Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Consider a community-centred approach to supporting mental health and well-beingÿ.
Health and wellbeing

Lockdowns, shielding and school closures have significantly reduced social contact for many people, including older people, children, people with underlying health conditions and those with disabilities. Prolonged isolation from family, friends and social activities poses significant risks to mental health and well-being. To address the impacts of this, consider:

  • Establish a community-led mental health and well-being initiative, to support those who may be at risk of more serious distress, to keep people in the community connected and enable socialisation for those who are isolated
  • Provide Psychological Frist Aid (PFA) training for those involved in the initiative (see TMB 17)
  • Involve local voluntary organisations and groups, and local businesses in establishing and funding the initiative
  • Develop a 'check-in' system to build relationships with people in the community and develop an understanding of needs and concerns of those shielding or isolating
  • Establish a buddying or be-friending programme to enable local volunteers to support the needs of people in the community by shopping for food, picking up prescriptions or simply just calling virtually/popping by for a chat from the garden:
    • Match a volunteer buddy with up to 10 vulnerable adults/families
    • Buddies can link those who are isolating into existing groups and social activities in the community
  • Set up online social activities:
    • Virtual story-telling for children by senior citizens, and vice versa
    • Weekly bingo, book club, quiz night, coffee mornings and kids discos
    • Add humour and prizes for all, such as drawings made by children, to mitigate competitive behaviour in games
    • Online home exercise classes or gardening tutorials
  • Recognise that vulnerable people who are isolating may not have access to the internet for virtual activities so also run non-online events:
    • 'Door-step book club', where buddies call to those shielding and discuss books from the person's garden, ensuring they are socially distanced
    • Encourage community donations from businesses/households of unused computers/tablets
    • Develop and deliver local newsletters to include activities such as crosswords/puzzles, and stories written by community members
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Consider how to involve young people in response and recovery to promote sustainable and inclusive initiatives
Planning for recovery
Learning lessons

In Palestine, officials invited young people to share ideas that they felt could help address the impacts of COVID-19. This has been supported by successful initiatives such as the establishment of a Youth Committee on the Palestinian Water Authority as a means of helping to develop the sector. Members of the Youth Committee were also involved in the 2020 Palestinian National Development Agenda. The Palestinian government and Youth Committee have built on their learning and expertise in these sectors to provide innovative ways of addressing COVID-19. Consider:

  • Placing Youth Committees at the heart of public awareness campaigns about areas they have been involved in e.g. in Palestine, water consumption and management during COVID-19
  • Utilise young people in the creation of innovative smart apps, and online information e.g. in Palestine, the "PalWater App", which provides a platform for customers and service providers to communicate. The application also acted as an alarm reporting system where young people could upload live images and their locations to help citizens notify local authorities of real-time issues
  • How involving young people in COVID-19 recovery and resilience can help to build integrated and sustainable long-term solutions e.g. in Palestine, the water sector initiative is being replicated with the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development to establish more youth committees at the local level
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