News

Fri 3 Jul 2020

Supporting other charities to rebuild

During late May and June, Communities 1st carried out its second survey of local voluntary and community organisations, in order to understand the sector further at almost 3 months in to lockdown. We aim to use the information to inform our work and target support where it is needed most.

With 110 responses, it was no surprise to read that the primary support organisations needed straight away was funding. This is to cover lost fundraising opportunities, lost income, continuing costs and to pay for their response to Covid-19.   Almost one quarter of organisations stated that they will only survive for twelve months or less without additional funding or support.

However, more startling is the range of support organisations need. Most reported that they need support in several areas, including recruiting new volunteers, resilience planning and to develop new IT systems.  

One of our roles at Communities 1st is to provide this support.  The survey has enabled us to understand the support that individual organisations need and to target our support directly.

We have started a programme of Meet the Funder sessions and have so far hosted The National Lottery and Hertfordshire Community Foundation, with a Children in Need session planned for July (see below). These sessions give attendees an in-depth understanding of what the funders are looking for and an increased chance of a successful application.

In addition, we are offering weekly Zoom sessions with the Communities 1st membership team, during which organisations can discuss their needs and our team offer their support.

During lockdown, over 3,000 volunteers signed up with Communities 1st to support their community.  Many of those are now returning to work and the challenge is to harness that community spirit and keep those potential volunteers engaged.

We are working closely with local voluntary and community organisations to understand their volunteering needs and promote their vacancies in the Communities 1st volunteering newsletter.  In order to keep those potential volunteers engaged, organisations need to offer roles which are flexible and interesting and can fit around the schedule of paid work. Covid-19 has changed the landscape in which we all live and work in.

Finally, at Communities 1st we are aware that the organisations that engage with us only represent a proportion of the voluntary sector in Hertsmere and St Albans District.  We have recruited a team of volunteers to identify other local voluntary and community organisations, and will contact them directly to offer support.

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

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.

Know a local group who need extra support providing #COVID19 relief?
You can now request support from the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership.  Just complete the webform with details of the support you need. Types of support available:

  • Transportation or delivery including medicine
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Financial support and advice
  • Specialist training
  • Guidance
  • Mental health support and wellbeing
  • Volunteers

Go to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership request support service: www.vcsep.support/request-support.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector - update
On 26 June the Charity Commission updated their Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector. The update relates to information for charitable companies and Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) on new laws affecting members’ meetings and insolvency.

These provisions are set out in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and came into effect on 26 June. The provisions introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 aim to help businesses continue operating and avoid insolvency during this period of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19. These provisions apply to charitable companies, and the majority of the provisions also apply to CIOs.

Read the updated guidance here.

Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 04/20 - Recovery and Transition from COVID-19
This procurement policy note was updated on 25 June. It sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during the current coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak. It updates and builds on the provisions contained in PPN 02/20..

We recommend that all VCSE organisations commissioned to deliver services is aware of this update. 

Citizens Advice: what are the nation's coronavirus concerns?
Citizens Advice has produced a report based on the activity and user behaviour on their website. It looks at what advice people were searching for over a period of three months.

For instance, the most searched word on their website during March 2020 was 'coronavirus'. In April it was 'furlough' and then in May it was 'redundancy'.

View the report here.

Tackling health inequalities in light of The Marmot Review and Covid-19
Webinar: Wednesday 8 July, 18:00-19:15

Join a talk by Professor Sir Michael Marmot followed by responses from Farzana Khan, Executive Director and Co-founder of Healing Justice London (HJL) and Natalie Creary, Director of Black Thrive, a partnership between statutory organisations, the voluntary sector and local communities who work collaboratively to reduce mental health inequality experienced by African and African-Caribbean communities in the London Borough of Lambeth.

The event will be chaired by Sian Williams, Toynbee Hall’s Director of Policy. This is an open event and people from different communities, political backgrounds and walks of life are encouraged to attend.

Book your free place through Eventbrite.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain
The Office of National Statistics publish the weekly findings from their Opinions and Lifestyle Survey which compares the mood and actions of the nation week-to-week.

Click here to see the latest release. Next edition is due on 10 July.

Upbeat stats from this week: almost half of adults (43%) reported that there were some aspects of their lifestyle that had changed for the better since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Of those who reported that some aspects of their lifestyle had changed for the better, over half (56%) said that they were now able to spend more quality time with people they lived with, while 50% were enjoying a slower pace of life and 47% preferred that they were spending less time travelling.

Public help reach major milestone in fight against scammers
Just two months after the National Cyber Security Centre launched the Suspicious Email Reporting Service, they have received one million reports of scam emails.

The service, which was launched as part of the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign, has seen a massive response from the public, receiving a daily average of 16,500 emails and now reaching the milestone of one million.

For more information on the Cyber Aware campaign click here.

COVID-19: Psychological First Aid online course
Public Health England has launched an updated Psychological First Aid (PFA) digital training module, aimed at all frontline and essential workers and volunteers.

The course aims to increase awareness and confidence to provide psychosocial support to people affected by COVID-19.  The course is free, and no previous qualifications are required. It takes around 90 minutes to complete and is also available in three sessions for the learner to complete at their own pace.

Click here for more details.

Coronavirus recovery - six data protection steps for organisations
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease and organisations begin to reopen, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has set out six key steps every organisation needs to consider around the use of personal information.

These steps include only collecting data that is necessary, being open, clear and honest, and keeping information secure.

Click here to see all six steps.

Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities
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. It signposts to relevant guidance on a range of different activities that can take place in these spaces, in line with the government’s roadmap to ease the existing measures to tackle COVID-19.

Full details here.

Charity Shop updates
The latest version of the Charity Retail Association's Reopening Information Pack is now available. Please share with your networks as it now incorporates further new information.

Many charities are suffering from a shortage of volunteers which is in some cases preventing them from opening as many shops as they would like.

New from the Fundraising Regulator
New guidance has been prepared in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. It set outs the over-arching principles which should be applied to all fundraising methods, as well as specific advice on public fundraising (including street, door-to-door and private site fundraising).

The publication of these two pieces of guidance is the first instalment in a series from the Fundraising Regulator and Institute of Fundraising (IoF). You can read the guidance here:

Engaging with Gypsy and Traveller people and communities

NHS England is hosting a webinar on 15 July, which aims to share good practice examples, resources and tips on how to improve engagement with Gypsy and Traveller communities and other populations experiencing health inequalities to influence and create change.

The webinar will be held at 1pm on Microsoft Teams. Registration is free and can be completed by clicking here.

Unequal impact? Coronavirus and BAME people 
The Women and Equalities Committee is requesting views on what actions you think the Government and others can take to mitigate impacts - specifically on the impact on BAME people during the pandemic. The Committee can then make clear and effective recommendations for change.

Deadline for submission is 10 July.

Click here for full details.

Put children at the heart of the recovery
150+ organisations, including Action for Children, Barnardo’s, National Children’s Bureau, NSPCC and The Children’s Society are calling on the Government to put children at the heart of the recovery process.

In the statement, which they issued to the Prime Minister on Tuesday 30 June, they called for children to join health and the economy as the three pillars of the government’s coronavirus response.

Click here to read their statement in full.

The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services
The Education Committee has an open inquiry looking at how the outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of the education sector and children’s social care system. This will scrutinise how the Department for Education is dealing with the situation.

It will examine both short term impacts, such as the effects of school closures and exam cancellations, as well as longer-term implications particularly for the most vulnerable children.

Deadline for submission is 21 July.

Click here for more details

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!

#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
Communities 1st will soon be launching 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.

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

Why not join the Information event to learn more about the grant and the application process on Tuesday 7th July 2020 between  11.00am - 12.30pm via zoom.

To book please click here.

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.

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. 

Funding to Support Charitable Equine Welfare Organisations Affected by the Covid-19 Crisis
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to help small and medium-sized charitable equine welfare organisations which have experienced unprecedented financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The Petplan Charitable Trust has joined together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to create a Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund to help smaller equine welfare organisations whose primary focus is the rescue and rehoming of equines. Priority will be given to NEWC members and those smaller organisations that have not received emergency funding from other emergency funds. The average grant is expected to be around £2,500-£3,000. The deadline for the first round of applications is the 24th July 2020.  Read more here.

Longer-Term Project Funding for Charities
Charities registered in the UK and Republic of Ireland can now apply for funding from phase two of Ecclesiastical’s £1 million Movement for Good awards to help with longer-term project funding. Ten charities will each receive a £50,000 grant for innovative, larger, longer-term projects which support the advancement of education and skills, citizenship or community development, and arts, culture or heritage. Funding can be used over one year or spread over three years for projects or innovative initiatives with clear outcomes and benefits, and can cover costs such as project-related salaries and capital costs. Applications will be assessed on their impact and effectiveness, sustainability, innovation, and care and compassion. The deadline for applications is the 24th July 2020.  Read more here.

Grants for Talented Musicians and Groups
Help Musicians UK together with MOBO Trust have announced the second round of the MOBO Help Musicians Fund. Exceptionally talented artists and groups can apply for grants of up to £3,000. Grants can cover a variety of the costs of any opportunity that will have a significant impact on the artist’s creativity and career. This year, the fund has expanded in investment and enhanced its support package, aiming to empower musicians to drive forward their businesses at a crucial time.  This could include reshaping your current business plans in the context of the changing domestic and global situations. Any solo artist, producer, songwriter or group working within any genre can apply but preference may be given to; R&B, Afrobeat, Soul, Hip Hop, Grime, Jazz, Gospel, Garage, Reggae and African music. The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 27th July 2020.  Read more here.

Grants of up To £50,000 to Support the Heritage Sector During the Coronavirus Crisis - Deadline Extended until the 31st July 2020
In response to the coronavirus, the National Lottery Heritage Fund has created a £50 million Heritage Emergency Fund as part of a support package to help safeguard heritage sites and organisations. Grants of between £3,000 and £50,000 are available to not-for-profit organisations to ensure stability and longer-term recovery by covering unavoidable, essential costs which cannot be met for up to four months. To be eligible, organisations must be a current or previous recipient of a grant from the Heritage Fund, and be an owner, manager or representative of heritage, or have delivered participatory heritage activity. Funding will be prioritised to organisations which have limited or no alternative access to other sources of support. The deadline for applications has been extended from the 30th June until the 31st July 2020.  Read more here.

Funding for Charities Supporting the Over 60’s and BAME Communities
Grants of up to £1,000 are available to UK charities that focus on the often complex issues that have arisen from the Covid 19 pandemic for people aged 60 and over. The funding is being made available through the Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust. The Trust will also be prioritising charities that work in BAME communities, in light of Black Lives Matter and the growing awareness that these communities are being disproportionately affected by the Covid 19 crisis. The funding is available to UK registered charities that have an operating income and expenditure of between £100,000 and £1 million. The closing date for applications is the 31st July 2020.  Read more here.

Funding to Create Green Jobs Following the Coronavirus Pandemic
Charities and environmental organisations will be able to apply for a share of £40 million to create thousands of new jobs to help the nation’s green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The UK Governments £40 Million Green Challenge Fund will support projects to restore nature and tackle climate change by creating a broad range of short and long-term jobs such as ecologists, surveyors, nature reserve staff and education workers in environment organisations; and support their suppliers in areas such as agricultural engineering, horticulture, and equipment and seed supply. The Challenge Fund is due to be launched in the near future and further details will be set out in due course.  Read more here.

