Information and Resources for Mutual Aids and Community Groups 

Community Emergency Response Volunteers (CERV) course – a free online Google Classroom course that has been designed for VANS by Community Learning for volunteers, or those wanting to volunteer, to support the community based Covid-19 relief efforts.  

You need to be at least 19 years old (no maximum age) and live or volunteer in North Somerset.


The content is in 4 modules. 

  • Being a Volunteer

  • Keeping yourself and others safe

  • Communication skills

  • Knowing the boundaries of your role 

The course content is a mixture of slideshows, videos and handouts - some with commentary. As its purpose is to be a short induction programme for volunteers there is no exam but there are one or two short assignments and quizzes per module. To be able to join the course you need to have, or to set up a Gmail account (setting up a Gmail account instructions are below).


The time to complete will vary per individual but it is estimated that the course can be completed in 2-3 hours and it doesn’t have to be all at once as you can dip in and out.  A certificate of achievement is provided on completion.


Although it’s an on-line course, it is overseen by one of our tutors, Martin Thomas together with Julie Evans, both of whom are available to help if needed.

Weston College Accredited Volunteer Induction Programme 

is for volunteers and potential volunteers who would like to achieve a greater understanding and knowledge of volunteering and may have completed the Community Learning training first.  This free course is for North Somerset based volunteers and has been designed by Weston College, in partnership with VANS.   This is an online course with elements of workbook and online based modules, including:


Workbook Modules

  • Volunteering

  • Safeguarding

  • Food Hygiene


Online Modules

  • Personal Hygiene

  • Health and Safety


To enrol on the programme, volunteers are asked to complete and return the enrolment form below to – they will then be sent an email with login information along with instructions on how to access the system and workbooks.


(NOTE: If you are over 24 years of age, please leave section E blank)


The enrolment form attached is editable, you will need to use the ‘Fill and Sign’ function with Adobe Reader.  

  • You will need Adobe Reader on your device, to download Adobe Reader, please follow this link:

  • Instructions on how to use ‘Fill and Sign’ can be found HERE 


When you complete the workbooks and online modules you will see assignment links for you to submit these, a tutor will then mark them and you will receive certificates once the College is able to re-open and send these out. If you need any help you will be able to send a chat to the tutors who will be able to assist. You will also be able to use Teams to communicate with other volunteers and share best practice. The added bonus is that you will have access to the full office suite of applications that you can download and use for free.

Questions or queries about the training, including requesting assistance to complete the form, can be emailed to at Weston College.

CERV Flyer

CERV Enrolment


AEB Enrolment


Information from The Association of British Insurers - ABI  

for volunteers using their own vehicles to support Covid-19 Relief Efforts (as at 19/05/20)

There is no need to contact your car insurance provider if you are a volunteer helping the fight against Coronavirus.

NHS Volunteer Responders and others who are volunteering to help their communities during the coronavirus outbreak do not need to contact their insurer to update their documents or extend their cover, the ABI have said.


The reminder comes as over half a million people have signed up to be NHS Volunteer Responders.

If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover.

More information is available on the ABI website:




Frontline staff and volunteers at the forefront of the national coronavirus response across England will be able to access a new Psychological First Aid (PFA) training course, the Minister for Mental Health Nadine Dorries announced today.


From today the course, which has been developed by PHE, will be available to frontline workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the coronavirus pandemic.


The free online course enables responders to develop their skills and confidence in providing key psychological support to people affected by coronavirus, including on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation as they carry out their vital work as part of the ongoing coronavirus response.


It will also help to develop understanding of how emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic can affect us all, how to recognise people who may be at increased risk of distress, and how to offer practical and emotional support.


The new course has been developed by PHE with support from NHS England and Health Education England and is being made available to frontline workers across England by social learning platform, Future Learn.


Frontline responders can access the training materials for free through the Future Learn website:


NCVO have made their 'member only' resources available for free to everyone due to the current situation - so take advantage of these invaluable resources. 

Resources for organisations to help plan and carry out their commitments to safeguarding - click HERE

  • What is Safeguarding?

  • Steps to a safer organisation

  • Checklists, Training and other Support

  • What to do if you’re worried

A set of guides focusing on different aspects of safeguarding - click HERE

  • Guides for people in certain roles

  • Guides for organisations carrying out specific activities

  • Guides for specific aspects of safeguarding       

COVID-19 Key Worker Testing Process in North Somerset

Testing can be arranged for key workers in social care and other community and voluntary services that support critical frontline services.   can request a test (likely to be at the Bristol Airport testing facility) on behalf of their volunteers using the link below.  You will need to have some information about the volunteer readily available.

These tests for essential workers are prioritised over the tests available for the wider public through the NHS and you can arrange for a test by clicking on the following link. Tests are likely to be carried out at the Bristol Airport testing facility although there is a temporary mobile unit set up in Locking Road, Weston-super-Mare which may be used.

To book a test click HERE 

Tests can be booked if:

  • you’re an essential worker you can self refer yourself for a test whether you have symptoms or not - book a test by clicking HERE

  • you can also get tested through the same route if you have symptoms of coronavirus and live with an essential worker - book a test by clicking HERE

  • you are over 5 years of age and have any of the symptoms of coronavirus but are not an essential worker you can book a test via the NHS by clicking HERE


The temporary mobile testing unit that has been set-up in Weston-super-Mare in Locking Road car park in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme is operated by military personnel and is available for pre-booked coronavirus tests only. It is likely to be in the car park for several days and the car park will not be available for public parking during this time.  The unit will operate from 10am until 4pm each day and appointments can be made through or by calling 119.


                                           From Monday 27 July a further mobile testing unit will be set up in Clevedon in the Castlewood car park, enabling residents                                                          concerned they might have symptoms of coronavirus to be tested locally and quickly.  The unit will operate from 10am - 4pm every                                              day and will be run by a commercial operator on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care - it will be available for pre-                                                  booked coronavirus tests only.ONLY.

Appointments can be made online at or by calling 119. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus, whatever their age, is eligible for a test with essential workers given priority.

For tests to be effective you must be symptomatic. Symptoms of the virus are a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell. More information on the symptoms of Covid-19 can be found at


The following leaflets have been produced which provide essential information for volunteers and community groups that can be used during COVID-19 and beyond.

- Volunteering Checklist for Organisations

- Avoiding SCAMS

- Handling Phone Contacts

- Collecting Prescriptions & Medicines

- Cooking for Neighbours

- Community Shopping & Collection

- Data Protection for Organisations

- Mental Health & Wellbeing

To download any of the above leaflets, go to:

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Voluntary Action North Somerset Limited - Member: National Association for Voluntary and Community Action

Member of Volunteering England

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