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Launch of ‘Request Help as a Local Organisation’ service from the VCS Emergencies Partnership

Over the last few weeks, ERVAS, has been working with the national VCS Emergency Partnership to assist with establishing, developing and managing the ‘Request Help as a Local Organisation’ service, ERVAS is supporting as a Local Liaison Lead.

The service has now launched across the North and organisations can use an online form to request support when local support organisations are unable to find the solutions required.

What is the ‘Request Help as a Local Organsiation’ service?

When local organisations need extra support, we recommend that they firstly approach their local infrastructure organisation for support, and LIOs can also work with their local authorities and other partners to find solutions. Organisations and groups should try those local channels first, as being embedded in and knowledgeable of the community already, they will be best placed to support in the first instance. However, we know there are times when there is not enough local capacity to provide the support required.

At this point, local organisations can make a request for support from the new Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership ‘Request help as a local organisation’ service. Their request is reviewed by local liaison leads who will either try to organise help locally, or escalate the request to a regional panel of voluntary and community groups to try to find appropriate support.

Needs that still cannot be met are escalated to a national level, where trends inform requirements for improved local resource and infrastructure supply. For example, more personal protective equipment (PPE) in care homes or priority delivery slots for high risk citizens. The data will help understand and anticipate unmet needs across the country, and help match supply with demand.

A member or representative of the local organisation needing help makes their request online by answering brief questions. They will receive a confirmation email to let them know their request was received and a liaison lead will contact them within 24 hours to discuss arrangements for the support they requested. Urgent requests are handled by regional team managers who are on call at all times.

And what it is not…

The ‘Request help as a local organisation’ service is not an alternative to asking for local support from Local Infrastructure Organisations or local authorities. Members or representatives of local organisations should first have used all the local channels available to them, and exhausted all local resource and support options, before using the new service.

Types of support available:

  • Transportation or delivery including medicine
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Financial support and advice
  • Specialist training
  • Guidance
  • Mental health support and wellbeing
  • Volunteers.

Go to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership request support service at redcross.org.uk/vcsep-support, and please complete the form with as much detail as you can.