Funding to Help Clubs Return to Football
Football clubs can apply for funding to make the necessary changes and modifications to allow their buildings to safely reopen in line with Covid-19 hygiene and social distancing guidelines. Through their £2.19 million Club Preparation Fund, the Football Foundation will make grants of £500 available to grassroots football clubs and organisations, FA National League System clubs, Welsh Cymru Premier League clubs, and clubs in The FA Women’s Pyramid to help them return to football. Funding should be used on three key areas: promoting good hygiene; keeping facilities and equipment clean; and maintaining social distancing and avoiding congestion. This might include hand sanitiser dispensers, signage and floor markings, and installing safety screening and contactless payment systems. The deadline for applications is the 19th July 2020.  Read more here.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Last week the Government set out its 'roadmap' for the future of those who are shielding
From 6 July, people who were shielding:

  • can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing;
  • are no longer required to observe social distancing with other members of their household; and
  • can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.

From 1 August, people who were shielding:

  • are no longer required to shield and instead are advised to adopt social distancing and to minimise contact with anyone outside their household;
  • are able to return to work - if working from home is not an option - on the proviso that the workplace is COVID-19 safe; and
  • are able to go and buy food, visit places of worship and exercise whilst maintaining social distancing.
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable are able to return to school.

Additionally, food and medicine boxes facilitated by the National Shielding Service will stop as of 1 August.

Full details can be found here.

Hertfordshire's Virtual Book of Remembrance
Along with the rest of the United Kingdom, Hertfordshire has been severely affected by the Covid-19 disease. Everyone has been the subject of the difficult rules about the lockdown, social distancing, and other Covid-19 related restrictions. Many have seen their livelihoods suffer and their businesses badly damaged. A significant number have died, both because of the disease and for other reasons, leaving loved ones mourning their loss.  Because of the characteristics of the disease, those who have lost members of their families, or their friends, have not been able to be with them when they died or been able to hold a proper funeral or memorial event, leaving jagged edges of grief which will be difficult to heal. The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Her Majesty’s personal representative in the County, will do all he can to help honour the memories of those who have died.

In due course, when the dangers associated with the pandemic have been overcome and the restrictions have been lifted, the Lord-Lieutenant will lead remembrance services and memorial events in Hertfordshire to honour the memories of those who died.. Until then many might find it helpful publicly to record and acknowledge the loss of loved ones during the restrictions, using the virtual Book of Remembrance.

www.lord-lieutenant-herts.org.uk/remembrance/

Literary Event
As part of this year's reduced Elstree & Borehamwood Town Festival, the Town Council presents for you a Virtual Literary Event featuring among others Tony McHale (Actor, writer, Producer, Director); Alexander S. Bermange (Composer and Lyricist) and Paul Welsh (Film Historian and Author) as well as members of the Town Council’s own "Writers in the Wood".

Free Course- Life After Lockdown
The Life After Lockdown course starting this evening is now full.  However due to popular demand we will be running another one from 5 August – 26 August  which will be in the same format. Is there a link to this ?

To enrol please ring 01727 737000 and quote the course code CL254B1EC.

Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal
Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal is supporting Hertfordshire students, employers and residents during COVID-19. Click here to find out more.

 

Fri 26 Jun 2020

Celebrating Pride - Equality isn’t just for one month a year
Every year, throughout June, there are Pride festivals and events across the world to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.  As well as being a time for celebration, Pride Month also provides the opportunity to reflect on recent weeks.  This includes the unjust death of George Floyd, the ensuing Black Lives Matter movement, the underrepresentation of BAME, LGBTQIA+ and Deaf and Disabled people in charities and the discrimination many still face.

Charites have always been key figures in addressing societal issues but how can we make sure we’re creating real change? It’s easy to write a supportive statement on social media, but we need to back up our words with actions. We now need to look at how we can firmly establish fairness and equality within our own organisations first, addressing all forms of discrimination including racism, sexism, ableism, ageism and LGBTQIA+ rights. We need to remember that charities and our staff and volunteers feel the same unconscious bias as the wider population, and actively work to address this.

We can start by doing what we do best, bringing training to local charities. Communities 1st will be working with local providers to deliver training for the sector in Equality and Diversity over the coming months. We regard it as essential training for ALL organisations to ensure recent events really are a catalyst for real and lasting change in our sector.  We will post details of training in future bulletins.

We know our community can be a force for positive change. We’ve seen volunteers turn up in their hundreds to help people in need because of coronavirus - we can all do our part to ensure that we stand up to the challenge of creating a diverse and representative charity sector where opportunities to work, manage and volunteer are open to all.

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

Hertfordshire’s Accessibility COVID webpage is now out live on:

What you can and can't do after 4 July
The Government has set out its plan to return to what they call "as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can".

They have produced a guide outlining who can do what where and when.

This guidance includes what venues can or can't be opened, what you can do if you are a clinically vulnerable person and the COVID-19 secure safety guidelines for organisations.

Please note this guidance is only for England.

Click here for the full list.

Join the East of England Mind Regional Network
This network is a collection of sport, physical activity and mental health organisations who will work together to increase the number of groups in their region who are equipped with the skills to support and engage people with mental health problems in physical activity.

  • Collaborate to support and engage people with mental health problems in physical activity
  • Work together to share best practice, provide new learning and increase partnership working

Please email Alicja Polak at a.polak@herts.ac.uk if your organisation would like to get involved. For more information about Mind’s Regional Networks please click here.

Join the East of England Mind Regional Network.

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’re 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.

Safe re-opening of Hertsmere’s high streets and other commercial areas
A project to facilitate the return to a safe trading environment for businesses and customers in the borough’s commercial sector in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, including a number of in-house Food and Health & Safety related courses for both members of the public, charities and businesses.  Click here for more information.

Re-opening Village and Community Halls post COVID-19 closure
Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has published information to help village and community halls reopen once government coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

ACRE’s information sheet looks at how village halls can prepare risk assessments, ensure social distancing once open and introduce effective cleaning regimes. There are also some practical resources including checklists, notices for display in halls and sample terms of hire.

Click here to see the information.

Project to understand veterans' experience of accessing healthcare locally
Healthwatch Hertfordshire is working with the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board, known locally as Hertfordshire Heroes to better understand the veteran’s experience of accessing healthcare in Hertfordshire.

There is relatively little local data on this topic, so to make a difference we need to hear from as many veterans as possible on what is important to you, what you think is working, as well as any barriers you may have faced when accessing healthcare.

To help us understand this, and improve services for the veteran community, click here.

For more information or to request the survey in a different format, please contact Annabel on: 01707 275 978 or email info@healthwatchhertfordshire.co.uk.

Coronavirus and loneliness
The Office of National Statistics has published its analysis of loneliness in Great Britain during the pandemic.

The study looks at two groups:

  • Those with "Chronic loneliness” – who feel lonely “often or always”
  • And those with “Lockdown loneliness” – who said their well-being had been affected during lockdown

Click here to read the analysis.

Charities call for boost to Gift Aid amid pandemic fundraising shortfall
We are supporting a campaign calling on the Government to temporarily increase the level of Gift Aid that can be claimed on donations.

The change would mean that a £100 donation from a UK taxpayer would increase to £133.33 for the charity once Gift Aid had been claimed. This compares to £125.00 as is currently be the case.

The coalition estimates that this move could help charities to access an additional £450 million of much needed cash. It also includes changes to the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to ensure it benefits all.

Read details of the campaign on the #NeverMoreNeeded website.

Lords Public Services Committee: Discussing the collaboration between volunteers, charities and the private sector
Listen back to the House of Lords Public Services Committee discussion held yesterday (24 June) where the role of charities within the delivery of public services was discussed.

Speakers included Kathy Evans, CEO of Children England and Paul Streets, CEO of Lloyd's Bank Foundation.

Listen again here.

COVID-19 crisis risks UK 'lost generation' of people about to retire
The coronavirus crisis could leave the next generation of retirees significantly poorer and sicker, according to research commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better.

The research, carried out by Ipsos Mori, found that the pandemic risks creating a “lost generation” of older people entering retirement in poor health and without enough money to support themselves in retirement.

Read the full article here.

Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding
On 22 June two government departments published a press release about their plans to alter the restrictions and support to people who are shielding. We recommend that all VCSE organisations read the press release in order they can adapt their services to the changes and gain an understanding on how it might affect their volunteers and staff. Read more.

#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
Communities 1st will soon be launching 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.

"Invisible" unpaid carers going hungry in lockdown
Research from Sheffield and Birmingham universities suggests more than 100,000 unpaid carers in the UK have had to rely on food banks during the pandemic.

Helen Walker of Carers UK says unpaid carers are at "breaking point".

The study looked at the experiences of people caring for parents and disabled relatives during the lockdown - and found 229,000 unpaid carers were in households where people had "gone hungry".

Read more here.

Spot the Signs suicide prevention
Spot the Signs training sessions are now available to book for June. Click on one of the below links for the date and time you wish to book on to and complete the registration form. Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite containing your Zoom link (this may go to your junk email).

The password is: StS2020.

If you have any issues with accessing the spot the signs training, please contact Danielle Flood via Hpft.spotthesigns@nhs.net  

Covid-19: Fundraising key principles and public fundraising guidance
Two new pieces of fundraising guidance by the Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising has been published (25 June) for charities in England. The guidance sets out a responsible framework to help charitable organisations return to fundraising as restrictions are eased, whilst still adhering to social distancing measures.

In particular the guidance provides advice on: 

  • How to plan your future fundraising
  • How to interact safely with the public
  • How to safeguard the public, volunteers and staff
  • How to undertake a risk assessment

The guidance aims to support charities to return to fundraising in a safe and sensitive way.   For more information and to read the published guidance, click here.

Interested in creating a summer holiday support programme for children in your local community?
The Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) is hosting a webinar to demonstrate everything you need to know about setting up your own local offer; drawing on the success of StreetGames’ Fit and Fed campaign. Both this and HSPs own Fit, Fed & Read projects combat the negative effects of school holidays experienced by vulnerable children regarding hunger, isolation and inactivity.

The webinar will include presentations on how to address fundraising, training, food (access and education), physical activities, monitoring and evaluation, and marketing your project. Following the webinar attendees will also be directed towards a menu of available resources to support you and your ideas.

Webinar details:  Thursday 2 July 2020 2pm to 3.30pm

How to join: The webinar will take place on Zoom, attendees must book their place in advance and can do so here

If you have any questions regarding the above, please email courses@sportinherts.org.uk.

National Youth Activity guidance
The government has published guidance for National Youth. The guidance is contextualised for youth sector organisations and intends to support organisations as they prepare for their reopening of services.

The youth sector includes statutory, voluntary, uniformed and private organisations as funders, commissioners and providers of activities and spaces for young people. The guidance takes into consideration the safety and support needed for young people, staff and volunteers and wider public health considerations for those engaging in youth sector activities.

To read the full guidance click here.

FUNDING

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

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.

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. 

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects that are helping to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live.

www.hertscf.org.uk/pcc-action-fund.

