Communities vs. Coronavirus: The Rise of Mutual Aid

The public response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of much-needed hope. Thousands of spontaneous, voluntary Mutual Aid groups have emerged to support the most vulnerable people in society. They are supplying food and medicine, connecting with those who are lonely, and organising community resources. In many cases these groups have been able to help people far more rapidly and flexibly than traditional public services.

This report writen by New Local Government Network argues that the Mutual Aid phenomenon is a powerful demonstration what’s possible when communities come together. Yet for community collaboration to outlast this crisis and make our places more resilient in future, lessons must be learnt. The following lessons and recommendations from the report are as follows:

Lessons:

  1. Mutual Aid groups have been an indispensable part of our COVID response

  2. They demonstrate the wider potential of community power

  3. Councils have significant influence over their viability and success

  4. Mutual Aid groups function better in areas where social capital is more developed

  5. Their small scale is key to their success

Recommendations:

  1. Council’s should play a facilitative role in their interactions with Mutual Aid Groups

  2. They should be supported in doing this with a community support financial package from central government

  3. Employment policies and practices that support flexible working should be championed by government at all levels

Click here to read the full report. 

Communities Doing it for Themselves: A Greater Manchester Conversation about Mutual Aid

10 August, 13.00-16.00.

The purpose of this event is to discuss mutual aid groups in Greater Manchester: those informal groups of local people that have come together to support each other during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

At the event, delegates will hear about what groups are experiencing, what support groups would like, share learning and hear about what has and has not worked with mutual aid. Specific topics such as how mutual aid groups have provided food support in Greater Manchester will also be discussed. 

This event is being co-designed with mutual aid groups. If you are part of a mutual aid group in Greater Manchester and would like to help design the event, or have a particular topic you would like to discuss,  please email thomas@macc.org.uk

To book your place at this event, do so using the following link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/114114656008

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