As with all Mutual Aid groups, it has been an intense few months for Sudbury Local Aid. We have only just found the time to pause, reflect, and ask ourselves “where to next?” The last weekend before lockdown was focussed on getting the message out about the support available. Thanks to the outstanding support of dozens of volunteers we did this at breakneck speed by delivering thousands of leaflets to every household in the ward, in the space of just a few days.

During the weeks since, we have focussed on coordinating volunteering efforts; providing food and other forms of support to those in need across Sudbury; and triaging those with more complex needs for support from elsewhere. Now that some of the lockdown measures have eased, we have only just found the time to expand into other areas, whilst continuing to provide vital food and other support where needed.

We have focused on three things:

• Continuing to bring people together in times of need, with a new local website, a Facebook group, and a leafleting campaign to ensure nobody is left behind;

• Harnessing the enthusiasm of our amazing volunteers, by partnering with local charities who need help, e.g. a church-based group (Christmas Lunch) which has been calling hundreds of vulnerable and isolated people throughout lockdown;

• Building a greener, healthier environment in Sudbury, by partnering with a group called Sudbury Community Gardeners to do socially- distanced gardening in derelict plots of land in Perkin Close, Maybank Avenue, and Elms Court

It has been a painful and at times depressing few months for all of us in Sudbury, Brent, and across the UK. However, amidst all of this we have been able to draw on one another’s strength through everyone’s outstanding energy and enthusiasm. Whatever the next few months may bring, we will be stronger if we see through these challenges together.

Tom Stephens


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