Mutual aid in a time of Covid-19

Several mutual aid groups have been set up across Sussex to build local support networks during the Covid-19 pandemic and (hopefully) beyond! All the groups can be found on this map – they include Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne, Worthing and many many more! Many places are split into smaller areas so people can connect with people nearest to them.

There are now thousands of local groups across the country. Find out more, including how to set up a group in your area here:

For those in co-ops and other community businesses, there is also a UK-wide Community Business Mutual Aid group. They are holding weekly Zoom calls on Tuesdays at 11.30am to discuss issues and share best practice. Calls are split into ‘breakout rooms’ covering specific themes. Find out more here:

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Brighton Co-op Connections

Want to connect with more co-operators in Brighton & Hove? Is your co-op grappling with a problem? Join Co-operatives UK for this Co-op Connections event in Brighton on Tuesday, 9 July 2019 – 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Infinity Foods Kitchen, 50 Gardner Street, BN1 1UN.

Members of co-ops and societies from across the city will be getting together to connect and learn from each other. It is a good opportunity to meet other like-minded people.

Be the fresh eyes that help colleagues or fellow members break through challenges. Attendees can come prepared with a challenge or an issue they’re willing to share. In return you’ll benefit from dedicated time on this work issue that’s handled sensitively by unbiased peers. The aim is to leave with a new or clearer understanding of potential next steps. Alternatively members can just come and hang out with others who are inspired to ‘do work together’.

Find out more and book your place for this free event here. Contact if you have any questions or a particular discussion point worth sharing.

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Building the solidarity economy: Cooperation Jackson style

Can we replace the current economic system of exploitation, exclusion and the destruction of the environment with an alternative that’s built on equity, cooperation, worker democracy, and environmental sustainability? That’s what Cooperation Jackson are trying to do in Jackson, Mississippi.

Sacajawea “Saki” Hall and Kali Akuno – two of the founders of this radical cooperative network – are coming to Brighton on Friday 24 May as part of a tour of the UK. They will talk about the Cooperation Jackson story and what they’ve learned along the way about transforming their community and building a local economy based on solidarity, not profit.

Book your place here at Eventbrite

Cooperatives are owned and run by their members. Cooperation Jackson includes of a federation of emerging local worker cooperatives, a cooperative education and training centre, a cooperative bank, and a Community Land Trust (CLT). They run people’s assemblies as a way to revitalise local democracy.

Cooperation Jackson draws on the long history of black-led cooperatives and community collectives in Mississippi, as well as the organising of the Black Power movement era. They see self-organisation as key to improving the quality of life for working class people in one of the poorest cities in the US, and want to politicise cooperatives and infuse them with class consciousness.

“When marginalized and excluded workers and communities are organized in democratic organizations and social movements they become a force capable of making transformative social advances….” Co-operation Jackson.

This event will take place on Friday 24 May 2019 from 5.45pm until 7.45pm in the Lecture Room at the Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF. The talk will begin at 6.00pm. Book your place here.

Kali Akuno was in the political administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba, the first Black mayor of Jackson, elected in 2013. Find out more about him and Cooperation Jackson in this interview in STIR To Action.

Cooperation Jackson website

The venue is wheelchair accesible and located in central Brighton.

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Mayday! Mayday! Sail Cargo Tasting Event

Sail Boat Project is a Workers’ Co-operative aiming to widen access to the sea and working towards zero emission transport for their products. On Wednesday 1 May, from 7pm there will be a chance to try and buy some of them at Brighton Sailing Club.

There will be organic olive oils, whole olives, sea salt and a selection of Portuguese wines from the Douro region, all brought to our shores by the power of wind.

You can also hear from Sail Boat’s partners Xisto Wines and New Dawn Traders, as well as find out more about the story of this local worker co-op and how it works.

Sail cargo in a nutshell: Olives grown grown by the Reigado family in Portugal, found by olive sommeliers Passeite, brokered by New Dawn Traders, shipped to Torbay by Fairtransport via the French Isle of Noirmoutier to collect Fleur de Sel, all loaded aboard Sail Boat’s Jalapeno with amazing Xisto wines and sailed to Brighton and Newhaven for collection onboard or delivery to your door Zedify cycle couriers. Also available with your veg box from Barcombe Nurseries.

All surplus from the Sail Cargo work goes to Sail Boat’s Community Sailing Fund, established to help people from community groups in Sussex access their sailing activities.

The event takes place on Wednesday 1 May 2019, 7.00-10.00pm at Brighton Sailing Club, 109-111 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2FN. There will be some food. Please book your free place here.

