To support the fight against COVID-19, both individuals and businesses can contribute to the work being carried out by the voluntary, public and private sectors on a local and national level.
This page was updated on 9 February 2021.
"The people of our city-region are compassionate – we don’t just walk on by”
“We are living in a challenging period but, together, we will get through this like we have so many depressions, recessions and dark times before. That is the spirit of Greater Manchester.”Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
To support our communities during the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone, including the most vulnerable, we must all play our part. There are several actions people can take both from an individual perspective, as well as a business one to contribute to the work being carried out to respond to the needs created by the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are some actions and initiatives to consider and become involved with.
On a professional level, businesses can:
Promote and enable safe volunteering
- Employers should especially consider directing their furloughed staff to available volunteering opportunities. During hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, they can take part in volunteer work provided it is for another employer or organisation. To find local opportunities, employees can visit the Volunteer GM website, as well as Manchester Community Central’s Volunteer Centre Manchester.
There is a wide range of opportunities available from becoming a Manchester Digital Champion remotely supporting digitally excluded residents to becoming a Vaccination Care Volunteer to help St John Ambulance to support the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
In addition, there are various roles available as part of the NHS Volunteer Responders programme.
Government guidance on COVID-19 volunteering
Individuals interested in volunteering during the national lockdown should consider the following:
- Individuals should volunteer from home unless it is not reasonably possible to do so.
- Individuals that are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should not volunteer outside their home.
- When volunteering you should continue to follow social distancing guidelines and the latest travel guidance.
- You should also ensure you wear face coverings in mandated settings.
- If you volunteer in a critical worker role you are allowed to send your children to school or college during the national lockdown.
Full guidance on how to volunteer safely during the pandemic has been published on the government website.
- Furloughed employees can also volunteer or register for short-term paid work in adult social care. This could entail providing personal care, wellbeing support, assistance with supply collection and delivery, or helping out with the cooking and cleaning. Training will be provided and individuals will be included in their local COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme in line with key worker status. Full details are available on the government website.
Support those experiencing homelessness
- Businesses can respond to the appeal to support homelessness charities launched by Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, which is currently asking businesses in the region for bulk supplies of:
- Food packages – e.g. cereals, microwaveable meals, tea/coffee, sugar, fruits
- Welfare packages – e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, sanitary products, deodorant
- Hygiene packages – e.g. hand sanitiser, hand wash, soaps, wet wipes, tissues
- Food preparation equipment – e.g. microwaves, hot plates
- Cutlery and crockery – e.g. knives, forks, bowls, plates, cups and mugs
- Transportation – for delivery of food and welfare packages
- Essential IT equipment – e.g. smartphones, laptops
- Solo activities – e.g. games, consoles, notebooks, pens
Businesses interested and able to support the ask can get in touch with the charity by clicking here.
Help individuals who have been made redundant due to COVID-19, as well as self-employed people who have registered a significant drop in work.
- Businesses who are experiencing an increased demand such as health and social workers, supermarket staff, delivery drivers and food manufacturing and production operatives, can list new job opportunities on Employ GM, a service which can match their requirements to applicants looking for work.
On a personal level, individuals can:
- Follow the government’s advice to stay at Home, Protect the NHS, and Save lives
- Reach out by phone call and digital channels to family members, friends and neighbours and especially those in self-isolation or living alone. Offer to help with shopping for essentials or simply to provide some emotional support.
- Support their local communities by volunteering (see the section above for detailed information)
- Support people experiencing homelessness in Greater Manchester, by donating through the Greater Manchester Mayor's Charityor the Street Support Network’s
Visit our FAQs page for more Coronavirus Business-related information
The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.