Foodbanks in the UK

Day 60 - 5 things you need to know about Foodbanks

Foodbanks in the UK

Foodbanks in the UK

Figures

UK Deaths: 33,186

UK Cases: 229,705

Worldwide Deaths: 295,072

Worldwide Cases: 4,386,821

Foodbanks in Lockdown

As the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds, foodbanks in the UK are working hard to ensure that no-one should be without food.  In the first two weeks of the pandemic, food banks in the Trussell Trust network saw an increase in demand of 81%.

In the past few months, a lot has changed. As the pandemic unfolds, everyone is adjusting to new ways of working and living, and unfortunately, a lot of us are dealing with difficult and tragic situations.  We are slowly adjusting to these changes and beginning to learn a new normal.

Here are 5 things you need to know about foodbanks in the UK.

1. The Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks. Side by side they provide emergency food and support to people in poverty.   They are also campaigning for the government to end the need for foodbanks in the UK.

Unfortunately, it takes more than just food to end hunger. The Trussell Trust use their experiences of food banks to challenge the economic issues that find people stuck in poverty.

Learn More

2. Facts & Figures

In the UK:

  • more than 14 million people are living in poverty
  • 4.5 million children are living in poverty
  • there are 2000 food banks in the UK
  • over 1.6 million food parcels given out last year

For the latest stats, see more here

3. Raising Awareness

Companies, celebrities and the community are working hard to raise awareness of the growing issue of poverty in the UK.

Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, The Entertainer, Palletforce, XPO Logistics and British Gas have worked closely with The Trussell Trust and charity group Fare Share to increase distribution and deliveries across the nation as the pandemic takes control.

Comedian Michael McIntyre raised funds by offering the chance to win a personal video chat, to help raise awareness during the #COVID19 outbreak.  Meanwhile, Singer Liam Payne has joined forces with the trust to support food banks as they see an increased need due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Local communities have pulled together during this crisis to support each other. Whether it’s checking in on elderly neighbours or delivering shopping to someone self-isolating or shielding.  The local community is at the very heart of The Trussell Trust.

4. How to help

What can you do? There are several ways you can help:

  • Volunteer – From helping at a local food bank to raising awareness in your local community and across social media.  Find out more here
  • Fundraise – During the lockdown, it requires a little more imagination, but there are still lots of ways to raise money.  Find out more here
  • Donate – Make a one-off donation, a regular donation or donate food to your local Foodbank via the supermarket.  Find out more here

5. End hunger and poverty in the UK

The Trussell Trust want to reach a future where no one needs a food bank. Even before the pandemic, they were seeing more and more people being pushed to food banks than ever before, that needs to change.

You can email or write to your local MP and tell them why they need to take action.  Ask them, as a priority, to:

  • End the five-week wait for Universal Credit
  • Ensure benefit payments cover the cost of living
  • Invest in local emergency support for people in crisis

It isn’t right that anyone should have to use a food bank in the UK.  We can make the difference by calling for change #ThisCanChange

Please help where you can and let’s end this together.

Fay x

For more posts in the lockdown diaries, click below:

Lockdown Diaries


The Lockdown Diaries

Day 57 - Losing My Identity

Figures

UK Deaths: 31,855

UK Cases: 219,183

Worldwide Deaths: 281,454

Worldwide Cases: 4,139,732

It’s Maternal Mental Health Week this week and seeing all the posts have reminded me exactly what I’ve come through and what others are still going through right now, every day.  Made even more difficult this year by us currently being in Lockdown.

Facts

  • Approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents.
  • The most common mental health problems experienced during pregnancy and after birth are anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Women experiencing maternal mental health problems:
    • Postpartum psychosis: 2 per 1,000
    • Serious mental ill-health: 2 per 1,000
    • Severe depressive illness: 30 per 1,000
    • Mild-moderate depressive illness and anxiety states: 100-150 per 1,000
    • PTSD: 30 per 1,000
    • Adjustment disorders and distress: 150-300 per 1,000.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics

My Story

I’ve written about my maternal mental health story previously.  However, seeing posts this week has brought so much of it back.  Did you know that suicide is still THE leading cause of death of mums with an under one-year-old in the UK (source: 2019 MBRRACE study).  Almost 12 years ago to the day, I nearly became one of those statistics.  It saddens me that this is still a statistic, that we are still having to raise awareness. However, it gives me great hope that people are now talking about this openly.  That we have organisations like the PMHP UK and advocates like Jo Love to help raise that awareness even more.

