Coronavirus information and advice for residents, charities, and community and voluntary groups in Rochdale.
Read our commitment to the voluntary sector in Rochdale from Rochdale Council, NHS (HMR) Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group and Action Together.
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Information for Rochdale Residents
You do not need to register if you are interested in informal volunteering, such as shopping for a neighbour. Visit our Mutual Aid advice page for more information on community volunteering.
Action Together is raising money for the emergency community response to coronavirus. All the money raised will go to local groups and charities in Rochdale to help them continue to provide vital community support.
Rochdale Council have set up community response hubs across the borough and are delivering emergency food parcels to households. Please ring the special hotline number if you’re a vulnerable resident or know of a vulnerable resident that requires food supplies, or any other help and support: 01706 923685
During these turbulent times, the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector are adapting and offering online Support Entertainment and Activity (SEA) please click here for a collective of free ‘live’ or downloadable offers to help us sail through this together.
Information for Rochdale Groups and Organisations
We are collecting information from groups and organisations in Rochdale who will need volunteers over the coming months. Please complete the form at this link and we will contact you.
Action Together have launched our Covid-19 Community Response Fund. The fund is available for groups from the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector working on a community response to coronavirus in Oldham, Rochdale, Tameside and Glossop.
You can apply for a grant for either up to £200 or up to £1,000.
We are also sharing other funding available in response to coronavirus on our Find Funding page.
Action Together's Rochdale office is closed but our staff are available to support voluntary and community organisations.
For support contact Action Together on 0161 339 2345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please title your email Coronavirus.
1. General Guidance
- The government have produced guidance for the charity sector around coronavirus
- NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) have guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the covid-19 pandemic.
- Information and advice from partnership organisations about protecting yourself during the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) translated into various languages
2. Business Continuity Planning
- You should think about business continuity planning (planning to keep your group and your key activities going). NVCO have produced a document on Organisational Resilience which can help you think this through. Download NCVO's Organisational Resilience checklist
- We have produced a checklist for smaller, grassroots, volunteer-led groups. We would encourage you to review and complete the document before contacting us. We can then provide the best support for you. Download Action Together's COVID-19 guidance for volunteer-led groups.
- Some continuity issues to think about may include:
- The emergency contact details for your team and members
- Having processes in place to allow home working should the need arise. If your building is closed or your team have to isolate themselves how will you continue to operate?
- How you support members / beneficiaries by phone rather than face to face
- What difficulties and issues will arise if your team are off sick, and how will you manage them?
- How you will manage expectations of members, beneficiaries, and stakeholders including commissioners?
3. Guidance on Events
- Action Together have postponed all our upcoming events and training
- We advise VCFSE groups and organisations to postpone their own social events and follow offical advice on social distancing
- Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Partnership have a wide range of free or low cost e-learning designed to support work to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults.
5. Working Safely
- If sharing a workspace, please ensure that you provide hand washing facilities (hot water and soap) and encourage people to wash their hands regularly
- Consider printing and displaying these Government and NHS posters in any work spaces:
- If you develop a high temperature or a new, continuous cough, you should self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms started if you live alone. If you live with others and are the first person to get symptoms, this is still 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must self-isolate for 14 days. You should not volunteer outside of your home during this period
- If you are in a higher risk group as advised by the government (those aged over-70 or usually eligible for the flu jab, or more medically vulnerable groups) then you should avoid contact with others and should not volunteer outside of your home
- Good hand hygiene is incredibly important. You should wash your hands with warm soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds at the start and end of your volunteering activity, and at regular intervals where possible. You should also wash your hands between activities that involve you touching shared surfaces, e.g. delivering shopping
- You should avoid touching your face
- Should you cough or sneeze you should do so into a tissue and this should be disposed of and hands washed
- Use alcohol hand gel when out and about when handwashing facilities are not available
- If you have to work in an area with other people, e.g. a foodbank you should make sure that people stay 2 metres apart. You should keep surfaces clear from clutter and clean them regularly
- If you are supporting people with deliveries then call/text ahead to make sure that people are aware you are coming. Deliveries should be left on the doorstep and you should be at least 2m from the door when it is opened
6. Digital Support
- Many VCSE sector organisations are having to pivot quickly to distance working and working-from-home arrangements. This can be a challenge for a sector which hasn’t always done this traditionally, and who don’t have the budget or staff to quickly mobilise digital infrastructure.
- A wide range of technology tools and companies have introduced offers to support organisations responding to Covid-19. A few that might be helpful for you include:
- Microsoft Teams is being widely used by public services (including across the NHS). It includes video-conferencing facilities, the ability to share files, and instant messaging tools (like SMS messages, but on a computer). Microsoft are now making a free version of Teams available to anyone. This might help you to engage more effectively with public sector organisations in your area. Find out more on the Microsoft Teams site.
- Zoom is also being widely used (and proving to be quite stable) for people to video-conference over the internet. Find out more about how to use Zoom.
- Dropbox is a service for sharing files remotely. It is offering free Business accounts for 3 months to charities and non-profits working on Covid-19 response. Sign up on the Dropbox site.
- Mailchimp is a system for sending out email newsletter (it simplifies distribution lists, scheduling of emails etc). It is making a similar offer of free access to its paid-for service (called ‘Standard’) to Governments and charities who need to communicate with people about the disease. Sign up for Mailchimp here.