News

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

 

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!

tay 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
Fri 7 Aug 2020

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 Sustainability 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 for Voluntary Sector Organisations’
  • Wednesday 9 September  5pm to 7pm
  • Conference - ‘A Green Recovery - 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 7 to 10 days, watch this space for further details.

For further information on the Conference and AGM, please contact Christine at Communities 1st on 020 3940 4869 or email christine.halpin@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

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

"Please give me space" social distancing cards or badges
The Government has published badges that can be used to show that the person carrying them may have difficulties or concerns with regards to maintaining social distancing. They can be used to signal to others around them that they need to pay attention and be given space.

These products include images for your phone or to print and carry whilst you are in public.

Click here to download the images.

Social Care Institute for Excellence technology checklist for video calling an adult or carer
This checklist covers the necessary steps a social worker or practitioner should take to ensure that technology for video calling is ready and appropriate. The decision about whether to carry out the intervention online or whether the adult/carer has capacity and is able to understand and use online contact should have been made before using this checklist.

Read More.

Relieve Furniture
Relieve Furniture's aim is to support charities and schools by providing direct access to good quality office furniture at a very low cost.

Registration is free for Charities and Schools and once registered you will have access to, and get notified about, upcoming stock launches on their digital platform.

Click here for more details.

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.

COVID-19: Preparing for a Local Lockdown
Across the UK, lockdowns in smaller regions are being enforced in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Unfortunately, the locations of these local flare-ups share characteristics that are prevalent amongst BAME communities. Overcrowded housing, poor living conditions, poor working environments and low socio-economic levels all point towards an increased risk of infection and transmission. This makes it particularly pertinent for charities operating in these ‘high risk’ areas to be prepared for a local lockdown. This guide from the Muslim Charities Forum will provide some advice on how this could be done.

Click here to see the report.

How 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.

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.

Closing certain businesses and venues in England update
On 3 August the government updated its guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues as part of further social distancing measures, and on the further easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in July and August 2020.

The guidance was updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings and amendments to 1 August 2020 easings. Read more.

Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own
On 31 July the government updated its guidance. The guidance includes the option of using an exemption card where appropriate.

The guidance explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored. This information is based on current scientific evidence and is subject to change.

The revised guidance can be found here.

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. 

Funding Available to Support Local Good Causes
Registered charities delivering projects which help to improve people’s lives can apply to the Morrison Foundation for a grant of up to £25,000. Since launching in 2015 the Foundation has donated over £24 million to help good causes across England, Scotland and Wales. Recent grants awarded have included Friends of East Preston School who received a grant of £5,000 to replace their old and dilapidated outdoor trim trail; and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice which received a grant of £20,000 to buy a new minibus and run activity trips for young patients. Applications are accepted any anytime.  Read More.

Grants of up to £20,000 for Community Arts, Sports and Physical and Mental Health Projects
The Postcode Community Trust has re-opened for applications. Registered charities and community groups can apply for grants of £500 - £20,000 (£10,000 in Wales) for projects that benefit communities through sports, arts and recreation programmes; and healthy living initiatives that improve a community's physical and mental health. Please note that only registered charities, CIOs and SCIOs can apply for grants up to £20,000. Other not for profit organisations can apply for grants of up to £2,000. The closing date for submitting applications is the 19th August 2020.  Read More.

Lloyds Bank Foundation COVID Recovery Fund
On 3 August Lloyds Bank Foundation launched a £7.4 million COVID funding aimed at supporting charities to recover beyond the immediate crisis. The COVID Recovery Fund will offer around 140 charities a two-year unrestricted grant of £50,000 alongside a Development Partner to help charities navigate a tumultuous future. Deadline: 11 September. Read More.

Edge Fund Rapid Response Fund
This fund is open to all groups that are working towards systemic change, and whose work is in line with Edge Fund's values. Edge Fund understand that currently, many groups have put their campaigning/systemic change work on hold in order to deal with the effects of the pandemic – this is okay and will not disqualify you for funding. Each successful group will receive £750. Edge Fund will award 30 grants. Of those, at least 15 grants will go to groups working on anti-racist struggles, and at least 10 of those 15 will go to groups fighting for Black/Afrikan liberation and made up of Black/African activists. Deadline: 25 August, 5pm. Read More.

The Fat Beehive Foundation launched to provide digital grants to small charities
A new charity, The Fat Beehive Foundation, has launched to support and amplify the work of small charities providing much needed services. The charity will provide grants of up to £2,500 to help small charities build websites and digital products which will enhance their work and consequently provide social good. The Fat Beehive Foundation has been set up to provide small grants to charities with a turnover under £1 million. This can be used for activities such as the design, build and launch of a new mobile optimised website, an app or to digitise a service. Read More.

Allchurches Trust: Hope Beyond – helping communities to build resilience and a brighter future
The Hope Beyond grants programme aims to enable churches and Christian charities to meet changing needs within their communities, helping them and the communities they support to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. Through the Hope Beyond grants, Allchurches Trust aim to fund innovative, impactful projects that will enable people, organisations and communities to flourish in life after lockdown, building resilience and encouraging hope. Grants of up to £50,000 are available to churches and Christian charities. Read More.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Bike Back Better with Cycle September
You are invited to take part in Cycle September – a fun, global competition to help more people realise the benefits of riding a bike. In September, you will earn points by riding and encouraging others to ride too. Ride anywhere, anytime – to the shops, to work or even a quick 10 minute spin around your local park – to earn points and enter the draw for amazing prizes. Confirm to take part by 1 September to enter the early bird registration prize draw. Read 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 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents.

 

 

 

 

Fri 31 Jul 2020

Sharing the human spirit through friendship
Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division - to confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms - the simplest of which is friendship.

This International Friendship Day, we may not have been able to meet our friends but we can take this opportunity to look back on those moments spent with them. The International Day of Friendship is a chance to acknowledge and appreciate friends that make our lives worth living. While we may not be able to hug, there are always so many ways to show our love.

Since we are left with no action – thanks to the pandemic – make do with words and lots of them - Let friends know it’s okay to talk…you’re there for them to listen, without judgment.

When someone is struggling with their mental health they may become distant, cancel plans and want to see us less than usual. However, this is when friendships play a key role and is exactly when maintaining friendships are so important.

The mental health foundation says: “If you’re the friend of someone with a mental health problem, you may be concerned about them. The most important thing is to tell them that you’re still their friend". 

Thank you for being a part of our Communities 1st family.

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

Reopen your business safely during coronavirus (COVID 19)
Employers that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site.

Use this guidance to help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce. If you do not carry out a risk assessment, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or your local council can issue an enforcement notice.  Read guidance here.

Updated guidance on charity retail
The Charity Retail Association have issued the latest version of their advice on re-opening (and operating) premises in light of Covid-19.

This includes information on the reduction of quarantine for goods to 48 hours and guidance on face coverings.

The pack can be found here.

What is the Covid-19 Community-Led Organisations Recovery Scheme?
The Covid-19 Community-Led Organisations Recovery Scheme offers grants up to £100,000 to community organisations in England who are facing financial difficulties caused by Covid-19.

