Here’s a quick update for this week:
While everyone is working flat out to respond to immediate needs it’s apparent that we will also need to think longer-term about how we continue to support our communities.
Increasingly we will have to reflect on immediate learning and what further changes we will need to make. This will need to become part of the core discussions at the forums and networks, so please also keep an eye on the Slack channels.
Connect with me on Slack
We’ve added a new channel for #evoc_ceo_updates where I’ll be posting news and information from meetings and forums I attend. You can also ask me questions and let me know your thoughts on strategic issues arising.
There are also channels for funding, community food, offering help, legal issues, training and volunteering as well as the thematic and geographical networks we support.
Keep up the brilliant work,
Ella Simpson, Chief Officer
NEW: FORUM FOR ORGANISATIONS SUPPORTING CARERS
A new Edinburgh Forum for Organisations Supporting Carers has been set up to help support the steep rise in issues for carers arising from COVID-19.
The forum will be a place to:
- Share issues, knowledge and insights
- Provide mutual support
- Gather a full picture of the situation carers and organisations supporting carers are facing and identify potential solutions
The first meeting is on Tuesday 5 May
VOLUNTARY SECTOR TOGETHER
Voluntary Sector Forums (VSFs)
VSFs are held regularly across the city using Zoom, bringing together third sector organisations responding to the challenges brought by COVID-19.
The forums are geographically based and are an opportunity to:
- Share what is working and what is proving challenging
- Create a space for organisations to explore new models to serve their community
- Enable resource sharing, increase partnership working and avoid duplication
Many of the forums have moved from a quarterly schedule to more frequent weekly or fortnightly meetings, so there are regular opportunities to check in with others delivering services in your area.
Forum members are also encouraged to stay connected through the online EVOC Slack Workspace (free to join and use).
Please get in touch if you’re interested in attending and would like to know what is available in your area.
Working Together to Support Children, Young People and Families
This week online meetings started in all four Edinburgh localities bringing together staff from charities and the council who work with children, young people and families.
The aim is to respond quickly to the needs of children, young people and families as the emergency situation changes, and to make the best possible use of resources. The groups are called Locality Operational Groups and have been developed by the Children’s Services Task Force led by EVOC and City of Edinburgh Council.
The purpose of the Task Force is coordinate our shared efforts and resources to support our vulnerable children and their families in response to the impact of Covid-19.
We’ll keep you posted on the progress of the groups but you can also get in touch:
Support with Funding Applications
The Council has established a team of officers to support community projects and organisations who may need help to identify suitable funding and assist with bids.
£50k Fund for Small Community Projects and Voluntary Organisations
This funding is available to community projects or organisations who have been unsuccessful in securing funding for their response to Covid-19 within the community. An initial £50k will be available from the Council to provide targeted support to smaller-scale community groups in their efforts to help vulnerable residents.
BE AWARE: FAKE CARERS
Sadly we have heard reports of people posing as carers to gain access to the homes of vulnerable people.
One man was targeted multiple times by “very insistent people who were very organised”. When he challenged them and asked to speak to a manager they put him on the phone to someone who was also very insistent.
In this case they didn’t gain entry and the police were informed, however we would encourage all organisations providing food, support and care to consider how vulnerable people can be protected.
Some voluntary sector workers are now eligible for Covid-19 testing.
What the changes mean for keyworkers in Scotland
Access to Covid testing in Scotland has been widened and will now be determined via a prioritisation matrix for key workers that includes a broader range of private sector workers and essential services.
Third Sector staff that can access testing:
- Staff involved in volunteering to provide support to vulnerable people and communities
- Staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable, including grant aided schools