News

Tue 1 Dec 2020

Hertfordshire to Move into Tier 2

The government have announced that Hertfordshire will move into Tier 2: High Alert, in the Government's new system of Covid-19 Alert Levels. Communities 1st, in conjunction with Communities Help Hertfordshire partners, will continue to provide essential services to vulnerable members of the community as the county moves into this new stage.

Throughout the pandemic we have been helping people with their shopping, dog walking and prescription collection. We have also been matching volunteer ‘telephone befrienders’ with isolated members of the community.

During the Christmas period we will be going even further. ‘Festive window visits’ have been arranged, where volunteers will visit isolated members of the community for a chat or even a Christmas carol. We are also releasing a virtual Christmas advent calendar, to deliver some joy into homes this holiday season.

The CEO of Communities 1st, Stephen Craker, said:

“We will continue to provide support to vulnerable individuals in any way we can, as we move into the next stage of the Covid-19 response. Even with the vaccine on the horizon, it is crucial that we keep people as safe as possible.”  

As of December 2nd, people will not be allowed to mix with others outside their households indoors unless they are part of a support bubble. The rule of six will apply to outdoor settings. Non-essential retail outlets, leisure facilities and places of worship will re-open across the country. Hospitality outlets will be open until 11pm with table service. 

If you or someone you know requires assistance with essential services they can fill out a support request form. This will help us find out what sort of help you need and connect you with a volunteer in your community. 

If you need help completing this form, please contact Communities 1st on 020 8207 5115 or email help@communities1st.org.uk

For more information on Tier 2 restrictions visit the government website.

Mon 16 Nov 2020

Having now completed the second week of lockdown 2.0, and as we approach the Winter months, it's more important than ever to look after yourselves, and your staff and volunteers. If there’s anything we can do to support your organisation, please let us know and we will do our best to help!

Over recent weeks, some member organisations, groups, and charities have told us they have planned to again accelerate their response, rejuvenate their delivery, and do whatever they are able to, in order to help the county through Lockdown 2.

in fact, many expressed that, far from having to resume efforts and operations on behalf of the community, they had in fact not once let up on the momentum of their output since March!

Whether you can volunteer to collect prescriptions, carry out food shopping, telephone an elderly or house-bound resident, or help in any number of other ways, then please, I urge you to consider the part you could play.

I am sure I echo the thoughts of all of the Communities 1st team, when I say that I am so proud to be in a county which has already done so much for so many, and I am eternally grateful to all those of you who have helped so far.

Thank you. Your response continues to be what keeps the county’s heart beating.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Best wishes, stay safe, stay well, be kind.

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st

COMMUNITIES 1ST INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

If you want more information you can visit our website: www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid-19Updates or contact our Voluntary Sector support team on 01727 743018. 

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

Weekly Coffee Mornings for Member Organisations
Drop in to say hello, tell us what you are working on, what support you need and to hear from other local voluntary sector organisations at our weekly Virtual Coffee Mornings for voluntary sector organisations, every Wednesday at 10am.

The sessions are friendly, informal and hopefully useful.  You don’t have to come every week, come along whenever you are able to.

To register, visit www.communities1st.org.uk/calendar or for more information please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone Christine on 01727 743018. 

Get in touch
If your organisation is still delivering services, is considering closing/closed or is temporarily closed, we'd like to hear from you.  Please visit www.communities1st.org.uk/node/396 to complete our survey or email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

Thinking about volunteering during lockdown 2?
Contact our Volunteer Centre team who will be able to assist you through the volunteering decision tree to help you work out which volunteering activities can be done safely in person, or remotely.   Email volunteer@communities1st.org.uk.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging one-day course will explore the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers. It is ideal for staff who have this responsibility as their role.  We have split the course into two halves to give participants more choice.

24th February 2021
10.00am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers – click here

2.00pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers – click here

Click the links above to book your place or for further information email Volunteering Herts at info@volunteeringherts.uk or call 01707 274861.

Cost:
Herts voluntary organisations: £25 half-day or £45 full-day (includes handbook)

Statutory organisations: £50 half-day or £90 full-day (includes handbook).

Government Kickstart Scheme – Employ a talented young person for a 6 month fully funded job placement
In September the Government announced the launch of the Kickstart scheme, a £2 billion pound initiative to help young people aged between 16-24 into work. Organisations can employ a young person on a part-time 6-month contract, fully funded by the Government up to national minimum wage and including employers’ national insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment costs.

Kickstart is also an opportunity for volunteer led organisations to benefit from taking on a paid employee. Support is available in offering paid employment placements.

Communities 1st is an approved Kickstart Gateway for the 3rd Sector in Hertfordshire, supporting charities and community groups to access the scheme and will soon be submitting our second round of employment placements on the scheme.

To find out more about employing a young person through the Kickstart scheme please email kickstart@communities1st.org.uk.

Black Funding Network
Black Funding Network (BFN) is a community of individuals and institutions who come together to support Black founded and led non-profit organisations.

Inspired by the live crowdfunding model of The Funding Network, which has raised over £14 million since 2002, BFN gives its members the fulfilling opportunity to invest their time and resources in organisations where values and giving priorities align with theirs. BFN supports organisations working on solutions for social mobility, poverty alleviation, racial equity, education and youth services, community development, arts and cultural advancement, history and heritage, and social enterprise.

Find out more here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended into the spring
Charity Finance Group (CFG)'s Policy Manager Richard Sagar has reviewed the government's announcement to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and outlined what we as a sector needs to look at.

CFG and a number of other organisations (including us), is calling for a time-limited scheme that enables organisations to furlough staff and allow them to volunteer their time and skills back to their not-for-profit, public benefit employer.

Click here to view his overview plus details of the campaign and the guides.

New National Restrictions from 5 November updated guidance
On 12 November the government updated the guidance, providing more clarity on what is allowed during the period up to Wednesday 2 December. The guidance explains that you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. Read more.

Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers
On 8 November the government updated the guidance in context to the appeal of a ‘late filing penalty' online service. It’s taking much longer than usual for the department to process paper documents, forms and letters sent to them by post. You should use their online services to make sure your information is processed on time. They are continuing to write to companies who are late filing their annual accounts or confirmation statement, to help them bring their record up to date. Read more.

Microsoft nonprofit eligibility criteria
Microsoft have some great offers on discounted tech for charities. But like everything it comes with some restrictions and hoop jumping. So the bods at Charity Digital have taken a look at the offers to see what is worth taking up and what you need to be eligible.

The results of their endeavours are here.

Social media giants agree package of measures with UK Government to tackle vaccine disinformation
On 8 November the government published this news story. The government have agreed with social media platforms new measures to limit the spread of vaccine misinformation and disinformation and help people find the information they need about any COVID-19 vaccine. At a virtual roundtable to address the growth of vaccine disinformation, Facebook, Twitter and Google committed to the principle that no company should profit from or promote COVID-19 anti-vaccine disinformation, to respond to flagged content more swiftly, and to work with authorities to promote scientifically accurate messages. Read more.

Talk/together: Consultation
Talk/together is the UK’s biggest-ever conversation about what divides and unites us, and what could bring our society together in these difficult times. Together is a campaign that starts with questions rather than answers. It’s run by a major new coalition of household names like the NHS and the Scouts, and local community organisations too. Details of the campaign can be found here

Transition period advice for civil society
As you are aware the UK has now left the EU and is nearing the end of the transition period? Therefore from 1 January 2021, there will be a new way of doing certain things.

The government has put together a handful of guides for civil society organisations in the charity and social enterprises sectors, plus links to general guidance on the actions needed by December 31.

Charity Commission chair: sector leaders call for party political neutrality in the appointment process 
ACEVO has coordinated a letter from ten charity sector organisations to the chair of the Government’s DCMS Select Committee.

The letter requests that transparency, accountability and political neutrality be prioritised in the appointment process for the next chair of the Charity Commission.

You can read the full letter here.

Mental Health: A VCS insights pack to help inform and shape collective responses to Covid-19
The mental load on those on the frontline will be greater under lockdown. VCSEP's recent insights pack shows this year has already given us a 10% increase in adults reporting mental distress. Reaching out to each other and using our connections will make us stronger together. The power of partnership is a strength we can draw on to provide support to those in need but also to keep our team effective and functioning. 

Mapping the experiences of people with long-tail COVID
Over the last few months there has been increasing media coverage about post-COVID (also known as “long-tail COVID” or “long COVID”) and the ongoing symptoms – such as breathlessness, fatigue, sleep – that some people experience after an acute COVID-19 infection.

To understand people’s different experiences, the Post-COVID Hub is creating a post-COVID user experience map and sharing their findings with the wider community. Click here for more details.

Campaigner Survey 2020 – SMK want to know what you think
Every year, the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) asks campaigners what’s going on in the world. This year, the work of change-makers is crucial as communities across the country try to reimagine a post pandemic, post-Brexit UK.

The survey is open to change-makers of all kinds – professional campaigners, individual activists, community organisers, volunteers, trustees. If you work to create social change, this survey is for you!  Click here to complete the survey.

Charity Commission's new quick and easy guides
To celebrate #TrusteesWeek, the Charity Commission issued five new 5-minute guides which you can access here (complete with a blog from Helen Stephenson).

They explain the basics of:

  • financial oversight
  • achieving a charity’s purposes
  • good decision making
  • addressing conflicts of interest
  • what to file with the Commission and what support is available

#WalkWithTom
Earlier this year Captain Sir Tom united the nation walking laps of his garden and became the face of hope in dark times.

Once again the spotlight has turned to Captain Tom and his message is one of hope and resilience and a rally to the nation to unite.

This time Captain Tom is handing the baton over to everyone right from the start.

If you would like to join in - take to your gardens, living rooms etc. and share your activities using #WalkWithTom. Click here for more details.

Community owned pubs and shops show resilience in the face of Covid-19
The Plunkett Foundation has released the 2020 ‘Better form of Business Reports’ on Community Pubs and Community Shops.

Rural community owned businesses were in robust health as Covid-19 hit, and displayed a unique innovation and flexibility to serve those who needed them when Britain was under national lockdown.

Click here to view the report.

Over 60% of community groups have closed or decreased services during Covid-19
New research by Groundwork has examined the worrying impact that Covid-19 had on community groups during the last six months and what this might mean as we enter a second lockdown.

The report found that over 60% of groups have been forced to close or decrease their services, despite 67% saying there is more need in their communities.

The charity is urging that more be done to enable community groups to provide well-funded, tailored support to their local community as part of plans to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and prepare for the recovery.

Click here to view the report.

Charity Governance Awards
The Charity Governance Awards is an exciting not-for-profit initiative created to celebrate outstanding governance and trusteeship in charities across the UK, allowing large and small not-for-profit organisations to inspire and learn from one another.

The Charity Governance Awards are open to any charity registered in the UK; entries are free and easy to submit online, and accepted between November and January each year. The shortlist is announced in April, and shortlisted charities are invited to a complimentary and exclusive awards ceremony in May, where the winners are announced.

More details can be found here.

The Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre
The Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre has everything you need to deliver your campaigns at a local level.

Current available resources include:

  • National Restrictions
  • NHS COVID-19 app
  • Hands Face Space
  • Stay Alert to Stay Safe
  • NHS Test and Trace
  • Symptoms
  • Ports of Entry
  • NHS Resources

Click here to download your campaign materials.

VCS Emergencies Partnership
Don't forget the safety net of the #emergenciespartnership. Communities 1st, together with over 85 national organisations and 200 local #VCS organisations are working with government to help target unmet need.   If your organisation is overwhelmed by this perfect storm of emergencies, please ask for help from the Emergencies Partnership.  We hope you won’t need us but we’re here if you do.

TRAINING AND WEBINARS

Developing a Fundraising Strategy as a Small Charity free workshop
The session is for fundraisers, CEOs, Trustees and anyone who has fundraising as part of their role – whether you’re at the start of your fundraising journey or looking to refresh your activities.

BOOK HERETuesday 17 November 12 noon - 1pm

Trusts and Foundations Fundraising for Small Charities free workshop
The session is for fundraisers, CEOs, Trustees and anyone who has fundraising as part of their role – whether you’re at the start of your fundraising journey or looking to refresh your activities.

BOOK HERE:  Wednesday 18 November 2020 10am - 11am

Writing grant applications: Practical tools for success!
Learn how to improve your chances of securing grants from smaller local and national grant makers, focussing on smaller funds (under £10,000). This will be an interactive online course, with practical tools and tips that you can take away and use in your current grant applications straight away.

BOOK HEREWednesday 18 November 10am - 12.30pm

Supporting Local Libraries - webinar
The Public Policy Exchange is hosting an online symposium offering librarians, local and national authorities, community cohesion groups and other key stakeholders, the opportunity to discuss the issues threatening the future of libraries and to learn about the solutions being developed at all levels to ensure they remain a key part of British communities.

BOOK HERE:  Thursday 19 November  9.30am

The impact of 2020 on digital, cybersecurity and fraud – Webinar
Charity Digital and the National Cyber Security Centre are hosting a joint event to discuss the impact 2020 has had on digital, cybersecurity and fraud. They’ll be looking ahead to what 2021 is likely to bring and what you can do to prepare for these future threats.

BOOK HERE:  Thursday 19 November 1pm

Resilience and Wellbeing in Small Charities free workshop
The session is for fundraisers, CEOs, Trustees and anyone who has fundraising as part of their role.

BOOK HERE:  Friday 20 November 2020 10am - 11am

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging one-day course will explore the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers. It is ideal for staff who have this responsibility as their role.  We have split the course into two halves to give participants more choice.

24th February 2021
10.00am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers – click here

2.00pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers – click here

CSCS course for Herts
Three week online CSCS course for those living in the St Albans area who are aged 19+ and receiving JSA/ESA/UC/Income Support. 

Course starts Monday 23rd November - book your place here

Parent Return to work Programme
Ensuring women’s advancement and progression to senior positions in organisations is a key part of achieving gender parity and pay gap audits have really put this issue in the spotlight. Together Training would like to offer 8 residents from Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans area free virtual coaching and careers support during November. You will be assigned a Coach who will contact you for a free 30 min consultation  followed by weekly support on careers advice ,wellbeing support and coaching to support you back into the world of work.

If you would like to resister to join the programme please contact john.mcmahon@togethertraining.co.uk.

FUNDING

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, Christine Halpin and Isobel Hatfield are on hand to help you through, please contact them by email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and they will book some time in to work with you.

St Albans City & District Community Grants Fund 2020/21
The second round of Community Grants Fund 2020-21 will open on Tuesday 10th November and will close on Monday 11th January 2021. We understand that due to changes to government guidance regarding Covid-19 and the lockdown starting on Thursday 4th November, there may be an impact on staffing and resources available to charities and community groups. Please take this into consideration if you are thinking of applying for a grant, to ensure that the person who is leading on the application has access to their email and relevant information and documents during the application period.

If you have any questions or concerns around timelines or the application generally, please contact Isobel on cgf@communities1st.org.uk.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire.

Find out if you are eligible and to apply.

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website

It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages. 

Crowdfund Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk.

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/programmes/crowdfund-hertfordshire.

Woodward Charitable Trust
Charities, social enterprises, and community interest companies can apply for funding of up to £3,000 through the Woodward Charitable Trust. The Trust supports projects that support children and young people, disadvantaged families and prisoners, and ex-offenders. Preference is given to small to medium-sized charities where small grants can have more impact. Priority is given to projects that make good use of volunteers, encourage past and current users to participate, and ensure that funds awarded are being well used. The closing date for applications is the 28th January 2021.  Full details here.

Funding for Projects that Support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Veterans
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has announced that its Positive Pathways Programme is open for applications.  Fixed grants of £35,000 for one year are available for projects that develop and run activities that support the mental health and wellbeing of ex-forces.  The funding is available to Armed Forces charities and CICs that have substantial experience in working with veterans. The closing date is noon on the 30th November 2020.  Full details here.

Funding for Armed Forces Day Events
Grants of up to £10,000 are available to local councils, organisations, schools, ex-service organisations and individuals for Armed Forces Day events across the UK. The Ministry of Defence is providing funding for events such as tea parties, parades, big band concerts, civil war military re-enactments, and live and static demonstrations to be held on or in the weeks around the 26th June 2021. Funding could be used to cover road closures required to hold an event, decorations, flags and banners, newspaper and radio advertisements, security and first aid arrangements, and PA and communications systems. Grants can cover up to half the total cost of the event. The closing date for applications is the 1st March 2021.  Full details here.

Funding to Support Families in Need
Not for profit front line organisations working directly with families in need can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £100,000. This can include one year grants and grants for up to three years. Organisations applying should have a focus on family support in local areas of deprivation and this may further include early intervention; families coping with addiction; and prisoners' families. The funding is available for core costs, salaries, running and project costs. Grants can be for up to 50% of the total cost. To be eligible the applicant organisation’s postcode, or the project area, must be ranked within the most deprived 15% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) for urban areas or within the most deprived 50% for rural areas. The funding is being made through the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation’s Major Grants Programme.  Full details here.

