Originally published at: New Year message – Cooperation Birmingham
Happy New Year to all of you fighting, caring people.
The past year has been an utter whirlwind, but we are so proud of the people of Birmingham for stepping up to help each other in these troubling times.
Co-operation Birmingham has been a part of a global out-pouring of support and care that has accompanied the terrible consequences of the pandemic. Participants in our Solidarity Kitchen have cooked and delivered over 14,000 nourishing meals for the people of Birmingham.
Our mission is that through co-operation and mutual aid we can build our cities’ resilience together. This autumn, we have provided many meals as part of Northfield Food Service and more recently some wonderful Christmas dinners. We hope to do more.
We also wanted to reach out on the eve of an unprecedented wave of school closures and a soaring rise in COVID-19 cases. The National Education Union is co-ordinating a teacher walk-out from unsafe schools. We won’t have a clear picture of what is going to happen until later this week but we do know that with infection rates this high, things can’t go on as normal. We know that just like in the first lockdown, this will leave many poor and working class parents and carers in impossible situations when it comes to childcare and putting food on the table.
The school closures are right and vital but they will happen with very little of the preparation necessary due to the government’s head in the sand, failure after failure approach to dealing with the pandemic. To the rich (and the politicians that enable them), free school meals and childcare are services they have never needed to consider, but they are absolutely vital for poor and working class families across the city.
We wanted to reach out to participants of the Solidarity Kitchen project who are teachers, parents or carers and find out if there is anything Co-operation Birmingham could do to support them in terms of providing meals, or practical solidarity to schools & kids across the city.
There comes a time in our life when we need to take that stand to protect people we have never met and whose names we don’t yet know. For thousands and thousands of people, that time will be next week. We should all do what we can to look after each other.
Get in touch, stay safe and let’s make co-operation common sense in 2021.
In solidarity, from members of Co-operation Birmingham