News and views Views It's not just reading that you can help with 26th March 2020 Never before have the words ‘unprecedented’ and ‘challenging’ been more relevant. We are living through a period in history that has never been experienced by any living person. Right now there are thousands of negative stories in the press and devastating stories about COVID-19 that might make us welcome ‘lockdown’ to escape! However, at Coram Beanstalk we want to focus on the positives in life. When a crisis hits it is wonderful to see how local communities come together to help those who need support. Undoubtedly, our reading helpers, members of staff at partner schools and supporters will be wishing they could continue to make a difference during this period of time. Well, we are here to help! Here are a few ways in which you can be helping to make the world a kinder place during the COVID-19 crisis: Support the NHS The NHS is doing an outstanding job, but given the pressures that are being put on them, they are in desperate need of support. If you have time or capacity to help then visit their website to find out how you can help to lighten the burden. Also, in the wise words of Adam Kay, author of This Is Going To Hurt, if you know someone who works for the NHS ‘Ask them how their day was…let them understand they’ve always got someone to talk to’. Help your local community It’s heartwarming to hear how neighbours are checking on one another, picking up groceries for those who can’t leave the house and having a much needed natter over the fence to stop them feeling so isolated (hopefully keeping six feet away!). It’s not just your immediate family and neighbours that might need help though, so why don’t you sign up to a local schemes where you can provide your help when needed? Many of these schemes do ask for a DBS but since our reading helpers are all DBS trained then this shouldn’t be a problem! Mutual Aid COVID-19 has created a series of groups on Facebook that put local people in touch with those who most need the support. Help with more than just reading There is an abundance of educational resources right now meaning it’s hard to choose the best ones for any children you might be supporting. Coram Beanstalk has teamed up with other reading charities to help you find the best resources. By searching on social media using the hashtag #UnitedByBooks you can find the best resources out there. Coverage of the partnership has been covered by the i newspaper. Don’t forget about other vital skills that children need to keep on top of during this period, skills such as numeracy need to be kept sharp. National Numeracy has a great resource for you to use at home with children. We loved the Build a Rocket activity and how it links to maths in such a fun way. Also, the BBC's Tiny Happy People has fantastic resources for improving communication skills for children aged up to five. Here are five things to make you smile during the crisis BBC News has compiled five positive stories that have come out of this crisis that you can find here. Please do ensure you adhere to the Government’s guidance at all times, practice social distancing and only assist when requested by official organisations. Coram Beanstalk is here for all of our volunteers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Support Representative or contact us.