OCVA have set up this page for voluntary and community groups to access information, support and advice in the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation. The information may be useful to pass onto others or to link your organisation with others providing support. Local support groups may not be directly affiliated with OCVA and we are not accountable for their activities.
FAQs on volunteering issues for volunteers and organisations can be found here: Volunteering Questions
Funding for groups: Funding sources for groups during coronavirus pandemic
Volunteer Link Up have also produced a useful advice summary for groups and volunteers including safeguarding and data protection advice Volunteer Link Up – advice
Oxfordshire County Council have advice on how volunteers can stay safe and keep others safe: Covid-19 Volunteering
The list of links are grouped under the following headings: National, Across Oxfordshire, Local and Service Changes:
Latest restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.
Govt advice on volunteering (13/11/20) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/enabling-safe-and-effective-volunteering-during-coronavirus-covid-19
- Charity Commission Updated 11/1/21– Charity Commission – Updated COVID-19 guidance for the charity sector
- NCVO Advice and Information
- NCVO Supporting Charities and Volunteers during Coronavirus
- Government – Support for the bereaved https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-the-bereaved?utm_source=3aee2c3a-6adf-49fe-8d7e-b8852ca12f05&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
- https://covidmutualaid.org/resources/#what-does Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a support network for people organising in their communities. Local support groups are not directly affiliated with Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK and we are not accountable for their activities. Check our live group listings
- Oxfordshire All In supporting people in response to Covid-19. SHARE what is happening in your local community – FIND your most local Support Group – USE our resources – Is there no public Community Support Group near you? Let us SUPPORT YOU to set one up. Help us add you to our growing map of support across the county by completing this form.
- COVID-19: Changes to standard and enhanced ID checking guidelines – Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-changes-to-standard-and-enhanced-id-checking-guidelines
- CIPD- advice on planning returning to work safely https://ocva.org.uk/2020/05/07/cipd-covid-19-planning-advice-for-returning-to-work-safely/
- Building Materials have published “The Essentials of Safe Independent Living (Elderly Guide)” – https://www.buildingmaterials.co.uk/nuts-and-bolts/resources/insulation-guide-for-the-elderly#isolation
It’s for the elderly who are living alone or are isolated right now, with useful tips and advice on well-being, safety, and dealing with loneliness.
Advice in different languages:
- Migrant Help: Coronavirus advice in different languages
- ESOL learning for people who will be unable to attend their normal classes ESOL during Covid19 Technology list
- Information on COVID-19 translated into 43 languages https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/#
Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist
interview with NHS Senior Clinical Psychologist, Dr Shreena Ghelani, who shares tips and advice for parents on preparing in advance for school reopening, managing worry and anxiety, how to speak to children about the impact of Coronavirus, and links to further important resources.
Banburyshire Advice Centre has recently produced the following information sheets in response to the Covid situation:
- Cv Writing
- Job hunting
- Speculative Job letters
- Psychometric Testing
If you know of any clients who require one please contact on this email: email@example.com We can send out the information sheets by email or by post if we have the clients details.
Oxfordshire CCG – a guide to local and national bereavement services Some of these bereavement services are working in different ways but are still there to listen and support anyone who may have lost someone close during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please see the Covid information about an increase in figures in East Oxford, on the link below:
Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OxFSN) who support family carers who have a family member with a learning disability and autism are working with key statutory organisations to get quick answers to questions raised by Family Carers about the impact that Coronavirus is having on their caring role. They have run a number of online interactive sessions with both professionals and family carers on Hospital Admission during COVID-19 and Direct payments which provide many answers and can be found on their website. https://www.oxfsn.org.uk
As family carers themselves they know the added burden that lockdown is creating for many families and urge family carers to get in contact for help or advice by either telephoning 07891 734 987 or 07821 987080 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Monday – Friday 9-6pm
Oxfordshire County Council – Practitioner Toolkit. The Practitioner Toolkit contains information and tools for issues arising in work with children, young people and families. This page contains resources on concerns which might arise while helping a child or family, organised by topics, linked to searches for local organisations which can support work around that topic. Links to national services, helplines and information resources are also included. https://fisd.oxfordshire.gov.uk/kb5/oxfordshire/directory/practitioner_toolkit.page
Thames Valley Police. Cyber Protect – April 2020 Thames Valley Police Cyber Protect COVID-19 Newsletter
Guideposts – Stay Connected Helpline for those in self-isolation
Dementia Oxfordshire is aiming to provide an enhanced telephone service, keeping in regular contact with more vulnerable Clients and Carers. The Team are continuing to offer support for persons with dementia and their carers who may be anxious about how they are going to cope, possibly feeling very isolated and alone. Carers may have concerns about their own personal health and who will care if they are ill?