Delivered by Power to Change, Locality, The Ubele Initiative and Social Investment Business on behalf of the National Lottery Community Fund, the scheme is aimed at organisations delivering services in their local community to support people who are at high risk from Covid-19, with an emphasis on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME)-led or BAME-supporting businesses.

More details, and how to apply, here.

Who's funding what, and where?
360 Giving has developed a searchable grants tracker showing information about funds relating to Covid-19.

Filter by funder, area or recipient, view on a map, to see what has been allocated.

Full details here.

Face coverings - when to wear one and how to make your own
The guidance was updated on 31 July, it explains when to wear a face covering and how to make one

From 24 July you MUST wear a face covering when you go to the shops. This information relates to the use of face coverings in public spaces where social distancing is not always possible. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home. View guidance here.

Disabled people exempt from wearing face coverings under new government guidance
The Government has set out a list of face covering exemptions, as they are now mandatory in additional enclosed spaces.  The full information is available here.

There is also a range of resources including exemption information cards to print or show on your phone, available to download.

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. www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Community/Community-Information/Community-Grants.aspx

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 welcome 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.

Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage Opens for Applications (England)
Applications have opened for the £92 million Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, which is aimed at helping heritage organisations to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Who can apply?

  • any heritage organisations managing a heritage site or visitor attraction
  • private owners of a heritage site, venue or attraction
  • organisations managing, maintaining or caring for culturally significant assets or collections
  • businesses which are part of the heritage ecosystem, including conservators, contractors, specialists and suppliers
  • organisations that manage culturally significant assets or collections

Organisations are urged to apply swiftly before the deadline of midday on Monday 17 August 2020.  Find out more.

The Ragdoll Foundation and COVID-19 - Funding for Projects that Use the Arts and Media to Address the Concerns of Children
Not-for-profit organisations in the UK that are working with children and young people using the arts and creative media can apply for funding through the Ragdoll Foundation's grants programmes. Funding of up to £1,500 is available through the small grants programme for projects lasting up to six months and £50,000 through the large grants programme for projects lasting up to three years. The Foundation is mainly interested in applications that involve children during their early years, but appropriate projects for older children (up to 18 years) will also be considered. Applications to the large grants programme are accepted on a rolling basis. The next closing date for the small grants programme is the 28th August 2020.  Find out more.

B&Q Community Reuse Scheme
DIY store B&Q operates a community re-use scheme through all its branches across the UK. The scheme donates unsellable products and materials for re-use by local schools, other educational institutions and community groups, for the benefit of the local community and the environment. All items are donated on the understanding that they will be re-used or disposed of responsibly if they are not used. Eligible groups include community garden projects, registered charities, schools and colleges, youth groups, Scouts and Guides, hospices, preschool groups and registered child minders. B&Q also works with Community Repaint, a network of schemes that collects any surplus, re-usable paint and redistributes it within their communities to individuals and families on low income, charities and community groups. Find out more..

£15 Million Investment to Improve Dedicated Cycling Facilities
British Cycling and Sport England are working closely to develop a national network of cycling facilities across England through a £15 million investment programme from the UK Government. The Places to Ride programme will provide funding to any not-for-profit organisation that is developing cycling activity in their community through new or improvement of existing dedicated cycling facilities. The programme will support small-to-medium-scale facility improvements or equipment, through to large-scale new build facilities across all types of cycling. Two levels of funding are available: small-scale grants of between £1,000 and £50,000; and large-scale grants of up to £500,000. Applications can be submitted at any time up until 12:00am on the 15th January 2021. Decisions will be made every twelve weeks.  Find out more.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches plans to boost cycling and walking
Please see below information regarding the Bike Voucher Scheme as part of the government’s plans to increase cycling and walking, which may be of interest to you.

  • Today the first batch of bike repair vouchers worth £50 will be released later tonight to the public in a pilot scheme to encourage thousands of people get back into cycling.
  • Due to demand for cycle shops’ services during the pandemic, vouchers will be released in batches in order to help manage capacity across participating stores. The first 50,000 will be available just before midnight tonight (Tuesday 28) on a first come first served basis to those who register online.

Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme: apply for a voucher

Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme: register as a bike repairer

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

What Does Family Mean to You?
A unique competition to mark Hertfordshire’s Year of Culture and Herts Pride is asking people to describe their family – and the winner will see their words literally come to life.

For ‘Friends and Family’ month this August, Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020’s latest competition asks residents to share what family means to them in no more than 500 words. As August is traditionally Herts Pride, entries from the LGBTQ+ community on their experiences of family will be particularly welcomed.

Entries will be considered by a panel of judges including award winning scriptwriter and broadcaster Nicholas McInerny, who was born in Hertfordshire.  The winning entry will then be turned into a short animated film which will be published on to the community archive website, Herts Memories and become part of Hertfordshire’s local history record. 

Entries can be in the form of short stories, poems, diary entries or any other form of creative writing and should be submitted to hyoc2020@hertsmere.gov.uk by 31 August. 

There is no age restrictions for entrants and the competition is open to anyone living or working in Hertfordshire. 

The competition will form part of a wider celebration of creativity under the banner of Friends and Families for the duration of August for HYOC2020.

In support of Herts Pride, which is being held this year as an online fundraising event, projects and stories involving LGBTQ+ residents will also be celebrated in August and there’s a chance to contribute to a Herts Pride Playlist on Spotify.

If you’re looking for something to entertain the kids, then the HYOC Activity Pack will be launching during August too, filled with quick and easy creative activities submitted from local organisations.   If you are a local organisation and have a creative activity that you would like to submit, visit Creative Hertfordshire for more information.  There’s also over 70 separate listings on our What’s ONLINE pages with loads of inspiration on how to keep busy, as well as a growing number of events taking place in line with current social distancing regulations. 

For more information on Hertfordshire Year of Culture and how you can get involved, visit www.HYOC2020.org.uk.

Tue 28 Jul 2020

Almost a quarter of charity organisers believe that without additional support, their organisation would not last until this time next year.

 

Charities across the districts of St Albans, Hertsmere and Welwyn/Hatfield were invited to take part in the ‘Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) Resilience Survey’ during month 4 of the coronavirus pandemic to help measure the impact that the coronavirus is having on the sector.

 

While the downturn in the fortunes of some voluntary sector organisations is no surprise, analysis of the survey results demonstrates that organisations are showing an incredible amount of flexibility and determination in their drive to support local communities and people.

 

With an increased demand for many services that local charities offer, combined with the social distancing restrictions that we all have become familiar with, there has been enormous pressure on charities with some fearful of their survival in the months to come.

 

Stephen Craker, Chief Executive of Communities 1st said:

“Our purpose and passion at Communities 1st is to support and champion voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations. This is more important than ever as the survey results across the area, and nationally, indicate that we are set to lose valuable local services if we don’t act quickly.

 

I want to thank member organisations for keeping in regular contact with Communities 1st during this time. I know from personal experience that running a charity is a full-time job even at the best of times.  But the information that organisations and group have provided has been critical in our efforts to support local communities

 

If your organisation needs support, please do get in touch, we’re here to help!

