Always refer to the NHS and Government advice for this, links to these below.
• Government advice on coronavirus – general
• NHS advice on coronavirus (including information on how to get a test)
• NHS 111 symptom checker
Thanks to School for Social Entrepreneurs for sharing many of these links
First, we would highly recommend starting by reading this guide by NCVO. This is a comprehensive guide being updated regularly and aimed at the social sector covering:
- 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
SF&G members in England are now able to join NCVO at a free or discounted rate (dependent on income). Please login to the members' area of our website to find out how to access this discount.
The Land Workers' Alliance has put together a series of helpful resources covering these topics:
- Advice on safer working practices
- Solidarity Pot for members
- Food bank and food poverty organisations
- Mental health support and resources
- Matching need with demand – produce, advice and labour
- Join an agroecological land army
- Further resources and support
Financial support, funding and grants
A number of Community Foundations and other organisations have launched special funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The Grants Online website page contains an huge list of organisations offering grants, plus information on the types of funding they have made available.
New opportunities are shared on their page regularly so it is worth checking it every few weeks.
National Emergencies Trust
The National Emergencies Trust have launched a Coronavirus Appeal to support grassroots charities and groups who’ll be supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people throughout the outbreak. The appeal is applicable across the UK. If you are an organisation looking for funding please contact your local UK Community Foundation.
Government financial support and guidance
This website page contains all the latest finincial support information from the government - COVID-19: support for businesses
Social Enterprise UK are regularly updating their website with the latest news and useful links including:
Budget 2020 - Guide for small enterprises - outlining the government's support further
Take your voice to government - help Social Enterprise UK identify what support you need by filling out their survey
HR and operational advice
HR advice - 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?'.
Community Action Response to Covid-19 by Community action charity Semble. Semble is working together with friends and partners to support community groups with the tools and resources they need at this time. Read up on the 5 step community action response guide for ideas and inspiration to keep the community spirit going.
Insurance advice - Is your organisation adequately insured during the Coronavirus outbreak? Like other organisations, many Social Farms & Gardens members have closed their doors for the time being, to protect staff, volunteers and visitors. Closing the doors to your organisation could leave you vulnerable to theft and property damage. McClarrons, the specialist insurance broker for our membership, have written a brief guidance note for our members to help ensure your organisation is adequately insured through these uncertain times.
Securing food for vulnerable people
Sustain campaigns for a healthy, fair and sustainable food system, ensuring that everyone can eat well which is highly relevant in this time of pandemic. Read their Coronavirus Food Alert page which communicates how the Sustain alliance is helping to ensure that people get the food they need during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. It covers topics from:
- Securing food for vulnerable people
- Supporting the local emergency response
- Securing food supply, diverse outlets, jobs and enterprises
Specific advice and support for our members
Updating your website
Employees, customers and suppliers will need to be kept regularly informed as to what is happening. One of the best ways of doing this is through your website as this will be the place many people will go first of all.
Writing a policy
Guidance on the Land Workers Alliance’s resource pages are useful to refer to first when writing your policies.
Taybank Growers Coop in Scotland wrote their policy following the LWA's guidance found here. Their policy covers topics from harvesting to veg box packing.
Example Coronavirus Grower's Policy
Communicating your COVID-19 policy, HR and Health and Safety measures with staff and volunteers - an example by Five Acres Farm
Funding to help with the impact of COVID-19
As mentionned in the 'Financial support, funding and grants' section, GrantsOnline have identified all those Grants that are available to you to help with the impact that COVID-19. They have collected them all on a separate web page that will be updated with any new information as and when it is made available, so please check regularly. To access the web page just click on this link (access to this page is free and no login details are needed).
- SF&G Funding and Corporate Business support page. The members area on our website has a page providing information on grants offered by the corporate sector to community growers, care farms and city farms. SF&G members can login to take a look at the opportunities which may be useful to their organisation.
Farming specific advice and support
The National Farmers Union has been calling on Defra and APHA to provide clear guidance to farmers on the implications of COVID-19 they have also been working to help link up food service businesses with retail supply chains to try to help provide additional volumes into shops, where the demand has fallen off in food service. Information on this and the latest news can be found on the links below.
- Coronavirus: What the NFU is doing to help members - Topics on this page also include: bank discussions, how agriculture is eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme, updated TB testing guidance, and meeting the diary supply chain.
- Advice for employers from the NFU's Specialist Advice Team - their online Q&A aims to inform employers about what they need to know and how to deal with the issues raised by coronavirus. You can acces it by becoming a member
Running a farming business can be demanding at the best of times. Additional health and financial worries caused by Coronavirus could make it an even more stressful time, and it’s important not to suffer in silence.Two charitable bodies are here to help:
Gardening/growing specific advice and support
Sustain has set up a dedicated Coronavirus page on their website here. The pages communicate how the Sustain alliance is striving to secure a resilient food system during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Advice to allotment members from the National Allotment Society
Exeter council's guidance to allotments - an example of council guidance
Opportunities to build skills within the organisation
Whilst we are all on lockdown the Open University OpenLearn initiative has hundreds of free courses available to complete online, some of which are really relevant to running a care farm or allotment such as: project planning, book keeping & accounting, management and leadership, entrepreneurship and fundraising. Courses are different levels (1,2,or 3) and take from a few hours to a week or so to complete. Most seem to provide cerfificates on completion.
General resources for individuals
Mental health and wellbeing
Access to Nature and Footpaths
Natural England have published a comprehensive page on accessing green spaces during lockdown, covering the following topics:
- Guidance on access to green spaces and Public Rights of Way
- Guidance on using green spaces and protecting yourself and others
- Guidance on using the Countryside Code.
- Landowners and public rights of way
- Visiting National Nature Reserves (NNRs)