God afternoon,
COVID-19 Local infrastructure capacity/response review March 2020
As part of our role as a member of the VCS Emergencies Partnership, NAVCA are aiming to gather as quickly as possible local information on how NAVCA Members/Supporters are currently involved or planning for supporting the community sector response to COVID-19, and in particular the role of volunteers in supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.
At NAVCA we believe there is an absolutely crucial opportunity for us and you, together, to really demonstrate just what a key role local infrastructure can play in these circumstances.
I know many of you are already working at local level to think about what your communities need and, especially, what volunteer capacity you have and how it can best be managed.
Government is asking for our help; NHS England wants to know what is needed at local and national level to activate and manage the army of volunteer action that is going to be required to support vulnerable people at home, fill some of the gaps for the NHS in transporting equipment and help ensure that communities look after themselves and each other.
There is talk of ‘repurposing’ volunteers from other contexts, where that is possible, to add to the available resource. And there will be a real need for good neighbourliness, for microvolunteering opportunities, and for informal but safe ways for people to help each other.
There is also a recognition that some of this work will have to be paid for – but no-one quite knows yet what the funding need is.
So we have undertaken, on behalf of the VCS Emergencies Partnership and in response to a request from NHS England, to survey our members to find out what is already happening at local level, what could be done by our members, and roughly how much that might cost.
Although you are not a NAVCA Member, it would be incredibly helpful to the national planning process if you would be willing to respond to this survey we have created for infrastructure bodies outside of the membership.
All the information we gather is being fed directly back into the VCS EP and thus into government and NHS England for planning purposes.
If you are willing, please do it as soon as you possibly can – this is a fast moving situation and plans are changing on a daily basis right now.
We are partnering with NCVO to send this information out via their contact lists as well as our own – my apologies therefore if you have received this twice. Just one response will be fine, thank you!
Obviously we are very keen that the key role of local infrastructure is recognised, valued and used effectively to make sure that the current outpouring of community response is both safe and sustainable, and above all to make sure that unmet needs within local communities are identified and addressed.
Based on NAVCA member feedback we’ve already flagged the lack of good advice and guidance for the physically disabled, the need for tailored advice for people for whom English is not their first language, and some of the safeguarding issues that are already arising through spontaneous community organising.
If you have any queries or thoughts that you’d like to share, including Membership options, then please feel free to contact me, Anna Pashley, Head of Membership at [email protected].
NCVO is doing an excellent job of corralling all the guidance currently coming in either for or from the sector. We are also updating our website with a COVID-19 landing page which will signpost sector-relevant guidance and also encourage members of the public wishing to volunteer to contact their local CVS.
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Best wishes,
Anna Pashley
Head of Membership