NHS Voices of Covid-19 In Conversation: Charities and the Voluntary Sector

Tue, 24 Nov 2020

12:30 - 13:30



Ellie Orton- Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together. She has worked in the specialist social care, education and faith sector for over 25 years regionally, nationally and internationally.

Chris Larkin- Director of Stroke Support – England, Stroke Association. He has extensive knowledge of the health and social care system and is passionate about the role of the voluntary sector within it.

Charles Kwaku-Odoi- Chief Officer of the Caribbean and African Health Network, Manchester. He has a wealth of strategy, governance and policy experience from a number of roles in the voluntary and public sectors at local and national levels.

Covid-19’s social significance as a public health crisis is unprecedented in living memory and a watershed in the longer history of the National Health Service (NHS). The ways in which we live, work, and think about our health have changed profoundly and the story is not over yet. We do not know how, or when Covid-19 will pan out, but we do know that we are all actors in an historic moment. Charities and the voluntary sector play a major role in supporting millions of people living with ongoing health and care needs across the UK. From neurological conditions to mental health to disabilities to cancer and much more – the third sector provides emotional support, practical help, and social activities for users, families and carers and is deeply involved in advocacy and research. Their role has become even more critical through the pandemic as they work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Our aim is to build a diverse and representative collection of Covid-19 personal testimonies across the four nations of the UK that will serve both the present and the future. So how best do we capture the experiences of users/families/carers and the broader contributions of the third sector through the pandemic?

• How has the third sector responded to the crisis?

• How do we best represent charities and voluntary organisations in the collection?

• What have been the immediate impacts of Covid-19 on users/families/carers?

• Which communities have been disproportionately affected?

• How do we capture the close but often informal relationships between the NHS, local authorities, charities and the voluntary sector?

• What are the priorities going forwards?

• What learning from the first phase of the Covid-19 response should be used to shape future responses?

• And what are the ethical considerations of collecting in the midst of the pandemic?


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