Helping Community Centres and Village Halls Re-open Safely
Community centres and village halls are places that help to support and sustain public life across the country. They are hugely valued by their communities for playing a multi-purpose role, serving as a social centre, arts centre, sports centre and in some cases providing education, health, or retail services.
The Covid-19 Safer Spaces guide has been published to assist staff and volunteers to ensure their centres are safe to re-open as the different phases of lockdown come to an end.
Developed by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) in partnership with architects IF_DO, and Clarion Futures, this free-to-use guide sets out clear stages of how to safely re-open community centres and village halls across the UK. Visual diagrams illustrate the spatial adaptations required for hiring and other essential services to recommence as safely as possible.
ACRE also produce timely updated information sheets on their website along with example risk assessments and other useful information. Please keep checking these as theses are updated as and when required
New information to help village halls reopen – ACRE | Action with Communities in Rural England
TEWV- Mental Health Resilience Funding Opportunity
The impact of the COVID pandemic on our mental health and emotional well-being is becoming increasingly evident. Across the lifespan, we are seeing heightened rates of anxiety and low mood amongst the population. Many people have been living in fear of contracting the virus; and feelings of anxiety surrounding re-engaging with community life are understandable and very normal. For those who have been significantly unwell as a result of contracting COVID themselves or have lost a loved one to the virus, we may see specific trauma responses. Loneliness, social isolation and the lack of freedom and meaningful activity that the lockdowns have caused has posed challenges to our emotional well-being. Those amongst us who experienced pre-existing mental or physical health difficulties may have found that these have been exacerbated due to the pandemic; with those who have significant vulnerability, multiple disadvantage or living in abusive environments perhaps most at risk.
The pandemic has caused many of us to reflect on our own emotional well-being and what helps us to maintain this. Services have, as a result of the restrictions, had to become more creative and flexible in how they operate and meet the needs of the local population. There is a recognition that it is now crucial we learn from these experiences and put into place robust support for people as they navigate their own journey to a place of greater well-being. ‘Resilience’ funding has become available through Tees Esk and Wear Valley, (TEWV) in order to enhance existing VCSE service provision in the Tees Valley to meet this need. We would therefore like to invite bids for grants which will have a specific focus on recovery from the pandemic and which are designed to meet the particular needs of the local population; considering any gaps in existing services.
This fund is now open for applications, see below. It is a simple application process and our Darlington groups can apply for a minimum of £2,000 up to a maximum of £10,000. (Please note if you are an organisation operating in one of the other local authority areas of the Tees Valley this minimum and maximum level may be different or not exist at all. Contact details for the other areas are at the end of this brief.)
Applicants must consider the criteria outlined in the attached pdf document, ‘Resilience Funding Tees Valley Overview’. Resilience Funding Tees Valley overview FINAL 10062021
The deadline for receiving applications is by using the application form attached and returning via email to email@example.com or by post to TVRA’s office address by Wednesday 21st July 2021 at 5pm
Darlington TEWV Application Form
It is anticipated that the decision panel will meet on 26th July 2021 to consider applications received.
Please circulate to your networks If you have any queries please contact our office on (01642) 213852 where you will go straight to voicemail but please leave a message and either myself or Janice McColm will get back to you.
For further information on other areas the contacts are the following:
Stockton Catalyst: Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Redcar RCVDA: email@example.com
Middlesbrough VDA: firstname.lastname@example.org
From March 25, the test site will move to Loftus Fire Station, Coronation Rd, Loftus, TS13 4SW on the following days:
Monday: 8am – 12pm
Tuesday: 8am – 12pm
Thursday: 2pm – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Anyone over the age of 18 who does not have symptoms can take a quick and easy test to see if they have the virus. Most results are returned within 30 minutes.
Anyone wanting a test should book at www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk or ring 01642 774774. Walk-in slots are also available.
Anyone displaying the following Coronavirus symptoms should not come to the site for a test:
- a new, continuous cough
- a high temperature; or
- a loss of, or change, in your sense of smell or taste.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should follow the guidance online on how to book a test – https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test – or call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm. You will also need to need to stay at home and self-isolate.
Residents across the region are being urged to complete a Covid-19 impact survey to help get region wide insight into the impact of the pandemic.
We recognise how difficult it has been for people to cope with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please complete our survey to help us understand more about how your day-to-day life has been affected, including health and wellbeing, work, household finances, shopping, social and leisure activities. We are keen to hear your views on vaccination, the economy and the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing.
More info – Gateshead Council Consultations
ACRE has issued new information to help village halls prepare for reopening. Our assessment is that contrary to the government’s announcement on 22 February, village halls will not be able to reopen after Easter, except for a small number of permitted activities. Most will have to wait until 17 May before they can be hired out for many functions including exercise classes, coffee mornings, performances and celebrations.
The update, should be read alongside previous advice and information issued by the charity which provided a detailed commentary on how village halls could previously reopen following the government’s Covid Secure rules