Cathy Brennan, Secretary of Bounds Green Labour Party and more recently an organiser with her local mutual aid group has written about how they are supporting vulnerable people in the community:
We are divided into about 10 street groups within Bounds Green. Most of our calls for help are from residents living in the poorest areas and mostly from people in social housing. We have residents waiting for benefits to start, and a few who are from Europe and not entitled to State Help. A number of people just appear to have no access to money, or in some cases they have mental health issues – in many cases they’re just in need.
To give examples: I was rung by the concierge of one of 2 blocks of social housing flats. He was concerned for a resident’s welfare. She didn’t have electricity, didn’t have money, had serious mental health issues and couldn’t cope. Our volunteer discovered that the resident had not been eating because she had no money, and it turned out she had had no electricity for 6 weeks due to having been robbed of her electricity top up card 6 weeks ago. She hadn’t eaten for 2 days and was very thin. We went out and shopped for her, getting food specific to her dietary requirements including twice weekly hot food deliveries. We asked them to make sure the resident had a Social Worker and sourced a cheap mobile phone so Haringey connected communities could contact her to help with her electricity. The volunteer contacts her on a regular basis to make sure she is supported now.
Another resident living in the neighbouring block of flats has a young child and is 8 months pregnant with her second. we provide her with twice weekly hot food and once weekly food parcels because she can’t really get out to shop and is on a minimal income – running out of electricity again! She has been put in touch with Haringey Connected Communities, because they can help her apply for more benefits as she should be eligible for statutory maternity pay. A local volunteer contacts her regularly to make sure she’s okay.