Reflection

These last two days of Maternal Mental Health Week are all about reflection.  I can look back and see just how far I’ve come, and that recovery is possible.  However, with the current lockdown, I can also see a return of some of those feelings I had, the isolation, the stress and anxiety, the feeling of failing as a mother.  At least this time I can recognise them and I know that things will get better.

For now, I take each day as it comes, and cannot imagine what it must be like to be a new mum/parent suffering in these times.  Here are some practical tips from Jo (Did I mention she is an awesome doodler too!) about some simple things we can do for new mums (and dads) during lockdown to help support them.

#supportingmumsduringdifficulttimes

So lets’ be supportive where we can, let’s think about what others may be going through at this time.  For sufferers, take time to read and realise that you are not alone, and things do get better.  For others, take time to listen and offer support where you can.  Life is so difficult right now that we need to ensure we don’t make it worse, take it easy where possible.  If making it through the day means literally that, then do it.  Everything else can wait.  If you feel lost, reach out.  And if you need a hug then I’m sending one right now.

Fay x

Helplines

Samaritans  116 123

MAMA 0845 120 3746

Charities

Family Action

Maternal Mental Health Alliance

Mind


top 5 online buys

Day 53 - 5 Awesome Things I've bought in Lockdown

Figures

UK Deaths: 30,076

UK Cases: 201,101

Worldwide Deaths: 261,205

Worldwide Cases: 3,777,569

So a lot of my posts recently have been quite heavy, or to do with my struggle during the lockdown.  Now I’m not saying that I’m no longer struggling (still on that COVID coaster as I heard it referred to #lovethat).  However, the more I write the more I realise that it would be good for us all if I shared a few more lighthearted pieces along the way too.  So, what better way to be lighthearted than to share my top 5 online buys during these last few months.

Slippers

Okay so my OH actually bought me these (we have matching pairs LOL), but I’d been looking at Mahabis now for a couple of years, and just couldn’t warrant that much on a slipper.  The OH in the meantime found and bought these beauties from Comfortfusse.  He bought at Sports Pursuit, but they only have limited stock.

Perfect lockdown comfort.

Comfortfusse

£33.00

top 5 online buys

Hair Colour

In someways lockdown was a blessing in disguise as I had decided to grow my hair.  Anyone who has grown from short to long will understand my thought process here, as that ‘mid’ stage is always so awkward.  Hopefully, this means I won’t need to share this stage with most people.

In the meantime, I’m trying to be good and just use semi-permanent dye to not damage my hair too much.  Maria Nila is perfect, great colour smells fab and keeps my hair soft.

Maria Nila Colour Refresh

£22.00

Mom Jeans

For the past few years, I have lived in my skinny ripped jeans. And for the past few months, I’ve been living in the lockdown uniform of joggers, tees and sweatshirts.  But last week I felt FANCY and decided to order myself some Mom jeans.

These Jeans from TopShop (via Next) are such a comfy fit, high waisted is not only on-trend but also covers that mum / COVID tum area #winwin.

Top Shop Jeans

£42.00

clap for carers

T-Shirt

I love a good Tee, especially a statement tee!  So what better during lockdown than this gorgeous specimen from Kindred.  I might have also bought the rainbow version for the ‘third child’.

Perfect for a Thursday evening at 8 pm and looks awesome with my FANCY mom jeans LOL.

Kindred

£20 (£15 for kids)

Steve Madden Trainers

Trainers

Most of you will already know that I have a thing for trainers (seriously who doesn’t?!) and a thing for animal print, so trainers with animal print are definitely going to be a winner.

I already have a pair of Steve Madden’s (via John Lewis) and they have become one of my most worn pair of shoes full stop.  So I decided that as a treat to me (I know, get me being all selfish and s**t) then every six months I would buy myself a new pair of trainers.

Steve Madden

£100.00

Some of the other things I seem to have purchased during lockdown are:

  • Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • iPad / iPhone Charger Cables
  • Lego
  • Batteries
  • Books
  • Shoe Laces
  • Binoculars
  • Masking Tape
  • Jigsaw

Is it just me or has anyone else gone a little online shopping crazy?

