Latest News


Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Information from Companies House on Stay Safe at Work

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help make sure workplaces are as safe as possible.  BEIS has also hosted webinars on working safely during coronavirus.  Read the guidance and listen to the webinar recordings to make sure that you're working safely. You can also watch safer workplace case studies to see how a range of workplace settings are returning to work safely. 

 

New webinars taking place in June on media and resilience from the Lloyds Foundation 

16 June 10:30am-12pm. Covid-19: Top tips for engaging with the media.

This session, delivered by Media Consultant and ex-BBC Journalist Philippa Budgen will give you the tools and confidence to engage with the media in a time of fast-moving news. Philippa will help you to understand how the pandemic is presenting media opportunities and how you can use your compelling stories to create change.

Registration page link - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/107821607330

23 June 10:30am-12pm. Covid-19: Building resilience whilst navigating change and loss

Covid-19 has led to huge change and loss, and with loss comes grief. As lockdown eases and we all look ahead being able to respond to this change, loss and grief with resiliency will be important. This session will be delivered by Elloa, from Bird. Elloa will discuss some tools and strategies you can use to build your resilience and support others to do the same.

Registration page - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/107687147156

 

iCAN Warning: Universal Credit scam

Several Halton residents have been caught out by a Universal Credit scam after receiving a letter stating they have made a new claim for Universal Credit when they haven’t. Consumers are facing difficulties finding out more about the claim when they contact Universal Credit due to the way scammers have used the information they have got hold of.  As a result, many consumers have had their Housing Benefit cancelled or suspended following the new scam Universal Credit claim.  Please be vigilant to this new and potentially growing scam. They urge you to monitor your housing benefit claim regularly to check if it has been suspended or cancelled.  If you think you have fallen victim to this scam, please contact Halton Borough Councils - Benefits Service on 0151 5117772.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of their specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

£275,000 available to the Voluntary Sector working in Criminal Justice

Voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system with under £500,000 annual income can apply now for grant funding to support their vital work during Covid-19.  Clinks is looking for organisations with an existing relationship with HMPPS who are delivering, or have a track record of delivering, services to support people in prison, through-the-gate and in the community in the context of Covid-19.  Clinks expects to provide grants of £3,000 - £5,000. No organisation will be granted more than £20,000.

Full details are here.

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

As we move into the next phase of the Covid 19 crisis we will be updating groups with helpful guidance to help you manage the transitions click here for Recovery and Resilience resources and information. 

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Cheers for Volunteers 

It's National Volunteers Week and some of our staff have contributed to this national appreciation of Volunteers across England to say thanks with @NAVCA Check out both videos and see if you recognise anyone

https://youtu.be/QwhJtx6OfT0

https://youtu.be/DdckWJw6Zz0

 

Volunteers Week 2020 you can stil join in to thank your volunteers

Join us in our Virtual Celebration of Volunteers Week to raise a glass and a virtual #cheersforvolunteers & quick quiz too.  Are you joining us? Online get together to celebrate Volunteers Week 2020.   This will be really informal with maybe a little quiz but we do have.... wait for it..... A LOCAL CELEBRITY COMEDIAN who will be drawing our raffle... yes a FREE RAFFLE for all volunteers who register.. so to get the link and your chance to get a ‘virtual’ raffle ticket for your chance to win one of 5 amazing prizes such as a Afternoon Tea for 2 at Home, Vouchers etc  Registration is necessary using the link below 

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=342&reset=1

 

Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission during the coronavirus pandemic

Guidance for trustees on what matters may need to be reported as a serious incident during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more details

 

DWP update 29th May 2020

Click here for the latest update from DWP with information on 

  • NHS Test and Trace service
  • Tell Us Once service awareness
  • Guide for pension savers
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live
  • Looking Out For Each Other campaign

 

Comic Relief are looking for BAME led partners to help distribute funds

Comic Relief say: "Recent research by Ubele Initiative has shown how years of reduced funding to organisations led by and serving BAME communities has further reduced the frontline support now available and means that many smaller organisations are now at greater risk of closure. This information and the call to action from #Charitysowhite has led us to review who our funding is currently reaching and how that reflects the needs of under-served and/or minoritized communities across the UK.  "We know we can’t do this alone so we’re seeking BAME led organisations to partner with to meet our aim of ensuring funding reaches underserved communities. We are looking for partners with the ability, expertise, networks and knowledge to distribute funding quickly to a diverse range of locally rooted BAME led and focused organisations across the UK.  We have ring fenced a budget of £650,000 for this opportunity."  The deadline for applications is midnight on Monday 8 June 2020. More information here.

 

Bereavement Information and Support for St Helens residents during COVID19

Information from our colleagues at St Helens Council 

As the pandemic continues to develop and impact on all of our lives, we want to reassure you that our priority is to continue to provide the highest standards of service while protecting the health and wellbeing of the bereaved, our staff, your staff, you and the public at large.  Please read our information and support for St Helens residents who are experiencing bereavement or loss during the pandemic.

 And link to our website

https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/births-deaths-and-marriages/deaths-funerals-and-cremation/covid-19-information-for-funeral-directors-and-mourners/

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

Thanks to all the groups who responded to our request to share your data so we can demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers. Click here to view the latest infographics for the sector 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

New webinars taking place in June on media and resilience from the Lloyds Foundation 

16 June 10:30am-12pm. Covid-19: Top tips for engaging with the media.

This session, delivered by Media Consultant and ex-BBC Journalist Philippa Budgen will give you the tools and confidence to engage with the media in a time of fast-moving news. Philippa will help you to understand how the pandemic is presenting media opportunities and how you can use your compelling stories to create change. This will be an interactive session with a mix of breakouts and whole group work; the session will include:

  • How to tell your story and effectively work with journalists
  • Top tips about engaging with different forms of media
  • A case study from a charity who will share their experience of successfully working with the media during the pandemic and the chance to ask them questions
  • The opportunity to discuss with other small charities practical ways to get your voice heard about the impact of COVID-19 and how you can push for change

Registration page link - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/107821607330

 

23 June 10:30am-12pm. Covid-19: Building resilience whilst navigating change and loss

Covid-19 has led to huge change and loss, and with loss comes grief. As lockdown eases and we all look ahead being able to respond to this change, loss and grief with resiliency will be important. This session will be delivered by Elloa, from Bird. Elloa will discuss some tools and strategies you can use to build your resilience and support others to do the same. During the session we will support you to:

  • Feel safe to explore your feelings and thoughts around loss in relation to COVID-19
  • Develop tools to process your feelings of grief and strategies to build resilience
  • Feel confident to support and encourage others to cultivate their resilience

The session will be delivered in a way that means you can participate anonymously, if you'd prefer, creating a safe space for you to share your thoughts, ask questions and for this conversation to take place.

Registration page - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/107687147156

It’s Volunteers Week and seemed fitting really that I reflect on how things have changed in the wonderful world of volunteering since I fell into my career with Halton & St Helens VCA back in 2001.

Back then being the newbie and surrounded by a small team who had a wealth of history and knowledge of the voluntary sector I was excited and daunted by my new role.  Volunteering development – an alien concept in some ways but being a regular volunteer from the age of 14 I wanted to help others experience the buzz that giving to others or causes that you are passionate about can make you feel.  I volunteered at 14 as a peer mentor for a young womens health project – providing confidential safe spaces for girls to be open about relationships to bring down a high teenage pregnancy rate. It seemed like I had dropped in on my dream job.

Over the years there have been some significant events nationally and regionally that have called for the support of volunteers and without their involvement would have increased costs or hindered progress.  Times to celebrate and bring people together, In 2001, Manchester held the Commonwealth Games, Liverpool became the Capital of Culture in 2008 and 2012 was the London Olympic Games.  Volunteers then were #nevermoreneeded.  Times of joy and celebration that many clambered to take up and be part of and they did in their droves with lots of disappointment for those that didn’t make it.

Throughout that time volunteering has increasingly been brought into the forefront of people’s minds, recruiting volunteers more competitive and their deployment intrinsic to national, regional and local people and place strategies – had we started to lose the sense of that individual “the Volunteer”.

Over the years, we’ve started to build steep steps for those potential volunteers to climb before they can get involved and it becomes just as hard to “bag” that much sought after volunteer role as it is to get your dream job.  Interviews, screening processes and a myriad of training you must fulfil before we can let you get going.  Do not get me wrong we are in a world where safety is paramount for the beneficiaries of support and organisations providing that support.  There are roles that have to have those high-level screening processes but over the years caution has sometimes stifled that natural human response to help in the world of formal volunteering.  Potential volunteers get frustrated, lose motivation and get disappointed.  We lose sight of the wealth of experience, knowledge and motivation being offered to us ready and willing.  The clock starts ticking the moment they submit their name on a website; call, leave a voicemail or knock on your door and say “Hi, I want to volunteer…” Harness that passion right from the beginning.

The motivations of volunteers are as broad as fashion choices through the 80’s.  You can’t pin them down to one thing and they will change over time, because people’s lives change, and their experiences change.   I always ask our volunteers why and I listen intently – I want to make sure that I know who they are and that I give them the best experience I can.  I know I’m not going to get it right all of the time and sometimes we can’t meet their motivations and expectations so be honest.  A good Volunteer Manager will have a volunteers’ journey as the central focus in their work.

No matter what is happening in the world there are people out there who want to help – its human nature and coming back to this year, the pandemic took us into a darker place.  Our communities are scared and vulnerable because of an invisible enemy.  The simple act of a human touch has been taken away and its impact sends ever increasing circles of helplessness impacting mental health, isolation, health and wellbeing. 

This last 12 weeks have highlighted volunteering at its best formally and informally.  The demand for ways volunteers can engage has far outweighed the need for the first time I can remember since those large celebratory events.  The altruistic nature of volunteering lives on as people are desperate to help. Organisations struggled with the recruitment journey, worried about this new wave of people coming forwards and fought with their robust systems against quick turnaround. Rabbits caught in headlights in a professional world.  People did what they needed to do on the ground in their own communities regardless and connected on a street by street level – offering their help to strangers they have lived alongside for years maybe.  Organisations have started to see the problem of the steps we’ve put in their way.  We’ve made that volunteering journey harder and we need to change.

Simple everyday tasks became impossible for a lot of our communities so quick and easy community tasks were created to give those people who wanted to help the ability to do so in short bitesize pieces. We had to work out different ways to screen people and how we can get them the information they need to play their part safely. Changing our engagement meant people were supported quicker and in a shorter time frame and the impact on both the people receiving support and those giving it has been astounding.  Those volunteers have had the best experience in the most testing of times and they still want to give.  We need to harness this into the future.

 

Is this a volunteering revolution?

Claire Redford-Kerr, VCA & WHH NHS Trust Volunteering Lead 

 

 

 

Bereavement Information and Support for St Helens residents during COVID19

Information from our colleagues at St Helens Council 

As the pandemic continues to develop and impact on all of our lives, we want to reassure you that our priority is to continue to provide the highest standards of service while protecting the health and wellbeing of the bereaved, our staff, your staff, you and the public at large.

Please read our information and support for St Helens residents who are experiencing bereavement or loss during the pandemic.

 And link to our website

https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/births-deaths-and-marriages/deaths-funerals-and-cremation/covid-19-information-for-funeral-directors-and-mourners/

Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission during the coronavirus pandemic

Guidance from the Charity Commision for trustees on what matters may need to be reported as a serious incident during the coronavirus pandemic. 

We appreciate that during the coronavirus pandemic the charity sector will face extremely demanding and ever-changing challenges. Charities’ primary interest must be looking after the beneficiaries they serve.

It is still important during the pandemic that trustees are aware of matters that may need to be reported as a serious incident. Timely reporting of serious incidents enables us to provide advice and guidance to charities where required. It also helps us to gain a better understanding of the risks facing the sector, which is particularly important now as we seek to understand how the pandemic is impacting on charities.

Our guidance on serious incident reporting continues to be the main resource for helping trustees to decide whether to report. However, we appreciate that the pandemic is giving rise to some unprecedented challenges and scenarios that were not envisaged when this guidance was published.

We have therefore produced a supplementary examples table to help trustees to decide if they need to report an incident that is related to the pandemic. Trustees should still exercise their judgement in deciding whether an incident is significant in the context of their charity, taking account of its staff, operations, finances and/or reputation. However, some key things for trustees to consider are:

  • having to take action to meet government rules, such as closing premises, should not be considered to be a significant incident in itself. It is the impact of this action on the charity that is key to determining if this should be reported
  • we usually expect charities to report any financial losses that don’t involve a crime where they exceed either £25,000 or 20% of the charity’s income. However, these thresholds do not apply when considering financial losses that are related to the pandemic. Trustees should focus on the significance of the impact of any losses rather than the amount
  • trustees may still delegate to others, such as staff members, the responsibility for deciding which incidents should be reported to us. However, such decisions should be reported back to the trustees, who remain ultimately responsible for them
  • use our online form to submit reports, which should be submitted as soon as is reasonably possible after the incident or when the charity becomes aware that a significant harm or loss is highly likely. Remember to use the form to tell us about what the charity is doing about the incident
  • where trustees consider reporting an incident but decide not to report it, they should keep a brief record of their decision and the reasons for it

When deciding how to respond to the reports we receive, we will continue to prioritise those that indicate individuals are at risk or that there is a risk of serious harm to a charity’s work. We will also prioritise reports where we identify that trustees require advice and guidance from us to help them to deal with an incident. This is why it is important to tell us what the charity is doing about the incident.

Latest update attached from DWP with information on 

  • NHS Test and Trace service
  • Tell Us Once service awareness
  • Guide for pension savers
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live
  • Looking Out For Each Other campaign

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

As we move into the next phase of the Covid 19 crisis we will be updating groups with helpful guidance to help you manage the transitions click here for Recovery and Resilience resources and information. 

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF)

From 1st June 2020, Halton Council will start to receive applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF).

The Government announced it is making additional funding available to allow the Council on 1st May 2020 and finalised its guidance on 26th May 2020. This funding is to support small businesses that have been affected by COVID19 but are outside the scope of the existing small business grants scheme and retail, hospitality and leisure scheme. This scheme is for businesses who have so far received no support during the COVID19 crisis.

Based upon the Government guidance and the identified priorities of the Council, four grant regimes will be available from 1st to 30th June 2020:

  • Shared Space Grant
  • Charitable Sector Support Grant
  • Bed & Breakfast Support Grant
  • Businesses either working from home and/or other locally owned businesses in other premises

Click here for more details 

 

Volunteers Week 2020

Here at the Volunteer Centres we are preparing for a week packed with celebrations of everything that is volunteering.  Some of the features we will be highlighting include:

  • Interviews with some of our volunteers on their experience of volunteering through the pandemic and what it means to them.
  • Interviews with some of our local authority partners to thank everyone in our community that has stepped up and supported those most vulnerable.
  • Interviews with some of our members who engage volunteers in the work they do and how important it is to them and the people they support.
  • A virtual Volunteers Week Quiz - with some raffle prizes and hopefully a special guest (we're working on this).
  • A national "Cheers for Volunteers" campaign to say a massive thank you from the nation to every single volunteer for their help and support - not just through the pandemic.  Volunteers have been engaging in many ways throughout the year supporting you as organisations too.
  • We also want to know what you are doing and how we can support you in promoting the fantastic work you do with your volunteers.

Here’s What We Need You To Do:

  1. We want to feature you and your organisation in celebrating all that volunteers have done for you over the past year. We want to know why they mean so much to you.  Click here for a document which you can download and print or replicate in your own way and write on "I love volunteers because"... If you could either get someone to take a photo or if you're happy doing a quick video of no more than say 10 seconds and email that in to our volunteer@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk email address - we will be able to pull together a short animation that we will use on our social media, website and future celebrational material.  Submission of any media will be providing us with consent to use it for the purposes outlined.
  2. Tell us what you are doing to celebrate – do you have any case studies we can feature throughout the week alongside our current programme to say how great Halton and St Helens are in engaging volunteers to enhance your services and provide additional benefits to the people you are there to support?
  3. Engage in the national campaign #CheersforVolunteers – spread the word so we can make a big noise about Volunteers and the difference they make to our communities.
  4. If you would like us to invite a volunteer to our Volunteer Quiz and have them take part in the raffle – send us their name, postal and email address so that we can send them an invite and a raffle ticket.  If you’d like to come along you can register here

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=342&reset=1

  1. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  For now Thank You for putting yourself forwards in the first place, it shows the true altruism of volunteering.

Cheers for Volunteers 

It's National Volunteers Week and some of our staff have contributed to this national appreciation of Volunteers across England to say thanks with @NAVCA

https://youtu.be/QwhJtx6OfT0

 

Mental health free online platform for adults in St Helens launches
From 1st June adults aged 26 and above will be able to access mental health and wellbeing support online for free thanks to a new service for St Helens residents.  Qwell is an online counselling and support service which aims to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of adults in St Helens by providing an early response to emotional wellbeing and/or emerging mental health needs. This enables any issue to be addressed promptly, and prevent problems from escalating and requiring a more specialist response such as face to face intervention or crisis.

Children and young people in St Helens aged 11-25 already have access to Kooth.com and following the success of this platform, especially during lockdown, Qwell which is from the same team, is aimed specially at adults and provides:

  • Online emotional wellbeing and mental health support service seven days a week, 365 days a year, with counsellors online from 12 noon to 10pm Monday to Friday and 6pm to 10pm at weekends
  • An accessible, safe, secure, moderated website with online community features
  • Qwell is a confidential service which adults anonymously access therapy and self-help content, with links to other appropriate services
  • Adults aged 26 and above who are registered with a St Helens GP can visit www.qwell.io from today to sign up to the Qwell website.

 

Nightstop Communities Northwest CIC Job Vacancies 

Nightstop Communities Northwest CIC have job vacancies for the following roles:

  • Accommodation Support Worker - 37.5 hours per week
  • Mental Health Support Worker - 37.5 hours per week
  • Mental Health IT / Office Administrator - 20 hours per week
  • Office and Accommodation Cleaner - 20 hours per week
  • Handyman / Gardener - 20 hours per week

Expected start date 22nd June. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 5pm on Friday 12th June.  Click here for more details about the roles and how to request an application form.

 

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is making £5m available for its second phase of funding for May to December 2020.

Funding will include

  • Emergency grants for current grantees who are facing immediate financial crisis
  • 12-month grant extensions for current grantees with ongoing projects
  • Grant increases to enable current grantees to meet costs associated with adapting activities in order to sustain work.

The Trust will also launch a Covid-19 Initiatives Fund over the summer which will be open to grantees and non-grantees, to support new initiatives rooted in the values of equity, rights, peace, climate justice and power and accountability that either a) challenge current responses to and narratives about the crisis, or b) build support for systemic change in a post-Covid society.

Click here to find out more.

 

ACAS National E-Connect newsletter

Have you signed up for the ACAS National E-Connect newsletter it has lots of useful information on Coronavirus advice and resources.  Click here to subcribe for a copy directly to your inbox. 

 

Government Guidance

The Government has recently updated its advice/guidance/rules on what you can and can't, or should and shouldn't, do as the lockdown eases.

Here are some updated links which you might find useful:

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do - updated 1 Jun 2020

Guidance on shielding - updated 31 May 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - updated 29 May 2020

Working safely during COVID-19 - updated 29 May 2020

Test and trace: workplace guidance - updated 27 May 2020

You can find all the Government's Guidance on coronavirus at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak

For the latest guidance on legionella from the HSE click here

 

Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council 1st June 2020

Click here for the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council dated dated 1st June 2020.  Email funding@halton.gov.uk to sign up to recieve bulletin updates directly to your inbox

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

Thanks to all the groups who responded to our request to share your data so we can demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers. Click here to view the latest infographics for the sector 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Nightstop Communities Northwest CIC Job Vacancies 

Nightstop Communities Northwest CIC have job vacancies for the following roles:

  • Accommodation Support Worker - 37.5 hours per week
  • Mental Health Support Worker - 37.5 hours per week
  • Mental Health IT / Office Administrator - 20 hours per week
  • Office and Accommodation Cleaner - 20 hours per week
  • Handyman / Gardener - 20 hours per week

Expected start date 22nd June. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 5pm on Friday 12th June.  See attached for more details about the roles.

Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF)

From 1st June 2020, Halton Council will start to receive applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF).

The Government announced it is making additional funding available to allow the Council on 1st May 2020 and finalised its guidance on 26th May 2020. This funding is to support small businesses that have been affected by COVID19 but are outside the scope of the existing small business grants scheme and retail, hospitality and leisure scheme. This scheme is for businesses who have so far received no support during the COVID19 crisis.

Based upon the Government guidance and the identified priorities of the Council, four grant regimes will be available from 1st to 30th June 2020:

  • Shared Space Grant
  • Charitable Sector Support Grant
  • Bed & Breakfast Support Grant
  • Businesses either working from home and/or other locally owned businesses in other premises

To ensure the discretionary grants are awarded to those small businesses most impacted by COVID19 an assessment will be undertaken against a number of criteria including:

  • The business must have no more than 50 employees;
  • The business must be a solvent business that was trading on 11th March 2020;
  • The business must have ongoing property costs;
  • The business has been significantly financially affected by COVID19;
  • The business has not received other relevant grant support from Central Government apart from the Furlough Scheme.

Businesses which have received cash grants from any Central Government scheme for COVID19 are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grant Fund.

For further information on how to apply.

An application form must be accompanied by all relevant information in order for it to be processed.

Other Business Support

The main source of information for all business support during the coronavirus crisis remains the UK Government web site at www.businesssupport.gov.uk or alternatively Liverpool City Region Growth Platform site at https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/

Please refer to the above websites in the first instance for up to date information.

If, however, you’d rather speak to someone locally please call Halton Borough Council’s Business Development Team on 0151 511 7825 or email business@halton.gov.uk

We appreciate that this is a very difficult time but we are assured by government that they are exploring every possible avenue to provide support to businesses and to that end the Council and other public sector organisations are working hard to put in place the systems necessary to make that happen.

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is making £5m available for its second phase of funding for May to December 2020.

Funding will include

  • Emergency grants for current grantees who are facing immediate financial crisis
  • 12-month grant extensions for current grantees with ongoing projects
  • Grant increases to enable current grantees to meet costs associated with adapting activities in order to sustain work.

The Trust will also launch a Covid-19 Initiatives Fund over the summer which will be open to grantees and non-grantees, to support new initiatives rooted in the values of equity, rights, peace, climate justice and power and accountability that either a) challenge current responses to and narratives about the crisis, or b) build support for systemic change in a post-Covid society.

Click here to find out more.

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

As we move into the next phase of the Covid 19 crisis we will be updating groups with helpful guidance to help you manage the transitions click here for Recovery and Resilience resources and information. 

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Volunteers Week 2020

Here at the Volunteer Centres we are preparing for a week packed with celebrations of everything that is volunteering.  Some of the features we will be highlighting include:

  • Interviews with some of our volunteers on their experience of volunteering through the pandemic and what it means to them.
  • Interviews with some of our local authority partners to thank everyone in our community that has stepped up and supported those most vulnerable.
  • Interviews with some of our members who engage volunteers in the work they do and how important it is to them and the people they support.
  • A virtual Volunteers Week Quiz - with some raffle prizes and hopefully a special guest (we're working on this).
  • A national "Cheers for Volunteers" campaign to say a massive thank you from the nation to every single volunteer for their help and support - not just through the pandemic.  Volunteers have been engaging in many ways throughout the year supporting you as organisations too.
  • We also want to know what you are doing and how we can support you in promoting the fantastic work you do with your volunteers.

Here’s What We Need You To Do:

  1. We want to feature you and your organisation in celebrating all that volunteers have done for you over the past year. We want to know why they mean so much to you.  Click here for a document which you can download and print or replicate in your own way and write on "I love volunteers because"... If you could either get someone to take a photo or if you're happy doing a quick video of no more than say 10 seconds and email that in to our volunteer@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk email address - we will be able to pull together a short animation that we will use on our social media, website and future celebrational material.  Submission of any media will be providing us with consent to use it for the purposes outlined.
  2. Tell us what you are doing to celebrate – do you have any case studies we can feature throughout the week alongside our current programme to say how great Halton and St Helens are in engaging volunteers to enhance your services and provide additional benefits to the people you are there to support?
  3. Engage in the national campaign #CheersforVolunteers – spread the word so we can make a big noise about Volunteers and the difference they make to our communities.
  4. If you would like us to invite a volunteer to our Volunteer Quiz and have them take part in the raffle – send us their name, postal and email address so that we can send them an invite and a raffle ticket.  If you’d like to come along you can register here

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=342&reset=1

  1. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  For now Thank You for putting yourself forwards in the first place, it shows the true altruism of volunteering.

Cheers for Volunteers 

It's National Volunteers Week and some of our staff have contributed to this national appreciation of Volunteers across England to say thanks with @NAVCA

https://youtu.be/QwhJtx6OfT0

 

Test and trace system kicks off 1st June

A team of 25,000 contact tracers will text, email and call those who test positive for the virus and find out who they have been in contact with over the last couple of weeks. Any of those thought to be at risk of infection will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.  

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was confident that the "vast majority of people" would participate in the voluntary system

Read the full article here.

 

Christmas Challenge 2020 Applications Now Open

The Christmas Challenge gives your donors the chance to double their donations as you raise vital funds for your work.  Deadline for the stage 1 application is 5pm Friday 3rd July. The deadline to collect the pledges is 5pm Friday 28th August. Remember you can start collecting your pledges as soon as you have submitted your stage 1 application, so the sooner that is submitted, the more time you have to collect the pledges.

For more information and to register, pease click the link below:

https://www.thebiggive.org.uk/s/christmas-challenge

 

iCAN Warning: Grants Scams

Halton Trading Standards has recently seen an increase of Grant scam emails. These emails suggest that you have been selected to receive a grant, there is no cost to receiving the grant they just need you to complete a form with your personal details. This is a scam, they are after your personal details. Below is the wording from one of these scam emails:

We screen your profile and see that you qualify based on your income
level to receive grant that you do not need to repay. A group of donors
sponsor the grant to help people and businesses during this Covid-19.

If you are interested, contact us to fill out the grant form. We have
been paid to screen and process the grant, no fee is required from you
or information which could lead to financial loss or identity theft.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of their specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Social media image size guide – Infographic

Ever wanted to design a really good profile pic or image header for your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn page but couldn't quite get the dimensions right?  Then click here. This is a handy guide setting out the dimensions for each profile/header image across all the main social media sites. 

 

HMRC Update 

For the latest information on furloughing staff click here 

 

Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council 25th May 2020

Click here for the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council dated dated 25th May 2020.  Email funding@halton.gov.uk to sign up to recieve bulletin updates directly to your inbox

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

Thanks to all the groups who responded to our request to share your data so we can demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers. Click here to view the latest infographics for the sector 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council 1st June 2020

Attached is the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council dated dated 1st June 2020.  Email funding@halton.gov.uk to sign up to recieve bulletin updates directly to your inbox

Welcome to Volunteers Week we look forward to hearing from you and sharing your stories about your wonderful volunteers 

Dear Colleagues

Here at the Volunteer Centres we are preparing for a week packed with celebrations of everything that is volunteering.  Some of the features we will be highlighting include:

  • Interviews with some of our volunteers on their experience of volunteering through the pandemic and what it means to them.
  • Interviews with some of our local authority partners to thank everyone in our community that has stepped up and supported those most vulnerable.
  • Interviews with some of our members who engage volunteers in the work they do and how important it is to them and the people they support.
  • A virtual Volunteers Week Quiz - with some raffle prizes and hopefully a special guest (we're working on this).
  • A national "Cheers for Volunteers" campaign to say a massive thank you from the nation to every single volunteer for their help and support - not just through the pandemic.  Volunteers have been engaging in many ways throughout the year supporting you as organisations too.
  • We also want to know what you are doing and how we can support you in promoting the fantastic work you do with your volunteers.

Here’s What We Need You To Do:

  1. We want to feature you and your organisation in celebrating all that volunteers have done for you over the past year. We want to know why they mean so much to you. 
    Attached is a document which you can download and print or replicate in your own way and write on "I love volunteers because"... If you could either get someone to take a photo or if you're happy doing a quick video of no more than say 10 seconds and email that in to our volunteer@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk email address - we will be able to pull together a short animation that we will use on our social media, website and future celebrational material.  Submission of any media will be providing us with consent to use it for the purposes outlined.
  2. Tell us what you are doing to celebrate – do you have any case studies we can feature throughout the week alongside our current programme to say how great Halton and St Helens are in engaging volunteers to enhance your services and provide additional benefits to the people you are there to support?
  3. Engage in the national campaign #CheersforVolunteers – spread the word so we can make a big noise about Volunteers and the difference they make to our communities.
  4. If you would like us to invite a volunteer to our Volunteer Quiz and have them take part in the raffle – send us their name, postal and email address so that we can send them an invite and a raffle ticket.  If you’d like to come along you can register here

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=342&reset=1

  1. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  For now Thank You for putting yourself forwards in the first place, it shows the true altruism of volunteering.

Best Wishes

Claire Redford-Kerr

Volunteering Lead

in partnership with St Helens Council #sthelenstogether and Halton Borough Council #onehalton

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr  

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson

alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues 

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact 

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

As we move into the next phase of the Covid 19 crisis we will be updating groups with helpful guidance to help you manage the transitions click here for Recovery and Resilience resources and information. 

 

iCAN Warning: The NHS Test and Trace service launches today - beware of scams

The service has been introduced to allow the NHS to trace the spread of the virus, isolate new infections and play a vital role in giving early warning if the virus is increasing again, locally or nationally.  It is highly likely that scammers will make phone calls, send texts and emails pretending to be from NHS Test and Trace in order to obtain your personal details. Learn how to identify a genuine contact tracer from a scammer:  

Genuine NHS contact tracers will:

  • call you from 0300 013 5000
  • send you text messages from ‘NHS’
  • ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing
  • ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the 2 days prior to your symptoms starting
  • ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

Contact tracers will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Spread the word - Metro Mayor Conversation With Young People 3rd June 2020

The Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, is holding an online conversation with the young people of the Liverpool City Region about the current and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives.

The event will take place on Wednesday 3rd June from 3:30pm to 5:00pm and the conversation will be led by young people.

Participants in the call will be able to submit questions to the Metro Mayor in writing during the conversation and also take part in online flash polls on all of the main issues affecting young people.  They will not appear on camera or be able to speak via their microphone during the event.

The results of this conversation will help to shape the Metro Mayor's response to the pandemic, influencing plans and policies.  He will also share the feedback with the Prime Minister so that the views of and issues raised by the young people of our area are heard loudly and clearly!

The event is suitable for young people from the ages of 13 to 18, extending up to the age of 25 for those with special educational needs and or disabilities.

Please spread the world to the young people who you work with. The registration link is here:  

https://app.livestorm.co/commonplace/conversation-young-people-mayor-covid-19

 

Coronavirus and mental health at work

Acas has released new guidance and resources to help employers and employees cope in these challenging times.

 

Vit D and PHE active at home booklet

Thanks to our colleagues at St Helens Council for sharing the PHE active at home booklet (Click here) and information on why Vitamin D is so important for those who are currently shielding due to the Covid-19 virus 

Vitamin D

Key Message: Try to get your forearms, or lower legs into the sunshine for short periods of time (about 10 mins) every day, if this is not possible, consider taking Vitamin D supplement.    You could do this by sitting on you front step or sitting in your garden if you have one.  Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. It can be found in some foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks however it is difficult to get the recommended amount from just food alone. The other source of Vitamin D is sunlight however in the UK this is not always enough either and you can’t get it by standing by a window. A lack of vitamin D is very common. It’s thought that as many as 20% of adults and children have low levels.  It is recommended that everyone takes a Vitamin D supplement of 10micrograms a day during the winter months (October to March) when sunlight is limited.  There are particular people who are more at risk of insufficient Vitamin D levels than others such as those who cover their skin when outdoors, people who are not able to get outside and those in an institution such as a care home.  As you are currently shielding from the Covid-19 virus and may be unable to get outdoors, we suggest you consider taking a Vitamin D supplement daily. You can buy Vitamin D supplements from supermarkets or pharmacist; you may need to ask someone to pick up the vitamins for you. If you are taking medication or have a condition, please ring a pharmacist or GP before taking supplements.

For more information visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Thanks to our colleagues at St Helens Council for sharing the PHE active at home booklet (see attached) and information on why Vitamin D is so important for those who are currently shielding due to the Covid-19 virus 

Vitamin D

Key Message: Try to get your forearms, or lower legs into the sunshine for short periods of time (about 10 mins) every day, if this is not possible, consider taking Vitamin D supplement.    You could do this by sitting on you front step or sitting in your garden if you have one.

Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. It can be found in some foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks however it is difficult to get the recommended amount from just food alone. The other source of Vitamin D is sunlight however in the UK this is not always enough either and you can’t get it by standing by a window. A lack of vitamin D is very common. It’s thought that as many as 20% of adults and children have low levels.

It is recommended that everyone takes a Vitamin D supplement of 10micrograms a day during the winter months (October to March) when sunlight is limited.

There are particular people who are more at risk of insufficient Vitamin D levels than others such as those who cover their skin when outdoors, people who are not able to get outside and those in an institution such as a care home.

As you are currently shielding from the Covid-19 virus and may be unable to get outdoors, we suggest you consider taking a Vitamin D supplement daily. You can buy Vitamin D supplements from supermarkets or pharmacist; you may need to ask someone to pick up the vitamins for you. If you are taking medication or have a condition, please ring a pharmacist or GP before taking supplements.

For more information visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Reopening High Streets Safely Fund Guidance

Guidance to help local authorities and partners to deliver activities supported through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund is providing £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas. This guidance provides details of the activities that can be supported through the Fund and an overview of how it will be administered, as well as key ERDF contractual requirements. View the launch of the Fund.

Charity Retail Association Have Published Their Reopening Pack

Version 3 of the Reopening Pack is available for download. The pack consists of helpful guidance for when we are given the green light to open up shops, and provides some suggestions of things to think about in the meantime. Please check the draft and upload date/time, as they are updating the pack as and when Government advice becomes available. 

https://www.charityretail.org.uk/we-have-published-our-reopening-pack

 

National Emergencies Trust encourages Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic organisations to apply for funding

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) is encouraging charities and groups who serve the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to apply for funds.  Research shows that people of BAME background are at significantly increased risk of coronavirus.  The central aim of the NET is to distribute funds as quickly as possible to help those in urgent need, which is why it wants to encourage applications from charities that are supporting hard hit BAME communities.  The NET has partnered with UK Community Foundations to distribute the funds from its Coronavirus Appeal. Already the NET has supported thousands of charities and it knows that through identifying where the need is most and providing support, the funding can transform lives.  If you are part of a BAME organisation based anywhere in the United Kingdom and are looking for funding to provide relief for those in need, please find your local Community Foundation here.

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

Thanks to all the groups who responded to our request to share your data so we can demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers. Click here to view the latest infographics for the sector 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

National Emergencies Trust encourages Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic organisations to apply for funding

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) is encouraging charities and groups who serve the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to apply for funds.  Research shows that people of BAME background are at significantly increased risk of coronavirus.  The central aim of the NET is to distribute funds as quickly as possible to help those in urgent need, which is why it wants to encourage applications from charities that are supporting hard hit BAME communities.  The NET has partnered with UK Community Foundations to distribute the funds from its Coronavirus Appeal. Already the NET has supported thousands of charities and it knows that through identifying where the need is most and providing support, the funding can transform lives.  If you are part of a BAME organisation based anywhere in the United Kingdom and are looking for funding to provide relief for those in need, please find your local Community Foundation here.

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Final reminder to book a place on the St Helens VCSE Forum on Monday 1st June 

The next St Helens VCSE Forum meeting will be on Monday 1st June 10am to 12.30pm.  However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we will be conducting it online using Zoom (requires internet access only)  We are bringing key partners together to connect with the sector to provide and share key developments on St Helens Cares and we will update on key work and initiatives in St Helens.   To book a place click here

Minutes of the previous meetings can be found at:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-vcse-forum

 

Welfare, Benefit and Employment Support survey we need to hear from Halton Groups 

Cheshire & Merseyside Health and Care Partnership recognise that the skill, energy and compassion of the VCSE sector is proving vital in keeping our communities strong and safe. We also recognise the huge pressure that this is putting on the sector’s staff, volunteers & budgets. 

One of the areas that we would like to find out more about is how the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector can support people who require welfare, benefit and employment support at this time in Halton . 

This will help us formulate a view about whether we need to try and influence for greater investment in this area and what additional capacity may be needed to manage the additional demand on these types of services. 

This piece of work is being led by staff from Halton and St Helen's VA and CVS Cheshire East who have been seconded to work for the CM Health and Care Partnership.   

We would appreciate your support by completing the following short survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BLGWD9G

 

Hospital Discharge survey, we need to hear from St Helens Groups 

Cheshire & Merseyside Health and Care Partnership recognise that the skill, energy and compassion of the VCSE sector is proving vital in keeping our communities strong and safe. We also recognise the huge pressure that this is putting on the sector’s staff, volunteers & budgets.

One of the areas that we would like to find out more about is how the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector can support the process around discharging people from hospital in St Helens.

This will help us formulate a view about whether we need to try and influence for greater investment in this area and what additional capacity may be needed to manage the additional demand on these types of services.

This piece of work is being led by staff from Halton and St Helen's VA and CVS Cheshire East who have been seconded to work for the CM Health and Care Partnership.  

We would appreciate your support by completing the following short survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CM_Out_of_Hospital

 

VS6 online consultation event for VCSE organisations working with children and young people – next Wednesday 27th May, 2.00 – 3.30pm.

Limited places (40-50 max).  1 person per organisation.  First come first served.  Deadline for bookings next Tuesday (26th) 12 noon.   VS6 would encourage any of our members working with children and young people to attend to provide their insight and feedback.

Bookings via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/vs6-children-young-people-vcfse-assembly-tickets-105791057902

This event will give you the opportunity to share your views on the specific issues facing Children & Young People's organisations at the present time. Specific topic for discussion will include:

  • Practical return to safe working and the plans that exist
  • Issues and needs of young people as we come out of lockdown
  • Organisational impact on sustainability and funding

You will also hear from the Combined Authority about the research they have undertaken into the impact of Covid-19 across the region (speaker TBC). This is the first in a series of themed online-Assembly events to be hosted by VS6. Further dates and topics will be announced in due course.  This meeting will be hosted on Zoom and a link will be sent out the day before. Please see a QuickStart guide to using Zoom here.

 

iCAN Warning: Cervical Screening Text Messaging Scam

Halton Trading Standards have been made aware of scam regarding cervical screening. Some women are being contacted by text message, claiming to be from the call and recall service to advise they are overdue for screening. The message asks them to call a mobile number and provide personal details. These messages are not from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of the specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Latest COVID-19 update from HMRC 

To read the latest information on the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme click here  

A word about scams Stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search 'scams' on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

 

Larger grants now available from the Heritage Emergency Fund

They are now welcoming applications for grants of £50,000-£250,000 to cover emergency costs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. These new grants are in addition to the existing £3,000-£50,000 level we launched in April. Applications for both are open until 30 June.  To read the latest bulletin dated 26th May click here 

 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update - St Helens CCG

Friday 22 May
Current Situation  Covid-19 continues to be the forefront of public debate and national headlines. We are working together as a health and care system in St Helens, along with Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England taking guidance from the government and World Health Organisation, to monitor progress and work to delay the virus spreading. The situation locally and nationally is under constant review and we are doing all we can to keep our public safe.

