COVID-19

Spark Somerset COVID-19 Update

Updated 9th April 2020

We know this is a challenging time for everyone, and in light of government guidelines we have taken the decision to postpone all of our scheduled networking and training events for now. Rest assured, they will be back as soon as possible.

The team will also be avoiding all non-essential contact and travel - this means that Spark HQ is closed temporarily, and we will be unable to attend meetings in person. 

We are, however, still very much available to support our communities, and if you need any support, please give us a call on 01460 202970 or email support@sparksomerset.org.uk.

We'll use this page to share the latest information, guidance and resources.

We're that aware that some COVID-19 support groups are concerned about whether they can continue to operate under the current measures. Volunteers can continue to support vulnerable people in their communities, but must ensure they follow the latest government guidance, and minimise the time they spend outdoors. It is also important to know that if a person you are helping is at risk and requires support beyond the scope of the group, or is especially vulnerable, you should contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 to ensure they receive the right care and support. We have updated our guidance for groups accordingly, and are working with the Public Health Team at Somerset County Council to bring you the latest information.

News:

SASP launches Older People Active at Home Packs across Somerset to keep people moving. Click here.

A new helpline is now available for anyone who needs Coronavirus-related support from their councils. Find out more here.

In at the Deep End:Exploring how to best coordinate a COVID-19 response in your community. Catch up on our free webinar for COVID-19 Support Group Coordinators here, and watch this space for the next one.

We've launched Corona Helpers, a free online platform on which COVID-19 support groups can recruit and manage volunteers, and individuals can pledge their support.

The Somerset Mental Health Alliance has expanded its services to support adults and older people who may be struggling with their mental health as the county responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more here.

Are you coordinating a COVID19 support group? Rally Round is a FREE online tool to help you to support people in your community. Everyone in your network can use it to share and discuss tasks and volunteer to help out. Click here.

Independent Safeguarding Service CIC are offering free online Safeguarding training for COVID-19 support group volunteers. Click here.

Disclosure & Barring Service update - temporary changes to ID checking process. Click here.

Funding:

Many funders are now offering funding to help and support charities through this challenging time. We'll share the latest funding opportunities here.

We've put together some guidance for fundraisers and information on how funders are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, take a look here.

Resources:

We've created some guidance to help you to manage your COVID-19 support group safely and effectively. Click here.

Take a look at our DBS checking guidance for COVID-19 support groups here.

Our wellbeing team have put together information on keeping safe and well while staying at home. Click here.

The Charity Commisson has put somegether some COVID-19 guidance for the charity sector. Click here.

NCVO have issued some Guidance for VCSE groups, which they are regularly updating. Click here.

Public Health England's Guidance for non-clinical settings is available here.

Mutual Aid have published a really useful set of COVID-19 FAQs.

We'll keep this list updated, so check back regularly.