With a disaster like coronavirus, some would expect rioting and chaos to ensue. But instead we’ve seen an outbreak of community spirit with a myriad of support groups and apps starting across the country to support those in isolation. As journalist George Monbiot noted in the Guardian yesterday, “the horror films got it wrong. The virus has turned us into caring neighbours.”
In Haringey, residents have started volunteer groups for each ward, working together to deliver essentials like food and prescriptions to their neighbours in need. The group can be found on Facebook as Haringey COVID-19 mutual aid group.
To get involved, Haringey residents can join their local ward group (links to join can be found here). After joining, additional information is provided about how to volunteer further and about the functioning of that particular group. Alternatively, residents can join the Haringey COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group, where they can find out about their local group.
The group admin, Anya Ramamurthy said: “COVID-19 Mutual Aid groups are self-organising grassroot solidarity groups which aim to support everyone during this crisis, including those who may not be able to or feel comfortable seeking support from the state.”
She explained that each group offers a range of different support, including running errands for someone self-isolating, collecting a neighbor’s prescription or having a phone chat with someone who’s lonely.
They have organised Zoom meetings with representatives from each ward to discuss how the groups are coordinated and to share resources and information.
The Facebook group has over 3,500 members and also includes posts from those in need, such as charities, requesting help or information.