Latest Round of UK Aid Match Open to Applications
A new round of UK Aid Match is now open for applications from UK charities and other not-for-profit organisations for projects that help developing countries tackle the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, help girls access quality education, and end preventable deaths through tackling malnutrition or malaria.  For this round, applicants are encouraged to offer digital solutions which could mean anything from re-thinking traditional challenges and events, or activating peer to peer engagement strategies, to exploring new incentives and digital journeys, or trialling gamification. The deadline for submitting concept notes is 5pm on the 18th December 2020.  Full details here.

Emergency Funding for Charities Financially Impacted by the Covid-19 Crisis
Grants of up to £1,000 are available to small and medium-sized charities, CICs and registered societies in the UK which are struggling to manage the financial impact of Covid-19 either because of increased demand for their services or from loss of income. The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation UK - Covid-19 Emergency Fund will provide support to organisations which are in a critical position, and operating in one of the following categories: education relating to non-domestic animals; visual and performing arts; medical research; the relief of disability or severe illness; accommodation of those in need. Funding can be used to cover costs such as staff costs and other overheads, and changes to working practices e.g. laptop purchase and protective equipment. Applications can be made at any time.  Full details here.

HMRC Grant Funding for Advice Services
HMRC is making funding of £4.98 million available to charities, voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, and co-operatives to help them provide advice and support hard to reach people who need extra help understanding and complying with their tax obligations and claiming their entitlements, including those who are digitally excluded. This might include those with disabilities, mental health or learning difficulties; those on low income or in debt; older people; migrants; or carers. Funding of between £20,000 and £750,000 (with a maximum threshold set at 50% of an organisation’s turnover) is available for activities which include advice and support, digital inclusion, and specialist support and referrals. The deadline for applications is the 27th November 2020. Full details here.

Funding for Digital Arts and Cultural Collaboration
Arts and cultural organisations in the UK and selected Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries can apply for grants of up to £50,000 to collaborate digitally on international projects. The funding is available to organisations to devise new virtual ways of working internationally, in turn creating a climate-friendly approach to international collaboration and artistic exchange. Applications must be a partnership between at least one UK organisation and one organisation based in one of the eligible ODA countries. The full list of eligible countries is available on the British Council website. The funding is being made available through the British Council’s Digital Collaboration Fund and the closing date for applications is 23.59 on the 18th November 2020.  Full details here.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Keep your health appointments during lockdown
Family doctors across Hertfordshire are urging people to continue to attend hospital and clinic appointments with a simple message: “The NHS is here to see you safely, even during the lockdown”.

Although there will be restrictions in many aspects of our lives due to the new lockdown rules, GPs, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and other NHS services remain open, and are working in different ways to keep patients and staff safe.

In order to ensure patient safety, people are asked not to arrive at their GP practice without an appointment.  For urgent physical or mental health help when your GP is closed, or for help if you are not registered with a GP practice, go online to NHS 111 or call 111.  All calls are free to this number. As ever, for very serious life or limb-threatening emergencies, people should dial 999 immediately.

"Stay Safe Hertfordshire: Play Your Part" Campaign
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms.
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City.
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents

VACANCIES

You can advertise your job vacancies, events and contracts through Communities 1st (it's free if you're a member, and very reasonably priced if you aren't) and through our Twitter page!

Just send details including a weblink to memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

Communities 1st supports the #ShowTheSalary campaign. Please ensure any advert you do send through shows the pay scale, To find out more about the #ShowTheSalary campaign click here.

Tue 10 Nov 2020

Voluntary and community groups in St Albans District are encouraged to apply to a grants fund aimed at helping the most vulnerable people.

St Albans City and District Council is distributing up to £18,700 in this year’s second round of awards from its Community Grants Fund.

One priority is to fund schemes that help people recover from the impact of the COVID-19 emergency.

For the second round, the Council is encouraging applications that particularly benefit older people and the District’s BAME communities.

This may include, for example, initiatives to re-establish social networks or improve mental health and wellbeing.

Communities 1st, an organisation that provides advice to charities and encourages volunteering, helps the Council administer the fund.

Applications can be made from Tuesday 10 November to 5pm on Monday 11 January 2021.

Among the grants offered in the first round was £5,000 to The Ollie Foundation to fund wellbeing sessions and virtual support cafés for parents across the District.

Small Acts of Kindness Trust was awarded £2,440 to deliver Purple Pages Information Packs to isolated elderly residents, especially those without internet access. The packs provide information on support services.

The Daylight Club was awarded £4,838 for running weekly clubs with Zoom sessions for people with learning or physical disabilities and mental health needs.

Councillor Jacqui Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Inclusion and Protection, said:

Our Community Grants Fund has never been so important with people suffering from the effects of the pandemic like so many around the whole country.

I particularly want to reach out to the most vulnerable people in the District such as older people and our BAME communities.

We want to help community groups that can provide them with support at this very difficult time and reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Communities 1st is heavily involved with our work and I urge anyone considering an application to join the online information event that they are hosting.

There will be presentations as well as opportunities for any questions people may have about the fund.

Our community fund has benefitted hundreds of people across the District and we want its success to continue.

The information event will allow organisations to acquire more guidance about on the type of projects that are eligible.

It will take place on Thursday 12 November from 4.00pm to 5.30pm via Zoom.  You can register here.

Grant application forms for 2020-21 can be downloaded from the Council’s website on https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/grants.  

Mon 9 Nov 2020

We know you are probably fed-up of the phrase ‘Hope this email finds you well.’ Expressing exactly what we mean and our feeling at the minute is hard, as coronavirus continues to affect our lives, our loved ones, and our livelihoods. Online spaces can be deeply impersonal space and emails doubly so.

We are all now getting used to a second national lockdown. While this news is permeated with uncertainty, we remain a reliable source of information and support to both our member organisations and individuals in helping you get through the month of November. Please make use of our Compassionate Community Connector service if you are feeling isolated or need practical help whilst self-isolating.

Last week was Trustees’ Week. The week is marked annually to illustrate the fantastic work done by trustees and demonstrate that trusteeship can be for people from many different backgrounds. An effective trustee board should boast a wide range of skills and experiences.

Everyone and anyone can make a difference to a cause that they are passionate about by joining a management committee or a board. There are currently around 1 million trustees in the UK, volunteering with a cross range of small and large charities.

If you would like to become a Trustee, or are a charity or group that would like to recruit more Trustees, please contact us at volunteer@communities1st.org.uk.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Best wishes, stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

Weekly Coffee Mornings for Member Organisations
Drop in to say hello, tell us what you are working on, what support you need and to hear from other local voluntary sector organisations at our weekly Virtual Coffee Mornings for voluntary sector organisations, every Wednesday at 10am

The sessions are friendly, informal and hopefully useful.  You don’t have to come every week, come along whenever you are able to.

To register, visit www.communities1st.org.uk/calendar or for more information please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone Christine on 01727 743018.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging one-day course will explore the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers. It is ideal for staff who have this responsibility as their role.  We have split the course into two halves to give participants more choice.

It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the Valuing Volunteer Management Six-Point Promise. This is a solid affirmation of your commitment to the pursuit of excellence in volunteer management. It gives potential funders evidence of the quality service they look for and potential volunteers can be more confident that they will be valued and supported by your organisation.

24th February 2021
10.00am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers – click here

2.00pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers – click here

Click the links above to book your place or for further information email Volunteering Herts at info@volunteeringherts.uk or call 01707 274861.

Cost
Herts voluntary organisations: £25 half-day or £45 full-day (includes handbook).

Statutory organisations: £50 half-day or £90 full-day (includes handbook).

Survey
As you may remember, early in the summer, Communities 1st surveyed member organisations about their experiences of lockdown. Now we are more than 8 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel the time is right to ask again how your organisation is managing in the situation we are now in. 

We will call you soon in order to complete the survey over the phone, which will take less than ten minutes.

We recognise that you are incredibly busy and may not feel you can spare the time to respond. However, we would encourage you to do so.  The information you provide will enable us to report back on the real state of the voluntary and community sector in Hertsmere, St Albans and Welwyn Hatfield to local authorities, Hertfordshire County Council, NCVO and NAVCA as well as championing your cause and sharing what you need.

For more information about the survey, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk

Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19
The Centre of People, Work and Organisational Practice at Nottingham Trent University, The Voluntary Action Research Group at Sheffield Hallam University and NCVO are the project partners of this new research project. The project examines COVID-19 impact on voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. In particular, it focuses on providing real-time data about how the pandemic is impacting voluntary organisations working-practices and operations, their responses, learning and resilience. Read more.

Finance Jargon Buster
If you're confused by terms like 'cornerstone investment', Net Present Value and 'quasi-equity', Good Finance have just released a new Jargon Buster A-Z to help you understand social investment once and for all and find out whether it's right for your organisation.  Click here.

Five things Black LGBT people have done in 2020
The Black LGBT community have done so many incredible things this year, from raising money for amazing projects and organisations, to individuals going above and beyond to raise awareness and support the community.

As Black History Month drew to a close, Stonewall turned the spotlight onto five incredible individuals and organisations who are doing ground-breaking work to support the Black LGBT community. Find out more.

Guidance for charities who are in the process of closing
Includes key steps to consider, legal implications you need to be aware of and ways to support your staff during this difficult time.  Find out more.

Keeping young people healthy
Doctors of the World UK (DOTW) has produced leaflets with health and wellbeing information for young refugees and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) and young people (YP) living in the UK.

These leaflets are available in 10 languages and were produced in partnership with the British Red Cross (BRC), PositiveNegatives, Transbless Translations, and young people taking part in the BRC’s Refugees and Befriending Project in London.

Click here for more details.

#PowerOfYouth FESTIVAL 16-20 NOVEMBER
This #iwillweek 16-20 November we are hosting an interactive, digital Power of Youth Festival and we would love for you to get involved!

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

  • Come along to the Power of Youth Festival: Sign up to sessions on the new Festival website. More sessions will be announced every day in the run up to the Festival
  • Feature your Power Of Youth content at the Festival: Whether it’s inspiring resources or pre-recorded digital events, if it showcases the Power of Youth, this is your chance to showcase it! Tell the #iwill campaign about it by 12th November to have it featured on the festival website.
  • Shout about the #PowerOfYouth this #iwillweek: Download the comms pack and set your social media channels alight with the #PowerOfYouth in the run up to and during #iwillweek.

Inclusive design for social media: tips for creating accessible channels
Several social platforms have made recent accessibility updates. Automatic captioning is available on Facebook Live and Instagram IGTV. After the inaccessible introduction of voice tweets, Twitter established two accessibility teams and plans to roll out automated captions by early 2021. Alt-image description fields are now available across all three platforms, as well as LinkedIn.

This article walks you through the latest developments and how best to use them to ensure your organisation's social media existence is as inclusive as possible.

Minister for Equalities sets out government action to tackle Covid disparities
Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch MP, has announced a number of new measures which the Government is taking to protect those at risk, gather more data on the impact of the virus and to ensure that everyone can access the latest public health messaging. Amongst the new measures set out are:

  • A new ‘Community Champions’ scheme, worth up to £25m, funded by MHCLG, that will provide funding to enhance existing communication strategies in the most at risk places, and fund work with grassroots advocates from impacted communities. The scheme will also provide funding for voluntary and community groups who specialise in working with communities most at risk from COVID-19
  • A new mandate for ethnicity to be recorded as part of the death certification process
  • An enhancement of the national Shielded Patients List to account for the increase in understanding of the risk factors related to the virus and the drivers of disparities.

Find out more.

Charities offered free Brexit assessment tool
Charities and social enterprises are being offered a free tool to help them assess whether they are ready for when the Brexit transition period ends at the turn of the year.

The law firm Stone King has developed a Brexit Self-Audit Tool to help charities and social enterprises assess their readiness for the end of free movement and identify what actions they might need to take.

The tool aims to assist organisations that employ EU nationals, remind them of the steps they might need to take in relation to these individuals, and help charities that rely on the movement of people from outside the UK.  Find out more.

Unsuccessful benefit claimants in the Covid-19 pandemic
A new Health Foundation-funded report, ‘At the edge of the safety net: Unsuccessful benefits claims at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic’ has been released:

  • It looks at the 290,000 people who started making a claim for benefits, but who were unsuccessful – a group largely missed from previous research.
  • It finds that many had seen sharp falls in income, were struggling financially, and had poor mental health. Some were even going hungry because they couldn’t afford food.

Unsuccessful claims were largely because people were not eligible for benefits (about 220,000 people). The numbers of people who had started making a claim but failed to complete it was relatively small (40,000).

Find out more.

From 2 November 2020 those who ‘fail to attend’ telephone work capability assessments may have their ESA stopped or UC entitlement changed
When telephone health assessments were introduced in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) earlier this year, an easement was in put in place so that Fail to Attend (FTA) and Fail to Participate (FTP) actions were not taken as a result of someone not attending a scheduled telephone assessment.

“From Monday 2 November, the ESA and UC telephone assessment appointment letters will make it clear that claimants must attend their telephone appointment. FTA and FTP action will commence, e.g. benefit may be stopped (ESA) or entitlement change (UC), for those who have been issued with this letter and fail to attend or participate in their appointments without good reason.  Find out more.

Government extends Furlough to March and increases self-employed support
On 5 November the Government published a news story explaining that workers across the UK will benefit from increased support with a five-month extension of the Furlough Scheme into Spring 2021. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Read more.

Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own
On 4 November the government updated this Guidance to include some next text to the sections 'When to wear a face covering', 'When you do not need to wear a face covering' and 'Staff in indoor settings' to make people aware that from 5 November some of the settings listed may not be open because of the national restrictions.  Read more.

Flu Vaccination Campaign
New Public Health England (PHE) research suggests that people infected with both flu and COVID-19 between January and April were more at risk of severe illness and death. Three of the nation’s senior medics – Dr Yvonne Doyle, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, and Dr Nikita Kanani – are calling on all eligible people to get vaccinated against flu. The health system is working to provide the free flu vaccine to 30 million people. Read more.

VCS Emergencies Partnership
The VCS Emergencies Partnership website includes a service to support local organisations and community groups to respond to emergencies, where needed. This is done by matching needs with resources locally, regionally and nationally.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

Furniture available to member charities
Please contact us at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk if your charity or group can use any of the following:

  • Open plan desks and associated beam work and screens
  • Pedestals
  • Wardrobes
  • Mid height cabinets

A minimum group of desks are a 3 pod and there will not be enough leg parts to set all these up as 3’s because they were originally configured in groups.

TRAINING AND WEBINARS

Assessing charity financial reserves on the eve of the Covid-19 pandemic - Webinar

The event will appeal to those wanting to know more about patterns of funding, resources and reserves across the voluntary sector. This work provides insights into variations between organisations which dig deeper into patterns of vulnerability and contribute to a better understanding of organisational resilience.

BOOK HERE: Tuesday 10 November 2020  12noon – 1:30pm

Volunteer Management: Volunteering Within the Law - Training
Understand the legal context as it applies to the involvement and management of volunteers.

This course is for anyone currently working with volunteers or wishing to develop a volunteer-led programme. The content for this course will be relevant to supporting volunteers across all sectors.  Please note this training is not taught by a lawyer so the trainer will not be in a position to address specific legal issues.

BOOK HERE:   Wednesday 11 November 2020: 10.00am – 12.30pm.

Financial Reporting: Essentials of Charity Finance - Training
In this overview on financial reporting you will learn the various terms and practices of charity finance: assets, liabilities, depreciation, accruals etc and what key financial information is needed as part of financial reporting. Participants will receive a Post-Course Workbook.

BOOK HERE:  Thursday 12 November: 10.00am – 12.30pm.

Writing grant applications: Practical tools for success!
Learn how to improve your chances of securing grants from smaller local and national grant makers, focussing on smaller funds (under £10,000). This will be an interactive online course, with practical tools and tips that you can take away and use in your current grant applications straight away.

BOOK HERE Wednesday 18 November 10.00am - 12.30pm.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging one-day course will explore the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers. It is ideal for staff who have this responsibility as their role.  We have split the course into two halves to give participants more choice.

BOOK HERE 24th February 2021 10am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers

BOOK HERE 24th February 2021 2pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers

Dementia Friends Information Sessions
Back in April and May we arranged some extremely popular and successful Dementia Friends Information Sessions. Good news! We’ve got some more coming up very soon! Can you help us reach our target of creating 1,000 new dementia friends and help to make our communities more dementia aware?