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

Support for the Homeless Charities and Hospices (England and Wales)
Homeless and Hospice charities can apply for support to help improve their buildings. The support takes the form of grants, free building materials and specialist advice such as, architects, quantity surveyors, project managers and specialist engineers. To be eligible for support organisations must be registered charities, have legal hold on the building in question, either freehold or lease for at least 5 years. The funding is being made available through CRASH the construction and property industries' charity and applications can be submitted at any time.  For more information click here.

Places of Worship (POW): protective security funding scheme
The places of worship (POW) protective security funding scheme is a government commitment in the 2016-2020 hate crime action plan. It provides funding for protective security measures to places of worship and associated faith community centres that are vulnerable to hate crime. Funding closes at 23:59 on 9 August 2020. Find out more.

Art Fund: Respond and reimagine grants
Respond and reimagine grants provide funding to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis, and offer support to adapt and reimagine ways of working for the longer-term future. Their next deadline for applications is Monday 6 July. Find out more.

Warburtons
Warburtons supports charities and the community in three ways: with financial support, product donations and the personal involvement of individual people - both Warburton family members and employees. Our main focus is on grass roots activities that have a positive effect on the aspirations, education, skills and employability of young people, as well as projects that are centred on family life, promoting healthier lifestyles and contributing to improvements in the local community.  Find out more.

Wilkinsons - Helping Hands
Helping Hands is a community initiative where each local store has a budget to distribute to projects and schemes within the stores local community.  Find out more.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Hertfordshire Autism questionnaire
The Hertfordshire All-Age Autism Co-production Board together with autism partnerships across the region would like to find out more about how children and adults with autism have coped with the coronavirus lockdown and what support and advice they need as the lockdown is eased.  More importantly, the partnerships are keen to hear about the impact on mental health, anxiety and behaviour, and what services have been helpful over this period. 

The information from this survey will help the partnerships to make sure that autistic adults, children and their families across the region get the help and support they need. 

Click here to complete the survey.

Herts Welcomes Refugees
Herts Welcomes Refugees works with 53 refugee families as well as asylum seekers across Hertfordshire. Most of the families are from Syria and the Covid-19 crisis greatly frightened them, often bringing to the surface memories of past sufferings.

Fortunately, Herts Welcomes Refugees (HWR) had just completed a Crowdfunding project which enabled them to give Chromebooks or laptops to families with children so that they could continue their schooling online. Many parents and children found it difficult to engage in online schooling so HWR suggested lockdown activities as well as online educational resources in English and Arabic. Their Volunteer Coordinator set up a WhatsApp group with weekly meetings for volunteer befrienders so that they can exchange ideas on remote teaching and other activities. HWR’s Local Convenors keep in regular contact with the families in their area to help with problems and to pass on items such as donated games and puzzles and Eid food parcels. They have also managed to continue with their bicycle scheme, fixing and delivering donated bicycles to refugees whilst following social distancing rules.

If you would like more information, please contact Irene at chair@hwsf.org.uk.

What you can do if you feel lonely during the coronavirus outbreak
Every Mind Matters has produced a guidance for people who have suffered from loneliness during lockdown and feeling anxiety about the slow opening up of services and adopting a new normal.  Read the guidance here.

Shaping our future - give us your views on adult care services
Hertfordshire County Council are running a short survey: Adult Care Services Three Year Plan and Priorities to give people an opportunity to comment on how services have been delivered over the last couple of years, where they need to improve and what your priorities are for the future.

The Adult Care Services Three Year Plan runs from April 2018 to March 2021. It informs service plans to ensure that our entire workforce is working to the same ambitious goals, with drive and clarity.

The 5 big areas in this plan are:

  • Information & Advice
  • Connected Communities
  • Valuing independence
  • Caring Well
  • Connected Lives

Please complete the short survey before 31 July 2020.

New research focusing on the experience of rape victims in the criminal justice system
The Victims’ Commissioner is asking victims of rape to share their experiences of the criminal justice system.

Dame Vera Baird QC is asking anyone who has been the victim of rape – and who feels able to – to tell her about their personal experience of the criminal justice system. It does not matter how far the offence progressed in the system, the VC wants to know about what happens at every stage.

Take part in this research here.

Fri 19 Jun 2020

Stronger Together
As we’ve celebrated Small Charities Week, I’ve reflected on lessons learned during the pandemic. As we emerge into a new climate of uncertainty.  One key question that voluntary sector providers have to ask ourselves, is whether our organisation can quickly pivot and scale? Are we up to the task of this change?

The COVID 19 crisis has disrupted life as we know it and put an unprecedented spotlight on the voluntary sector and its services. Being willing to adapt to a new vision has helped many entities survive during this challenging time. Those who recognised that joining forces with like-minded organisations, being stronger together, may find their path to survival and resilience.  It’s comforting to see that many of us in our sector have risen to the pandemic challenge and performed well.

It has made us all assess the way we do things, our services and the changing needs of our clients, and their carers, and it’s imperative we keep pace with the different expectations about receiving services – and different services that may need to be developed.

One of the other challenges we are seeing is that mental health issues are increasing, arising from isolation, loss of income and restrictions of services. Across the sector, we are seeing increased mental health issues among volunteers and staff, caused by fatigue and pressure to deliver where resources don’t exist.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for the voluntary sector to work even more closely together. That we need to adapt and evolve as we are called upon to deliver services differently and deliver new services to cater to needs that we never thought of before.

Vulnerable people miss out when we don’t work together and I believe we can be much stronger together, better equipped to find the answers and deliver better services through collaboration and partnership.

If your group is currently struggling, or is looking at how it adapts and changes to the ‘new normal’, then please do 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 individuals

COMMUNITIES 1st COVID-19 INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

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.

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
This programme is being co-ordinated by Communities 1st in response to Covid-19 and covers St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts. Communities 1st is working in conjunction with many local organisations.

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.

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 during this #coronalockdown.  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

COVID-19 is “having a devastating impact on the poorest groups”
The Social Mobility Commission is calling on the government to establish a dedicated unit to promote social mobility, in a new report accusing the Government of a lack of action to tackle poverty.

The Social Mobility Commission advises the Government but in its latest report says that ministers have made no progress on a third of recommendations made over the last seven years, which covers education and early years support, employment, housing, transport, health and the environment.

The Social Mobility Commission said the outbreak of COVID-19 is “having a devastating impact on the poorest groups”.

INSPIRING LEADERSHIP DURING COVID-19
This webinar will get you to think about the important qualities of a leader and consider how these may have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic. We will discuss the latest leadership challenges and theories, whilst giving you a chance to celebrate your successes and consider positive changes you may want to implement. 

Wednesday 24 June 10.00 - 12.00 BOOK HERE

Thinking about... Merger, during Covid-19
The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) has published 'Thinking about… Merger, during Covid-19' which is for senior staff and trustees of small and medium-sized voluntary organisations.

This report brings together the experiences of a wide variety of voluntary organisations and advisers that have contemplated or carried out mergers to highlight different dimensions of ‘thinking about merger’. It includes:

  • Reasons for thinking about merger
  • Stages in the merger process
  • What makes a successful merger?
  • A collaboration spectrum

Read the report here.

Campaign to end loneliness: Connections in older age
This week is Loneliness Awareness Week. Whether you want to campaign for change in your local community, learn about the latest research and best practice or connect with like-minded people to share ideas, the campaign to end loneliness website hosted by independent age has plenty of ways for you to get involved. Find out more and get involved.

Every Mind Matters has put together some simple tips to help you if you’re feeling lonely during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Talking about coronavirus and poverty
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is an independent social change organisation working to solve UK poverty.

They have written a report called Talking about coronavirus and poverty: a guide to framing your messages. It might prove a useful tool as you write your funding applications.

This five-step guide to talking about coronavirus and poverty will help you tell stories that inspire action and drive change, with examples of messaging to try.

It draws on existing research on talking about poverty, their framing poverty toolkit and the FrameWorks framing COVID-19 series.  The report can be found here.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) warn of over 1 million more in poverty due to pandemic
The economic fallout of the pandemic could leave 1.1 million more people below the pre-Covid poverty line at year end, including a further 200,000 children, according to analysis by the IPPR think tank.

Without urgent action to protect families from the financial hardship caused by the pandemic, this would bring the total number of children living in poverty in the UK to 4.5 million, an increase of almost 5 per cent.

Read more here.

Home Truths: Undoing racism and delivering real diversity in the charity sector
This week the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) has published their final report from its Making Diversity Count project which is in collaboration with Voice4Change England.

The report - 'Home Truths: Undoing racism and delivering real diversity in the charity sector' - does not ask if there is a problem with ‘race’ equity in the charity sector. It has long been known that there is an under-representation of BAME people working in the charity sector, and that under-representation is worse in senior leadership roles. Instead, this report looks to reframe the ‘diversity’ debate, saying that racism is a significant and unresolved issue in the charity sector just as it is in the rest of society.

Download the report here.

As well as reading the report you can listen to a special podcast where Kristiana Wrixon – Head of Policy at ACEVO – talks to Dr Sanjiv Lingayah, lead author and Voice4Change England associate, and Sufina Ahmad, director at John Ellerman Foundation and a member of the ACEVO race advisory group, about the making of the report as well as their personal impressions about the findings and recommendations.

Locality: We were built for this
On 16 June Locality released the report we were built for this: How community organisations helped us through the coronavirus crisis – and how we can build a better future.

It highlights the vital role that community organisations have played in meeting community need and supporting people during the coronavirus crisis. Within the report they call on the government to: support a community-powered economic recovery; create collaborative public services; and, provide support to turn community spirit into community power.  The report highlights that:

  • Community organisations have often been the quickest to mobilise and adapt their services to the crisis – but need support to meet the challenges of the future
  • Community organisations have been the glue that has held together the community response – coordinating and connecting grassroots groups with public and private sector responses.
  • In areas where the public, community and private sector already have strong, collaborative relationships, support was made available faster and has been more effective.
  • Community organisation have been able to harness the upsurge in community spirit – working with and coordinating grassroots groups and hyper-local support.

The report can be downloaded here.

Charity commission: Regulating in the public interest
On 15 June the charity commission published their research exploring the relationship between the public’s view of Charity and charities and the role of regulation; and trustees’ views of public expectations and of the Commission.

It is published in the belief that a better understanding of the public will lead to a more informed discussion about how best to regulate their interest in future. We recommend all charities read the report, both registered and unregistered charities and consider how it might relevant to their own charity’s future delivery and planning. 

Read the report here.

#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
Communities 1st will soon be launching 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.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging course explores the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers.  The full day’s course is split into two halves to give participants more choice.  The morning session is focussed on the recruitment process the afternoon is geared towards the ongoing management and motivation of your volunteers.

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 25 June 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)

Psychological first aid in emergencies training
Public Health England are providing a free wellbeing course through Future Learn:  Psychological first aid in emergencies training for frontline staff and volunteers: www.gov.uk/government/news/psychological-first-aid-in-emergencies-training-for-frontline-staff-and-volunteers.

Spot the Signs suicide prevention – new dates added
Spot the Signs training sessions are now available to book for June. Click on one of the below links for the date and time you wish to book on to and complete the registration form. Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite containing your Zoom link (this may go to your junk email).

