Local authorities can make mutual aid a positive legacy of COVID-19
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
MV’s new report argues says that councils can encourage and promote the work of mutual aid groups to create more resilient neighbourhoods for the long term.
In response to COVID-19, there has been an upsurge in ordinary people wanting to do something to contribute in their neighbourhoods.
This has included the creation of at least 5,000 new ‘mutual aid groups’, providing practical support such as picking up medicine or groceries for those that are self-isolating, keeping an eye on older residents, and providing emotional support to vulnerable people.
Mutual Ventures’ new report – Maximising neighbourhood resilience after COVID-19 – argues that local authorities should encourage and promote the sustainability of mutual aid groups as part of their recovery strategy.
The report describes how a strategy should be light touch, work with existing community partners, and focus on facilitating rather than directing activity.
Local authorities must recognise that mutual aid groups are volunteers and cannot replace the job of trained professionals or replace targeted work required with individuals, but can complement them in the context of a general community response.
With a small amount of support and realistic expectations of what they can and can’t do, mutual aid groups have the potential to make a valuable contribution to recovery and future community resilience.
Download a copy of the report.
To learn more about Mutual Ventures’ work with local government, contact John Copps email@example.com.