Helpful Guides

How to help when you feel like you can’t

When disasters occur that are out of your control, it may leave you feeling helpless. For example, the current crisis in Ukraine has greatly saddened people across the world and from all walks of life. We all want to do our bit to support those whose lives, families, and homes are at risk, but it can seem impossible when the situation is so far away.

However, there are steps you can take to #StandWithUkraine or help in other situations that may seem out of your control.


Financial donations

One of the best ways to support others in times of crisis is via a financial donation. These can be quickly and easily sent to the areas that need them most and used in the most effective way.

Whether it’s a national or international emergency or an ongoing cause that needs support, a range of organisations often launch appeals or set up donation sites.

To make sure you are making your donation safely and it reaches the intended cause, check that your charity is genuine before donating. Ask the charity for more information if you are unsure. In the UK, any charity with an income of £5,000 or more must be registered; you can search the charity register to check.

For the crisis in Ukraine, an excellent way to donate is via the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal, where the UK Government has matched pound-for-pound, £25 million of public donations.

Raising money through events and activities

Not everyone has the surplus funds to donate from their own pocket, and if this is the case, an excellent alternative is raising money through sponsored activities or events. There are so many things you could do to raise funds for a charitable cause: It could be a sporting activity, such as a sponsored run or swim, you could use your creative skills to bake a cake or host a talent contest, or maybe you could offer a service to family, neighbours and friends, such as a car washing or gardening. Larger charities usually have many ideas on their websites and will often send you a pack to help with your fundraising.

Collecting funds is so much easier these days, too. Paper sign-ups have been replaced with digital platforms, such as JustGiving, which allow sponsors to donate online, with the funds going directly to your charity.

Increasing awareness

When international crises, such as Ukraine, occur, they are often widely publicised. However, other areas of need or suffering, such as critical or chronic illnesses or disabilities, can be less well-known and therefore raising awareness helps promote support.

Social media is a great place to share information about worthy causes, but be vigilant of false information and make sure you are not contributing to its spread. Look for well-established sources that you recognise and trust when sharing information or interacting with it on social media.

Sending supplies

Although the donation of essential supplies is well-meant, sometimes they can cause issues by obstructing supply chains and hindering the delivery of what is most needed. If you wish to donate supplies to a charity, always check what is required first. Clothes, first aid and toiletries are often the most needed items, but charities will have a list to guide you.

Apply to be a sponsor

In situations such as the Ukraine emergency, there are sponsorship schemes that help refugees, who are forced to leave their homes, come safely to the UK. For this current crisis, the government is due to launch a sponsorship scheme that will match people, charities, businesses and community groups to Ukrainians who do not have family ties to the UK. Further details can be found here.

Although it can initially feel like you can’t help when crises occur that are far away or out of our control, there are often several things you can do that will be of great value. If any of these issues are causing you to feel worried or anxious, or if you’d like to talk them through with someone, please get in touch with The Fircroft Trust. We’re here to help.

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