COVID-19 advice for voluntary and community sector organisations

New local restrictions have been introduced across the North East from Friday 18th September to help address the significant rise in Coronavirus in our region in the recent weeks. Full details can be found here and on the Durham County Council website here.

We are constantly reviewing our guidance in the light of local and national announcements; as we learn more or should the situation change, we will update our information pages. 

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:

Durham Community Action Guides

Covid-19 Advice for Volunteers

Covid-19 Good Practice Guide for Volunteer Involving Organisations 

A Guide for Community Buildings - Life After Lockdown (updated 17/09/20)

Energy Efficiency Top Tips for Community Buildings

Covid-19 Emergency Funding Guide (updated 17/09/20)

Covid-19 Recovery Funding Guide (updated 17/09/20)

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. 


Coronavirus News

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

Business Durham

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


NHS website

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


North East of England: local restrictions

Find out what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in the affected areas. 

UK Government Guidance 

This includes guidance and support plus details of any recent or upcoming changes.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (closing 31/10/20)

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

Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (due to open 01/11/20)

Guidance from the Government which explains what is covered by the grant, which employers and employees are eligible and how to claim.