A group of young people gathered around a computer screen. They are smiling and look pleased.

Mutual Aid groups are usually not constituted and require no formal or legal set up. However, there are many ways to set up a group successfully so that they can prosper in serving their communities.

If there are not any local groups already existing in your area, you can set up a group for your local area. There will be many existing organisations, people and groups already in your area that you should reach out to understand the community’s needs. By listening to them, you will ascertain the best and most effective ways to support your community.

One of the first steps to take is to set up a group on a communication platform, such as WhatsApp or Facebook. There are more private, secure and open source alternatives such as Signal or Mastodon that may appeal to you, however they are less popular and may require community buy-in.

Some of the best working practices to keep in mind when setting up a group can be summarised in the following points:

  • Clarifying groups goals/vision/purpose
  • Enhance a sense of belonging by cultivating practices
  • Promote socialising and celebrating moments
  • Engaging with the local community
  • Encourage care and support
  • Asking people to contribute in whatever way they can according to needs
  • Promote collaborative relationships with each other and external partners
  • Be flexible in terms of roles and procedures

Here are a some resources that would aid you in setting up a group and further inform you about this process:

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