We don't know how the situation with coronavirus is going to develop, but we can expect it to be serious and last for at least several months. We can also expect marginalised groups to be particularly affected. For example, elderly people are more likely to become seriously ill. Migrants and homeless people may find it hard to access information and health care.

Local community groups have a positive role to play. We work with people from across Redbridge's diverse population, and service users from different communities trust us to deliver accurate and relevant information. With appropriate resources and coordination we can make a difference.

But we also face real challenges. We may not have capacity to deliver services to more people. In the next few months our own staff and volunteers may be off sick. We need to know what attitude funders will take if we prioritise work on coronavirus, as opposed to targets agreed before the epidemic began.

RedbridgeCVS is the local umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector, and we want to help coordinate the sector's response and address these problems. As the home of Volunteer Centre Redbridge we can also play a role in linking up people who want to volunteer around coronavirus with organisations that need them.

As a first step, please tell us what your experience of coronavirus has been so far, what issues you expect to come up, and what we and the local public sector can do to help.

Finally, we have set up a page on our website for information about the epidemic at https://www.redbridgecvs.net/coronavirus. If you have any comments about the page, please email Colin Wilson, our Information Officer, at colin@redbridgecvs.net.

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* 1. Name of your organisation

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* 2. What has been your organisation's experience with coronavirus so far? Have you seen increased demand for your services?

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* 3. We can expect many more people to be affected in future. What effect do you think this will have on your organisation?

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* 4. Are there groups of people you work with who you think will be affected particularly seriously by coronoavirus? Why will the virus be a particular problem for them?

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* 5. What can RedbridgeCVS do to support your organisation during the epidemic?

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* 6. RedbridgeCVS represents voluntary groups and helps them work effectively with local public sector bodies, such as Redbridge Council and the NHS. What should the public sector be doing to help voluntary groups during the epidemic?

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