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  • Research team

London Communities Emergencies Partnership workshop

Our Head of Growth & Partnerships, Grainne O' Dwyer presented at the London Communities Emergencies Partnership workshop, sharing insights from our research on the power of informal neighbourhood networks (e.g. street WhatsApp groups, mutual aid groups, resident's associations) in crisis response and disaster recovery.

Our research highlighted the effectiveness of these informal networks; Mutual aid groups have shown incredible agility in mobilising resources and volunteers to support affected community members, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resident's associations also act as crucial connectors, bridging the gap between local authorities and residents, ensuring that vital information and support are promptly delivered.

Key Takeaways:

Rapid Information Sharing: Informal networks excel at sharing information swiftly, ensuring that community members are well-informed and can take immediate action. For example, WhatsApp groups have been used to alert residents about local hazards and coordinate quick responses to incidents like burglaries or floods​​.

Resource Mobilisation: These networks are adept at mobilising resources & volunteers quickly. Mutual aid groups, in particular, have demonstrated their capacity to organize and distribute aid effectively, which was evident during the Grenfell Tower fire and the COVID-19 pandemic​​.

Community Resilience Building: By fostering strong local connections, these networks enhance overall community resilience. They provide a platform for residents to engage with each other and with formal emergency services, creating a more cohesive and prepared community.

Our full report below delves into the roles these networks play throughout the crisis lifecycle—from resilience building and crisis response to recovery.

Building Community Resilience Through Engaging Neighbourhood Networks - Research Report -
Download • 9.17MB

Let's continue to support and strengthen our local networks to ensure we are all better prepared for future challenges.

Want to get in touch? Click here to email Grainne and find out more.

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