Let's Get Started with Mutual Aid
So much of what is happening right now is scary
People are dying from a virus that demands physical closeness to spread
And so, to keep ourselves and others safe, we must stay physically apart. But right at the same time, there has been an amazing burst of energy calling for ways to stay socially connected across this new, physical divide #TogetherApart
We have seen people standing up, and reaching out, in all kinds of ways
Doing everything they can to connect, to help each other and to stay “close” .
Mutual Aid Groups (MAGs) have been a major part of this, whether you realised this was their name, or not.
Neighbours, friends, families and colleagues have been reaching out and coming together to help and support each other in all kinds of ways, from the more obvious food and medicine, to the funny and silly. These groups have worked to weave our communities together and create hyper local, or in some cases global, networks of practical kindness.
In recognition of this emergence (not that these things are new (this is the way humans have been co-operating for hundreds if not thousands of years) we wanted to help encourage and nurture them, in whatever ways we can. And so, this is our effort.
“Let’s Get Started with Mutual Aid….”
It is a practical guide and planning tool for individuals and workers to support the creation of as many MAGs as are necessary, building real and practical capacity, on the ground, to deal with the tough times now, and to be sure we don’t forget what is important, as and when we get this virus under control.
We believe that mutual aid is for life, not just for corona (see what we did there!) we really want to support you to start MAGS that create long lasting connections, for however long they are needed in your communities. We're thinking of these really tough times as a kick start to embrace existing connections and to perhaps create new ones to support ourselves and each other with what's needed.
Need a bit more help? Ruth and Carly can provide workshops for organisations to support you in getting MAGS started in your sector - get in touch for more information.
We made this resource with our friends in our very own “MAG,” and we would all love you to use and share it in whatever ways you want, but please do reference us and our crew - we'd really appreciate it. Please also let us know how it goes - we will be updating and improving as your feedback comes in, and would really love to know and share all of the wonderful things you've been up to.
Carly & Ruth
Ruth Jackson is an Independent Worker involved in a range of social justice issues, including mental health, community building, housing, education and work. I am currently operating from my small and cosy home office in the North-East of England! You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @JacksonRuth_
Carly Attridge has many hats as a freelancer working across a range of areas including community action/building, end of life care/hospice sector, bereavement, loss and volunteering. She is also the Founder & Director of The Loss Project. She resides in North East London from her new office from home.
Contact Carly at email@example.com.