Coronavirus (Covid-19): 19 March update

Good evening everyone,

Firstly, here is the latest guidance from the government on Covid-19, Guidance on Social Distancing and the NHS Overview – please do take the time to read it.

We hope the information in this update is useful. We know that everyone is exceptionally busy at the moment and inboxes are full to overflowing, so a gentle reminder that unless something needs to be seen by everyone on the list, can you make sure only to reply to the sender.

Council updates

Updates from the Voluntary and Community Sector:

Please send us details of any changes in your services, or new services that you are delivering that would be helpful for others to know

  • Worthing Community Chest is offering grants of up to £250 that are designed to be as flexible, quick and easy as possible. No application form, just an email to and a follow-up telephone conversation. No monitoring forms, just the receipts and some photos or videos to show the project in action. They are loosening our usual criteria on types of bank account and written constitution. Groups may even reapply for additional funding if need is proven to be ongoing.
  • Sussex Community Foundation – The National Emergencies Trust has launched an appeal to raise funds to help local charities to support those individuals suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Sussex Community Foundation – The Foundation’s statement on the virus, and details of how to apply for grants
  • Home-Start statement – from Homestart Arun, Adur and Worthing
  • Together Co’s statement on updated services can be found here. We are getting lots of volunteer offers from our existing volunteers and far beyond, as well as phoning as many of our 1000+ clients as possible to get a clearer idea of needs now and in the coming weeks. We are scaling up our work hugely, developing a mutli-track volunteer pathway, based on DBS status, references etc and would like to coordinate more with others in terms of spreading the volunteer resources to reach as many as possible.
  • TDC are supporting existing neighbourhood groups & community centres where they work to redirect efforts from face to face activity towards online and telephone, e.g., phone trees and group chats with members. This includes new responses to Covid -19, e.g. food groups delivering food parcels for those in need & self-isolating.
  • Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is working on a coordinated city-wide response to tackle food poverty, isolation and access to food. We have been developing plans with partners across the city, to deliver hot meals and food parcels via distribution hubs.
  • Citizens Advice Brighton & Hove service update
  • Ageing Well are working together and with statutory and voluntary organisations to become a central point for information and support for older people. They will soon have information on the website which will be updated as the situation changes and more support becomes available. Ageing Well Facebook and Twitter will also become more active and a place for any updates. Ageing Well phone line will remain open and they are putting packs together which can be posted out to older people with information on how to maintain physical and emotional wellbeing at this time, including information on exercises to maintain muscle strength, high nutritional value recipes, simple mindfulness etc. They are also developing a range of food supply options including hot meal delivery and support with shopping
  • Community Roots Mental Health & Wellbeing support – can offer telephone support 0808 196 1768
  • Oasis Project Remains open at this time – Adult Services, SWOP and Young Oasis. They are keeping face to face contact to a minimum and have cancelled all groups. They will also conduct key-work appointments with clients over the phone where possible. Their phone number is 01273 696970. For clients who are particularly vulnerable or at risk in terms of their living/family circumstances or their recovery they will offer face to face appointments on a case-by-case basis and only if they are not experiencing any symptoms
  • Rise has temporarily close the following parts of the service, effective of 18th March. All group work, including weekly peer support group, weekly drop-ins at the Rainbow Hub,  drop-in at Hove Town Hall will close from next week. They aim to continue with their case work appointments, but via telephone or video. If you need support from RISE or are worried about a friend you can call helpline on 01273 622 828, or contact Rise online via the Portal. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence 24hr Helpline on 0808 2000 247, and if you are in danger, call 999. A great resource for survivors is Women’s Aid’s survivor forum, where you can access support from other survivors online at any time.
  • Brighton Women’s Centre (BWC) We would like to reassure you that BWC is paying close attention to the latest advice from Public Health England regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to make sure our staff, volunteers and women and families we support stay safe and healthy. The Government is now advising that organisations implement a working from home policy so BWC’s direct work with women and children will move to a remote support system for our service users. This means that from now and until the week commencing March 23rd we will be moving to a phased closure of all of our front line face to face services including Women’s Hubs, Women-only Drop-Ins, Foodbank, Peer to Peer groups, Course, one to one support and Toybox Pre-school. BWC would like to reassure our service users, partners and supporters that during this period we will continue to maintain our service delivery, where possible through remote one to one support. We are adapting delivery through a range of on line forums and telephone support so that we can continue to support local women and their families. We are currently compiling information on the changes and alternatives to our face to face services.
  • MindOut’s advocacy and online support services will continue to be open. MindOut will continue to be here for you and although they cannot meet you face to face for a while, they are committed to providing phone support, advocacy support and can also have online meetings with you. If you would like to speak to a MindOut’s member of staff contact: or call 01273 234839. You can also use theirs online support service which will be open every day: check the bubble on MindOut’s home page for opening times
  • TouchBase are continuing to stay open offering usual support to those known to them by zoom and also offering one off therapeutic consults to parents/carers and professionals (teachers/social workers/health professionals) , as well as access to webinars at low cost over next weeks/months. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter and see their new website.
  • Whitehawk Inn service update
  • Friends, Families and Travellers service update


  • Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus: From Friday 20 March they we will be accepting all Older Person’s and Disabled Person’s concessionary passes for travel 24 hours a day. This is to support our passengers who may choose to get to the shops early to buy essential supplies. Also from Monday 23 March they will be operating vacation timetable on routes 23, 25, 25X and N25, following the decision by the Universities of Brighton and Sussex to suspend face-to-face lectures on campus. To view a revised bus timetable click here. All other services are currently running as normal for those who need to travel.

Support for parent carers and children and young people

Health and Safety:

  • The Brighton and Hove City Council SPFT Safeguarding team is continuing to operate as a service and is committed to provide single point of contact for partner agencies, clinical consultations and rapid response requests and all associated activity. They are working remotely and at reduced capacity but this should not affect key functions. Please share this message with your colleagues and any other partner agencies. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us via our business manager, Nicky Caley (07393 235153, ) or team mailbox.

Benefits and finance

Education and Entertainment:


  • Supporting charities and volunteers during coronavirus by NCVO
  • British Heart Foundation has taken the decision to temporarily close Retail shops and stores for two weeks, as of Thursday 19 March, to ensure the safety of potential volunteers, shop teams, and customers of the BHF shops. As a result, they are respectfully asking potential volunteers to give them some time to see how the Coronavirus situation develops before they commence volunteering with them when they reopen theirs shops. They are asking for temporarily pause of referrals for British Heart Foundation shop based volunteering roles, place on hold all online adverts they may have placed with any organisations.


Stay safe everyone, it’s amazing to see the incredible work that is already being done by you all – we’re feeling very proud to be part of the voluntary and community sector tonight

Community Works team

Please see our Coronavirus Covid-19: Latest information and what you can do hub page for more information.

NEXT | Coronavirus (Covid-19): 18 March update