Voluntary Sector News 
National Volunteering insight 2021
  • Over half of the population volunteered their time informally to help others at least once during the pandemic, while formal volunteering rates fell.
  • Older people, women, and those from less deprived socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to volunteer.
  • The voluntary sector’s workforce has grown by 3% over the last year and has seen the fastest growth of any sector over the last decade.
Click the link to read the whole UK Civil Society ALMANAC 2021 report. 

Calls to share your insight into the state of the voluntary sector

Independent researchers at Pro Bono Economics and Nottingham Trent University have been working with DCMS and a group of VCSE membership bodies, including NAVCA, to set up a new quarterly survey of the VCSE sector. This is launching on Monday 7th November and has a big focus on the cost of living crisis. We need your help in both completing the survey yourselves and encouraging your members and contacts to complete it too. 

Survey link: It should take about 10 minutes to complete. 

The survey focuses on the cost of living crisis and its impact on the VCSE sector. It aims to gather data to inform Government decisions on extending support for the sector on energy bills and further funding to deliver the additional support you are currently providing.   

Community News 
Surrey Carers Flu Jab Voucher available now 

All unpaid carers in Surrey are being encouraged to take up the offer of free flu vaccination as a priority, not only to protect themselves and the people they care for but to help reduce hospitalisations during a time that is expected to be especially busy for the NHS and social care.

Carers who look after someone who is elderly or disabled can ask for a flu vaccine at their GP practice or show their Surrey Carers Flu Jab Voucher when asking for a flu jab at a pharmacy offering the NHS flu vaccine. The voucher provides assurance that the carer is known to carers services in Surrey and is therefore entitled to a free flu vaccination. 

The NHS in Surrey provides vouchers (both physical copies and electronic vouchers) which Action for Carers Surrey help to distribute. All registered carers with Action for Carers Surrey have already been sent a voucher. 

All registered carers with Action for Carers Surrey have already been sent a voucher. 

Any unpaid carer not already registered, can register with Action for Carers Surrey online or by the following contact methods and will then be sent a voucher: Please help to spread the messages to all Surrey unpaid carers, who may be unaware that they are eligible for a free flu vaccine or of the risks to themselves and the person they care for if they don’t protect themselves with the vaccine. Please keep an eye out for the social media messages and share these where possible using the hashtag #SurreyCarersFluJabVoucher.

More information about the Surrey Carers Flu Jab Voucher Scheme including how to get a voucher is available from Action for Carers Surrey.
Cost of Living Stakeholder Toolkit 

From 8 November 2022, households receiving DWP benefits will receive the second part of the £650 Cost of Living Payment. The second payment of £324 will automatically be paid into the bank accounts, of those eligible, meaning they will not need to do anything to receive the money. Most of these payments will be made by 23 November 2022.

Our Cost of Living Stakeholder Toolkit includes everything organisations need to communicate the second Cost of Living Payment with a range of resources such as easy-read information sheets, suggested newsletter and social media copy, frequently asked questions and a British Sign Language (BSL) information video.

A ‘Help for Households’ toolkit has also been created. ‘Help for Households’ is a cross-government initiative launched in response to pressures around the cost of living. This toolkit contains suggested messaging and assets to help organisations inform the public about the wide range of support available and where they can find help.

Winter Fuel Payment video 

An updated link to the new Winter Fuel Payment Video for distribution to external organisations and internal contacts is now available. An error was identified with the original messaging and the correct version is now available to view on YouTube via a different link and the previous video has been removed.

Please share the following information on the Winter Fuel Payment with your external stakeholders:

DWP has created a short video answering key questions we have received about ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. The video is available on the YouTube channel now 

We recognise that there is widespread concern about rising energy costs. As a result, we have experienced more citizens searching for information about Winter Fuel Payments and/or contacting DWP to ask about it. Most eligible citizens do not have to claim the Winter Fuel Payment as it is awarded automatically. We would encourage you to share this helpful Help for Households video, to help answer frequently asked questions from citizens about Winter Fuel Payment. 

Boost for carers who will receive new unpaid leave entitlement under government-backed law 

Millions of people across the UK who are currently providing unpaid care to dependant family members or friends will be entitled to unpaid leave under new laws backed by the government this week.

Around 2 million of those providing unpaid care are thought to be doing so while balancing work alongside their caring responsibilities. With no dedicated statutory leave entitlement for these informal carers currently in place, many have to resort to taking other forms of leave to ensure they can care for those dependent on them. The Carer’s Leave Bill will introduce a new and highly flexible entitlement of one week’s unpaid leave per year for employees who are providing or arranging care.

Carer’s Leave will be available to eligible employees from the first day of their employment, meaning unpaid carers will be supported regardless of how long they’ve worked with their employer. Staff will be able to take the leave flexibly to suit their caring responsibilities and will not need to provide evidence of how the leave is used or who it will be used for, ensuring a smoother process for both businesses and their employees.

Mental health support available for asylum seekers and refugees

As part of the Complete Care Community Programme, Alliance for Better Care’s Equity team has launched a pilot scheme aimed at addressing the increased mental health and well-being needs of asylum seekers and refugees in Surrey.
The aim is to help integrate people within their local community and offer activity-based support groups at the Asylum Seekers hotels in East Surrey, working together with local East Surrey Place partners.

Further information about the mental health support available for asylum seekers and refugees is available on the Alliance for Better Care website.  

Free courses
Men's Mental Health Awareness Month

Men’s Health Awareness Month is dedicated to bringing awareness to a wide range of men’s health issues.

To understand more about Mental Health we recommend the following free courses:

Mental Health First Aid
  • Explore mental ill health
  • Identify, understand and respond
  • Protect your own mental health
Start Free Course
Mental health problems
  • Understand the causes and effects
  • Explore how to manage conditions
  • Develop your awareness
Start Free Course
Self-harm and suicide prevention
  • Investigate triggers
  • Explore the role of conversation
  • Improve your understanding
Start Free Course
Invitation to a community event
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