National situation  As of 9am on 22 May, there have been 3,231,921 tests, with 140,497 tests on 21 May. 2,144,626 people have been tested of which 254,195 tested positive.  As of 5pm on 21 May, of those who tested positive for coronavirus across all settings, 36,393 have sadly died.  The government announced this week that a loss of smell or taste (known as anosmia) has been added to the UK’s list of coronavirus symptoms that people should look out for and self-isolate with. A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.  If you or someone you live with has any symptoms of coronavirus (anosmia, new and continuous cough and/or fever), you need to stay at home for seven days to stop the risk of passing coronavirus on to others. NHS England has warned of higher risks for diabetics as third of Covid-19 deaths are linked to the condition. However, for those under 40 with type one or type two diabetes, the threat was very low.  New NHS has revealed that 32% of the 24,739 Covid-19 deaths recorded in English hospitals up to May 17 were patients with diabetes, which is a rise on data last week which showed people with the condition made up more than a quarter of all deaths.  A dedicated helpline has also been introduced which is part of a package of measures already in place for people with diabetes or at risk, including the Diabetes Prevention Programme, which has helped almost 90,000 people who were at risk of type 2, to lose weight.

Actions being taken locally

Primary Care  Primary Care continues to function as a total triage model whilst plans are developed to reintroduce services in a ‘safe’ manner. All Practices are open and initial contact remains as online or by telephone but patients will be seen face to face if clinically necessary. Practices are still continuing to provide routine childhood immunisations and 6-8 week baby and new Mum checks. All St Helens Care Homes are now aligned to Primary Care Networks/Practices which ensures they will have a clinical lead overseeing the care of residents. Further communications regarding this will go out to Care Homes in the next week.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (STHK)  As of 21 May the Trust has 81 positive COVID -19 inpatients with 85 pending results. The total number of patients that tested positive for COVID-19, who have been discharged since the beginning of the outbreak is 338 Sadly, the total number of patients that tested positive for COVID-19 and have died since the beginning of the outbreak is 185.  The Emergency Department is operating as normal; average daily attendance in the last 7 days is 257 compared to a usual figure of 350 per day. However this is a 4.5% increase in the past 7 days St Helens UTC is operating as normal; average daily attendance in the last 7 days is 76 compared to 120 per day. However this is almost a 5%increase in the past 7 days

Acute Hospital Services:  The Trust currently has no issues with bed capacity. In line with NHSE guidance The Trust is drawing up plans with social distancing and infection prevention measures in mind to undertake some additional operating and outpatient consultation for urgent patients, in addition to cancer patients, as part of our restoration plan.

Ann Marr joins Roy Lilley for live Webinar:  Ann Marr, Chief Executive, Rowan Pritchard Jones, Medical Director, and Rob Cooper, Director of Operations, will join NHS Commentator Roy Lilley to discuss the Trust’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the great work taking place across the Trust to continue to care for patients.  The Trust was announced as the North West Hub for the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) in February, and the webinar is the Institute’s latest online Healthchat series.

When: 5pm, Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Topic: HealthChat with Ann Marr & St Helens & Knowsley NHS Trust

Register in advance for this Zoom webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vEsMjbEsSJKP7FYerf8roA

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NWB)

Mental Health Awareness Week
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24 May) and the theme this year is kindness. The Trust has worked with partners to share messages about kindness and mental wellbeing and has been encouraging people to celebrate acts of kindness, to and from others. We’ve been delighted to see so many of our staff getting involved in their own acts of kindness and you can see some of these in our weekly #NWHeroes video  If you took part in acts of kindness this Mental Health Awareness Week, we’d love to see these too. You can share you acts of kindness tagging @NWBoroughsNHS on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Service delivery during Covid-19  Information about how services are operating during the Covid-19 pandemic is available on the Trust’s website: www.nwbh.nhs.uk/changes-to-our-services

Advice for the public

Key messages

The updated summary public guidance can be found at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus  The latest health advice for the public is available at: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus Handwashing remains the most effective way to kill the virus – washing more often for longer with soap and hot water – especially after you have been outside your house.  The ‘help us to help you’ campaign from NHS England urges patients to seek urgent care if they need it following concerns that patients who have suffered strokes and heart problems have stayed away because of fears over coronavirus.  The campaign next week will focus on mental health services to tie with mental health awareness week and the week after, heart problems. Regarding the link between diabetes and Covid-19, the advice is that If you are concerned about your diabetes during the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS is here to help. Contact your GP Practice or Diabetes team.

 

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Coronavirus Community Support Fund 

Commuity Fund have released a press release about the Coronavirus Community Suport Fund that will open Friday 22nd May at 10 am. This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.

The Fund has two key objectives:

To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.

To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

The full statement and details of how to apply to the fund, can be found by clicking the link below:

https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2020-05-20/statement-about-the-coronavirus-community-support-fund

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Thoughts of Sally Yeoman CEO of Halton & St Helens VCA and Vice-Chair VS6, Liverpool City Region Infrastructure Partnership Sally Yeoman

Click here to find out why Local and National infrastructure is more important than ever for the charitable and voluntary sectors.

 

iCAN Updates 

iCAN Warning: Video conferencing scam

With more a more people taking to video conferencing for both catching up with friends and family but also for work, scammers have also turned their attention to platforms such as Zoom.  Users of these platforms are receiving fake notification emails, which contain malicious links. These links then take the user to fake login pages designed to steal their details, which are subsequently used for identity theft.  Users should remain cautious when receiving an unexpected e-mail claiming to be from their video conference platform provider and should delete it or login via the platform’s website.

iCAN Warning: Lidl food giveaway scam

Halton Trading Standards wants to make residents of scam text messages regarding free food from Lidl. This is a case of the old adage, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is’.  Just like many of the scams we are currently seeing, the scammers want you click on a link, download something or gain your personal details. This is no different, they also use the old trick of saying there are only a few left, to force you to make a quick (and bad) decision.

iCAN Warning: Fake DHL Parcel Arrival Notifications

Halton Trading Standards have been made aware of fake DHL Parcel Arrival Notification emails. The email is a scam, do not download the attached forms! They are likely to contain viruses and programs that will be harmful to your computer.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Statement About The Coronavirus Community Support Fund 

Commuity Fund have released a press release about the Coronavirus Community Suport Fund that will open Friday 22nd May at 10 am. This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.

The Fund has two key objectives:

To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.

To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

The full statement and details of how to apply to the fund, can be found by clicking the link below:

https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2020-05-20/statement-about-the-coronavirus-community-support-fund

 

Guidance for Working Safely during COVID-19 in Offices and Call Centres 

Download the Guidance for Working safely during COVID-19 in Offices and Call Centres click below 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres

 

HMRC Update

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May.  It'll help small and medium-sized businesses recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they've made to employees.  Read HMRC's press release for more information. 

If you think the impact of coronavirus will cause delays in filing your company accounts, you can apply for a 3 month extension. You must apply before your filing deadline. To receive instant HMRC email notifications sign up for email alerts. 

 

Local Authority Top Up Grants 

The Guidance for LAs was published by the Government on 13 May 2020, should you feel the need to refer your LA to this document. On eligibility, the Guidance states (paras 33 and 34):  "It is recognised that local authorities will need to run some form of application process as the potential beneficiaries are highly unlikely to be known directly by the local authorities. This will allow local authorities to undertake proportionate pre-payment checks to confirm eligibility relative to their local scheme and to allow each local authority to determine how to use its discretion in relation to the appropriate level of grant. Prepayment checks must include confirming that by accepting payments recipients are in compliance with State aid rules."

 

SHAP'S Supported Lodgings Project

Can you provide a young person with a home and support them to be independent?  Supported Lodgings help young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by offering them lodgings with a host.  Being a host, you can be a host whether you are single, a couple, a family, at work or retired. Ideally you will live in St Helens. Being a host means that you are happy to offer a young person a room in your home for up to two years and support them while they build up the day-to-day skills they need to move on and live independently

The help you will receive. Supporting a young person as a host offers a huge personal reward. An in-depth induction programme and ongoing training. A weekly payment which covers the cost of supporting and housing a young person. Weekly support from specialist Shap staff and a 24/7 telephone support service. Click here for more information or Contact Shap on 01744 454056 enquiries@shap.org.uk for more information.

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Can you provide a young person with a home and support them to be independent?  Supported Lodgings help young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by offering them lodgings with a host.  Being a host, you can be a host whether you are single, a couple, a family, at work or retired. Ideally you will live in St Helens. Being a host means that you are happy to offer a young person a room in your home for up to two years and support them while they build up the day-to-day skills they need to move on and live independently

The help you will receive. Supporting a young person as a host offers a huge personal reward. An in-depth induction programme and ongoing training. A weekly payment which covers the cost of supporting and housing a young person. Weekly support from specialist Shap staff and a 24/7 telephone support service. See attached for more information or Contact Shap on 01744 454056 enquiries@shap.org.uk for more information.

Download the Guidance for Working safely during COVID-19 in Offices and Call Centres click below 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres

Local and National infrastructure is more important than ever for the charitable and voluntary sectors.

One of the unexpected take homes from the challenging and frightening times we find ourselves in is how important local support and development organisations are and how we must not lose them! Infrastructure is often undervalued, but it is nevertheless essential. The importance of infrastructure in the form of road, rail or broadband is well understood – but the voluntary, community and faith sector also needs infrastructure. Without this they are like cars without roads, trains without tracks, smartphones with no signal. Trade unions have the TUC and Trades Councils, businesses have the CBI and Chambers of Commerce; even churches understand the importance of infrastructure and are organised into Diocese.

But while voluntary and social action is almost universally acclaimed (despite not having the resources it needs), support for voluntary sector infrastructure has sometimes been in question. Local infrastructure charities exist across the country to give support to local voluntary, faith and community groups, foster contacts between them and provide them with a voice. Often these are known as Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) Voluntary & Community Action (VCA) or Volunteer Centres. Between them, they support and connect 160,000 local groups across the Country. Their charitable purpose, local footprint, universal offer and accountability to their users give them a unique sense of place, local network connections, good will, understanding and expertise.

There has been both local and national, academic and other research into the value and impact of VCFSE infrastructure. This will often point to the conclusion that "accessing infrastructure is associated with positive outcomes, including a substantially higher likelihood of success in grant applications and bidding for contracts". The survey also found that overall 77% of users reported being very or satisfied with their local infrastructure support.

Like everyone else, these local infrastructure charities have been impacted by years of austerity and changing trends in how support should be delivered and received by front-line organisations and some have been forced to re-examine their futures or re-shape and downsize their offers. Many have weathered the storm and continue to support local voluntary and community action despite all of this.

So why do we need infrastructure? Well as NPC said “for groups the benefits are obvious: access to information, advice, training, and even professional services that cannot be provided in-house. Effective infrastructure bodies are also a channel of communication. They can act as conduit between the voluntary and statutory sectors, feeding intelligence both ways and helping the two to work better together. This is crucial at a time when local authorities are stretched and increasingly looking to the voluntary sector to pick up the slack. Some charities may have capacity to do this sort of engagement for themselves. But smaller organisations—which make up the bulk of the sector—often lack the time, resources and, frankly, the interest. Effective infrastructure can do this on their behalf.

For communities, the benefits are indirect; they stem from the effects that a vibrant, confident, well supported voluntary sector can have on individuals and neighbourhoods. When the statutory and voluntary sectors work well together—avoiding duplication and smoothing out user journeys between different services—everybody benefits.”

So the idea that during the current Covid-19 crisis that the VCSE sector role and the role of infrastructure as part of that has once again come to the fore and is never more needed, might not be a surprise to some. What is surprising is how when infrastructure is invited to play its role fully during a crisis we see how much it matters both to local groups and the public sector partners we work with. There are so many examples across the Liverpool City Region of CVS and other VS6 members making a real difference in the way groups can deal with the crisis ; influencing the Metro-Mayor on resources and his policy approach, encouraging public sector funders to adopt a supportive approach, working with funders across sectors to get money out to support emergency work, convening partners to share information and experiences, co-ordinating volunteering efforts, maintaining a dialogue with resilience arrangements to connect the sector and its work.

This crisis has demonstrated that it is not the beginning of the end for local infrastructure, these are resilient organisations with roots in the late 19th century, and they have survived by constantly changing with the times. During the Coronavirus crisis we have been able to see what infrastructure is for and as we build back better, effective local infrastructure will be needed more than ever.

Sally Yeoman, CEO Halton & St Helens VCA and Vice-Chair VS6, Liverpool City Region Infrastructure Partnership

 

iCAN Warning: Video conferencing scam

With more a more people taking to video conferencing for both catching up with friends and family but also for work, scammers have also turned their attention to platforms such as Zoom.  Users of these platforms are receiving fake notification emails, which contain malicious links. These links then take the user to fake login pages designed to steal their details, which are subsequently used for identity theft.  Users should remain cautious when receiving an unexpected e-mail claiming to be from their video conference platform provider and should delete it or login via the platform’s website.

iCAN Warning: Lidl food giveaway scam

Halton Trading Standards wants to make residents of scam text messages regarding free food from Lidl. This is a case of the old adage, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is’.  Just like many of the scams we are currently seeing, the scammers want you click on a link, download something or gain your personal details. This is no different, they also use the old trick of saying there are only a few left, to force you to make a quick (and bad) decision.

iCAN Warning: Fake DHL Parcel Arrival Notifications

Halton Trading Standards have been made aware of fake DHL Parcel Arrival Notification emails. The email is a scam, do not download the attached forms! They are likely to contain viruses and programs that will be harmful to your computer.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Community Project/Development Worker (Community Services Enablement Officer) x 2

Henshaws Knowledge Village Community Services enable people of all ages living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to make informed choices about their future. Independence and friendship are at the heart of what they do to help people find the confidence to go beyond their expectations. 

As a Community Services Enablement Officer you will support people throughout their journey offering expert support, guidance and skills, helping people to fulfil their potential. Key responsibilities will include delivering and coordinating Henshaws wellbeing programmes with specific focus on; person centred planning, independence matters and friendship matters programmes.

https://haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/community-projectdevelopment-worker-community-services-enablement-officer-x-2

 

Smallwood Trust - Community Grant Partnerships Funding - Deadline 19/06/2020

Smallwood Trust are looking to fund a range of specialist women’s organisations and services in Liverpool/Merseyside to become Smallwood Trust Community Grant Partners.

Organisations will be able to use the funds to provide small cash grants (up to £1,000) for individual women to help them overcome personal and financial barriers, helping them to make changes in their lives. They will also fund up to 20% management costs to run the programme. They are also particularly interested in applications from services led by and/or supporting BAME women. The fund is open to charities, social enterprises and other non-profit organisations who have existing projects that support women to become financially resilient.

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/smallwood-trust-community-grant-partnerships-funding-deadline-19062020

 

Free Digital Communications support for Charities 

Media and marketing experts are offering their time and expertise for free to help charities meet the digital communications challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.  The support is being offered trough the Media Trust’s Volunteer Platform, which matches communications experts with charities in need of help.  The Media Trust has also made a digital resource hub available to offer further help.  Charities are being urged to register for the volunteer platform and begin logging in the details of the support they need.  Experts across media, creative and technology industries are also being asked to sign up to offer their help. The Media Trust has also produced a guide to volunteering to help those in the media and creative industry learn more about employer supported skills based volunteering initiatives.

 

Vacancies With Raise

Raise (benefits and money advice at home) are looking to recruit the following two posts to their Money Advice Team:

  • Money Advice Supervisor 25hrs
  • Money Advice, Advice Assistant 21hrs

The closing date is Wednesday 3rd June and interviews will take place week beginning 8 June 2020. If anyone wishes to have an informal chat about either position then please email Linda Daley, Deputy Manager, ldaley@raiseadvice.org.uk  More details can be found on their website www.benefitsadviceteam.co.uk/jobs/

 

#LCR Keeping Well at Home Guide

Thanks to our colleagues at Age UK Mid Mersey for sharing the #LCR keeping well at home guide. Click here for a copy

 

Halton Faith Sector resources 18th May 2020

Click here for the latest updated information from Halton Faith Sector on resources for use during the Covid 19 shutdown

 

iCAN Warning: Bogus District Nurse in Halton

Halton Trading Standards have had reports of a bogus district nurse operating in Halton. The nurse arrived at a resident’s home in Widnes, stating they were there to check on the residents health, but firstly they wanted to use the residents bathroom. After appearing from the bathroom, the nurse stated they did not need to check the resident’s health and left the property. It is highly likely this was an attempted burglary.  Residents should be wary of carers/nurses turning up for non-scheduled visits and should always check the carers/nurses ID or ring the care provider, if they have any concerns about their authenticity.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

DWP update 20th May 2020 

Click here for the Latest update from DWP with the latest job vacancies. 

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

DWP update 20th May 2020 

Latest update attached from DWP with the latest vacancies in. 

Halton Faith Sector resources 18th May 2020

See attached for the latest updated information from Halton Faith Sector on resources for use during the Covid 19 shutdown

Thanks to our colleagues at Age UK Mid Mersey for sharing the #LCR keeping well at home guide, see attached. 

 

 

Media and marketing experts are offering their time and expertise for free to help charities meet the digital communications challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.  The support is being offered trough the Media Trust’s Volunteer Platform, which matches communications experts with charities in need of help.  The Media Trust has also made a digital resource hub available to offer further help.  Charities are being urged to register for the volunteer platform and begin logging in the details of the support they need.  Experts across media, creative and technology industries are also being asked to sign up to offer their help. The Media Trust has also produced a guide to volunteering to help those in the media and creative industry learn more about employer supported skills based volunteering initiatives.

Smallwood Trust are looking to fund a range of specialist women’s organisations and services to become Smallwood Trust Community Grant Partners.

Organisations will be able to use the funds to provide small cash grants (up to £1,000) for individual women to help them overcome personal and financial barriers, helping them to make changes in their lives. They will also fund up to 20% management costs to run the programme.

In this funding round they are accepting applications from: 

  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Liverpool/Merseyside
  • Middlesbrough/Teesside
  • Rural communities in Staffordshire and the Tees Valley

They are also particularly interested in applications from services led by and/or supporting BAME women. The fund is open to charities, social enterprises and other non-profit organisations who have existing projects that support women to become financially resilient and could offer grants to individual women linked to the following aims:

• Employment stability
• Financial stability
• Housing stability
• Mental health and well-being

Organisations can apply for up to £25,000 each year for three years (£75,000 total). They expect to award c.£450,000 in this funding round.

The deadline is the 19th June 2020.

Successful applicants are expected to be notified in late July 2020.

For further information about eligibility and how to apply please visit https://www.smallwoodtrust.org.uk/organisations.

 

Hourly rate: £19,383.00 per year/£10.65 per hour

Working Hours: 35 hours per week

Location: 1 x Manchester; 1 x Salford and Trafford

(both based at Washbrook House, Talbot Road with travel)

Contract: Fixed term until 30th April 2022

Closing date: Thuraday 11th June 2020

Henshaws Knowledge Village Community Services enable people of all ages living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to make informed choices about their future. Independence and friendship are at the heart of what they do to help people find the confidence to go beyond their expectations.

As a Community Services Enablement Officer you will support people throughout their journey offering expert support, guidance and skills, helping people to fulfil their potential.

Key responsibilities will include delivering and coordinating Henshaws wellbeing programmes with specific focus on; person centred planning, independence matters and friendship matters programmes.

You will also deliver our wellbeing programmes in a community based setting; one to one Information, Advice and Guidance sessions, Henshaws Living with Sight Loss programme, Henshaws gentle exercise classes and co-ordinate and support a volunteer led Friendship Matters programme.

An understanding of the needs of clients with visual impairments and/or other disabilities, as well as a good understanding of promoting independence and supporting people to set personal plans is essential. You will also need to have excellent interpersonal skills and be IT literate with a working knowledge of MS Office.

For further details and to apply please visit www.henshaws.org.uk/jobs

 

Closing date: Thursday 4th June 2020

Henshaws aims to employ a diverse workforce and is committed to equality of employment and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community. This role will require an enhanced DBS check, please refer to the job description for further details.

 

Registered Charity No: 22188

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

St Helens Middle-Aged Men’s Health VCSE Community Of Practice (CHAMPS Public Health Collaborative).

Community of Practice Programme – Funding closing date extended 

As part of the Champs Public Health Collaborative, St Helens Council have secured funding to further develop and enhance the community-led suicide prevention offer in the Borough. St Helens recently launched the OK2ASK campaign, enabling people with lived experience to champion mental health, to organise and deliver local anti-stigma and discrimination activities, give access to free training and free campaign resources. We know we are in unusual times but we think extra resources to support and improve mental health is going to be critical now more than ever. We would encourage groups to apply and to think about how they can offer their support during the Covid-19 crisis.

The funding will enable Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise groups to develop and deliver a range of men’s projects in line with the Edge Hill University Evidence Review. Halton & St Helens VCA will run a small grants programme and establish a Community of Practice that is linked to the Community Led Suicide Prevention Group and will bring funded organisations together to share best practice and to look at ways in which we can work together to make a real difference in our communities. Groups who are applying for funding must be willing to commit to working as part of the Community of Practice.

For an application form contact dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk applications must be submitted by 22nd May 2020.

Please note that all funds must be spent and your programme completed by 31 March 2021

Groups should also be aware that there are two key dates for monitoring information. These will be in September 2020 and February 2021 and groups must be able to commit to supplying their monitoring information by these dates.

Funding Criteria. We want to:

  1. fund projects that will support the reduction of the number of suicides in middle-aged men in St Helens Borough
  2. enhance men’s awareness and their ability to improve their own mental health: including help seeking skills
  3. support programmes that mean men are better able to manage in a crisis
  4. support projects that are co-produced with those with lived experience.

 

Free mental health awareness e learning for people who work or volunteer in sports and physical activity 

Halton Sports Development team, Merseyside Sports partnership and Time to Change Halton are working together to offer FREE mental health awareness e learning for local people who either work or volunteer in sports and physical activity.  The e learning training should take no longer than 2-3 hours but can be done flexibly at your own pace.

Completing this course will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to better understand and support people living with mental health problems, and create a positive environment that ensures they enjoy the benefits of being active and keep coming back for more.  The four modules will increase your knowledge and understanding of mental health, providing you with the practical skills and strategies to be able to:

  • build people’s resilience, self-esteem and confidence
  • adapt your sessions to make them more inclusive
  • enable and support mental health recovery, and
  • tackle stigma and discrimination.

You will also get access to an extensive bank of resources that you can start using straight away.  After completing the course you will be able to download your certificate of completion.

The course has been awarded 3 CPD points by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

E Learning - mental health awareness for sport and physical activity 

Once you have completed the e learning they recommend signing up to be part of  Minds Northwest Network to help share learning around physical activity and mental health.  You can sign up for FREE here: Mind Northwest Network

If you have any questions please email Kyle Tunstall k.tunstall@merseysidesport.com

Finally you may want to take advantage of a FREE webinar the Mind Northwest Network are hosting on the power of physical activity on our mental health on Thursday the 21st at 2pm https://www.eventbrite.com/e/merseyside-sports-foundation-in-partnership-with-mind-tickets-104619511776 for Mental Health Awareness week

 

VCFSE Liverpool City Region Assembly

On behalf of the VS6 Partnership, We would like to invite you to our first online VCFSE Liverpool City Region Assembly. This is themed around issues facing the Children & Young People's sector.  This event will give you the opportunity to share your views on the specific issues facing Children & Young People's organisations at the present time. Specific topics for discussion will include:

  • Practical return to safe working and the plans that exist
  • Issues and needs of young people as we come out of lockdown
  • Organisational impact on sustainability and funding

You will also hear from the Combined Authority about the research they have undertaken into the impact of Covid-19 across the region (speaker TBC).  To book your place please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/vs6-children-young-people-vcfse-assembly-tickets-105791057902

Please note that spaces are limited and so are restricted to one person per organisation.  This is the first in a series of themed online-Assembly events to be hosted by VS6. Further dates and topics will be announced in due course.

Best wishes,

VS6

 

iCAN Warning: Coronavirus contact tracing app scam

Halton Trading Standards wants to make residents aware of scams that have already begun regarding the Governments contact tracing mobile phone app. The mobile phone app is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight and is expected to be rolled out nationwide soon.  The text message asks the recipient to click on a link to a bogus website, which then asks for your personal details. Scammers then use the information to gain access to bank accounts and commit other forms of identity fraud.  The scam text reads: "Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for Covid-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested. More at…"

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

One Halton Newsletter 

Although the majority of meetings in relation to One Halton have been temporarily postponed, they are still working in the background, following up on programmes and linking work together.  They have put together key bits of information to share amongst the One Halton partners.  Click here for the first edition of the One Halton Newsletter.  Frequency will be determined by volume of content, but they anticipate on a monthly basis.  Therefore if you have anything you wish to share amongst the One Halton Partners, any contributions are very welcome. Please send them either directly to Angela Cole on angela.cole12@nhs.net or the generic email which is onehalton@halton.gov.uk they would love to hear from you sharing good news stories and innovation.

 

Quick Service Update From UC Crew

UC Crew are providing a weekly Hip Hop dance class every Monday at 7:00pm and are providing a variety of Hip Hop activity workshops online including Graffiti, Music creation and Circus skills.

They are also running #stayathomechallenge activities on TikTok and Facebook for young people to get involved with, young people who have completed dance challenges and give progress to their dance moves, will win a weekly prize of a £10.00 voucher for a store of their choice.

They have recently set up their 'Youth Social Action Squad' to give everyone the opportunity to support people through the crisis in their own way, through a variety of creative and micro volunteer opportunities.

To get involved please join the 'Freebie & Email List' and contact by email at Hello@uccrew.co.uk

 

Christmas Challenge 2020 Applications Opening on Wednesday 20th May at 12pm (midday). 

 Christmas Challenge 2020 Applications Opening on Wednesday 20th May at 12pm (midday). 

One donation, twice the impact.

The Big Give runs the UK’s biggest match funding campaign, The Christmas Challenge.

For seven days, it offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled. Founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Alec Reed CBE, the Christmas Challenge has raised millions of pounds for thousands of charity projects since it launched on the Big Give in 2008.

How does the Christmas Challenge Work?

The Christmas Challenge is a match funding campaign where donations to participating charities are doubled. The match funds come from two sources - charities secure some of these (Pledges) over the summer. These funds are then boosted by funds from a Big Give Champion who contributes to the match fund. This collective pot is used to double donations from online supporters when the campaign is live.

To fnd out more, and to register, please click the link below:

https://www.thebiggive.org.uk/s/christmas-challenge

 

Enterprise and Skills presents Managing in a Crisis – Be Resilient

If you’re running your own business, working or have currently been furloughed from your job – this 2 day course will help you build your resilience to manage during difficult times.  

Thursday 28th May and Thursday 4th June 10.30am to 12 noon via Zoom

The programme is open to Women living in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens or Halton)

Click here to book tickets or get in touch by emailing enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

Click here to view the infographics for the sector for the week

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

On behalf of the VS6 Partnership, We would like to invite you to our first online VCFSE Liverpool City Region Assembly. This is themed around issues facing the Children & Young People's sector.  This event will give you the opportunity to share your views on the specific issues facing Children & Young People's organisations at the present time. Specific topics for discussion will include:

  • Practical return to safe working and the plans that exist
  • Issues and needs of young people as we come out of lockdown
  • Organisational impact on sustainability and funding

You will also hear from the Combined Authority about the research they have undertaken into the impact of Covid-19 across the region (speaker TBC).  To book your place please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/vs6-children-young-people-vcfse-assembly-tickets-105791057902

Please note that spaces are limited and so are restricted to one person per organisation.  This is the first in a series of themed online-Assembly events to be hosted by VS6. Further dates and topics will be announced in due course.

Best wishes,

VS6

One donation, twice the impact.

The Big Give runs the UK’s biggest match funding campaign, The Christmas Challenge.

For seven days, it offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled. Founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Alec Reed CBE, the Christmas Challenge has raised millions of pounds for thousands of charity projects since it launched on the Big Give in 2008.

How does the Christmas Challenge Work?

The Christmas Challenge is a match funding campaign where donations to participating charities are doubled. The match funds come from two sources - charities secure some of these (Pledges) over the summer. These funds are then boosted by funds from a Big Give Champion who contributes to the match fund. This collective pot is used to double donations from online supporters when the campaign is live.

To fnd out more, and to register, please click the link below:

https://www.thebiggive.org.uk/s/christmas-challenge

Although the majority of meetings in relation to One Halton have been temporarily postponed, they are still working in the background, following up on programmes and linking work together.  They have put together key bits of information to share amongst the One Halton partners.  Attached in the first edition of the One Halton Newsletter.  Frequency will be determined by volume of content, but they anticipate on a monthly basis.  Therefore if you have anything you wish to share amongst the One Halton Partners, any contributions are very welcome. Please send them either directly to Angela Cole on angela.cole12@nhs.net or the generic email which is onehalton@halton.gov.uk they would love to hear from you sharing good news stories and innovation.

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Halton & St Helens Resilience Survey - Urgent 

We are really keen to hear your views on the financial impact of COVID-19.

We would like you to comment on your organisation's current financial situation and what it might look like over the next 12 months. This information will support partners to understand the impact on the sector and help ensure we are able to feed into the Recovery cell conversations

This survey should take participants no longer than 15 minutes.  The survey will close on Thursday 21 May 2020

Halton:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/community-organisation-funding-and-finance-survey-covid-19-halton

St Helens:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/community-organisation-funding-and-finance-survey-covid-19-st-helens

 

Government Funding to tackle Loneliness

#LetsTalkAboutLoneliness

The Government has launched a plan to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak and period of social distancing.  As part of this plan, national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections are invited to apply for a share of £5m funding.  There is also a toolkit, resources and advice page on their website which you can delve into.

 

Halton Faith Sector resources 14th May 2020

Click here for the latest updated information from Halton Faith Sector on resources for use during the Covid 19 shutdown

 

Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May)

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) and the theme is ‘Kindness’.  The Mental Heath Foundation would love to hear how you’ve been kind to others and others have been kind to you (please see below).  

For employers – please see links to the Time to Change website 

Employer Pledge                      Support for Employers                   

Activities for your Workplace (e.g. zoom pub quiz?)

They're asking people to follow them on social media and share ways in which you've been kind or how someone has made you feel good by being kind to you. It could be something as simple as making a cup of tea for someone at home, or receiving a call from a family member or friend to see how you are.

Local Links

Five Ways to Wellbeing can help you with the skills to be happier, healthier and better able to cope in everyday life.

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line: 01925 275 309 for St Helens, Halton, Knowsley and Warrington

#youarenotalone        #OK2ASK                      #kindtoyourmind 

 

Coalfields Regeneration Trust - COVID 19 Recovery and Resilience Fund - Capital Funding Revision

Organisations can now apply for capital costs up to 50% of the CRT request to enable the organisation to make adaptations to premises to ensure the health & safety of the public is catered for or if you require equipment for direct delivery purposes or to support your wider project as listed in the guidance notes.

Please keep updated with any further revisions here:

https://www.coalfields-regen.org.uk/england/covid19-ccip-funding-support/

 

Halton Womens Centre

Halton Womens Centre are continuing with their telephone support with existing clients and any newly referred Clients. Feedback received from clients is positive and they are saying that it helps to have this contact. If you have someone who is anxious, socially isolated or depressed who would benefit from this Telephone Support service, do let them know - Tel: 01928 566073.

 

Warning – Open Water Swimming in St Helens

With the Summertime approaching and all public swimming pools currently closed due to Government regulations, St Helens Council has highlighted the dangers of open water swimming to residents.

With several open water locations in the borough and reports over previous years of swimming at these sites, the Safer St Helens Partnership including St Helens Council, Merseyside Police and Mersey Fire & Rescue Services have joined together to advise residents of the dangers of open water swimming.

Open water swimming can be dangerous and have serious consequences - strong undercurrents can cause even experienced swimmers to struggle and cold water below the surface that could cause cramps, cold water shock and hypothermia. There is also the risk of illness and infection to consider in open water also.

Cllr Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Chair of the Safer St Helens Partnership advised:

“As the weather improves over the Summer months and with our swimming pools closed due to Government regulations, it is important that residents understand the dangers of open water swimming. Whilst our open water areas in the borough look attractive, please consider the risks, stay safe and do not use these facilities for swimming. The safest place to swim is in a supervised swimming pool and I would ask residents to wait until these facilities open again and seek alternative forms of exercise during this time.”

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

With the Summertime approaching and all public swimming pools currently closed due to Government regulations, St Helens Council has highlighted the dangers of open water swimming to residents.

With several open water locations in the borough and reports over previous years of swimming at these sites, the Safer St Helens Partnership including St Helens Council, Merseyside Police and Mersey Fire & Rescue Services have joined together to advise residents of the dangers of open water swimming.

Open water swimming can be dangerous and have serious consequences - strong undercurrents can cause even experienced swimmers to struggle and cold water below the surface that could cause cramps, cold water shock and hypothermia. There is also the risk of illness and infection to consider in open water also.

Cllr Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Chair of the Safer St Helens Partnership advised:

“As the weather improves over the Summer months and with our swimming pools closed due to Government regulations, it is important that residents understand the dangers of open water swimming. Whilst our open water areas in the borough look attractive, please consider the risks, stay safe and do not use these facilities for swimming. The safest place to swim is in a supervised swimming pool and I would ask residents to wait until these facilities open again and seek alternative forms of exercise during this time.”

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) and the theme is ‘Kindness’.  The Mental Heath Foundation would love to hear how you’ve been kind to others and others have been kind to you (please see below).  

For employers – please see links to the Time to Change website 

Employer Pledge                      Support for Employers                   

Activities for your Workplace (e.g. zoom pub quiz?)

They;re asking people to follow them on social media and share ways in which you've been kind or how someone has made you feel good by being kind to you.

It could be something as simple as making a cup of tea for someone at home, or receiving a call from a family member or friend to see how you are.

Local Links

Five Ways to Wellbeing can help you with the skills to be happier, healthier and better able to cope in everyday life.

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line: 01925 275 309 for St Helens, Halton, Knowsley and Warrington

#youarenotalone        #OK2ASK                      #kindtoyourmind 

Halton Faith Sector resources 14th May 2020

See attached for the latest updated information from Halton Faith Sector on resources for use during the Covid 19 shutdown

 

#LetsTalkAboutLoneliness

The Government has launched a plan to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak and period of social distancing.  As part of this plan, national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections are invited to apply for a share of £5m funding.  There is also a toolkit, resources and advice page on their website which you can delve into.

The next St Helens VCSE Forum meeting will be on Monday 1st June 10am to 12.30pm.  However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we will be conducting it online using Zoom (requires internet access only)  We are bringing key partners together to connect with the sector to provide and share key developments on St Helens Cares and we will update on key work and initiatives in St Helens.   To book a place click here

Minutes of the previous meetings can be found at:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-vcse-forum

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Halton & St Helens Resilience Survey - Urgent 

We are really keen to hear your views on the financial impact of COVID-19.

We would like you to comment on your organisation's current financial situation and what it might look like over the next 12 months. This information will support partners to understand the impact on the sector and help ensure we are able to feed into the Recovery cell conversations

This survey should take participants no longer than 15 minutes.  The survey will close on Thursday 21 May 2020

Halton:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/community-organisation-funding-and-finance-survey-covid-19-halton

St Helens:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/community-organisation-funding-and-finance-survey-covid-19-st-helens

 

Halton Womens Centre 

We at the Centre hope you are all keeping well and staying safe, whilst coping with the challenges of these changed times.  For the foreseeable future the Centre will remain closed, however staff will be available for phone consultations. Feedback received from clients is positive and they are telling us that it helps to have this contact.  If you have someone who is anxious, socially isolated or depressed who would benefit from this Telephone Support service, do let us know.

Please leave a message with your name and contact details on 01928 566072

 

St Helens VCSE Forum Meeting 

The next St Helens VCSE Forum meeting will be on Monday 1st June 10am to 12.30pm.  However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we will be conducting it online using Zoom (requires internet access only)  We are bringing key partners together to connect with the sector to provide and share key developments on St Helens Cares and we will update on key work and initiatives in St Helens.   To book a place click here to register

Minutes of the previous meetings can be found at:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-vcse-forum

 

Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council

Click here for the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council.  Email funding@halton.gov.uk to sign up to recieve bulletin updates to your inbox

 

Time to Change Halton

It has never been more important to look after our own mental health and wellbeing and each other’s. For this year’s mental health awareness week starting on the 18th May the theme is kindness.

In Halton they are encouraging as many as possible to take part in a 5 ways to wellbeing activity to be kind to their mental health. They need your help to reach as many people as possible. Click here to find a social media toolkit which provides ideas to help you post about your organisations activities or share posts from other organisations encouraging as many people as possible to get involved.  Thank you for supporting the campaign.

For more information about Time to Change Halton, please contact:

Vicki Geoghegan, Time to Change Halton Coordinator

vicki@mindhalton.org.uk

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

Click here to view the infographics for the sector for the week

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Time to Change Halton

It has never been more important to look after our own mental health and wellbeing and each other’s. For this year’s mental health awareness week starting on the 18th May the theme is kindness.

In Halton they are encouraging as many as possible to take part in a 5 ways to wellbeing activity to be kind to their mental health. They need your help to reach as many people as possible. Please find attached a social media toolkit which provides ideas to help you post about your organisations activities or share posts from other organisations encouraging as many people as possible to get involved.  Thank you for supporting the campaign.

For more information about Time to Change Halton, please contact:

Vicki Geoghegan, Time to Change Halton Coordinator

vicki@mindhalton.org.uk

Attachment:

Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council

Attached is the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council.  Email funding@halton.gov.uk to sign up to recieve bulletin updates to your inbox

We are really keen to hear your views on the financial impact of COVID-19.

We would like you to comment on your organisation's current financial situation and what it might look like over the next 12 months. This information will support partners to understand the impact on the sector and help ensure we are able to feed into the Recovery cell conversations

This survey should take participants no longer than 15 minutes.

The survey will close on Thursday 21 May 2020

Halton:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/community-organisation-funding-and-finance-survey-covid-19-halton

St Helens:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/community-organisation-funding-and-finance-survey-covid-19-st-helens

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

New service from Mind St Helens - Check in & Chat

Our colleagues from Mind St Helens have asked us to share the following information 

During these difficult times, would you or someone you know, benefit from a friendly chat on a regular basis, to brighten your days and make you feel connected with your community?

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt everywhere, including St Helens which has high levels of mental health issues and significant levels of suicide.  We have been experiencing calls and emails form those who need our support and from people who are concerned about someone who is alone.  We are fortunate to have been awarded a grant for a 3 month project by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, the National Lottery and Pilkington Charities’ Fund.  This will enable us to offer telephone befriending for people, aged 18+, who may not normally be eligible for our service but who are feeling lonely or isolated during this challenging time.  This project is so vital at this time, providing a lifeline for those suffering from stress and anxiety.  One of our volunteers would give you a regular call and check you are doing OK and have a chat.  If you feel that you would benefit from a friendly telephone call on a regular basis, or know someone who might, please get in touch. 

Telephone Gill:  07912 059 872 Email sue@sthelensmind.org.uk  You can also send a message from the Facebook page or website:  www.sthelensmind.org.uk

 

Extension to the furlough sysem

Yesterday the Chancellor announced an extension to the current furlough system.  From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.  The government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period.  Full details of the announcement can be found here

 

New Online Registration Form - Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Group

Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Group have launched an new online registration form to allow people to register with their service and access the support while they are unable to visit The Centre.

The form can be accessed here:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=vbgqZ9IFRUmK5b-C91Y7vKWu3CQ8vDxNs_7zFwVo3EVURVA5UVoyTVYzMFNDRjNBVlBVRE0zQkZHWCQlQCN0PWcu

 

Apply for the Food Charities Grant Fund

Frontline food aid charities can now apply for a grant of up to £100k to provide food to vulnerable people within your community.  Eligible organisations are those who are unable to meet the increasing demands for food and can distribute food purchased by 9 August. This grant is not to provide food for the extremely clinically vulnerable, who are already being supported by government.  The grant scheme closes on 6 July. Full details here.

