Up to date information about Covid-19
The Hounslow Council website details all the community support available to you, from help with food delivery and collecting prescriptions, to befriending services and walking the dog. This is provided by the Council in partnership with local voluntary and community groups, businesses and volunteers. If you want to help out during the crisis, please visit our ‘Want to help?’ section. The strong partnership between the Council and the VCSE sector ensures that our communities are resilient and that together we can meet whatever challenges come our way. We will be providing updates on the current crisis in future editions of Evolve, which will be published weekly. For the latest information and advice the Council has a coronavirus advice webpage which is updated daily.
Hounslow Council launched its Community Support Hub last week to ensure vulnerable residents get the support and help they need throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Working with voluntary and community partners, businesses and local volunteers, the Hub is connecting people with each other to ensure food and other essential support, which may range from befriending to more complex care, reaches those who need it.
The key focus of the Hub for now is to protect the most isolated and vulnerable individuals identified and contacted by the NHS. These residents have serious long-term health conditions and it’s vital we ensure there are support networks in place to see they’re looked after. The Hub is also there for anyone else vulnerable and isolated who may not have been contacted by the NHS. It has so far taken hundreds of calls and emails, and delivered more than 100 food parcels.
The Hub can be contacted on 020 7084 9697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by anyone who feels they need this urgent support, or think they know someone who does. There’s also a volunteer form for people, businesses and groups who want to help.
Does your organisation need more volunteers?
Many voluntary and community organisations are now facing increased demand for your services and increased pressure on the volunteers that keep your organisations functioning. Therefore we want to hear from you if you need additional volunteers. Over the last week we have received numerous offers of support from businesses and hundreds of local residents have signed up through our Community Hub to volunteer. If this would be helpful please send us an email to email@example.com
- How many volunteers you need
- When you need them
- What you need them for
We will try to find what you are looking for.
Ealing and Hounslow Volunteer Centre
Ealing and Hounslow Volunteer Centre is now the official volunteer centre for the London Borough of Hounslow, providing services across the whole borough. It helps volunteers and organisations in all areas of the volunteer recruitment and management process. From tailored guidance and training to opportunity promotion and online resources it provides the help you need so that all parties are supported; with the aim of benefitting communities through inclusive volunteering opportunities.
If you would like to offer your time to a local charity, voluntary organisation or community group to provide Covid-19 support but are unsure who to talk to, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us how can we help you?
Ealing and Hounslow Volunteer Centre would like to know what support the VCSE groups in Hounslow need to help them get through the coronavirus outbreak. Please could you take a few minutes and complete a short survey to let us know how your services are coping so far, how demand for your services has changed and what new challenges you are facing.
Most importantly we want to know what help you need.
The deadline for sending us your response is 10 April 2020.
Trinjan keeps going during the crisis
Trinjan is a Hounslow-based women’s social and community group. They hold monthly meetings where women can socialise and make new friends and take part in a range of activities. In the current situation all face-to-face meetings have stopped, but last Friday they held their first, very successful, online meeting. Two Trinjan members are stranded in Delhi due to coronavirus so it was particularly rewarding to catch up with them online. Their online weekly meetings will keep them in touch with their members, and they would like to extend an invitation to other women in the borough who may be feeling lonely due to self-isolation to join the weekly meetings.
For details of the weekly online meetings contact them via the Trinjan website
Help and support during the Covid-19 outbreak
The London Community Response Fund
The new London Community Response Fund is now open for applications. This fund is all about supporting VCS organisations providing food and other essentials to vulnerable Londoners during Covid-19. Flexible grants of up to £5,000 are available to VCS organisations to cover their costs whilst supporting communities affected by Covid-19 and the impact of stricter social distancing and isolation measures – with a focus on food and other essentials.
Wave 1 small grants are only available to the following organisation types (individuals are not eligible):
Registered charity; Registered Community Interest Company (CIC); Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO); Charitable Company (limited by guarantee)
Further guidance on the application process is available here.
CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a new fund to help small charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available to support day-to-day Covid-19 emergency response activities. The fund is available to organisations with a charitable purpose and charitable activities,which had an income of £1million or less in their last financial year. This will include: UK Registered Charities, a Community Interest Company or Company Limited by Guarantee and unregistered entities and social enterprises. This is intended as a rapid response fund and they aim to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application.
