General COVID-19 guidance for charities

This page covers general advice for charities and community groups for the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic from national bodies, the public sector and the government.

This page will be updated on a regular basis. Last updated: 12 January 2021

Local Council: Update

  • Leicester & Leicestershire Lockdown: Postcode Checker

    Use our Lockdown Postcode Checker Opens another website in new window  to see if you’re in an affected area.


    Increased restrictions for Leicester and parts of Leicestershire

    Residents in Leicester and its outlying areas are to be asked to continue to follow stricter lockdown restrictions for at least two weeks, and non-essential shops will be closed.

    People are being urged to make essential journeys only and stay at home as much as they can.

    The city’s bars, restaurants and hairdressers will not open on 4 July as planned, and shops that were allowed to open on 15 June will have to close again from 30 June.

    Schools will close from 2 July but will stay open for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

    The relaxation of shielding planned for 6 July will not happen.

  • Leicester City Council: Covid Outbreak Management Plan:

    Each local authority has been given funding by central government to develop tailored outbreak control plans, working with local NHS and other stakeholders.

    The Leicester City Council  plan sets out the roles, responsibilities, structures, governance and implementation of a local outbreak management plan for Covid-19 in Leicester City.
    Read more

  • Leicestershire County Council: Covid-19 Outbreak Control and Prevention Plan

    The purpose of the outbreak control and prevention plan is to enable agencies in Leicestershire to prevent, manage, reduce and suppress outbreaks of COVID-19 infection across the County. 

    This plan sets out the arrangements for surveillance of and response to local outbreaks and infection rates. On 22nd May 2020 the Government announced that as part of its national strategy to reduce infection from COVID-19 it would expect every area in England to create a local Outbreak Plan.
    Read more

  • Leicester City Council: Common questions on Leicester lockdown:

    You may have questions on what the new restrictions mean for Leicester and how they will affect you. Leicester City Council have put together a frequently asked questions section to try to answer your queries and provide further information.

    Please note that in these questions and answers, they use ‘Leicester’ to mean everywhere within the affected area. This includes some parts of Leicestershire.
    Some of the answers may not take you to the national government’s local guidance webpage at this stage, therefore we recommend that you refer to the other articles in our sector support newsletter as well. View the FAQs here.

  • Government grant will help provide food, toiletries and essential supplies

    Over half-a-million-pounds is being given to food banks and community groups to support Leicestershire residents most in need.

    Leicestershire County Council is using a £540,000 Government grant to help vulnerable people and those shielding access food, toiletries, and other essential supplies through local foodbanks and community hubs across the county.
    Read more.

  • Leicester lockdown: what you can and cannot do

    Find out what restrictions are in place if you live, work or travel in the Leicester area during the local outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance was updated on 1 August 2020.

    Restrictions will be lifted for the Borough of Oadby and Wigston from 1 August. These areas will return to national social distancing guidelines, other than for clinically extremely vulnerable people who should continue shielding. Additional businesses and venues will be able to re-open in Leicester City from 3 August. The next review will take place by 13 August. Find out more

  • Leicestershire County Council: Unemployment dashboard:

    The Strategic Business Intelligence team at the council have recently released the statistics of unemployment Job Seeker allowance (JSA) claimants.

    The dashboard provides statistics for the previous quarter both from a local district/ board perspective and as a county, region. The August 2020 Unemployment dashboard is now available at the link. Archived versions of previous bulletins can be found here. This may be useful for VCSE organisations that need this type of data for funding bids. Especially as the data is further analysed from an age, sex, occupation, and ethnicity perspective.

  • Leicester City Council: £40million cost of council’s Covid-19 response

    On 16 September the council published an article explaining that the Overview Select Committee will be advised in a report that the pandemic cost the authority over £40m. The report is the first one to review all the council’s spending this year, which has been dominated by the effects of the pandemic and lockdown.
    The city council is expecting around £34m of Government funding, but there is concern that its total costs could rise if case numbers keep growing. Read more. Papers from the meeting should come available on this part of the council’s website in due course.

  • Leicester City Council: Religious, Cultural, or Social Events

    A small team of officers from the city council have been undertaking a series of visits to places of worship over the last several weeks to assist them with being COVID safe. Whilst these visits will continue, they are looking to now start providing advice and assistance to those who want to arrange other religious, cultural or social events within places of worship or any linked community facilities. Their initial emphasis will be on those events coming up between now and the end of the year – 31 December 2020. Read more

  • Leicestershire County Council and partners: Call to celebrate differently to stay safe

    ‘Celebrate differently’ to stay safe is the plea from organisations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as residents gear up for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali. Chiefs from councils, the NHS, police, fire service and other bodies are urging residents to find alternative ways of marking autumnal events and to follow the latest rules and advice. Read more

  • Leicester City Members of Parliament (MPs): Letter demanding more financial support for Leicester

    On 23 October The Rt Hon Liz Kendall MP and the Rt Hon Jon Ashworth MP have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling further financial support for Leicester’s businesses, following his statement to the House of Commons on Thursday. The Leicester MPs are urging the Chancellor to backdate full support for the city’s businesses to July, to account for the additional impact the local lockdown had on the economy. They have also called for further support for the City Council to fund test and trace, as well as making sure that no school loses out on funding due to paying to cover staff shortages. Read the full letter here.

  • Leicestershire County Council (LCC) and partners: Key figures unite to call for big effort to beat virus

    On 20 November LCC issued a press release. Senior council, health and police figures across the city and county have made an unprecedented commitment to work together to drive down infection rates in the final days of the second coronavirus lockdown. At a briefing on Friday  morning, they all expressed deep concern about a worrying surge in Covid-19 cases – with the days now being counted down to the end of the national lockdown. Cases in Leicestershire alone have quadrupled since early October – and they are above the national average. Read more

  • Leicester City Council: COVID 19 Testing in Leicester

    Leicester City Council has been involved in the proactive COVID19 testing taking place in certain areas in the city. These focused areas of testing are selected based on a number of different factors, including the information they have about the levels of positive cases and where they are in Leicester. Read more

  • Leicestershire County Council: A guide to reducing loneliness in Leicestershire

    Many people across all sections of society experience loneliness or isolation at various times in their lives. Loneliness can affect anyone, regardless of the area you live in, your age, your background or your personal circumstances. The government has recognised that loneliness is a challenge experienced all over the country, which is why a national Loneliness Strategy was published in 2018. Read more

  • Blaby District Council: Telephone Befriending Service

    The council is currently offering a free telephone friendship befriending service, which offers an opportunity for people to enjoy talking to someone over the phone. Anyone interested in using the service  needs to have a landline or mobile phone. They also need to be able to hear and be understood over the phone. You can contact the service to obtain a referral form: vcshub@blaby.gov.uk Find out more here

  • Leicestershire Police, Cybercrime team - Raising awareness & Staying safe online

    At this time of year and in the current climate, we may all be doing more shopping or other transactions/interactions online so it’s particularly important to know how to spot when something may be fraudulent. If this is something of interest now or in the future and you’d like more information, please do contact, PCSO Tiffany Row on: tiffany.row@leicestershire.pnn.police.uk or call07966222895. Details of what Cyber Crime is and how to address it can be found here.

  • Leicester City Council Draft Budget

    Leicester City Council have published their draft budget and capital programme for 2021-2022 further details are on the City Council website.

    These reports will be discussed by councillors in January and February, and the final budget and capital programme will be approved by the Council on 17 February.

    The City Mayor is keen to hear from key communities of interest in Leicester regarding the draft Budget.

    This includes those groups and organisations that make up the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector. VAL will be responding with comments and if you would like to be part of that response you should contact our helpline on: 0116 255 5050 or email: helpline@valonline.org.uk

Transition Phase

  • Cabinet Office: UK Transition Communications Resources
    On 15 July the cabinet office published UK Transition campaign tools and resources to support engagement with local communities and businesses across all four nations.
    In the UK Transition Partnership Toolkit it  explains that the government has launched a new public information campaign, ‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going’, which will run across the UK and internationally. This will give all of us the facts we need to be ready for the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020. The toolkit can be found here.
  • Cabinet Office: European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks report

    On 24 September the government released this policy paper.

    The UK government is required to report to the UK Parliament every three months on the progress made to develop UK Common Frameworks, in line with Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act2018. This report details the steps that have been taken during the eighth reporting period, from 26 March 2020 to 25 June 2020.

    During this period ,the UK Government and devolved administrations have continued to work jointly to develop UK Common Frameworks, to protect the UK economy and give maximum certainty to businesses ,consumers and international partners.

    The UK Common Frameworks will ensure regulatory coherence across the UK by flexibly managing any potential policy divergence across the four nations.

    During this reporting period, the COVID-19 outbreak has placed significant capacity pressures on departments involved in the development of UK Common Frameworks.

    The recent pressures mean that it will no longer be possible to deliver the frameworks programme fully by the end of the transition period, and the programme of work will continue into 2021.

    The report can be read here.

  • Reasonable Worst Case Scenario for borders at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020

    Cabinet Office: On 23 September the government produced research and analysis related to the end of the transition period.

    The  planning  assumption  is  that  EU  Member  States  will  impose  EU  third  country  controls  on  UK goods  at  the  end  of  the  transition  period.

    This document may be of interest to VCSE organisations who provide front line support that might be affected by the  Reasonable Worst Case Scenario (RWCS) that 40-70% of trucks travelling to the EU might not be ready for new border controls.

    The research has concluded  that disruption could be lower in the initial days of January but the government would expect sustained disruption to worsen  over  the  first  two  weeks  as  freight  demand  builds. Where this potential disruption could affect your service to local communities then you may want to review your risk assessment procedures.

    The document can be found here.

  • HM Government: Thinking of hiring from the EU next year?

    The way you hire from the EU is changing. From 1 January 2021, you will need to register as a licensed sponsor to hire eligible people from outside the UK

    Free movement is ending, and the new points-based immigration system will introduce job, salary and language requirements that will change the way you hire from the EU.

    Before applying to be a sponsor you should:

    • Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work
    • Check your business is eligible

    To apply, you will need to:

    • Choose the type of skilled worker licence you want to apply for
    • Put appropriate systems in place to act as a sponsor
    • Apply online and pay the fee

    The recruiting people from outside the UK from 1 January 2021 guidance by the Home Office and  UK Visas and Immigration can be found here. In that guidance it explains how to become a sponsor.

    Further details of the government advertising campaign on this topic can be found here:   https://pbisemployers.campaign.gov.uk/

  • EU Exit: Preparing for the end of the transition period

    The UK has left the EU, and the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020.

    The UK has left the EU, and the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. Please check the new rules from January 2021 to ensure that your organisation is ready. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.

    • If your organisation employs EU staff

    Ask your employees to check if they need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

    Read the guidance: Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)

    • If your organisation receives EU funding

    Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will continue to participate in programmes funded under the current 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework until their closure.

    Read the guidance: Getting EU funding

    • If your organisation receives any personal data from the EU

    If your organisation receives personal data from the EU/EEA, you should review your contracts to ensure you can continue to do so legally during and after the transition period. You may not know if your data is hosted outside of the UK so it is worth checking.

    Read the guidance: Using personal data in your business or other organisation during and after the transition period.

    If your organisation imports or exports goods with the EU

    From 1 January 2021 the process for importing and exporting goods will change. Find out what you need to do to continue to:

    Import goods from the EU.

    Export goods to the EU.

  • Cabinet Office: UK Transition campaign- communications resources

    On 14 October the government  published a collection regarding images, branding and other communication resources for use when supporting the UK Transition campaign in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The government would like to speak to organisations that are interested in amplifying these key messages in their own communications channels, free of charge, to help prepare businesses and citizens for the actions they need to take before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. Details of who to contact if interested can be found here. The government’s UK Transition campaign can be found here: www.gov.uk/transition

  • Cabinet Office: Written Ministerial Statement - 19 October meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee

    On 14 October a written statement to Parliament was published regarding the agenda for a meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee on 19 October 2020 in London. The Withdrawal Agreement entered into force on 1 February 2020, after having been agreed on 17 October 2019, together with the Political Declaration setting the framework of the future EU-UK partnership. The Agreement consists of two main documents: The Withdrawal Agreement itself, including a Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland; and A Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union The agenda includes a discussion about Citizens’ rights. Read more

  • Companies House and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy: Are you ready for our new relationship with the EU?

