COVID-19 News & Updates

Social Enterprise COVID-19 Helpline

In response to the Corona Virus pandemic, and its direct impact on the social enterprises and social entrepreneurs across Birmingham and Solihull, iSE CIC is launching a #COVID19 Social Enterprise Helpline to support the sector in these challenging weeks and months. iSE’s expert Social Enterprise advisors will be able to:

  • Provide information on newly available funds, grants, loans and social investment organisations.

  • Signpost you to relevant resources, websites, toolkits and external support.

  • Give Advice and Guidance on your options and next steps if you are concerned about the current impact on your social enterprise.

  • Broker connections to organisations or wider support services beyond iSEDSEQ and our Women’s Enterprise Hub.

  • Enable access to wider iSE support services such as workshops, training, funded projects and start up.

  • Book an in-depth coaching support session for social enterprise CEOs, managers and social entrepreneur leaders.

iSE seeks to support and help guide the social enterprise sector through this extraordinary #COVID19 challenge by sharing knowledge and expertise, building resilience, adapting social enterprise services, and catalysing business continuity and sustainability.

For more information please contact: 0121 771 1411 or info@i-se.co.uk
Or see: www.i-se.co.uk 

Site categories: 
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Solihull

Citizens Advice South Warwickshire Update

We wanted to update you on the changes to our service in response to the current Coronavirus outbreak, whilst ensuring Citizens Advice South Warwickshire (CASW) remains available to the people of south Warwickshire.

The demand on our network has been huge with a record-breaking 2.2 million page views of the Citizens Advice Website.

Here in south Warwickshire, the unwavering commitment we have seen from our volunteers together with our dedicated staff (who are all working from home) has enabled us to keep abreast of need while our offices are temporarily closed. Over 50 volunteers have joined 26 FTE staff in supporting our phone, email and web chat functions.

As a reminder, here’s  how you can reach us while our offices are closed:

When lines are busy, we still have an answer phone facility. Return calls might be made outside normal hours and from a withheld number. When leaving any message, please remember to provide:

Your name

  • Your number, and;

  • A brief, clear outline of your issue

An adviser will then call you back as soon as they can. 

If your query is about our Help to Claim service (claiming Universal Credit):

If you refer to a specialist project, please continue to do so in the usual way. 

Go back>>

Site categories: 
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Stratford
  • COVID-19 Warwick District
  • Support

Information on Foodbanks within Stratford on Avon District

All Foodbanks operate using a voucher referral system. You will need a voucher or e voucher in order to receive a food parcel. Please call Stratford District Council for details on 01789 267 575.

Once you have a voucher please look at the latest news section on your nearest Foodbank to check operating hours and distribution venues before you visit as circumstances are changing for Foodbanks regularly.

Arden Foodbank
For latest news https://arden.foodbank.org.uk/news 
Distribution area – Alcester, Studley
Email ardenfoodbank@gmail.co.uk 

Fosse Foodbank
For latest news https://fosse.foodbank.org.uk/news/ 
Distribution area - Wellesbourne Kineton, Southam, Bishops Itchington
Email info@fosse.foodbank.org.uk 

Shipston on Stour Foodbank
Does not currently have a website
Distribution area – Shipston on Stour
Email sarah_edmonds@btconnect.com  jo.barker@stratford-dc.gov.uk 

Stratford upon Avon Foodbank
For latest news https://stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk/news/ 
Distribution area – Stratford upon Avon, Henley in Arden
Email info@stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk 

Please note Stratford Foodbank are now distributing food parcels from Stratford Methodist Church.

Site categories: 
  • Community News
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Stratford

NWCA COVID-19 Press Release

North Warwickshire Citizens Advice rises to the challenge of the national Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

North Warwickshire Citizens Advice (NWCA) is continuing to offer much needed advice and support to all the residents of North Warwickshire during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

To comply with the latest government measures, emergency changes have had to be made to NWCA’s face-to-face services, with face-to-face advice suspended in all locations for the foreseeable future. However, there are still several ways that people across North Warwickshire can continue to get advice during this time:

  • General advice such as, benefits (including Universal Credit/Help to Claim); employment queries (including rights at work; sick pay); access to emergency support such as foodbanks, will continue to be given via our local Adviceline, which people can reach by calling: 0300 330 1193. This is available Monday – Friday, 10-​2pm.

