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Summary of VCS Survey - May 28th

Thanks to everyone who has filled in the Newham VCS Survey run by Compost London. This is the 7th weekly report we have produced. The survey continues to grow and it is allowing us to see a picture of growing need for support from some of the borough’s residents.

The survey remains open and can be accessed here

  • As of 28th May 2020, 146 Newham organisations have completed the survey covering a wide range of charity, community, worship and faith organisations.

  • 74% of organisations are currently open and providing some kind of service for Newham residents, and 15 organisations are currently looking to reactivate their services.

  • 62 organisations are offering some kind of food support to Newham residents – ranging from bags of food that are either collected or delivered through to cooked meals that are distributed.  19 organisations are also supporting families with baby supplies. 42 organisations are offering a delivery to home service. 

  • 24 organisations are currently signed up to be part of the Newham programme for distribution of surplus fresh, chilled and frozen food. 

  • 3 organisations are working with Newham council to provide emergency food support for residents in crisis over the weekends, which continues to be a lifeline for some residents.

  • 11 organisations are working to develop schemes whereby volunteers can do paid-for shopping for residents who wish to pay for their shopping but can’t leave their home.

  • 19 organisations are supporting their service users with the collection and delivery of medication.

  • 48 organisations are supporting Newham residents with a wide range of advice, support with form-filling and helping people access statutory support services.  Work continues to enable these organisations to collaborate together.

  • 27 organisations are doing some kind of telephone or online befriending  - either to existing services users or to Newham residents more widely.  Concerns about the mental health of residents are beginning to be a theme this week.

  • A wide range of other activities are taking place, including making PPE and embroidery, online art, craft and fitness sessions for people of all ages and abilities, and support to people who were rough sleeping prior to the covid outbreak.

Many organisations have volunteered that their services can be advertised on the Council, One Newham and Compost London websites.  Here is a map of the services available from those organisations who have agreed to have their services published map.  It gets updated each weekend. It now includes a postcode search function.

The survey also captures what support Newham VCS organisations need. As of 28th May the top priorities were:

  • 28 organisations needing help with PPE. We are looking to support those in most urgent need.

  • 34 organisations needing help with Funding. LBN has launched a grant scheme linked to the VCS survey – any organisations who has completed the survey will have received information about the grants scheme.  Organisations are also encouraged to look at the East End Community Foundation special Covid grant scheme.  We are also in the process of allocating skilled volunteers to work with organisations who told us their funding need was urgent. This is being done as part of a new programme called Newham Skills Bank.

  • 20 organisations needing help with food (the distribution of surplus fresh, chilled and frozen food to VCS organisations, and the provision of fridges and freezers to store the surplus food has gone really well, and 98.7 tonnes of surplus food has been delivered to VCS organisations in Newham since early April  - Newham is currently receiving 25% of the surplus food supply for the whole of London which is possible because of the  joint working and collaboration taking place.

  • 16 organisations need help finding accommodation for service users. Some of this relates to residents who have no recourse to public funds and we are just beginning a project to understand more about the serious challenges faced by residents in this situation.

  • 16 organisations need help sourcing baby supplies

  • There are a range of requests for help with storage, transport, IT and phones, data and websites.   Over the comings weeks we will be looking to match volunteers with professional skills to Newham VCS organisations needing assistance in these areas as part of the Newham Skills Bank programme.

We have seen some great examples of collaboration in many areas – new items this week include collaboration to support Newham residents who were rough sleeping and are now in temporary accommodation and organisations collaborating to provide specialist services to another organisations regular service users.

Compost London, Ruth Bravery acting as a Strategic VCS Adviser, and LBN lead officer for VCS Phil Veasey are coordinating the requests for support and offers of resources and matching up where possible, or raising the need for support for the Gold and Silver crisis response teams in Newham Council. 

All VCS organisations are encouraged to check out the documents included in Shirley Biro’s daily email as this includes a wide range of sources of support for VCS organisations (covering funding, legal, resources for services users etc).  It also includes guidance prepared by Newham Council on how to refer residents in need to the Council, the setup of the LBN hubs and topics such as managing infection control in food distribution situations. The guidance is updated weekly.  Any VCS organisations wanting to access volunteers are encouraged to access volunteers via Active Newham here

Compost London are working hard to ensure the data captured by the survey is kept up to date and that we are meeting your needs. Please try to respond to Compost London staff if they get in contact with you for an update.

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