    On 12 October the government published a news story explaining that there will  be guaranteed changes from 1 January 2021 for businesses as we start our new relationship with the EU, and there are many actions your organisation can take today to prepare. You can find out what your organisation might need to do by using the checker tool. The tool can be found here https://www.gov.uk/transition.
    There are less than 80 days until the end of the transition period and there will be no extension, so the government urges you to act now. Read more

  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Companies House: Transition period letters.

    On 18 November the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma has written various letters to businesses. The letters provides tailored advice on what key actions certain businesses must take after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. The letters contain QR codes and URLs which direct readers to GOV.UK, where they can view the online transition checker, sector specific webinars and access further guidance. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Help and support if your business trades with the EU

    On 17 November the government updated this guidance. The EU Transition Trader and Industry Online Forum has been added. This allows you to ask questions about the preparations you need to make for when the UK leaves the EU on 1 January 2021. From 1 January 2020 the way we trade with the EU will change. To buy or sell from the EU you will need to follow new customs rules or you will not be able to continue to trade. These important actions are required regardless of the outcome of negotiations with the EU and whether or not the government secures a Free Trade Agreement. The guidance can be found here.

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: Government steps in to help homeowners caught up in 'EWS1' process

    On 21 November the government published a press release. Owners of flats in buildings without cladding will no longer need an EWS1 form to sell or re-mortgage their property. This is due to an agreement reached  between the Government and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK Finance and the Building Societies Association (BSA). Read more

  • Companies House customers encouraged to file online

    On 15 December Companies House published a news story titled Companies House customers encouraged to file online due to paper processing delays. They had a water supply issue at their Cardiff Office. This has been resolved but it remains a busy time for them with many companies due to file annual accounts before the end of December. As well as having limited numbers of staff in the office due to the pandemic. The news story can be found here. To submit your accounts online use this link.

  • EU (Future Relationship) Bill

    On 23 June 2016, a referendum was held in the UK and Gibraltar on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU. 52 % of the people who voted, voted to leave the EU.

    The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 was passed into law on 16 March 2017. This gave the prime minister the power to notify the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU). This notification was then given on 29 March 2017.

    On 26 June 2018 the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA) passed into law.

    On 29 December 2020 the Cabinet Office published a policy paper explaining that the EU Future Relationship bill enables the UK Government to implement and ratify the Agreements agreed between the UK and the EU.

    The European Union (Future Relationship) Bill explanatory notes provides a full catalogue of timeline and events leading up to the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill being introduced in the House of Commons on 30 December 2020. The explanatory notes can be found here.

    The European Union (Future Relationship) Bill implements the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), an Agreement on Nuclear Cooperation (NCA) and an Agreement on Security Procedures for Exchanging and Protecting Classified Information (collectively ‘the Agreements’), as agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU).

    Further details can be found here, including details on extradition, passenger and vehicle registration data, transport etc.

    Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.

    If you haven’t had chance to fully understand what leaving the EU means for your local VCSE organisation , then you may find the UK transition keep business moving video of relevance. You can access it here: https://www.gov.uk/transition

Out of the EU

NHS & Public Health England

  • The NHS Advice for everyone on Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Public Health England: Covid-19 review of disparities in risks and outcomes

    On 2 June Public Health England published their research and analysis of disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19.  

    The research showed that the largest disparity found was by age.
    Among people already diagnosed with COVID-19, people who were 80 or older were seventy times more likely to die than those under 40.

    Risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than in White ethnic groups.

    These inequalities largely replicate existing inequalities in mortality rates in previous years, except for BAME groups, as mortality was previously higher in White ethnic groups.

    These analyses take into account age, sex, deprivation, region and ethnicity.

    Details of the report can be found here.

  • Public Health England: Beat the Heat

    The Heatwave and Summer preparedness programme became operational on Monday 1 June to raise both public and professional awareness of the health impacts of hot weather, including severe heat.

    An episode of hot weather represents a concurrent risk to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Details of public health’s beat the heat: Coping with heat and covid-19 can be found here. Read more

  • NHS: Get a coronavirus test:

    The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP delivered an oral statement to parliament yesterday about the local measures to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

    He stated that Leicester will have further testing capability, including opening a walk-in centre. Anyone in Leicester with symptoms must come forward for a test. There are two ways to get a coronavirus test, Getting a test kit delivered to your home or Going to a test site. You will need to book a test. The process to do this can be found here.

  • NHS: Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms

    In light of the local lockdown, you may want to remind the communities you support of what to look out regarding symptoms of coronavirus and how to check. If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you must stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
    A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
    A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
    A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

    Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms. If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus.

    The NHS guidance can be found here.

  • The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Leicester) Regulations 2020:

    On 3 July the Secretary of State made the following regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 45C(1), (3)(c), (4)(d), 45F(2) and 45P of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984(1).

    They were laid before parliament on that date and came into force on 4 July. We recommend all VCSE organisations have an awareness of these regulations to understand how it might affect your service delivery, staff, volunteers and beneficiaries. These Regulations are made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in England.
    Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Local lockdown measures to continue in Leicester with modifications

    On 16 July The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP delivered an oral statement to parliament.  He wanted to update the House on the situation in Leicester.
    He explained that at the end of June the government made the decision to close schools and non-essential retail in the city, and not to introduce the relaxations that applied elsewhere in England  from 4 July, like the reopening of pubs.  This was not an easy decision, but it was one that they chose to take.
    Read more

  • Dept. of Health & Social Care: UK Chief Medical Officers statement on extension of self-isolation period

    Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers was published on 30 July.
    The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing. Read more

  • NHS: The Healthy Start Scheme:

    The Healthy Start scheme is a national incentive to encourage the best start in life. Beneficiaries who are eligible for the scheme will receive vouchers to spend with local retailers.

    There are have been some recent changes to the scheme. The vouchers can help encourage a healthy diet and access to wholesome foods for children and pregnant women. The changes to the ‘Healthy Start’ scheme include: A health professionals’ signature is no longer required on the application form, Beneficiaries will still need to provide their own signature before sending off the form and the expiry date of the Health Start vouchers have been increased by 4 weeks, so the vouchers will now be valid for 12 weeks. Find out more

  • Public Health England: Reporting an outbreak of Covid-19

    This campaign communicates advice on how to respond to an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) to individuals that own, manage or are responsible for a specific business or organisation within the community. It covers, Identifying an outbreak of COVID-19 (one or more confirmed case depending on the business or organisation), Reporting the outbreak to your local health protection team and  Working with your local health protection team to respond. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Leicester lockdown restrictions

    On 11 September the government updated the guidance with information on the restrictions that will come into force on 14 September across the country and also what restrictions have eased in the local area. From 15 September, the following businesses and venues can reopen or restart in Leicester City: indoor performances, close contact services, which are any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application and wedding receptions and celebrations, including for up to 30 people in the form of a sit-down meal.
    The next review will take place by 24 September. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Security: Leicester local restrictions

    On 19 September the government updated the guidance to add the borough of Oadby and Wigston to the areas affected by these restrictions.
    The guidance has also been updated in line with guidance for other areas in England that have local restrictions, for example on team sport, shielding, childcare, and face coverings in schools and colleges. As from Tuesday 22 September Oadby and Wigston (Borough Council area) will be affected by the Leicester local restrictions. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care and Cabinet Office - Face coverings when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own

    On 23 September the government updated the guidance. Changes have been made to the following sections: ‘When to wear a face covering’, ‘Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law’, ‘When you do not need to wear a face covering’ and ‘Face coverings at work’. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Leicester local restrictions

    On 29 September the government updated the guidance to include a new section for students at university, information about childcare bubbles, and information on business closure times (in line with England guidance). Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: UK pandemic preparedness

    On 20 October the government published a policy paper on how the UK prepares for and responds to an infectious disease pandemic, particularly a potential outbreak of pandemic influenza. It also sets out how exercises carried out as part of our pandemic preparedness have informed the UK’s COVID-19 response. Read more

  • Department for Health and Social Care: PPE portal - how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

    On 20 October the government updated this guidance in context to order limits. The PPE portal can be used by social care and primary care providers to get critical coronavirus (COVID-19) personal protective equipment (PPE). Providers who can use the service will receive an email invitation to register. The guidance can be found here.

  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Department of Health and Social Care:

    Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs

    On 21 October the government updated its press release  explaining that children’s centres have been removed from the local authority facilities rule of 6. The press release explains that Hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Designated premises scheme - letter to directors of adult social services

    On 21 October the government published correspondence about the letters sent setting  out arrangements for the Care Quality Commission designated premises scheme for people discharged to a care home with a positive COVID-19. The letter is titled Winter discharges: designated settings. Read more.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Health Secretary warns of long-term effects of COVID-19 as new film released

    On 21 October the government published a press release about new data that suggests long COVID affects around 10% of 18 to 49 year olds who become unwell with COVID-19. The Health Secretary urges people to follow the guidelines to protect themselves and others from the potentially debilitating long-term impact of COVID-19. A new film has been released featuring the stories of 4 people, one aged just 22, who are living with the long-term effects of the virus. The press release and video can be found here:

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Independent review of NHS hospital food

    On 26 October the government published an independent report showing the findings and recommendations of the independent review of NHS hospital food. The report highlights the main challenges for NHS catering and makes recommendations covering: Workforce, Nutrition and hydration, Food safety, Facilities, Technology, Sustainability, Enforcing standards and The way forward to improving hospital food for patients, staff and visitors. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: 500,000 daily testing capacity reached in ongoing drive to boost test and trace

    On 2 November the government published a press release about how UK testing capacity has increased to meet demand over the winter period. In order to meet the unprecedented scale of challenge this pandemic presents, the government has built a national coalition of people and organisations – from national and local government, the NHS, Public Health England, the military, academia, epidemiology, the private and not-for-profit and community sectors – to create a massive scale testing and tracing programme. Read more

  • Public Health England: Flu Vaccination Campaign

    New Public Health England (PHE) research suggests that people infected with both flu and COVID-19 between January and April were more at risk of severe illness and death. Three of the nation’s senior medics – Dr Yvonne Doyle, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, and Dr Nikita Kanani – are calling on all eligible people to get vaccinated against flu. The health system is working to provide the free flu vaccine to 30 million people. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care and Cabinet Office: Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own

    On 4 November the government updated this guidance to include some next text to the sections ‘When to wear a face covering’, ‘When you do not need to wear a face covering’ and ‘Staff in indoor settings’ to make people aware that from 5 November some of the settings listed may not be open because of the national restrictions.
    Read more

  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust: Building Better Hospitals for the Future Consultation

    The trust is proposing some changes at each individual hospital. This also includes changes to travel to the hospital. The consultation closes on 21 December 2020. The consultation is being led by NHS Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) NHS West Leicestershire CCG and NHS East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, in partnership with regional and national health service organisations. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - getting tested

    On 6 November the government updated their guidance. Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should not be included in testing until after 90 days of their initial onset of symptom or, if asymptomatic when tested, 90 days after their positive test result. The guidance also provides details on which workers are classed as essential workers in context to priority testing. These include: Charities and workers delivering critical frontline services. Employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms. Read more

  • Talk/together: Consultation

    Talk/together is the UK’s biggest-ever conversation about what divides and unites us, and what could bring our society together in these difficult times. Together is a campaign that starts with questions rather than answers. It’s run by a major new coalition of household names like the NHS and the Scouts, and local community organisations too. Details of the campaign can be found here. 
    They want you to have your say about what divides us, what unites us and what will bring us closer/together. They hope this will be the biggest public survey since the census, engaging people in conversations right across the UK. Details of the survey can be found here.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Stopping movement of staff between care settings

    The consultation closes at midday on 23 November 2020

    On 13 November the government launched an open consultation. The government wants your views on plans to minimise the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections by making residential and nursing care home providers restrict the movement of care staff. The government wants to make regulations that would temporarily modify regulation 18 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 which deals with staffing. Read more:

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Testing for coronavirus at home

    On 12 November the government published guidance on how to use a coronavirus (COVID-19) home test kit. There is an easy read guide, which can be found here.
    There is a step by step guide which can be found here.
    Along with the more standard government guidance document which can be found here. Details of all of these  home testing  guidance can be found here.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

    On 11 November the government updated the guidance. This emergency guidance is for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity during the coronavirus outbreak. This guidance is only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic and applies to those caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment. The guidance applies until withdrawn by the Department of Health and Social Care. Read more

  • Public Health England: COVID-19 - deaths of people with learning disabilities

    On 12 November the government released a report about the deaths from COVID-19 of people identified as having learning disabilities. The review looked at:Deaths from COVID-19 of people with learning disabilities; Factors impacting the risk of death from COVID-19 of people with learning disabilities and Deaths in care settings of people with learning disabilities. The review will help inform policy and practice to reduce the future risk and impact of COVID-19 on people with learning disabilities. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Pilot for family members to get regular testing for safer care home visits

    On 14 November the government issued a press release. Named family and friends may soon be able to regularly visit loved ones in care homes as a new testing pilot is launched. Care homes across Hampshire, Cornwall and Devon will pioneer the new system which will see a designated visitor given access to tests. Around 20 care homes will be included in the trial before a wider roll-out in December. Visitors will be offered either PCR tests which they can do at home, or the new 30-minute rapid lateral flow tests (LFTs), which can be administered in person at care homes before a visit. The press release can be found here. Guidance on visiting arrangements in care homes for the period of national restrictions can be found here.

