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Hull Voluntary Sector Service Availability 

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We are still working with Hull City Council to pull together a list of services currently being delivered by the Voluntary sector. Some of you may have received an email from me today (Friday) asking you to fill in a 5 minute survey to tell us what you are doing for your communities. I know you have had a few requests, some conflicting, but we really would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to read the email and follow the link 😊  

If you haven’t received an email from me, but have services you would like us, and the Council, to know about, please click on this link  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RGBCWGR  (opens in a new tab)

Short Deadline for Urgent Small Charity Coronavirus Poverty Relief Applications (UK)

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MSE Charity is making £1 million for urgent small charity coronavirus poverty relief in the UK, but groups will need to submit their application by 25 March 2020.

The £1 million Coronavirus Charity Help Fund has been set up by MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis personal charity fund to help those affected by the coronavirus.

Small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities can apply now for a grant of between £5,000 and £20,000 for specific coronavirus poverty relief projects in the UK.

Examples could include foodbanks, charities engaged in community aid, financial advice help and more. The hope is to get the money distributed within the next couple of weeks, and thus the focus is on supporting projects that are up and running, or are in the process of being set up.

Please note the funding is only for specific coronavirus projects.

The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm on Wednesday 25 March 2020.

Fill in the application form here (opens in a new tab)

Good practice for working with people and communities during the COVID-19 outbreak

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(Published 18 March 2020)


This short document has been produced by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Public Participation team. It is intended to offer some practical advice and suggestions for Engagement Practitioners and others working with people and communities during the COVID-19 outbreak (also known as corona virus). It is good practice advice and not formal or statutory guidance – existing statutory guidance still stands. It does not provide public health or clinical advice around COVID-19, which should be accessed via the Public Health England or NHS websites.


There are some specific suggestions about particular scenarios in the next section, but there are also some general principles to follow when thinking about public participation over the next few weeks and months.

Essentially, for all engagement activity which is underway or planned, there will be four options (not all mutually exclusive):

  • Continue as planned
  • Postpone the activity
  • Move to online / virtual methods instead of face-to-face
  • Cancel.

There is no obligation for patient and public participation to be face-to-face and any such engagement activity should only be undertaken where not prohibited or discouraged by the latest government advice.

Some questions to think about when deciding on the best approach for your particular activity / proposal:

1. Are any of the participants known or likely to be in one of the ‘at risk’ groups, or particularly impacted by COVID-19? This includes older people and those with underlying health conditions (check the latest guidance), and people with caring responsibilities.

2. Do participants / your target audience have access to online communication and engagement methods? If not, could they be supported to access online methods, or contacted by telephone?

3. Do relevant staff members, especially clinical staff, have the capacity to be involved in engagement activity at the moment?

4. What would be the impact of postponing the activity? Could any of the negative impacts be mitigated against?

Your responses to these questions can guide your decision making and risk assessments / mitigation around the different engagement activities you have underway / planned, including most appropriate next steps.

Communication and community response

Whatever the outcome of your review of existing / planned engagement activity, it is really important to maintain communication with your local partners, including local Healthwatch, patient groups and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Social organisations, as well as Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partners. It is likely that your Communications team will already be implementing a response plan, but consider whether this includes links to volunteering and community action to support people whilst self-isolating.

The COVID-19 outbreak poses fundamental challenges to public authorities in how they go about meeting their usual duties and it is necessary to adapt. Patient and public participation is no exception and we must prioritise the health, safety and welfare of patients, staff and wider society.

Advice about common scenarios

? We are about to launch a consultation on a major service change / reconfiguration, what should we do?

The coming weeks and months are likely to see very high demand on frontline services, so it makes sense to delay any significant activity which can be postponed to free up capacity. Members of the public are also likely to be limited in their ability to get involved due to illness, self-isolation and caring responsibilities. Many groups and networks who would usually form a staple part of your consultation plan are unlikely to be meeting. On the basis of government advice at 18.03.20, social distancing means that face-to-face events should not go ahead.

These factors may mean the consultation is not the best use of public resources, or make it more difficult for some consultees to be reached and/or to provide meaningful response. We recommend that you consider these factors when deciding whether to postpone or make changes to your consultation plans.