  • To cover our drop-in sessions, you can also speak to an Advisor by ringing: 01827 712 852, Monday Friday, 10-1pm.

    Out of these hours, people can access the national Citizens Advice service for general advice, such as debt and benefits:

  • By calling Adviceline on 03444 111 444. (Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

  • By chatting online to an Advisor by visiting Citizens Advice website at citizensadvice.org.uk/contact-us.

  • Advice on consumer issues can be accessed by contacting the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or by chatting online to an Advisor on Citizens Advice website.

  • Anyone seeking to make a new claim for Universal Credit should call the Universal Credit Help to Claim line on 0800 1448444. Waiting times for all these services may be slightly longer than usual as we adapt to our new patterns of working.

Catherine Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of North Warwickshire Citizens Advice, said:

“North Warwickshire Citizens Advice is here to give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward in these difficult times. You can find frequently updated advice on a range of issues related to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak at citizensadvice.org.uk/coronavirus.

We’ve seen an increase in Coronavirus enquiries with a surge in requests for information as people process the government’s daily announcements. Clients’ top issues have included: benefits; rights at work; sick pay; and accessing Universal Credit.

Although we are not currently able to offer our face-to-face services, as we support the latest government measures, staff are working hard to continue to offer advice and assistance to all the residents of North Warwickshire.

We’ll continue to offer advice over the telephone on our Adviceline and local number and via email. People looking for advice can also chat to an Advisor online at the Citizens Advice website.’’

Site categories: 
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 North Warwickshire
  • COVID-19 Nuneaton & Bedworth
  • Support

Warwickshire Mental Health Service Information

Useful information for all providers and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In this document, you will find tips and advice on coping during this uncertain time, and the mental health and wellbeing support available to you in Warwickshire.

Site categories: 
  • COVID-19
  • Health
  • Mental Health

Warwickshire CAVA Volunteer Awards 2020

Postponement of the Warwickshire CAVA Volunteer Awards 2020.

We have made the extremely hard decision to postponed this year’s Volunteer Awards (scheduled for June) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nominations will be temporarily suspended, with all current nominations being put forward to the next round. It is hoped the award ceremonies will still go ahead later in the year, celebrating the inspirational stories of our many local heroes!

Site categories: 
  • COVID-19
  • Volunteering

Support Measures for the Self-employed Announced

Update on recently announced support for the Self-Employed affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday 26 March the Chancellor announced a new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support those whose income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus.  The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

For more information and guidance on the SEIS Scheme, click on the link here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

  • This scheme is being delivered by HMRC
  • HMRC will contact eligible customers directly once the scheme is operational – customers should not be advised to contact HMRC now;
  • The Grant will be paid directly into the eligible customers’ bank account;
  • Grants are expected to start to be paid out by the beginning of June 2020.

The SEIS Scheme will be treated as earnings in Universal Credit. A customer’s Universal Credit payment will adjust in response to changes in their earnings.

If a customer needs financial help whilst waiting for SEISS, they should check their eligibility to claim Universal Credit here: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility.

More information is available on the Understanding Universal Credit website: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/

Site categories: 
  • COVID-19
  • Employments & Jobs
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Warwickshire County Council: COVID-19 Statement

Warwickshire County Council reassures the public during coronavirus outbreak.

Warwickshire County Council's Chief Executive, Monica Fogarty would like to reassure residents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and give an update on the many actions the Council is taking to keep services running, and help residents stay safe during this difficult time.

Monica Fogarty says:

"I know many of us will be understandably worried about the coronavirus pandemic that is affecting our lives and communities, but rest assured Warwickshire County Council staff are working round the clock to keep our residents as safe as possible, and to ensure that essential council services continue during this challenging time. We are also taking all steps possible to prepare for the expected increase in confirmed cases.

“Below you’ll find some of the actions the County Council is taking, as well as ways we can all help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

 Health advice for us all
We are in this together and we can all help limit the spread of COVID-19 by following the Government laws on social distancing, which mean:

  • Only leave the house in very limited circumstances - shopping for essentials, meeting urgent medical needs and taking part in one form of solo exercise per day.
  • Ensuring when you are out of the house that you maintain a distance of two metres from other people.
  • Take extra care if you are over 70 years of age, if you are pregnant or have underlying health conditions.
  • To find out more about social distancing visit: Government guidance on social distancing.  