These Zoom sessions are bookable now. Please sign up:

  • 13th November: 11am - 12noon: book here 
  • 18th November: 5pm - 6pm: book here
  • 27th November: 11am - 12noon: book here
  • 2nd December: 5pm - 6pm: book here
  • 11th December: 11am - 12noon book here

A large number of the people we are supporting through the Compassionate Community Connector project are living with some form of cognitive impairment.  This session will give you the opportunity to learn more about what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. It’s a really good chance to add to your skillset and become an agent of change in our community. These optional sessions are open to all, including those who are not currently signed up to volunteer with us so please do share these links and register now for your free place.   Do let us know if you are unable to book one this time but still wish to attend. We plan to arrange more in the months ahead.

FUNDING

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, Christine Halpin and Isobel Hatfield are on hand to help you through, please contact them by email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and they will book some time in to work with you.

St Albans City & District Community Grants Fund 2020/21
The second round of Community Grants Fund 2020-21 will open on Tuesday 10th November and will close on Monday 11th January 2021. We understand that due to changes to government guidance regarding Covid-19 and the lockdown starting on Thursday 4th November, there may be an impact on staffing and resources available to charities and community groups. Please take this into consideration if you are thinking of applying for a grant, to ensure that the person who is leading on the application has access to their email and relevant information and documents during the application period.

If you have any questions or concerns around timelines or the application generally, please contact Isobel on cgf@communities1st.org.uk.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire. Find out if you are eligible and to apply.

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website. It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages. 

Crowdfund Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk.

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/programmes/crowdfund-hertfordshire.

Grants to Cover Running Costs for Small Charities
Grants of £300 to £2,000 are available to small charities to help them to pay for with running and core costs. The funding is available to registered charities (Community Interest Companies are excluded) working in the areas of literature, arts and heritage; social welfare; environmental causes and animal welfare; education and training; and healthcare. The funding is being made available through the Marsh Christian Trust. There are no application deadlines.  Full details here.

Grants of up to £50,000 Available for Community Projects
Small charities, schools and community interest groups with innovative ideas that benefit their community can apply for funding of up to £50,000. This is for projects that build more connected, more resilient communities; and give people the tools to become more financially independent. The funding is being made available through the newly re-launched Aviva Community Fund. Every three months from January onwards, £250,000 will be split equally among Aviva’s UK employees to donate to the projects that matter to them most. Applications are open on a continuous basis and are reviewed every three months. The closing date for this round is the 19th January 2021. Aviva have teamed up with the fundraising platform Crowdfunder and applicants can add to any donations they get from the Aviva Community Fund with public donations. Full details here.

Grants to Combat Fuel Poverty & Improve Energy Efficiency
Round 4 of the UK Power Network’s Power Partners Scheme is now open for applications. Up to forty grants of between £2,000 and £20,000 are available to help charities and other not-for-profit organisations in London, the East and South East of England to combat fuel poverty, improve energy efficiency and support people in vulnerable circumstances, particularly those experiencing difficulties resulting from Covid-19. This round will focus on support services such as income maximisation, energy efficiency advice and interventions, tariff switching, time of use tariff awareness, and new registrations for the Priority Service Register - provision of energy advice training and support for frontline workers. The Fund is administered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The application deadline is 12pm on the 15th November 2020. Full details here.

Peter Sowerby Foundation: Increasing Access Fund
The new Increasing Access Fund is targeted to support organisations to develop new services that respond to the Covid-19 situation, or to adapt existing services to meet local and national needs. The Fund is aimed specifically at ensuring or increasing access to key services and activities for beneficiaries who have struggled with access due to Covid-19. The Foundation will also consider supporting programmes which provide access for beneficiaries to new services which have been developed in response to a clear Covid-19 need. The application deadline is 5pm on Monday 16th November 2020. Full details here.

Homelessness Winter Transformation Fund Opens for Applications
Homelessness, faith, community and voluntary sector organisations can now apply for funding of between £10,000 and £100,000 to provide single room and COVID-19 secure accommodation for people experiencing homelessness this winter. The £2 million Homelessness Winter Transformation Fund will award grants to support traditional, dormitory-style night shelter provision and will seek to produce a legacy for the future of winter homelessness support. The Fund is open to organisations in England directly working with people experiencing homelessness, and where more than 50 per cent of beneficiaries are people experiencing homelessness. Applicants must have an annual turnover of up to £5 million. There will be two application rounds. The next is 1pm on the 2nd December 2020.  Full details here.

Tesco Bags of Help
During October, November and December, the Tesco Bags of Help grant scheme will provide £1,000 grants to support projects focused on local children and young people. Full details here.

Charities Aid Foundation
CAF Resilience Fund is now open for urgent funding needs to support vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in England. The £20 million fund will be made up of grants of £10,000 to £100,000 to deliver rapid relief from the impact of COVID-19. Full details here.

Voices4Change
Grants programme open to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community groups and organisations, working to deliver COVID-19 services across England can apply for grants of £5000 to £10,000. Round 2 of grant applications opens on 25 November.  Full details here.  

AIM Biffa Award: History Makers (England)
Museums, galleries and cultural facilities so that they can tell the stories of some of our lesser known historical figures can apply for grants of up to £75,000 through the Association of Independent Museums - Biffa Award History Makers Scheme. The funding is available for projects that use the life and achievements of extraordinary historical figures to inspire and educate your visitors and users today. The scheme is particularly keen to hear from projects based on women who made history, and history makers from diverse backgrounds. Applicants have until 5pm on 14 December 2020 to submit their expression of interest. Full details here.

Grants for Older People on Low Incomes
Small grants of up to £500 are available to support vulnerable older people living on low incomes. Friends of the Elderly currently have four grant streams open for older people who are of/over state pension age, have savings of less than £4,000, and who do not fit the criteria for other funders: Applications must be made via a third-party Referral Agent such as charities, local authority and social services representatives. Applications can be made at any time, but resources are limited. Full details here.

Funding to Support Disadvantaged Young People and Offenders
Small registered charities can apply for grants of up to £15,000 for projects working with young offenders; prisoners and ex-prisoners as well as young disadvantaged people at risk of criminal involvement. To be eligible for funding, local organisations such as those working in a village, estate or small town should normally have an income of less than £100,000. Those working across the UK or in larger areas should normally have an income of not more than £250,000. Grants are usually given for one year. The funding is being made available through the Weavers' Company, a textile-related, charitable and sociable organisation and the closing date for applications is the 19th November 2020.  Full details here.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Hertsmere Window Wanderland
Taking part as a Windowmaker is FREE and everyone’s welcome. You can make a display in the windows of your flat, house, business, school, nursery, car, campervan, shop – or in your front garden!

Please don’t feel intimidated. Your display could be as simple as a candle, book or fairy-lights in a window. Or you could go all out and stage a performance in your front room! Anything goes… as long as it’s family friendly!

Click here for more information.

Online Singing for Memory Sessions
Herts Musical Memories delivers vibrant singing sessions that are both fun and therapeutic for people with dementia and their carers.  Herts Musical Memories are providing weekly singing sessions on Zoom. These sessions run on Monday 11.00 am, Wednesday 11.00 am and Friday 11.00am.  If you would like to join us please email admin@hertsmusicalmemories.org.uk and we will send you an invite. If you would like more information about the sessions, please click here or call 020 8950 5757.

Herts Careline service (community alarm service)
Herts Careline service helps those who are vulnerable or alone to remain independent in their own homes. Click here for further details.

Have your say on the Hertfordshire Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
Hertfordshire County Council are making the new plan for March 2021, for their Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. And your answers will help them make the new one. Click here for more information.

Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms.
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City.
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents

VACANCIES

You can advertise your job vacancies, events and contracts through Communities 1st (it's free if you're a member, and very reasonably priced if you aren't) and through our Twitter page!

Just send details including a weblink to memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

Communities 1st is supporting the #ShowTheSalary campaign. Show The Salary has been born out of frustration at the lack of action being taken to address pay gaps and inequity in the charity sector. One very basic enabler of these pay gaps is job roles being published without transparent salaries. There is ample evidence that this is a discriminatory practice. Please ensure any advert you do send through shows the pay scale, To find out more about the #ShowTheSalary campaign click here.

NAVCA – Chief Executive c£55,000
NAVCA are looking for a dynamic and inspirational Chief Executive to lead and shape the future of NAVCA during these turbulent times.

Key expectations of the role include; actively working with staff and Trustees to develop the strategy, supporting members in these tough times, influencing national decision makers and promoting the role of VCSE infrastructure at all levels.

A natural collaborator, the successful candidate will quickly establish credible and professional relationships with key stakeholders, building a reputation on getting the voice of the sector heard.

Deadline: 12 November 2020

Click here for the application pack.

Wed 4 Nov 2020

The second round of Community Grants Fund 2020-21 will open next week on Tuesday 10th November and will close on Monday 11th January 2021.

 

We understand that due to changes to government guidance regarding Covid-19 and the lockdown starting on Thursday 4th November, there may be an impact on staffing and resources available to charities and community groups.

 

Please take this into consideration if you are thinking of applying for a grant, to ensure that the person who is leading on the application has access to their email and relevant information and documents during the application period.

 

If you have any questions or concerns around timelines or the application generally, please contact  Peggy or Alison on engagement@stalbans.gov.uk or Isobel at Communities 1st on cgf@communities1st.org.uk.

 

Mon 26 Oct 2020

Footballer Marcus Rashford speaks for many when he says: “I have no interest in party politics. Letting millions of children in the UK go hungry at night is only an issue of humanity. We need to do better.”

One of the main lessons from the pandemic is the importance of planning for resilient systems.  The concept of a planned society was a key factor in the success of post war social and economic policy in the 30 years since the Second World War, but in recent years, we have more heavily relied on a ‘just in time’ approach, with little or no spare capacity.

In time, a new national plan is needed to develop a ‘big reset’ for our society.  Rather than having a society driven by profit, the plan could build on the surge in community spirit produced by the pandemic to foster solidarity where everyone has enough.  This would require a sustainable economy that enhances the natural world, while creating meaningful work. The plan would need to examine all government policies to ensure that it is life enhancing, so that, for example, education produces enthusiastic lifelong learners who can develop meaningful lives rather than people who can pass exams.

We should look to use the idea of wellbeing as our national goal. Wellbeing means that people feel good, have robust physical and mental health, and find fulfilment in their work, leisure and family lives. The Carnegie UK Trust has developed a framework for how to develop wellbeing in society.

Given the upheaval caused by the pandemic, there is the opportunity to #BuildBackBetter.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Best wishes, stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

Weekly Coffee Mornings for Member Organisations
Drop in to say hello, tell us what you are working on, what support you need and to hear from other local voluntary sector organisations at our weekly Virtual Coffee Mornings for voluntary sector organisations, every Wednesday at 10am.

The sessions are friendly, informal and hopefully useful.  You don’t have to come every week, come along whenever you are able to.

To register, visit www.communities1st.org.uk/calendar or for more information please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone Christine on 01727 743018.

Trustees Week: Register your vacant trustee positions
Trustees' Week 2020 takes place 2–6 November. It's an opportunity for the general public to consider trusteeship. As part of Communities 1st ’s approach to trustee week, we will be promoting the various trustee opportunities registered with us via social media.

If your organisation is a registered or unregistered charity and you have some vacant trustee roles within your trustee board, then register as a recruiter now by emailing volunteer@communities1st.org.uk.

Charity Commission Guidance Update
Updated guidance is out.  Measures around postponing and cancelling AGMs and other meetings have been extended to 30 December. It has also been clarified that you can hold trustee or members’ meetings of more than 6 people where these meetings are necessary for providing charitable services. Full details here.

Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs
On 21 October the Government updated its press release explaining that children's centres have been removed from the local authority facilities rule of 6. The press release explains that Hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000. Read more.

Winter Plan for Children
Save the Children have publishing a new briefing, A Winter Plan for ChildrenWhy families on low incomes shouldn’t be left out in the cold this winter, after conducting research with families on low incomes to ask about their experiences of the past few months. They found that families are starting the winter already struggling with lack of money. Parents are relying on help from charities for food and clothes, they are taking on debt, and struggling to afford food and other basic essentials. Their aim is to keep the issue of child poverty in the public debate, following on from the work of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Keep the Lifeline campaign, the Resolution Foundation’s The Winter (Economy Plan) is coming and End Child Poverty’s launch of local statistics.

Effect of pandemic on children's wellbeing revealed in new report
A new report published to mark World Mental Health Day (10 October) provided an in-depth picture of the experiences of children and young people during the pandemic and how it affected their wellbeing.

Some challenges were identified including isolation from friends, learning from home, or worries that family or friends might get sick but many parents also reported improved relationships with their children and that the majority of children spent time in outside green spaces at least a couple of times a week during lockdown.

Click here to view the report.

Do you know your fundraising reporting requirements?
The Fundraising Regulator has recently published the results of their latest review into charities’ compliance with the fundraising reporting requirements in Section 13 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, which applies in England and Wales. Click here to see their updated guidance on fundraising reporting requirements.

They also published a new webinar to help trustees understand what their responsibilities are with regards to fundraising. Organisations are welcome to use this resource as part of their board induction and training.

2020 Newton Charity Investment Survey
Newton Investment Management has published the findings from its annual Charity Investment Survey.

The findings cover topics such as the implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the activities, administration and fundraising abilities of charities, how environmental, social and governance issues have affected charities and their investment strategies and the progress towards greater diversity among charity trustee boards.

Click here to read the report.

Is your small charity ready to take on it's first paid member of staff?
The majority of charities begin life managed by a passionate founder and/or a group of dedicated Trustees and volunteers. In some cases charities continue like this for years or even decades. A question I see frequently is how can a small charity make the transition to taking on a first paid member of staff?  Read more here.

UK pandemic preparedness
On 20 October the Government published a policy paper on how the UK prepares for and responds to an infectious disease pandemic, particularly a potential outbreak of pandemic influenza. It also sets out how exercises carried out as part of our pandemic preparedness have informed the UK’s COVID-19 response. Read more.

Government pledges £1m in response to ITV's Help our Helplines campaign
Inspired by ITV’s Help Our Helplines campaign, the Government will donate £1m to charities through the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund, administered by Mind.

The extra £1m of Government funding came as part of a package of support for the mental health sector on World Mental Health Day, including £2 million for research into the effects of Covid-19 on the mental health of at risk groups, and over £400 million to eradicate dormitories in mental health facilities in England.

Click here for the full Government announcement.

Health Secretary warns of long-term effects of COVID-19 as new film released
On 21 October the Government published a press release about new data that suggests long COVID affects around 10% of 18 to 49 year olds who become unwell with COVID-19. The Health Secretary urges people to follow the guidelines to protect themselves and others from the potentially debilitating long-term impact of COVID-19. A new film has been released featuring the stories of 4 people, one aged just 22, who are living with the long-term effects of the virus. The press release and video can be found here:

The long shadow of deprivation: differences in opportunities
The Social Mobility Commission has produced a report highlighting the differences in social mobility opportunities within local areas in England.

The report shows that social mobility in England is a postcode lottery, with large differences across areas in both the adult pay of disadvantaged adults, and the size of the pay gap for those from deprived families, relative to those from affluent families.  The report calls on regional leaders to urgently tackle this social mobility post code lottery.

Click here to view the report.

Government urged to define ‘levelling up’
The Government has been urged to define what it means by ‘levelling up’ as new data suggests that solely focusing policy and funding on broad geographic areas will not create a ‘ladder of opportunity’ for people living in some of the most deprived communities in the UK.

Click here for more information.

Rough sleepers to be helped to keep safe this winter
Rough sleepers and those at risk of becoming homeless will be helped to keep safe this winter through a package of support, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced. This will give local areas the tools and funding they need to protect people from life-threatening cold weather and the risks posed by coronavirus. Click here for the full article.

Government needs to "do more to support young people who self-harm"
Young people who self-harm are not getting the support they urgently need, according to a new inquiry led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention, supported by Samaritans.

The report found that young people who self-harm are made to wait until they reach crisis point before having any chance of receiving support.

The cross-party group of MPs and peers spoke to expert organisations, health professionals as well as young people with experience of self-harm and heard how support arrives much too late due to service waiting times, thresholds and all too common stigma.  Click here to read the article.

The Earthshot Prize
The Royal Foundation and Prince William have launched The Earthshot Prize, the most prestigious global prize for the environment in history. Nominations open on 1 November, with over 100 nominating partners from across the world being invited to submit nominations of those individuals, communities, businesses and organisations who could win The Earthshot Prize. As well as identifying evidence-based solutions to the biggest environmental problems the planet faces, The Earthshot Prize aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism that we can rise to the biggest challenges of our time. Read more.

#RightToKnow
The Fawcett Society has launched the #RightToKnow campaign which aims to modernise the Equal Pay law by implementing the Right to Know - where women who suspect they are being paid less than their male counterparts are legally entitled to have this information.

60% of women reported either not knowing what their male counterparts earn or believing they earn less than them for the same work.

If you would like to support their campaign you can click here to write to your MP.

