Covid 19 response: linking Earlsfield street by street
Earlsfield Together was established only a few weeks ago, but it’s become a powerful force in bringing together neighbours and meeting need.
A core of local volunteers and leaders established it to ‘join the dots’ between residents keen to support neighbours and local groups eg charities and community bodies. It works through various channels:
A coordinating system plays an important part in ensuring connections, identifying priorities and spotting gaps. It consists of an array of street coordinators, who are networked in four ‘quadrants’ in Earlsfield, each with local leadership, and a ‘hub’ group maintaining contact with key local organisations eg the food bank, as well as residents. The centre is ‘light touch’, and focuses on enabling communications and ideas to flow between independent street communities, but spots opportunities where they can come together to meet a specific need.
What’s going on
Current activities include:
a buzz of friendship and mutual support among neighbours not seen before
a strong, continuing relationship with the Critical Care Unit at St George’s Hospital to provide what they ask for, whether chocolate treats or cash donations
regular collections for the Earlsfield Food Bank, Age UK, Trinity Hospice and other local charities. These are rotated between streets and neighbourhoods to give all a chance to contribute and avoid ‘compassion fatigue’
practical street level initiatives, such as organising skips from time to time to take bulky rubbish in the absence of Council collections, funded by contributions from residents.
The organisers are happy to share their experiences with others, including anyone thinking of setting up a local network. Contact Johnny Sertin at email@example.com