The Government will help coordinate a major volunteering push to help support people through the COVID-19 outbreak.
DCMS is working closely with the civil society sector – including National Emergencies Trust, the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and the British Red Cross – on how to galvanise volunteers and coordinate help to those who need it most.
General Sir Nick Parker, Chair of Step Up to Serve has also advised DCMS, drawing on his experience as Patron of Team Rubicon, a specialist disaster relief organisation.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “I have been so encouraged by how the British public, alongside our brilliant charities and volunteers, are rising to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and supporting each other at this challenging time.
“I know that many people across the country are wondering how they can help those who are more vulnerable – whether that’s delivering food to those isolating or simply being around for a chat on the phone. We will work with the sector experts to channel this fantastic outpouring of support and deliver help where it’s most needed.”
The move follows a forum of 40 leaders from across the civil society sector last week, chaired by Minister for Civil Society Baroness Barran, where representatives from charities, disability groups, faith-based groups and the voluntary sector discussed their response plans to the Covid-19 outbreak and their willingness to support the Government’s efforts.
Attendees included the British Red Cross, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Small Charities Coalition, Locality, Interfaith Network, Muslim Aid, The Scouts Association, UK Youth, Sustain, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action.
Many charities – such as FareShare and the British Red Cross – are already organising to support those affected by Covid-19.