 

Whilst many charities have been able to alter their services by adopting zoom calls and other virtual assistance, nearly a third of the responses to the survey have stopped operating. The closure of services caused by the lockdown has resulted in many charities losing out on grants and public fundraising.

 

Carmen Dillon, Chief Officer for Welwyn Hatfield CVS said:

“When the lockdown was announced, naively I thought 4 weeks and we all would be returning to work – then and demands that followed was mind-blowing – Local charities needed immediate help in moving into the remote working, grants for laptops mobile phone and then that word, ZOOM, a new way of holding meetings.  Well we have survived the 4 months and it’s time to think about how and when we will return to the office and in what form.  Remember we are here to support and help you develop new working strategies.”

 

Financial support would help alleviate the issues that these charities face. However, results from the survey show that other forms of support will also be required, such as guidance on how to diversify and find different ways to promote their charity.

 

It is clear that social distancing measures could be in place for some time as charities have recognised that guidance on carrying out risk assessments and opening a shop would be a valuable resource. Moving forward, has been evident that advice on returning to ‘normal’ life would be needed for some charities from building a recovery plan to delivering organisational change.

 

Sixty-six percent of the surveyed charities have reported that their beneficiaries have become more vulnerable during the Covid-19 crisis because of factors such as isolation and loneliness, health and wellbeing, concerns about food supplies and long-term medical conditions. In response to this, over 2,000 vulnerable individuals have been supported as well as 1127 cooked meals and 150 food packs have been delivered.

 

Communities 1st Chairman, Stuart Nagler MBE, commented that:

I have seen and heard many examples of the fantastic work charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and local neighbourhood groups are doing in mobilising communities, providing frontline services and helping the vulnerable. I would like to thank every single person for their efforts during this challenging time.”

 

In response to the restrictions of volunteers operating in confined areas charities are becoming stronger by combining forces. 37% of charities are working in partnership with others sharing food donations, offering premises that are not being used and promoting the services of other charities.

 

If you need help with planning your organisation’s future post lockdown please do get in touch with your local organisation, who can support your community group, charity or social enterprise with advice and guidance on: funding, governance and trustee support, financial support, marketing advice and exploring ways to develop your organisation.

 

Notes to the editor:

The survey aimed at charities involved 113 respondents which was available for three weeks in June 2020. The most pressing need is funding but for many organisations the pandemic has impacted on all areas of their work, including staffing, volunteers and their ability to offer services. Without additional financial or other support, 7% of respondents think that their organisation can continue for less than six months, 17% between half a year to a year and 17% don’t know at this stage or will be able to continue with a reduced service. In addition to this one in five respondents has reported that there is not enough volunteers to meet current demands. Communities 1st will continue to match volunteers to vulnerable people for essential deliveries and befriending calls, as well as providing assistance to partnered charities.

The full report can be read here.

Fri 24 Jul 2020

Earlier this month, NCVO released their annual data snapshot of the charity sector, the UK Civil Society Almanac 2020. Although most of the data itself comes from the 2017/18 financial year, we can see some tell-tale signs about what the future may hold for charities post Covid-19 by analysing this data.

The worrying part of these statistics is the changing composition of the sector. Micro and small groups (those with annual incomes under £10k and £100k respectively) are on a downward trend, with the sector nationally changing from 88% in 2000/01 to 81% in 2017/18. This has major implications for our communities. Micro and small groups form the backbone of what we refer to as grassroots community groups, they are community centres and halls, youth clubs, scouting organisations, faith groups and sport clubs. They are often organisations that the general public do not really think of as charities, they are simply part of the fabric of the community. These organisations, though small, have a large impact on people’s daily lives; so, it’s vital that we understand why the number of these organisations is declining.

Opinion is currently divided as to whether COVID-19 will have a lasting economic effect or we are in line for a ‘v-shaped recovery’, but in light of the dire straits a number of English councils find themselves in it looks like the charitable sector is in for a rocky number of years regardless of how the rest of the economy recovers. Additionally, the general public are the major funders of the charitable sector, giving £25.4bn compared to £15.7bn from government. Social distancing restrictions, redundancies and less disposable income in the next few years due to the current crisis could see this level of income fall substantially.

Our voluntary, community and social enterprises did what they do best during this crisis: they endured – they adapted. Charities changed their priorities and objectives quickly to cope with lockdown restrictions, they responded – they utilised everything at their disposal from volunteers to resources to ensure help was received where it was needed.

If we'd been told, at the start of 2020:

  • how much information we'd have to consider, assess and act on
  • how many changes we'd need to bring in for our teams, our volunteers, those who rely on the work we do
  • how many hours we'd be spending on Zoom (what even is that?) and other platforms
  • how much, for most of us, our working lives would change
  • how much our organisations' income and expenditure would differ from the budget forecast

... I'm sure some of us at least would have doubted out own capability and capacity to cope. Add in the backdrop of fear and risk for our families, friends and communities, and, for many of us, the loss of loved ones during that time - whether from coronavirus or other causes.

Across the Communities 1st family we have shared fear, pain, grief, tears, loss, fatigue - but also love, joy, comfort, inspiration, support, friendship and laughter.

Thank you for being a part of our Communities 1st family.

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

Home-Truths report: Undoing racism and delivering real diversity in the charity sector
ACEVO together with Voice4Change England has released Home Truths: Undoing racism and delivering real diversity in the charity sector as part their year-long Making Diversity Count project.

This report is centred around the experiences and expertise of over 500 BAME people who shared their experiences of racism in the sector and also told us what they thought needed to change in order to create true culture change.

Click here to read the full report.

Sustaining Work-Relevant Mental Health Post COVID-19 Toolkit
This toolkit presents a range of information and guidance which aims to assist organisations in managing work-relevant mental health for staff and volunteers. It is not a definitive document, but rather endeavours to be a useful and comprehensive resource providing an evidenced-based approach to supporting mental health in the workplace.

Click here to download the report.

2021 GSK IMPACT Awards – core funding and free training for health charities
This year, more than ever, we are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2021 GSK IMPACT Awards. Winning organisations will receive core funding of up to £40,000 plus access to excellent training and development to support their leaders.

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 GSK IMPACT Awards are judged by a prestigious panel of judges and provide national recognition for the winning charities. Closing date for applications: 14 September 2020.  Click here to apply.

Celebrate Sport in Hertfordshire
The Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) are excited to announce their HSP Lockdown Awards. The online awards will take place this year as a one off to highlight the amazing work and achievement of Hertfordshire’s sporting community throughout a difficult and uncertain time for Hertfordshire sport.

With five categories to nominate in ranging from best active photo to best lockdown coach the partnership is looking forward to seeing what Hertfordshire sport has been getting up to whilst clubhouse doors and sporting facilities have been shut.

The five categories to nominate in are:

  • Most Inspiring Club
  • Best ‘active lockdown’ video
  • Best ‘active lockdown’ photograph
  • Best use of lockdown
  • Best lockdown Coach

For the first time the voting will be down to the public, so you’ll need to get your club, families and friends all on board to vote when voting opens.

