Southwark and Herne Hill residents struggling financially can ask for money through ‘solidarity funds’ set up locally by members of mutual aid groups.  

Mutual aid groups, made up of local people that provide support for those who need it, were created at the start of the first lockdown and spread across the UK. 

Some involved in setting up those groups in London then decided to form five funding pots, dubbed resident solidarity funds, including Herne Hill, Goose Green, SE15, SE16, and Newham. 

The funds work by financially secure residents making monthly or one-time donations. 

Then anyone in the relevant postcode can request funds via the Social Change Agency website, with no other criteria needing to be met. 

Since starting, the groups have collectively distributed more than £23,000 to residents. 

Now they have launched a winter Crowdfunder with the aim of raising £10,000 to share among the five funds to better support local residents in the coming months. 

The appeal has raised more than £2,000 so far.

Seth, an admin for the Goose Green solidarity fund, said the network grew from a “desire to create something different”.  

“There are no barriers to accessing the funds, the aim is to redistribute wealth locally a little. 

“Another lockdown means increased pressure on the most vulnerable in our community, and when combined with the rising heating bills that winter brings, we predict the need for the various funds will be greater than ever.” 

Since the five funds were launched, four other groups across the UK have followed suit, including SE22, Brent, and Elwswick and Arthur’s Hill in Newcastle.