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MNHQ here: random but hopefully helpful/diverting lockdown links

54 replies

RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 13:46


Our inbox is filling up with emails from charities and non-profits - as well as a few other organisations - flagging up free resources to help families through lockdown, so we thought we'd start a thread to bring things to your attention.

Have a browse if you have five minutes to spare and you might find something diverting to pass the time...

(And of course feel free to add your own too)

NB we haven't tested or verified the links on here, although in lots of cases they are from organisations or people who we know to be legit.


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AnnaCMumsnet · 30/04/2020 17:51

The government Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) department wants to make sure everyone knows what their rights when it comes to cancellation policies as a result of Covid 19. (This includes weddings and nurseries)

They say:

"We have has launched a programme of work to investigate reports of businesses failing to respect cancellation rights during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

"The CMA has seen increasing numbers of complaints in relation to cancellations and refunds, which now account for 4 out of 5 complaints being received and so far include concerns about businesses refusing refunds or firms pressuring people to accept vouchers for holiday accommodation, which can only be used during a more expensive period.

"Based on the complaints received, the CMA has identified 3 sectors of particular concern:

  • weddings and private events
  • holiday accommodation
  • nurseries and childcare providers.

    "As well as examining specific sectors, the CMA has issued a statement on its views on consumer protection law in relation to cancellation policies and refunds."
AnnaCMumsnet · 01/05/2020 10:54

Here are details on free tutoring from the Coronavirus Tutoring Initiative. They say:

"The Coronavirus Tutoring Initiative (CTI) has been set up by several Oxbridge students in connection with Access to ensure that no child misses out on their education over the coming months.

"School closures risk increasing the disparity between those young people who can access private tutoring and those who cannot, so we aim to connect university students from across the UK with young people who need free tutoring in any pre-GCSE, GCSE, or A-Level subject. More information, including details of our safeguarding policy and training, can be found here.

"We have 2,000 fully safeguarding trained tutors signed up and ready to teach for free. We believe that the users of your website could benefit enormously from the support."

AnnaCMumsnet · 01/05/2020 11:36

If your children are bored there is a free collaborative storytelling platform for children called Storytag. They say:

"Storytag is a global creative writing platform set up by two advertising executives in their free time, offers a new way for children to collaborate, despite being geographically remote.

"The result of a lockdown project between two advertising colleagues from London, Storytag is bringing children around the world together to collaborate on short stories, from the safety of their homes.

"A play on the children's game "tag", which usually involves running around in a playground or garden, Storytag has taken this idea online instead. "Story starters" are created by adult writers, which are then distributed to anybody registered on the website, to complete the next stage of the five-part story. With 1,000 characters to play with, imaginations can run wild with infinite possibilities for where the plot might end up.

Over 150 people, from 11 different countries, signed up in the first week, Storytag, making it a global initiative. To ensure the suitability of the stories for such a young audience, every entry is reviewed by Storytag moderators before being released on to the next participant. For the same reason, adults will need to sign up on their child's behalf with their own email address. This also allows children and parents to create together. Find out more at Storytag."

AnnaCMumsnet · 01/05/2020 13:46

Fancy a free design your own Dream House PDF print out?

Bankrate, who developed it, say:

"Design Your Own Dream House pack for children, has been designed as a fun activity for children. They can cut out and customise their dream house - with handy PDFs and printables that are sure to keep young minds occupied during this lockdown period!

"This pack also includes fun add-ons, such as; a Candy Land bumper pack, and an Under the Sea bumper pack, which can be used to make their creation extra-special! Go to Bankrate's website to download yours."

ReactGirl · 01/05/2020 23:41

More resources here:

It's a list of Google docs about kids online activities, virtual field trips, working from home.

RowanMumsnet · 04/05/2020 15:40

Free telephone coaching for women aged 18-30 from the Young Women's Trust

They say: 'Work It Out is a free telephone and online coaching service which helps 18-30 year old women with work, life and building strong mental health. The service is all run over the phone and email so may be able to support young women who are feeling particularly isolated at the moment.'

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RowanMumsnet · 04/05/2020 15:59

Childnet's competition for budding filmmakers aged 7-18

They say: 'The Childnet Film Competition 2020 is now open for all young people to enter whilst at home. All young people across the UK can enter, no matter how much time or technology they have. We are inviting young people aged 7-18 to create a short online safety film to inspire their peers to create a safe, supportive and fun online world. The entries that make the final shortlist will be judged by a prestigious panel made up of David Austin (BBFC), Lisa Prime (BAFTA), Catherine McAllister (BBC) and Mark Reid (BFI). The young people who create winning films and storyboards will receive filmmaking and creative prizes for their school or youth group. The competition is a great chance for young people to show their creative flair, get hands on filmmaking experience, and inspire others across the country to stay safe online.'

