Covid mutual aid volunteers dial up a telephone helpline

The covid-19 mutual aid groups across the borough have started a telephone helpline, operating 12 hours a day, especially to offer aid, advice and avital connection to those Croydon residents without access to the internet during the coronavirus lockdown.

In the past month, more than 70 neighbourhood groups of volunteers have been formed, from Kenley in the south of the borough to Norbury in the north, under the Croydon Covid-19 Local Mutual Aid, or CCMA, banner.

There are around 3,500 members of the Croydon Covidd-19 Facebook group.

The helpline number, now live, is

020 3322 8379

The CCMA volunteers, from all walks of life, have worked with Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) and Croydon Council to ensure activities are effective and safe.

CCMA say that they have taken up some of the least complex cases, freeing up resources for the most vulnerable and preventing services from being swamped.

CCMA has issued detailed advice and safeguarding guidance to local groups and volunteers.

Many neighbours have collected shopping for others who are self-isolating, as well as offering friendly telephone chats with those feeling lonely, redistributing hoarded toilet rolls and even picking up urgent medical supplies.

“These have been tough times but people across Croydon have been finding the support they need from their own community through local mutual aid groups,” said Ben Taylor, a CCMA organising committee member.

“Many people can’t or don’t use the internet and so may find it hard to reach out.

“With this helpline we’ll be able to help link these up with people in their own community so they can get the support they need. Where their need is sensitive or complex we can signpost them up to the correct agencies such as Croydon Voluntary Action.”

The helpline is open from 8am to 8pm every day.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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