Coronavirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 8th 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 

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.


One Knowsley

Urgent Recruitment - Social Prescribing Link Workers
In conjunction with Primary Care Network Kirkby, One Knowsley are looking to recruit two Social Prescribing Link Workers.  Social prescribing empowers people to take control of their health and wellbeing through referral to non-medical ‘link workers’ who give time, focus on ‘what matters to me’ and take a holistic approach, connecting people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support. Link workers support existing groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new community groups, working collaboratively with all local partners.

Social prescribing can help to strengthen community resilience and personal resilience and reduces health inequalities by addressing the wider determinants of health, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities. It particularly works for people with long-term conditions (including support for mental health), for people who are lonely or isolated, or have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

Initially the role will assist in providing support to individuals deemed to be at the highest risk, in response to the current incident with COVID- 19 and to mobilise community networks to support those same individuals.

The closing date for applications is 16th April 2020. For further details please click  Job Description and Person Specification


Halton Borough Council Funding Team.

The External Funding Team at Halton Borough Council is keeping track of some of the measures that key funders are taking in response to the current crisis and any changes they are making to their grant programmes.  They  are also keeping track of any new funding streams that are being brought in to support.

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.



Deadline: The fund will be rolling and decisions made on a weekly basis.

Details: As a result of the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, particularly for those most vulnerable people within our communities, Metro Mayor in partnership with the Community Foundation for Merseyside has launched the LCR Cares COVID-19 Community Support Fund to support community and voluntary organisations on the frontline. Phase 1- Funding will be initially awarded under the following priorities:

  • Foodbanks
  •  Food/care package delivery to vulnerable people self-isolating
  • Delivery of services and projects supporting the most vulnerable, such as older people e.g. a telephone support/friendship service or delivering online activities to help reduce isolation
  • Emotional and mental health wellbeing
  • Financial Inclusion, support to access benefits and debt advice

These priorities will be reviewed regularly and changed/additions made as fundraising and the outbreak develops. Who can apply? Voluntary, community and faith organisations, registered charities, social businesses, churches, PTAs and parish/town councils. They also welcome applications from newly established groups though please note the requirements below on documentation required. How much is available? Grants of up to £5,000 will be available initially. This may change in further phases of the fund. If you receive a grant, they can accept subsequent applications to further phases of the fund or when additional funding is received though please note they will have to take into account previous grants to ensure they are able to support as many community organisations as possible.

How to apply: Click here


Ladbrook Insurance Guide

Ladbrook Insurance have produced a brief guide relaying and relying on other published materials to provide some information to policyholders and prospective clients.  By nature, this is generic information, it is not designed to be individual advice and should not be relied on for such purposes. It is also advised that in such a fast moving time, this information may quickly be overtaken by developments and other advice. Click here to access guide


Call for PPE Equipment for Frontline Staff

An urgent call has been issued from Liverpool City Region office, asking for donations of PPE for frontline workers battling the Coronavirus crisis.

Supplies particularly needed include:

  • Hand sanitiser (at least 70 per cent alcohol based)
  • Disposable gloves (vinyl – powder free)
  • Disposable aprons
  • Protective face masks (IIR, FFP2 or FFP3)
  • Protective eye goggles/glasses and over spectacle glasses
  • Visors

All products must NOT have reached their end of use date.  Donations are hugely welcomed but payment can be arranged for suppliers of suitable products provided in significant volumes to meet current requirements. If you are able to provide any of these items please click the link below:


Emergency Funding Available To Respond To Coronavirus from the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner David Keane has launched a new fund to help community organisations, voluntary groups and those in the non-for-profit sector support communities through the Coronavirus crisis.  The fund is part of PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Fund and will be funded by money taken from Cheshire criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. 

Grants of up to £1,000 are available for projects which are working alongside Cheshire police and local authorities to support vulnerable people in the community. As an example, this could be projects which deliver emergency food parcels, provide care to those self-isolating or host virtual activities to relieve the pressures of social distancing on our mental and physical health. The grants will be processed as quickly as possible to get funds to communities at this critical time.

PCC David Keane said: “I am committed to ensuring that money taken from criminals is re-invested into our communities for the benefit of Cheshire residents.

“This is a particularly challenging time for people throughout Cheshire and I am doing everything I can to work with key partners to ensure there is support in place through Cheshire police, victims services and other support groups.

“But I also recognise that there are many people in our communities who want to help support their neighbours through this crisis and I want to empower them by giving them access to a fund which supports them to take action.

“At this difficult time when many of us are feeling isolated, have financial worries or are maybe even dealing with bereavement of a loved one we all need to work together to keep our communities motivated.”