  • Public Health England and Department of Health & Social Care: COVID-19 guidance on shielding & protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

    On 13 November the government updated the guidance to include letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people. These new shielding measures apply nationally for 4 weeks up to 2 December. At the end of the period, the government will look to return to a regional approach and will issue further guidance at the time. Read more

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - guidance for people receiving direct payments

    On 18 November the government updated the guidance. The guidance provides advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support. Such as local VCSE organisations. The updates reflect current national policy and include sections on mental health support, accessing the winter flu vaccination, and testing. The revised guidance can be found here.

  • Public Health England and Department of Health and Social Care: COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

    On 18 November the government updated this guidance to include translations. The guidance is now available in  Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu. The guidance explains information for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. The various versions of the guidance can be found here.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: PPE portal - how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

    On 19 November the government updated the guidance. Eligible organisations that can use the PPE portal also include; Community drug and alcohol services and Residential drug and alcohol services. If you’re a provider in one of the eligible categories, your invitation to register will be sent to your email account registered with Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS Business Services Authority (BSA), NHS England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The email will be from: ppe.dedicated.supply.channel@notifications.service.gov.uk. Read guidance here.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for homecare workers

    On 20 November the government published this new guidance. The guidance sets out how homecare agencies in England can order regular tests for their homecare (domiciliary care) staff. NHS Test and Trace is making weekly COVID-19 testing available to all homecare workers in Care Quality Commission (CQC)-registered domiciliary care organisations. Homecare worker testing should only be conducted on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The government is also delivering webinars on this topic, subscribe via this link. Read the full guidance here.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: NHS Test and Trace in the workplace

    This guidance was updated to reflect the end of the national restrictions on 2 December 2020 and the reintroduction of the tiered system. Read more

  • Department for Health and Social Care: Additional COVID-19 local authority enforcement powers

    On 2 December, additional powers came into force to support local authorities’ efforts to maintain COVID-secure environments in their area. In the guidance, published on 4 December,  it  explains that following proposals from and consultation with local authorities in England, the government has provided local authorities in England with new powers to take decisive action against premises that do not comply with COVID-secure rules. The tools are intended to enable local authorities to take targeted action against unsafe premises and  to avoid further sector-wide restrictions, thus keeping the majority of safe premises open. Read more.

  • Department for health and social care: COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes programme launch

    On 4 December the government published a letter from the Minister for Care to local authorities, directors of adult social services and managers of care homes for older adults. It outlines plans for getting the first COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to care home staff, from the first day vaccinations are available. Getting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to care home residents is challenging because of the requirements for transporting it and the temperature at which it is stored. Initially the government’s focus, is on vaccinating care home workers and the over 80s. Read more.

  • Department of Health and Social Care and Cabinet Office: Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make one

    On 4 December the government updated the guidance. Translations of the guidance are now available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu. Local VCSE organisations may want to share the guidance with their communities where English isn’t their beneficiaries first language. Read more

  • Press release by Public Health England and others: Extra help for rough sleepers with drug and alcohol dependency

    On 14 December the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, Jo Churchill MP, and Kelly Tolhurst MP released a press release. Read more

  • Guidance for hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping update

    On 14 December the government guidance published by Public Health England and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government titled COVID-19: guidance for hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping was updated. The guidance has been revised to reflect that the self-isolation period has been reduced to 10 days. Read more

  • Landmark change to blood donation criteria

    On 14 December the Department of Health and Social Care released a press release. Men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship will be able to donate blood in England following changes to blood donation criteria. The move sees the UK become one of the first countries in the world to adopt a more individualised risk-based approach to donor selection criteria. Read more

  • Financial support added to Tier guidance:

    On 15 December the Department of Health and Social Care updated each individual tier guidance with links to financial support for businesses. Read more

  • Build back fairer: Inequalities & Covid-19 in England

    In February 2020, the Marmot Review 10 Years On drew attention to widening health inequalities and worsening health outcomes in England. The report set out evidence-based recommendations to address these inequalities through action on the social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age and which can lead to health inequalities. Read more

  • Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined extremely vulnerable updated

    On 20 December Public Health England and Department of Health and Social Care updated their guidance to reflect new shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable in Tier 4. Read more

  • Advice on groups that should be prioritised for vaccination.

    On 30 December the Department of Health and Social Care published an independent report titled Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for the current COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems. Read more

  • COVID-19 guidance for people living on a traveller site, in a vehicle or on a canal boat.

    On 6 January 2021 Public Health England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government updated the guidance titled COVID-19: guidance for those leading a nomadic way of life. Read more

  • COVID-19 Guidance for commissioners & providers of hostel services updated

    On 6 January 2021  Public Health England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government updated  the COVID-19: guidance for hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping. Read more

Companies House

  • Accounts and Tax Returns

    You can apply to extend your accounts filing deadline with Companies House if you cannot send your accounts because of an event that’s outside of your control. Due to Covid-19, you can apply for an immediate 3 month extension if your company is affected by coronavirus.

    As a charitable company or a social enterprise such as a community interest company or a company limited by guarantee, you are legally required to complete a return to the regulator companies house. To qualify for this extension, you must apply before your filing deadline. You may not be eligible if you’ve already extended your filing deadline, or shortened your accounting period.

    To apply for an extension due to coronavirus you must apply online.
    Details of how to apply can be found here.

  • Companies House: Upload a document to companies house

    As part of companies house response to the pandemic, on 6 July they introduced  a temporary service to enable companies to upload a document to Companies House.
    Their latest release of the service allows users to upload:

    • Resolutions (in relation to a change of constitution)
    • Articles of association (in relation a to change of constitution)

    The upload form can be found here.
    Details of the service can be found here.

  • Companies House: Company authentication codes for online filing

    On 15 July Companies House updated their guidance on authentication codes for online filing.  The authentication code is a 6 digit alphanumeric code issued by us to each company.

    The code is used to authorise information filed online and is the equivalent of a company officer’s signature. As part of their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a  temporary service has been introduced. Users can now request to have the authentication code sent to a home address instead of the company’s registered office. For further details click here.

  • Companies House: Accessible documents policy

    This policy explains how accessible the documents Companies House publishes on GOV.UK are.

    A number of charities are registered with companies house and most social enterprises are. It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of document. The policy can be found here.

  • Companies House: Compulsory strike off process.

    From 10 October 2020,companies house will resume the process to strike off companies they believe are no longer carrying on business or in operation.

    In April 2020, they introduced temporary easement measures in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) and they have reviewed these measures each month.
    Following their latest review, the temporary measure to suspend compulsory strike off action will be lifted from 10 October 2020. From this date, they will resume the process to remove a company from the register if there’s reasonable cause to believe it’s no longer carrying on business or in operation. Read more

  • Companies House: Accessibility support for Companies House users guidance

    On 25 August companies house updated their guidance to include translation into Welsh. The guidance explains how they help users who need assistance because of a disability or health condition. They can provide reasonable adjustments for users with, visual impairments, auditory impairments, motor impairments, cognitive impairments, speech impairments and seizure disorders 
    The guidance can be found here.

  • Companies House: Companies House fees guidance

    On 24 August companies house updated their guidance to include fees for ordering certificates through Companies House Service (CHS).

    The guidance covers a list of all the fees companies House charges, and how they determine these fees. Registration fees do not apply to documents delivered under the Companies Act 1985 or the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. Any document delivered under these acts will be free of charge.
    The guidance can be found here.

  • Companies House: Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act (CIGA)

    In July the bill received Royal Assent and some of the measures introduced by the Act are still very relevant as we move into the month of September. Macfarlanes are a London-based law firm who have written an article on the act. They explain that until 30 September 2020, companies and certain other corporate bodies can hold virtual meetings. Read more

  • Companies House: Late filing penalties guidance

    On 1 September the guidance was updated with BACS details of the new Companies House bank account. The guidance covers how a late filing penalty (LFP) will be imposed if your company accounts are not filed on time and how to appeal against an LFP. All customers who make payments by bank transfer (BACS) will need to use their new bank account details from 1 September 2020. Read More

  • Companies House: Sending your forms to Companies House during the coronavirus outbreak

    An interim service has been created to enable paperless filing in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On 1 September companies house introduced a 2nd phase of this service to include insolvency documents. The Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers explains what plans are in place to maintain services for their customers and protect the welfare of their employees during the coronavirus outbreak. The sending your forms to Companies House during the coronavirus outbreak guidance gives you access to the documents you can upload as part of this interim service.

  • Companies House: Companies House resumes voluntary strike off process

    On 10 September companies house published a news story which explained temporary measures to suspend voluntary strike off action has now been lifted. All companies that applied to be struck off before July 2020 will be struck off the register in a phased approach over the next 4 weeks, starting on 10 September 2020. For companies that applied to be struck off from July 2020, the voluntary strike off process will continue as normal post initial 4 week period. Read more

  • Companies House: Applying to protect your personal information on the Companies House register

    On 16 September companies house published this guidance.It explains how to restrict disclosure of certain information if you’re at serious risk as a company director, limited liability partnership (LLP) member or person with significant control (PSC). Most information registered at Companies House is available to the public. Other personal details, such as your home address and full date of birth, are not published on the Companies House register. Read more

  • Companies House: Search the Companies House register

    On 18 September Companies House updated the guidance to explain that records of dissolved companies on CHS following the government’s response to the Corporate Transparency and Register Reform consultation. Following the government’s response to the Corporate Transparency and Register Reform consultation, they have  stopped removing dissolved records from the companies house service (CHS) with immediate effect.
    They will also put dissolved records (all companies dissolved since 2010) back onto CHS from January 2021. The guidance can be found here.

  • Companies House: File a second filing of a document previously delivered (RP04)

    On 17 September companies house updated their filing procedures to include online filing options for second filing and advice about correcting You can file your second filing online to correct an error made on: CS01 Confirmation statement (only for errors made on share capital or shareholders), SH01 Return of allotment of shares or AP01 Appointment of director.

    Further details can be found here

  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Companies House:

    Reforms to Companies House to clamp down on fraud and give businesses greater confidence in transactions

    On 18 September the government released a press release  explaining that Companies House will be reformed to clamp down on fraud and money laundering, with directors unable to be appointed until their identity has been verified. It is hoped that the changes will give businesses confidence in who they are doing business with, with greater accuracy of data on the register, without impacting the speed of service. Read more

  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Companies House: Corporate transparency & register reform

    On 18 September the government published the consultation outcome. The government response sets out a range of proposals to improve the reliability and accuracy of information on the Companies Register.

    The proposals include: Identity verification, Reforms to Companies House powers, Protecting personal information and Company accounts.The full outcome can be found here.

