The residents of Rainbow Housing Cooperative have been using their established WhatsApp groups to reach out to each other during Covid19.
When lockdown was put into action, they found they had a number of members who were shielding and needing extra support, with some not having family members that could shop for them. Members of the WhatsApp groups quickly responded, putting messages on the Rainbow ‘chitchat’ group offering help.
Arranging shopping to help those shielding
This was very effective as it allowed people to share their shopping list and have items delivered by other residents to their front door, with the money owed paid via bank transfer. The group also flagged when supermarket delivery slots were available. In addition, they set up an initiative with a local greengrocer, by arranging a day where residents could ring in separate orders and get free delivery for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Socially distanced cuppa and cake
The WhatsApp groups have also been used to invite neighbours to sit out and have a socially distanced cuppa and cake, in place of the regular face to face tea and cake sessions and have helped with instigating a sing song on Sundays. Residents take in turn to choose a song, which is played on a small PA in the street and have a sing along. Residents have said it has been a great opportunity to connect with their neighbours and have a bit of fun.