COVID-19 Information for third sector organisations
Created: 16/03/2020, Updated: 19/03/2020
Health experts have been saying for many years that a pandemic was statistically overdue. It seems it may be upon us. The World Health Organisation has declared the COVID-19 strain of coronvirus a global pandemic.
This brings with it many challenges, including travel, organising events, turning up to work, working from home potential/possibilities, our staff and volunteers taking ill and/or self-isolating, our service users/clients taking ill and/or self-isolating and the impact that panic buying/stocks of medicines, foods and so on can have on all of us, not just the most vulnerable citizens in our communities. For our sector particularly, our public sector partners are already turning to us to see how we can help them to look after fellow citizens as the impact affects the public sector workforce and the number of clients needing help increases.
Further, there's a growing recognition of the impact all of this negative and worrying news about something that has the potential to affect the global economy, our health and how we will live our day-to-day lives over the next number weeks and months. People are starting to panic and worry, with negative mental health impacts being reported as people are overwhelmed with bad news and information that can be difficult to comprehend, particularly as different countries react differently and some statistics being reported appear to be rather significant and gloomy.
Businesses (mostly retail and travel so far) are seeking financial bailouts/support already. Fewer people shopping (apart from toilet rolls, of course!), dining out, visiting the cinema, taking leisure breaks and so on is going to cost the economy a lot of money, with the result of businesses folding and jobs being lost. This also increases demand on public and third sector services.
So, what is FVA doing about this in Fife?
Firstly, we've created a page on our website: www.fva.org/pandemic which we'll update most days. We're here to help third sector organisations, and to work with partners to look at how Fife's communities can be resilient and successful. We'll provide key updates on the latest advice, taken only from reliable and verified sources, include updates on what is happening locally and provide support (see next point below).
Secondly, we'll provide support where we can. We'll produce policy suggestions, letters for staff and volunteers, guidance for Boards and more, and publish these on our website for download. We can also provide direct support to organisations on things like business continuity planning (or sometimes called disaster recover planning).
Thirdly, we're participating in daily conference calls with key public sector colleagues to manage the impact here in Fife and work together to tackle the crisis. We'll produce key updates from these calls on our dedicated pandemic page.
If you have any suggestions on what else we could to help, please do get in touch with us.