  • Companies House: Business plan 2020-2021 and Strategy 2020-2025

    On 29 September companies house published a number of documents in context to their new strategy and business plan. They have a commitment to tackling economic crime and driving confidence in the UK economy. Read more

  • Companies House to resume compulsory strike off process

    Companies house published a new story on 9 October explaining that from 10 October 2020, they will begin striking off companies that they believe are no longer in business or operation. Temporary easement measures taken in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) have been kept under monthly review. As part of that review they have resumed the process to remove a company from the register if there’s reasonable cause to believe it’s no longer carrying on business or in operation. Companies that do not file their annual accounts or confirmation statement will normally receive 2 letters from Companies House. Read more

  • Companies House and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy: Are you ready for our new relationship with the EU?

    On 12 October the government published a news story explaining that there will  be guaranteed changes from 1 January 2021 for businesses as we start our new relationship with the EU, and there are many actions your organisation can take today to prepare. You can find out what your organisation might need to do by using the checker tool. The tool can be found here https://www.gov.uk/transition.
    There are less than 80 days until the end of the transition period and there will be no extension, so the government urges you to act now. Read more

  • Companies House: Companies House fees guidance update

    On 2 November companies house updated its guidance with the latest Fees Determination. The guidance lists all the fees Companies House charges, and how they determine those fees. Companies House operates on the basis of cost recovery. They have a statutory duty to break even over time and to achieve an average annual return (surplus) of 3.5%. The list of fees can be found in part 1 and part 2 of the document here. The fees include the cost of  striking off the register of a company’s name costs £8. Read guidance

  • Companies House: Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers

    On 8 November the government updated the guidance in context to the appeal a late filing penalty’ online service. It’s taking much longer than usual for the department to process paper documents, forms and letters sent to them by post. You should use their online services to make sure your information is processed on time. They are continuing to write to companies who are late filing their annual accounts or confirmation statement, to help them bring their record up to date. Read more

Charity Commission

  • Filing charity annual returns during the Coronavirus pandemic

    Any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one.

    Visit the gov.uk website

  • Can our charity assist with COVID-19?

    The charity commission has issued guidance as charities consider whether they can help the effort to tackle COVID-19 and its severe impact on people right across the country.

    Learn more

  • Charity commission: Regulatory and Risk Framework policy paper

    In February 2016 the charity commission published its Charity Commission Regulatory and Risk Framework policy paper.  On 29 April this year they updated the paper. The document outlines how the Charity Commission operates as a risk-led regulator, and in particular:  how they identify and assess risks, how they respond to risks, and how they review and adapt our approach. As mitigating risk is key to charities during covid-19 from both a financial perspective and potential scams, we recommend that trustees and key staff read this.

    Visit the gov.uk website

  • Charity commission: Independent examination of charity accounts: examiners (CC32) guidance

    On 7 May the charity commission updated their CC32 guidance to provide additional guidance for independent examiners of charity accounts during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Charity law requires all charity trustees to prepare accounts for their charity. The trustees of registered charities must also prepare a trustees’ annual report(the report). The report and accounts tell donors and others interested in the work of the charity what the charity is set up to do, what it has done in the year and how it raised and spent its money. The role of the independent examiner is to provide an independent scrutiny of the accounts. The examiner plays a part in maintaining public trust and confidence in charities. The guidance for Independent Examiners during Covid-19 can be found here

    The CC32 guidance can be found here

  • Charity Commission: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - increased risk of fraud and cybercrime against charities

    On 12 May the charity commission updated their alert providing information and advice for charities about coronavirus (COVID-19) related fraud and cybercrime. The revised news story.

    It provides an update to their scam email and protect your devices sections. Including a free webinar that can be accessed at your leisure. It highlights some of the common ways that charities may be affected by fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic  and provide some simple prevention tips. Read more

  • Charity Commission : Reporting serious incidents to the charity commission during the coronavirus pandemic

    On 3 June the charity commission published supplementary guidance for trustees on what matters may need to be reported as a serious incident during the coronavirus pandemic. We recommend that all charities read this.

    Their guidance on serious incident reporting continues to be the main resource for helping trustees to decide whether to report. However, they appreciate that the pandemic is giving rise to some unprecedented challenges and scenarios that were not envisaged when this guidance was published. Therefore they have produced  a supplementary examples table to help trustees to decide if they need to report an incident that is related to the pandemic.

    Some key things for trustees to consider are:

    • Having to take action to meet government rules, such as closing premises, should not be considered to be a significant incident in itself. It is the impact of this action on the charity that is key to determining if this should be reported
    • They usually expect charities to report any financial losses that don’t involve a crime where they exceed either £25,000 or 20% of the charity’s income. However, these thresholds do not apply when considering financial losses that are related to the pandemic. Trustees should focus on the significance of the impact of any losses rather than the amount.
    • Trustees may still delegate to others, such as staff members, the responsibility for deciding which incidents should be reported to us. However, such decisions should be reported back to the trustees, who remain ultimately responsible for them
    • Use their online form to submit reports, which should be submitted as soon as is reasonably possible after the incident or when the charity becomes aware that a significant harm or loss is highly likely. Remember to use the form to tell them about what the charity is doing about the incident
    • Where trustees consider reporting an incident but decide not to report it, they should keep a brief record of their decision and the reasons for it

    The supplementary table can be found here.

  • Charity commission: Regulating in the public interest:

    On 15 June the charity commission published their research exploring the relationship between the public’s view of Charity and charities and the role of regulation; and trustees’ views of public expectations and of the Commission.

    It is published in the belief that a better understanding of the public will lead to a more informed discussion about how best to regulate their interest in future. We recommend all charities read the report, both registered and unregistered charities and consider how it might relevant to their own charity’s future delivery and planning.

    As the regulator of the charitable sector, part of the Charity Commission’s job is to help make Charity more resilient; to ensure that it can thrive and inspire trust in tough times as well as good, and to do so in a world where the demands for greater scrutiny and accountability sit side-by-side with calls for charities to do more and be more. Building resilience means upholding the special status of Charity and recognising that the regulator and the regulated both have a responsibility to justify the privileges enjoyed in its name.

    For the Charity Commission increasing resilience also means bringing the public interest to the fore. People’s circumstances and outlook on life often vary greatly and these variations have a large influence over their views about Charity and charities.
    Read more

  • Charity commission: Alert for charities - the importance of transparent and accountable governance:

    On 25 June the charity commission published an alert for leaders of large or complex, service-providing charities.
    Whilst it is aimed at these specific charities we recommend that all VCSE organisations use the alert guidance to manage the dangers of a charity growing too quickly, or pursuing funding to take on complex projects, maybe as a response to the covid-19 pandemic,  without putting in place effective governance and oversight to manage risks.
    Read more

  • Charity commission: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector - update

    On 26 June the charity commission updated their Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector. The update relates to information for charitable companies and CIOs on new laws affecting members’ meetings and insolvency. 
    These provisions are set out in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and came into effect on 26 June. The provisions introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 aim to help businesses continue operating and avoid insolvency during this period of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19. These provisions apply to charitable companies, and the majority of the provisions also apply to Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs).
    Read the updated guidance here.

  • The Charity Commission and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport: Charities receive over £32 million from dormant trusts

    On 3 July there was a press release  about a programme that takes funds lying dormant in the accounts of inactive or ineffective charities and puts them to good use.
    The programme is managed by the Charity Commission and the charity UKCF, with funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Since its launch in 2018 the programme has ‘revitalised’ £32 million to help good causes – including charities that are responding to the coronavirus and supporting their communities.
    Read more

  • Charity Commission: Regulating in the public interest

    Previously we mentioned about this report, which explores the relationship between the public’s view of Charity and charities and the role of regulation; and trustees’ views of public expectations and of the Commission.

    In July the charity commission added an update to the report. The update includes two  supplementary reports setting out more detail of the research approach and findings from our surveys of charity trustees and the public. The original report and the supplementary content can be found here.

  • The Charity Commission: New online register of charities “widens the public’s window” into how charities are run

    On 3 September the charity commission published a press release about improved public register of charities, which makes more information about individual charities available to donors and the public.
    The new display is designed to increase transparency for the public and others by displaying a wider range of information than before. Read more

  • Charity Commission: Accessible documents policy

    On 23 September the charity commission updated their accessible documents policy to bring it up to date to cover documents published since September 2018. The charity commission want as many people as possible to be able to use their documents. If you need  a document  in a different format you can: email usability@charitycommission.gov.uk or call 0300 066 9197 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

    They will consider your request and get back to you within ten working days. The policy can be found here.

  • The Charity Commission : Whistleblowing disclosures made to the Charity Commission for England and Wales 2019-2020

    The report explains the Commission’s approach to whistleblowing and the reports that they received between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. Whistleblowing disclosures help the charity commission to detect serious problems such as fraud, safeguarding concerns and mismanagement in charities. Whistleblowing therefore plays a valuable role in their regulation of the charity sector. Read more

  • COVID-19 guidance for the charity sector updated

    On 22 December 2020 the charity commission updated the guidance – help with running your charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read more

NCVO

  • The Institute of Fundraising and others: Never more needed campaign:

    The never more needed campaign is asking the government to: recognise that existing government measures do not do enough to help charities, to ensure the distribution of funding available is speedy and efficient, and to make the necessary regulatory changes to existing schemes.

    The immediate response to coronavirus is only the start. People across the country know that charities are #NeverMoreNeeded now, and for the foreseeable future. The campaign is asking people to :

    • Show your support by adding the #NeverMoreNeeded logo to your social media profile pages – download images from resource link below.
    • Follow the campaign on social media @NeverMoreNeeded, like, retweet and reply to them, using #NeverMoreNeeded.
    • Tell your family and friends about the campaign – use the information sheet.
    • Write to your local MP about the campaign – template letter.
    • Share your story – how has a charity or voluntary organisation touched your life or your family? What’s the difference this has made to you? View examples on their resource page.

    The partners that brought the campaign together can be found here.
    Details of the campaign can be found here.

  • NCVO – Your Organisation and Coronavirus

    Guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the covid-19 pandemic.

    Visit the NCVO website

  • NCVO have written some new guidance on Involving and Managing Volunteers

    Advice on involving and managing volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak – It includes details such as, the possibility of a volunteer being stopped by the police and expected to explain why they are not at home. Telling volunteers to remind those they are helping not to give out credit or debit card details, personal identification numbers or passwords.

    Visit the NCVO website

  • Guidance to help with running your charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

    The guidance covers the following areas and we recommend all registered charities and unregistered charities such as charitable unincorporated associations read the guidance in full.

    Visit the gov.uk website

  • New procurement guidance in response to covid-19: Implications for charities

    Charities delivering public services are facing extremely serious challenges due to covid-19. From drastic changes in the volume and nature of demand, to having to adapt or even suspend their services. NCVO and others have urged the government to ensure charities delivering public services have the support and flexibility they need.

    Visit the NCVO website

  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO): IiV Essentials:

    NCVO’s vision is to champion for the voluntary sector and volunteering because they’re essential for a better society. IiV Essentials is a free online tool designed especially for volunteer-involving groups and organisations. This tool can help you do a basic health check on your volunteer practice, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. It covers the basic areas to model good practice for involving and managing volunteers. It will help you to think about volunteers’ experiences and how volunteers make the biggest difference to your cause.
    To find out about other NCVO quality standards click here.

  • Charity Tax Group and partners: Gift Aid Emergency Relief

    The Gift Aid Emergency Relief campaign is led by a coalition of Charities Aid Foundation, Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Charity Finance Group, Charity Tax Group, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Institute of Fundraising Scotland and Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Small Charities Coalition, Charity Retail Association and Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations.  The campaign is about getting a temporary increase in the value of Gift Aid to assist charities during the COVID-19 pandemic and to incentivise donations for supporters. Read more

  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and partners: Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19 - October 2020

    The Centre of People, Work  and Organisational Practice  at Nottingham Trent University, The Voluntary Action  Research Group at  Sheffield Hallam University and NCVO are the project partners of this new research project. The project examines COVID-19 impact on voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. In particular, it focuses on providing real-time data about how the pandemic is impacting voluntary organisations working-practices and operations, their responses, learning and resilience. Read more

  • NCVO: Updated Charity Governance Code

    The refresh of the Code follows a rigorous consultation & engagement exercise. Good governance in charities is fundamental to their success. The aim of this Code is to help charities and their trustees develop these high standards of governance. Read more

Government

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Leicestershire Coronavirus lockdown: areas and changes

    On 30 June the government published this news story explaining the areas of Leicestershire that are included in the localised coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and what this means.

