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

As we move into the next phase of the Covid 19 crisis we will be updating groups with helpful guidance to help you manage the transitions click here for Recovery and Resilience resources and information. 

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


Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF)

From 1st June 2020, Halton Council will start to receive applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF).

The Government announced it is making additional funding available to allow the Council on 1st May 2020 and finalised its guidance on 26th May 2020. This funding is to support small businesses that have been affected by COVID19 but are outside the scope of the existing small business grants scheme and retail, hospitality and leisure scheme. This scheme is for businesses who have so far received no support during the COVID19 crisis.

Based upon the Government guidance and the identified priorities of the Council, four grant regimes will be available from 1st to 30th June 2020:

  • Shared Space Grant
  • Charitable Sector Support Grant
  • Bed & Breakfast Support Grant
  • Businesses either working from home and/or other locally owned businesses in other premises

Click here for more details 


Volunteers Week 2020

Here at the Volunteer Centres we are preparing for a week packed with celebrations of everything that is volunteering.  Some of the features we will be highlighting include:

  • Interviews with some of our volunteers on their experience of volunteering through the pandemic and what it means to them.
  • Interviews with some of our local authority partners to thank everyone in our community that has stepped up and supported those most vulnerable.
  • Interviews with some of our members who engage volunteers in the work they do and how important it is to them and the people they support.
  • A virtual Volunteers Week Quiz - with some raffle prizes and hopefully a special guest (we're working on this).
  • A national "Cheers for Volunteers" campaign to say a massive thank you from the nation to every single volunteer for their help and support - not just through the pandemic.  Volunteers have been engaging in many ways throughout the year supporting you as organisations too.
  • We also want to know what you are doing and how we can support you in promoting the fantastic work you do with your volunteers.

Here’s What We Need You To Do:

  1. We want to feature you and your organisation in celebrating all that volunteers have done for you over the past year. We want to know why they mean so much to you.  Click here for a document which you can download and print or replicate in your own way and write on "I love volunteers because"... If you could either get someone to take a photo or if you're happy doing a quick video of no more than say 10 seconds and email that in to our email address - we will be able to pull together a short animation that we will use on our social media, website and future celebrational material.  Submission of any media will be providing us with consent to use it for the purposes outlined.
  2. Tell us what you are doing to celebrate – do you have any case studies we can feature throughout the week alongside our current programme to say how great Halton and St Helens are in engaging volunteers to enhance your services and provide additional benefits to the people you are there to support?
  3. Engage in the national campaign #CheersforVolunteers – spread the word so we can make a big noise about Volunteers and the difference they make to our communities.
  4. If you would like us to invite a volunteer to our Volunteer Quiz and have them take part in the raffle – send us their name, postal and email address so that we can send them an invite and a raffle ticket.  If you’d like to come along you can register here

  1. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  For now Thank You for putting yourself forwards in the first place, it shows the true altruism of volunteering.

Cheers for Volunteers 

It's National Volunteers Week and some of our staff have contributed to this national appreciation of Volunteers across England to say thanks with @NAVCA


Mental health free online platform for adults in St Helens launches
From 1st June adults aged 26 and above will be able to access mental health and wellbeing support online for free thanks to a new service for St Helens residents.  Qwell is an online counselling and support service which aims to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of adults in St Helens by providing an early response to emotional wellbeing and/or emerging mental health needs. This enables any issue to be addressed promptly, and prevent problems from escalating and requiring a more specialist response such as face to face intervention or crisis.

Children and young people in St Helens aged 11-25 already have access to and following the success of this platform, especially during lockdown, Qwell which is from the same team, is aimed specially at adults and provides:

  • Online emotional wellbeing and mental health support service seven days a week, 365 days a year, with counsellors online from 12 noon to 10pm Monday to Friday and 6pm to 10pm at weekends
  • An accessible, safe, secure, moderated website with online community features
  • Qwell is a confidential service which adults anonymously access therapy and self-help content, with links to other appropriate services
  • Adults aged 26 and above who are registered with a St Helens GP can visit from today to sign up to the Qwell website.


Nightstop Communities Northwest CIC Job Vacancies 

Nightstop Communities Northwest CIC have job vacancies for the following roles:

  • Accommodation Support Worker - 37.5 hours per week
  • Mental Health Support Worker - 37.5 hours per week
  • Mental Health IT / Office Administrator - 20 hours per week
  • Office and Accommodation Cleaner - 20 hours per week
  • Handyman / Gardener - 20 hours per week

Expected start date 22nd June. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 5pm on Friday 12th June.  Click here for more details about the roles and how to request an application form.


Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is making £5m available for its second phase of funding for May to December 2020.

Funding will include

  • Emergency grants for current grantees who are facing immediate financial crisis
  • 12-month grant extensions for current grantees with ongoing projects
  • Grant increases to enable current grantees to meet costs associated with adapting activities in order to sustain work.

The Trust will also launch a Covid-19 Initiatives Fund over the summer which will be open to grantees and non-grantees, to support new initiatives rooted in the values of equity, rights, peace, climate justice and power and accountability that either a) challenge current responses to and narratives about the crisis, or b) build support for systemic change in a post-Covid society.

Click here to find out more.


ACAS National E-Connect newsletter

Have you signed up for the ACAS National E-Connect newsletter it has lots of useful information on Coronavirus advice and resources.  Click here to subcribe for a copy directly to your inbox. 


Government Guidance

The Government has recently updated its advice/guidance/rules on what you can and can't, or should and shouldn't, do as the lockdown eases.

Here are some updated links which you might find useful:

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do - updated 1 Jun 2020

Guidance on shielding - updated 31 May 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - updated 29 May 2020

Working safely during COVID-19 - updated 29 May 2020

Test and trace: workplace guidance - updated 27 May 2020

You can find all the Government's Guidance on coronavirus at:


Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak

For the latest guidance on legionella from the HSE click here


Coronavirus Funding update from Halton Borough Council 1st June 2020

Click here for the Latest Monthly coronavirus funding bulletin from the External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council dated dated 1st June 2020.  Email to sign up to recieve bulletin updates directly to your inbox


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

Thanks to all the groups who responded to our request to share your data so we can demonstrate the work of the sector to our local partners and decision makers. Click here to view the latest infographics for the sector 


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.