Coronvirus / COVID - 19 update for the VCSE Organisations 24 March 2020

Please find below the latest updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens we will continue to update you with any news and updates

From the 25th March Halton & St Helens VCA will be managing our work as follows:

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

Our phones will be temporarily redirected and you will be able to contact us by using our usual numbers 01744 457100 / 01928 592405

You will also find below the latest updates for VCSE organisations in Halton and St Helens as we continue to update you with any news and updates.

Why is NCVO asking the government for urgent financial help for charities

While in the chancellor's announcement about salaries on Friday it was positive to hear him talk proactively about charities for the first time, and while his announcement will be very reassuring for many people, it won't actually help many charities.

Some are making decisions about redundancies and closure right now.  Supporting the national response and helping vulnerable people to cope are your first priority at the moment, but you cannot do that if you are on the brink of financial collapse.  The chancellor announced that he would pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will apply to firms where bosses have already had to lay off workers and under the scheme, workers would take a leave of absence but still be paid.  This works for many businesses unable to operate during the coronavirus crisis but it doesn’t work if you're a charity, your income has collapsed but you still need to keep your doors open and services running.  A pub or bar can their shut their doors, mothball the kegs and the government will pay your wages. So it doesn't matter if you have no bar takings. But many charities need to continue caring for those in need and delivering vital public services, they cannot shut their doors and lay off staff. Now more than ever they must support people in need.

Help us make the case for financial help for charities by:

  • Emailing us with details of your financial situation 
  • Sharing our tweet
  • Sharing your charity's story on social media using #EveryDayCounts
  • Asking your local MP to support 

Sally Yeoman Chief Exective of Halton and St Helens VCA has already written to MP's in both Halton and St Helens to ask for their support so why don't you 

iCAN warning: Report businesses who are exploiting the Covid19 pandemic

The Competition and Markets Authority is monitoring business practices to identify those who are exploiting the outbreak by unfairly increasing prices or making false claims.

If you have access to the Internet you can report the issue to them using their online form

If you don’t have access to the Internet, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Please have the following information ready before you call:

  • the name of the shop or website
  • the name of the product
  • the previous price (if known) and the new selling price
  • any claim that you think is false   

If you don’t know the previous price, but you think the price has been inflated because of the pandemic, please let them know.

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

Free to attend Webinar from ACAS 

Coronavirus – An advisory webinar for employers  Monday 30 March, 2pm-3pm view details  |  register online

This online event will outline practical measures that can be taken and provides details of Government support and resources being made available to employers. Included in this session:

  • Practical steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • Effective ways of communicating with employees
  • Equipping managers with accurate information and resources
  • Self-isolation, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • What to do if an employee becomes ill
  • Altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • Remote working and increasing the use of technology

Register your place

Other times and dates are available - please visit the webinars page for further information. Recordings of events will also be made available on the page.


Please note from Tuesday 24 March Jobcentres doors will be closed until further notice.

At this unprecedented time, additional steps are now being taken to protect customers and focus on ensuring their payments are in place.  It is also important that they support the critical efforts to reduce unnecessary travel, increase social distancing, protect customers and protect colleagues to ensure they can focus on making payments.  Therefore after the measures taken last week to decrease the amount of customer contact in jobcentres, they will from tomorrow be reducing face-to-face contact to an absolute minimum.

What this means: 

  • Jobcentres will be closed to all but the most vulnerable cases, which can’t be completed through any other channel in order to receive timely payment. This will be by exception and the doors to the Jobcentre will remain closed except to individuals who fall into this category.
  • Inside jobcentres, strict social distancing measures will be in place.
  • Signs will be placed in windows asking everyone to claim online and / or over the phone. A number will be provided for those who want to speak to a colleague in the jobcentre which I will be sent out tomorrow.

“By taking this action, we protect customers and communities as we comply with government advice on social distancing; and maximise the processing capacity of jobcentres to support new claims made online or via the phone. We also reassure our people it is safe to come to work in line with social distancing policy.”

If you have volunteering requirements please register them here 

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


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.