COVID-19 advice for voluntary and community sector organisations

We are updating this guidance to support organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic – this document is a work in progress and will be reviewed as necessary. 

Following the news that coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been confirmed as a pandemic, it's important we all take steps to prevent the spread of the illness and support our staff and clients through any concerns. 

What is COVID-19?

Covid-19 is the name for what we have to come to know as coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses common across the world and COVID-19 is a new strain first identified in Wuhan in China in January this year. 

Typical symptons include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptons in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. 

The following symptons may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has the COVID-19 infection:


Covid-19 Advice for Volunteers

Covid-19 Good Practice Guide for Volunteer Involving Organisations 

A Guide for Community Buildings - Life After Lockdown

Energy Efficiency Top Tips for Community Buildings

Covid-19 Emergency Funding Guide (updated 5/08/20)

Covid-19 Recovery Funding Guide (updated 5/08/20)

Data Protection and Volunteer Groups - Advice from The Information Commissioners Office

Sources of Information


Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)

Information for community buildings and groups

Charity Commission

Regularly updated guidance to help with running your charity during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


Information to help you decide what steps you and your organisation may need to take in light of the spread of the virus. 

Bates Wells

information from this law firm on how COVID-19 affects your organisations, operations and employees 

Small Charities Coalition

Information on insurance and risk for charities 

Institute of Fundraising 

Regularly updated information for fundraisers to help everyone in the fundraising community have the right information to guide any action you might need to take. 

National Business Response Network

Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network with over 750 companies in membership, have launched the National Business Response Network to identify community needs across the UK and match them to the right business support.

Business Durham

Business Durham, the economic arm of Durham County Council, has guidance for employers and businesses about COVID-19. 

North East Growth Hub

The Growth Hub, delivered by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has produced a toolkit with the latest advice, guidance and support available from government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


NHS website

The NHS website has more information about how coronavirus is spread and answers common questions about the virus. 

UK Government Guidance 

This includes guidance on social distancing and vulnerable people and stay at home guidance. 

Public Health Matters Blog 

Continually updated with the latest information available and answers to common questions

Department of Health and Social Care

This Twitter feed is updated daily with the latest information and advice 

UK Government Travel Advice

Guidance for British people living and travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)


Coronavirus News

Press releases in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak including closures and event cancellations


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance from the Government on how to claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The online service you use to claim is now available and a step by step guidance document for employers can be downloaded here

Durham Cyber

Information from Durham Police Cyber Harm Reduction team on cybersecurity and current scams linked to COVID-19

Friends Against Scams

This is a National Trading Standards Scams Team Initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams. 

Victim Care and Advice Service 

A free, independent and confidential service that provides support to victims of crime across County Durham and Darlington, still operating amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Diabetes UK has an information page for people living with diabetes

Asthma UK has a blog post with advice for people with asthma

The British Heart Foundation has published guidance for people with health problems

The National Eczema Society has offered advice on handwashing techniques for people with eczema and other skin conditions

SignHealth has created British Sign Language (BSL) videos to help deaf BSL users either working in charities or receiving support

Carers UK has produced recommendations for those with caring responsibilities

Housing Justice has issued advice to homeless shelters

The Cystic Fibrosis TrustPrimary Immunodeficiency UK and the Mental Health Foundation have all issued advice and support.