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Covid-19 update 1: a message from our CEO

29 April 2020

There continues to be an amazing response to the Covid-19 crisis across communities throughout Eastbourne, Wealden and Lewes District. 3VA is connected to many of the groups responding, but if we have not connected with you…tell us. We’d like as many local groups as possible to be part of the networks of Covid-19 groups that 3VA is supporting and connecting with via WhatsApp and Zoom meetings and offering specific support where needed.

We also want support for these terrific supporters. Whether you are a business with resources or volunteers to offer or an advice or counselling service that can offer call backs to those who are volunteering on the front line, we would love to hear from you.

Since March, we have been doing all of the following:

  • Sharing what we know of community responses via our website and social media.
  • Making sure NHS/Government advice to everyone on staying safe and minimising risk of infection was on our website, which has acted as a one-stop shop and source of trusted information for our local sector.
  • Offering advice to any groups responding and to individuals who want to volunteer – people stepping forward to volunteer have been connected to local community responses, from delivering hot food to making masks.
  • Compiling a wide range of resources to help VCSE organisations, including funding opportunities.
  • Reaching out to new groups that are springing up and offering support.
  • Putting up on our website our expert advice/resources/materials about volunteering for groups and for individual volunteers. We have backed this up with online safeguarding training, and a volunteering forum on zoom.
  • Finding out how people are responding through surveys with small groups and larger organisations and through our own local intelligence. This has included capturing the responses of the local VCSE and also encouraging groups top complete the Sussex Community Foundation survey.
  • Connecting people together including new responders and existing sources of support in the community, through regular zoom meetings, whats app groups and enabled peer conversations.
  • Enabling peer support and connections between voluntary sector leaders responding to the crisis.
  • Working with partner organisations from all sectors on the most effective responses to this crisis, including playing a pivotal role in the successful implementation of community hubs in Eastbourne, Wealden and Lewes.

New sources of funding, such as the Sussex Crisis Fund, are available for voluntary groups responding to Covid-19. More information about these is on the coronavirus response funding page of the 3VA website – and, if you need help with applications, ask us!

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