Coronavirus (COVID-19) communications support and templates: Community support

The way our local communities are organised has been fundamentally impacted by COVID-19. Local authorities and community organisations are working around the clock to ensure that residents can access the local support that they need in a way that is suitable for them. Many councils have now set up community support hubs, bringing together council and community efforts to support residents in the response to COVID-19.

Communications teams have a big role to play in coordinating with local partners to meet the needs of residents and ensuring that residents have access to the information they need to get support. Consider:

  • Providing an email, helpline or community support hub directly or through an umbrella voluntary sector organisation to enable residents to offer and receive support. This should be clear about how support will be delivered directly to help the local area, separate to the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme. Examples of innovative practice from councils can be found below.
  • Map out all the support already available: care providers, public services, charities, community groups, companies and mutual aid networks. Ensure that this information is clearly visible and easily accessible on your council’s website. There is not a definitive national list, but the following organisations are endeavouring to broker information about needs and offers of support:

Here is some notable practice of how councils are ensuring residents know what community support is available to them:

Useful tools

'How to map stakeholders', New Conversations 2.0, Local Government Association, 2019