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London Covid-19 Response: Funders, Community and Voluntary Sector

Thank you all for the incredible work that you are part of across London to meet the needs of Londoners during this crisis. The best of what we do in the Capital is also crucial in informing the wider effort across the country. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the London Resilience Partnership has established a COVID-19 London Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) to coordinate the response to, and recovery from, the outbreak for London’s communities and businesses. The London SCG is made up of several sub-groups that focus on specific areas. The Funders, Community and Voluntary Sector Sub-Group has been formed to support London’s funders and the community and voluntary sector to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. It also provides a channel for two-way communication to ensure valuable sector information and insight rapidly feed into the local, regional and national response. London Plus, London Funders, London Councils and the GLA are some of the key partnership bodies we are working with on this. GLA Covid-19 Hub The GLA has a Covid-19 Hub that hosts specific support for civil society organisations such as how to volunteer safely, what funding is available and more. This page hosts, among other things, a digital support access form for civil society organisations to help the sector manage the massive increase in demand. Food and Other Essentials If you provide food and/or essentials to communities affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and social distancing requirements, you can now apply for emergency funding to support your essential costs. Requests for funding can be up to £5,000. A second wave of funding will be available in early April for larger grants, service transformation costs, and ongoing work to support communities. London's three biggest food redistribution charities have formed the London Food Alliance to provide an emergency response for the capital. They estimate that £250,000 of donations is needed to help fund the operational and transportation costs. They have divided coordination for borough hubs between them, but will be distributing food across the city as needed. Information on what they are doing and how to support them can be found here: FareShare, The Felix Project, City Harvest. There are 2,000 foodbanks in London and they are now reporting a decrease in donations. They are asking communities for support. Those able to help can find out where their local food bank is located by visiting the Trussell Trust. Community Hubs London boroughs, along with the rest of other local government bodies across the country, have set up Community Hubs to bring together a wide range of local support services for people who have been identified by the government as needing to be “shielded” because they are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. These Community Hubs have been instructed by government to support and help coordinate

  • Food: working with the food industry to deliver basic food parcels directly to their doorsteps, and over time looking at other ways to help.

  • Medicines: community pharmacies will supply and organise delivery.

  • Social contact: local authorities, working with the voluntary and community sector, are asked to continue to care for those who might be feeling very isolated.

The current focus of the hubs is on supporting shielded individuals only. This focus will expand to encompass, over time, other vulnerable groups who are being supported by the community and voluntary sector. For the time being we advise that you liaise closely with your local authority, council for voluntary service (CVS) and volunteer centre.

We will be sending further updates on key developments and aspects of the response over the coming days and weeks.

Thank you.

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