 

Cheshire Constabulary Independent Advisory Group

Cheshire Constabulary's Independent Advisory Group is a group of volunteers that act as a critical friend for the Police.  They represent the various protected characteristics and are currently in need of someone who could represent ‘disability’.

Would you be interested in joining them?  It would mean going through vetting due to the sensitivity of some of the material they review.  

If you like more information, please contact the Chair of the group, Alison Weston, who would be very happy to talk about they work they do etc. Meetings usually take place quarterly at Winsford (although currently they are virtual) and there is a small amount of work in between meetings.

For more information please contact Alison on the details below:

email: engagement@cheshire.pnn.police.uk
telephone: 01606 364 267

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/cheshire-constabulary-independent-advisory-group

 

V&A to collect signs made during lockdown

The V&A Museum is asking people to donate their rainbow signs and shop notices after the pandemic so they can build a "snapshot of the world under lockdown."   It will be for the public to decide which signs they want to nominate, with the museum deliberately not setting out nuts-and-bolts criteria. Members of the public are encouraged to submit images of drawings and homemade signs via the email address homemadesigns@vam.ac.uk  Click here to see the full article.

 

St Helens and District Diabetes Group meeting update

Unfortunately they have had to cancel the next meeting, which was was due to take place on Wed 3rd June, at the St Helens United Reformed Church. That would have been the last meeting of the present programme.  They usually start their next programme of meetings in September, but at the moment, like everyone else, they can`t be sure when their next meeting will be, their suggestion is to visit their website at www.st-helens-and-district.diabetesukgroup.org or contact them on 0151 480 0821, hopefully there will be more information by July/August. If anyone needs any general advice or support regarding their diabetes at this difficult time, they can phone the Diabetes UK Helpline on 0345 123 2399 or visit www.diabetes.org.uk 

 

Updated and interactive data on the coronavirus crisis for charities and funders

Think NPC has built an interactive dashboard to help charities see which places are currently suffering the most from Covid-19, and where underlying factors such as age, health, ethnicity, as well as economic indicators, may indicate greater risk.  You can check out the website here.

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

Click here to view the infographics for the sector for the week

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Cheshire Constabulary's Independent Advisory Group is a group of volunteers who live or work in Cheshire, that act as a critical friend for the Police.  They represent the various protected characteristics and are currently in need of someone who could represent ‘disability’.

Would you be interested in joining them?  It would mean going through vetting due to the sensitivity of some of the material they review.  

If you would like more information, please contact the Chair of the group, Alison Weston, who would be very happy to talk about they work they do etc. Meetings usually take place quarterly at Winsford (although currently they are virtual) and there is a small amount of work in between meetings.

For more information please contact Alison on the details below:

email: engagement@cheshire.pnn.police.uk
telephone: 01606 364 267

 

Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Group have launched an new online registration form to allow people to register with their service and access the support while they are unable to visit The Centre.

The form can be accessed here:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=vbgqZ9IFRUmK5b-C91Y7vKWu3CQ8vDxNs_7zFwVo3EVURVA5UVoyTVYzMFNDRjNBVlBVRE0zQkZHWCQlQCN0PWcu

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

New Guidance from Government on Staying alert and safe (social distancing)

Click here to find the new Government Guidance on social distancing and their plan for returning life to normal

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

Thanks to all the groups who responded to our request to share your data so we can demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers. Click here to view the infographics for the sector for the week of the 4th May or click here to contribute to this weeks data. 

 

Sport England emergency funding 

Some good news! @Sport_England have announced emergency funding for community sports clubs & physical activity orgs who are experiencing financial hardship due to #COVIDー19 

https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/community-emergency-fund

 

Halton Faith Sector resources 11th May 2020

Click here for the latest updated information from Halton Faith Sector on resources for use during the Covid 19 shutdown

 

Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme
  
The latest round of the Energy Redress Funding Scheme is now open for applications. There is £13m available to help support vulnerable energy consumers and reduce fuel poverty.  If you want to find out more about the application process and future funding rounds head over to their website

 

New Free Music Project- The Studio Widnes

Making Waves is funded by Young Music and is a response to the current situation but can also carry on after lockdown. Places are limited for both musical instrument lessons ( working in partnership) with Halton & Warrington Music Support Services and the mentoring element which has a budget to allow the purchase of equipment for the young people. For this first round we are asking for people to contact us by the end of Friday 15th May but it will be open until we use the budget up. We will ask the applicants to fill in a short survey to assess their suitability for the project and the impact it would make to their ability to engage in music during lockdown but there are no restrictions other than age (14-24) and living in or around Halton. Click here for more details 

Email info@thestudiowidnes.org.uk for more details 

 

Age UK Mid Mersey - CV19 Short Guide for Older People

Thanks to our collegues at Age UK Mid Mersey for sharing a useful guide for older people.  The short guide is for older people and those who look after them, and covers information on Coronavirus, how to stay safe and well at home, what to do if you are worried about someone else and useful organisations to contact. It has contact details for Age UK MId Mersey and has been produced with the kind help of their older peoples National engagement forum members and is in easy read material.

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Attachment:

Thanks to our collegues at Age UK Mid Mersey for sharing a useful guide for older people.  The short guide (attached) is for older people and those who look after them, and covers information on Coronavirus, how to stay safe and well at home, what to do if you are worried about someone else and useful organisations to contact. It has contact details for Age UK MId Mersey and has been produced with the kind help of their older peoples National engagement forum members and is in easy read material.

Halton Faith Sector resources 11th May 2020

See attached for the latest updated information from Halton Faith Sector on resources for use during the Covid 19 shutdown

Making Waves is funded by Young Music and is a response to the current situation but can also carry on after lockdown. Places are limited for both musical instrument lessons ( working in partnership) with Halton & Warrington Music Support Services and the mentoring element which has a budget to allow the purchase of equipment for the young people. For this first round we are asking for people to contact us by the end of Friday 15th May but it will be open until we use the budget up. We will ask the applicants to fill in a short survey to assess their suitability for the project and the impact it would make to their ability to engage in music during lockdown but there are no restrictions other than age (14-24) and living in or around Halton. See attached for more details 

Email info@thestudiowidnes.org.uk for more details 

 

Sport England emergency funding 

Some good news! @Sport_England have announced emergency funding for community sports clubs & physical activity organisations who are experiencing financial hardship due to #COVIDー19 

https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/community-emergency-fund

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Moving from Crisis Response to the first stages of lockdown easing and beyond.

Given the update from the Prime Minister yesterday and the expectation about further guidance this week about how we transition back from the current arrangements for lockdown, we have produced a handy sheet for groups to use to start to plan what they might do next. If your organisation needs help or support with your plans please continue to let us know.  Click here for the information sheet.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

Thanks to all the groups who responded to our request to share your data so we can demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers. Click here to view the infographics for the sector for the week of the 27th April to 3rd May or click here to contribute to this weeks data. 

 

Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council

Click here for the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council.  Email funding@halton.gov.uk to sign up to recieve bulletin updates to your inbox

 

iCAN Warning: Morrisons recalls Market Street Living Herbs

iCAN Warning: Morrisons recalls Market Street Living Herbs because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  Morrisons has taken the precautionary step of recalling Market Street Living Herbs because the products might contain Listeria monocytogenes.  Product details: All products purchased between 3rd May and 9th May 2020

  • Morrisons Market Street Living Basil
  • Morrisons Market Street Large Living Basil
  • Morrisons Market Street Living Chives 
  • Morrisons Market Street Living Coriander
  • Morrisons Market Street Large Living Coriander
  • Morrisons Market Street Living Dill
  • Morrisons Market Street Living Flat Parsley
  • Morrisons Market Street Living Mint
  • Morrisons Market Street Living Parsley
  • Morrisons Market Street Living Thyme

If you have bought the above products, do not eat them. If customers are making an essential trip to any Morrisons store, they can return the item in-store for a full refund.

 

 DWP Update 110520 

Pension Credits - now available via apply online applications from 06/05/20 –  Pension Credit Online

Domestic Abuse - Recently, it was confirmed that there would be an additional £10 million for domestic abuse accommodation services over the coming months. Domestic abuse charities can apply for vital funds This is part of a £76 million package of government support for the most vulnerable in society, including those affected by domestic abuse. 

 

National Suicide Prevention Alliance online discussions May

NSPA online discussions 11-22nd May

Following the huge interest in and engagement with the online discussions, NSPA have planned dates for 6 further conversations starting on Monday. 

Next week’s discussions will be to share concerns about the needs of specific populations and how to support them, and the following week we will again hold sector-specific discussions.  The dates are below – please do share with your colleagues and networks, as all are welcome.  

13th 10-11am: Older adults
15th 11.30-12.30: Children and young people

18th 2-3pm: Public health only
20th 10-11am: Charities only
22nd 11-12noon: NHS staff only

If you would like to attend, please email info@nspa.org.uk

 

Supporting people who are  bereaved 

Southampton Voluntary Services have produced an online video on 'Supporting the Bereaved'. You may find this particularly useful if you are telephone befriending someone who has been bereaved.  Southampton VS have also shared additional resources to sit alongside their bereavement video.  

Click to watch it.  https://www.southamptonvs.org.uk/news/supporting-the-bereaved-training/

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council

Attached is the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council.  Email funding@halton.gov.uk to sign up to recieve bulletin updates to your inbox

Given the update from the Prime Minister yesterday and the expectation about further guidance this week about how we transition back from the current arrangements for lockdown, we have produced a handy sheet for groups to use to start to plan what they might do next. If your organisation needs help or support with your plans please continue to let us know, see attached for a handy guide for groups 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Community Kindness Awards

Thanking Halton's Community Heroes.  Is there someone in your street, school, workplace or community who deserves a 'Thank You' for their acts of kindness and all round thoughtfulness?  The Community Kindness Awards recognise unsung heroes of all ages in our communities who make life easier for those around them.  Nominate your community hero today, request a form from Age UK Mid Mersey by emailing communitykindness@ageukmm.org.uk Closing date noon on Monday 31th August

 

Companies House - Support for businesses and employees

The government has announced a package of support available to businesses and employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Visit gov.uk/business-support to find out more 

 

Furlough Go

To ensure their sustainability many charities have had to furlough skilled and experienced staff meaning they are not able to do any work for their employer. This new service understands that many of these staff would like to quickly find opportunities elsewhere to support other charities potentially struggling, both in responding to the current crisis, and in ensuring their own success and sustainability. Furlough Go has been set up to enable charities and community groups to connect with and involve these skilled and experienced furloughed staff as volunteers.

How will it work?
They’re building a network of Furloughed charity staff, who want to support other organisations at this challenging time. They are working with the voluntary and community sector, as well as adult social care, public health and the NHS to support and mobilise volunteers to where there is the greatest need.

What will happen next?
Along with our voluntary sector partners, they will use this information to coordinate your offers of support. 

To find out more and register to support or register for support for your organisation click here 

 

Live Life Well Weekender 

The wellbeing community has come together to launch the ‘Live Life Well Weekender’ - the UK’s first ever virtual wellbeing festival online, in response to COVID-19 and the current national lockdown,  to help people better cope in these extraordinary times.

The three-day virtual festival has been created to provide a range of expert talks, workshops, events and resources, and will explore everything from health and fitness, looking after your mental health, managing stress and anxiety, relationships and loneliness, safeguarding your children, to organising your finances, working from home, home-schooling and studying, whilst helping you to take care of yourself and your family emotionally and physically.  

Tickets are £10 Per Household. Giving you unlimited access to all three-days (8th-10th May) of the wellbeing festival. 

https://www.livelifewell.uk/live-well-weekender

NB. This is a not-for-profit event with profits raised going to the national COVID-19 Appeal.

Click here for progamme of events

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

The wellbeing community has come together to launch the ‘Live Life Well Weekender’ - the UK’s first ever virtual wellbeing festival online, in response to COVID-19 and the current national lockdown,  to help people better cope in these extraordinary times.

The three-day virtual festival has been created to provide a range of expert talks, workshops, events and resources, and will explore everything from health and fitness, looking after your mental health, managing stress and anxiety, relationships and loneliness, safeguarding your children, to organising your finances, working from home, home-schooling and studying, whilst helping you to take care of yourself and your family emotionally and physically.  

Tickets are £10 Per Household. Giving you unlimited access to all three-days (8th-10th May)of the wellbeing festival. 

https://www.livelifewell.uk/live-well-weekender

NB. This is a not-for-profit event with profits raised going to the national COVID-19 Appeal.

See attachment for progamme of events

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Wellbeing Enterpries Resources for VCFSE staff and Beneficiaries 

Wellbeing have supplies of soft toys for organisations supporting children and young people, or those who believe their beneficiary group would benefit. They also have ‘wellbeing packs’ for staff / volunteers and / or beneficiaries in the VCFSE sector. The WellJoy Pack has lots of wellbeing goodies and activities that people can undertake that incorporate evidence based wellbeing approaches .  Organisations can request batches of up to 15 of each (assortment of soft toys and / or welljoy packs).  Unfortunately they are unable to deliver so items will need to be collected from their office address: Bridgewater House. Old Coach Road, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 1QT.  If anyone would like to order supplies please call 01928 589 799. Supplies are available on a first come first serve basis.

 

Power to Change’s Crisis Fund

Crisis funding is available to current & previous Power to Change grantees across England, including in LCR, and to community businesses which are members of Power to Change’s strategic partners – Co-operatives UK, Locality and the Plunkett Foundation. This was launched last Thursday, and further details are available here, including about the initial £7m fund: https://www.powertochange.org.uk/news/emergency-support-community-businesses/ Again, you can keep track of Power to Change’s work on social media and via @peoplesbiz on Twitter. 

 

iCAN Warning: Suspicious email reporting service

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched a suspicious email reporting service in partnership with the City of London Police. The service makes it easier than ever to flag suspicious emails – including those claiming to offer services related to coronavirus.  Members of the public can send their suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and the NCSC’s automated programme will immediately test the validity of the site. Any sites found to be phishing scams will be removed immediately.  As well as taking down malicious sites, the service will support the police by providing live time analysis of reports and identifying new patterns in online offending - helping them stop even more offenders in their tracks.

iCAN Warning: Funeral Director Scam 

Halton Trading Standards wants to make residents aware of a scam which has been happening within other areas of the North West, but has not been reported to have happened in Halton. A person claiming to be from a Council’s Bereavement Service has called the family of someone who has recently deceased stating that their payment for the Funeral Director had been declined and that they would need to make another payment over the phone (using their debit/credit card). The caller claimed if the payment was not made they would cancel the funeral.  Sadly, scammers will do anything to get your money and this includes doing things that the rest of society consider morally appalling. 
 
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

 

Barclays' 100x100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme

Barclays is making 100 x £100k donations to UK charities who are helping low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers. 

Deadline is 22 May 2020. Head to their website for more details.

 

Nationwide Community Grants online event
 
On 21 May (2:30pm), Nationwide Community Grant is hosting a webinar. Topics include their new application process, a previous grant beneficiary outlining what they did and a Q&A with their Grants team. 

To join, send them an email to nationwidecommunitygrants@nationwide.co.uk outlining your interest and they'll send you everything you need. 

 

RASASC Aftercare Provision

All of the team are now home working and are offering telephone/online support to all of existing service users. All service users can contact their allocated worker in the normal way

For any new referrals please use the simple online referral form on the website or call on 0330 363 0063 Email support@rapecentre.org.uk

Website contact us page-https://www.rapecentre.org.uk/contact.php

Professional referral- https://www.dpmscloud.com/external/referralformorgcheshirerc

Self referral-https://www.dpmscloud.com/external/referralformselfcheshirerc

 

Virtual question and Answer session with the Chief Constable 

Each week, PCC David Keane will hold a virtual Q&A session with Chief Constable Darren Martland on Tuesday’s.  The commissioner is asking local residents to email in questions they would like the chief constable to answer ahead of time.  The sessions will form part of the commissioner’s reassurance about policing and the pandemic in his role to ensure Cheshire Constabulary is delivering an effective service.  The commissioner’s team will ‘live’ tweet the questions and answers on the PCC’s Twitter account during the sessions and the key themes of the questions asked will be published on the commissioner’s website after each session.  PCC David Keane said: “As we face a time of great uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that members of our communities have the opportunity to ask key questions of their police service.  “The coronavirus pandemic presents great challenges, not just to policing but also to our everyday lives, and we need to reassure people that policing resources are being managed effectively and efficiently to keep us all safe during this period.”  Cheshire residents and businesses are invited to send their questions to pcc@cheshire.pnn.police.uk with the subject title ‘Reassurance Q&A’ by midnight on Sunday to be answered the following week. Alternatively, questions can also be taken by phone during regular office hours by calling 01606 364000.

 

Critical PPE Supplies Available Now - Prices reduced by 20% at the Charities Buying Group

The Charities Buying Group provide a dedicated service operated for the benefit of ALL charities and not for profit organisations offering a wide range of buying agreements that are designed to reduce expenditure and, by reducing cost help these organisations make better use of their money for the benefit of the missions/objectives they were created for.

The CBG was formed in 2002 after reviewing how little support charities get in solving their purchasing issues, particularly small charities who do not have the buying power of larger organisations. By using the collective buying power of the CBG we can support all charities as we truly believe that by buying more efficiently more of their money can be used for the purpose it is intended, meeting their service objectives and more importantly helping those people who need the help most in terms of care and welfare. This is the true vision of the Charities Buying Group.  To find out more call 0800 195 3010 or visit their website  http://www.charitiesbuyinggroup.com/About.aspx

 

Mental Health Response Fund for VCS organisations 

To find out more click here

 

Doing What Matters in Times of Stress 

Thanks to Ann O'Brien from Pause Recover for sharing this link from the WHO.

https://www.who.int/publications-detail/9789240003927

 

COVID-19 guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations

Click here for Government information and advice for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey Now Ready For Your New Data

Thank you to everyone who submitted their data last week.  The forms are now open for you to submitt your new data figues.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

 

Government Support for small businesses including Charities who meet the critieria for Small Business Rate or Rural Rate Relief

At the weekend, the Government announced additional discretionary support for small businesses, including charities. This additional fund of £617m will be distributed via local authorities. It is aimed at small businesses - and charities - with ongoing fixed property-related costs. 

'Discretionary' is a key issue. Local authorities are being asked by the Government to include priority for small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. However local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses, based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

To qualify, organisations must have fewer than 50 employees, and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. The Government says it will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

The administration of this is for local authorities to determine once they receive additional guidance. Today VCA wrote to Halton & St Helens Councils to ensure eligible VCSE organisations can access this.   This is a limited amount of funding and we urge you to apply as soon as possible.

You can read the full details here  NAVCA has provided a useful guide to rateable value click here

 

Covid19 Testing for Priority Key Workers

We have received an update from Halton Borough Council updating on the arrangements for testing key workers or their family for Covid 19. Click here to find out more.

 

Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund
 
The Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund is offering grants of up to £10k. Priority will be given to organisations delivering support services or who have significantly adapted their services to respond to the current crisis and support vulnerable people.  The Fund welcomes applications from organisations supporting local community activity, including volunteering, and co-ordination of services.  

Next deadline is 22 May. Click here for details on their website. 

 

Domestic Violence 

Please see the link below to some useful resources from Women’s Aid:

Covid-19/Coronavirus: Safety and support resources for survivors, friends, family, neighbours and community members from Women’s Aid

Also, as of 30 April 2020, any woman who needs to travel to find refuge from domestic violence can do so for free on any UK train. Email railtorefuge@womensaid.org.uk to access. 

 

Help us help you get the treatment you need Campaign

People should seek medical care when they need it and not be put off by the coronavirus epidemic, say doctors, charities and the health service.

The new NHS campaign ‘Help us help you get the treatment you need’ launched last weekend and has been widely covered by the media: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52417599. The campaign follows a decrease in people accessing services for a range of conditions not related to coronavirus.   Initial content covers emergency, paediatrics and cancer services and will include further priority groups and services including mental health, maternity and immunisations as the campaign continues. They have been raising awareness of this issue locally with clinicians in primary and secondary care reminding people of the importance of seeking medical help if they have worrying symptoms and will continue to do this during the Covid-19 crisis.

  • If you need medical help the NHS is still here for you. You should still contact your GP practice, use NHS 111 online or call 111
  • If it is a serious or life threatening emergency, call 999
  • If you are told to go to hospital, it is important you go to hospital
  • You should continue to attend your appointments unless you are told not to attend

There are also bespoke messages around ordering prescriptions and ensuring childhood vaccinations are completed as normal.

 

Social Enterprise UK

Article from Social Enterprise UK on PPE suppliers outside of NHS Procurement.  Click here to see link 

VAT on PPE

From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care providers (including care homes and domiciliary care), businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/treasury-cut-taxes-to-reduce-ppe-costs

 

Youth Endowment Fund COVID-19 Grant Round

Youth Endowment Fund click here for summary.  Can you send a copy of any bids to the Violence Reduction Unit as it may be that if funding is not successful via the YEF that in the event of an underspend from their funding they could consider supporting some that are relevant to their aims.

Contact Mark Wiggins at the Violence Reduction Unit by Email: Mark.Wiggins@merseyside.police.uk

 

Translated information COVID

Click here for a fact sheet on available resources in relation to translated information.

 

Enterprise Hub - Ready To Start Your Own Business?

Fully-funded expert advice & support to help START your business in the Liverpool City Region. Enterprise Hub brings together business experts from across the Liverpool City Region to offer fully-funded start-up support: 

  • Understand the process of
  • starting a business
  • Research a business idea
  • Develop a business plan
  • Create a marketing strategy
  • Understand financial forecasts
  • Raise start-up finance

Enterprise Hub start-up support is available to anyone living in the Liverpool City Region, who has not yet registered with Companies House or HMRC.

For more information, please contact them on the details below:

Phone: 0151 706 8113
email: enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk
facebook: /MerseyEntHub
Twitter: @MerseyEntHub

 

Key Workers Vacancy List

The DWP have forwarded their Key Worker Vacancy list:

https://haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/key-workers-vacancy-list

 

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Youth Endowment Fund COVID-19 Grant Round

Youth Endowment Fund summary attached..  Can you send a copy of any bids to the Violence Reduction Unit as it may be that if funding is not successful via the YEF that in the event of an underspend from their funding they could consider supporting some that are relevant to their aims.

Contact Mark Wiggins at the Violence Reduction Unit by Email: Mark.Wiggins@merseyside.police.uk
 

Covid19 Testing for Priority Key Workers

We have received an update from Halton Borough Council updating on the arrangements for testing key workers or their family for Covid 19.

As the manager please identify any staff in your team that are both:

1.    A priority key worker in:

  • Services delivering face-to-face support to clients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19
  • Priority services critical to the COVID-19 response that cannot be delivered remotely

A full list of priority staff is attached in the ‘Eligible staffing groups for Covid 19’ document.

2.    And:

  • The keyworker is unwell with Covid 19 symptoms of either: a fever or a new and persistent cough, for 3 days or less   
  • Or a member of the household who is over the age of 4 and has had a fever or new cough for under 5 days. Consequently, the keyworker is currently self-isolating          

If the member of staff is too ill to work they should NOT be tested.  The test only works on someone who has had either a fever or a new and persistent cough for under 5 days, and is unwell.

Following testing, results are texted in 72 hours to the person who has been tested.  The manager needs to make arrangements with the staff member to discuss their results. If you have a member of staff where a test is needed (for them or a member of their household) please do one of the following: 

For staff who are willing to attend Haydock, please send their name and mobile phone number to public.health@halton.gov.uk. Please note Haydock can only test people who come by car, and are 18 and over.

For staff who want to attend:

  • The Countess of Chester
  • Leighton hospital
  • Hunter street, Liverpool City Centre, 
  • Or can’t access a testing centre and want a home test

Please complete the attached Covid 19 priority key worker testing form, and send to public.health@halton.gov.uk

Also attached a ‘Testing FAQs’ which will hopefully answer any queries. If you wish to discuss testing please email public.health@halton.gov.uk and we will call you back. 

 

The DWP have forwarded their Key Worker Vacancy list.  This can be found in the document attached below.

 

 

 

 

NAVCA Explainer: Rateable Value

Thanks to NAVCA for sharing the following information.

We’ve heard from a couple of sources that some smaller charities have not been applying for government support - either directly or from their local authority - because of confusion over business rates and rateable value.

What is rateable value?

Rateable value (RV) is a value that is given to all non-domestic and commercial properties. It is used to assess the amount of business rates the property owner or leaseholder must pay. It is re-evaluated periodically.  RV is assigned by the Valuation Office Agency which is part of HMRC.  The RV of your premises is used by your local council to calculate your business rates bill, small business rate relief, charitable rate relief etc.

Why do I need to know the RV of our premises?

 Some government support for businesses (including charities and voluntary organisations) is allocated based on the RV of your premises.

 How can I find out the RV of our premises?

Visit https://www.gov.uk/correct-your-business-rates   Simply enter your post code or part of your address to find the details for your premises.

Please note that the RV, or rateable value is NOT the same as the annual business rates bill sent out by the local council. Your annual business rates bill is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of a property, by the appropriate multiplier. There are two of these: the standard non-domestic and the small business non-domestic rating multipliers. The former is higher and pays for small business relief.  The government sets the multiplier for the financial year for England. Between revaluations, the multipliers change with inflation and take into account small business relief.

 The multipliers for the 2019-20 financial year are as follows:

  • standard non-domestic rating multiplier = 50.40p
  • small business non-domestic rating multiplier = 49.10p

Translated information COVID from PHE

Attached is the latest fact sheet on available resources in relation to translated information.

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates For Companies House Customers

Webinar: Financial support for small businesses

Want to know more about the financial support available to small businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?  Sign up for a free webinar hosted by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) at 11am on 5 May. 

If Your Company Cannot File Accounts On Time 

If you think the impact of COVID-19 will cause delays in filing your company accounts, you can apply for an automatic 3 month extension. You must apply before your filing deadline.

 

COVID-19 Guidance For Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organisations

The voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector plays a key role across the country, positively impacting the life of many.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the sector has been mobilising across the UK providing practical and emotional support to vulnerable groups. Understandably, the financial implications to mobilising and supporting volunteers and the increased demand in services has placed pressure on the sector.

Information and advice on how the VCSE sector can safely and effectively support the country through the coronavirus pandemic can be found through the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-guidance-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-organisations

 

VE Day 8th May and Bank Holiday Weekend

Halton Borough Council are looking to bring together a list of any activity/ promo/ ideas you have for the 8th May VE day “celebration”. Or anything for VE day which will be “happening” over that bank holiday weekend.

Nothing will be “open”, but online ideas or access to a dedicated VE day photo/ heritage collection etc might be nice. Or maybe you have already thought of a grand item which everyone should definitely be told about…

Any thoughts? Contact Iain on the details below:

 IAIN BISSET
HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL
External 0151 511 7767
Iain.Bisset@halton.gov.uk

 

COVID-19 – Online Support For You From HMRC

The government is committed to supporting people, employers and businesses through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and HMRC has a range of online support for you.

If you’ve missed any of the live webinars, you can catch up with the series of recorded webinars on HMRC’s YouTube channel – available at a time to suit you.

Whether you’ve already made a claim, or you’re about to, get the information you need by joining the following live webinars. They're interactive giving you the opportunity to ask questions using the on-screen text box.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme: During this webinar will cover furloughed workers, who can apply for the scheme, following the rules of the scheme, how much may be claimed, how to claim and what you’ll need to claim.

Choose a date and time

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim: This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.

Choose a date and time

Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more.

Choose a date and time

 

Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund

The Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery & Resilience Fund is an interim replacement for the Coalfields Community Investment Programme (CCIP) and will open for enquiries on 1st May 2020.

Coalfields Trustees have recognised the importance of supporting the response to the COVID-19 crisis in former coalfield communities and have revised some of the criteria to support the delivery and sustainability of key services. There will now be an additional committee meeting in mid June 2020 and the planned committee meeting in July will consider all applications that can continue to address local needs.

Priority will be given to organisations that are delivering support services or have significantly adapted their services in order to respond to the current crisis and support vulnerable people. Awards of up to £10,000 are available.

To ensure your best chance of success please make sure to read through all of the information before you apply.

More details can be found here https://www.coalfields-regen.org.uk/england_support/funding-support/

 

St Paul's Community Survey

Transform Widnes, made up of St John's & St Paul's Churches, wants to be able to have more of a positive impact in the town. At the beginning of the year, they started a major project to refurbish St Paul's Church to allow it to better serve the community. The refurbishment work will make the space more welcoming with new heating, new toilets, a state-of-the art AV system, much needed repairs to the uneven flooring along with crucial repairs to the roof and tower.

They currently run a range of groups and activities that help to improve the condition of life for residents in the neighbourhood and town and would love to engage further. They want to hear from the local community about what services they think are needed in the town and how, working with other community partners St Paul's may be able to help provide those in the future. To do that they have put together a short survey (5 minutes) which they would appreciate your help in competing online via this link:

https://forms.gle/75Asmz5R7HiGHLqL9

 

Guide Dogs New Phone Line To Support People With Sight Loss During COVID-19

Guide Dogs are providing answers and information for people with sight loss and their families during the coronavirus outbreak. They can help you identify ways to continue living actively, independently and well, refer you to their other services or help you access services by other providers. Please call 0800 781 1444 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Guide Dogs has changed the way it provides services in response to social distancing, with every channel being used flexibly to give you choice and access to expertise and advice promptly.  For example, Guide Dogs staff can now arrange to contact you regularly by phone to provide individual support through the social isolation period.  To access this and other services available, please call 0800 781 1444  between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday or visit https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/covid19 to find out more.

 Deafblind customers who use BSL should contact Guide Dogs via the webpage https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/covid19, clicking on the SignVideo logo on the right hand side, or through a SignVideo app. This connects you to a SignVideo interpreter who will then connect to the information line.

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please

email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

Halton Borough Council Funding Update 27 April 2020

Click here for the latest funding update from Halton Borough Council's External Funding Team

If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be added, please email funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

 

Click here for up to date information on Halton faith sector resources for use during Covid 19 shutdown

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection
 

 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Attachment:

Halton Borough Council Funding Update

Find attached the latest funding update from Halton Borough Council's External Funding Team

If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be added, please email funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

Arts Bulletin - May 2020

Funding Bulletins Home Page

Also attached is a list of current funds specific to Covid-19

 Halton faith sector resources for use during Covid 19 shutdown

Buddhist, Wat Phra Singh Temple, Runcorn

Their morning Chanting is at 06:00 and Evening Chanting at 18:00 are livestreamed on their Facebook pages daily - the Facebook addresses are shown below.

Fb: Wat Phra Singh UK
Fb: วัดพระสิงห์ ยูเค

In addition, their Buddhist nun Mae Chee Shirley-Anne is holding Guided Meditation practice every Saturday using Zoom.  The meetings will be announced on their Facebook pages every week during the Coronavirus lockdown.

 

Islam

How to attend a Muslim Friday Prayer service    كيفية حضور صلاة الجمعة الإسلامية

https://youtu.be/uWOKB5EzHSo

Catch up with a Friday sermon     اللحاق بخطبة الجمعة

https://youtu.be/CNZ0Z9bdiMc

 

Hindu

The nearest temples to Halton are as follows – you can look on their websites or Facebook pages for further information:

 

Jewish

The nearest Jewish congregations to Halton are as follows – you can look on their websites of Facebook pages for further information:

 

Church of England

Daresbury Church is streaming Tuesday to Friday at 10.00am and Sunday at 10.30am on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/daresburychurch/

St Berteline’s Church, Runcorn is live streaming a service every Sunday at 10am. It is live streamed on their Facebook page and then can be accessed there or on their website at a later point to view back.  www.stbertschurch.org.uk  https://www.facebook.com/stbertschurch

Here is the link to Transform Widnes Website. 

https://tnw.church/church-at-home

All of their services are on the website along with other resources to help encourage people during this time. The website also has information of our Long Loaf community lunch, which has now turned take away! The phone number to ring for a free lunch on a Wednesday is 0151 558 1301 – please ring before 12 noon.  You can also follow them on Facebook under Transform Widnes. 

St Ambrose Church, Widnes - Information on services is on their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com >St Ambrose

St Michael with St Thomas & St Basil & All Saints Church of England, churches do a joint worship reflection every Sunday morning at 10.00am. It can be viewed on their individual Facebook pages:  https://www.facebook.com/stmichaelwithstthomas/     https://www.facebook.com/sbasce2015/  Also, the Church of England has released this which may be helpful to those who don’t have access to the internet: -

 

"Daily Hope" - "Daily Hope" was launched a couple of days ago, especially if your community includes older people with no internet access.  The team behind "Daily Hope" write: 

"It's a free national phone-line aimed particularly at the over 75’s who don’t have access to the internet. Research indicates that some three million people - particularly those in this age group - have no, or very irregular, access to the internet.  The line will be available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044.  Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury before being able to choose from a range of options, including Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England’s weekly national online service. A section called Hymn Line will also offer callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled ‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection and is based on an initiative by Connections, a group focused on this age group.  At present, there is clearly a challenge in informing those that are digitally disconnected of this phone line. As such, promotion of the phoneline is in two strands: via the media and encouraging local churches to identify and inform those for whom this service would be valuable."

 

Catholic  -  Mass is livestreamed each Sunday from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk  This is normally at 9 or 11am. You can watch these on You Tube at any time following the same link.  

On Saturday May 2nd at 10.30 am there is a Mass for migrants on You Tube from Brentwood Catholic Youth Service, praising migrants in our country Link is BrentwoodCYS.  

St Wilfrid’s Parish Widnes has Mass uploaded to You Tube link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC52-K27EaYwySzRmeP3f3eA

St Maximillian Kolbe Parish, Runcorn has information on its website  http://www.saint-maximilian-kolbe.org/

 

Ecumenical

Hope Corner has a service at 10am on Sundays. Either go to www.hopecorner.co.uk or use the link:  https://youtu.be/GBbDJ9EIJL0  They also do Kid’s Church with all the links on https://hopecorner.co.uk/childrens-team/

New Life Christian Church Widnes  They do not live stream but do record messages every couple of days and post them on their Church’s Facebook page on their website and also on YouTube.The website is  www.newlifechritiancentre.org,uk

The Foundry, Widnes

They are streaming their Sunday services via watch.thefoundry.org.uk  they are at 10am and 8pm.  They also have children’s services online at burst.thefoundry.org.uk (age 3 – year 1) and fuse.thefoundry.org.uk (year 2 – year 6), they take place between 8am and 12noon on a Sunday.  They have just launched a new phone service where people can dial one of their church numbers (0151 363 5570) and listen to the previous Sunday’s preach. All calls are charged at standard landline rates.

 

Methodist, Runcorn  -  The three Methodist churches in Runcorn are now part of the North Cheshire circuit. https://www.facebook.com/NCMethodists/?tn-str=k*F   https://www.northcheshiremethodists.org.uk  This is a prayer wall we are trying to encourage people to use:  https://padlet.com/northcheshiremethodists/fhy2sn49rvan  

The local Methodist churches have Facebook pages

The Heath: https://www.facebook.com/theheathmethodistchurch/

Wicksten Drive: https://www.facebook.com/groups/412160192297940/

Halton Trinity: https://www.facebook.com/haltontrinitymethodistchurchruncorn/

In addition, Tim Coleman has started a Blog for Shopping City Chaplaincy

https://shoppingcitychaplaincy.blogspot.com/

 

Methodist, Widnes  -  Methodist Churches in Widnes Worship

Short Livestream 10am on Sundays - Farnworth Methodist Church Facebook Page Farnworth Methodist Church  There is also a Facebook Group   Farnworth Methodist Church Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/522713088675714/

 

 

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Wellbeing Enterprises 

With the current COVID19 situation Wellbeing Enterprises have now gone to online courses and activities below is what is coming up in May and June.  Click here for more information and how you can register

  • Stress Less and Sleep Better (for Adults)
  • Tai Chi
  • Family Fun Quiz
  • Stress Less and Sleep Better (for ages 10 - 18 years only)

 

Parliamentary Committee Call for Evidence - Coronavirus and Protected Characteristics

It was highlighted by one of the Equality and Diversity leads from another force earlier regarding the impact of Coronavirus in relation to protected characteristics:

https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/94/unequal-impact-coronavirus-covid19-and-the-impact-on-people-with-protected-characteristics/

NB. The information states: “We would like to hear from you by 30 April 2020. If you cannot get it to us before then, please don’t worry, as it will still be useful to us if you submit it later. The sooner you can get it to us, the more likely the Committee can use it to press the Government to reconsider the current measures at the three-week review”.

 

Leading Mental Health Charities Unite To Bring Round The Clock Support To Our Frontline

Leading mental health charities are uniting for the first time to provide round the clock mental health support to those working on the frontline against the Coronavirus. Mind, Samaritans, Shout, Hospice UK and The Royal Foundation have launched "Our Frontline", a combination of 1-2-1 support and online resources for NHS workers, carers, the Blue Light emergency services and key workers who are putting their mental health under pressure, while many of us do our bit by staying at home.

https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/ourfrontline/

 

iCAN Warning: Rogue Traders Cold Calling In Halton

Halton Trading wants to make residents aware of cold calling workmen who are operating in the area. Residents should be wary of any trader’s cold calling at their door or making unsolicited phone calls.

Under the current lockdown measures, it is perfectly acceptable not to answer the door to cold callers who are after work. Protect yourself and your families from the Coronavirus.  

If you need urgent repair work to be carried out (i.e. boiler breakdown etc.) then contact a reputable trader, for clarity reputable traders are not cold calling people during the lockdown!

Getting traders to do work in your home which is not urgent and which can wait (such as decorating etc) is not acceptable, reputable traders know this.

Click here for the latest iCAN Information on ordering groceries over the phone and online during the lockdown.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of the specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

 

DWP update 28th April for Employers/Employees
 
New Useful Websites - COVID-19 has had a huge impact on many parts of the labour market, with some sectors reducing in size and others expanding rapidly. To help jobseekers find work in new areas and employers tap into new labour markets, DWP have today launched new jobhelp and employerhelp websites. These offer labour market information for people looking for work now, and advice for employers to help recruit them.

 

Mamafit St Helens Support During COVID-19

Mamafit have now added further FREE online classes on Zoom, Facebook & Instagram, the full timetable can be viewed here: www.bookwhen.com/Mamafit

 

St Helens Wellbeing Service

Click here for the latest update from St Helens Wellbeing Service’s service with information for patients

Services are available to all those looking for:

  • Social wellbeing support
  • Healthy living advice
  • Information on local services

Their friendly wellbeing team are still available during this difficult time, and can offer individuals FREE health, wellbeing and emotional support via either telephone or video-link.

For more information, please refer to their new website:https://www.sthelenswellbeing.org.uk/

From there,they have a Contact Us page where new requests can be submitted for the team to pick up and respond to.  Alternatively, contact can be made via 01744 371 111 or chcp.sthelens@nhs.net

 

We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

St Helens Wellbeing Service’s latest service information for patients and information screens to help promote the continued work of their dedicated team is attached.

Services are available to all those looking for:

  • Social wellbeing support
  • Healthy living advice
  • Information on local services

Their friendly wellbeing team are still available during this difficult time, and can offer individuals FREE health, wellbeing and emotional support via either telephone or video-link.

For more information, please refer to their new website:https://www.sthelenswellbeing.org.uk/

From there,they have a Contact Us page where new requests can be submitted for the team to pick up and respond to.  Alternatively, contact can be made via 01744 371 111 or chcp.sthelens@nhs.net

A visually impaired man from St Helens who runs his own business has vowed to continue providing his vulnerable clients with a counselling and support service despite the lockdown.

