Given the current situation in relation to COVID-19, we wanted to update you in relation to our planning. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of both our staff and everybody who we work with on a daily basis. As a result, we are cancelling all future training/workshops until further notice.
We will continue to deliver capacity building support and volunteering information to the Community and Voluntary Sector. Our teams are well set up to work remotely and are fully responsive via phone and email as usual. We have the technology in place to conduct our meetings online or via conference call. We are confident that the quality of service you receive from us will remain as high as usual but we appreciate your support as we deal with any inconveniences that may arise during this period.
If you have any questions in relation to our planning or related to your own response planning, please get in touch.
Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times. We are glad to continue working closely with you and look forward to the situation stabilising and an eventual return to more normal circumstances.
Links To Useful Information
Hounslow Good Neighbour guide
Ageing Better telephone befriending report Telephone befriending Final (002)
Latest Update from DWP Covid 19 Special News Bulletin for Partners (003)
Register to volunteer in the following support roles; urgent food deliveries, prescription collection, delivering parcels/post, tackling loneliness, general community support, collecting parcels/post.
The British Red Cross has developed a new step-by-step guide for anyone responding to the coronavirus outbreak. The free online guidance aims to help local charities, mutual aid groups and individuals to support people in their communities safely.
How You Can Support The Vulnerable In Your Local Community
Support for Community Groups & People Working From Home
Support and advice for groups
Contingency planning and adapting your services
- 14 April: Charity Commission – updated guidance for the sector
- NCVO guidance on involving and managing volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak
- NCVO: guidance for charities
- NCVO: coronavirus and governance – what charity trustees need to think about
- NCVO: what’s in the coronavirus bill?
- Zurich: organisational resilience guidance on pandemic planning
- MindTools: contingency planning, including templates
- For guidance and advice aimed specifically at befriending organisations, please see our Ready Friends page
- Bates Wells – governance, solvency, contracts and employment update
- Bates Wells: key issues for charities in public service delivery – procurement and contracts
- ABI Guidance: business insurance and unoccupied premises
- Unoccupied charity premises – contact your insurers or landlord
- Cranfield Trust: free webinar on cash flow forecasting for charities
- Claiming Gift Aid on cancelled events
Employment and staff
- Public funding and furlough guidance for trustees, including ACAS template
- Government guidance: coronavirus job retention scheme
- Government guidance: furloughed workers
- Civil Society guidance: job retention scheme and employment FAQs
- ACAS: guidance for employers and employees
- ACAS: guidance on homeworking including a template policy and checklist
- Bates Wells: coronavirus and your staff: what if working from home is not an option?
- Changes to the DBS service during the coronavirus pandemic
- Download: Small Charities guide to better mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19, including a section on working from home
Funding for coronavirus response
- Government funding for the sector and NCVO analysis
- Round-up of funding for coronavirus response – 2 April 2020
- Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) Vital for Berkshire Coronavirus Funding – applications open
- National Emergencies Trust: coronavirus fundraising appeal and grants
- Police Property Act Covid-19 Response Funding – applications open until 20 April 2020
- Charities Aid Foundation Emergency Fund – applications open
- The National Lottery Community Fund – funding approach in response to Covid-19
Online training, safeguarding and data protection
- How to communicate in a crisis – two webinars from Lloyds Bank Foundation
- Online safety when delivering digital services to children, young people and adults at risk
- RVA’s guide to safeguarding resources during the coronavirus pandemic
- Information Commissioners Office: Data protection and coronavirus – what you need to know
- Bates Wells: The GDPR should not thwart a sensible approach to COVID-19 concerns
- RVA Advice Service: if your organisation needs advice or support contact email@example.com. We are continuing to offer our advice service remotely through email, telephone and Google Hangouts.
- RVA News: If you would like us to publicise updates about your services via RVA news and the RVA website, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sending RVA News more regularly during the coronavirus outbreak – if you’re not already subscribed to the newsletter, sign up here.
- Team Reading Coronavirus Response Volunteers: if your organisation is registered with RVA and needs some extra volunteer support please email email@example.com.
- Social Prescribing: if you have received support from the Social Prescribing service in the past and would like us to get in touch again, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a professional looking to make a referral, we are continuing to take these at the normal address readingsocial.prescribing@nhs.
Support for individuals and families
- Hungry Little Minds – simple, fun activities for kids, from newborn to five
- Download: coping with family life during lockdown
- 8 April: Government announces extra support for schools and parents and increase in Working Tax Credits and Child Benefit.
- Doctors of the World: latest NHS guidance on coronavirus translated into 34 languages
- Signhealth: daily coronavirus updates in British Sign Language
- Voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals
- An easy read guide to coronavirus from Mencap
- Project Linus Berkshire: handmade quilts to comfort children and teenagers
- First Days: emergency help for families (referrals by professionals only)
- NSPCC: how to have difficult conversations with children
- Future Learn: free online courses to help carers of people with dementia cope during current restrictions
- Coronavirus: information for people affected by dementia
- Government guidance on managing funerals during the coronavirus pandemic
Keeping in touch online
- Help with getting online (an RVA guide which is easy to print out for someone not already online)
- Citizens Advice: check if something might be a scam
Employment, self-employment and benefits
- Advice on Universal Credit and coronavirus
- Citizens Advice: coronavirus – what it means for you
- Institute of Directors: coronavirus – government support for the self-employed
Managing anxiety and wellbeing
- Mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak – round-up of support and information, including national helplines
- Government guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (Covid-19)
- Anxiety UK – support and resources
- Talking Therapies – NHS Berkshire Healthcare
- Samaritans: if you’re worried about your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- Every Mind Matters: 10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus
- Coronavirus and your wellbeing – information from Mind
- Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak – Mental Health foundation
- How to stay active while you’re at home – Sport England
- Compass Recovery College – online courses and activities
Where can I find up-to-date and accurate information?