    The article explains that the local councils have set out the areas of Leicestershire that are included in the localised lockdown, what they are, and the map relevant to it.  We have heard that some non-government / non-local authority fake maps have been circulated and therefore we recommend that you share this article with staff, volunteers and beneficiaries. Within this boundary, restrictions will be put in place pending a review from 18 July. It also reminds you what you can and can’t do during this local lockdown.

  • The Coronavirus Act 2020

    Full version of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

    Read the full act

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

    Find guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and other organisations.

    Visit the gov.uk website

  • COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines

    Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak

    Visit the gov.uk website

  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in Great Britain. With the latest advice for hands to be washed regularly, failure to allow access to welfare facilities may increase the risk of the COVID-19 infection spreading. Therefore, they are reminding organisations that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work.

    Visit the HSE website

  • Refunding tickets for cancelled charity events during coronavirus (COVID-19)

    On 16 April HM Revenue & Customs published their “refunding tickets for cancelled charity events during coronavirus (COVID-19)” guidance.

    The guidance confirms that charities can apply Gift Aid where money, due to be refunded for an event cancelled due to COVID-19, is donated. As long as a valid Gift Aid Declaration is held. This includes challenge events for which there will be registration fees (instead of tickets) that would be refundable, if the event is cancelled.

    Visit the gov.uk website

  • Guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities COVID-19 and renting

    Guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities

    Visit the gov.uk website

  • Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

    On 12 May the cabinet office released the guidance Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.
    From an employer perspective, the key message is for employees to work from home, if they can. If working from home is not possible and the workplace is reopening, then the employer must introduce safe distancing and other health and safety measures. We will be providing a blog about this in the coming week. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Staying alert and safe (social distancing)

    On 31 May the government updated it staying alert and safe guidance to reflect the new changes that come in place from today Monday 1 June.
    We recommend that all VCSE organisations read it, to understand how it affects, staff, volunteers, trustees and your beneficiaries.

    From 1 June :

    • You can spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
    • You should go to work if you cannot work from home and your business has not been required to close by law
    • More shops are beginning to reopen, with a plan for more to do so later in the month
    • Children in early years (age 0-5), reception, year 1 and year 6 can return to childcare or school in line with the arrangements made by their school
    • You can be tested as part of the test and trace programme, which will enable the  country to return to normal life as soon as possible, by helping to control transmission risks

    From 15 June:

    • Secondary schools and further education colleges will also prepare to begin some face to face support with Year 10 and 12 pupils.

    VAL has written a blog about the government’s road map to recover. Whilst it was written prior to this guidance being updated, it might still be relevant to help you plan re-opening /continuing your service delivery. Such as Covid-19 secure processes. The revised guidance can be found here.

  • Home Office guidance: Safeguarding during Covid-19

    The Home Office has published a guide, Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business, which sets out how to keep people safe from harm and abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic. The guide is available in English and Welsh.

    The guidance sets out:

    • How to support others who are at risk of harm and abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic
    • What steps to take if you are worried that someone may be at risk of harm or abuse
    • Details of who to contact to report safeguarding concerns

    The home office’s leaflet and posters can be found here.
    The office of civil society’s guidance on handling safeguarding allegations in a charity can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: Closing certain businesses and venues in England

    On 3 July the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England was updated updated following the announcement of further easing of COVID-19 restrictions from 4 July 2020 to certain areas of England. (There is separate guidance for businesses and venues in the local lockdown area.) On 23 June 2020, the Prime Minister announced further easements of the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions as part of step 3 of the government’s plan to return life to as near normal as we can.
    Read more

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: Closing certain businesses and venues in Leicester

    On 3 July the government published the closing certain businesses and venues in Leicester guidance.  
    This document supports the government’s guidance on COVID-19. It provides the list of businesses and premises expected to close in Leicester from 4 July 2020. We recommend all VCSE organisations read this. Where increased local transmission of COVID-19 is identified, areas may be required to take additional measures to reduce the spread of the virus.
    Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Model services contract

    On 14 July the government updated their model service contract guidance with an updated version of the Model Services Contract.

    This version reflects developments in government policy, regulation and the market. If your VCSE organisation tenders for contracts then you may find this guidance of interest. The Model Services Contract forms a set of model terms and conditions for major services contracts that are published for use by government departments and many other public sector organisations.

    In VAL’s recent blog flexible furlough during local lockdown, we refer to the recent procurement policy notes, which may also of interest to VCSE organisations that tender for services.

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: Closing certain businesses and venues in Leicester

    On 18 July the government updated this guidance to reflect changes in the regulations regarding the closure of certain businesses and venues in Leicester which come into effect on 18 July 2020.
    We recommend that all VCSE organisations in Leicester and Leicestershire read the guidance. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: New production lines will make millions of face coverings each week

    On 20 July the government published a news story outlining a government drive to increase UK production of face coverings has started at two sites in England and Wales.
    Ten production lines have been procured and a further ten British production lines are being made with government support. The production sites will ensure that public demand for face coverings does not impact on the supply of higher-grade face masks for NHS front line staff. Find out more.

  • Cabinet Office: Reopen your business safely during coronavirus (COVID 19)

    Employers that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site.

    Use this guidance to help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce. If you do not carry out a risk assessment, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or your local council can issue an enforcement notice. Read guidance here

  • Cabinet Office: Disabled people exempt from wearing face coverings under new government guidance

    Government has set out a list of face covering exemptions, as they are mandatory in additional enclosed spaces from Friday 24 July.

    The exemptions include anyone under the age of 11, or those with disabilities, or hidden health conditions such as breathing difficulties, mental health conditions or autism. Under the regulations, members of the public will need to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs, to help curb the spread of the virus. Find out more

  • Cabinet Office: Staying Alert and safe - (social distancing)

    On 31 July the government updated this guidance to reflect changes in place announced on 31 July and what is required from 8 August.

    In terms of updates it refers to the requirement to wear face coverings in a greater number of public indoor settings from 8 August such as museums, galleries, cinemas and public libraries. As well as a link to the changes to the roadmap to recovery announced on 31 July. It is national guidance relevant to England. We recommend you read this alongside the local restrictions: areas with an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) collection document.

    The revised guidance can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government:

    Closing certain businesses and venues in England update:

    On 3 August the government updated its guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues as part of further social distancing measures, and on the further easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in July and August 2020.
    The guidance was updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings and amendments to 1 August 2020 easings. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own

    On 7 August the government updated their face coverings guidance in line with the latest government guidance. The guidance includes the option of using an exemption card where appropriate.

    The guidance explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored. This information is based on current scientific evidence and is subject to change.
    The revised guidance can be found here.

  • HM Treasury: Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

    On 3 August the government published a news story explaining that diners across the UK will see their restaurant bills slashed by as much as 50% as the government’s landmark Eat Out to Help Out scheme officially opens for business.

    Previously we published how your organisation could sign up for the scheme. From 3 August 2020 customers will get up to 50% off on bills when visiting participating restaurants, pubs and cafes. Half price discount will run through August and applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks consumed on the premises. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Please give me space’ social distancing cards or badges guidance

    On 4 August the cabinet office published the please give me space’ social distancing cards or badges guidance. Optional badges can be used to show the carrier may have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing.

    They can be used to signal to others around them that they need to pay attention and be given space. There are formats to use on a mobile phone or to print. Details can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Optional badges/lanyards to promote ongoing social distancing

    On 7 August the government updated the guidance to include the Distance Aware initiative.

    The Distance Aware initiative has been recently endorsed by the Department of Health and Social Care to promote the need for ongoing distancing for all. All badge/poster templates are available to download.
    The revised optional badges/ lanyards guidance can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Statistics on coronavirus support for business and individuals collection

    On 7 August the government updated its collection document with details of the Coronavirus Business Rates Relief.  

    The document  provides data on financial support measures announced by the government for businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The collection of documents bringing together information on the amount of funding distributed to businesses and the number of claims that have been made. The document can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Political campaigning online to be made more transparent under new rules

    On 12 August the government released a press release explaining that new measures will mean political parties and campaigners must explicitly show who they are, when promoting campaign content online
    A consultation has also been launched. 

    The proposals call for digital imprints to apply to all types of campaign content regardless of the country it is being promoted from, and across a variety of digital platforms. The regime is also intended to apply all year round, as while election periods see increased promotional activity, campaigning can happen at any time. The press release can be found here. Find out more here

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: What you can and can’t do

    On 24 August the government updated the guidance on what happens when you are ill on holiday in England. On 26 August they updated the guidance with details of guidance on face coverings in education institutions that teach people in Years 7 and above. The guidance covers frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak.

    We recommend that you keep up to date with the changes to see how it will impact on your volunteers, trustees and the services you provide. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Government ministers and responsibilities guidance

    On 28 August the government updated its guidance. The guidance lists government ministers and their responsibilities in the following way;

    • Ministerial departments
    • The ministers within ministerial departments
    • Private offices of all the ministers

    The executive agencies within each department.Read full guidance here.

  • Cabinet Office & Department of Health and Social Care: Technical specifications for personal protective equipment (PPE)

    On 28 August the government updated its guidance to reflect 3 attachments being added including “ ‘Essential technical requirements for PPE and medical devices: further information for health and social care providers” Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Our plan to rebuild - The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

    Now that schools in Leicester/Leicestershire have returned to a new normal re-opening for all pupils the VCSE sector may find it useful to revisit the government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis. In late July the guidance was updated and it may prove a useful tool as the VCSE sector makes its own plans about re-opening. The revised guidance includes an addition of an easy read version  of the next chapter in our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. Read more

  • Cabinet Office and Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport - Digital Identity: Call for Evidence Response consultation outcome:

    On 1 September the government announced the outcome of their consultation. The call for evidence related to gatherings views on how government can support the development and secure use of digital identities fit for the UK’s growing digital economy. A number of VCSE sector organisations responded to the consultation. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus (COVID-19) statistics and analysis

    On 2 September the government updated its guidance to include the addition of link to Collection page, ‘PPE deliveries statistics (England): weekly reports’. The guidance covers, COVID-19 cases and deaths, Estimated infection rate, Deaths where COVID-19 is suspected, Testing and tracing, Hospital cases of COVID-19, Business and the economy, Education, Shielding, Social impacts and Transport.
    Some of the statistics may be useful for funding bids.
    The full guidance can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021 guidance

    On 4 September the government added a link to the trader support service as part of this guidance. This guidance  informs UK businesses how to get ready for 2021, when the UK leaves the EU. At the moment we are in a transition phase. It might be relevant to charities and social enterprises that trade. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: HM Government Public Appointments – Charity Commission Board member:

    A vacancy for a Non-Executive Director will be created when one member completes their term in October 2020. This is a senior role requiring someone with the necessary experience and non-executive skills to support the Chair in providing strategic leadership and oversight of the Charity Commission. The application process closes at 11pm on 13 September. In this recruitment round they are seeking candidates who are registered Chartered Accountants
    Details of the criteria and application process can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Eighth round UK-EU future relationship negotiations

    On 4 September the government published a policy paper including the agenda for the eighth round of the UK-EU future relationship negotiations. The negotiations are going ahead on 8 – 10 September in London. They cover things such as trade in goods and law enforcement and judicial cooperation. The agenda can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do

    On 9 September the government updated this guidance to reflect the upcoming changes from Monday 14 September which aim to simplify restrictions and ensure the virus is controlled.

    This is national guidance that applies to England only

    The contents of the guidance covers:

    1. Changes in restrictions announced on 9 September
    2. Social contact
    3. Visiting public places and taking part in activities
    4. Clinically vulnerable groups and clinically extremely vulnerable groups, and care homes
    5. Going to work and being COVID-19 Secure
    6. Workers’ rights
    7. Public Transport
    8. Schools and Childcare
    9. Borders / international visitors

    The full guidance can be found here.

    The Leicester lockdown guidance can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee on 10 September

    On 10 September the government published a news story on regarding the UK government hosting a meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee on 10 September in London. The meeting was an opportunity for both parties (EU and UK) to set out their positions. Vice President Šefčovič detailed the European Union’s concerns, and requested that the UK withdraw the UK Internal Market Bill. The UK Government made clear that the legislative timetable for the Bill would continue as planned. Read more.

