This page contains useful advice and information for anyone involved in helping respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in Middlesbrough and join in the #BoroResponse. It will be continually updated, and we recommend you sign up for our regular ebulletins which will become more frequent.
Covid-19 Mutual Aid Local Groups are small groups of people setting up independently in communities to support vulnerable people in their local area through the outbreak. Covid Mutual Aid UK is a group of volunteers supporting local community groups organising mutual aid.
We are compiling a list of local groups offering specific help with delivering supplies to people isolated, befriending, transport and volunteers. If your group can offer such services get in touch at email@example.com
Advice for your organisation
NCVO is an excellent page of resources and advice, regularly updated, to help you decide what steps you may need to take.
Coronavirus employee retention scheme guidance. This describes the circumstances where employer applications for the furlough payments can be made.
Temporary 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.
Sick leave and rights guidance from Acas.
Advice to service users in a variety of languages
Doctors of the World have produced Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice for patients in a range of languages. There is also an easy read guide and photo poster.
Information Commissioners Office blog on data protection and volunteering with practical advice that should alleviate some fears around sharing data.
Guidance for carers and suggestions for making plans from Carers UK
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 voluntary sector. We've compiled a list of courses covering a huge range of topics:
Extremely vulnerable people with a medical condition are being asked to register for government support in accessing essential supplies such as food deliveries.
Middlesbrough Council is arranging support to match people in need of help with a volunteer in your area.
If you want to talk to someone, you can call them on 01642 729777, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Middlesbrough Foodbank is open but running low on stock and asking for donations, especially of tinned goods.
PIPSCO is a volunteer-run community project that delivers food parcels to people self-isolating and shielding on Teesside. This is regardless of whether they have received a shielding letter from the government.
COVID-19 Community groups
Find your nearest COVID-19 Mutual Aid group with a map feature.
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
Council support and information
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
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 require 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.
Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint – your help will be even more crucial in a few week’s time. For now, the best thing to do is to check in on neighbours.
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
There is a postcard people are downloading and putting through neighbours doors.
The British Red Cross is also compiling a list of Community Reserve Volunteers for which you can register yourself.