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Information & Guidance on COVID-19 for the Third Sector in Leeds

This webpage aims to share specific information, helpful resources and guidance tailored to the needs of small, local, third sector organisations in Leeds in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can also check the News section of Doing Good Leeds for updates. Contact news@val.org.uk if you have any questions or additional information.

Leeds City Council COVID-19 helpline for arranging local support is 0113 376 0330

 

The COVID-19 Vaccine

Following extensive trials, two safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in the UK. The NHS is now working quickly to vaccinate as many people as possible, based on groups most at risk.

Over 350,000 people have been vaccinated in Leeds thanks to the fantastic efforts of GPs, pharmacists, NHS staff and many volunteers. Groups of GP practises are working together to offer the vaccine in local centres all across Leeds. The vaccine is always free.

For the most accurate and up to date information about the covid vaccine roll-out in Leeds please visit the NHS Leeds CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) COVID-19 vaccine page which is updated regularly.

There is lots of reliable information about the vaccines available from medical professionals but there is also some misinformation in circulation and malicious scams operating – be alert and seek advice if you’re unsure.

Read these frequently asked questions.

Routes to Support in Leeds for the Shielding Group

 

Shielding guidance has been updated throughout the pandemic to help protect those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 at periods of high risk. These people have been identified as CEV which stands for ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’.

Shielding has currently been paused.

A document to help anyone working with people who might be CEV has been produced to provide the right information to signpost from, so more people can access the support they might want or need.

Download the most up to date version below, get in touch if you’d like access to previous versions.

Updated: 1 April 2021

 

Community Care Volunteer Programme

When the pandemic first hit, Voluntary Action Leeds together with Leeds City Council established the Community Care Volunteer Programme (which was given recognition at VAL’s 2020 AGM) to match volunteers with vulnerable people, and help them with a range of tasks, from shopping to dog walking.

This was made possible by establishing a network of 27 ‘Community Care Hubs’ across all 33 wards in Leeds, and with thanks to the hard work and dedication of innumerable individuals. 

Over 8000 volunteers signed-up, and teams and community hubs worked hard to induct and match many of these volunteers with individuals and communities that required support. The large recruitment drive for Community Care Volunteers (CCVs) was paused after the first wave to help teams manage the numbers.

How to Volunteer

The Community Care Volunteering programme continues to run all across Leeds and is managed at a local level by each individual Hub based on their needs. Volunteers are generally required to help with roles such as drivers, shoppers and telephone welfare support. Volunteers will go through a short induction and are usually required to provide a DBS check.

You can find and apply to volunteer opportunities with a Community Care Hub or other charity on the Volunteering Platform.

The Hubs and many groups and charities in Leeds advertise when they need volunteers on the platform and connect directly with potential volunteers when you apply via the form. You will be asked for basic details to register onto the platfrom (which is managed by VAL and powered by Be Collective).

Join the Community Care Programme Group

You can register onto the platform without applying directly to a role by joining a group. We have a Community Care Programme group that you can register to join here to express that you are interested in becoming a Community Care Volunteer (CCV). Please note that you will not be contacted about volunteering when you join the group, it is an expression of interest only and helps us understand how many people in Leeds are keen to be part of the CCV programme.

We will be closely monitoring the evolving situation and keep this page updated if a large number of new volunteers become urgently needed. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list of interested volunteers which was created at the start of the pandemic and used should there be an urgent call-out, you can subscribe here, but please note there are no regular mail-outs to this list.

Opportunities to Volunteer

The online Volunteering Platform which supports all kinds of volunteering in Leeds is run by the Volunteer Centre Leeds.

Opportunities to volunteer are advertised by individual groups and organisations in all areas of Leeds and you can apply directly by completing the online form.

If you need any help with the platform and application process please contact volunteering@val.org.uk.

Supporting Your Neighbours

Neighbourliness has been a key part of Leeds’ response to the pandemic.

Many people have already come together and are doing wonderful community work to help their neighbours all across Leeds.

Join in and make a difference with advice from our Being a Good Neighbour pack.

Find out more and get tips on how you can help others as safely as possible.

The Leeds Community Fund

Leeds Community Foundation has launched a fund to support charities and community groups across Leeds that are experiencing exceptional difficulties operating as a result of the National Emergency measures resulting from COVID-19.

Leeds Community Foundation distributes grants, shares advice and uses specialist knowledge to help community projects thrive.

Visit the Leeds Community Fund website for more information on the grants which are available, or to make a donation.

Sources of Funding

VAL produces a regular funding update with sources of grant funding for voluntary and community groups, this includes funding focused around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the Sources of Grant Funding for Voluntary and Community Groups page here on the Doing Good Leeds website to download the latest document.

Useful Sources of Information and Guidance

NHS and the Government

For general information, health advice and the latest guidance about the coronavirus outbreak, please visit the coronavirus pages on NHS.UK and Gov.uk, which are under constant review.

Leeds City Council

The Leeds City Council website has up to date local COVID-19 guidance and information for our city – visit https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Third Sector Leeds

The group Third Sector Leeds (TSL) keep their members up to date on key city policy and changes which effect people in Leeds. Find out more and join their mailing list by visiting https://doinggoodleeds.org.uk/networks-forums/third-sector-leeds/.

During the first peak of the pandemic TSL produced daily update briefings for the third sector, up until 27 April, followed by four key documents summarising services. Given the rapid pace of change these documents are no longer relevant but if you’re interested in seeing these or finding out more you can get in touch with richard.warrington@val.org.uk.

Forum Central

The partnership of Forum Central is the collective voice for the health and care third sector in Leeds and has been heavily involved with shaping the coronavirus response in Leeds. Find out more and join their mailing list by visiting https://forumcentral.org.uk/.

NCVO

The NCVO has published lots of information to help you decide what steps you and your organisation may need to take in light of coronavirus. Visit https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/coronavirus.

The articles contain lots of useful information, covering a range of topics including:

  • What to do to protect staff, volunteers and visitors
  • How to prevent spread
  • How to deal with events
  • How to support beneficiaries and service users
  • Employee sick leave
  • Financial implications
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