John Perry, 57, who is totally blind and has spina bifida along with hydrocephalus, set up Focus Employment Hub Ltd earlier this year. John’s social enterprise provides emotional and practical support for disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

An experienced advocate, qualified personal and vocational counsellor, John  has dedicated his professional life to changing attitudes and removing barriers to help people who are finding it difficult to get into employment or to receive benefits.

Speaking from his home in St Helens, John Said: “As with everyone else, the lockdown has presented me with lots of challenges, not only in my personal life, but also professionally. I only started trading a few months ago so I was naturally concerned to make sure I kept the business going.

“Before lockdown, much of my work was face-to-face with clients. I provide emotional and practical support to disabled people, those with long-term medical conditions and migrants, on employment and benefits advice. We aim to provide tailored support to a small group of people on a 1-2-1 basis, or in a group setting to help them to realise their potential and to achieve their personal and professional goals.”

“Because of lockdown, I’m working from home. I have decided to be available for seven days a week and to offer free telephone support. I understand there will be many vulnerable people who may need to talk to someone at the moment, so I’m happy to use my counselling and advocacy skills.”John Perry is a qualified counsellor and experienced trainer on disability issues. John has over thirty years’ experience of providing support, advice, guidance and advocacy to disabled people on employment, education, training and benefits.

John added: “Lockdown isn’t much fun for anyone right now. But for disabled people, those with long-term health conditions and migrants, it can be even more difficult. I want them to know in particular, if they’re feeling isolated  … if they just need someone to talk an issue through with, I’d be happy to help.

“In my personal life, I am very fortunate that I have family and friends who are giving me practical help and support to get by. For example, going shopping right now would be impossible. I know that there are many people in Merseyside and further afield who aren’t so lucky. I want to reach out to them in particular at this extremely difficult time and say you aren’t alone!”

To make an appointment with John, visit his website at FocusEmployment.co.uk.

 

iCan Warnings

iCAN Information: Ordering groceries over the phone and online during the lockdown

Halton Trading Standards would like to make residents aware of the current options available for ordering groceries during the ongoing lockdown. The increased demand in online shopping means that delivery slots can be difficult to get. Several supermarkets are offering new options including the delivery of standardised food boxes and different ways to pay.

If you don’t have online access

A new scheme launched by Morrisons may be of help. The supermarket has introduced ‘Doorstep Deliveries’, which is a service available specifically for the vulnerable and elderly. It is a telephone shopping service where you can order a range of 47 essential groceries from home with payment taken on the doorstep. To place an order call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5. Further information is available at https://my.morrisons.com/doorstep-deliveries/

If you have online access

Aldi

Food parcels containing food items and household products delivered to your home for £24.99. More information available at: https://www.aldi.co.uk/food-parcels

ASDA

Have introduced a volunteer shopping card to provide a safer way, for vulnerable and elderly people who are self-isolating, to allow friends, family and neighbours to shop for them. The volunteer shopping card allows residents to:

  • buy the card online
  • send the card to your volunteer or print it off and leave it in a safe place for them
  • stay secure—no bank or credit card details are shared with the volunteer
  • be safer - you’re not handing over cash
  • top the card up with extra funds online

More information is available at: https://cards.asda.com/volunteer

Marks & Spencer

Has six different food boxes ranging in contents and price. The boxes available include a general food box, seasonal fruit box, mixed select vegetable box, mixed vegetable box, meat box and a vegetarian food box. The boxes prices range from £15 - £45 (excluding delivery) and are delivered to your door. More information is available at: https://www.marksandspencer.com/l/gifts/food-boxes

Marks & Spencer has also introduced a contactless gift card (We're All in this Together Volunteer E-Gift Card) that those who are self-isolating can buy, allowing others such as friends, family and neighbours to shop for them. The gift card works in a similar way to the ASDA shopping card. Further information is available at: https://www.marksandspencer.com/all-in-this-together/p/p60282075

Morrisons

Have six different food boxes ranging in contents and price. The boxes available include a vegetarian box, meat eaters box, two different types of ready meal boxes, family meat box and Ramadan food box. The boxes range in price from £30 – 45 (including delivery) and are delivered to your door. More information is available at: https://www.morrisons.com/food-boxes/boxes

Other retailers may offer similar schemes to those highlighted above.

Halton Trading Standards does not endorse or seek to promote any particular retailers, big or small, and is providing the above information to allow vulnerable and elderly residents to know what options are available for sourcing food during the Coronavirus lockdown.  

If you know of any other grocery delivery services in Halton, please tell us by replying to this email.

If you need help with shopping or prescriptions and you don’t have family or friends to call on, phone the Council’s Hotline: 0151 907 8363.

 

iCAN Warning: HMRC Coronavirus Scam Expands

Halton Trading Standards wants to warn residents about a scam perpetrated by individuals falsely claiming to be from HMRC. The scam has now expanded from text and email to telephone calls as the Coronavirus lockdown continues.

The HMRC-branded scam texts claimed that the government is offering lump-sum payments “as part of its promise to battle Covid-19.” Each text specified a particular sum and asks the recipient to tap the link to a bogus website which requests payment details from the recipient. It is simply a means for criminals to gain access to bank accounts.

Recently, this scam theme has expanded from text and emails to telephone calls from bogus civil servants.

This week, HMRC advised the public that all of these messages and phone calls are fake, with the government department advising the public that it will, “never text, email or phone to ask for bank details, PIN or passwords.”

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

iCAN Warning: Netflix scam takes advantage of Coronavirus lockdown

Halton Trading Standards wants to make residents aware of a current Netflix scam. The coronavirus pandemic lockdown has led to a surge in viewership of online video streaming services. With millions of more people staying at home, Netflix has seen a rise of 32% in paid subscriptions since mid-March according to billing platform Recurly. The radical shift in consumer activity has led to scammers attempting to take advantage of the situation.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has received evidence of bogus emails in Netflix branding which asks recipients to update their payment details. The email advises the recipient to click a link, which leads to a fake payment page which takes the credit card details of the target.

CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, said: "These types of scams are not new, but they're increasing in prevalence since the pandemic lockdown began. Scammers react to the changing behaviours of the general public, and I am especially concerned about Netflix branded emails because of the rising popularity of the service.

"These scams will not be limited to a single company, and the public should also be aware of similar emails designed with competitor brandings such as Amazon Prime Video, Britbox, Disney+ and others.

"The public should not click any of the links contained in these emails and report bogus emails to Action Fraud and the company the scam message is using as cover.

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Office for Civil Society Covid-19 Support Update April 2020

Click here for the latest update from the Office of Civil Society, this edition has the following content:

  1. Announcement: Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities
  2. Announcement: Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during coronavirus lockdown
  3. Guidance for your organisation
  4. Guidance on funding and fundraising
  5. Guidance on volunteers and volunteering

 

Request from Hope Cafe Runcorn

Hope Café Runcorn are seeing generous individuals and organisations donate whatever they can to ensure we keep our medical staff healthy during this CV –19 pandemic.

Steve Illidge - Cafe manager was dropping some provisions to Warrington Halton NHS trust for nursing staff. “I asked what else they needed and was asked for quick noodle and cup soup packs.  The thought immediately came to me that our café has had to close and we could produce quality, nutritious soup that can be heated in minutes and will sustain our NHS teams, ensuring we keep them well both physically and mentally.”

Within 24 hours we had started our ‘SOUPER HERO’ campaign – we are seeking individuals or organisations to crowd fun and match fund the programme.  We are looking to fund as many £2 soup pots as we can for as many each week as we can – so far since Friday we have had hundreds of pounds given by a wide range of people who have become souper heroes.

More details are available on our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/hopecaferuncorn/ or call 07395 313050 and let us know your donation. We will send you a secure link for you to pay your donation in to our charity and we will then make soup to keep the team at Halton General Hospital functioning.

 

Good Sam App/NHS Responders

Halton Council have asked us to ask our membership if they have referred anyone to the Good Sam app/NHS responders Halton and how easy/difficult it is/was to do so. The data from the short survey will be used to feed back to Halton Council.

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/good-sam-appnhs-responders

 

Update from Halton Health Improvement Team on the COVID-19 Comms Toolkit 

Our PR and comms toolkit has been updated – please download it here: PR toolkit  As you can imagine, a lot has changed in the last few weeks and we have updated this toolkit to reflect that, including: 

  • Updates to HIT services
  • New resources from Public Health England
  • A new domestic abuse campaign from Cheshire Police
  • Physical activity suggestions for all ages
  • Information for older adults about avoiding falls 
  • Our Mental Health Information Point

 The Health Improvement Team and Sure Start to Later Life are continuing to provide support and services remotely via phone and social media for both existing and new clients.  If you have already been sharing these messages, thank you! Together we can reach as many Halton residents as possible, particularly the more vulnerable residents, to support them through this difficult time.
 
If you haven’t already, please follow The Halton Borough Council social media accounts where HIT will be posting further updates and information about its services over the coming weeks.
 
Follow us on Twitter @HaltonBC
And on Facebook HaltonBC
 
If you have any questions about the Health Improvement Team’s services please call 0300 029 0029 or email HIT@halton.gov.uk

 

 Youth Media Opportunity | Divergent Thinking

Do you work with young people then they may be interested in this opportunity for free training for young people to learn to make videos. May be useful for your young people to skill them up to contribute to what you are trying to achieve, plus something to keep them occupied. Thinking it could be a way to ask young people for feedback on a whole host of things. Click here to find out more 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Wellbeing Enterprises 

With the current COVID19 situation Wellbeing Enterprises have now gone to online courses and activities below is what is coming up in May and June.  See attached for more information and how you can register

  • Stress Less and Sleep Better (for Adults)
  • Tai Chi
  • Family Fun Quiz
  • Stress Less and Sleep Better (for ages 10 - 18 years only)

 Youth Media Opportunity | Divergent Thinking

Do you work with young people then they may be interested in this opportunity for free training for young people to learn to make videos. May be useful for your young people to skill them up to contribute to what you are trying to achieve, plus something to keep them occupied. Thinking it could be a way to ask young people for feedback on a whole host of things. 

Click on the attachement for more details 

Request from Hope Cafe Runcorn

Hope Café Runcorn are seeing generous individuals and organisations donate whatever they can to ensure we keep our medical staff healthy during this CV –19 pandemic.

Steve Illidge - Cafe manager was dropping some provisions to Warrington Halton NHS trust for nursing staff. “I asked what else they needed and was asked for quick noodle and cup soup packs.  The thought immediately came to me that our café has had to close and we could produce quality, nutritious soup that can be heated in minutes and will sustain our NHS teams, ensuring we keep them well both physically and mentally.”

Within 24 hours we had started our ‘SOUPER HERO’ campaign – we are seeking individuals or organisations to crowd fun and match fund the programme.  We are looking to fund as many £2 soup pots as we can for as many each week as we can – so far since Friday we have had hundreds of pounds given by a wide range of people who have become souper heroes.

More details are available on our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/hopecaferuncorn/ or call 07395 313050 and let us know your donation. We will send you a secure link for you to pay your donation in to our charity and we will then make soup to keep the team at Halton General Hospital functioning.

Office for Civil Society Covid-19 Support Update April 2020

Contents:

  1. Announcement: Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities
  2. Announcement: Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during coronavirus lockdown
  3. Guidance for your organisation
  4. Guidance on funding and fundraising
  5. Guidance on volunteers and volunteering

1. Announcement: Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities

Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced

Tens of thousands of charities providing vital services will benefit from direct cash grants to ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as continuing their day-to-day activities supporting those in need.

As part of a UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.

As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.

The Chancellor also announced the Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

The announcement builds on previous announcements by the Chancellor to support charities and businesses, including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates for their shops next year, and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages.

Read the full announcement here.

2. Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during coronavirus lockdown

The Government has launched a major effort to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak and period of social distancing. Led by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the plan will aim to ensure that, for people of all ages and backgrounds, staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness.

The latest #Let’sTalkLoneliness public campaign has been rolled out to get people talking openly about loneliness, which includes new public guidance offering useful tips and advice on what to do to look after yourself and others safely.

The campaign, initially launched last year, is being supported by famous faces across social media including TV presenter Angellica Bell and Karen Gibson, founder of The Kingdom Choir. More information can be found at https://letstalkloneliness.co.uk/

In a wide ranging cross-Government and cross-sector plan, the Culture Secretary has also announced that:

  • Smaller, community-based organisations in England helping people to stay connected in local communities will benefit from being a priority category of the £750 million package of support for charities announced by the Chancellor on 8 April.
  • National loneliness organisations will be allocated a guaranteed £5 million worth of funding to continue and adapt their critical work at this time.
  • As part of the national effort, loneliness charities including Age UK will be supported to work with NHS Volunteer Responders in their communities.

Read the full announcement here.

3. Guidance for your organisation

Charity Commission: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector
Guidance from the Charity Commission on how to run your charity in relation to registrations, permissions, reporting and other interactions related to COVID-19

Gov.uk: Claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
This page sets out the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

NHS: Coronavirus - advice for everyone
Advice for everyone including those at high risk from COVID-19 on staying at home and looking after wellbeing

Gov.uk: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs)
Guidance for Community Interest Companies on  maintaining services and protecting the welfare of employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

NCVO: Coronavirus advice
Guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the covid-19 pandemic

Big Society Capital: COVID 19 Information for Social Investors
This page provides guidance on effects of COVID-19 pandemic on social investment including its announcement of £100m new lending facilities to provide much-needed finance to charities, social enterprises, and small businesses in disadvantaged parts of the UK.

UK Youth, National Youth Agency, The Mix: COVID-19 Guidance for young people, youth workers and youth organisations
Advice, guidance, support and tools for youth workers, young people and organisations in response to COVID-19.

4. Guidance on funding and fundraising

UK Community Foundations
Enter your postcode to find your local Community Foundation to view funding opportunities during COVID-19.

The National Lottery Community Fund 
Overview of all National Lottery funding opportunities and the changes to their programmes due to COVID-19.

Charity Finance Group: Guidance for charities 
CFG provides financial management advice & support to the VCSE sector. This page sets out their COVID-19 guidance.

Covid-19 Funders
This page is produced by London Funders, the membership body for funders and investors in London’s civil society. 

Fundraising Regulator: Events Guidance 
Fundraising Regulator’s advice on fundraising during COVID-19.

5. Guidance on volunteering and managing volunteers

Gov.uk: Coronavirus -  How to help safely
Government advice on staying safe while supporting others during the pandemic.

NCVO Volunteering and coronavirus: How you can help 
NCVO guidance on supporting others during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

NCVO Coronavirus: Involving volunteers 
NCVO guidance on involving volunteers in your work during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Information Commissioner’s Office Data protection and coronavirus: what you need to know ICO guidance on data protection during the pandemic. It addresses sharing employee’s health information, collecting personal information from local residents, responding to information requests and more. 

Information Commissioner’s Office Blog: Community groups and COVID-19 -  what you need to know about data protection 
ICO blog aimed at new community groups to help them with data protection. The guidance emphasises that data protection rules will not stop you from helping those in need.

Gov.uk: How to find volunteering opportunities

Gov.uk: Volunteer placements, rights and expenses

Click here to subscribe 

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Covid 19 testing arrangements for front line VCSE staff in Halton

VCA have been contacted by Julia Rosser from Halton Borough Council who is currently involved in ensuring that front line staff in Halton Borough Council and partner organisations are able to access testing for Covid 19.  They are aware that voluntary sector organisations work directly with the public and there may be staff that would benefit from the testing.  There is a criteria that must be met for testing so that they are ensuring that they are prioritising front line staff that work with vulnerable people. The test only works for people who are currently unwell, with symptoms of Covid 19. The aim of the test is to enable staff who are well enough to work but are self-isolating due to possible Covid 19 to return to work if they get a negative response.  

They are aware that the testing arrangements are changing daily and that you may have been offered testing for staff through an alternative route? If this is the case please email Sally on syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk we also want to hear from you if you do not have arrangements for testing so that we can forward updates to managers with instructions for how to arrange testing by email.  As soon as we hear about the arrangements in St Helens we will share the information.  

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How has your group, organisation or service responded?

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

“Individually we are ONE DROP. Together, we are an OCEAN”

This quote from the Japanese writer Ryunosuke Satoro means that individually we can solve problems or work by ourselves. As a group however, we can accomplish great things. 

As an infrastructure support organisation for the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector across both Halton and St Helens we are immensely aware of how the pressure in this current situation has had an impact and how the sector is responding.

This is the FIRST of two research and data gathering exercises that we want to facilitate during the current COVID-19 pandemic which will enable us to see the bigger picture of what services our incredible sector is delivering during these unprecedented times.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.

This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey

   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey

  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

No information specific to your organisation will be published however the collective data will be published and shared each week through our website.  If you have any questions please contact Sally Yeoman on 01744 457100 ext 4.  Stay safe and thank you for all that you are doing to support our local people and communities.

 

Doctors of the World

Doctors of the World have now translated essential Covid-19 guidance based on NHS and Government health advice and information in 48 languages available in written format. Video format of this guidance is available in 10 languages, and audio format with easy share button will be online soon. Please find them here: https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

 

Latest update for Trustees from NCVO 

Click here for latest update 

 

Domestic Abuse during Covid-19 

Thanks to our colleagues at Asylum Refugee and Migration Service (ARMS) for sharing the following information on resources for victims of Dometic Abuse.  You may have seen the news this week that Domestic Abuse helplines have had a 700% increase in calls since the start of COVID-19 measures.  This morning the government have announced a £600,000 boost for charities working with victims of domestic and sexual abuse. With that in mind they have pulled together some resources that may be useful for workers supporting families where there is a risk of, or suspected Domestic Abuse. This information is to be used in addition to following your normal domestic abuse procedure.

Click here for details of support available

 

Update on Small Business Grants Fund & Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant from NAVCA

There are two different funds, the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF)  and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund (RHLF).  Somewhat unhelpfully the guidance for both is in one document which I think has led to some of the confusion. 

The guidance says “Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 per property.”  And the guidance explicitly includes charities that meet this eligibility criteria.  So if you or any of your members qualify, you should be getting this grant.  As examples: sports clubs or grounds, public halls, museums and art galleries are all included – and importantly, there’s an element of discretion on the Local Authoritie's part, which may mean that not all parts of the country get treated the same way. 

HOWEVER:   the SBGF, which gives grants of £10,000 to eligible businesses, is only available to business in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief.  Any organisation claiming Charitable Rates Relief, even if you would be eligible for one of the other reliefs, is explicitly and definitively excluded.  And there is no discretion available to the LAs to interpret that.

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Thanks to our colleagues at Asylum Refugee and Migration Service (ARMS) for sharing the following information on resources for victims of Dometic Abuse.

You may have seen the news this week that Domestic Abuse helplines have had a 700% increase in calls since the start of COVID-19 measures.  This morning the government have announced a £600,000 boost for charities working with victims of domestic and sexual abuse. With that in mind they have pulled together some resources that may be useful for workers supporting families where there is a risk of, or suspected Domestic Abuse. This information is to be used in addition to following your normal domestic abuse procedure.

Police 999

During lockdown measures it may be difficult to speak on the phone to advise the police of instances of abuse without being heard and risking further harm. The silent solution system is for those in an emergency who require police help but can not speak. After dialing 999 from a mobile phone you will be prompted to press 55 to access the silent solution system. The operator will then ask a series of yes and no questions that can be responded to using the keypad.  Silent solution is not available on landlines. Please see attached document for further details.

The government has updated guidance for during COVID-19, Domestic Abuse Injunctions can be applied for remotely. Details of how to apply can be found here.

National Domestic Abuse Hotline

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is a freephone number 0808 2000 247, they can provide advice and support for victims of domestic abuse. Their website https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/  has lots of advice and guidance for victims of domestic abuse including the option of online chat for those that do not want to be heard on the phone. The website and chat have a quick exit button that instantly changes the page to google should the victim fear the perpetrator is approaching

Bright Sky App

The bright sky app should only be downloaded to phones if it is safe to do so and there is no risk of the perpetrator accessing the device. The app can help record instances of abuse and provides information and guidance alongside linking in to local services.  Information about Bright Sky can be found here.

Safelives

Safelives have put together guidance specific to experiencing domestic abuse during COVID-19, it can be found at  https://safelives.org.uk/staying-safe-during-covid-19-guidance In addition safelives offer a wealth of resources, including information on MARAC's and DASH risk assessments. Safelives offer the quick exit screen.

Surviving Economic Abuse

Surviving Economic Abuse have produced a guide for during COVID-19 measures including, how to spot signs of financial abuse during COVID-19, economic abuse and coronavirus and how banks can help during the outbreak. Information can be found on their website   https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/resources/  which again has the quick exit screen.

Respect

Respect works with perpetrators and male victims of domestic abuse. Respect have put together specific information and access to services during COVID-19 that can be found here

This is not an exhaustive list of services, as there are many organisations and charities working in this field, just an overview of some that can offer help.

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How has your group, organisation or service responded?

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

“Individually we are ONE DROP. Together, we are an OCEAN”

This quote from the Japanese writer Ryunosuke Satoro means that individually we can solve problems or work by ourselves. As a group however, we can accomplish great things. 

As an infrastructure support organisation for the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector across both Halton and St Helens we are immensely aware of how the pressure in this current situation has had an impact and how the sector is responding.

This is the FIRST of two research and data gathering exercises that we want to facilitate during the current COVID-19 pandemic which will enable us to see the bigger picture of what services our incredible sector is delivering during these unprecedented times.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.

This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

No information specific to your organisation will be published however the collective data will be published and shared each week through our website.

If you have any questions please contact me on 01744 457100 ext 4

Stay safe and thank you for all that you are doing to support our local people and communities.

Sally Yeoman
CEO – Halton & St Helens VCA

 

Halton Business Brief April 2020

For the latest briefing click here

 

Widnes Urgent Care Centre update

Update from Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Communications to support Widnes Urgent Care Centre becoming a neutral site as part of Covid-19 response 
 
'From today (Friday 24 April) we are making changes to Widnes Urgent Care Centre (UCC) to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.  Widnes UCC opening times will change to 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. The service will also move to an appointment only service. This means we will no longer routinely be accepting walk-in patients until further notice.  Anyone requiring urgent care for an illness or injury will need to call the centre on 0151 495 5000. Patients will only be offered an appointment after a telephone assessment.  Patients will be expected to attend the Widnes UCC alone with the exception of children and vulnerable adults who will be permitted to visit with one parent or carer.  People should not attend at Widnes UCC without an appointment and anyone living with a long-term condition is advised to contact their GP practice by phone or by completing the online form on the practice website (eConsult).   In line with Cheshire and Merseyside our Bridgewater Community Midwifery Service has already suspended home birth services to protect women and their babies. We are continuing to work closely with pregnant women to ensure continuity of care and the best possible birth experience.
 
Warrington

We have been working closely with Warrington Borough Council to strengthen our integrated Intermediate Care and Rapid Response teams through redeploying staff in order to make our health and social care teams as resilient in order to prevent admission to hospital and to support patients discharged from hospital. We have also integrated additional services such as our community matrons so that we can test new ways of working to facilitate the delivery of safe and effective care for the complex patients who require support from our community services.' 

 

Wargrave Big Local

Wargrave Big Local is a volunteer-led Partnership of residents that has been tasked with making Wargrave a better place to live and work using £1m awarded by the National Lottery.  In response to the Covid 19 pandemic a fund has been set up specifically to help groups that are supporting local people during the crisis. Are you helping the community in Wargrave or in the wider area that includes Wargrave? If so they may be able to help you. Contact them at wgbiglocal@outlook.com to apply for up to £1k of funding

 

St Helens Wellbeing Services

St Helens Wellbeing services are still open and running a range of Wellbeing support and interventions.

 If you would like to chat to one of the team about the support available please do not hesitate to get in touch: 01744 371111. They have also produced a leaflet to let you know a little more about how they can support you during COVID19 and beyond.

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-wellbeing-support

 

Urgent Key Worker Travel Survey 

Are you a key worker in the Liverpool City Region? They need your views on transport availability to get you to and from work.    While all non-essential travel should be avoided in line with national advice, Merseytravel and transport operators are working together to provide services and help key workers get to and from work. If you are travelling, they want to hear from you so that they can do everything they can to provide the best services possible and meet your needs.  Please pass on to any Key workers that you are aware of, thank you to all the key workers for everything you are doing during this difficult time.

Click here to take part 

 

Coronavirus Recovery Plan for the North | Joint Press Conference between Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham - write up from James Mulvaney from Liverpool City Region

As you may have seen Metro Mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham held a joint remote press conference yesterday, discussing what a coronavirus recovery plan for the North should look like.

Click here for a write-up of this conference, which is also available to watch here. This conference was covered in the news, including the Liverpool Echo, Guardian, Place North West, ITV News and others.

In the summary I have underlined some of the key policy areas they covered. Here is some of the topics they discussed:

A economic-recovery from the bottom-up, by supporting councils and combined authorities

A National Recovery Council, made up of unions, business bodies, government, and political parties of all colours (more on this idea here)

  • Future funding of local authorities
  •  Transport funding for light rail, so that MerseyRail and Metrolink services don’t have to be mothballed
  •  The entertainment and hospitality sectors in LCR and GM after this crisis, and the impact on the tourism economies
  •  How a Government fiscal stimulus could be spent on projects in LCR and GM
  • The benefits of a mass retrofitting project post-lockdown
  • Opportunities for things to be different post-lockdown, and not returning to business as usual
  • A Green New Deal for the country, and how we don’t want to return polluted air and congested traffic

 

iCAN information: Telephone calls from Halton Adult Social Care

As a result of the current covid 19 crisis Halton social work staff will be making contact with the general public following referrals from a range of possible sources including hospitals, care providers, family, or self-referrals. 

In an effort to avoid the unnecessary contact between people that may place the public at risk of infection,  staff may contact family members or other informal carers to gain an understanding of someone’s history, background and their current needs and to undertake assessments over the phone. These calls may involve discussing highly sensitive and personal data and information. 

The following Halton Borough Council published numbers can be used to verify the identity of staff who have made contact with people for these purposes.

HBC Contact Centre number:  0303 333 4300

Adult Social Care enquiries please phone 0151 907 8306

You will not be asked for your bank account or bank card details.

If you receive an unexpected call from anybody asking for your bank details, ask them for their name and the name of the organisation they work for and tell them that you will call them back. Look up the organisation they claim to be from in the Phone Book, or by typing their website address online, and phone the organisation to make sure it was a genuine call.

Do not phone the organisation on the number the caller has given.

Halton Trading Standards would like to make residents aware of how to get help during the Coronavirus lockdown and how to avoid scams. Please click the link below for more information:

Coronavirus and scams update 

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.
If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Coronavirus (COVID-19): How has your group, organisation or service responded?

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

“Individually we are ONE DROP. Together, we are an OCEAN”

This quote from the Japanese writer Ryunosuke Satoro means that individually we can solve problems or work by ourselves. As a group however, we can accomplish great things. 

As an infrastructure support organisation for the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector across both Halton and St Helens we are immensely aware of how the pressure in this current situation has had an impact and how the sector is responding.

This is the FIRST of two research and data gathering exercises that we want to facilitate during the current COVID-19 pandemic which will enable us to see the bigger picture of what services our incredible sector is delivering during these unprecedented times.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.

This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey   https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-covid-19-data-collection

St Helens Data Collection Survey  https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-covid-19-data-collection

No information specific to your organisation will be published however the collective data will be published and shared each week through our website.

If you have any questions please contact me on 01744 457100 ext 4

Stay safe and thank you for all that you are doing to support our local people and communities.

Sally Yeoman
CEO – Halton & St Helens VCA

Wargrave Big Local

Wargrave Big Local is a volunteer-led Partnership of residents that has been tasked with making Wargrave a better place to live and work using £1m awarded by the National Lottery.  In response to the Covid 19 pandemic a fund has been set up specifically to help groups that are supporting local people during the crisis. Are you helping the community in Wargrave or in the wider area that includes Wargrave? If so they may be able to help you. Contact them at wgbiglocal@outlook.com to apply for up to £1k of funding

There will be a Facebook Live Chat on 24th April at 1.30pm about Loan Sharks and Illegal Money Lending.

Simply go to https://www.facebook.com/StopLoanSharksProject and log in to Facebook.

 

 

 

Urgent Key Worker Travel Survey 

Are you a key worker in the Liverpool City Region? They need your views on transport availability to get you to and from work.    While all non-essential travel should be avoided in line with national advice, Merseytravel and transport operators are working together to provide services and help key workers get to and from work. If you are travelling, they want to hear from you so that they can do everything they can to provide the best services possible and meet your needs.  Please pass on to any Key workers that you are aware of, thank you to all the key workers for everything you are doing during this difficult time.

Click her to take part 

Coronavirus Recovery Plan for the North | Joint Press Conference between Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham - write up from James Mulvaney from Liverpool City Region

As you may have seen Metro Mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham held a joint remote press conference yesterday, discussing what a coronavirus recovery plan for the North should look like.

I have attached below is a write-up of this conference, which is also available to watch here. This conference was covered in the news, including the Liverpool Echo, Guardian, Place North West, ITV News and others.

In the summary I have underlined some of the key policy areas they covered. Here is some of the topics they discussed:

  •          A economic-recovery from the bottom-up, by supporting councils and combined authorities
  •          A National Recovery Council, made up of unions, business bodies, government, and political parties of all colours (more on this idea here)
  •          Future funding of local authorities
  •          Transport funding for light rail, so that MerseyRail and Metrolink services don’t have to be mothballed
  •          The entertainment and hospitality sectors in LCR and GM after this crisis, and the impact on the tourism economies
  •          How a Government fiscal stimulus could be spent on projects in LCR and GM
  •          The benefits of a mass retrofitting project post-lockdown
  •          Opportunities for things to be different post-lockdown, and not returning to business as usual
  •          A Green New Deal for the country, and how we don’t want to return polluted air and congested traffic

St Helens Wellbeing services are still open running a range of Wellbeing support and interventions.

Please find attached a leaflet to let you know a little more about how they can support you during COVID19 and beyond.

If you would like to chat to one of the team about the support available please do not hesitate to get in touch: 01744 371111 

To find out more about the St Helens Welbeing Service, please click the link below:

https://www.sthelenswellbeing.org.uk/

 

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

St Helens Middle-Aged Men’s Health VCSE Community Of Practice (CHAMPS Public Health Collaborative).

Community of Practice Programme – Funding 

As part of the Champs Public Health Collaborative, St Helens Council have secured funding to further develop and enhance the community-led suicide prevention offer in the Borough. St Helens recently launched the OK2ASK campaign, enabling people with lived experience to champion mental health, to organise and deliver local anti-stigma and discrimination activities, give access to free training and free campaign resources. We know we are in unusual times but we think extra resources to support and improve mental health is going to be critical now more than ever. We would encourage groups to apply and to think about how they can offer their support during the Covid-19 crisis.

The funding will enable Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise groups to develop and deliver a range of men’s projects in line with the Edge Hill University Evidence Review. Halton & St Helens VCA will run a small grants programme and establish a Community of Practice that is linked to the Community Led Suicide Prevention Group and will bring funded organisations together to share best practice and to look at ways in which we can work together to make a real difference in our communities. Groups who are applying for funding must be willing to commit to working as part of the Community of Practice.

For an application form contact dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk applications must be submitted by 18 May 2020.  Click here for more detail

 

HMRC

As part of the government’s commitment to provide support to businesses and employers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HMRC have been offering live webinars on the Job Retention Scheme. LIve webinars provides an overview of the support available to help employers and their employees deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19.  Places are extremely limited but If you’ve missed any of the recent webinars, or have been unable to join, you can now view a recording on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme - During this webinar they will be taking a look at:
•    furloughed workers
•    who can apply for the scheme
•    following the rules of the scheme
•    how much may be claimed
•    how to claim and what you’ll need to claim.

 

Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund

Voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations have a vital role working alongside NHS colleagues to support anyone who has a mental health problem.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for mental health services is increasing.  To help VCS organisations based in England continue to provide mental health services - or provide additional support - organisations can apply for a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund (CMHRF) grant. Thanks to £5m support from government (the Department of Health and Social Care), grants of £20,000 or £50,000 are available for projects lasting up to 12 months.You can find out more about the fund and how to apply on both the Association of Mental Health Providers website and the Mind’s website
 
Support for smaller organisations or groups

As part of this funding programme, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) will be administering a fund to support user-led organisations and smaller, constituted community organisations, who might not otherwise be eligible for a grant. Details are available on the NSUN website.

 

Dedicated phone service for customers aged 70 or over.

Thanks to our colleagues at Age UK who have lobbied the banks successfully for dedicated direct phone numbers for over 70s and for sharing the details with us.  

  • Bank of Scotland:  0800 0859179.  Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
  • Halifax: 0800 0859137.  Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
  • Lloyds Bank:  0800 056 0045.  Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
  • NatWest:  0800 051 4176.  Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland:  0800 051 4177.  Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

St Helens Middle-Aged Men’s Health VCSE Community Of Practice (CHAMPS Public Health Collaborative).

Community of Practice Programme – Funding 

As part of the Champs Public Health Collaborative, St Helens Council have secured funding to further develop and enhance the community-led suicide prevention offer in the Borough. St Helens recently launched the OK2ASK campaign, enabling people with lived experience to champion mental health, to organise and deliver local anti-stigma and discrimination activities, give access to free training and free campaign resources. We know we are in unusual times but we think extra resources to support and improve mental health is going to be critical now more than ever. We would encourage groups to apply and to think about how they can offer their support during the Covid-19 crisis.

The funding will enable Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise groups to develop and deliver a range of men’s projects in line with the Edge Hill University Evidence Review. Halton & St Helens VCA will run a small grants programme and establish a Community of Practice that is linked to the Community Led Suicide Prevention Group and will bring funded organisations together to share best practice and to look at ways in which we can work together to make a real difference in our communities. Groups who are applying for funding must be willing to commit to working as part of the Community of Practice.

For an application form contact dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk applications must be submitted by 22 May 2020.

Please note that all funds must be spent and your programme completed by 31 March 2021

Groups should also be aware that there are two key dates for monitoring information. These will be in September 2020 and February 2021 and groups must be able to commit to supplying their monitoring information by these dates.

Funding Criteria. We want to:

  1. fund projects that will support the reduction of the number of suicides in middle-aged men in St Helens Borough
  2. enhance men’s awareness and their ability to improve their own mental health: including help seeking skills
  3. support programmes that mean men are better able to manage in a crisis
  4. support projects that are co-produced with those with lived experience.

Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund

Voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations have a vital role working alongside our NHS colleagues to support anyone who has a mental health problem.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for mental health services is increasing.  To help VCS organisations based in England continue to provide mental health services - or provide additional support - organisations can apply for a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund (CMHRF) grant. Thanks to £5m support from government (the Department of Health and Social Care), grants of £20,000 or £50,000 are available for projects lasting up to 12 months.You can find out more about the fund and how to apply on both the Association of Mental Health Providers website and the Mind’s website
 
Support for smaller organisations or groups

As part of this funding programme, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) will be administering a fund to support user-led organisations and smaller, constituted community organisations, who might not otherwise be eligible for a grant. Details are available from the NSUN website.
 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

LCR Cares Funding

We have produced a walkthrough video, showing how to apply for emergency funds from #LCR Cares during the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis. If your organisation is providing support to individuals across St Helens and Halton and needs extra funds - find out more here and get in touch with us if you need support in putting together a bid.

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/lcr-cares

 

HMRC Update & Guidance for Furloughed Staff

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live yesterday.  There’s now updated guidance on how to calculate your claim and a simple step-by-step guide.  There will also be a calculator available for you to check your calculations online before you make your claim.  Please have all your information and calculations ready before you begin your application. If you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this. You should retain all records and calculations in case HMRC need to contact you about them.  Please only call HMRC if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK as HMRC want to leave lines open for those who need their help most.

 

Wellbeing Enterprises - During The Covid-19 Outbreak

Wellbeing Enterprises has a range of support services for patients the public and key workers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Here's how they can help you:

  • A wellbeing telephone helpline - call us for a friendly chat
  • Signposting support - we will review your wellbeing needs and connect you to support
  • Social activities - we are running free online courses and activities
  • Self-help resources - we have access to a wide range of materials

T: 01928 589 799 E: info@wellbeingenterprises.org.uk

For more information and to access their publicity flyers please click the link below:

https://www.wellbeingenterprises.org.uk/were-here-to-help-you-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/

 

Anthonys Travel

Local Halton Bus Company Anthony’s Travel, is keen to help out where they can and would like to share an offer with the voluntary and community sector, if you have anything that you think they could help with please email them on the email address below to request support.  

enquiries@Anthonys-Travel.co.uk  

 

iCAN Warning: HMRC Coronavirus Scam Expands

Halton Trading Standards wants to warn residents about a scam perpetrated by individuals falsely claiming to be from HMRC. The scam has now expanded from text and email to telephone calls as the Coronavirus lockdown continues.  The HMRC-branded scam texts claimed that the government is offering lump-sum payments “as part of its promise to battle Covid-19.” Each text specified a particular sum and asks the recipient to tap the link to a bogus website which requests payment details from the recipient. It is simply a means for criminals to gain access to bank accounts.  Recently, this scam theme has expanded from text and emails to telephone calls from bogus civil servants.  This week, HMRC advised the public that all of these messages and phone calls are fake, with the government department advising the public that it will, “never text, email or phone to ask for bank details, PIN or passwords.”
 
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

 

Cruse Bereavement Service - Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement and grief

During the global coronavirus pandemic we are facing a tragic loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances.

Bereaved people may have to deal with increased trauma, and may be cut off from some of their usual support network. Those who are already struggling with bereavement, or whose relatives or friends die through other causes will also be affected.

Cruse Bereavement Service have put together resources to share how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic. It covers some of the different situations and emotions bereaved people may have to deal with. They will be adding to and updating this information as the situation develops.

Click here for resources

 

Mental Health resources in Halton

North West Boroughs Health Care NHS Trust have launched a crisis line to provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all ages including children and young people who need urgent mental health support.  The Crisis line is first port of call for Halton residents experiencing a mental health crisis 01928 275309.  You can also go online to Halton’s Mental Health Info point
www.halton.gov.uk/mhinfopoint to find out more

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Ann-Marie Lawrenson walks through how to apply for emergency funds from #LCR Cares during the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis. If your organisation is providing support to individuals across St Helens and Halton and needs extra funds - find out more here and get in touch with us if you need support in putting together a bid.

 

 

HMRC Update & Guidance for Furloughed Staff

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live yesterday.  There’s now updated guidance on how to calculate your claim and a simple step-by-step guide.  There will also be a calculator available for you to check your calculations online before you make your claim.  Please have all your information and calculations ready before you begin your application. If you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this. You should retain all records and calculations in case HMRC need to contact you about them.  Please only call HMRC if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK as HMRC want to leave lines open for those who need their help most.

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Halton Borough Council funding update

For the latest funding update from Halton Borough Council's External Funding Team click here

If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be added, please email funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

There is also quite a lot of information about emerging funds to specifically support the voluntary sector at this time and grants online have just made available the following link in relation to this:  https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html  so will be worth checking out.

 

DWP Updates 160420

Universal Credit/Benefits

Universal Credit claimants to verify identity through Government Gateway. People applying for Universal Credit will now be able to use their existing Government Gateway account to confirm their identity, helping to speed up their claim.