Advice can be given about food shopping, collecting medication prescriptions and perhaps coping strategies. The Dementia Oxfordshire Support Line is also available and a single point of contact for any dementia related concerns, anyone may call the Team of Dementia Advisers who are available for just a listening ear along with local advice and practical support. Call: 01865 410210 Monday – Friday 9-6pm
Oxford – Support for those renting housing https://ocva.org.uk/2020/04/29/oxford-tenants-union-supporting-those-renting-housing-especially-during-covid-19/
Yarnton: Local Community Support – Services provided – Grocery Shopping, Medical Supply Collection, Dog Walking, Friendly Phone Calls, Post / Collection of Mail, General Help to all Residents Yarnton Help Hub Poster v1
Facebook page – Yarnton Community Facebook Page Help Hub telephone number – 01865 378 118
Oxford: Launch of new single point of contact and Locality Resource Hubs to help vulnerable residents. Oxford City Council and Oxford Hub have opened a city-wide series of Local Response Hubs to ensure the needs of people are met during the coronavirus crisis, particularly the most vulnerable residents. To make sure the City Council can respond to needs, all residents that require this extra support are urged to:
- call the City Council Contact Centre on 01865 249 811 as the single point of contact – which is staffed 8am-5pm, with emergency cover out of hours.
- use the online form to ask for help www.oxford.gov.uk/CommunityAssistance
The new services through the Contact Centre and the Hubs have been set up to help those most in need:
- People who have received a letter from the NHS identifying them as high risk
- those needing food bank support
- those with no local support from friends or family
- with physical and mental health needs
- vulnerable individuals and families
More information is available here.
Abingdon – Local information and support http://www.healthyabingdon.org.uk/coronavirus.htm
Chilton – Mutual aid group, support gtoup set up by local community Members Information Gathering – Chilton Mutual Aid Info
Kidlington – facebook group for help https://www.facebook.com/groups/516817002369884
Piddington – Village Support Network. A group of Piddington residents, with the support of the Parish Council, have come together to organise a community support network. More information
Didcot – Great Western Park Residents’ Association – The practically help those that are “at risk” from Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to age or underlying conditions, we have set up a Community Support Group for Great Western Park residents, run by GWP residents. Volunteers will help distribute food and supplies to those in COVID19 self isolation and need our support. This is achieved in the form of a register and dedicated WhatsApp group. If you wish to join the group of 30+ wonderful volunteers, then please email: email@example.com with your name and mobile phone number.
Oxford City: Oxford Together- this is an Oxford City coordinated community response. We have over 2000 volunteers signed up and people can request support via the webpage here. They can request either a phone link to call them daily or practical support.
Blewbury – Good Neighbours – Run by the post master, looking for volunteers who can help. Those who need assistance can call the Post Office. If you want to be involved, call the Post Office on 01235 851777.
Carterton: We have closed the Family Centre in Carterton in response to yesterday’s announcement. The Family Centre phone number is in the public domain and we are offering support in any way we can to families. Whether be just a chat or delivering shopping etc. The number is 07973 043 903. There is a Facebook support group that has been set up in Carterton and it seems pretty well organised with the town being broken down into sections and people being the ‘lead’ for each section. They have also sorted guidance etc for people helping: https://www.facebook.com/groups/613436352552367/
Witney – Witney Land Army have just gone ‘live’ with a sign up form online to build a central bank of volunteers – obtaining basic contact and availability information (and permissions). Also hoping to ‘map’ out what really local support (street level) is in place already. The aim is to try and take the pressure off some of the existing volunteer groups – so if they need support they can just come to us and we can allocate appropriate people out. We are working with facebook groups which have recently been set up – as we are a Community Action Group already it makes sense for us to step in and be used as a central ‘managing’ and ‘enabling’ vehicle – and through facebook (and later Instagram) we are hopeful we will be able to mobilise groups that aren’t at risk. Contact: Luci Ashbourne firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Oxford: Blackbird Leys: Agnes Smith Advice Centre – during the Covid-19 crisis, we are offering our full range of benefits, debt and housing advice to OX4 residents, through a telephone call-back service. Phone us on 01865 770206 and leave your name and number. Messages are checked four times a day, and we aim to respond by the next working day.