The nominations will be closing on Friday 21st August 2020.

You can nominate here: www.sportinherts.org.uk/hsp-lockdown-awards and you can follow HSP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@sportinherts).

For more information about the awards, please contact Jane Parker from the Herts Sports Partnership on j.parker20@herts.ac.uk.

New Psychological First Aid training during COVID-19 reaches 60K sign ups
In June, Public Health England launched a new Psychological First Aid (PFA) training module, aimed at all frontline and essential workers and volunteers. Hosted entirely online via the FutureLearn platform, the course has been a huge success with over 60,000 people enrolling. Students have come from a wide range of backgrounds and ages, from 18 to 65+, and 98% have said that the course met or exceeded their expectations.

The course is free, and no previous qualifications are required. By the end of the course, outcomes will include: understanding how emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic can affect us, and recognising people who may be at increased risk of distress and how to offer practical and emotional support.

If you would like to sign up, registration is still open.  

Webinar: The development of residential women’s centres in England and Wales
Clinks and the Ministry of Justice are holding a webinar about the development of residential women’s centres (RWCs) across England and Wales. It will also provide an opportunity for voluntary organisations working with women in the criminal justice system to give feedback and their views on specific aspects of how RWCs should operate.

The Ministry of Justice would like to speak to voluntary organisations in Wales and England that have experience delivering gender-responsive services to women and expertise in trauma-informed practice to discuss the proposed model for RWCs and seek feedback.

The free webinar will be held on 5 August at 10am. Click here for more details.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
The Department of Health and Social Care has updated its guidance on who is eligible for a test and how they can be tested.

The most recent update includes instructions for care homes and Randox testing.

This site also includes a full list of who is eligible for testing - including volunteers and charities. Click here for more details.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs - what you can and can’t do
On 17 July the Government updated the coronavirus outbreak FAQs section to reflect the new announcements. 

The guidance covers the most frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak. This is national guidance that applies to England only. If you live or work in the local lockdown area, then please refer to the local guidance.

The guidance can be found here.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing)
On 17 July the Government updated their staying alert and safe guidance to reflect the announcements that day, which relate to the next stages of their roadmap.

We recommend all VCSE organisations keep up to date with the proposed changes to help plan. Read more.

Trust, power and collaboration
The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) has published ‘Trust, power and collaboration’ which shares practical suggestions for taking a ‘human learning systems’ approach to commissioning and funding relationships. The research aimed to capture the varying experiences of those adapting their practice, and identify both what is happening and what needs to change to enable different ways of working – for both VCS organisations and funders/commissioners. This research was carried out in partnership with Northumbria University and The Tudor Trust.  Find out more.

Change Collective Recruitment Guides
The Institute of Fundraising has produced a series of recruitment guides to support both the fundraising profession and the whole sector, to become a more equal, diverse and inclusive profession to recruit for “culture add”, not “culture fit”.

The Change Collective guides have been produced for the fundraising community to consider the actions and decisions they can take to achieve a more diverse fundraising workforce. The guides include an additional element to reflect on recruiting during the coronavirus crisis.

Each guide has been developed with expert advice from recruitment agencies and EDI consultants, and lived experience from fundraisers.

Click here to see the guides.

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. www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Community/Community-Information/Community-Grants.aspx

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
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 £1,000 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 17th August 2020.
  • Successful applicants will be announced in September.
  • For any queries please contact Ashwin Mehta at uk@loveandcare.srmd.org or 07766 852950. 

Funding for Projects to Increase the Employment Skills of People Aged 11 or Older
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to registered charities to assist with specific projects or core activities that support literacy, numeracy, digital and additional skills for people aged 11 or older in order to increase their employment prospects within the UK. To be eligible the charities applying for funding will need to have an annual income of £500,000 or less. The funding is being made available through the Thomas Wall Trust. Grants will be awarded in November 2020.  Find out more.

Screwfix Foundation Re-Opens for Applications
The Screwfix Foundation has re-opened for applications from charities and not for profit organisations for projects that will fix, repair, maintain and improve the properties and community facilities of those in need by reason of financial hardship, sickness, disability, distress or other disadvantage throughout the UK. Grants of up to £5,000 are available for all kinds of projects, from repairing buildings and improving facilities in deprived areas, to decorating the homes of people living with sickness and disabilities. Applications can be made at any time and will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.  Find out more.

Funding to Help Young People Speaking Out Against Injustice
Young people aged 18-25 and organisations led by young people in England can apply for a share of £80,000 to challenge and change laws, policies, practices, and cultures that have directly affected their lives and those of their community. Through the Blagrave Trust’s Challenge and Change Fund, grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available to move power and resources to young people who are working to speak out against injustices, such as young people experiencing poverty, those with disabilities, single teenage mothers, young care leavers and carers, and young people of colour. Successful applicants will have access to free (online) training on charity law and campaigning. The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on the 27th July 2020.  Find out more.

Funding for Projects which Reduce the Use of Single Use Primary Plastic Packaging
The Waste and Resources Action Programme working in partnership with UK Research and Innovation, are inviting applications for round 2 of their £475,000 Refill Infrastructure Grant scheme. Funding of between £50,000 and £150,000 for project proposals that have strong commercial potential to reduce the use of single use primary plastic packaging within an existing or new supply chain. Grants are available for both capital and revenue expenditure for inventive proposals that will change the way retailers and their suppliers operate, so that their customers have new options to buy products in refillable containers. The scheme is looking to support collaborative projects between retailers, manufacturers, and/or supply chain partners. Grant recipients are expected to contribute a minimum of 25% match-funding. The deadline for expressions of interest is 13:00 on the 6th August.  Find out more.

Nominations for the 2020 National Lottery Awards Are Now Open
Nominations are now open to honour individuals who have made an extraordinary impact in their community, especially those who have adapted during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This year the annual search for the UK’s most popular National Lottery funded projects will, for the first time, honour individuals who will receive £3,000 for their organisation as well as a National Lottery Awards trophy for outstanding contributions in any of the following categories: arts; charity/voluntary; education; environment; health; heritage; sport; and young hero (under 18s). Nominations for ‘hometown heroes’ or ‘lockdown legends’ will be put before a judging panel made up of members of The National Lottery family and partners. The deadline for nominations is midnight on the 19th August 2020. Find out more.

Emergency Funding for Community Radio Stations Financially Affected by Covid-19
Community radio stations that are facing severe financial difficulty and are at risk of closure due to the Covid-19 crisis can bid for grants to meet their urgent needs. The £400,000 Community Radio Fund administered by Ofcom will be redirected to provide emergency support for relevant stations to help meet their core costs. There is no limit to how much can be applied for but those who request smaller amounts are more likely to be awarded the full amount requested. Applicants must be community radio licensees in the UK, and be on air by the time applications are considered. Guidance will be provided from Ofcom on how radio stations can bid for funding. Applications can be submitted until 5pm on the 3rd August 2020.  Find out more.

