Coronavirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 13th May 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 


New service from Mind St Helens - Check in & Chat

Our colleagues from Mind St Helens have asked us to share the following information 

During these difficult times, would you or someone you know, benefit from a friendly chat on a regular basis, to brighten your days and make you feel connected with your community?

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt everywhere, including St Helens which has high levels of mental health issues and significant levels of suicide.  We have been experiencing calls and emails form those who need our support and from people who are concerned about someone who is alone.  We are fortunate to have been awarded a grant for a 3 month project by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, the National Lottery and Pilkington Charities’ Fund.  This will enable us to offer telephone befriending for people, aged 18+, who may not normally be eligible for our service but who are feeling lonely or isolated during this challenging time.  This project is so vital at this time, providing a lifeline for those suffering from stress and anxiety.  One of our volunteers would give you a regular call and check you are doing OK and have a chat.  If you feel that you would benefit from a friendly telephone call on a regular basis, or know someone who might, please get in touch. 

Telephone Gill:  07912 059 872 Email  You can also send a message from the Facebook page or website:


Extension to the furlough sysem

Yesterday the Chancellor announced an extension to the current furlough system.  From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.  The government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period.  Full details of the announcement can be found here


New Online Registration Form - Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Group

Widnes and Runcorn Cancer Support Group have launched an new online registration form to allow people to register with their service and access the support while they are unable to visit The Centre.

The form can be accessed here:


Apply for the Food Charities Grant Fund

Frontline food aid charities can now apply for a grant of up to £100k to provide food to vulnerable people within your community.  Eligible organisations are those who are unable to meet the increasing demands for food and can distribute food purchased by 9 August. This grant is not to provide food for the extremely clinically vulnerable, who are already being supported by government.  The grant scheme closes on 6 July. Full details here.


Cheshire Constabulary Independent Advisory Group

Cheshire Constabulary's Independent Advisory Group is a group of volunteers that act as a critical friend for the Police.  They represent the various protected characteristics and are currently in need of someone who could represent ‘disability’.

Would you be interested in joining them?  It would mean going through vetting due to the sensitivity of some of the material they review.  

If you like more information, please contact the Chair of the group, Alison Weston, who would be very happy to talk about they work they do etc. Meetings usually take place quarterly at Winsford (although currently they are virtual) and there is a small amount of work in between meetings.

For more information please contact Alison on the details below:

telephone: 01606 364 267


V&A to collect signs made during lockdown

The V&A Museum is asking people to donate their rainbow signs and shop notices after the pandemic so they can build a "snapshot of the world under lockdown."   It will be for the public to decide which signs they want to nominate, with the museum deliberately not setting out nuts-and-bolts criteria. Members of the public are encouraged to submit images of drawings and homemade signs via the email address  Click here to see the full article.


St Helens and District Diabetes Group meeting update

Unfortunately they have had to cancel the next meeting, which was was due to take place on Wed 3rd June, at the St Helens United Reformed Church. That would have been the last meeting of the present programme.  They usually start their next programme of meetings in September, but at the moment, like everyone else, they can`t be sure when their next meeting will be, their suggestion is to visit their website at or contact them on 0151 480 0821, hopefully there will be more information by July/August. If anyone needs any general advice or support regarding their diabetes at this difficult time, they can phone the Diabetes UK Helpline on 0345 123 2399 or visit 


Updated and interactive data on the coronavirus crisis for charities and funders

Think NPC has built an interactive dashboard to help charities see which places are currently suffering the most from Covid-19, and where underlying factors such as age, health, ethnicity, as well as economic indicators, may indicate greater risk.  You can check out the website here.


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

Click here to view the infographics for the sector for the week



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.