Here is a collection of advice, guidance and resources.
This page will be updated regularly as developments come to our notice.
The most recent additions will appear at the top of the list.
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
Business Support Grants
Our Village Halls and Community Buildings are starting to benefit from the Govt Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants that are administered and paid by the district authorities. So far our intelligence tells us that 25 Halls in Hertfordshire have received funding totalling £265,000.
Please let us know if you are a Village Hall or other Community Building and have been in receipt of a Grant.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week: 18-24 May 2020
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this Week is to raise awareness inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. Right now, protecting our mental health is central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
This years theme is ‘kindness’, specifically focusing on the power and potential of kindness within our communities.
Click Here for the Mental Health Foundation Facebook Page
Healthy Hub North Herts: COVID-19 Support Service
We have tailored our service to provide guidance on the support available during COVID-19 as well providing health and wellbeing advice. Contact the hub to get friendly, professional one-to-one support. There is no right or wrong question. We will do our best to find the right support for you.
Call 01462 474111 (Mon to Fri, 9am-5pm), email email@example.com or visit our Healthy Hub North Herts website to find out more about the services that are providing guidance on the support available during this difficult time.
Transforming town centres
Pedestrians and cyclists need to be able to safely socially distance in our town centres.
HCC is working with district and borough councils to make changes in some Hertfordshire towns.
Click Here to find out more
Returning to classrooms
Thank you to all Hertfordshire schools, who have been providing distance learning as well as staying open for vulnerable children and those of key workers.
Click Here to Find out how new government guidelines will allow a phased return.
HCC Workforce Development and Partnership Team will be trialling a new way of delivering training as we move towards offering learning via Webinars/Virtual Classrooms. Initially for courses focusing on Mental Health, Dementia and Safe Administration of Medication will be delivered through a live trainer via Webcam which will replicate a classroom experience as closely as possible. All Virtual training will be fully funded and free to attend and to access you will require a device with a front facing camera such as a laptop/computer, tablet or smartphone. We will do all we can to support you technically and to overcome any initial barriers to accessing this training.
To book onto these courses please email pvi.learning@hertfordshire.
gov.uk with the course required, your name and an email address to enable us to send on the joining links for each course. For a Table of Courses Click Here
COMMUNITIES 1st COVID-19 INFORMATION AND SUPPORT
Communities 1st wants to hear from you – If your voluntary organisation is still delivering your service, please inform us of what kind of help, support, guidance you most need from Communities 1st.
If your organisation is facing challenges as a direct result of Coronavirus you can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.
org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.
Fully Funded Digital Wellbeing Support For Front Line Workers
from Mind In Mid Herts Click Here
Guidance Staying alert and safe (social distancing) – Published 11 May 2020
Updated Guidance – Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
Guidance Staying safe outside your home – Published 11 May 2020
HCC Covid – 19 Stakeholder Weekly Update 07 May 2020
Click Here for all the latest updates, news, guidance and information from Herts County Council
Volunteer as a Compassionate Community Connector
To volunteer – if you would like to volunteer and become a Compassionate Community Connector click here
If you are from a charity or community group which needs volunteers or help, complete our Support for voluntary sector organisations form here or visit our Resource Hub for useful information, guides and resources
If you’re in an at risk group and need help or support please complete our online form here. The purpose of this form is to collect your contact details so we can help connect you to support from a volunteer in your community. We will ask some other questions to find out more about the kind of help you need. If you need any help completing this form, please contact Communities 1 st on 020 8207 5115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Ideas and inspiration for fun things to do at home, please visit Covid19Ideas
Important Information for Vulnerable Utility Customers
Utility Companies providing Gas, Electricity and Water all keep Priority Services Registers whicvh is a free service to maintain their own register of their most vulnerable customers, so that in an emergency affecting their service, they can provide them with additional support. It is essential that they know where their customers are who may be more vulnerable due to the virus, for example people over 70, anyone that is chronically sick or families with young children, in case they need additional support. If people have not already registered they should be encouraged to do so now free Priority Services schemes so that companies can tailor their services support them when they may need it most. If you are aware of someone that may benefit from the scheme, please do encourage them to register for Priority Services Register.
