The first Covid-19 Lockdown began on 23 March 2020 and two days later Birmingham City Council were already talking to Neighbourhood Network Schemes (NNS) lead facilitators about their ability to support local emergency provision. The proposed change in focus would include: providing local contact points for the elderly and vulnerable; enabling local volunteering and providing practical support such as food supply for those needing to self-isolate or shield.

Interviews were conducted with NNS lead facilitators who faced continuing challenges as they worked hard to support their communities in unprecedented times. These took place at the beginning of lockdown, and NNS Leads were asked to reflect on their standout memories of the early stages of lockdown, the challenges they’d faced and the support they’d gained from volunteers, the VCFSE sector and statutory partners.

The report provides useful insight into how effectively Birmingham was able to respond to the demands of the pandemic on a local level and makes recommendations for improvements in order that neighbourhoods are better prepared should they face similar events in future.

“Out of crisis comes opportunity – it’s been an amazing few months! Yes, challenges, but some really really positive stuff as well.” NNS Lead Facilitator

Download the report: Neighbourhood Network Scheme: Learning from their response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Neighbourhood Network Schemes are locality and Constituency based networks which enable the engagement with and investment in local community assets. In Birmingham this is for the purposes of supporting older people to connect to individuals, groups, organisations, activities, services and places of worship in their neighbourhoods. This approach is integral to Birmingham City Council’s community social work model and the overall investment by Adult Social Care in “Prevention First”.