Category Archives: Health

CVST community e-bulletin 14 December 2020

CVST would like to wish all of our readers, members, supporters, funders, friends and colleagues a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas Season and a happy and healthy 2021!

Welcome to the CVST community e-bulletin 14 December 2020

Direct Support & Services *** Job Opportunities *** Funding opportunities *** Volunteering *** Information

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Covid-19 Keep safe, keep a safe distance!

Volunteers needed to support local COVID-19 vaccination programme

Your local NHS is getting ready to deliver a COVID-19 vaccination programme and they need your help.
They are looking for volunteer stewards across Essex and Suffolk to be at the forefront of the local fight against the virus – you could be part of it!
As a volunteer steward, you will help the vaccination process run smoothly and safely.
Local vaccination stations will be open from 8am-8pm seven days a week. Volunteers are asked to commit to individual sessions of four hours plus 15 minutes handover time.
This is an exciting opportunity to play your part in protecting the community and saving lives.
If you are interested in volunteering please email [email protected]
For more information visit
and see Covid Volunteer Steward Role Description V1
and FAQs Volunteer Stewards V1

Offer of Support from the British Red Cross – COVID 19

The British Red Cross is ready to help in Essex during this local lockdown and I am reaching out to offer our support and resources during this time. As an emergency response organisation, we have developed a range of support services and resources, to help and support our local communities, who are facing increasingly challenging times during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Here you will find a useful guide to the support we can provide. Please pass on the attached document any colleagues or partners who may want to talk to us about how we can work together to help those most vulnerable and likely to be worst affected.

Since the outbreak began, our staff and volunteers across the UK have carried out more than a quarter of a million acts of kindness, from delivering food and medicine, to taking people home from hospital, to providing welfare checks and psychosocial support. 

The support and resources we are able to offer are:

Support Line

Our National Covid-19 Support Line – 0808 196 3651 – 10am – 6pm daily (see attached flyer) has helped more than 10,000 callers since April and our volunteers are currently receiving around 600 calls per week nationwide. Our free and confidential support line can:

  • Help with practical information and advice
  • Provide emotional support
  • Connect people with support in their area
  • Organise food and prescription deliveries to vulnerable households

Please share this flyer or just the number with anyone you feel could be helped by the support line. If we identify any further support needs while speaking with callers, these will be referred back to the British Red Cross Covid-19 Tactical Cell – a team of staff and volunteers who will contact people to give further support or refer on to another agency that is better placed to help.

Hardship Fund

We have a hardship fund and cash assistance programme to support people without access to money. This can provide people with a cash grant of £120 per month for 3 months, up to a maximum of 3 persons per household. It is a very limited intervention designed to help those most financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. For a list of the qualifying criteria, please see the Hardship Fund Website.

Cash Transfer programmes require a level of bureaucracy which can be time-consuming and labour intensive for Local Authorities to meet. In order to be as useful as possible, we have simplified the process and are taking organisations on as referral partners, thereby taking most of the bureaucracy on ourselves. We would like to bring local partnerson board as a referral partner and the Hardship Fund team are standing by to fast-track the process for you – please email [email protected] for more information or to begin the process.


We have many volunteers in the Essex area who are ready, willing and able to support vulnerable or isolated people in the area. Some are DBS checked, others are not. The non-DBS checked volunteers can help with:

  • Food sorting and delivery to vulnerable households
  • Telephone ‘check-in and chats’ with lonely and isolated people
  • Leaflet drops in partnership with Essex County Council and our emergency response partners

The DBS checked volunteers can help with everything listed above and:

  • Prescription delivery to vulnerable households
  • Patient transport services
  • Welfare checks

If you have a request which falls outside the listed activities or if you are otherwise unsure whether we can support you, please get in touch by emailing [email protected] .

Accessing British Red Cross Support

We hope that these additional services help to support the most vulnerable and those in the most need. If you are interested in accessing any of these services, or you have another request for support that you’d like to run by us, you can do so by completing this digital form and providing a brief overview of your need.

Our Covid-19 tactical cell will then be in touch to either gather further information, accept your request or forward it to another voluntary agency who are better placed to help.

We look forward to working with you in these challenging times.

All the best, Louise Palk.

Louise Palk

Director for South East, Independent Living & Crisis Response

* British Red Cross | 78-80 Walton Road| Woking | GU21 5DW

Essex Residents – Summary of Tier 2 Rules

This information was updated on 15 October at 12:30 BST.

Essex County

From Saturday 17 October, your area is under local restrictions, in the Tier 2 (high alert) category for England. Your local authority website has full details of the restrictions which apply to you.

 Meeting friends and family

  • You must not meet people you don’t live with in any indoor setting – whether at home or, for example, a pub or restaurant – unless they are part of your support or childcare bubble.
  • You may continue to mix with people outdoors (including in a garden or a park) but you must not meet in a group more than six, and you must follow social distancing rules.
  • Meeting in larger groups is against the law, and you can be fined up to £6,400.

 Going to work

You should work at home if possible. If you cannot do this, you can return to your workplace but your employer must make arrangements for you to work safely.

 Schools and nurseries

Schools and nurseries remain open. In schools and colleges that teach Year 7 and above, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, but not usually in a classroom.

 Leisure time

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants are restricted to table service only and must close at 22:00 BST.
  • Customers should not mix indoors with anyone from outside their own household or support bubble. Outdoors, you can meet in groups of up to six people.
  • At least one member of any group should give their contact details to the venue or check in using the NHS Covid app.
  • Face coverings must be worn, except when seated to eat or drink.


You must wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres.


  • If you need to travel, you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible and you are encouraged to walk or cycle, rather than use public transport.
  • You should avoid travelling in a car with someone outside your household or support bubble unless you can practise social distancing.
  • You can stay at hotels or guest accommodation, inside or outside your area, but only with people in your household or support bubble.
  • Travel from your area to Wales will not be allowed from 18:00 BST on Friday 16 October, except for a limited set of reasons such as going to school or work.
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people (the reception must be a sit-down meal).
  • Up to 30 people can attend a funeral. Wakes and other related events are restricted to 15 people.
  • You should not visit a care home except in exceptional circumstances, for example to visit an individual who is at the end of their life.

Reasons Behind Moving to Tier 2

From Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care:

Dear Colleagues,

I know there have been comments on social media and elsewhere suggesting that the decision to request the move to tier two was driven by potential extra government funding.  I strongly refute this, and have enclosed below a link to a video I have made on the subject, both for your information, and to pass on as you see fit.

In addition, below is a link to messaging and data we put out on social media yesterday, reiterating the thinking behind the decision.  Again, please do pass on as you deem appropriate.

Many thanks,


Cllr John Spence CBE

Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care

Essex County Council, County Hall, Chelmsford