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In this issue:
  • Stay safe
  • Extra precautions for vulnerable residents
  • Returning to the office
  • Need a poster to encourage COVID-respect?
  • Funding opportunities for the sector
  • Community Chest grants
  • Love Where You Are
  • Social care reformation
  • Queen's Platinum Jubilee
  • Tour of Britain
  • Library book amnesty
  • Previous issues of the Voluntary and Community Sector Update
  • Important links

Voluntary and Community Sector COVID-19 Update - 30 July 2021

Dear Colleagues

Today is Friendship Day and I wanted to take some time to reflect on friendship this week. Throughout the pandemic, many new friendships have formed. We have all experienced some form of isolation. And within that lived experience is borne a compassion for others. Perhaps less fortunate than ourselves, perhaps more isolated, perhaps new to the area, or forced to isolate due to a health condition. The community sector has ensured that everyone has had a familiar face to reach out to. My team is collecting these stories and experiences to explore loneliness and how to spot it. We have an exciting campaign due to launch in September, and we want to share your voices. 

Friends are the people who make us feel good, and in whom we can see special qualities. In turn, they remind us of our special qualities when we are struggling to see them. As a believer in calling out the gold in everyone, friends are those who help us to become the best version of ourselves. They are also the people we rely on when things are not so good. So, today, this friendship day, I have challenged my team to extend the hand of your friendship to someone who might need it. Drop in on someone, call a friend or if you’re lucky enough to have a strong support network, reach out to that neighbour who is on their own. It can make a huge difference.

Helen Boardman
CEO of Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum

Stay safe

Most legal restrictions were lifted earlier on 19 July, but COVID is still circulating in our communities and cases are rising across Cornwall. Please share this information with people you work with.

We all need to be responsible, be respectful and take precautions to keep ourselves and others safe.

Our advice is to be vigilant for the three main signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection, which are fever, loss of taste/smell, persistent cough, as well as the commonly reported Delta symptoms. The new Delta variant may include runny nose, sore throat, headache, lethargy/tiredness, diarrhoea, hay-fever like symptoms. These additional symptoms may be common for other conditions, but please be vigilant for something new to you (i.e. you don’t usually have hay-fever) or you feel unusually unwell. 

If you experience these new symptoms then please think twice about mixing with other people. If you have these symptoms along with one of the main three then we would advise that you book a free PCR test online. Remember you must self-isolate if you have these symptoms, have booked a test and are waiting for results.

See the GOV.UK website for more information on what you can do to keep yourself and others safe now restrictions have been lifted.

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Extra precautions for vulnerable residents

Clinically extremely vulnerable residents are being advised by Government to take extra precautions to protect themselves now that COVID restrictions have been lifted in England. This is because they are at higher risk of severe illness if they contract the virus.

Cornwall Council has put together information about precautions for clinically extremely vulnerable residents in Cornwall covering vaccines, socialising, work, educational settings, travel, shops and pharmacies, and getting extra care and support.

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Returning to the office

There’s a new COVID Trading Safely webinar about returning to the office on Tuesday 3 August at 11am.

The session is for businesses, town and parish councils, and voluntary and community organisations with workers returning to office based working. It covers how to keep the office safe, business meetings, and events.

Book your free ticket on Eventbrite.

If you have any questions that you want to put to the team before the webinar, please email them to businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk.

There’s more COVID business advice and support on Cornwall Council’s Business Regulatory Support website.

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Need a poster to encourage COVID-respect?

If you’d like to encourage those visiting your premises to wear a face covering and generally keep being responsible for the sake of your staff, volunteers and others, you can download and print an A3 poster from the Welcome Back Fund page on Cornwall Council’s website.

There are different coloured versions suitable for places of work and public places, and also for the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors. 

The posters are available courtesy of the Welcome Back Fund, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. They have been jointly endorsed by Cornwall Council, the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Visit Cornwall and the Business Improvement Districts. 

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Funding opportunities for the sector

Cornwall VSF creates a weekly list of funding opportunities for the voluntary sector. You can view the most recent one on Cornwall VSF’s website. It includes funding for projects that:

  • Help communities recover from COVID-19
  • Improve community spaces 
  • Deliver sustainable activities
  • Bring people and communities together

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Community Chest grants

Community and voluntary groups in Cornwall are invited to apply for grants as part of Cornwall Council’s Community Chest grant scheme for 2021/22. 

The Community Chest gives small grants to not-for-profit groups across Cornwall. Each Cornwall Councillor has a small grants budget to support projects in their area.

