COVID-19 UK Mutual Aid groups: a list

 As the global COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, a number of mutual aid groups have started forming across the country.  The groups aim at providing community support to those who are more at risk from the virus: be it help with running errands or cooking.

COVID-19 is a novel virus most affecting people’s respiratory systems. While in around 8o% cases the symptoms will be mild, it can lead to death. It is estimated that 2-3 people out of a hundred will die. This can easily mean hundreds of thousands of deaths in the UK alone.

We must do everything we can to prevent this from happening.

The virus, while very unlikely to kill us all, already proved to be pretty lethal to,even more developed healthcare systems. It fills hospitals within days and uses-up resources, making it very difficult for healthcare workers to provide all needed help. This, in turn, increases the death toll.

The Tory government is apparently more concerned with making sure the economy won’t collapse rather than with saving people’s lives. So, here is some advice for folk:

People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 related death or life-changing illness 

That is, those of us who are older, have pre-existing health conditions, or their immune system is otherwise compromised: please stay home if you can. If you live in the area covered by the Mutual Aid groups listed below, get in touch with them if you need help. You can take part in shaping and runing them too, there are plenty of things you can do from self-isolation to support your community.

HIV positive folk: please have a look at this link.

People who are at lower risk

Remember that you need to do everything you can to stay healthy. This is not exactly to protect your own life, as you already have more than a fair chance of survival. It is, however, essential to protect others, and it is your responsibility to your community to do all you can to achieve it.

This means washing your hands and generally sticking to high hygiene standards of both yourself and your surroundings. It means you stay in if you are sick: even if you strongly believe you are not a COVID-19 carrier, it is a risk you should not take right now. If you can, stay in even if you are healthy. There is no need to take unnecessary risks.

It also means that you must cancel that gig you wanted to go to, or that holiday trip you were looking forward to. You must do this to protect the more vulnerable members of your immediate community and beyond. You also must ensure you don’t put an unnecessary pressure on the NHS, so that they can get on with their life-saving work.

Remember: that old lady you see on your grocery shopping, and that comrade you know who is suffering from a long-term illness: it is your job to protect them as much as you can.

Additionally let’s not forget about the homeless people, and others who can not self-isolate easily. If you can, share your resources with them. 

If you want to know more about the concept of mutual aid and how it can work in the community, then we recommend this book.

(zofia brom)

UK COVID-19 Mutual Aid Groups:

We have done our best to include all already existing mutual aid groups below. If your group is not listed, or you set one up after this text’s publication, please get in touch and we will fix it. You can reach us either via our Facebook page, or send an email to [email protected]

Note to people who keep submitting their groups to this list: thanks for your work, but we have one request: please, please, please keep the communication with us to FB direct messages and email only. This text proved very popular and we at Freedom are glad to be of assistance to so many communities, but it is also very difficult to keep on top of updates while monitoring email, direct messages, and the info coming via Twitter and Facebook comments. Help us to reduce the number of messages we are dealing with by checking if your group is listed already before getting in touch.

Also, yes we do know this list is very messy right now. We don’t have the time to deal with it due to the number of new groups we are processing. But hey, if anybody has the time to tidy it up and send it to us, please do!

People wanting to set up a mutual aid group in their area: before you contact us for advice, please have a look at this link  and this document. If you still have questions, please get in touch.

None of the listed below groups will ask you for money or other form of payment.

Nationwide/general:
  • A nationwide coordination page was set up: Covid-19 Mutual Aid – UK. Please follow them
  • Queercare provides assistance for immunocompromised, astmatic or otherwise at additional risk from COVID-19. You can also access useful resources and advice via their page. Queercare has volunteers nationally and is working on organising folk into more local groups and providing advice. A sign-up form is available here.
  • Queercare have also finalised and had approved by medical professionals an initial list of principles and assumptions and a set of guiding policies for doing support work in, and in response to, the COVID-19 pandemic. You can access it here.
  • UK Mutual Aid FB group have been operating long before COVID-19. It is an intersectional support group for marginalised people in the UK.
  • In Scotland, you can join Scotland volunteer childcare for Covid-19 school closures
  • Update from the Domestic Abuse sector: If you need to flee (or know anyone that does), then please contact National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 as usual who can assist on transport and safety planning.
  • SWARM Collective have put together a guide on how to support domestic abuse victims (without calling the police)
  • Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline is operating as normal
London:

Additionally, Hackney Boaters Covid-19 Support formed. You can join their WhatsApp chat here.

