COVID-19

Spark Somerset COVID-19 Update

Updated 29th May 2020

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.

Latest News

NEW Volunteer Information Pack
We’ve created an information pack for volunteer groups, to help them support their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more here.

Survey - COVID-19 and Your Organisation
We're conducting a short survey to find out how VCSE organisations are adapting their services in response to COVID-19, what are the key challenges, and what support is needed. Please take part here.

Get involved

Corona Helpers - a free online platform where people can sign up to help, and COVID-19 support groups can recruit and manage volunteers.

Volunteering from home during COVID-19

Virtual events

We're delivering a series of free webinars for Somerset groups. We'll cover a range of topics including funding, health and wellbeing, managing volunteers, mental heath and more. Take a look at the full programme here.

We're holding a series of  virtual forums to bring together anyone who is offering support on the ground, whether that's through an existing organisation, or a COVID-19 group. It's a chance to catch up on what’s happening locally, share learning, and start to think about what’s next for our communities. Find out more here.

Information for groups and volunteers

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 drung the pandemic.

Volunteering guidance from NCVO

Catch up on our free webinar on organising and managing volunteers 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.

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.

FREE webinars: Exploring a range of topics and including mental health and how to stay safe and well at home. Take a look at the full programme here.

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

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

Guidance for fundraisers and information on how funders are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Click here.

FREE webinar on funding support for charities and community groups, in partnership with the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. Catch up here.

Safeguarding

Jump to information on safeguarding on 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.

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.

FREE webinar on data protection for voluntary and community groups. Catch up 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.

Catch up on our free webinar, Digital Tools to Help You Organise, here.

Your Organisation and COVID-19

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 and contingency planning and financial advice, which they are regularly updating. Click here.

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

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

HR specialists, Croner, are offering voluntary sector organisations free access to their HR and Employment law helpline. Call 0844 561 8133 and quote ‘NCVO’.

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