Funding to Support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Veterans
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Positive Pathways programme has reopened for applications for projects that support the mental health and wellbeing of veterans by getting them out and active. Armed-Forces-supporting charities or CIC’s can apply for grants of £35,000 for projects developed by and for veterans which have a clearly identified activity for veterans to take part in, and should come under one of four themes: sports; arts and culture; getting outside; and heritage. Applications are encouraged from under-represented organisations in the West Midlands and West Scotland, and activities should be feasible with any social distancing requirements in place. The programme is funded by HM Treasury. Applications for this round of funding close at noon on the 25th August 2020.  Find out 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 31st August 2020.  Find out more.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Purple All Stars - You Raise Me Up
The Purple All Stars are a group of adults with learning disabilities who promote health and wellbeing messages via song and dance.

Please enjoy this song which has been created during lockdown entirely via Zoom and lots of phone calls.

https://youtu.be/WTg1Rz4zOKQ

For more information about The Purple All Stars, please contact Kate.Harding@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Remap are a charity that provides custom-made equipment for disabled people.

Their skilled volunteers provide innovative, practical solutions to everyday challenges encountered by disabled people.

Current restrictions mean that whilst they cannot do everything they have been able to previously, but they are still doing jobs and will do their best to help. 

Please contact them by:

Phone 01727 613177
or email herts.s@remapgroups.org.uk

Fri 17 Jul 2020

Micro-volunteering can be beneficial to both volunteers and organisations
Micro-volunteering opportunities are easy and often low-commitment actions and activities that can be done from home. Most of these can be completed in short time frames (less than 30 minutes) whilst others can harness high-level skills that can be used to support the work of an organisation. Communities 1st has been exploring micro-volunteering again to build on the momentum created from community volunteering during the pandemic and harness the current spotlight on the fantastic work volunteers do.

There are many ways to get people involved away from technology, from doing a 5 minute litter pick in their local community, to creating homes for insects and hedgehogs in their gardens.

Whether you have existing volunteers that may not be able to fulfil their usual role, or volunteers waiting to start when you reopen, micro-volunteering is a creative way to keep them engaged during this pandemic. By offering individuals small tasks that they can complete at home, you will be reminding them that they are valued as volunteers and their work is vital to the running of your organisation. Micro-volunteering can also lead to more long-term volunteering; As volunteers learn more about what your organisation does they may be willing to commit more time and energy to support your cause.

It is important to reiterate that micro-volunteering should not replace traditional volunteering roles. Many people choose to volunteer to reduce loneliness and meet new people.  Micro-volunteers still need some level of supervision and oversight and in some instances volunteers will need to be vetted. Look at what services you already provide and see if they can be divided into smaller roles.

There are lots of ways to support your local community and volunteering is adapting to allow people to continue to offer their time in creative ways.

How could we work together going forward?
If you need any further support to set up micro-volunteering projects would like to have a discussion about potential ideals of engagement, please get in touch.

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 individual

 

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

Collecting customer and visitor details for contact tracing
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published advice for organisations that are asked by government to collect and retain customer and visitor information, for a limited time period, for the purposes of a COVID-19 contact tracing scheme.

Click here to see the details.

Free Qualifications for Summer Holiday Project Staff
If you’re thinking of delivering a holiday project to support disadvantaged young people this summer, it’s important that your staff and volunteers have appropriate training and qualifications.

To help with this, the Herts Sports Partnership have funded three courses that are available to those operating summer provision within Active Local areas this summer. 

What is Active Local?

Active Local is HSP’s place-based approach to reducing physical inactivity working in ten areas across Hertfordshire. It aims to engage and support local communities, alongside partners and stakeholders, to create a more joined up approach to sport and physical activity.  Locations in St Albans and Hertsmere are: Cowley Hill (Hertsmere) and Sopwell (St Albans).

For more information about financial support to projects in the Active Local areas please click here.

Safeguarding & Protecting Children, 2.5 hours  Date: Wednesday 22 July, 2.00pm

Managing Challenging Behaviour, 3 hours  Date: Wednesday 22 July, 1.00pm

Getting Young People Active Remotely, 90 minutes  Date: Thursday 23 July, 10am

10 ways to step up as an ally to non-binary people
This week (14 July) was International Non-binary People’s Day, which aims to celebrate the wide range of people worldwide who identify as non-binary.

Non-binary is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary identities are varied. Some non-binary people do not want to associate with any binary identity adopt some aspects of binary identities.

So would you like to know how you can support non-binary people?

Click here to see the guidance.

Webinar: Equal Power– Calling all BAME women: Explore Your Political Pathway
On 20 July 2020, the Muslim Women's Network and The Parliament Project will lead a workshop for BAME women to learn more about exploring their political pathway and kick-start their political career.

No political experience or in-depth knowledge of the political system are required - just the passion to make a difference and the curiosity to find out more. Registration is free but places are limited.

Click here for more information and to register.

The Doctor Will Zoom You Now
National Voices with Traverse, Healthwatch England and PPL are hosting a free webinar - 'The Doctor Will Zoom You Now: getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience'.

The webinar will discuss findings and insight from recent research into people's experiences of remote and virtual consultations and appointments.

The webinar will be held on 24 July at 11am and you can book your place here.

Donate your old phones and tablets to The Great British Tech Appeal
Vodafone are working with Barnado’s British Red Cross and SafeLives to gift old phones and tablets to families and support workers in-need, with 3 months free data.

Click here for more information.

New Centre for Ageing Better report: Supporting carers back into work 
A new report from the Centre for Ageing Better looks at the needs of those with caring responsibilities trying to seek employment and how they can be supported back into work. The report is based on learning from Ambition for Ageing project, Working Potential.

Read More.

A Parent's Guide to Black Lives Matter 
This guide aims to provide resources, advice, and tips to ensure that children are aware of racial inequality, racial hierarchies, and white privilege present in modern-day society, as well as share tools and knowledge in which to combat racism today.

Read More.

Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own
On 14 July the government published guidance on face coverings.

We recommend all VCSE organisations read the guidance so that they can understand what is relevant in terms of service delivery, volunteers and staff. If you are thinking of making face masks or purchasing branded ones as part of your mix of VCSE income generation approaches, then this guidance is of particular importance. The guidance explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored.

The guidance can be found here.

Major new campaign to prepare UK for end of the Brexit transition period
On 13 July the government launched a major new public information campaign, ‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going’. 

They state it will clearly set out the actions businesses and individuals need to take to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and ensure they are ready to seize the opportunities that it will bring.  The campaign includes a checker tool related to things such as staff being able to continue to work in the UK. Read more.

Companies House to restart the voluntary strike off process
On 10 July Companies House published a news story explaining that from 10 September 2020, they will restart the process for companies that have applied for voluntary strike off. Read more.

Reopen Community Spaces Safely
The government has published a new guidance for community spaces look to safely reopen now that lockdown measures are easing. Assess how safe it is using this guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities, to make your community facility Covid-19 secure. Read more.

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.

Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders has produced a very useful table which translates 186 words and/or phrases associated with COVID-19 into 35 different languages. It also provides you with a definition of each term and it is searchable by term and languages, making it easy to navigate.

For example 'alcohol-based hand rub' is '물없이 문질러 사요하는 알코올 제제' in Korean and 'sabuni ya kunawa mikono iliyotengenezwa kwa pombe' in Swahili (KE).

