Hiya! A few people have been getting in touch to say they’re interested in getting involved – which is brilliant! – but that they’re not really sure what that might mean. So we thought we’d open a window into what Lambeth Mutual Aid are up to on an average week. We hope it inspires even more of you to get in touch via email or on Instagram as there is always more we could be doing to build the community structures we need for care, better living, and more equitable relationships.
It was the monthly LMA coffee morning on Saturday: Jane chatted to our friends the Ms, a couple from Iran who were recently given leave to remain in the UK, and regularly receive grants from the Solidarity Fund. Jane shares that the Ms new ID cards were stolen at point of delivery. Sian starts helping them to challenge TNT about this.
Maddy contacts two housing action groups, Acorn Lambeth and Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth, about coming into our Solidarity Sunday gatherings to talk about housing rights and share tactics for collective action.
Sian is on the email rota this week and receives a message about Mr E: he was in a motorbike accident recently and cuts to public services mean he’s not had the support he needs. Patricia takes him some shopping: he’s angry about becoming a “charity case” but we remind him that we do this out of solidarity and a belief that care is a collective endeavour, not a vehicle for profit.
We send messages of support to Steph, who recently had a baby, and Colette, who is soon having a baby, and Chloe, who has covid. And we start sending money to Izzy to visit a loved one in prison outside London.
Donna gets working on a funding application to boost the Solidarity Fund: we’re not a charity and we don’t fundraise to get paid, so any extra funds we are awarded will be used to encourage more people to get involved in Lambeth Mutual Aid, to give or ask for money, and to gather around ideas of collective care and wealth redistribution.
Tom does some more organising for our first fundraising event, a gig in Stockwell in a week’s time. There are three bands to chat with, and we are also reaching out to other community groups, in the hopes that they might give talks or host information stands on the night.
It’s our monthly Solidarity Sunday gathering! We meet Quai who has organised an amazing donation of snacks, have a great chat with Grace from Acorn, discuss ideas for a toy swap with L, a single mum who has come with her toddler, and have a quick learning session on how to use Instagram.
This is just a glimpse: other things happened during the week, including signposting to support and referrals to food banks, reaching out to another local group called Get Rid of and Donate to find out about their referral process, an internal group discussion about the dire impacts of austerity, and more.
And we could be even more active with YOUR involvement! Get in touch if you’re interested.if
In love and solidarity, LMA xoxo