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‘This is for them’: Political supremo super-mum takes Covid-19 captaincy in her stride

PUBLISHED: 17:48 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:56 11 June 2020

Livia Paggi, of Swiss Cottage, with her three-year-old daughter Alma at Hampstead Community Centre. Picture: Livia Paggi

Livia Paggi, of Swiss Cottage, with her three-year-old daughter Alma at Hampstead Community Centre. Picture: Livia Paggi

Livia Paggi

Juggling a newborn baby, a three-year-old and running a political risk firm would normally occupy most people’s time during a pandemic – but not Livia Paggi.

Livia's daughters Alma and Viola - who is taking a well-deserved nap - out helping Hampstead Volunteer Corps. Picture: Livia PaggiLivia's daughters Alma and Viola - who is taking a well-deserved nap - out helping Hampstead Volunteer Corps. Picture: Livia Paggi

The Swiss Cottage mother and director also somehow managed to squeeze in joining Hampstead Volunteer Corps (HVC) where she became a team captain for the army of Covid-19 volunteers.

Livia, whose family in the US and Italy hail from a background of community action, is responsible for identifying the most vulnerable residents and making sure they’re supported with food, household staples and even tech such as iPads.

The mother-of-two has taken seven families “under her wing” and teamed up with the Britannia Hampstead Hotel in Belsize Park, which is housing the homeless, and the Abbey Road Community Centre in Kilburn.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Hampstead ‘saint’, 16, leads community relief and delivers fresh fruit to self-isolating nuns

READ MORE: NW3 mobilise: Hampstead Volunteer Corps delivers iPads to Royal Free patients and continues support for isolated

Livia told the Ham&High: “Coronavirus has shone a light on how unequal our society is and the issues that were there before are now really coming into light.

Livia says her kids have been her main motivation for working with Hampstead Volunteer Corps. Picture: Livia PaggiLivia says her kids have been her main motivation for working with Hampstead Volunteer Corps. Picture: Livia Paggi

“They determine who lives and dies in this crisis, and if you do survive, what quality of life you’re having when you’re trying to survive it.

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“That’s why I’ve been hustling and using my team to support the people worst off.”

Even though the riches of Hampstead suggest its residents may not be the hardest hit from Covid-19, Livia believes the area has tapped into its vast “resources” to aid the relief effort.

“There’s so much wealth in the area and that’s meant a lot of people have been able to survive this crisis and ride it off relatively okay,” Livia said.

“But it’s also a very resource-rich area so actually how I see myself is as a conduit to other families from poorer areas who are struggling, so that I can help redistribute those resources.”

On juggling her community action with day-to-day parenting Livia says her kids, who she’s taken out to deliver flyers and on other HVC missions, have been her “motivation”.

“This is the world they’re going to inherit, this is for them,” she said.

“This is the neighbourhood they’re going to live in. I don’t want them to live in a world where there’s people who have and don’t have right next to you.

“I want them to have all different kinds of friends and grow up with a sense of community.”


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