There With You: Islington People’s Army volunteers help those affected by coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 14:41 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:42 26 March 2020
Volunteers have signed up to form the Islington People’s Army to help those in need during the coronavirus outbreak.
Hot meals, library books, dog walks and shopping trips are all part of the duties completed by strangers in Islington to help keep isolating residents safe.
A phone number for people to call if they’re feeling lonely has been included on flyers distributed in the area.
Volunteer Jeanette Oa, 37, said: “It’s little things which keep all of us going. It helps you not take your health and liberties for granted.
“Everyone is just trying to keep their spirits up.”
Jeanette also praised the group’s ability to rotate volunteering shifts so the workload is shared and no one is burned out as lockdown continues.
“I’m glad we have so many people able to help right now,” she said. “We know it’s not a sprint and will be a marathon.”
The group was set up by Islington mum Hazel Jhugroo, who is in self isolation because her son is asthmatic.
Since its founding the Islington People’s Army has been inundated with offers of help and now has about 25 volunteers for each of its 18 wards.
Islington residents from all areas of life have signed up to help including media and marketing professionals, actors, retirees and full-time parents.
The group’s main priority is to protect the most vulnerable members of the Islington community such as the homeless and those who are unable to cook for themselves.
By coordinating with restaurants, the Islington People’s Army has cooked for as many as 100 people at a time, under the coordination of two chefs.
In addition to their own volunteering efforts, members have also signed up to help assist with NHS volunteering services as well as connecting local businesses and services wanting to help with those in need.
This includes Highbury Library, Shoreditch based pizza company Paradise Slice, Milk delivery service Mark’s Milk and North London Cares.
More details about volunteering or receiving help from the Islington People’s Army can be found on their website here or you can call them on 07309071759.