Esmee Fairburn Foundation: New strategy launched
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the UK’s largest independent funders. Their new strategy will focus their funding on three interdependent aims. The three interdependent aims are, Improving Our Natural World, Tackling injustice to deliver A Fairer Future and Nurturing Creative, Confident Communities. Work outside of these aims will no longer be funded. Under the new strategy, they will be providing larger and longer-term grants as well as strategic support to organisations or initiatives with brilliant ideas working towards these aims. Read news article about their new strategy here. The application process, which consists of six steps can be found here.

#NeverMoreNeeded
The #NeverMoreNeeded partnership (which we are a part of) has developed an updated Five Point Plan which shows how the Government could provide additional support to the VCSE sector, ahead of the second wave.

Download, review and share the 'Five Point Plan' here.

VCS Emergencies Partnership
The VCS Emergencies Partnership website includes a service to support local organisations and community groups to respond to emergencies, where needed. This is done by matching needs with resources locally, regionally and nationally.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

Furniture available to member charities
Please contact us at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk if your charity or group can use any of the following:

  • Open plan desks and associated beam work and screens
  • Pedestals
  • Wardrobes
  • Mid height cabinets

A minimum group of desks are a 3 pod and there will not be enough leg parts to set all these up as 3’s because they were originally configured in groups.

TRAINING AND WEBINARS

Do you know your fundraising reporting requirements?
The Fundraising Regulator has published a new webinar to help trustees understand what their responsibilities are with regards to fundraising. Organisations are welcome to use this resource as part of their board induction and training.

Investment Markets and the post-Covid future – Webinar
M&G manages £1.2billion of endowment and reserve funds for over 10,000 charities large and small – a new account can be opened with £1,000.  In 2019, they generated in excess of £60 million in dividend income to help charities fund their objectives.  

M&G specialise in providing attractive income levels from a range of asset classes, including Equities (company shares), Bonds, and Multi Asset strategies. 

As Director of Charities, Richard has a wealth of experience to draw on from his 25-year career with M&G. In this session, he aims to summarise where investment markets stand in the midst of the COVID pandemic, what the key drivers of equity markets are, and where this is likely to lead in the future – particularly with regards to income prospects, which the vast majority of both operational and grant-making charities are increasingly in need of. 

Click here to register:  Tuesday 03 November 2020 at 12:30pm

Volunteer Management: Volunteering Within the Law - Training
Understand the legal context as it applies to the involvement and management of volunteers.

This course is for anyone currently working with volunteers or wishing to develop a volunteer-led programme. The content for this course will be relevant to supporting volunteers across all sectors.  Please note this training is not taught by a lawyer so the trainer will not be in a position to address specific legal issues.

BOOK HERE:   Wednesday 11 November 2020: 10am – 12.30pm

Financial Reporting: Essentials of Charity Finance - Training
In this overview on financial reporting you will learn the various terms and practices of charity finance: assets, liabilities, depreciation, accruals etc and what key financial information is needed as part of financial reporting. Participants will receive a Post-Course Workbook.

BOOK HERE:  Thursday 12 November: 10am – 12.30pm

HCF Training & Development have launched their Autumn programme
The programme includes practical courses such as 'Digital fundraising' and 'Re-opening buildings confidently during COVID-19'. All courses have been adapted to be run online and support workforce development needs in the current climate.

You can find the full list of courses here.

FUNDING

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, Christine Halpin and Isobel Hatfield are on hand to help you through, please contact them by email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and they will book some time in to work with you.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire.

Find out if you are eligible and to apply.

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website. It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages. 

Crowdfund Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/programmes/crowdfund-hertfordshire.

Youth Futures Foundation
Youth Futures Foundation's Development and Impact Grant Funding is still open.  Applications must be submitted by the 9th November for a decision by the 31st December.  Good news is that the Youth Futures Foundation's level of financial support has changed to:

£30,000 - £150,000 pa for delivery of their development grant for 50-150 young people per year, duration 1-2 years.

£100,000 - £1.2m pa for delivery of their impact grant for 150+ young people per year, duration 1-5 years. 

Full details here.

Small Charities Challenge Fund
The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) is a funding opportunity for small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations. SCCF project grants of up to £50,000 are available for projects of up to two years, for UK-registered organisations working towards addressing the Global Goals to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, SCCF will be prioritising applications that can demonstrate that they are responding to longer term impacts of Covid-19. Deadline: 25 March 2021, 5pm. Full details here.

Grants to Cover Running Costs for Small Charities (UK)
Grants of £300 to £2,000 are available to small charities to help them to pay for with running and core costs. The funding is available to registered charities (Community Interest Companies are excluded) working in the areas of literature, arts and heritage; social welfare; environmental causes and animal welfare; education and training; and healthcare. The funding is being made available through the Marsh Christian Trust. There are no application deadlines.  Full details here.

VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund 2020-21: Starting Well
Grants are available for VCSE organisations in England to run projects that improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from BAME backgrounds from preconception to up to 2-and-a-half years of age.

The aim of the Fund is to promote equality and reduce health inequalities by building the evidence base about good practice, sharing lessons and widening the adoption of interventions with a proven track record. The current funding round focusses on giving people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or poorer backgrounds the best chance at a healthy start in life. Approximately 20 projects will be funded.  Deadline 30 Oct.  Full details here

National Archives Scoping Grants
The National Archives has announced that the next deadline for its Scoping Grants is the 11th January 2021. The funding is available to museums and other public bodies, registered charities and not for profit organisations that hold collections. A Scoping Grant prides funding of up to £3,000 to produce a report that incorporates expert advice on a range of areas relating to collections management and the development of an organisation’s collection. Please note: the fund is currently heavily oversubscribed, and there is currently funding to award four Scoping Grants per application round.  Full details here.

New £25 Million Fund to Support Cultural Organisations
The Garfield Weston Foundation has announced that its new £25 million fund to support mid to large scale cultural organisations that have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic is now open for applications. Performing and visual arts organisations, arts centres, and accredited museums and galleries across the UK with a minimum income of £500,000 in a typical year, can apply for funding of £100,000 to £2 million each from the Weston Culture Fund to help them restart work, re-engage with audiences, adapt to changed circumstances, and generate revenue. The deadline for applications is the 9th November 2020. Full details here.

Funding to Support Vulnerable Energy Consumers
The Energy Saving Trust has announced that charities in England, Scotland and Wales can now apply for funding of up to £1 million through the Energy Redress Scheme. The scheme which distribute payments from energy companies who may have breached rules funds projects that support energy consumers in vulnerable situations. The scheme offers charities the opportunity to apply for grants of differing amounts to deliver a range of new and innovative energy related projects designed to help vulnerable energy consumers and address households that may have been impacted by COVID-19. The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 4th November 2020 Full details here.

The Cares Family – The Multiplier
The Multiplier is a brand new programme helping people to develop their own bridge-building initiatives in their own communities in their own ways. Over the next five years, the partnership between The Cares Family and UnLtd will support 50 leaders who are building connections across divides in their neighbourhoods to adapt and grow, building capacity and changing lives. In this first year, the eight-month programme will include leadership workshops, coaching, storytelling and networking. Deadline for grant application:  3rd November at 11am.  Full details here.

The Volant Charitable Trust Covid-19 Response Fund
The Volant Trust accepts applications from charities in the UK and internationally that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for medical equipment and the production or distribution of PPE will also be considered. The Trust is accepting applications from registered charities, CICs, community organisations or social enterprises in the UK and internationally. Deadline: 31 December.  Full details here.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support
If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, you’re under a legal obligation to do so, and could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

This guidance sets out who can claim support and explains how to apply. Click here for more details.

Citizens Advice St Albans Support with Energy Costs
Citizens Advice St Albans provide one to one Energy Advice Appointments, with qualified advisors to help with matters related to household energy supply.

Contact Citizens Advice St Albans on 01727 811118 or email energy@castad.org.uk for an appointment to help to find the best energy tariff, deal with fuel bills and more.

Crime prevention tips...
As we move into Autumn and Winter I thought we could send a reminder about crime prevention. Burglaries often increase during the autumn and winter months, when burglars tend to target homes that are unlit during the darker afternoons. 

Residents can make their homes more secure by following some basic crime prevention advice such as:

  • Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVC doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them.
  • Consider installing a door bell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm.
  • Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.
  • Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
  • Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed or locked garage.
  • Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows.
  • Ensure your vehicle is locked and remove all valuables as burglars often check to see if doors are left unlocked.
  • Join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch for alerts and advice: www.owl.co.uk.

Join Stoptober 2020
The Better Health team are back to help you quit smoking. And right now, looking after your health has never been more important.

Smoking attacks your lungs and makes it harder to breathe. So when you quit smoking, you give your lungs the chance to repair.

So this Stoptober, get the free support you need to stop smoking and start your journey to better health.

www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/.

Go Sober for October!
Sober October encourages people to go booze-free in October to raise money for a great cause.

Sign up to go sober for 14 or 21 days, or the whole month and raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

No matter how long you choose, you'll be helping Macmillan be there for millions of people with cancer.

Sign up today and go Sober for October here.

"Stay Safe Hertfordshire: Play Your Part" Campaign
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City.
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents

VACANCIES

You can advertise your job vacancies, events and contracts through Communities 1st (it's free if you're a member, and very reasonably priced if you aren't) and through our Twitter page!

Just send details including a weblink to memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

Communities 1st is supporting the #ShowTheSalary campaign. Show The Salary has been born out of frustration at the lack of action being taken to address pay gaps and inequity in the charity sector. One very basic enabler of these pay gaps is job roles being published without transparent salaries. There is ample evidence that this is a discriminatory practice. Please ensure any advert you do send through shows the pay scale, To find out more about the #ShowTheSalary campaign click here.

CDA Herts - Jobs Pathway Project Manager
CDA Herts are looking for a self-starter, lots of enthusiasm and commitment on this new and exciting pilot project to place ex-offenders in meaningful job placements or jobs.

This is a flexible 3 days (22.2 hours) role reporting to the Jobs Pathway Board and Steering Group who are working and providing mentoring/coaching schemes for their clients. The salary pro rata is £15,984.

Please contact Kate Belinis for the Job Description and application is a covering letter and CV e: kate.belinis@cdaherts.org.uk

Closing date: noon 30 October 2020.  Interviews w/c 02 November 2020.

Mon 12 Oct 2020

Last month, the report, Levelling Up Our Communities: Proposals for a New Social Covenant, was published by Danny Kruger, a Conservative MP and former “civil society tsar”. 

The report was commissioned in June by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with the aim of examining how the country could “sustain the community spirit we saw during lockdown”.

The report sets out a far-reaching vision for a ‘more local, more human, less bureaucratic, less centralised society in which people are supported and empowered to play an active role in their neighbourhoods’. It argues how a ‘social covenant’ and notion of ‘community power’ must replace remote bureaucracies and put communities at the heart of policy-making. These messages certainly feel like they should strike a chord.

The report is packed with a combination of old and new ideas. Reference to social value threads itself throughout the report as does improving data on what works is in there, as is the potential of digital communications. Newer ideas include a Recovery Fund, community ‘right to buy’, and community improvement districts.

The report hits a welcome note of optimism. Whilst I may not agree with everything, the sentiment is the right one: it will take a collective effort to do this, and Government’s role is to help communities to achieve their potential.

‘Levelling Up’ is a welcome contribution to the discussion on how the UK can recover from COVID-19, and comes at a time when consensus is needed.

You can read the report here:  www.dannykruger.org.uk/communities-report.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

New! Weekly Coffee Mornings for Member Organisations
Now that many of us are working at home again, it can be hard to keep in touch to share information and support. In order to overcome this, we are delighted to announce our new weekly Communities 1st Virtual Coffee Morning for voluntary sector organisations, which takes place every Wednesday at 10am.

Drop in to say hello, tell us what you are working on, what support you need and to hear from other local voluntary sector organisations.  We want the sessions to be friendly, informal and useful.  You don’t have to come every week, come along whenever you are able to.

For more information please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone Christine on 01727 743018, or visit www.communities1st.org.uk/calendar/month.

Wednesday 14th October - book here

Wednesday 21st October - book here

Please note, the link above will enable you to register for the event, after which you will receive an automated link to join the event.  Please check your Junk Folder for this.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Government Kickstart Scheme – Employ a talented young person for a 6 month fully funded job placement
In September the Government announced the launch of the Kickstart scheme, a £2 billion pound initiative to help young people aged between 16-24 into work. Organisations can employ a young person on a part-time 6-month contract, fully funded by the Government up to national minimum wage and including employers’ national insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment costs.

Communities 1st is an approved Kickstart Gateway for the 3rd Sector in Hertfordshire, supporting charities and community groups to access the scheme.

We will be hosting an hour-long information session on Zoom on Thursday 15th October 11.00 - 12.00 to talk about the background to the Kickstart scheme, the benefits of employing a young person through Kickstart and what you need to do to apply.

Kickstart is also an opportunity for volunteer led organisations to benefit from taking on a paid employee. Support is available in offering paid employment placements.

To find out more about employing a young person through the Kickstart scheme, or to book a place on our online information session click here

How to communicate better with people with hearing loss
COVID-19 poses a unique challenge for health and social care professionals when talking to someone with hearing loss.

Those with hearing loss often rely on visual cues such as lip reading or facial expressions during a conversation. Remote appointments on the telephone or talking to someone who is wearing personal protective equipment such as a mask can make things more difficult.

In response to this, Healthwatch has published some important tips to help you communicate effectively with someone with hearing loss.

Click here to review the advice.

Steady on your feet
'Steady On Your Feet' is a campaign led by the NHS and local authorities to help increase confidence and reduce the risk of falls.

Their advice, guidance and resources are designed for anyone worried about feeling unsteady on their feet. They aim to equip people with simple tips to stay active, independent and safe during every day activities.

Click here to visit the website and see their resources.

It's Black History Month
There's lots going on to celebrate Black History month.  Find listings on www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk, or search twitter using #blackhistory or #blackhistorymonth or #blackhistorymonth2020. 

In light of the Black Lives Matter protests, Fair4All have published an edition of the Research Round-Up which highlights existing evidence of the systemic racism in the UK that contributes to race-based gaps in various economic indicators.  Click here for more.

Challenge Poverty Week
Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity to highlight the incredible work being done by community groups around the country, and to show what can and must be done differently.

The week aims to:

Raise voices in unison against poverty and show that we all want to live in a more just and compassionate country.

  • Show what is already being done at community level to challenge and alleviate poverty.
  • Build awareness and support for long term solutions that focus on enhancing the dignity and agency of people in poverty themselves.
  • Change the conversation around poverty and help end the stigma.

You can download the Challenge Poverty Week toolkit, packed with ideas and tips, here.

WEBINAR: Building a healthy and health-creating society
What role do social businesses have in creating health and wellbeing? This webinar, part of the Building a healthy and health-creating society series, will look at examples in vertical farming, care giving and the making of clothes and draw out lessons for the future.  Register here.

2020 Newton Charity Investment Survey
Newton Investment Management has published the findings from its annual Charity Investment Survey.

The findings cover topics such as the implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the activities, administration and fundraising abilities of charities, how environmental, social and governance issues have affected charities and their investment strategies and the progress towards greater diversity among charity trustee boards.

Click here to read the report.

Search the Companies House register
Companies House has updated the guidance to explain that records of dissolved companies following the government’s response to the Corporate Transparency and Register Reform consultation. Following the Government’s response to the Corporate Transparency and Register Reform consultation, they have stopped removing dissolved records from the Companies House Service (CHS) with immediate effect.  They will also put dissolved records (all companies dissolved since 2010) back onto CHS from January 2021. The guidance can be found here.

Reforms to Companies House to clamp down on fraud and give businesses greater confidence in transactions
Companies House will be reformed to clamp down on fraud and money laundering, with directors unable to be appointed until their identity has been verified. It is hoped that the changes will give businesses confidence in who they are doing business with, with greater accuracy of data on the register, without impacting the speed of service. Read more.

Volunteer involving survey
The Government is currently developing guidance to help volunteer-involving organisations, groups and bodies based in England better understand how volunteering can be done safely and effectively during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this guidance development, they are asking employees and volunteers from volunteer-involving organisations, groups and bodies to complete a short survey. Please only complete this survey if you work and/or volunteer for an organisation, group or body based in England. Deadline to complete the survey is Monday 12 October at 5pm. The survey can be found here.

NHS Covid-19 app: How England and Wales' contact-tracing service works
Apple and Google's automated contact-tracing technology will be used to tell people to self-isolate if their phone detects they were near someone later determined to have the virus.

But there's also:

  • A venue check-in barcode scanner
  • A postcode-based risk-level checker
  • A symptoms-reporter tool
  • The means to order a coronavirus test and receive its results
  • A countdown timer to keep track of how long to stay in self-isolation
  • A guide to the latest advice on local restrictions, financial support and other related information

Click here for more details.