Employers/Employees  

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you were employed and have lost your job  Updated 16 April to reflect Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme cut off date changed to 19 March 2020. Guidance for people who were employed and have lost their job due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

The holy month of Ramadan 

For the followers of Islam, the holy month of Ramadan starts around the 23rd/24th April this year dependent on the position of the moon in this country.  Just to make you aware of the fact that many will be fasting from dawn to dusk and will not be able to gather with others, for their traditional family meal each day, which breaks their fast. This may exacerbate their negative feelings.  The greeting to say to people observing Ramadan is Ramadan Karim.  Thanks to Halton Faith Forum for sharing.

 

O2 announces zero rating for support websites during COVID-19

More than 20 websites zero-rated on O2 in addition to NHS websites

O2 customers won’t use any of their network data when they browse a range of financial guidance, health and emotional support, advice sites on their O2-enabled devices. Additional zero-rated sites include Citizens Advice, Money Advice Service and Mind

O2 has announced a zero rating on more than 20 additional support, financial guidance and advice websites to help its customers access the support they need, worry free, during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.  Customers who are on O2 won’t use any of their allocated monthly data allowance when browsing a whole host of support, financial guidance, advice and charity sites on their mobile.  As well as the NHS, which O2 announced it was zero-rating last week, O2 customers can also browse 22 additional support, financial guidance, and advice networks, including Citizens Advice and Mind.

Mark Evans, CEO at O2, said:

“Our customers are the most important thing to us, and we want to ensure that they have the support they need throughout this difficult time. That’s why, further to our announcement last week zero-rating NHS websites, we’re ensuring that additional websites providing financial guidance, health and emotional advice and support can also be accessed by our customers without using any data allowance for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.”

To see what sites are included click here 

Government £750m funding for charities 

Click here for the ACEVO briefing on the Government funding as announced by the Chancellor. 

 

Cycle map for key workers 

If you are a key worker and need bike-related assistance or access to a cycle to get to work, check out 
information from Sustrans about an interactive cycle map for key workers.  It includes offers on cycles and equipment, free/discounted repairs, bike sharing schemes and stores that are open.  

 

NCVO 

NCVO have just made three important additions to their existing coronavirus advice:
 

You can also access all their resources at https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/coronavirus

 

British Red Cross 

You can access all resources from the British Red Cross on their website with ideas to prevent loss of contact between family members and maintain family links during the Covid-19 emergency to find out more click here

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

British Red Cross 

You can access all resources from the British Red Cross on their website with ideas to prevent loss of contact between family members and maintain family links during the Covid-19 emergency attached is the Emergency Contact Card and Covid-19 specific prevention messages.  You can access the website using the link below

https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/uk-emergency-response/coronavirus

Attachment:

Find attached the latest funding update from Halton Borough Council's External Funding Team

If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be added, please email funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

There is also quite a lot of information about emerging funds to specifically support the voluntary sector at this time and grants online have just made available the following link in relation to this:  https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html  so will be worth checking out.

 

O2 announces zero rating for support websites during COVID-19

More than 20 websites zero-rated on O2 in addition to NHS websites

O2 customers won’t use any of their network data when they browse a range of financial guidance, health and emotional support, advice sites on their O2-enabled devices. Additional zero-rated sites include Citizens Advice, Money Advice Service and Mind

O2 has announced a zero rating on more than 20 additional support, financial guidance and advice websites to help its customers access the support they need, worry free, during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.  Customers who are on O2 won’t use any of their allocated monthly data allowance when browsing a whole host of support, financial guidance, advice and charity sites on their mobile.  As well as the NHS, which O2 announced it was zero-rating last week, O2 customers can also browse 22 additional support, financial guidance, and advice networks, including Citizens Advice and Mind.

Mark Evans, CEO at O2, said:

“Our customers are the most important thing to us, and we want to ensure that they have the support they need throughout this difficult time. That’s why, further to our announcement last week zero-rating NHS websites, we’re ensuring that additional websites providing financial guidance, health and emotional advice and support can also be accessed by our customers without using any data allowance for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.”

The full list of zero-rated sites include:

Citizens Advice:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Financial Advice:

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en

https://www.stepchange.org/

Mental Health / Emotional Support:

https://www.samaritans.org/

https://www.mind.org.uk/

https://www.rethink.org/

https://www.anxiety.org/

https://youngminds.org.uk/

https://www.mindout.org.uk/

Support for Older People:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/

https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/

Support for Young People:

https://www.themix.org.uk/

https://www.childline.co.uk/

Health Support:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

https://www.asthma.org.uk/

https://www.bhf.org.uk/

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/

Disability Support:

https://www.scope.org.uk/

https://www.rnib.org.uk/

https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/

Bereavement Support:

https://www.cruse.org.uk/

For more information visit https://www.o2.co.uk/

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

iCAN Warning: Rogue Traders Operating In Halton 

Rogue traders are operating in Halton Borough this week. They are cold calling by knocking on peoples doors asking residents if they want work done on their houses and gardens. Do not answer the door; there is the risk you will get ripped off and also the risk of catching Coronavirus. There is nothing wrong with not answering the door in the current circumstances. Protect yourself and your loved ones. 
 
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of the specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.
If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

New 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Number

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has launched the crisis line to provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all ages, including children and young people, who need urgent mental health support. More details are below. 

What to do if you need urgent help for your mental health:

If you are in a mental health crisis and you need urgent help, please call the new crisis line on 01925 275 309 and NHS staff will support you to get the help you need.

The crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to people of all ages, including children and young people.

The crisis line is now the first port of call for Halton residents experiencing a mental health crisis. The line is operated by people in the local area who will know how best to support you. If you call NHS 111 you may have to wait longer for help and will be redirected to this local service.

Please note, A&E and 999 are not the best places to get help for the majority of mental health problems. Call the crisis line, to be directed to the best local service to support you.

You should still call 999 or go to A&E if you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help for your mental or physical health.

Details of the crisis line and other sources of help available, including how to look after your mental health generally and during the covid-19 pandemic can be found:

Halton’s Mental health Info point www.halton.gov.uk/mhinfopoint

St Helens It's Ok to Ask http://www.oktoaskcampaign.co.uk/covid-19/

 

Migrant Help latest Newsletter 

To access the AIRE Newsletter from 14th April containing lots of useful links to resources and service updates click here 

 

Corona Virus Information In Different Languages On YouTube

A small task and finish group within Leeds City Council have been working to provide translated and audio materials in 11 different languages: Polish, Romanian, Urdu, Arabic, Czech, Punjabi, Tigrinya, Farsi, Slovak, Kurdish Sorani and Bengali.

There are three different videos which focus on:

Spot the signs - This short film contains information to help people spot the signs of coronavirus and gives advice for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Handwashing advice - This short film contains information about how you can help stop the spread of viruses, like coronavirus, by practising good respiratory and hand hygiene.

Essential advice - This short film contains information for households with possible coronavirus infection. Please be aware that this is an evolving situation and public advice may change.

Please find the link for the videos playlist  

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLggQFjpTLgpIq0r7-nFO9mT6j8Yk2vKBt

 

Free Webinars from ACAS 

ACAS have updated their guidance on Furlough and qualifying start dates, following HMRC publishing new details this week.  View Acas guidance

Furlough leave – the HMRC Job Retention Scheme  

  • Tuesday 28 April 2020, 10:30am to 11:30am
  • Thursday 30 April 2020, 2pm to 3pm  

About this webinar: This webinar explains the temporary HMRC Job Retention Scheme being made available to businesses across the UK. The webinar is designed for employers who have furloughed workers, or who are planning to furlough workers within their organisation.  

View details or register your place click here

 

Covid-19: where to get help and how to avoid being scammed

Halton Trading Standards have produced a comprehensive document giving guidance on where to get help and avoid being scammed click here to access the document.

The guidance contains information on:

  • how to get help – promotes the new council hotline and the Halton and St. Helen’s VCA portal for volunteers
  • how to avoid being scammed
  • Covid-19 scams that we are already aware of
  • advice on looking after your mental well-being
  • national and local advice and support organisations.

If you know anyone who is not online please share the information with them.

 

Latest information from Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership 

Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership who represent all community safety partners across Merseyside have released guidance on Domestic Violence click here to find out more. 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

As I’m sure you are all aware, Domestic Abuse during the lockdown is a very real concern, and family members will be at an increased risk.  We need to ensure that we are proactive in asking appropriate and safe questions while families are in lockdown.  Please read and share with your networks the attached Welfare Questions guide.

Please also share this Police guidance on the ‘999 silent solution’ call:

The 999 call system allows all 999 callers to access support if they are unable to speak during the call.  It is important that either a noise is made or that 55 is pressed.  For example, if you can only make noise, such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to the offender, then these actions will alert the attention of the BT operator.

If you are supporting someone who is suffering with domestic abuse, speaking out is not always an option when someone is in real danger, so please encourage use of the 999 silent call.  Please reassure service users that the Police Force and specially trained officers are still there for people during the lockdown.  The below list details services which are also available:

For support:

In an emergency always, ring 999.   Using a silent 999 call followed by 55 (or tapping/coughing into the phone) will enable police to respond.

National Domestic Abuse 24 hour Support Helpline: 0808 2000 247

RESPECT National Helpline, perpetrators (9am to 5pm): 0808 802 4040

Support directories:

https://ehd.liverpool.gov.uk/kb5/liverpool/fsd/results.page?qt=domestic+abuse&term=&sorttype=relevance&sr=20

https://www.victimcaremerseyside.org/home/who-can-help.aspx

http://respect.uk.net/contact-us/

Or ring:

Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services 0151 263 7474

Merseyside Domestic Violence Service 0780 272 2703          

South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services 0151 494 2222

Ruby Project 0771 428 9180

Savera UK (honour based abuse & harmful practice specialist) 0800 107 0726

Worst Kept Secret Helpline (Merseyside) 0800 028 3398

Support for children:

Young Persons Advisory Service (YPAS) 0151 707 1025

NSPCC               

Support for men:

Men’s Advice Line (Freephone) 0808 801 0327          

Covid-19: where to get help and how to avoid being scammed

Halton Trading Standards have produced comprehensive guidance on where to get help and how to avoid being scammed.

The guidance contains information on:

  • how to get help – promotes the new council hotline and the Halton and St. Helen’s VCA portal for volunteers
  • how to avoid being scammed
  • Covid-19 scams that we are already aware of
  • advice on looking after your mental well-being
  • national and local advice and support organisations.

If you anyone who is not online please share the information with them.

Guidance attached below 

Attached is the AIRE Newsletter from 14th April containing lots of useful links to resources and updates on their services .

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

 

Support Services 

Sure Start to Later Life and the Halton Health Improvement Team have developed a support service document based on what services are available for Halton residents during COVID 19.  The support service document has been updated since our last mailing and can be accessed via the following web link: 

https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/health/hit/hitprof.aspx

 

Getting Ready For The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - HMRC Customer Services

If you’re eligible for the scheme, there are things that you can do now to be ready when the system is up and running later this month.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

  1. The bank account number and sort code you’d like to use 
  2. The name and phone number of the person in your business for us to call with any questions.
  3. Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  4. The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  5. The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.

However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

For more detailed advice, please visit GOV.UK. This guidance is being regularly updated, so please review it frequently.

You may also find this recorded webinar helpful, 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme', available on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

 

Kind To Your Mind

The “Kind to Your Mind” Cheshire and Merseyside partnership campaign went live on Monday 13th April  https://kindtoyourmind.org/

The online resources are for anyone living and working in the Cheshire and Merseyside area and include apps, courses, podcasts to support mental health and wellbeing https://kindtoyourmind.org/alma/

There is also a  24/7 support phoneline to support anyone who needs help https://kindtoyourmind.org/support-near-me/

 

COIN Compressed Tuesday 14th April 2020

Volunteer mobilisation 

Support Staffordshire shared the results of their data collation around new volunteers recruited by NAVCA members to see how it compared with the NHS Volunteer Scheme. The results were:

·       37 members replied 

·       45,000 volunteers recruited and a third deployed 

Using these figures as a solid sample size, it was estimated that in total NAVCA members have recruited approximately 250,000 new volunteers and deployed 80,000 so far.  

It is noted that this does not include the number of existing volunteers already deployed and supported.  

A big thanks Garry for collating these figures! And here they are hitting the national headlines.  

Befriending Interim guidance for telephone volunteers 

Voluntary Support North Surrey shared their guide for new/interim telephone befrienders for other NAVCA members to use.  

Funding sources and other support 

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire asked for lists of local funding sources.  

Community Action Suffolk shared their webpage outlining funding sources and the Charites Aid Foundation's website.  

CVS Cheshire East shared their LA's funding briefing.

Cambridge CVS shared a number of funding sources including: 

·       DSC 

·       Charity Excellence Framework Toolkit 

·       Charity Bank 

·       Barclays 

·       CAF 

·       Nisa 

·       Youth Music 

Macc shared their funding sources web page.  

Donations 

Rushmoor VS shared their Government portal letter and How to make donations guide, which encourages and helps people to make donations to them.  

Recognition for unsung heroes 

Head to number 36 in this list of 50 unsung heroes that are keeping Essex going, and you will see Maldon and District CVS – well done to Sarah and the team! 

And finally some good news... 

CVS Cheshire East shared a news article on Joyce Goldstraw, the 97 year old from Stoke who has beaten corona virus and is now back home and in good health.  

Thanks everyone!

Lucy Straker

Policy & Communications Manager

NAVCA

 

Domestic Abuse - Information/ Awareness for Volunteers - Halton Safeguarding Unit

Halton Safeguarding Unit have produced the information below for all volunteers working within the community:

We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them. 

For those people experiencing domestic abuse, we want them to know that they are not alone and our local services are available and will offer help even if they are unable to leave their homes due to COVID-19.

As a volunteer working within the Community you may come into contact with victims and children who are experiencing domestic abuse or you may be concerned about the abusive behaviour of a perpetrator.

If someone reveals to you that they are experiencing domestic abuse:

  • Listen to them
  • Acknowledge and adopt a believing approach.
  • Reassure them that getting help is the first step to safety and recovery.
  • Empower them and inform about support available.
  • Give the number for the Halton Domestic Abuse Service -  0300 11 11 247

Seek consent for a referral but always make your supervisor aware of any concerns and always notify social care if there are children/vulnerable adults are living in household.

The full article can be found here:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/domestic-abuse-information-awareness-volunteers-halton-safeguarding-unit

 

DWP Updates 140420

People making new claims for Universal Credit will no longer need to call the Department as part of the process.

The Secretary of State has announced an update regarding the way we are handling Universal Credit claims - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/don-t-call-us-we-ll-call-you

 Instead, a bolstered frontline team will proactively call claimants if they need to check any of the information provided as part of the claim, as well as messaging them on their online journal to confirm details.

The move is designed to take some of the worry and frustration out of submitting a claim, while speeding it up by putting an end to long call wait times. The change is a response to the huge volume of calls to Universal Credit phone lines, which meant some people were faced with an engaged tone when calling or were left waiting for several hours.

 
What is UC? A new mini site has been added to GOV.UK to help people find out about coronavirus and claiming benefits. What is Universal Credit? helps the user to understand what UC means for them and how it can support them if they are on a low income or out of work.

Employment and Benefits Support Website   - New page to replace Understanding UC Coronavirus and claiming benefits page. 

These pages have additional information and will help answer lots of the questions partners are asking. Please continue to promote this site to partners. Visit the new Employment and benefits support site regularly to keep up to date with the latest guidance and messages on sick pay, existing benefit claims, new claims to benefit, self-employment, housing and more. This site covers all the changes DWP is making to respond to coronavirus – not just to UC. It also includes a Frequently Asked Questions section.

What to do if you’re already getting benefits - Guidance for people who were receiving benefits before the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been released on GOV.UK - this covers a range of benefit types.

 
Touch base - Touchbase is produced quarterly by DWP and is available on GOV.UK providing news and articles from across government for advisers, employers and organisations that help people find jobs. During the current Coronavirus Pandemic it is being emailed on a weekly basis with the latest roundup of announcements to anyone who has subscribed. These editions are not being published on the Touchbase website at the moment. Anyone can sign up to receive these updates - to sign up click on this link and enter your details. (Touchbase Special)

 
Child Benefit - Parents of new-borns will still be able to claim Child Benefit despite the outbreak of coronavirus. General Register Offices are currently operating with reduced capacity and with government guidance to social distance and stay at home, new parents are advised not to visit them. They can however still claim Child Benefit without having to register their child’s birth first to ensure that they do not miss out.

 

iCAN Warning: Scam Coronavirus Phone Calls

Halton Trading Standards have been made aware of residents receiving scam phone calls about the Coronavirus. The caller states you should stay in your home and then says they are going to send you two masks, hand gels and gloves. The caller then asks for your address and your bank details, as there is a charge of £29! This is a scam, never give out your bank details or address to someone who has cold called you.

 

Halton Carers' Virtual Coffee Group

Halton Carers Centre is introducing a virtual coffee groupfor our carers. The aim of the group is for carers to come together for a chat, a laugh and support one another in what is an unprecedented time.

What do I need to join the virtual group?

All you need is a smart phone or laptop/computer with speakers, microphone and ideally a camera.

To sign up for the virtual coffee group please email:

Halton Carers Centre at help@haltoncarers.co.uk or call us on 01928 580182.

We will send you a link to join the group.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the facilities to join in with the virtual group our support workers are stiil available to provide information and emotional support.

Monday to Friday 10.00am till 4.00pm
Saturday 10.00am till 1.00pm

Telephone: 01928 580 182

Email: help@haltoncarers.co.uk

Twitter: @HaltonCarers,

Instagram: @haltoncarers @halton_young_carers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/halton.carers.58 https://www.facebook.com/HaltonYoungCarers?

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

The “Kind to Your Mind” Cheshire and Merseyside partnership campaign went live on Monday 13th April  https://kindtoyourmind.org/

The online resources are for anyone living and working in the Cheshire and Merseyside area and include apps, courses, podcasts to support mental health and wellbeing https://kindtoyourmind.org/alma/

There is also a  24/7 support phoneline to support anyone who needs help https://kindtoyourmind.org/support-near-me/

 

COVID19 Funder List 

The Charity Excellence Framework has developed a comprehensive list of resources including funding available to organisations, charities and individuals.

 

Halton Safeguarding Unit have produced the information below for all volunteers working within the community:

We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them. For those people experiencing domestic abuse, we want them to know that they are not alone and our local services are available and will offer help even if they are unable to leave their homes due to COVID-19.

As a volunteer working within the Community you may come into contact with victims and children who are experiencing domestic abuse or you may be concerned about the abusive behaviour of a perpetrator.

If someone reveals to you that they are experiencing domestic abuse:

  • Listen to them
  • Acknowledge and adopt a believing approach.
  • Reassure them that getting help is the first step to safety and recovery.
  • Empower them and inform about support available.
  • Give the number for the Halton Domestic Abuse Service

Seek consent for a referral but always make your supervisor aware of any concerns and always notify social care if there are children/vulnerable adults are living in household.

Definition of Domestic Abuse:

 ‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members1 regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

· psychological

· physical

· sexual

· financial

· emotional

 

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

 

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.’

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence,female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is not always physical – it is a pattern of controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour, which can also be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual.

Abuse is a choice a perpetrator makes, and isolation is already used by many perpetrators as a tool of control. In the current climate, it is certainly more challenging for victims suffering abuse. Lines of communication could be severely limited if victims are unable to leave the home.

Adult carer stress may also lead to forms of domestic violence, particularly with elderly couples, when one has a caring responsibility.

Signs of Coercive Control

Isolation – controlling who you can speak to, monitoring you online and/or offline, checking up on you, monopolising your time.

Pressuring you to do things you don’t want to do – making you feel bad and guilt tripping you to do things, policing what you wear.

Distancing victim from family and friends.

Criticising and verbal abuse – undermining you, shouting, unpicking you, accusing you, name calling, putting you down, using information you have shared against you.

Gaslighting you – distorting the reality to upend and manipulate you.

Threats, charm, rules, regulations and disrespect.

If you are concerned about a child, a vulnerable adult or anyone in our community is in immediate danger you should call 999.

The Halton Domestic Abuse Service is working together with Halton Borough Council and Cheshire Police to ensure that we maintain essential services, and have contacts for anyone who is affected by domestic abuse or is concerned about domestic abuse and needs to talk to someone during the weeks to come.

What happens behind closed doors doesn’t need to stay there…

To access free support tips and advice please use this link : https://www.openthedoorcheshire.org.uk/

If you need to speak to someone for help relating to domestic abuse, please contact  your local support service  0300 11 11 247 to speak to the Halton Domestic Abuse Service.

Anyone needing help, but fearful an abuser may overhear them calling, can secretly dial 999 and then press 55, which will let the police know they need emergency assistance.

 

Cheshire Police can be contacted in Non-emergency on        101

For housing support call HBC Housing Solutions                   0303 333 4300

Worried about a child? Halton Children’s Social Care             0151 907 8305

                                                            (Out of hours)         0345 050 0148 Concerned about an adult? Halton Adult’s Social Care           0151 907 8306

                                                            (out of hours)                    0345 050 0148

For on-line National Support is available from Women's Aid's online chat service, open from 10am-12pm Monday-Friday.

Safelives have released some practical guidance -  guide for staying safe during COVID-19 for victims and survivors.

Surviving Economic Abuse have produced guidance on economic abuse while self-isolating, as well as practical issues including benefits and sick pay. The guidance is updated regularly as the situation changes.

Further support can also be found at these national agencies:

Women’s Aid | womensaid.org.uk | https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)

Worst Kept Secret Helpline:  0800 028 3398

Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428

Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123

 

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

Halton Faith Sector Resources For Use During Covid-19 Shutdown

Here is some faith information which may be useful - it lets people know how you can access services, worship and meditation on line:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-faith-sector-resources-use-during-covid-19-shutdown

NHS Volunteer Responders: Open To Referrals From Health Professionals

An incredible 750,000 volunteers have signed up for NHS Volunteer Responders since it was launched on 24 March. NHS England and NHS Improvement has published guidance for health professionals to explain how the programme works and how to refer patients for support. We are encouraging health and social care professionals to use the service to refer people for support who are considered to be vulnerable and at risk.

Identity checks are carried out for all volunteers, with an enhanced DBS check for those volunteering as patient transport drivers. Royal Voluntary Service, the charity delivering the volunteer effort, is completing security checks for the 750,000 applications and the scheme is now fully operational.

You can refer people who are at very high risk from coronavirus where no local support is available, for example if they have been asked to self-isolate and ‘shield’, if they are over 70 and have underlying health conditions, or if they are self-isolating and you consider them to be especially vulnerable. Please continue to make use of your local schemes where they exist and please talk to your patients if in doubt about whether they require support.

Health and social care professionals, pharmacists and local authorities can make requests by submitting details online via the NHS Volunteer Responders referrers’ portal. You can also call 0808 196 3382 to refer patients.

Social care providers can also make referrals directly if they have an nhs.net or gov.uk email address. Without one, they will need to await approval which may take up to 72 hours, or they can make referrals through their local authority.

Once the referral is logged, ‘on duty’ volunteers in your area pick the job they want to do that day and close the task once complete. You can use the portal to track when the patient receives support. You can also use the portal or phone number to remove someone from the scheme if they no longer need assistance.

Links

Referrers guidance: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0112-NHS-Volunteer-Responders-Information-for-Primary-Care-Professionals_31-March-2020.pdf

Further updates will be found on this page: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/preparedness-letters-for-general-practice/

 

Adsa Shopping Card 

Asda have created the Volunteer Shopping Card, the cashless - and less stressful - way for people to help get the shopping in. Ideal for those who might be self-isolating, older or medically vulnerable, the Volunteer Shopping Card provides a contactless, safe and secure way to allow others to shop for them.

Click here for more information 

If you know anyone who is over 60 and doesn't have internet or a printer to access the service then our colleagues at Age UK MId Mersey can help call 0300 003 1992 for details 

 

Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates for Companies House Customers

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we’re closely following Public Health England guidelines. We have plans in place to maintain services for our customers and to protect the welfare of our employees.

Use our online services
We're experiencing delays in processing paper forms due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). Where possible, use our online services to help us process your information as quickly as possible. For the small number of filings that do not currently have an online service - we’re urgently working on a service to upload your documents and make a payment where necessary.
We'll update you as soon as these solutions are available. 

 

Princes Trust Relief Fund 

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund is a £5million Enterprise Relief Fund which offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

Please click on link below for more details
 
https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/coronavirus-response/enterprise-relief-fund

The Princes Trust also have a Coronavirus Support Hub click here 

 

Helpdesks To Open Across Cheshire For Residents Who Have No Other Way of Reporting Crime

A number of helpdesks will be open across Cheshire for residents who have no other means of reporting crime during the lockdown. 

A total of 16 police stations will open for one hour a day to offer a service for members of the public who cannot contact the Constabulary online or via the phone. 

These helpdesks will be for urgent issues where there is no other way of contacting police and social distancing measures will be adopted to ensure that everyone is kept safe 

Opening times for the helpdesks will be posted on the doors of each station every week and publicised in advance via Cheshire Constabulary’s social media accounts. 

Superintendent Peter Crowcroft said: “We recognise that not everyone can contact us online or via the telephone during these unprecedented times. 

“So we have made the decision to open the helpdesks at 16 of our stations for one hour a day so that the people who need our service but cannot contact the police via any others means can report urgent issues. 

“This is not to be used for general enquiries and in line with the advice on keeping safe, only make the journey if absolutely essential. 

“We are telling anyone who does come to the station to always keep to social distancing rules of staying 2 metres away from others. 

“We will also be ensuring that measures are in place at the stations to keep the residents of Cheshire safe. 

“Please only visit a police station if there is absolutely no alternative and the matter is urgent. In an emergency, where a crime is taking place or there is a danger to life, always dial 999.” 

For general enquiries, please visit https://www.cheshire.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/

The following stations will be open: 

•    Blacon
•    Chester Town Hall
•    Congleton
•    Crewe
•    Ellesmere Port
•    Knutsford
•    Macclesfield
•    Nantwich
•    Northwich
•    Penketh
•    Risley
•    Runcorn 
•    Stockton Heath
•    Warrington
•    Widnes
•    Wilmslow 
 

DWP Update 080420

There will be some DWP staff working all four days over the Bank Holiday Weekend and customers may still receive a call from the Department to verify their details if they have made a claim to Benefits online. Please encourage your residents/members/customers to answer their phones to ‘Private Withheld’ numbers during this time to enable our DWP colleagues to process their claims quickly.

 

Update from ACAS - Furlough Letter Template | Updated Guidance | Webinars

Here’s a brief update on resources available to help employers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Including a new furlough letter template and an invitation to register for an upcoming Acas webinar.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme This HMRC advice page helps you find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Furlough letter template  We have produced a free-to-download template for employers to use to confirm that there is an agreement to temporarily furlough a worker or employee. Download here

Using holiday  View updated Acas guidance on using holiday, including advice on bank holidays.

Webinar recording: Coronavirus – an advisory webinar for employers 

Hosted on 7 April, this webinar provided practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace.   View recording

Register for our upcoming webinar  (16 April, 1pm - 2pm)

 

Transforming health care together virtual peer support session

Peer support webinar from Transforming healthcare Together Team for cross-sector leaders working in health and care 22nd April 2020, 2pm

We’re very aware of the demands placed on you and the systems you work in to respond to the evolving situation with Covid-19, with many of you delivering frontline services. As a programme we would like to continue to provide support for you at this time.

It’s apparent that cross sector and collaborative working is being adopted at pace to ensure systems are ready to respond to need, and we would like to continue to offer a space to support you in those relationships, to share your experiences with peers across the country and support you to share best practice as well as address any challenges you might be facing at this time, as well as support our learning on what makes cross sector relationships work.

We will be hosting regular peer support webinars, designed to respond to your needs and experiences, Helen Garforth BHP facilitator will be leading the session.  We understand that you may be facing huge stress and uncertainty, and hope that these sessions will offer a space to share experiences, dilemmas and worries.

The first of which will be held via Zoom on 22nd April at 2pm.  Please register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transforming-health-care-together-virtual-peer-support-session-tickets-102261687460

If you have any questions or unable to attend the first one, but would like to be kept informed about future dates please email Sonakshi@ivar.org.uk or nancy.towers@socialenterprise.org.uk.

 

Halton Citizens Advice Update 

Citizens Advice Halton is still "open" and advisers are on hand to help people calling helplines or emailing.  They are extremely busy, but given the current public health emergency that would not be of any surprise to you.  Click here for a flyer which outlines services and contact details.

They are in the process of developing a new online referral portal, but in the meantime if you come across anyone who needs their services (especially people struggling with debts etc) please do not hesitate to contact them.  They try to fast track referrals from partner agencies and the best way to make a referral is to email: advice@cahalton.org.uk

 

Warning: Council Tax Reduction Scam

Please be aware of an email scam currently circulating regarding Council tax reductions. The email claims it is from the UK Government, it is not, it is a scam.

The email states you are due hundreds of pound in a rebate and they will transfer the money to your credit or debit card. The email goes on to further state you just need to click a link in the email to begin the process.

This is a blatant attempt to try and get your debit/credit card details and also have you access a website (via the link) which could be harmful to your computer.

Simply delete this email, stay safe.

 

iCAN Warning: Scam phone call claiming to be from the NHS

A resident of a neighbouring town received a call yesterday claiming to be from the National Health Service in relation to her being on the vulnerable list.  The caller said that they needed details of her bank account just in case she needed anyone to go shopping for her.  This is a scam call. You will never be asked for your bank details by any health provider who contacts you to advise that you are either in the group that needs to be shielded or the high risk group. If you need support with shopping or medication delivery, and don't have friends or family that can help, phone the Council's Hotline number 0151 907 8363.
 
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

 

Metro Mayor Announces Free Travel for NHS Staff on Liverpool City Region Buses and Merseyrail

NHS staff will be able to travel for free on production of a valid NHS photo staff pass.  It will come in to effect from Friday 10 April.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region has announced that NHS staff will be able to travel for free on buses and Merseyrail trains across the city region.  The announcement, made jointly with transport operators Arriva, Stagecoach and Merseyrail, follows a request direct from the Metro Mayor to the transport operators.

Announcing the move, Mayor Rotheram said:

“We want to do everything we can to support our frontline NHS workers as they bravely battle the Coronavirus, so I’m very pleased that today Arriva, Stagecoach and Merseyrail have responded to my call and agreed to provide free transport for our NHS heroes.

“This is the latest transport measure the Combined Authority and transport operators have been able to bring forward to support use of our transport network for essential journeys, including the temporary suspension of Mersey Tunnel tolls and relaxing the rules on concessionary travel for those who absolutely have to travel for medicines and other essential items.

“The advice of course remains that people should only travel if absolutely necessary during this period of lockdown.”

 

NCVO 

Karl Wilding NCVO Chief Executive has issued a statement about the about the package of support announced by the Chancellor yesterday.  For full details click here 

 

Energy Suppliers support update

Click here for information regarding what assistance/support the main energy companies are offering their pre-payment customers.

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Energy Providers

Attached is information regarding what assistance/support the main energy companies are offering their pre-payment customers.

 

A Statement from Karl Wilding from NCVO on the Government Support for Charities  

Yesterday the chancellor announced a package of support for charities. It’s an important start, but the government needs to go further, and NCVO will be doing everything it can to make sure it does.

What’s in the package?

A total of £750m in new funding was announced for charities responding to the crisis in the UK.

£370m will go to small and medium-sized charities, channelled through the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) and other organisations. It will support locally-focused charities doing most during the outbreak.

Another £360m will be allocated to charities providing essential services and supporting people during the crisis. Some is specifically earmarked for hospices, St John Ambulance to support the NHS and Citizens Advice to allow more staff to provide advice. Children’s charities and victims’ charities were also mentioned.

The government will also match public donations to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal, with a minimum donation of £20m to the National Emergencies Trust.

It’s a start, but it’s not enough

With charity shops shut and fundraising events cancelled, we estimate charities stand to lose around £4bn in 12 weeks as a result of the crisis. We know how many people and communities rely on the services charities – NCVO members and non-members alike – provide.

This is an important start, but we know it won’t be enough to prevent good charities around the country from closing their doors. Even many that survive will look very different in a few months’ time, with a severely reduced capacity to provide the support that people rely on.

You can read more about the package, and our response, in Elizabeth Chamberlain’s blog post.

We’ll keep pushing

At a time of crisis, we know charities want and need to be able to give their all to supporting people who need it most. They cannot do that if they have to suspend their work or close altogether.

We know this is not something that the government wishes to see any more than any of us, so NCVO will continue to push for the support needed so that charities can keep serving the public. Lots of members have given us their stories of how the crisis is affecting their funding and work – if you can, please do share yours using this form.

Thank you

Finally, thank you to our members for all the help you’ve given us in making this case. We know many of you are enormously stretched, worried about your own situation, and even more worried about the people and causes you work for. But you’ve really helped us make the case for our whole sector. We can’t do our jobs at NCVO without your input, and it makes a huge difference.

We’re hugely grateful.

Karl Wilding

Chief Executive

Metro Mayor Announces Free Travel for NHS Staff on Liverpool City Region Buses and Merseyrail

NHS staff will be able to travel for free on production of a valid NHS photo staff pass.  It will come in to effect from Friday 10 April.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region has announced that NHS staff will be able to travel for free on buses and Merseyrail trains across the city region.  The announcement, made jointly with transport operators Arriva, Stagecoach and Merseyrail, follows a request direct from the Metro Mayor to the transport operators.

Announcing the move, Mayor Rotheram said:

“We want to do everything we can to support our frontline NHS workers as they bravely battle the Coronavirus, so I’m very pleased that today Arriva, Stagecoach and Merseyrail have responded to my call and agreed to provide free transport for our NHS heroes.

“This is the latest transport measure the Combined Authority and transport operators have been able to bring forward to support use of our transport network for essential journeys, including the temporary suspension of Mersey Tunnel tolls and relaxing the rules on concessionary travel for those who absolutely have to travel for medicines and other essential items.

“The advice of course remains that people should only travel if absolutely necessary during this period of lockdown.”

Halton Citizens Advice Update 

Citizens Advice Halton is still "open" and advisers are on hand to help people calling helplines or emailing.  They are extremely busy, but given the current public health emergency that would not be of any surprise to you.  Attached is a flyer which outlines services and contact details.

They are in the process of developing a new online referral portal, but in the meantime if you come across anyone who needs their services (especially people struggling with debts etc) please do not hesitate to contact them.  They try to fast track referrals from partner agencies and the best way to make a referral is to email: advice@cahalton.org.uk

Peer support webinar from Transforming healthcare Together Team for cross-sector leaders working in health and care 22nd April 2020, 2pm

We’re very aware of the demands placed on you and the systems you work in to respond to the evolving situation with Covid-19, with many of you delivering frontline services. As a programme we would like to continue to provide support for you at this time.

It’s apparent that cross sector and collaborative working is being adopted at pace to ensure systems are ready to respond to need, and we would like to continue to offer a space to support you in those relationships, to share your experiences with peers across the country and support you to share best practice as well as address any challenges you might be facing at this time, as well as support our learning on what makes cross sector relationships work.

We will be hosting regular peer support webinars, designed to respond to your needs and experiences, Helen Garforth BHP facilitator will be leading the session.  We understand that you may be facing huge stress and uncertainty, and hope that these sessions will offer a space to share experiences, dilemmas and worries.

The first of which will be held via Zoom on 22nd April at 2pm.  Please register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transforming-health-care-together-virtual-peer-support-session-tickets-102261687460

If you have any questions or unable to attend the first one, but would like to be kept informed about future dates please email Sonakshi@ivar.org.uk or nancy.towers@socialenterprise.org.uk.

Adsa Shopping Card 

Asda have created the Volunteer Shopping Card, the cashless - and less stressful - way for people to help get the shopping in. Ideal for those who might be self-isolating, older or medically vulnerable, the Volunteer Shopping Card provides a contactless, safe and secure way to allow others to shop for them.

Click here for more information 

If you know anyone who is over 60 and doesn't have internet or a printer to access the service then our colleagues at Age UK MId Mersey can help call 0300 003 1992 for details 

Princes Trust Relief Fund 

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund is a £5million Enterprise Relief Fund which offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

Please click on link below for more details
 
https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/coronavirus-response/enterprise-relief-fund

The Princes Trust also have a Coronavirus Support Hub click here 
 

 

Here is some faith information which may be useful - it lets people know how you can access services, worship and meditation on line

Buddhist, Wat Phra Singh Temple, Runcorn

Their morning Chanting is at 06:00 and Evening Chanting at 18:00 are livestreamed on their Facebook pages daily - the Facebook addresses are shown below.

Fb: Wat Phra Singh UK

Fb: วัดพระสิงห์ ยูเค

In addition, their Buddhist nun Mae Chee Shirley-Anne is holding Guided Meditation practice every Saturday using Zoom. The meetings will be announced on their Facebook pages every week during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Islam

How to attend a Muslim Friday Prayer service الإسلامية الجمعة صلاة حضور كيفية https://youtu.be/uWOKB5EzHSo

Catch up with a Friday sermon الجمعة بخطبة اللحاق

https://youtu.be/CNZ0Z9bdiMc

Church of England

Daresbury Church is streaming Tuesday to Friday at 10.00am and Sunday at 10.30am on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/daresburychurch/

St Berteline’s Church, Runcorn is live streaming a service every Sunday at 10am. It is live streamed on their Facebook page and then can be accessed there or on their website at a later point to view back.

www.stbertschurch.org.uk

https://www.facebook.com/stbertschurch

Here is the link to Transform Widnes Website.

https://tnw.church/church-at-home

All of their services are on the website along with other resources to help encourage people during this time.

They will be having daily Holy Week reflections, plus Good Friday and Easter Sunday Services will be on this. This includes family friendly services.

The website also has information of the Long Loaf community lunch, which has now turned take away!

You can also follow them on Facebook under Transform Widnes.

St Ambrose Church, Widnes

Information on services is on their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com >St Ambrose

Catholic

Mass is livestreamed each Sunday from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral - www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk This is normally at 9 am. However, please see below for Holy Week services

The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool, is to livestream the Holy Week and Easter Services from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool. The Services mark the most important time of the Christian year when the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus are commemorated.

The stream can be accessed from the Metropolitan Cathedral’s website at: www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk

The Archbishop says, ‘This year our Holy Week devotions will have to be different as we rightly respect government restrictions. We cannot physically gather as a worshipping community, but livestreaming gives us the opportunity to join together spiritually in sincere prayer and devotion as we commemorate the passion, death and glorious resurrection of the Lord.’

Services will be streamed as follows:

Holy Thursday, 9 April 7.00 pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Good Friday, 10 April 3.00 pm Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion

Holy Saturday, 11 April 8.00 pm The Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter

Easter Sunday, 12 April 11.00 am Mass

St Wilfrid’s Parish Widnes has Mass uploaded to You Tube link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC52-K27EaYwySzRmeP3f3eA

St Maximillian Kolbe Parish, Runcorn has information on its website

http://www.saint-maximilian-kolbe.org/

Ecumenical

Hope Corner has a service at 10am on Sundays. Either go to www.hopecorner.co.uk or use the link: https://youtu.be/GBbDJ9EIJL0

They also do Kid’s Church with all the links on https://hopecorner.co.uk/childrens-team/

New Life Christian Church Widnes

They do not live stream but do record messages every couple of days and post them on their Church’s Facebook page on their website and also on YouTube. The website is www.newlifechritiancentre.org,uk

The Foundry, Widnes

They are streaming their Sunday services via watch.thefoundry.org.uk they are at 10am and 8pm.

They also have children’s services online at burst.thefoundry.org.uk (age 3 – year 1) and fuse.thefoundry.org.uk (year 2 – year 6), they take place between 8am and 12noon on a Sunday.

