Ipswich Anti-Loo Roll Brigade plans big party after year of Covid-19 help
- Credit: Dalian Haynes/ Victoria Laura/ Jasmine Rutter
Faced with shopping aisles of missing toilet paper, an Ipswich Covid-19 group reached out to those struggling during the start of the pandemic.
Since starting a year ago, one of the biggest community response groups here in Suffolk – Ipswich Anti-Loo Roll Brigade – is still going strong.
Organiser Daniel Lee Harvey said after the group was created on March 15, 2020, the membership increased to more than 5,000 on Facebook in just a few days.
The 27-year-old added that the group was "overwhelmed" with messages in the beginning and was grateful they could do something for people.
"We had a real in-depth understanding on a ground level of how to communicate with people locally," he said.
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"Over 18,000 referrals have been successfully dealt with by us."
The Ipswich Anti-Loo Roll Brigade also protested against school meals not being rolled out outside of school term in October.
It was a policy that the government later U-turned on after pressure from footballer Marcus Rashford.
Mr Harvey said he joined as he really needed something to do at the beginning while working from home and already had 10 years experience in community organising.
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"I'm going to be honest, I was in a really bad place at the beginning," he said.
"I'm now giving back to my community, which I enjoy and is what I've always done.
"I cannot emphasise enough what a medicine it has been to socialise through this group for all of us."
The group is also looking to have a music festival at the end of the pandemic to remember those that have been lost and celebrate the end of Covid-19 restrictions.
"We've got over 200 enquiries in two days after I put it out," he said.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to have it this year and agree on a date. For now, it's coming soon.
"We also want to show recognition to frontline workers who have been out there helping the whole time."
Mr Harvey said he would also like to thank Jasmine Rutter, Carl Sparrow, Victoria Laura, David Briti$h and Dalian Haynes for their work.
As well as Peter Dutch, the founder of Colchester Anti-Loo Roll Brigade, who inspired them to set up their own Covid-19 mutual aid group.
You can find the group, which now has 10,000 plus members, by searching Facebook for Ipswich Anti-Loo Roll Brigade.