Moving from crisis response

As we move from the immediate crisis response, and think about moving into the first stages of recovery/easing of lock down, there are a set of questions which are relevant to think about or to begin offer a framework or checklist.

Community and Services

· Has the need changed? Who are you serving, how do you best meet their needs now (not how they were in February 2020).

· Who are your priority clients/communities; how can you best meet their needs as restrictions are eased. Are some a higher priority than others for more contact?

· How can you best deliver services. Some aspects may remain as they have been during restrictions, others go back to how they were, others evolve. Should remote delivery remain?

· Does your volunteer offer need to change – have you got new volunteers going back to work; are previous volunteers who stopped because of COVID-19 (e.g. shielding) coming back in; how can you manage and support them?

Organisation and staffing

· Which staff come back to the office when. Need to balance the personal (who is shielding?); with the organisational (who is a higher priority operationally?).

· How do you rebuild a sense of identify and single organisation. People will have had very different experiences while at home, how to reconcile that.

· Operational considerations – maintaining social distance (work shifts, have people at home on different days); how will communications work (it may feel more isolating at home if others are in the office); need to continue to use flexible and remote working alongside face to face.

· Health and safety – Risk assess you arrangements and be mindful of H&S reporting requirements such as RIDDOR.


· What existing income have you lost or has been reduced – commercial income, contract etc. For how long/until when (might need different scenarios)?

· What interim financial support have you got – furloughing, short term grants?

· What from your pre COVID-19 income pipeline remain relevant, needs adapting, isn’t relevant?

· What other opportunities are there? What assets and resources have you got, what is the need?

Collaboration and Challenge

· How can you build on collaborations fostered during the COVID-19 crisis? What new links have been made and how they support resilience and recovery.

· How can you exert influence different levels - street, neighbourhood and city / strategic. As we build our new normal, can we be bolder in our challenge to inequalities?

· What did you achieve during COVID-19? It’s really important to capture the impact of what you did, and tell the story – for communities to see what you did; for volunteers and staff to feel connected and part of something; and for funders to see the impact of what you did.

For each aspect of this it might be useful to think about the 5 Rs:

Rescue – what can you salvage from what you were doing before COVID-19 hit;

Reform – what needs to be fundamentally changed, but is still relevant;

Resilience – where is are your organisational strengths and how can you make the best use of them.

Recovery – how do you get back to where you were before (including the learning/changes brought in as a result of COVID-19 that you’ll continue to run with).

Reoccurrence – how do you capture the learning from COVID that will be useful if it happens again

With thanks to VA Leeds