Reply To: Coronavirus

Peter Wright

My third update follows; if you want a version with the links

As we enter lockdown new volunteers and new services are appearing to help Camden’s residents.
Camden Council appealed for volunteers who have been directed to voluntary sector groups. It seems to have partnered with Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) which is coordinating voluntary sector activity, and with age UK Camden which is developing more personal services.
VAC is trying to list and support local groups; you can see their work here, and the list of groups here. Age UK Camden sets out its activities here. The main one delivers basic food to those in need; I append the latest information about this from Camden Council.
COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK has published a list of local groups here. Camden COVID-19 Mutual Aid has a Facebook page here. Nextdoor ( is a website for local groups and volunteers. It has listed its volunteers to help with the pandemic on a map so you can see who lives near you; it is here.
The ‘Camden New Journal’ has ongoing reporting of the pandemic here.
Clinicians are reporting that loss or impairment of the sense of smell is a common and early symptom of COVID-19 infection. It also means that taste is lost or impaired as well. They advised that anyone who developed such symptoms without having had a head injury should consider that they may have the infection.
The good news is that all this activity begins to assemble the way to get us all through the pandemic.

Emergency Food Packages – provision available for those in crisis
In recognition of the increased risk of food poverty in Camden due to Covid-19, we are partnering with Age UK to deliver emergency food packages to those that are:
• Housebound and
• Can’t get food and
• Are in food crisis (loosely defined as 2 days or less of food and without perishables)
For clarity: although we are partnering with Age UK, this offer is not restricted to those over 55. It is for anyone that is housebound, can’t get food and is in food crisis.

From Tuesday 24th March Camden residents experiencing the challenges listed above will be able to get one of these emergency food packages through:
• Calling Age UK
• Calling Camden’s customer support line/ Covid-19 helpline
• Referral by Age UK
• Referral by Camden staff
We are exploring how to refer from other VCS orgs, but in the immediate term VCS partners can call Age UK.

The emergency package contains: milk, bread, butter, eggs, biscuits, tea, coffee, tinned food, cereal, toilet roll & soap.

If you know of a resident that needs this support, you can refer them using this online form. There are two versions for the form. One for the north and south of the borough, depending on where the resident being referred lives. Anything north of Mornington Crescent tube will be NORTH & anything south, so including Somers Town and King’s Cross, will be SOUTH.
The referrals will then be sent to the relevant team for distribution
You will need to provide the following information:
• Name
• Telephone number
• Address
• Delivery instructions
• Whether they have any allergies
• Whether they have any symptoms of Covid-19
• The name of the person making the referral
• Whether the individual consents to their data being shared with Age UK in order that they can send a delivery package

This a new service that we have implemented rapidly to try and respond to the challenges posed by Covid-19. We know we need to do more to prevent people going into food crisis. Work to this effect in underway and more details will follow.