Covid: guidance for community groups

We've gathered information to help guide you on the Corona virus whether you are a community organisation or a group of neighbours looking to help others. 

As we come across reliable guidance or toolkits that may, help we'll add it to this resource section.  There is separate guidance for individual residents and businesses.


Lockdown Lookup - easing out of lockdown

The community enabling team has reviewed the latest restrictions from the government roadmap and put together a lookup system to help translate the information.  Hopefully this will help groups quickly and easily work out when you might be able to get back to doing what you all do best!


Lockdown-easing.xlsx (24 KB)

Community Action Poster

A simple poster out lining 6 steps to make a positive difference in your community.

Community action poster

Communications toolkit

Norfolk County Council have provided access to a range of helpful coronavirus materials for community organisations and businesses to download.  

These include posters useful for reopening, leaflets, social media images and videos, plus postcards for volunteers offering support to people in self-isolation.

Some of the materials include advice from Public Health England and the NHS – their key messages include encouraging people to follow social distancing guidance, and to wash hands regularly, for 20 seconds, using soap and hot water.

You can find all these in their toolkit here: Covid 19 Government response

This site covers all official updates on advice, guidance and information on Covid with links to other official sources.

Guidance for community organisations (NVCO)

This useful web page provides practical support and guidance for community organisations dealing with the coronavirus.  It guides you through general government advice, all the way through to supporting your beneficiaries, staff and volunteers.  Including how you might minimise any financial impacts on your charity. 

Guidance: what businesses/venues must remain closed.

For the latest government information on what businesses and venues are required by law to remain closed. 

The businesses and venues shown in the left-hand column, must stay closed to members of the public. Legal exceptions, and guidance on their scope, are set out in the right-hand column.

When using or operating any exemptions to closures listed below, you should follow relevant social distancing guidance.

I can help - postcard for neighbours

If you want to support a neighbour who is self-isolating, you can download our postcard to tell them that you're available.

This is a slightly different version of the I Can Help postcard.  

If someone offers you help, only use someone you know and trust.

Mutual aid guide to starting a group: The Loss Project

Produced by The Loss Project, this simple and useful guide helps with understanding and setting up mutual aid.

It is a practical guide and planning tool for individuals and workers to support the creation of as many Mutual Aid Groups as are necessary.  Building real and practical capacity, on the ground, to deal with the tough times now.  And to be sure we don’t forget what is important, as and when we get this virus under control.

Download your copy for free here:

Mutual Aid UK

Covid Mutual Aid UK supports community groups organising mutual aid throughout the covid-19 outbreak.  Their website provides resources and helps connect people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need.

 They have created a comprehensive guide on how to set up a group of local people to support each other, from creating leaflets, to online meetings including a range of helpful templates.

NCVO update on supporting charities

Understand how The NCVO's working with others to ensure together, they support the voluntary sector and communities, in every way they can to get you and your organisation through the coming weeks and months.


Physical distancing poster downloads

The Norwich BID (Business Improvement District) have produced a range of free downloadable posters for physical distancing.  

They've been designed with local businesses in mind but a few may be helpful to community organisations too!

Reopening safely: 5 steps

As our thoughts shift to reopening, many community organisations and businesses are starting to think about what safely measures are needed to ensure your activity / business / venue maintains social distancing and meets government guidelines.

The government has produced this simple guide on the practical actions to we should all be taking.

They've also produce a range of guides with more in depth information, focused on a range of workplaces which we'll link to separately.

Reopening safely

The government has produced a range of guides to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles.  So you may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. 

Construction and other outdoor workGuidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments

Factories, plants and warehouses: Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses.

Labs and research facilities: Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.

Offices and contact centres: Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.

Other people's homes: Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people's homes.

Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery: Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.

Shops and branches: Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

Vehicles: Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.

Shopping for the elderly and vulnerable

We've attached the latest update on Norwich's main supermarkets, who have special shopping hours for older and vulnerable people.  This includes NHS workers and in some instances social care workers.  ID cards must be shown.

To help, bus concessionary passes are now able to be used before 9:30 on weekdays during the corona outbreak period to allow you to attend special shopping hours.

UPDATED Nov 2020: 

Shopping-for-Elderly-Vulnerable-NHS-03.11.pdf (25 KB)

Shopping for others

Across the city we are seeing many communities and individuals volunteering to support friends, families and neighbours during the COVID-19 outbreak. They are providing an important and much valued service, which we are all grateful for. 

The attached guide help volunteers to consider where you shop and keeping everyone's money safe and alternatives to handling cash.   

