This page will be updated with useful information and links to resources to support you.
At the start of lockdown, VONNE set up an online community on Knowledge Hub to be used as a platform for sharing Covid-19 resources and information as it emerged. While this is no longer widely in use, the resources remain available. Register here for the VONNE Covid-19 Knowledge Hub group.
You can find our report following the results of our initial Covid-19 impact survey (undertaken in May 2020) at vonne.org.uk/news/ne-vcse-sector-covid-19-impact-survey-report-published.
What we're doing
VONNE is monitoring the situation with regard to the easing of lockdown measures carefully, and for now, our staff team is continuing to work from home to deliver our services. You can contact us by phone as usual on 0191 233 2000 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are using digital technologies to enable us to work. Holding virtual staff meetings using Zoom, helping staff to stay connected using Slack, and encouraging staff, where able, to volunteer in their local communities by looking out for their neighbours.
VONNE is in regular contact with the region's local infrastructure organisations to share information and work together to understand the sector's needs. We will be coordinating responses as the ongoing situation develops.
As so many organisations have had to adapt so quickly to deliver services online, the Safer Culture North East partners have developed a series of bitesize fact sheets to ensure you are still able to keep people safe. Find out more on the Safer Culture North East resources and training page.
Digital service delivery support
Charity Digital has collated some great information covering health and safety, resilience, planning and offering reassurance and clarity to staff.
Third Sector Lab and SCVO Digital have created an open access Google doc to support charities with their digital service delivery. It will be edited and updated regularly. SCVO also have this webpage which gives an overview of the key principles around digital service delivery.
The Charity Digital Code website has a range of tools and resources around the Code's seven principles, which includes resources to help with digital skills development.
Catalyst has also pulled together some great resources, covering practical advice for working from home and signposting sources of further support. The Catalyst support page will be updated regularly.
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is the name for what we've come to know as coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses common across the world, and Covid-19 is a new strain, first identified in Wuhan in China in January this year.
Symptoms, which present around 14 days after coming into contact with the illness, include a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath among others, and our understanding of symptoms continues to evolve over time. If you experience any of these symptoms or become worried you may have contracted Covid-19, call NHS 111 or go to the NHS 111 coronavirus advice website. Do not go to your GP or visit other healthcare environments.
Full Fact has generated a fact check page to help dispel any false information about the virus.
Preventing the spread
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice over) or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, particularly after using public transport. Maintain two-metres distance between individuals if at all possible, and wear a face covering in public places.
Supporting those experiencing discrimination
Members of some communities are experiencing acts of racism, discrimination and verbal abuse following the outbreak of the virus. Stop Hate UK is providing anyone experiencing or witnessing such discrimination with a confidential 24-hour third-party reporting service.
Support for other groups
- Diabetes UK has an information page for people living with diabetes
- Asthma UK has a blog post with advice for people with asthma
- The British Heart Foundation has published guidance for people with health problems
- The National Eczema Society has offered advice on handwashing techniques for people with eczema and other skin conditions
- SignHealth has created British Sign Language (BSL) videos to help deaf BSL users either working in charities or receiving support
- Carers UK has produced recommendations for those with caring responsibilities
- Housing Justice has issued advice to homeless shelters
- The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Primary Immunodeficiency UK and the Mental Health Foundation have all issued advice and support.
- Women's Aid offer a variety of support for women and children experienceing domestic abuse
- Inclusion North have have produced easy read Coronavirus information
- The Recovery and Wellbeing Academy has a page of online videos and workshops to help manage emotional and mental health during Covid-19.
Guidance for fundraisers and grant-holders
The Institute of Fundraising has collated some information specific to fundraisers and the National Lottery Community Fund has issued specific advice on furloughing staff for its grant-holders.
Stay up to date
Keep up to date with the latest public information and advice regarding the virus at gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public, and for more specific advice for the VCSE sector, here are some more useful resources:
The Small Charities Coalition is monitoring the situation and updates will be posted with the relevant date and time at smallcharities.org.uk/insurance-and-risk.
NCVO has also published some useful information at ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/coronavirus and a recent blog talks about what trustees should be thinking about in response to Covid-19.
NAVCA has a whole host of resources for the VCSE sector to support their Covid-19 response.