The horrific bombing at Manchester Arena, that killed 22 people and injured dozens more, was tragic, deeply upsetting, and left many people feeling helpless.
It is difficult to know how you can react when something so deeply devastating happens.
But there are things that you can do to make a difference.
How you can help
Various appeals have sprung up online, but one of the biggest is the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, launched by Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross.
The fund has already raised more than £5 million, and will support those affected by the attack and their families. The Red Cross is also offering emotional support to affected families.
Donate to the fund here.
2. Give Blood
One of the most striking and heartwarming things about people, in the face of an attack like this, is how we pull together in the aftermath.
In the hours following the attack, queues of people formed outside blood banks across the city. Regardless of where you live, whether you’re in Manchester or whether the blood that you give will help one of those injured in the attack, you can guarantee that if you give blood it will go to someone badly in need. So it’s always worth doing.
Find out more about giving blood here.
3. Learn the first aid basics
While it may feel intimidating, knowing how to administer basic first aid means that if it came to it, you could actually help to save someone’s life.
The Red Cross has created an amazing app for your phone that talks you through the first steps to take if you come across someone in need of emergency care.
Click on the links to find out more about each.
We know that humans are causing climate change, so why aren’t we doing more to alter how we behave?
A new review has just come out in Science magazine that could help answer that question, taking a wider view of the obstacles that are getting in the way of meaningful action.
Lead author Dr Elise Amel, with colleagues Dr Christie Manning, Dr Britain Scott and Dr Susan Koger, acknowledge that using fear or guilt as a marketing tool for the idea isn’t persuading people to act.
One of their key arguments is that public messaging about climate change tends to focus on our internal forces – on our emotions, our beliefs and attitudes.
But these aren’t the only forces that affect how we behave. We are also deeply affected by our social networks, by societal roles, cultural world views, habits, infrastructure, etc., but these things are rarely sufficiently considered in climate change messaging.
‘Change is hard. Human beings are reticent to change their behaviour even under the most compelling of circumstances, and environmental dangers do not tend to arouse the kind of urgency that motivates individuals to act.’
Report in ‘Science’.
Climate change is a long-term problem. The effects that will be experienced, many of us will never see in our lifetimes. And yet, we are being asked to change how we are living right now.
That’s the problem. Human beings aren’t wired to change our behaviour from what benefits us personally, or from what we are used to, in the name of the greater good.
We don’t naturally act to protect something that either feels like it’s a long way away, or something that we don’t value.
How you can help
The report highlights ‘transformational individuals’ – those who decide to step out of what is accepted by society – as being able to bring about huge change within their personal spheres, their friends, families, communities and networks.
‘While it feels incredibly awkward to do something different than the norm, we are all capable of it. And, it’s easier if we don’t have to do it alone, so supporting others who take a stand is a crucial role we can all play,’ says John Abraham, in an article in The Guardian.
This diagram, created by Dr Amel, demonstrates just how the small changes that you make in your life – such as taking the time to learn about climate change, donating time and money, walking or cycling to work, reducing waste and reusing items instead of throwing them away – are like ripples in water.
While they may feel small to start with, they grow and grow as they radiate outwards through your networks, inspiring an increasing amount of difference as they go.
Watch this space for a post all about the small changes you can make in your life to help combat climate change.