Five frugal ways to help your community during Covid-19

Picture of the Hadleigh town sign in the market place

Supporting the community in troubled times

Lockdown may be loosening, but life is unlikely to return to normal any time soon.

I don’t pretend to understand all of Boris Johnson’s changes, but many people with serious health conditions will still need to stay at home for months to come.

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Pinterest size image of box of books for my post on five frugal ways to help your community during COVID-19


So if you would like to make a difference during these troubled times, here are my five frugal ways for helping your community during COVID-19:

Volunteer for a local community support group

I volunteered to help with ‘Hadleigh Cares‘, the community support group in our market town during coronavirus. Hadleigh Cares helps the vulnerable and self-isolating by picking up shopping, posting letters, collecting prescriptions, walking dogs and organising meal deliveries from the local pub and caterer. I haven’t been able to run errands while we’ve been self-isolating, but I can still be a friendly voice on the phone when people ring in with requests. There’s a rota so I take calls roughly one day a week.

I think it’s amazing that so far the 150 volunteers for Hadleigh Cares have done hundreds of shopping trips and delivered more than 1,000 meals and over 500 prescriptions.

You can find a list of local community support groups here.


Box of books we put outside our house for people to help themselves

Bag a free book

Pass on toys, books and games to keep people entertained

Now we’re all stuck at home, I’ve had a bit more chance to declutter, and found perfectly good books and toys which my own children have outgrown. So we stuck a box of books outside our house, with a sign suggesting people help themselves.

It’s a win: win situation. Other children can enjoy books while our local library is closed, and we can shift stuff we no longer need. Otherwise, decluttering is tricky during lockdown, while charity shops and tips are shut, yard sales off limits and queues to post anything sold are so lengthy.

I’ve also benefited from a couple of novels when my neighbour down the road put out books she no longer reads.

Just remember to whip any stuff back inside if it starts to rain!

Picture of tea bags and instant coffee from my Aldi food parcel, to be given to our local food bank

Items for the food bank

Donate to your local food bank

With so many people facing financial issues due to coronavirus, there’s more demand than ever for food banks. So do think about popping a few items in the food bank box at a supermarket, or donating long-life tins and packets from your shelves. 

The Aldi food parcel I ordered included tea bags and instant coffee that we won’t use, so I’ve offered them to the Hadleigh Food Bank, which is doing amazing things during lockdown. You can find your nearest Trussell Trust food bank here,  or google your area and ‘food bank’ to find independent food banks as well.

Previous post: What does your food bank really need?

Picture of me in a radio Suffolk recording studio

Recording in a Radio Suffolk studio, back before lockdown!

Offer your skills

When lockdown first started, I was racking my brains about how I could help.  I’m not a key worker and I don’t work for the NHS. But I figured I could offer the skills I do have,  in helping people manage their money, and now I  do a weekly guest spot on BBC Radio Suffolk, sharing money tips during coronavirus with Sarah Lilley on her Sunday show.

There are all kind of reports about people who can sew making facemarks and scrubs, or those with 3D printers making face shields – what could you do?

Keep social distancing

Perhaps the biggest way to help combat coronavirus for free is social distancing, by staying 2 metres apart when leaving our homes. Goodness knows how it will turn out in practice, as people start returning to work, but it’s got to be worth trying where possible. So far, the NHS has not been completely overwhelmed. I do hope the economy can start getting back on track too.


Now – over to you. How are you helping your community during COVID-19, even if money is tight? Do share in the comments, however small, I’d love to hear – and maybe your actions will inspire others!


Want more frugal inspiration?  Do head over and join the Much More With Less #MoneySavingYear Facebook group, to share thrifty tips and support. It’s a private group so your comments won’t be splashed all over your friends’ Facebook feeds.

I’m linking up with Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five fabulously frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky

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  1. 15th May 2020 / 8:05 pm

    Love this post! I haven’t done much except stuff for my elderly parents who can’t leave the house and my daughter, who is vulnerable too. I have donated money to the food bank though. I will see if we have a group like yours locally as it is a lovely idea. Stay safe.

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 9:20 am

      Sounds like you are doing loads to support your community, if you’re helping your parents, daughter and donating to the food bank. Next on my list is attempting to make some face masks.

  2. 18th May 2020 / 5:36 pm

    I love this! We have racked our brains too, to come up with ways we could help during this time. Thankfully we found a West Midlands group that we could join to help make Facemasks, scrub bags, and headbands.
    As we are in the vulnerable group, we don’t go out at all and have found ways for the fabric and such to be dropped off on our front porch and we leave the bags there for at least a day before retrieving them and wiping the bags down with some bleach water.
    We just have to adjust ourselves and our ways in these very strange times.
    Stay safe and have a good week.

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 9:21 am

      Amazing that you’ve found safe ways to contribute, sewing. the masks, scrub. bags and headbands. Do you have a decent pattern for face masks? I’ve got my sewing machine out so no excuse for not getting started…

  3. 19th May 2020 / 9:34 am

    We are fortunate to be in a position to support artists through the #artistsupportpledge initiative on instagram.
    We are both also contributing to charitable efforts within our profession (the art world) by free writing, fundraising auction lots of zoom lectures and so on.
    I’m also helping our church (badly!) with adapting to facebook activities.
    And I gave blood!

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 10:23 am

      Sounds like you are doing loads! And great idea about giving blood, many of us could help that way – with added bonus of tea and biscuits 🙂

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