It has been over a year since the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the UK, and volunteers have been battling the pandemic ever since.

The pandemic sparked a large community response, which saw groups form to fight food poverty, increase PPE supply, and break the digital divide.

Below we have listed four amazing volunteer groups which formed at the start of the pandemic and are still standing strong today.

Merton Mutual Aid

Your Local Guardian:

Zakaria Dada, 19, decided to create Merton Mutual Aid after talking to his friends about other boroughs efforts to combat the pandemic.

Together, Zak and volunteers have helped residents with numerous tasks such as prescription deliveries, food drop-offs, supplying care homes with radio's and assisting in PPE projects.

The group which launched on March 15, 2020, attracted more than one thousand volunteers within a couple of days.

Zak received a Points of Light award from Boris Johnson after building a team of over 2000 volunteers to reach communities in lockdown.

Community Champions

Your Local Guardian:

Since March 2020, Community Champions has delivered essential supplies ranging from PPE to warm meals and tonnes of surplus vegetables to those in need.

Nisha Thiru launched the group and is now joined by a team of volunteers who help deliver essentials to food banks, schools, soup kitchens, care homes, families and more, across London.

Community Championships has since formed 'Junior Champions', to get children more involved with their communities in a time where many feel isolated.

The little stars have helped people across Merton and Sutton by fundraising and delivering treats to key workers on the frontline.

In one of their more recent projects, children delivered memorial plants as a token of love to those who have lost their family members to Covid-19.

Dons Local Action Group

Your Local Guardian:

Set up by AFC Wimbledon fans at the beginning of the pandemic, the volunteer group grew rapidly and were joined by hundreds of fans and non-fans alike.

The coronavirus response group has provided food, technology and other support to those in need across Merton, Wandsworth and Kingston.

In the past 12 months, volunteers have distributed over 150,000 food parcels and over 1,700 devices to those in need.

In November, the group were named alongside Marcus Rashford, as a winner of the Sports Journalists’ Association's (SJA) Sport for Social Change awards.

Little A.R.K

Your Local Guardian:

Little A.R.K is a group of volunteers who aim to connect people through random acts of kindness and crafts.

Syebvonne Nguyen, of Morden, formed the group after her successful blooming tree project, which created face mask pop-up trees to community groups and schools across south west London.

Little A.R.K used their craft skills to create scrubs and PPE for dozens of frontline workers and have since found a unique way to use the remaining fabrics.

They have now joined forces with the Sound Lounge in Morden, to use leftover fabrics to create a beautiful art installation.

'The Fabric of Our Community’ art installation is open for everyone to get involved - you can drop your crafted fabric creation at The Sound Lounge in Morden.

Do you know a group of volunteers who have gone above and beyond in the pandemic? Get in touch with us at