How to create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue
There's a walkthrough process on the Government's website which enables you to create a QR code for display in your venue. Ask visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You should create and display a QR code if you are:

  • a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public
  • an event which is taking place in a physical location

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

Click here to find out more.

Microsoft Office 2010 support to end in October
Support for Microsoft Office 2010 is scheduled to end on October 13th, 2020, with no extension or extended security updates from Microsoft.

This means that you would be using the software without Microsoft providing any bug fixes or security updates.

If your charity is among those still using Microsoft Office 2010 programmes, it’s time to start planning your next Microsoft Office upgrade before October in order to avoid security risks.

Click here for more information on what is available.

New package to support and enforce self-isolation
People with symptoms, or with a positive Covid-19 test result, will be required by law to self-isolate from 28 September. To support those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and will lose income as a result, the Government will provide a payment of £500.

Just under 4 million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment, which will be available to those who are required to self-isolate from 28 September.

Local authorities will be working quickly to set up these self-isolation support schemes and we expect them to be in place by 12 October.

More information can be found here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector
On 29 September the charity commission updated the guidance in the sections about AGMs and holding meetings online. The section in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 on holding meetings online has been extended from 30 September to 30 December 2020. The temporary provision allowing the postponement of AGMs ends on 30 September 2020. Read more.

Covid-19: providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults
The Government has updated its guidance for people providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus outbreak.

The updates relate to the changes in social distancing guidance and include an "easy-to-read counterpart" on staying alert and safe, coronavirus outbreak FAQs and guidance on meeting with others safely.

The guidance aims to:

  • keep people with learning disabilities and autistic people safe
  • support them to understand the changes they need to make during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • protect their own wellbeing

Click here to review the advice.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Meeting with others safely (social distancing)
On 7 October the Government updated the guidance to explain when seeing friends and family you do not live with you should meet in groups of 6 or less. In England, this limit of 6 includes children of any age. Read more.

Free carbon monoxide awareness workshops
The Gas Safe Charity is offering free, online workshops aimed at frontline staff and volunteers who visit or work in the homes of vulnerable people.

The interactive workshops explain the sources, sign and symptoms of carbon monoxide risks in the home and uses scenarios to explain what steps to take if carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected.

As we move into autumn and winter, with more people staying at home, the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning are increasing. If your staff or volunteers can spot the signs, they can help prevent vulnerable people being poisoned.

Click here to learn more and to select a suitable date.

10 harmful myths about bisexual people, and why they’re wrong
The 23rd September saw the annual Bisexual Visibility Day and to honour this, the Gay Times put forward their 10 myths around bisexuality and how they are harmful to the bi community.

It’s estimated that bisexuals make up the largest part of the LGBTQ community, with the Williams Institute and Human Rights Campaign putting that number at around 50%. Despite this, bisexual people are often erased both from outside and within the LGBTQ community.

Click here for more information.

Requests for charity services more than double during COVID-19
New research from the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) has revealed that applications for support from grant-giving charities have increased by 122% since lockdown began on 23 March, compared to the same period in 2019.  Read the full report here.

Homes, health and COVID-19
The Centre for Ageing Better and the King's Fund have jointly published a report summarising the role and impact of poor-quality housing on health, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The condition of homes, insecure tenure, and wider neighbourhood characteristics all have a considerable effect on health and wellbeing.

Despite this, 18% of homes in England are in a 'non-decent' condition. These homes are occupied disproportionately by older people, those with existing health conditions, people on lower incomes and those from ethnic minority groups.

Click here for more information.

The impact of community businesses on people
Power to change latest research report brings together our evidence base about the impact of community businesses on the people they work with and support. This report is not just about the response to Covid-19, but it shows how community businesses are well placed to support communities to respond to the effects of the pandemic.  Discover the impact.

Five Point Plan to help support work of charities updated ahead of winter ‘second wave’
The #NeverMoreNeeded partnership (which we are a part of) has developed an updated Five Point Plan which shows how the Government could provide additional support to the VCSE sector, ahead of the second wave.

The Covid-19 crisis has posed an unprecedented challenge and the Government has had to respond swiftly and will need to continue to do so, following the increase in infections and introductions of further restrictions. This crisis has highlighted the importance of people and communities coming together and the crucial way in which charities and community organisations have contributed.

Download, review and share the 'Five Point Plan' here.

Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan
On 24 September the Government unveiled its plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months. Central to the plan is: A new Job Support Scheme introduced from 1 November to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus. Read more.

VCS Emergencies Partnership
The VCS Emergencies Partnership website includes a service to support local organisations and community groups to respond to emergencies, where needed. This is done by matching needs with resources locally, regionally and nationally.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

TRAINING

Basic Fire Safety (without practical work)
Course Aim: To raise awareness of basic fire safety and improve safe working procedures.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the importance of Fire Legislation and Fire Safety issues
  • Identify causes of fire and good practice recommendations that inform safe practice
  • Develop an appropriate response to fire situations

14th October 2020: 10am – 12noon

Zoom Webinar - to request a place please email your name(s) and email address(es) to pvi.learning@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Safeguarding adults at risk - Designated Person
This online course will help designated safeguarding individuals to understand their role and responsibilities, particularly around documenting and reporting abuse. This course is aimed at the adult safeguarding lead (or designated person) within voluntary and community organisations. The course will be delivered interactively online, with pre/post course exercises and materials provided

Friday 23 October book here.

10am - 12.30pm (30 min break included).

HCF Training & Development have launched their Autumn programme
The programme includes practical courses such as 'Digital fundraising' and 'Re-opening buildings confidently during COVID-19'. All courses have been adapted to be run online and support workforce development needs in the current climate.

You can find the full list of courses here.

FUNDING

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, Christine Halpin and Isobel Hatfield are on hand to help you through, please contact them by email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and they will book some time in to work with you.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire.

HCC Adult Care Services are funding this grant scheme for VCS organisations that provide adult social care in Hertfordshire. The grants are managed by HCF Training and Development and can be used to support the:

  • Learning and development of the organisation’s workforce
  • Development of the capacity of the organisation to deliver training and skills to its workforce, to carers or to service users/clients

Find out if you are eligible and to apply

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website.

It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages. 

Crowdfund Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

Do you have a great idea for a project or initiative in Hertfordshire that needs funding?

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk.

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/programmes/crowdfund-hertfordshire.

Funding to Projects that Promote Social Justice and Environmental Sustainability
Grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 are available for projects that resolve violent conflicts and projects that promote environmental sustainability. Funding is available for projects that aim to change policy and attitudes at a national or European level. Grants can be for up to three years. The Foundation also supports organisations or projects that are not UK registered charities if they can identify a UK registered charity able to receive funds on their behalf. Priority will be given to small, pioneering organisations. The closing date for applications is the 5th February 2021.  Full details here.

Funding to Support Vulnerable Young Migrants
Not for profit organisations and private law firms working with vulnerable young migrants can apply for grants of up to £30,000. Grants will enable the organisation to undertake strategic legal work to benefit young migrants (under the age of 25) living in poverty who face significant disadvantage or discrimination in connection with their (or their parents') migration status. Applicants should note that the average grant size is around £12,000. The funding is being made available through the Strategic Legal Fund (SLF) for Vulnerable Young Migrants and the closing date for applications is the 20th October.  Full details here.

Grants of up to £5,000 Available for Projects that Help the Homeless
Homeless charities can apply for capital grants of up to £5,000 for projects that aim to help homeless people return to the community and enabling them to resume a normal life.  To be eligible to apply, the charity must have an annual turnover of under £1million and with ‘unrestricted reserves’ of under six months.  The closing date for applications is the 15th December 2020.  Full details here.

Ford Britain Trust Small Grants Programme Re-opens for Applications
The Ford Britain Trust has announced that its large grants programme is now open for applications. Grants of up to £3,000 are available to charities, Schools/PTA’s and other non-profit organisations for work that focuses on education, environment, children, the disabled, youth activities. Priority will be given to projects in locations where Ford Motor Company Limited / FCE Bank plc operate. The closing date for applications is the 31st January 2021. The Trust also operates a small grants programme for amounts up to £250. The closing date for applications to the small grants programme is the 31st October 2020.  Full details here.

Funding for Local Road Safety Pilots and Trials
Local Authorities, Police Forces, Fire and Rescue Services, UK-based registered charities, universities, not-for-profit social enterprises and community interest companies can apply for funding for local road safety pilots and trials. The Road Safety Trust has announced a new £300,000 funding stream to encourage applications that respond to changing road use and emerging road safety issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the Trust’s Small Grants Plus Programme 2020 funding of between £20,000 and £50,000 over a maximum of two years will be made available for projects which are either a pilot, trial or evaluation of a practical road safety intervention. All projects should have other sources of funding, either cash or in-kind. The closing date for applications is the 21st October 2020.  Full details here.

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust - Rights and Justice 
The next round of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust’s Rights and Justice programme is now open and will close on the 13th November 2020. The Funding priorities for this scheme are the protection and promotion of human rights and their enforcement in the UK; promoting rights and justice for minorities who face the most severe forms of racism; and the promotion of rights and justice for refugees and other migrants.  Full details here.

Grants for Black-led Social Enterprises and Charities that Benefit Ethnic Minorities
Black-led social enterprises, as well as charities with ethnic minority beneficiaries can apply for grants of between £2,000 and £25,000 for projects which help to build an inclusive culture and tackle racial inequality. The size of the grants will depend on their scale, activity and impact of the social enterprise. The funding is being made available through the PwC Foundation’s ColourBrave Charity Committee and the closing date for applications is 5pm on the 30th October 2020.  Full details here.

Funding to Support Deprived Rural Communities Affected by the Covid-19 Crisis
Grants of up to £10,000 are available for projects which support small, deprived communities in remote rural areas which have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Projects which protect or boost community assets and enterprises, or otherwise strengthen the sense of community will be supported. Funding can be used to cover revenue costs for projects which might include reinvigorating a rural transport scheme to tackle isolation, or projects which engage with hard to reach households. The deadline for applications is 12pm on the 3rd November 2020.  Full details here.

Clarion Futures Digital Grant Funding - Round 6 Now Open
Clarion Futures Digital Team is committed to getting residents online; giving them the basic digital skills and access to equipment and connectivity to safely and confidently access online services on a regular basis.  The final round of Digital Grant Funding for 2020 (Round 6) is now open, and grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 will be available to organisations seeking to deliver innovative, well designed projects that support Clarion residents and the wider community to address digital exclusion.  To find out more, including application guidance and examples of previously funded projects, please click here.  Applications will close 12 noon Wednesday 25 November 2020.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Join Stoptober 2020
The Better Health team are back to help you quit smoking. And right now, looking after your health has never been more important.

Smoking attacks your lungs and makes it harder to breathe. So when you quit smoking, you give your lungs the chance to repair.

So this Stoptober, get the free support you need to stop smoking and start your journey to better health.

https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/

Go Sober for October!
Sober October encourages people to go booze-free in October to raise money for a great cause.

Sign up to go sober for 14 or 21 days, or the whole month and raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

No matter how long you choose, you'll be helping Macmillan be there for millions of people with cancer.

Sign up today and go Sober for October here.

Herts Sports Partnership
Herts Sports Partnership organises sports and physical activities across Hertfordshire. Right now, they are working closely with community organisations in the below areas to develop a variety of sport and physical activity opportunities. To do this effectively we would like to find out the opinions of the residents.

If you live in:

  • Cowley Hill, Hertsmere
  • Sopwell, St Albans
  • Peartree, Welwyn Hatfield
  • Waltham Cross, Broxbourne
  • Sele Farm, East Herts
  • Grovehill, Dacorum
  • Bedwell, Stevenage
  • Jackmans, North Herts
  • Watford Central, Watford
  • South Oxhey, Three Rivers

Please take some time to complete this survey which takes about 15 minutes to complete and everyone who completes the survey will be put into a draw for a £50 Tesco voucher.

HENRY Programme - BeeZee Bodies
The new HENRY programme provides free, online support and advice for parents and carers with children under five.

The eight-week programme will run from 10am - 11am on Tuesdays from 20 October; from 6.30pm - 7.30pm on Wednesdays from 21 October or from 1.30pm - 2.30pm on Thursdays from 22 October.

Over the eight weeks a range of topics will be covered, including physical activities for little ones, family lifestyle habits, healthy eating and how to feel more confident as a parent.

The programme uses a partnership approach which is strengths based and solution focused.

For more information on this and other BeeZee Bodies programmes please visit their website.

"Stay Safe Hertfordshire: Play Your Part" Campaign
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City.
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents

New legal duty to self-isolate comes into force
The legal duty for people to self-isolate came into force this week. The aim is to ensure compliance and reduce spread of Covid-19.

The Government has announced financial support for people on low incomes who are unable to work while self-isolating through the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment programme.

Also fines for those breaking the rules are in place starting with £1,000 and increasing to £10,000 for repeat offenders.

Click here for more information.

VACANCIES

You can advertise your job vacancies, events and contracts through Communities 1st (it's free if you're a member, and very reasonably priced if you aren't) and through our Twitter page!

Just send details including a weblink to memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

Communities 1st is supporting the #ShowTheSalary campaign. Show The Salary has been born out of frustration at the lack of action being taken to address pay gaps and inequity in the charity sector. One very basic enabler of these pay gaps is job roles being published without transparent salaries. There is ample evidence that this is a discriminatory practice. Please ensure any advert you do send through shows the pay scale, To find out more about the #ShowTheSalary campaign click here.

Operations Manager - Home Start

Home-Start Herts are looking for an inspirational Operations Manager to lead a team of staff and volunteers.  Deadline: 22 October 2020.

Mon 28 Sep 2020

Covid-19 has caused pain and loss for all of us directly and indirectly. The response in communities is the adrenaline which kicks in and strengthens our ability to cope. We may not look back fondly on 2020 but there is a lot we can learn from it.

Over the last few months, our voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) organisations have responded amazingly to the crisis. They have re-made services so people can stay connected and supported during lockdown, worked to ensure nobody is left without access to food, shelter, care, wellbeing support, mental health support, creative activities – and support around pre-existing matters which had nothing directly to do with Covid-19, such as work with survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence. They have done their best to help people get by. Our public services too have responded magnificently but without the extra lifting power of VCFSE organisations, they would be overwhelmed: we have seen how our collective ecosystem really works and there is much to build on for the future.

The VCFSE sector will continue to play a critical role in the response to the Covid-19 crisis, and as we all adapt, to the ‘new normal’. What this ‘new normal’ will look like, though, is still uncertain and there is much to think about if we want it to be better than the old one. It is an opportunity for change but only if we grasp it.

What is clear however, is that compassion is more important than ever as we continue to live, work and volunteer through these changing and challenging times.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st

 

This newsletter is split into the following sections:

  • Communities 1st COVID-19 Information and Support
  • Information to support voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector organisations
  • Training for VCFSE organisations
  • Funding for VCFSE organisations
  • Information to support individuals
  • Vacancies

 

COMMUNITIES 1st COVID-19 INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
Supporting Individuals: People who need help whilst isolated (or someone on their behalf) can complete an online form here or call 020 8207 5115 or email.

Volunteering: for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others. Individuals wishing to volunteer their time can sign-up here or call 020 3559 3559 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Charities, Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups - we are here to help
If you need information, advice or support Communities 1st is here to help.  We can offer advice on issues from fundraising to governance and to managing volunteers.  You can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

On our website you can find a range of resources and support on issues relating to Covid-19, including:

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information
  • Resource Hub – including staffing issues, governance, managing a funding crisis, digital support, safeguarding and other useful resources (operational issues and guidance on working with different sectors of the community)
  • Useful Covid-19 volunteer introduction videos and documents for your organisation and information about mutual aid groups

Kindness Stories
We want to gather stories about positive things that are happening in our local communities.  If you have a Kindness Story that you would like to share please email us: covid19news@communities1st.org.uk #1stcommunities

If you want more information you can visit our website: www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid-19Updates or contact our Voluntary Sector support team on 01727 743018.  

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

New! Weekly Coffee Mornings for Member Organisations
Now that many of us are working at home again, it can be hard to keep in touch to share information and support. In order to overcome this, we are delighted to announce our new weekly Communities 1st Virtual Coffee Morning for voluntary sector organisations, which will take place every Wednesday at 10am, starting on Wednesday 7 October.

Drop in to say hello, tell us what you are working on, what support you need and to hear from other local voluntary sector organisations.  We want the sessions to be friendly, informal and useful.  You don’t have to come every week, come along whenever you are able to.

For more information please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone Christine on 01727 743018, or register below for the session on 7 October.

Please note, the link will enable you to register for the event, after which you will receive an automated link to join the event.   Please check your Junk folder for this.

We look forward to seeing you then!