Click Here for Utility Contact Details
Hertfordshire Heritage Services
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies will remain closed to the public until further notice. Our team are continuing to work from home whilst the archives are closed. We’re still checking the http://email@example.com mailbox so please continue to ask us for advice, although it may take us a little more time than usual to reply. Our website and online resources including the archive catalogue, Hertfordshire Names Online indexes and Herts Memories network of community sites continue to be available. We will be adding more content to these in the coming weeks. We will also be continuing to maintain the security of the unique collections in our care whilst our public facilities remain closed.
Hertfordshire Libraries My Story 2020 Families
“I didn’t know that…!” Calling children to talk to an adult and tell us their story
Hertfordshire Libraries and Nysa Projects would like to invite children and young people to take part in our #creativequarantine project, My Story Families.
Visit our blog now for all the information you need to encourage your children and young people to join in.
Active East Herts want to ensure that the community is able to keep active and stay connected.
We have therefore been working with a number of local instructors to develop a timetable of online classes which now has over 100 classes a week with sessions catering for as young as 1 month old’s up to sessions designed for Older Adults who need access to gentle, seated exercise. Most of the classes are completely FREE and are delivered by East Hertfordshire based instructors who are finding alternative ways to deliver sessions through this difficult time. We have worked hard to ensure a diverse range of sessions are available and we strongly believe there will be a session for everyone in the weekly schedule.
Click Here to view the whole calendar
Alzheimer’s Society Resources and Advice
Alzheimer’s Society will continue to be here for anyone affected by dementia. During the COVID-19 outbreak our Dementia Connect support line will remain open every day. If you or anyone you know needs advice or support, please call us on 0333 150 3456.
You can also find information, advice and resources on supporting people living with dementia on Alzheimer’s Society’s Covid-19 web page:
Tesco Bags of Help has launched a new Fund in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The new short-term fund is open to registered charities, voluntary and community organisations, schools, health bodies, Parish, Town and community councils, social enterprises, local authorities and social housing organisations across the UK. Grants of £500 are available to organisations that support vulnerable groups whose demand for services has been increased or disrupted, or who need to put new services in place. This might include stock for food banks, new home services for the elderly, increasing resources for children’s activities, and help for hospices, homeless charities and women’s refuges. The Fund is set up to support organisation need rather than fund specific projects and expects to make weekly awards. Applications can be made at any time.
Click Here to apply
HCC Waste Services Advice – What to do with bulky or DIY waste
If you have waste generated from some spring cleaning or a DIY job, please use your household waste and recycling containers where possible. For anything that would otherwise have be taken to a HWRC, please store it in a safe location until sites reopen.
Please do not leave waste outside the gates of HWRCs, any local neighbourhood recycling banks, or charity shops. It is classed as flytipping and could lead you to be prosecuted.
Online resource for charities
Catalyst (a UK Portfolio/Digital Fund grant holder) have collated some resources for charities in need of digital, data and design support. They have developed this in response to the crisis so it is specifically focused on what organisations need help with in the current context – including training and advice, funding, service delivery, remote working, video conferencing and care.
Click Here for the resources can be found here.
Survey of Local Community Responses
We are working with #TeamHerts Volunteering and the CVS organisations collecting information to ensure that all those in need have help and support wherever they live.
We need to know what is happening locally to help us co-ordinate support and resources for the most vulnerable and in need.
Please spare a few moments to take our Survey Monkey Questionnaire to let us know what is happening in your community and also so we can determine where the gaps are – Thank you for your help.
Please Click Here to do to the Survey – Your contribution is much appreciated and may save more lives!
#StayHome it could save lives
ACRE Guidance for Village Halls and Community Buildings and Business Support Grants
ACRE has produced a fact Sheet covering Grants in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Sector which includes Village Halls. Also Furlough for employees is covered.
Click Here for the ACRE Guidance Fact Sheet
Rural Response Emergency Grants Programme – Prince’s Countryside Fund
Our grants aim to sustain rural communities, improve the prospects of viability for farm and rural businesses, and support aid delivery in an emergency and build resilience.
Key areas the Fund seeks to address To be eligible for a grant you will need to demonstrate that your project is providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals in rural or farming communities across the UK.
Click Here for further information
Applications close on Wednesday 15th April at 12pm.
Royal Parks Remain Open
Following the Prime Minister’s latest address, we are pleased that our parks can remain open for essential daily exercise, be that a run, walk or cycle. People are permitted to exercise once a day, either alone or with members of their immediate household, but all other gatherings in the parks of more than two people are banned and will be dispersed by the police. Social distancing, as set out by the Government, is absolutely crucial so people must stay at least two metres apart at all times. By following these rules, we can keep London’s parks open for everyone who needs them.
