LLG found the silver lining behind the heavy clouds of COVID 19, which overshadowed most of 2020, proving that creativity, resilience and a positive attitude can work wonders even in the worst of times!
Lockdown became the catalyst for us to swing into social action with mutual aid groups in Newham and Waltham Forest to support food banks and delivery of food to vulnerable people throughout the summer months.
Members also volunteered to work on a restoration project for Heritage of London Trust resulting in not only learning new renovation skills but also creating opportunities for one senior member to become an artist in residence for the organisation. See more at London Heritage.
As the colder weather set in members decided to address the plight of rough sleepers and put together survival kit bags of necessities which were handed out to those living on the street over Christmas and New Year in Stratford, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Haringey.
In Walthamstow, contacts from the mutual aid network got together with LLG to set up a website detailing support services, activities, facilities, and volunteering opportunities for residents of Markhouse Ward. LLG was also instrumental in procuring the laptops needed for the local primary school in the area. See more from the M’Aid in Markhouse project.
Although we were unable to meet face to face we kept in touch through digital means learning how to navigate platforms like Zoom, Teams etc and make good use of Whats App. Group sessions supplemented many 1:1 conversations to support vulnerable young people in risky situations throughout the year to ensure their mental health and well-being. Remarkably all of us “ survived” the turmoil of Covid; many “thrived” through personal initiatives to gain new skills, engage in leadership roles and facilitate positive change. LLG now has a new network of groups in Waltham Forest to explore partnerships with, build community as well as an experienced youth leadership team able to provide peer support and education in the future.