The password is: StS2020.

If you have any issues with accessing the spot the signs training, please contact Danielle Flood via Hpft.spotthesigns@nhs.net.

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, 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.

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. 

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects that are helping to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live.

www.hertscf.org.uk/pcc-action-fund.

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.

Co-op: Local community fund
The Co-op Local Community Fund supports projects across the UK that their members care about. They want to help communities to come together, co-operate and have a positive impact on community wellbeing – physically and virtually. Delivery stage of the funding is later in the year which is why there is mention of coming together physically

Applications must be completed by midnight on 28 June 2020. If you’re successful, the funding period will begin on 25 October. Your project must either:

  • Bring the community together to help those in need, providing access to life’s essentials such as community spaces, food and bereavement support
  • Support the mental and physical health of others through community wellbeing activities
  • Enable people to develop or share their skills to foster community spirit and build resilient communities for the future

Your project or event must not have religious or political aims (although you can still apply if you’re a religious organisation), meet the Co-op’s values, take place or will still be running after November 2021 and benefit your local community.

Eligibility and the application process can be found here.

More details about the fund can be found here.

Historic England: Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund
This is the second fund launched by Historic England to help the heritage sector recover from the effects of the pandemic. The first fund is now closed.

The grant will help fund urgent maintenance, repairs and surveys at some of England’s locally-cherished historic buildings and sites. The work funded will help heritage sites reopen to the public and thrive once again as quickly as possible – subject of course to Covid-19 restrictions.

The process includes an expression of interest (EOI) survey - deadline Sunday 28 June 2020. If your EOI has been successful you will be notified by Monday 27 July 2020 and have to submit a full application - deadline Monday 31 August 2020.

Grants of up to £25,000 will be offered for urgent minor repairs to problems such as damaged roofs, masonry and windows, to hire scaffolding to prevent structural collapse, or to commission surveys necessary to inform urgent repairs. The work funded must be started before Saturday 31 October 2020.

The guidance notes can be found here.

The EOI can be found here.  Further details can be found here.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Alban Weekend 13.1 Challenge
Due to COVID-19 the much-loved annual St Albans Half Marathon event had to be cancelled this year. This local event donates 100% of its profits each year to local charities, plus many runners raise money through sponsorship as well. This means that our local charities and organisations are sadly missing out too!

In the spirit of the event, which has a main race the length of 13.1 miles and to support local charities who need our support at this time – St Albans District Council are launching the Alban Weekend 13.1 Challenge!

This will launch with the Alban Weekend website (www.enjoystalbans.com/albanweekend) and the live event taking place on 20th -21st June on the Alban Weekend Facebook Page.

The ask is for communities to set themselves a 13.1 challenge that benefits their health or wellbeing and once completed to make a donation to a local charity of their choice.  So, whether they run 13.1 kms, do 131 press ups or commit to 13.1 minutes of meditation a day – these are all ways to take part.

How can you get others involved? - Why not reach out to your audience and invite them to get involved and raise money for you. If you encourage them to share their challenges on social too with the #STA131Challenge and #AlbanWeekend.

Interested? - If you are interested in getting involved please email at events@stalbans.gov.uk so they can look out for any social posts we can share.

There is still time to get involved in

Research Opportunity: The impact of coronavirus on food and eating in the East of England
Researchers from across the East of England want to find out how coronavirus and the associated restrictions are affecting how people do everyday activities relating to food, such as shopping, cooking, and eating. They are also interested in how you feel about these changes. The research is being led by Prof. Wendy Wills at University of Hertfordshire.

Who can take part? 

If you are aged 18 or over and at least one of the following describe your household then they want to hear from you:

  • Have infants or school-aged children at home
  • Aged over 70
  • low income, in receipt of state benefits and / or free school meals
  • A key worker
  • Self-isolating because of a health condition

Or are you a professional or volunteer undertaking food or nutrition related work? Including (but not limited to); 

  • Infant feeding advisors
  • School aged children
  • Community dietitians
  • Meals on wheels
  • Local authority or charity (including any Compassionate Community Connector Volunteers)

Please contact Claire Thompson 01707 289345 or email covid19foodstudy@herts.ac.uk to arrange a one to one interview (via phone/video link).  Your help would be much appreciated.

For more details visit www.arc-eoe.nihr.ac.uk/covid-19-projects-innovations-and-information/prevention-and-early-detection-health-and-social-care.

Tue 16 Jun 2020

Voluntary and community groups can now apply for grants of up to £5,000 from a fund operated by St Albans City and District Council.

The money is intended to support projects and activities that benefit the whole community including the most vulnerable people.

Priority this year is being given to projects that will help people recover from the impact of the Covid-19 emergency.

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

The money comes from the Council’s Community Grants Fund and £55,000 is available to be distributed.

Communities 1st helps the Council administer the fund.

Applications can be made during the six weeks from Tuesday 16 June to noon on Friday 31 July.

Last year, 20 projects received funding and these included: Salaam Women’s Café where BAME women can learn English if it is not their first language and socialise;

Herts Youth Inclusive Football which runs tournaments for young people with disabilities; and

The homeless charity Emmaus for developing IT for residents to access support online.

An online launch event will be held on Tuesday 23 June when advice will be given on how to make an application. Information on this and how to download an application form are available here:

Application form

Application Guidance and Criteria

Advice surgeries will be held via Zoom on:

This year, the total fund will be granted in one round of awards instead of the two administered last year. Applicants will be informed in the late summer if they have been successful.

Groups that have received a grant during the past five years or can show at least one year’s full set of accounts are eligible. Other groups may be pointed towards other sources of funding.

Fri 12 Jun 2020

Both during and beyond the coronavirus crisis, our voluntary sector is vital in providing services and support.

As organisations look to move into a new era, possibly with more troubled service users, and often having witnessed huge loss of charitable income over the lockdown period, it will be volunteers who will help these hugely important structures pivot and thrive well into the future.

It would be a tragedy to think that when lockdown finishes, and when our working and behavioural patterns begin to return to some kind of normality, all this impressive and much-needed spirit of rolling up our sleeves to help one another, might be lost altogether.

So, my plea to you?

If you’ve never done so before, or have waivered on the edge of enquiring about the opportunities, please, make now the moment that you look to volunteer.

I’m so pleased to see that of those we’re seeing come forward amid the pandemic, many are young people with a desire to make a difference. This youthful enthusiasm is welcome for our many organisations and projects, and will certainly prove essential to aid the modernising and agile perspective which will be required going forward.

If indeed you are now considering becoming a volunteer but haven’t yet identified what gaps exist in Hertfordshire for you to help, please, get in touch with the team at volunteer@communities1st.org.uk or call 020 3940 4865.

And to those who run organisations in the voluntary sector, I have a request of you too.

Please, take time to consider what roles you have today, but also those which you feel you will have several months from now. What will the future of your organisation look like? How can you make better use of a shift in social conscience about ‘giving time’? Could this be a transition of unexpected positivity?

I would love to hear your experiences of attracting volunteers, or taking up a role during the pandemic. Please email me at stephen.craker@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

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.

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
This programme is being co-ordinated by Communities 1st in response to Covid-19 and covers St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts.  Communities 1st is working in conjunction with many local organisations.

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.

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 during this #coronalockdown.  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

Membership Renewal to Communities 1st

Having thought long and hard about whether to issue the annual renewal notices to our members given the challenges everyone is facing.  We know only too well how very stretched so many of our members are right now, operationally and financially, and the last thing we want to do is add to the burden of administration or cost that you may be carrying.

At the same time, we have also had so many messages from members in the last few weeks telling us how much they appreciate and value the support network that they have through Communities 1st – especially the sharing of intelligence and learning, this weekly ebulletin, and the work we have been doing at local, county, regional and national levels both in gathering intelligence on local issues and in campaigning for a proper financial support package for local voluntary sector.

So, if you are able to pay your membership fees now, then thank you. By doing so promptly you will be making a very direct contribution to our ability to support local social action at a critical time, and you’ll help us to preserve our own rather stretched resource to focus on the essential work of supporting you, your fellow members and local communities.  If your organisation is facing financial uncertainty and you feel that paying your membership fee is too much of a stretch right now, then please just let us know by email to membership@communities1st.org.uk by 30th June 2020.

Many thanks to all who have already renewed.

Queens Award for Voluntary Service Winners 2020

Communities 1st congratulates all the 2020 Hertfordshire winners of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). This is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen's coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Winners of the award in Hertfordshire this year were:

Computer Friendly

Butterfly Volunteer Service

Mill End Community and District Association

Any group doing volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community.

To find out more about the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and how you can nominate click here.

Meet the Funder with Hertfordshire Community Foundation

Wednesday 17th June 2020, 10.30am - 12.00pm
Communities 1st would like to invite you to their “Meet the Funder” event via ZOOM.

Helen Doubal from Hertfordshire Community Foundation will give a talk about the HCF Coronavirus Relief Fund followed by Q’s & A’s.

Please book here by 1.00pm on Tuesday 16th June 2020 latest.

The Lloyds Bank Foundation's report on charities response to COVID-19

The Lloyds Bank Foundation has been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on their grantees and applicants. The findings they have published in this report are based on conversations with over 300 charities and feedback from their development and grant making teams.

They found that over half of their grant holders only had enough reserves to cover less than three months of operating costs.

Read the report in full here.

COVID-19 digital checklist for charities
The Charity Digital Code of Practice has launched a COVID-19 digital checklist to support charity leaders during this difficult time.

The checklist aims to help charity trustees and leaders make the right digital decisions, evaluate key decisions, assess progress so far and create a consistent understanding of their charity’s digital goals.

The checklist is split into 7 categories which include remote working, fundraising and governance.

View and download the checklist here.

Safe spaces for VCSE leaders

IVAR (Institute for Voluntary Action Research) is hosting a series of webinars for VCSE leaders to come together and discuss their fears, concerns and worries around the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is impacting on their organisation.

These will be held across June and July. Click here to book your place.

NCVO hosts a range of online events

NCVO is asking you to share your experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, and invites you to join their free online discussion events in partnership with Tortoise.

Lessons learnt from the pandemic: planning for a new normal - 16 June, 14:00 – 15:00

Lessons learnt from the pandemic: planning for a new normal - 23 June, 14:00 – 15:00

Working together to move forward: opportunities and challenges - 7 July, 14:00 – 15:00

What do we want the future of the sector to look like? - 14 July, 14:00 – 15:00 

Join the conversation

Do you want to have a say on Britain's future? The People's Commission on Life After COVID-19 wants to hear your stories and ideas.

Have your say here,

This research is being run by the education and research charity, Demos.

Online clinic - Switching to virtual recruitment

Find out how to switch your recruitment processes so they work remotely. From writing ads, to managing online applications and interviewing by phone or video, this clinic will share practical steps. Whether you are recruiting staff, volunteers or trustees, join this free online clinic specifically for small and medium sized charities. Hosted by GoodJobs and Charity People.  Click here for more information and to book your place.

Community Reassurance Cell (CRC)

A  lot of the local co-ordination of work across Hertfordshire to respond to the coronavirus emergency is being undertaken through the Local Resilience Forum (LRF). The LRF has set up this Community Reassurance Cell (CRC), which is one of several cell groups in Hertfordshire coordinating efforts to help restore services affected by coronavirus.

