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Coronavirus: hundreds of volunteers offer help to vulnerable and elderly

Eleven people confirmed with virus in Islington

16 March, 2020 — By Calum Fraser and Sam Ferguson

HUNDREDS of Islington residents have volunteered themselves to help the elderly and the vulnerable as the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the borough has risen to eleven.

“Mutual Aid” groups, linked through social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, have been set up in every ward in the borough.

The government indicated plans this week to ask citizens to enact “social distancing” practices and for people over the age of 70 or with underlying health conditions to self-isolate.

Concerned neighbours are offering up their time through the Mutual Aid channels to deliver food and supplies to those who are self-isolating.

Kelsey Mohamed, 28, who lives in St George’s ward off Holloway Road, set up the original Islington Facebook group which the other ward groups have sprung from.

She said: “It’s been really amazing to see how people are willing to come together over this issue.

“In London there can be a real lack of neighbourly support and it has been really nice to see that that is not the case at the moment.”

She added: “Mutual Aid by definition is grass roots and works outside of local authority and wider structures and relies on community’s coming together. As the situation gets more serious it will get more complicated and we have every intention of being as safe and sensitive as possible.”

Eleven Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Islington but it is expected that there may be more.

Public Health England is encouraging everyone to wash their hands thoroughly as often as possible.

To access the Islington mutual aid group on Facebook, click here

To see the contact details for the ward volunteer groups, click here

To see the latest updates from our live blog, click here

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