COVID-19

Spark Somerset COVID-19 Update

This is a challenging time for everyone, but please be assured that we are still very much available to support our communities. If you would like our help, please call 01460 202970, email support@sparksomerset.org.uk or get in touch via Live Chat.

On this page, you'll find the latest COVID-19 information, guidance and resources by category.

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

Latest news

Medicine deliveries - advice for groups and volunteers, Friday 18th September 2020

The Government's shielding support package ended in July. This will also bring the national pharmacy medicines delivery service to a close. The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group has issued new guidance for groups and volunteers supporting vulnerable adults who need help with collecting medicine. Find out more here.

Information for community 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.

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.

Support for Volunteering

Corona Helpers - a free online platform where people can sign up to help.

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.

Guidance for COVID-19 support groups - get practical tips on making deliveries, dog walking, food hygiene, handling cash and more.

Guidance for volunteer befrienders

How to help safely - Government Guidance on volunteering during the pandemic.

Volunteering guidance from NCVO.

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

Our Facebook group for COVID-19 support group coordinators is a friendly, supportive space to share ideas, get information and find out what’s working well for other groups.

Financial support

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

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.

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

Health and Wellbeing

Information and resources on keeping safe and well while staying at home.

In need of support? Submit a request for help via Corona Helpers.

Information on the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline (0300 7906275)

24/7 mental health support from Mindline Somerset (01823 276892)

Free activity packs for elderly people and those with long term health conditions from SASP.

New health and wellbeing sessions on BBC Radio Somerset, broadcast every Wednesday, 7pm to 8pm. Find out more here.

New Somerset Emotional Wellbeing Podcast. NHS Somerset CCG's Dr. Andrew Tressider and Dr. Peter Bagshaw bring you free, fortnightly mental and emotional wellbeing support with special expert guests. Find out more and listen here.

Safeguarding

Jump to information on safeguarding in our Guidance for Groups page 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. Click here.

Free 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.

Safeguarding guidance from NCVO.

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

Data Protection

Jump to information on data protection on our Guidance for Groups page here.

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

DBS Checks

DBS checking guidance for COVID-19 support groups.

Guidance for checking ID documents remotely.

We're offering FREE DBS checks for COVID-19 support group volunteers. Click here.

Digital Support for Organisations

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

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.

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