Champions for Children
The Childhood Trust is launching the Champions for Children campaign to raise funds for charities working with children whose lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
They will be running a special Campaign Week from 23-30 June 2020 and funds raised during Campaign Week will be matched from two different pots: pledge donors and Childhood Trust funds. Pledge donors can be anyone from your network (individuals or organisations such as your corporate partners or trusts/foundations). If you wish to apply, please register on the Big Give website and click on the link to the Champions for Children campaign. If you have already registered on the Big Give site, you just need to login to your account.
Other new funding that is available
In this time of increased pressure on the charitable sector there is a whole range of new funding sources being made available during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Charity Commission finance advice
The Charity has added new questions and answers about charity finances to its Covid-19 guidance. It states that decisions on financial matters should normally be taken collectively, and significant decisions and action points noted in writing. The advice adds that “Trustees should consider what their short, medium and longer term priorities are, and see if they need to amend their financial planning given their current situation”. The Commission’s guidance also tells charities to consider the wider and longer term impacts of decisions on financial resilience and donor relationships.
The Small Charities Coalition exists to make life easier for small charities and has over 9,000 UK-wide members. Our small charities in Hounslow have close connections to their service users and may be more aware of our residents who are more likely to be at risk during the health crisis, or who may be fearful and in need of reassurance.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published information for voluntary and community groups to help them during the current health crisis. This includes updates on sick leave and reducing social contact in line with the Government’s recommendations; updates on holding events, board meetings and AGMs, additions to contingency planning and how insurance will be impacted.
London Funders is the membership body of funders of London’s civil society, and it has coordinated an alliance of funders from across sectors to sign a joint statement pledging to offer support to civil society groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The London Borough of Hounslow has signed up to this statement to help civil society groups to focus on the vital work of supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities.
The UK Government website provides comprehensive and wide-ranging information about Covid-19, with advice about what to do if you have symptoms and updates on what the Government is doing about the virus. There is also information for businesses and other organisations on how to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Read more
Loneliness and isolation are inevitably going to become serious problems for many people in Hounslow during this crisis. The Samaritans provide over the phone support and will listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles. They also provide a a list of specialist organisations, including their contact details, which you may find helpful. Samaritans phoneline: 116 123
The Hounslow Voluntary Sector Support Service (HVSSS) offers support, information and advice for voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups operating in the borough. They provide advice on fundraising, group development and training, and their website has information about Covid-19 and how your organisation or community group can support vulnerable residents.
The Mayor of London wants to help motivate and inspire Londoners through this difficult time. Using the banner of #LondonTogether, the Mayor is planning to highlight examples of positive community action and thank our NHS staff, key workers and volunteers. #LondonTogether will bring together key messages, examples of good will and support that will help Londoners; from encouraging people to stay at home, to the promotion of resources that offer mental health support and business support; to messages of thanks for key workers.
From this Friday you can support #LondonTogether by:
- Sharing the government’s health advice on your social media channels.
- Sharing examples of the good things your organisation is doing on your social media channels, or re-sharing positive news stories from your local community with the hashtag #LondonTogether
- Telling others to share good news by using #LondonTogether.
Community Information Guide
The Community Information Guide provides the best guide to all of the voluntary and community groups across the borough providing support, advice and important services to our residents. In addition you will find information about community buildings that are available to hire. If you are a voluntary organisation, a community group, a tenant’s or residents’ group or any other group that provides services in your community – then we would encourage you to add yourself to the Community Information Guide. This is completely FREE and will take you no more than 5 – 10 minutes to complete.
If you have any problems registering, or you would like more information please email: email@example.com
Support from Connexions
Connexions want to support young people during this very challenging time when schools and colleges and other training provisions are closed, and where they may be uncertain about their future options.
The Connexions Centres at Hounslow House and Feltham Library are closed, but they will continue to offer services to young people via telephone, Skype, WhatsApp and email. They will operate the usual duty appointment system by telephone. Appointments are available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 2-5pm.
Please call Connexions on 020 8583 5151 to book a telephone appointment.
Accessible clothing for those in need
The charity, Clothe Me – Thank You, is aimed at bridging the gap between clothing stock in charity shops and people struggling to afford to clothe themselves and their families.
Individuals and their families are increasingly struggling to afford the basic needs of housing, food and clothing. Whilst food banks provide support, there isn’t an obvious choice for people that can’t afford clothing. Clothe Me – Thank You believe that people should be able to maintain their dignity by choosing their own clothes rather than having to take what may be available to them. The Clothe Me – Thank You model enables this, and at the same time their charity shop partners benefit from the extra money spent in their stores.
Events and Training
During the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus outbreak and the need for increased social isolation, the number of events and training opportunities will be severely limited. Where there are training opportunities online and other remote events, we will publicise them here.