Coronavirus: How social enterprises & charities can prepare
14 Mar 2020
We know many of you will be concerned about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) might affect your social enterprise, charity, community business or impact organisation.
We want to do everything we can to help you, and the people you support, weather the storm.
This blog shares links to resources you might find useful. We’ll update it as new resources become available or visible to us. Please email Sophie (our head of comms) if you spot something that is outdated, incorrect or missing: [email protected].
It’s so important that we find ways to help each other out during this time, especially in the social impact sector.
SSE students, course attendees and other people directly involved in our work
We are updating you regularly by email if we support you through one of our programmes, if you’re due to attend an SSE course or if you are directly involved in SSE’s work in another way. If you have other concerns related to SSE during this time, please contact your learning manager or your main contact at SSE.
- Government advice on coronavirus – general
- Government advice on coronavirus – for employers, employees and businesses
- NHS advice on coronavirus
- NHS 111 symptom checker
Most useful resources we’ve found so far*
(*Other than government advice)
- Social Enterprise UK: Regularly updating their website with the latest news and resources to help us collectively get through the coming weeks, including:
- summaries of key government support available to social enterprises
- series of webinars
- info on the Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the new larger business loans scheme
- information on self-employment support, the three month Companies House reporting extension and the ban on commercial tenant evictions until June 30th
- NCVO guide: Your organisation and coronavirus – a comprehensive guide being updated regularly and aimed at the social sector. It includes sections on:
- How to protect staff, volunteers and visitors
- Whether to cancel events and activities
- How to support beneficiaries and service users, including those who are vulnerable or facing discrimination
- How to manage finances, planning and insurance
- Contingency planning
- Good Finance UK’s resource hub to support charities and social enterprises navigate COVID-19. It includes:
- funding and investment guidance
- tips on remote working
- news about how the pandemic is affecting the sector
Sign up to SSE’s newsletter for all the latest funding and support offers, as well as inspiring stories and news from across the social enterprise sector.
Finance and funding
- Check out our Recover & Rebuild webinar on managing cashflow in a crisis.
- Charity Excellence Framework has developed a free, online toolkit to increase impact and funding. It lists masses of emergency funds available and includes toolkits on accessing funding. It is an expansion of founder Ian McLintock’s brilliant list of 80+ funders offering emergency funding to charities and social-sector orgs.
- Latest government support for small businesses. The government has also created this website to help you navigate support and funding, including advice guides and case studies.
- Latest government support for charities. The government has announced £750m of funding for charities (link is a press release, you cannot yet apply for funding through this link).
- About half of this will be distributed by SSE partner The National Lottery Community Fund (read its statement of the funding).
- We will update this page when we have information about how you can best access this funding.
- Dozens of funders have made a commitment to be supportive and flexible about funding requirements, throughout the outbreak. It is worth letting funders know as soon as you can how you think your organisations might be affected.
- Crowdfunder is offering 100% free crowd-funding throughout the crisis (i.e. you won’t pay any fees), and Spacehive has committed to waiving its 5% fee (though still updating its website)
- National Emergencies Trust has launched a fundraising appeal to help those most affected.
- ACF is working with NCVO, ACEVO and CFG to urge government to provide financial support to the charity sector, submitting evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, rallying support from parliamentarians and launching the #EveryDayCounts campaign.
- Barclays LifeSkills offers free guidance and modules around finances, budgeting, financial planning and online safety support.
- Charity Fundraising are offering free fundraising consultancy support to charities and social enterprises affected by Covid-19. They also have some detailed guides such as how to develop and promote virtual fundraising events, how to develop a fundraising strategy and many others.
Government support available for your organisation
- Social Enterprise UK have collated the most recent support announced by government (published 3rd April)
- Do not assume that the situation is static. Keep checking the government’s website and news for further announcements on support measures:
- If you’re self-employed, this Money Saving Expert hub is a great source of written and video info
- Government page on how to claim a grant through the coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- Here’s a useful YouTube video called Coronavirus: Help for the self-employed from Fast Accounting Services.
- SSE partner, Linklaters have a series of resources and webinars about Covid-19 employment rights, job retention schemes, annual leave entitlement and furloughing.
- Co-operatives UK have put together a guide on HR issues answering questions such as ‘how do we treat employees who follow guidance to self isolate?’ and ‘what about parents who are off work because their child’s school has closed?’.
- ACAS is monitoring government advice daily and updating this Covid-19 resource for employer and employees.
- Catch up on Social Enterprise UK’s webinar on managing people through the crisis
- Wrigleys Solicitors have put together a set of articles around risk mitigation, maintaining good governance, funding and more.
- Bates Wells Social Enterprise Legal Advice Line – Bates Wells are extending their offering to all social enterprises (not just SEUK members), giving 20 minutes of free advice. To access the helpline, complete this online form and the Bates Wells team will respond to arrange a call.
- SSE Midland’s board member Roots HR are offering a one hour free advice line for Covid-19 related employment law and people management support. This is a one-off offer, open to all social sector employers.
