|Authors and Year||Item type||Organisation||Type of source||Setting||Sample size (if relevant)||Study Design||Data collection period||Findings|
|Alakeson, V, Brett, W (2020) ||Report||Power to Change||Combination of primary + secondary||UK||Not stated||Collective input from stakeholders||Not stated||
• Mutual aid works best at the micro level.|
• Mutual aid at scale requires community organisations
• Community organisations have changed quickly to meet local need.
• Bigger institutions rely on community organisations to respond well.
|Britain Thinks (2020) ||Report||West Midlands Recovery Coordination Group||Primary||West Midlands||36||Series of discussions with Citizen’s panel of local residents||03/06/2020–02/07/2020||• Priorities include getting back to normal safely, healthcare, mental health, education, employment, promoting and supporting business.|
|Felici (2020) ||Blog post||Bennett Institute for Public Policy||Secondary||UK||N/A||Statistical analysis of geographic density of mutual aid groups||27/03/2020||• There is a positive correlation between density of mutual aid groups and measures of socio-economic advantage.|
|Gardner, 2020 ||Newspaper article||The Telegraph||Secondary||UK||N/A||N/A||07/04/2020–16/04/2020||• NHS Volunteer army given fewer than 20,000 tasks since launch.|
|Jones et al. (2020) ||Peer-reviewed article||University of the West of England||Primary||Bristol||539||Survey||06/04/2020–20/04/2020||
• Members of Covid-19 support groups provided a wide range of support and cited a variety of successes and failures.|
• 46.7% of respondents wanted to become more involved in the neighbourhood in the future.
• With respect to most measures there were no differences in the characteristics of support between respondents in areas of high and low deprivation.
|Kavada (2020) ||Blog post||Open Democracy||Secondary||UK||N/A||N/A||N/A||
• The creation of “micro-groups” in specific areas helped to create trust|
• Mutual aid groups used a variety of digital tools to organise.
• The decentralised organising model of mutual aid groups is faster and more agile than the centralised model.
• Mutual aid groups may become involved in political campaigns regarding the broader impact of the pandemic.
|Local Government Association (2020) ||Website||Local Government Association||Secondary||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||• Large repository of case studies of good council practice in response to Covid-19.|
|Locality, 2020 ||Report||Locality||Primary||Berwick, Grimsby, Norfolk, Holburn, Levenshulme, Hackney, Coventry||7 case study interviews; 57 survey responses||Case study interviews with community leaders; qualitative survey; member roundtables; contributions from local authority leaders||Not stated||
• Existing social infrastructure was crucial to the crisis response.|
• The crisis has created new and improved partnership working between community organisations and the public sector.
• Community organisations have connected different layers of response.
• Managing new volunteering capacity came with challenges
• Community organisations have adapted at pace but require support for the future.
|Mak & Fancourt, 2020 ||Peer-reviewed article||UCL||Primary||UK||31,890||Survey of Covid-19 volunteers||21/04/2020–03/05/2020||
• Three types of Covid-19 volunteering identified: formal volunteering, social action volunteering, neighbourhood support.|
• Volunteering was associated being female, living with children, living rurally, having higher educational qualifications, and higher household income.
• New groups identified as likely to volunteer were people with a physical or mental health condition.
• The predictors of volunteering during the pandemic may be slightly different from other non-emergency period.
|McCabe, A., Wilson, M., & MacMillan, A. E. (2020) ||Briefing||Local Trust||Primary||26 areas in England||Not stated||“Learning conversations” with residents, community activists and workers; Interviews with Big Local reps||04/2020–06/2020||• Communities have been resourceful in developing creative ways of bringing resources together to respond quickly to community need, using technical knowledge to implement alternative ways of working; applying local knowledge to meet immediate needs; promoting acknowledged roles.|
|McCabe, A., Wilson, M., & Macmillan, R. (2020) ||Report||Local Trust||Primary||26 areas in England||317 conversations; 20 Interviews||“Learning conversations” with residents, community activists and workers; Interviews with Big Local reps||04/2020–09/2020||
• Community responses to the immediate crisis have varied significantly.|
• Most communities have moved on from an initial crisis response and are looking ahead.
• An established community-led infrastructure underpins an effective community response.
|McCabe, A., Wilson, M., & Paine, A. E. (2020) ||Briefing||Local Trust||Primary||26 areas in England||Not stated||“Learning conversations” with residents, community activists and workers; Interviews with Big Local reps||04/2020–10/2020||
• A new cohort of volunteers has emerged who are often younger and on the furlough scheme.|
• Engagement at grassroots level has been more effective than command-and-control.
