All across Brent, twenty mutual aid groups have been working together since March, offering practical support and care to their neighbours. Many people have found themselves in hardship as a result of Covid-19 – and we know the effects of this crisis will be felt for a long time to come. In response, people from Mutual Aid groups across the borough have come together to set up the Brent Solidarity Fund, to provide direct assistance to Brent residents who are struggling financially.
What is the Brent Solidarity Fund?
The Brent Solidarity fund provides assistance to Brent residents who are struggling financially. This fund can be used for anything: we are not here to judge you and there is no obligation to pay back the money. The fund is run with respect and trust, in accordance with principles of mutual aid: “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”.
Funds will be dispensed once a week, and each individual can apply once per calendar month. If we raise enough money, the fund will be open for applications from the end of August.
Applying for funds
Who can apply?
Anyone in Brent who needs financial support can apply.
How much can I get?
We are aiming to provide funds for up to £50 per calendar month, per applicant. We may be able to increase this, or we may need to decrease this, depending on how much money we raise.
Are there restrictions on what I can spend the money on?
No - the fund can be used for anything you are struggling with.
How can I or someone I know apply?
Will my application be private?
Yes. We understand that some people do not want to or cannot have their details publicly available. Your local Mutual Aid group will process your application and the Solidarity Fund team will keep all details passed onto us secure; your application can be as private as you need.
How do I actually get the money?
Your local mutual aid group will send your basic details to us - name or alias, year of birth and postcode - and give you instructions on how to claim through the Brent Open Collective Platform (a money transfer and accounting system). We will match the information we have received to claims, and release funds once a week. The platform is very easy to use, and money will be disbursed directly into your bank account. Your local Mutual Aid group can help you use the platform if you don’t have internet access.
I don’t have a bank account or don’t want to use my bank account. Can I have it as cash?
If you need it as cash, where possible your local Mutual Aid group will help you to do that in a way that is safe and secure.
What happens to my data after I have received the funds?
How can I help?
The fund is only as strong as its donations. If you can contribute to the fund, a suggested contribution is one hour’s wage per month, but smaller, larger and one-off contributions are all welcome. If you are either contributing to the fund or withdrawing from it, you can also get involved in the running of the fund.
Where can I donate money?
How can I get involved in running the fund?
We always need more hands on deck. If you would like to get involved and volunteer with the Brent Solidarity Fund organising team please drop us an email at [email protected]
Statement of Principles and Equality of Access
- Housing and immigration status should be no barrier to accessing the fund.
- Applicants will be signposted to other organisations that can to provide support in the short or long term.
- People accessing the fund can be assured of confidentiality.
- We actively seek to move towards participatory decision making.
- Contributors and recipients should be equally represented: more money should not, for the purposes of this fund, equal greater power.
- The fund is open to all adults living in Brent irrespective of disability, gender expression, marital status, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
- We recognise that ‘open’ is not the same as ‘easily accessible’, and we are committed to actively working towards making the fund equally accessible to all.