VAC is posting the latest information and updates on Coronavirus COVID-19 here.
VAC is surveying the local voluntary and community sector to find out how local organisations are responding to the challenge. Please complete/update the survey: https://www.tfaforms.com/4811729
The results are being published in real time here: http://vac.secure.nonprofitsoapbox.com/covid-19
Government Guidance for Schools and other educational settings: Colleges, Nurseries, Child minders, Vulnerable children, free school meals, residential settings, GCSEs and A levels
If you may need to leave your pets the RSPC has some signs for you to display. CSFG has advice on pets and coronavirus and walking someone else’s dog.
‘Your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 – but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.’
If you are trying to get someone onto the ‘extremely vulnerable persons’ list and they have been rejected it is worth looking at this detailed NHS guidance which sets out in detail the medical criteria and the different routes to be accepted onto the list. Contact the GP or consultant first. Note that the basis of this list is that the person is considered to be at very high risk of infection – not necessarily how ill, frail or vulnerable (in a general sense) they are. The letter also sets out various roles for link workers and social prescribing.
Funding and Finance
Big Society Capital and BHP have both produced useful guides to help you think through your funding and financial options.
The Association of British Insurers have pledged that if you need to use your car for volunteering, driving for work as a key worker, or driving to a place of work because you can’t work at home then you will automatically be covered and you do not need contact your insurer.
Government has re-issued guidance on infection prevention and control partly in response to the misuse of PPE. (btw Museums and Galleries have donated all their PPE supplies used in conservation to the NHS). Also issued is guidance on taking care of Mental Health and Wellbeing during the pandemic. Finally a reminder that the Furlough scheme is not available “Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them. This also applies to non-public sector employers who receive public funding for staff costs.”
Detailed guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme from Ramon Lee.
Although the London Community Response is an online application process, London Funders have produced a helpful downloadable form so that you can prepare your response off line.
Charity Bank have set up a page of emergency sources of funding for VCS organisations.
The Charity Tax Group have put together a Coronavirus information hub for charity tax and finance professionals.
If you are concerned about your solvency there is important information from Bates Wells in their Charity Insolvency and Rescue Mechanisms: A Coronavirus Guide – essentially there is a de-facto moratorium for winding up petitions as the High Court has given a blanket adjournment to any creditor winding up petitions to June 2020 at the earliest. Emergency legislation may allow companies to continue trading while undergoing rescue or restructure.
More funding announced today:
CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund: This Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.
Camden Giving Covid-19 Charity Fund: Grants of up to £6,000 to not-for-profit organisations who provide services to people living in the borough of Camden. Funding will be made available to registered charities, social enterprises and constituted community groups who need financial support as a result of the COVID-19 Crisis
Leathersellers Company Charitable Fund: £3k from charities supporting: the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless, provision of food and essential supplies, victims of domestic violence, nursing care to vulnerable patients
Free Webinar from Bates, Wells: Coronavirus and your charity – key legal issues to consider
The London Community Response fund is now open. Find out more, how to apply and make an application online: https://londoncommunityresponsefund.org.uk/
Most of today’s VAC e-bulletin is devoted to COVID-19 related content including the latest from Camden council and news of government schemes to help charities financially.
New government guidance – Coronavirus: How to help safely
If you’re at home & need help or know someone who is, check out Camden’s directory to link you to support near where you live. There is also a telephone helpline – 02079744444 (9) – if can’t get online.
Safeguarding and Volunteering: We have added some videos on keeping safe when volunteering on our home page (in the carousel)
Mutual Aid and Whats App groups have guidelines here: https://covidmutualaid.org/resources/#safety
Our sister CVS in Cumbria have produced some simple guidelines on volunteering as well as a complete COVID-19 Volunteering Handbook in word that groups can adapt: https://cumbriacvs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Volunteer-Handbook-Guidelines-230320.doc
New government safeguarding and DBS fact sheet has just been published
The NHS has launched a major drive for volunteers. They are recruiting 3 roles:
Find out more at https://goodsamapp.org/NHS
Camden Council and Camden and Islington Public Health have issued guidelines for preventing infection when volunteering.
DBS ID checking guidelines have been relaxed to make online checking easier: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-changes-to-dbs-id-checking-guidelines
The government’s latest statement – What you need to do.
Let us know what you are doing by filling in our COVID 19 Community Directory survey.
Volunteer Centre Camden have updated their volunteering pages.
The government launched a dedicated webpage outlining the key business support measures that have been put in place to support businesses through the disruption brought by Covid-19. There are 11 schemes, not all are relevant to the sector.
Resources from NAVCA: Operational and remote working; Guidance on working with different sectors of the community; Funding and fundraising; Safeguarding; Governance; Legislation etc. View them here.
We’re collecting ideas to help make isolation more bearable. Please send us your suggestions.
CVSs have written to MPs urging them to support Stephen Doughty’s letter to the Chancellor which has already been signed by 100 MPs. The letter calls for urgent support to the sector, to avoid closures and enable vcs organisations to contribute to the relief effort. You can view VAC’s letter to Keir Starmer MP and Tulip Siddiq MP here.
Camden Giving has launched a Covid-19 Charity Fund to support Charities, community groups and social enterprises in Camden to do what they do best and to ensure they are here in the future. Details here.
Martin Lewis is releasing £1M from his charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK – to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.
