Coronavirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 21st 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 


Thoughts of Sally Yeoman CEO of Halton & St Helens VCA and Vice-Chair VS6, Liverpool City Region Infrastructure Partnership Sally Yeoman

Click here to find out why Local and National infrastructure is more important than ever for the charitable and voluntary sectors.


iCAN Updates 

iCAN Warning: Video conferencing scam

With more a more people taking to video conferencing for both catching up with friends and family but also for work, scammers have also turned their attention to platforms such as Zoom.  Users of these platforms are receiving fake notification emails, which contain malicious links. These links then take the user to fake login pages designed to steal their details, which are subsequently used for identity theft.  Users should remain cautious when receiving an unexpected e-mail claiming to be from their video conference platform provider and should delete it or login via the platform’s website.

iCAN Warning: Lidl food giveaway scam

Halton Trading Standards wants to make residents of scam text messages regarding free food from Lidl. This is a case of the old adage, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is’.  Just like many of the scams we are currently seeing, the scammers want you click on a link, download something or gain your personal details. This is no different, they also use the old trick of saying there are only a few left, to force you to make a quick (and bad) decision.

iCAN Warning: Fake DHL Parcel Arrival Notifications

Halton Trading Standards have been made aware of fake DHL Parcel Arrival Notification emails. The email is a scam, do not download the attached forms! They are likely to contain viruses and programs that will be harmful to your computer.

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


Statement About The Coronavirus Community Support Fund 

Commuity Fund have released a press release about the Coronavirus Community Suport Fund that will open Friday 22nd May at 10 am. This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.

The Fund has two key objectives:

To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.

To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

The full statement and details of how to apply to the fund, can be found by clicking the link below:


Guidance for Working Safely during COVID-19 in Offices and Call Centres 

Download the Guidance for Working safely during COVID-19 in Offices and Call Centres click below


HMRC Update

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May.  It'll help small and medium-sized businesses recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they've made to employees.  Read HMRC's press release for more information. 

If you think the impact of coronavirus will cause delays in filing your company accounts, you can apply for a 3 month extension. You must apply before your filing deadline. To receive instant HMRC email notifications sign up for email alerts. 


Local Authority Top Up Grants 

The Guidance for LAs was published by the Government on 13 May 2020, should you feel the need to refer your LA to this document. On eligibility, the Guidance states (paras 33 and 34):  "It is recognised that local authorities will need to run some form of application process as the potential beneficiaries are highly unlikely to be known directly by the local authorities. This will allow local authorities to undertake proportionate pre-payment checks to confirm eligibility relative to their local scheme and to allow each local authority to determine how to use its discretion in relation to the appropriate level of grant. Prepayment checks must include confirming that by accepting payments recipients are in compliance with State aid rules."


SHAP'S Supported Lodgings Project

Can you provide a young person with a home and support them to be independent?  Supported Lodgings help young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by offering them lodgings with a host.  Being a host, you can be a host whether you are single, a couple, a family, at work or retired. Ideally you will live in St Helens. Being a host means that you are happy to offer a young person a room in your home for up to two years and support them while they build up the day-to-day skills they need to move on and live independently

The help you will receive. Supporting a young person as a host offers a huge personal reward. An in-depth induction programme and ongoing training. A weekly payment which covers the cost of supporting and housing a young person. Weekly support from specialist Shap staff and a 24/7 telephone support service. Click here for more information or Contact Shap on 01744 454056 for more information.


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.