Find out more about Sail Boat Project and their Sail Cargo here

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Getting your message out there: promotion on a budget

Running a co-operative, social enterprise or community group and looking for tips on raising your profile or getting more people involved?

Join us on Monday 19 November to hear local co-operators share their experiences and what they have learned about social media, getting more members/volunteers and marketing on a budget.

Book a free ticket here

Hear from:

Lisa Hartley from SEASALT Housing Co-operative (South EAst Students Autonomously living together)

Dhara Thompson from the Sail Boat Project, a Brighton based Workers’ Co-operative which provides aims to widen access to the sea, offering sail training to individuals and community groups. They are also involved in sail transport of cargo.

Felix Lozano from Wave, a graphic design co-operative, working in both print and digital media.

At Mutual Aid In Sussex (MAIS) we like to encourage co-operation and mutual support among co-operatives and community focused organisations. So, after we have heard from the speakers there will be the chance for all of us to share our promotion tips and challenges with each other.

There will be time for questions and getting to know each other.

Some of us will go to the pub afterwards, please join us!

Event details and accessibility

The workshop will be free (donations welcome). Doors will open at 7.00pm, with a 7:30pm start on Tuesday 13 November in the Lagoon Room at the BMECP Centre, 10A Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE.

Book a free ticket here

The venue is a 5-10 minute walk from Brighton railway station and is wheelchair accessible. We will be on the lower ground floor, accesible by lift or stairs.

There are shops nearby where food and drink can be purchased and there will be cold drinks and small snacks available on the night.

There is no parking at the BMECP Centre. The London Road NCP multi-storey car park is the best one and cheapest and is a short walk from the BMECP Centre. The car park entrance is in Providence Place (BN1 4GN), which can be reached via Elder Place from London Road and from New England Street via York Hill. The exit is on New England Street.

Brighton Station Car Park: walk north on Stroudley Rd, then turn right to stay on Stroudley Rd, take the stairs and then turn left onto Fleet St and you will see the BMECP centre on the right

Vantage Point Car Park: Walk south-west on Elder Pl towards New England St, then turn left onto New England St, finally turn right onto Fleet St and you will see the BMECP centre on the left.

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Co-operation under Occupation: The story of the Palestinian Women In Hebron co-operative

Nawal Slemiah co-founded the Women In Hebron co-operative in 2005 in the West Bank, Palestine. It began by selling handicrafts in the Old City market of Hebron – an area which is under Israeli military control. Nawal will be speaking in Brighton on Tuesday 23 October to tell the story of the co-operative and what it is like to operate under the Israeli Occupation.

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The co-operative now has more than 150 women producing items sold across the Hebron district. The co-op is part of the Idna Cooperative Association for Embroidery and Handicrafts which has been able to open a small community centre in Idna, a town in the Hebron district. Here members of the association can gather together to do their work and socialise.

From the co-operative’s website: “Our work is based on the idea that developing Palestinian handicrafts is more than just an income-generating project. It is in of itself an act of community-strengthening, of honoring the role of women in our society, and a means to show sumud – steadfastness – in the face of the occupation of Palestine and the harm it has done to the people of Hebron.”

Nawal will be bringing some of the goods produced by Women In Hebron and they will be available to buy at the event.

Sign up here at Eventbrite

Event details and accessibility

The talk will be free (donations welcome) and start at 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 October in the Lagoon Room at the BMECP Centre, 10A Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE. Nawal will speak for an hour with space for questions afterwards. There will also be time to find out more about the organisers Mutual Aid In Sussex and local Palestine solidarity campaigns.

The venue is a 5-10 minute walk from Brighton railway station and is wheelchair accessible. There are shops nearby where food and drink can be purchased and there will be cold drinks and small snacks available on the night.

Find out more about Women In Hebron at their website. You can also watch this two minute video about the co-operative:

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What is it like to live in a housing co-operative? Join the bus tour on 30 June

As part of Co-operatives Fortnight 2018 Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT) are organising a tour of local housing co-ops on Saturday 30 June, each with its own story. This is a chance to see some of the ways more genuinely affordable and co-operative housing has been created in the city.

The Big Lemon will be driving people between the housing co-ops in a minibus. There will be two tours on the day, one at 9.00am (bus leaves at 9.15am) and one at 12.45pm (bus leaves at 1pm). Each tour is approximately 4 hours long.

Tour 1 (morning) will call at Rosa Bridge, Hornbeam, Bug and Two Piers.

Tour 2 (afternoon) will call at Rosa Bridge, Dryad, Brighton Rock and Two Piers.

More information on all the co-ops, and practical information on the tour and accessibility, can be found here on the BHCLT website.

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