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Home » Coronavirus/COVID-19: Advice, Information and Support across Oxfordshire for Voluntary/Community Groups

Coronavirus/COVID-19: Advice, Information and Support across Oxfordshire for Voluntary/Community Groups

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.

Please send any further information that you would like posted to If you need to contact OCVA for other information/support, see the update on our service here


Government guidance:

Government guidance on how to stay safe has been updated to reflect any recent changes in regulations
It does seem likely that there might be further changes and the guidance link is normally updated quickly after announcements. We find it useful and it does help to cut through any confusion. 

 ‘Living with COVID’ – The key messages include:

  • Ending legal requirements for twice a week testing in schools from 21 February.  
  • Ending of legal requirement to self isolate following a positive test result from 24 February. 
  • Ending of legal requirement to test for 7 days after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive from 24 February. 
  • End of routine contact tracing on 24 February.
  • Ending of free testing for the general public from 1 April.
  • Ending of guidance for voluntary COVID-status certification for certain venues from 1 April.

The publication ‘Living with COVID’ can be read in full here.


For a summary of the latest updates from the government on COVID visit please visit: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updates

For updates on numbers of cases: UK Summary for COVID-19

Oxfordshire County Council advice:

Latest coronavirus figures in Oxfordshire: 

District Council Information:

Volunteering: For updates about Volunteering during COVID:

This guidance is for people who run volunteer-involving organisations or groups, or manage volunteers: Volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you run an organisation or group, or manage volunteers, find out more about how to involve volunteers safely: Safe and Effective Volunteering during Covid-19

Oxfordshire Volunteering information:

For COVID related volunteering please select here

FAQs on volunteering issues for volunteers and organisations can be found here: Volunteering Questions

Funding for groups:  Funding sources for groups during coronavirus pandemic

Food: Food Access Map detailing opening times of food banks etc

To find organisations providing support select here 


The list of links are grouped under the following headings: National, Across Oxfordshire, Local and Service Changes:


The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme was set up to support the NHS and care providers across England during COVID-19:

Govt advice on volunteering (9/12/21)

  1. Charity Commission – Charity Commission – Updated COVID-19 guidance for the charity sector
  2. NCVO Advice and Information
  3. NCVO Supporting Charities and Volunteers during Coronavirus
  4. Government – Support for the bereaved
  5.  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
  6.  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.
  7. 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.
  9. CIPD- advice on planning returning to work safely
  10. Building Materials have published “The Essentials of Safe Independent Living (Elderly Guide)” –
    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.
  11. Understanding Screen Addiction and Responsible Digital Use This guide offers:
    • Informative insights into increased screen use during COVID-19 – with phone usage up by about 30% from pre-pandemic levels.
    • Step-by-step advice on how to take control of your screen use by identifying triggers, scheduling screen time, and setting restrictions on your phone.
    • Useful information on digital detoxers and dieters: 7 in 10 people have tried to moderate their digital consumption in some way, with 37% deleting an app and 27% turning off notifications.
    • Quotes from experts appear throughout, along with useful links for further reading on the topic.

Advice in different languages:

  1. Migrant Help: Coronavirus advice in different languages
  2. ESOL learning for people who will be unable to attend their normal classes ESOL during Covid19  Technology list
  3. Information on COVID-19 translated into 43 languages

Across Oxfordshire:

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:

  • Redundancy
  • Cv Writing
  • Interview
  • Job hunting
  • Speculative Job letters
  • Psychometric Testing

If you know of any clients who require one please contact on this email:  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.

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  Monday – Friday 9-6pm

National Careers Service –

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.

Thames Valley Police. Cyber Protect – April 2020 Thames Valley Police Cyber Protect COVID-19 Newsletter

Domestic Abuse information 

Guideposts – Stay Connected Helpline for those in self-isolation

Age UK Oxfordshire – advice, information and support for older people about coronavirus

SOFEA’s commitment to supply food to those in need – needs your help

MIND – Information on coronavirus and your wellbeing

OSCB – Temporary Guidance on Safeguarding Training

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

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

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

Chilton –  Mutual aid group, support gtoup set up by local community   Members Information Gathering – Chilton Mutual Aid Info

Kidlington – facebook group for help

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: with your name and mobile phone number.

Bicester – Coronavirus Helpers
Looking for volunteers who can help support the elderly and vulnerable in Bicester and surrounding areas

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 Neighbour
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.

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:

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  or

Service Updates 

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.

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.

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.

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: or 01865 776744More information

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:  Web:

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

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    Greensquare tenants in West Oxfordshire and Cherwell can contact us via

OCVA Events

For events run by or involving OCVA to support the community and voluntary sector, please go to our events page.

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