Covid-19 has led to more and more significant changes to the way we live and work, as well as affecting the health and wellbeing of those within and outside the community energy sector, we are working hard to support our members and the sector as a whole. Lives and livelihoods are being disrupted with many people involved in community energy working from home, balancing with childcare and other caring responsibilities, and getting involved in community responses to the pandemic while also trying to ensure their community energy organisations are meeting legal and regulatory requirements, looking after staff and volunteers, and continuing the valuable work they do in communities. We have gathered resources covering these and other areas with the intention of helping members and others in the sector find the information, tools and ideas they need to persevere through this unprecedented situation.
As the membership body for community energy in England and the voice of the sector, we are paying close attention to how the sector is being affected by the current circumstances and working hard to gather evidence, make representations to the government and regulators and speak up about the sector's challenges, for example over installations halted due to the lockdown; our advocacy efforts were central in securing an extension for affected FiTs projects. We also have an eye on the future and will be thinking hard about how community energy can regroup and forge a new path once the extent of the crisis is known and the country begins to move out of the peak of the crisis.
If you have any sector-specific issues you need our support with, resources to share or would like to tell us about how your community energy organisation is responding to Covid-19, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the pandemic continues, we will keep members updated with any energy industry news through our newsletter and news page of our website. We host a regularly updated list of opportunities on our funding page. We also encourage our practitioner members to make use of our online practitioner-only discussion forum to connect with others in the sector; please request to join here.
- Co-operatives UK - HR and governance advice pages with guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority, including how to deal with AGMs
- Wrigleys Solicitors - a set of articles around risk mitigation, maintaining good governance, funding and more
- UK government - guide to safe working during the Covid-19 pandemic, including outdoor work, offices and visiting homes. Any business that cannot work from home should:
- Read the guide linked above
- Complete a risk assessment with Covid-19 implications and mitigation measures
- Display a notice confirming that your organisation is following safe working environment guidance.
Business & enterprise resources
- NCVO - various webinar recordings available on their website or YouTube, including 'Easing of lockdown – practical considerations for managing and supporting staff' and about supporting board leadership as voluntary organisations emerge from the immediate crisis of Covid-19
- Power to Change and Locality - webinar on managing your community business during the Covid-19 crisis
- School for Social Entrepreneurs - information and resources for small and social enterprises during Covid-19
- NCVO - lots of advice for organisations in the social sector
- Social Enterprise UK - collated Covid-19 help and support here
- Plunkett Foundation - community business Covid-19 business continuity planning tool and has collected other resources for community businesses
- The Community Business Patchwork Hub is run by and for community-led businesses. It is about solidarity, inspiration and practical peer support during Covid-19 and beyond
- CIPD - a range of free resources including template policies, letters and a checklist, to assist organisations with their response Covid-19
- The Information Commissioner's Office - a hub for data protection and coronavirus information for community groups
- Good Finance - a hub for social enterprises during Covid-19
- ACAS - Covid-19 advice for employers and employees
- Volunteering will be crucial in the response to coronavirus - the government has issued guidance on what you can and cannot do at the moment (section 7 in particular)
- Some key government guidance pages:
Working from home & wellbeing resources
- Alister Scott, Chair of Cuckmere Community Solar (a CEE member) and co-founder of the One Leadership Project, and his team have developed a 10 minute, 5 step approach for building resilience for teams during the current crisis
- Action Planning - blog on establishing an environment in which colleagues feel secure enough to open up about their problems during lockdown
- Andy Brown, Head of Sustainability for Anglian Water Group - blog about managing wellbeing, anxiety and mental health during lockdown
- The Climate Coalition - advice for facilitating online meetings and training
- Mental Health Foundation - advice on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
- An experienced home worker has written about realistic expectations when working at home with children
- Social Enterprise UK - webinar on mental health and working from home
- Protecture - webinar on GDPR and dealing with personal data while working from home