IARA update 2 April 2020

Dear Members

Like many people, we have to think hard to remember what day it is, or how long this very changed world has been our environment. Looking back at the 6 emails we sent to you in March, we realise it is less than a month since we first mentioned the virus, and the need for our community to hang on in there and support each other. Since then we have heard about a huge amount going on – neighbours looking after each other, phoning to check on friends, running errands, sharing information. Ideas and information are still flowing, so here are a few.

Helping the NHS

Sophie, who is herself recovering from the virus, has sent us this:

You may already be aware of this, but in the absence of widespread testing the NHS would like as many people as able to create a daily record of their symptoms (whether you think you have virus or not) to provide as much data as possible on transmission and range of symptoms.”    go to https://covid.joinzoe.com/

The first time you log on you enter a bit of information; after that it takes a couple of seconds every day, just to say whether you have been tested and whether you are well that day.

Food and supplies

The Fields Beneath – The cafe next to Kentish Town West station on Prince of Wales Road is now offering a delivery service for fruit, veg, some groceries (You can also order to collect from outside the cafe). Go to https://www.thefieldsbeneath.com/ , click on “order groceries” scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to what’s available, then email your order.

We’ve also successfully ordered and had delivered food from the Prince of Wales Road supermarket 07576 001900 (details in previous update)

Ali, who lives in The Gates on Prince of Wales Road, recommends a greengrocer who normally has a market stall on Plender street in Camden. He says: “John (Mackie) isn’t expensive at all and has been doing free contact-free deliveries to our building and area. His wife does flowers. They’re both fantastic. Maybe neighbours could order on same day so it’s easier to deliver.” 07970 509333

Free food for those in real need:  A local community organisation will deliver free food (on a weekly basis, if possible) to people who are on low or no pay, who are self isolating or in any other situation that puts them in urgent need. 

Please let us know if you would like to know more about this, for yourself or a friend or neighbour. Referrals need to come through a community organisation, so we’ll need to take details, including the full address including post code. They say:

We are not asking for names or phone numbers. Please indicate household size if relevant (e.g. large family) or if there are any special requirements (no meat, number of children, etc).”

This organisation distributes on each Wednesday and yesterday they were short of volunteers – so please let us know if you can help – it would help if some people had use of a bike or a car. 

We have seen that Morgans on the corner of Anglers Lane and the High St is offering delivery of paper, ink catridges etc for orders over £30. 020 7485 4472 If this is too much, maybe we could put two or more people together to makje up the total? Great to support our local shops.

Calling blood donors.   The NHS are apparently low on volunteers.  


Find your inner​creator!

A creative neighbour has suggested this:

residents might like to think about skills they have to produce Isolation arts and crafts during our lockdown, and we feature it on a stand at the next Alma street fair.” Great idea – and you can take a picture of your creation and send it to us to include in this mailing?

Crime, scamsHard to believe people are taking advantage of the virus – but they are. If you are the victim of, or hear about, a crime do please let us know so that John, who represents us on the police Safer Neighbourhoods Panel, can pass on the information.

Also, there are some nasty scams going around – including one telling people they have been spotted going out more than once a day and can pay their fine online …


Families on lockdown around the world have been finding inspiration in Rosen’s children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, by putting teddy bears in their window for children out for their daily walk to see and be cheered up by the line “We’re not scared” or similar. A few people round here have done it – you might want to.

   < One child’s response to the crisis. 

A few people have indicated an interest in forming an IARA based WhatsApp group – but since we raised this we’ve discovered quite a lot of overlap with other groups. Raglan street has one of its own – perhaps Inkerman too?

And going a bit wider there is a Covid-19 WhatsApp group for Kentish Town, which is now subdividing itself into smaller groups. Two of these cover Inkerman Area and David has joined those to try and make sure we work together and don’t duplicate work or confuse people.

Anyone who gets this email who is also in the Zones 9 or 10 groups might like to contact us so it is all coordinated. The groups seem so far to be very much the product of the Mutual Aid approach and have not developed any wider social contact style unlike the other street based ones.. We would welcome people’s ideas on this.

Perhaps those of you who have said you’d like to join an IARA group would let us know whether you’re happy to join one of these Mutual Aid ones or whether you’d like to share details with each other to start an IARA group.

Stay well