The Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership is made up of a range of organisations within the sector with the aim of improving coordination at national and local levels before, during and after emergencies.
Bringing together local, national and global expertise from the sector, the Emergencies Partnership aims to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, so that they can rebuild their lives.
It also has an influencing role and gives a voice to those at risk of or affected by disasters and emergencies in the UK, so that they are at the heart of any response.
Our joint response to Coronavirus
A national crisis like coronavirus is the kind of emergency for which the Emergencies Partnership was formed.
Our members are directly involved in the planning and delivery of a UK-wide response, including supporting at the Nightingale Hospitals, delivering food and medicine and providing emotional support over the phone.
The Emergencies Partnership is also pooling evidence on unmet need to supplement insights from the NHS and local authorities. As well as sharing these insights with government and statutory agencies, our members are also using this information to allocate resource to the most vulnerable people who are not being supported elsewhere and whose needs would otherwise go unmet.
In order to more effectively coordinate the voluntary and community sector’s response to Covid-19 and to ensure that the most vulnerable people are getting the support they need, the British Red Cross is establishing eight co-ordination groups across the UK. These groups will include experts from members of the Emergencies Partnership and will link into local and national government.
Members’ response to Covid-19
We are working alongside the National Emergencies Trust to help distribute money raised through its appeal to local community foundations across the country, to ensure the money reaches those who need it most.
British Red Cross, who co-chair the Emergencies Partnership, is helping the NHS with its coronavirus response by supporting clinical staff in emergency departments, helping patients to return home promptly and safely following a hospital stay, and providing patient transport and ambulance support. Its volunteers are also embedded in communities across the UK, working alongside other charities and organisations to support the most vulnerable people in need with food, medicines, welfare checks and cash.
Muslim Aid are part of the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), a group of leading Muslim organisations who are part of a collective response to coronavirus. The MCF are providing grants for those facing financial strife during this period, as well as supporting local organisations to provide an effective response.
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) is supporting its members and the wider local infrastructure sector to capture insight and intelligence from across England on unmet need. NAVCA is also providing information, advice and guidance to its members (and their networks of charity and voluntary organisations) to ensure they are well equipped to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
NCVO are influencing policy, and have produced guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteering during the coronavirus pandemic. All this while working closely with voluntary and statutory sector partners to improve their response to covid-19.
Salvation Army has transformed its response to ensure it is directly reaching those hit the hardest by the coronavirus. The charity’s foodbanks are expanding, and they are using local networks to reach people who can no longer feed themselves or their families and are cut off from other sources of help. Homeless day centres are also offering doorstep health advice and food parcels, while night time soup runs are delivering hot food at a safe distance from their emergency response vehicles.
St John Ambulance have deployed ambulances and highly trained crews to the NHS, including at the Nightingale Hospital. The charity is also calling for more people with clinical skills, including first aid, to support their work with the NHS.
The National Emergencies Trust, in partnership with British Red Cross, has launched an appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations providing support to those affected by this crisis. You can donate by visiting www.redcross.org.uk/net or texting APPEAL to 70141 to donate £10
Victim Support are providing information and advice on how to stay safe during social distancing or self-isolation. The charity also operates a 24/7 support line offering emotional and practical support for anyone who has been a victim of crime or a witness who needs support or information.
Volunteering Matters are providing information and advice to help people organising community volunteering efforts to stay safe, and ensure others are safe too.