When the Covid-19 crisis began, and as the government announced lock down, 3VA issued a statement detailing how we were responding to the national emergency. We are now updating this statement to reflect the actions necessary as lock down relaxes and the next stage of the response gets underway and as our role, priorities and commitments evolve.
Meeting emerging social needs
We are reaching out to our local voluntary sector in Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden that is responding to social needs and, especially, likely to see demand increase or at the very least remain high over the weeks ahead. This includes groups supporting people with disabilities, young people, BAME communities, victims of domestic abuse, those who are digitally excluded and older people. We want to maximise the capacity of these groups to meet the demands to come.
Capturing what is going on
Alongside this, we are also gathering intelligence from grassroots groups on what is happening on the ground to inform how stakeholders best respond to meet the challenges ahead and to inform how we can best support our local sector.
Supporting for a return to activity
As lockdown is relaxed, community groups have to decide whether to reopen facilities, explore if they can restart commercial activities, identify how best to support their clients and maximise resources when many of the ways they generate income remain impacted. We are working to support these decisions by, for example, updating the comprehensive Covid-19 information sections on our website, highlighting support and useful resources in our weekly e-Newsletter and convening online training or network meetings on key issues.
Planning for the way ahead
We are continuing to support grassroots groups online via Zoom, WhatsApp and one-to-one support. We are also hosting and convening opportunities for sector groups to discuss plans for the future, both together and with other stakeholders.
Maximising the voice of the sector
Our local sector led the way in responding to this national emergency, so it’s vital it is involved in – and listened to – in planning for the future. We are doing all we can to get the voluntary & communities organisations and social enterprises involved in decision-making processes and also to express the voice of our sector ourselves.
Maintaining Covid-19 readiness
Finally, having played a key role in the emergency response, we of course remain prepared to respond to any spikes or re-emergence of the infection, should this be the case.
Our sector continues to play a vital part in responding to, and re-building from, this global pandemic and 3VA will do all we can to maximise the part they can play.