COVID-19 is presenting us all with unprecedented challenges and we shouldn’t underestimate the impact this is having upon our partners, our sector and the individuals and communities we serve.  The work that community sector organisations provide will be more important now than ever before and we want to do everything we can provide support, guidance and assistance during this difficult period.
Firstly, we’d like to provide reassurance that Your Consortium staff are available at this time.  Most staff are working from home but you can contact us via email and phone as normal during our office hours of 09:00-17:00 (09:00-16:00 on Fridays). Our office is still open and we have arrangements in place to collect mail, so please continue to send us post if you need to.  And if you have any questions or concerns, please talk to us – we’re here to support you.
Secondly, we’d like you to know that we’re doing everything we can to make sure our programmes continue to operate with as little disruption as possible.  We recognise that organisations are adapting their working practices wherever possible in order to continue providing essential support, and we’re working hard to ensure we do the same.
Yesterday we released an FAQ update specific to our ATI programme which covers a range of important information about protocols in place at this time. We’ll be doing the same for our Community Grants programme in due course, once we’ve received further clarification from the funders.
Finally, we’d like to thank all of our partners for being so adaptive and resilient in this ever-changing environment.  Please keep an eye on our website and Twitter pages for further updates, or contact us directly if you have any questions.
Best wishes,
Sam Alexander
CEO, Your Consortium

General Information – March 2020
City of York Council has recently issued out information about support in the city.  Some information is only relevant to York organisations but much is useful to the wider community.  Please click here to download a pdf note…

We want to be as helpful as we can so here’s some resources that partners might find useful when making arrangements to home work.


A useful guide to employers and employees for things to consider when implementing home working.  This includes a useful checklist for homeworking policy and setting up homeworking.


Two Ridings Community Foundation – Funding Support for the Voluntary Sector
The Coronavirus Community Fund has been established to support voluntary sector organisations including community groups, charities, social enterprises and other types of not for profit organisation through this unprecedented time.  For more information please click here…


Basic Office Functionality

If you are homeworking and you need to be able to use Microsoft Office but do not have applications installed on your home PC then you can have basic online access through the Microsoft Outlook account. Register for free at:
Then access Office from the top left of the Outlook screen, here:


Communication Tools
A free video and audio communication tool that is available for Phone PC and Mac
To use Skype either download the app from the above link or, if you are a Windows 10 user, you should already have the app installed for you.
To find it click on the windows icon at the bottom left of your pc screen and search for Skype.
Skype also allows you to set up free conference calls – even with people who don’t have a Skype account.
It requires you to have a Microsoft Account to use but these are available for free.  The online version only works with web browser Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.


Microsoft Teams
If you are an Office 365 user you will have access to Microsoft Teams.  This builds in some of the functionality of Skype without having to download Skype or set up a new Microsoft account.


A video conferencing platform that offers a free service and paid service plans.
A useful tutorial is available here:
And a video introduction here:


Slack offers a sharing platform for collaboration and sharing.  There is a free option and information can be found here:


Hardware for Communication
USB Camera
If you want effective Skype or other conference working you might want a webcam – some laptops have them built in but others don’t.  Check out this £19.99 usb webcam on Argos:
Logitech C270 HD Webcam


Sharing Stuff
Microsoft Onedrive
Microsoft Onedrive offers 5g of free file storage that will allow people to access shared files through the internet.  There are a number of paid versions but the free version is accessed through a Microsoft account.
To share online resources check out this link:
Please note that this is offered for personal use rather than business use.


Google Drive
Google Drive offers a similar service to MS Onedrive but is more stringent re. access to stored files – only allowing collaboration with the paid for service – unless all collaborators are logged in with Google accounts.


Sharing Info and Help
If you want to produce a short ‘how to…’ video to support staff or to offer help to clients etc. check out Loom.


Scanning and Reading Stuff
So you might be without a photocopier, printer or scanner and you need to scan a document to pdf so others can access with free pdf readers.
Android and I Phone – Tiny Scanner  PDF Scanner App
Download the app from the Google Store or I Phone store to generate pdf’s from your phone.


Free PDF Reader
Adobe Reader is a free application that allows you to read PDF files.  It has a number of other facilities such as the ability to add a signature onto a pdf.
To do this follow the instructions here:


Mental Health Support
Obviously these times can be a real challenge to your mental wellbeing.  Here are a few resources that you might find helpful…


Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid have a campaign launching tomorrow called “My whole Self” with a range of resources for how people can continue to connect virtually and ways that businesses can support employees –


10% Happier Podcast
There is a meditation and mindfulness app/podcast/website called 10% Happier that is really good from a mental health and mindfulness perspective and has brought together some free resources in response to the pandemic –


Santosha Rose
Sam our CEO has recently published her website for Shantosha Rose and a new article about how she’s looking after her mental health at this time


And Finally…
If you have to home isolate and have some down time that you want to contribute to a great cause check out the online research portal
Sign up and help out researchers working on loads of projects around the world.  You’ll be credited in any scientific paper that uses your work and it is great fun.
A particular favourite is Skink Spotting NZ…