The CRC will focus its efforts on developing a community-led recovery with assistance from experts in our communities. Work has begun to identify community groups across Hertfordshire in need of support but we need your help.

Please complete this questionnaire and share with your networks. This is the starting point for the CRC to gather together information to identify which groups might be in need of support.

Impact of the coronavirus lockdown on women from a BAME background

The Fawcett Society has produced research into the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on women from a BAME background.

Some findings: 43% of disabled or retired BAME women say that they had lost government support compared with 13% of white women in the same group. Over half (51%) of disabled or retired BAME women also said they were not sure where to turn to for help compared with 1 in 5 (19%) of white women.

Read more here.

Next week is Small Charity Week!

Small Charity Week is happening during 15th-20th June. The week will be an opportunity to highlight the work of small charities across the UK, especially at this time when we are #NeverMoreNeeded.   This year The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) will be working with Localgiving, NAVCA, NCVO and Small Charities Coalition to bring a week of activities and events to support your charity. 

Find out more about how to get involved here.

Better Business - Inspire KS3 Masterclasses – Business Volunteers wanted

Communities 1st will soon be launching 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 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.

"Tell the world why your organisation is #NeverMoreNeeded than now"

Create a post on either Facebook or Twitter using #NeverMoreNeeded share your story of how your organisation has never been more needed. Let the public know of the vital importance voluntary sector organisations are to our communities, especially in response to a national crisis.

  • What services are you providing? How many are you helping?
  • To what scale has your service provided for?
  • What would it mean if your service weren’t available? 

Quantify your group’s activities where you can, and don’t forget to use photos where possible, this will help increase the impact of the campaign.

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

If you'd like to download the official logo click here. For the Twitter logo it’s here and finally there is a LinkedIn one here.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers

This interactive and engaging course explores the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers.  The full day’s course is split into two halves to give participants more choice.  The morning session is focussed on the recruitment process the afternoon is geared towards the ongoing management and motivation of your volunteers.

It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the 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 25 June 2020

10am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers

2pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers

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)

Spot the Signs suicide prevention – new dates added

Spot the Signs training sessions are now available to book for June. Click on one of the below links for the date and time you wish to book on to and complete the registration form. Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite containing your Zoom link (this may go to your junk email).

The password is: StS2020.

If you have any issues with accessing the spot the signs training, please contact Danielle Flood via Hpft.spotthesigns@nhs.net.  

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) - grants of £5,000 available
HCF have grants of up to £5,000 available for community groups and charities dealing with emergency issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please check the fund eligibility criteria before completing your application process.  Click here to access information from HCF about the application process.

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. 

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects that are helping to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live.

www.hertscf.org.uk/pcc-action-fund

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.

Introduction to Crowdfunding Webinar- Thu, 18 June 2020 12pm – 1pm
Join this 30 minute session to learn more about this method of fundraising and how to run a successful crowdfunding project. The online workshop will also cover the extra funding that is available in the area including Hertfordshire County Council Community Innovation Fund (previously called the Community Grants programme).

Find out more and Book here.

Opening 16th June St Albans & District Community Grant Fund! 
SADC Community Grants Fund 2020-21 is a total of £55,000. Constituted groups with a year’s accounts can apply for grants over £500 and under £5000.

More information can be found on SADC & C1st websites about advice surgeries where Communities 1st can offer some guidance for improvement, help and guidance on applications.

Look for further information about the online Information event on 23rd June in our newsletter next week!

You can access the event here:

The Open Advise Surgeries are on:

BBC Children In Need COVID-19 Next Steps Grant - Up to £80,000
The BBC Children In Need Next Steps programme will open for applications from 10 June 2020. The Next Steps programme is our response programme designed to deliver support for children and young people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible organisations will be able to apply for up to £80,000 for projects commencing in September 2020. These grants can last up to 18 months.

Click here for more information and eligibility details.

Hedley Foundation
The Hedley Foundation assists and encourages development and change. Most grants are capital or one-off, but the Trustees sometimes agree to help fund the introduction of new and innovative projects with a series of up to 3 annual grants. Deadline is 29 June.  Find out more here.

Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund
The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, run by the Museums Association, funds projects which develop collections to achieve social impact. Museums, galleries and heritage organisations from across the UK can apply for a grant of between £20,000 and £120,000 for a project lasting up to three years.  Find out more here.

The Percy Bilton Charity - UK
The Percy Bilton Charity is a grant-making trust and company limited by guarantee founded in 1962. Grants are made to organisations and individuals in need throughout the U.K. Organisations assisting disadvantaged youth, people with disabilities and older people may apply for grants towards capital expenditure. Social workers may apply on the behalf of individuals who have a disability or mental health problem, or who are over 65, for grants to purchase basic furniture, equipment and clothing.  Find out more here.

Resourcing Racial Justice funding round open
Resourcing Racial Justice has funding available for individuals, groups or organisations who are fighting for racial justice.

The grants are between £5-£50k and they even hosted a webinar (which you can listen back to) where you can find out more about the application process, where the funding comes from and what kind of projects they are looking for.

Click here for more details.

COVID-19 Loan Fund Expanded & Improved
The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund has been expanded and improved to make more loans to charities and social enterprises affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It offers:

  • Maximum loan amount now £1.5m (minimum still £100k)
  • Interest-free & fee-free for the first 12 months
  • Faster than applying for a standard loan

Find out more here.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

The benefits of young carers and NHS staff working together to improve support for young carers

Brief Guide to supporting mental health during Covid-19

A new resource “Supporting mental health during Covid-19: a brief guide”, developed by The Centre for Mental Health and sponsored by Hertfordshire County Council is now available.  Click Here for more information.

New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College – online courses

Offering a range of FREE short educational courses that can help you better manage your wellbeing New Leaf is open to all residents of Hertfordshire over the age of 18.  Please visit: www.newleafcollege.co.uk/Courses/Course-A-Z.

Something else which may interest you…

The Buzz has been designed to be inclusive and accessible collection of free videos and activities that people can do at home. This includes things like art, dance, exercise, cooking and more. They have been put together with the aim of appealing to a wide audience including people with a learning disability.  Each weekday new videos are added to the dedicated Facebook group and each week they will be hosted on the Small Good Stuff website.

The Buzz can be accessed in two ways:

Facebook group members can use the group to share ideas, send in pictures of the things they have created and talk about how they are getting on with the activities.

They have created an easy read information sheet about The Buzz.

Here is an easy read information guide to using social media and Facebook safely.

Please feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested and may be wanting something fun to do as lockdown continues.

Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020

HYOC2020 have just released their latest newsletter demonstrating that whilst many things may be cancelled, creativity certainly isn’t!

There’s a range of stories of how creative and cultural organisations across the county are reaching out during lockdown as well as information on funding sources and how you can share your activities with Hertfordshire’s creative community.  There’s also some inspiration on how you can get creative at home. 

Don’t forget to list your activities on Creative Hertfordshire and visit the and WhatsONLINE pages to find out what’s going on locally.  Follow @HYOC2020 on social media or visit the website at www.HYOC2020.org.uk to find out more and to sign up to the next edition. 

Herts Sports Partnership’s new apprenticeship opportunity

A new opportunity has arisen to become part of the Herts Sports Partnership team as a Level 3 Community Sport and Health Apprentice.  In partnership with The Academy of Education and Training, Herts Sports Partnership are funding 10 Apprenticeships (one in each District / Borough across Hertfordshire).

Click here for more information. The deadline is June 30th.

Cowley Hill residents survey

Want to make Cowley Hill an even better place to live? Have you got some ideas of how to do this? Then please fill out the Cowley Hill Residents’ Survey www.bit.ly/2Yhe7VZ.

Your involvement in the survey will be the first step to helping to improve Cowley Hill in the way that matters most to residents.

The survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete and to thank you for your time, there is a prize draw where you get the chance to win 1 of 3 £50 voucher prizes.

 

Fri 5 Jun 2020

Volunteering and wellbeing

It’s great to see so many of you celebrating National Volunteers Week this week. A big thank you to the volunteers that work with our community partners to help support and strengthen their organisations.

Volunteers have been at the heart of the local community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Coronavirus is affecting so many aspects of our society today so anything we can do as individuals to support friends, neighbours and family members helps to reduce the impact of the virus. The NHS frontline services can cope with the clinical challenge, in part, because everyone else is also playing their part in helping with the battle against COVID-19. The manner in which civic society has responded to the pandemic can totally refresh how we think about volunteering in the future.

Whilst this opportunity does provide the chance to harness the goodwill and build for the longer term, there is a need for further consideration of the specific roles and contributions that are required if we are to really harness volunteering into the future. 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing’ illustrates how much volunteering maintains and improves our wellbeing, particularly at this time;

  • Volunteering allows us to connect with others and that contact enriches our lives and helps us to cope when things are hard. It helps to lessen loneliness.
  • Volunteering keeps us active – research shows that, especially for over 50 year olds, volunteering increases physical activity levels, which helps to keep us mentally and physically well.
  • Volunteering helps us to notice and engage with the world around us and to keep learning. It helps build skills whether planning a future career or thinking of a change in direction.
  • Most importantly volunteering allows us to give, to make a difference in someone else’s life – to not just think of ourselves but to look out for others.

As we work through the challenges of finding people meaningful opportunities, we should all consider the possibility that this current situation provides us with a chance to build a future that allows people to volunteer to play a fuller role in our community life.

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

Support for groups/charities - We are here to help
If you are a charity or community group and you need additional support to deliver services during the pandemic, Communities 1st is here to help.  We can offer advice on issues that affect charities, from fundraising to governance and managing volunteers.

You can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
This programme is being co-ordinated by Communities 1st in response to Covid-19 and covers the Districts and Boroughs of St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts in conjunction with many local organisations.

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.

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

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information we find
  • 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 during this #coronalockdown.  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 - Wednesday 10 June at 10am

Communities 1st are holding an online ‘Meet the Funder’ session with The National Lottery Community Fund.

A representative from the Fund will discuss the Coronavirus Community Support Fund including

  • Eligibility criteria
  • Application process
  • Q and A

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund is open to applicants including those who have not received National Lottery funding previously and prioritises

  • Organisations supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Organisations providing services and support for vulnerable people, for which there will be increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19

The session will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 10 June at 10am. To book your place please CLICK HERE or email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk

Please ensure you have read all the sections on the following web-page prior to the session.

For funding requests greater than £10,000:

For funding requests under £10,000:

Law works
Law Works is a charity connecting volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice. They have produced an article -payment of rent where access to premises is forbidden.  The article covers:

  • What are our rights?
  • Can we withhold rent?
  • If we cannot occupy the premises, does the lease come to an end?
  • How to use lease frustration and force majeure

 Read more.

Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission during the coronavirus pandemic
The Charity Commission has updated its guidance for trustees on what they should do if a serious incident occurs during the pandemic.

The guide informs whether trustees should/should not be reporting certain issues and other steps to consider.

The Commission says they appreciate the unprecedented nature of these times and encourage swift reporting so they can best understand the issues charities are facing.

Review the guidance here.