Examples could include foodbanks, charities engaged in community aid, financial advice help and more. The hope is to get the money distributed within the next couple of weeks. Full details here.
Acas have updated their Coronvirus advice page and also working from home guidance. View it here.
There have been a number of important Government announcements:
Complete ban on evictions and additional protection for renters
Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision
Charity Commission advice relaxing rules on AGMs and holding trustee meetings virtually
Key Worker guidance. The government guidance is broad and included volunteers in health, education and charities involved in key public services.
Emergency support fund – with an initial £1 million provided by City Hall and £1 million from City Bridge Trust. The emergency fund will be available to organisations that are facing immediate financial pressures and uncertainty because of coronavirus. This includes increasing demands for services, higher staff absences, fewer volunteers and lower donations for organisations. Full details here.
Camden New Journal have published a list of the local Whats App groups developed by COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK (see 16/3/20 Update).
Doctors of the World have updated their Covid 19 translated guidance: English, Albanian, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish are now ready – https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/
To be updated very soon: Bengali, Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Kurdish Sorani, Mandarin, Pashto, Urdu, Vietnamese, Tigrinya, Amharic, Malayalam, Somali
More European languages have been added: Polish, Romanian, Russian are ready. Coming soon: Bulgarian, Latvian, and Hungarian.
Coronavirus and your wellbeing. Mind have some information to help you cope.
London Funders statement of support for the sector gathers signatories including Camden Council and the Mayor of London.
The National Emergencies Trust lunches Coronavirus Appeal.
A COVID-19 bill will go before parliament soon. Find out what it will do here.
Important information about benefits and coronavirus.
Explaining coronavirus to young children. Child Friendly Explanation of Coronavirus
Statement from the National Lottery Community Fund on their desire to act flexibly to support grant holders. View it here.
Report from the Imperial COVID-19 Response team modelling some of the outcomes of various strategies to tackle virus. View it here.
Volunteer Centre Camden have produced a COVID 19 Good Neighbour Guide. Useful for staff and volunteers as well as those you support.
Want to volunteer to help? Camden Council have commissioned a website where volunteers can sign up to offer help.
Another option is Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a new online group that is providing resources and connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need. The group is run entirely by volunteers. There are now more than 400 local groups across the country.
Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK press release: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MBQRxlolWVRMvjhoUxIdA1ZUIl3YMcTjPGRQ5_6l2pQ/edit
Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK website: https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/
News story about Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK: https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/local-community-groups-established-to-organise-covid-19-aid.html
Link to the Camden Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/199172994722225/
We’ve produced a comprehensive briefing on potential impacts in Camden.
Easy Read Poster on keeping safe: Coronavirus-Poster-Photosymbols.
Age UK Camden have given details of their emergency response arrangements for older people in Camden here.
London Funders have put out a statement to grantees committing to being flexible and understanding at this time. View it here.
Doctors of the World (DOTW) have produced Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice for patients in 20 languages. The guidance is based on the government’s updated advice and health information.
Available languages include: English, Albanian, Dari, French, Pashto, Portuguese, Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, Farsi
You can find them on their google drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=193qQN9l04Dvf0N9L5zeWTiXK_DRbrAxg .
Further information can be found at: https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/news/coronavirus-information/#
VAC’s guidance to staff and volunteers is here. You are welcome to adapt/share.
A VAC briefing on financial impacts on the sector – looking at insurance issues and support being considered by funders and at national level.
We have a summary of the recent budget. It contains some important news, including assurance that individuals won’t be sanctioned by DWP if they are self-isolating and miss an appointment; the extension of statutory sick pay; and the creation of a new £500M hardship fund.
Together Matters have produced a template for creating an emergency plan for those with caring responsibilities available here.
Emergency legislation is expected soon. The bill’s powers would include:
Expansion of court hearings by television and video link;
“Additional employment safeguards” for those who volunteer in the health and social care system, so they can “leave their main jobs and temporarily volunteer in the event of a widespread pandemic”; and
A range of previously announced measures, such as emergency registration of health professionals who have retired, and relaxation of rules around staff to pupil ratios in education and childcare settings.
General advice on keeping yourself and those around you healthy and safe:
Government information and advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
NHS overview: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
NHS common questions: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/
Information on charity finance and fundraising:
Charity Finance Group general information: https://cfg.org.uk/coronavirus_guide
Institute of Fundraising information: https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/news/information-for-fundraisers-about-coronavirus/
Information about managing your organisation NCVO advice an information for voluntary and community organisations: https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/coronavirus
Acas employment advice: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Business continuity planning for charities and voluntary organisations from the Charity Finance Group: https://www.cfg.org.uk/covid19_what_planning_should_charities_be_undertaking
The Charities Facilities Management Group has guidance on Business Continuity Management for charities https://charitiesfmgroup.org/business-continuity-management-charities
A risk assessment template document which you can download here.
Camden Council FAQ on COVID-19 for Social or Community Care and Residential Settings 10/3/20 here
Keep up to date with the latest Government information and advice here.
• NCVO have produced a practical and informative guide here.
• NHS advice here
• Advice for employers and employees is available here.
• New Scientist have a useful guide to preparing for pandemic here.
For those who need for in depth information you can read the National Coronavirus Action Plan here.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from low to moderate. This follows the World Health Organisation’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern.
• Government information and advice here.
• NHS overview here
• NHS common questions here
Advice for employers and employees from Acas is available here.