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RowanMumsnet · 06/05/2020 11:25

180 new, quality and structured home learning lessons every week, covering reception to year 10, from the Oak National Academy

They say: 'Oak is a new online classroom, set up by teachers at some of the UK’s leading schools in response to school closures. We’ve been backed by No. 10 and the Department for Education. We provide 180 new, quality and structured home learning lessons every week, covering reception to year 10. These provide three hours of learning a day for primary children and four hours a day for secondary.'

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AnnaCMumsnet · 06/05/2020 17:08

Talking Tables have launched a free to enter competition. They say:

"It's a fun and creative competition for under 16's to enter; draw a colourful unique napkin design. The winning napkin design will go to production and be sold in nationwide retailers.

"All proceeds going to the Magic Breakfast– a charity that makes a real difference to lives of disadvantaged children. Go to to enter."

RowanMumsnet · 07/05/2020 09:10

The charity Sustrans has launched Sustrans Outside In, a four week feature in their parent newsletter, aimed at families amid Covid-19. They say:

"The four-week feature includes five activities themed for wellbeing, keeping active, being creative, investigating and ‘anything goes’. Each week also features a challenge and game to keep children active whilst at home.

Activities include tasks to design the ideal child-friendly street; a challenge for children to ‘rainbow bling’ their bicycle helmets, and a number of other challenges, games and activities to keep children active whilst at home."

You can sign up here.

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RowanMumsnet · 07/05/2020 09:14

Mental health charity Young Minds has produced a parent-to-parent guide to good mental health

They say: 'During this difficult time for parents and carers, particularly those looking after children and young people with mental health needs, YoungMinds has experienced an increase in traffic to the coronavirus advice on their website and many calls from parents to their Helpline about the impact of the pandemic on the young people in their care. Its new guide offers strategies and tips drawn from other parents as well as advice on how to look after their own mental health alongside their children’s.'

'In the new guide, the need for parents and carers to talk, listen and reassure children and young people is the top advice for supporting their mental health. Maintaining their daily routine and structure while keeping a level of flexibility is also important, as is limiting children and young people’s access to the news so as to avoid too much stress.'

'In terms of parental mental health, peer-to-peer advice emphasises the need for parents to practice self-kindness. They can do this by ensuring they make time for themselves in the day and not feel guilty about doing so, as well as not judging themselves too harshly when it comes to tackling tasks such as home-schooling. The guide also reminds parents and carers to seek help if they feel they need it by talking to someone they trust about any worries or concerns.'

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cathandlersupreme · 10/05/2020 16:32

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RowanMumsnet · 11/05/2020 12:08

Nominate charities or community groups to receive free drinks from Nourish by Jane Clarke

They say: 'Jane Clarke has been a dietitian for more than 30 years and runs a specialist cancer and dementia nutrition practice in London. She is a founder of Nourish by Jane Clarke and has recently launched nutritionally complete Nourish Drinks to supplement your diet when you need it most, whether you want a healthy energy boost or you have a health challenge that makes eating difficult.

Nourish by Jane Clarke would like to hear your suggestions for where they can deliver 2000 Nourish Drinks. In these difficult times, they would like to support those in need of nourishment. Please send your suggestions of a charity, local community group, care home or hospice where they could deliver a supply of Nourish Drinks.'

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RowanMumsnet · 29/05/2020 09:13

Participate in the free online Beverley Puppet Festival

They say:

'The Beverley Puppet Festival is one of Europe’s largest events of its type. We had to cancel the July live event and have instead gone online with a rolling two month offering of 25 puppetry workshops for people stuck at home in lock down. We are now in our second week and have already received lots of photos and videos of puppets which our online audiences have made and shared with us. Our education project has also launched with five care homes and sheltered housing facilities taking receipt of shadow theatre kits and an online video helping elderly residents create their own stories and share messages with loved ones they cannot visit outside.'

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RowanMumsnet · 29/05/2020 09:34

Join a huge symptom-tracker data effort to help scientists identify COVID hotspots as lockdown lifts

They say:

"You can aid COVID-19 research and help fight the virus. Download the COVID Symptom Study app and take just 1 minute each day to report your health. The app, which has over 3.7 million users, has been developed by health science company ZOE. Data collected is shared with and analysed by King's College London & ZOE research teams, and is supporting the NHS and scientists in the UK. It is endorsed by the Welsh Government, NHS Wales, the Scottish Government & NHS Scotland."

"The app allows you to report on behalf of other members. We encourage all parents to use the app to log on behalf of their children to help us better understand how the virus might affect kids and identify potential COVID hotspots sooner as schools begin to reopen. Together we can get out of lockdown safely and beat the disease."