To get the best advice about symptoms of COVID-19, how to prevent the spread, and who should stay at home, visit:  nhs.uk/coronavirus . For the most up-to-date information about Covid-19 in Warwickshire, please visit our dedicated webpages: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Supporting our most vulnerable residents
As part of a county-wide effort to support the most vulnerable, Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service along with other services will be working to deliver care and food packages to those most in need.

No direct contact will be made with residents, as this will be a knock-door service, and all staff will maintain the social distances advised, to ensure they can deliver an essential service to those who can’t get out. As well as delivering food and essential requirements, our staff will also ensure that resident are safe, well and managing ok.

As a Council, it is essential that we play our part in supporting communities to help the most vulnerable. We would like to thank Ediblelinks for including us in the amazing work they are doing to support those in need. We are also supporting Boots in the Nuneaton and Bedworth area with the distribution of prescription medication for those who urgently need it.

In addition, the Warwickshire local welfare scheme helps our most vulnerable residents at times of unavoidable crisis such as this, when they have no other means of help. The scheme provides basic and essential help for food and energy. This is given either in emergency food parcels or with credit for energy. For more information and details on how to apply visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme

Vulnerable pupils
Action has been taken to support the county’s most vulnerable young people to get access to resources to support home learning during this time of school closures.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Careers Hubs, quickly joined by the County Council, has launched an appeal for businesses to donate any of their unused stationery which could then be delivered to schools and handed to pupils in need of support.

To support businesses in making donations, the County Council created a temporary point at their Business Centre in Nuneaton (Eliot Park Innovation Centre), which allowed a drop off location.  The teams at Eliot Park then arranged drop off boxes for the schools to take delivery of.

Beware of fraud and scams – at home and online
Many people are helping friends and neighbours, but others are using the crisis to take advantage of the vulnerable. To stay safe, don’t let anyone into your home, don’t give money to strangers, don’t respond to information requests via text or email from sources you don’t know and trust. Always check with a reliable source such as a family member, or friend if you're unsure.  More information can be found at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams

Mental Health Services

Worry and anxiety are common problems, but the current situation is making this worse for some members of our community. To help with these pressures, the County Council has put together mental health advice and resources available to you and your loved ones during the coronavirus outbreak. These include: Wellbeing for Warwickshire Big White Wall and Warwickshire Safe Havens. Here you will find lots of tips and advice on coping during this uncertain time. You can also visit: Every Mind Matters where you will find more practical advice on how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home.

A full list of the services available can be found on the County Council website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth

Businesses Support
 The County Council is working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, which is co-ordinating all the support available to companies in the region during the COVID-19 crisis. The County Council is sharing guidance and support for businesses in Warwickshire online and via social media.

More details along with other news on support being offered to businesses across the county will be in Warwickshire Means Business next week.  Follow this link to subscribe and receive next week's ezine to make sure you have all the latest guidance and advice: https://mailchi.mp/warwickshire/meansbusiness

For daily updates, tips and best practice for businesses and employers visit: www.cwgrowthhub.co.uk  

 Libraries
While all Warwickshire Libraries are closed, the County Council is reassuring customers that they don't need to return their library books, and we have extended the loan period for all items currently on loan until the start of July. All fines will be waived so people can keep hold of their books and stay safe at home.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire libraries services are still very much open online, so you can continue to access eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines and eNewspapers completely free of charge. Visit:  https://library.warwickshire.gov.uk

Children and families
Families can stay up-to-date with the latest advice on coronavirus by signing up to Warwickshire Family Information Services (FIS) newsletter. The frequency of the newsletter has increased to twice weekly, (Tuesdays and Fridays), to keep families in Warwickshire informed throughout this uncertain time. Advice and support includes signposting to mental health services and other useful support services, such as activity and learning ideas for children while they’re off school, latest advice on coronavirus, updates about school and service closures, food banks and much more. You can sign up to FIS newsletter here.

The County Council has also created some helpful accident prevention tips to keep your kids safe in the home. You can find them here.

Fire stations share hope
Fire stations across Warwickshire have been passing on the joy this week by joining the national trend of sharing hope in Warwickshire communities. To achieve this, they asked some very special helpers to draw pictures of rainbows for them to put up in their station windows.

