Volunteering, Community and Business Support During the COVID-19 Crisis

The community response to care for others in recent weeks has been incredible. We have seen over 2,700 new volunteer registrations and local organisations have been overwhelmed by the number of applications received. The motiva- tion to be active and useful has to be balanced with patience to ensure safe and managed formal volunteering.

Whether you make a blood donation or donate items to a local collection point, all kinds of contributions help. We have some useful free resources with ideas and suggestions for anyone looking to offer informal support – Everybody Needs a Good Neighbour and Data Protection and Confidentiality for Community Groups and Chari- ties are available on our website.

As many established voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups now face a struggle to survive, some fear the real prospect of permanent closure. A donation, or creating your own fund- raising activity, to support a group you care about, could make all the difference to their future.

Business Support Grants

On March 11th, the Chancellor announced in his budget that to combat the COVID-19 crisis busi- nesses getting either Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or Expanded Retail Discount Relief (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) would receive a government grant depending on which relief they were getting.

At the time of going to press, Richmond has pro- cessed 1,872 claims for a total of £31.590m.

If your business qualifies for this support you can apply online here: https://www.richmond.gov.uk/services/business/ services_for_business/business_rates/business_ rates_budget_statement?news=home&p=1

Local group seeking donations to deliver ad- ditional PPE equipment

A group of over 70 households have been putting their time at home to create PPE equipment for front line and care staff. The group so far have made an incredible 2,000 visors and are hoping to complete an additional 5,000 this week for London hospitals and front- line workers, including over 500 allocated within Richmond. The group are currently seeking additional crowd funding to secure materials for a second drop of 5,000 units. https://www.gofundme.com/f/visors-for-the- nhs?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_ link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Cycle to Work Support for Key Workers

Key workers across London can now find stores that offer deals on cycles and equipment as well as bike repair and maintenance services available in their local area, with an online map: https:// http://www.sustrans.org.uk/campaigns/cycles-for-key- workers/

If you’re offering free or discounted bike sharing schemes for Key Workers and would like to have it listed on the map, fill in the form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cycleoffers

To help local VCS organisations, we have a new telephone helpline available from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday on 07401 279771 or you can email action@richmondcvs.org.uk.

For more information and resources, including funding information for individuals suffering from financial hardship, visit http://www.richmondcvs.org.uk.

The contact for practical help for individuals is the Council’s Community Hub. If you or some- one you know needs support and they don’t have existing family, friends or other support that can step in, then please contact 0208 871 6555 or covid19support@richmondandwandsworth.gov. uk.

Thank you to everyone who has helped to show what a fantastic community we have.