? What if we need to take an urgent decision during the outbreak?

At the time of writing, the NHS duty to involve the public is unaffected by the outbreak or any emergency legislation. However, where there is a genuine and pressing need to make a decision about, or a change to, services to protect the health, safety of welfare of patients or staff, then the NHS duty to involve the public may be met by very limited public involvement – but at the very least changes to services should be announced to the public at the earliest reasonable opportunity.

In such circumstances, you are not required to consult your local overview and scrutiny committee prior to taking the decision (but you should still promptly notify the committee of the decision taken and why no consultation has taken place).

However, this approach should be used only when necessary and it is likely that regular engagement with patients, staff and other stakeholders will be essential for practical reasons in any event (for example so that patients understand how to access services). It remains important to liaise with your overview and scrutiny committee, local Healthwatch and other key stakeholders, ideally before taking the decision, where possible. Remember too that you may need to carry out further engagement in future if it is intended that temporary changes will become permanent.

? We are about to start engagement / consultation in response to a provider giving notice / a need to retender a service, what should we do?

Many of the considerations relevant to major service change / reconfiguration apply – as outlined above. In addition, it would be appropriate to consider interim approaches which could help to ‘buy time’ and enable the engagement / consultation to be postponed to a later date – for example, extending the current contract or arrangement, or enacting a temporary change to service provision. If you must go ahead at this point, consider virtual / online engagement approaches, and working with local Healthwatch / a relevant patient group to ensure some meaningful patient / public participation, even if this is from a smaller group.

? We are recruiting Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Partners, do we need to stop?

As with all potentially ‘non-essential’ activity, consider the impact on staff capacity at this time of high demand. However, there is not necessarily any need to pause this recruitment, assuming your existing communications routes are still operating. It would be appropriate to consider interviewing shortlisted candidates virtually rather than face-to-face, for example using video conferencing or webinar technology. As many meetings are likely to be moved to online methods during the coming weeks, this is also a chance for potential PPV Partners to showcase or build their technical skills. The exception is likely to be if you are targeting recruitment at groups known to be digitally excluded, for example inclusion health groups, in which case postponement may be the most sensible approach.

? We have a number of established forums / groups for hearing from members of the public, with meetings scheduled over the coming weeks and months, should we cancel them?

Many people are likely to have concerns about travelling and attending meetings / events over the coming weeks and months, and others will be self-isolating or have responsibilities. Therefore, it would be appropriate to consider changing

face-to-face meetings to teleconferences, video conferences or webinars. If this is unlikely to work for group members, then it may be necessary to cancel meetings for the time being.

Further information

For advice about COVID-19 visit the Public Health England or NHS websites.

Forum office closure

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Following the release of further Government guidance on the COVID 19 outbreak, we have taken the decision to require all Forum staff across all of our offices to now work from home rather than continue to use our office bases.

As an organisation the health and safety of our staff and the people we work with remains our priority and I am confident that we will be able to continue to provide a high level of service by working more flexibly for the near future.

We have taken the decision to cancel all events and training in the short term. If you have appointments booked with our staff we will be in touch to make alternative arrangements which may include telephone meetings or online facilities.

We will continue to respond to emails as soon as possible.

We are currently working with Hull City Council to identify how we can help support local communities at this time. Additionally, we are keen to hear from our member groups and organisations around the impact of the current situation on their work.

We hope that you remain healthy and safe over the coming months and look forward to continuing to work with you.

Jason Stamp

Chief Officer

COVID-19 – a round up of the current information and guidance

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Updated 18th March

All links open in a new tab

From Government:  

They have a page where they are pulling information together

Current guidance covers  

Guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and other organisations  

NHS information about how coronavirus is spread and how to avoid catching or spreading germs  

Guidance for British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)  

Stay at home guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection  

Find out the number of cases and risk level in the UK, what to do if you have symptoms, and what the government is doing about the virus

 Face-to-face health assessments for benefits suspended amid coronavirus outbreak  

Residential care, supported living and home care in the event of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak  

COVID-19: guidance for hostel or day centres for people rough sleeping   

New adult social care guidance to protect the most vulnerable against COVID-19 


Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees  

Specifically for the voluntary sector  

Civil Society is pulling together news and guidance on its website here  

The Fundraising Regulator has issued advice around Fundraising events  

NCVO have issued guidance covering sick leave, and working from home  

Over 400 volunteer groups set up to help people affected by Covid-19  

Charities launch emergency appeals as funding ‘vanishes overnight’   

Covid-19 means charities can ask for extensions on filing annual returns   

Social Prescribing Day!