Click here to see the table in full

COVID-19 and Employment Law with Curwens Solicitors 
Taking place on Monday 20th July at 4pm, this session will provide information about Employment Law in relation to COVID-19.

Find out about furlough and annual leave, as well as the responsibilities employers have when employees are returning to work.

Book here.

SSE has launched Trade Back
A new type of business support grant that incentivises social impact organisations to trade, while supporting them to recover and rebuild. A Trade Back grant includes a small traditional grant to kick-start recovery efforts, plus an incentivised grant to reward an increase in trading income. 

Find out more.

Everything you need to know about TikTok
TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps of the decade, despite only being available since 2016.

However the prospect of migrating your organisation's social media presence over to the site has proved a little daunting to many.

So what we all need right now is an infographic so we can learn everything there is to know about this hit app. And that's what we've found for you.

Click here to view this infographic.

#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.

Herts Valleys (West Herts only) Small Grants process – relaunch
You may be aware that the original process was suspended in March because of the pandemic. Following substantial engagement with the sector and partners, Herts Valleys CCG is now in position to relaunch it. The application form can be found here.

Please note the following conditions have changed:

  • Any voluntary organisation or not for profit can apply.
  • They can make only one application and for a maximum of £10,000 (though the full £10,000 will not be reduced if match-funders can add to the project).
  • The project has to be related to helping you either to:
    • deliver pre-existing services in a Covid-proofed way following the easing of lockdown or
    • in creating new types of support specifically for people whose health and wellbeing has been particularly badly affected by the crisis and the lockdown.  You need to explain this in your application
  • Applicants who have applied before can re-send information from last time (appropriately amended)
  • There will be just six questions to answer, adapted from last time.  Previous applicants will be able to use most of the answers they used before, but must adapt them to show how the request for funding relates to 3.a) and/or b) above

Completed forms must be returned to tim.anfilogoff@nhs.net by midnight on Friday 24 July 2020. 

The Arts Council to Reopen its National Lottery Project Grants
The Arts Council has announced that its National Lottery Project Grants programme will reopen on 22 July 2020. The fund will be open to individuals, arts organisations, museums and libraries. Grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 will be available from the £59.8 million rolling funding programme until April 2021 to support those in the cultural sector and for work that has longer term positive impact such as Research and Development. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the programme will be improved to make it more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners, whilst still including a budget for grassroots music venues, touring extensions and national activities over and under £100,000. Updated guidance for the programme will be published by mid-July.

Find out more.

Woodward Charitable Trust general grant round
Woodward Charitable Trust offers funding towards the core costs of UK charities with annual income less than £200,000. Trustees will consider applications for core costs which will achieve a positive impact. The majority of grants are for less than £3,000. Deadline: 31 July

Read More.

Youth Music’s Fund A grants programme
Youth Music’s Fund A grants programme awards grants between £2,000 and £30,000 for high-quality projects that aim to help to achieve a musically inclusive England. Youth Music has six priority funding areas: Early years; Young adults; Disabled young people; Young people facing barriers; The youth justice system; and Organisations and the workforce. Deadline: 31 July

Read More.

Social Enterprise Support Fund
The fund was launched on 13 July providing grants of between £10,000 and £300,000 to help social enterprises during COVID-19.

The fund closes at 1pm on Monday 20 July

It is aimed at social enterprises supporting people at a high health risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19. Big Issue Invest, The Key Fund, Resonance, UnLtd and SSE will jointly deliver the grants, with support from CAF Venturesome, the Young Foundation and Ashoka.

Find out more here.

Emergency funding for LGBTQ+ organisations and groups
LGBTQ+ organisations and groups across the UK will soon be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000 to help their vital role in supporting LGBTQ+ communities through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

METRO Charity in partnership with NAZ, Equality Network, The Rainbow Project, Umbrella Cymru, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT, will be cascading the £585,000 fund from Comic Relief, raised from ‘The Big Night In’.

Register your interest in applying for a grant here.

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund
One-off grants are available to charities and not-for-profit organisations in England for work that will relieve the hardship caused by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic among refugees and asylum seekers and by migrants experiencing barriers to accessing services. Max. Value: £ 50,000

Find out more.

Community Justice Fund
Grants are available for specialist social welfare legal advice organisations to cope with the immediate impact of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and lay the foundations for longer-term renewal.

Find out more.

Comic Relief - Change Makers
Funding for not-for-profit organisations in the UK with proposals to make lasting change related to the social change themes of homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development. Max. Value: £600,000

Find out more.

Baring Foundation - Arts and Mental Health Programme
Grants are available for established organisations in the UK that focus solely on offering creative opportunities to people of any age living with mental health problems, using the skills of professionally trained artists.

Find out more.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Healthwatch Hertfordshire Annual Report 2019/20
Healthwatch Hertfordshire’s Annual Report 2019/20 is now published and available to read here.  The report is full of information about the work that they have been doing over the past year to hear the patient voice in Hertfordshire and to recommend improvements to health and social care services.

If you wish to share your health and social care experiences with us, please call Healthwatch Hertfordshire on 01707 275978 or complete their online form.

Action for Conservation WildWEB – digital action programme for young people 
Action for Conservation have launched WildWEB, a brand new digital programme to support young people aged 13 - 17 to take action for the environment over this period and prepare for the world that lies beyond the lockdown. WildWEB is completely free and is hosted by a team alongside expert volunteers and an exciting lineup of special guests.

Read More.

Online Gaming Safety Advice for Parents and Carers
Online gaming can offer many positive experiences. It can give children and young people the chance to escape into a virtual world, to learn, and to connect with others.

However, there is a risk of children and young people viewing inappropriate content in games and being contacted by adults seeking to exploit them.

Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. (Children Exploitation and Online Protection).

Thinkuknow aims to ensure that everyone has access to this practical information – children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them.

This week the activity pack for parents and carers to deliver to their children explores how they can stay safe while gaming: 

The Traveller Movement Domestic Abuse Project- Film show and workshop on Friday 24th July 2-4pm
‘Never going to Beat You’ is a Traveller Movement film about domestic abuse.  

The project originally began as a community theatre project with Romany Gypsy and Minceir/Pavee (Irish Traveller) women who shared their stories of abuse  to produce a play.

The characters in the film are portrayed by a mix of women and men from the Traveller Movement and professional actors.

We are delighted to let you know we have arranged for an online showing of the film and workshop on Friday 24th July from 2.00pm to 4.00pm – showing the film Never Going to Beat You followed by a presentation from two of the women who were involved with the film and then an open Q & A.

To attend, please email peggy.sharp@stalbans.gov.uk no later than Tuesday 21st July. There is a suggested donation of £20 per head to cover the costs of the project and enable the Traveller Movement to continue their work. However, this cost shouldn’t stop you attending, contact Peggy to discuss subsidised or free places. 

Click here for more information.

