May 2020

Creating a go-to resource during COVID-19

Anais Richmond (Sociology 2016) is part of a team behind an online portal helping people through the coronavirus pandemic.

The 'What Can We Do?' hub brings together resources that will be useful throughout these unprecedented times.

Take one look online, and there is a plethora of information circulating related to COVID-19 – from different causes to which you can donate, to various challenges you should get involved in. And when we are presented with information in such quantities, it becomes difficult to know exactly where to start. That’s where the 'What Can We Do?' team decided to help.

“I’ve been unable to work during the lockdown, so I was looking for ways to help and support others,” Anais says. “I joined the NHS volunteer responders, and I also took up sewing so I could make masks for family and friends and scrub bags for the NHS.

“Then, the opportunity to help out with 'What Can We Do?' came along. Since graduating from Leeds, I have gained experience in the fundraising and volunteering sector, so I had something to offer the team.”

"I've been so inspired by my friends' positivity and eagerness to help during these difficult times."

Anais Richmond (Sociology 2016)

Anais joined the team of five – all volunteers – to create an online hub, bringing together all the different ways people can support themselves and others throughout the pandemic. “Our aim is to become a go-to resource. There’s an ever-growing number of opportunities to help others appearing online, and no single place to view them all. We’ve created that place.”

The hub contains a number of sections, ranging from information on the latest initiatives and petitions, to a collection of all the actions you could take to help – such as how to become a community volunteer, or how to support a food bank near you. There’s also a section of at-home activities to help people to be productive during lockdown.

For Anais, her primary focus is upon their most recent initiative; the COVID-19 Acts of Kindness Challenge. The #COVAKchallenge encourages people to undertake an act of kindness for themselves or for someone else whilst adhering to the government’s social distancing guidelines – such as delivering someone's shopping or sending someone a card. People are then encouraged to share pictures of their act on social media using #COVAKchallenge, before nominating three or more friends to do the same.

“I've been so inspired by my friends' positivity and eagerness to help during these difficult times that I thought the challenge would be a great way to highlight all the kind things that people are doing around the country and the world to support themselves and others.”

You can keep up to date on the latest initiatives and the most recent acts of kindness through the 'What Can We Do?' social media pages and website.