If that's not an option then it is best if you just buy the essentials, so you are only dealing with a small amount of money. 

This guidance was developed through the COVID-19 Cumbria Community Resilience Group but is still very helpful.

Guidance on shopping for others

Service adaptation: minimising impact

This information sheet covers the basic considerations Norwich's community groups face, having been impacted by the coronavirus.

The guidance covers adapting your services, communicating with users, committee members and Trustees and points you to further help on minimising the financial impact.

Practical guidance for community groups

Setting up or running an INFORMAL Group

If you do not have the ability to volunteer for an existing and established organisation that is already providing support, you may consider setting up or running your own informal community group to support those in your neighbourhood.

The information in guide is a starting point to help volunteers, leaders and those we are helping stay safe.

Guidance-for-New-Community-Response-Groups.pdf (158 KB)

Social Distancing Guidance for Employers

Government guidance for employers on social distancing has been updated, and includes helpful information for businesses on:

And much more

Stop the spread

Useful one stop website for key Covid 19 information including:

Myths and Misconceptions, how to self-isolate, your questions answered, help if you're struggling, travel advice, the latest updates from UK and what it Covid 19?

Support your community

We've put together helpful information to guide any resident, community group or organisation in Norwich seeking to support those affected by the coronavirus.

It details all you need to know when setting up neighbourhood support, including a template letter for your neighbours. But please remember, this sort of activity works best on a small scale, street by street basis – so keep it very local.

Practical ways to support your community.

Test & trace app guidance

Government guidance is urging businesses to support the NHS Test and Trace app which is to be officially rolled out next Thursday 24 September.

Businesses should display the NHS QR code posters at venue entrances to help support contact tracing.  It’s quick and simple to use for both businesses and users, QR posters can be generated online.

This is voluntary, however by encouraging visitors and customers to scan the QR code on the poster when they arrive, advising this information will only be used where necessary, will help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Groups / businesses should still maintain an alternative means to collect contact details for 21 days for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app.

Here are some useful FAQs

Trading guide for small businesses & charities

This is a super useful trading guide written and shared by a local Norwich business to help our community during the Covid outbreak.

While the guide was written with small businesses in mind.  It is just as useful and relevant for organisations and charities that are looking to extend their support / services online to clients and members whilst we are in lockdown. 

Explore simple ways on how to run online classes, online consultations or webinars.  And for local businesses it's help to jump-start your remote services and receive payments online.

The guide is easy to read with a digestible checklist and requires no coding knowledge from the owner, so anyone can make these changes.  Included are case studies from across Norfolk, plus how to set up an e-commerce store in an afternoon.  

Do take the time to check this out:


With so much uncertainty and anxiety rife especially across social media, it's heart warming to see Norwich residents responding with offers of help and support.

Some key organisations and groups, such as Food banks, are highly dependent on volunteers to keep their services going. If a number of volunteers fall ill or are self-isolating, these organisations may be in need of extra volunteers to keep services going or to make home deliveries if centres are shut

If you are looking to offer your time and skills to help support local residents we'd encourage you to link up with Voluntary Norfolk's volunteer portal. 

Volunteer Pack

This pack has been produced by Wiltshire Council, so some of the links aren't relevant however it still is a very helpful guide if you are setting up a community response group.

In particular, helpful sections within the pack are:

• Introduction
• Current government guidance
• Hygiene best practice
• Is Personal Protective Equipment needed?
• Top tips for setting up a volunteers’ group
• Volunteer guidance
• Helping with safe shopping for those self-isolating
• Fraud awareness
• Quick wins
• Are you thinking of providing food in the community?


Covid-19-volunteers-pack.pdf (586 KB)

Working from home guidance

With many of us still working from home during Covid, and for some time to come. This is a rather helpful guide to maintaining a healthy and productive workspace.

Whether you work for a voluntary organisation, or a local business, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is sometimes easier said than done.  

Created by The Cotswold Company; this guide gives useful tips to maintaining or just being more productive, and how to overcome some of the challenges of home working.  After all, it doesn't suit everyone!

Read their guide for hints and tips of how to avoid some of the more common pitfalls:

WhatsApp tips for community groups

During Covid, a wide range of existing and new community groups have used WhatsApp as their key tool for communicating with each other.  But when you have a lot of people communicating together through WhatsApp it can be a bit of a head ache.  But it’s still a great tool! 

We’ve put together 3 simple tips for community groups to help you maximise its impact and reduce some of the pressure.

WhatsApp-tips-3.pdf (2.5 MB)