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COVID-19: Information and guidance sector organisations

In support of our community, we will keep this section up-to-date with all news, guidance and advice pertinent to our sector concerning the Coronavirus.  Below we will keep all the latest news and updates, the menu to the left will all hold essential information, resources and guidance

Voluntary Sector COVID-19 Response Survey

We want to know how COVID is affecting your organisation, are you still delivering services? Are you taking on more volunteers? How has your fundraising been affected? We are feeding the results into our national bodies, NAVCA and NCVO who are talking with ministers and trying to get additional support for us.
Download the survey results [UPDATED]
as of 30th April 2020

Help us to raise your voice at this critical time.  Please Complete the survey -->   https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/COVID-19-CE

 [LIVE] Confirmed Cases Tracker

News, Updates and Announcements

Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission during the coronavirus pandemic (UPDATED)

Guidance for trustees on what matters may need to be reported as a serious incident during the coronavirus pandemic.

Full details

Added - 4th June

Coronavirus Local Discretionary Grant Scheme

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government announced that there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The Local Discretionary Grant Scheme is an additional fund to the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund, aimed at small businesses not eligible for those funds which have relatively high ongoing property costs, and which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.   

Cheshire East Council will be opening Phase 1 of the Local Discretionary Grant Scheme on Monday 1st June Deadline for applications is 8 am on 15th June 2020.

Full details can be found on the Cheshire East Council's website.

A CVS developed step by step application guide can be downloaded here.

Added - 2nd June

Support for unpaid carers

Are you currently caring for a family member, partner or friend who needs help? Many unpaid carers may not see themselves as needing services and many may feel that they are simply carrying out ordinary responsibilities as part of a family, yet the key role they play will see increased pressures due to the impact of COVID 19, particularly if they become ill or need to self-isolate.

Download the flyer and see what support you can recieve.

Added - 27th May

Preparing Food For Neighbours During Coronavirus Factsheet

There are many people who are living alone, who may be helped out significantly by a neighbour, friend, or an organisation delivering a home-cooked meal. Neighbours may also want to lift people’s spirits by leaving a cupcake on the doorstep. However, this activity needs to be properly risk assessed as it could cause harm or spread the virus further.

Download the factsheet

Added - 22nd May

Telephone Befriending volunteers – how to guide conversations and respond to mental health concerns

Together Co – Making connections to change lives

This is a useful website for volunteers who are new to a telephone befriending role and want to learn how to guide conversations and deal with sensitive issues, and promote physical and mental health and wellbeing. You have to enrol to see videos and access the presentations but it is free of charge.

It includes prompts that the volunteers might wish to use to remind people about their mental and physical health whilst in isolation. There are tips on guiding a conversation, and if a person is having mental health problems, or drifting off and having negative thoughts, how they can help them to re-focus and think about the present.


Added 20th May

Business grants - COVID-19 (Cheshire West)

'The Chancellor has announced a series of new measures to help businesses minimise the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).'

Read the full eligibility

Added 20th May

Charity Shop Re-opening Pack

A resource and guidance pack for charity retailers re-opening their outlets.

Download the PDF

Added - 13th May


There are many people who do not have access to their own transport and their normal support structure may not be in place but still need to get to urgent or emergency appointments. Volunteer drivers can help with this, however, during the coronavirus pandemic, this activity needs to be properly risk assessed, as it will break social distancing rules and put both drivers and passengers at greater risk of catching coronavirus.

Download the guidance

Added - 7th May

Police Crime Commissioner: Virtual Q&A sessions

Each week, PCC David Keane will hold a virtual Q&A session with Chief Constable Darren Martland on Tuesday’s.

The commissioner is asking local residents to email in questions they would like the chief constable to answer ahead of time. The sessions will form part of the commissioner’s reassurance about policing and the pandemic in his role to ensure Cheshire Constabulary is delivering an effective service.

The commissioner’s team will ‘live’ tweet the questions and answers on the PCC’s Twitter account during the sessions and the key themes of the questions asked will be published on the commissioner’s website after each session.

PCC David Keane said: “As we face a time of great uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that members of our communities have the opportunity to ask key questions of their police service."

“The coronavirus pandemic presents great challenges, not just to policing but also to our everyday lives, and we need to reassure people that policing resources are being managed effectively and efficiently to keep us all safe during this period.”

Cheshire residents and businesses are invited to send their questions to pcc@cheshire.pnn.police.uk with the subject title ‘Reassurance Q&A’ by midnight on Sunday to be answered the following week. Alternatively, questions can also be taken by phone during regular office hours by calling 01606 364000.

Added - 5th May

Scams advise during coronavirus outbreak

These just some of the scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online.

Download the awareness letter

Added - 5th May



Community Response Volunteer - Travel Cover Letter Template

A letter template for organisations to download and personalise and issue to their volunteers providing critical support in response to COVID-19. The letter can be presented to authorities in legitimising reasons for travel during the lockdown period. 

We know that some will be part of the Virtual Volunteer Networks as part of the People Helping People scheme and will have also been issued a letter by Cheshire East Council.  We have provided some text guideline which can be used by any organisation involving volunteers. 

