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.
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Stay safe, stay well, be kind
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
COMMUNITIES 1st COVID-19 INFORMATION AND SUPPORT
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: email@example.com 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org #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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
#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
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.
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 email@example.com or call 01707 274861.
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.
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.
Basic Fire Safety (without practical work)
Course Aim: To raise awareness of basic fire safety and improve safe working procedures.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 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 email@example.com.
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
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.