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BojanaMumsnet · 02/06/2020 18:05

Parent Gym digital content

What they say:

"Many parents are having to juggle what would otherwise be two or three full time jobs: parenting, schooling, and their actual jobs.

"Parent Gym is helping parents during the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting existing Parent Gym content to be accessible in a digital format.

"We have selected the two themes we feel will support parents the most during this tricky time. In each of the two themes, there are four exercises or techniques, in a bitesize, digital learning format, for parents to work through at their own pace.

"Here is an overview of the two themes:

  • Keep Talking Communicating through crisis. Explore how to communicate positively to help make family feel calmer and happier.
  • Love and Harmony Nurturing our family relationships. Discover ways to restore peace and positivity to family life.

"These are available online for free, for all parents everywhere and can be accessed easily via this link:"
RowanMumsnet · 03/06/2020 15:33

Short BBC film with financial advice and support for single parents

They say: 'The three mums featured bring different issues, from furlough, to CMS payments not being made, and worries about unpaid leave. There's advice from Gingerbread about what they can do to get more support.'

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RowanMumsnet · 05/06/2020 10:00

New app Bankuet lets you donate money to food banks so that they can get exactly the items they need, when they need them

They say:

'At Bankuet, we want to make sure everyone has enough food to eat. Our platform turns donations into the supplies that food banks need most. Bankuet deliveries are specifically requested, so nothing goes to waste. Give once or give monthly to any food bank signed up to Bankuet. After you’ve given, Bankuet will ensure your donation is dropped off at the food bank at a time most convenient to them.'

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BojanaMumsnet · 05/06/2020 15:03

Bell House Q&A session about vaccinations on 17 June

What they say:

"Get answers to your questions about vaccinations for your baby with paediatrician Dr David Elliman in this online Q&A session.

"Vaccination is one of the best ways of protecting the health of young children. Most parents accept having these as part of normal childcare. However, some parents have questions they would like answering before they go ahead. This Q&A session will look at some of the common questions (what’s in vaccines; can vaccines cause immune overload; why do we give vaccines to very young babies; what about homeopathy) and give you an opportunity to ask your own."

Find out more and register here.

littlemeitslyn · 07/06/2020 15:39

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StrawberryJam200 · 08/06/2020 21:57

The Talking Tables design a napkin competition has finished, sadly.

RowanMumsnet · 09/06/2020 11:06

Free resources for parents, designed to help young people connect with their families and work on self-awareness, confidence, resilience and communication, from Yes Futures

They say: 'Learning doesn't only happen in the classroom. We learn some of the most important life skills at home and from other experiences. In order to be happy, successful, and fulfil their personal potential, young people need confidence, resilience, communication, and self-awareness. These activities will support young people to develop these key skills, improving their overall wellbeing.'

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RowanMumsnet · 09/06/2020 13:13

Scenesaver - a free online hub where you can performances from off-West End and fringe theatres from all around the world

They say: 'Scenesaver is like Netflix, but for theatre shows - and there is plenty to keep children of all ages, from tots to teenagers, amused. There are traditional Punch and Judy shows, performances for young audiences, and magic and illusion. It's a great way to entertain children and a chance to teach them to enjoy and appreciate theatre in readiness for when theatres do eventually reopen. And when the children are in bed there are loads of performances - drama, fringe, dance, comedy - to sit down and enjoy for a night out in your own home.'

The site is free to use but we ask people to pay a voluntary "ticket price" donation and this money goes to the performers.

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RowanMumsnet · 10/06/2020 10:44

Tech We Can - 12 free lesson plans mapped to the National Curriculum

They say: 'The Tech She Can Charter is a group of 164 organisations who have all pledged to work together to focus on the pipeline of women in technology and inspire more children, particularly girls, to consider a career in technology. Tech We Can is a set of 12 lesson plans all mapped to the National Curriculum and available for parents and carers to download and use at home, to support with homeschooling. They also offer shorter, 30min online lessons each week - Tech Tuesdays - that can be watched on-demand and include relatable role models and fun video content to show children all the exciting possibilities that a career in technology can bring. They’ve had over 3,000 families tune in since launching in May 2020 and each lesson has a fun task at the end for children to complete.'

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RowanMumsnet · 11/06/2020 14:41

Free coronavirus support line for people who are feeling lonely or worried, from British Red Cross

They say: 'The British Red Cross has a free coronavirus support line for people who are feeling lonely or worried or finding it hard to cope during these uncertain times. Experienced Red Cross volunteers from the psychosocial and mental health team can provide both practical and emotional support and can connect you with additional support in your local area. The number is 0808 196 3651 and it’s open daily from 10am to 6pm. The service is free, and completely confidential. You can find more information on the British Red Cross website.

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