WHY DID YOU SET UP THE GROUP?
When the Government announced that Elderly and vulnerable people will have to stay indoors for the next 12 weeks, it was clear to me that we needed some sort of local support for those people, as many of them would not have access to modern technology and even if they do they might not have been able to figure out how to do online shopping etc. It was also the moment that panic buying had started and I was worried that those elderly people would run out of basic supplies in a very short time. So on 15th of March I set up a Mutual aid group “Almondbury Solidarity Against Coronavirus” (ASAC) with the support of good friends who as much as myself care for community.
HOW HAS THE EXPERIENCE BEEN?
We have been on a very unusual journey so far, to me this experience is all about coming together as fellow human beings, it has been an eye opener of how many people are just forgotten by society and how very happy their faces are when you come and help without expecting anything in return. I have given a lot of time, energy skills and experience to it, but without other people’s help I could not do it, so it is all about sharing.
As a Mutual Aid Group coordinator I have had the pleasure to meet some wonderful people, most of them are from my local area, and without ASAC I would have not know them. I also met some great people from other MAG’s and organisations around Kirklees, including many council employees that I was never aware of and did not knew about the important jobs they are doing.
Every day something new happens, there are some wonderful stories when we as a group been able to help someone who was on their last food supplies and they saw our posters and phoned us… I have cried several times and I have laughed many times knowing that yet another person can sleep well without worrying about next shopping or running out of medicines.
I have learned a lot in those past few weeks, I have also notice how grateful I am for all I have and with each day that feeling of gratitude gets bigger and bigger, this is all thanks to our volunteers who I just admire; some of the people who are volunteering with us do so for several people every week and it make me feel so proud and so happy that I can be part of it, part of community that cares.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Personally I will continue helping people for as long as I can, I believe that volunteering makes us better people, not better than others but better then we ourselves were before.
You can read more stories from communities responding to the Coronavirus pandemic here
You can find out more about the community response to COVID-19 in Kirklees here: https://communityresponsekirklees.com/posts/
If you are community group responding to the Coronavirus in Kirklees that need some help please email: firstname.lastname@example.org