How businesses can offer services, funds and volunteers to civil society during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector plays a key role across the country, positively impacting the life of many.The sector has been mobilising across the UK providing practical and emotional support to vulnerable groups.
Understandably, the financial implications to mobilising and supporting volunteers and the increased demand in services has placed pressure on the sector. While the government has announced £750m of additional funding to support the VCSE sector, businesses can also play a valuable role in supporting the sector’s response to the outbreak.
If you can offer skills, services, or assets
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is acting as a central hub where offers of support from businesses are being assessed against needs arising from the COVID-19 response, including if your business has the capacity to provide for free or at a reduced cost:
professional skills, such as communications, project management, technical
professional services, such as legal or HR
the use of assets such as a delivery fleet
CCS has a catalogue of offers of support from businesses which public and VCSE sector organisations can access.
Business in the Community Business Response to COVID-19 - BITC is brokering offers of all types from businesses with organisations making requests.
Volunteering Matters - VM is mobilising professional skills to address skills gaps emerging in the VCSE sector.
Helpforce Assist - Helpforce is connecting the needs of NHS and social care organisations with voluntary offers of time and resources from businesses.
If you can offer funds
VCSE organisations have come under considerable financial pressure as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and most organisations are seeking additional funding.
You can find advice on how your business can support the VCSE sector financially by using the Charities Aid Foundation’s guidance page on corporate giving.
Also look at whether local charities have specific funding needs.
If your workforce can volunteer
Volunteers play a vital role in supporting the most vulnerable in our society and will play a crucial role in the response to coronavirus.
You or your workforce may be willing to volunteer in an individual capacity to support the VCSE sector.
Guidance for volunteering safely:
Coronavirus: How to help safely - GOV.UK
NCVO Volunteering and coronavirus: How you can help - NCVO is the umbrella body for the VCSE sector. This is its guidance on volunteering during COVID-19.