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04 May 2020

My Monday baking: Little buns




Are you struggling with activities to do yourself plus kids? Well what about baking? I know it may not be easier to do with two little guys, but depending the recipes  you are following it can be manageable.

I found this buns recipe online, and it is such an easy one to follow, only two ingredients, not proofing needed and its easy for my little guys to help out... both baking and eating!

Ingredients:

Yogurt
self-raising flour
salt

You just need to keep the proportion 1cup of yogurt to 1 and 1/2 cup of flour and a pinch of salt.... and mix!


Then shape a round ball of dough over a floured counter:



And divide the balls into smaller round dough balls...:



Take it to the oven 10 min 200C:



And that's about it, you'll have little buns ready!



Tasty and quick recipe to make buns ever!


the kids totally loved these, we did eat all the buns!


Hope this inspires you to bake with your little ones and get them occupied for a few min!

28 April 2020

Southampton Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group

How are things in your city during this pandemic?
My city , Southampton, has changed so much. Barely recognisable. Streets are more empty. High street is virtually closed. People are in lock down.

This pandemic has showed me the worse and the best people have to offer. 
The worse, just a quick view at the general policies that many governments enacted, UK included, showed how lack of preparedness has devastating consequences. Tragic, deadly consequences.

It has also showed me the best, how a concerted effort with one single selfless purpose in mind can accomplish so much. I joined a group, Southampton covid-19 Mutual Aid group. Yes, besides sewing scrubs I am also helping with other requests....




This group started with one single purpose , how can we provide help to people who are self-isolating? At the time, and this group was created over two months ago, it was clear the the government would not be doing much, and that the local government would be lacking resources to provide help to its most vulnerable citizens. And  one single person, by creating this Facebook group, was able to gather more like minded individuals wanting to help, and alongside its army of  growing numbers of volunteers more efforts were raised.  What is really important, is recognising the concept behind it, 'mutual aid'. If as a group we understand that this pandemic does not affect everyone equally - there are some people who are more vulnerable, most importantly the way that we offer support will reflect this. However, it also understands that if we are helping today, we, the members and volunteers of this group, might need help in the future. Therefore this group is about building networks based in deep trust  that will support our communities during this crisis  -  and who knows, maybe even after it!   

Altogether, our group of volunteers were able to create an isolation hotline 07923353365, that is open daily from 8am-8pm. Organically organised, our mutual help group  works daily  and continues to help so many people in Southampton. Volunteers working together apart, by using Facebook groups and WhatsApp, are able to coordinate callers that need help with either prescription pick ups, shopping, dog walking  or just by calling and keeping a lonely person some company over the phone... Our power to help did increase, as we are also able to provide financially struggling people with food boxes. Our hotline volunteers are able to generate food vouchers that are later presented at the local food banks and our caller will receive a food box that will provide them food for one week. And once the food banks are closed (they close by 15h), we have  emergency packages, again generated by the generosity of our volunteers that regularly collect food to later distribute among the people who need it.

And through this group, and working side by side with so many wonderful people  I did recover some hope in the future. The selflessness, the generosity, the kindness of every single individual that is working within this group does not cease to impress me. I am so proud of what we accomplished together, and really glad to see this kindness and the momentum it creates. This is only possible with team work functioning. How do we work?
We have coordinators that manage a pool of volunteers, that are organised by Southampton's council wards:


All this wards have their own Whats App managed by a local coordinator, that posts the request that the hotline receives. This hotline volunteer will answer a call, a text or even whats App message, and annotates the caller's general information  and what he needs help with. This generates a request, that is received by the local Whats App group coordinators. For instances, the coordinator for Harefield ward,  receives a request,  that Mr. S needs a prescription pick up from Lloyd's. This coordinator posts on Harefield Whats App group ' help needed for a prescription pick up from Lloyds'. Within minutes, a volunteer offers to help,  further information is provided privately  to this volunteer, that collects the prescription and delivers it to the caller. Our deliveries follow  guidelines, so each group has a delivery protocol to make the drops of medicines and shopping safely. No volunteer will ever enter the caller's premises, and we are working closely with Southampton City Council, as So:Linked to assure that both caller's and volunteers have the best help available in hand. 

Today the main Facebook group has over 6200 members, the group also has 79 local coordinators and around 300  volunteers actioning requests. Since the group started, we have completed over 2200 requests. That means over 2200 acts of generosity, kindness and selfless care, from strangers, to help strangers. 

This helped me through this very weird and anxious time. Witnessing that so many people are still out there, caring and helping the next one made realise kindness is still very present in our world today. It made me relax and be a little bit less anxious. Just a little bit. 


Find out more here: Southampton Covid19 Mutual Aid Group  

If you would like to contribute you can do so via the Open Collective: SCMAG

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