Grants can cover a wide range of activities, including:

  • Helping vulnerable children or adults
  • Helping young people
  • Providing facilities for older people
  • Supporting community facilities
  • Improving a community centre or village hall
  • Local environment projects
  • Helping to address community safety issues
  • Purchasing play and exercise equipment for community use
  • Public events, festivals and exhibitions
  • Helping communities following the COVID-19 pandemic

To find out how to apply, see the Community Chest page on the Cornwall Council website. If you have any queries, please contact localism@cornwall.gov.uk.

Crowdfunding can be a good way to help projects attract wider support and increase the funds they receive. If you are interested in this, visit the Crowdfund Cornwall website for further details of the funds available and how the process works.

If you would like to apply for a grant, please do so as soon as possible. The closing date for completed applications is 18 February 2022.

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Love Where You Are

Cornwall Council and Crowdfunder have launched the Love Where You Are campaign, inviting visitors, residents and businesses to help combat climate change and donate towards environmental projects across Cornwall.

The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector can get involved by hosting QR codes in their buildings and open spaces. You can download and print a QR code poster from the Love Where You Are web page.

Scannable QR codes are being placed at some of the Cornwall’s most iconic locations and areas of outstanding natural beauty. People can use their smartphone to scan the codes and instantly donate to the campaign, which has already attracted national media attention with the creation of a 20m square QR code on Lusty Glaze beach.

Businesses and organisations across Cornwall, including the Chamber of Commerce, Heartlands, the Caerhays Estate and Cornwall AONB, are displaying QR codes in their buildings and open spaces too. 

Donations will be used to create the Cornwall Climate Action Fund. Local businesses, organisations and community groups will be invited to apply to the fund later this year in support of low carbon projects and initiatives like community tree planting, e-bikes or renewable energy on community buildings. 

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Social care reformation

A disability charity, Leonard Cheshire, has published research that suggests an inclusive reformation of social care could pay for itself. Based on economic modelling from Frontier Economics, the disability focused charity has revealed that social care could generate up to £6bn for the economy. Read more

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Queen's Platinum Jubilee

If you missed the recent briefing on The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which will include an extended bank holiday from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June 2022, you can catch up here:

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Tour of Britain

On Sunday 5 September Cornwall will host the start of the annual international cycling race, the Tour of Britain. The Grand Depart will take place in Penzance at 11am. Throughout the day cyclists will battle to be the first across the winning line as the first stage winds through 111 miles of Cornwall, ending in Bodmin on Sunday afternoon.

Please share the advice on how to get the best view on the big day with others. It includes details of the Tour of Britain route, when the race is likely to be in each area, no stopping areas, alternative parking, rolling road closures and more.

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Library book amnesty

Please encourage people you work with to take part in the two-week book amnesty being held by Cornwall’s libraries.

From 2-14 August residents can hand back overdue library items without any penalties in all libraries run by Cornwall Council and by town and parish councils.

All Cornwall libraries have reopened and measures remain in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. To keep staff and residents safe, visitors are encouraged to wear facemasks if they are able to do so and to maintain social distancing. 

The opening times for local libraries are listed on the Your local library page on the Cornwall Council website. 

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Previous issues of the Voluntary and Community Sector Update

You can view previous issues of the Voluntary and Community Sector COVID-19 Update on Cornwall VSF’s website. As this newsletter is now issued on an as required basis, people who are interested in receiving regular sector-specific news should sign up to the Cornwall VSF newsletter here. 

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Important links

Anyone who needs help can request a volunteer by ringing Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or emailing requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk

Community volunteers can register with Volunteer Cornwall on their website or by emailing mid@volunteercornwall.org.uk. Volunteer Cornwall will match people who ring up needing help with the community volunteers in their local area – or, if they have more complex needs, with specialist services.

Find out more about Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum, including joining as a Member (which is free), at www.cornwallvsf.org, or email office@cornwallvsf.org

Please send all coronavirus related enquiries or issues to Cornwall Council’s dedicated email address covid19@cornwall.gov.uk. Residents can also ring 0300 1231 118 for any COVID-19 related queries.

Cornwall Council has a dedicated telephone line 0300 1234 334 specifically for residents who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group. 

You can see the latest COVID-19 data for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on Cornwall Council’s website.

Support for those living with domestic abuse is available from Safer Futures. People can make a referral online, email saferfutures@firstlight.org.uk or ring 0300 777 4777. There is also refuge and support via the Cornwall Refuge Trust website and their 24 hour helpline 01872 225629.

There’s information about support for those facing hardship or redundancy, including help with food, benefits and council tax, on the Do you need a helping hand? page on Cornwall Council’s website.

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