Download the template

Added - 5th May

Scams Awareness Update

Age UK Cheshire East has released an updated bulletin raising awareness of scams and doorstep crimes amongst local older people, with a focus on COVID-19 related issues. The bulletin also highlights the support available for victims

Download the bulletin

Added - 1st May

Do you need some help while self-isolating? (Support for your service users)

If you, or someone you know, needs a hand with collecting shopping or prescriptions, or just wants someone to talk to, our NHS Volunteer Responders are here to help. Join the thousands of others throughout England who are already receiving support – even if it’s just for a friendly chat.
Call 0808 196 3646 or visitnhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk

Help is available if you have a medical condition which makes you vulnerable to COVID-19, especially if you are over 70. You also qualify if you are pregnant or have a disability.
Added - 1st May

Support For Unpaid Carers

Cheshire East Council has launched a service that offers support to thousands of unpaid carers across the borough during the current Covid-19 crisis.

An unpaid carer is described as someone who provides their time and support, without payment, to family or friends who couldn't manage without help. This could include day to day living tasks or personal care to a family member or friend such as helping them to wash, get dressed, eat, taking them to appointments, or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious.  

Unpaid carers also include many children and young people who look after a brother, sister, parent or grandparent who has a disability or illness.


Added - 30th April


Webinar: Furlough leave: the HMRC Job Retention Scheme 

This webinar explains HMRC's scheme for employers who have furloughed their workers, or who are planning to. It includes:

·        who can claim
·        what can be claimed, and what's excluded
·        maternity leave considerations
·        National Minimum Wage considerations
·        effects on holiday entitlement
·        selecting employees for furlough and gaining agreement
·        shielding and furlough

Tuesday 5 May - 10.30am-11.30am  |  View details

Thursday 7 May - 2pm - 3pm  |  View details

Added - 28th April

Manage financial difficulties in your charity caused by the coronavirus

Guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) related financial difficulties in charities and how to work through them.

Read the full guidance

Added - 28th April


Volunteering and furloughing

The government has introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and many organisations are now taking the difficult decision to furlough staff. Shaun Delaney has written about what this scheme means for furloughed workers who may wish to volunteer and for organisations hoping to take on new volunteers. Two important points to bear in mind are that:

  • furloughed staff are not allowed to volunteer for their own organisation while they are on furlough leave
  • furloughed staff do have the option to volunteer for a different organisation while they are on furlough leave.


Added - 28th April

The Muslim Council of Britain - COVID19 – #RAMADANATHOME

In 2020 Ramadan will be a very different experience for Muslims all over the world due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Read on below for further COVID-19 guidance including #RamadanAtHome, or click here to read the full Ramadan 2020 guidance (PDF). Read complete information on this years Ramadan on the MCB Website.


Free parking for NHS staff, care workers and volunteers

The IPC is working together with many organisations, to provide a single place where all NHS staff and care workers can go to find locations where free parking is available.

Added - 24th April

CO-OP Gift Card - Saves money changing hands.

A phone number has been set up for a  Co-op gift card that can be used by volunteers supporting isolated people. It saves money changing hands,  and can be topped up as needed. If this is any useful you the number is 0800 029 4592. The person needs to telephone & make payment. The card will be sent in a few days and can be used by the volunteer.

Added - 24th April

Claim system now open for furloughed staff

You can now make your claim for the 80% of furloughed staff salaries through HMRC's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Before you make your claim:
  • Read all the available guidance at GOV.UK
  • Make sure you have all the information and calculations you need beforehand (calculator guidance is here)
  • Take a look through the step-by-step guide
Then you are ready to make your claim here.
Added - 23rd April

Shopping guides for people on special diets

A resource for groups providing a shopping service for those in isolation. 

Download [PDF]

Added - 23rd April

Walking someone else's dog during coronavirus

Guidance for volunteer dog walking during social distancing measures. 


Added - 23rd April

NHS - Coping Strategies For Anxious Times

Wellbeing guidance for those experiencing anxiety

Download - English - Polish - Romanian

Added - 23rd April

Furlough scheme cut-off date extended to 19 March

Thousands of more employees will able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the eligibility date was extended to 19 March 2020, the government announced today.


Added - 16th April

COVID-19 Advice for animal-related businesses (Volunteer activities - Dog Walking, Grooming, Home Care)

'The aim of this document is to assist animal businesses and breeders to operate in a safe manner to protect the health of their staff and clients.'

Download the full guidance

Added - 9th April

Managing Through the Coronavirus Crisis - Insurance Guidance from Ladbrook Insurance

We have produced this document relaying and relying on other published materials to provide some information to policyholders and prospective clients.

Leaving Your Premises Unoccupied - As more and more employees are working from home, and no longer at the insured buildings, you should check the implications with your insurance provider.

Download the full guidance document.

Added - 7th April

Supermarkets enabling volunteers to purchase shopping

Asda has launched a dedicated volunteer shopping card to help the many people self-isolating and unable to go out to buy their shopping. It can be bought easily online. 

