Updated 3 June 2020
Action Together is committed to providing support and information to voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) organisations around COVID-19 (coronavirus). We have produced the guidance on this page for our members and partners in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, and will support you to assess what the impacts might be. We will update this page when new information is available.
Action Together's offices are closed and our planned training and events are postponed. We are modifying our core services in response to the emergency. We advise VCFSE groups to also postpone their events and activities and follow government guidance on social distancing. The Government have produced guidance on How To Help Safely.
Members of the Action Together team are keen to support you to think through what the potential impacts might be. If you would like support for your VCFSE organisation, please contact us on 0161 339 2345 or email email@example.com (please include Coronavirus in the title of your email and tell us if you're based in Oldham, Rochdale or Tameside)
We have dedicated coronavirus information and advice for residents, charities, and community and voluntary groups in Oldham, Rochdale, and Tameside.
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Information for residents:
Information for groups and organisations:
Information for Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside Residents
Action Together are the accredited Volunteer Centre for Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside, and we will be co-ordinating formal volunteering during the coronavirus emergency. We are working with local councils, local charities, community and voluntary groups planning ahead for the needs of communities over the coming weeks and months.
If you want to formally volunteer:
We are currently registering people interested in volunteering in response to Coronavirus in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside. These will be organised and co-ordinated volunteering roles to fill a specific need.
As the need for more volunteers grows we will be in touch with you to match you with an opportunity to help. Volunteering in other Greater Manchester boroughs can be found at https://volunteergm.org/
PLEASE NOTE: We are currently under increased demand for voluntary services. You do not need to contact us for updates as we will contact you when appropriate volunteering opportunities are available.
If you want to take part in informal volunteering/mutual aid:
You do not need to register with Action Together if you are interested in local community volunteering, such as shopping for a neighbour.
If you are assisting someone who is self-isolated, please remember to follow the necessary social distancing precautions. The Government have produced guidance on How To Help Safely.
Our local charities and voluntary and community groups do amazing work to support those who are most vulnerable in our communities, and their work is even more critical during this time.
Action Together is raising money for the emergency community response to coronavirus.
All the money raised will go to local groups and charities in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside to help them continue to provide vital community support.
- Donate now to support groups and charities in Oldham: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/OldhamCoronavirus
- Donate now to support groups and charities in Rochdale: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/RochdaleCoronavirus
- Donate now to support groups and charities in Tameside: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/TamesideCoronavirus
Visit our locality pages for more information on giving in your area:
Different support services are available in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside. Visit our locality pages for services and support available in your area:
Information for groups and organisations:
We are collecting information from groups and organisations in Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside who will need volunteers over the coming months. Please complete the form at this link and we will contact you within 48 hours.
Action Together have launched our Covid-19 Community Response Fund. The fund is available for groups from the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector working on a community response to coronavirus in Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside & Glossop.
You can apply for a grant for either up to £200 or up to £1,000.
We are also sharing other funding available in response to coronavirus on our Find Funding page.
Action Together's offices are closed but our staff are available to support voluntary and community organisations.
For support contact Action Together on 0161 339 2345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include Coronavirus in the title of your email and tell us if you're based in Oldham, Rochdale or Tameside.
1. General Guidance
- The government have produced guidance for the charity sector around coronavirus.
- NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) have in depth guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the covid-19 pandemic.
- If you are looking for volunteers please complete the form at this link and we will contact you within 48 hours.
- Please contact us if you would like further support or advice:
- Telephone: 0161 339 2345
- Email: email@example.com (please include Coronavirus in the title of your email and tell us if you're based in Oldham, Rochdale or Tameside)
- We will continue to provide updates around this issue. You can keep up to date with the latest from Action Together on our website, Twitter and Facebook.
2. Business Continuitiy Planning
- You should think about business continuity planning (planning to keep your group and your key activities going). NVCO have produced a document on Organisational Resilience which can help you think this through. Download NCVO's Organisational Resilience checklist
- We have also produced a checklist for smaller, grassroots, volunteer-led groups. We would encourage you to review and complete the document before contacting us. We can then provide the best support for you. Download Action Together's COVID-19 guidance for volunteer-led groups.
- Some continuity issues to think about may include:
- The emergency contact details for your team and members
- Having processes in place to allow home working should the need arise. If your building is closed or your team have to isolate themselves how will you continue to operate?
- How you support members / beneficiaries by phone rather than face to face
- What difficulties and issues will arise if your team are off sick, and how will you manage them?
- How you will manage expectations of members, beneficiaries, and stakeholders including commissioners?
