• Will B.

A local partnership response to Covid-19 in east Newcastle

The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on all of us, both on how we live and how we work. The coronavirus crisis has seriously challenged our physical, psychological and social wellbeing. These challenges are with us now and will remain for many months to come.

But there have also been many, many examples of positive action to support others and local communities. A good example of this has been the response of local organisations and the communities of Walker and Byker in the East End of Newcastle.

“In order to be effective, be responsive. In order to be responsive, listen.”

Sharon Weil, ChangeAbility: How Artists, Activists, and Awakeners Navigate Change

There have been hundreds of examples of spontaneous goodwill. Friends and neighbours have provided support where they can. Organisations have also quickly changed what they do – providing emergency food parcels, moving from face to face work to providing phone support and online activities. Hundreds of practical, creative and well-being activities have been packed and distributed to families to promote positive activity at home. Closed restaurants and cafes have started to deliver emergency meals to keyworkers and vulnerable people.


Strength in numbers


As well as the energy of these individuals and organisations, a key factor in this response has been the strength of local partnerships. Building on the existing community networks of the Walker Workers and Byker Children and Young People’s Partnership, charities, schools and other groups have been able to support each other to quickly adapt and learn, prioritise need and refer people on for support if they can’t provide it themselves.


The challenges continue. It's essential to continue to work together to provide support to those who need it most. And to recognise and adapt to new as well as existing needs – whether the effects of unemployment, social isolation and anxiety, ‘holiday hunger’ and food poverty, and more.


There's still a long way to go with this crisis, with many more challenges ahead, but it is important to stop for a moment and recognise the collaboration and efforts of many organisations and individuals in the East End of Newcastle.

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