Updated Government Guidance
Last Friday (29 May) the Chancellor announced changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and other measures. Alongside CJRS changes, we had announcements last week on relaxation of the restrictions on interaction with people from outside your household, which came into effect on Monday. This included the decision that people may now visit each other's gardens, provided they maintain a 2m distance from each other.

The Government has recently updated its advice/guidance/rules* on what you can and can't, or should and shouldn't, do as the lockdown eases.  Here are some updated links which you might find useful and/or wish to share:

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do - updated 1 Jun 2020

Guidance on shielding - updated 31 May 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - updated 29 May 2020

Working safely during COVID-19 - updated 29 May 2020

Test and trace: workplace guidance - updated 27 May 2020

You can find all the Government's Guidance on coronavirus at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Charity Retail Association’s latest reopening pack

The Charity Retail Association has issued version 4 of its Charity Retail Reopening Pack.  This version includes the workplace-specific guidance published by the Government last week and supersedes previous versions.

Small Charity Week is just around the corner
Small Charity Week is happening during 15th-20th June. The week will be an opportunity to highlight the work of small charities across the UK, especially at this time when we are #NeverMoreNeeded.   This year The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) will be working with Localgiving, NAVCA, NCVO and Small Charities Coalition to bring a week of activities and events to support your charity. 

Association of Chairs: The Beacon Programme
The association of chairs have secured additional funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to continue parts of the beacon programme until 30 September 2020.

The Beacon programme is for Chairs and Vice Chairs of smaller charities and non-profit organisations in England with an annual income of under £1 million.

As part of this support, they will be running a series of webinars and online peer and expert surgeries which chairpersons will be able to access free of charge.

Registration for the Beacon Programme will remain open until 30 September.

Register online here.

Better Business - Inspire KS3 Masterclasses – Business Volunteers wanted
Communities 1st will soon be launching 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 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.

"Tell the world why your organisation is #NeverMoreNeeded than now".

Create a post on either Facebook or Twitter using #NeverMoreNeeded share your story of how your organisation has never been more needed. Let the public know of the vital importance voluntary sector organisations are to our communities, especially in response to a national crisis.

  • What services are you providing? How many are you helping?
  • To what scale has your service provided for?
  • What would it mean if your service weren’t available? 

Quantify your group’s activities where you can, and don’t forget to use photos where possible, this will help increase the impact of the campaign.

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

If you'd like to download the official logo click here. For the Twitter logo its here and finally there is a LinkedIn one here.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers
This interactive and engaging course explores the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers.  The full day’s course is split into two halves to give participants more choice.  The morning session is focussed on the recruitment process the afternoon is geared towards the ongoing management and motivation of your volunteers.

It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the 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 25 June 2020
10am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers
2pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers

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)

Free Business Support and Survival Webinars
The Wenta Group are offering free business support and survival webinars to Hertfordshire businesses to help rebuild, start or restart. Find out more.

St John Ambulance: Working safely during COVID-19 - Free tool and advice
St John Ambulance’s describe themselves as a charity that steps forward in the moments that matter, to save lives and keep communities safe.

They have produced a free online tool to help organisations can work safely during this fast-moving situation: Click here to read more and view the online tool and advice.

Foundation for Social Improvement's Fundraising Conference
The FSI’s popular fundraising conference is going virtual on 18th June! And it’s free for charities under £100k, and just £30 for everyone else. Hear from small charity experts on securing your first corporate partner, starting regular giving from scratch, prioritising your funding options when time is tight, making the most of digital fundraising, and much more.  Click here to book.

Public Health England:  COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes
On 2 June Public Health England published their research and analysis of disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19. 

The research showed that the largest disparity found was by age.

Among people already diagnosed with COVID-19, people who were 80 or older were seventy times more likely to die than those under 40.

Risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than in White ethnic groups.

These inequalities largely replicate existing inequalities in mortality rates in previous years, except for BAME groups, as mortality was previously higher in White ethnic groups.

These analyses take into account age, sex, deprivation, region and ethnicity.

Details of the report can be found here.

FUNDING

If 

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

Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) - grants of £5,000 available
HCF have grants of up to £5,000 available for community groups and charities dealing with emergency issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please check the fund eligibility criteria before completing your application process.  Click here to access information from HCF about the application process.

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. 

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects that are helping to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live.

www.hertscf.org.uk/pcc-action-fund.

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

Interested in finding out more about Crowdfunding Hertfordshire? The Crowdfunder team will be running a short webinar in aid of Crowdfund Hertfordshire. This will be an introductory session suitable for anyone who wants to find out more about this method of fundraising, the potential uses for local projects in Hertfordshire and the extra funding that's available in this area. Crowdfund Hertfordshire information event on Thursday 18 June

12.00 - 13.00  Find out more and Book here.

British Muslim Covid-19 Fund
This Fund is to help charities, organisations and voluntary groups in the UK irrespective of faith affected by the impact of Covid-19.  Grants from £250 up to £5,000 are available.  You are invited to submit an application if you are a charity, organisation or voluntary group working towards ameliorating the impact of coronavirus. For more information and to apply click here.

Rosa - COVID-19 Response Fund (Small Grants)
Grants are available for specialist women’s organisations across the UK to deal with the impact of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic on their work. Click here for more information.

Resourcing Racial Justice funding round open
Resourcing Racial Justice has funding available for individuals, groups or organisations who are fighting for racial justice.

The grants are between £5-£50k and they even hosted a webinar (which you can listen back to) where you can find out more about the application process, where the funding comes from and what kind of projects they are looking for.

Click here for more details.

Coronavirus Community Support Fund
The Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund opened for applications last week.  This funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.

The Fund has two key objectives:

  • To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
  • To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/covid-19/learn-about-applying-for-emergency-funding-in-england.

www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/covid-19/learn-about-applying-for-emergency-funding-in-england#item-2.

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust - Response to Coronavirus
The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is making £5m available for its second phase of funding for May to December 2020.

Funding will include

  • Emergency grants for current grantees who are facing immediate financial crisis
  • 12-month grant extensions for current grantees with ongoing projects
  • Grant increases to enable current grantees to meet costs associated with adapting activities in order to sustain work.

The Trust will also launch a Covid-19 Initiatives Fund over the summer. It will be open to grantees and non-grantees to support new initiatives rooted in the values of equity, rights, peace, climate justice and power and accountability that either a) challenge current responses to and narratives about the crisis, or b) build support for systemic change in a post-Covid society.

Click here to find out more.

Asda Foundation – COVID-19 Hygiene Grants
Grants are available for care homes, hospices, hospitals and homeless shelters supporting residents/patients in facilities in the UK, who are struggling and unable to provide their own toiletries either through lack of funds or access to family support as a result of the current restrictions.

Click here to find out more.

Discretionary grants for small businesses
The Government has launched the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to support small businesses who have been affected by COVID-19. The grants are to help with property costs. These grants are for £25,000 or for a lower amount of up to £10,000. They are non-repayable.

Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief are eligible for these grants. Other business types are also eligible – more details below.

The grants are mainly aimed at:

  • Businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces who don’t have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent
  • Bed and breakfasts that pay Council tax instead of business rates
  • Charities in receipt of charitable business rates relief
     
  • Independent businesses not eligible for other grants who make the district a vibrant place to live and work

For more information about discretionary grants and for further financial advice for businesses, visit

In St Albans: www.stalbans.force.com/guest/s/coronavirus-discretionary-grant-fund.

In Hertsmere: www.hertsmere.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

The benefits of young carers and NHS staff working together to improve support for young carers
Carers in Hertfordshire, which supports unpaid family and friend carers including children and young people, and NHS organisations in Hertfordshire have produced a video to celebrate a health-focused project.

As a result of the project a young carers room was introduced to a ward at Lister Hospital in Stevenage and NHS staff ask young people that attend hospital appointments about their caring responsibilities and how they can be supported.

The video is being launched during Carers Week 2020 (8th – 14th June), and can be viewed at Carers in Hertfordshire’s YouTube channel: www.youtu.be/LVa5FTuaep4 (going live on 8th June).

If you provide unpaid care to someone who is ill, disabled, elderly, or misuses drugs or alcohol, and live, work or care in Hertfordshire, Carers in Hertfordshire can support you. To learn more visit www.carersinherts.org.uk or call 01992 58 69 69.

The Alban Weekend Virtual Festival
As you may already be aware, due to the current government restrictions, St Albans City & District Council have had to cancel the Alban Street Festival 2020. However, they are putting together an offering for the community to enjoy and celebrate everything St Albans and are moving this year’s Alban Street Festival online.

The Alban Weekend Virtual Festival will;

  • Be celebratory of St Albans
  • Echo or reference many of the elements that you’d get at a street festival (street food, entertainment, crafts, performance)
  • Join with the Cathedral to tell the Alban story
  • Support festival suppliers, traders and contractors as well as St Albans-based hospitality and retail businesses
  • Promote St Albans as a destination for when the travel and tourism market reopens

How will it work?

  • Alban Weekend Website
  • There will be a subsection on the Enjoy St Albans web page on key event themes including traders, entertainment, crafts etc. This will be available from early June to commence the celebration of St Albans.
  • Alban Weekend Facebook Page
  • This new page will host a live schedule of activities and entertainment over the Albans Weekend (20th- 21st June).

Would you like to get involved?

St Albans and District Council would like to hear from community or faith groups that would like to get involved in the day and create content for the Alban Weekend Facebook page programme. They are looking for interactive content to engage the community and strongly promote St Albans. If you have any ideas, please get in touch to find out more.

Please email alison.glennie@stalbans.gov.uk or call her on 01727 814625.

Join stakeholder reference group on hospital plans for residents of west Hertfordshire
Over the last couple of months West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys CCG have been busy responding to COVID-19. The outbreak hasn’t diminished our ambition; to provide patients, staff and the community with new buildings and up-to-date hospital facilities. We are still aiming for new buildings to open in 2025.

As part of this work the local NHS would very much like to involve interested people from across west Hertfordshire to join our stakeholder reference group.

Mon 1 Jun 2020

Monday 1 June 2020

Volunteers Week 2020: Hundreds of organisations join forces to say ‘thank you’ to their fantastic volunteers

 

Communities 1st are delighted to be part of a collaborative action of organisations championing a united response for Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June.  This week Volunteer Managers across the UK are coming together to say a massive thank you to all volunteers.

 

Volunteers have played a vital role from in helping local communities through the current pandemic. They will go on to play a role in helping the nation get back to the things that we love as we ease out of lockdown. By joining forces in Volunteers Week 2020, we are aiming to increase visibility of the vital efforts that all volunteers have made this year.

 

Throughout the week organisations across the UK will be showcasing the amazing contribution volunteers have made.  As a member of Volunteering Herts, Communities 1st we will also be joining in with other local partners on Wednesday 3rd June to recognise the role of good volunteer management supporting volunteers across Hertfordshire.