• Factors identified as important in the successful retention of volunteers include clear boundaries, permissions, social rewards, nurturing relationships, feeling valued.
|NewLocal, 2020 ||Report||New Local||Primary||UK||94||Survey of local government leaders, chief executives and council mayors||9/04/2020–21/04/2020||
• 95.6% of respondents highly value the contribution of community groups in their council’s effort to tackle Covid-19 (47.4% very significant, 48.2% significant).|
• Council chiefs are more confident there is community cohesion in their area, with confidence levels at 71.9%
|NHS England (2020) ||Website||NHS||Primary||N/A||N/A||N/A||27/03/2020–29/03/2020||• The NHS Volunteer responders initiative has recruited 750,000 people in 2 days.|
|O’Dwyer (2020) ||Blog post||Kingston University||Primary||UK||854||Survey of mutual aid group members||Not stated||
• Participants are predominantly white, female, middle class, and more political than average.|
• Participants were generally left wing but tended not to see their mutual aid groups as political.
|Scottish Government (2020) ||Report||Scottish Government||Primary||Scotland||62||Qualitative survey of community organisations||15/05/2020–27/05/2020||
• The pandemic has prompted large changes to the operations of respondents.|
• Covid-19 has presented increased demands, most prominently the provision of food.
• Half of participants mentioned improved partnership working.
• Priorities for the future include mental health support, employment, building a wellbeing and low carbon economy, tackling inequalities, capitalising on rise in community support.
|Spratt (2020) ||Newspaper article||The i||Secondary||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||
• ACORN have seen a large increase in membership over Covid-19.|
• ACORN have been holding “eviction resistance” bootcamps to tackle the rise in evictions.
|Taylor and Wilson (2020) ||Report||Community Organisers||Combination of primary + secondary||UK||Not stated||Literature review; Interviews with people involved in community organising||Not stated||
• Communities with an organising history were able to respond quickly and flexibly as previous community organising activity meant that local people were already connected.|
• Vast majority of support provided was “practical help” including delivering food, collecting prescriptions, making check-in calls.
• Organisers adapted to the need to go online through use of technology but also developed methods for reaching the digitally excluded.
• Community organisers have supported residents to challenge government policies and practices.
|Tiratelli (2020b) ||Blog post||New Local||Secondary||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||
• The activity of mutual aid groups declined sharply when lockdown eased.|
• Many mutual aid groups are dormant but the infrastructure they have created remains.
• Mutual aid groups may spring back into action if a second lockdown occurs.
|Tiratelli & Kaye, 2020 ||Report||New Local||Combination of primary + secondary||UK||Not stated||Literature review; Observation of mutual aid groups’ social media; Interviews with mutual aid participants||Not stated||
• Some mutual aid groups form spontaneously and others as outgrowths from existing community projects|
• Digital infrastructure was important
• The furlough scheme led to a different demographic profile of volunteers than usual
• Activities of mutual aid groups have evolved to encompass wider social support over time
• Councils should adopt facilitative approaches to working with Mutual Aid groups rather than controlling or indifferent approaches.
|Tiratelli, 2020a ||Report||New Local||Combination of primary + secondary||UK||Number of interviews not stated||Literature review; Interviews with experts on the topic of community mobilisation||Not stated||
• Community engagement is a shallower process than community mobilisation.|
• Approaches to community mobilisation can focus on different units: individuals, groups, places, and services.
• Public bodies interested in community mobilisation need to: take a facilitative approach; listen to communities; build something that was not there before; have clear goals.
|Volunteer Scotland, 2020 ||Report||Volunteer Scotland||Primary||Scotland||4827||Survey of charities||05/05/2020–15/05/2020||• 37% of charity volunteers have been unable to work during COVID-19.|
|VSF (2020) ||Report||Primary||Secondary||N/A||13||Collective input from Volunteering Support Fund projects||Not stated||
• Many projects shifted their operations to the online world.|
• Support was offered to volunteers and service users with using technology.
• Many projects reported increase in volunteer recruitment.
• Projects adapted to respond to the pandemic, some changing their focus entirely.
|Wein (2020) ||Report||Dignity Project||Primary||UK||182||Survey of mutual aid group members||11/05/2020–30/05/2020||
• In 53% of groups a small group of people made the decisions whilst 33% had more consensual decision-making.|
• Support on technology and communication was most desired by groups (32%)
• 83% of respondents intended to take some political action in the coming year and 49% will take at least 3 actions.
• Demographics: 65% female, median age 48, 48% earned less than median income, better educated were overrepresented.
|Wilson, McCabe & MacMillan (2020) ||Briefing||Local Trust||Primary||26 areas in England||Not stated||04/2020–08/2020||
• Informality has assisted the speed and flexibility of responses to Covid-19 but scaling is an issue.|
• Organisations have been mixing both formal and informal ways of working.
• Pre-existing community infrastructure has facilitated the co-ordination of responses to Covid-19.