Marks and Spencer have introduced a simple way for the most vulnerable, older or self-isolating customers to organise payment for their shopping delivered by volunteers. We’re All in this Together E-Gift Card – a simple way for customers to provide payment without exchanging cash or their card.

Added - 6th April

End of Life Partnership - Volunteer Resource - Providing remote support to someone experiencing loss and grief

Resource for volunteers supporting people who are self-isolating and are also experiencing loss and grief throughout the Covid-19 outbreak - Download here

CVS Downloadable Resource Updated

CVS COVID 19 Community Response Guidance [Word Doc] - Updated 2nd April 2020

Added - 2nd April 

Video calls and mobile data - Guidance for volunteers

As we all get used to new ways of working, video calls are the obvious solution. They’re fun accessible and immediate. They can really help people feel connected. However, we should also be aware that for volunteers and clients and those of us who don’t have broadband, this isn’t “free” – even if we are not paying to use the apps themselves.

Read the full blog  post

Added - 2nd April

Additional downloadable volunteering resources

CVS Coronavirus Telephone Befriending Volunteer role description [Word Doc]

CVS Setting up a telephone befriending scheme factsheet [Word Doc]

CVS Coronavirus Community Response Volunteer role description [Word Doc]

Added - 31st March

Downloadable guidelines for volunteers

Volunteers Guide - Picking Up Perscriptions [Word Doc]

Volunteers Guide - Shopping and what you should know [Word Doc]


Updated - 1st April


Coronavirus Advice Booklet (For Individuals) 

Cheshire East Council's Coronavirus Advice Booklet can be downloaded here.

Added - 26th March

Extension of first aid qualifications due for renewal

The HSE has announced that they will be offering a three-month extension to the validity of the following qualifications if learners are unable to renew due to COVID-19 and associated government advice:

  • First Aid at Work  
  • Emergency First Aid at Work  
  • Paediatric First Aid  
  • Emergency Paediatric First Aid  

This means that individuals who may be covering first aid within a workplace holding any of the qualifications stated above can continue their role as first aiders for up to three months following the expiry date stated on their qualification certificate.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020. The HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.  

Added - 26th March

Filing charity annual returns during the coronavirus pandemic

Any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one. Full details.

Added - 26th March


Key coronavirus legal issues for charities explained

NCVO held a webinar with the experts from Bates Wells solicitors which you can watch on-demand. It's full of great advice on things like contracts, finances and the new furlough scheme.

You can register to watch here.

Added - 26th March

Local COVID-19 Facebook Support Groups

Listed here are local Cheshire East Facebook COVID-19 Support Groups. 

Alsager Coronavirus Support

BRAG (COVID 19) Bollington Resilience Action Group

Congleton Coronavirus (COVID-19) Community Support Group

Haslington Volunteer Group - COVID-19 Support (Haslington, Crewe, Cheshire)

Holmes Chapel Coronavirus (COVID 19) Community Support Group

Isolation Help Group for Wistaston, Shavington, Willaston, Crewe & Nantwich

KNUTSFORD COVID-19 Practical Support Group

Macclesfield Coronavirus Support Group

Middlewich Covid-19 Neighbour Support

Sandbach Coronavirus Support

Wilmslow Coronavirus Updates, Help and Support

Zone 15 Middlewich Covid-19 community support

Added - 26th March

CVS DBS Check Support

CVS is able to support with carrying out DBS checks for individuals that are volunteering and supporting their community in response to COVID.  

Added 26th March

Coronavirus (Covid-19) help for Business Rates customers

The Chancellor announced new measures in the budget to help businesses minimise the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Small Business Grant Funding – up to £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief 

•        This will be managed through Cheshire East Council - you will not need to apply for the small business grants. Eligible businesses will be identified through the business rates system and will receive the grants once funds are available

•        Register your organisation's bank details on the Cheshire East Website


•       This includes mandatory  charity rate relief

Added - 26th March

COVID 19 Response Volunteer Support

Volunteer support guidance in response to COVID-19 added to the CVS website. CVS Cheshire East is here to support you if you are organising some sort of community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Added - 26th March

Data protection and coronavirus: what you need to know

The ICO recognises the unprecedented challenges we are all facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
We know you might need to share information quickly or adapt the way you work. Data protection will not stop you doing that. It’s about being proportionate - if something feels excessive from the public’s point of view, then it probably is. And the ICO is here to help – please see below for answers to the questions we’re being asked. If you need more help, call us on 0303 123 1113.

Added - 26th March

Government launches WhatsApp service for Coronavirus Information

The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services. This will help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. 

To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Added - 26th March

Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines

Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Added - 26th March


Get coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person

Register if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food. If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway. You can register yourself, or for someone else.

Added - 26th March

Short Response Survey

The spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a concern for all of us and the UK Chief Medical Officers have recently increased the risk from low to moderate in terms of planning for all eventualities for the wider public (the risk to individuals is still low). The government has announced that we are moving out of the contain phase and into a delay, in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

This information is to help you decide what steps you and your organisation may need to take in light of the spread of this virus.  We will aim to keep this updated as more information comes out on the ways we can manage the spread of the virus.

Please share with us what your response to the challenges and are what further support you would like from CVS in our short survey