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Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund

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Tesco Bags of Help is responding to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis by setting up a new short-term fund to support communities in need. Due to the need to respond quickly to the emergency Groundwork have created a streamlined application process and payment process to make it easier to get funds to people in need quickly.

If your application is successful the fund will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups. The programme is set up to support organisational need in this time of crisis rather than fund specific projects.

Typically, the fund will support organisations

  • whose need for services has been disrupted – for example a food bank whose stocks are running low and need an immediate donation to enable the food bank to restock.
  • require to put in place new services – for example charities setting up a new home service to the elderly who usually attend a monthly lunch club or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
  • Increased demand – a holiday hunger club needs more resources due to schools closing, or a children’s centre needs an additional temporary staff member.

Applications will be welcomed from a wide range of organisations including:
voluntary/community organisations, registered charities, schools, health bodies, Parish/Town councils, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, community councils, local authorities and housing organisations.

Other not-for-profit organisations might also be eligible.

Businesses and ‘for profit’ organisations are not eligible

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund FAQs (pdf, opens in a new tab)

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund Guidance Notes (pdf, opens in a new tab)

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund – application form (pdf, opens in a new tab)

You can also apply online here (opens in a new tab)

for the voluntary sector

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector  from the Charity Commission, updated regularly

Are you insured for your current activities? 

Commission gives advice on changing charitable objects during Covid-19  

Legacy income expected to fall by up to 9% this year  

Council leaders urge government to support charities facing closure  

Charities expect voluntary income to fall by 48% because of coronavirus  

Coronavirus and your organisation – information from NCVO

How charities can communicate about coronavirus  

Big Society Capital plans emergency loan fund for charities  

Charity Bank COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises 

Charity Bank – COVID-19 Emergency Funding for Charities and Social Sector Organisations 

NCVO are asking the government for urgent financial help for charities

Volunteers: advice from NCVO on responding to Coronavirus

Coronavirus and charity funding: The latest developments from NCVO

NCVO your Organisation and Coronavirus

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Coronavirus – Changes to Veterans UK Services

Data protection and coronavirus: what organisations need to know

Coronavirus and your personal data

Anxiety UK extened helpline hours and web resources

C-19 Frontline Worker (homelessness)Support Forum launched

Get coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person

Mental health text support service ‘Give us a shout’

Advice and support for young people from the National Youth Agency

Coronavirus – the employment implications for charities

Charities included in the government’s coronavirus wages scheme

What funding is available to charities during the Covid-19 pandemic

for vulnerable, families and carers

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There is a lot of coronavirus information and advice out there for children, parents and carers, and navigating your way around it all takes time. The Children’s Commissioner are putting some of the best of it all on one page, which will be kept updated 

Free online mental health support service launched to help children and young people in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire  

COVID-19: hotel accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people  

Joint statement: Supporting disabled people through the coronavirus outbreak  

UK poll finds young people’s mental health hit by coronavirus  

Benefit changes leave disabled people facing poverty, charities warn  

Talking to a child worried about Coronavirus  

The impact of Coronavirus on education and children’s services: inquiry      Deadline 31st May  

Voucher scheme launches for schools providing free school meals   

C-19 Frontline Worker (homelessness)Support Forum launched

Get coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person

Measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus 

COVID-19: hotel accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people

Coronavirus guidance from Carers UK    

Easy to read coronavirus guide from Mencap 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on isolation for residential educational settings  

Plans set out to support pupils eligible for free school meals 

Advice and support for young people from the National Youth Agency    

HeadStart Hull Services Contingency planning during Corona Virus Outbreak  

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HeadStart Hull services are committed to supporting children and young people’s emotional health during this time. However with schools closed from 20/3/2020 (except to children and young people of key workers or identified as vulnerable children (e.g. have a health and social care plan or have a social worker or an early help worker) and some families/staff members having to self-isolate the following sets out the current provision based on the latest government guidance for social distancing.   

HeadStart Hull Core Team   

The HeadStart Hull core team are currently home working and providing support to organisations by email or by phone. If you are unsure who to contact please contact the HeadStart Hull inbox at headstarthull@hullcc.gov.uk .This inbox is monitored daily by admin staff who will pass on your query to the relevant member of staff. Please note this is for general queries.   

