Dear voluntary and community sector partners,
Throughout the initial national Lockdown in Spring our communities, voluntary and community sector organisations and charities have continued to provide essential support to our residents. Some of you also worked in partnership with us under the CityLife Line banner to provide essential support to vulnerable families, individuals and businesses. This support, along with the incredible generosity from the public who donated to the CityLife Line fundraiser, volunteers across the city and our Toon Army of volunteers provided some stability and assurance in extremely challenging times for many Newcastle residents.
This weekend the Prime Minister has announced another, shorter Lockdown to help stop the rapid spread of the virus and to protect our NHS as the country approaches winter.
As a result we must once again provide additional support to our communities, vulnerable residents and families. This week we will finalise what this will look like – CityLife Line will continue, alongside our Welfare and Wellbeing Team, and we will once again be seeking your invaluable support as key Voluntary and Community Sector partners.
As we finalise these plans we would appreciate your help in considering how best to support our communities and most vulnerable. As before, we know we can’t do this without your support. We know that some of you have reverted back to business as usual and some of you have continued to provide COVID support. We have therefore started to contact voluntary and community sector organisations to ask whether you are able to provide support and if so, what that support might look like. This will then help us all to target resources and help our most vulnerable.
This week the Government will write to everyone who is in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (formally known as Shielding) group. Whilst we know formal shielding arrangements will not be implemented again, people within this category will be advised to follow more restrictive guidance than the rest of the population, which includes not attending work, shops or pharmacies. No national support is in place for these people as there was in the first lockdown. Residents will be asked to use informal social support in the first instance but will also be signposted to contact Newcastle City Council if they have additional support requirements. It is vital that we communicate what support is available in a clear, consistent way. Once again, we will need your help to do this. Our website will be updated with the support that is available and we would ask you and your teams to support us in ensuring that this information is accurately shared with residents and service users – www.newcastle.gov.uk/welfare
Newcastle City Council recognise that the voluntary and community sector are also under a great deal of pressure. We would like to thank you for your continued support and for the incredible determination, spirit and compassion you have showed to everyone in our great city throughout this pandemic. Connected Voice is commissioned by Newcastle City Council to provide voluntary and community sector infrastructure support, and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) health and wellbeing development support. If your organisation needs support, please contact Connected Voice on 0191 2327445, firstname.lastname@example.org. For support with volunteers please contact Volunteer Centre Newcastle.
Communities Team Manager, Newcastle City Council