Welcome to April – though challenging times continue as we all face coronavirus together, the local VCSE sector is continuing to provide support on the ground, over the phone and online to our communities.
It may feel like you can barely pause for a break at the moment, but please do take the time to reflect on the hard work of your staff, volunteers and neighbours. Onto the updates: firstly, any VCSE organisations that hold Bristol City Council contracts or grants, please read this important update on commissioners. Voscur wrote to Bristol City Council and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, asking about commissioning and contract obligations for the VCSE sector, and we’re pleased to say there is flexibility in light of coronavirus.
Though we’re now working from home, Voscur staff are available to support and develop your organisation now and in the future. For the latest news about coronavirus, keep checking Voscur’s website for new advice, resources and support.
This week’s other coronavirus updates
The We Are Bristol hotline is a freephone number from Bristol City Council for isolated and worried residents. Call 0800 694 0184 for advice and support regarding food, medication, and more. Lines are open from 8:30am – 5pm, Monday-Friday.
There is now a single phone number to access adult community health services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Call 0300 125 6789 – this is a non-emergency number, answered 24 hours a day.
Our list of funding opportunities and emergency grants is changing all the time, with grant deadlines varying, so do check this page regularly. Voscur can also provide support with emergency grant applications – please call Jenny Wildblood, Development Officer and Funding Lead at Voscur, on 07904 099136, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New resources are being added to the Voscur website all the time, helping your organisation adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. These resources cover topics like supporting vulnerable people, phishing and fraud related to coronavirus, and a handbook for telephone befriending, from Age UK.
Voscur training is now delivered completely online, using Zoom, and all training courses are free until 30 April 2020. If you have any problems using Zoom before or during the course, we will have a member of staff available on the phone to help with tech issues on the day. The phone number will be issued when you register for your training course.
Voscur training is now online and free
Voscur has arranged for training courses to be delivered online, meaning you can continue to learn whilst social distancing and staying at home. If you were booked to attend a course, you will have been emailed with any changes. Our courses are running free of charge until the end of April, to support the VCSE sector during this time.
The second of our new online free course, Running Online Meetings, is open again for bookings, following a successful fully booked course that ran this week. This course, held on Wednesday 8 April, will support participants who want to work remotely; it will give you a useful introduction to online meeting software, minute-taking, and more.
Jobs and volunteer opportunities
Don’t forget to check our page on volunteering during coronavirus, with advice and resources for volunteer coordinators and anyone looking to volunteer.
Are you looking for a new challenge, or do you need to expand your organisation? The jobs pages on our website are viewed over 13,000 times each month, making them a great place to find new people for your team.
Publish your job advert or event
All recruitment advertising is currently free of charge. To follow social distancing guidelines, please consider telephone or virtual interviews rather than face-to-face job interviews at this time.
The events calendar was viewed over 32,000 times in the past year. It’s free to list events – bear in mind any events taking place in the next few weeks will need to be held online only (for example, live-streamed to Zoom, Facebook or Twitch) in the current climate.
For more about Voscur’s other work, including membership benefits, consultancy, training and advice, please visit our website.
Upcoming Voscur online training
Running Online Meetings
Wednesday 8 April, 10am – 12:30pm
This online course will support people who want to work remotely and move their meetings online for the first time. The course will help you choose appropriate software, schedule and invite people to meetings, facilitate online meetings and minute and upload documents.
Suitable for: Anyone new to online meetings.
Wednesday 22 April, 10am – 1pm
This course covers recruitment and induction of volunteers, best practice, and how to support your volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suitable for: Anyone supporting volunteers during the pandemic, whether you’re a new volunteer group or you are changing your existing services.
Being a Good Board Member
Wednesday 29 April, 6pm – 8.30pm
This online course will provide you with basic information and an understanding of what a trustee is, their legal obligations and their role and responsibilities within an organisation.
Suitable for: New and existing board members or trustees
More dates for your diaries
Click here for more training courses and events for April and May 2020. We will continue to review our course delivery and keep courses online for as long as is necessary to meet government and Public Health England guidance.
If you feel there’s something missing from the programme, or you’d like to arrange bespoke training for your organisation, get in touch today