Since the beginning of the UK coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, tens of thousands of people have lost their lives. But the coronavirus crisis is not only a health crisis, it has had far reaching effects on people’s lives and livelihoods.

The government response is failing to meet community needs in many ways. Workers have been left with insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), hospitals are under-equipped, coronavirus tests unavailable.

Many people who have lost their livelihoods are suffering. People still remain on the streets during lockdown, despite government promises to house the homeless.

Across the UK, communities have come together to fill the gaps where the state is failing to meet people’s basic needs. Thousands of mutual aid groups have been created; solidarity funds have been set up in many areas to collectively support people through financial difficulties; people have formed collectives to make PPE for NHS workers, and grassroots projects have come together to meet people’s food needs.

The Canary has carried out exclusive interviews with community organisers from the Cooperation Birmingham solidarity Kitchen, Cooperation Kentish Town, and Bristol’s BASE & Roses (B&R) mutual aid food distribution project. This is part one of a two part series looking at these mutual aid initiatives.

[Read more from The Canary]

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