Helping local Age UKs – coronavirus advice
There are many ways you can help Age UK. The main one is by donating to our coronavirus emergency appeal, which aims to raise £10 million so we can continue to be there for older people during this crisis and the period of self-isolation it’s led to.
You can also support older people in need by donating your time either independently or through the local Age UK organisation in your area. Find out more about how to get involved below.
What are local Age UKs?
There are more than 130 local organisations and national partners in the Age UK network, each an independent charity meeting the needs of older people specific to their area. Typically, they do this by providing a range of services, such as in-home befriending, group fitness classes or hospital discharge support. However, these organisations are now adapting their services to meet the urgent needs of older people due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
How can I help older people?
The most important thing you can do is adhere to social distancing guidance and maintain good hygiene. You should still stay at home as much as possible and limit your social contact with people outside of your household and social bubble. When you do go outside, you should maintain a distance of at least two metres from people you don’t live with. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, dispose of the tissue, and wash your hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap.
If you or anyone in your household or support bubble develops symptoms of coronavirus you should book a test straight away and self-isolate. You should also self-isolate if you are advised to do so by the test and trace service. For more information on when to self-isolate and how long for see our page on test and trace.
Information about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out more about coronavirus, its symptoms and how it's spread, and the latest advice from the Government.
If you feel well in yourself, no one in your household has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus, and you have not been advised to self-isolate by the test and trace service, you can support older people who may be in need in your community by using the neighbourly volunteering guidance.
The local Age UK nearest you may also be in need of volunteering support. To find out what roles are needed in your local area, complete our volunteer enquiry form.
Can people aged over 70 volunteer?
People who are over the age of 70, have underlying health problems which mean you are at greater risk, or live with or care for someone who is more vulnerable are more at risk from coronavirus. That doesn't mean that you can’t go back to volunteering, but it’s a good idea to think about extra precautions you could take to volunteer safely.
Some volunteering roles come with greater risks than others, but it might be possible for you to adapt your role to make it safer. We've got more guidance on our page on returning to volunteering.
Can my business help?
Perhaps your business is able to donate, or provide goods (particularly food and technology) to support our local Age UKs. Read more about how your business can help, and get in touch with Age UK's Corporate Partnerships team.
Something to remember when you're volunteering
While volunteering you should not enter another person’s home, even if they are well. You should also maintain good hygiene while you are out and about - try not to touch your face, make sure you use tissues, and keep your hands clean. Remember to wash your hands before you leave the house and when you get home.