Volunteers at Communities 1st have been sharing their experience so watch out for some fantastic stories throughout the week. One of our volunteers Kiruthika from St Alban’s shared her story…

 

I work for an Information Technology company, stuck on to computers and meeting people virtually to get things done. With busy personal and work schedules, I seldom get time to talk to people face to face outside of my household, or to even think about others, society or community. People like us need a channel to contribute to the local communities. And my search for that requirement lead to Communities 1st. The work I do makes me feel that I am 'giving back' something to society. Additionally, it gives me an opportunity to connect to people, witness the wider society, relieve my stress, allows me to socialise and even build my skills and endless benefits which are yet to be evident. Therefore I am 'taking more' than 'giving back'. Thank you for selecting me as a volunteer and allowing me to learn more out of volunteering.

 

Stephen Craker, Chief Executive of Communities 1st said:  “our volunteers are amazing and we value their support and contribution to our cause.  Without their commitment and enthusiasm, we would not be able to deliver our service to the exceptional level we do.  We know that many are volunteering to support the consequences of COVID-19. This might be through organised volunteering or by stepping up informally to support their community. For others, it’s a challenging time as they are unable to volunteer in their much loved roles. Whether our volunteers are still active or currently taking a break we want to take this opportunity during Volunteers Week to send a big shout out and say thank you!”

 

#volunteersweek

#CheerForVolunteers

#NeverMoreNeeded

Fri 29 May 2020

A week may be a long time in politics, as the saying goes, but a week during a global pandemic feels even longer.

Like many, at times, I’ve found the pace of change, and the pace of work that accompanied it, difficult to keep up with. As a sector we have done a phenomenal job to respond at speed, but I am thankful that we are starting to have a little more time now to draw breath, reflect and plan for the next phase.

One of my roles during the last few weeks has been to monitor the intelligence coming into Communities 1st about the impact of the pandemic on our members and the wider voluntary sector. These insights have been invaluable in shaping our response and we are grateful to everyone who has been in touch.

For the first few weeks, the overriding feelings were of confusion (about where to get information) and anxiety (about funding, about staffing, and about how best to continue to provide services and support).  As time went on, queries started to become more specific: how to use digital tools to connect staff and to redesign supports; how to access funding to survive, or respond to support that is needed in their communities; how to understand the many implications of remote working; how to navigate government guidance; how to access furlough support. These have shaped the content we put on the Resource Hub

In the last week or so, the tone of the feedback has noticeably started to change, as organisations appear to move out of immediate crisis and start to think about the practicalities of an eventual move out of lockdown and beyond. They are also thinking about others: about shielding groups whose lockdown will last even longer; about the people whose mental health is being impacted by social isolation; about the inequalities being exacerbated by the pandemic and the economic downturn.

Your experiences are critical in helping us make the right choices, so please keep telling us how coronavirus is affecting you and your organisation.

You can:

  • Respond to our telephone survey that Christine and her team of volunteers are currently undertaking – if your organisation hasn’t yet received a call, they soon will be ????   
  • Send an email to memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or call Christine or Isobel on 01727 743018
  • Share your stories as part of the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign

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

Support for groups/charities

We are here to help

If you are a charity or community group and you need additional support to deliver services during the pandemic, Communities 1st is here to help.  We can offer advice on issues that affect charities, from fundraising to governance and managing volunteers.

You can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
This programme is being co-ordinated by Communities 1st in response to Covid-19 and covers the Districts and Boroughs of St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts in conjunction with many local organisations.

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.

On our website you can find a range of resources and support aimed at local charities, community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises on issues relating to Covid-19, including:

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information we find
  • 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 during this #coronalockdown.  If you have a Kindness Story that you would like to share please email us: covid19news@communities1st.org.uk #1stcommunitieskind.

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

Volunteering Herts Valuing Volunteer Management Conference

Now in its 13th year, the Valuing Volunteer Management Conference this year will take place via zoom on Wednesday 3rd June.  

Owing to current events our conference this year will be a virtual one. We have put together an unmissable schedule of events and we’d really love you to join us.

The event will be going live between 10:30am and 12:30pm on Wednesday 3rd June. Our Keynote speaker this year is HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss CBE StJ.

Sign up now using the following link: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-volunteering-hertfordshire-annual-conference-tickets-105978295936.

Share your volunteering stories

We are inviting local voluntary groups and organisations to share their volunteering videos, photos and stories with us as part of Volunteers Week.  This is an opportunity to recognise the valuable work of volunteers who make a difference in our communities. We'll also be highlighting the work of local volunteers through our regional and national partners - so please let us know if you and your volunteers would like to be featured as part of Volunteers Week 2020. 

There's a few ways for your group or organisation to share your volunteering stories with us, including by email and social media using the details below:

Email: volunteer@communities1st.org.uk

Twitter: @1stcommunities  

Instagram: @communities1st

We're keen to hear from volunteers themselves about the fantastic work they've been doing for your group or organisation, including information about their role, why they decided to volunteer, and what their experiences have been like - whether that's before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. We'd also like to hear from YOU about how volunteers have supported your group, so please get in touch to share your stories ahead of Volunteers Week 2020!

#CheerForTheVolunteers

Please like and share our #CheerForTheVolunteers posts on Facebook and/or Twitter and help a create movement of appreciation for the volunteers who have provided critical support within our communities in response to COVID-19.

or

(Right click) Save and use the image to the right and create a post with your own sentiments using the hashtag #CheerForTheVolunteers.

Meet The Funder Session - Wednesday 10 June at 10am

Communities 1st are holding an online ‘Meet the Funder’ session with The National Lottery Community Fund.

A representative from the Fund will discuss the Coronavirus Community Support Fund including

  • Eligibility criteria
  • Application process
  • Q and A

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund is open to applicants including those who have not received National Lottery funding previously and prioritises

  • Organisations supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Organisations providing services and support for vulnerable people, for which there will be increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19

The session will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 10 June at 10am. To book your place please CLICK HERE or email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk

Please ensure you have read all the sections on the following web-page prior to the session.

For funding requests greater than £10,000:

For funding requests under £10,000:

Small Charity Week is just around the corner!

Small Charity Week is happening during 15th-20th June. The week will be an opportunity to highlight the work of small charities across the UK, especially at this time when we are #NeverMoreNeeded.   This year The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) will be working with Localgiving, NAVCA, NCVO and Small Charities Coalition to bring a week of activities and events to support your charity.

Better Business - Inspire KS3 Masterclasses – Business Volunteers wanted!

Communities 1st will soon be launching 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 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.

‘Tell the world why your organisation is #NeverMoreNeeded than now’

Create a post on either Facebook or Twitter using #NeverMoreNeeded share your story of how your organisation has never been more needed. Let the public know of the vital importance voluntary sector organisations are to our communities, especially in response to a national crisis.

  • What services are you providing? How many are you helping?
  • To what scale has your service provided for?
  • What would it mean if your service weren’t available? 

Quantify your group’s activities where you can, and don’t forget to use photos where possible, this will help increase the impact of the campaign.

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

If you'd like to download the official logo click here. For the Twitter logo its here and finally there is a LinkedIn one here.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers

T

his interactive and engaging course explores the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers.  The full day’s course is split into two halves to give participants more choice.  The morning session is focussed on the recruitment process the afternoon is geared towards the ongoing management and motivation of your volunteers.

It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the 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 25 June 2020

10am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers

2pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers

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)

Foundation for Social Improvement's Fundraising Conference

The FSI’s popular fundraising conference is going virtual on 18th June! And it’s free for charities under £100k, and just £30 for everyone else. Hear from small charity experts on securing your first corporate partner, starting regular giving from scratch, prioritising your funding options when time is tight, making the most of digital fundraising, and much more.  Click here to book.

Furlough – Changes to the scheme

Since its introduction, a number of VCSE organisations have utilised the government’s furlough scheme to reduce the drain of salary costs on expenditure where some services have had to temporarily close and caused a loss of trading income.

Initially the government’s scheme was temporary, for 4 months starting from 1 March 2020. You could claim 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per furloughed employee. Those employees needed to be on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020.

Under the announcements made by the Chancellor on 12 May, the scheme will continue in its current format until the end of July. Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to a maximum of £2,500.  Read more.

NCSC Guides for working at home

Our partners at the National Cyber Security Centre have lots of excellent guidance for keeping your charity and your people safe from cyber attacks and crime. Check out their new guidance on working from home.

Statutory Sickpay Extension

Entitlement to statutory sickpay has been extended to people who have been told to isolate under the new 'Test and Trace' system.

A person who has been notified that they have had contact with a person with coronavirus, and who is self-isolating for 14 days as a result, will be entitled to statutory sickpay.

Here’s the link to 'The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020'

Here’s the link to 'Test and Trace'.

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) - grants of £5,000 available

HCF have grants of up to £5,000 available for community groups and charities dealing with emergency issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please check the fund eligibility criteria before completing your application process.  Click here to access information from HCF about the application process.

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. 

Active Local Funding

The focus of this funding and programme of work is to help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity.  The target audiences are: Black, Asian Minority Ethnic Communities, Disabled People, Lower Socio-Economic Groups and People with Long-Term Health Conditions (LTC). 

It has been allocated for community groups/organisations that work in Hertfordshire’s Active Local areas (Waltham Cross, Wormley and Turnford, Grovehill, Hertford Sele, Cowley Hill, Jackmans, Sopwell, Bedwell, South Oxhey, Holywell, Peartree) and use physical activity or sport to help with wellbeing.

For further information, please contact Jamie or Richard on 01707 281201

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects that are helping to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live.

www.hertscf.org.uk/pcc-action-fund.

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.

Interested in finding out more about Crowdfunding Hertfordshire?

Crowdfund Hertfordshire information event on Thursday 18 June

12.00 - 13.00  Find out more and book here.

Coronavirus Community Support Fund

The Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund opened for applications last week.  This funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.

The Fund has two key objectives:

  • To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations
  • To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/covid-19/learn-about-applying-for-emergency-funding-in-england.

www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/covid-19/learn-about-applying-for-emergency-funding-in-england#item-2.

Tampon Tax Fund 2020-21

The Tampon Tax Fund allocates funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products to projects to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.  They welcome organisations applying to this round of funding to include activities that seek to address the consequences of COVID-19 for disadvantaged women and girls. Click here for more information.

Youth Futures Foundation:  Emergency Covid-19 funding

The Youth Futures Foundation is committed to transforming employment for young people. They have developed an emergency funding response.

Their emergency funding response consists of:

  • Increased funding available for development and impact grants to rapidly increase youth employment provision. This funding is on a rolling basis with no deadlines
  • Launching an emergency levelling up youth fund to support young people from the hardest hit communities.  The emergency levelling up youth fund is part of the government’s unlocking of £150 million from dormant accounts for coronavirus response. The Government’s press release can be read here

Details of the funding and their contact details, if you have an additional query, can be found here.

Forces Communities Together programme

The Forces Communities Together programme will award small grants of up to £10,000 towards creative and engaging projects, that can be delivered under social restrictions, for people from Armed Forces communities who are isolated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Closing date: 30 June 2020.  Click here for more information.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

MODERN SLAVERY: Spot the Signs, Save Lives!

You may come into contact with someone being exploited. Learn how to spot the signs and report concerns.

Free online benefits training from the Money Advice Unit

Hertfordshire County Council’s Money Advice Unit has launched their first Universal Credit e-learning course in partnership with Child Poverty Action Group, the UK’s leading benefits advice specialists.

