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Covid-19 support update

posted 21 Apr 2020, 03:13 by Clerk   [ updated 21 Apr 2020, 03:14 ]

Just a Reminder about the Local Community Responses aimed at supporting residents through the Covid-19 pandemic:


§  ‘Support Bromsgrove’ – For anyone in need or would like to offer their help in their local area within Bromsgrove District

Please find attached a poster to help promote this new website set up by BARN (our local volunteer centre), who is working with local voluntary and community groups, including our three local foodbanks.  This links to the Bromsgrove Community Support Facebook Group (  Information of all local community schemes working across different Parishes / Villages (including ‘Love Rubery’) are also included on the website to try and help connect the full range of local community support out there. 


  • ‘Support Redditch’ – For anyone in need or would like to offer their help in their local area within Redditch Borough

Just a reminder that in Redditch there is the ‘Support Redditch Emergency Network’, known as Support Redditch (or SREN).  It is a community-organised network of community groups and volunteers across Redditch which has been granted charitable status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).


§  ‘Here2Help Worcestershire’ - Launched as One Worcestershire’s community action response.

Here2Help is a communication campaign as well as a dedicated response service for all residents who ask for help and those individuals and organisations who offer to help.  It aims to complement the national scheme to support those individuals extremely vulnerable to becoming severely ill from Covid-19 (our shielded cohort) and the NHS Volunteer Responders.  As you will be aware, Districts are linking into this and information of local community support across the six Districts in Worcestershire (including Support Redditch and Support Bromsgrove) is contained within the Here2Help Worcestershire database.


Other Local Information:


§  Age UK Bromsgrove, Redditch & Wyre Forest wants everybody to know that, although its team are now working from home, it is continuing to ensure that local people have access to information, advice and support by operating a Telephone Information and Advice service.  To access the service, call 01527 570490, leave your contact details (along with a message) and member of the team will call you back at the earliest opportunity.  The team can also be contacted via email ( and via a Contact Form on the website (  Local partners and agencies can also now refer clients to Age UK BRWF using a new Online Referral Form within the Partner Portal section of its website (


§  Targeted Family Support and Early Intervention Family Support services have paused providing support to families at this time.  Instead, parents and families needing support should contact the Worcestershire Starting Well service using the following link . There is the option to complete a form to self-refer to the service and also links to other advice, information and support around parenting and issues relating to children at this time.


§  Redditch Borough Council VCS Grants Pot – just a reminder to VCS groups working in Redditch, there is still a chance to apply for funding during this time.  The deadline for applications for the Financial Advice and Problem solving Grant worth £50k for three years (£150k in total) is 4pm on Friday 24th April.  The deadline for the main VCS Grants Pot for grants of up to £5k is 4pm on Friday 1st May.  Application forms can be downloaded using this link,-funding,-finance/grants-and-funding/voluntary-and-community-sector-funding.aspx.  Completed applications can be sent to


§  Updates from the Local Government Association  – Domestic Abuse - From 9th April, people fleeing domestic abuse anywhere in Britain during the COVID-19 restrictions can apply for free train travel to refuge accommodation, through a partnership between train companies and Women’s Aid. The ‘Rail to refuge' scheme lets domestic abuse survivors, and their children, access rail tickets through the member services of Women’s Aid and Imkaan, once they have received an offer of a refuge place.  Also, in addition to the Government guidance on domestic abuse, other key resources include:

·         a Safe Lives guide for victims and survivors of domestic abuse staying safe during COVID-19  

·         Respect’s #NoExcuseforAbuse campaign, which calls on perpetrators of domestic abuse to get help to manage and change their behaviour

·         the Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse help for employees when home is not a safe place.

·         Surviving Economic Abuse have produced guidance on economic abuse while self-isolating, as well as practical issues including benefits and sick pay. The guidance is updated regularly as the situation changes.

·         Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) has produced guidance for housing providers on how to offer safe responses to tenants/service users where it’s known they are living with domestic abuse or where new concerns arise. The guidance also includes information on how to conduct the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) process. MARACs are a victim focused information sharing and risk management meeting attended by all key agencies, where high risk cases are discussed. There are wider resources available on the DAHA website, to help support victims of domestic abuse.

·         Lastly, OnePlusOne has free a digital platform that councils can use to encourage members of the public to get helpful advice for themselves on relationship issues such as parental conflict and arguing constructively. They are currently working on a series of supportive articles aimed to help people manage the challenging times ahead – be it social distancing, managing stress or co-parenting.


§  DWP Udates – some more useful updates have been sent out from the DWP

·          New page to replace Understanding UC Coronavirus and claiming benefits page - DWP’s employment and benefits support  These pages have additional information and will help answer lots of the questions partners are asking. Please visit this new Employment and benefits support site regularly to keep up to date with the latest guidance and messages on sick pay, existing benefit claims, new claims to benefit, self-employment, housing and more. This site covers all the changes DWP is making to respond to coronavirus – not just to Universal Credit. It also includes a Frequently Asked Questions section.


·         People making new claims for Universal Credit will no longer need to call the Department as part of the process.

For those who have not seen already, please see attached the press release following the Secretary of State announcement today regarding the way we are handling Universal Credit claims


§  North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration Team  - has released their latest Business news bulletin.  See here for the website