We know that there are groups of people who are more at risk due to the nature of the current crisis – from older people, to those with long-term physical and mental health issues, to certain communities who have higher incidences of conditions that make them vulnerable at this time – who will be particularly impacted by the quarantine period. We also know that many people in these groups are also active citizens, and will themselves be navigating towards new ways of offering support to others as part of the sector. In working with these groups we further recognise that there will be particular considerations in ensuring reach and that the right services are available at the right time – including acknowledging that digital channels may not always be the right way to deliver work, that there are associated groups (including carers) who have the need for additional support, and that sadly there will also be the need for increased capacity to respond to bereavement and grief. We are particularly keen to fund work that:
- Enables people who are already active as volunteers to maintain their involvement through opening up routes to volunteering safely at this time;
- Supports services to be provided in the most accessible ways, ensuring that digital channels can be used where appropriate, and that costs of other channels (including traditional methods such as telephone and post) are met to strengthen reach;
- Ensures that organisations adapting their services or working in new ways do this safely, so that people at risk because of the virus are not further exposed to scams or similar;
- Increases support for people experiencing uncertainty and grief, recognising that this support will need to reflect the changed situation (e.g. in relation to funerals) so that people are supported effectively;
- Tackles increases in loneliness or isolation due to social distancing; and/or
- Boosts the capacity of the sector to effectively amplify the voices of people who may experience additional disadvantage due to policy change (e.g. access to social care).