We want to help VCSE sector employers offer work placements through Kickstart
In September the Government announced the launch of the Kickstart scheme, a £2bn pound initiative to help young people aged between 16-24 into work.

Organisations will be able to employ a young person on a 25 hours-per-week 6-month contract, fully funded by the Government up to national minimum wage and including employers’ national insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment costs. The roles must be newly created and cannot replace an existing role or vacancy within an organisation.

Communities 1st will be acting as an approved Kickstart gateway for the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector in Hertfordshire. We will be hosting an hour-long information session on Zoom on Monday 5th October 4pm – 5pm and again on Wednesday 7th October 11am – 12pm, where we will talk about the background to the Kickstart scheme, the benefits of employing a young person through Kickstart and what the requirements are to take part.

To find out more about employing a young person through the Kickstart scheme, or to express your interest in working with Communities 1st as an intermediary, please follow this link.

Please click here to register to attend the Zoom information event on Monday 5 October from 4pm to 5pm.

Please click here to register to attend the Zoom information event on Wednesday 7 October from 1pm to 2pm.

Trustee Speed Matching
We were delighted this week to deliver what we hope will be the first of many Virtual Trustee Speed Matching Sessions.

In all 9 organisations approached us to recruit for trustees and they were met by 17 extremely high calibre and enthusiastic individuals who are ready and willing to give their time and expertise serving on their boards. We heard about the fantastic work a number of organisations do, contributing to our community and some insightful and impassioned pitches from trustee applicants as to their motivations for giving their time. Now introductions have been made the long process of making matches begins. We have fewer positions available at present than we have candidates so if you need to recruit an excellent trustee you still have a chance! Get in touch by emailing volunteer@communities1st.org.uk.

We hope to run more of these sessions in future and are currently planning the next one for January 2021.

Domestic abuse – tell us what you see when you’re at work
Because we know anyone can experience domestic abuse, we also know they can seek help in many different ways.

This is why Hertfordshire County Council want to understand more about domestic abuse from those working in people-facing professions, because you are often the people that could spot the signs.

If you work in a role where you might come across victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse, please answer this survey. 

Questions will be about your professional experience of domestic abuse, including what you’ve seen and how you’ve responded to suspected or confirmed cases of domestic abuse in the past. This will help us to improve services and support for victims of domestic violence or abuse.

To complete this survey, please visit: www.surveys.hertfordshire.gov.uk/s/DAprofessional or scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet.

Free tool to guide charities facing financial difficulty
Bates Wells has launched a free tool for charities, social enterprises and other non-profit entities facing financial difficulty and unsure of the next steps to take.

Decision Tool, developed following consultation with NCVO on the sector’s needs, gives organisations detailed guidance and information on issues including insolvency advice and mechanisms, mergers, collaborations, cost cutting, raising finance, and other relevant content.

Click here for more information.

New online register of charities “widens the public’s window” into how charities are run
The Charity Commission has launched an improved public register of charities, which makes more information about individual charities available to donors and the public.

The new financial information includes the number of staff within a charity that receive total income packages over £60,000, and whether trustees, who are usually volunteers, are paid for their services to the charity. It highlights income that individual charities receive from government grants and contracts. The new display also shows whether individual charities work with a professional fundraiser and whether they have specific policies in place, including on safeguarding.  Find out more.

ow to tackle mental health in the workplace as a manager and colleague
Mental health is a critical part of an employee’s well-being. But according to the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, approximately one in six adults experienced a common mental disorder like depression or anxiety in any given week.

This striking figure underlines the need for workplaces to create environments where employees feel comfortable reaching out for support.

This guide from UCL provides useful resources to help tackle this issue.

Click here to read the guide.

#LookCloser for signs of exploitation
Last week saw the launch of the Children’s Society’s #LookCloser partnership campaign which aims to raise public awareness of child exploitation and abuse, with a particular focus on public spaces. Following a successful pilot in the East Midlands region, the Children’s Society has launched a campaign nationally and has published a digital pack to guide partners to help spread the #LookCloser messages.

Click here for more information.

Can You See Me?
In a National Drive to raise public awareness of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Hertfordshire Police encourage you to download the CAN YOU SEE ME information.  Find out more.

Applying to protect your personal information on the Companies House register
On 16 September Companies House published this guidance. It explains how to restrict disclosure of certain information if you’re at serious risk as a company director, limited liability partnership (LLP) member or person with significant control (PSC). Most information registered at Companies House is available to the public. Other personal details, such as your home address and full date of birth, are not published on the Companies House register. Read more.

COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities
The Government has updated its guidance to reflect changes to upcoming NHS Test and Trace rules and restrictions on social groups gatherings.  Community centres, village halls, and other multi-use community facilities support a wide range of local activity. However, their communal nature also makes them places that are vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This information is for those managing multi-use community facilities. Read more.

Number giving at lowest level in over a decade
nfpSynergy has been monitoring giving levels every quarter for over a decade. Their research shows that in the latest quarter there were dramatic changes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Number giving down to lowest level in a decade – only 60% of the public say they’ve given to charity in the last 3 months, down from 69% in January this year
  • Charity shops and on-street collections have posted the biggest drops in giving
  • Giving on a charity website and via text message are at their highest levels since we started tracking this question
  • The public say they are almost twice as likely to cut back on eating out than donating to charity

Read the research findings in full here.

Ageing in Place for Minority Ethnic communities report
Ambition for Ageing’s new report, Ageing in Place for Minority Ethnic communities explores the importance of social infrastructure, such as shops, community centres, and green spaces, for older members of minority ethnic communities. It is important for older people with a shared cultural identity to have places where they can meet to maintain their sense of identity and relationships with others who share some form of commonality. These shared spaces allow for informal social connections, which are very important for people to feel a sense of connection to the neighbourhoods in which they live.  Read more.

Rolling out social prescribing: understanding the experience of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector
This report sets out the findings of research conducted by National Voices for NHS England to explore the perspectives and experiences of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in relation to the NHS rollout of social prescribing. National Voices spoke to more than 300 people through a series of interviews, workshops and online engagements between December 2019 and June 2020.  Find out more.

Healthwatch England report: Covid-19: what people are telling us
This briefing looks at the key issues the public have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, ranging from the affect lockdown has had on carers, to the problems getting emergency dental treatment.  Find out more.

The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services
Deadline for submitting evidence: 30 September 2020

The Department for Education has an opening call for evidence relating to the impact the pandemic has had on education and children's services as a whole. This may relate to the effect of cancelling exams and the fairness of the grades awarded; on disadvantaged groups such as those eligible for free school meals and the long-term impact on the most vulnerable groups; or the support for pupils and families during closures.

Click here to read the full list of criteria and to submit evidence.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging one-day course will explore the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers. It is ideal for staff who have this responsibility as their role.  We have split the course into two halves to give participants more choice.

It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the Valuing Volunteer Management Six-Point Promise. This is a solid affirmation of your commitment to the pursuit of excellence in volunteer management. It gives potential funders evidence of the quality service they look for and potential volunteers can be more confident that they will be valued and supported by your organisation.

Thursday 6 October 2020

Click the links above to book your place or for further information email Volunteering Herts at info@volunteeringherts.uk or call 01707 274861.

Cost:

Herts voluntary organisations: £25 half-day or £45 full-day (includes handbook)

Statutory organisations: £50 half-day or £90 full-day (includes handbook)

VCS Emergencies Partnership
The VCS Emergencies Partnership website includes a service to support local organisations and community groups to respond to emergencies, where needed. This is done by matching needs with resources locally, regionally and nationally.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

Cabinet Office: Coronavirus outbreak FAQ - what you can and can’t do
On 22 September the government updated the guidance in in line with latest government guidance. Some of the new restrictions will be set out in the law and guidance. The law being The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020. The police and other enforcement officers are able to issue penalties to those that don’t comply with law. Read more.

Department of Health and Social Care and Cabinet Office - Face coverings when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own
On 23 September the government updated the guidance. Changes have been made to the following sections: 'When to wear a face covering', 'Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law', 'When you do not need to wear a face covering' and 'Face coverings at work'. Read more.

Volunteers helping older people to stay connected during Covid-19
Age UK Hertfordshire are working hard to support their clients during Covid-19. “Many of our clients were already socially isolated and lonely,” says Mark Hanna, Director of Operations, “We swiftly changed our services so that we could support those who need us and help our clients to stay connected with us and their families and friends.”

The charity have been given grant funding which has helped them to buy tech for clients, and to recruit a team of IT volunteers who are providing safe, socially distanced training.

To find out more or to volunteer for Age UK Hertfordshire please contact us on Volunteering@ageukherts.org.uk.

TRAINING

Basic Fire Safety (without practical work)
Course Aim: To raise awareness of basic fire safety and improve safe working procedures.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the importance of Fire Legislation and Fire Safety issues
  • Identify causes of fire and good practice recommendations that inform safe practice
  • Develop an appropriate response to fire situations

14th October 2020: 10am – 12noon

Zoom Webinar - to request a place please email your name(s) and email address(es) to pvi.learning@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Food Hygiene and Infection Control
The course aims are to provide knowledge and understanding of the principles of Infection Prevention Control and Food Safety level 1. Participants will look at infection prevention and control methods (including new Public Health England infection prevention method against Covid 19, updated PPE and correct donning and doffing methods), safe methods of handling and preparing food according to current legislation and control measures.

Monday 5th October 2020: 10am – 2pm

MS Teams Webinar - to request a place please email your name(s) and email address(es) to pvi.learning@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Safeguarding adults at risk - Level 1 Refresher
This online course will help organisations to refresh and update their knowledge on safeguarding adults at risk and to comply with the requirements of the Care Act. This course will be delivered interactively online, with pre/post course exercises and materials provided. This course is for all staff and volunteers working in a voluntary sector social care environment, who have not attended a safeguarding adults course within the last 2 years and need a refresher.

Wednesday 7th October - book here.

10am - 12.30pm (30 min break included).

Safeguarding adults at risk - Designated Person
This online course will help designated safeguarding individuals to understand their role and responsibilities, particularly around documenting and reporting abuse. This course is aimed at the adult safeguarding lead (or designated person) within voluntary and community organisations. The course will be delivered interactively online, with pre/post course exercises and materials provided.

Friday 23 October book here.

10.00am - 12.30pm (30 min break included).

FUNDING

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, Christine Halpin and Isobel Hatfield are on hand to help you through, please contact them by email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and they will book some time in to work with you.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire.

HCC Adult Care Services are funding this grant scheme for VCS organisations that provide adult social care in Hertfordshire. The grants are managed by HCF Training and Development and can be used to support the:

  • Learning and development of the organisation’s workforce
  • Development of the capacity of the organisation to deliver training and skills to its workforce, to carers or to service users/clients

Find out if you are eligible and to apply.

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website. It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages. 

Crowdfunder Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

Do you have a great idea for a project or initiative in Hertfordshire that needs funding?

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk.

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/programmes/crowdfund-hertfordshire.

LGBT+ Futures: National Emergencies Trust Fund
The funding is available to address the additional needs of LGBT+ people and communities most adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and to support and strengthen LGBT+ organisations that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. There are no deadlines for this fund. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all the funding has been awarded. Grants are for short-term work only and all funds awarded through the programme must be fully spent by 31 May 2021. More details can be found here.

Funding to Help Disadvantaged Young People and Children
Charities can apply for funding for projects that help disadvantaged children and young people. The funding is being made available through the Masonic Charitable Foundations Early Years Opportunities Grant scheme. The Foundation operates two funding streams. Small grants of between £500 and £5,000 per year for up to 3 years and large grants of between £20,000 and £60,000 per year for up to 3 years. The next funding round for small grants will open on the 1st of October 2020 and will close for applications on the 23rd of December 2020. The large grants programme is currently open for applications with a closing date of the 31 of October 2020.  Full details here.

VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund 2020-21: Starting Well
Grants are available for VCSE organisations to run projects that improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from BAME backgrounds from preconception to up to 2-and-a-half years of age.
The aim of the Fund is to promote equality and reduce health inequalities by building the evidence base about good practice, sharing lessons and widening the adoption of interventions with a proven track record. The current funding round focusses on giving people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or poorer backgrounds the best chance at a healthy start in life.  Full details here,  deadline 30 October.

AB Charitable Trust
UK-registered charities that work towards combating abuse and violations of human rights can apply for grants of up to £20,000. Applications are particularly welcomed from charities working to support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers; criminal justice and penal reform; human rights and access to justice. The AB Charitable Trust support work that promotes human dignity and defends the human rights of marginalised and excluded people. Deadline: 31 October  Read more.

Baily Thomas Charitable Fund
Schools, voluntary organisations and charities can apply for grants to help both children and adults suffering severe learning difficulties. The Fund operates two general grant funding streams, a General Grant Programme for appeals over £10,000 and a Small Grant Programme for appeals below £10,000. There are no deadlines for the Small Grants Programme. The next deadline for applications seeking funding in excess of £10,000 is the 1 December.  Read more.

Veolia Environmental Trust Grants
Constituted not for profit organisations can apply for grants of up to £75,000 to create or improve buildings or outside spaces for the benefit of the community. This can include community buildings; parks and paths, play, Multi Use Games Areas; recreational facilities; nature reserves; and bio diversity projects. The funding is being made available through the Veolia Environmental Trust and to be eligible to apply, the applicant organisation needs to be within the vicinity of a qualifying Veolia site. The next closing date for applications is the 3 December 2020.  Read more.

War Memorials Grant Scheme
Grants of up to £30,000 are available for the repair and conservation of free-standing war memorials in England. These grants are intended to help those who are responsible for the upkeep of war memorials. The grants support the care and preservation of war memorials to a high standard, and to prevent the decay of this important part of our built heritage. Grants will normally be for up to a maximum of 75% of eligible costs. The funding is being made available through the War Memorials Trust and the next closing date for applications is the 31 December 2020.  Read more.

Funding for Projects that Tackle the Root Causes of Social Inequity
Not for profit organisations that work towards a just and democratic society and to redress political and social injustices can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £5,000.  The funding is made through the Scurrah Wainright Charity and the next closing date for applications is the 14 January 2021.  Read more.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Your story matters..
In Hertfordshire, we want to make sure all victims and survivors of domestic abuse are able to get the right help for them, at the right time. That is why we are asking those with lived experience of domestic abuse what our services should look like, because they are the experts on what it is like to experience abuse and to try and get help.

To make sure we hear all voices, Hertfordshire County Council are running a survey across Hertfordshire until the 28 September for anyone who has experienced domestic abuse or knows someone that has. It is completely confidential and will be used to inform what we do to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the future.

To ensure your voice is being heard by us, we would be grateful if you could take 10-15 minutes to share your experience.

To complete this survey, please visit www.surveys.hertfordshire.gov.uk/s/YourStoryDA/ or scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet.

"Stay Safe Hertfordshire: Play Your Part" Campaign
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents

VACANCIES

Neighbourhood Investment Officer - Clarion Housing
Are you experienced in project management and looking for a new and exciting opportunity? Clarion are recruiting for a Neighbourhood Investment Officer to join the community Investment team in Borehamwood and across Hertfordshire.

Media Relations and Campaigns Lead - Fixed term to 30th March 2020
The Media Relations and Campaigns Lead will also take forward the development and delivery of a digital communications and engagement strategy to engage residents and key stakeholders. Working across traditional and digital channels including the website, social media and print publications the postholder will help Communities 1st and its partners tell their stories by creating compelling content about the work being undertaken. They will need to juggle multiple projects, delivering high quality, engaging content and campaigns on time and on message.

Wed 26 Aug 2020

Safely coming out of lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic, has meant that the majority of activities and services delivered by local voluntary sector members have either been suspended or dramatically altered.  As the government is beginning to inform us how they are removing the strictest lockdown rules, it can be difficult for organisations to navigate these challenging times.  Whilst there will be a desire from these organisations to provide services and activities for their communities, there will also be an acute awareness that this needs to be done in a safe way for both residents and the organisers.

Some organisations will need to completely rethink the activities they provide: It may not be safe to resume some activities for a while due the need for continued social distancing measures. However, these groups may be able to adapt the activity to allow for some of the same benefits i.e. Social connections/ providing exercise.

How can Communities 1st support these measures?

We plan to promote ideas from organisations that can be shared and adapted to allow more activities and services to restart.  Through our website and e-newsletters we aim to enable organisations to:

  • Promote their current and any restarted activities
  • Ask residents for help in getting their activities back running again - local residents across the area have shown their desire to support their communities
  • Find the support and funding opportunities needed to keep their organisation viable

If you would like more information, or support please contact our member services team on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk

As we’re coming towards the end of August and the summer bank holiday is fast approaching, we will be taking a short break with this Covid-19 Stakeholder eNewsletter next week.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,
Chief Executive, Communities 1st

 

This newsletter is split into the following sections:

  • Communities 1st COVID-19 Information and Support
  • Information to support voluntary and community sector organisations
  • Funding for non-profit organisations
  • Information to support individuals

 

COMMUNITIES 1st COVID-19 INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
Supporting Individuals: People who need help whilst isolated (or someone on their behalf) can complete an online form here or call 020 8207 5115 or email.

