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Setting up and running a covid-19 community group

This section is for voluntary groups who are responding to the Covid19 pandemic.   Community Action Suffolk supports organisations in Suffolk’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector, to enable them to operate more effectively.  During these unprecedented times it is vital that we respond to your needs and help you to help your community.  So whether you are a new community group that has formed to respond to Coivid-19 or an existing group or organisation that is carrying out new activities then there are resources for you.

We are continuously updating useful information and guides to support you and your voluntary group.  It is important that while you provide a community response, you also safeguard yourself, volunteers and vulnerable people in your community.

Toolkits & Guides Safeguarding Funding Public Bulletins Managing or Leading Volunteers

COVID-19 Community Groups Survey

We are a collective of Suffolk based organisations who want to ensure that your organisation, scheme or group are receiving helpful and timely information, have sufficient resources and, where necessary, adequate funding.  This important feedback will be used to inform and influence on-going support and guidance.  The organisations involved with this survey are listed at the end with links to their websites.  If you have any queries about this survey please contact

Toolkits & Guides

These 6 key priorities guides are very good place to start when setting up your group – will give you some key priorities to help your group be safe and effective. Once you have read and digested these, you may want to move on to the more comprehensive resources.

We have put together a number of different guides so there is something for every type of group or organisation.  They are designed for you to dip in and out of and provide you with some sensible considerations.  We have provided templates so that you don’t have to start from scratch.  You might find our Facebook group a great place to learn from others leading groups.

Challenging Situations

Volunteers and the law

Recruitment and support

Staying safe

Toolkit for setting up a constituted group

Toolkit for a group or organisation offering new activities due to covid-19 (e.g. faith groups, Good Neighbour Schemes, Parish Councils)

Shopping and Handling Money

Tips for safe volunteering

Community Response Group Leaders guide for Safe Volunteering

Coronavirus: How to help safely

Suffolk Domestic Abuse Helpline Poster

Peer Support Facebook group

We have set up a closed Facebook group especially for the leaders of the new Covid-19 Community Response Groups – some of you might be brand new to the world of volunteering!
The Facebook is a forum for you to share your challenges and solutions and learn from each other across the county. We are all in this together and it is important that while so many self-isolating, you don’t feel isolated yourself. The groups will be moderated by Community Action Staff who can input their experience and signpost where necessary.

The discussions on this Facebook group will be important, as it will help us to see what the common challenges are. Please click on the button below and answer the quick questions to join.

Join Peer Support Facebook Group


You will want to ensure that those who are vulnerable in your community are protected and appropriate action taken if abuse or neglect is suspected.  We have put together resources to help you ensure you and your volunteers understand what Safeguarding is and what your responsibilities are.

A range of free safeguarding documents, training and guides from Community Action Suffolk are also available on the Safeguarding page of the CAS website. Click here for the Resources

Safeguarding tips from Robin on Vimeo.


You may need a little funding to help with your activities, here are some resources to help you with this.

Suffolk COVID-19 Response Emergency Funding

Find Funding

Public Bulletins

Covid-19 Community Response Group – Bulletin

Managing and Leading Volunteers

You have probably found yourself in the position where you are now leading a small or even large group of volunteers.  Please head over to our section on Managing and Leading Volunteers for some resources to help you in what might be a brand new role for you!  We believe that a little planning and support can help avoid problems further down the line and enable you to celebrate with your volunteers the positive impact you are making in your community.