Help for communities - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for community groups and organisations

These FAQs contain information like: how to continue to work digitally and safely, varying your current funding obligations and volunteering issues. 

You can also download a copy of these FAQs as a PDF here -

Should our group continue to meet to provide support to each other?

The important thing just now is to keep people safe.  Guidance from the NHS can be found here.  However, there are other ways you can support your group members, even if you can’t get together.  For those that are digitally enabled, WhatsApp, Facebook Skype and Zoom can provide a way of still having that wider contact with friends and family. 

If that wouldn’t work for your group, explore whether people would want to share telephone numbers and call each other regularly to reduce social isolation.

A YouTube tutorial on how to create a Facebook group can be found here

A YouTube tutorial on how to create a WhatsApp group can be found here and how to make a WhatsApp group call here

   

This document - Setting up Skype - Guide for Community Groups - gives instructions on how to download Skype: this means that you will be able to join Council Skype meetings:

  • As a guest caller – on the phone.  You will have audio only.
  • As a partial Skype participant – if you have a skype account that is linked to an email address that is part of the MS suite  eg Hotmail  - you will get audio and video.  You may be able to see but not share documents.

Zoom is an alternative video conferencing tool.  Information on how Zoom can be used can be found here

As part of their COVID-19 hub, SCVO have this page on how third sector organisations can use digital opportunities to overcome the current hurdles.

Our project is externally funded but we need to change what we’re doing to respond to the challenges of Covid-19.  Can we do this?

Speak to your funders.  Many of them are happy to be flexible about this at the moment – the important thing is to speak to them and have that conversation.  Here’s what some of them are saying.

We’re inundated with offers of help.

One of the strengths of Argyll and Bute is how resilient our communities are and we know that many community organisations are being contacted by people willing to help in any way they can.  If you have more offers of help than you can currently use, why not think about developing a back-up list of volunteers who can be called upon if demand increases or if some of your current volunteers are advised to self-isolate?

Encourage people to think about how they can help and support their immediate connections too – putting plans in place to help and support family and friends who might not be vulnerable but might have to self-isolate is just as important as volunteering with an organisation or group.

Lots of people want to volunteer but they are not PVG registered – what do we do?

Organisations are aware of the balance between supporting vulnerable people in difficult times and protecting them and keeping them safe.  We are currently awaiting a Scottish Government decision on whether PVGs can be waived.

What can my organisation do to help?

If your organisation has paid staff, you need to balance protecting your staff, with supporting the people who use your service.   Are you in a position to be able to offer support to your members with regular telephone contact rather than face to face? While people are self-isolating having someone call can help to reduce feelings of social isolation.  If anything more than telephone support is being considered, please refer to the Volunteering Safely Guidance

The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has a list of frequently asked questions on their website that will help charities on subjects relating to their obligations as a charity.