Community Links Bromley is pleased to be part of the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP).
The VCSEP was formed based on learnings from the domestic crises of 2017, including Grenfell, and a sector-wide ambition to deliver a more coordinated response during emergencies. Right now the focus is on responding to the Covid-19 crisis, but the long-term ambition is to establish a legacy which enables the voluntary and community sector, government and statutory agencies to work better together to ensure the country’s most vulnerable communities get the right support at the right time in an emergency.
The VCSEP has recognised the increasing demands made on the sector and is here as a safety net:
- to boost and enhance support from national to VCS organisations, and to help raise the profile of grassroots organisations
- to further strengthen coordination of national and local response efforts during emergencies
- to provide a single access point between government and the voluntary and community sector.
The VCSEP has four strands of work:
1. A national platform to gather intelligence on unmet need at national, regional and local levels
2. A request for support service for when the demand for support outstrips the supply available to meet it
3. Five regional multi-agency cells, with representatives from national and local voluntary organisations across England, to facilitate a more collaborative and coordinated response across the voluntary and community sector
4. One national volunteering cell which has national overview and provides a single point of contact for requests for large-scale volunteer support.
Community Links Bromley can connect to the Liaison Leads, who can then draw on the VCSEP network and resources to support need in the local area.
One way in which you can help identify changing need is by signing up to take part in a short weekly “Pulse Check Survey”. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Lasting Connections – launching the Emergencies Partnership impact report
The VCS Emergencies Partnership has launched its impact report - 'Lasting Connections', which shines a light on some of the achievements in the last year in order to improve collective insight, collaboration and coordination across the sector.
Co-chairs of the Emergencies Partnership - Maddy Desforges, CEO of NAVCA and Mike Adamson, CEO of British Red Cross, stated that they are incredibly proud of the role local partners have played in strengthening the partnership and extended their gratitude and appreciation to the Local Infrastructure Network for its involvement in the partnership.
The partnership acknowledges that they still have a long way to go to achieve its objectives and will continue to work together in new and evolving ways as part of the preparedness plan for future emergencies and greater resilience.
Together South works to support refugees and non-EU migrants in South London, helping them to connect with and thrive in their communities by providing English language lessons, employment advice and community activities. More information here. Click on the following resources from Together South:
Information on applying for Community Sponsorship - Community sponsorship is a way that community groups can be involved in supporting the resettlement of vulnerable people fleeing conflict.
- Government link: Help people who have come to the UK from Afghanistan
- Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of Afghan refugees - a collection of resources, tools and guidance from Thrive LDN for professionals or volunteers
Recording of CLB's Discussion on support for Ukrainian refugees (22nd April 2022). Please note: The information in this video is accurate as of 22nd April 2022.
Ukraine Response - London VCS WhatsApp group
London Plus have set up a WhatsApp group to help coordinate London's response to the crisis in Ukraine. It is in conjunction with VCS Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP) but it is an open group for the VCS, which includes Ukraine-specific groups and other local and national VCS orgs.
The aim is to establish what is needed and coordinate actions in response. Specific requests can be posted here, and relevant organisations can promptly respond where they can help.
To join this group, please provide your details here and feel free to share this invite among your networks.
Weekly Emergencies Partnership London Ukraine Touchpoint call
London Plus will be chairing weekly calls for information and update sharing within the sector, specifically relating to Ukraine. This is in conjunction with VCSEP, but again it is open to London’s VCS. These will be on Tuesday mornings (this page will be updated with the recurring invite as soon as it is available)
Ukraine: Local insights
If you have any insights to share, please do either join the weekly London calls above, or get in touch with London Plus by email or phone. They can then communicate at a London level as appropriate through links with VCSEP, the GLA and London Councils.
The Government in conjunction with the Charity Commission, has published this Ukraine humanitarian crisis: guidance for charities and trustees and this guidance around safe giving to support Ukraine.
GOV.UK Press Release - ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme launches
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety – including those with no family ties to the UK
Phase One of the scheme opens for applications today
Phase One of the scheme will allow sponsors in the UK to nominate a named Ukrainian or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property.
VCSEP and Red Cross resources:
British Red Cross and Emergencies Partnership insight team have developed two documents that may be helpful as partners consider what can be done to prepare:
London Plus Ukraine resource:
Ukrainian populations in London
VCSEP have provided a quick analysis of some preliminary data from Census 2021 that the ONS released to help with emergency planning regarding Ukraine. Please also see the attached map. There were approx. 37,000 people born in Ukraine living in England as of March 2021. Split by region as follows:
- London: 18,990 people
- South East: 6,010
- Midlands and Central: 4,270
- North: 3,670
- South West: 3,470
Upcoming Local Sponsorship Scheme and changes to the Ukraine Family Scheme
Boris Johnson has defended the UK's response to the refugee crisis and said an upcoming scheme will allow Britons to take Ukrainians into their homes.
The scheme will match people, charities, businesses and community groups to Ukrainians who do not have established families in the country, so they are able to come the UK.
Changes will make the Ukraine Family Scheme quicker and simpler for Ukrainians.
- Q&A with the Home Office on the Ukraine visa process (Youtube video)
- Homes for Ukraine Sponsor Toolkit by RESET UK
- Thrive LDN resource: Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of displaced Ukrainians
- Free e-learning courses, launched by Solace, aimed at those who want to improve their support for the emotional wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees.
- Mayor of London guide on How to prepare for flash flooding
- Access training and support from Communities Prepared