Methodist, Runcorn

The three Methodist churches in Runcorn are now part of the North Cheshire circuit.

https://www.facebook.com/NCMethodists/?tn-str=k*F

https://www.northcheshiremethodists.org.uk

This is a prayer wall we are trying to encourage people to use: https://padlet.com/northcheshiremethodists/fhy2sn49rvan

The local Methodist churches have Facebook pages

The Heath: https://www.facebook.com/theheathmethodistchurch/

Wicksten Drive: https://www.facebook.com/groups/412160192297940/

Halton Trinity: https://www.facebook.com/haltontrinitymethodistchurchruncorn/

In addition Tim Coleman has started a Blog for Shopping City Chaplaincy https://shoppingcitychaplaincy.blogspot.com/

Methodist, Widnes

Methodist Churches in Widnes Worship

Short Livestream 10am on Sundays - Farnworth Methodist Church Facebook Page Farnworth Methodist Church

Farnworth Methodist Church

Farnworth Methodist Church, Widnes, United Kingdom. 195 beğenme · 23 kişi bunun hakkında konuşuyor · 495 kişi bu...

There is also a Facebook Group

Farnworth Methodist Church Community

https://www.facebook.com/groups/522713088675714/

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we will add your organisations details to our lists.

 

One Knowsley

Urgent Recruitment - Social Prescribing Link Workers
 
In conjunction with Primary Care Network Kirkby, One Knowsley are looking to recruit two Social Prescribing Link Workers.  Social prescribing empowers people to take control of their health and wellbeing through referral to non-medical ‘link workers’ who give time, focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach, connecting people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. Link workers support existing groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new community groups, working collaboratively with all local partners.

Social prescribing can help to strengthen community resilience and personal resilience and reduces health inequalities by addressing the wider determinants of health, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities. It particularly works for people with long-term conditions (including support for mental health), for people who are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Initially the role will assist in providing support to individuals deemed to be at the highest risk, in response to the current incident with COVID- 19 and to mobilise community networks to support those same individuals.

The closing date for applications is 16th April 2020. For further details please click  Job Description and Person Specification

 

Halton Borough Council Funding Team.

The External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council is keeping track of some of the measures that key funders are taking in response to the current crisis and any changes they are making to their grant programmes.  They  are also keeping track of any new funding streams that are being brought in to support.

If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be added, please email funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

 

LCR CARES COVID-19 COMMUNITY SUPPORT FUND

Deadline: The fund will be rolling and decisions made on a weekly basis.

Details: As a result of the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, particularly for those most vulnerable people within our communities, Metro Mayor in partnership with the Community Foundation for Merseyside has launched the LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund to support community and voluntary organisations on the frontline. Phase 1- Funding will be initially awarded under the following priorities:

  • Foodbanks
  •  Food/care package delivery to vulnerable people self-isolating
  • Delivery of services and projects supporting the most vulnerable, such as older people e.g. a telephone support/friendship service or delivering online activities to help reduce isolation
  • Emotional and mental health wellbeing
  • Financial Inclusion, support to access benefits and debt advice

These priorities will be reviewed regularly and changed/additions made as fundraising and the outbreak develops. Who can apply? Voluntary, community and faith organisations, registered charities, social businesses, churches, PTAs and parish/town councils. They also welcome applications from newly established groups though please note the requirements below on documentation required. How much is available? Grants of up to £5,000 will be available initially. This may change in further phases of the fund. If you receive a grant, they can accept subsequent applications to further phases of the fund or when additional funding is received though please note they will have to take into account previous grants to ensure they are able to support as many community organisations as possible.

How to apply: Click here

 

Ladbrook Insurance Guide

Ladbrook Insurance have produced a brief guide relaying and relying on other published materials to provide some information to policyholders and prospective clients.  By nature, this is generic information, it is not designed to be individual advice and should not be relied on for such purposes. It is also advised that in such a fast moving time, this information may quickly be overtaken by developments and other advice. Click here to access guide

 

Call for PPE Equipment for Frontline Staff

An urgent call has been issued from Liverpool City Region office, asking for donations of PPE for frontline workers battling the Coronavirus crisis.

Supplies particularly needed include:

  • Hand sanitiser (at least 70 per cent alcohol based)
  • Disposable gloves (vinyl – powder free)
  • Disposable aprons
  • Protective face masks (IIR, FFP2 or FFP3)
  • Protective eye goggles/glasses and over spectacle glasses
  • Visors

All products must NOT have reached their end of use date.  Donations are hugely welcomed but payment can be arranged for suppliers of suitable products provided in significant volumes to meet current requirements. If you are able to provide any of these items please click the link below:

https://growthplatform.org/ppe-suppliers/

 

Emergency Funding Available To Respond To Coronavirus from the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner David Keane has launched a new fund to help community organisations, voluntary groups and those in the non-for-profit sector support communities through the Coronavirus crisis.  The fund is part of PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Fund and will be funded by money taken from Cheshire criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. 

Grants of up to £1,000 are available for projects which are working alongside Cheshire police and local authorities to support vulnerable people in the community. As an example, this could be projects which deliver emergency food parcels, provide care to those self-isolating or host virtual activities to relieve the pressures of social distancing on our mental and physical health. The grants will be processed as quickly as possible to get funds to communities at this critical time.

PCC David Keane said: “I am committed to ensuring that money taken from criminals is re-invested into our communities for the benefit of Cheshire residents.

“This is a particularly challenging time for people throughout Cheshire and I am doing everything I can to work with key partners to ensure there is support in place through Cheshire police, victims services and other support groups.

“But I also recognise that there are many people in our communities who want to help support their neighbours through this crisis and I want to empower them by giving them access to a fund which supports them to take action.

“At this difficult time when many of us are feeling isolated, have financial worries or are maybe even dealing with bereavement of a loved one we all need to work together to keep our communities motivated.”

The express funding is part of a wider review of the Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund which will be launched in the coming weeks to support larger scale projects during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

For more information about how you can apply for the express grant click here

 

Steve Morgan Foundation

In response to Covid-19 pandemic Steve Morgan Foundation has introduced an emergency hardship fund to support charities and not for profit companies in our remit area (Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire west of M6).
 
The fund, of up to £1 million a week for an initial 12 weeks, will be open to charities and not for profit organisations across our region to help with the costs of additional emergency services to support people affected by the virus; it will also help charities experiencing a loss of fund raising revenue to stay in business. Please note that this fund is not open to individuals.  Any individual seeking help should refer to organisations and charities in their local area which are supported by Steve Morgan Foundation. For the duration of this grant all other new applications will be on hold.  In order to ensure the team is free to process, applications will only be accepted on line.
 
Click here to apply .

St Helens OK2ASK Suicide Prevention - COVID-19

Support for those who are struggling with their mental health during this difficult timehttp://www.oktoaskcampaign.co.uk/covid-19/

A list of fantastic resources, which includes boredom busting activities for those who are self isolating or feel isolated. Chatter Box includes things such as museum and aquarium virtual tours, online concerts, online learning and more.
http://www.oktoaskcampaign.co.uk/covid-19-digital-resources/

 

NCVO Update

NCVO continue to update their website with useful information for your organsation in relation to Coroavirus, click here for newly updated information on Involving volunteers guidance which covers:

  • How volunteers can make a difference
  • Redirecting them if you cannot take on any more
  • How they are affected by lockdown
  • Volunteers in key worker roles
  • Expenses
  • Paying for goods or services
  • Data protection
  • Spotting and reporting scams

 

DWP update 060420

Thanks to DWP for the latest update.

Advice to Support Mental Health
People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope. Public Health England has published new online guidance setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health. It also includes steps that those living with serious mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams. Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the coronavirus outbreak, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their own reactions and creating a new routine. 

UC Landlord Engagement Newsletter
The newsletter has been updated as DWP are currently unable to action requests to change the method of delivery of payment schedules to an electronic format.

Voucher Scheme for Schools
Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home. Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

Telecom Companies to Support Vulnerable
The UK’s major internet service and mobile providers  have agreed a set of important commitments to support and protect vulnerable. These include:

  • All providers have committed to working with customers who find it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19
  • All providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services
  • All providers have agreed to offer some new, generous mobile and landline packages to ensure people are connected and the most vulnerable continue to be supported
  • All providers will ensure that vulnerable customers or those self-isolating receive alternative methods of communication wherever possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out

 

COVID19 Funder List 

The Charity Excellence Framework has developed a comprehensive list of resources including funding available to organisations, charities and individuals.

 

NAVCA need to hear from you please complete their survey on the impact of COVID-19 . 

They will use the evidence they gather to keep up the pressure on the Government for a package of support for the VCSE sector.  They will also be submitting it to the DCMS Committee in Parliament, which has launched an urgent enquiry into the effect the COVID-19 outbreak is having on charity and voluntary organisations.

Please help them to keep campaigning on this issue by sharing the survey far and wide. Thank you.

Link available at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/C8YSMM/

 

Halton Borough Council’s Covid-19 Hotline 0151 907 8363

The council is working with Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action to coordinate support to help to the most vulnerable members of our community and those who need help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Those in our community who have to self-isolate can find doing the basics like shopping and getting prescriptions problematic.  Whilst Trading Standards would always recommend that anyone who is self-isolating seeks help from their existing network, people they already know and trust, we realise this will not always be possible for everyone.  If you need help, you can phone the Council’s new Hotline number: 0151 907 8363.

They have also issued guidelines about keeping safe and how to keep safe from scammers will try to exploit, take your money or trick you into providing your personal information. Trading Standards are encouraging all those who want to help people beyond their family, friends and immediate neighbours, to register with Halton and St Helens Voluntary Action. Volunteers will be matched to those needing support. When a volunteer is connected with an individual who needs help, both parties will be given a password that only the resident and volunteer will know. Halton Borough Council and Halton and St Helens Voluntary Action are working together to make sure that residents get the help they need, safely.

The full news item can be found by clicking the link below:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-borough-council%E2%80%99s-covid-19-hotline-0151-907-8363

 

COVID-19 Domestic Abuse Campaign - Domestic Abuse, Safer Community Partnership, St Helens Council

  1. All domestic abuse services are running as normal, via different mediums and the police will prioritise DA calls, enter homes, arrest perpetrators irrespective of COVID-19.  Make the call to safe2speak, 24hr HelpLine 01925 220 541 if you need any DA related help or emergency accommodation.  Ring the police if you’re unsafe 999 and dial 55 if you’re unable to speak 
  2. Neighbours and bystanders of DA are needed more than ever to have the confidence to respond to DA disturbances and make that call, 101 or 999 should it be an emergency.
  3. Perpetrators of domestic abuse are given the message to seek help now, before it’s too late. Confidential help is available via Respect on 0808 802 4040

 

Sure Start to Later Life and the Halton Health Improvement Team

Sure Start to Later Life and the Halton Health Improvement Team have developed a support service document, for use by professionals working with members of the public, based on what services are available for Halton residents during COVID 19.  The support service document can be accessed via the following web link:

https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/health/hit/hitprof.aspx

If your organisation would like to contribute your services to the list click here for more details.

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

One Knowsley

Urgent Recruitment - Social Prescribing Link Workers
 
In conjunction with Primary Care Network Kirkby, One Knowsley are looking to recruit two Social Prescribing Link Workers.
Social prescribing empowers people to take control of their health and wellbeing through referral to non-medical ‘link workers’ who give time, focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach, connecting people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. Link workers support existing groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new community groups, working collaboratively with all local partners.

Social prescribing can help to strengthen community resilience and personal resilience and reduces health inequalities by addressing the wider determinants of health, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities. It particularly works for people with long-term conditions (including support for mental health), for people who are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Initially the role will assist in providing support to individuals deemed to be at the highest risk, in response to the current incident with COVID- 19 and to mobilise community networks to support those same individuals.

The closing date for applications is 16th April 2020. For further details please click  Job Description and Person Specification

Sure Start to Later Life and the Halton Health Improvement Team have developed a support service document, for use by professionals working with members of the public, based on what services are available for Halton residents during COVID 19.  The support service document can be accessed via the following web link:

https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/health/hit/hitprof.aspx

The support service document will be updated once a week.   If you have information you would like to be included in the document please send it to the relevant responsible person (details below) by 10am Thursday mornings to go live by the following Monday. 

 

Area

Team/person responsible

Email updates to be emailed to

Adults

Updated by Sure Start to Later Life Team

Andrew.fielding@halton.gov.uk

Joanne.thornton@halton.gov.uk

 

Children and Young People

Julie Karmy - CYP Commissioning

Julie.karmy@halton.gov.uk

 

Health

Faye Woodward - CCG Commissioning

Faye.Woodward@haltonccg.nhs.uk

 

 

You will need to provide the following information:

 

Who is the service for?

 

Who is the Provider / Name of Service

 

Type of support / provision provided during COVID

 

Contact details

 

Relevant documents

 

Please provide the category/categories your service supports with from the following list: Food, Medical Needs/Pharmacy, Social support, Physical Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Safety, Finance, Home, Activities

 

If you have any questions please contact HIT@halton.gov.uk

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

 

(Halton) Contact details for at risk groups

If you would like to register a client to be included on the Shielded Individual list you can register them using the details below:

Email address set up for individuals that wish to register electronically.  It is covid-19SIHub@halton.gov.uk

 Helpine number:  0151 907 8363

 

COVID-19: hotel accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people:

Letter regarding the exemption for hotels, hostels and B&Bs to open so they can offer accommodation to key workers and support rough sleepers to keep them off the streets and in suitable accommodation.  Click here

COVID-19 advice for accommodation providers Click here

 

NAVCA VCSE Resources Hub

NAVCA is a national membership body specifically for local sector support and development organisations (also known as local infrastructure) in England and along with their members they are a part of the movement for local social action.  NAVCA have a comprehensive resources Hub click here to find out what they have available

 

DBS Checks  

Lincolnshire CVS have shared information that DBS checks are now able to be completed entirely online, you can see the new guidance here.  

 

Information in multiple languages  

Cambridge CVS shared the Doctors of the World Coronavirus information in multiple languages, which you can find here

 

Update from Companies House

If the coronavirus outbreak has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts, you can apply for a 3 month extension.  Find out more about the new measures agreed to help companies file their accounts during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here

 

Volunteer Risk Assessment

Cumbria CVS has kindly agreed to share a link to their Risk Assessment for volunteering roles, take a look.

 

Jackson Stephens Accountants 

For free updates from Jackson Stephens Accountants and advisors in relation to Government updates to business during the Coronvirus, just enter your email and they will send helpful alerts, reminders and news.  Click here to sign up 

 

St Helens and District Diabetes Support Group

In view if the coronavirus situation, we have had to cancel our next 2 meetings on.

  • Wed 1st April
  • Wed 6th May

They hope that they will be able to hold their June meeting as planned, which would be on Wed 3rd June at the URC when  Prof Kevin Hardy is programmed to talk to about “New Treatments for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes”.  However further details will be available nearer the time, please go to www.st-helens-and-district.diabetesukgroup.org or phone 0151 480 0821.

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

1) All domestic abuse services are running as normal, via different mediums and the police will prioritise DA calls, enter homes, arrest perpetrators irrespective of COVID-19.

Make the call to safe2speak, 24hr HelpLine 01925 220 541 if you need any DA related help or emergency accommodation.

Ring the police if you’re unsafe 999 and dial 55 if you’re unable to speak 

2) Neighbours and bystanders of DA are needed more than ever to have the confidence to respond to DA disturbances and make that call, 101 or 999 should it be an emergency.

3) Perpetrators of domestic abuse are given the message to seek help now, before it’s too late. Confidential help is available via Respect on 0808 802 4040

The council is working with Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action to coordinate support to help to the most vulnerable members of our community and those who need help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Those in our community who have to self-isolate can find doing the basics like shopping and getting prescriptions problematic.  Whilst Trading Standards would always recommend that anyone who is self-isolating seeks help from their existing network, people they already know and trust, we realise this will not always be possible for everyone.

If you need help, you can phone the Council’s new Hotline number: 0151 907 8363.

Because of the changes we have all had to make, some of us will feel lonely and we may feel concerned about the future. This normal and natural response is what scammers will exploit, to take your money or trick you into providing your personal information.

So that we can all stay as safe and well as possible and genuine volunteers can be easily identified, Trading Standards are encouraging all those who want to help people beyond their family, friends and immediate neighbours, to register with Halton and St Helens Voluntary Action. Volunteers will be matched to those needing support. When a volunteer is connected with an individual who needs help, both parties will be given a password that only the resident and volunteer will know. Halton Borough Council and Halton and St Helens Voluntary Action are working together to make sure that residents get the help they need, safely.

If you would like to register as volunteer, please click the link below to go to the volunteer portal:

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm

There may be genuine volunteers who do not know about this scheme or do not want to register, but who still want to offer support beyond their existing network. Halton Trading Standards is therefore offering a new service.

If you have been contacted by someone that you don’t know with an offer of help, Trading Standards will make contact with the volunteer and ask them to provide their full name and address and this will be checked against the electoral roll. All information given to Trading Standards relating to volunteers will be treated in the strictest confidence. We will never pass the details of the volunteer to the resident and we will never pass the resident’s details to the volunteer. If you want to make an enquiry about somebody who has offered help, please call Anthony on 0151 511 8477.

If you are a volunteer and you receive a call from Trading Standards, please don’t be offended: your offer of help is very much appreciated and your support vital, but please understand that we know scammers are already exploiting the situation and so we need to make this check to protect those who are in most need of help.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Halton Borough Council Funding Team.

Do you know that the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council is keeping track of some of the measures that key funders are taking in response to the current crisis and any changes they are making to their grant programmes.  They  are also keeping track of any new funding streams that are being brought in to support.

If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be added, please email funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

There is also quite a lot of information about emerging funds to specifically support the voluntary sector at this time and the funding team have just told us that grants online have just made available the following link in relation to this:  https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html  so will be worth checking out. 

LCR CARES COVID-19 COMMUNITY SUPPORT FUND

Deadline: The fund will be rolling and decisions made on a weekly basis.

Details: As a result of the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, particularly for those most vulnerable people within our communities, Metro Mayor in partnership with the Community Foundation for Merseyside has launched the LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund to support community and voluntary organisations on the frontline. Phase 1- Funding will be initially awarded under the following priorities:

•    Foodbanks
•    Food/care package delivery to vulnerable people self-isolating
•    Delivery of services and projects supporting the most vulnerable, such as older people e.g. a telephone support/friendship service or delivering online activities to help reduce isolation
•    Emotional and mental health wellbeing
•    Financial Inclusion, support to access benefits and debt advice

These priorities will be reviewed regularly and changed/additions made as fundraising and the outbreak develops. Who can apply? Voluntary, community and faith organisations, registered charities, social businesses, churches, PTAs and parish/town councils. We also welcome applications from newly established groups though please note the requirements below on documentation required. How much is available? Grants of up to £5,000 will be available initially. This may change in further phases of the fund. If you receive a grant, we can accept subsequent applications to further phases of the fund or when additional funding is received though please note we will have to take into account previous grants to ensure we are able to support as many community organisations as possible.

How to apply: https://cfmerseyside.org.uk/funds/lcr-cares-covid-19-community-support-fund

Attachment:

Ladbrook Insurance have produced a brief guide relaying and relying on other published materials to provide some information to policyholders and prospective clients.  By nature, this is generic information, it is not designed to be individual advice and should not be relied on for such purposes. It is also advised that in such a fast moving time, this information may quickly be overtaken by developments and other advice. See attached for guide.

Emergency Funding Available To Respond To Coronavirus from the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner David Keane has launched a new fund to help community organisations, voluntary groups and those in the non-for-profit sector support communities through the Coronavirus crisis.  The fund is part of PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Fund and will be funded by money taken from Cheshire criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. 

Grants of up to £1,000 are available for projects which are working alongside Cheshire police and local authorities to support vulnerable people in the community. As an example, this could be projects which deliver emergency food parcels, provide care to those self-isolating or host virtual activities to relieve the pressures of social distancing on our mental and physical health. The grants will be processed as quickly as possible to get funds to communities at this critical time.

PCC David Keane said: “I am committed to ensuring that money taken from criminals is re-invested into our communities for the benefit of Cheshire residents.

“This is a particularly challenging time for people throughout Cheshire and I am doing everything I can to work with key partners to ensure there is support in place through Cheshire police, victims services and other support groups.

“But I also recognise that there are many people in our communities who want to help support their neighbours through this crisis and I want to empower them by giving them access to a fund which supports them to take action.

“At this difficult time when many of us are feeling isolated, have financial worries or are maybe even dealing with bereavement of a loved one we all need to work together to keep our communities motivated.”

The express funding is part of a wider review of the Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund which will be launched in the coming weeks to support larger scale projects during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

For more information about how you can apply for the express grant, please visit: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-i-do/making-cheshire-safer/safer-communities-fund/

 

 

What do you need to be aware of if you are going to volunteer, read the briefing attached to find out what you need to consider.

Tesco Bags of Help

Community groups and local organisations that are currently supporting vulnerable residents.
 
Tesco Bags of Help is responding to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis by setting up a new short-term fund to support local communities. Due to the need to respond quickly to the emergency we have created a streamlined application process and payment process to make it easier to get funds distributed quickly. If your application is successful the fund will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups. The programme is set up to support organisational need in this time of crisis rather than fund specific projects.

Click here for information 
 

In response to Covid-19 pandemic Steve Morgan Foundation has introduced an emergency hardship fund to support charities and not for profit companies in our remit area (Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire west of M6).
 
The fund, of up to £1 million a week for an initial 12 weeks, will be open to charities and not for profit organisations across our region to help with the costs of additional emergency services to support people affected by the virus; it will also help charities experiencing a loss of fund raising revenue to stay in business.
 
Please note that this fund is not open to individuals.  Any individual seeking help should refer to organisations and charities in their local area which are supported by Steve Morgan Foundation.
 
For the duration of this grant all other new applications will be on hold.
 
In order to ensure the team is free to process, applications will only be accepted on line.
 
Visit www.stevemorganfoundation.org.uk to apply.
 

Support for those who are struggling with their mental health during this difficult timehttp://www.oktoaskcampaign.co.uk/covid-19/

A list of fantastic resources, which includes boredom busting activities for those who are self isolating or feel isolated. Chatter Box includes things such as museum and aquarium virtual tours, online concerts, online learning and more.
http://www.oktoaskcampaign.co.uk/covid-19-digital-resources/

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk and we would love to hear about any good news stories just email us at info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

 

HMRC - COVID-19 April Update

Latest updated guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme had been published at the links below.

The employer guidance and guidance for employees have been further updated in line with some of the main queries received from stakeholders. Whilst all the guidance has been refreshed, the main areas to draw your attention to are:

  • the more detailed information on scheme eligibility
  • further information on how to calculate a claim
  • clarification of what constitutes wages.

 

iCAN Information: NHS asks people to share their coronavirus symptoms to help others

A new Coronavirus Status Checker that will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak has been launched this weekend by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.  People with potential coronavirus symptoms are now being asked to complete the status checker and answer a short series of questions which will tell the NHS about their experience.  It is open to anyone in the UK to use on the NHS website and in its initial phase the NHS is particularly keen for anyone who thinks they may be displaying potential coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, to complete it. Please see link below:

/www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-status-checker 

The information gathered will help the NHS to plan its response to the outbreak, indicating when and where more resources like oxygen, ventilators and additional staff might be needed and will provide valuable insight into the development and progression 

iCAN Recall: Lidl recalls Alesto Raw Fruit & Nut Bar Cacao & Orange Variant because of undeclared sulphur dioxide

Lidl is recalling Alesto Raw Fruit & Nut Bar Cacao & Orange Variant because it contains sulphur dioxide which is not mentioned on the label. This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with a sensitivity to sulphur dioxide and/or sulphites.

Product details
Alesto Raw Fruit & Nut Bar Cacao & Orange
Pack size: 35g 
Best before end date: October 2020 
Allergens: Sulphur dioxide and/or sulphites
If you have bought the above product and have a sensitivity to sulphur dioxide and/or sulphites, do not eat it. If customers are making an essential trip to a Lidl store, they can return the item in-store, with or without a receipt. Alternatively, customers can email customer.services@lidl.co.uk with a photo of the affected item and the best before date to claim a refund.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.
If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Home Office

Please find attached the link to NHS Guidelines on Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Translated into 43 different languages 

Click here 

 

DWP update

Please click here to find a list of homeless organisations and how to contact them should you require to do so during the Coronavirus situation.

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Please find attached a list of homeless organisations and how to contact them should you require to do so during the Coronavirus situation. 

Attachment:

Cheshire Autism Practical Support Ltd

CHAPs have provided a comprehensive update on their services during the COVID-19 crisis.  See attached for all details 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

 

Letter of support from Conor McGinn MP

Support for the sector from local MP 

Click here to read the letter of support from Connor McGinn MP 

 

The Silent Solution - Message From St Helens Police

Merseyside Police is committed to keeping everyone safe but know there are a number of vulnerable people living in our communities who will be additionally concerned about the prospect of staying at home for a number of reasons - including those who have been the victims of domestic abuse.

They are encouraging everyone to become familiar with options within the 999 System - a part of the 999 system allows for people who are not free to speak, but are able to either make a noise or press 55, which alerts the BT operator to the fact that you need help, and they can then connect to the police. The system enables all 999 callers, to access support in the manner described, it is important that a noise is made or that 55 is pressed. For example if you can only make noise, such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to the offender, then these actions will alert the attention of the BT operator.

The full message can be found:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/silent-solution-message-st-helens-police

DWP update 2020420

Funding 
High streets begin to receive £22 billion coronavirus boost, with grants of up to £25,000 already being paid into bank accounts of high street businesses. 
 
Sanctions (This is temporary during the Coronavirus situation) 

  •  Given the rapidly changing situation, they have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments from 19 March for all claimants in UC, JSA, ESA and IS. They will continue to receive benefits as normal and they will not be sanctioned for not taking part in appointments with Jobcentres.
  • Recognising the need for staff to focus on the processing of claims, they will not be checking conditionality compliance regarding work preparation, looking for and being available for work for the next three months. Claimants won’t receive any new sanctions if they are unable to meet these commitments. This means that claimants are not expected to contact Jobcentre Plus about their commitments while this temporary suspension is in place, unless they are declaring a change of circumstances or they require support.
  • They would, however, like to encourage claimants to continue to prepare and look for work where it is safe to do so. These are difficult times, however, new jobs are being created. Retailers have announced tens of thousands of new jobs in response to the coronavirus outbreak and claimants are encouraged to explore these opportunities and others, where able to do so. Where possible, they will continue to offer support to our claimants through their online journal.
  • Claimants who have a sanction can apply for hardship payments to cover their most essential needs. Any other elements of UC, or other passported benefits in legacy, that they are entitled to will also continue to be in payment during their sanction. They continue to review their policies as the situation evolves. 
  • Claimants who have an open-ended sanction and who want to re-comply to bring it to an end should contact their Work Coach through the journal if they are claiming UC, or by phone if they are claiming ESA or IS.  

 
General
 Reminder to read for regular updates click here 

 

HMRC

View the latest webinar on Coronavirus (COVID-19) entitled  – helping employers to support employees, click here to watch recording 

Tesco Bags of Help

Community groups and local organisations that are currently supporting vulnerable residents.
 
Tesco Bags of Help is responding to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis by setting up a new short-term fund to support local communities. Due to the need to respond quickly to the emergency we have created a streamlined application process and payment process to make it easier to get funds distributed quickly. If your application is successful the fund will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups. The programme is set up to support organisational need in this time of crisis rather than fund specific projects.

Click here for information 

 

Association of British Insurers

Information about car insurance from Association of British Insurers relating to volunteers and volunteering

Click here 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Please find attached letter of support from Conor McGinn MP to the sector.

Merseyside Police is committed to keeping everyone safe but know there are a number of vulnerable people living in our communities who will be additionally concerned about the prospect of staying at home for a number of reasons - including those who have been the victims of domestic abuse.

They are encouraging everyone to become familiar with options within the 999 System - a part of the 999 system allows for people who are not free to speak, but are able to either make a noise or press 55, which alerts the BT operator to the fact that you need help, and they can then connect to the police. The system enables all 999 callers, to access support in the manner described, it is important that a noise is made or that 55 is pressed. For example if you can only make noise, such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to the offender, then these actions will alert the attention of the BT operator.

Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs, from Protecting Vulnerable People, said: “There is no suggestion that there has been a rise in the number of calls in relation to domestic abuse on Merseyside but we aware that we are currently in unprecedented and challenging times and that people may feel particularly concerned about the circumstances they currently find themselves in.“We want to be able to relieve some of that concern by reassuring people that domestic abuse remains a priority for the Force and our specially trained officers will continue to be there for people to offer help and support and to investigate allegations of abuse thoroughly and professionally.“We would always advise that if someone is in immediate danger they should dial 999 and speak to an operator but we also accept that in times such as this when households are self-isolating that openly speaking is not always an option.

“The Silent Solution is a service which means a vulnerable person can call 999 and alert us, without making a sound, that they need our help and we will respond. If they do not want to contact the police at this time then I would urge people not to remain quiet but to get support from other agencies or speak to friends and family about what is happening.”

St Helens Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Councillor Jeanie Bell, said: "We know that there are vulnerable people in our communities who will be more concerned than others about the prospect of staying at home for a number of reasons, including those who have been the victims of domestic abuse such as violence or coercive and controlling behaviour.

"While all public services are adapting to new ways of working during this pandemic, our message to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse is clear: You are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence - we will still be here for you, no matter what." If you have any non-urgent information on domestic abuse – if you are a victim or believe someone you know is a victim - you can contact direct message @MerPolCC on Twitter, ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook or contact @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further support can also be found at these national agencies:
Women’s Aid | https://crowd.in/EQmC7R | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours) https://crowd.in/2RzicS
Refuge (includes information for men) | https://crowd.in/LPOyQh | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 200 0247(24 hours)

 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

We'd love to hear your good news stories, there is a lot of excellent work going on in Halton and St Helens and we would like to share it, despite the difficult times there is a lot of positivity out there.  You can send your stories in to info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

 

Halton Borough Council 

Latest funding bulletins from our colleagues at Halton Borough Council, click here for the General Funding update, Youth Music Emergency Fund and a Coronavirus specific funding bulletin

 

Video calling 

Zoom hacked 

Liverpool CVS warned that some Zoom accounts have been hacked and there is an investigation underway. Clarification was sought on whether this referred to the free or paid version of Zoom.  

Medway Voluntary Action shared advice regarding protection whilst using Zoom: 

  • Set a meeting PIN - this stops the hackers from 'gatecrashing' 
  • Don’t share the link on public forums or platforms 
  • If sharing a photo of the meeting make sure the meeting ID (top left corner) is hidden 
  • Don’t use a personal meeting ID - always allow zoom to create a random number for each meeting 
  • Always set screen sharing to 'host only' 
  • Disable file transfer in settings 
  • Disable 'Join before host' 
  • Disable 'allow removed participants to rejoin' 

 

ACAS - Coronavirus webinar | support | NMW

Coronavirus advisory webinar for employers - new date released - 9 April 

This webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of Coronavirus in the workplace. They have scheduled their next event for 9 April, 10.30 - 11.30am. 

You can register your place online. The page also contains a recording of their most recent event.

Updates on support available:

Business support site
The UK Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps businesses find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the support measures that are available 

NHS - every mind matters - 10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus

Mind - Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Mental Health Foundation - Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Latest coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for Companies House customers

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we’re closely following Public Health England guidelines. We have plans in place to maintain services for our customers and to protect the welfare of our employees.

Use our online services
We're experiencing delays in processing paper forms due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Where possible, use our online services to help us process your information as quickly as possible.
Find out more about what you can send to us online. 

If your company cannot file accounts on time

If you think the impact of COVID-19 will cause delays in filing your company accounts, you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension. You must apply before your filing deadline. 

Late filing penalties
Late filing penalties are applied automatically if you do not apply for an extension and you file your accounts late.
You may appeal a late filing penalty. To help us to process your appeals while we’re working remotely, you should send your appeal form to us by email.

Read our guidance on late filing penalties and appeals. 

Support for businesses and employees

The government has announced a package of support available to businesses and employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 
Visit the Business Support website for more information.

Updates to our services 

We’ll be sharing all the latest updates and information about our services on our coronavirus guidance page for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers. 
To receive instant email notifications as soon as we update our content, sign up for email alerts. 

 

Updated guidance from the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance to help with running a charity during the coronavirus outbreak. In the guidance, the Commission sets out its response to the most commonly asked questions. This includes consideration of whether your charitable objects allow for your charity to offer support, how you can get support to pay staff and whether you can use reserves and restricted funds to help your charity survive the crisis.

Click her for guidance
 

iCAN Warning: Increase in Coronavirus Scams 

Halton Trading Standards has seen a steady increase in the number of Coronavirus scams circulating as Government measures and peoples behaviour changes. Action Fraud has reported an increase of 18-fold last month to scams been reported to them.  Although they have not currently had reports in the Borough, it is important to note that sadly, scams are taking place against the most vulnerable in other parts of the country and Halton residents should be aware of such scams. The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning over a surge in the number of coronavirus-related scams, urging people not to respond to unsolicited phone calls and emails.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that criminals are approaching people’s homes, offering shopping services in return for cash upfront or card and pin details. Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chairman of the LGA’s Stronger & Safer Communities Board said: “It’s important that victims do not suffer in silence or feel embarrassed.”
 
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of their specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.
If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Data protection and COVID-19 - A message from the ICO

Preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus is now the priority for us all, and this month’s newsletter looks at where this work interacts with data protection.
 

The top line here is a recognition of the importance of organisations being able to work together to respond to this pandemic. Data protection law will not stop this happening.
 

We are clear too that we are supportive of innovative approaches of personal data for public benefit. Sound understanding of the principles of data protection can encourage innovation, rather than stand in its way. We know this is a fast moving picture for many data protection officers, and so we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked coronavirus questions our helpline has been receiving, details of which are below.
 

We have also recognised the need for public bodies and health practitioners to communicate directly with people when dealing with this type of health emergency. It’s important my office remains a reasonable and pragmatic regulator, and we will not operate in isolation from matters of serious public concern.
 

This approach extends too to our role regulating the Freedom of Information Act, and details of our measured approach to public authorities’ response times is set out below.

My office continues to offer support to those working in information rights across all types of organisations. We know this is a difficult time for many people, and that working from home can bring practical challenges. Our helpline remains open, and our website continues to be a valuable resource of information on topics like cyber security for remote working, data protection impact assessments and handling subject access requests.

Stay safe, and I hope to see you in the near future.

Advice for data controllers

Keep your IT systems safe

Advice for community groups

Keeping people up to date

 

NCVO Coronavirus advice page 

NCVO have created a coronavirus advice page on their Knowhow website for anyone managing or supporting volunteers during the pandemic.

These are the areas it covers:

How volunteers can make a difference

Redirecting volunteers if you cannot take on any more

How volunteers are affected by the lockdown

Volunteers in key worker roles

Volunteer expenses

Paying for goods or services

Data protection

Recognising and reporting scams

 

Heart of Glass

Home Work - Micro Commissions

Heart of Glass know that the kitchen table can be a space of radical possibility! That’s why today they’re announcing Home Work. They want to share this widely so they can reach as many artists, freelancers, collaborators as possible….HOME WORK - the opportunity- 10 x micro commission opportunities (£300 each) on the theme of ‘care’

 

  • For artists, freelancers, and collaborators
  • St Helens, Merseyside and beyond.
  • Deadline: 12th April 
  • Theme What does care look like? How do we recognise it, how do we value it? Care is a central element of the programme at HoG. This programme only happens because they work with a whole ecology of people who care - artists, community workers, facilitators, activists, hosts, producers. 
  • Format  What could this look like? They’re open to any form that your work might take - for example a performance, a sound piece, an online conversation or masterclass, a zine, a blogpost, an image - anything which considers, embodies, speaks to the theme of care.  Thinking about ‘care they're not interested in the making of stuff for the sake of making more stuff, so be honest with them, if you’d like to use this fee to spend some time thinking about how to support your community, share that with them, this is only a little support (equivalent to an average artist day fee). Please only spend up to 8 hours on this. They know that circumstances are all different. Whatever way you’d like to structure your work on this is the right way!  They are prioritising applications from communities who are at the heart of their programme, if you identify as disabled, working class, LGBTQ+ or if you have refugee status, let them know.  For more info / to apply: heartofglass.org.uk/home-work

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

Heart of Glass

Home Work - Micro Commissions

Heart of Glass know that the kitchen table can be a space of radical possibility! That’s why today they’re announcing Home Work. They want to share this widely so they can reach as many artists, freelancers, collaborators as possible….HOME WORK - the opportunity- 10 x micro commission opportunities (£300 each) on the theme of ‘care’

 

  • For artists, freelancers, and collaborators
  • St Helens, Merseyside and beyond.
  • Deadline: 12th April 
  • Theme What does care look like? How do we recognise it, how do we value it? Care is a central element of the programme at HoG. This programme only happens because they work with a whole ecology of people who care - artists, community workers, facilitators, activists, hosts, producers. 
  • Format  What could this look like? They’re open to any form that your work might take - for example a performance, a sound piece, an online conversation or masterclass, a zine, a blogpost, an image - anything which considers, embodies, speaks to the theme of care.  Thinking about ‘care they're not interested in the making of stuff for the sake of making more stuff, so be honest with them, if you’d like to use this fee to spend some time thinking about how to support your community, share that with them, this is only a little support (equivalent to an average artist day fee). Please only spend up to 8 hours on this. They know that circumstances are all different. Whatever way you’d like to structure your work on this is the right way!  They are prioritising applications from communities who are at the heart of their programme, if you identify as disabled, working class, LGBTQ+ or if you have refugee status, let them know.  For more info / to apply: heartofglass.org.uk/home-work

Updated guidance from the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance to help with running a charity during the coronavirus outbreak. In the guidance, the Commission sets out its response to the most commonly asked questions. This includes consideration of whether your charitable objects allow for your charity to offer support, how you can get support to pay staff and whether you can use reserves and restricted funds to help your charity survive the crisis.

You can here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector
 

Video calling 

Zoom hacked 

Liverpool CVS warned that some Zoom accounts have been hacked and there is an investigation underway. Clarification was sought on whether this referred to the free or paid version of Zoom.  

Medway Voluntary Action shared advice regarding protection whilst using Zoom: 

  • Set a meeting PIN - this stops the hackers from 'gatecrashing' 
  • Don’t share the link on public forums or platforms 
  • If sharing a photo of the meeting make sure the meeting ID (top left corner) is hidden 
  • Don’t use a personal meeting ID - always allow zoom to create a random number for each meeting 
  • Always set screen sharing to 'host only' 
  • Disable file transfer in settings 
  • Disable 'Join before host' 
  • Disable 'allow removed participants to rejoin' 

Halton Borough Council 

Click here for latest funding bulletins from our colleagues at Halton Borough Council, 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

 

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire

Cash issues 

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire have kindly shared a draft guide which summarises options for local groups on handling cash safely. Please note this is just a draft currently to view the document click here

 

ACAS - Coronavirus webinar recording

ACAS have published a recording of the webinar: Coronavirus – an advisory webinar for employers 
which they hosted yesterday (31st March). 

The webinar covered:

  • steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • effective ways of communicating with employees
  • self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • remote working and the use of technology

View the recording here 

 

DWP Update 310320

Housing
Temporary changes to right to rent and right to work checks
Right to rent and right to work checks have been adapted to make it easier for landlords and employers to carry them out during the coronavirus outbreak, the Home Secretary announced today (Monday 30 March). Landlords and employers are not required to see original documents during coronavirus outbreak.
 
 
Children
Voucher scheme launches for schools providing free school meals
Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.

Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.
 