We hope that the rainbows will bring a little bit of happiness for children, especially when many are feeling a little worried or anxious about not being able to go to school and play with their friends. Don’t forget that we will also be looking out for rainbows in windows, so why not get your children involved and help spread the joy.

Site categories: 
  • Community News
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 North Warwickshire
  • COVID-19 Nuneaton & Bedworth
  • COVID-19 Rugby
  • COVID-19 Stratford
  • COVID-19 Warwick District

Do you need volunteers during the COVID-19 Crisis?

Is your organisation looking for volunteers to help deliver services linked to COVID-19? Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) is setting up a helpline for people wanting to volunteer, so if your organisation is looking for volunteers please let CAVA know by emailing: solihullinfo@wcava.org.uk or calling us on 07966 380289, and we will pass this on to the helpline. Specifically please tell us:

  1. What tasks/skills are needed (please be brief! for example - driving, sorting donations, telephone befriending)

  2. How should potential volunteers contact you (please give a phone number and/or an email address)

Go back>>

Site categories: 
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Solihull
  • Volunteering

Scam Coronavirus ‘phishing’ emails

Warwickshire residents and businesses targeted by scam coronavirus ‘phishing’ emails.

Scammers are sending coronavirus related ‘phishing’ emails to steal personal and financial information, Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning. 

The emails may contain dangerous attachments containing viruses and spyware or encourage recipients to follow a link in the email to a fake and/or malicious website. 

Beware of any suspicious/unexpected emails you receive related to coronavirus, for example:

  • Emails that that encourage recipients to provide their bank details in order to receive coronavirus related Government payments (e.g. to replace wages or school dinner payments)
  • Emails designed to look like they have been sent by the NHS or other Government bodies. These emails might falsely claim to link to a list of coronavirus cases in your area
  • Emails that offer purported medical advice to help protect you against the coronavirus. The emails might claim to be from medical experts near Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak began
  • Emails targeted at businesses and specifically those working from home. These scam emails may appear to come from the company IT department or Personnel department and contain fake policy document attachments which the recipient is asked to download and read. 

How you can protect yourself: 

  • Think before you click. Hover over any links in emails. You should be able to see the web page address the link take you to in the bottom left hand corner of your browser 
  • Verify the email sender. Even if you receive an email from someone know personally, if the email is unexpected or appears suspicious call the sender and check the email is genuine. Scammers can hack personal email accounts to send out phishing emails    
  • Use a firewall and keep your security and other software installed on your computer up to date 
  • Install anti-phishing, anti-virus and email security software 
  • Phishing attacks often use malicious file attachments. Such files are often named in such a way as to encourage recipients to open them. Treat all file attachments with suspicion 

For more advice, visit Get Safe Online: https://www.getsafeonline.org/ 

Keep up to date with the latest Warwickshire coronavirus scams, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams 

Site categories: 
  • Community News
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 North Warwickshire
  • COVID-19 Nuneaton & Bedworth
  • COVID-19 Rugby
  • COVID-19 Stratford
  • COVID-19 Warwick District
  • Crime/ Community Safety

Tesco Bags of Help scheme - COVID-19 Update

Tesco Bags of Help Funding Update.

Groundwork staff are available to support groups to apply for funding via email: wm.community@groundwork.org.uk

For more information, please visit: Bags of Help Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Site categories: 
  • Community News
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 North Warwickshire
  • COVID-19 Nuneaton & Bedworth
  • COVID-19 Rugby
  • COVID-19 Stratford
  • COVID-19 Warwick District
  • Funding and Income Generation

Social Distancing

Update on COVID19 and social distancing.

We are all doing our part in the battle against COVID-19. However, in order to help the most vulnerable and the NHS, the Government is asking everyone to now stay at home.

What should I do?
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has instructed all people to stay at home, and you should only leave the house for one of four reasons.

  1. Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  3. Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  4. Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

The latest guidance can be found here.

While you are following the above guidance from the Government, for the times when you are outside your home please ensure you follow social distancing guidance. For example, please stand 2 metres away from other people when you are queuing at the supermarket, exercising, and in the workplace.

For further advice on social distancing, please click the link through to Public Health England.

For more information about COVID-19 visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

We all have a role to play to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.

If we all play our part in the battle against the COVID-19 then we can help to support our services

Site categories: 
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Health

Jobcentres to further minimise footfall

Jobcentres are trying to minimise footfall into the offices.

