A coronavirus support group became integral in helping communities around east London.

Erim Metto, from Chingford, has been leading the support to the elderly and vulnerable in Waltham Forest, Enfield, Haringey, and Hackney, during the coronavirus lockdown.

The CEO of the Turkish Cypriot Community Association decided to launch a local Covid-19 support initiative after hearing some calls of distress.

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Some of the food that would be delivered to people in need

On March 15, as it was confirmed people over 70 would have to self-isolate, an elderly lady in Edmonton called Mr Metto, saying she had no supplies and was worried about leaving her home.

Around 60 volunteers soon came together to carry out daily food runs, weekly shopping, providing cooked meals and other forms of guidance during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Some of the volunteers from the support group

The team even went as far to provide Covid-19 tests for frontline staff, support hospitals and care homes, purchase body bags for the deceased and other behind-the-scenes initiatives to help those in need during the crisis.

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The group delivered to keyworkers including police, hospital staff, carers and more

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The group took the knee to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement

In April, the team produced a video thanking keyworkers with a rendition of the Bob Marley song ‘One Love’.

Mr Metto said: “It’s pertinent to remember that this isn’t solely a physical battle, but one with psychological repercussions too. As such, one of the charity’s key initiatives was launched: a befriending system, whereby volunteers are matched with an at-risk individual to provide them with comfort, support and, at the end of it all, a friendly voice to turn to in times of struggle.

“Among their number are qualified therapists, helping to mitigate the inevitable mental health issues which many are experiencing throughout the evolving pandemic, loneliness, fear, anxiety”

The team worked with eleven charities which are mainly centred around Turkish and Cypriot cultures, for the widespread support.

Last week, Mr Metto says that 470 packs of foods and essential goods were delivered throughout London and three hospitals were provided with meals.