Ideas for supporting others during the Easter break
‘In this together’ is a phrase we are hearing often at this time of worldwide crisis, as we look to help others and our local community by acts of kindness, inspiration and encouragement.
I’ll bet your hands are already red raw from all the essential scrubbing –a personal ditty of choice to sing is Dead Man Fall’s Bang Your Drum with our very own FVC Curriculum Manager Des McCabe the Band’s lead singer.
But I am sure they will also be aching from the joyous heart felt clapping we are all doing on a Thursday night to salute our heroic NHS staff, other emergency service workers, social care workers, scientists, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, public transport staff, sanitary services, engineers, tradesmen and women, military, charity workers, volunteers, and our leaders who are trying their best to get us through this epidemic.
Lockdown presents us with another problem with our hands, that of the idle variety which can lead to boredom and frustration…
So here’s some ideas and suggestions to help you support others - whether that be your family household, extended relatives and friends – or even the wider community this Easter.
Cooking and baking has always been a popular activity, but now more than ever we are seeing many try to become an amateur Heston Blumenthall by using a series of unused ingredients from the deepest darkest recesses of their cupboards to create a world class dish. But here's a Top Tip… NEVER, EVER try to mix up stewed prunes, cloves, Moroccan cous cous, angel delight and anchovies!
But if your efforts are a success, why not try sharing your dishes and treats with family, friends or neighbours to bring a smile to their face – whilst practicing safe social distancing of course!
Virtual day trips
Easter is a traditional time of year for getting away with your family…but current circumstances mean that this year, we’ll have to do something a bit different to keep spirits up!
So through the wonders of technology, you can now take a day trip to some of Scotland’s best tourist attractions from the comfort of your own couch. There are some great ideas here, courtesy of the Inverness Courier.
You can catch up with what the pandas are doing at Edinburgh Zoo through this www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams link. Alternatively you could go for a virtual walk around the ruins of Urquhart Castle at www.doorsopendays.org.uk or if you visit artsandculture.google.com, the Guggenheim Museum in New York might capture your imagination for an Easter of culture and you can also savour street views of the world’s top landmarks.
A final wee Easter flyer would be to check out where the next big real estate boom is going to be with a site to help you have a look at the surface of Mars accessmars.withgoogle.com … and that brings us once again back to chocolate!
Keep in touch
There are many ways over the Easter period where we can show support for the local community. We can check in (using social distancing of course) with elderly or vulnerable neighbours, call and speak with family, friends and work colleagues and use the innovative new film and mobile technologies to keep in touch with people to boost our own and their spirits. You’ll be amazed how a small act of kindness or communication can transform a person’s day and help to reduce anxiety and worry.
Many FVC staff members and students have already volunteered their services to help out with deliveries or even go back to caring duties with the NHS or at local councils.
For example, some of our Working with Communities students have set up a Community Hub to collect and distribute ‘isolation packages’ for vulnerable people in the Forth Valley area affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The magnificent seven strong HNC group have gone above and beyond their coursework by setting up the Facebook page to collect in essential donations of food and toiletries, to deliver packs out to people who are self-isolating for a fortnight due to the ongoing health crisis.
Simple things such as going online to donate to charity is a valuable and satisfying thing to do. We all know times are difficult financially at the moment for everyone, but charities are desperate for anything that can be spared right now to help them support some of the most vulnerable in our society at this time. Remember helping others, helps you psychologically.
The College has also been donating anything that could be of use for local people and the essential organisations, such as PPE.
Also when doing your weekly supermarket shop, it would be great to think of those without the means to feed themselves properly and drop some items into the foodbank boxes and baskets – you can rest assured it will be going to a great cause and helping someone in need… and if compassion is not what Easter is all about then what is?
It is worth remembering that normal everyday – but essential - hospital procedures, operations and surgeries will be taking place to save lives at the same time as the Coronavirus is being tackled by the NHS. So donations of blood are vital, perhaps even more vital, at this time.
Follow the rainbow
If you are feeling creative and want to be inspired by a nationwide social media movement then why not take part in the #RainbowTrail.
You can create your own rainbow through painting, drawing or through arts and crafts, safely indoors and put the design in your window to cheer up people out for their exercise walks.
Find out how one FVC student got her family involved here.
Help yourself and others
Finally, through the Easter period keep on following all the guidelines that are designed to keep you safe… your social distancing, hand washing, exercising safely, staying at home and remembering to take steps to maintain your mental health and wellbeing.
Have a Happy Easter!