Coronavirus Covid 19 – UK Resources for Writers, Artists, Creatives, Freelancers & Small Businesses
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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.
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.
Pairs, small groups (everyone needs an account):
✨ Houseparty works for up to 8 devices.
✨ WhatsApp is great for up to 2-4 people.
Mental and physical health
Resources by people living with chronic illness:
- Physiotherapy Pain Association
- You Look OK to Me (Jameisha Prescod): Instagram | Website
- Natasha Lipman: community advice | Instagram | Website
- This Thing They Call Recovery: Instagram | Website
Tips from disabled and chronically ill people:
Helpful resources for creators and freelancers
Check with your local councils, arts bodies and sector organisations for grants and support.
Creative activities and happenings
Places to post your writing:
Lighthouse Books Lift Raft - writers, readings, discussion - #LighthouseLifeRaft
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
Women in the Arts Scotland (Facebook group)
Proposals & Interventions:
More to come! Join my mailing list for writing & drawing prompts.
Rest, relaxation, low-energy, during flare-ups, recovery or illness:
- Binaural music
- Digital radio
- Borrow audiobooks from your local library
- Poetry: Scottish Poetry Library | The Poetry Society | The Poetry Foundation...
- Books & journals - please try to support indie publishers and bookshops - many local bookshops are offering online/delivery services....
- Support new and independent magazines, like, Gutter, Extra Teeth, Sick, Shoreline of Infinity...
- Many publications publish some of their prose and poetry online, including The Selkie, Litro, Middleground, The White Review, Ambit...
- Use an eReader to reduce pain, eg Kindle, Kobo (libraries lend eBooks)
- Reading lists/inspiration
- Mindfulness apps: free/freemium | mixed list 1 | mixed list 2
- Stream series and films: Netflix (with friends), Prime, BBC iPlayer, etc
- Rest for strength (see the Nap Ministry on Instagram)
- That hobby you kept meaning to start
- Class Central (search engine for free online University courses)
- Open University free courses
- Continue your anti-racism work - check out Everyday Feminism, Rachel Cargle and Layla F. Saad's Me and White Supremacy workbook.
- Many creators and teachers are providing online classes/activities.
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).