Volunteering: for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others. Individuals wishing to volunteer their time can sign-up here or call 020 39559 3559 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Charities, Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups - we are here to help
If you need information, advice or support Communities 1st is here to help.  We can offer advice on issues from fundraising to governance and to managing volunteers.  You can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

On our website you can find a range of resources and support on issues relating to Covid-19, including:

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information
  • Resource Hub – including staffing issues, governance, managing a funding crisis, digital support, safeguarding and other useful resources (operational issues and guidance on working with different sectors of the community)
  • Useful Covid-19 volunteer introduction videos and documents for your organisation and information about mutual aid groups

Kindness Stories
We want to gather stories about positive things that are happening in our local communities.  If you have a Kindness Story that you would like to share please email us: covid19news@communities1st.org.uk #1stcommunities

If you want more information you can visit our website: www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid-19Updates or contact our Voluntary Sector support team on 01727 743018. 

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

Save the date for Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Conference and AGM
We will be hosting three 2-hour zoom meetings over three days in early September for this year’s Voluntary Sector Conference and our AGM.  The theme for the conference this year is Resilience, Sustainability and Collaboration and we have an exciting line up planned.

Places on each day are limited to 100.

You are welcome to book as many of the days as you would like to attend.  In order to receive the Zoom links, you will need to register for each day separately, by clicking on the individual links below.

The three two-hour Zoom sessions which will take place on

When you register, you will be asked to choose one break out session on each day you attend. After you have registered, you will receive the Zoom link for each day by email. Please check your ‘junk’ folder for this.

On the day of the event, please click on the Zoom link to attend, ensuring that you sign in with the email address that you used to register.  If you do not do this,  we cannot guarantee you a place in your chosen breakout session.

We are looking forward to seeing you at what promises to be a lively, interesting and informative event.

For further information on the Conference and AGM, please contact us on 01727 743018 or email engagement@communities1st.org.uk.

The Valuing Volunteer Management Awards
Join Volunteering Herts as we champion best practise in Volunteer Management and the organisations across Hertfordshire who have made a firm commitment to pursuing it. Each year we present an award for demonstrating excellence in volunteer management and with the events of COVID-19 dominating world affairs in 2020 good volunteer management has never been as important as it is now.

Our awards ceremony this year will be a virtual one. It will take place between 2pm and 3pm on Wednesday 16th September. We are delighted to announce that this year’s award will be presented by The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Henry Holland-Hibbert.

Numbers are strictly limited to 100 guests - Secure your space by registering as soon as possible!

To sign up now click here

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging one-day course will explore the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers. It is ideal for staff who have this responsibility as their role.  We have split the course into two halves to give participants more choice.

It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the Valuing Volunteer Management Six-Point Promise. This is a solid affirmation of your commitment to the pursuit of excellence in volunteer management. It gives potential funders evidence of the quality service they look for and potential volunteers can be more confident that they will be valued and supported by your organisation.

Thursday 6 October 2020

Click the links above to book your place or for further information email Volunteering Herts at info@volunteeringherts.uk or call 01707 274861.

Cost:

Herts voluntary organisations: £25 half-day or £45 full-day (includes handbook)

Statutory organisations: £50 half-day or £90 full-day (includes handbook).

Borehamwood to Beirut - Sending Urgent Medical Aid!
Following the shocking explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Communities 1st members Goods For Good have been working to help support their partners on the ground deliver urgent medical aid. They need your help to make this happen and support these vulnerable people who have lost everything in a second.

Access to medicines in Lebanon was already precarious, now they need our help more than ever. Please donate via this link: www.goodsforgood.org.uk/donate and share the appeal to your family and friends.

For more information go to www.goodsforgood.org.uk or contact Stephanie Rukin on 01582 540 521.

Mental Health Conference
As the nominated East of England Regional Network Hub for the Mind charity, the Herts Sports Partnership have organised their first ever conference dedicated to Mental Health. This online event is an opportunity to hear from some inspiring speakers working in the mental health arena. Attendees can sign up for as many one hour webinars as they choose, with breaks programmed throughout the day.

All sessions are free to attend.

Benefits and financial advice for people affected by coronavirus
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, there have been a number of changes to the benefit system, along with job retention/self-employment schemes. Hertfordshire County Council’s Money Advice Unit has been providing updates and guidance for professionals and residents as these changes have developed.

Their latest factsheet includes help, advice and updates for people affected by coronavirus and may be of interest to colleagues also. In addition, the Unit is also providing a Universal Credit online training course, which is available to anyone who works with people living in Hertfordshire.

Food insecurity exposed by COVID-19
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s COVID-19 and Food Supply Report has found that the pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity for millions of people. The use of UK food banks almost doubled during lockdown, with a significant spike in demand from people with children.

Recognising that the situation is likely to worsen, a cross-party group of MPs has called on Government to urgently appoint a ‘Minister for Food Security’.

The new Minister would work across Government departments to collect robust data and deliver sustainable change. The report also urges the Government to consult on whether a ‘right to food’ should be put in legislation.

Read the findings from the report here.ties are likely to be at the forefront.

BAMESTREAM launch their national mapping of BAME mental health services report
‘Implications and Impact: A Case for Culturally Appropriate Mental Health Services in Response to Covid-19’ is the newly released report detailing the findings from their National Mapping of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Mental Health Services Survey.

Organisations including NHS Foundation Trusts, Local Authority commissioners of health and wellbeing services, as well as Voluntary and Community Sector organisations across England and Wales responded.

Covid-19 has exposed yet another inequality that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities experience in the United Kingdom (UK). The two analyses by Public Health England (2 June 2020 and 16 June 2020) revealed that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are at higher risk of contracting the virus, increased risk of severe symptoms and higher rates of death. This survey highlights that a mental health epidemic is coming and that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are likely to be at the forefront.

Find out more.

A Strange Empty Place
Advance - a charity that aims for a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives - has published its report ‘A Strange Empty Place’.

This report comes from their survey of women in contact with the Criminal Justice System and supported by Advance’s Minerva Services, who shared their experiences and impact of the pandemic and the lockdown in March to June 2020.

Click here to read the full report.

Collapse in charity provision looms at moment of greatest need
The Charity Finance Group has issued a depressing but all too familiar report which states that 58% of charities are to cut back services costing the sector 60,000 jobs.

The survey of 455 charities found that 19% have already made redundancies, and that 23% plan to make further cutbacks once the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end. That number jumps to 44% among the UK’s largest charities. Remarkably, nearly one-in-ten (8%) large charities anticipate reducing their headcount by 25-50%.

Read the full details here.

What Happens on the Internet Every Minute?
How long have you spent reading our e-newsletters? Well in that time look at what has been happening on the internet! You will not believe it!

Here's a snippet so you don't have to click (if you don't want to):

  • Facebook users upload 147,000 photos
  • Twitter gains 319 new users
  • Instagram users post 347,222 Stories
  • YouTube creators upload 500 hours of video

Click here for the full list.

VCS Emergencies Partnership website launched
The VCS Emergencies Partnership website includes a service to support local organisations and community groups to respond to emergencies, where needed. This is done by matching needs with resources locally, regionally and nationally.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

FUNDING

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, Christine Halpin and Isobel Hatfield are on hand to help you through, please contact them by email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and they will book some time in to work with you.

Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF): Coronavirus Relief Fund Phase 2
Informed by the results of the local and national surveys/reports on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The final deadline for applications: 5pm 15th September 2020.  They are welcoming applications on a rolling basis for the following:

  • Fast track grants of £1,000 to £5,000 prioritising smaller organisations continuing to meet immediate need
  • Grants up to £10,000 for organisations that have adapted their support services and are looking to the longer-term
  • Grants up to £20,000 for collaborative proposals that see organisations coming together to address specific needs

Click here for more information.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire.

HCC Adult Care Services are funding this grant scheme for VCS organisations that provide adult social care in Hertfordshire. The grants are managed by HCF Training and Development and can be used to support the:

  • Learning and development of the organisation’s workforce
  • Development of the capacity of the organisation to deliver training and skills to its workforce, to carers or to service users/clients

Examples of acceptable uses include:

  • Training or qualifications for paid staff, volunteers or trustees
  • Coaching or mentoring for key leaders (e.g. managers or trustees)
  • Equipment, software or other resources/materials that will be used for the delivery of training and skills to the workforce, carers or service users/clients
  • Costs associated with accreditation of courses (provided there is a sustainable plan for maintaining this)
  • To develop and run peer support programmes to aid recovery and provide on-going care and support

Find out if you are eligible and to apply.

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website.

It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages. 

Crowdfund Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

Do you have a great idea for a project or initiative in Hertfordshire that needs funding?

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk.

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/programmes/crowdfund-hertfordshire.

Grants for the Conservation of Wildlife and the Environment
Monthly grants are made to support the conservation of wildlife and the environment by the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust. The Trust makes grants of between £250 and £500 (sometimes up to £5,000) to general, environmental and wildlife charities, so long as they are registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales or they are exempt or excepted charities (within the meaning of the Charities Act 2011). Supported charities will be small in size or be applying for support for a modest project, such that the grant will have a meaningful impact. There are no deadlines, grants may be made towards revenue, capital or project expenditure and email, postal or online applications are accepted.  Find out more.

Funding to Help Musicians Affected by the Coronavirus
Grants of £3,000 are available to help professional musicians aged 18 and over with no significant backing, who are finding their health, and performance and teaching commitments affected by the Coronavirus. The Covid-19 round of Help Musicians’ Do It Differently Fund offers a bespoke package of funding and expert advice, including wellbeing and development services, to help musicians adapt and sustain their music through specific projects or activities during this period of isolation. This might include new ways to distribute music, build online presence, reshape current business plans or refocus on creative ambitions. Groups of 6 members or less can also apply. There will be multiple rounds of the Fund over the next three months but applications can only be made once. The deadline for applications for this round is 5pm on the 14th September 2020.  Find out more.

Comic Relief Extends Deadline for Change Makers Programme
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Comic Relief has launched a new funding programme to support changes in the way which community and voluntary sector organisations work. Funding of between £150,000 and £600,000 will be available for projects lasting up to 3 to 5 years. The focus is on work in areas that are of particular interest to Comic Relief. This includes addressing homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development. Organisations will be able to apply in one of two categories. Grants for small and medium-sized organisations that focus on equalities and are user-led; and grants for medium-sized organisations. 20% of the available funding is ring-fenced for efforts led by and working with BAME communities. The deadline for applications has been extended from the 28th August 2020 to 12pm on the 25th September 2020.  Find out more.

Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund
Arts Council England has announced that round 2 of its Culture Recovery Fund has opened for applications. The fund will make grants of between £50,000 to £3 million to cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but are now at imminent risk of failure. The type of organisations that can apply include Cultural organisations (both profit and not for profit); local authorities; universities and public sector bodies based in England. The closing date for applications for round one is 12 midday on the 4th September 2020 and for round two 12 midday on the 4th September 2020.  Find out more.

Public Engagement Spark Awards to Re-open in September 2020
The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Public Engagement Spark Awards will re-open for applications on the 9th September 2020. Awards of up to £15,000 will be available to schools as well as scientists and engineers, museums, science communicators, and amateur astronomy groups, etc to deliver high-quality public engagement activities that focus on a topic within the Council’s remit. This can include astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics and accelerator science. Find out more.

Funding for Local Road Safety Pilots and Trials
Local Authorities, Police Forces, Fire and Rescue Services, UK-based registered charities, universities, not-for-profit social enterprises and community interest companies will soon be able to apply for funding for local road safety pilots and trials. The Road Safety Trust has announced a new £300,000 funding stream to encourage applications that respond to changing road use and emerging road safety issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the Trust’s Small Grants Plus Programme 2020 funding of between £20,000 and £50,000 over a maximum of two years will be made available for projects which are either a pilot, trial or evaluation of a practical road safety intervention. All projects should have other sources of funding, either cash or in-kind. Applications will be accepted between the 15th September and the 21st October 2020.  Find out more.

Discretionary Grants for Charities how have business properties in St Albans
Charities who have business properties in the St Albans District and who have not previously received any financial support have only two more weeks to apply for a non-repayable Discretionary Grant of up to £25,000 from the Council.

The Council is prioritising awards to charities who didn’t qualify for the previously announced grants because they don’t pay business rates. They have already made payments to several organisations in the District and are looking to make sure other Charities or Voluntary Organisations do not miss out.

For further information and to apply for a grant, please visit by the 28th of August 2020.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Borehamwood Library is open again
Borehamwood library is open again and have been welcoming customers back into the library.

Things are a little different and some services will be limited. You will be able enter the library for up to 15 minutes to browse the bookshelves and to use the self-service kiosks. There are social distancing measures in place including queue management, screens on enquiry desks, hand sanitiser stations and quarantine areas for returned books. Customers will be expected to wear face coverings during their visit (under 11s are exempt and under 12s should be accompanied by an adult). Computers will be available in one-hour slots for customers who have made an advanced booking, with 15 minutes between slots to allow for cleaning.

You can find the latest information about Hertfordshire libraries re-opening plans and online services on the county website.

Staying alert and safe – social distancing guidance for young people
The government have published guidance for young people, which applies in England. This guidance for young people is about social distancing and what they can do to stay alert and safe during this time. The focus is on the main public health principles for staying safe and helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. This guidance has been written for young people in collaboration with young people.

Find out more.

"Stay Safe Hertfordshire: Play Your Part" Campaign
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 40
Fri 14 Aug 2020

Take time to look after yourself and each other
As a sector we have been working harder than ever before to continue to provide support to those most in need.  For volunteers and volunteer leaders alike, it has been a very busy time, adapting to new circumstances and working with others to support local people and communities.

While the priority has rightly been to help those most at need, how much time have you given to your own health and wellbeing?

It’s a question that we don’t often ask ourselves, or at least not in a meaningful way. Stopping to ask someone “how are you?” is a social convention but one that rarely leads to a thorough consideration of what this really means.

We all have a sense for when things are getting on top of us, but it can also be easy to ignore the warning signs if we are busy juggling other priorities. However, being aware of how you’re feeling and, more importantly knowing what to do to stay well, is incredibly important, never more so than in the current circumstances.

It’s important not just to check in with your family, friends and colleagues but with yourself. Some of the questions we might want to ask ourselves are:

  • Am I getting good quality sleep?
  • Am I getting enough exercise?
  • Am I eating in a way that nourishes my body and gives me energy?

Consider setting some time aside in the morning or at the end of each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, what you are excited about and how you can build positive momentum. Taking time to reflect is a good opportunity to assess our energy levels and recognise if we are beginning to feel burnt out. Kings Fund has put together this resource on how you can manage your energy during this time.

All of this is common sense, and I’m sure will not come as a surprise. However, sometimes having a reminder of the things that can help you to feel well – and happier – is important assurance of what matters. After all, looking after your own wellbeing puts you in a much better place to support others.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st

This newsletter is split into the following sections:

  • Communities 1st COVID-19 Information and Support
  • Information to support voluntary and community sector organisations
  • Funding for non-profit organisations
  • Information to support individuals

 

COMMUNITIES 1st COVID-19 INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
Supporting Individuals: People who need help whilst isolated (or someone on their behalf) can complete an online form here or call 020 8207 5115 or email.

Volunteering: for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others. Individuals wishing to volunteer their time can sign-up here or call 020 3940 4865 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Charities, Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups - we are here to help
If you need information, advice or support Communities 1st is here to help.  We can offer advice on issues from fundraising to governance and to managing volunteers.  You can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

On our website you can find a range of resources and support on issues relating to Covid-19, including:

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information
  • Resource Hub – including staffing issues, governance, managing a funding crisis, digital support, safeguarding and other useful resources (operational issues and guidance on working with different sectors of the community)
  • Useful Covid-19 volunteer introduction videos and documents for your organisation and information about mutual aid groups

Kindness Stories
We want to gather stories about positive things that are happening in our local communities.  If you have a Kindness Story that you would like to share please email us: covid19news@communities1st.org.uk #1stcommunities

If you want more information you can visit our website: www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid-19Updates or contact our Voluntary Sector support team on 01727 743018.  

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

Save the date for Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Conference and AGM
We will be hosting three 2-hour zoom meetings over three days in early September for this year’s Voluntary Sector Conference and our AGM.  The theme for the conference this year is Resilience, Sustainability and Collaboration and we have an exciting line up planned.

