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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.

If you have any questions or additional information to add to this page, please contact news@val.org.uk.

 

The COVID-19 Vaccine

Following extensive trials, two safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in the UK and the NHS is now working quickly to vaccinate those who are at most risk from Covid-19.

The first vaccinations are being offered to people in the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), starting with people in care homes and those aged 80 and over. Groups of GP practices are working together to provide vaccines from local centres and will contact eligible patients when it is their turn – there is no need for individuals to contact practices or the NHS for an appointment.

For more information about the vaccine, please see these frequently asked questions.

Routes to Support in Leeds for the Shielding Group

 

Guidance has been issued to help protect particularly vulnerable people against covid-19 during this high risk period, this means individuals who are identified as being ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ (CEV).

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

Updated: 5 Jan 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 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 recruit and match many of these volunteers up with individuals and communities that required support. Recruitment of new Community Care Volunteers (CCVs) was paused after the first wave to help teams manage these numbers.

There may now be opportunities for new Community Care Volunteers to help, with roles such as drivers, shoppers and telephone welfare support.

Find these roles and more on the Volunteer Centre Leeds platform.

Community Care Hubs and many other organisations now actively use the platform to promote their opportunities and connect directly with potential volunteers.

We will be closely monitoring the evolving situation and keep this page updated if more volunteers become urgently needed. If you’d like to be on the mailing list of interested volunteers should there be an urgent call-out, you can subscribe here, but please note there are no regular mail-outs to this list.

Opportunities on the Volunteer Centre Leeds Platform

There’s an online platform which supports all kinds of volunteering in Leeds, run by the Volunteer Centre Leeds.

Opportunities to volunteer are advertised here by the individual Community Care Hubs in different areas of Leeds and you can apply directly to those roles with those Hubs.

You can express your interest in becoming a Community Care Volunteer more generally and register onto the platform by joining the Group: Community Care Programme using the link below, then select ‘Apply now’. The group is mainly to keep track of how many people in Leeds are keen to be part of the CCV programme.

You will be asked for your basic details to register onto the platfrom (which is managed by VAL and powered by Be Collective) and you’ll be shown the induction documents.

We can’t guarantee that suitable volunteering opportunities will be available within your local area, so we would encourage you to explore the wider volunteering roles that are advertised on the platform as well.

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 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 the most up-to-date local 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 – visit 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.

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 the spread of the 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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