The last few months have been different to anything we’ve ever experienced before now things are easing the big question is: What will life after lock-down look like?
Queuing to get into grocery shops, signs reminding us to keep our distance and the wearing of face masks in public seems like the plot for a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film! Never before have we wandered down barren supermarket aisles, feeling a tangible atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.
And yet here we are.
Although an announcement from the PM telling us that we should stay at home was expected, it still came as a shock. Overnight, households, shops and businesses entered into an uncertain future. And with that came a huge blow for charities. Fundraising events, sponsored events or gatherings to raise awareness of different causes were stopped or postponed.
Our working practices changed overnight. Embracing Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp video calls and working from home in order to both keep staff and service users safe and to deliver our vital support to vulnerable people in Coventry.
It can be said that a crisis brings out the very best in some. Perhaps the best example of this is the outpouring of support for Captain Thomas Moore, a 99 year old (now 100) RAF veteran who raised an astonishing £32 million pounds for NHS charities. (And a knighthood from the Queen, congratulations Captain Sir Thomas Moore!) A feat that simply could not have been accomplished without the generosity of the public. Many of those who donated may be facing uncertain financial futures.
At Valley House we’ve been overwhelmed with kindness. Large businesses have donated essentials to ensure our service users don’t go without. We’ve received hand sanitiser and cleaning products, nappies, baby formula, pasta and tinned food. The Coop distribution centre, Pro-Logis Park and Morrisons Supermarket repeatedly making donations.
Life after lock-down – the future of Valley House
We have worked hard to ensure that our offices are safe for all our staff and essential visitors. We have new hygiene procedures in place, our offices have been re-arranged to accommodate social distancing. We’ve added screens to some work spaces and provided visors for all our staff. We continue to evolve our working practices, keeping our service users at the centre of everything we do.
We are unsure when we will be able to recommence our community fundraising events. This year we have cancelled our Easter Fun Day and our Summer Open Day. Due to social distancing rules, it is unlikely that we’ll be holding our annual Halloween or Christmas open days. But this means we ensure our events planned for 2021 are better than ever!
How can you support charities at this time?
There are lots of things you can do to support charities at this time. Even if you’re not in a position to make monetary donations.
As a starting point, do you know what charities there are in your area? Explore what’s around and follow their social media pages. Simply liking, following and sharing on social media helps raise awareness of different organisations and makes more of a difference than you realise. Helping a charity during your daily social media scroll, we like the sound of that!
Consider completing an event and getting sponsorship, it could be a run or cycle ride. Could you add a few items to your weekly shop to support a charity? Pet food for an animal shelter or tins for your local foodbank?
If you are in a position to, one off or regular donations are a great way to support charities. Do your research and support a cause you really care about. This could be a large national charity or a smaller local charity.
If you’d like to donate to Valley House, and help us support vulnerable people in Coventry, you can do so here.