The three two-hour Zoom sessions which will take place on

  • Tuesday 8 September  2pm to 4pm
    Conference - ‘Resilience and How to Achieve it’
  • Wednesday 9 September  5pm to 7pm
    Conference - ‘Working Together to Aid Recovery from Covid-19’
  • Thursday 10 September 12 noon to 2pm
    AGM & Conference - ‘Sustainability through Collaboration’

Places on each day are limited to 100 and booking will open in a few days, watch this space for further details.

For further information on the Conference and AGM, please contact us on 020 3559 3559 or email engagement@communities1st.org.uk.

Relaxation of rules on charity AGMs and governance due to end on 30 September 2020
You may remember that the Charity Commission produced guidance to “make it lawful for charitable companies and charitable incorporated organisations to postpone members’ meetings or to hold them remotely, even if this is not allowed by the charitable company’s articles of association or the CIO’s constitution”.

AGMs that were due to be held between 26 March and 21 August are covered by the guidance.

However, the measures under the act expire on 30 September 2020. Although the guidance may be extended, this is not a given - so please plan accordingly. More details in this article from Third Sector.

Developing social contact models in a time of social distancing (Ambition for Ageing)
Ambition for Ageing have released a new report to help build more effective social connection projects during the new operating environment of COVID-19.

To help make this report into a practical document, we have pulled out sections of relevance that can be used independently, as well as alongside the full report. This includes:

  • A number of design principles to best meet the needs of older people
  • A checklist of challenges to consider when designing or restarting projects
  • A collection of case studies of projects compatible with social distancing with key learning

Find out more.

Political campaigning online to be made more transparent under new rules
On 12 August the government released a press release explaining that new measures will mean political parties and campaigners must explicitly show who they are, when promoting campaign content online

A consultation has also been launched. 
The proposals call for digital imprints to apply to all types of campaign content regardless of the country it is being promoted from, and across a variety of digital platforms. The regime is also intended to apply all year round, as while election periods see increased promotional activity, campaigning can happen at any time. The press release can be found here. Find out more here.

Expressions of interest are sought for a new managing organisation for Phillimore Community Centre, Radlett
Expressions of interest are sought initially however due to COVID19 and the number of organisations with staff furloughed we are not fixing the date for any visits or opening to full applications at this stage.

Expressions of interest are sought by Friday 4 September (any time) please advise us if you require any extension of this date due to COVID19.

For further information, please email community.assets@myclarionhousing.org.uk.

Ten tips on Youth Social Prescribing
The Young People's Health Partnership has published a document with ten tips on youth social prescribing.

These tips were developed by StreetGames who lead the Youth Social Prescribing Network, and are intended to support commissioners and practitioners to develop and embed effective social prescribing for children, young people and families.

Plan ahead for planning help
Funding to help communities in urban and deprived areas plan their local neighbourhoods will almost double, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced. Government grants to individual neighbourhood planning groups in both urban and deprived areas will increase to £18,000. This follows funding increasing from £9,000 to £10,000 in May to help with the effects of coronavirus.

The funding boost will strengthen the voice of local communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas in England. More details here.

Food insecurity exposed by COVID-19
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s COVID-19 and Food Supply Report has found that the pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity for millions of people. The use of UK food banks almost doubled during lockdown, with a significant spike in demand from people with children.

Recognising that the situation is likely to worsen, a cross-party group of MPs has called on Government to urgently appoint a ‘Minister for Food Security’.

The new Minister would work across Government departments to collect robust data and deliver sustainable change. The report also urges the Government to consult on whether a ‘right to food’ should be put in legislation.

Read the findings from the report here.

COVID-19: guidance for hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping
In line with new Government guidelines, the advice for commissioners and providers of hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping has been updated.

Click here to see the guidance in full.

Covid-19 charity redundancies monitor
NPC (New Philanthropy Capital) is collating publicly available information about redundancies, both those that have occurred and those under consultation, in the charity sector.

They have produced a series of timelines and graphs to indicate the scale of the crisis affecting the sector, so funders and philanthropists can target their giving and policymakers can better understand where the sector is struggling.

Much of the data used to produce these graphs has come from the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign.

Click here to view the timeline and graphs.

Charity leaders’ confidence about the future is plummeting
In June 2020, the Third Sector Trends Study carried out a ‘one question survey’ with former participants of its major study across England and Wales which took place in 2019.

Its purpose was to find out the extent to which charity leaders’ attitudes had changed about their prospects for the future after the shock of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Inevitably, following the onset of Covid-19 and in light of its social and economic consequences, confidence has taken a serious knock.

Click here to see the report.

Webinar: Introduction to the code
The Fundraising Regulator maintains and upholds the Code of Fundraising Practice which sets out the responsibilities that apply to fundraising carried out by charitable institutions and third-party fundraisers in the UK.

They have put together a pre-recorded webinar which helps you understand what the code is, who it applies to, what the code covers and how to use the code, both online and offline.

This webinar may be especially helpful for those new to fundraising, as an introduction to the fundraising standards. Charities are welcome to use this material as part of their induction and training.

Click here to watch the webinar.

Annual leave and furlough guidance
NCVO's Knowhow team has brought together a range of information on protecting and supporting the people working in your charity or voluntary organisation, and those who use your services, during the coronavirus outbreak.

They have a specific section on this page which outlines updated guidance on annual leave and furlough which is worth reviewing, especially as legislation changes around the carrying over of annual leave and what to do if furloughed employees take/took annual leave.

Don't forget the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends in October 2020.

Click here to see all the resources on that page.

Supporting your recovery after COVID-19
NHS England has launched a website to provide help and advice to those who are recovering or have recovered from coronavirus.

The website refers to both physical and mental health and also provides information for family, friends and carers of those who are recovering/have recovered.

Click here to view the website.

Pandemic leaves 1.1m teenagers unhappy with their lives
Nearly 1 in 5 children aged 10-17 in the UK – the equivalent of 1.1m – have reported being unhappy with their lives as a whole during the coronavirus lockdown according to a survey by The Children’s Society.

The charity’s annual survey of children’s well-being was completed by just over 2,000 young people and their parents between April and June.

It found 18 per cent of children were dissatisfied with their lives overall. That is a marked increase in a figure which has ranged from 10 per cent to 13 per cent over the last five years.

Click here for the full article.

VCS Emergencies Partnership website launched
The VCS Emergencies Partnership has launched its website which includes a service to support local organisations and community groups to respond to emergencies, where needed. This is done by matching needs with resources locally, regionally and nationally.

Take a few minutes to look around the website and familiarise yourself with the services that are available, then please share it with your networks.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

NeverMoreNeeded
The #NeverMoreNeeded website is here and ready for you to use!

To fuel you all with content and activities to keep banging the #NeverMoreNeeded drum, the #NeverMoreNeeded website is now live.

Click here to have a view.

Tag @1stCommunities and @NAVCA (on Twitter) for re-tweets and shares.

FUNDING

If you would like help with applying for these funds such as a read and review, Christine Halpin and Isobel Hatfield are on hand to help you through, please contact them by email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and they will book some time in to work with you.

Hertsmere Borough Council – Community Grant Scheme
Hertsmere Borough Council’s community grant scheme has been split into two funding streams.  The first round is for voluntary sector organisations facing financial difficulty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The second stream will be used for projects that have a positive impact in supporting the response to Covid-19 in the ‘recovery stage which will be released later in the year depending on how this crisis evolves.

The first stream of funding is now open for applications. Click here to read the guidance.

Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF): Coronavirus Relief Fund Phase 2
Informed by the results of the local and national surveys/reports on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, HCF have launched their next round of funding to support the voluntary sector and the people of Hertfordshire. They are welcoming applications on a rolling basis for the following:

  • Fast track grants of £1,000 to £5,000 prioritising smaller organisations continuing to meet immediate need.
  • Grants up to £10,000 for organisations that have adapted their support services and are looking to the longer-term.
  • Grants up to £20,000 for collaborative proposals that see organisations coming together to address specific needs.

Click here for more information.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire.

HCC Adult Care Services are funding this grant scheme for VCS organisations that provide adult social care in Hertfordshire. The grants are managed by HCF Training and Development and can be used to support the:

  • Learning and development of the organisation’s workforce
  • Development of the capacity of the organisation to deliver training and skills to its workforce, to carers or to service users/clients

Examples of acceptable uses include:

  • Training or qualifications for paid staff, volunteers or trustees
  • Coaching or mentoring for key leaders (e.g. managers or trustees)
  • Equipment, software or other resources/materials that will be used for the delivery of training and skills to the workforce, carers or service users/clients
  • Costs associated with accreditation of courses (provided there is a sustainable plan for maintaining this)
  • To develop and run peer support programmes to aid recovery and provide on-going care and support

Find out if you are eligible and to apply.

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website.

It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages. 

Crowdfund Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

Do you have a great idea for a project or initiative in Hertfordshire that needs funding?

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/programmes/crowdfund-hertfordshire

Superheroes Initiative Offers Local Covid Projects Support – extended deadline
As a conclusion to the successful ‘Support Our Superheroes’ initiative, Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care UK is offering to partner local covid-relief projects with volunteer and financial support of up to £1000 each, to help increase the reach of relief projects with common objectives.

As part of the Superheroes initiative, a lasting legacy of gratitude for keyworkers has also been created on social media with the #GreatWallofGratitude on Instagram @support.our.superheroes, where hundreds of people around the country continue to add their messages, videos and images of appreciation.

How to Apply

  • Support Our Superheroes campaign is offering three covid-relief projects with volunteer and financial support of £1000 each.
  • Covid-relief Projects should be located in NW London, Watford or Hertsmere regions, and ideally supporting key workers.
  • Please submit your Support Request application online by visiting www.supportoursuperheroes.com
  • Deadline for applications: Monday 31st August 2020.
  • Successful applicants will be announced in September.
  • For any queries please contact Ashwin Mehta at uk@loveandcare.srmd.org or 07766 852950. 

Social Enterprise Support Fund – Round 2 now open 
A new support fund for social enterprises, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. Providing £10k-£300k grants for social enterprises supporting those at increased health risk due to COVID-19, or those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

Application Window: Thursday 13th August until 1pm on Thursday 20th August. The Lottery are advising applicants to submit as soon as possible after the round opens.

Find out more.

The Kings Fund: 2021 GSK IMPACT Awards
The awards are funded by GSK and managed in partnership with The King's Fund. Winning organisations will receive core funding of up to £40,000, plus access to excellent training and development to support their leaders.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 14 September 2020. To be eligible to apply, organisations must be at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with income between £80,000 and £2.5 million. Up to 20 awards will be made, ranging from £3,000 to £40,000; the training and development is valued at a further £9,500. Organisations will also have a film made, receive help with press and publicity, and be given a set of promotional materials. The guidelines and application form can be found here.

Funding for Projects that Address Severe Learning Disabilities  
Schools, voluntary organisations and charities can apply for grants to help both children and adults suffering severe learning difficulties. The grants can be used to purchase capital equipment, support capital works as well as covering project and core costs such as staff costs, general running and office costs. Previous grants have been used to support capital works for residential, nursing and respite care, and schools; employment schemes including woodwork, crafts, printing and horticulture; play schemes and play therapy schemes; day and social activities centres including building costs and running costs; support for families, including respite schemes; independent living schemes; support in the community schemes; and Snoezelen rooms. The next deadline for applications seeking funding in excess of £10,000 is the 1st December 2020. Applications for £10,000 and below can be submitted at any time.

Find out more.

Funding to Help Disadvantaged Young People and Children
Charities in England and Wales can apply for grants of between £500 - £5,000 per year for up to 3 years to help disadvantaged children and young people (up to the age of 25 years) overcome the barriers they face to achieve the best possible start in life. To be eligible the charity needs to have an annual income of below £500,000 per year. The funding is being made available through the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Early Years Opportunities Grant scheme. The next closing date for applications to the small grants programme is 4pm on the 31st August 2020. The Foundation also offers funding of between £20,000 and £60,000 per year for up to three years through its large grants programme. The next closing date for applications to the small grants programme is 4pm on the 31st August 2020.  The large grants programme is currently closed and will re-open on the 1st September 2020.

Find out more.

Theatre Reopening Fund
The UK Theatres Trust has announced that in response to the Coronavirus, they have repurposed the UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme (Theatre Reopening Fund) to support theatres to cover the additional costs of reopening after several months’ closure, including making adaptations for increased hygiene and social distancing measures. Through the scheme, grants of up to £5,000 are available to small Theatres across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The closing date for applications is noon on the 5th October 2020.

Find out more.

Discretionary Grants for Charities how have business properties in St Albans
Charities who have business properties in the St Albans District and who have not previously received any financial support have only two more weeks to apply for a non-repayable Discretionary Grant of up to £25,000 from the Council.

The Council is prioritising awards to charities who didn’t qualify for the previously announced grants because they don’t pay business rates. They have already made payments to several organisations in the District and are looking to make sure other Charities or Voluntary Organisations do not miss out.

For further information and to apply for a grant, please visit by the 28th of August 2020.

Common Call (Do it Now Now) 

  • Grants between £1-£3k for BAME-led organisations
  • BAME specific fund for to help organisations get through COVID and develop new activities and income strategies

Find out more.

Lloyds Bank Foundation – Covid recovery fund for small charities

  • For charities with annual income between £25k-£1m, engaged in “tackling complex social issues such as mental health, homelessness and domestic abuse”
  • Apply for two-year unrestricted grants worth up to £50k
  • 25% of funds have been ringfenced for charities led by and serving BAME communities
  • Applications close September 11th

Find out more.

The Inman Charity 
Grants are available for registered charities in the UK carrying out medical, social welfare or general welfare activities with disadvantaged people. Deadline is 31 August.

Find out more.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

NHS: The Healthy Start Scheme
The Healthy Start scheme is a national incentive to encourage the best start in life. Beneficiaries who are eligible for the scheme will receive vouchers to spend with local retailers.

There are have been some recent changes to the scheme. The vouchers can help encourage a healthy diet and access to wholesome foods for children and pregnant women. The changes to the ‘Healthy Start’ scheme include: A health professionals’ signature is no longer required on the application form, Beneficiaries will still need to provide their own signature before sending off the form and the expiry date of the Health Start vouchers have been increased by 4 weeks, so the vouchers will now be valid for 12 weeks. Find out more.

Sporting Chance Bootcamp Fitness 
Until Herts Sports Partnership usual Sporting Chance sessions resume, they are pleased to bring you Sporting Chance Bootcamp Fitness! Happening in Cheshunt, Hitchin, Hertford, Welwyn Garden City, Borehamwood, Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage, all sessions are for 11-14 years olds on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Thursday, 5-6.30pm at Meadow Park, Borehamwood

You'll need to register in advance, so we know you're coming - use the link.

Helping Hertsmere residents in fuel poverty
Hertsmere residents with no radiators in their homes could be eligible for a free installation of efficient gas-powered central heating to keep homes warm whilst reducing energy bills.

Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) is working with trusted partners YES Energy Solutions to install 100 A-rated energy efficient heating systems whilst following the Government’s latest coronavirus guidance to ensure safety for residents and installers.

Homeowners and private renters who don’t have radiators qualify for funding by either being in receipt of certain state benefits (e.g. pension guarantee credit, income support, tax credits, etc.) or having a low household income (typically below £20,000 after rent or mortgage costs have been paid).

Alongside North Hertfordshire District Council, East Herts District Council and YES Energy Solutions, HBC has secured over £230,000 from the Warm Homes Fund, an innovative fund established by National Grid.

There are also separate grants available to help connect homes to the mains gas network if required.

Funding is available for a limited number of households, and residents interested in the opportunity are encouraged to contact YES Energy Solutions on 01422 880100 to see if they are eligible for support.

What Does Family Mean to You?
For our 'Friends and Family' theme this month, we're hosting a creative writing competition - giving you the chance to tell us about your family! They might be biological or adopted family, a nuclear or blended family, friends, community or even fur babies! Whatever your family looks like, we'd love you to tell us all about them. To be in with a chance at turning your family story into a short animated film produced by Pearldrop Video Productions, tell us what your family means to you in no more than 500-words. To find out more, click here!

Get your #HertsPride celebrations started with a bang(er)! 
Hertfordshire Year of Culture understands that music is a big part of LGBTQ+ culture. It reaches out to people whose sexuality might leave them feeling isolated from their own families or communities and helps them feel a part of something much bigger. 

To help us stay connected this #HertsPride, we’ve put together a playlist of some of our top Pride songs – but we need your help! We want to make it the most pumping Pride playlist to soundtrack your summer, packed full of songs suggested by Hertfordshire’s fabulous LGBTQ+ community and its allies. That way whether we’re in our kitchens, our gardens or hanging out with our mates, we can celebrate as one! What songs would you have on your Pride playlist? Let us via our socials or send us an email on hyoc2020@hertsmere.gov.uk.
 
Don’t forget to check out the current playlist at https://spoti.fi/2CwMyBe!

"Stay Safe Hertfordshire: Play Your Part" Campaign
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms.
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City.
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents

 

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