Ideas for Support Through This Challeging Time


What a uniquely strange time we are living through. I have wondered whether writing a post here, or on any of my social media channels, would be seen as frivolous - but I know I'm personally taking comfort from other people on social media, and welcoming their joy, optimism, and creative strength.

I was saying to my lovely postman, Angelo, only yesterday - I feel like this pandemic has had a similar effect on people as alcohol; it has made their underlying personality traits larger. Charitable people are showing themselves to be truly wonderful.

As such, I thought I would share something here that I found on Facebook, written by Nathanial Tapley (a friend of a friend, thank-you for the introduction Hannah!). I had a comment straight after posting this on FB from another friend, Thea, who said she's calling her local toy shop to cater for her son's upcoming 7th birthday; I applaud her reasoning. This is a time to be creative about how we spread the love, and support each other.

I am not a medical professional, obviously, but I'm currently well, and able-bodied, so there is a strong argument for volunteering to help, wherever possible, with whatever needs doing for less-than-able people, via sites like NextDoor and also by searching for COVID-19 Mutual Aid groups (here's a link for you, if you live in the UK). I've lost track of the number of people who now have my phone number, data protection be damned! But, even if we're not able to help in person, I found the advice below to be sound, and costs nothing.

Our individual circumstances are unique; but we face a shared challenge in the weeks ahead - please add any useful links, comments, or advice for other ways in which we can help each other.

Sending you love wherever you are, whatever your circumstances x

Gema x

Hello! If you're an employed person working from home at the moment, here's a thing.
Many of your favourite comedians, musicians, actors & creative types are facing a bleak few months. Their gigs have been cancelled.
Here are 8 low-cost / free things you can do to help.
1) Subscribe to Youtube channels! Ads probably won't make anyone huge money, but comments and likes help your favourite people fight their way through the algorithm. Numbers will also be useful when everyone's crawled out of their holes & commissioners are commissioning again...
2) If you have Amazon Prime, you can subscribe to your favourite Twitch people and they get paid cash money for each subscription. It costs you nothing and makes actual money for those people who know how to say funny things & play games at the same time.
3) Subscribe to their podcasts. Yes, I know, but it's an actual free thing that you can do that can help people make a living. If you listen and evangelise about your favourite podcasts, you could help someone you enjoy pay their council tax next month.
4) Buy something from their shop. If you've been eyeing up something someone's made, this month would be a great time to get it and enjoy it while you've a lot of time on your hands. Etsy, ebooks, gig downloads: now's the time!
5) Join their mailing list, if they have a mailing list. They might not have any gigs you can come to or products you want, but maybe they will in the future. The bigger their mailing lists are, the easier it is to keep doing the things you love.
6) Patreon. If they have a Patreon, why not pop on at their bottom level, as a little I-appreciate-what-you're-doing-please-carry-on which might help them get a bit of shopping in or cover a utility bill.
7) Subscribe to their Soundcloud. Help make that fee they pay for uploading stuff feel less painful.
8) Send a message saying how much you like their stuff. In the absence of material help, just a heartfelt message can make all the difference, and can make the long nights wondering why we keep trying to do this feel worthwhile.
9) (added) Here's another! Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter & IG. It costs you nothing but "social media reach" means a lot to the sorts of people who might give them money.


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