Jobcentres are trying to minimise footfall into the offices. This means:

  • Jobcentres will be closed to all but the vulnerable cases and other related transactions, which can’t be completed through any other channel in order to receive timely payment

  • Inside jobcentres, strict social distancing measures will be in place

  • Signs will be placed in windows asking everyone to claim online and / or over the phone

  • A number will be provided for those who want to speak to a colleague in the jobcentre

  • Local leaders will also signpost customers to local support services, such as the local authority.

For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions

Site categories: 
  • Community News
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Employments & Jobs

Service to Connect you WELL

Rugby’s ConnectWELL service is still providing vital telephone help to vulnerable people across the borough despite the current Coronavirus crisis.


The team of link workers are already in touch with dozens of potentially isolated people, connecting them to local voluntary and statutory services that might be able to help them, and helping them make use of local aid by offering signposting and other advice and support.

Service manager Gemma Smith explained: “While we can’t reach out to people in person, we can help by checking in by phone from time to time, and by passing on information about local services that are available. We know a lot of people aren’t online, while others just need a bit of reassurance and someone to chat to. We remain open to anyone who wants to refer themselves to the service, and will be here on weekdays 9.00am-4.30pm to help local people link into government, local government and voluntary services across our community.

For further information, or to refer yourself to ConnectWELL, email crccg.connectwell@nhs.net, or call 01788 539 572.

Site categories: 
  • ConnectWELL
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19

COVID-19 Guidelines For Volunteers

Safeguarding guidelines for all volunteers.

If you decide to volunteer, follow these guidelines to keep yourself safe and avoid spreading the virus:

  • Let family and friends know what you’re doing

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before and after you deliver any items, for 20 seconds

  • If you feel at all unwell, do not volunteer

  • Stay at least two metres - about three steps - away from people you’re helping

  • Offer to run errands for people, but stay outside of people’s homes

  • Don’t take on too much - it's often better not to offer at all than to let someone down

  • Try to support people who live close to you so you don't travel longer distances

  • Don’t bring people together face to face; be mindful of the Government's advice on social distancing and isolating people at greater risk from COVID-19

  • If you make a delivery, stay 2 metres away from the person who is in isolation at all times. Place the items outside their door and then step away

  • Be careful about how you share personal information about yourself and other people

  • Be careful about taking money and how many people may be more vulnerable to fraud at this time. Provide a receipt

  • If you’re trying to help someone with very serious issues, don’t be afraid to let appropriate statutory services know, such as:

             Warwickshire County Council Adult Social Services: 01926 410410  
             Warwickshire Police: 101 (non-emergency enquiries).

Site categories: 
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Good Practice
  • Volunteering

COVID-19 Community-led Support Groups Directory

Directory of the emerging community-led support groups in Warwickshire.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) has been creating a directory of the emerging community-led support groups so that people wishing to volunteer and those in need of support can access details of where to go.

View the provision of current community led activity across Warwickshire - 24.03.20

To help WCC with this, if you are providing community led-support they would be grateful if you could please complete this short questionnaire. Also, if you are aware of any other support groups we would be grateful if you could please send them a link to the questionnaire

Site categories: 
  • Community News
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Volunteering
  • WCAVA News

Support for elderly, at risk and homeless residents

Do you have concerns about an unsupported elderly, at risk or homeless person?

If you have concerns about unsupported elderly/at risk/homeless residents with care and support needs who have to self-isolate because of Corona Virus, please contact Warwickshire County Council's Customer Service Centre on 01926 410410 and make them aware. 

Site categories: 
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19

HoECF: Coronavirus Resilience Fund

Coronavirus Resilience Fund Launches.

After launching an urgent appeal last week, Heart of England Community Foundation has received almost £80,000 to support local communities across the region during these unprecedented times. The charity opens its Coronavirus Resilience Fund today (Monday, 23rd March 2020), which local community groups and projects can apply for, in order to help ease financial concerns during the current pandemic.

For more information, visit: https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/

Site categories: 
  • Community News
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Funding and Income Generation

COVID-19 Update from HMRC

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have released advice for employers and employees.

The Chancellor has announced further measures to support people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Chancellor’s statement can be found at GOV.UK

Updated guidance for employers, businesses and employees is available at:

Site categories: 
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Finance

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