For specific support queries of individual children, young people and families please contact the relevant service who is currently supporting them (see details of service below). Schools and Community organisations can contact their respective policy and practice officers.  

Ian Lamb (Schools policy and practice office) – Ian.lamb@hullcc.gov.uk  

Jill Brookes (Schools policy and practice officer) – jill.brookes@hullcc.gov.uk  

Cat Jones (PSHE policy and practice officer) – Catherine.jones@hullcc.gov.uk 

Catherine Pepper (community policy and practice officer) –  Catherine.pepper@hullcc.gov.uk  

Young volunteers (HeadStarters)

Are being supported by phone, email and text by the HeadStart Hull co-production and engagement team Clair Atherton is coordinating this – Clair.atherton@hullcc.gov.uk  

 Martin Clappison is maintaining relevant comms for children and young people, families and professionals. He is regularly updating sources of online support, guidance and self-care. These can be found at here.  

Please promote this website through your existing comms channels e.g. website, social media etc. so we can support young people’s emotional wellbeing.

If you have specific information you want him to share please email him  martin.clappison@hullcc.gov.uk 

Warren Support

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The Warren Youth Project’s Covid-19 Plan Updated 1st April …scroll down

From JJ at The Warren

This plan is primarily social-media and telephone-based and focuses on three key points. When a young person rings The Warren on 01482 218115 (or messages us through social media) they are redirected to the following three options:  

Crisis Counselling: – The Warren is operating a telephone counselling service for young people in crisis. This will enable them to contact one of our mental health counsellors via telephone to either arrange a later appointment, or get immediate support. We will be limiting appointments to 30mins in length (rather than the usual 1hr face-to-face appointments) in order to support as many young people as possible. 

General Support via telephone: staff are working remotely operating on a group rota basis (in 2-hr shifts) to provide general support via telephone to young people from 10am-5:30pm in accordance with our standard operating hours. Once staff have completed a shift they will return to their normal specific project duties engaging with young people via social media and telephone. 

Food Parcel Delivery Service: We have established a staff-rota to operate a food-parcel delivery service operating Monday-Friday (all-day) to the homes of young people who are experiencing food poverty. We have acquired a chiller/freezer van from one of our Trustees to enable us to carry out this service (and also deliver frozen and fresh goods). All drivers are fully insured. Four staff (myself included) and two volunteers remain at The Warren running our Food Parcel Delivery Service (packing and delivering but maintaining social distance) – with other colleagues processing telephone orders on a live digital spreadsheet that we all share. We have basically commandeered most of our ground floor as a parcel-packing production line. We’ve had two additional freezers donated which are now up and running in our foyer. In those food parcels we are also supplying personal hygiene products, sanitary products and condoms (what we call a Care Parcel) where requested. We supplied over 40 households in just 8 hours across Thursday and Friday (using one freezer van) – we think that will increase significantly now that we are fully up and running.  

All the above is operating from 10am to 5:30pm Mon-Friday – but we are preparing a volunteer rota to cover weekends when need escalates. 

Additional Support  NEW

Looking for something to get your teeth into during lockdown?

The Warren’s Amped initiative has you covered with our NEW and EXCLUSIVE online workshops.

Every day each Amped staff member will be releasing fun and creative online content for you to learn new skills, keep yourself busy and give you a daily dose of Warren love.

So what are you waiting for?

Click the link to get creative now!  (opens in a new tab)


Text -Service 

We are also operating a text service to check up on young people and their emerging needs – the text asks them how they are; reassures them that we’re still here; give them details of how to get in touch and details of our services. As of Friday afternoon we had over 600 young people using that service and increasing by the hour.  

Therapeutic films 

We also quickly recorded a series of therapeutic advice films last week to give young people additional tools to manage the stress and anxiety of all this – the first is launched today on multiple platforms, here’s a link to the YouTube upload: https://youtu.be/dgizObypxbA – the other films will follow over coming days. We are working on other support-films remotely with a number currently in production.  

Advent calendar 

We are reviving our Xmas Advent Windows for the duration of Covid-19. Our 1,500sq m city-centre building has over 40 windows on its vast facade and in the past two years we turned those windows into a giant social justice advent calendar which is hugely popular in the city. We’re going to start that again this week putting up back-lit motivational messages and images of solidarity, hope and compassion which we circulate through social media. We intend to fill every window. 

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.

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