With the threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus increasing by the day, we want to share some resources and examples that might help Waterfront and City Centre residents to see what they can do to help their neighbours.

The kindness of strangers: Two examples

One story we heard yesterday was a neighbour who called for the first time on an elderly couple in the next block to ask if they were ok. Using the intercom and not going inside they were able to discover that they needed milk, potatoes and bread and also wanted help in taking some rubbish out to the bins. The couple were frightened to leave their apartment. The shopping was done and delivered without entering the flat. Mobile numbers were exchanged so that there could be daily contact if required.

Another person told us about deciding to keep in touch every day with a neighbour who uses a wheelchair and looking at ways of linking-up using face-to-face apps like Skype, Zoom, Messenger, FaceTime etc. This will help to keep spirits up in what could turn out to be a long period of physical isolation but doesn’t need to be social isolation as well.

If you or somebody you know are doing something to be neighbourly at this difficult time, let us know – we’ll do our best to promote it.

Now’s the time to look out for your neighbours

What could you do to keep an eye out for people in the at-risk groups of which we are all aware?

It’s a great opportunity to start inter-generational contact. There are a number of elderly residents living particularly on the waterfront yet there are also many younger people living in the same apartment blocks. We would recommend that you simply do your best to let someone know you are there for them if they need you. It’s easy with these “I can help” cards from Viral Kindness:

Don’t go it alone: join a Mutual Aid group

Informal, local mutual aid groups are springing up all over the UK. Even just a few hours of your time could make a huge difference to vulnerable or isolated people in your neighbourhood.

Help could involve activities from running errands to the shops, to making phone calls, to providing a friendly voice of reassurance.

Local mutual aid groups on Facebook:

Find out more about Mutual Aid in this newsletter from our friends at the New Citizenship Project and this article from the Guardian.

Become an NHS Volunteer Responder

The NHS is looking for up to 250,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

  • Delivering medicines from pharmacies
  • Driving patients to appointments
  • Bringing them home from hospital
  • Making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home

NHS Volunteer Responders are not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours – they’re an additional service provided by the NHS. Read this article for more.

Support your local businesses

Thriving local businesses are a vital part of the city centre economy, and we want to do what we can to make sure as many restaurants, bars, and cafés make it through this troubling time as possible.

Helpfully, the Guide Liverpool, Independent Liverpool, and the Liverpool BID Company have collaborated to produce this list of restaurants and shops that are providing a collection or delivery service – so make the most of it!

How about a Zoom Dinner Party?

When a Waterfront resident shared this idea with us, we thought it was too good to resist!

We all know that our local independent restaurants are really suffering, so we’re organising a weekly shared dinner time, 6pm every Wednesday for a month, where we can all pre-order the same scrumptious local food, then dial in to a Zoom video call, to share the meal, share conversation, and maybe even make some new friends across the city centre and waterfront.

Visit our project page to see which restaurants we’re partnering with this week.

Finally, watch the authoritative sources for information

The City Council has opened two helplines for the duration of this medical emergency – one for volunteers, and one for those in need of help. You can access more from the council’s Emergency Planning page here.

You can also follow the latest information from the council at facebook.com/covidliverpool and twitter.com/covidliverpool.

The local councillors for Central Ward have also published an information sheet here, about the support currently available.

Header image courtesy of Nelson Star, British Columbia, Canada.