Coronavirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 10th June 2020

Halton and St Helens VCA

If you need a contact for our volunteering portal and volunteering during the Covid-19 response across both Boroughs it’s Claire Redford-Kerr

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in St Helens it’s Annie Lawrenson

If you need a contact for the Covid-19 response in Halton it’s Matthew Roberts

You can also contact Sally Yeoman our Chief Officer for issues in both Boroughs. She will also be picking up LCR work with VS6 colleagues

For comms/website and information queries contact  or

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

To access all resources relating to volunteering, involving volunteers, funding or local/national news click on our homepage

Below is the latest news / updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens 


Carers Week 8 - 14 June

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. This year the theme is Making Caring Visible. A dedicated website has more details including a range of support and information for carers.


Co-ops Local Community Fund

The next round of the Co-op's Local Community Fund is now available for local causes and local community groups to apply for.  As a guide in terms of criteria, if the cause/charity is supporting those most in need, is improving mental and physical wellbeing or building community resilience then they can apply. The closing date is Sunday 28th June 2020.  Follow the link  below for more information and a portal to apply through. 


One Halton Newsletter Edition 2

Click here for the second edition of the One Halton Newsletter.   This edition includes an update from the voluntary sector organisations.  Please remember if you have anything you wish to share amongst the One Halton Partners, all contributions are very welcome. Please send them either directly to Angela Cole on or the generic email which is they would love to hear from you sharing good news stories and innovation.


Children & Young People's Assembly - Draft Report & Survey

The draft Recommendations report following the Children & Young People's Assembly;has now been published. Click here for a copy and a news story is on the website click here to read:

A survey on the draft recommendations is now live and you can complete the survey by clicking onto the following link

The deadline for completion of the survey is noon Monday 15th June.


iCAN Warning: Bogus Trading Standards call connection service

Halton Trading Standards wants to make residents aware of a scam which relates to our partners at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI). The scam is regarding bogus websites claiming to be a "Trading Standards Call Connection Service."  Chartered Trading Standards Institute has received evidence of a fake website which sends callers to a premium rate number which the site claims charges £1.55/ minute plus access charges. The phoney website even lists the address of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, giving the impression that it is officially endorsed by it.  Chartered Trading Standards Institute - Chief Executive, Leon Livermore, said: "CTSI does not offer a consumer helpline service. Citizens Advice manages the UK's consumer support service through the Consumer Helpline, which is free of charge". Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline are contactable free on 0808 223 1133

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.  If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline  or 0808 223 1133


Our colleagues BHIB Charities Insurance have kindly shared the following resources: 

Following the return to work announcements, the immediate reaction of many charities and voluntary organisations will be wanting to start providing services again from your offices as soon as possible. However, it is important that your building is equipped for reopening with safety measures in place. The current policies and risk assessments you have in place may no longer be sufficient and may need to be adapted and changed.

To support you with this, BHIB Charities Insurance have created a FREE ‘Charity Reopening Checklist’ and a ‘General Workplace Risk Assessment’ which we hope you will find useful. We have detailed them both below with links to download them for free.

COVID-19 – Charity Recovery/Reopening Health, Safety & Fire Checklist/Risk Assessment

This checklist aims to list some of the key issues that charities and voluntary organisations should consider prior to reopening. It should facilitate charities in reviewing your internal policies, risk assessments and safe systems of work to make sure they are still relevant, as well as ensure the charity has considered how staff and volunteers will return to work safely.

Download the Checklist here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Business Recovery/Re-opening – Health, Safety & Fire Checklist/Risk Assessment

COVID-19 – General Workplace Risk Assessment

This generic Risk Assessment aims to support charities getting back to their regular place of work. It is not likely to cover all scenarios and each charity should consider their own unique circumstances. Much more specific assessments may look quite different although many of the principles will still be relevant.

Download the Risk Assessment here: COVID-19 - General Workplace Risk Assessment


Latest update from HMRC on Job Retention Scheme important dates

Click here for the latest update from HMRC on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme


DWP update 8th June 2020

Click here for latest vacancies from DWP and information on mental health e learning course at home


VS6 Publishes VCFSE Recovery Paper 9th June 2020

The VS6 Parternship has today published a paper demonstrating the contribution of the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Sector in the emergency response across the Liverpool City Region, and their involvement in recovery planning. A copy has been sent to the Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.  This paper provides an overview of the involvement of VCFSE organisations in the emergency response to Covid-19 across Liverpool City Region, lists some of the emerging issues currently faced by the sector and makes a number of recommendations for consideration in the post-Covid-19 recovery planning.