Message from Borehamwood Library
Borehamwood Library is now offering a click and collect service called Ready Reads – customers request a type of book pack either online here: Ready Reads or by calling 0300 123 4049

There are plenty of adult and children’s packs available – Cosy Crime, Contemporary Fiction, Sci fi and Fantasy, Literary Fiction and more, plus others for teenagers and children of different ages

Borehamwood Library is open for collection of the pre-ordered packs and for book returns from 10am to 2pm Monday to Saturday. No other services can be offered at this time but we are working towards being able to offer these.

This is a safe way for any residents who have missed the library and social interaction to get out again and have a little chat with staff at the door and come home with some books we have chosen for them

The Summer Reading Challenge will be running again, but online this year. Families can sign up here: Silly Squad website.

Online Jobs Fair
Join Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Jobcentreplus Online Job Fair on Friday 24th July from 10am - 11am. Follow @JCPinBeds on Twitter or #JobsinBedsandHerts

For more information please email Trevor.Buckland@dwp.gov.uk

Sat 11 Jul 2020

How has volunteering been affected by the pandemic?
During the last few months, as the country has gone into lockdown and we have all had to change the ways we live our lives, the volunteering landscape has also had to adapt the way volunteers support local organisations.

Lots of community groups have adapted quickly to involve volunteers in finding ways to deliver services online in order to engage with the more socially isolated people, such as those who are disabled, those with mental health conditions, those in vulnerable age ranges and those shielding. However, there is a real fear that if everything goes online there will be vulnerable people who won’t be able to access the support that they need.

There are definitely positive and negatives to online engagement. It’s a fine balance and it will be interesting to see how digital content  is utilised over the coming months as lockdown eases. Organisations are doing regular zoom quizzes, bingo, training sessions on coping with mental health issues during lockdown along with that relevant to volunteering roles as well as general catching up with volunteers via other methods like phone, text messaging and Whatsapp.

The key is to keep volunteer engagement going. Some volunteers will be keen to try out a new role or deliver their existing role in a new way on their phased return.  Both require time, resources and in some cases training, to adjust at a pace the volunteer feels comfortable with.

Before face to face volunteering is restarted organisations must ensure the safety of the place where they will be undertaking the task by carrying out risk assessments of the building to make sure current social distancing measures are in place.

How could we work together going forward?
It would be great to build on this and hear thoughts and have further discussion about potential ideals of engagement.

There are lots of ways to support your local community and volunteering is adapting to allow people to continue to offer their time in creative ways.  Moving forward we will be re-launching our Volunteer Managers Forum to allow us all to share ideas through peer to peer learning for all who are interested.  It would be a great way to hear thoughts on current topics and have further discussions.

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 individual

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

Meet The Funder Session – BBC Children in Need
Communities 1st is holding another “Meet the Funder” event via ZOOM this month

Sophie Charles from BBC Children in Need will give a talk about their Covid-19 response and what Children in Need look for in applications.

Children in Need consider applications from registered charities and CICs. You can find full details on their website here for eligibility and their policies around different organisation types, particularly under the headings CICs, Charity Registration and Social Enterprises. They also welcome applications from Partnerships

Tuesday 14 July  between 11.00am -12.30pm.

Click here register for the event.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs – what you can and can’t do
On 9 July the government updated the coronavirus outbreaks FAQs to reflect new regulations coming into force on 9 July. Read more.

Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs to help the UK’s recovery
On 8 July the government published its Summer Economic Update. The Chancellor announced a package of measures to support jobs in every part of the country, give businesses the confidence to retain and hire, and provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs. Read more.

Highlights from the update included the phasing out of the furlough scheme and introducing the 'kick start' scheme to help 18-24 year olds get into meaningful work. Full details of the measures can be found on the Government website here.

Other measures relevant to the voluntary sector included the VAT reduction from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

The Charity Finance Group has helpfully summarised the Summer Economic Update and highlighted the key points for our sector going forward. Read their thoughts here.

The annual UK Civil Society Almanac is now available to download.
Drawing on a range of sources, the Almanac provides a snapshot of what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteering and its impact.

Key highlights include:

  • 19.4m people volunteered at least once a year during 2018/19 through a group, club or organisation
  • The voluntary sector contributed £18.2bn to the economy in 2017/18, representing about 0.9% of total GDP
  • The voluntary sector has a paid workforce of 909,088, 5% more than in 2018

Click here to view the UK Civil Society Almanac 2020.

Thanks to our friends at NCVO for this great piece of work.

Cultural and heritage organisations to receive a £1.57bn support package
The government has announced that the UK's arts, culture and heritage industries will receive a £1.57 billion rescue package to help with the impact of coronavirus

Organisations - many of which are charities - across the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.

The money will provide a lifeline to cultural and heritage organisations hit hard by the pandemic. Plus funding to restart paused projects will help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.

Click here for more details about the announcement.

Risk of insolvency – what Chairs need to know
The Association of Chairs has put together a guidance for those Trustees and Chairs whether their charity is presently insolvent; or, whether it will become insolvent in the future and how will they recognise when this is the case.

Click here to read their guidance.

The Change Collective Guide to Recruitment for Small Charities
Running a small charity is hard work, and you get used to doing everything yourself - you have to, when there isn’t a volunteer available with the skills and time, and you just do not have the money to pay others to do it. Making the decision to employ someone to help you with fundraising is a big one – you need the investment to pay off to keep running your services and not deplete your reserves.

The Institute of Fundraising has produced a guide, supported by the Small Charities Coalition, to help identify what you need from a fundraiser and the different options for recruiting your first fundraiser into this role. It is primarily aimed at organisations operating under £350,000 a year.

Click here to view the guide.

Trans and Non-Binary COVID-19 Impact Focus Group
The LGBT Foundation is looking to explore how trans and non-binary communities have been impacted by the current health crisis.

They are looking to discuss how these communities have been affected, what resources have been useful, and what more can be done to support them.

The event will be held on 14 July and you can sign up through their Eventbrite page.

Chairing Plus Webinar: Working with Your Chief Executive
As a chair, building and maintaining a successful relationship with a chief executive is a key part of the role. But it’s not always a simple task.

The Association of Chairs is holding a webinar on 12 August to look at what is needed at key stages in the Chair-Chief Executive relationship, including appraisal of a Chief Executive.

Click here for more information and to register.

How to manage negative social media comments
At some point if you are on social media, you will encounter a negative comment or two directed your way.

The temptation is to respond in a similar manner and explain why they are wrong, however this is usually not the best approach.

Digital Giants has put together an infographic showing the seven steps to responding to a negative comment. We highly recommend adopting these as a strategy so you and your colleagues are prepared should you encounter such negativity.

Click here for the infographic.

Life Beyond Covid-19
The COVID-19 Committee is inviting people to share their hopes and fears about what the pandemic might mean in the long-term for our home and working lives, and for how we function as a society – what might it mean for social cohesion, for (in)equality, for our environment or for arts and culture?

Deadline for submission is 31 August.

Click here for full details.

Time to Spare: Track and Trace system
As part of the government guidance on maintaining records on people using your establishments, an organisation called Time to Spare has produced a track and trace system for the safe collection of contact details. Read more.

