Perhaps one of the least-anticipated and most remarkable impacts of coronavirus has been the resurgence of a communal spirit at the macro and micro level in the UK.

Millions of Britons observed restrictions to their daily lives to while hundreds of thousands volunteered to work on the frontlines of the pandemic or support people in their communities who needed help to make it through the darkest months of lockdown.

That sense of solidarity was also realised at the micro level with individual streets up seeing neighbours reach out to one another and helping them through the crisis.

In this way, the pandemic supercharged something that prominent figures in Kingston Borough like Robin Hutchinson, who directs acclaimed Tolworth collective The Community Brain, had carefully been nurturing before Covid-19 arrived.

"I think it's been an utterly remarkable time. I don't think any of us can deny the suffering and the pain that has caused and continues to cause.

"However, what we have also seen is the absolute brilliance and compassion with people. There is something utterly joyful that we should celebrate about that," he said, sitting down during a physically-distanced interview recently.

In recent years, Robin and his team have helped mould The Community Brain into an outfit that has won the support of the Greater London Authority, and the interest of several universities now studying the way it engenders localised, communitarian projects and "permission to be brilliant".

Their projects from ShedX's 'Growing Ideas' support for creatives to popular street art murals have helped engender a growing pride and respect for the community in Tolworth that has been reflected back during the pandemic, despite all the strains and limitations it has brought with it.

"It started at a street level, the awareness of neighbours and of those people who perhaps were going to vulnerable through this. And then it also happened at the sort of neighbourhood level," Robin said.

"We ran a survey very early on during the first wave and what came through very heavily was that people who had taken part in our events were feeling far more confident that they could cope and that they had got a resilience.

"Part of that was because they'd already developed networks of friends and it put a value on why communities work when they are good. It's because it's that network that allows people to engage with each other.

"What we noticed is that people who had participated before were far less likely to need to go for support services because they had their friends, their communities...

"I think what Covid has done is reintroduce the concept of community to a lot of people...Belonging is actually a really important feeling," he added.

Restricted by the strict safety measures forced by virus, typical projects the group sponsor like food festivals and communal tree-planting were forced to take a temporary back seat.

Instead, Robin and the team took action however they could to help support some of those suffering the most as the second deadly wave of Covid-19 loomed last autumn.

As the Surrey Comet reported previously, their Museum of Futures' Community Kitchen attracted over 80 volunteers offering to cook and hand out meals to combat food poverty in Surbiton during October when the scale of food poverty in Kingston and across the UK made national headlines.

Meanwhile, some longer term projects like the hugely popular murals at Tolworth railway bridge and the nearby underpass have been able to come to fruition in recent months.

Robin said they've helped foster a growing respect and appreciation for Tolworth that might have been latent but was not necessarily obvious before.

"Because people have been based at home and maybe gone out to exercise locally, people have begun to appreciate their area in a different way.

"To appreciate and understand heritage, and also green spaces and open spaces where they live.

"All of that provides I think the most amazing foundation for what the future might look like," he said.

"We need to engage with the approach that says: I'm invested here because it's my home."