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There with you: ‘We’re here to help, so keep calm and carry on’ says new Spitalfields Covid contact group

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 March 2020

Spitalfields Forum launching Coronavirtus help group with other Spitalfields groups and organisations. Picture: Mike Brooke

Spitalfields Forum launching Coronavirtus help group with other Spitalfields groups and organisations. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Neighbours are setting up groups across the East End to “connect to people” with offers of help during the current Coronavirus crisis.

Spitalfields Forum's James Frankcom ... Spitalfields Forum's James Frankcom ... "We're here to help anyone in self-isolation needing help who should remain at home." Picture: Mike Brooke

Groups are being set up in areas including Spitalfields, Limehouse, Bethnal Green and Whitechapel.

A collaboration strategy has been drawn up by Spitalfields Neighbourhood Forum with the Spitalfields Society, Spitalfields Community Group, residents’ associations and Tower Hamlets councillors for the area.

The Spitalfields Covid Help Group is urging “anyone who shows symptoms to stay at home and not go to shops” but to contact them for help.

Those needing help can email hjcritchley@icloud.com for messages to be forwarded to volunteers.

Limehouse Forum chairman Mark Slankard... Limehouse Forum chairman Mark Slankard... "The only thing more astonishing than the scale of the Covid-19 outbreak is the response from our community." Picture: Mike Brooke

“Anyone in self-isolation needing help should remain at home at stay calm,” Spitalfields Forum chairman James Frankcom said.

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“Local areas are important so people can carry supplies and walk to each other and provide support rather than needing to use public transport and taxis and putting themselves at risk.”

The group also wants volunteers with smartphones who are healthy to email hjcritchley@icloud.com to be added to the its WhatsApp group. Or they can also use WhatsApp on a PC without a smartphone, but this needs a mobile number. They can register at https://web.whatsapp.com/. The area covered by the group is from Bishopsgate in the west to Vallance Road in the east.

Spitalfields Aid benevolence initiative can help those in dire financial need, although grants are limited.

Similar community volunteer groups have been set up in Limehouse, Bethnal Green and Whitechapel.

Limehouse Community Forum chairman Mark Slankard said: “The only thing more astonishing than the scale of the Covid-19 outbreak is the response from our community. Neighbours are responding with extraordinary generosity and kindness at this time of great national and local need.”

Posters and flyers are being put up and distributed in Spitalfields to make sure that “people who need help know how to get it and those who can help know how to give it”.

The Spitalfields Forum, echoing the wartime community spirit, urges above all to “keep safe, keep calm and keep carrying on”.


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