15 Feb 2022
Many of us are keen to meet and campaign in person now that most restrictions have been lifted. We should continue to follow all national and local rules as well as ensure we plan activities that are inclusive to all members.
As well as continuing to follow essential public health advice (hands, face, space and fresh air), Friends of the Earth local groups and Climate Action Groups should follow official public health legislation at all times.
Across and within each nation – England, Wales and Northern Ireland – laws and guidelines vary, please refer to the relevant governmental and local authority websites to find out about restrictions.
Before organising any in-person gathering or event:
- Consider more vulnerable people in your group and your community and plan activities that are as inclusive as possible, making every effort to enable them to participate. We suggest you continue to hold some of your group meetings online for example, so that those who can’t meet in person can stay involved.
- You will need to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment for all in-person activities where members of your group will interact with the public. Please send it to your group's relevant staff contact of the event.
If you're planning on attending an in-person event:
- We encourage you to take a lateral flow test beforehand even if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms to ensure you are not infectious.
- If possible, wear a mask at all times during the event.
- Do not attend any in-person event if you feel unwell or receive a positive lateral flow test result.
- Third-party events may have their own COVID-19 measures and guidance. Make sure to check these before attending.
Why not try hosting a hybrid event, with some people attending in person and some online?Wycombe Friends of the Earth have had success organising this type of event, and told us all about it.
First, they booked their local Friends' Meeting House which has a large screen TV and computer with camera and microphone. If your venue doesn't supply all of this, you could also bring your own. Just make sure the venue has wifi and that you've got the right cables to connect everything.
Then, the group set up a Zoom meeting as usual and on the day, they logged in to the Zoom account on the Friends' Meeting House computer.
We found it very easy for people to contribute either in the room or online via the Zoom meeting. I had been told that it was difficult to facilitate meetings run in this way, but I didn't find it any more difficult than a normal Zoom meeting. - Steve, coordinator of Wycombe Friends of the Earth
How to talk about the crisis
We’re living in unprecedented times. While we want to continue as much as possible to campaign on climate, we must be sensitive in how we do that – and how we communicate it.
It’s been noted how in some places measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus have resulted in a reduction in emissions, increased air quality, and in some cases, the ability of nature to return to spaces.
However, it’s incredibly important that we do not celebrate these as so-called "benefits" of the pandemic.
Digital campaigning resources
Coronavirus will change how we campaign. We’re working to provide you with the tools, resources and support you need so that you can continue to hold meetings and plan campaigning work if you feel able to do so.
To start, we’ve gathered a list of some free tools to help you campaign online.
We know it’s a scary and challenging time. It’s important than you take precautions to look after yourselves and each other.
For mental health support, reach out to your GP, or contact Samaritans on 116 123.
And if you have any questions or a suggestion on how we can support you, please email get in touch.