“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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Everyone’s friendly at Toddler Group

[Before coronavirus] As part of my college course I started volunteering at Parent and Toddler Group at Brunswick Church around September last year. Already it’s just become part of my weekly routine.

I look forward to Wednesday mornings because I’ve already built bonds with the children. Every week is different with new parents and children turning up.

Read more

Allotments: growing on a plate

It was surprising to read a flyer, way back in 2014, about growing vegetables in an inner-city area, produced by a housing association which had recently taken over the local housing stock. Good luck with that!

I say ‘way back’ as so much has happened since then. There’s now a resident-led group that looks after the day-to-day management of a newly built allotment site surrounded by new or refurbished homes.

Read more