Coronavirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 5th 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 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey Now Ready For Your New Data

Thank you to everyone who submitted their data last week.  The forms are now open for you to submitt your new data figues.

Halton Data Collection Survey

St Helens Data Collection Survey


Government Support for small businesses including Charities who meet the critieria for Small Business Rate or Rural Rate Relief

At the weekend, the Government announced additional discretionary support for small businesses, including charities. This additional fund of £617m will be distributed via local authorities. It is aimed at small businesses - and charities - with ongoing fixed property-related costs. 

'Discretionary' is a key issue. Local authorities are being asked by the Government to include priority for small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. However local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses, based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

To qualify, organisations must have fewer than 50 employees, and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. The Government says it will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

The administration of this is for local authorities to determine once they receive additional guidance. Today VCA wrote to Halton & St Helens Councils to ensure eligible VCSE organisations can access this.   This is a limited amount of funding and we urge you to apply as soon as possible.

You can read the full details here  NAVCA has provided a useful guide to rateable value click here


Covid19 Testing for Priority Key Workers

We have received an update from Halton Borough Council updating on the arrangements for testing key workers or their family for Covid 19. Click here to find out more.


Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund
The Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund is offering grants of up to £10k. Priority will be given to organisations delivering support services or who have significantly adapted their services to respond to the current crisis and support vulnerable people.  The Fund welcomes applications from organisations supporting local community activity, including volunteering, and co-ordination of services.  

Next deadline is 22 May. Click here for details on their website. 


Domestic Violence 

Please see the link below to some useful resources from Women’s Aid:

Covid-19/Coronavirus: Safety and support resources for survivors, friends, family, neighbours and community members from Women’s Aid

Also, as of 30 April 2020, any woman who needs to travel to find refuge from domestic violence can do so for free on any UK train. Email to access. 


Help us help you get the treatment you need Campaign

People should seek medical care when they need it and not be put off by the coronavirus epidemic, say doctors, charities and the health service.

The new NHS campaign ‘Help us help you get the treatment you need’ launched last weekend and has been widely covered by the media: The campaign follows a decrease in people accessing services for a range of conditions not related to coronavirus.   Initial content covers emergency, paediatrics and cancer services and will include further priority groups and services including mental health, maternity and immunisations as the campaign continues. They have been raising awareness of this issue locally with clinicians in primary and secondary care reminding people of the importance of seeking medical help if they have worrying symptoms and will continue to do this during the Covid-19 crisis.

  • If you need medical help the NHS is still here for you. You should still contact your GP practice, use NHS 111 online or call 111
  • If it is a serious or life threatening emergency, call 999
  • If you are told to go to hospital, it is important you go to hospital
  • You should continue to attend your appointments unless you are told not to attend

There are also bespoke messages around ordering prescriptions and ensuring childhood vaccinations are completed as normal.


Social Enterprise UK

Article from Social Enterprise UK on PPE suppliers outside of NHS Procurement.  Click here to see link 


From 1 May 2020, PPE purchased by care providers (including care homes and domiciliary care), businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.

More information can be found here:


Youth Endowment Fund COVID-19 Grant Round

Youth Endowment Fund click here for summary.  Can you send a copy of any bids to the Violence Reduction Unit as it may be that if funding is not successful via the YEF that in the event of an underspend from their funding they could consider supporting some that are relevant to their aims.

Contact Mark Wiggins at the Violence Reduction Unit by Email:


Translated information COVID

Click here for a fact sheet on available resources in relation to translated information.


Enterprise Hub - Ready To Start Your Own Business?

Fully-funded expert advice & support to help START your business in the Liverpool City Region. Enterprise Hub brings together business experts from across the Liverpool City Region to offer fully-funded start-up support: 

  • Understand the process of
  • starting a business
  • Research a business idea
  • Develop a business plan
  • Create a marketing strategy
  • Understand financial forecasts
  • Raise start-up finance

Enterprise Hub start-up support is available to anyone living in the Liverpool City Region, who has not yet registered with Companies House or HMRC.

For more information, please contact them on the details below:

Phone: 0151 706 8113
facebook: /MerseyEntHub
Twitter: @MerseyEntHub


Key Workers Vacancy List

The DWP have forwarded their Key Worker Vacancy list:



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.