This page contains useful advice and information for anyone involved in helping respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Middlesbrough and join in the #BoroResponse. It will be continually updated, and we recommend you sign up for our regular ebulletins.
Middlesbrough COVID Champions Network
MVDA is part of the Middlesbrough COVID Champions Network which aims to build on assets within communities to share knowledge and disseminate correct information.
Middlesbrough Council is looking for more local volunteers who would like to become Covid Champions and join the Covid Champions Network to help us tackle the pandemic in our town. Find out how to join the network
The response to COVID-19 has highlighted the impact and contribution that communities can make to public health. It has helped us all recognise the importance of ensuring communities are provided with the right information to allow them to take the necessary steps to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. Having a trusted source of this information within communities is vital. Below are useful resources voluntary organisations can use to share important messages to their communities.
The Cabinet Office’s National Resilience Hub (NRH) provides communications and toolkits which can be shared by organisations working with communities, as well as links and information for social media and resources in different languages.
Help us to strengthen accurate messaging locally by sharing information and resources from these toolkits across your communications channels and through your interactions with communities.
COVID-19 community influencing comms pack
The government creates COVID-19 comms toolkits regularly, to help those in influential positions in communities to communicate important information.
The toolkit includes:
- Call for vaccinations and booking process and links for the over 65s and clinically vulnerable
- Covid new technology identifying high risk groups (820,000 adults aged 19-69) and their priority for vaccination
- Images and information (including in community languages) for social media to stress stay at home
- Community testing and rapid testing (postcode checker, translated assets for different language communities)
- Vaccine explainer videos, images and in different languages to promote vaccination and also combat scams and fraud
Download February 12 2021 - Stakeholder and Influencer Toolkit
This toolkit includes multi-language videos, posters and key messages relating to the new national vaccine booking system for those over 70.
It also focuses on Chinese New Year and has advice for celebrating this and similar festivals, in a safe way.
Download 5 February 2021 Stakeholder and Influencer Toolkit
Translated guidance and assets in different languages
Below there is a range of translated materials in Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi, Slovak, Somali, Urdu:
- stay at home guidance
- meeting with others safely
- guidance for those that are shielding (also in Bulgarian, French, simplified and traditional Chinese, Nepali, Portuguese)
- translated assets in the Coronavirus Resource Centre downloadable posters on test and trace, stay safe guidance, restrictions and symptoms
Advice for your organisation
NCVO has an excellent page of resources and advice, regularly updated.
Changes to DBS ID checks - these can now be done online.
Charity Digital on communications, planning and offering reassurance and clarity to staff.
How to work remotely in a time of crisis on Civil Society blog.
Carers guidance from We Care You Care - advice for local carers in Middlesbrough specifically around COVID-19.
The North East Migration Partnership page - helpful for anyone working with refugees and people seeking asylum.
Training for staff and volunteers
Whilst many staff are furloughed there is a wealth of free online training relevant for the voluntary sector. We've compiled a list of courses covering a huge range of topics:
Mental health training and resources for staff in the voluntary sector, provided by Public Health South Tees
Local groups organising aid
Many new local groups have been set up independently in communities to support vulnerable people in their local area through the outbreak:
- Tees Valley Community Action
- The Tees
- Camerados Boro
- Teesside Help
- Middlesbrough Covid-19 Mutual Aid
- Community Organisers (formerly Hope 4 Boro)
- Tees Valley Together
- The Teesside Family Foundation
- White Feather Project
Middlesbrough Council has put together important information to help residents through these changing times. This includes translated information.
PIPSCO is a volunteer-run community project that delivers food parcels to people self-isolating on Teesside.
The kitchens listed below are giving out food for people to takeaway in Middlesbrough. Please note these kitchens are for over 18s.
Homeless/rough sleepers in Middlesbrough
There is a freephone helpline number from the Council for any residents homeless/rough sleeping or potentially homeless: 0800 1303667
Mental Health and wellbeing
Victim services are still operating across Cleveland. The below services provide support for domestic abuse, sexual violence and illegal cultural harms like forced marriage, honour-based violence and FGM. Please give them a call if you are in need of help.
Help for children and young people
New emergency measures with the energy industry have been agreed by the government to protect the domestic energy supply of those most in need during COVID-19. http://ow.ly/8KZL50z0LMq
You can report any concerns around people not following Covid guidelines, and putting themselves and others at risk. Read on for how to report social gatherings and other behaviour within communities or workplaces that might need addressing.
1) For activities in workplaces report it to the Council’s Environmental Health Protection Team by emailing: EHTS@middlesbrough.gov.uk
2) For activities in communities/households there are two ways:
- Through reporting to Cleveland Police through the usual 101 system or online reporting through the Cleveland Police website https://www.cleveland.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/v7/tell-us-about-a-possible-breach-of-coronavirus-covid-19-measures/
- Through the Council’s Street Wardens – Issues can be reported directly to the street warden team by calling 01642 228500 (7 days a week from 8am – 8.30pm)
Middlesbrough Volunteer Centre has a list of current opportunities:
We have produced a guide is to help volunteers during the current crisis make the right choices, ensuring their safety as well as the people around them.
You can join the Middlesbrough Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook Group which is offering help and services from local people and businesses and for those who also need help.
Middlesbrough Foodbank requires more volunteers due to many of their regulars being in the older high-risk categories.
Looking out for your neighbours
The simplest thing everyone can do right now is look out for their neighbours and offer help with shopping and other errands.
It's not just about neighbours who are self-isolating or vulnerable. Other people in the community who might also appreciate help are:
- stretched medical staff and volunteers
- staff and volunteers in key worker roles
- supermarket workers
- delivery drivers
Staying safe when supporting others
We have produced a Help With Shopping Guide to help with shopping for others safely.
Other tips include:
- Let family and friends know what you’re doing.
- Support family, friends and neighbours by phone or video call.
- Stay at least 2 metres - about 3 steps - away from people you’re helping.
- Offer to run errands for people but stay outside of people’s homes.
- Keep washing your hands often for 20 seconds.
- Don’t take on too much - it's often better not to offer at all than to let someone down.
- If you’re trying to help someone with very serious issues – don’t be afraid to flag with appropriate statutory services.
Short videos on how to volunteer safely