“I couldn’t sit and do nothing.”

It was the 6th April – my first day of being on furlough from my customer services job – and I remember thinking, what am I going to do now? I couldn’t sit and do nothing, it’s just not me, and now I had time to help others.

I saw an appeal from the newly-formed Ardwick and Longsight Covid Mutual Aid Group. They were setting up a helpline and asking for volunteers. Supporting people on the phone is part of my day job so I thought I’d be suited to that.

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Falling through the cracks

The last time I was in the West Gorton Community Rooms it was teaming with kids making artwork, playing hide and seek, and tucking in to free burgers.

That was February half term and community volunteers Heather and Chris were in full swing, supporting local families with activities and hot food.

Today the place is silent. It’s nearly the 100th day of lockdown and a lot has changed since then.

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