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Coronavirus (Covid 19) update

Here you'll find all the latest info to help you and your family stay safe and also ways to support your organisation


What an extraordinary few weeks!  I know that many of you have been working exceptionally hard to either provide direct services to our communities or to reconfigure your own services and move activities online or provide telephone in place of face to face support.

At One Westminster we have been working as hard as we can to keep in touch, keep you all informed and work with the City Council to establish much needed services.  Although we are in fast evolving and changing times, I wanted to bring you up to date with where we are up to.

  1. We are continuing to provide you with as much information and advice as we can via our website, e-bulletin and emails.  We will continue to update our website and to make it as relevant as possible.
  2. We have lobbied on behalf of the sector regarding the payment of business rates – which shockingly – some of our Westminster based charities do pay an element of. 
  3. We are in regular contact with as many of you as possible, so that we can fully understand your needs, what you are experiencing day to day and what your communities and clients are facing.
  1. We are hoping to be able to establish some online network meetings using the fantastic Zoom which will allow us to see each other face to face to catch up and share stories. So please watch this space for invitations.
  1. Working collaboratively with Groundworks and Tempo, One Westminster is ensuring that everyone who wants to volunteer to support the council response to the Covid-19 crisis is supported to get an enhanced DBS.
  1. We will be helping to place volunteers into a number of roles including:
    • Food distribution – packing, shopping, delivering
    • Dog walking
    • Wellbeing Chat service
  1. Our new Social Prescription service has been revamped to meet the current situation.  A new “wellbeing chat” service will commence within a couple of weeks utilizing our newly  appointed team of Link Workers working alongside volunteers and supporting both patients identified by our GPs  and other clients coming through the Council’s Westminster Connects service. 
    The Link Workers will be part of a team of people we are calling Coordinator and Triage workers whose role will be to speak to anyone directed to “wellbeing chat” service.  Having identified the needs of any individual and resolved any immediate issues around food or medicines or a need to refer to a more specialist agency, the coordinator will pass on clients details to volunteers who will then ring each of their clients on a regular basis for a “wellbeing chat”.
  2. We are also  working with our partners and the council to support the volunteering effort around food distribution to do all we can to ensure that no one in Westminster goes hungry. IF YOU ARE AWARE OF ANYONE HAVING DIFFICULTIES AROUND OBTAINING, FOOD, MEDICINES OR IN NEED OF EMOTIONAL SUPPORT – PLEASE CONTACT THE WESTMINSTER CONNECTS SERVICE VIA THE COUNCIL OR ONE WESTMINSTER WEBSITE.
  3. Finally, we want to be there for you!  If you have any questions, concerns, challenges, news – good or bad – that you wish to share with the wider voluntary and community sector in Westminster, then please do get in touch with any of us by email ideally.  We would love to hear from you.

         Jackie Rosenberg, One Westminster CEO


Up to 1.5 million people in England have now been identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract coronavirus. The government has urged they should stay at home for at least 12 weeks (from 22 March 2020) to protect themselves and the NHS are contacting the people who are most vulnerable.

A new helpline phone number for vulnerable Westminster residents, which also offers support in community languages, has now been set up by Westminster City Council on:

020 7641 1222
People can phone the number or register online here.


It's sad to report at this time of national crisis that unscrupulous criminals are seeking to make money out of our fears and distress, often from society's older and vulnerable people. 
Fortunately, the National Trading Standards Scams Team has created some helpful materials, including this handy postcard and a letter you can send out to raise awareness,  to help promote scams awareness around coronavirus (COVID-19) scams. And here's a social media pack that organisations' communications teams can use. 

Here are just some of the scams that have been spotted, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:

  • Virus testing kits - these are only available from the NHS
  • Vaccines or miracle cures - there is currently no vaccine or miracle cure
  • Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus
  • Shopping or medication collection services
  • Home cleaning services
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus

How to volunteer safely

The Government has now issued a full set of guidelines on how to help others while staying safe yourself. At the moment you should only leave the house for one of four reasons, and one of these is to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. Even when you are doing this, you need to do so safely. Follow this link for the full Government details on how to help safely


Coronavirus advice in 43 languages

If you're struggling to follow the official advice in English - or know someone who is - then check out Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice in 43 languages, which now includes the lock down rules for the UK population. Videos are now being created - so far only in Turkish and Spanish, but many more are planned. Check them out here.  

Produced by Doctors of the World in partnership with the British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice, the guidance is based on the government’s updated advice and health information. Please forward this information to migrant and asylum-seeking communities who would like this crucial information in their own language.

Anyone who would find emails on the subject useful should sign up by sending an email to Subscribe


Superhighways, a project of Kingston Voluntary Action, supports small charities and community groups in London to do more with digital and data, has generated some great advice for organisations planning or getting started with working remotely. Check out these useful hints and tips below.

NCVO advice for organisations

The National Council for Volunteering Organisations has a range of useful practical advice to help voluntary groups and organisations get to grips with the enormous changes expected of all of us in the days and weeks to come.

Click here for full details.

For those with an underlying health condition

Healthwatch Central West London has brought out a Guidance & Support pack that has crucial guidance from national charities on what to do if you have an underlying health condition, and the latest communications from hospitals in our area. Access it above if you are living with such conditions as diabetes or asthma, or other conditions.

Red Cross: Small acts of kindness

In these perplexing times, the British Red Cross reminds us of the power of kindness with eight ways to be kind to your neighbours - and yourself! Click here to read. 

Staying well when social distancing

The government has now advised that if you have an underlying health condition(s) or if you are aged 70 or older, you should be social distancing for up to 12 weeks. This can seem a daunting process to many, so the Royal College of Occupational Therapists has created some top tips to help people get through it all. Click below for a printable poster. 


The Government has advised us to practice social distancing, but what exactly does it mean in practice? Click to view this video from the BBC  - it's all you need to know in just about a minute!

Safeguarding vulnerable adults In Westminster

Westminster City Council has produced these useful flyers to remind groups and organisations dealing with vulnerable adult groups what to do and where to seek help during the COVID-19 outbreak. Check them out below.

Official sources of advice

Advice from the NHS on how to protect yourself or how to access medical help can be obtained by clicking here

The government's response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 includes advice on staying at home, social distancing, travel and guidance for employers and businesses. Click here 

Click here for guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and organisations.

You can find advice on social distancing throughout the UK and also how older and vulnerable people can be protected by clicking here