For those impacted by the coronavirus situation, services we can offer include help with Universal Credit claims, benefit checks to maximise income, help with budgeting, and help to apply for charitable grants for essential items, such as baby milk, nappies, topping up pay-as-you-go phones, etc. We can also put you in touch with other local services.
Oxford: Barton Advice Centre and Oxfordshire Welfare Rights – In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are taking all actions necessary to continue to provide our services, as best we can, while protecting the safety of our users, staff and volunteers. From 17.03.2020 we are unable to offer our face-to-face service, either via the office at Barton or physical representation at Tribunal hearings. This means that drop in will no longer be running at the current time. We will still be running a full telephone service and will be delivering telephone appointments where appropriate. The line is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 01865 744165. We will also be continuing with our casework for existing and new clients.
For Professionals: Unfortunately we are having to cancel all scheduled training. Our consultancy line will still operate as normal on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10am and 1pm.
Oxfordshire: Root and Branch – Following government guidance around social distancing, and with the wellbeing of service users, volunteers and staff as our priority, we have decided that Root and Branch’s site at Westmill Farm will close until further notice. In the meantime, staff will continue to support service users by telephone and other available systems during usual working hours. We look forward to sharing photos of creations made at home, as well as stories of community spirit and friendship.
The management of new referrals will continue where possible. Assessments will be made via telephone appointments. Remote support may be offered until full service resumes. Root and Branch extends our best wishes to our partners, funders and supporters during this extraordinary time.
Oxfordshire – Daybreak Oxford has had to close its three dementia day clubs in the Oxford area – Rosewood at Greater Leys, the Lilacs at Kidlington and the Limes at Polstead Road, North Oxford. This is a precautionary measure on the grounds of safety for our Club Members, their families and staff. Our elderly Members, some with underlying conditions, are the most vulnerable to this rapidly spreading virus. The Clubs will re-open as soon as it is safe for all concerned. Daybreak is staying in direct contact with Club Members via telephone and email, offering support remotely and doing what we can to continue to reduce isolation for our members. If you would like to know more, please contact Jitka Fort, Director of Operations: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 776744. More information
Oxfordshire: Oxfordshire Association for the Blind (OAB) are not running any face to face services and our resource centre is closed however we are providing telephone and email support from anyone who has a visual impairment, providing a listening ear and trying to help with any solutions at this time. Contact details are: Tel: 01865 725595 / 07936 341444 Email: email@example.com Web: www.oxeyes.org.uk
Witney & West Oxfordshire – foodbank are having to operate on reduced hours of Monday, Wednesday, Fridays only with reduced hours of 10:00-12:00. We are looking at other ways of remaining open/functioning as long as possible, as well as setting up online e-vouchers systems for agencies who are moving to telephone-only services.
West Oxfordshire – Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire are reducing all our face to face services to essential only. We have suspended our Benefits in Practice services at Broadshires and Wychwood and are redirecting clients to our Adviceline number 0300 330 9049 or our Help to Claim number 0800 144 8 444. We will be at Chipping Norton Health Centre tomorrow morning only (Wed 18th) , but that too will then be suspended. Online help can be found at www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Our Witney office will have a skeleton staff for emergency face to face but we are also redirecting all clients to telephone first. We are in the process of setting up our volunteers to give advice from home but this will take a few days to be fully mobilised. We are experiencing unprecedented demand on our telephone services so please advise people to be patient and keep trying. We will still be offering home visits for now but only those that are strictly necessary and where we have conducted a risk assessment. Oxfordshire Specialist Advice Service for people eligible for social care support is still giving telephone advice and support on 01865 410660
Cottsway tenants can still contact us via our dedicated helpline for money advice 0300 303 8618 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Greensquare tenants in West Oxfordshire and Cherwell can contact us via email@example.com
Oxford – The Archway Foundation – An Update on Our Services. In response to current public health guidance and in our efforts to minimise the risk for Coronavirus, Archway will be doing some things differently as of Tuesday 17th March. Whilst our Supportive Social Groups are not meeting for the time being, and our Individual Support Service may need to revert to telephone support, we will continue to provide emotional support and contact through telephone calls, electronic and postal communication. We are aware of the potential impact of reduced face to face contact on everyone’s mental health and well-being and we will be doing all we can to support people through this challenging time.