Click Here for more information
Tell the Rural Services Network about your Rural Community working together during lockdown.
With communities in lockdown at home, online delivery slots booked up several weeks in advance, and in England’s rural areas, 11% of premises – households and businesses – are unable to access a broadband connection with 10 Mbps there is a danger that our rural communities will suffer significant disadvantage in the coming weeks.
Click Here to read more and Access the Survey
Community Heartbeat Trust charity can now provide a service to help communities stay connected and support one another
The CHT, better known for its leading role in the provision of community defibrillators, can now provide a service to help communities stay connected and support one another during this period of self-isolation. Based upon its very successful V.E.T.S. service (Volunteer Emergency Telephone Service), which is primarily used for life threatening emergencies in a community, but also used for neighbourhood watch and other areas, the V.E.T.S. service has been formulated into a simple communication package for the community volunteer schemes across the country. Using telephone lines, rather than assuming everyone has a 3G/4G smartphone, as in other systems, this service allows a single emergency number for the village to be called, and this will ring simultaneously up to 10 volunteers in the community, who may be able to assist.
Click Here to find out more
Guidance for Community Transport From The Community Transport Association
The CTA has produced a document called Coronavirus/COVID-19: Guidance for Community Transport for Community Transport Groups to use. This document includes useful information such as:
* precautions you should take
* cleaning your vehicle
* cancelling services
The Office of National Statistics publishes new statistics in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today published its first statistics as part of a new webpage looking at the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK.
A new virtual ‘Countryside Hub’ has been created to help rural communities across the UK through the coronavirus pandemic.
The service will listen to concerns and act where necessary to ensure the countryside and its communities remain safe and resilient during the spread of the virus.
Launched by the Countryside Alliance, the hub offers support by signposting those within rural communities to the essential information, such as news on the latest government guidelines and announcements.
Click Here to read more
Coronavirus Fact Checks From the UK’s Independent Fact Checking Charity
Get the latest Checks on Coronavirus fact and fiction Click Here
Beware of the Free School Meals Email Scam
The March Network offers advice on Loneliness, Social Isolation, Mental Health and COVID-19
The MARCH Network have put together a resource pack for creative activities that are available online Click Here
The MARCH Network are inviting participation in their study into the psychological and social experiences of Covid-19 for adults in the UK. Taking part involves answering a 15-minute online survey now and then answering a shorter 10-minute follow-up survey once a week whilst social isolation measures are in place. To take part Click Here
Charities Aid Foundation have launched a Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.
In this time of national crisis, CAF has launched this rapid response Fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.
This is intended as a rapid response fund, and we aim to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application. Organisations with a charitable purpose and charitable activities, which had income of £1million or less in their last financial year are eligible.
Click Here to Apply
Fraudulent GOV.UK Text Messages
Following the alert sent out this morning, please see the official government response to messages such as the one shown below:
“The Government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK Government are false.
Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments, and don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details.”
If you receive any such messages, report them to Action Fraud – www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing
Hertfordshire Health Walks Temporarily Ceased
Hertfordshire Health Walks is now temporarily suspended until further notice. We would encourage our walkers to remain active and keep up to date with government guidance. In the meantime we will be working hard to understand when we can restart the programmes and will work with Public Health colleagues and our army of volunteer Health Walk Leaders to make this happen as soon as we can. We will continue to keep you informed with monthly updates.
Click Here for all the news from HCC Countryside Management Service
Arts Council Response to Coronavirus
We are making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and we have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding.
HCC Libraries – Your Questions Answered
Herts County Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Herts County Council Rubbish and Recycling
All HWRCs are closed until further notice
All Household Waste Recycling Centres in Hertfordshire are now closed until further notice, following Government guidance.
Coronavirus – disposing of contaminated waste
If you are showing symptoms, or are confirmed to have Covid-19, Defra offer this advice:
All contaminated waste (such as tissues and wipes) need to be securely sealed in a rubbish bag.
Put this bag inside another bag and tie the top securely.
Store the bag separately from other waste and recycling (and away from pets) for three days, before putting it in your general waste bin as normal.
Do NOT put contaminated tissues in your home recycling.
The impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak may mean there are changes to your normal waste collections.
