Communities in Lewisham are coming together to help their older and more vulnerable members who might be self-isolating.
Facebook and Whatsapp groups have sprung up allowing concerned residents to offer their skills and assistance where needed.
Many of you will have received leaflets from concerned community members introducing themselves and offering themselves to help with anything, from shopping to errands and walking dogs.
The central Lewisham Covid 19 Mutual Aid Facebook group acts as a catalogue of all wards’ organising details and provides a space for discussion as well. It currently has over 3,000 members.
At the same time, there have been warnings about doorstep scammers as well, outrageously taking advantage of people’s fears of the Coronavirus. Reports have circulated of scammers posing as officials looking to test older residents for Coronavirus, then barging in to rob them. Age UK guidance on doorstep scams will be useful for you to share with older friends and relatives to keep in mind in these extraordinary times.
Wellbeing map shows community support groups
TheLewisham Wellbeing Map has started to show local community groups offering support to vulnerable people or those in self isolation . After you’ve clicked on the website to view the map, click small box top left to get the map layers and info. Click on the Community against Covid19. It gives you support groups and medical support. An icon of red hands cradling a heamrt marks the general locality for each COVID19 community aid group known so far. To use map click here.
They range from Manwood Road Op Loo Roll to Deptford Pie N Mash! Click on each icon and you will find contact details (Facebook or WhatsApp – some require joining) so you can give or gain support.
Tim Bradley OBE who set up the map says: “We are aiming to show the geography of this community support, with contact details, as comprehensively as possible. I’m sure there are a 100 plus rather than the tens we’ve marked so far,I’ve already got quite a few to add soon . So please send in groups/ activities you know about from personal and professional links, by social or other media and any for online research.
“What we want to map are not micro-local handfuls of neighbours keeping in touch, but anything organised – perhaps by community, neighbourhood, faith, or special-interest groups so the rough geographical spread is available at a glance.”
Tim can be reached on 0744 362 6954 or email email@example.com
Other appeals for help
The Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, has launched an appeal to support Lewisham Food Bank, part of the nationwide Trussell Trust. They are in constant need of donations. The Mayor’s appeal has already raised £2,000 24 hours after it was set up. More details about the appeal here: https://www.lewishamfoodbankappeal.co.uk/
Fareshare, a food redistribution charity, have been publicising their volunteer roles at this crucial time to support vulnerable people who might not have regular access to food. Details here: https://buff.ly/2QpNvyW
There are growing concerns about the future of many of our local businesses as most of us self-isolate. In other countries, citizens have organised around arranging takeaways – whether of food or other necessities for vulnerable residents. Let us know if you think this is something we should be looking at in Ladywell.
If you have heard of any other initiatives out there and would like to share those with us please let us know and we will keep updating this post as we get the details.
As everyone is staying indoors, it is important to keep connected. This is part of the reason why we are organising a Q&A about the Lewisham Hospital cleaners’ campaign for fair pay online this Thursday, and we would like your feedback on whether we should have more such gatherings to keep our community connected during this extraordinary time.
Lewisham Local Coordinated Response to Covid-19 – updated
Lewisham Local, Voluntary Services Lewisham and Age UK Lewisham & Southwark have teamed up with Lewisham Council and local partners in the community to coordinate their response and to help some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
Whether you need support or you want to get involved/volunteer, you can find out more and sign up on Lewisham Local’s website.
You can also call them on 03330 150378.