Coronavirus: How we can help our community through this
We’ve been struggling with what to say as coronavirus is changing everything.
As we go through the impact of the pandemic it is only of little comfort to think that sun, stars and seasons will continue and we can still do what we can to shine a little light in this darkening world.
We have put together what we hope are useful community resources to help us all through this.
Cancelling group activity
Needless to say, we are ceasing all group activities in the park.
We have sought advice on this and do not believe continuing group workshops is appropriate or useful at this time.
We urge all regular park users to please keep your distance from others, respect that other people may need to spend a few moments in open space, and to keep circulating so everyone can continue to enjoy the park while practising social isolation.
We also implore people:
- Please maintain a two metre distance between you and others.
- Please pick up your litter.
- Please pick up your dog poo.
- Please don’t spit, as the virus we fight is insanely transmittable.
- Please be gentle with each other. We are all struggling right now.
- Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated yourself.
Continuing positive park projects
We are hoping that individual friends will look after what we have done together so far. We will not be organising any group activity, and it is possible even solo activity may need to cease, depending on government advice.
This is the approach we think we must take as individual members do what we can to make things better:
- Always wear your own gloves when working in the garden.
- Bring your own tools and wash them before and after use in hot, soapy water.
- Please do not work in groups of more than one. No groups please.
- Take no risks – this is not a good time to injure yourself in the garden.
- Remember, the best advice is to act is you are already infected and try to protect others.
- All park activity may be cancelled if London is locked down. Your safety is the priority.
We believe that when things calm down then whatever we can do to make the park more beautiful will mean so much to our community as we recover from the trauma, but not at any risk to any of you. You are our friends, our neighbours, our community.
Please stay safe.
How to stay in contact
We currently have three ways to remain in contact during the crisis:
- Via the website (here).
- Through our Facebook group and page.
- By email.
We are introducing two more ways that we can all remain in contact:
- A WhatsApp Group (Friends of Wray Group).
- An online community forum for discussion – this will be published on our website, and announced via our social media and emails and is under development.
If you would like to join us on any of these, please let us know.
We intend to use these as ways to help our local community help each other during the crisis.
Please also use these spaces to talk about the fun stuff! Gardening and growing tips! Things you want to see! Plans we can make for our park and how to place our precious space at the heart of our little community
How you can help each other
We hope everyone is able to keep an eye on each other and try to look after each other during this difficult time.
We’ve been in contact with various local groups and gathered together the following resources we think may be of use to people:
Homelessness & food banks
Amazing homeless solidarity group, Streets Kitchen is a key partner in the Yvonne Connoly Kitchen Garden.
That’s why we were horrified to find that homelessness support and food bank services are collapsing nationwide during the pandemic.
If you, someone you know or someone who is known to you is homeless and needs support, please call the ‘We Are Islington Helpline’ on 020 7527 8222. They should connect you to help.
In addition, Streets Kitchen, the Museum of Homelessness, Union Chapel and many local partners are working to build an emergency #Islington foodbank at Union Chapel from Monday as part of the #HomelessTaskForce; & supporting #Covid19 community emergency outreach in North London. If you can help (physically, financially, in other ways) please sign up on this page.
We are Islington helpline:
Are you struggling to cope at the moment, or concerned about a friend or neighbour?
Islington Council, voluntary sector and mutual aid groups are working together to provide support. Call the We are Islington helpline on 020 7527 8222 (9am-5pm).
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covid-19 Mutual Aid Groups
Strong, locally based groups to help each other within communities are springing up internationally and are extremely active in Islington and elsewhere. The Islington group is very well supported. These voluntary groups work to coordinate volunteers and connect people to each other – they also have highly sophisticated advice to help prevent spread of the disease.
Other ways to help
As well as looking after the people around you, there are many other ways you can help during the crisis:
If you are a business, or an individual who wants to volunteer, please contact Voluntary Action Islington for more information.
“We are especially keen to hear from people who can help collect and deliver food and medicine or befriend a lonely resident over the phone. You will be given advice and support to keep you safe.”
Islington Giving Crisis Fund, which is being organised by local charity, Islington Giving. Every penny you donate will go to people who are isolated, anxious and most in need of financial support through this crisis.
Islington Council Coronavirus page
Islington Council Coronavirus page: Details and current situation reports from Islington Council.
This is the main home page for NHS advice on coronavirus.
Current data on Coronavirus where you are
Public Health England publishes the most recent available local and national information from here.
How to protect yourself
The Islington Cov-19 group offers the following advice taken from doctors and health experts on how to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus, and what to do if it hits you or someone near you:
1. How can I prepare?
- Ensure you have enough paracetamol, aspirin, lemsip, or other medicine in your home in case you aren’t able to go out for a week or two. (Ibruprofen is not recommended).
- Ensure you have enough cleaning products to disinfect your home.
- Keep a small food stockpile so you and others in your home can eat if you must self-isolate.
- Arrange with someone you know who lives nearby to look after each other in case one of you gets sick.
2. What should I do to keep my home safe?
- Clean surfaces, light switches, door handles, and taps at least once a day with detergent.
- Wash your hands when you arrive home, make sure people who visit you do the same. Wash hands before eating, after using a tissue or toilet, and if you need to touch someone.
- Try to keep gatherings of people to a minimum – this might mean canceling a birthday party, Sunday lunch, or other occasions where you would usually be in a room with other people.
3. What should I do when I’m out and about?
- If you feel even mildly ill, or have been in contact recently with someone else who has become ill, avoid leaving the house, or going to public places.
- Keep a distance of at least two metres from other people in public.
- Always use a tissue to cover your mouth/nose when coughing.
- Avoid shaking hands, hugging, kissing, or bodily contact with other people.
4. What should I do if I start to feel ill?
- Stay at home: avoid large groups of people.
- Maintain social distance – avoid coming closer than two metres or so from other people.
- Self-isolate. Stay in a separate room from other people, and avoid any direct contact with them.
- Disinfect the bathroom with a bleach based cleaning product every day.
- If your symptoms get worse, or you start to feel difficulty breathing, contact a doctor or call the We are Islington helpline on 020 7527 8222.
More information for safety
Please take a look at Queercare’s extensive selection of resources, which are of particular use if you are looking after an infected or vulnerable friend or relative.
Please let us know if you come across any additional useful information that may help your community.
Please look after each other.
The Friends of Wray Crescent