From Govanhill to Australia: how the work of one GCU student is benefitting others

Wed, 22 Apr 2020 16:19:00 BST
Benjamin has been volunteering with Glasgow Mutual Aid to support others during lockdown
Benjamin has been volunteering with Glasgow Mutual Aid to support others during lockdown

A PHD student has taken inspiration from his mum and sister to help coordinate a 40-strong volunteer team in the battle against coronavirus.

Psychology student Benjamin Butterworth is helping lead efforts in Govanhill on behalf of Glasgow Mutual Aid to ensure vulnerable residents are looked after during lockdown.

Benjamin explained how he got involved and insists that it’s the least he can do during such difficult times.

He said: “My sister is a nurse in a children’s ward and my mum is a health visitor who’s gone back to being a nurse now.

They’re both working so hard and it’s completely inspired me to do more and undoubtedly what led to this.”

Benjamin added: “I kept coming across all these posters on social media from Glasgow Mutual Aid which featured a QR code on them.

They were asking for volunteers and looking for a co-ordinator in my area, so it was perfect for me as I’m pretty flexible with my PHD.

It’s amazing to see so many people across Glasgow now getting involved and we’re still looking to raise awareness around what we do.”

As part of the groups work, Benjamin teamed up with Queens Park Govanhill Church and Al Kahim Mosque to help deliver food parcels - with the impact being felt well beyond Glasgow.

He explained: “I do the phone dispatch for requests and we got a call from a woman in Australia asking if we could check on her elderly mother as she was understandably anxious.

It actually turned out that she only lived a few streets away from me, so we sent a volunteer around and she's now receiving weekly groceries - it just shows the effect this work can have.”

If you or a loved one is looking for support, then contact the number in the image at the top of the page or if you want to get involved in volunteering then complete the Glasgow Mutual Aid form.

By Ross Clark
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