Spark Somerset COVID-19 Update

Updated 5th August 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 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.

Your Organisation and COVID-19

Many groups are keen to get back to offering face-to-face support. We're running a FREE webinar which will include common-sense approaches to assessing whether this is possible, and help you understand the health and safety requirements that you'll need to meet. 10am on Thursday 6th August. Find out more on our training page.

NCVO have issued Guidance for VCSE groups on protecting staff and volunteers which they are regularly updating - they have recently added 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.

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

Government Guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings. Click here.

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

Training and webinars

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.

Spark Training is an affordable programme of webinars and bite-sized online learning sessions for Somerset charities and community groups. Find out more here.

Information for groups and volunteers

We're running a training session on governance and legal structures. If you're going to continue to support your community beyond lockdown, this session will help you to better understand the various governance options and which structure is best for your group. Thursday 16th July. Find out more 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.