What’s this group for?
Petersfield Covid-19 response group is a mutual aid group. You can read more about what that means here, but in a nutshell, it’s not an organisation or charity, it is more like a network to connect and support neighbours helping neighbours during the pandemic.
Some of us will be self-isolating to protect people around us, or because we are at higher risk. This group will help us band together as a community and make sure everyone has food, essential household items, cleaning equipment, a support system and some company!
The idea is that everyone will be able to help in their own way, be that helping with shopping, helping with admin, or just sending a cheerful message once in a while. Everyone will also need some kind of help at some point. We don’t differentiate between ‘volunteer’ and ‘someone that needs help’ because everyone will sit somewhere in the middle.
The Petersfield Mutual Aid response group is primarily for organising help for one another. For general chatting and socialising, you can join the Chat group.
How does it work?
At the moment, we have two ‘coordinators’, Meg and Piete. Being a coordinator doesn’t mean you’re in charge, it just means you are the ‘point of contact’ for the ward and help filter down information and guidance from a national and county level to a local level.
We also have smaller ‘hyperlocal’ groups which cover each street/small group of streets. You can find a list of them here. Each one has a digital group of some kind e.g. on whatsapp, as well as a ‘point of contact’ who volunteers to give out their phone or email to those on their street. Generally, help will be managed in these smaller groups, anything that can’t be managed locally .
As for who is organising this…all of us! We need all the help we can get so please chip in if you have any ideas or insights.
This isn’t a charity or a formally organised group. It’s simply a group run by volunteers trying to find the safest and most efficient way of protecting our community.
We are in the process of setting up a few ‘working groups’.
Each group is open for anyone in Petersfield to join. They will have a specific mandate to focus on a particular topic. Any important decisions made in these groups or information will be shared in the big group. Click on the links below to join.
Inclusion and Democracy – the role of this working group is to think about how we can make decisions most fairly, within the model of ‘mutual aid’, in a way that everyone is represented and everyone has a chance for their voice to be heard.
Supported Housing Working group – the role of this working group is to figure out how we as a community can best help the various supported housing provisions in our ward. This working group falls within the remit of mutual aid in Petersfield but will collaborate with Romsey Mill and council services, as well as the provisions themselves.
Leafleting – the role of this group is to support people to create leaflets and distribute them to their local area, informing people about the help available, in a safe way limiting risk of transmitting the virus.
Arts – the role of this group will be to provide a space and community for artists in Petersfield and across Cambridge, create art for the morale of the city and to encourage people to be creative to support their mental health during isolation.
Chat group – Group for general chit chat, socialising, sharing links and articles, sharing ideas, giving opinions etc! Political views are welcome in this group but abusive language isn’t.
Worried about someone?
Sometimes we might be worried about the safety of a neighbour?
Romsey Mill has safeguarding trained staff available to talk through your concerns and report them to the relevant authority. Where possible, you should have consent from the person in question to share their personal details with Romsey Mill, however you can speak to them either way.
Working with other organisations
Mutual aid is a model that hopes to be non-hierarchical. This means we are free to organise how we wish. In Petersfield, we are lucky that our local council and charities want to empower us, rather than take over (phew!).
Romsey Mill is a charity very close to Petersfield who have been given a fund to support us, as they have a bank account already in place. They can help with costs we incur, and can take donations and funnel them back into our group. They also have safeguarding trained staff we can get advice from if we wish.
To read more about Romsey Mill and their involvement, you can go here.
To read more about the council’s response on every level and how they intend to work with us, look here.
For a statement about how we will work with the council and organisations as a mutual aid group, look here.
For a document from the council detailing their new systems, look here.
More useful links and resources:
Specifically for Petersfield Ward
Petersfield COVID-19 Response WhatsApp group (please keep this group related to the community response, another group can be created for other conversation about the virus): https://tiny.cc/petersfieldc19
We’re also looking into discord at https://discord.gg/8gvBW8 – we’re all new to it …!
Petersfield map of volunteers (just use your first name and general area): https://tiny.cc/PC19map
Petersfield localised WhatsApp groups (or start your group and add it here: https://tiny.cc/PC19streets)
Petersfield Leafleting working group and info: https://tinyurl.com/leafleting-wg
Petersfield COVID-19 Response Welcome Pack (this document): https://bit.ly/PC19welcome and https://tiny.cc/PC19welcome
For shared documents: Petersfield.C19@gmail.com
Covid support – games whatsapp group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Eb48Pn48uBE0U0wcQDxQsv
Petersfield discord channel (varied chat): https://discord.gg/FESfGqN
Rest of Cambridgeshire
All Cambridgeshire Wards Response WhatsApp groups: https://tiny.cc/camC19groups
IMPORTANT Cambridgeshire Mutual Aid Health & Safety Guidelines: https://tiny.cc/camC19healthsafety
IMPORTANT Leaflet and Postering Protocol (national guidance): https://tinyurl.com/qw5f2ug
Sample Leaflets in Google Drive: https://bit.ly/CC19leaflets (email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cambridge Mutual Aid Info Bank (resources for volunteers): https://tiny.cc/camC19infobank
Cambs Mutual Aid Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/196779265071327/
Help Request Form (if you’re not connected to your group): https://tiny.cc/camC19help
Local Businesses Offering Help: https://tiny.cc/camC19businesses