A few people have asked whether to post about the situation in Ukraine on their business pages on social media. They’ve said it feels wrong to not acknowledge what’s happening, but perhaps visitors don't expect comments about the news on tourism business accounts?
Some businesses and individuals are posting what they’re actually doing to help. This could encourage others to do something similar, and raises awareness of the issues. Some say it’s ‘virtue signalling’ and you don’t need to tell everyone, just do it.
What do you think?
Have you posted about the war in Ukraine? Just to be clear, I don't mean from a marketing perspective, but from a human being acknowledging the suffering of others.
Different ways to help
If you’re wondering how to help, all the major aid agencies are asking for financial donations rather than collections of clothes, toys etc (because of the difficulties of customs, sorting, storage and distribution). I recently spoke to one of the organisations supporting refugees, and we talked about the idea of asking tourism businesses to perhaps donate takings from a particular day or week. For example, I’ve decided to make my holiday cottage available for a couple of weeks and donate the proceeds. The longer term government scheme to offer longer term accommodation to house refugees has also just launched.
The agency also said that once refugees reach the UK, they are often traumatised and then housed in places where they feel isolated. Budgets are limited and there’s not a lot of joy. Tickets for an attraction (if accessible on public transport) or a short stay in accommodation can be useful when offered as respite care. Even a very short holiday or day trip can help improve mental health after some of the terrible experiences many refugees face.
When you upgrade your facilities, you might consider donating decent quality bedlinen or furniture to one of the agencies that helps house refugees. You can find an organisation that does this via City of Sanctuary or offer other help through one of the charities in this list.