Submitted by Bethan Cash on November 14, 2021
Who we are
Canonbury Mutual Aid is a grassroots community group volunteering support for neighbours during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been helping the community with grocery shopping, prescription pick ups, dog walking, organising friendly phone calls and food donations. Help Seekers can contact us on email, phone or Facebook if they require any help during this time.
As part of your activities while working on behalf of Canonbury Mutual Aid (henceforth referred to as CMA) you may incur costs relating to assistance given to members of the community. Our online Open Collective account is intended as a central location of funds which allow transactions to be made securely where necessary (for example, where Help Seekers do not have cash or the ability to transfer funds online). We can also act as a source of emergency funding for Help Seekers facing financial hardship.
When to use this?
The following are considered to be ‘allowable expenses’ (i.e. what we have agreed as a group to cover the cost of)
• Grocery shopping for those who either lack the ability to pay because of:
- Financial hardship - particularly relating to the Covid-19 crisis
- Lack of physical cash and lack of technological ability (for example, Help Seeker can’t do bank transfers or PayPal) and other options (such as online supermarket delivery or other delivery services) are unavailable
• Monthly credit top ups for Helpline number system
• Monthly fees for use of Google services
• Supporting local initiatives for supporting the Canonbury community - including but not limited to:
- Local food banks
How to use this?
If you have an ‘allowable expense’ that you would like to claim, the process is as follows:
Purchase/payment is made for goods/services by volunteer after email confirmation of activity - please ensure to get an itemised receipt which clearly shows the transaction amount, date/time of transaction and vendor name and address. Let us know if this proves to be an issue.
The expense submission is made through our Open Collective page by clicking on ‘Submit Expense’. You will need to create an account if you do not have one already.
Fill in the online form. You will need to provide: • A description of what was purchased - for Emergency Shops, please just put ‘Help Seeker Emergency Shop’ followed by the date the shop was done -- so an example entry would be ‘Help Seeker Emergency Shop 22/4/20’. Don’t include any information about the Help Seeker. • The amount spent • The date the purchase was made • The category - it should be one of the following:
- Groceries for a Help Seeker - please select ‘Food and Drink’
- Phone credit/Google fees - please select ‘Communications’ • Whether the evidence is a receipt or invoice • Payout method - this will either be:
- PayPal - please provide your email address in ‘Further Instructions’
- Bank account - please provide account name, number and sort code in ‘Further Instructions’
Ensure to attach all relevant receipts and/or invoices relevant to the transaction - we will not be able to process expenses without this!
Once submitted, one of the administrators (Amy, Antonia, Jen or Nashira) will check your expenses submission. If any information is missing or unclear, we will contact you and let you know what you need to update. We will check submissions regularly!
Once the administrators are happy with your submission, we will submit it for processing by Open Collective, who process payments on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Grocery shopping policy
CMA wants to ensure that money contributed by the community reaches as many people as possible. Therefore, there will be a limit on grocery shopping transactions in cases where Help Seekers will not be reimbursing volunteers - i.e., when CMA is covering the cost. These purchases will be stop-gap solutions until Islington Council is able to support people, either through the Resident Support Scheme or the We Are Islington helpline. The maximum spend on a shop will therefore be £10 per individual Help Seeker.
While CMA wants to ensure that money contributed by the community reaches as many people as possible, there will always be additional costs to ensure the smooth operation of the group. Therefore, a portion of the funds will be going towards our centralised phone line managed by volunteers where Help Seekers call for assistance. The most cost effective solution at the time was found to ensure costs were low.
There may be additional costs associated with other technologies in the future. These costs will be assessed with due diligence to ensure no unnecessary spending of funding will occur.
As the situation in the UK with COVID-19 continues to evolve, it is uncertain if there may be additional costs in the future. If there are any changes to our expense policy CMA will be transparent and this document will be updated to reflect the changes.
Please get in touch with us via email - [email protected]
How do I get paid from a Collective?
How are expenses approved?
Is my private data made public?
When will I get paid?
Why do you need my legal name?