‘If anyone needs any help and we can give it, we’ll give it.’ These words were written in a support group leaflet by my Grandmother, Dot Innerd, during the UK 1984/5 Miners’ Strike. My Grandmother set up food parcels in Durham city during this time to feed people affected by the strike. She spent most of her days packing parcels and my Granddad, Bob Innerd, who was a striking miner, would help deliver them to outlying villages.
During my research project I became interested in different ways people can support each other and show solidarity during hardship, such as making sure people have access to food. The importance of this form of activism, which has always existed, has been amplified during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult time, many people across the UK have been setting up and taking part in mutual aid groups, myself included. These have been set up to help people in isolation access food, money, medication, prescriptions, etc.
I used a rose in this collage, as I have also been thinking about the political slogan ‘Bread and Roses’, and how during COVID-19 it has exposed huge class inequalities worldwide. ‘Bread and Roses’ is used to argue that working class people not only deserve decent pay, but they also deserve to enjoy life, and be able to flourish.
I have also put together this list of support services, mutual aid groups and hardship funds, which I will keep updating, for anyone who might need them. Please get in touch if you would like me to add any support services to this list.
Latest health advice from the NHS:
British Sign Language (BSL):
Mental Health Support:
NHS – Every mind matters: coronavirus and mental wellbeing:
Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse:
The freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline
0808 2000 247
Trans Survivors Switchboard:
www.galop.org.uk 020 7704 2040
Rape Crisis (women and girls):
rapecrisis.org.uk 0808 802 9999
Survivors UK (self-identified men and non-binary people): www.survivorsuk.org 0203 598 3898
If you feel you may be harming someone or have harmed someone and want help call: 0808 8024040 or visit respectphoneline.org.uk
UK QTIBIPOC Emergency relief & Hardship Fund:
SWARM Hardship Fund for sex workers:
www.switchboard.org.uk 01273 359042
Support for Older People:
www.ageuk.org.uk 0800 678 1602
COVID-19 Mutual Aid:
COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK groups:
COVID-19 Mutual Aid – Local Group Resources: covidmutualaid.org/resources/#safety
Acorn – COVID-19 community support: