Voluntary Action Camden

Voluntary Action Camden Spring 2020 Update to Members and Subscribers

Spring 2020 Update to Members and Subscribers

24th April 2020

Camden Covid-19 Special

The streets may be empty but for many it’s never been a busier time as local organisations and community groups step up to respond to residents in need.


The council has put £100,000 into an emergency fund that was distributed by Camden Giving last week.  Camden Giving raised an additional £200,000.  A further funding round is planned for June.  Groups are also accessing Community Infrastructure Levy funds at ward level (talk to your councillors).
London Funders have come together to create an Emergency Response Fund.  Wave 2 has 2 strands – Crisis Response and Delivering Differently.
We have links to many other funds but they are all being flooded with requests.
The extra funding that the chancellor announced will be distributed through the lottery – we should hear more any day now.
Sector leaders are still pressing for the furlough scheme to allow furloughed staff to volunteer for their own organisation.
Clarity is needed around business rates grants – some charities may qualify.

New VCS Forum

The first Camden Voluntary Action Forum was held on Wednesday and the participants voted to hold another in a fortnight’s time on Wednesday 6th May at 11am.  There was a chance for everyone to share an update.  VAC’s update covered our work, how the council is responding and mention of social prescribing.  Take a look here.

Voluntary and Community Groups Respond

Many organisations have stepped up to respond to the crisis. Age UK Camden and London Irish Centre were quick to mobilise and have been ensuring that vulnerable older people are getting food parcels.
VAC has put together a Covid-19 Community Directory from your updates; We have also created a daily update page and resources pages.
The Community Directory shows how many local organisations have changed the way they work in order to support vulnerable residents during the crisis.
The Care Navigation and Social Prescribing system in Camden (Community Links run by VAC and Care Navigators run by AUC and Wish+ by the council) has been taking many more referrals from both GPs, self-referrals, and from concerned family members.
We are working with the Council, Volunteer Centre Camden and others to help local organisations access all the volunteers who have signed up to help.
The Food banks have been stretched to supply demand and over the Easter weekend the Red Cross restocked Camden Foodbanks that were running low.
So many local voluntary organisations and community groups have been active in support of their local community that they are too numerous to mention here. Rest assured that the sector’s swift response has been noted at national level.

Needs of Organisations

As part of the survey of how organisations have responded we also asked for support needs.  The key concerns were
• Time is of the essence
• Clear information needed
• Contact points and referral pathways
• Payments and money
• The digital divide
• Isolation, stress, burn out, bereavement, separation
Read the full report here.

Do keep us abreast of your plans for the coming weeks

Thank you for everything you’re doing!

Kevin & the VAC team: Alex, Dianne, Donna, Hasel, Mandira, Manuella, Nasrin, Ricky and Zubair and all the VAC Trustees and Volunteers

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