The Mutual Aid Movement

Since we entered lockdown, community has become important to many of us in a way it was not before. The way we relate to one another has changed and, although physical contact outside the home is impossible, many of us are enjoying a greater sense of connectedness within our neighbourhoods than ever. In Horsham District, and all over the country, people are getting to know and support those who live around them. Whether this is as part of volunteer schemes providing vulnerable people with essential shopping, phone calls offering emotional support, or simply the weekly clap for carers, the networks forged between local residents during this time are vital and valuable.

As we adapt to the current situation, it is important that we also look forward to how we rebuild our lives in the post-covid era and we are conscious that this will not, and should not, mean returning to ‘normal’. The social connectedness that has risen ironically from a time of ‘social distancing’ is something worth maintaining, particularly as many will need support as they continue to isolate long after general restrictions are relaxed.

You can download this PowerPoint presentation click here

At the virtual Horsham Climate Cafe on Saturday 25th April, Alan Sloan joined us from Ireland to discuss a new economic vision for the future. The diagrams on the right indicates how, if we are to recover from the ecological, economic and health crises, the relationship between people, planet and economy needs to shift so that all three areas are balanced and functioning in harmony. His proposal is for a local, community-based economy which better serves the needs of local people.

Various economic systems were discussed in which goods and services are exchanged between local people without money in a traditional sense. Conversation around both the benefits and weaknesses of these systems was an important reminder of the complex nature of economic issues and what community initiatives need in order to be sustainable. Alan and a group of Climate Cafe attendees are going to continue to meet virtually to talk in more depth and to plan a sustainable community economic vision to propose to Horsham District Council. If this is something which you have particular interest or expertise in, please get in touch here, so that we can link you up to this group.

If you are interested in reading more into this subject, the book Local Money: How to Make it Happen in Your Community ( was recommended and the scheme Economy For The Common Good is also worth investigating. Instead of seeing profit as the primary focus, this looks at companies’ impacts on a more holistic level, adjusting their business goals in relation to community wellbeing and the environment ( Another book which was recommended is ‘From What is to What if’ by Rob Hopkins ISBN 978-1-60358-905-5.

Join us at 2pm on Saturday 2nd May for a talk from Tony Whitbread, president of Sussex Wildlife Trust, by booking through the Eventbrite link below. He will be speaking about the impacts of coronavirus on the local ecosystems.

A reminder that the refill service offered by Horsham Repair Cafe is still running (with no physical interaction). Empty bottles for eco-friendly cleaning products can be left at Horsham Quaker Meeting House where they will be refilled between 10 and 12 every Wednesday and Saturday. For order forms, price lists and

further information, take a look at the website:

Poster Idea – The Way We Were Street

Bright New Futures Street

We are calling people with a positive vision of the future and or a desire for change for the following two opportunities:

  1. Forum for Action in Horsham District – a group to look at positive changes and lessons we have learnt since Covid 19 and to become a voice for positive change which can be presented to HDC.
  2. Clean-up and Create a Bright New Future eco art competition run by us in partnership with the South Downs National Park. We are looking for 5-16 year olds in Sussex and Hampshire to get creative during lockdown to reflect, reimagine and redesign a Bright New Future through inspiring art. There are 16 x £150 prizes to be won, learn more here.

Written by Catherine Sleeman

Three videos which share the positive signs seen as a result of changes enforced since


1. Planet Pod – In the first of a new series of Webinars from Planet Pod and Achill Management we ask three leading female Climate Change Makers from very different backgrounds and perspectives to discuss how we might collectively work towards a new Green Way Forward – finding an exit strategy fit for the Planet.

2. Natural Capital – COVID-19 has upended business priorities and working practices all over the world. But the need for action on climate has not gone away. How do you keep teams and other stakeholders involved, or should it be on the back-burner for now? What messages are appropriate? What are the best ways of communicating now that we’re all working very differently? Watch the webinar below.

Listen to Dana Jennings, Senior Project Manager Global Sustainability at LinkedIn, Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of Futerra and Rebecca Fay, CMO at Natural Capital Partners, in a virtual conversation on climate communications through volatile times.

3. The Flip – this video is brought to you by the writer/director of The Age of Stupid, Franny Armstrong, together with the co-creator of, Peter Armstrong. Who just happen to be father and daughter.

Want to get involved?

This is your Sussex Green Living! We would love to hear from you or just come to the next Horsham Repair Cafe session or the Horsham Climate Cafe on the first Saturday of every month.
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“Inspiring sustainable living in Sussex”