Shielding and support for you
How you can help others
There are lots of ways you can join the effort to support people during this pandemic – even if you’re shielding.
If you have vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours, there are lots of ways you can stay in touch with them while you’re shielding. You could schedule regular calls (or video calls) in place of your usual face-to-face catch ups. Skype, Facetime, Google Duo, Zoom and Houseparty are just a few of the apps that allow you to video call several people at once. Regular texts or emails are a good way to check in, too.
Ordering groceries from local businesses is a simple but effective way to support your local community over the next few weeks – their deliveries can arrive quicker than supermarket deliveries, too. Food producers, wholesalers, cafes and restaurants up and down the UK are now delivering fruit, veg and other basic staples.
Some local councils are publishing information about local grocery delivery services on their websites. Another good way to stay updated is to follow local cafes or suppliers on social media, or type ‘local grocery delivery in my area’ into your search engine to see what comes up.
You can still volunteer to help from home. In England, the NHS has launched the GoodSAM app, where people can sign-up to support vulnerable people with things like delivering food and medicines. If you’re shielding, there are also opportunities to make regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home. The service has temporarily paused recruitment to process the initial influx of applications, but it will update its web page when this changes.
In the meantime, many local volunteer centres are looking for people to make regular phone calls to those who are shielding and isolated.
In Scotland, Ready Scotland has information about signing up to provide telephone support.
In Wales, you can search for home-based volunteer opportunities on the Volunteering Wales website.
In Northern Ireland, sign up to Volunteer Now to find remote volunteering opportunities.
There are plenty of ways you can share other skills from home, too. Reach Volunteering is looking to connect skilled professionals with charities in need of extra resource during this difficult time. Join their online community to see if you could help.
And it’s not just business skills that can help. People are also looking for ways to look after their mental well-being and keep busy. If you’re an accomplished baker or an expert on the yoga mat, why not record a video tutorial to keep your family and friends occupied? You could even upload your video to YouTube if you’re feeling brave!
There are lots of ways you can stay connected with the blood cancer community and help others while you’re shielding. Here are just a few:
- Share our coronavirus information with anyone you know who’s affected by blood cancer and spread the word about our support services.
- Join our online community forum and share things that have helped you while you’ve been shielding.
- Share your story with others affected by blood cancer. You could write about shielding with blood cancer, for example, or about coping with changes to your treatment. Include things that have helped you, which others might benefit from.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep updated with ways you can help. You can also share our social media posts to help our campaigns reach more people.
- The most important thing you can do over the next few weeks is to keep yourself safe. But if you are still able to donate to charities, we would really value your support. Click here to donate to Blood Cancer UK.
Tell us about your experience
You can help improve support for people with blood cancer by completing our impact of coronavirus survey. The results will help us understand the impact on people with blood cancer and help us support clinicians and the NHS.
Keep updated about coronavirus and blood cancer
Join our mailing list for key updates about coronavirus for people with blood cancer, what we're doing to help, and ways you can help, including campaigns you may be interested in
Support for you
Call our free and confidential helpline on 0808 2080 888 from Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm, and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 1pm.
We are currently receiving a very high volume of calls related to coronavirus, so if you're not able to get through straight away, please leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
You can also email us if you prefer to get in contact that way. We'll usually get back to you within two working days, but due to the current rate of calls and emails we are currently receiving it may take us longer.
Talk to other people with blood cancer on our Online Community Forum – there is a group for coronavirus questions and support.
The following companies have provided funding for our coronavirus support, but have had no further input: AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Celgene, Gilead, Incyte, Kyowa Kirin, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda.