Your Briefing 20 May 2020

Your Briefing – 20 May 2020
This week including:
It’s all about the money – Funding news, opportunities and updates 
Visionary Latest – Online support and training sessions for you and your staff

Visionary logo

This week
Visionary latest – how Visionary can support you
Covid-19: A sector-wide approach – How the sector is working together
It’s all about the money – Funding news, opportunities and updates
HR Matters – HR advice and sources of information

Sharing the love – great ideas, successes and stuff that works
In the know – Latest Covid-19 Updates, news and resources

Visionary Latest

Welcome to your weekly briefing. Thanks to all of you who have joined our online sessions this week or shared information with us on what you are up to. It is inevitable that following the Government sharing their ‘Road Map’ for ending lock down, many of you are now looking at how you plan to return to delivering services and prepare for staff returning to work, whenever this might be! Many of you will be considering how you can continue to deliver adapted services that have worked well and how and when you might safely restart other services.

Visionary are therefore continuing to deliver and develop online sessions to help you through this transition period and support your planning. A reminder that most of our sessions are open to your staff – not just CEOs. Please do share details of these sessions with your teams. A reminder that all members of your team are also welcome to receive this briefing – they can sign up here.

Membership Renewal – June 2020
As shared with you back in March, we took the decision to delay Visionary membership renewal to June 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will therefore be contacting you all about renewing your membership at the beginning of June. Look out for your organisation’s individualised renewal form to complete if you want to renew your membership with us (we really hope you do!) Once completed, we will invoice for fees, backdated to April.

Advice and support
We can provide immediate advice and support via our Telephone Helpdesk on 020 8090 9264 or 
email

Online support sessions
Thursday 21 May at 11am
Introduction to small bid writing 
To join, click here or use the dial in details below
Hosted by Tim Atkinson from TPT, join this session for tips on writing small funding applications. Please note that this session will share basic bid writing skills so is aimed at staff with little or no bid writing experience who want to submit small bids to deliver activities.

Friday 22 May at 12 midday
Managing and supporting those who are home/remote working
To join click here or call 0131 460 1196. Webinar ID: 818 4218 6577
Alison Smith, Director and Lead Consultant at Roots HR CIC will talk about the approaches to managing individuals and teams who are home/remote working and the challenges of returning to the work place. Accessible copies of the slides to be used are available for download here.

Tuesday 26 May at 10am (and every Tuesday at 10am!!)
CEO weekly support session
To join, click here or use the dial in details below.
Our regular session for CEOs – no agenda, just an opportunity to share experiences, talk about what is working and find some peer support with what isn’t working so well

Tuesday 26 May at 2pm
Fundraising Master Class – The Post COVID-19 Fight Back
To join, click here or use the dial in details below
Hosted by Fiona Ashcroft, CEO of Alder Hey Charity and Chair Institute of Fundraising North West. Join this session for ideas on developing your fundraising strategy for post COVID-19 and for an opportunity to join a Q&A on your fundraising challenges and issues. Please note this session is for experienced fundraising staff who want to develop strategy.

Wednesday 27 May at 10am
Sustaining a Low Vision Service during COVID-19 
To join, click here or use the dial in details below
Hosted by Carole Theobald, CEO of iSightCornwall – join this session to hear how iSightCornwall have adapted their low vision service in response to COVID-19 to deliver it remotely so that people can still get the information, aids and equipment they need. They will take you through their five-point action plan for determining suitability and carrying out of immediate intervention through remote assessment:

  1. Primary triage exercise to assess a person’s initial suitability based on the referral information.
  2. Pre-assessment telephone call to further identify an individual’s suitability.
  3. Telephone assessment to be carried out.
  4. Follow-up call to be carried out to ascertain effectiveness of low vision aids.
  5. Client flagged on CRM system to make face to face contact when appropriate.

Thursday 28th May at 10am
Returning to work post COVID-19 lockdown
To join click here or use the dial in details below
Hosted by Carl Harrison (MSc CFIOSH) a Galloway’s Trustee and Health and Safety adviser with over 30 years’ experience. Carl will discuss risk assessing returning to the workplace, developing practical actions to manage risks and engaging with employees to re-mobilise offices and services. Carl and Galloway’s have already shared this comprehensive work place risk assessment and the session will further explore this guidance. The session will also include the opportunity for open discussion and Q&A’s. If you have any questions or subject areas for Carl to consider then please email us in advance.

Friday 29 May 2020 at 10am
Delivering Children and Young People Services
To join, click here or use the dial in details below
Join Clare Sweeney who leads the Children and Young People Services for Visibility to share ideas on how you have been keeping the children, young people and families that you support connected. This session would be useful for any organisation delivering children and young people services or wanting to start!

To join any sessions by phone (apart from the Roots HR sessions – see specific joining details above) call:
(Toll Free): 0800 169 0432
Access Code: 780-863-517

If you missed any of our previous sessions
CEO Support Session – 19 May 2020
7 CEO’s joined the regular Tuesday morning session, this week hosted by Stuart Clayton, CEO of Galloway’s and Visionary Trustee. No agenda, just an opportunity to come together and talk…

The group discussed how staff will return to work and delivering face to face services as the UK moves out of lockdown. Most organisations are thinking about how they will do this and are considering a phased return to work. The group recognised the challenge and psychological impact for staff who have been working from home for 9 weeks and the need for the transition back to be carefully planned.

The group discussed the complexity around risk assessment with social distancing in mind and the fact that lots of our buildings are not fit for purpose to allow social distancing. The group reflected that this crisis has been a good opportunity for cleansing databases and reviewing the types of info recorded/questions asked when calling people.

The group discussed that as we move out of the lock down, organisations could see this crisis as an opportunity for review and change. Finally, the group discussed Sensory support services and the opportunities for organisations to start partnership work with other sensory loss organisations, to be in a stronger position to bid for contracts.

Free 1 hour online mental health training*
Accredited mental health training is available free of charge through Champion Health for all staff and volunteers of Visionary members. Mental health problems are expected to soar over the next few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this 1 hour mental health training course provides participants with the tools to optimise their own mental wellbeing and spot signs of mental health issues in others. Please contact us to get your registration code. All of your staff and volunteers will be able to use this code to access the training.

*We are working with Champion Health to make the course more accessible as some of the graphics cause issues for Jaw software, however, we have tested this with a number of Visually impaired people who have successfully completed the training.

Visionary Annual Conference cancellation
A reminder of the cancellation of our 2020 Visionary Annual Conference scheduled for 18 to 20 November 2020. Please do continue to hold these dates as we will be taking the conference online and carrying over the spirit of sharing, connecting and developing your organisations together through a range of online events and workshops. 

Covid-19: A sector-wide approach

Cross sector support to secure inclusion of information about eye care in the NHS ‘Open for Business’ campaign
The NHS ‘Open for Business’ campaign aims to encourage people to seek NHS help when they need it. In England, the campaign is led by Public Health England. We are keen to ensure that this campaign explicitly includes messages about the importance of continuing to seek help for eyecare. The sector wide Early Intervention Committee are therefore asking that as many of your organisations as possible, write to the key Public Health England leads to raise this issue. The key points that the Committee are raising are:

  • We feel it is vital that the campaign includes messaging about eye health. There is evidence that people are not attending hospital for emergency eye care probably because of confusion about where to go and concern about contracting COVID-19 and over burdening NHS staff.
  • Incorporating specific messages about seeking help for urgent and emergency eye care into the NHS Open for Business campaign would be tremendously helpful and help to prevent hundreds of people unnecessarily losing vision.

If you would like to write to urge Public Health England to include eyecare messaging in this campaign, please email Allison Streetly (Deputy Director Health) and Elaine Rashbrook (National Lead for Older People) at Public Health England to ask them to support this inclusion.

Thomas Pocklington Trust – Accessible Tech for home and work webinar – Thursday 21 March at 1pm
We all know that accessing and utilising the right technology enables blind and partially sighted people to thrive. But with so many products out there, how do you know what is right for you? Join an expert panel on 21 May at 1pm to discuss the pros and cons of various accessible tech products for home and work. You’ll be able to ask tech experts questions and get advice on products you are thinking of buying or trying. Click here to find out more and register.

RNIB – Raising concerns over pop-up cycle ways
The Government has announced £250m for changes to street design to encourage more walking and cycling as lockdown eases. However it’s important these changes are made in a way that keeps streets accessible for blind and partially sighted people. This includes not using inaccessible methods like cones to widen pavements, and maintaining detectable kerbs between vehicles – including bikes – and pedestrians. At the same time, the Government has also brought forward the roll-out of e-scooters by a year, which means some local hire schemes could be in place as early as June this year. RNIB are running a travel survey to provide evidence about the effect of these changes on blind and partially sighted people. Click here to read more about the changes and share your views. Food for vulnerable people.

It’s all about the money

DEFRA launch Food Charities Grant Fund
DEFRA have opened the new Food Charity Grant Scheme to provide financial support for front-line charities in England to buy food to distribute through their networks. Local sight loss charities can apply for grants of at least £30,000. DEFRA are asking for applications to be made as soon as possible if you think you are eligible. You can read more and apply hereFor organisations not eligible for this size grant, see the National Lottery Scheme below.

National Lottery Awards for All
The National Lottery is awarding grants of £300 to £10,000 to organisations supporting people with challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. For further information and to apply, click here.

Healthy communities together
The King’s Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund are joining forces to support genuine partnership-working in local areas between the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and local authorities to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities. The Healthy communities together programme will offer up to £3 million in grant funding and £850,000 of leadership development support to place-based partnerships. Details here.

Government and National Lottery Community Fund ‘resolving final issues’ around small charity funding
The government and the National Lottery Community Fund are just resolving final issues regarding the £370m promised to help small charities with the impact of Covid-19. Read the full story here.

New Coronavirus funding updates from the DSC
More updates from the DSC, this post is being constantly updated so check back regularly. For more information on over 8,000 funders check out Funds Online.

HR Matters

Resources supporting mental wellbeing
The Kings Fund have brought together some resources providing practical tools and information to support the mental health and wellbeing of health and care workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Details here.

COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch 26 May 2020
A new online service will be launched on 26 May for small and medium-sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. Full details here.

Remote working is a relationship of proximity, not compatibility
Debra Allcock Taylor, CEO of the Director of Social Change talks about the reality of work during the pandemic, and why, despite plenty of armchair predictions about a workplace revolution coming out of this crisis, there’s plenty of evidence to show that we learn, work, communicate and build relationships better when we’re in the same physical space.

Working from home top tips from the Directory of Social Change
Short video of WFH top tips from the DSC access here.

Guidance for employers and businesses 
This guidance will assist employers, businesses and their staff to stay open or reopen safely during COVID-19.

Staying safe outside your home

Recently updated official guidance on the principles you should follow to ensure that time spent outside your home is as safe as possible. Click here.

Sharing the love

The New Normal
Visit our Knowledge Hub pages here for our latest guidance and downloadable resources to help you journey into the new normal and deal with challenges, make the changes required and get the most from the chances presented by COVID-19. Key topics covered include:

Henshaws – Top tips for social distancing if you are blind or visually impaired
We keep hearing about social distancing and how it’s going to become part of who we are and how we live for some time to come. Some people say – just be mindful and keep your distance. Simon, Henshaw’s Senior Rehab Officer who is visually impaired himself, says “I struggle to walk down the road and not bump into my wife, who I trail to the side as a form of sight guide. How’s this social distancing going to work?” In this really useful blog, Simon shares his top tips on the subject.

New build or major refurbishment in the last 5 years?
Susan Hoath of Vista would like to connect with members who have undertaken a new build or major refurbishment project in the last 5 years. Please email Susan if you can help.

British Blind Sport at Home Workouts
British Blind Sport (BBS) are now running #WorkoutWednesday. Every Wednesday they are running a live, accessible and audio-led fitness session. These sessions last around 30 minutes and vary from Pilates and Yoga to HIIT and Boxercise. As well as live workouts on Wednesdays, BBS are also creating pre-recorded content to share with their members and followers outside of the live workouts, to ensure people have plenty of accessible workouts to keep them active at home.

You can access the live sessions and pre-recorded content on the BBS websiteYouTube channel or Facebook page. They have also created a dedicated Facebook group whereby people can post tips and tricks for staying active and healthy at home, as well as enter into discussions and gain a sense of community! You can find their Facebook group here.

Alternative grocery delivery services
DEFRA have updated their information for charities and local authorities about alternative grocery delivery services to include some new products and services that have recently been launched – more here. We have also heard today that Morrison’s have made some additional food delivery options available for vulnerable people – find out more here.

DEFRA have also launched a service that allows local authorities to refer vulnerable people for reserved grocery delivery services – any local authorities wanting to adopt this service should complete this short form.

Charity Shops – do you want to reopen yours?
The Charity Retail Association have published this pack consisting of helpful guidance for reopening charity retail operations, and provides some suggestions of things to think about in the meantime. It will be updated as new government advice becomes available.

In the know

From red to green, but what does it mean for us?
Following the government’s announcement about the subtle relaxing of lockdown measures and the Chancellor’s announcement last week on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until October 2020, Caron Bradshaw from the Charity Finance Group reflects on the Government’s shift of tone to prepare for life after lockdown. Read the full article here.

What should trustees be looking at during this stage of COVID-19? 
This useful article suggests some questions trustees should consider as they look plan for the medium term.

Charities forced to stop helping people if they want to survive
Results are in from the recent Directory of Social Change COVID-19 survey of charities.

Integrated care systems (ICSs) explained 
ICSs are a key part of the NHS long-term plan and are intended to bring about major changes in how health and care services are planned, paid for and delivered. This article provides an introduction to ICSs, covering topics such as what they are, why they are needed, how they are developing.

How to make the most of your charity’s social media during lockdown
Corinne Clark, social media manager at Sightsavers, shares her advice on how to handle an organisation’s social media in the time of COVID-19.

Care home support package backed by £600 million 
We know that quite a few of you operate care homes, many of which have been hit hard by COVID-19. A new £600 million Infection Control Fund has been introduced to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in care homes. Details here.

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