Clem’s Garden are working with Lindley Covid Mutual Aid Group to brighten up the lives of local people in the area. Clem’s Garden CIC is a social enterprise in Huddersfield. It’s run by local volunteers who don’t have children or grandchildren to channel their care, skills and experience into. They work together to grow and sell flowers, supporting local charities and community projects with the profits.
Their locally grown flowers are included in essential deliveries of food and medicine for those neighbours who don’t have family around or at the end of the phone for support. The group are also supplying HRI staff with bunches of flowers, to show their love and support for NHS staff.
Golcar Mutual Aid Group’s Food Buddies are also working with Clem’s Garden, delivering beautiful bunches of flowers once a fortnight to those who are unable to leave the house.
The Clem’s Garden volunteers have also pitched in to help with writing letters for care home residents who feel isolated, as part of a project co-ordinated by Volunteering Kirklees.
Find out more & Get involved
Clem’s Garden welcome new participants, including adult volunteers who have their own family, as ‘Friends of Clem’s Garden’.
Had a lovely catch up with the brilliant @ClemsGardenHQ this morning! Not just delivering flowers but their awesome volunteers have been more than willing to help with our letter writing project at the drop of a hat too! Lovely write up @kirkdemocracy 😊 https://t.co/yCerIc6kMb
David Smith, Chair of Stocksmoor Village Association, has kindly shared his reflections about setting up a mutual aid group and being part of the Covid-19 Community Response
We set up our Stocksmoor group on the announcement of lockdown and took the opportunity to register with Kirklees Council via the Covid-19 facebook page and council website. Having no previous experience of setting up this type of group or working with Kirklees Council in this type of setting, we didn’t know what to do or what to expect. We found that we were quickly helped to get set up as a Mutual Aid Group and then brought into the local family of aid groups across the borough through email communications and daily Zoom meetings.
The amount of information and activity flying around as a result of lockdown was immense. This is understandable because of the wide range of localities and individuals it has affected. We have been impressed by the way this information has been brought together and then disseminated to us together with the organising of the daily Zoom meetings (now bi-weekly). In the early period we were all learning from the Covid-19 Community Response team and other mutual aid admins. The meetings went on each day irrespective of the fact that they included bank holidays and weekends, to ensure that the groups were fully supported.
The leadership and management of the mutal aid admins and group meetings has been excellent, bringing a real feel of togetherness amongst us and helping us to share information whilst at the same time using that information to form good practice where relevant. The meeting follow up notes and actions have been excellent and this allows us to share that with our volunteers.
Staff absences, self isolation and illness has affected many organisations in this period and Kirklees Council will be no exception. Inevitably this leads to increased workloads even without the above mentioned activity. Not once has this visibly affected the output from the Covid-19 Community Response team. Whilst it would be justifiable, we haven’t (and hopefully won’t!) had staff shortages put forward when waiting for actions to come back down the line. For us this demonstrates a great working attitude and aptitude and indirectly demonstrates great empathy needed when supporting so many volunteers by meeting us “where we are” – which is to say, being really keen to be effective in our roles.
Please keep up the good work and we look forward to our next meeting.
The community response to Covid-19 in Kirklees has been amazing. We want to thank everyone who is helping others to stay safe, to access food and essential supplies such as medication, and to stay connected. We also want to make this vital support as accessible as possible for everyone who needs it, as well as supporting our dedicated partner organisations, mutual aid groups and volunteers.
As part of our commitment to make it as easy as possible for us all to support each other, Kirklees Council have introduced a Freephone number for the Covid-19 Community Response helpline: 0800 4561114. The helpline is currently open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The local number for the helpline, 01484 226919 will continue to be available, and we will happily call people back. Both numbers are answered by the same team. This is not a new service – the advice and support will be the same on both lines.
Anyone who cannot currently get essential help directly from friends, relatives or neighbours can contact Covid-19 Community Response via Freephone 0800 4561114 or online. Volunteers and local organisations can also contact the freephone helpline to make a request on behalf of someone who they are concerned about.
Kirklees Council’s staff and our partners, voluntary organisations, mutual aid groups and volunteers are all working together in local places across Kirklees to respond to requests for help.
We’re working alongside our citizens and local organisations to make sure that together we can all support our neighbours and communities over the coming weeks. Our Community Response is aimed at supporting those who are most vulnerable and in need of support, and who cannot currently get this help directly from friends, relatives or neighbours.
Please let us know about the things you (or someone who you are concerned about) need help with. You can also tell us how you (or your organisation) can support others.