COVID-19

Spark Somerset COVID-19 Update

Below is the latest COVID-19 information, guidance and resources. We'll keep this list updated, so check back regularly.

If you need additional support, please contact our Community Developement Worker, Sandra Smith. Sandra can provide a range of support to community-led Covid-19 response groups, including information and guidance, training, funding advice, and help to connect/from partnerships with other organisations. Email sandra.smith@sparksomerset.org.uk.

Latest news

Lateral Flow Testing

If you are a charity or voluntary organisation, registered in England with Companies House, with 50 or more staff (paid or volunteers or a combination of both) who cannot work from home, you can now sign up to receive rapid lateral flow test kits by registering on gov.uk. Find further information on the NCVO website

Coronavirus Vaccinaton Volunteers

Due to an amazing response to our call-out or Vaccination Support Marshall Volunteers, we have paused recruitment for the sites in Taunton and Shepton Mallet. Thanks to all who signed up! You can still join the reserve list here.

Be a Covid Community Champion

Covid Community Champions help their family, friends, colleagues and the wider community to make sense of the latest advice and information about Covid-19. You’ll take part in a short online training session and receive regular updates on Covid-19 and other local health and wellbeing support. You can then share the information across your networks, in whatever format works best. You’ll also get to attend regular meetings with your fellow champions and talk about how things are going in your area. Find out more here.

For organisations

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

NCVO have issued Guidance for VCSE groups on protecting staff and volunteers which they are regularly updating - this includes information on prevention and social distancing, risk assessments and returning to work safely. Click here.

Coronavirus and Your Charity - guidance from the Charity Finance Group is available here.

Government guidance on managing financial difficulties for your organisation caused by COVID-19 is available here.

Volunteering

Take a look at NAVCA's Volunteering Flow Chart to help you work out which volunteering activities can be done safely in person, or remotely during the third lockdown.

Spark a Change is a free online platforms to recruit volunteers or find volunteering opportunities.

We’ve created an information pack for volunteer groups, to help them support their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can download it here.

Read our guidance for volunteers making friendly phone calls here

Read Government Guidance on how to volunteer safely here.

Read Guidance on from NCVO here.

Guidance for volunteers supporting people outside of their homes is here.

Join our Facebook group for COVID-19 support group coordinators to share ideas, get information and find out what’s working well for other groups.

Safely Resuming Your Services

Guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely reopening is available from the Government here, and ACRE here.

Guidance on how to make your workplace safe and secure is available here.

Guidance on face-to-face gatherings for community groups is available here.

Funding

We have funding available for groups providing COVID-19 related support to buy small essential items, up to the value of £250. Find out more and submit an application here.

Visit the Somerset Funding Portal to browse hundreds of funding opportunities by category, including COVID-19.

Health and Wellbeing

Somerset CCG has published information on the Covid-19 vaccination programme. Click here.

Find information and resources on staying safe and well at home here.

Anybody in need of support can contact the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 7906275)

Anybody in need of mental health support can contact Open Mental health, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01823 276892.

Tune in to weekly wellbeing sessions on BBC Radio Somerset, Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm. Find out more here.

Listen to the Somerset Emotional Wellbeing Podcast, with NHS Somerset CCG's Dr. Andrew Tressider and Dr. Peter Bagshaw. Find out more and listen here.

Safeguarding

Information on safeguarding for COVID-19 support groups is available here.

Download Somerset County Council's guidance for groups on safeguarding children in the community here.

Free online Safeguarding training for COVID-19 support group volunteers from Independent Safeguarding Service CIC is available here.

Catch up on webinars on safeguarding adults, aimed at volunteers offering front line support, and Quick guide to safeguarding adults during the COVID-19 pandemic from The Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Read Safeguarding guidance from NCVO here.

Read COVID-19 Advice for Social Care, from the Social Care Institute for Excellence here.

Data Protection

Get easy to follow guidance and a downloadable data protection policy from the Information Commissioners Office here.

Digital Support for Organisations

Spark a Change is our free online platform where groups can recruit and manage volunteers, and individuals can pledge their support.

Number People are offering free UK phone numbers to COVID-19 support groups! Find out more here.

Find a wide range of digital resources for VCSE organisations at www.thecatalyst.org.uk.