Oxford – Citizens Advice Oxford How to get support and advice: In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are taking all actions necessary to continue to provide our services, as best we can, while protecting the safety of our users, staff and volunteers. For now, we are unable to offer our face-to-face service, either via the office at St Aldates, or the outreach services at Cuttleslowe and Northway. We continue to provide our services over the phone or via email. To speak to one of our advisers:
- call: 0300 3309 054, Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 17:00;
- click this link. You will be asked to complete and submit a form, and one of our advisers will contact you. Alternatively, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk, where you will find lots of information and tips, plus the latest update from Citizens Advice on Covid-19.
Oxfordshire – Oxfordshire Community Foundation – The OCF team are not in the office now. All staff have laptops and secure access to our network and systems to work remotely and effectively from home.
Receiving your funding For all groups who are receiving funding from us, please keep in touch. We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that you can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are reviewing how to ensure all donor and grant application services can continue uninterrupted. For these we will:
- be reasonable in assessing any change in impact due to the current and exceptional situation.
- maintain payments as scheduled until the end of April. We will review this date and inform you of any updates to this.
- be flexible – if you need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently that is okay.
If you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please let us know. We are here if you want to contact us about the situation you’re facing. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the grants team.
A new community resilience fund for Oxfordshire – The whole team, some key partners and our trustees are working on a funding response to this crisis situation. This emergency community resilience fund aims to allow the vital third sector in Oxfordshire to respond better and recover stronger. We will keep in touch with more details and also, as importantly, how you can donate.
Oxford – Asylum Welcome – Services available for the next few months
For asylum seekers and refugees Among the many hundreds of people accessing our services every year, we assess that there are currently approximately 35-40 individuals who would suffer severe detriment if we closed temporarily and who cannot easily be supported elsewhere. A much-reduced core team of staff and volunteers will ensure that advice appointments and hardship payments will continue for this group on Tuesdays and Fridays and food parcels will be available to them between 11 and 1 on Tuesdays. Advice and assistance will be concentrated on the following topics: addressing homelessness and destitution, making Asylum Support applications, responding to urgent health needs, and brokering urgent communication with the Home Office.
We know that new people with urgent needs will continue to arrive in Oxford. If you are aware of new arrivals who are unsupported then get in touch with us. The reception desk will be closed but you can leave an ansaphone message on 01865 722082.
Staff remain available by email throughout the week and you can also reach our services through the general email@example.com. Staff will have mobiles but we want to keep these free for calls from clients as far as possible. NB you will no longer be able to just ask clients to turn up at our centre.
For EU citizens – Face-to-face appointments to help EU citizens to apply for Settled Status are postponed. Advice is still available by email firstname.lastname@example.org and mobile phone: 07719 128054
There are approximately 100 people who we have helped to start the process of applying but have not yet received status, we will be contacting the Home Office about these cases. Some EU citizens have given us passports and important documents to forward to the Home Office, equally the Home Office may return such documents to us over the coming months. Rest assured that our priority is to ensure that these are safe and we will be in touch with each person or their support worker to arrange collection.
The following services will close temporarily
The Welcome Centre/drop-in advice and support
Venda youth club
Shared Talents – Education and Employment advice and ESOL lessons (although teachers may keep in touch with students by phone)
Non-urgent advice appointments for adults, families and young people
Use of the Welcome Centre out-of-hours by refugee community organisations
Meetings and events are cancelled.
Bike, food and financial donations – We will not accept bike donations in the next few months. Food donations we will now accept only on Fridays. We have sufficient food-stocks to cope with a short-term reduction in donations and will keep you informed of needs as they change.
Supporters can continue to make financial donations online here or by bank transfer.