 General
 
Latest Touchbase 300320

 

Age UK - Early Volunteers - Volunteer Guidance

Here is a great short Age UK video on being a good neighbour - or Community Champion

 

DBS Checks

For all information relating to DBS Checks click here

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

 

Statement from Dawn Austwick, CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund: Our funding approach in response to COVID-19

At this extraordinarily difficult time, we are all being challenged and moved in ways that seemed unimaginable just weeks ago.

Here at The National Lottery Community Fund, our first priority is to support people and communities through our funding in the best way we can, recognising that we cannot help everyone.

As many of you know, we have been talking to grant holders and partners to understand the nature of their response to COVID-19 and to see what we can do to support them.

So far, we have of course honoured our existing commitments to grant holders and offered them flexibility so that they can focus on supporting their communities.

We have now made two additional decisions. Firstly, all the funding decisions we make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis. In addition, we will accelerate the cash part of this funding as much as we can, so that we can get money to where it needs to be. This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.

In deciding how to implement this approach we have to make some tough choices about how we get that money out quickly to those communities and organisations that need it most. We will do our best to be fair and true to our principles and to you.

To reach those groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time, we will prioritise the following faster payments for existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

  • Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
  • Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.

We are doing this because we know it is critical right now to work harder as a funder to get cash out of the door and hope that by acting quickly we can help organisations at the fore-front of the current crisis, when support is needed most.

Should we get through this initial tranche of support with some funding left or circumstances change, we will move to set new priorities. We know that this means some groups will not be able to access our funding over the coming months and we will endeavour to return to our broader support as soon as we can.

Things are moving at pace and we will keep our approach under constant review. We are also going to continue our exploration of how this crisis is changing how we live as communities and how civil society itself is changed.

Keep talking to us, keep sharing your stories, and keep telling us what we can do differently to help. If we can, we will.

Yours

Dawn Austwick
CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund

For all the latest updates, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 page.

 

Message From Healthiness Ltd - Online Classes and Important Coronavirus Update

Following the lockdown, we are no longer able to offer face-to-face exercise classes. However, we also understand the huge health implications of older and vulnerable people being isolated and confined to their homes for possibly months on end.

With that in mind we have flipped our service and are delivering online exercise classes instead.

We are streaming classes live on Facebook at Healthiness Ltd and are also posting shorter, 30 minute exercise videos on the website at http://healthinessltd.co.uk/

These sessions can be followed by participants in their own homes with no equipment necessary to enable them to keep active and connected.

We are offering a timetable of classes each day including Chair-based Exercises, Better Balance, Postural Stability, Functional Fitness and many more. Once broadcast at their scheduled time (see below for timetable), the classes are available for viewing on demand on Facebook.

We hope to engage with as many people as possible and would like our networks, partner organisations and friends to help us to spread the word and keep people connected, healthy and stimulated throughout this period.

The full details are below and we hope this brings a little light in all the gloom and we're sure like us you appreciate life will go on and we'll all find a way.

Thanks again everyone for your time, take care and stay safe.

Healthy Regards and Best Wishes,
The Healthiness Team

Live Online Class Timetable

Monday

10.00am - Boxercise & Toning
1.00pm - Escape-Pain
2.00pm - Memory Fit

Tuesday

10.00am - Toning
11.00am - Chair-Based Fitness
2.00pm - Functional Fitness

Wednesday

10.00am - Boxercise
1.00pm - Escape-Pain
2.00pm - Better Balance

Thursday

10.00am - Chair-Based Fitness
1.00pm - Active Bingo
2.00pm - Functional Fitness

Friday

10.00am - Dance & Tone
11.00am - Pure Tone
12.00pm - Core & Stretch

ACAS - Coronavirus Guidance | Carrying Over Paid Holiday

Gov.uk has updated guidance and information for employers and businesses it includes:

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Self-employment Income Support Scheme

View guidance on gov.uk

Carrying over paid holiday

The government has introduced a temporary new law to deal with Coronavirus disruption.
 
Employees and workers can carry over up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday over a 2-year period, if they cannot take holiday due to Coronavirus
View further details and Acas guidance

Lay-offs and short-time working
If an employer does not have enough work for their employees, they may need to consider:
- lay-offs (sending employees home temporarily)
- short-time working (reducing employees' working hours)
These options may help avoid redundancies. But this should be a last resort for employers. View Acas guidance

If employers can no longer provide employees with work during Coronavirus, they can access government financial support for furloughed workers
 
Acas Coronavirus advice
 
Coronavirus - an Acas advisory webinar for employers - A recording is available of the latest online event which covered:

  • steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • effective ways of communicating with employees
  • self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • remote working and the use of technology

Visit our webpage to access recording and to view details of upcoming events
 
Live Twitter Q&A sessions
If you have questions or concerns about time off work, pay, remote working and what steps you can take to reduce the spread of the virus, you can join Acas experts on live Twitter chats which are being run each Friday over the coming weeks.

Send your questions in advance to @acasorguk #AskAcas.
https://twitter.com/acasorguk

 

DBS checks update

If you have any queries with regards to DBS checks during this time click here to find out the latest news from the Disclosure and Barring Service..

 

BBC Radio Merseyside

If you're making a difference in your local community let us know and we can let everyone else know too.

If you have a community group Facebook page, Twitter account, or if your charity, organisation or club has any information or maybe needs some help we can get the message out there to help you.

We'll have special Make a Difference updates at a quarter past and a quarter to every hour till 6pm.  We'll do this every day, so you are right up to date with where you can get help locally.

Phone:  0800 731 93 33    Email:  makeadifference.merseyside@bbc.co.uk

MAKE A DIFFERENCE BBC LOCAL RADIO

 

DWP Update 30 March 2020

For the latest information from the DWP with information on benefits, housing, employment and business guidance click here 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vca-newsletter-sign

 

Attached is checklist for organisations to consider when involving vounteers during COVID-19.  

 

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire

Cash issues 

Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire have kindly shared a draft guide which summarises options for local groups on handling cash safely. It will continue to be update after feedback

Draft Handling money for people in isolation attached

DWP update 30 March 2020

Health 
Online Isolation Notes
People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note  through a new online service. A Q&A is available.
 
ESA
New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - How to Claim 
New guidance on how to claim New Style, income-related or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance. 
 
Landlords
COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities 
Non-statutory guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities in the private and social rented sectors in the context of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
UC Landlord Engagement Newsletter
The newsletter is usually published quarterly and provides information to social and private landlords about UC. This edition is an extra one that aims to provide information to social and private landlords on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and UC.
 
Housing Benefit Subsidy Circular
The Housing Benefit Subsidy Circular has been updated. With information re meeting the costs for the administration of the Severe Disability Premium changes in 2019-20.
 
Homelessness
Letter from Minister Hall to local authorities 
Letter to all local authorities in England to update them on plans to protect rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic
 
General 
Working Tax Credits Increased
Working Tax Credits payments  will be increased by £1,045 to £3,040 per year from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021. The amount a claimant or household will benefit from will depend on their circumstances, including their level of household income. But the increase could mean up to an extra £20 each week.
 
Apprenticeship Programme Guidance
A document has been produced that sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
Business Support
Job Retention Scheme – Guidance for employers and employees
Information on the Job Retention Scheme is available on gov.uk and the Business Support websites -  

 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses. 
26 March 2020 – Added details about the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses
 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) produce a bulletin which provides information for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19). All the guidance, information and announcements can be found on GOV.UK but the bulletin pulls this information in to one useful document. Anybody can sign up to receive the bulletin - to sign up to the Bulletin click on this link  and enter an email address.
We would ask you to highlight and encourage Employers and Partners to sign up.
  
Tax Helpline
HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to support businesses and individuals when needed. Helpline number: 0800 024 1222. 

 
Please continue to direct partners to the Understanding Universal Credit – Coronavirus and claiming benefits page – this is constantly being updated -  
 
https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
 
 

DBS checks updates

If you have any queries with regards to DBS checks during this time click here to find out the latest news from the Disclosure and Barring Service..

Statement from Dawn Austwick, CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund: Our funding approach in response to COVID-19

At this extraordinarily difficult time, we are all being challenged and moved in ways that seemed unimaginable just weeks ago.

Here at The National Lottery Community Fund, our first priority is to support people and communities through our funding in the best way we can, recognising that we cannot help everyone.

As many of you know, we have been talking to grant holders and partners to understand the nature of their response to COVID-19 and to see what we can do to support them.

So far, we have of course honoured our existing commitments to grant holders and offered them flexibility so that they can focus on supporting their communities.

We have now made two additional decisions. Firstly, all the funding decisions we make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis. In addition, we will accelerate the cash part of this funding as much as we can, so that we can get money to where it needs to be. This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.

In deciding how to implement this approach we have to make some tough choices about how we get that money out quickly to those communities and organisations that need it most. We will do our best to be fair and true to our principles and to you.

To reach those groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time, we will prioritise the following faster payments for existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

  • Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
  • Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.

We are doing this because we know it is critical right now to work harder as a funder to get cash out of the door and hope that by acting quickly we can help organisations at the fore-front of the current crisis, when support is needed most.

Should we get through this initial tranche of support with some funding left or circumstances change, we will move to set new priorities. We know that this means some groups will not be able to access our funding over the coming months and we will endeavour to return to our broader support as soon as we can.

Things are moving at pace and we will keep our approach under constant review. We are also going to continue our exploration of how this crisis is changing how we live as communities and how civil society itself is changed.

Keep talking to us, keep sharing your stories, and keep telling us what we can do differently to help. If we can, we will.

Yours

Dawn Austwick
CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund

For all the latest updates, please visit their dedicated COVID-19 page.

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

 

CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund 

This Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. 

In this time of national crisis, CAF has launched this rapid response Fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.   

This is intended as a rapid response fund, and they aim to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application.

They anticipate high numbers of applicants and unfortunately it is likely that they will not be able to offer a grant to all eligible applicants.

To find out more about how to apply and the criteria  click here 

 

Charity Bank have launched an Emergency Funding and Resource HUb for Charities and Social Enterprises.  

COVID-19 Reource Hub 

Their  COVID-19 Resource Hub is updated daily and outlines the measures announced by the Government that will help charities and social enterprises. It is also signposting to the latest guidance on a wide range of issues including:

  • Governance
  • Risk management
  • Legal
  • Data protection
  • HR
  • Fraud
  • Finance

COVID-19 Emergency Funding 

They have compiled an extensive list of emergency funding opportunities for social sector organisations experiencing difficulties. This includes funding available from the National Emergencies Trust, John Lewis Partnership Community Support Fund, and many more local and national initiatives.

Social Investors Respond to COVID-19

They are committed to helping customers through this current period of uncertainty.

Along with other social investors we issued a joint statement on the COVID-19 outbreak: "We want to reassure all of the organisations we invest in that we will support you and be as flexible as possible in the coming months. We are actively working together on how we can adapt existing schemes and funds. We are also working with government and other funders to establish new programmes that may provide additional help."

 

Joint Public Coronavirus Newsletter on behalf  NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group - 27th March 2020

Click here to read the latest newsletter from NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group

 

St Helens Affordable Warmth Unit update

The Council's Affordable Warmth Unit is still able to provide advice over the phone to residents experiencing issues with their energy supply and will try to help people as best they can to contact them call 01744 671611.  You can find advice and answers to questions you may have on managing your energy supply during the outbreak by visiting the Ofgem website, click here for details.

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

Joint Public Coronavirus Newsletter on behalf  NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group - 27th March 2020

 

1. Stay Home, Save Lives

 In the NHS, we are facing the biggest challenge of our lifetime.  We are working really hard to still provide care to those who need it. But we need your help to stop the spread of the virus.

Please follow Government advice and stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

If you have Coronavirus symptoms please follow the latest advice at www.Nhs.uk/coronavirus.

If you have another health concern, please contact your GP surgery by calling them directly or completing an online form on their website or If it is an emergency, please call 999.

For the latest information about Coronavirus please visit www.Nhs.uk/coronavirus and www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Help us to help you… Stay Home, Save Lives 

2. How to access services at your GP surgery

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have made changes to how you access services in GP practices. This is to help protect patients and our staff from the risk of infection and to help us manage increasing demand on our services. 

It is vital that patients do not go into a GP surgery without a pre-booked appointment. If you need support with a health issue, please call the surgery or complete the online form on your local practice website (eConsult). Read more…

3. Advice on repeat prescriptions

If you have a regular prescription, please help reduce pressure on local GP practices and community pharmacies by following the advice below. This will also help ensure there are enough medicines for everyone who needs them.

  • Please DO NOT go into your surgery to order a repeat prescription. Repeat prescriptions can be ordered online via your  surgery website or through the NHS App. If you are not able to go online, please contact your surgery who will advise how you can order your medicines.
  • Please DO NOT request extra quantities of your medication or order your prescription before your usual due date. GPs will not authorise issue of extra medications.

4. Information about Rescue Packs

There has been some misinformation on social media about rescue packs.  We would like to highlight a recent social media post from Asthma UK:

 “We’ve been made aware of some posts on social media, saying that if you have a respiratory/lung disease your GP will issue a rescue pack of steroids and antibiotics. This is recommended for some people with COPD to be used as part of a personalised plan. However for people with asthma, we do NOT recommend these as standard.

“If someone’s asthma is bad enough to consider steroids it is essential they are assessed by a healthcare professional. Even at this busy time for the NHS, getting early support for any problems with your lungs is critical to keep you well and out of hospital.”

Please visit the Asthma UK website for further advice about coronavirus and your asthma.​

Only patients who normally have a COPD rescue pack should order one.

5. Accessing Paracetamol to treat Coronavirus symptoms

Paracetamol can be used to treat the symptoms of Coronavirus which include a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

However, if you think you have Coronavirus symptoms, DO NOT go into your local pharmacy or supermarket to purchase paracetamol. It is vital you follow NHS guidance and self-isolate.

You can include paracetamol in your online supermarket delivery, or you may need to ask someone else to purchase it on your behalf and drop it off at your home. You can also contact your local pharmacy by telephone who will be happy to advise.

Please do not contact your GP for a prescription.

6.  Taking steps to protect your mental health and wellbeing

It's a stressful and uncertain time with constant news of the Covid-19 coronavirus being shared in the media, on social media and in our everyday conversations.

It's understandable that people will feel concerned but it's important for us to take steps to look after our physical health as well as our mental health and wellbeing. Take a look at some useful tips which you may find help you, your friends and your family.

Read more…

7.  ‘Your NHS Needs You’ – NHS Call For Volunteer Army

The NHS is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home. The nation is looking for volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies;
  • driving patients to appointments;
  • bringing them home from hospital;
  • or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

NHS Volunteer Responders is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.

GPs, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, NHS 111 advisers and social care staff will all be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), who will match people who need help with volunteers who live near to them. Some charities will also be able to refer people to the service. Find out more at goodsamapp.org/NHS.

 

Charity Bank have launched an Emergency Funding and Resource HUb for Charities and Social Enterprises.  

COVID-19 Reource Hub 

Their  COVID-19 Resource Hub is updated daily and outlines the measures announced by the Government that will help charities and social enterprises. It is also signposting to the latest guidance on a wide range of issues including:

  • Governance
  • Risk management
  • Legal
  • Data protection
  • HR
  • Fraud
  • Finance

COVID-19 Emergency Funding 

They have compiled an extensive list of emergency funding opportunities for social sector organisations experiencing difficulties. This includes funding available from the National Emergencies Trust, John Lewis Partnership Community Support Fund, and many more local and national initiatives.

Social Investors Respond to COVID-19

They are committed to helping customers through this current period of uncertainty.

Along with other social investors we issued a joint statement on the COVID-19 outbreak: "We want to reassure all of the organisations we invest in that we will support you and be as flexible as possible in the coming months. We are actively working together on how we can adapt existing schemes and funds. We are also working with government and other funders to establish new programmes that may provide additional help."

CAF CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY FUND

This Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. 

In this time of national crisis, CAF has launched this rapid response Fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.   

This is intended as a rapid response fund, and they aim to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application.

They anticipate high numbers of applicants and unfortunately it is likely that they will not be able to offer a grant to all eligible applicants.

To find out more about how to apply and the criteria  click here 

Volunteering Opportunities with Persona Insight CIC

Persona Insight CIC are recruiting for a volunteer secretary and a volunteer Community Peer Support coordinator.  

The secretary will be working closely with Helen Boyle, CEO and Chairperson Alan Smith.  The candidates  needs to have some experience or passion in line with the mission statement below:  

 "To create an inclusive, non judgmental community support network, which aims to break down social barriers, aid self awareness, self esteem and celebrates everyone's right to be different.  Persona Insight CIC makes a positive contribution to a strong, healthy and safe and recognises opportunities for all"

A local connection is desirable but not essential.

To find out more contact Helen Boyle on 07946 065703 or email bpdpersona01@gmail.com

 COVID-19 – what employers need to know - live webinar

The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support businesses and individuals through the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), and the Chancellor has announced new measures to support people, employers and businesses through this period of disruption.

The following live webinar provides an overview of the support available to help employers and your employees deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

COVID-19 – helping employers to support employees

During this webinar we’ll be taking a look at:

  • COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme
  • furloughed workers
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • support available to employers for outstanding payments to HMRC.

Choose a date and time

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr   

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts 

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk  or ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk 

Update from VS6

In response to the increase in community volunteering and remote working, Voluntary Sector North West have shared guides on volunteering and video conferencing:

They have videos about the following subjects:

  • Safeguarding and how to make sure vulnerable service users are protected, along with those volunteering themselves
  • Tips for volunteers and how to keep themselves and others safe
  • Information on telephone befriending, how to set boundaries and make this work for both volunteers and services users
  • Advice for organisations about taking on and supporting volunteers
  • a guide for organisations using video conferencing for the first time

Click here for more details 

 

Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation

Helen Lanceley Senior Social Worker with the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation who supports clients who are either ex coal-miners, wives / widows has contacted us to update on what support they can provide.  In this time of Covid-19 they are unable to provide home visits to clients but are offering wellbeing telephone checks and telephone befriending and are also able to deliver medication and essential shopping at no cost to the client if they have no one else to support with this. It is easy to make a referral please ring the area office on 01623 625767 or go to SouthEngland@ciswo .org.uk or website www.ciswo.org.uk to make a referral to support the most vulnerable clients. You can contact Helen by email on helen.lanceley@ciswo.org.uk

 

Halton Borough Council External Funding team 

Thanks to Steph Davies, Lead Funding Officer, External Funding Team, at HBC for the following information.  The External Funding Team is keeping track of some of the measures that key funders are taking in response to the current crisis and any changes they are making to their grant programmes. They are also keeping track of any new funding streams that are being brought in to support.  To receive updates and find out more join their mailing list by emailing funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

There is also quite a lot of information about emerging funds to specifically support the voluntary sector at this time and the funding team have just told us that grants online have the following link in relation to this:  https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html 

 

iCAN Warning: Covid-19 Financial Support Scam

There are numerous reports of websites effectively cloning the .gov website pages.  These websites look identical to the official .gov website, set up to offer support to employees who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.  The websites ask potential claimants to provide personal information, including their bank account details to enable payments to be made to them.

Some of the websites are mass targeting individuals via text messages, with the embedded link diverting to the criminals’ websites

Scammers are rapidly coming up with new scams to exploit people during the pandemic.  We would recommend everyone adopts a cautious approach when giving out personal details whether it’s online, over the telephone or face to face.  Try to carry out checks on the source before you share any information.

If you are targeted by any of these websites then please report them immediately to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.  This will enable action to be taken to have them taken down.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 

Ways to Work programme to support new claimants

Halton People into work are still delivering the ESF Ways to Work programme remotely to support newly unemployed claimants that may want help, support or advice to look for work. This can include help with job search, CV’s, applications, interview preparation and access to funding to start work again where applicable.  If you know any newly unemployed individuals or those individuals that are on benefits that want support.   Please signpost to Halton People into Jobs for support – 0151 511 7555 / hpij@halton.gov.uk

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

iCAN Warning: Covid-19 Financial Support Scam

There are numerous reports of websites effectively cloning the .gov website pages.  These websites look identical to the official .gov website, set up to offer support to employees who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.  The websites ask potential claimants to provide personal information, including their bank account details to enable payments to be made to them.

Some of the websites are mass targeting individuals via text messages, with the embedded link diverting to the criminals’ websites

Scammers are rapidly coming up with new scams to exploit people during the pandemic.  We would recommend everyone adopts a cautious approach when giving out personal details whether it’s online, over the telephone or face to face.  Try to carry out checks on the source before you share any information.

If you are targeted by any of these websites then please report them immediately to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.  This will enable action to be taken to have them taken down.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

Halton Borough Council External Funding team 

Thanks to Steph Davies, Lead Funding Officer, External Funding Team, at HBC for the following information.  The External Funding Team is keeping track of some of the measures that key funders are taking in response to the current crisis and any changes they are making to their grant programmes. They are also keeping track of any new funding streams that are being brought in to support.  To receive updates and find out more join their mailing list by emailing funding@halton.gov.uk

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

There is also quite a lot of information about emerging funds to specifically support the voluntary sector at this time and the funding team have just told us that grants online have just made available the following link in relation to this:  https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/coronavirus.html  so will be worth checking out.

From the 25th March Halton & St Helens VCA will be managing our work as follows:

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr  

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk       ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

Below is the latest updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens. 

 

Funder Statement from the Leader and Chief Executive at Halton Borough Council

We, along with a wider group of funders, recognise that the covid-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an impact on civil society groups, and want to offer reassurance that we stand with the sector during this time. We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that civil society groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

We understand that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when beneficiaries may need services to be provided in different ways, or when systems need to be flexible to ensure that needs are met. 

If your community, services or organisation are affected by the covid19 outbreak, and you receive grant or funding from us, we are committed to:

  • Adapting activities – we recognise that you may experience difficulties achieving some of the outputs or outcomes we agreed for your grant during the outbreak, and would like to be able to maintain our grant payments to you at originally-agreed levels during this period, so please have a conversation with us if you are affected in this way;
  • Discussing dates – we don’t want to add pressure, so if you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic time for you to get things to us wherever possible;
  • Financial flexibility – we know you may need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently, and we will be reasonable if you need to move money between budget headings to ensure your work can continue; and
  • Listening to you – we are here if you want to talk to us about the situation you’re facing, but we’ll wait for you to call us so that these conversations are at the right time for you.

We also recognise that there may be further shocks to the system caused by covid-19 that may impact on your other income streams, or require a more urgent response from funders. Where we have any news on emergency funding we commit to publishing this on the Halton & St Helens VCA web page so you can see all available programmes in one place.

The key during this crisis is communication. If issues arise, please get in touch to discuss how we can help.

Councillor Rob Polhill - Leader

Dave Parr - Chief Executive 

 

Age UK MId Mersey

Age UK Mid Mersey have shared a link to a useful ONS tool which will identify by UK area where there is a large group of over 70s live.

Click here for details 

 

Community Shop Halton

In response to the current situation, Community Shop remains open and are welcoming any local families (irrespective if they aren’t a member). They are well stocked so are happy to help the community with up to 70% discount on high-street brand foods. Anyone is welcome to come along where they are able to obtain a day pass or become a member to supply them with discounted foods, variety & choice.  

For a leaflet with the location of shop click here 

 

Alzheimers Society

The Alzheimers Society are appealing for donations to set up a new service called 'Companion Calls'.  

 This unprecedented situation demands that they act decisively and rethink how they reach the most vulnerable people who have relied on our face to face services, and your support today will mean that they can do exactly that.

They are currently in the process of establishing a completely new service – ‘companion calls’. This will involve teams of volunteers proactively telephoning vulnerable people with dementia to chat, check on their wellbeing and, if necessary, refer them to other services like Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect Support Line. With your help they will put a virtual arm around the shoulders of people with dementia and let them know they are not alone.

To find out more and donate click here for details 

 

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

In response to the current situation, Community Shop remains open and are welcoming any local families (irrespective if they aren’t a member). They are well stocked so are happy to help the community with up to 70% discount on high-street brand foods. Anyone is welcome to come along where they are able to obtain a day pass or become a member to supply them with discounted foods, variety & choice.  

Attached is a leaflet regarding the Community Shop’s location for those who require this.

Funder Statement from the Leader and Chief Executive of Halton Borough Council 

We, along with a wider group of funders, recognise that the covid-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an impact on civil society groups, and want to offer reassurance that we stand with the sector during this time. We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that civil society groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

We understand that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when beneficiaries may need services to be provided in different ways, or when systems need to be flexible to ensure that needs are met. 

If your community, services or organisation are affected by the covid19 outbreak, and you receive grant or funding from us, we are committed to:

  • Adapting activities – we recognise that you may experience difficulties achieving some of the outputs or outcomes we agreed for your grant during the outbreak, and would like to be able to maintain our grant payments to you at originally-agreed levels during this period, so please have a conversation with us if you are affected in this way;
  • Discussing dates – we don’t want to add pressure, so if you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic time for you to get things to us wherever possible;
  • Financial flexibility – we know you may need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently, and we will be reasonable if you need to move money between budget headings to ensure your work can continue; and
  • Listening to you – we are here if you want to talk to us about the situation you’re facing, but we’ll wait for you to call us so that these conversations are at the right time for you.

We also recognise that there may be further shocks to the system caused by covid-19 that may impact on your other income streams, or require a more urgent response from funders. Where we have any news on emergency funding we commit to publishing this on the Halton & St Helens VCA web page so you can see all available programmes in one place.

The key during this crisis is communication. If issues arise, please get in touch to discuss how we can help.

Councillor Rob Polhill - Leader

Dave Parr - Chief Executive 

(Official letter attached)

 

 

 

Please give urgently today to help the Alzheimers Society reach isolated and vulnerable people with dementia during this crisis.

Under Government advice, men and women in the UK over 70 – that’s around 700,000 people with dementia – will be asked to stay at home for an extensive period of time. People will be completely cut off from their families, their communities and the networks they rely on. People who live alone may be cut off from social contact completely.  This unprecedented situation demands that they act decisively and rethink how they reach the most vulnerable people who have relied on our face to face services, and your support today will mean that they can do exactly that.

They are currently in the process of establishing a completely new service – ‘companion calls’. This will involve teams of volunteers proactively telephoning vulnerable people with dementia to chat, check on their wellbeing and, if necessary, refer them to other services like Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect Support Line. With your help they will put a virtual arm around the shoulders of people with dementia and let them know they are not alone.

I’m sure you understand the urgent need to get this service up and running. They are, however, facing a significant financial deficit as a result of both COVID-19 and a massive drop in income because of the cancellation or postponing of so many fundraising events.  They are extremely grateful for all your support, which shows you care deeply about helping people with dementia. That’s why they are turning to you during this critical time.

Please will you give £50, or what you can, to help train volunteers and pay for the equipment to set up ‘companion calls’ – so that people with dementia won’t have to face this crisis alone.

They estimate the cost of training one volunteer will be around £50, and when you consider they would like to reach up to 10,000 people every week, while still maintaining most of their existing services, they hope you will understand the urgency of their request.  They know the health and wellbeing of your own loved ones will quite rightly be your top priority at this time, but if you are in a position to give today it will help them reach more people with dementia.

They are determined Alzheimer’s Society will be here for you all.

‘Companion calls’ will be a change in how they help people with dementia, and it is absolutely vital that they are up and running immediately.

So they hope you will support this urgent appeal and give £50, or what you can, today.

Please check their website regularly for the latest updates and for guidance should any of the changes to their services affect you or your loved ones.

Many thanks to Age Concern Mid Mersey who have shared a link to the ONS tool that is very useful as a detailed mapping tool to identify by UK street area, where a large number of over 70’s live.  It will allow targeted planning or areas to focus efforts. 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/wheredoover70slive/2020-03-24

 

Please find below the latest updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens we will continue to update you with any news and updates

From the 25th March Halton & St Helens VCA will be managing our work as follows:

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr  

credford-kerr@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson alawrenson@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts

Mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

syeoman@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

For comms/website and information queries contact

dmorris@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

ldaffern@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

You will also find below the latest updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens as we continue to update you with any news and updates.

Why is NCVO asking the government for urgent financial help for charities

While in the chancellor's announcement about salaries on Friday it was positive to hear him talk proactively about charities for the first time, and while his announcement will be very reassuring for many people, it won't actually help many charities.

Some are making decisions about redundancies and closure right now.  Supporting the national response and helping vulnerable people to cope are your first priority at the moment, but you cannot do that if you are on the brink of financial collapse.  The chancellor announced that he would pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will apply to firms where bosses have already had to lay off workers and under the scheme, workers would take a leave of absence but still be paid.  This works for many businesses unable to operate during the coronavirus crisis but it doesn’t work if you're a charity, your income has collapsed but you still need to keep your doors open and services running.  A pub or bar can their shut their doors, mothball the kegs and the government will pay your wages. So it doesn't matter if you have no bar takings. But many charities need to continue caring for those in need and delivering vital public services, they cannot shut their doors and lay off staff. Now more than ever they must support people in need.

Help us make the case for financial help for charities by:

  • Emailing us with details of your financial situation 
  • Sharing our tweet
  • Sharing your charity's story on social media using #EveryDayCounts
  • Asking your local MP to support 

Sally Yeoman Chief Exective of Halton and St Helens VCA has already written to MP's in both Halton and St Helens to ask for their support so why don't you 

iCAN warning: Report businesses who are exploiting the Covid19 pandemic

The Competition and Markets Authority is monitoring business practices to identify those who are exploiting the outbreak by unfairly increasing prices or making false claims.

If you have access to the Internet you can report the issue to them using their online form

If you don’t have access to the Internet, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Please have the following information ready before you call:

  • the name of the shop or website
  • the name of the product
  • the previous price (if known) and the new selling price
  • any claim that you think is false   

If you don’t know the previous price, but you think the price has been inflated because of the pandemic, please let them know.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

Free to attend Webinar from ACAS 

Coronavirus – An advisory webinar for employers  Monday 30 March, 2pm-3pm view details  |  register online

This online event will outline practical measures that can be taken and provides details of Government support and resources being made available to employers. Included in this session:

  • Practical steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • Effective ways of communicating with employees
  • Equipping managers with accurate information and resources
  • Self-isolation, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • What to do if an employee becomes ill
  • Altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • Remote working and increasing the use of technology

Register your place

Other times and dates are available - please visit the webinars page for further information. Recordings of events will also be made available on the page.

 

Please note from Tuesday 24 March Jobcentres doors will be closed until further notice.

At this unprecedented time, additional steps are now being taken to protect customers and focus on ensuring their payments are in place.  It is also important that they support the critical efforts to reduce unnecessary travel, increase social distancing, protect customers and protect colleagues to ensure they can focus on making payments.  Therefore after the measures taken last week to decrease the amount of customer contact in jobcentres, they will from tomorrow be reducing face-to-face contact to an absolute minimum.

What this means: 

  • Jobcentres will be closed to all but the most vulnerable cases, which can’t be completed through any other channel in order to receive timely payment. This will be by exception and the doors to the Jobcentre will remain closed except to individuals who fall into this category.
  • Inside jobcentres, strict social distancing measures will be in place.
  • Signs will be placed in windows asking everyone to claim online and / or over the phone. A number will be provided for those who want to speak to a colleague in the jobcentre which I will be sent out tomorrow.

“By taking this action, we protect customers and communities as we comply with government advice on social distancing; and maximise the processing capacity of jobcentres to support new claims made online or via the phone. We also reassure our people it is safe to come to work in line with social distancing policy.”

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm 

 

iCAN warning: Report businesses who are exploiting the Covid19 pandemic

The Competition and Markets Authority is monitoring business practices to identify those who are exploiting the outbreak by unfairly increasing prices or making false claims.

If you have access to the Internet you can report the issue to them using their online form

If you don’t have access to the Internet, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Please have the following information ready before you call:

  • the name of the shop or website
  • the name of the product
  • the previous price (if known) and the new selling price
  • any claim that you think is false   

If you don’t know the previous price, but you think the price has been inflated because of the pandemic, please let them know.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

Please find attached the latest updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens we will continue to update you with any news and updates.

Any good news to share

During these difficult times it is still good to share any good news or wish people well.  Do you have any good news stories to share then Halton Borough Council would like to share them to find out more click on the link below:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/current-difficult-times

News from the Metro Mayor

Metro Mayor unveils first package of measures to help Liverpool City Region deal with Coronavirus.  Steve Rotheram has unveiled an initial package of measures from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority aimed at easing the Coronavirus burden on local people.

To find out more click on the link below

https://www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/metro-mayor-unveils-first-package-of-measures-to-help-liverpool-city-region-deal-with-coronavirus/

Update from DWP

Many thanks to our colleagues from the local DWP for their comprehensive update on the latest information from the Government

Click on the link below for more details

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/update-dwp

HMRC

Updated guidance for employers, businesses and employees is available at:

Scams awareness for COVID 19- information and support

Update from Halton Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB)

Halton Safeguarding Adults Board have cancelled this year’s Scams Awareness event. Scammers are already exploiting the coronavirus situation, cashing in on people’s concerns and fears. The only reliable information on how to protect yourself, and measures to take if you think you have the virus, is available from the NHS and the UK government websites:

https:www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

and

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public.

 HSAB are already aware of the following scams, here or abroad:  

  • Doorstep callers ‘checking for coronavirus’.
  • Companies selling ‘fast COVID-19 tests’.
  • Companies selling products that they claim can treat, cure or prevent the virus, including face masks.
  • Companies selling fake cleaning products and hand sanitisers.
  • Fake charities asking for donations to help with the coronavirus.
  • Fake emails pretending to be from a government department.
  • Companies claiming to have or to be on the verge of producing a vaccine and requiring payment to reserve a batch.
  • Companies phoning to offer to clean and sanitise homes, pre-payment is required over the phone or with gift cards.
  • Scammers pretending to be from the UK government, advising that a new tax refund programme has been introduced to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and that you are due a refund.
  • Emails pretending to be from the World Health Organisation with attachments on how to stay safe – the attachments contain malware which will infect your computer, steal your information and result in a request for ransom.
  • Scammers have circulated fake maps via email which claim to show virus outbreaks but, again, they are malware.
  • Scammers offering fake investment opportunities in companies working to produce a vaccine

Don’t get caught out:

  • Scammers want to steal your money or your personal information. They do this by calling unannounced at your door, phoning, texting or emailing. They will also advertise online and via social media.
  • The only test available is through the NHS – you cannot buy a test kit or pay for a test from anybody else.
  • There is no vaccine or cure.
  • Only buy from companies that you have dealt with before and type in their online address if you want to order – don’t respond to a link in an email or find them by an internet search because scam websites could be imitating a genuine company.
  • Charities must be registered with the Charity Commission (https://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/)  – check they are legitimate before you donate

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of there specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you want to join Halton Trading Standards’ iCAN free email alert system that warns of scams, doorstep crime incidents and product recalls, simply email trading.standards@halton.gov.uk and ask to join.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133

 If you are concerned about an adult who may be at risk of abuse, contact: 0151 907 8306

Please check on your elderly relatives, friends and neighbours. Some people may well be self-isolating and avoiding contact to protect themselves and this issue affects people of all ages who are in the high risk groups.

Please circulate to anyone you think may need this information.

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm .

.

Metro Mayor unveils first package of measures to help Liverpool City Region deal with Coronavirus

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has unveiled an initial package of measures from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority aimed at easing the Coronavirus burden on local people.

Chairing the first meeting of the Liverpool City Region Coronavirus Action Group, the Mayor announced a number of new initiatives:

  • The ‘LCR Cares’ COVID 19 Community Support Fund – a new crowdfunding campaign to support community and voluntary organisations on the frontline of helping our communities cope with the spread of Coronavirus.
  • Free bus travel to and from school for the children of key workers using existing Merseytravel funded supported bus services.
  • Lifting the 9.30am restriction on concessionary travel for essential journeys, such as accessing designated shopping hours reserved for the elderly.
  • A fund of £65,000 of business support for community and social businesses to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:

“Tackling a challenge of this scale requires everybody to come together and do all that we can to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, and mitigate the economic, social and health impacts it will have.

“This obviously requires support from government – and we’ve seen the start of that this week, though we await further announcements – but there are things we can do locally as well. I want to do all that I can to help support local people, businesses and community organisations through this uncertainty.”

Mayor Rotheram was speaking as he chaired a special City Region COVID-19 action group meeting.

The group brings together representatives from the Local Resilience Forum, local council leaders, the emergency services, Public Health England, local MPs from all political parties and other key local organisations.

Praising the work of emergency services, the NHS, local councils, and everyone keeping transport, the grocery sector and pharmacies open, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region added:

“We are lucky to have so many brilliant frontline staff working flat out to combat COVID-19 and I want to thank them for everything they are doing.

“I hope the public will be reassured, as I am, that a multi-agency response is under way right across the city region and everyone is pulling together to protect the 1.6 million people who rely on us.

“We all know we are in for an extremely difficult time in the next few days, weeks and, potentially, many months. We know it will be hard, but I also know that if we work together, and look out for each other, we will get through this.” 

The LCR Cares COVID 19 Community Support Fund website page is now open for donations from the public.  Just go to  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/  and search for LCRCares or www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/lcrcares

Early next week, a simple and speedy processes for organisations to access those funds will be in place.

Speaking about the fund, The Metro Mayor added:

“There is some unbelievable work going on from organisations at the heart of our communities to help keep those communities afloat in these testing times. I am launching the LCR Cares Fund to give those groups the financial support that they need to carry on their invaluable work.

“I know that some people are unsure of their own financial situations at the moment but, to those who can afford it, I would ask them to give whatever you can. Every donation will help some wonderful organisations continue the brilliant work they are doing to help protect the vulnerable in our region.”

 

Liverpool City Region Coronavirus Action Group

Chaired by the Metro Mayor, the task force brings together representatives from the Local Resilience Forum, which includes local council leaders, the emergency services, and Public Health England, as well as MPs from all political parties and other key local organisations.

Its role is not to replace existing resilience structures, but to provide the region with a single voice to lobby government for the action and to support co-ordinated action to help our communities, businesses and public services.

Free school bus travel

 From Monday 23 March, we will allow free travel on Merseytravel contracted bus services to provide at least some practical financial support to the families of essential workers.  This also supports reducing the risk to drivers of handling cash, given that contactless payments are more difficult/not an option for some young people.  This is for Merseytravel contracted services to schools only. 

 9.30am concessionary travel restrictions 

 Restrictions will be scrapped from Monday, 23 March and continue until the end of 2020 and will enable people over 60 to take advantage of moves by major supermarkets to open early for the elderly and vulnerable, as well as encouraging them to get out and get active when the current crisis is over.

The announcement comes after agreement was reached with Stagecoach, Arriva, Merseyrail, Northern and Transpennine Express and other bus operators.

Commenting further on the announcement, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“We are absolutely committed to doing all that we can to protect the city region’s residents and make their lives as comfortable as possible during this difficult period.

“As some of the major supermarkets move towards introducing golden hours for the elderly, first thing in the morning, we felt it was only right to introduce this flexibility which will, for example, allow older people to avail themselves of the opportunity to shop for essentials in a safer environment, as well as enabling them to get out and about when things get back to normal.

“The advice remains that older people, and particularly the over-70s, should only use public transport when absolutely necessary and that they should continue to follow the guidance around staying at home and socially distancing themselves.”

LCR Cares COVID 19 Community Support Fund

 The Community Foundation for Merseyside will manage the LCRcares Fund on behalf of the Metro Mayor and Liverpool City Region.

The Community Foundation for Merseyside is a registered charity and over the past 20 years has distributed in excess of £40m to grass root community groups and charities across the Liverpool City Region and has a strong track record, expert team and long held reputation for ensuring funding is provided to the most vulnerable.