Must stop…

Next month…

Maybe…

Fay x


Get in touch

Day 50 - 5 Things I've learned in Lockdown

Figures

UK Deaths: 28,446

UK Cases: 186,599

Worldwide Deaths: 246,943

Worldwide Cases: 3,533,921

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


5 Things I’ve Learned in Lockdown

There is a lot of time to think during lockdown, a lot! So as the week’s pass there are things I’ve learned…

1. I quite like lockdown

I know it won’t be a popular view, but I actually don’t mind the lockdown so much.  I do miss seeing friends and being able to ‘pop’ out, but actually, when it comes down to it, I am pretty happy at home, to be honest.  In fact, it’s 7 weeks since I have managed to actually get further than the top of the lane.

It’s so bizarre to know that right now we are part of something that will be written about in History, that will change the world.  It’s fantastic that we are all recording and writing about it, as we have so much time on our hands. What a legacy.

Also, it has to be said, it is nice to know that by staying at home I am doing my bit!

2. The littles things mean so much more…

Saying ‘I love you’ to the boys every night, and hearing them say it back.

A hot cup of coffee first thing on a morning, whilst being able to take it back to bed for a bit.

Hearing the birds sing and seeing the sun shining as I wake up.

Cuddles with Daisy on an evening.

Receiving the post or a delivery.

Getting a food delivery slot LOL

3. Funny videos/memes always cheer me up.

I love receiving the latest satirical video, or silly cartoon. No matter how bad a day I’m having, when these ping through they always cheer me up.  Particular favourites are:

@forest_fr1ends (Childhood toys with adult humour)

@JaneyGodley (Scottish banter and she has a sausage dog)

@justmaiko (Cause in my head I totally dance like that!)

Oh, and if it features Trump then it’s a dead cert!

Any suggestions for me?

4. There are some really stupid/selfish people out there.

I’m not quite sure how many times it needs saying, but still, some insist on flouting the law, on risking their lives and that of others.  Road traffic is up, people still feel that house parties are acceptable, when will it end.

No wonder British people in the majority are fearful of a lifting of the lockdown too soon.  If we are already struggling with the rules, then relaxing them surely will give those already flouting the rules, even more reason to keep flouting.  Furthermore, the general public will start to ease down too, maybe get a little giddy with freedom.  Many countries have already seen a rise in the death rate since relaxing lockdown measures…

My mum is shielding, I’ve lost family and friends, I have friends going through more than any of us could imagine.  Stay home, save lives!

5. I have a real dislike of opinionated people.

Now before everyone gets excited and starts having a go.  I am all for everyone having an opinion, it’d be a pretty boring place if we didn’t.  However, my issue is with opinionated people who refuse to accept others’ viewpoints, or not give a second thought to others’ situations.

We live in a world where judgment is freely thrown around.  Where some people feel it is okay to ‘say it like it is’.  Yes, we should all feel empowered to say how we feel, but we should also take into account others’ feeling, others’ situations and others’ beliefs.

For sure if you are asked for your opinion then offer it up, but leave it there.  Do not go on to push that opinion down others’ throats, like it’s the only thing that matters.  Think about the opinion of others and why they may feel or act the way they do.  If you still don’t agree then fine, but at least you have taken the time to consider others.

Also, as a rule, if you are not asked, then leave it there. Uh, uh, don’t even say it, you haven’t been asked, so keep a lid on it.  Be a good listener, be a good friend, don’t be judgemental, and don’t force your opinion, that’s why it’s yours and no-one else’s!

What have you guys learnt from the weeks in lockdown?  How are you finding it?

Would love to hear I’m not alone,

Fay x


life goes on

Day 45 - Life goes on...

Figures

UK Deaths: 26,097

UK Cases: 165,221

Worldwide Deaths: 225,138

Worldwide Cases: 3,183,992

Life goes on…

So 10 days have passed since I last wrote.  My anxiety seems to have calmed quite a bit, the hand scratching has pretty much stopped.  I still watch the news but do switch it off to do lessons with the kids.  Homeschooling hasn’t really got much easier, except we’ve all kind of resigned ourselves to get on with it, and if it isn’t working one morning/afternoon then we call it a day and try again the next day.  But we always catch up…

…in a fashion.

