Coronavirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 20th April 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 


Halton Borough Council funding update

For the latest funding update from Halton Borough Council's External Funding Team click here

If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be added, please email

If you have identified any funding that you would like to apply for, but do not have the capacity, please contact the email address above and a member of the External Funding Team or Community Development Team will arrange to contact you to discuss your needs.

There is also quite a lot of information about emerging funds to specifically support the voluntary sector at this time and grants online have just made available the following link in relation to this:  so will be worth checking out.


DWP Updates 160420

Universal Credit/Benefits

Universal Credit claimants to verify identity through Government Gateway. People applying for Universal Credit will now be able to use their existing Government Gateway account to confirm their identity, helping to speed up their claim.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): what to do if you were employed and have lost your job  Updated 16 April to reflect Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme cut off date changed to 19 March 2020. Guidance for people who were employed and have lost their job due to coronavirus (COVID-19).


The holy month of Ramadan 

For the followers of Islam, the holy month of Ramadan starts around the 23rd/24th April this year dependent on the position of the moon in this country.  Just to make you aware of the fact that many will be fasting from dawn to dusk and will not be able to gather with others, for their traditional family meal each day, which breaks their fast. This may exacerbate their negative feelings.  The greeting to say to people observing Ramadan is Ramadan Karim.  Thanks to Halton Faith Forum for sharing.


O2 announces zero rating for support websites during COVID-19

More than 20 websites zero-rated on O2 in addition to NHS websites

O2 customers won’t use any of their network data when they browse a range of financial guidance, health and emotional support, advice sites on their O2-enabled devices. Additional zero-rated sites include Citizens Advice, Money Advice Service and Mind

O2 has announced a zero rating on more than 20 additional support, financial guidance and advice websites to help its customers access the support they need, worry free, during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.  Customers who are on O2 won’t use any of their allocated monthly data allowance when browsing a whole host of support, financial guidance, advice and charity sites on their mobile.  As well as the NHS, which O2 announced it was zero-rating last week, O2 customers can also browse 22 additional support, financial guidance, and advice networks, including Citizens Advice and Mind.

Mark Evans, CEO at O2, said:

“Our customers are the most important thing to us, and we want to ensure that they have the support they need throughout this difficult time. That’s why, further to our announcement last week zero-rating NHS websites, we’re ensuring that additional websites providing financial guidance, health and emotional advice and support can also be accessed by our customers without using any data allowance for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.”

To see what sites are included click here 

Government £750m funding for charities 

Click here for the ACEVO briefing on the Government funding as announced by the Chancellor. 


Cycle map for key workers 

If you are a key worker and need bike-related assistance or access to a cycle to get to work, check out 
information from Sustrans about an interactive cycle map for key workers.  It includes offers on cycles and equipment, free/discounted repairs, bike sharing schemes and stores that are open.  



NCVO have just made three important additions to their existing coronavirus advice:

You can also access all their resources at


British Red Cross 

You can access all resources from the British Red Cross on their website with ideas to prevent loss of contact between family members and maintain family links during the Covid-19 emergency to find out more click here


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.