Convenors of SORP engagement discussions announced
The Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) sets out the framework for how larger charities prepare their annual report and accounts. On 8 July the charity commission released a press release explaining the SORP engagement process.

Following a governance review of the SORP development process in 2018-19, a new approach has been initiated which has greater engagement at its heart.

To support the SORP-making body and the advisory SORP Committee in this work, volunteer engagement partners have been recruited through an open recruitment process.

Details of the engagement partners and more about this engagement process can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Stay safe and make positive choices – Summer Programme 2020
A two week programme for young people to learn about keeping themselves safe and engage in positive alternatives to gangs and knife crime.

Please speak to a YC Hertfordshire Youth Worker if you’re interested in joining the project.

  • Monday-Friday 3 hours daily
  • 2 hours of professional sports coaching
  • £30 Amazon voucher on completion
  • Certificate of participation

To refer a young person to the programme email ychreferral@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Click here for more information.

Training - Get Started with Analytics
Media Trust’s Get Started with Analytics webinar will take place on 16 July. Learn more about web analytics and what ‘data driven’ decision making means for your charity. Register here.

New Premises Required – Centre 33 St Albans
Centre 33 is looking for new premises to provide their twice daily meal service in St Albans.  Their current premises 2A Spicer Street St Albans are unsuitable amid the COVID -19 pandemic as they are too small for safe operation. Ideally, premises would be in central St Albans of around 1,000 sq ft with kitchen, toilets, a large room for dining and with a separate access to the kitchen area.  If you know of anywhere, please contact Colin Simmons – chairman@centre33.org.   

Nominations are now open for this year’s Valuing Volunteer Management Award
The Hertfordshire Valuing Volunteer Management awards are unique because they are nominated for solely by volunteers. If you volunteer for any Hertfordshire based organisation that really values their volunteers and you think they deserve to be nominated for an award – we want your nominations now!

Criteria: The volunteering organisation you are nominating must have either completed the 6 Point Promise (6PP) or are working towards it.  If they haven't done either of the above, all is not lost.  Get your organisation to sign up with their nearest centre before the closing date below.

Please visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Volunteering-Herts-Awards-2020.

Do take the time to put together a really good quality nomination for the organisation you volunteer with. Show them how much you value their support for the work you do!

Hurry, closing date is 15 July.

#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.

Better Business - Inspire KS3 Masterclasses – Business Volunteers wanted
In September, Communities 1st will launch an online webinar version of its Inspire KS3 Schools Masterclasses. Volunteers from a range of professional backgrounds give talks to students at Key Stage 3 (aged between 11 and 14) about their jobs, how they got into them and what it’s like to work in their industries. If you’d like to take part, please click to complete a short questionnaire and we’ll get in touch with more details.

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. https://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Community/Community-Information/Community-Grants.aspx.

St Albans and District Council’s Community Grant Fund is now open!
Grants will be made between £500-£5000. There is just one round this year, and the focus is on creative projects which support vulnerable people to recover from the impact of coronavirus measures.

For further information about the grant follow this link www.communities1st.org.uk/SADCgrants.

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.

Herts Valleys (West Herts only) Small Grants process – relaunch
You may be aware that the original process was suspended in March because of the pandemic. Following substantial engagement with the sector and partners, Herts Valleys CCG is now in position to relaunch it. The application form can be found here.

Please note the following conditions have changed:

  • Any voluntary organisation or not for profit can apply
  • They can make only one application and for a maximum of £10,000 (though the full £10,000 will not be reduced if match-funders can add to the project)
  • The project has to be related to helping you either to:
  • deliver pre-existing services in a Covid-proofed way following the easing of lockdown or
  • in creating new types of support specifically for people whose health and wellbeing has been particularly badly affected by the crisis and the lockdown.  You need to explain this in your application
  • Applicants who have applied before can re-send information from last time (appropriately amended) 
  • There will be just six questions to answer, adapted from last time.  Previous applicants will be able to use most of the answers they used before, but must adapt them to show how the request for funding relates to 3.a) and/or b) above

Completed forms must be returned to tim.anfilogoff@nhs.net by midnight on Friday 24 July 2020. 

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Impact Awards
The awards aim to support charities providing individuals with vital health and wellbeing services throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 awards are funded by GSK and managed in partnership with The King’s Fund.

Who can apply? Charities who have been established for 3 years or more and who are located and registered within the UK and working within a health related field. The maximum annual income of charities must not exceed £2.5 million.

Deadline: Monday 14 September 2020

Value: Up to ten winners will receive £30,000 unrestricted funding and one overall winner will receive £40,000.

Find out more.

Independent Age Fund
Grants are available to help older people who are likely to be missing out due to the restrictions from the current pandemic. Support will keep practical services running, provide advice, and opportunities, so individuals can be provided with essentials such as food and medicines and keep connected through digital.

Who can apply? Charities registered for a minimum of 2 years who are working with older people in at least one of two of the priority areas. Either, older people living in particularly complex and challenging situations or older people who are vulnerable.  

Deadline: Opens Monday 27 July until 9am Friday 21 August
Value: Up to £15,000
Find out more.

Julia and Hans Rausing Launch £10 million Charity Survival Fund
The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust has launched a new ‘Charity Survival Fund’. A total of £10 million will be made available to support charities in the UK, specifically focusing on small and medium size charities.

The aim is to provide core funding to help charities overcome the impact of Covid-19, offsetting lost income. Deadline for applications is 27 July.

More details can be found here.

Grants of up to £50,000 Available for Community Projects (Aviva Community Fund)
Small charities and constituted community groups with innovative ideas that benefit their community can apply for funding of up to £50,000 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 Aviva Community Fund. Every three months, £250,000 will be split equally among Aviva’s UK employees to donate to the projects. In response to the Covid-19 Aviva are temporarily opening up the Fund to projects that will ensure organisations can adapt or maintain critical services and infrastructure in response to the impacts of COVID-19. Projects must still relate to one of Aviva’s key funding areas. The closing date for this funding round is the 28th July 2020.

Find out more.

Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust awards grants to charitable organisations. Deadline is 31 July.

Find out more.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Advice for Consumers
Applications for free call blockers have re-opened on the Friends Against Scams website. If you know somebody who would benefit from a call blocker, ask them to apply here.

#ScamAware#CallBlocker

The National Trading Standards Scams Team received government funding to supply and install call blocking technology in consumers’ homes. The project re-launched at the beginning of March and received hundreds of applications.

Due to COVID-19 the very difficult decision was made to close applications as it wasn’t safe under government guidelines to continue posting and installing units. Since then the team has been working with trueCall, the supplier of these devices, to provide a safe application process.

The team and trueCall are now in a position to re-open applications and post units out to consumers who can self-install only.

Units will be sent directly to consumers and people won’t be able to apply on behalf of others.

Units will be supplied on a first come first served basis.

Direct applicants will be able to apply online on the Friends Against Scams website from the 8th July.

July Parents' & Carers' Pack
The July Parents' and Carers' Pack is now available. This month we cover preparing for results day, boosting employability skills, the apprentice perspective during lockdown, Microsoft's new digital skills courses, a parent's take on apprenticeships and much more. Please download here.

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