Latest Coronavirus catch-up news

Coronavirus information in sign language

Sign Health has provided various information videos in sign language to explain what’s going on. Daily updates, reiterations of government announcements, and the key messages regarding social distancing are all on their site.

The daily updates from the Prime Minister also have a sign language interpreter.

 

Help for rough-sleepers

A £3.2 million fund has been announced to help local authorities to provide emergency housing for people who are sleeping rough, to help them to self-isolate. Local authorities will be allocated an amount based on the figures for rough sleepers made in the Autumn 2019 snapshot, and can claim back the money they spend.

The Government’s press statement contains more details.

 

Charity Commission

New guidance has been published by the Charity Commission to help charities deal with this unprecedented situation, including cancelling AGMs, holding virtual meetings, and reporting guidelines.

Remember, you can ask for an extension to the filing deadline for annual returns – see the site for details.

 

First aid required?

Advice has been given to those who are first aiders, regarding how they should approach first aid incidents that they come across.

Green Cross Training, which provides first aid and other training packages, has created an advice page for first aiders, to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

 

Criminal Justice Sector support

Clinks, the umbrella body for voluntary sector organisations in the criminal justice sector, has published a few pieces of information in its latest newsletter:

They have set up a Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group special interest group on Covid-19 to formally channel policy discussions and suggestions into The Ministry of Justice and HMPPS and will share weekly highlights from meetings.

For questions to Clinks regarding the coronavirus which cannot be answered by local or contract managers, use covid19@clinks.org.  They have a direct link to HM Prison and Probation Service.

The Prisoners Families Helpline has detailed coronavirus advice for families of those in prison. It provides a confidential freephone service and is open Monday – Friday 9.00am – 8.00pm and Saturdays and Sundays between 10.00am and 3.00pm. It also offers callbacks to anyone who can’t get through. It can be reached on 0808 808 2003, and can also be emailed at info@prisonersfamilies.org.

Ministry of Justice guidelines for visiting prisons at this time can be found on the MoJ website.

 

BBC statement

The BBC statement on what they’re going to be doing to help. Their motto is ‘inform, educate, entertain’. The highlights include:

  • Provision of information, entertainment and resources for people stuck at home
  • Television fundraising events to support the charity sector
  • Televised religious services, beginning with churches, but in talks to include other religions, especially as Ramadan approaches.

You can read the whole statement, with all the bullet points, on the BBC website

 

Royal Mail statement

Royal Mail has also notified us of their plans to carry on providing a service throughout the pandemic, including distancing, and maintaining deliveries. See details on the Royal Mail website.