Issue 617 | 19 March 2020
Stay up to date on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

We are working hard to keep you up to date on what NAVCA, our members and the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership are doing amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Please read our blog which we are updating regularly with information, and follow us on Twitter where we are sharing lots of different resources and sources of information.

The main sources of accurate and up to date information are:

Keeping vulnerable people safe

As more people – particularly those who are elderly and vulnerable – self-isolate at home, safeguarding remains a primary concern for NAVCA, our members and the thousands of charities they support throughout the country.

Whilst community-mindedness and supporting those around is essential in these times, so too is warning vulnerable people to be vigilant about letting strangers into their home and not handing over money or bank details to people they do not know.

We know the large majority of people will step up and help their neighbours with the very best of intentions, but unfortunately there may also be some who act with more sinister motives. NAVCA member Support Staffordshire has published some simple steps you can take to being a good neighbour, which includes keeping an eye out for fraudsters, and keeping within the limits of what is reasonably expected. You can read this advice here.

In this article from The Guardian you can also find useful advice relating to safeguarding (towards the end) and if a safeguarding allegation is made in your charity, please use the government’s online portal which has a free tool to help you handle the allegation.
£350 billion financial support for economy

The government has unveiled a package of financial measures to shore up the economy against the coronavirus impact.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told a press conference on Tuesday 17 March: “I want to reassure every British citizen this government will give you all the tools you need to get through this.”

The measures that Mr Sunak has introduced for businesses include £330bn in state-backed loans for all businesses, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, and grants for retailers and pubs.

For individuals, ‘mortgage holidays’ were announced, which offer home-owners a three month break from paying their mortgage and the government has pledged to protect renters with similar measures. Read more.

We are still working with others in the sector to push for an announcement on help for VCS organisations. NAVCA CEO Jane Ide has been involved in conversations with Cabinet Ministers and senior officials along with colleagues from other parts of the VCSE sector. We'll keep campaigning for support for our colleagues, who are doing so much to help in their local communities and across the country - see below.
Speaking up for the sector

There has been little mention so far, from ministers or officials, of the important role that charities and voluntary groups are playing, or of additional resources being allocated to our sector.

As part of the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership, NAVCA has teamed up with NCVO to research what work is being carried out during the coronavirus crisis by the VCSE sector, and what extra resource is needed. We have issued a survey to our members, which closed today and if you are not a member of NAVCA, you can feed into this research by completing this short survey.

NCVO has proposed a number of ‘asks’ to the government which will help to protect charities from financial hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis. These include an emergency grant fund, deferral of NICs and VAT payments and an extension of the business interruption loan scheme to apply to all charities. These asks have been supported by Vicky Foxcroft MP, Labour's Shadow Minister for Civil Society, who has written to the Chancellor asking for clarity on financial support for the voluntary sector, and has called on the government to implement NCVO’s asks. You can see her letter here. Other MPs making similar calls include Conservative Iain Duncan Smith MP and Liberal Democrat leadership contender Wera Hobouse MP.
Home working: preparing your organisation and staff

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published guidance to help organisations and individuals prepare to work from home during the coronavirus crisis.

As organisations will be encouraging more of their staff to work from home, new cyber security challenges are arising. This includes using new software, logging into online collaboration tools and the risks arising from lost devices, as well as phishing emails relating to coronavirus.

You can read this guidance here. The Directory of Social Change (DSC) has also very kindly shared its guidance for home workers, which you can find here – thanks folks!
Finally, check out this useful list of online tools compiled by Charity Digital News, which could really help you and your teams work remotely.

There's also a new space on the NAVCA website - our Resource Hub has useful links and resources for VCSE organisations, stored under four headings:

  • Operational and remote working resources
  • Guidance on working with different sectors of the community
  • Safeguarding
  • Governance

More resources are being added as we find them or develop them so do please bookmark this site.
Events & webinars
CANCELLED: Disaster Fund Skills Workshops – London & Cardiff

Please note that the two events we told you about in Cardiff (27 March) and London (23 April), organised by the National Emergencies Trust, are cancelled in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 
Visit our   jobs page  for more details on current vacancies in the voluntary and community sector, or click on the links below:

Fundraising Development Manager, Support Staffordshire
Chief Executive Officer, Nova Wakefield District Limited
Finance Assistant, Warwickshire CAVA
Newtown Centre Assistant , Warwickshire CAVA

Also here's a   quick guide  to selling yourself when applying for a job in the voluntary sector.

Advertise jobs and contracts here, on our website and through our Twitter page! Just send details including a weblink to . This service is free to members (and reasonably priced for non-members!).
Funding, contracts & awards
Funders pledge to be flexible, financially understanding and friendly during crisis

London Funders has issued a statement in which it outlines a number of pledges it is making to grantees, committing to being flexible, financially understanding and friendly during the Covid-19 crisis. More than 150 funders have joined the initiative by signing up to the pledges. You can read the statement, and see who is signed up, here.
Our funding section is brought to you by   Community Matters Yorkshire .

The Co-operative Bank offer all their Community Directplus account holders the opportunity to apply for funding through their unique Customer Donation Fund. Deadline 31 March.

The Worshipful Company of Weavers Benevolent Fund's principal aim is to support people in trouble, particularly young offenders and ex-offenders, and other disadvantaged young people. Preference is given to pump priming new projects, especially those which are innovatory and can serve as a model elsewhere. Deadline 31 March.

The Charitable Foundation has two priority areas:. Alleviating poverty, and Improving health / saving lives. It supports these priorities by making donations of up to £2,000 to UK registered charities, recommended by the Society’s members and colleagues. Deadline 31 March.

The Jephcott Charitable Trust makes grants for charitable purposes in four main areas of funding: population control, the natural environment, education and health. Deadline 31 March.

Thanks to a series of generous donations the AIA can make available Restoration Grants of up to £20,000for a range of historic and industrial archaeology restoration projects. Deadline 31 March.
Blogs & podcasts
Clinks has produced this helpful blog in response to questions and requests for guidance from the charities and organisations they support, about keeping staff and volunteers safe amid the coronavirus crisis, and how to minimise the potential spread of the virus within prisons.

National Voices has written to its members and has published the letter as a blog, highlighting the life-saving services that the VCSE sector is providing during the coronavirus crisis.
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