Coronavirus guidance

Our recommendations regarding coronavirus and resources to support you during this time. We will continue to monitor government advice on the subject and will review and update this page accordingly. Please do check back regularly.

06 Aug 2020

During this time, Friends of the Earth’s priority is to ensure the safety of our network and our wider society. We must take appropriate steps to look after those most vulnerable to COVID-19 – in particular older people and those with underlying health conditions.

In-person events and activities

As lockdown restrictions ease, you may want to resume face-to-face campaigning and organise in-person events. However, we strongly encourage you continue holding meetings online for the time being and refrain from organising any in-person campaign activity.

We should exercise caution as official guidelines continue to evolve and differ from one area to the other. Please consider that some more vulnerable members of your groups and wider community may not be able or willing to participate in any in person events.

If you do decide to go ahead with any in-person activity it should be outdoors. Please follow the guidance provided by national authorities and stick to any local restrictions that are in place. Note that you'll need to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment or your group may not be covered by our insurance.

Lobbying activity

The coronavirus pandemic is requiring an unprecedented response from our NHS, essential services and government at all levels. 

At the moment, the UK government and local governments - both elected officials and staff - are prioritising dealing with the immediate public health crisis. And we should allow them space to respond to the pandemic and support our communities.

Therefore at this time, we suggest that you campaign on issues that are urgent or that are of particular importance at this time. 

For example, you may want to respond to emerging council plans that are concerning for the climate. Or you may campaign on timely issues such as demanding a green and fair recovery plan.

In all your campaigning, please keep in mind the strain many services are currently under. And make sure to communicate sensitively to decision makers and your own community. 

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. 

Read our coronavirus messaging guide.

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 make the shift to campaigning online.

Read our guide to free digital campaigning tools.  

Solidarity

Now is an opportunity to show solidarity with other people and groups in our communities.

Read our guide on supporting your community during the pandemic

Mental health

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. 

Extra support

If you are worried about losing money from venues that you’d previously booked please get in touch to see if we can support you with this.

And if you have any questions or a suggestion on how we can support you, please email localgroups@foe.co.uk

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