COVID-19

Spark Somerset COVID-19 Update

Latest news

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.

Free forum - supporting your group during lockdown #2

Groups operate in different ways, and can learn from each other how best to serve their communities in a way that works for them. This forum is an opportunity to come together, share ideas and address the challenges. It will have a focus on funding, as suggested at last month's forum, with presentations from our funding team and Somerset Community Foundation. It's taking place on Tuesday 24th November at 11am, via Zoom. Book your free space here.

Even more support for COVID-19 groups!

We recently welcomed Sandra Smith to the team, and her role will focus on supporting the community-led groups that were established during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping them to develop and build upon the amazing work that has already taken place. Sandra can help your group to access a range of support, including information and guidance, help to connect with other organisations, funding advice and training opportunities. Email sandra.smith@sparksomerset.org.uk to find out more.

Medicine deliveries - advice for groups and volunteers

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.

We will also share the latest COVID-19 information, guidance and resources below. We'll keep this list updated, so check back regularly.

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.

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.

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.

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 second lockdown.

Corona Helpers and Spark a Change - 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 COVID-19 support groups for practical tips on making deliveries, dog walking, food hygiene, handling cash and much more.

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.

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

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

Read our 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

Find 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 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

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

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

DBS Checks

Read our DBS checking guidance for COVID-19 support groups here

Read guidance for checking ID documents remotely here.

Digital Support for Organisations

Corona Helpers is our free online platform on which COVID-19 support 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.