Breaking social isolation in the wake of COVID-19

Better Stories, Human and fundamental rights, Iceland

To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These Better Stories cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.

This Better Story was collected by Finnborg Salome Steinþórsdóttir and Guðbjörg Helga Jóhannsdóttir 



The summer gathering was a café where people gathered around an activity and/or a coffee without having to pay while enjoying each others company. 

Creating a space for socializing  

This initiative was funded by the City of Reykjavík and ran by volunteers from PeP Iceland, who organized and hosted the project. 

The idea behind this café was to create a unique space that breaks social isolation. To further support people in need, the cafe offered a “giveaway table” where various necessary products were made available by businesses.  

The project targeted marginalized groups who have been heavily affected by COVID-19, especially those who are socially and financially vulnerable.  

A successful concept

Since its launch in 2020, the initiative had grown tremendously in its mission of giving the community a sense of hope and optimism. According to the café’s attendance list in 2020, 2499 benefited from the Summer Gathering in comparison to 1495 attendees in June 2021. 

Find out more about the initiative

Photo of pikisuperstar on Freepik