3. Guidance On Events
- Action Together have postponed all our upcoming events and training
- We advise VCFSE groups and organisations to postpone their own social events and follow offical advice on social distancing
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and safeguarding adults
- Oldham Adult Safeguarding Board have developed this safeguarding information for volunteers
- Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Partnership have a wide range of free or low cost e-learning designed to support work to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults
- Tameside Safeguarding Partnership have developed this safeguarding information for volunteers
- Tameside Safeguarding Children Partnership have e-learning modules, resources & guidance during Coronavirus online
- Watch this video on Safeguarding Awareness for Volunteers
5. Working Safely
- If sharing a workspace, please ensure that you provide hand washing facilities (hot water and soap) and encourage people to wash their hands regularly
- Consider printing and displaying these Government and NHS posters in any work spaces:
- If you develop a high temperature or a new, continuous cough, you should self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms started if you live alone. If you live with others and are the first person to get symptoms, this is still 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must self-isolate for 14 days. You should not volunteer outside of your home during this period
- If you are in a higher risk group as advised by the government (those aged over-70 or usually eligible for the flu jab, or more medically vulnerable groups) then you should avoid contact with others and should not volunteer outside of your home
- Good hand hygiene is incredibly important. You should wash your hands with warm soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds at the start and end of your volunteering activity, and at regular intervals where possible. You should also wash your hands between activities that involve you touching shared surfaces, e.g. delivering shopping
- You should avoid touching your face
- Should you cough or sneeze you should do so into a tissue and this should be disposed of and hands washed
- Use alcohol hand gel when out and about when handwashing facilities are not available
- If you have to work in an area with other people, e.g. a foodbank you should make sure that people stay 2 metres apart. You should keep surfaces clear from clutter and clean them regularly
- If you are supporting people with deliveries then call/text ahead to make sure that people are aware you are coming. Deliveries should be left on the doorstep and you should be at least 2m from the door when it is opened
6. Digital Support
- Many VCSE sector organisations are having to pivot quickly to distance working and working-from-home arrangements. This can be a challenge for a sector which hasn’t always done this traditionally, and who don’t have the budget or staff to quickly mobilise digital infrastructure.
- A wide range of technology tools and companies have introduced offers to support organisations responding to Covid-19. A few that might be helpful for you include:
- Microsoft Teams is being widely used by public services (including across the NHS). It includes video-conferencing facilities, the ability to share files, and instant messaging tools (like SMS messages, but on a computer). Microsoft are now making a free version of Teams available to anyone. This might help you to engage more effectively with public sector organisations in your area. Find out more on the Microsoft Teams site.
- Zoom is also being widely used (and proving to be quite stable) for people to video-conference over the internet. Find out more about how to use it here.
- Dropbox is a service for sharing files remotely. It is offering free Business accounts for 3 months to charities and non-profits working on Covid-19 response. Sign up here.
- Mailchimp is a system for sending out email newsletter (it simplifies distribution lists, scheduling of emails etc). It is making a similar offer of free access to its paid-for service (called ‘Standard’) to Governments and charities who need to communicate with people about the disease. Sign up here.
- We should all be wary of the increased risk from fraudulent emails at this time. Our Data Protection Officer has produced some simple tips to protect yourself and your organisation from e-mail scammers.
- NHS 111 Online (COVID-19): Find out what to do if you think you have symptoms
- NHS Coronavirus health information and advice
- NHS guidelines translated into other languages
Public Health England
- Public Health England Blog: Includes daily updates and FAQs
- Public information materials including posters and leaflets
- Stay Home, Save Lives - Public Information Materials including information in other languages
- Easy read/large print/BSL public information materials
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response
- Cleaning in non-healthcare settings
- Food safety for community cooking and food banks
- Guidance for the charity sector
- Guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- Guidance for health professionals, businesses, schools and other organisations
- Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision
- How to help safely
- Keep Safe have easy read information and UK guidance about coronavirus
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
- TogetherGM: Greater Manchester advice and information about coronavirus, including accesible easy to read materials
- TogetherGMs Wellbeing Resources
Other Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprie Support Organisations
The below organisations are Action Together's equivalent in other boroughs of Greater Manchester:
Bolton: Bolton CVS - www.boltoncvs.org.uk
Bury: Bury Voluntary, Community and Faith Alliance (VCFA) - www.buryvcfa.org.uk
Manchester: Manchester Community Central - www.manchestercommunitycentral.org
Salford: Salford CVS - www.salfordcvs.co.uk
Stockport: Sector 3 - http://synergysk.co.uk
Trafford: Thrive Trafford - www.thrivetrafford.org.uk
Wigan: Wigan Borough Community Partnership - www.wbcommunitypartnership.org