Are you insured for your current activities?

Are you insured for your current activities?

Forum are aware that a number of VCSE groups and organisations will currently be doing work differently. This may mean supporting people via telephone or online instead of face-to-face. However, for a lot of organisations, it’s a big change – for example helping to deliver food parcels instead of delivering training courses.
If you are asking staff or volunteers to work in a different way, have taken volunteers on for the first time, or have changed the nature of your provision temporarily, please review your insurance and if necessary, get in touch with your insurance providers to ensure you have adequate cover in place for your current activities.
This includes your Employer’s Liability Insurance, Vehicle Insurance and Public Liability/Professional Indemnity insurance.
Commission gives advice on changing charitable objects during Covid-19 

Commission gives advice on changing charitable objects during Covid-19 

From Civil Society 

The Charity Commission has added information about changing charitable objects to its guidance for charities operating during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The guidance states: “Naturally, lots of charities are considering whether they can help the effort to tackle Covid-19 and its severe impact on people right across the country. You should first consider the terms of your charity’s existing charitable objects.”

However, it adds that trustees of charities with certain objects may be able to adapt and respond to coronavirus either directly or indirectly.  For example, a charity with an object to advance religion may be able to offer support as part of its pastoral work. Or an arts charity might help relieve isolation through its online work.  

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

You can read all the Commission’s COVID-19 guidance here (opens in a new tab) 

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

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

A free online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service has been launched to help children and young people living in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. 

People aged between 11 and 25 in these areas can now register to use Kooth(opens in a new tab) a free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing service which can be accessed using a computer, smartphone or tablet device. 

Children and young people can access Kooth, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, to receive one-on-one online sessions with qualified counsellors, receive and provide peer-to-peer support through moderated online forums, and read and contribute articles. 

For more information go to the website (opens in a new tab) 

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

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

 43% of charities surveyed reported an increase in demand for their services but a 48% decline in voluntary income, according to new research published today. 

The survey, by the Institute of Fundraising in partnership with the Charity Finance Group and National Council for Voluntary Organisations includes data from over 500 charities on the impact of the crisis on their organisations. The data in the survey was analysed by PwC and the results reflect the urgent new situation charities face as they re-forecast their income and take steps to respond to the huge challenges they face.  

Key findings summary: 

  • Charities are reporting a projected loss of 48% to their voluntary income, and a third wiped off from their total income 
  • 52% of charities have reduced existing or previous levels of service, with a further 12% intending to in the future. 
  • 83% say that the most important thing for their organisation’s sustainability over the coming 3 to 6 months is access to emergency grant funding. 
  • 84% of charities think their organisation could play a role in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, with the majority saying that government funding was needed to help them to do so. 
  • 91% of charities surveyed have already or expect to have their cash flow disrupted, with 62% indicating that these would result in reduced charitable activity. 

You can read the full report here  (opens in a new tab) 

Council leaders urge government to support charities facing closure

Council leaders urge government to support charities facing closure

Local council leaders have called for an urgent package of government support for the voluntary and community sector.  A letter, which is addressed to the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government and the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, warns that the sustainability of many organisations is at risk. It was sent by members of the Keep it Local Network, a group of councils. It is convened by Locality, the national membership network for local community organisations, in partnership with Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.  

More information here (opens in a new tab)

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

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

 Legacy Foresight have updated their UK legacy market forecasts to assess how COVID-19 and the ensuing restrictions will affect legacy incomes over the next five-years. 

To support charities’ decision making at this critical time, they have developed two five-year scenarios depicting a plausible range of outcomes. 

Overall, these two scenarios suggest that UK legacy income could fall by between 3% and 9% in 2020, reflecting both the worsening economic environment and the delays in receiving notifications and sale of assets from estates caused by the disruption to administrative processes while COVID-19 control measures are in place. 

They still expect total legacy incomes to grow over the next five years, rising from £3.2bn today to between £3.7bn and £3.8bn by 2024. But, over five years as a whole, they now expect up to 5% less income than  predicted in February, due to the far more pessimistic outlook for house prices and share prices over the period. 

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

Children's guide to coronavirus 

Children’s guide to coronavirus 

The Children’s Commissioner’s Office know many children will be anxious or worried about the coronavirus outbreak and that many will have questions about everything that is happening at the moment.   

They have put together a short guide to help explain to children, in language they can understand, some of the issues surrounding coronavirus here . (opens in a new tab)   

Thousands of people have downloaded the guide already or shared it on social media – so please do share with parents or groups you know if you find it useful.    

They have also created a page full of advice, information, suggestions and resources for parents, educators and other professionals who work with children, to help during the pandemic. You can find it on their website here  (opens in a new tab)

Big Society Capital plans emergency loan fund for charities 

Big Society Capital plans emergency loan fund for charities 

From Civil Society

Social investor Big Society Capital   is looking to set up an emergency loan fund for charities, and has asked the government for its support. The fund will pool resources from a range of social lenders and is expected to amount to £100m. The final figure will depend on how many lenders take part, and more details will be shared next week. Big Society Capital has also written an open letter to the secretary of state asking the government to give charities the same support it is offering to businesses.

While charities can, in principle, access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which gives businesses access to finance for up to six years, in practice many of them will not be eligible for it.

Only charities that receive half of their income from trading activities will be able to apply. 

Read the rest of the article here  (opens in a new tab)

Find out more here (opens in a new tab)

Benefit changes leave disabled people facing poverty, charities warn

Benefit changes leave disabled people facing poverty, charities warn

From the Guardian  

Hundreds of thousands of disabled and chronically ill people face poverty after being left out of emergency measures to bolster the benefits system to help claimants cope with the coronavirus crisis, 100 disability charities have warned. 

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) said in an open letter to the work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, that changes introduced last week to raise the weekly rate of universal credit by £20 would not apply to those on legacy benefits. 

Many claimants will not receive the increase, worth more than £1,000 a year, because they receive employment and support allowance (ESA), a disability unemployment benefit that pre-dates universal credit, the consortium said. 

The DBC includes charities such as Leonard Cheshire Disability, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, Mind, Macmillan Cancer Support, Age UK, Guide Dogs, Royal British Legion and Terrence Higgins Trust. 

The charities have called for measures to protect vulnerable claimants from sudden falls in income, including a definitive commitment from ministers not to apply benefit sanctions, and a repayment holiday on advance loans from the Department for Work and Pensions to see new claimants through the five-week wait for a first universal credit payment 

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

You can read the letter here (opens in a new window)

New coronavirus study reveals increased risks from middle age 

New coronavirus study reveals increased risks from middle age 

From the Guardian 

The first comprehensive study of Covid-19 deaths and hospitalisations in mainland China has revealed in stark detail the increase in risk for coronavirus patients once they reach middle age. 

The analysis found that while the overall death rate for confirmed cases was 1.38%, the rate rose sharply with age – from 0.0016% in the under 10s, to 7.8% in 80s and over. 

The study showed only 0.04% of 10 to 19-year-olds required hospital care compared with more than 18% of those in their 80s and above. 

Dramatic rises were seen among middle-aged groups too, with 4% of people in their 40s needing hospital treatment and more than 8% of patients in their 50s. 

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

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