The express funding is part of a wider review of the Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund which will be launched in the coming weeks to support larger scale projects during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

For more information about how you can apply for the express grant click here


Steve Morgan Foundation

In response to Covid-19 pandemic Steve Morgan Foundation has introduced an emergency hardship fund to support charities and not for profit companies in our remit area (Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire west of M6).
The fund, of up to £1 million a week for an initial 12 weeks, will be open to charities and not for profit organisations across our region to help with the costs of additional emergency services to support people affected by the virus; it will also help charities experiencing a loss of fund raising revenue to stay in business. Please note that this fund is not open to individuals.  Any individual seeking help should refer to organisations and charities in their local area which are supported by Steve Morgan Foundation. For the duration of this grant all other new applications will be on hold.  In order to ensure the team is free to process, applications will only be accepted on line.
Click here to apply .

St Helens OK2ASK Suicide Prevention - COVID-19

Support for those who are struggling with their mental health during this difficult time

A list of fantastic resources, which includes boredom busting activities for those who are self isolating or feel isolated. Chatter Box includes things such as museum and aquarium virtual tours, online concerts, online learning and more.


NCVO Update

NCVO continue to update their website with useful information for your organsation in relation to Coroavirus, click here for newly updated information on Involving volunteers guidance which covers:

  • How volunteers can make a difference
  • Redirecting them if you cannot take on any more
  • How they are affected by lockdown
  • Volunteers in key worker roles
  • Expenses
  • Paying for goods or services
  • Data protection
  • Spotting and reporting scams


DWP update 060420

Thanks to DWP for the latest update.

Advice to Support Mental Health
People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope. Public Health England has published new online guidance setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health. It also includes steps that those living with serious mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams. Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the coronavirus outbreak, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their own reactions and creating a new routine. 

UC Landlord Engagement Newsletter
The newsletter has been updated as DWP are currently unable to action requests to change the method of delivery of payment schedules to an electronic format.

Voucher Scheme for Schools
Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home. Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

Telecom Companies to Support Vulnerable
The UK’s major internet service and mobile providers  have agreed a set of important commitments to support and protect vulnerable. These include:

  • All providers have committed to working with customers who find it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19
  • All providers will remove all data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services
  • All providers have agreed to offer some new, generous mobile and landline packages to ensure people are connected and the most vulnerable continue to be supported
  • All providers will ensure that vulnerable customers or those self-isolating receive alternative methods of communication wherever possible if priority repairs to fixed broadband and landlines cannot be carried out


COVID19 Funder List 

The Charity Excellence Framework has developed a comprehensive list of resources including funding available to organisations, charities and individuals.


NAVCA need to hear from you please complete their survey on the impact of COVID-19 . 

They will use the evidence they gather to keep up the pressure on the Government for a package of support for the VCSE sector.  They will also be submitting it to the DCMS Committee in Parliament, which has launched an urgent enquiry into the effect the COVID-19 outbreak is having on charity and voluntary organisations.

Please help them to keep campaigning on this issue by sharing the survey far and wide. Thank you.

Link available at


Halton Borough Council’s Covid-19 Hotline 0151 907 8363

The council is working with Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action to coordinate support to help to the most vulnerable members of our community and those who need help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Those in our community who have to self-isolate can find doing the basics like shopping and getting prescriptions problematic.  Whilst Trading Standards would always recommend that anyone who is self-isolating seeks help from their existing network, people they already know and trust, we realise this will not always be possible for everyone.  If you need help, you can phone the Council’s new Hotline number: 0151 907 8363.

They have also issued guidelines about keeping safe and how to keep safe from scammers will try to exploit, take your money or trick you into providing your personal information. Trading Standards are encouraging all those who want to help people beyond their family, friends and immediate neighbours, to register with Halton and St Helens Voluntary Action. Volunteers will be matched to those needing support. When a volunteer is connected with an individual who needs help, both parties will be given a password that only the resident and volunteer will know. Halton Borough Council and Halton and St Helens Voluntary Action are working together to make sure that residents get the help they need, safely.

The full news item can be found by clicking the link below:


COVID-19 Domestic Abuse Campaign - Domestic Abuse, Safer Community Partnership, St Helens Council

  1. All domestic abuse services are running as normal, via different mediums and the police will prioritise DA calls, enter homes, arrest perpetrators irrespective of COVID-19.  Make the call to safe2speak, 24hr HelpLine 01925 220 541 if you need any DA related help or emergency accommodation.  Ring the police if you’re unsafe 999 and dial 55 if you’re unable to speak 
  2. Neighbours and bystanders of DA are needed more than ever to have the confidence to respond to DA disturbances and make that call, 101 or 999 should it be an emergency.
  3. Perpetrators of domestic abuse are given the message to seek help now, before it’s too late. Confidential help is available via Respect on 0808 802 4040


Sure Start to Later Life and the Halton Health Improvement Team

Sure Start to Later Life and the Halton Health Improvement Team have developed a support service document, for use by professionals working with members of the public, based on what services are available for Halton residents during COVID 19.  The support service document can be accessed via the following web link:

If your organisation would like to contribute your services to the list click here for more details.


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.