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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Coronavirus in Harringay? a practical thread about looking out for our neighbours

So the inevitability of tighter restrictions on public gatherings looks only days away; with school closures, enforced working from home, overstretched essential workers suffering all very real consequences.

Beyond the immediate concern about ourselves and those we live with **and keeping perspective for a moment - most of us under-65 and without any underlying & serious health conditions/weakened immunity are going to be ok ** the more important concern to my mind is of its further transmission and spread: what happens during the coming weeks to those of our neighbours that become housebound because they either have the virus or are self-isolating out of fear due to being in a vulnerable group? 

Rather than hopelessly speculate on 'what if' scenarios, I have a practical suggestion and plan for how HoL could come into its own and facilitate some real community spirit and solidarity. The aim being to keep an eye out for our neighbours, helping each other out. With the NHS almost at breaking point even before this came along, it becomes crucial that we do something at a community level now as we wont be able to rely on others to do it for us.

And it wouldn't take much effort...

If one, two or more residents on each street were to volunteer to fetch some shopping or medical supplies for a neighbour on their road once or twice a week, we would be making both a great individual and a wider social contribution to slowing the spread of the virus and reducing the strain on the NHS. If that same act gets replicated across the area in dozens, you can imagine over the days and weeks how this could mitigate the wider spread in a very small but nonetheless essential way. And foster plenty of community goodwill in the process.

If Hugh/HoL admin agreed, we could keep a pinned post of the street reps (HoL users) that could be contacted by DM here if someone goes into self isolation - or knows a neighbour that has. For various reasons it wouldn't be a good idea to publicly post which people or households are self-isolating, but street reps could keep each other updated and help across streets if need be.

Would anyone be interested in being involved as a street rep for shopping or other essential errands?

Constructive suggestions and improvements to the idea are definitely appreciated! - apathy and sarcasm won't be (there's a whole world of social media out there for that!)

UPDATED TO ADD (16.03.20)

Thanks to Hugh there is now a dedicated area on Harringay Online for the duration of the epidemic for local resources and contacts if you need help and to be visited to your door by a Street Rep

UPDATED (14.03.20):

To volunteer as a Street rep text 07980 591375 or email harringayneighbours@gmail.com. If you have WhatsApp follow this invite to join the Street reps organising group for the HoL area https://chat.whatsapp.com/LxCuIy1BcZvBMunk1JZBMy


Similar initiatives are springing up across London and Haringey. If you live beyond the immediate HoL area, you can give offers of help elsewhere in the borough here.

Tags for Forum Posts: coronavirus, coronavirus volunteering

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Can we maybe link up our street-by-street efforts with making sure the local foodbanks are OK? This is straight from the top of my head, but there are reports already that because people are so worried about their own families, donation levels have dropped... 

Really good idea! Kit the WhatsApp group is going up shortly so please raise this there too!

Dermot, I'm sure you're all over this, but in case you haven't had the time to look around much, a couple of things that have come across my desk:

- Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK - A volunteer network sharing community care groups across the UK supporting vulnerable people through covid-19 outbreak - @CovidAidUK

- Haringey Reach and Connect - multi-agency service to support Haringey residents who are 50+, at risk of social isolation or who have suffered a recent life event that threatens their wellbeing and independence.

- Also I'm reminded by the Reach & Connect page that Sarah James, one of Harringay ward's councillors is the cabinet member for Adults and Health. So, it may be worth connecting with her - sarah.james@haringey.gov.uk

Thanks for these Hugh, and no I haven't had the opportunity to look at local CV19 resources. Others in the Street reps may have picked these up already but I'll also take a look in the coming days. Thanks!

There is also an Over '50's group in Haringey. I could let them know and make sure they know this will only cover Harringay, and others might like to set up in other areas. I will also pass on to GRA residents - members of Gardens Residents Association in case they haven't seen this already.


Have a look at this proforma too- might be useful

Proforma offering help:

Hi Dermot, I think your initiative is excellent, I'm not sure I would be an ideal street sep partly cos of work but  I  think communications need to be strong so nobody is left alone in trouble or in need.

I'm worried about my contacts as my daughter is a respiratory out-patient and I am debating stopping work so as not to chance bringing the virus home...I work in a quite hi risk environment.

That said I can help with some shopping, keep an eye...I am aware of my more elderly neighbors.

Some I know have you get family at hand, others possibly not.

I'll be glad to call by and check if the isolate recommendation comes. And perhaps anyway.

We are on Warwick Gardens.

Great idea. We are on Beresford and happy to help. I will email you. 

Hi - I'm a teacher, so if/when the schools close I am definitely up for helping. Don't have WhatsApp but will email you my details. Thanks for doing this! I am on Falkland

Dermot has now set up a dedicated area of HoL to use as a readily discoverable base for the work of neighbour support for Covid19.

The new group can be accessed via the Groups tab or through the new alert text box placed at the top centre of the home page.

Joining the group will ensure that you get special alerts of any news posts and will provide a place to add posts, raise issues and ask questions about the virus.

I’m a local catsitter, I live on Pemberton Rd. If anyone is going away to isolate and needs their cat(s) or other small pets looking after during this time then please get in touch. I’m also happy to help with shopping etc if I can. 

You can find me at the #harringaycatwatch on Instagram or on CatInAFlat here https://uk.catinaflat.com/pet-sitter/53652 I’m a known and trusted member of the community.

TfL station closures and transport changes




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