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.

02 Apr 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.

We ask that until end of May 2020, all offline activities, meetings, and gatherings be cancelled. Where possible, we recommend you move them to online meet-ups.

Pausing lobbying activity

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

At the moment, it’s right that both the UK government and local governments - both elected officials and staff - are prioritising dealing with the immediate public health crisis.  

In this context, Friends of the Earth is pausing our lobbying of government and councils to allow them the maximum space to respond to the pandemic and support our communities.  

We strongly encourage you to do the same and hold off on lobbying elected decision makers. When the time is right, we will look to resume our engagement with decision makers to build a fairer, healthier and sustainable future for all. 

Pausing your group's lobbying activity doesn't mean you have to stop campaigning altogether, there's plenty that can be done behind the scenes.

Read our guide to campaigning at home

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. 

We've also created new webinars including:

  • Campaigning in the context of coronavirus to discuss what this means for local campaigning, how to keep your group safe and resilient, and crucially how you can continue to campaign using digital tools.
  • Care and Connection to provide an opportunity to meet other campaigners, chat through how we're feeling and share tips for maintaining well-being. 
  • Introduction to Zoom to learn how to use the tool Zoom to host your online meetings.
  • Introduction to Action Network to learn how to use our free online petitioning and email list building tool, Action Network.

Register for a webinar. 

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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