On 13 March 2020, right after the the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic, local resident Áine Ní Nope set up a Facebook group called Liverpool Covid-19 Mutual Aid. The group grew rapidly, as people rallied to offer their support. It now has over 6,000 members, many of whom joined with the hope of finding meaningful ways to volunteer their time during the crisis.
Next time you’re seeking volunteers, don’t forget to let them know.
Like many people in the group, Áine found herself with time on her hands when Covid-19 changed the way we live, “I was a dog walker, but lost all my work when the pandemic started,” said Áine, “I decided to use my free time to set up a mutual aid group for Liverpool when I saw that other cities had done the same.”
The platform proved to be so popular that she soon needed to bring in extra admin support. Liverpool Covid-19 Mutual Aid is now managed by a team of seven local volunteers (most of whom are pictured here). The group’s focus so far has been on signposting volunteers to ways that they can offer help, as well as signposting people who need help to the services and organisations best placed to provide it. It has achieved an impressive amount in a short space of time.
So far the group has been used to organise:
- shopping / prescription deliveries
- food parcels for the vulnerable / elderly
- support and donations for local services (food banks etc)
- practical help with errands (dog walking, gardening, DIY)
- signposting to information and services regarding rent, employment and benefits advice
- provision of support, goods and services to key workers (including PPE)
Kevin Brownrigg, a member of the Liverpool Covid-19 Mutual Aid team, said, “We keep our page clutter free by maintaining and adhering to a strict group rules, which are published on the group for all to see. We accept posts from people requesting help and also invite posts from organisations. Organisations are welcome to promote the support they are offering to the community, and to let the members of our group know what support they need in order to provide it.”
Advertising for volunteers on Liverpool Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group
If you are in need of volunteers right now, to assist with your organisation or group’s response to the pandemic, bear in mind that Liverpool Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group is available to you as a platform.
You do need a Facebook account in order to access it. You also need to adhere to the rules of the group, which you’ll find pinned to the top of the group page and should read through before posting anything.
There are thousands of people in the city eager and able to help those in need through the coronavirus crisis. Many of them have joined this group in order to find meaningful ways to do that.
When posting in the group remember:
- provide full details the volunteer opportunity
- give people information about your group/organisation and its impacts, so they know what difference they can make
- make it clear how people should apply for the volunteer role and include contact details
- group members have not been vetted in any way – a post to this group is a public advert – so you will need to have your own volunteer recruitment process in place
We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘well done and thank you’ to the Liverpool Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group team – Áine Ní Nope, Kevin Brownrigg, Christina McDermott-McGarrigle, Fliss Radomska, Jacob Bolton, Maxine Martin and Lauren Rose – for leaping into action so quickly in the face of the crisis and creating such a helpful platform.