In the news

Since I last wrote we, as a nation, hit over the 20,000 mark in deaths.  Only the fifth nation to do so, and we are second in the ‘rate’ of deaths, only surpassed by the U.S (which isn’t really much to brag about).

Donald Trump announced at a press conference that there could be the possibility of using bleach internally to ‘clean out’ the lungs, as a cure for COVID-19.  Yes seriously!  Worryingly calls to emergency services about bleach spiked in the U.S shortly afterwards.

This morning we got the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds welcomed a baby boy into the world.  Believed to be approx. 4-6 weeks early, both mum and baby are doing well.

Test, Test, Test

Tomorrow is the date set for us to reach 100,000 tests a day as promised by the government.  Funnily enough last week, testing availability was suddenly ramped up in terms of test centres, home testing, and mobile testing.  Then availability drastically relaxed this week, call me sceptical but do we think that was a desperate attempt to try and get somewhere near?!  They always covered themselves anyway as it was based on the ‘5 pillars’ of testing, one of which was antibody testing, which of course hasn’t been developed yet, so let’s wait and see what they say tomorrow.

Figures

England has finally announced that they will now include deaths in care homes and the community in our official daily figures.  It has taken some time and some pressure for this to happen, Scotland and Wales have been including for some time.  It is now thought that deaths in care homes amount for 1/3 of all coronavirus deaths (1/2 in Scotland).

My step mum died on Saturday 28 March, in a care home.  She had severe underlying conditions, and whilst there was no mention of Coronavirus, she would certainly not have survived if she had caught it.  She was so very ill, and this really was a blessing, but it didn’t make her death any easier.  We still couldn’t go and visit, couldn’t say goodbye, and couldn’t go to her funeral.

I worry care homes have been ‘forgotten’ about, left behind, unimportant in the grand scheme of things.  The staff and patients there laid open to infection with a lack of PPE, whilst going above and beyond in terms of care as the nation is in lockdown.  A story across the board within the NHS, but I do feel care homes and community medical care have been let down even more so.

Faith

I sit and watch a world repair itself, whilst it seems that mankind is being destroyed.  Faith would suggest that we need to witness how we have been destroying the world.  That we need to relook at how we treat each other and ourselves.  Perhaps then, COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to do this.

For all the parents told that flexible working wasn’t possible.  People with disabilities told that home working was not feasible.  A reduction by as much as 40% in carbon dioxide in some countries.  Even a glimpse of the Himalayas in India for the first time in decades.  How we decide as a nation, as a world, to come out of this pandemic is as essential, if not more, than the decisions made during the pandemic.

History in the making.

Fay x


is it just me

Day 35 - Is It Just Me?

Figures

Deaths UK: 16,060

Cases UK: 120,067

Worldwide Deaths: 161,904

Worldwide Cases: 2,358,351

Is it just me?

It’s been a difficult week for many reasons, but I do feel like 4 weeks in and I am losing touch with reality.  The more time I spend indoors, the more I forget that actually we are all just trying to get by each day.  That we are all stuck at home doing the best we can.  I think we become so insular, that all we think about is our own situation. Is it just me?

self-absorbed

adjective • usually disapproving

only interested in yourself and your own activities

Me, me, me

I was reminded by a good friend this week of just how self-absorbed I’d actually become (not intentional but needed).  I am on furlough at the moment and therefore sitting at home whilst seeing and knowing that colleagues are still working away has been hard.  Likewise, because I have been at home the whole time, it is hard to remember that actually life is not going on as normal whilst I’m at home.  I forget that it is not everyone at work as normal.  In meetings, sharing coffee breaks etc.  My anxiety takes over and I struggle not to take it personally, even though my logical brain knows fine well it was the obvious thing to do (I even offered myself for the scheme).

I do think that for the future we can learn a lot from this whole situation, we can learn the impact that it has on our workforces.  From key workers still battling away to keep us fed, safe and well, who aren’t paid enough.  To staff trying to work from home with limited IT and digital processes in place.  To furlough staff and ensuring they don’t feel forgotten about during the whole process.

However, that is exactly what it is, a learning curve, from a position that no-one saw coming, that no-one had planned for. We are all in the same boat…

“In the rush to return back to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”

beautyqueenuk.co.uk

So for me, it’s all about remembering that everyone is just trying to do the best they can, to get through each day, That we are all in this together, taking one day at a time.

