By Sean Meleady
The Norwich Radical
In Norwich, as in many other parts of the country, mutual aid groups set up in local communities through Facebook and Whatsapp have been helping people through the Covid-19 crisis in Norwich. These groups have been particularly important for the elderly, vulnerable, single parents and those asked to shield themselves by staying at home.
They have been invaluable for those unable to go to the shops, as other members of the group have volunteered to do their shopping for them. In some cases other members of the community in mutual aid groups have helped providing facemasks and children’s clothes, while small businesses and charities have offered home delivery services of food and other essentials.
George Thornton, a member of the Norwich Covid-19 Mutual Aid group, has been repairing dusty computers in order to donate them to people in the NR2 area of the city. His experiences reflect the digital divide exacerbated by the lockdown:
“I’ve found it rewarding but also extremely revealing in terms of the poverty that the most oppressed groups in society are facing right now. One laptop went to a migrant family with two children trying to revise for their GCSEs with only one smartphone between them in the house. Another has gone to a family without any smartphone or PC at all meaning that Universal Credit and job applications have been impossible for them during Covid” […]