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Stories of solidarity, resources, and a message from ONE UK during COVID-19


We’re experiencing a shared moment unlike any in living memory. COVID-19 is affecting our lives, our local communities, and the whole global community simultaneously. However, despite the challenges facing us all, there are countless examples that give us hope.

People at all levels of society are coming together, proving that they can and will do whatever it takes to curb a crisis that threatens us all. Even though we are all at home, we can still share our voice. Together, let’s use our voices to reach our friends, the media, and members of Parliament to thank essential workers in the NHS in the UK, and to stress the need for access to vaccines and strong health systems all around the world.

If we can now show that we are able to look out for each other, we can take this mentality further into the fight to end extreme poverty and preventable deaths by 2030.

Stories of hope from our community

We asked ONE’s global community for their stories of hope and solidarity. Here are two from our community.

I joined ONE this year and I think something that it has taught me is to really value what I have in comparison to others. I work in healthcare and I understand how privileged I am to be able to walk and talk as not everyone has this opportunity. During these times we should appreciate what our government and NHS is doing for us. During this time let’s think about what we can do to give back to our peers and our society.
— Will Phipps, student, first responder, and ONE Youth Ambassador, UK

At this time when the whole world is coping with this virus, people are coming together, helping each other, caring for each other, and looking out for the vulnerable in the community. When this virus comes to end, hopefully the world will be changed for the better, where people are still helping the vulnerable and the discriminated, and people’s behaviour have changed. They say that a crisis brings people, communities, countries together. Let’s hope this crisis has changed the world for the better.
— Alfredo Pellegrini, ONE Supporter, UK

How you can help locally

A great way to contribute your time right now is to work with established organisations that already have connections with local services in your area.

The UK government has guidance on how you can help and, importantly, how to do so safely. If you live in Scotland, Ready Scotland has the latest information. If you live in Wales, visit gov.wales/safe-help or llyw.cymru/iachadiogel for the latest information.

Here’s a list of charities and organisations currently looking for support:

  • NHS England are recruiting volunteer responders to take on driving or befriending roles to support 1.5 million vulnerable people. NHS trusts in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are also taking people on.
  • The British Red Cross are hiring in preparation for local emergencies. And FareShare and Trussell Trust need volunteers and drivers to handle donations.
  • Age UK are looking for befrienders to stop older people feeling lonely.
  • Covid Call links you up with people in isolation to provide support or a chat, and Crisis Text Line runs a free 24/7 confidential support by text.
  • World Harmony Orchestra arranges musical performances for those isolating.
  • Be My Eyes connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers.
  • Reach pairs volunteers with 3+ years professional experience with charities.
  • Bankuet allows those who can’t donate food to foodbanks to give cash

Resources and recommended reading

We’ve put together a list of resources for at-home activism  — from ways to stay involved from home, to online activism classes and online museums.

You can also catch up on our latest blog coverage: Here’s why we need a global response to this global pandemic — and how we can achieve that. Here are key facts to know and what we can learn from the pandemic. We’ve also rounded up 5 major health organisations taking action globally against COVID-19. 

Our CEO Gayle Smith explores the need for collective global action, and Rwanda’s former health minister explains why we need global solidarity in health more than ever before.

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