As you will by now be aware, we are looking at a long-term change to the way people and communities live their lives and, alongside this, our organisations and groups will require to change our operating models significantly.
This will have a direct impact upon us all but is likely to disproportionately affect people of all ages across the city who already faced significant challenges: people living with disabilities, challenges to mental health or frailty; those experiencing health or education inequalities, poverty or a choice between heating the home or eating a meal.
During the last days, in discussions with our Third Sector Interface (TSI) partners: Volunteer Edinburgh and Edinburgh Social Enterprise, it has become clear that our role as the TSI should be to support the local initiatives which have begun to develop around the idea of neighbourliness. We need to encourage and support the grassroots community response in whatever way we can.
EVOC will take a role around supporting organisations and communications: this will include exploring the emergent challenges for organisations and community groups on the ground, advocacy and support to ensure that you have the tools and intelligence you require.
We are hearing about the way voluntary organisations have changed the way they work in order to continue to support communities, and we are talking to our members about how we can best share this information.
We are currently finalising a survey to be circulated to all groups. We recognise that you are very busy but if you could take some time, we will be able to feed this information into planning discussions.
We have provided an update on specific areas of EVOC’s work below. However, we are keen to draw your attention to some of some specific information which will be critical for you and your service users over the next months.
Good luck to everyone.
NETWORK AND FORUMS UPDATE
We are exploring ways for networks and forums to continue to meet online, liaising with the forum Chairs. EVOC holds contacts for thousands of organisations across Edinburgh and we are willing to share information either geographically or thematically. Please let us know how we can help.
If you would specifically like to contact any of the leads for the forums our details are here:
- Mental Health/Disabilities/SUNE: Maria Arnold: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Older People: Stefan Milenkovic email@example.com
- Children and Families: Mark Merrell firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neighbourhood/Geographic/Voluntary Sector Forums: Kate Barrett email@example.com
The Older People’s Forum on 24th March 2020 will be cancelled.
We plan to deliver our free governance courses remotely, we are also planning thematic seminars for organisations on various topics, so keep an eye out for dates in the coming weeks. The contact is Steff Bell firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Wilson, Chief Officer has provided the following update about their current work.
You will no doubt be aware of the emerging, fantastic community response to the current coronavirus pandemic. People all over Edinburgh are offering to help one and other and forming groups on-line etc. As the city’s volunteering infrastructure organisation, we are very keen to encourage this amazing active citizenship and good neighbourliness, while supporting people to undertake this activities in a positive and safe way.
Our key message to people is think local and act local. It’s all about being a good neighbour! It is the best thing that people can do.
In line with current advice, we have suspended our current, face to face, training programme. We are exploring different ways to deliver training, including electronically and we will keep you updated.
If there is specific training that you require, what do you need? we will be able to provide training free – please contact JulieAnne Hill, EVOC’s Training Coordinator, to discuss your requirements. JulieAnne is available at JulieAnne.Hill@evoc.org.uk
OFFER OF EVOC STAFF TIME TO HELP WITH ANYTHING REMOTELY
Do you need office-based support to lift the weight a little? This might include making phone calls, helping with email, comms and other administrative duties. Please contact Ian Brooke to discuss – email@example.com
From: Alana Nabulsi [mailto:Alana.Nabulsi@edinburgh.gov.uk]
Sent: 19 March 2020 08:04
Subject: NHS NSS Triage Centre
See below for contact details of the NHS NSS triage centre for social care supplies which is being stood up and going live at 8AM today. Before calling you must be able to confirm three things – that you have confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and therefore require PPE; that you have exhausted all opportunities to source PPE with your local NHS health board by working with colleagues (such as localities and myself); and also exhausted all your usual procurement routes and supply chains.
I understand that there will be a series of short questions and then the three items required will be allocated where urgently needed.
For any other urgent equipment needs the following email address was shared – firstname.lastname@example.org.
I imagine that this will be a very busy line given the context that we’re working in and the challenges that are being experienced across the sector – so sit down, make a cup of tea and get comfortable!