It was clear to me that if I was going to try and help, then it couldn’t be half hearted. I wasn’t the most obvious person for the job but I could see clearly what I could offer and that there was no time to waste.
The email address and Facebook group were running, the Lady who had suggested I set up the group was heavily involved in helping with Facebook and other bits of infrastructure – more than this – she was an amazing ally, with energy to match (still is).
We kept in regular contact and decided that we would need a phone number for people to call that weren’t able to get online – so my uncle dug out a spare pay as you go phone – sorted.
Then we decided that it was important to get the phone number and other details out to the community as quickly as possible. So we put out a call for help with printing on Facebook and 2600 leaflets were printed off by the next morning – sorted.
Then we decided that we had to get a socially distanced team together to distribute these leaflets around town, so we announced that we would be meeting the next morning at 10am and anyone that was free was welcome to join – sorted.
Finally, I began creating a database of volunteers and working on a way to effectively match them up with inbound requests – I passed out in the early hours having created two forms that fed into spreadsheets and could then be centrally assigned to volunteers by a core team of admins.
The final thing I did before my eyes drooped shut, was to check how many people had registered as volunteers on the first day…
There were 50, and the Facebook group had grown to over 300…
So I’m sorry to say that I can’t tell you how to build a squad – because Todmorden already had one (still does).