Coronavirus updates for charities - 04/03/2020
A lot has been written about Coronavirus and we are not experts. This article will point you to some sources of information that may be useful but at all times you need to be aware of the latest advice from the government and the NHS.
There is lots of advice on the NCVO website
The Small Charities Coalition have produced a briefing that can be found here
We also recommend the ACAS site for information on staffing issues
It is important that groups take this seriously but that they do not over react. The situation is obviously fluid and this means that advice will change and you should ensure you are up to date. If you are a registered charity you will be able to access the support the Government has made available to small businesses outlined in the acas and rightsnet links above. There are also a number of funds being made available to charities which we will include in our regular bulletin - if you aren't already sign up here
There are some useful factsheets on https://www.supportcambridgeshire.org.uk/coronavirus/ which include information on loss of income, contingency planning, setting up an informal group and staying safe when volunteering.
For new community groups setting up to help those affected by Covid-19 we have a simple checklst for groups
The Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK group now has groups set up all over the UK with neighbour groups setting up under its umbrella using whatsapp and face book. To find a local group or set one up see their webpage https://covidmutualaid.org/ They also have some useful guidance on safeguarding, risk assessment and data protection to keep everyone safe. You can also contact us here at CCVS if you want to talk anything through firstname.lastname@example.org. There are some useful short information films on safeguarding, tips on managing volunteers and things to consider when telephone befriending on the Support Cambridgeshire website https://www.supportcambridgeshire.org.uk/coronavirus/
You can also volunteer via COVID-19 coordination hub
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are now calling on people across the county to get in touch if they can volunteer their time to help others in a co-ordinated effort which will offer safe support and reassurance county and city wide. People can email CommunityCV@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.
The coordination hub - staffed by a range of council workers - will manage offers of help, thereby maximising support for communities, working alongside existing voluntary and community organisation partners.The hub will link those who volunteer, with over 70s and others who fall within the vulnerable groups listed by the Government, who have been advised to self-isolate.People will be matched with those who need help based on their skills, time and willingness.
Volunteer for existing groups helping the vulnerable
Most local groups are in the process of looking at how they can adjust their services to meet need but also protect the people they work with as well as their own staff and volunteers. There is work being done to try and build up a picture of what support these groups need and we will update this information when this happens. In the meantime if you want to offer support to a particular group you could check out their website and drop them an email.