Bristol:
Loughborogh:
Lincoln:
Newcastle upon Tyne:
Cambridgeshire:
Birmingham:
Southampton:
Liverpool:
Sheffield:
Oxford:
Essex:
Poole:
Brighton:
Edinburgh:
Holtspur:
Hertfordshire:
Crowland, Lincolnshire:
North Lincolnshire:
Coventry:
Greater Manchester:
Durham:
North Tyneside:
Dartford:
Dundee:
Derby:
Highworth:
Swindon:
Nottingham:
Glagow:
Northumberland:
Chester:
Skelmersdale:
Leeds:
Cardiff:
Northampton:
Ruddington:
Doncaster:
Stirling:
Worcester:
Reading:
Middlesbrough:
Scarborough:
Corsham:
Penzance:
Hastings:
Lewes:
Devon:
Wolverhampton:
Barnsley:
St Helens-Merseyside:
Beaconsfield:
Forest of Dean:
South Darenth and Horton Kirby:
Bexley, Kent:
Kent:
Ditton, Kent:
Haslingden and Helmshore, Lancs:
North Lincolnshire:
Blackwood/Oakdale area, South Wales:
Beverley, , East Riding of Yorkshire:
Hyndburn, inc Huncoat, Read, Simonestone:
Portsmouth & Southsea:
Southport & Formby:
Willenhall, Borough of Walsall:
Hucknall, Nottinghamshire:
Machynlleth, Wales:
Corris, Wales:
Corris Uchaf, Wales:
Chichester, West Sussex:
Aberdeen:
Aberdeenshire:
Newcastle under Lyme and North Staffordshire:
Leicestershire:
Horsham:
Grimsby and Cleethorpes:
Rye, East Sussex:
Somersham, Cambridgeshire:
Claygate/Esher:
Whitworth:
Knottingley & Ferrybridge:
Leicester:
Basingstoke:
Mawgan & Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall:
Cornwall:
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire:
Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire:
Hebden Royd, West Yorkshire:
Calderdale, West Yorkshire:
Tockwith, York:
Norwich:
Great Yarmouth:
Glossop, Derbyshire:
Petersfield:
Caterham, Surrey:
Saline & Steelend:
Holme Valley, West Yorkshire:
Meltham, West Yorkshire:
Slaithwaite Colne Valley:
Stapleford:
Maghull:
Bath:
Elmbridge, Surrey:
Hampshire:
Burnham-on-Crouch
Winchester:
Twyford:
Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire:
Long Eaton & Sawley, Derbyshire:
Glasgow:
Burnham:
Staines and Ashford:
Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria:
Brentwood, Essex and surrounding villages:
East Bergholt/Holton St. Mary and nearby:
Polgooth, Cornwall:
York:
Plymouth:
Newport/MK:
New Quay, Wales:
Thurrock, Essex:
Dunstable, Bedfordshire:
Alnwick, Northumberland:
Stoughton, West Sussex:
Ringwood:
Gillingham/Chatham:
Okehampton:
Mablethorpe:
Salisbury:
Denton, South Norfolk:
Ely, Cambridgeshire:
Belfast:
Faversham, Kent:
Luton:
Lambourn, West Berkshire:
Swansea:
Bradford:
Berwick-upon-Tweed:
Bedford:
Ledbury:
St. Cleer Parish:
Darite / St. Cleer area:
Brandon, Meadowfield and Langley Moor:
Lichfield:
Eastleigh:
Wotton Area:

Additionally:
  • SWARM Collective has started a hardship fund for UK sex workers in financial crisis due to COVID-19. Please donate if you can.
  • Cooperation Birmingham are fundraising for a mutual aid kitchen.
  • Mayday Rooms in London closed until after Easter due to COVID-19 outbreak in the UK.
  • Dundee Anarchist Bookfair had been cancelled.
  • Bookfair 2020 in London had been cancelled.
  • Freedom Bookshop is closed until further notice. We are still processing online orders, but please do not get offended if there are delays.
  • WARNING: there is a group on Facebook called Coronavirus Support Group for Workers. You do not want to join it, the admins are currently suspending people for pointing out the obvious fact that the group is for workers, and not bosses.