Full disclosure: we were involved in the setting up of the Wolverhampton COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook Group. In fact, Out of Darkness actually comes from the relationships built while forming that group.
We obviously don't have a monopoly on the idea of mutual aid in Wolverhampton, and nor do we want one. However we have put together some resources for people who are interested in setting up their own mutual aid initiatives, related to COVID-19 or otherwise, and these have already had some success in spawning more localised mutual aid projects.
What is mutual aid?
Here's an engaging, well-made video explaining some of the ideas behind mutual aid. It's a very American perspective and it predates the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's worth watching nonetheless (not suitable for children).
In keeping with the participatory spirit of mutual aid, the following resources are hosted on Google Docs and are configured to be able to be edited and improved by anyone.
Directory of local groups
This is a directory that lists out all the organisations doing COVID-19 relief work in Wolverhampton. You can use the directory to access help if you need it, or get involved with something locally. If there's nothing happening in your area, start a local mutual aid group!
Guide to setting up a new group
This document was written very early on in the pandemic. At the time we thought that the best thing to do was to use the city-wide group to form smaller groups in council wards or neighbourhoods, and then go further and form street-level groups.
A few groups have put this guide into practice, most notably in WV11 COVID-19 Mutual Aid, but the guide probably needs revising now.
Street group starter kit
Here are some resources for setting up a street level group, which is relatively simple but can still make a big difference for everyone on your street. Like the other documents listed on this page, they should be editable.