Chief Executive, Rae Brooke said:

“We are delighted to be managing the LCRcares Fund and will ensure much needed funding is provided where there’s most need and where it will have greatest impact. Many who have the capacity to support financially will want to do that in this exceptional time of need. This is when the best of community spirit can be demonstrated and everyone can make a real difference to the lives of others.”

To donate to the LCR Cares Fund please make payments via:

  1. Bank Transfer.

Name: CFLM core

Sort code: 09 07 20

A/C: 02472775

Ref: LCRcares

  1. Search “LCRCares” at https://www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ or visit liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/lcrcares

 Social businesses support fund

 In October 2019, Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham announced a fund to support Socially Trading Organisations. The Combined Authority has been working with Power to Change and local stakeholders to develop the fund which is due to be launched later this year. Given the huge pressure Socially Trading Organisations are now under, we will be releasing £65,000 in funding early to provide tailored business support now.

 Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change as Project Sponsor of Kindred, said:

“On behalf of the founding team of Kindred, we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in these incredibly challenging times to support the City Region’s highly valued socially trading organisations, including community businesses. Kindred is about supporting the needs of STOs working in the City Region’s communities, and this pre-launch Kindred work will provide non-financial collaborating communities business support for STO needs at this time, backed by Power to Change and the Combined Authority. We recognise that the work of STOs, including community businesses, is particularly critical at this time of national crisis as they provide support to some of the most vulnerable communities in LCR.”

 

Updates from DWP 

Latest update 24th March 2020 

Please note from Tuesday 24 March Jobcentres doors will be closed until further notice.

At this unprecedented time, additional steps are now being taken to protect customers and focus on ensuring their payments are in place.  It is also important that they support the critical efforts to reduce unnecessary travel, increase social distancing, protect customers and protect colleagues to ensure they can focus on making payments.  Therefore after the measures taken last week to decrease the amount of customer contact in jobcentres, they will from tomorrow be reducing face-to-face contact to an absolute minimum.

What this means: 

  • Jobcentres will be closed to all but the most vulnerable cases, which can’t be completed through any other channel in order to receive timely payment. This will be by exception and the doors to the Jobcentre will remain closed except to individuals who fall into this category.
  • Inside jobcentres, strict social distancing measures will be in place.
  • Signs will be placed in windows asking everyone to claim online and / or over the phone. A number will be provided for those who want to speak to a colleague in the jobcentre which I will be sent out tomorrow.

“By taking this action, we protect customers and communities as we comply with government advice on social distancing; and maximise the processing capacity of jobcentres to support new claims made online or via the phone. We also reassure our people it is safe to come to work in line with social distancing policy.”

Update 23rd March 2020

Following on from the recent Government announcements surrounding the Coronavirus attached are some updated details below with may help with any enquiries you get with regards to DWP managing the Coronavirus current position

Attached is the link to Gov.uk regarding making a claim to benefits – this page will be being updated regularly. It is advised not to print this information, but rather check the webpages regularly due to the fast moving changes in advice.

           https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

           https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/

 They have been asked to clarify the situation of Face to Face Health assessments. attached is the link to Gov.uk which clarifies that medicals will be suspended for 3 months! The official stance is;-

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be suspended for the next 3 months, the government announced today (16 March 2020).

The temporary move, effective on Tuesday 17 March 2020, is being taken as a precautionary measure to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus as the country’s response ramps up in the ‘delay’ phase. We will ensure those who are entitled to a benefit continue to receive support, and that new claimants are able to access the safety net.

It affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), those on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and some on Universal Credit, and recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Full details can be found in the link attached - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-to-face-health-assessments-for-benefits-suspended-amid-coronavirus-outbreak?utm_source=a80f6336-b581-4a77-815c-17fdf1f1eb40&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate  

Face to face activity - DWP are also reviewing wider customer activity, with a view to limiting face-to-face activity while prioritising support for our most vulnerable customers.

There was a Touchbase released last week that also details information regarding the Coronavirus – If you are not signed up to receive these emails you may want to consider it as it keeps you up to date.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/touchbase-dwp-news-about-work-working-age-benefits-and-services

You may also want to keep an eye on the Gov.uk News and Communications Page

https://www.gov.uk/search/news-and-communications?organisations%5B%5D=department-for-work-pensions

Locally:-

  • The DWP are focusing their efforts to ensure people can make new claims and get paid on time. Processes are now in place to help the most vulnerable and those who are affected by Coronavirus - this will mean that appropriate customers should not have to immediately attend the Jobcentre and any actions be completed by phone. Face to Face Verification appointments for these customers will be suspended as checks will be made during the claim process (via Biographical Identity verification)  and they will seek to verify all the evidence later.   
  • From, Friday 20th March, all face to face interviews for UC, Legacy and New Style Benefits will be temporarily suspended. They expect this measure will be in effect for the foreseeable It means that customers can be confident they will continue to be paid during this unprecedented outbreak.
  • They are having regular meetings and tele-kits  and things could change quickly and they will let us know as soon as possible if this happens

National Telephony Teams

As a result of the increased measures the Government have put in place to limit the spread of Coronavirus, the DWP Third Party Helpline is currently operating at a reduced level. When contacting the Helpline, they ask that you display patience and they will endeavour to answer your call as quickly as they can.

As a reminder, listed below are the queries that the Third Party Helpline can & can’t respond to.

What DWP Third Party Payments Telephony Team are able to do:-

  • deal with queries from creditors/suppliers relating to payment schedules (date of first payment, amount, assessment period)  
  • issue duplicate schedules if not received after 5 working days
  • give general advice to third parties on how set up deductions
  • provide advice on changing creditor details via the creditor handbook on GOV.UK
  • complete referral to set up electronic schedules
  • refer complex queries regarding schedule issues for investigation
  • stop a payment at request of DWP colleagues

For private landlords only rent arrears are paid under the Third Party Deduction Scheme.

Before you call for queries relating to payment schedules, you can check with your Finance teams to see if they have details of the schedule you are enquiring about. You may get the answer you need without having to consider contacting them. 

 What DWP Third Party Payments Telephony Team are not able to do:-

  • deal with private landlords unless they have been set up with a creditor reference number
  • check for missing payments on invoices if the creditor has not checked with their finance team prior to calling
  • speak to benefit claimants
  • deal with queries regarding Debt Management issues
  • deal with Social Fund deductions
  • stop a payment/deduction at request of customer or creditor
  • provide any update on UC47 progress
  • provide any information on progress of deductions set up
  • answer any queries regarding Managed Payment to a Landlord (these must be directed to the Universal Credit Service Centre)

VCA would like to thank Runcorn Job Centre for keeping us updated during these difficult times which are changing rapidly.

 

 

Message from Halton Borough Council

I understand that some of your services will be under immense pressure now and during the coming weeks. However… We are looking for ways in which our services can provide for those who may be in difficulty or looking for something a bit different.

To that end, we are hoping technology can come to our aid.  In the next week or so we are looking to the libraries to see if we can do an online storytime” for kids off school, or perhaps some kind of online reading or blogs etc. That’s in the bag.  For adults and children we were hoping that, on the back of #HaltOnLonliness we could persuade groups or individuals to make their own short up-beat or well-wishing videos from care homes, childrens venues or anywhere else we can think of.

If they use the hashtag #haltonloneliness we can then track it and repost the great ones through our own social media sites using the same hashtag. We can currently monitor/track twitter, facebook and Instagram (not tiktok or snapchat) Lets try and put smiles on some faces!

If we can get people to start posting next week, that would be brilliant.

Can you please pass this message on to anyone who is in contact with adults/ children’s groups, sports, aged, walkers etc and anyone else you can think of to get the message out that we want good news, happy news or just something to make people smile to try and keep Haltons residents  in high spirits during what appear to be tricky times.

Thanks

IAIN BISSET
HALTON BOROUGH COUNCIL

 

We want our members to know that we know how difficult things are currently with putting your own plans in place & thinking about how you continue to provide much needed support. As well as doing that ourselves we are working with local public sector partners in the 2 Boroughs and across the LCR. It's a worrying time and we know not just because of health. We are working with @vs6news and other colleagues to do all we can to make financial support available to respond to the emergency and to make sure groups don't close. Please continue to work with us to tell us what's going on for you and to let us know what help you are likely to need. Stay safe & well from all of us @HSHVCA

In the past few days we have been doing a number of things.

Supporting local resilience planning in Halton & St Helens - there have been initial meetings with a few key organisations about emergency plans and arrangements but we will be trying to share information on our website and to keep you up to date with who you need to connect to and how you can get involved. We will attempt to connect more groups into this over the next few days, once we have organised our capacity at VCA

Volunteering - as part of the above we have mobilised at short notice our new volunteering portal to attempt to provide a central resource for people wanting to help out and for groups to get support they might need over the next few months. It wasn’t ready and so it’s taken a mammoth effort by our staff to get this off the ground.

Influencing - we know that the anxiety is not just about health and our local sector is not as resilient as it once was. We are working with both Councils and with our colleagues at a Liverpool City Region level to make sure the sector and its needs are considered in emergency plans and can access funding to build capacity and ensure resilience.

Getting ourselves ready - like everyone else we need to put some plans in place in case we need to work from home. We will still be here and available but won’t necessarily have St Maries or our office at the Beacon open to the public.

Our work at Warrington & Halton Hospital - working with our partners there to develop a plan.

We know you need information and we will do our best to start sending a weekly update on any key issues. Please flag up anything you think we need to do or include in these. In the next day or two we have a more detailed note about who at VCA is leading what and how you contact us to get engaged or involved.

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/providers/registration_provider.htm 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 

https://volunteering.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vk/volunteers/registration.htm .

We are expecting Government guidance soon on volunteering and how we can all help out safely.

If you aren’t on twitter I would suggest now is the time to join. It will help you keep up to date with our posts but also what’s happening in the sector and local authorities quickly and easily.

Finally we have a number of things on our website to try and pull together information relevant for groups. There are 2 web forms there asking what you are doing so we can update the local offer and asking what emergency help or support you might need either to do more or to stay afloat as a result of having to close or cease temporarily.

Stay safe and keep in touch with us

Sally Yeoman

Chief Officer

The Royal Mail is useless at publicising postage increases, so whenever rates are going to go up I send out an update. If you still use postage stamps, this gives you a chance to save money by buying generic 1st and 2nd class stamps (without a money value on them) before the increase, and continuing to use them afterwards.

From Monday 23 March:

  • Standard letters up to & including 100g: 1st class up 6p from 70p to 76p; 2nd class up 4p from 61p to 65p.
  • Large letters up to & including 100g: 1st class up 9p from £1.06 to £1.15; 2nd class up 5p from 83p to 88p.
  • Small parcels up to & including 1kg: 1st class up 15p from £3.55 to £3.70; 2nd class up 10p from £3.00 to £3.10.
  • Small parcels up to & including 2kg: 1st class up 7p from £5.50 to £5.57; 2nd class up 10p from £3.00 to £3.10.
  • Medium parcels up to & including 1kg: 1st class up 10p from £5.80 to £5.90; 2nd class up 10p from £5.10 to £5.20.
  • Medium parcels up to & including 2kg: 1st class up 7p from £8.95 to £9.02, 2nd class up 10p from £5.10 to £5.20.
  • International letters or postcards to anywhere outside the UK, up to & including 10g, go up 7p from £1.35 to £1.42 because of an increase in overseas delivery costs. For letters up to 20g the cost goes up 7p from £1.35 to £1.42 for Europe, and up 8p from £1.55 to £1.63 for world zones 1 & 2. Up to 100g the cost goes up 8p from £1.60 to £1.68 for Europe and up 12p from £2.30 to £2.42 for world zones 1 & 2.

These are the main changes for the most common sizes, and are the largest increases since 2012. Full details of all new rates, including for franking machines, are at https://www.royalmail.com/prices2020.

The guide for sending items using postage stamps is at https://tinyurl.com/ww3c3ft.

Non-value indicator (generic) stamps with 1st or 2nd on them rather than a money amount remain valid for that class of postage, regardless of when they were purchased. So if you still use postage stamps, there's nothing to stop you from stocking up before the increase. For confirmation that this is OK, see the MoneySavingExpert blog at https://tinyurl.com/soedmpw. This is from 2012 but the law hasn't changed.

Apex Charitable Trust is having a Young Womans Day on March 20th 2020 11am -3pm.

A day of wellbeing for young woman aged 16-25

 

Plan Bee Community Coffee Shop is opening for Mother's Day, the idea behind the day is that they are open for anybody who may struggle on this day and may not want to be alone, they are opening their doors to children without mothers, mothers and grandmothers without their children and grandchildren. Come along and spend the day with them at Plan Bee Community Coffee Shop.

Sunday 22nd March

1-3pm

£11 adult

£7 child

Booking Essential Call: 07787 789 479

 

Child Bereavement UK in partnership with Willowbrook Hospice are offering monthly drop in sessions providing an opportunity for bereaved families and professionals to find out about the support and training Child Bereavement UK can offer, when a child dies or when a child grieves.

First Friday of each month, 3-5pm. No need to book. Free parking available.

The Living Well, Borough Rd, St Helens WA10 3RN

 

 

Apex Charitable Trust/Plan Bee community Coffee shop

St Helens, Merseyside                 

Vacancy for cook

Plan Bee is a fully trading community coffee shop offering high quality food and drinks whilst also providing employment opportunities and career advancement for people who have a criminal record.

Apex Trust help people with a criminal record to move forward with their lives and volunteer within Plan Bee, enabling them to learn new skills and develop work experience, including barista skills, cookery skills, customer service and food hygiene.

They are looking for someone who is reliable, trustworthy and enthusiastic about delivering a high-quality product to customers.

Role:  Plan Bee is looking to recruit a full time cook/caterer 

Hours:  negotiable (Job share maybe an option)

Experience and Skills: Experience within catering/kitchen setting is required, knowledge of allergens is preferred and Level 3 Food Safety is essential.

Pay Type: Hourly

Contract Type:  9-month fixed term (subject to further funding)

Job Purpose: Based in North Road, St Helens. 

  • Preparing & cooking fresh food, whilst supervising and training volunteers within a small kitchen area and serving customers.
  • Producing healthy and nutritious meals.
  • Catering for vegans/vegetarians and catering for people with allergies to certain foods.
  • Keeping all areas of kitchen clean and tidy, training and supervising volunteers.
  • Basic numeracy and literacy required.

Working Pattern: between 8.30am 4.00pm, 4 day’s per week (flexibility to work weekends when required)

Salary: £9.50 per hour

Minimum Qualification Comments: Level 3 Food Safety

Role & Responsibilities

They are looking for the right person to join the team at Plan Bee Community Coffee Shop; be that either two part-time team members or one full time. Previous experience preferred in working in the retail/cafe industry.

One of the main objectives of Plan Bee is to maintain a buzzing coffee shop with good vibes and enjoyable experience to customers by offering great food and beverages. They'd like you to hold the same values as they do regarding looking after customers at all ages within the community, whilst upholding the aims and objectives of the charity.

Your main responsibilities would include;

  • Stock management/ordering.
  • Menu planning
  • Food prep and cooking of food in the kitchen
  • Supervising/Training volunteers
  • Cleaning down between peak times to keep the space organised and efficient
  • High standards to food safety and health & safety
  • Working with the management team to ensure kitchen compliance is upheld.

The ability to use initiative and work independently is requiredBasic DBS check will be required.

Closing date 20th March 2020 – Interview’s will take place on Monday 30th March 2020.

How to Apply:

Please send your CV to their Business Development Manager – Leanne Corkery L.corkery@apextrust.com  or call her to have an informal discussion on 07788 678051

 

Cabbage Hall  Community Allotment CIC have a fantastic open space that they want to share with their community, but they need volunteers to help.  If you fancy volunteering your time, then there is something to suit everyone!  They meet every Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm, but someone can often be found pottering about most days, just message them and they can meet you.  

Do you have any of these skills?

  1. Green fingered:  Maybe you would like to get involved with the growing aspect of the allotment, you like growing but don't have enough time to commit to an allotment of your own, you are on a waiting list for an allotment and those green fingers are itching! or you just want to dip your toe in the water and see if allotment life is for you.
  2. Creative:  Designing and creating new things to decorate the Garden.  Activities for young gardeners or group activities.
  3. Practical: From basic woodwork, to wheelbarrow wielding, there is a lot to do on the practical front.
  4. Friendly:  They never underestimate the skills it takes to just talk to people, make a brew and build on the amazing community spirit.
  5. Funding:  Funding allows them to create an even more vibrant and creative community, so any bid writing or fundraising skills are appreciated.
  6. Donating;  If you are a local business and want to donate materials, expertise or even money to help build a better garden, then please let them know.
  7. Social media:  They do a lot online, from face booking to twittering, so if you have any digital skills, then they can use you.
  8. Group:  If you are a group and would like to use their space please contact them.  There is a small fee to help with running costs.

If you have other skills to offer then please do get in touch, but please don't feel you have to be an expert in anything to join in.  Volunteering isn't just limited to one day, they can always work around that if you have other commitments.

If you want to join in or want more information then contact them on 

Email: cabbagehallcic@gmail.com

Twitter: @cabbage_hall

Phone: 07940955223

They are based at Cabbage Hall Community Allotment, Cabbage Hall, Hard Lane, St Helens, WA10 6NY

Giving World is a registered charity. They redirect new business end-of-line and discontinued stock (e.g. warm clothing, food, toiletries) for free to the most deprived communities in the UK.
Their evidence indicates charities across the UK are struggling to meet the increasing level of need in their communities and that beneficiaries face multiple and complex problems. Amongst the highest are loneliness, unemployment, low income, homelessness, and mental health needs.

With the removal of institutional safety nets there is now a greater need than ever to draw people in to safety.

You can help your clients and beneficiaries by registering with Giving World and accessing free resources for people you help and your charity. Giving World partner charities tell them that the goods help to:

  • Extend services - The goods provided by Giving World enable charities to diversify their approach and meet the needs of their local communities. 
  • Reach more people – Life essential goods are a unique source of recruitment for the hard to reach, drawing in those in need who are not actively seeking support e.g. those suffering with addiction
  • Increase charity capacity – Increased reach and awareness of the charity can attract more volunteers and funding. Many beneficiaries go on to give back by volunteering themselves. 

To access free goods register at www.givingworld.org.uk or you can contact Louise on 0116 251 6051

 

Our colleagues from Halton Borough Council’s External Funding Team have prepared some Funding Bulletins containing valuable information for voluntary organisations looking for grants to get projects off the ground.

The Monthly funding bulletins offering information on funding opportunities in the following areas:

Arts, Community & Voluntary, Environment & Heritage, European, Faith, Health, Schools, Sports and Youth.

To access the information, please click on the link below:

https://www4.halton.gov.uk/Pages/business/FinanceandGrants/finance.aspx

The LCVS Community Impact Fund helps voluntary sector organisations and registered charities do even more to build stronger communities across Merseyside. The current round of funding will close on Friday 6 March 2020, so get your application in now.

Eligible organisations can apply for grants of up to £3,000 for projects that meet one or more of the fund’s four main priority areas:

•             Health

•             Education

•             Income stability

•             Arts and culture

Applications are assessed on the impact that the project will have on the lives of those who benefit. LCVS is looking for projects that help make a change for those most in need. For this round, they are particularly interested in projects that target and offer support to parents and families.

Organisations wishing to apply must be registered charities, or have charitable aims as part of their governing document, and must be able to register with the Charity Commission if their income exceeds £5,000.

Community Interest Companies (CICs) can apply, but there is detailed guidance for more information about specific criteria for CICs.

Follow this link to visit the Community Impact Fund page and find out how to apply.

https://www.lcvs.org.uk/grants/community-impact-fund/

 

 

 

NAVCA, have a produced a new blog about "Marmot Review: 10 Years on".  

To mark the 10-year anniversary of the landmark study of health inequalities, Fair Society, Healthy Lives, the UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE) has launched Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On, commissioned by the Health Foundation.

The report examines progress over the past decade in addressing health inequalities in England and proposes recommendations for future action. The report also looks at the social determinants of health through policy areas outside the traditional 'health and social care' sector, including early years and education, work and income, housing, places and communities.

While there has been progress in some areas since 2010's Fair Society, Healthy Lives, there is growing evidence that health inequalities are widening and life expectancy is stalling. Te review finds that the more deprived the area, the shorter the life expectancy. There are marked regional differences in life expectancy, particularly among people living in more deprived areas.

The original Marmot Report contained recommendations for action in six key areas for Government:

  • Give every child the best start in life
  • Enable all children young people and adults to maximise their capabilities and have control over their lives
  • Create employment and good work for all
  • Ensure healthy standard of living for all
  • Create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities
  • Strengthen the role and impact of ill health prevention

The 2020 Review demands six actions from government:

  • Develop a national strategy for action on the social determinants of health with the aim of reducing inequalities.
  • Ensure proportionate universal allocation of resources and implementation of policies: “changes to funding allocations and cuts to benefits have disproportionately affected poorer areas and communities and have been greatest in the North. Reversing these losses requires funding and action to be greater in those areas which have lost most, but universal as all areas have suffered cuts and widening inequalities.”
  • Early intervention to prevent health inequalities, through acting on the recommendations from the original Marmot Review.
  • Develop the social determinants of health workforce, building on successful partnership working with ‘non-health’ groups including the police, fire and rescue service, housing and education workforces.
  • Engage the public: “The public and political debate on health needs to move towards the social determinants and away from the overwhelming focus on individual behaviours and health care; this will help shift political focus and lead to greater investment and action on social determinants.” This is a key area where the voluntary and community sector can use their networks and credibility to help.
  • Develop whole systems monitoring and strengthen accountability for health inequalities: again, a call for the Government to be more accountable, by establishing clear targets to bring up health standards in areas where health inequalities are at their highest – particularly the deprived areas of the north of England up to the levels of good health in London and the South. If the government is serious about its ambition of ‘levelling up’ this is the place to start.

A decade of austerity has seen drastic cuts to local government funding, which is tasked with funding the social determinants that can improve health and reduce inequalities. Considering whether austerity is the reason for the worsening health picture, Professor Sir Michael Marmot said it was “highly likely” that austerity cuts are responsible for the “life expectancy flat-lining, people’s health deteriorating and the widening of health inequalities.” He writes in the foreword to the report:

“From rising child poverty and the closure of children’s centres, to declines in education funding, an increase in precarious work and zero hours contracts, to a housing affordability crisis and a rise in homelessness, to people with insufficient money to lead a healthy life and resorting to food banks in large numbers, to ignored communities with poor conditions and little reason for hope… austerity will cast a long shadow over the lives of the children born and growing up under its effects.”

You can read a summary of the report including comments from the Health Secretary and Shadow Health Secretary on the Politics Home website and you can access the full report from the Institute of Health Equity website.

The full piece from Jane Ide, NAVCA's CEO, can be found by clicking the link below:

https://navca.org.uk/news-and-views/f/we-still-have-hope---the-marmot-review-10-years-on

 

 

 

Acas have released new and updated guidance for employers and employees. This includes guidance on handling coronavirus at work:

In case coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads more widely in the UK, employers should consider some simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff.

It's good practice for employers to:

  • keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
  • make sure everyone's contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date
  • make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace develops the virus
  • make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap, and encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly
  • provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them
  • consider if protective face masks might help for people working in particularly vulnerable situations
  • consider if any travel planned to affected areas is essential

Employers must not single anyone out. For example, they must not treat an employee differently because of their race or ethnicity.

Sick pay

The workplace's usual sick leave and pay entitlements apply if someone has coronavirus.

Employees should let their employer know as soon as possible if they're not able to go to work.

Pay if someone has to go into self-isolation

The government has made clear that if NHS 111 or a doctor advises an employee or worker to self-isolate, they’re entitled to statutory sick pay. If the employer offers contractual sick pay, it’s good practice to provide this.

The employer might need to be flexible if they require evidence from the employee or worker. For example, someone might not be able to provide a sick note ('fit note') if they've been told to self-isolate for 14 days.

The employee must tell their employer as soon as possible if they cannot work. It's helpful to let the employer know the reason and how long they are likely to be off for.

Find out more about:

If an employee is not sick but the employer tells them not to come to work

If an employee is not sick but their employer tells them not to come to work, they should get their usual pay. For example, if someone has returned from China or another affected area and their employer asks them not to come in.

If an employee needs time off work to look after someone

Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a 'dependant') in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations to do with coronavirus. For example:

  • if they have children they need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed
  • to help their child or another dependant if they're sick, or need to go into isolation or hospital

There's no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy.
 
The amount of time off an employee takes to look after someone must be reasonable for the situation. For example, they might take 2 days off to start with, and if more time is needed, they can book holiday.
 
Find out more about:

If employees do not want to go to work

Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they're afraid of catching coronavirus.

An employer should listen to any concerns staff may have.

If there are genuine concerns, the employer must try to resolve them to protect the health and safety of their staff. For example, if possible, the employer could offer flexible working.

If an employee still does not want to go in, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this.

If an employee refuses to attend work, it could result in disciplinary action.

Find out more about absence from work.

If someone becomes unwell at work

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace and has recently come back from an area affected by coronavirus, they should:

  • get at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people
  • go to a room or area behind a closed door, such as a sick bay or staff office
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • use a separate bathroom from others, if possible

The unwell person should use their own mobile phone to call either:

  • 111, for NHS advice
  • 999, if they’re seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk

They should tell the operator:

  • their symptoms
  • which country they've returned from in the last 14 days

If someone with coronavirus comes to work

If someone with coronavirus comes to work, the workplace does not necessarily have to close.

The local Public Health England (PHE) health protection team will get in contact with the employer to:

  • discuss the case
  • identify people who have been in contact with the affected person
  • carry out a risk assessment
  • advise on any actions or precautions to take

Find out more about PHE health protection teams on GOV.UK.

The process may be different in Scotland and Wales. For more advice, see:

If the employer needs to close the workplace

Currently it's very unlikely that an employer will need to close their workplace.
 
But they should still plan in case they need to close temporarily. For example, making sure staff have a way to communicate with the employer and other people they work with.

Where work can be done at home, the employer could:

  • ask staff who have work laptops or mobile phones to take them home so they can carry on working 
  • arrange paperwork tasks that can be done at home for staff who do not work on computers

Find out more about homeworking.

In some situations, an employer might need to close down their business for a short time. Unless it says in the contract or is agreed otherwise, they still need to pay their employees for this time.

If the employer thinks they'll need to do this, it's important to talk with staff as early as possible and throughout the closure.

The full guidance can be found, including links to other useful information, by clicking the link below:

https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

 

A consultation on whether to move to electing all ward councillors once every four years is now taking place.

Currently one third of St Helens Council ward councillors are elected each year, one from each ward, in a three out of every four-year cycle.

But the public could choose to instead opt to have one election to select all the ward councillors at the same time.

The next ward councillor elections would then take place four years later after all councillors have served their four-year term.

The advantages and disadvantages of each of the proposed electoral cycles as well as frequently asked questions can be found in the attachment below. 

The consultation will run from Friday, February 28 to Monday 23rd March to take part please visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/council/public-consultation/

A decision on the electoral cycle will be made at a special council meeting on April 15th.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike King on the details below:

Mike King
Interim Policy Manager
St Helens Council
01744 676 594
michaelking@sthelens.gov.uk

 

 

The next St Helens VCSE Forum meeting will be on Monday 23rd March at 10am to 12 noon at the Beacon Building, College Street, St Helens.  We are bringing key partners together to connect with the sector to provide and share key developments on St Helens Cares and we will update on key work and initiatives in St Helens.   

To book a place click on the link below

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=324&reset=1

Minutes of previous meetings can be found at 

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/st-helens-vcse-forum

Halton and St Helens VCA have established the Halton VCSE Forum to bring together key partners to connect with the sector to provide and share key developments on One Halton and we will also update on key work and initiatives in Halton.  The next meeting is on Monday 20th April 2020 at our Widnes office on Lugsdale Road, Widnes from 10am to 12 noon. 

To attend please register using the link below:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=323

Previous meeting minutes can be found at the link below

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/halton-vcse-forum

Age UK Mid Mersey have a number of volunteer roles that they are seeking support with at their Mansion House site in St Helens.  The are looking for Hopsitialities Assistants, receptionist and group helpers.

Hospitality / Housekeeping Assistants

Aims: To assist in the coffee shop / Bistro at the Mansion House Site, undertaking various tasks;  meeting/greeting clients, operating the till, taking orders, serve pre-prepared food, serving drinks, laying out and clearing tables, help with cleaning duties and maintaining a high standard of hygiene.

Volunteer attributes.

  • Be of a friendly, cheerful disposition
  • Demonstrate good oral communication and numeracy skills
  • Be honest, reliable and adaptable to undertake the variety of tasks involved
  • Work under pressure at busy time
  • Work effectively, both independently and as part of a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of keeping a food environment scrupulously clean
  • Work within strict health and safety guidelines at all times

Receptionist

Aims: To act as the first point of contact wit clients, answering and directing telephone calls and greeting visitors. 

Volunteer attributes.

  • responsible, committed people who are able to deal with enquiries and clients efficiently
  • good listeners with a calm and sympathetic manner
  • confidentiality at all times
  • good telephone and administrative skills
  • an ability to work as part of a team

Social Inclusion / Group Helper

Aims: To work with the Service Co-ordinators to help facilitate groups at various venues across the Boroughs of St Helens, Halton and at the community centre in Roby, Huyton.    Encourage and help older people to participate fully in the activities.  Help serve refreshments and facilitate bingo, raffle etc.

Volunteer attributes.

  • Good communication skills
  • A caring and friendly disposition
  • Honest and reliable
  • Have a good understanding of and empathy with older people

To find out more contact Shelley Brown on 01744 414440

We have very kindly been dontated a large collection of vintage knitting patterns and books, knitting kneedles and also a sewing / knitting box.  Are you a craft group / knitting group that could make use of them?  They are currenlty on display at our Widnes office and are free to anyone who would like them, they can be collected Monday to Friday 10 am to 4pm, no need to book.  There are some photo's below of the collection.

 

At the first VS6  meeting of 2020, the partnership discussed plans for a Liverpool City Region Assembly where representatives from the VCFSE sector would be introduced to the work of VS6 and invited to contribute to a Manifesto for the sector ahead of the Metro Mayor election in May 2020.

To assist with the Manifesto, the partnership agreed to undertake a survey of the VCFSE sector across the Liverpool City region, asking them about their priorities over the next four years and what values they feel are important.

This manifesto will be used as the basis for a Metro Mayoral Hustings event to take place in March which the partnership agreed to host. This will see the candidates from major parties questioned on issues relating the VCFSE sector and asked to sign up to our manifesto. Steve Rotheram has confirmed he will be attending.

Finally, the partnership discussed and reviewed the work undertaken in 2019 and agreed to plan further events and activities for 2020.

For More Information About VS6 and previous meetings, please click the link below:

https://www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk/vs6-working-together-build-stronger-liverpool-city-region

 

Offload is coming to St Helens with Rugby League Cares and Saints Community Development Foundation (SCDF).

The hugely successful men’s mental fitness programme run by the independent charity Rugby League Cares, will kick-off at the home of the Betfred Super League champions at 5.45pm on 4th March 2020.

Offload is a health initiative designed by RL Cares with input from State of Mind and is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund in Warrington, Widnes and Salford. It helps men tackle issues such as depression and anxiety and to develop coping strategies to successfully manage the crises we all face in everyday life.

Staged over 10 weekly ‘fixtures’, Offload is presented by former Rugby League players and officials who share their experiences of dealing with pressure, health problems and challenging situations.

Offload fixtures at St Helens will also feature input from OK TO ASK, a campaign which aims to break down the stigma of talking about suicide.

St Helens has one of the highest suicide rates in the UK – 75 people in the borough have taken their own lives in the last three years – and OK TO ASK focuses on the life-saving conversations anyone could have with someone thinking of suicide.

Liam Parker, Health Projects Manager at RL Cares, said: “Offload has a proven track-record of both changing and saving lives and we are delighted to have opportunity to deliver our programme to the people of St Helens.

“Over 1,000 men across the North West have already attended Offload fixtures and we know from the feedback they have given us what a positive difference it makes to the quality of not only their lives, but the lives of their families and the people around them.

“Working in partnership with Saints Community Development Foundation, St Helens Borough Council and the OK TO ASK campaign will enable us to continue that good work and empower more men to be able to cope, and talk comfortably, about important health issues.”

Chris Chamberlain, Project and Finance Manager at Saints Foundation, said: “After extensive consultation and understanding the local needs from across St Helens, it became evident that Offload would be great to support people within St Helens.

“Saints Foundation has been working hard behind the scenes with partners at the Local Authority and Rugby League Cares to bring Offload to St Helens. This is an extremely positive project which has worked well in other local areas and we are pleased to bring Offload to St Helens”.

Offload has already acquired national recognition for the successful way it has engaged men in what is traditionally a taboo health subject since it was launched in 2017.

Since then, Offload has made a positive impact on the lives of the men who have attended fixtures run at Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves and Widnes Vikings.

Earlier this month, Offload was nominated for a prestigious ‘Sport for Social Change Award’ at the 2019 British Journalist Sport Awards: the programme was also highly rated in an independent evaluation conducted by health experts at Edge Hill University.

That report found that men who have completed a set of Offload fixtures:

  • Have a better understanding of how to look after their mental and physical fitness;
  • Have more positive and effective strategies to cope in tough times;
  • Are more resilient and more able to handle setbacks;
  • Have a stronger and bigger support network;
  • Have better relationships at home;
  • Have increased aspirations about being in work and/or training;
  • Have started volunteering more.

Offload fixtures at St Helens are aimed at men aged 16 and over, are free to attend and will take place at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

For more information on Offload at St Helens, or to sign up to the programme, please contact Saints Community Development Foundation at OFFLOAD@SAINTSRLFC.COM.

For more information about Offload please visit www.rugbyleaguecares.org

The Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have launched a campaign to recruit young people between the ages of 18-27 to join a new youth board for the organisation.

The youth board is being set up to give young people living in the sub-region the opportunity to express their values in order to influence the future of Cheshire and Warrington at an exciting and challenging time.

This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who fits into this demographic to build on their CV as well as having an influence on some of the positive changes that are being made to their home – Cheshire and Warrington. They will learn fantastic skills such as; teamworking, decision making, communicating, networking as well as having hands on experience in the corporate world.

For more information and to apply: http://www.cheshireandwarringtonyouthboard.com/

Closing Date: 13th March 2020 

 

This February and March come along to the Apex Women’s Hub at 13-15 North Road St Helens to experience some fantastic life coaching by Michelle Burrows of Get Inspired Coaching.

Michelle is a personal growth specialist who is a regular contributor to the Wednesday Women’s Hub delivering both active and mindful sessions which focus on health and wellbeing.

During February and March Michelle will be at the hub on Friday afternoons between 1 and 3pm coaching women to focus on how and when to achieve their aspirations.

Sessions are open to all women living in St Helens, are free of charge and include refreshments.

Call Elvira on 01744 612898 or 07587 228 142 for more details.

 

This April, nature enthusiasts are being asked to join international efforts to find and document the wildlife living in cities by taking part in the 5th international City Nature Challenge. Between the 24th and 27th April 2020, more than 250 cities will be competing in the Challenge to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species and get the most people involved.

Last year, our very own Liverpool City Region took part for the first time, both doing very well, and in 2020, Liverpool will be pitting itself against the likes of London, Panama, San Diego and Cape Town.

Recording wildlife is vital in efforts to protect nature. Observations show us where wildlife is thriving or struggling in an ever-changing landscape and this information helps policy makers, scientists, planners and conservationists to make informed decisions when it comes to protecting nature.

There will be lots of opportunities to join wildlife recording events across the weekend or alternatively, take yourself (and a group of friends) out and about to see what you can find!

If you would like to take part, please follow the links below for more details.

https://www.lancswt.org.uk/events/city-nature-challenge

http://citynaturechallenge.org/

Focus Employment Hub Limited are moving to new offices from 3rd March 2020. The new address is Centrix House, Crow Lane East, Newton Le Willows WA12 9UY.

The telephone, email and website will remain the same.

www.focusemployment.co.uk

Ashley High School in Widnes are seeking volunteering opportunities for a small group of 6th Form students with High Functioning Autism and Social Communication Difficulties. They are available on Wednesday mornings in June and July and looking forward to finding about any opportunities that they could become involved with. There will be 5 students and they will be supported by 2 members of staff. For more information please contact Nicola Lightfoot: nicola.lightfoot@ashley.halton.sch.uk.

 

Residents across St Helens and Knowsley are being encouraged to feel the benefits of being more active by trying a beginners course in bowls.  Taking part can give yourself a boost, feel more refreshed and is a great way to meet new people.

‘Bowl for Health’ is a six week programme designed for complete newcomers to bowls, providing an overview of the basics and how to play a match.  Run by welcoming coaches and club volunteers.

The programme is being led by MSP, after being successfully rolled out across Merseyside over the last two years.  The idea for Bowl for Health was developed and successfully piloted in 2017 by Formby Village Sports Club, and the programme has also had support from the National Lottery Community Fund.

One participant – Tom, 60, explained how taking part has helped him to feel less isolated, “Being on my own is very difficult – it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you can’t turn around to speak to anyone.  I got a note through my door about the Bowl for Health course and I was really interested in joining.  My father was a great bowler in Liverpool and I used to go and watch him play, but I’ve never played before myself.  I’ve only been playing bowls for a short time, but I’ve found the activity very invigorating – both from a physical and mental side – so with this you get the best of both worlds!”

Danny Woodworth, from MSP, said, “Being active doesn’t need to mean joining a gym, it’s about finding an activity that you enjoy - people have told us that bowling is a great way to enjoy gentle exercise in a relaxed and sociable environment.  Bowl for Health is for anybody to join in with - it doesn’t matter what your age, experience or level of fitness is.”

A new Bowl for Health course is starting up at:

  • Rainhill Bowling Club (Victoria Terrace, L35 0LH) from 10.00am to 12.00pm Saturday 28th March 2020 (for 6 weeks).  For more information or to book your place please contact Eric Davies on 0151 426 5818 or email eric51davies@gmail.com

For further information about the programme please visit www.merseysidesport.com/bowlforhealth or call MSP on 0151 728 1811.

 

 

 

 

The Merseyside Police and Crime Panel is seeking a committed and enthusiastic person from the Merseyside area to serve as a co-opted independent member on the panel from July 2020 for a term to end in May 2024.

This role is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the arrangements for police governance and accountability, which would involve scrutinising and supporting the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 introduced significant changes in police governance and accountability; in particular, replacing Police Authorities by directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) from November 2012.

In summary, the public accountability for the delivery and performance of the police service within each force is now placed into the hands of the PCC on behalf of their electorate. The PCC draws on this electoral mandate to set and shape the strategic objectives of their force area in consultation with the Chief Constable. The PCC is accountable both to the electorate and the Police and Crime Panel; the Chief Constable is directly accountable to the PCC.

Each force area has a Police and Crime Panel to offer both support and challenge in relation to the PCC’s decision-making and actions. The PCC is required to consult with the Panel on the strategic plan for local policing, as well as the level of council tax needed to support the local policing budget, and the appointment of a Chief Constable. Independent members, through their knowledge and experience, are expected to enhance the Panel’s ability to play its role effectively.

The panel is made up of 10 local councillors in total from the five local authorities in the force area, plus two independent co-opted members.

The role of a panel member is an important and demanding one. The typical commitment required from a member of the panel is expected to average one day a month, including preparation time.

Applicants must live or work within the Merseyside area (Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral). Experience in community safety, victim support, criminal justice and related issues would be helpful, but is not essential. There is no salary for the role, but reasonable travel expenses can be reclaimed.

Panel Meetings are generally held in the daytime with meetings ordinarily being held in Huyton, Knowsley.