What challenges have you faced?
Barbara: The biggest challenge has been coordinating people – with so much good will, it was in danger of becoming chaotic at the beginning.
Roger: That’s why we sat down to organise it properly, set up the block rep system, and the WhatsApp group.
Grace: Safety was a challenge. In that first week we had to stay calm and look at the safest way to do things, within government guidelines, to channel that energy.
What are your hopes for the future?
Roger: We want to get the community centre back up and running. We used to have a Monday lunch club for over 30 people, a film club, children’s activities and lots of groups like yoga and pilates. People want to set up their groups again and we want to do more for the youth on and around the estate who have had such a hard time.
Grace: We also want to expand our community food co-op set up as part of Cooperation Town, to provide free and low-cost food from surplus and bulk supplies.
Barbara: We really want to host a ‘thank you’ party to celebrate all our volunteers, depending on the situation.
Is there an organisation or group you would like to see recognised for their support for people in Camden during the pandemic?
Roger: Highgate Newtown Community Centre has been a tower of strength.
Cherie: Everyone who works at the ICU at the Royal Free deserves recognition. I cannot imagine working 12 to 16 hour days on your feet, isolating from family, and dealing with that amount of death. Being able to help in a tiny way spurred us on.