- Populo, a social enterprise run by Sonia Wilson (SSE Fellow), helps small social enterprises and charities with their employment issues. Sonia provides free HR telephone advice every Wednesday 10:00-12:00pm to small social enterprises and charities. If you have a people issue that would benefit from running past an HR professional and is suitable to be resolved through a phone call of around 30 minutes, e.g. queries around the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, sickness absence, managing poor performance etc, then please contact Sonia on 07584 731420 or email [email protected]
Business & continuity planning
- SEUK have a range of support webinars to download (subjects include adapting your business model, business continuity planning and financial support available for social enterprises).
- This Federation for Small Business (FSB) guide is helpful. It includes sections on:
- If you have to close your organisation
- Business insurance
- Advice for employers
- Measures for the workplace
- Nb: It’s aimed at small businesses but the advice is also relevant to small charities, social enterprises, community businesses and impact organisations.
- UnLtd have out together a guide on planning for the crisis as a social enterprise.
- #StartingGood Virtual Summit 2020 starts May 11. It’s a great chance for them to learn from some experts in social enterprise, impact investment, storytelling, community building and more, for free.
- To support their network and the wider social enterprise community, Social Enterprise Mark CIC have set up a new webpage to signpost businesses to sources of support, guidance and resources.
Community businesses: try Power to Change’s resource hub
Triodos Bank have put together a list of government support and sector-specific advice for businesses, and FAQs.
Health and social care social enterprise support
SEUK has a new resource page especially for social enterprises working in health and social care. It contains the latest guidance and briefings from Government and NHS England/Improvement as well as other resources.
Over 30% of all NHS community nursing and other services are provided by social enterprises. But social enterprise providers had been omitted until recently from the supply of PPE from the NHS Supply Chain.
“Crisis communications” might sound scary or extreme, but really it’s just about making sure you’re prepared for different eventualities, and that you keep people up-to-date during tricky times.
- Charity Comms offers a free crisis communications planning template. The same page includes links to online advice guides.
- CharityComms’ full list of communicator coronavirus resources
- Media Trust has collated 15 free digital communications resources for charities to use during the coronavirus pandemic (also relevant for social enterprises)
- Web designers Copy & Code are offering free technical and communications support clinics for social impact organisations navigating Covid-19
Continuing to support your clients, beneficiaries and vulnerable people you work with
- The NCVO guide (linked to above) has useful information on this.
- Our new series highlights how SSE fellows are adapting to the crisis and continuing to support their beneficiaries.
Working from home, supporting your team with remote working & tech
- We like these five suggestions from Hubbub (founder Trewin is an SSE fellow).
- Here’s Wired’s take on the best video conference and chat apps for self-isolation, compared
- Zoom offers these useful tips for help setting up virtual, no-cost meetings online. With daily live demos and webinars, there’s everything you need to get you started.
- Working from home with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia – Covid19 – great blog by SSE fellow Matt Boyd, of Exceptional Individuals
- A small selection of useful working-from-home resources is included in Media Trust’s free digital communications resources (also linked to above)
Looking after your mental health
- This BBC article offers advice from AnxietyUK and other practical steps for looking after your mental health
- Mental Health UK has these supportive tips
- MIND has this excellent advice for coping with social distancing and being at home
- The Coronavirus Helpful Hub from Blurt Foundation includes articles about setting digital boundaries, limiting anxiety-inducing news, self care and more.
- Catch up on Social Enterprise UK’s webinar ‘Mental health and working from home’.
- Altruist Enterprises have launched a free online course ‘Working From Home: 5 Ways to Wellbeing’
- Our communications coordinator, Henna Patel shares strategies on ‘How to cope in a changing world’ (for our partner Good Finance)
Support for BAME-led organisations and people of colour
People of colour and people from ethnic minority backgrounds are being hit disproportionately hard by the crisis. Here are some resources and research specifically for BAME communities:
- Spark & Co offers curated links to organisations and information designed to help those from BAME backgrounds, including sections on funding & debt relief, and work & small organisations.
- Research: this report looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the BAME community and voluntary sector
- Charity So White is campaigning for civil society and its funders to put BAME communities at the heart of their response. Learn more and join the campaign.
Supporting each other
More than half of social enterprises could run out of cash by June, according to Social Enterprise UK. We’ve joined forces with other sector bodies to call on government to save our social enterprises – but we need your help. Join 1,000 others and sign our letter to the Chancellor calling on more support for our sector.
We’re also thinking about how we can best support each other during this time. We’ve started using the hashtag #SocEntSolidarity on Twitter and Facebook so that, as a community, we can share tips, friendly words, positive news, cute memes – anything to brighten our days! Feel free to use #SocEntSolidarity and tag us @SchSocEnt and we can help each other through.
Supporting your community
Covid Mutual Aid UK is a group of volunteers supporting local community groups across the UK. Loads of resources, connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need.
Staying up to date with the sector
- Pioneers Post – the magazine and news source for social enterprises and the social-impact sector – are sharing news and updates specific to our sector on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Please contact [email protected] or tweet @sophiehobson if you come across other resources we could add to this page, or if anything seems inaccurate or out of date.