for hosting a BBC show with the national domestic abuse helpline written on her hand.
Finally, there is the one obvious thing we can all do to help and benefit everyone in our community, stay home, and stay safe.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808-2000-247
Find existing COVID-19 mutual aid groups in your area through this website: https://covidmutualaid.org/