COVID-19 Support from DCA

It is fantastic that our Sector has responded so quickly to this emerging crisis, but it is quicker, safer and more resourceful if we work together in a coordinated approach.  Below we have useful links and information to help from us, the Council, ACRE, NVCO, and many other organisations. 

We are here to support you and our communities, we have set up a dedicated Helpline to answer questions you may have regarding Coronavirus and your Organisation –  01202 847609 – Open between 11am and 4pm.  We will continue to receive referrals and book appointments, however these will be conducted online rather than face to face.

Our Community Advisors shall be running webinars and online video networking to replace our usual training and networking. These shall run on Wednesdays between 11.30am to 12.30pm and cover various topics to help support your organisations, helping you get answers to your queries and concerns, as well as maintaining a vital social link. They’re FREE to join whilst we help each other through this.

Resources and Links

Dorset Community Response

Dorset Council has set up a webpage detailing support available for Community Groups. Including:

  • Getting involved (if you want to personally volunteer)
  • Getting support if your group is struggling with maintaining its volunteer base and if your voluntary group wants to get involved in the response
  • Getting help for your vulnerable and elderly beneficiaries who may be struggling at this time
  • Up to date contact details for Citizens Advice (for help with benefits, debt, employment advice)

Their full COVID-19 plan can be found at the top of this same page.

A Guide on ‘Being a Good Neighbour’ has been created, please note this is version 3, still to be approved and branded by the Council.

A volunteer network of Digital Champions are on hand help support with IT issues from collecting prescriptions to keeping in contact with the family. 

BCP Council has launched a dedicated phone line and Volunteer Hub to support vulnerable people who need vital support while isolating at home during the coronavirus outbreak – 0300 123 7052, open 8am-8pm everyday. Want to volunteer within BCP? Then click here. 

Click here for advice on how to help safely, latest guidance from the Government. 


Practical support intended to help you decide what steps you and your organisation may need to take in light of the spread of the covid-19 virus. 

The NVCO has guidance on sick leave and social contact, how to hold board meetings, contingency planning and what to expect from funders. 

NVCO have also removed their paywall so that now all their KNOWHOW information guides are accessible freely to all all groups.

Bates Wells and NVCO held a webinar on “Coronavirus and your charity – key legal issues to consider”Click here to access the recording, you need to enter brief details to access it. 

Fundraising & Comms

Event guidance from the Fundraising Regulator

The Institute of Fundraising are working with NCVO and CFG to try to understand how coronavirus will impact charities and they need your help! They are asking charities  to fill out this survey by end of play on 23rd March so we can turn these results into policy asks. Complete the survey here.

Links on how to help with protecting your fundraising from the Fundraising Commission

What the pandemic means for your fundraising? Advice from Keda Consulting

Join the Inventive Marketing Club here, Ben Kinnaird is a marketing specialist offering his help with free webinars for charities.

Funder Responses of Support

An organisation called London Funders has invited Funding Organisations nationally to join them in making a statement of intent to support grantees/fundees at this time.  Have a look at their statement and the 239 Funders that have joined their mission. Some funders are suggesting mergers to maintain the sector. 

The Association of Charitable Fundraisers have encouraged funders to contact their grantees and discuss how they can best support them.

62 Sources of Charity Income – Coronavirus Funder List Latest Update via Ian McLintock’s LinkedIn page

Dorset Community Foundation has launched a community fund to help those supporting vulnerable groups affected by the outbreak. 

The National Lottery have released a statement regarding their community fund. 

Prince William announced that the National Emergencies Trust have launched a national appeal and that funding will be available to local charities addressing arising community needs.

Business & Trustee Support

ACRE information for Village Halls and Community Spaces.

Allied Westminster does not need notification of reduced usage of Village Halls but advises to check with your insurer to see if notification is necessary. Read their statement and revised guidelines here.

Dorset Council have shared a wealth of information with us for Business support; click for a Route Map of Business Assistance, information from the Dorset Chamber and business and economy newsletter signups.

Help with Contingency Planning from the Charities Facility Management Group

Carers Helpline Information Sheet for Volunteers in Dorset from The Leonardo Trust

Guidance from the Charity Finance Group

Guidance from Bates Wells on Insurance and Contracts

Guidance from the Charity Tax Group, They also now have confirmation that the “Expanded Retail Discount Relief”

Safeguarding Portal – Government Advice on handling allegations, this includes a safeguarding tool.

Charity Bank have put together information for charities and social enterprises. 

For help to those groups who are  just set up or formed in direct response to COVID-19, support from the Social Change Agency.

Employee & Employer Support

ACAS have coordinated their advice around COVID-19 for employers and employees

ACAS also run webinars to support with employment law and employment topics. 

Ward Goodman have issued a statement to help their customers. They are committed to delivering support through this challenging period.

Advice that an organisation can furlough a proportion of staff and not the whole organisation. It’s been confirmed a ‘a furloughed employee can take part in volunteering work or training, as long as it does not provide services that generate revenue for, or on behalf of, your organisation’  

Bates Wells have information on redundancies as well as fresh guidance on job retention and furloughing. 

Driving and motor insurance information from the Association of British Insurers

Getting Involved

If you would like to sign up to volunteer in your community then click on the below.

If you are a voluntary sector organisation that wants to get involved in providing support or needs help with maintaining your volunteer base please register with the Volunteer Centre Dorset – Voluntary Organisations Information

If you look after a Village Hall or a community space then do take part in the Village Hall census to have your voice heard at this crucial time by following the link below.

The CO-OP are connecting local charities together and  paying out £4.5m in the next couple of weeks to keep everyone going at this time, this money comes from member rewards and the sales of carrier bags.

Read NAVCA’s blog on how they’re supporting the local infrastructure. If you’d 

Acts of Kindness

Share your Charity’s story on social using the hashtag #everydaycounts


See heart-warming stories across Dorset through Social Media

‘LiveWell Dorset is support your wellbeing at this time with The Five Ways Challenge, a virtual way of taking care of your wellbeing. 

Dorset Parent Infant Partnership are offering free online counselling sessions to parents. 

STARS has increased its capacity on its telephone support line to offer more sessions during the current crisis. Click here for further info.

Sherborne Viral Kindness, featured recently on the BBC, is a group set up by local traders to keep the local area ‘afloat’. Services range from home food deliveries to dog-walking.

Poole Support Group, has been set up by a lady in her twenties to help those suffering through loneliness. 

The CO-OP are helping NHS staff and Co-op Academy school kids with £20 food vouchers while the schools are closed.

For East Dorset –  Please report community/village groups to Jon Sloper – Adding the name, what is offered and contact details will help share messages of support.

Health Advice

Mind has created some guidance for helping with lone working and keeping balanced. 

Government Advice – Latest Info

Advice from Public Health Dorset

Online NHS 111 Resource

COVID-19 Condition NHS Advice 

Advice from East Dorset Health and Wellbeing Group, articles of interest are 3. for housing and  4. for activities, other articles are covered in Funder Support and Council links above.

Use the #DorsetDailyDose and #StayInWorkOut to encourage staying active at home – inspiration and sessions can be found here