Coronavirus Covid 19 – UK Resources for Writers, Artists, Creatives, Freelancers & Small Businesses

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Hey, I'm Jeda. I'm a Scottish writer & poet + digital marketing specialist and I love helping people with professional development and building communities.

We are in an unprecedented time. The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting every single person on the planet in a multitude of ways. I wanted to share some resources I've found helpful - please share with your colleagues, networks and friends who run small businesses, arts organisations or are self-employed freelancers, especially folk in the creative industries.

Creativity helps us finds solutions to problems as well as explore what it means to be human and have fun! I believe everyone is creative though sometimes we need a little help to tap into it.

We're really going to need our creativity in the coming months and I'm planning to share activities (like writing prompts) we can do while we find our way through this storm.

I'm also disabled. I have a chronic condition (fibromyalgia/chronic pain) and, like my friends in the chronic illness and disabled community, we are bosses at coping with the unconventional, like how to work and play when bedbound, housebound, ill for long periods, or self-isolating. Social distancing? We got this!

If you'd like to receive creative prompts over the coming weeks and months, sign up to my mailing list or follow me on the socials (@jedapearl). FYI I'm based in Scotland, so some resources are UK-based & I'll add more as I find them. Feel free to email resources to me jeda@jedapearl.com and I'll add them. Comments are also open below. Okay, let's get to the good stuff.

BTW, all links open in a new tab

Medical & Government Resources + News

Huge thanks to all frontline medical staff, especially nurses, doctors and cleaners. Big up all our keyworkers - grocery store staff, rubbish collectors, teachers, scientists, postal staff, delivery drivers, journalists, parents, carers, creators, volunteers, activists and everyone making sacrifices/creating spaces and you - whatever small thing you can do makes a difference.

UK community & practical help

Covid Mutual Aid UK - find your local community group

Coronavirus Volunteering Edinburgh (Facebook Group)

UK school closures: Parent/Carers | Keyworkers

UK supermarkets shopping hours/restrictions via the Guardian

Support your local grocery stores

Shopping online? Select click & collect if you can, so home delivery slots are available for elderly, vulnerable, chronically ill and disabled people.

Stop panic-buying! Donate your overflow to food banks.

Business resources

Scottish Government Business Support Helpline:

  • 0300 303 0660
  • Mon - Fri 8:30 am - 17:30 pm

UK Government support for employees and businesses

Connecting in isolation - video calls

Large groups, hosting meetings, delivering interactive workshops:

To cover all your video call work & play needs, I recommend either:

Zoom (40mins free, up to 100 people) or

Cisco Webex (unlimited minutes free, up to 100 people)

They both cover lots of needs, from live interactive classes, to recordings & much more. Download the PDF.

 

Simple 1-way class delivery: Use Live features on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to get some (limited) interaction via text chat; or upload pre-recorded videos.

Pairs, small groups (everyone needs an account):

Houseparty works for up to 8 devices.

WhatsApp is great for up to 2-4 people.

✨ There are lots of 1-to-1 video calling apps, such as Skype, Messenger, Google Duo, iOS Facetime.

Mental and physical health

Resources by people living with chronic illness:

Tips from disabled and chronically ill people:

Fitness and exercise:

 

Mental health: Mind | Breathing SpaceSamaritans

 

Bereavement: Cruse | Bereavement UK | Modern Loss

Helpful resources for creators and freelancers

Creative Scotland: Coronavirus advice (funding will be honoured); A-Z of support, funding & resources

Arts Councils: England | Wales | N. IrelandCreative Europe | Ireland

Support: Society of AuthorsIndependent Arts Projects - Coronavirus advice

The Dots support threadCovid-19 Freelance Artist Resource (USA & international)

Work: Disability Arts Online | Freelance Writing Jobs | Creative Scotland Opportunities

Check with your local councils, arts bodies and sector organisations for grants and support.

Creative activities and happenings

Literary happenings...

Places to post your writing:

Silver Linings, Hopeful Things - a digital open mic by writer Andrés N Ordorica

Places to share your poetry

 

Lighthouse Books Lift Raft - writers, readings, discussion - #LighthouseLifeRaft

Organisations to make connections: Scottish BAME Writers Network | Crip Collective

 

Creative inspiration...

The Remote Body - art, reading, performance - "fostering community & hosting remote events for the isolated in the current crisis & beyond, for all but prioritising chronically ill & disabled folx".

Covid-19 Creative Toolkit- creative prompts from multiple artists

Bluebellgray 10-min daily art prompts (not just for kids!) #artwithbluebellgray

Women in the Arts Scotland (Facebook group)

 

Proposals & Interventions:

Proposal: a platform focused on those in isolation

Eden Court Highlands and The Highland Council

 

More to come! Join my mailing list for writing & drawing prompts.

More tings

Rest, relaxation, low-energy, during flare-ups, recovery or illness:

 

Lifelong learning:

Why has it taken a pandemic to provide ubiquitous online access to events & education, plus ease of working from home?

Please be aware that disabled and chronically ill people have been fighting for years for many of the measures that are swiftly being put in place for everyone since Covid-19. And while it's wonderful to see the campaigning, listening, community support and digital access, it's been equally frustrating and upsetting to experience harmful ableist language and things like the sudden flood to digital, live streaming of events, education & classes or 'of course you can work from home' as a forced plan B or only for 'healthy' people/ableds. It never had to be either/or. Access should be for all, not a privilege. (Read this article in the Ecologist by Laura C Elliott.) Be aware of your privileges and consider how you can be a better ally.

Wishing you and your loved ones the strength to weather the storm (plus the wisdom and energy to help create lasting change).

You have reached the end (of the page), my friend. Jump back to the top!

P.S. You don't have to join my (sporadic) newsletter - I'll post prompts on my social networks too.