Corona Virus: What VODA is doing and advice for VCS organisations

UPDATE: 24 March 2020

VODA is working closely with North Tyneside Council and Health Services to provide a coordinated response to the current situation.

As part of this we are working with North Tyneside Council and North Tyneside CCG to explore ways in which they can help mitigate some of the financial pressures faced by our members.

The Local Authority has set up a Corona Virus helpline – 0345 2000 101 – and we are looking to assess current levels of provision across the VCSE to enable us to provide a cross sector response.

We are aware that many services are currently closed or closing or have altered the way they work. Please help us to keep abreast of what levels of services are currently operating. You can send updates via our website contact page. We will then update our COVID-19 pages and inform the Council and Health Services.

If you have any problems please email our Information & Communications Officer Victoria logan-coulsey@voda.org.uk

Please give us as much detail as possible to help us understand potential provision across the borough, to identify gaps and help support your needs. If you have already provided this detail to our Chief Executive Robin Fry this week then you do not need to do this again.

New online resources

We have updated our website to see a series of animated videos covering essential information for volunteers around safeguarding, volunteering advice, supporting volunteers and telephone befriending. Look out for the latest animation about staying safe when shopping.

UPDATE: 18 March 2020

Following the news that Coronavirus has been confirmed as a pandemic and people are being advised to avoid social contact and work from home where possible, it’s important that we all take steps to prevent the spread of the illness and support our staff and volunteers in different ways.

Like many charities and community groups, due to the Coronavirus situation we have been forced to cancel planned meetings, training sessions, events and activities for March and April. We will keep this under review in line with government and health guidance. We have also closed VODA’s office to external visitors.

We will continue to provide our advice and guidance services, financial services and general enquiries either by telephone or via e-mails

However we remain determined to focus our efforts on how we can best support our members and other users by prioritising three main areas of work:

  • Continuing to provide a range of core services to our members by email and telephone:
      • governance support
      • funding advice
      • volunteer brokerage
      • volunteer management good practice advice
      • communications
      • payroll and accountancy services
  • Working with North Tyneside Council and Health Services to provide a borough wide response, which includes expanding our Good Neighbours volunteering service to enable more residents to help others who are self-isolating. We have also developed guidance to support volunteers to carry out a range of activities including:
      • Collection and delivery of essential shopping
      • Virtual contact
      • Assembling and delivering isolation packs
  • Moving our NT Life Recovery College provision to an online service until further notice.

We will continue to use our website, e-bulletins and social media platforms to share information and what services our member organisations are currently providing as well as any restrictions to provision. If you would like to share information please contact Victoria Logan-Coulsey here at VODA victoria.logan-coulsey@voda.org.uk.

If you would like to volunteer, read here about the temporary volunteering roles we’ve created to respond to COVID-19.

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