ABOUT ALPERTON MUTUAL AID
DEFINITION : Mutual aid is “cooperation for the sake of the common good.”
It’s getting people to come together to meet each other’s needs, recognising that as humans, our survival is dependent on one another
The COVID-19 pandemic has put into sharp focus the importance of community support to help the most vulnerable. While thankfully the peak has passed, un- fortunately the virus has not left us and there are already concerns of a second wave as we head into the winter. Moreo- ver, the economic and social consequences are likely to linger much longer than the pandemic - from unemployment and money problems, fear and anxiety to leave the house, worsened education outcomes for many children, and poor health for those who were unable to access hospital or have suffered long-term conditions as a result of contracting COVID-19.
The Northwick Park Ward had been extremely lucky to have a longstanding community magazine and neighbourhood groups - some covering even the street level. This allowed us to respond quickly, with the Mutual Aid group providing additional support for those areas not covered or those volunteers wanting to do more. Now, there is scope for Northwick Park Mutual Aid to better connect and coordinate with these neighbourhood groups to address these issues - and partner with other nearby Mutual Aid groups who are looking to achieve similar outcomes.
Of course, as the virus has abated, the- re is always the worry that volunteers’ interest and availability may too - especially now lockdown has eased and some people are returning to work. We need to continually find ways to keep the interest and enthusiasm going to meet current needs and must be ready to remobilise and re- -energise if a second wave arrives. This is perhaps going to be the greatest challenge going forward.