Community written on toy blocks

Make 2021 the year of giving: 4 easy ways you can give back to your community

Help others, help yourself

Some people are calling 2020 the year of community. Despite the problems Covid-19 brought, those working in hospitals and suppliers were hailed as heroes. And volunteer community support groups delivering everything from food to social contact sprung up across the country. At OPOH we want to make 2021 the year we continue giving back to our communities.

So, following on from yesterday’s article about ethical new year resolutions, here are four ideas for giving back to your community in 2021.

Support local growers

At the start of the 2020 pandemic, supermarket shelves cleared and the nation’s food vulnerability became apparent. Small farm shops and local producers rose to the challenge of feeding the nation. And 92% of them saw their customer base grow!

Local food is fresher and comes with fewer air miles. It’s freshness means it tends to be more nutrient-packed, and supporting local producers means you are doing your bit for community too.

Join a community garden

Eating local is one thing. But how about growing local too? Community gardening was another sector that saw growth in 2020. Many of them were able to stay open throughout lockdown, and some of them even upped production, doing their bit to fill the nation’s bellies.

Why not be a part of this local food revival in 2021? Benefits of community gardening include exercise, fresh air, being part of a community, and building relationship with the food on your plate.

Walk, cycle and run

In December, 2020, a landmark court ruling established that a nine year old girl with asthma who died in 2013 was a victim of air pollution. The main culprit was vehicle transmissions. If you drive a car, or even if you take the bus, you contribute to air pollution in some way.

Of course, sometimes this can’t be helped. But if you are at all able to walk, cycle, or run to your destination, do so safe in the knowledge that not only are you looking after your physical and mental health, but that of those around you.


Volunteering is another way to give something back to your community. And the choices are almost endless. Whether it’s working with the young or elderly or spending time outdoors that excites you, volunteering can be a rewarding way to spend your time.

Three young women hugging
Volunteering in a big city is a great way to make new friends. mage by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Some opportunities—such as working in charity shops—may have dried up at certain points of 2020 due to the pandemic. But others opened up. Many councils, for example, asked for people to help the vulnerable with food shopping. And there are many ways to volunteer online too. If you want to volunteer but you’re stuck with where to start, check out the government’s volunteering section here.

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We want to hear your input! What have you done to give back to your local area this year? What are your ideas for giving back to your community in 2021? Please sign in and leave a comment.