  • Cabinet Office: HMG Legal Position: UK Internal Market Bill (UKIM) and Northern Ireland Protocol
  • Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies: CIC Regulator: Annual Report 2019 to 2020

    On 9 September the regulator published a corporate report, outlining the activities of the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CIC Regulator) during the 2019 to 2020 financial year
    It provides an overview of the CIC Regulator’s performance, with accounting and expenditure information. It also includes statistics showing the number of community interest companies (CICs) that were approved, dissolved and converted, and a breakdown of CICs by region. The report can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Meeting with others safely (social distancing)

    On 14 September the government updated its guidance.  The guidance covers social distancing, seeing friends and family, and rules in other venues and activities. This is guidance that applies to England only. If you live, work, volunteer in an area where local restrictions are in place you should also consult the local restrictions guidance, for information about what you can and can’t do to manage the outbreak. The Leicester local restrictions can be found here.  The guidance can be found here:

  • Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: What you can and can’t do

    On 14 September the government updated the guidance to reflect the changes that came in force that day. The guidance includes details on the legal limit of how many people you don’t live with you are able to meet. When meeting with people you don’t live with you can socialise in groups of up to 6. You should continue to maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with. It also explains that you should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble.

    Read full guidance here. Read Support bubble guidance here.

  • Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

    On 14 September the government updated its guidance to reflect changes to upcoming NHS Test and Trace rules and restrictions on social groups gatherings.

    Community centres, village halls, and other multi-use community facilities support a wide range of local activity. However, their communal nature also makes them places that are vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

    This information is for those managing multi-use community facilities.

  • Cabinet Office: Government response to the Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse ( IICSA) Westminster report

    On 18 September the government published a policy paper with their response to the inquiry. The government states it is committed to tackling child sexual abuse and exploitation in all its forms. Read the recommendations here.

  • Cabinet Office: Julia Lopez speech at techUK’s ‘Building the Smarter State’ Conference

    Julia Lopez is the Cabinet Office’s new Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for Government Digital Service (GDS). She delivered her first speech as minister on 16 September. In her speech she underlined how vital reform is needed, particularly in how the government can use the momentum provided by Covid to reduce the friction – and frankly the frustration – that people can experience when accessing and interacting with government services online. The full speech can be found here and might of interest to VCSE organisations looking to apply for the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework.

  • Home Office: Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs)

    On 14 September the home office published an open consultation on a new court order to target known knife and offensive weapon carriers.
    The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 8 November 2020. SVROs would empower the police to stop and challenge those who are known to carry knives. The government feels it will help to keep communities safer by giving officers a tool to help tackle the most dangerous offenders. They are consulting on the design of SVROs and welcome views on how they can ensure these important tools are used appropriately. The document and way to respond can be found here.

  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS): Volunteer user testers safeguarding

    In January 2020, DCMS published an online tool to help charities in England to handle the reporting of safeguarding allegations about the behaviour or actions of a person in their charity.  In order to continually improve this service, they are seeking volunteer user testers to enable them to identify improvements. The next session will take place on Friday 25 September. They will be conducted remotely and will be around an hour long and carried out by Nudge Digital, who are  contracted by DCMS. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What has changed – 22 September

    On 22 September the government published a news story announcing further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England. The changes include, from 23 September customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings. From 24 September Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings.
    Read more

  • Cabinet Office : Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Meeting with others safely (social distancing)

    On 22 September the government updated the guidance in line with the new measures introduced. This is guidance that applies to England only. If you live, work, volunteer in the areas of Leicester restrictions you should also consult that guidance. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus outbreak FAQ - what you can and can’t do

    On 22 September the government updated the guidance in in line with latest government guidance. Some of the new restrictions will be set out in the law and guidance. The law being The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020.

    The police and other enforcement officers are able to issue penalties to those that don’t comply with law. Read more

  • House of Commons debate: Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Leicester) (No. 2) Regulations 2020

    On 21 September the Rt Hon Liz Kendall, Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester West gave a speech about Leicester’s lockdown, the impact it has had, and what the government needs to do to better support local people. Details of the debate can be found on parliament live.tv. A copy of the speech can be found here. If you have comments or suggestions about other issues you feel should be raised you can contact your MP using this online facility.

  • Cabinet Office: Joint statement on COVID-19

    On 25 September a joint statement was published from the UK Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government, and the Welsh Government. It refers to seeing the start of a second wave. The Chief Medical Officers have agreed the alert level should increase to 4. They reaffirm their shared commitment to suppressing the virus to the lowest possible level and keeping it there, while they  strive to return life to as normal as possible for as many people as possible. They agree that their policy decisions should be consistent with this objective. The policy paper can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks report

    On 24 September the government released this policy paper. The UK government is required to report to the UK Parliament every three months on the progress made to develop UK Common Frameworks, in line with Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act2018. This report details the steps that have been taken during the eighth reporting period, from 26 March 2020 to 25 June 2020. Read more

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Cabinet Office: Closing certain businesses and venues in England

    On 24 September the guidance was updated following new measures announced by the Prime Minister on 22 September 2020. This document supports the government’s guidance on staying at home. The powers are covered in the: Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 & the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Leicester) Regulations 2020. Read more

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: Local COVID-19 outbreaks: lessons learnt and good practice

    On 14 September the government published the report of Dame Mary Ney’s rapid stocktake of lessons learnt from the Leicester City/Leicestershire experience of responding to a local surge in COVID-19 cases. The report sets out learning and best practice drawn from Dame Mary Ney’s work which included conversations with key players at all 5 local authorities in the Leicester City/Leicestershire area.
    The ministerial response welcomes the report and outlines how the learning and good practice that it highlights will be used in the future. There is mention of Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) in section 5.2 of the report titled Volunteering. Read more

  • Cabinet Office and Office for Veterans' Affairs: Civil Service starts guaranteed interview scheme for veterans

    On 5 October the government  published a news story explaining that several government departments are starting a new initiative today to make it easier for veterans to secure employment in the Civil Service. The initiative, known as the ‘Great Place to Work for Veterans’, delivers on a manifesto commitment. Recruitment campaigns in the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office, including UK Border Force, will begin to include the option for veterans to indicate that they wish to apply under the initiative. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Honours committees

    On 7 October the government updated their guidance due to changes made to Honours Committee Membership and changes made to the profiles of some existing committee members. Honours committees are made up of senior civil servants (‘official members’) and people who are independent of government (‘independent members’). Honours committees review honours nominations for people involved in specific activities (like arts and media or sport) which are then sent to the Main Honours Committee. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Meeting with others safely (social distancing)

    On 7 October the government updated the guidance to explain when seeing friends and family you do not live with you should meet in groups of 6 or less. In England, this limit of 6 includes children of any age. This is guidance that applies to England only. Read more

  • House of Commons Debate: Leicester local restrictions – 100 days

    On 7 October it was 100 days since Leicester local restrictions were brought in.
    Keir Starmer, Party leader of the Labour Party discussed this topic with the prime minister as part of Prime Minister question time. Part of his questioning included:
    “Today it is 100 days since the first local restrictions were introduced. Twenty local areas in England have been under restrictions for two months. Prime Minister, in 19 of those 20 areas, infection rates have gone up.” You can see a copy of the transcript of the debate here. You can watch back Prime Minister’s questions on parliamentlive.tv here. Details of Leicester local restrictions can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Queen's Birthday Honours 2020 High Awards

    On 9 October the government announced the birthday honours 2020 – higher awards. One of the people to receive an award is the East Midlands Sir Paul Brierley Smith, who has been awarded the companion of honour. He left school with no qualifications, and went from humble beginnings in a tiny shop in Nottingham to building the Paul Smith empire which now spans 52 countries. Other people who were awarded an honour include Victoria Mary Taylor Heywood CBE (Lady Jones) who is currently Chair of Mountview, the leading UK drama school, and she also sits on the board of the National Theatre and is a trustee of the Foyle Foundation. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Queen’s birthday honour list

    On 9 October the government published a press release about how frontline responders and community volunteers honoured in most diverse honours list ever. The list showcases 414 exceptional contributions of unsung heroes in all four nations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is the most ethnically diverse list to date, with 13% of recipients from a minority ethnic background. 72% of the awards go to those who have worked tirelessly for their local community. This reflects the huge voluntary effort across the country in response to COVID-19. Read more

  • HM Treasury: Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to Covid Restrictions

    On 9 October the government published a news story about expanding the government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions. The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work – protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted. Read more

  • Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street: Prime Minister announces new local COVID Alert Levels

    On 12 October the government published a press release of details of the new local COVID Alert Levels set out by the Prime Minister. The government believe that by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England it will further simplify and standardise local rules by. Read more

  • HM Government: Find out the coronavirus restrictions in a local area

    Each area has a Local COVID Alert Level. There are 3 Local COVID Alert Levels. Sometimes this is known as a ‘local lockdown’. This applies to England only. There are different restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The tool enables you to enter the postcode of the place you want to find information about. For example where you live, work, or want to  visit. You need to enter the full postcode and then you can find out what you can or cannot do in that place. The postcode checker can be found here.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: Local COVID alert levels: What you need to know

    On 12 October the government published this new guidance explaining local COVID alert levels, what they mean, why they are being introduced & what the different levels are. Local alert levels set out information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak in their area. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Local COVID Alert Level Posters

    On 13 October the government published a series of graphical posters displaying information about the Local COVID Alert Level. There are posters with alternative text for medium, high and very high COVID-19 Alert. You may want to download the posters and display them in community settings to inform your beneficiaries and the local community. The posters can be accessed here.

  • Cabinet Office: Ask a minister a question about coronavirus guidance

    On 19 October the cabinet office  published guidance about submitting a question about coronavirus (COVID-19) to be put to a minister. If your question is chosen, the minister will answer it during an event broadcast to the public. You must be 18 or over to submit a question. An independent polling organisation chooses the questions. If your question is chosen the Cabinet Office will contact you within 3 days of submitting your question. Details of how to submit a question can be found here.

  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Department of Health and Social Care:

    Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs

    On 21 October the government updated its press release  explaining that children’s centres have been removed from the local authority facilities rule of 6. The press release explains that Hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000. Read more

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: COVID-19 - provision of night shelters

    On 13 October the government published this guidance  explaining the operating principles for commissioners and providers of night shelters for people experiencing rough sleeping. The document sets out operating principles to support commissioners, staff and volunteers of rough sleeping accommodation (night shelters) as well as rough sleepers themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, should the decision be taken to open a shelter. Read more.

  • IPPR and Runnymede Trust: Ethnic inequalities in Covid-19 are playing out again – how can we stop them?

