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Information from THE Wheel on Covid 19 management

13th March 2020

The Wheel’s activities and how we are continuing to respond to the situation, as well as to point you towards some important resources and links we think our members should be aware of. Firstly, with your safety being the first priority, we continue to encourage you and your colleagues to adhere to published government instructions on how best to avoid COVID-19, both in the work environment and at home. As we all know, prevention is the best line of defense we have

Information for Nonprofit Employers

We have created a special section of our website, highlighting best practices for employers in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak in Ireland, including the importance of creating a contingency plan for your organisation.

We invite you to download our Business Continuity Planning spreadsheet here.

Decision to Postpone Our Events

We are postponing our events that are in the calendar up to 29 March (which is the Government’s review date for current guidelines).

We are actively looking into the possibility of providing access to some of these planned events via online platforms. If you are booked into any such training, you will hear from us. The situation will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and is likely to evolve further.

For updates on specific events, visit www.wheel.ie/training or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also email my colleague, Sinéad Vaughan, if you need further information: sinead@wheel.ie.

Focusing on the Sector 'Big Picture’ & Survey

I would like to take the opportunity to update you about our ongoing efforts to represent our members’ needs, as we respond to this fast-moving national emergency.

I have been appointed to a newly formed ‘Advisory Group on Community Response to needs of Vulnerable People’, that was established on Tuesday of this week by the Department of Rural and Community Affairs. Chaired by Bairbre NícAongusa, Assistant Secretary of DRCD, its purpose is to ‘encourage and facilitate community engagement in response to the needs of vulnerable people living in their own homes in the community’.

Additionally, we have been engaging with the National Public Health Emergency Taskforce (NPHET) to ensure that charities, community & voluntary organisations, and social enterprises are enabled to effectively contribute to help tackle the crisis. Some of the questions that we have heard from our members that are becoming increasingly urgent to address include: how will organisations have resources to do their necessary work and report back on issues arising? This is particularly relevant in the context where income from fundraising events and income-generation is dramatically reducing, if not disappearing altogether. How will organisations deal with and respond to requirements from individuals or families with huge financial, health, emotional or other issues linked to C19 or self-isolation? How will organisations deliver additional supports within their normal remit, or work where demand has escalated in the absence of a clear government strategy and resourcing?

A ‘rescue package’ and government plan has been put in place this week for SMEs. The equivalent for our sector is now urgently needed, and one which enables the above questions (and others) to be addressed. The Wheel will continue advocating for this on behalf of our members, and the wider sector, in the coming days.

To assist us in that we have put together a short, but vitally important, survey for our members to complete.

We intend to collate this data and use it to bolster government and public support for the contribution our sector can make during this unfolding situation. The survey should take only 5 - 10 minutes to complete, and should ideally be completed by a senior member of staff.

We encourage you to complete this survey now (or to forward it on to a relevant colleague): www.surveymonkey.com/r/R3DMK9X

Moving Forward

I will update you with any important details, as and when I learn them over the coming days.

In the meantime, please keep a close eye on our COVID-19 information page here for additional updates, useful links and practical information.

Finally, I’d like to assure you that we will do everything in our power to make sure that you and your organisation will be supported in the challenging time ahead. As a member of The Wheel, you are part of a supportive community that will work collectively to ensure the best outcomes for our organisations and the people we support.

Yours sincerely,

Deirdre

Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel

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