Click here for more guidance
Hertsmere Borough Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
North Herts District Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Dacorum Borough Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
East Herts Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Broxbourne Borough Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Three Rivers District Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Watford Borough Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Stevenage Borough Council Coronavirus Guidance and Service Updates
Village Halls/Community Buildings Closure and Legionella
With the closure of so many buildings, there becomes an increased risk of the Legionella bacteria in water systems. It is best to drain your system down before closing but if this is not possible make sure you flush out all pipework and storage tanks before re-opening. Guidance can be found in ACRE Information Sheet 15 Section 5.9 which is free to CDA Herts’ Members, £10 elsewhere.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Village Hall/Community Building advice
What will happen if your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT due date is on or after 30 March 2020, including what you need to do to keep your vehicle safe to drive.
Click Here for the Govt Guidance
Government website – what you need to know
The GOV.UK website covers news and guidance on several key areas including how to protect yourself, financial support, childcare, travel and information on the latest number of cases in the UK.
To read this guidance and other announcements Click Here
Coronavirus: What is social distancing?
For general guidance for Village Halls, Community Groups, Community Transport and Mental Health Click Here
Update – We do now have specific guidance for Village Halls and Community Buildings and other Community Centres. They must now close until further notice, with the exception that ‘Facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.’
Click Here to read the latest Guidance
Compassionate Community Connector programme – volunteering
The Compassionate Community Connector programme in response to Covid-19 is for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others.
Individuals Click Here to sign-up
For those who are unable to register online, they can phone our volunteer recruitment number on 020 3940 4865 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday.
Assistance for FOOD Banks
Herts Catering Ltd have supplies that they can get to foodbanks – please contact Stephen Lee-Foster at HCC to help make this happen
Steven’s email – email@example.com
News from Energy Suppliers
Click Here for Northern Gas Networks
Click Here for Calor Gas
Click Here for UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association Ltd, for off grid oil consumers
Click Here for Cadent Gas supplies
Data Protection – Information Commissioner’s Office
Click Here for guidance on Data Protection during Covid-19
Free coronavirus resources for charities by Lightful
Charities of all sizes are exploring new ways to adjust to this new reality to survive. From work from home policies and crisis comms to staying in touch with their supporters and maintaining regular donations, the challenges are real.
Lightful have pulled together a list of free coronavirus resources for charities in a great blog Click Here
Click Here for NCVO Guidance for your Charity and Coronavirus
Covid – 19 Charity Preparedness Group
A group to discuss and share contingency plans for charities in relation to Covid 19. It is a very helpful Facebook group to help all charities come together and get more organised during Coronavirus
Domestic Abuse information and contact details
As you will no doubt be aware, the home is not likely to be a safe place for many people affected by domestic abuse. Safer North Hampshire have provided some information for those trying to support someone.
To view Click Here
The National Allotment Society Covid 19 Emergency Measures
Click Here for guidance
Sadly, we’ve had to cancel face-to-face tuition until further notice, due to coronavirus.
We’re currently working on ways to support your learning – we’ll be in touch to discuss. We’re still available on 01992 556194, if you need to speak to us.
Click Here for HAFLS website
Small Charities Coalition – Letter to the Prime Minister
Without urgent help many charities and voluntary organisations are facing imminent collapse. Alongside fighting for their cause, they are also fighting for survival. Without these grassroots organisations, the people who are most in need in our communities will be even harder hit.
Click Here to add your Organisation’s name to the letter
Click Here to share details of the Campaign with your networks
Psychology Wellbeing Pack
You (or friends and colleagues) might be worried about Coronavirus and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home and avoid other people.
This might feel difficult or stressful but we have designed this pack to support your mental health and wellbeing through this challenging time.
Click Here to download the Pack
Herts Community Foundation Coronavirus Relief Grants For Hertfordshire Charities
Applications are open for grants of up to £2,000 for groups dealing with the emerging issues in the community caused by the threat of the Coronovirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
We are currently focusing on emergency funding with priority to organisations providing services and support to older and vulnerable people as well as those with low and insecure incomes. We also invite applications from groups applying to support people of all ages with mental health issues.
Click Here for further information
Libraries and archives
All Hertfordshire libraries are closed (click the links below)
Instead, get stuck in to our brilliant ebooks and audiobooks and read your favourite magazines and newspapers online.
No items will be due back during this time, we’re extending all loans.
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) is also closed. You can still explore the archives or get started with your family history online.