COVID-19: Connecting With Your Community

There is an incredible wave of compassion and goodwill within our communities. People genuinely want to help. But we need to work together to ensure the most vulnerable within our communities don’t get forgotten. Cinnamon have put together some top tips to encourage effective community connections.

  • Coordinate efforts – Individuals want to help, but effort will be increased if we can work together. Think about setting up task force at church, that can work together to reach out and connect with voluntary groups, foodbanks, local businesses and local authorities.

You can link up with foodbanks in your local area such as Trussell Trust or the Independent Food Aid Network.

  • Does the NHS need your church? – Church halls are a great resource. As the NHS adapts their services, could your church be used as blood clinics or for midwife appointments?
  • Have a single point of contact – You can easily set up a Facebook page or use the NextDoor App to coordinate efforts and host information. It’s helpful to post information about your local area in one place. Make sure you have someone who takes responsibility for monitoring the page, so nothing is missed.

Take a look at how the town of Kendal is coordinating efforts via Facebook.

Kendal photo courtesy Jonny Gios

  • Mobilise teams by region – Even within towns, it’s helpful to have volunteers who take responsibility for reaching out in particular areas. They can help to coordinate leaflet drops, shopping deliveries and phone call outreach in that area.
  • Keep in contact – If you run an initiative such as a lunch club, Debt Advice Centre, or prayer group, then make a point of reaching out to those who normally attend and offering to continue that contact via email or online. You can use free tools like Zoom or Skype to stay connected.
  • Reach out further – While you may know of elderly or vulnerable people within you church who are having to self-isolate, there will certainly be plenty of others who you don’t know of.

You can quickly print off some leaflets offering support and drop them through letter boxes in your area. You can offer to run errands, collect shopping or just provide a listening ear at the other end of the phone.

  • Encourage everyone to get involved – Those who are having to self-isolate may feel that there is little they can do to support others, but they have much to offer. They can phone, Facetime, Skype and text encouragement to others and, of course, they can continue to pray fervently for all those impacted.

 Love your neighbour as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:31