Fay x

#stayhomesavelives


Easter Holidays

Day 30 - Easter in Lockdown

Figures

UK Deaths: 12,107

UK Cases: 93,873

Worldwide Deaths: 125,018

Worldwide Cases: 1,980,856

Easter

It’s been a strange week.  The Easter holidays mean that structure has gone out of the window.  On one hand, it has been nice having a break, but as each day passes, it becomes harder and harder to stay motivated.

Easter Sunday was particularly hard.  Traditionally, we spend Easter Sunday together as a family.  Enjoy a BBQ in the sun, or a roast around the table.  I found it hard to even get out of bed.  I miss my mum, my family, my in-laws and my friends.

Day to Day

Our days are now filled with the basic.  Taking time to make breakfast and a cup of tea.  Washing, Ironing (well okay, maybe not so much ironing), cleaning, all those things we hate, are now becoming things we look forward to, just because they are ‘something’.  In ways it is lovely to take the time again when so often we are always rushing.  However, it is also difficult because we know what we are missing.  It’s a hard balancing act and I hope this maybe teaches us all something about our work/life balance.

Online shopping, news bulletins, F5 to try and get an online delivery/click & collect slot.  The excitement if you do actually get a slot, it’s literally like winning the lottery!

I still haven’t managed to venture further than the top of the lane, thank god for the OH is all I can say.  He’s had to put up with a lot these past few weeks.  Not only is he still having to work (from home) in these strange times, but he’s also having to shop for us and vulnerable neighbours, as well as put up with my ever-decreasing mental state.

Each day is different and I’d guess he feels like he is walking on eggshells at the moment.  Yet still, he manages to make me laugh (most of the time) and gets on with everyday life to keep us all going.

The week ahead…

Thursday is the Monkey’s first day ‘back’.  The Geek and the Jock go back on the following Monday.  It’ll be a whole new way of learning for them and for me, for the whole country.  Not least for us because we only have two laptops between three of them (thank god I’m not working!).  The Geek bought his own so it’s not really fair to ask him to share, but there may be times.  So the Jock and the Monkey will have to share mine, this could be fun LOL.

Anyone else fearing the technological age of homeschooling????  Really wish I worked out how to log onto the school portal before now #panic

Fay x

#stayhomesavelives


The norm

Day 22 - The Norm

Figures

UK Deaths: 5,373

UK Cases: 51,608

Worldwide Deaths: 73,759

Worldwide Cases: 1,328,437

The Norm?

So it’s over 3 weeks since we as a family started isolating and 2 weeks since lockdown became the norm.  We are slowly getting used to the restrictions.  Meanwhile, around the world, the situation develops.  Some countries are seeing everything slow down after their ‘peak’.  Whilst others are just seeing the beginning of the pandemic hit.

Here it’s been another pivotable weekend.  Professor Chris Whitty (England’s CMO) hasn’t been heard from since he went into self-isolation last week.  It is past his 7 days, but still, we have heard nothing*.  Scotland’s CMO broke her own restrictions by travelling to her holiday home, twice!  She resigned this morning.  The Queen addressed the nation – only her fifth time since becoming Queen.  Last but by no means least, the Prime Minister was taken to hospital last night as a precautionary measure, his symptoms from the virus not improved in 10 days.

Easter Holidays

Typically as we have seen these last few years, the weather is abnormally pleasant.  However, unlike previous years we cannot flock to the coast, we cannot rush to the park, and we cannot crowd beauty spots.  It is indeed a lot to ask, and police forces across the country are worried it will be too much for some.  This weekend saw some London parks closed after people seemed not to understand social distancing and ‘necessary’ time out of the house.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to be in lockdown and not have some green space, to be stuck in a flat or apartment without even a balcony.  The prospect of several months must seem at times impossible, especially with young children.

I really do worry that the behaviour of the selfish or misguided minority, will lead to the sensible majority being ‘punished’ for even longer.

The New Normal

I must admit as concerning as each developing day is, most of this weekend has been a little easier.  The school holidays may be playing a large part to this…

Life as we know it will never be the same again.  But how soon we can get back to seeing our friends and families again, how soon before we begin to flatten the curve, is entirely up to us!

Stay Home, Stay Safe,

Fay x

*Chris Whitty appeared for the first time at the government briefing this evening.