ABOUT BARNHILL 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
Willesden Green ward has just completed its 600th request. On that same day, the ward celebrated one of the volunteers’ 100th case helped, an amzing milestone showing the kindness and selflessness of our volunteers. It is beautiful to see the ward’s achievements and it enables a glimpse into what could be the future.
As other wards, Willesden Green had a meeting involving volunteers and ad- mins to discuss what might be our next steps. Even though the ward has been quite lucky, in the sense that the reques- ts are mostly fulfilled on the same day, some people who were helping more are slowly starting to get back to work. For that reason it was decided that the ward should be revived. This will also be important if we happen to have a localised outbreak. The plan is to do some leafleting again and to recruit more volunteers.
Another discussion was around the possibility of trying to help people who have been furloughed, perhaps via support links and other ways yet to be developed. The idea of ‘skill matching’ was also discussed: if someone has a talent or skill, they could offer their services for example, and, in exchange, others would do the same. Another relevant idea that also came up, the ‘walking buddy scheme’, whereby the resident would be paired with a buddy or two to go for walks. Some might still not feel comfortable enough yet getting out of the house so perhaps giving them emo- tional support could help. That way, they would slowly gain their confidence back. This of course, all done in a social distanced and secure way. The plans for the future of Mutual Aid are being discussed, they are always evolving and adapting according to the community’s needs, yet the beauty of it remains un- changed.