Community Impact Bucks'

COVID-19 Briefing #83
Latest lockdown guidance for the voluntary sector & #FundAlerts 
Short regular briefing from Community Impact Bucks
7th Janaury 2021
Dear Kathleen,
On the 4th January the Government announced a third national lockdown – below we have collated the latest guidance for the voluntary sector to help you ensure the safety of your staff, beneficiaries and volunteers.
Following the Government announcement on 4th January 2021, the UK has entered its third national lockdown. Groups and charities should familiarise themselves with the latest Government Guidance and refer to the additional information:
  • Community buildings should remain closed except for specific limited exemptions – we are awaiting further clarity from our umbrella organisation ACRE on the detail of these exemptions and will provide updates through this newsletter once received.
  • If you run or work for a charity or voluntary group, you can also find specific guidance on the GOV.UK website for the charity sector.
  • Government advice is that employees may only leave home for work if they cannot reasonably work from home. If you have employees who are not working from home, we recommend reviewing the latest government guidance for working safely. You should also follow HSE advice for employers.
We are awaiting confirmation from NCVO that online government guidance relating to volunteering has been updated by DCMS (Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) on GOV.UK.  In the meantime, the government guidance on the National Lockdown: Stay At Home web page is that you must stay at home, but people who are fit and well can leave their homes to volunteer.  Volunteering is deemed as a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave home. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should limit the time that they spend outside the home, and should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

Once the full government guidance about volunteering has been published online, we will be updating our COVID-19 web pages for volunteer involving organisations and volunteers and will alert you when this has been done.
There is only one space remaining on next week’s Buckinghamshire Volunteer Managers’ Network event, Volunteer management & COVID-19: Taking stock and future planning (14th January).  It’s free to join and a great place to connect, exchange ideas and get a jump on your volunteering plans for 2021. To book this space, visit our Training and Events page.
Last call for applications for two new exciting posts at Community Impact Bucks as we approach the application deadline of Monday 11th January (9am):
  • Head of Programme Management (PT) – are you an experienced Programme Manager with strong all-round capabilities in PMO disciplines? Would you enjoy the opportunity to set up and lead PMO functions and develop staff capabilities across our charity? Find out more on our website.
  • VCSE Health Partnership & Engagement Manager (PT) – are you an experienced partnership manager with strong all-round project management capabilities? Hosted by Community Impact Bucks, this role will enable the VCSE sector in the Thames Valley (Bucks, Oxon, Berks West) to play a full role as an equal partner in the health and care system. Find out more on our website
  • Village Halls Week 2021: Village Halls Week is a national celebration of the thousands of village halls across the UK, their volunteers, and the services they offer. Running from Monday 25th January to Friday 29th January 2021, the week will highlight the important role village halls and their volunteers play in rural communities, particularly during the pandemic. Further details on how you can get involved will be sent to Community Buildings members on Monday 11th January.
  • Get up and dance initiative: to help people stay happy and healthy going into 2021, the Fitness Garden has put together a FREE programme of live and on demand dance content in both Bollywood and Street Dance styles to help get people moving. For more information and to register, visit the Fitness Garden website.  
  • Protecting property during lockdown: Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued advice on how to keep business properties safe during lockdown. Read the steps you can take to protect your organisation's premises at this time on the BFRS website.
New funds are opened up regularly; to keep up-to-date with the latest announcements and for support on all aspects of funding, visit our COVID-19 Funding webpages and read our top ten tips on how to write a successful funding application.
New funds are detailed below:
  • Grants for voluntary groups including community buildings affected by COVID-19 restrictions during December 2020: a second round of Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) is currently available and is open until midnight on 31 January 2021. Some charities, groups and community buildings may be eligible if they have been heavily impacted because of the COVID-19 restrictions during December 2020 and have not been able to get support through the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme. For more information, visit Buckinghamshire Council.
  • Grants for businesses (potential for some charities and community buildings): Local Restrictions Support Grants are open for applications for businesses that had to close in November, and now also in December 2020, and have a rateable value. Some charities and groups may be eligible to apply. Organisations that may qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grants are listed on the GOV.UK webpage; Community Buildings and Halls are eligible under ‘Other venues subject to restrictions’. For more information, visit Buckinghamshire Council.
  • Grants for community organisations encouraging activity: grants from £250 to £2,000 are available to community organisations which support any of the following priority groups to be active: lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, people with disabilities or people with long term conditions. The deadline for applications is 15th January; for more information on the Moving our Communities Fund 2020, visit Leap.
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