COVID-19 support for charities

This page is your place for updates on how your charity might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the support you can access during this time.

How VAL can support you

During the COVID-19 outbreak we will maintain business as usual with support for the sector for as long as is practically possible.

Our team will be on hand to offer support around keeping your organisation running during the pandemic, how you can recruit and manage volunteers to deliver vital services in your local community and anything else you might need to know.

You can access this support in three ways:

During this period we would ask you to be patient when waiting for a reply. We will continue to issue regular updates on this website, via our newsletters and on social media.


  • Mental Health Act open consultation - Closes 21 April

    The consultation closes at 11:59pm on 21 April 2021
    In 2017 the government asked for an independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), to look at how it’s used and to suggest ways to improve it. The review’s final report said that the MHA doesn’t always work as well as it should for patients, their families & their carers. The government is now proposing a wide range of changes to rebalance the MHA, to put patients at the centre of decisions about their own care and ensure everyone is treated equally. Read more

  • Sensemakers survey - Closes 30 April

    The survey will close next week and the project ends 30 April 2021.
    Sensemakers is a project run by Sortified, CASE, CERT &  Kai-zen, funded by the Connect Fund. The project is looking to understand what business support is needed now, and, in the future to support VCSE organisations to adapt and become more resilient as a result of pandemics, lockdowns, and the resulting social and economic issues. Read more

  • Women's Health Strategy open consultation - Closes 30 May, 11:45pm

    The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 30 May 2021

    On 8 March 2021 the Department of Health and Social Care published a call for evidence seeking to collect views on women’s health to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy.

    Individual aged 16 or over can complete the public survey, which can be accessed here.

    The government also welcomes written submissions from individuals or organisations who have expertise in women’s health, such as researchers and third-sector organisations.

    Written submissions can include the contribution of data, research, and other reports of relevance to women’s health.

    The written submission process can be accessed here.

    Local VCSE organisations that support women may want to inform their beneficiaries of the public survey.

    Local female focused VCSE organisations working on a health and social care agenda  may want to submit a written submission.


  • School for social entrepreneurs (SSE) series of free webinars
    In the run up to their Third Sector Digital Leaders programme SSE have partnered with Zoe Amar Digital to run a series of free webinars covering some of the key issues faced by charities and social enterprises as they work online.


    Wednesday 14 April 2021 12.30pm – 1.30pm a webinar titled “Digital Fundraising” will include Chris James, Brand and Ambassador Manager from The Scouts discussing all things fundraising.

    Register for event here

  • Companies House - Directors' responsibilities: Bitesize webinars - 14,21,28/4

    Companies House is delivering a number of  “Become a better director” bitesize webinars. You can choose to book one or the whole free series:

    14 April 2021 10.30am – 11.00am – Informing a director what they should do if they suspect their company is insolvent. Register here

    21 April 2021 10.30am – 11.30am – How to protect your Intellectual Property (Trade Marks, Patents, Copyright & Registered Designs). Register here

    28 April 2021 10.30am-11.00am – Answers to the FAQ’s from the directors’ responsibilities bitesize webinar series. Register here

  • Aspiring Leaders programme – April 2021

    The next Aspiring Leaders programme, being run by Leading in Leicester and Leicestershire and Reaching People project is starting on 15 April 2021. The free programme consists of 8 sessions over approximately 20 weeks. The programme is focused on building skills & behaviours in:- Enabling, supporting & inspiring others, Developing effective partnerships & Effectively driving change. Read more

  • Shared futures conference - 15/4

    Wednesday 14 April 2021 and Thursday 15 April 2021, 10am-5pm. 
    Organised by The Runnymede Trust & The National Lottery Community Fund, this conference is for project managers, leaders and founders who self-identify as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME)  as well as funders from across the UK. They want to assemble and consider past, current, and future debates about the funding infrastructure for the BME Third Sector in the UK. More details & how to book here

  • University of Liverpool Charity Law & Policy Unit webinars - 25/2, 18/3, 15/4

    The Charity Law and Policy Unit has scheduled 3 online events:

    Thursday 15 April 2021, 5pm to 6pm – Charity Law and Executive Pay: Reports of high executive pay, bonuses and severance packages frequently arouse public interest and, in many cases, condemnation. Find out more and book

  • Let’s talk good finance: Arts, Culture and Heritage - 21/4

    Wednesday 21 April 2021 2pm to 4.30pm
    Arts & Culture Finance by Nesta and Key Fund are working with Good Finance to bring together a virtual Let’s Talk Good Finance event. The event is for charities, social enterprises and community businesses working in the Arts, Culture and Heritage sector who would like to learn more about how social investment could be a useful financial tool. Find out more and book here

  • Webinars and videos for organisations that trade with the EU

    0n 16 February 2021 the Cabinet Office updated the webinars and videos for organisations that trade with the EU guidance. 

    The UK has agreed a deal with the EU.  Rules for doing business with Europe have changed. While the deal with the EU means zero tariffs and zero quotas, businesses still need to adapt to changes to trade and customs procedures, and changes to travel. Video explainers help organisations to check what you need to do differently.

    You can access:

    • Videos by topic such as businesses hiring overseas staff and businesses and trade agreements.
    • Videos by sector such as the retail and the service sector.

    They can be accessed here.

    Webinars can also be accessed such as a webinar for exporters, including on the UK’s global tariffs for imports, free trade and continuity agreements, and Generalised Scheme of Preferences (DIT)

    The guidance and webinars can be accessed here.

    Social enterprises and charities that trade may want to utilise these resources if they export or import in the EU or plan to.

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