It contains several recommendations for recovery planning, namely:

  • Involve local VCFSE leaders in a relevant and proportionate way in all recovery planning and governance arrangements.
  • Engage with the sector and with communities through existing VCFSE sector networks and representative bodies.
  • Ensure VCFSE services and support offers are embedded in the CV-19 response through the living with Covid and build back better periods.

In terms of strengthening support for a resilient VCFSE sector in the future, recommendations include:

  • Work with VCFSE leaders across LCR to describe a sustainable VCFSE ‘ecosystem’ which outlasts the current emergency.
  • Support the strengthening of volunteer management and coordination capacity.
  • Use the voice and reach of the public sector to give a platform for the VCFSE sector’s successes and concerns.
  • LCR public sector organisations should support the financial and business security of the sector both directly and indirectly.

The full report can be viewed here.


The NHS Long Term Plan, COVID-19 and the mental health challenge

Just 18 months on from the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan, is it already outdated when it comes to mental health?  As the focus of health policymakers moves from coping with COVID-19 to catching-up care across all conditions, attention is increasingly turning to the mental health catastrophe we face

Read this blog from Public Affairs Networking here.


Census 2021 Recruitment 

Job centres across the UK are actively supporting ‘The Adecco Group’ with the Census 2021 high-volume recruitment campaign. Collectively we aim to promote inclusion across all community groups and ensure a diverse workforce is in place for the census.  This presents an exciting opportunity for candidates to be involved in the first ‘digital census’ in history. A wide range of temporary part-time and full-time roles will be available offering contractual periods between a couple of weeks to several months. Candidates can apply for officer (those working in the field), supervisory or managerial roles (subject to individual experience).  Adecco/ONS are working hard to ensure they are taking every necessary step and precaution to ensure the well-being of both staff and candidates, in light of COVID-19.  We are now rapidly approaching the recruitment ‘Go Live’ date which is only 4 weeks away (6th July 2020)! All adverts will be accessible on the microsite which is:  Using the same link there is also currently a platform for candidates to ‘Register’ their interest ahead of this date and for them to find out more information, including the story so far and how the Census has changed since 2011.  ONS (the end employer) requires all successful candidates to be civil servants for the duration of the contract, therefore all candidates must satisfy the Home Office and Civil Service guidelines. The ‘’ website contains further information (if required):


Citizens Advice - Directions programme

The Directions Project from Citizens Advice Halton is up and running to provide support and encouragement to people who are looking for work. Originally planned as a 4 week face-to-face training programme, they have been developing information to help people during the Covid-19 lockdown, and for while social distancing remains in place.  Free to people who are eligible (18+, resident in Halton, not working, or not in education or training), the Directions project can help people to:

  • Write a new or update their existing CV
  • Make better job applications
  • Identify what skills they have and help to think about developing new skills
  • Learn about being a volunteer adviser
  • Find education and training opportunities to suit them

CAB is in the process of moving the Directions learning programme online - but in the meantime, people can get 1-2-1 support from a Keyworker (via phone and email) to help support and encourage them in their job search and work readiness.  If you know someone who might be interested in the Directions support, then either complete a referral form (click here), or email us at: 


We Want To Hear From You - Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Has Your Group, Organisation Or Service Responded? 

We are asking that if you are delivering services and interventions in direct response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic then we would welcome you to share your data on a weekly basis so we can bring it all together to demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers.

For organisations which choose to contribute we will also provide you each week with your own infographic which you can share with your beneficiaries, volunteers and funders.  This survey is made up of tick-box questions, and the occasional free text question. The survey should take 10 minutes to complete each week.

Halton Data Collection Survey

St Helens Data Collection Survey


If you have volunteering requirements please register them here 

and also encourage people wanting to help out to do that safely by registering here 


Service Status Updates From Our Member Organisations

We have been sent a number of service status updates from our member organisations to let us know their current working practices during Covid-19.  The link to Halton Organisations is here and the link to St Helens organisations is here. If you have a service update that you would like to tell us about, please email and we will add your organisations details to our lists.


If you'd like to sign up for your own copy of the daily update, please follow the link below and sign up for our ebulletin:

Get In Touch

Halton & St Helens VCA 

Halton Office: 01928 592 405
St Maries
Lugsdale Road

St Helens Office: 01744 457100 
2nd Floor Beacon Building
College Street
St Helens
WA10 1TF



Halton & St Helens VCA is an infrastructure organisation that provides advice, information and development support services to voluntary, community, not-for-profit and faith organisations and volunteers in the Boroughs of St Helens and Halton.