    The Progressive Policy Think Tank and Runnymede Trust published a blog on 19 October. They are calling on the government to set out a comprehensive strategy to mitigate ethnic inequalities this winter. Read more

  • Cabinet Office and Home Office: Common Travel Area - rights of UK and Irish citizens

    On 23 October the government updated its guidance relating to the eligibility of Irish citizens to apply for permission to come to the UK from 1 January 2021, including S2 healthcare visitors, service providers from Switzerland, and frontier workers.
    Read more

  • Cabinet Office: New National Restrictions from 5 November

    On 31 October the government published this guidance.  It provides information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available. COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. The government feels that when  we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. Read more

  • Prime Minister's Office: Prime Minister announces new national restrictions

    On 31 October the government published this press release, explaining that from Thursday, everyone must stay at home, with a limited set of exemptions. The Prime Minister has announced tougher national restrictions in England from Thursday. MPs are set to vote on the measures on Wednesday. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster chairs COBR meeting

    On 2 November the government published a press release following the COBR meeting with the Devolved Administrations, chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. COBR or COBRA is shorthand for the Civil Contingencies Committee that is convened to handle matters of national emergency or major disruption. Its purpose is to coordinate different departments and agencies in response to such emergencies. Read more

  • Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport: Coronavirus - How to help safely

    On 4 November the government updated this guidance. Where possible, people should volunteer from home. If they cannot do so, they can volunteer outside their home if they follow the social distancing guidance and no-one in their household has symptoms of coronavirus or has tested positive for coronavirus. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Functional Standards

    On 4 November the government published a suite of management standards to guide people working in and with the UK government. Functional standards exist to create a coherent, effective and mutually understood way of doing business within government organisations and across organisational boundaries, and to provide a stable basis for assurance, risk management, and capability improvement. They support value for money for the taxpayer, and continuity of implementation. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: New National Restrictions from 5 November updated guidance

    On 6 November the government updated the guidance, providing more clarity on what is allowed during the period up to Wednesday 2 December. The guidance explains that you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. Read more

  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Department of Health and Social Care: Social media giants agree package of measures with UK Government to tackle vaccine disinformation

    On 8 November the government published this news story. The government have agreed with social media platforms new measures to limit the spread of vaccine misinformation and disinformation and help people find the information they need about any COVID-19 vaccine. At a virtual roundtable to address the growth of vaccine disinformation, Facebook, Twitter and Google committed to the principle that no company should profit from or promote COVID-19 anti-vaccine disinformation, to respond to flagged content more swiftly, and to work with authorities to promote scientifically accurate messages. Read more

  • Department for Education and Cabinet Office: Critical workers who can access schools or educational settings

    On 6 November the government updated this guidance with a link to the new national restrictions which came into force on Thursday 5 November 2020. The guidance is for: Local authorities, School staff, Early years staff, College staff, Social care workers, Parents and Employers of parents with vulnerable children, or who are listed as critical workers in this guidance. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Coronavirus (COVID-19)- Social distancing guidance including translated versions

    On 14 November the government the guidance to include translated versions. The guidance has now been translated into  Welsh, Urdu, Turkish, Somali, Romanian, Punjabi, Polish, Gujarati, Chinese, Bengali and Arabic, as well as large format and easy read versions. Read more

  • National Audit Office (NAO): Investigation into government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The NAO reports a lack of transparency and adequate documentation of some key decisions while government was procuring large volumes of goods and services at high speed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 18 March 2020, the Cabinet Office issued information and guidance on public procurement regulations and responding to the pandemic. Read more

  • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: The charter for social housing residents: social housing white paper

    On 17 November the  government issued a policy paper. The white paper sets out the actions the government will take to ensure that residents in social housing are safe, are listened to, live in good quality homes, and have access to redress when things go wrong. White papers are policy documents produced by the Government that set out their proposals for future legislation. They provide a basis for further consultation and discussion with interested or affected groups and allows final changes to be made before a Bill is formally presented to Parliament. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: UK Government and Devolved Administrations Meeting - 21 November 2020

    On 22 November the government published a press release. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the First Minister of Scotland, the First Minister of Wales, and the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland held a further discussion  on shared arrangements for the festive period. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Making a Christmas bubble with friends & family

    On 24 November the government issued this new guidance. The festive period is an important time for many people of all faiths and none who come together over the holidays. The UK Government and Devolved Administrations recognise that people will want to be with their friends and family over Christmas, particularly after an incredibly difficult year. For this reason, the government is changing some social contact restrictions for a short period of time.

    Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Joint statement on UK-wide Christmas arrangements from the UK Government and Devolved Administrations

    On 24 November the government published a press release explaining it cannot be a ‘normal’ Christmas. The four administrations have reached agreement on a single set of UK-wide measures to help people come together with their loved ones in a way that is as safe as possible. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Tier Posters

    On 24 November the government updated its promotional materials.
    In anticipation of the new tier restrictions coming into force from 2 December the government has produced new posters explaining each tier. Once it is announced which tier Leicester City and the various district and boroughs of Leicestershire are in then local VCSE organisations may want to display the new posters to inform their local communities of the new rules. Download posters here.

  • Cabinet Office and National security and intelligence: National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021

    On 24 November the government updated the policy paper with the latest progress report.The National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021 set out the government’s plan to make Britain secure and resilient in cyberspace. Read more

  • Cabinet Office: Guidance for the Christmas period

    On 29 November the government published this new guidance. From 2 December to 23 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area. From 23 December to 27 December, you may choose to form a Christmas bubble. From 28 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area. Christmas bubbles will no longer apply. Read more

  • Department of health and social care: Returning to a regional tiered approach

    On 26 November the government published a written statement to parliament. The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP explained in the statement that the tiering approach provides a framework that, if used firmly, should prevent the need to introduce stricter national measures. Read more

  • HM Treasury: Spending Review 2020

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Spending Review to Parliament on 25 November 2020. Spending Review 2020 (SR20) prioritises funding to support the government’s response to Covid-19, invest in the UK’s recovery, and deliver on promises to the British people. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused exceptional hardship for individuals, families and businesses across the UK. Read more

  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Natural England: Government unveils path to sustainable farming from 2021

    On 30 November the government published a roadmap to better, fairer farming system. The roadmap outlines changes that will come into force over a period of seven years to help farmers and land managers adapt and plan for the future. Within the news story the Agricultural transition plan 2021 to 2024 is referred to. Read more here. The news story can be found here, which includes details of the new Farming Investment Fund.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: NHS Test and Trace

    On 14 December the government updated this guidance. The update explains that the 14-day isolation period is now 10 days. Read more

  • Guidance on protecting people from COVID-19 who are shielding

    An easy read guide has now been added. On 14 December Public Health England and Department of Health and Social Care updated the COVID-19 guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable. Read more

  • Annual Report on Special Advisers 2020

    On 15 December the cabinet office released an annual publication providing data on the UK Government’s special advisers and their pay bands as at 15 December 2020. The publication  enables you to understand what people are giving advice to various parts of the government. Read more

  • Cabinet office: New plans to overhaul procurement rules

    On 15 December the Cabinet Office and Lord Agnew published a news story titled new plans set out to transform procurement, providing more value for money and benefitting small business. Read more

  • Tier posters: Medium, High and Very High updated

    On 15 December the Cabinet Office published updated downloadable versions of posters displaying information about the various tiers of restrictions in England. The revised guidance also includes alternative text to demonstrate how you could use the wording to make it more relevant to your locality. View posters here

  • Guidance for the Christmas period updated

    On 16 December the Cabinet Office updated the Guidance for the Christmas period guidance. The revised guidance states the safest way to spend this Christmas is with your household or support bubble in your own home. Read more

  • Chancellor extends furlough and loan schemes

    On 17 December 2020 HM Treasury published a new story explaining that the furlough scheme had been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. Read more 

  • Guidance for the Christmas period updated

    The government feels that this Christmas, it’s safest if you spend time only with your own household or support bubble.

    On 25 December you may choose to form a Christmas bubble if you feel you really need to. This only applies to people who do not live in a Tier 4 area.

    From 26 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area, as a minimum. Christmas bubbles will no longer apply.

    In most places across the UK, that means you cannot mix with other households indoors, including on New Years’ Eve.

    Those who choose to form a Christmas bubble should exercise additional caution and cut down on unnecessary social contact after seeing their Christmas bubble to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

    The guidance is split into sections on :

    • Meeting friends and family
    • Visiting bars, pubs and restaurants
    • Visiting churches and other places of worship
    • Visiting shops and Christmas markets
    • Attending events, including performances and Christmas lighting ceremonies
    • New Year’s Eve
    • Carol singing
    • Going to work
    • Childcare
    • Visiting relatives in care homes
    • Travel within the UK
    • Volunteering
    • Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals

    The Guidance for the Christmas period is also available in various translations including Punjabi India and Punjabi Pakistan.

    Local VCSE organisations may want to share the revised version with the local communities they support so that they are aware of the changes.

    The tier 3 guidance that applies to Leicester and Leicestershire, outside of Christmas Day, can be found here.

  • Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family updated

    On 19 December the Cabinet Office updated the Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family guidance. Read more

  • Review of local restriction tiers

    On 17 December the Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP published a written statement to Parliament. In our previous article Department of health and social care: Returning to a regional tiered approach there was reference to a “ returning to a regional tiered approach” statement. Read more

  • Prime Minister announces national lockdown

    On 4 January 2021  the Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP published a press release explaining that the Prime Minister has announced a 3rd national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. Read more

  • National lockdown - Stay at Home guidance issued

    On 4 January 2021 the cabinet published this new guidance for the 3rd national lockdown. The government is saying that the single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. Read more

  • Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings updated

    On 8 January 2021  the Department for Education and Cabinet Office updated their guidance on the list of critical workers (key workers) and vulnerable children and young people who can access full-time education provision in the case of future restrictions on education during the coronavirus outbreak. Read more

  • Extra covid protections for rough sleepers and renters 

    On 8 January the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP published a press release explaining that extra support has been provided to house rough sleepers. Also the ban on bailiff enforced evictions extended. Read more

  • Guidance on volunteering during the national lockdown

    On 8 January the  Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport updated the  guidance titled enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic. Read more

  • New TV advert urges public to stay at home

    On 10 January 2021 the Department of Health and Social Care published a press release explaining their major new public campaign urging people to act like they have the virus. The new adverts remind the public the new Covid-19 variant is spreading fast. Read more

  • Emergency Funding for local government

    On 11 January 2021 the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government updated their Coronavirus (COVID-19): Emergency funding for local government in 2020 to 2021 and additional support in 2021 to 2022 guidance. This revised guidance includes details of the local council tax support grant. Read more

  • Ask the government a question

    On 11 January 2021 the Cabinet Office published the guidance explaining how to, Submit a question for a public event, What happens if your question is chosen and What happens if your question is not chosen. At the government’s daily coronavirus briefings you may have seen how the general public has been given the opportunity to ask questions of the government. Local VCSE organisations may want to use this opportunity to ask a question of ministers. Find out more

Other

  • Social Mobility Commission: Monitoring social mobility 2013 to 2020 corporate report

    On 10 June the commission published the report. The report audits government action on the commission’s key social mobility recommendations from 2013 to 2020.

    You may find it useful for any secondary research that you might complete for a funding bid or updating the priorities  of your organisation’s strategic plan. The report covers several policy areas including:

    • early years
    • education
    • employment
    • housing
    • health
    • transport

    It highlights areas of concern and sets out an action plan for the government to achieve greater social mobility in the UK.  In addition the world economic forum have produced a new index to measure social mobility, providing a much-needed assessment of the current state of social mobility worldwide. They published their report in January 2020.

  • Volunteering matters: National scheme to help keep transport users safe

    On 23 May the Secretary of State for Transport announced that national charity Volunteering Matters is coordinating a volunteer response programme – Journey Makers – to help keep people safe using transport networks as lockdown restrictions are eased.

    Volunteers, called Journey Makers, will be offering guidance, providing friendly advice, reminding passengers about social distancing measures, preventing overcrowding and helping vulnerable passengers on their journeys.  The main role of a Journey Maker will be to provide support for the public in preventing crowd congestion at major transport stations.

    Volunteer tasks will involve:

    • Supporting passenger flow in and out of stations
    • Guiding passengers through new designated social distancing safe pathways
    • Encouraging passengers to use face coverings (in line with government and station advice)
    • Providing clear and concise verbal instructions to people moving through the station
    • Reassuring passengers and answering questions

    Volunteers will be provided with appropriate PPE (in line with that worn by staff) and have an induction by station staff before they begin their role.
    Details of the scheme can be found here.

    If you are interested in knowing more about the volunteer roles locally, then please get in touch with VAL’s helpline If using the online form, please use the option volunteering in the reason for contact drop down box.

  • Financial management during COVID-19

    Gurbinder Singh, Director of Leicester-based accountants BGS Accounting, provides guidance for local charities and community groups on how to manage their finances during COVID-19.

    Read more

  • Financial management after COVID-19

    Gurbinder Singh, Director of Leicester-based accountants BGS Accounting, provides guidance for local charities and community groups on how to manage their finances once the COVID-19 lockdown passes.

    Read more

  • Small Charities Coalition - Small charities bulletin (2 March 2020)

    This special briefing has been written to help small charities think through some of the issues that Coronavirus may mean for their organisation.

    Visit the NHS website

  • Charity Bank - COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises

    COVID-19 has created extra challenges for the social sector. Many of your staff may now be working from home. You may have had to cancel events and change how you support your service users.

    Visit Charity Bank

  • Pets and Coronavirus - Comfort in Crisis

    Members of the CFSG have come together to provide clear guidance to owners on how to look after their pets during the current COVID-19 crisis. Pets are valuable family members who can provide comfort and companionship to people during this period of time when many will be self-isolating or unwell. We want to ensure advice around their care is clear and people know where to go for further up to date information on controlling the spread of COVID-19 whilst meeting their pet’s welfare needs.

