Coronavirus Updates; Council Statement; VAC News; Tell us what you are doing; How to Volunteer; Maintaining your organisation’s viability + funding, jobs, volunteering, and more
Looking out for the Vulnerable in Camden
These are unprecedented times and a potent mixture of too much information and not enough knowledge to make sense of it is causing uncertainty and anxiety in all of us. Much is being done by the public sector, the voluntary & community sector and the general public. Slowly a picture is emerging of how to cope:
For the most vulnerable the most important thing is to get them registered on the government list.
Those online and able to fend for themselves can find relevant information on the internet or the Camden Get Help directory and use local WhatsApp Mutual Aid groups to find someone to run their errands.
It is the people who fall between these two groups that we must all focus our efforts on now.
We have created a COVID-19 Directory here. Do your part by sending us your updates so that we know who is still active despite the challenges. Click here to give us your update
Tell us what Your Organisation is Doing in Response to COVID-19
Please complete our survey as soon as you can so that we can build a picture of how organisations are responding to the pandemic. Give your update here. Your response will automatically update the Council’s new Get Help directory.
Coronavirus COVID-19 – latest advice
VAC is publishing the latest information and advice as it becomes available on our COVID-19 Update page (or click ‘What’s New’ on the VAC homepage). Updates are dated so that you can see how recent the information is. We recently added a number of safeguarding resources including videos on our home page.
Camden Council Response
The Council have written to every resident outlining what they are doing. You can view the letter here (page 1, page 2).
Although we have stopped face-to-face contact and non-essential travel staff and volunteers are working remotely and you can still contact us as usual via phone and email and we will continue to keep our support work to groups in Camden going.
We will let you know what we plan to do instead of the AGM soon. We will be postponing the major Funders Fair we had organised for 13th May. The board have confirmed Kevin Nunan as Executive Director. Julie Christie Webb remains Chair, Gaynor Humpreys remains Vice Chair.
Free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
Simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.
Maintaining Your Organisation’s Viability
NCVO estimate that the charity sector is going to lose about £4billion per quarter during the crisis. Business continuity insurance has proved to be of limited use. Sector leaders are pressing the treasury to come up with a support package but it’s expected that any package will only cover 10 – 20% of the losses. Funders understand the gravity of the situation, the council is waiving rents for many organisations in the first quarter and most funders and contract holders are showing flexibility to allow organisations to change the way they work (or even what they do). The government has put in place a number of support measures:
~ The Job Retention scheme is applicable to charities and allows you to claim 80% of salary for furloughed workers. Covers all employees – no need to prove disruption, just “no work.” The minimum furlough period (3 wks) can be used flexibly. Poses a dilemma to many charities who feel they must continue to support the most vulnerable but then cannot claim the salary support unless staff are furloughed.
~ The self employment support scheme is a similar scheme for self employed workers
Some of the support measures need clarification – especially those relating to rates. It’s not clear if the definition of SME included charities, but those that are Companies Limited by Guarantee surely have a strong case. Details here.
See the Funding section for details of funding that is available. Camden Giving has created a fund and intends to use it quickly. Some organisations have already accessed Community Infrastructure Levy funding.
You could be spreading the coronavirus without realising you’ve got it
Read the full story at New Scientist (complete with disturbing picture taken on Primrose Hill).
See the Funding pages on VAC’s website for all the latest information.
Camden Giving Covid-19 Charity Fund
Charities, community groups and social enterprises in Camden are facing a huge surge in demand and cuts to their income. This fund is here to support them to do what they do best and to ensure they are here in the future.
Youth Futures Foundation
The Foundation is committed to transforming employment for young people. Funding is for a 6-12 month period of planning and set up from September 2020 onwards, during which time no direct delivery to young people will be required. This will be followed by funding for a delivery phase from January 2021 onwards, by which time we hope face to face work will be possible again.
Arts Council Emergency Response Package for #Covid19 crisis.
Emergency support fund announced to help community and voluntary organisations
The Greater London Authority and Emergency support fund have raised over £5M from City Bridge Trust Bloomberg etc. 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.
£1m available to fund urgent small-charity coronavirus poverty relief
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.
The National Emergencies Trust lunches Coronavirus Appeal
The Trust will collaborate with charities and other bodies to raise and distribute money and support victims at the time of a domestic disaster. Full details here.
Trustee Training, IT Training etc
All VAC training is suspended for now. We will endeavour to move training online in the near future.
VAC is working with funders to see what can be done online and on webinars so that safeguarding courses can continue where feasible. Further details to come. There are some basic safeguarding videos on the home page and on the COVID19 Update page.
Tel: 020 7 284 6575 | Email: email@example.com email (Mon – Wed)
Following the planned retirement of our present director, Training Link, a basic skills training centre in Somers Town, is looking for a new part-time Director to start in August 2020. Must have management experience in a small voluntary sector organisation; experience of policy development, financial management, fund raising in the voluntary sector and recruiting and retaining volunteers.
£35,000 pro-rata for 10 hours a week over at least two days. For an informal discussion about the post, or for an application pack, please email Peter Lush on firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date: 14 April @ 5pm. Interviews on 13 May.
Paid work opportunities for people who have been laid off/ reduced income
Local Adult social care providers are still recruiting, and as they support the NHS to move vulnerable adults out of hospital to stay well at home, their need is growing. Contact Proud to Care.
Camden Giving seeks Office Support Administrator
Camden Giving are looking for someone to provide administration support across all operations and programmes including employment, volunteering and funding. Apply by 23.59pm Sunday 5th April. Details and how to apply here.
Volunteer with VAC and develop experience and skills in public health
VAC provide training, and work opportunities for Camden volunteers who can commit 2 hours per week.
We offer free Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) training to volunteer as a Community Links volunteer, part of a new Care Navigation and Social Prescribing service in Camden. Community Links volunteers signpost residents to community based activities and help with formal referrals where community based activities are needed alongside clinical care.
Contact: Mandira Manandhar, Community Links Co-ordinator (Mon, Tues and Thurs) 020 7284 6550/6573 or email: email@example.com
Want to Share a Skill, Space or Equipment?
Simply add your request to Comoodle Camden, the new local online sharing platform which facilitates sharing for community benefit.
Need a Meeting Room near Chalk Farm?
VAC has 3 new rooms to hire out for Events/Training, etc. at the Charlie Ratchford Centre in Chalk Farm.
There is a large room for up to 60 people, ideal for large events.
The training room can hold up to 20 people comfortably for training/workshops
The Lounge is a open area for anything that is not confidential and can hold up to 20 people. Smartboard, level access throughout, reasonable prices.
Rates and full details on the VAC website. Special rates for Camden networks.
Camden Carers Are Moving
From Monday 30th March, Camden Carers Service will be based at:
The Greenwood Centre, 37 Greenwood Place, NW5 1LB.
CCC will be closed for two weeks from Mon 16 March. 020 7428 8950
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Send your item to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by noon on Thursday for publication in the following day’s edition. The e-bulletin comes out every Friday. Submissions should be 50 – 75 words. Please send plain text or a format that can be copied (ie not embedded in an image). Send links to documents rather than attachments. Make sure to include contact details.