The voluntary and community sector is vital to the lives of so many local people and we will work together, as we always have, to support them. We all need to play our part in preventing any potential spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). During these challenging times, we want to make sure that we can help people stay safe and healthy.
Key updates for the sector:
- Complete this short online form to tell us how you are coping with continuing to deliver services and how KVA can best support you and your clients
- If you have changed or ceased your service in response to the current situation and would like to highlight this on Connected Kingston please email email@example.com
- Joint statement from Kingston Council, Kingston Voluntary Action and Volunteering Kingston
- Letter to the voluntary sector from the Leader of the Council Liz Green
- Review of Commissioning and the VCSE is being paused
- All current funding / contract arrangements will be extended by another six months to September 2021
- Recognition of difficulties in complying to current contract performance requirements under the circumstances
KVA is also changing its way of working and re-prioritising efforts to support the community. We will be continuing to send out newsletters and information and to offer our services where we can via email, the website and other means. Sign up to our eNews and follow us on Twitter to stay updated.
We will be adding information on relevant funding sources to support VCSE organisations facing financial pressures and to help develop new services to respond to the Coronavirus below:
- Tesco Bags of Help Covid-19 Communities Fund - Organisations apply for a £500 single payment and applications will be allocated to each Tesco region in the usual manner.
- Charities Aid Foundation rapid response fund - to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.
- Emergencey £1m Support Fund - GLA, City Bridge Trust and London Funders
- Individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector - Arts Council Covid 19 Fund
- Funding for up to £5k for food and essentials only - London Community Response
- £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis - Sport England
- £1 million Community Support Fund to help your local community - John Lewis and Waitrose
- Government funding up to £25K for innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19 - Tech Force 19
- London Communities Coronavirus fund - The London Community Fund
- Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, a new offering specifically created to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may currently be facing - Eligible musicians are able to apply for a one-off payment of £500 through an online form.
- Grants will be awarded to existing members of Neighbourly in UK and Ireland whose work will involve supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill health as a result of the outbreak - Neigbourougly Community Fund
- Big Society Capital plans emergency loan fund for charities - watch this space. We'll update this when the fund becomes available
- Sign up to the London Funders ebulletin
Social Enterprise UK briefing contains information on what support social enterprises can access during COVID-19.
If you need support from KVA to access funding at this time - please contact Alison Ewart on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are being contacted by lots of organisations needing some practical support relating to setting up working from home for their staff and volunteers. Superhighways have put together some blog posts sharing some remote working options and tips along with best practice guidance to ensure minimising of risk.
- Remote working best practice tips - information on safeguarding use of personal devices and cyber security top tips for staff
- New to Teams? We'll show you around - a quick overview of the Office 365 Teams app and how it can support you at this time of remote working
- Getting started with Team chats, calls and online meetings - practical guidance on how to use these communication and collaboration features
There are a lot of offers of help during the current and unprecedented crisis. It is both heart-warming and gratifying to see our community coming together to help our more vulnerable neighbours.
We would encourage all new community groups, unused to working with volunteers, to use only those volunteers with enhanced DBS checks to work directly with vulnerable people and children.
Some groups are looking to ensure boredom and isolation are lessened by keeping in phone contact with those isolating, collecting books for a shared library delivery or many other initiatives that have been suggested. Unchecked volunteers will be able to shop, help to co-ordinate deliveries etc.
Volunteer Handbook for Neighbourhood Volunteer Initiatives
If you are running a local mutual aid group or community response to coronavirus in your area, this example handbook can help you manage your activities safely.
Produced by Kingston Voluntary Action and Volunteering Kingston, it includes inductions, risk assessments, role descriptions, safeguarding and more.
Thanks also to www.voda.org.uk for giving us permission to share this video illustrating best practice we should all be following when involving volunteers at this time:
Don't need volunteers right now?
If you don't have a need for volunteers directly at your organisation at this time or for your own local community response - please signpost them to Kingston Stronger Together.
Support for the local VCS sector
We have put together a list of guidance form various sources to help with running your charity/ local group during the COVID-19 outbreak. More information below;
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance for the charity sector from Gov.uk
- NCVO advice for your organisation during coronavirus guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers
- New Procurement advice for charities delivering public services - Gov.uk guidance
Free NCVO webinar on HR, legal, financial etc implications of Covid 19 on charities - This webinar, in association with NCVO will be held on demand so you can access it at any time
- Advice for charity trustees - NCVO have put together this helpful blog about what charity trustees need to think about
- The Charity Excellence Framework (CEF) platform has been updated to include free Coronavirus assessments, toolkits and resources