COVID-19 Update for Charities
Posted on: March 20, 2020
Content from Maldon CVS
Maldon and District CVS has been working over the past 7 days to pull together a coordinated approach to delivering support to the community. Our ambition is to have a network of local hubs all coordinating volunteer support at parish level (or smaller) with some centralised support from the CVS, Salvation Army and Maldon District Council.
To make this happen we have set up a local phone number that can be used by anyone wanting to volunteer or needing help 01621 851997. This number will currently be manned 9-5 Mon-Fri but we are working to extend that to 7 days a week and longer hours.
We have also adapted our internal monitoring database to record offers and requests and will make parish level information available to the hubs to enable all offers of support and requests to be matched.
If you would like to be a community hub or can offer help please get in touch with Darya at Maldon and District CVS on 01621 851891 or [email protected]
National Survey – deadline 23rd March
In order to continue to provide government with information about what the sector needs, the Institute of Fundraising has led the development of important research to understand what the current and future financial impact of coronavirus might be on charities.
Given the speed events are unfolding, there is a quick deadline of 23 March.
Letter to the Prime Minister
Many small VCS organisations are on a knife edge. They are facing an unprecedented demand on services, along with a loss of staff and volunteers as more people self-isolate, due to showing symptoms or being in higher risk groups. Trading efforts have been hit. There has also been – and will continue to be – a devastating loss of income due to cancellation of fundraising events and regular small donors being more cautious about what they do with their money.
Without urgent help, many of these charities and voluntary organisations are facing imminent collapse. Alongside fighting for their cause, they are also fighting for survival. And without these grassroots organisations, the people who are most in need in our communities will be even harder hit.
To help to communicate this to central Government please add your organisation’s name to the letter to the Prime Minister organised by the Small Charities Coalition.
Emergency Response Fund
Financial Expert Martin Lewis has set up a fund for charities working to support people during the outbreak. Grants to between £5-20,000 are available 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, and so they are looking for projects that are up and running, or are in the process of being set up.
Charity Commission update
The Charity Commission have produced guidance for charities in relation to the corona virus specifically relating to needing to change the date of an AGM or looking to hold trustee meetings via video conferencing
Access to NCVO Guidance
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has taken down their paywall for their advice and guidance service giving access to all there information to the voluntary sector for free during the outbreak.
Access the information here: knowhow.ncvo.org.uk
The Essex Map
The Essex Alliance has launched dedicated social media profiles for The Essex Map on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They will be using these platforms to promote the services, groups, and activities available to the people of Essex. For now, the focus will be on services which are available to those who are self-isolating and promoting ways that people can help.
To have your work promoted on The Essex Map social media pages, we ask that:
- If you haven’t already, add or claim your listing on The Essex Map (essexmap.co.uk/register)
- In the “Description” box, add the details of what you’re offering residents during the Coronavirus outbreak (please include as much information as you can)
- Let us know that you’ve updated your listing, so that we can create social media posts to share your work
When posting about your offering on your own social media pages, please tag The Essex Map so that they are notified and can share your posts.
Finally, if you’ve added your listing to The Essex Map but are not yet a member of The Essex Alliance; we really encourage you to sign up. We’ll be sharing regular updates on what our member organisations can do during the Coronavirus outbreak to access funding streams, look after your staff and volunteers, and stay connected to your communities.
Essex Coronavirus Action Update
It is clear that as the government advise older and vulnerable people to social distance that local communities can step up and help with simple support tasks including shopping.
There is a strong voluntary sector is Essex including faith groups, parishes, well established third sector groups and communities themselves. There has already been a strong reaction from the people of Essex stepping forward to help and we need to encourage and support all these local actions. Recent events mean too that we have had to do this at pace to ensure support will be available for people.
One key approach has been Essex County Council working in partnership with Facebook, local Facebook Admins and Community Groups to develop a social media campaign that seeks to build community resilience and community through the Essex Coronavirus Action Group.
It is a largely Facebook based initiative and can be found here: www.facebook.com/essexcoronavirusaction
The initiative consists of the Facebook page above, which has been authenticated by Facebook with the blue ticks to endorse it as a validated and secure information source.
Essex Coronavirus Action looks to carry out three core objectives in relation to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak – PREVENT, INFORM and ASSIST.
Essex Community Foundation/National Emergency Trust
The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities to support those individuals suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The NET will distribute money raised through a number of charitable organisations including local community foundations, of which Essex Community Foundation is one, to ensure it reaches those who need it most.
Details of the NET fund and criteria for local voluntary and community organisations to apply for funding will follow in the next few days.
If your charity or community group needs support, please call our grants team on 01245 356018 to register your interest.