Coronavirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 2nd 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

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

If you want to find out what is happening with local services take a look on our homepage 

We'd love to hear your good news stories, there is a lot of excellent work going on in Halton and St Helens and we would like to share it, despite the difficult times there is a lot of positivity out there.  You can send your stories in to


Halton Borough Council 

Latest funding bulletins from our colleagues at Halton Borough Council, click here for the General Funding update, Youth Music Emergency Fund and a Coronavirus specific funding bulletin


Video calling 

Zoom hacked 

Liverpool CVS warned that some Zoom accounts have been hacked and there is an investigation underway. Clarification was sought on whether this referred to the free or paid version of Zoom.  

Medway Voluntary Action shared advice regarding protection whilst using Zoom: 

  • Set a meeting PIN - this stops the hackers from 'gatecrashing' 
  • Don’t share the link on public forums or platforms 
  • If sharing a photo of the meeting make sure the meeting ID (top left corner) is hidden 
  • Don’t use a personal meeting ID - always allow zoom to create a random number for each meeting 
  • Always set screen sharing to 'host only' 
  • Disable file transfer in settings 
  • Disable 'Join before host' 
  • Disable 'allow removed participants to rejoin' 


ACAS - Coronavirus webinar | support | NMW

Coronavirus advisory webinar for employers - new date released - 9 April 

This webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of Coronavirus in the workplace. They have scheduled their next event for 9 April, 10.30 - 11.30am. 

You can register your place online. The page also contains a recording of their most recent event.

Updates on support available:

Business support site
The UK Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps businesses find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the support measures that are available 

NHS - every mind matters - 10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus

Mind - Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Mental Health Foundation - Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Latest coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for Companies House customers

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we’re closely following Public Health England guidelines. We have plans in place to maintain services for our customers and to protect the welfare of our employees.

Use our online services
We're experiencing delays in processing paper forms due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Where possible, use our online services to help us process your information as quickly as possible.
Find out more about what you can send to us online. 

If your company cannot file accounts on time

If you think the impact of COVID-19 will cause delays in filing your company accounts, you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension. You must apply before your filing deadline. 

Late filing penalties
Late filing penalties are applied automatically if you do not apply for an extension and you file your accounts late.
You may appeal a late filing penalty. To help us to process your appeals while we’re working remotely, you should send your appeal form to us by email.

Read our guidance on late filing penalties and appeals. 

Support for businesses and employees

The government has announced a package of support available to businesses and employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 
Visit the Business Support website for more information.

Updates to our services 

We’ll be sharing all the latest updates and information about our services on our coronavirus guidance page for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers. 
To receive instant email notifications as soon as we update our content, sign up for email alerts. 


Updated guidance from the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance to help with running a charity during the coronavirus outbreak. In the guidance, the Commission sets out its response to the most commonly asked questions. This includes consideration of whether your charitable objects allow for your charity to offer support, how you can get support to pay staff and whether you can use reserves and restricted funds to help your charity survive the crisis.

Click her for guidance

iCAN Warning: Increase in Coronavirus Scams 

Halton Trading Standards has seen a steady increase in the number of Coronavirus scams circulating as Government measures and peoples behaviour changes. Action Fraud has reported an increase of 18-fold last month to scams been reported to them.  Although they have not currently had reports in the Borough, it is important to note that sadly, scams are taking place against the most vulnerable in other parts of the country and Halton residents should be aware of such scams. The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning over a surge in the number of coronavirus-related scams, urging people not to respond to unsolicited phone calls and emails.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that criminals are approaching people’s homes, offering shopping services in return for cash upfront or card and pin details. Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chairman of the LGA’s Stronger & Safer Communities Board said: “It’s important that victims do not suffer in silence or feel embarrassed.”
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of their 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


Data protection and COVID-19 - A message from the ICO

Preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus is now the priority for us all, and this month’s newsletter looks at where this work interacts with data protection.

The top line here is a recognition of the importance of organisations being able to work together to respond to this pandemic. Data protection law will not stop this happening.

We are clear too that we are supportive of innovative approaches of personal data for public benefit. Sound understanding of the principles of data protection can encourage innovation, rather than stand in its way. We know this is a fast moving picture for many data protection officers, and so we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked coronavirus questions our helpline has been receiving, details of which are below.

We have also recognised the need for public bodies and health practitioners to communicate directly with people when dealing with this type of health emergency. It’s important my office remains a reasonable and pragmatic regulator, and we will not operate in isolation from matters of serious public concern.

This approach extends too to our role regulating the Freedom of Information Act, and details of our measured approach to public authorities’ response times is set out below.

My office continues to offer support to those working in information rights across all types of organisations. We know this is a difficult time for many people, and that working from home can bring practical challenges. Our helpline remains open, and our website continues to be a valuable resource of information on topics like cyber security for remote working, data protection impact assessments and handling subject access requests.

Stay safe, and I hope to see you in the near future.

Advice for data controllers

Keep your IT systems safe

Advice for community groups

Keeping people up to date


NCVO Coronavirus advice page 

NCVO have created a coronavirus advice page on their Knowhow website for anyone managing or supporting volunteers during the pandemic.

These are the areas it covers:

How volunteers can make a difference

Redirecting volunteers if you cannot take on any more

How volunteers are affected by the lockdown

Volunteers in key worker roles

Volunteer expenses

Paying for goods or services

Data protection

Recognising and reporting scams


Heart of Glass

Home Work - Micro Commissions

Heart of Glass know that the kitchen table can be a space of radical possibility! That’s why today they’re announcing Home Work. They want to share this widely so they can reach as many artists, freelancers, collaborators as possible….HOME WORK - the opportunity- 10 x micro commission opportunities (£300 each) on the theme of ‘care’


  • For artists, freelancers, and collaborators
  • St Helens, Merseyside and beyond.
  • Deadline: 12th April 
  • Theme What does care look like? How do we recognise it, how do we value it? Care is a central element of the programme at HoG. This programme only happens because they work with a whole ecology of people who care - artists, community workers, facilitators, activists, hosts, producers. 
  • Format  What could this look like? They’re open to any form that your work might take - for example a performance, a sound piece, an online conversation or masterclass, a zine, a blogpost, an image - anything which considers, embodies, speaks to the theme of care.  Thinking about ‘care they're not interested in the making of stuff for the sake of making more stuff, so be honest with them, if you’d like to use this fee to spend some time thinking about how to support your community, share that with them, this is only a little support (equivalent to an average artist day fee). Please only spend up to 8 hours on this. They know that circumstances are all different. Whatever way you’d like to structure your work on this is the right way!  They are prioritising applications from communities who are at the heart of their programme, if you identify as disabled, working class, LGBTQ+ or if you have refugee status, let them know.  For more info / to apply:

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here 

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


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.