Fallowfield vs Coronavirus Mutual Aid GroupThis project was set up to respond to any urgent support needs of the local community/people in Fallowfield during COVID-19.
Benefit of funding local projects
Identifying funding empowers communities to deliver the solutions they have designed. Research has shown that staff who can offer mediation, guidance and support in the funding application and project process are as important to community groups as receiving the funding itself. Staff who have a good knowledge of the area and who needs support, enable funding to be accessed by more marginalised people and groups. Funding sometimes needs to come from multiple sources and Neighbourhood Health Workers save time being able to quickly identify multiple potential sources.
Partners include Fallowfield Ward Councillors, Neighbourhood Officers, Buzz, The Place, One Manchester housing, MLCO and residents of Fallowfield
Some of us first came together as part of the group organizing the “Love Fallowfield” event for Bethnall Drive Estate. When Covid 19 started we partnered with members of the Facebook group, Fallowfield vs Coronavirus, as well as The Place - realizing that we would need their support as one of the real focal points of the community.
We decided to apply for funding, buy food, make a leaflet to distribute to the community with phone numbers for support. The group supported the local community with food provision and other enquiries. Most recently there was a litter pick completed at The Place that was promoted through the Facebook site – Fallowfield vs Coronavirus.
The photos above outline the various steps we took in starting food provision in the local area – and the last photo is of the recent litter pick.
The project has brought together a group of people who will continue to work together to support their local community of Fallowfield. The group functioned well together. We learned that we could start a mutual aid project as in other parts of the UK. The group has now started to look at new ways of working and the ‘next step’ which looks like continuing as a mutual aid group that does not necessarily need to be particularly linked to paid employees and councillors.
Strategic links to local/national policies
Communities engaged in the design and delivery of local services
Ambition for Ageing (2020) - Changing a place: Microfunding, co-production and community development
Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis - Sourcing Financial Resources for Community Development Initiatives
National Lottery Community Fund (2019) - Understanding Thriving Communities
Young Foundation (2013) - Improving small scale grant funding for local voluntary and community organisations
Aron Thornley - Neighbourhood Health Worker
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"Working in partnership with buzz has greatly enhanced the positive impact we have on our community".
Rob Willis, Centre Partnership & Development Manager, Fallowfield Library & Community Resource Centre (The Place at Platt Lane)