With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to pose a serious threat to typical functioning of communities across the UK and beyond, residents in New Malden are banding together in a way that won’t hasten the spread of the disease.

That’s courtesy of a new online community hub launched on Monday (July 6) under the name Virtually Malden.

The hub is being supported by councillors and community stalwarts alike, and its founders are encouraging residents to submit their passions, stories, projects and experiences for open publication on the website.

“We wanted to show the brilliant spirit and resilience in our community at this challenging time,” New Malden Councillor Mark Durrant, who set up the website, told the Surrey Comet on the day it was launched.

“We know that New Malden has a great sense of community in lockdown and everyone has pulled together. In my street for example we would come out in force every Thursday for Clap for Carers and even had musical performances,” he added.

“We wanted to share this spirit with the wider community.”

With typical community events only slowly returning at present, Virtually Malden as such represents a way for people living in the area to support each other by sharing how they are getting on during the pandemic.

Among those were Campaigner Tariq Shabeer, who shared a poem describing his experience of coronavirus lockdown, and the The Korean British Cultural Exchange, who posted a video of their Kimjang culinary festival last year.

“The response has been fantastic,” Cllr Durrant said.

“We have all sorts of content...There’s videos on how to get involved in everything from Cricket to Choirs,” he added.

“We wanted to show how our community has come together at this difficult time, and to encourage people to get involved in local groups so we can keep this spirit alive.”

The website at present largely has videos detailing specific community activities and actions, but Cllr Durrant said that all submissions would be welcomed going forward.

“We would love to hear from anyone who would like to write about their experiences in this time and we would love to have a gallery of photos from this time so do send those to us...We would like to continue to add content and add new sections about our community as we emerge out of lockdown. We welcome all contributions,” he said.

The website launched soon after Public Health England (PHE) published the latest data regarding infection rates of Covid-19 coronavirus across England by local authority, which showed that the virus retained a presence in Kingston.

The borough had an infection rate of 1.1 people testing positive out of every 100,000 tested, similar to neighbouring boroughs Richmond (1.0) and Sutton (2.0).

Merton had the highest rates of Covid-19 infection of any South-West London borough at 4.4.