    Visit the CFSG website

  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS): Impact of Covid-19 survey

    DCMS have released a survey to understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes and the deadline for responses is 15 May 2020.

    Visit the survey

  • Groop: Secure online video calling

    Groop are a social business committed to supporting community groups in a sustainable way to collaborate and communicate. They provide facilities to enable you to schedule multi-user meetings and deliver group sessions with your participants via GroopEvents. They are offering to support voluntary, charity or small businesses during COVID-19 with a free 7 day trial to Groop, including GroopLive and a 60% discount for the next three months – £7.99 per month

    Visi the Groop website

  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy : Upcoming Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

    On 14 May the government introduced temporary measures to give companies and other bodies flexibility around Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and other meetings.

    This will be made retrospective to 26 March and the successful passage of the upcoming Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill. Companies required by law to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) will be extended greater flexibilities, including holding Annual General Meetings (AGMs) online or postponing the meetings.

    Details of this announcement can be found here, which we recommend social enterprises keep a track of. 

  • The Insolvency Service: Amendment to insolvency law – relevance to charities and social enterprises

    On 14 May, the government amend insolvency law to give companies breathing space and keep trading while they explore options for rescue.

    This was initially announced on 28 March, but has now been extended in light of the government’s update to lockdown rules earlier this week.  This will enable companies to continue buying much-needed supplies, such as energy, raw materials or broadband, while attempting a rescue.

    The temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions,  retrospectively from 1 March 2020 for three months, will enable company directors to keep their businesses going without the threat of personal liability.  The press release on this can be found here.

    To understand how this is relevant to a charity,  Bates Wells  have produced a guide called “Charity Governance and Solvency: A Coronavirus Guide” view here
    Aspects of the guide might also be useful for social enterprises.

  • Charity Retail Association:  Reopening pack

    The charity retail association describe themselves as the primary membership organisation for charity shops in the United Kingdom.

    The re-opening pack consists of helpful guidance for when charity shops  are given the green light to open up shops, and provides some suggestions of things to think about in the meantime.

    The pack  should be read in conjunction with UK Government guidance for shops on working safely during coronavirus.
    The pack is regularly revised to take account of government changes and feedback from members. The latest version published is version 3. Read more

  • Leicestershire Police: Social distancing rules during coronavirus in England

    VAL hopes that you enjoy the bank holiday whilst staying alert and safe.  Whilst some of the lockdown rules have changed as the UK moves to the next phase in our fight against coronavirus, we wanted to remind you about what the new social distancing rules are, so that you can inform your staff, volunteers, and the communities you work with.

    Leicestershire Police has wrote a useful article about when we can legally have an excuse to go outside our homes. It explains that public gatherings of more than two people who don’t live together are banned. This includes all the leisure activities like exercise and picnics.
    We can exercise or relax outdoors with one other person from another household. However, we must keep 2m apart from anyone you meet from outside your household. Read more

    You may want to read this in conjunction with the Cabinet Office’s Staying alert and safe (social distancing) guidance which was published on 11 May.

  • Save Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR)

    SITR is a vital tax relief which supports the VCSE sector through private investment.  It has enabled many outstanding and crucial social enterprises to access the investment they need to grow on an unsecured and affordable basis. 

    SITR will be retired by April 2021 unless action is taken now to extend it. There is an opportunity to extend the tax relief through an amendment in the Finance Bill currently passing through Parliament. Resonance who are leading on this campaign to save the tax relief would appreciate if you can  write to your MP,  to ask them to support such an amendment. This  would extend Social Investment Tax Relief’s end date from April 2021 to April 2023.

    Resonance believe SITR could be a significant force for good as the UK emerges from this current crisis especially if it was allowed to include investing in community renewables, care homes and community facilities (as it was when first launched).

    For now they want to make sure the relief doesn’t disappear.  Therefore if the sunset clause amendment isn’t passed the result will be that very soon, millions of pounds of investment capital that can be raised for social enterprises supporting the most vulnerable in society will not be able to be used.

    For more details on the campaign see the link here.
    Here it explains how to write to your MP. 

  • Law works:

    Law Works is a charity connecting volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice. They have produced an article -payment of rent where access to premises is forbidden.

    The article covers :

    • What are our rights?
    • Can we withhold rent?
    • If we cannot occupy the premises, does the lease come to an end?
    • How to use  lease frustration and force majeure

    Read more

  • St John Ambulance: Working safely during COVID-19 - Free tool and advice

    St John Ambulance’s describe themselves  as a charity that steps forward in the moments that matter, to save lives and keep communities safe.

    They have produced a  free online tool to help organisations can work safely during this fast-moving situation: Click here to read more and view the online tool and advice

  • Befriending Network: Interim Volunteer Toolkit

    Befriending Networks is a national support organisation for befriending projects throughout the UK. 
    During the Covid-19 period they have produced a whole range of resources, templates and training videos for interim volunteers which are all available to download free on their website.

    This includes information about DBS, handling money, boundaries, safeguarding and confidentiality as well as template forms and policies for telephone and distance befriending. More information can be found here.

    The easy access Interim Volunteer Toolkit can be found here.

  • Food bank plus report:

    Food Bank Plus is one of several projects supported through the Feeding Leicester partnership which was established to address food poverty in Leicester City. 
    Liz Kendall MP, who chairs Feeding Leicester, and is also a trustee of national anti-hunger charity Feeding Britain, comments:
    “This first year’s record represents a milestone in Feeding Leicester’s fight against poverty and destitution in the city. By clearly identifying the underlying causes of hardship, it also shows the steps the Government needs to take to reduce the appalling levels of need for food banks in the first place.”. No family should have to go without basic essentials, yet all too many in our city are doing so. The findings from this project show what needs to be done to prevent this nightmare scenario afflicting yet more families in future.”

    Mary Collier, from Reaching People, who is the project manager and adviser, adds: “Addressing poverty is critical to people in so many ways. Food Bank Plus demonstrates how important this model of local advice provision is to maximise people’s incomes, increase their independence, improve their health and wellbeing and to enable them to move forward without such reliance on foodbanks.”

    The project has continued to offer specialist support for vulnerable households during the COVID-19 pandemic, with ongoing funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.  Details of the report can be found here.

  • Leicestershire Police Neighbourhood Link Service:
  • BCG Digital Ventures and partners: Digital Boost

    On 9 June a new free-of-charge online platform that brings together leaders of small businesses and charities with a community of digital expert volunteers was launched in the UK.
    The Covid-19 crisis has presented many challenges for small businesses and charities, particularly in building digital capability. In response, Digital Boost has been created to provide much-needed digital support for small organisations. The platform is founded by Founders4Schools and BCG Digital Ventures, with support from DCMS.
    The press release can be found here.

  • Department of health and social care: Stay alert, control the virus, save lives:

    On 19 June the department of health and social care published their news story that there has been a steady decrease in cases they have seen in all four nations, and this continues.
    However, they went on to say this does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.
    The latest government advice on whether you can leave home now includes symptoms relating to loss of smell or taste.
    Read more

    The 19 June government update from the UK Chief Medical Officers on the UK alert level stated that the Joint Biosecurity Centre had recommended that the COVID-19 alert level should move from Level 4 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation.

    Details of this update where the potential of localised outbreaks occurring was mentioned can be found here.

  • Cabinet Office: Staying Alert and safe (social distancing) until 4 July

    Whilst nationally the government updated its staying alert and safe guidance on 24 June regarding what the public can do during lockdown, it doesn’t have a section about local lockdown. Therefore this may mean that the public and organisations might get confused with what they can and can’t do.

    As part of the local lockdown process extra funding has been allocated to Leicester and Leicestershire councils to support them to enhance their communications and ensure those communications are translated into all locally relevant languages. At this stage the detail of what this will be is not yet available. In the circumstances we recommend that you make sure you cross reference what is in the cabinet office guidance and what has been released by the various councils.

    This is the Cabinet Office guidance which relates to England as a whole.
    This is Leicester City Council’s guidance.
    This is Leicestershire County Council’s guidance.
    This is Blaby district council’s guidance.
    This is Charnwood borough council’s guidance
    This is Oadby & Wigston Council’s guidance

  • Choose how you move: Pop-up Cycling and Walking Lanes

    In some of the national media coverage of the local lockdown announcements some residents said they weren’t aware of the walking lanes set up in the city. You may want to share details with your beneficiaries and inform you staff and volunteers.

    Pop-up cycling lanes and widened pavements are being installed across Leicester in response to the coronavirus restrictions. They will enable people to get around the city whilst protecting public transport for key workers. Whilst during local lockdown the government is recommending people in Leicester stay at home as much as you can and they recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester; if you do go out then knowledge of the current pop-up walking and cycling lanes might be useful.
    Find out more

  • Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority: Spot the signs

    The recent local lockdown national media coverage has highlighted some potential issues with working practices in a small number of local employers.

    The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, as part of their day to day work to protect vulnerable and exploited workers, have produced some workers’ rights leaflets, which can be downloaded in 19 different language formats.
    You may find these useful to share with your beneficiaries where appropriate. They have also produced some guidance on how to spot the signs of  labour exploitation which might prove useful to share with your staff and volunteers.

  • Working together to keep children safe

    The Leicester Safeguarding Children Partnership Board have launched a new short film ‘Was not heard’, which was created by young people and is about youth voice and the importance of listening and creating safe environments of communication.

    The film was was written by 17 year-old writer Yasmin Allen and the narration and performances were provided by twelve young actors aged between six and seventeen. It has been funded and supported by the Safeguarding Children Partnership (Board)s of Leicester and Leicestershire & Rutland (LLR), National Youth Agency, and also, secured through the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England. Read more

  • Directory of Social Change (DSC): Zoom Talks

    Charities are navigating serious challenges relating to COVID-19 but also other long-term problems.

    To help you meet these head-on, DSC are running a new series of free Zoom Talks, on topics ranging from how to set up your office in the new environment, to getting your board communication right. Zoom Talks are free to attend, so check out the list below and find out more:

    The Covid Crisis CEO: How to get it right – Wednesday 19 August

    The do’s and don’ts of successful board – Executive communication during the crisis – Monday 24 August

    The end of the office as we know it? – Wednesday 26 August

  • UK Parliament Committees: Food insecurity exposed by COVID-19

    The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s COVID-19 and Food Supply Report has found that the pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity for millions of people.

    The use of UK food banks almost doubled during lockdown, with a significant spike in demand from people with children. Recognising that the situation is likely to worsen, a cross-party group of MPs has called on Government to urgently appoint a ‘Minister for Food Security’. The new Minister would work across Government departments to collect robust data and deliver sustainable change. The report also urges the Government to consult on whether a ‘right to food’ should be put in legislation. Read the findings from the report here.

  • National Apprenticeship Service: Financial support for apprenticeships

    As England adjusts to the new normal, the government has introduced financial support to help employers hire new apprentices. When you hire new apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021, you can apply for extra funding to give your organisation a boost. Read more

  • Full Fact: Can children be detained without their parents’ consent if the authorities think they have coronavirus?
  • Department for work and pensions: Kick Start Scheme

    On 2 September the government introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. Funding is available to employers. Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. Read more

  • The University of Sheffield: The Mobilising Volunteers Effectively project report

    The Mobilising Volunteers Effectively (MoVE) project, run by a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Hull and Leeds included looking at how best volunteers can be deployed to help vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first of three reports from phase one of the MoVE (mobilising volunteers effectively) project, exploring key lessons from the national lockdown. Read more

  • Evidence session on Windrush Compensation Scheme

    The session examined how well the Windrush Compensation Scheme has provided support for those caught up in the Windrush scandal. The Home Affairs Committee held its first session of its new inquiry into the Windrush Compensation Scheme on Wednesday 9 December. Read more

  • Census 2021 - Honour a community hero in your local area

    22 ordinary people doing extraordinary things for the benefit of their communities to be recognised as a Census local hero. Nominations can be made up until 31 December 2020. To mark the 22nd census of England and Wales a search is underway across England and Wales. Do you know that special someone who would be a perfect nominee to be a Census local hero? Read more

Sign up to receive weekly updates

We're sending out a weekly newsletter update for charities and community groups. To receive these updates, follow the link below and sign up for our Voluntary Sector Support newsletter.

Sign up now