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12th March is Social Prescribing Day

Social Prescribing links people with appropriate, person-centred, non-clinical support and advice to improve health and wellbeing, promote independence and reduce isolation.

If you need assistance or support to access health & wellbeing services, social groups, and/or get more active please contact:

Connect Well Hull

T: 01482 217 670

E: enquiries@connectwellhull.org.uk

W: www.connectwellhull.org.uk (opens in a new tab)

OR contact your GP surgery to book an appointment with a Link Worker.

Channel 4 investigates celebrities accepting payment from charities

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From Civil Society

The investigative TV programme Dispatches has been investigating celebrities who accept payment in return for supporting a charity. Channel 4 aired an episode on Monday called Celebs for Sale: The Great Charity Scandal . According to TV listings, reporter Antony Barnett went undercover and set up a fake charity. “Big-name stars from the worlds of reality TV, sport and entertainment, and one of the most famous women in the world”, will reportedly accept payment in return for supporting the charity. Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs at the Institute of Fundraising, tweeted that he was going to be interviewed for the programme and asked for fundraisers’ views on the topic.

You can read the rest of the article here  (opens in a new tab)

You can watch the episode here (opens in a new tab)

You can also read Civil Society’s response to viewing the programme here (opens in a new tab)

Women Talk Photography    14th March

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Would you be interested in joining a member led Women Talk Photography group where:

  • The photo is more than the equipment
  • Members can arrange with each other to meet as a group or individually to go on walkabouts, photo courses, exhibitions etc
  • You can give support and mentor each other
  • Members can have regular meetings with guest speakers and photo challenges

The first meet up will be on 14th March at 1pm in the Creative and Cultural space on level 2 in Princes Quay

For more information go to their Facebook page and join, or email wtphull@gmail.com

Preventing Child Criminal Exploitation 

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A new Child Criminal Exploitation Film Alfie’s Story Part 3 & 4  commissioned by Home Office and PCC funding, has been produced to raise awareness of the issue. 

It follows a video produced in 2018 which generated worldwide hits and is seen as one of the best videos in the UK on the crime of CCE and how organised crime groups/drug dealers groom children into criminality. It is a North East Lincolnshire based film, and the script and narrative is based on true accounts from children.  

The intention is to see the films shared with young people in education settings, youth clubs and anywhere that engages directly with children to highlight the issue in a realistic and hard hitting way.  

If appropriate there are education sessions linked to the films   

Alfie’s Story Part 1  (opens in a new tab)  

Alfie’s Story Part 2 (opens in a new tab)  

Alfie’s Story Parts 3 & 4 (Explicit Version, opens in a new tab) 

Partnership working with the VCS in Hull

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Regretfully this event has had to be postponed. We will provide more infomation when we have it

As you will recall from a previous update, over the next year the Council are planning to look at how it commissions and funds services and are committed to looking at options to make services more sustainable over a longer period.

In the long term there is a plan to look at how services from the voluntary and community sector can be commissioned in a more integrated way alongside NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners.

One of the key points raised was the need to develop improved communication between Hull City Council and the wider sector, so that there could be a better understanding of what exists already and how the sector can be more involved in the future.

We invited you to express an interest in attending an event to share some ideas and look at how people can work together more effectively.

An event has now been set up.

This will take place on 5th March, from 8:30am to 11am on 5th March at the Jubilee Centre, King Edward St, Hull HU1 3SQ (map, opens in a new tab)

We will be providing breakfast and refreshments

In order to help us plan catering and seating, please can you confirm your attendance here (opens in a new tab)

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