The course can be accessed from www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/benefits.

Click on the link on the right-hand side of the page called ’courses for professionals – universal credit’.

The course is free and you can access this short, interactive learning from your tablet, phone, laptop or PC.  The course takes about 30 – 40 minutes to complete. You can do it in one session or spread it over a time to suit yourself.

Try this essential practical learning on financial support for working age adults and their families. Universal credit is a complete change to the benefit system for working age people. Through interactive quizzes and activities, you will look at how universal credit works including:

  • who can get universal credit
  • amounts of universal credit
  • claiming universal credit
  • the claimant commitment
  • moving to universal credit

WEBINAR: Volunteering safely

Over 1,000 volunteers have now been trained in Hertfordshire in response to COVID-19 in partnership with HCF, #TeamHerts Volunteering & all of the Hertfordshire CVS organisations, including Communities 1st.   Thank you to everyone who has been involved! This fully funded online course is an introduction to volunteering safely with vulnerable adults. The training ensures that volunteers can provide a service that is both safe for themselves, and the person who is self-isolating. Final dates for training can be found below:

Volunteering safely: Public spaces

This course is suitable for all volunteer roles where you will be operating within public spaces, such as delivering groceries or prescriptions, dog walking & in community transport roles:

Volunteering safely: Remote befriending

With a specific focus on remote befriending, there will be training on recognising unconscious bias and tips for engaging with someone remotely.

Online Bereavement Counselling Service

The online counselling service provided by Sue Ryder for before and after bereavement has just been upscaled to offer national cover.  Click here for more information.

Wise About Food

Families are put under greater strain as lockdown continues. After distributing a questionnaire for adults working or living with children, Sarah from Wise About Food has tailored this month's newsletter to tackle some of the most pressing household problems that were highlighted. Read for some easy dinner meal ideas, tips about looking after your mental health as a parent, information about Vitamin D, and links to many more resources on www.sarahscotland.co.uk.

Mental health and well-being support services

Information about local services to help with happiness, wellbeing and mental health including support for people on the autism spectrum is available online. These services include but are not limited to advice for bereavement, dementia, advice for carers and domestic abuse.  There is also information on mental health services and how to access support through HPFT and the voluntary sector. 

This information has been collated to provide helpful links to services that can provide extra support when people may be cut off from the usual support networks that would usually give help and comfort during difficult times.

Please feel free to use these links as sign-posting guides to support your ongoing work to help people at this difficult time

Keen Oxford - Creating, supporting and promoting inclusion

Over the past few months KEEN have been running a range of inclusive weekly online projects, including movement, baking, crafts, drumming and so much more.

If you're feeling isolated, bored, frustrated, or simply want to meet some new people and have some fun, then these sessions are absolutely for you!  You can also engage in smaller groups, if you want to meet just a few people before you join in with the regular sessions.

All you need is a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone and an internet connection (our sessions are on Zoom). You can find out more and sign up on their website or get in touch via email or phone 07806 743 595.

Fri 22 May 2020

Thank you everyone who responded to our first Covid-19 Sector Survey, we had a great response and this has enabled us to paint a strong picture of the situation and to input this to national datasets (anonymised). Below is what we know from your responses combined with local intelligence. We have now started our second telephone survey, so please do take part if you can – it really helps us to ensure your views, opinions and concerns are heard.

The majority of the voluntary sector has kept going
Around 2/3 of the sector is still operating, either with reduced services, adapted services or enhanced services – you are playing a critical role in supporting people and stemming demand into critical statutory services. About a third have mothballed – generally these are the smaller groups, whose activities are based around face to face meetings and to an extent engage with more vulnerable and therefore isolating people.

There is a slow but steady re-emergence for those who have been closed
Most of those who have closed down are planning to reopen using digital or good old phone/mail – this is taking some time to plan and implement but at present only a tiny handful see themselves as giving up entirely. And I hope it goes without saying that we are here to help you – just get in touch!

Funding really matters in this regard
Of those who are closed, funding is almost as strong a factor as isolating for health reasons. Almost a third had applied for financial help and were awaiting the outcome.

Volunteering has been massively disrupted – positive and negative
Disruption is the only word I can think of to summarise here. Whilst almost 80% were continuing to use volunteers and many reported increased levels of volunteering, some two thirds cited older volunteers self-isolating and hence unavailable to volunteer. You should all be aware by now that Communities 1st can broker volunteers aplenty at present, but we can also help you rethink your recruitment, roles, and management of volunteers to take on more, different and remote tasks, so as usual, drop us a line.

Recovery is now
Recovery started only a few days ago and is evolving each day, so whether it is funding, volunteers or wider support that you need, please do not hesitate to get in touch – even just to use us as a sounding board - as often as you need.

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

Support for groups/charities

We need to hear from you
If you are are a charity or community group and you need additional support to deliver services during the pandemic, Communities 1st is here to help. We can offer advice on issues that affect charities, from fundraising to governance and managing volunteers.

You can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
This programme is being co-ordinated by Communities 1st in response to Covid-19 and covers the Districts and Boroughs of St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts in conjunction with many local organisations.

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.

They will then be either matched with one of the Compassionate Community Connector volunteers, offered support immediately or signposted/referred on to a local voluntary/community organisation.

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.

On our website you can find a range of resources and support aimed at local charities, community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises on issues relating to Covid-19, including:

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information we find
  • Planning and adapting – 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
  • Changes to services – our Covid-19 Community Directory provides information of local charities and how their services have adapted and been affected by the current situation.

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

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

COVID-19 Testing for VCF Sector Staff & Volunteers
Volunteers can now be tested for COVID-19 if they or a member of their household is symptomatic and so they are self-isolating. They can self-register by submitting their details here where they will be able to add more people from their household.

COVID-19 Testing for Employers
To obtain a log-in employers should email portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk with the organisation name, sector, as well as the name and email address of up to two people who will use the portal. Once employer details have been verified two log-in credentials will be issued for the employer referral portal. More information available here.

The situation is changing rapidly so to keep up to date - Check the Government’s latest guidance on Coronavirus testing.

 

Stronger Together Networks

We have adapted our Stronger Together Network meetings to take place on Zoom. Three meetings took place this week, with three to take place next weeks. The focus of these meetings will be around moving on from the immediate crisis response, and thinking about the first stages of recovery/easing of lock down, including:

  • Service delivery
  • Volunteer offer
  • Lost/ reduced income
  • Future opportunities
  • Achievements during covid-19
  • Building on collaboration

If you would like to come along to network, share ideas and best practice you would be very welcome:

  • The Children & Young People Network – Wed 27 May: 10.30am – 12noon
  • The Disability Network - Tue 26 May: 10.30am – 12noon
  • The Transport Network – Tue 26 May: 2pm – 3.30pm

Please contact Isobel or Christine on 01727 743018 or email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk for zoom meeting details.

Volunteering Herts Valuing Volunteer Management Conference

Now in its 13th year, the Valuing Volunteer Management Conference this year will take place via zoom on Wednesday 3rd June.

Each year the Volunteering Herts partnership hold a conference celebrating excellence in volunteer management and with the events of COVID-19 dominating world affairs in 2020 good volunteer management is #NeverMoreNeeded.

We want to thank those who have continued to support volunteers in delivering services throughout the year. Special tribute will be paid to those involved in supporting the historic effort responding to COVID-19 crisis.

Owing to current events our conference this year will be a virtual one. We have put together an unmissable schedule of events and we’d really love you to join us.

The event will be going live between 10:30am and 12:30pm on Wednesday 3rd June. Our Keynote speaker this year is HM Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss CBE StJ.

Sign up now using the following link: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-volunteering-hertfordshire-annual-conference-tickets-105978295936.

Better Business - Inspire KS3 Masterclasses – Business Volunteers wanted

Communities 1st will soon be launching 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 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.

Share your volunteering stories

We are inviting local voluntary groups and organisations to share their volunteering videos, photos and stories with us as part of Volunteers Week.  This is an opportunity to recognise the valuable work of volunteers who make a difference in our communities. We'll also be highlighting the work of local volunteers through our regional and national partners - so please let us know if you and your volunteers would like to be featured as part of Volunteers Week 2020.   
 
There's a few ways for your group or organisation to share your volunteering stories with us, including by email and social media using the details below: 
 
Email: volunteer@communities1st.org.uk  
Twitter: @1stcommunities   
 
We're keen to hear from volunteers themselves about the fantastic work they've been doing for your group or organisation, including information about their role, why they decided to volunteer, and what their experiences have been like - whether that's before or during the COVID-19 pandemic. We'd also like to hear from YOU about how volunteers have supported your group, so please get in touch to share your stories ahead of Volunteers Week 2020! 

Small Charity Week is just around the corner!

Small Charity Week is happening during 15th-20th June. The week will be an opportunity to highlight the work of small charities across the UK, especially at this time when we are #NeverMoreNeeded. This year The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) will be working with Localgiving, NAVCA, NCVO and Small Charities Coalition to bring a week of activities and events to support your charity.

Keep telling the world why your organisation is #NeverMoreNeede than now

Let's make a significant social media noise using the hashtag #NeverMoreNeeded. Share your stories, share your members' stories - tag us in it (@1Communities) if you want us to give it a retweet etc. And please, also ask the organisations in your network to do the same. If you'd like to download the official logo click here. For the Twitter logo its here and finally there is a LinkedIn one here.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers

This interactive and engaging course explores the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers.  The full day’s course is split into two halves to give participants more choice.  The morning session is focussed on the recruitment process the afternoon is geared towards the ongoing management and motivation of your volunteers.  
 
It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the 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 25 June 2020 
10am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers 
2pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers 

Cost:                
Herts voluntary organisations: £25 half-day or £45 full-day (includes handbook)  
Statutory organisations: £50 half-day or £90 full-day (includes handbook)  
 
For further information email Volunteering Herts at info@volunteeringherts.uk or call 01707 274861.

Alcumus: Covid-19 Health and Safety
Alcumus describe themselves as the UK’s market-leading provider of technology led compliance and risk management solutions. Their purpose is to help organisations be safer, healthier, and stronger.

They have free COVID-19 Health and Safety documents that can be downloaded. These include:

  • COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance Pack
  • COVID-19 Workplace Health & Safety Inspection Checklist
  • COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template
  • Checklist and Risk Assessment for Individual Worker

Click here for download links for all documents

We recommend that you read this in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive guidance.

Food safety for community cooking and food banks

As the lockdown continues in a “stay alert” capacity, it is important to continue to provide food for people in self-isolation due to coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms etc.

Food provided must comply with food law and be safe to eat. The food standards agency has produced some guidance to help you carry out this role. The guidance covers:

  • Registration
  • Food hygiene when cooking for your community or donating food
  • Food temperature
  • Redistributing food and donating to food banks
  • Businesses donating to food banks
  • Best before advice for specific food products
  • Allergen guidance when cooking for your community or donating food
  • Food that needs extra care
  • Meal containers
  • Delivering guidance

Find out more here.

FUNDING

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

Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) - grants of £5,000 available
HCF have grants of up to £5,000 available for community groups and charities dealing with emergency issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please check the fund eligibility criteria before completing your application process.  Click here to access information from HCF about the application process.

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. 

Active Local Funding
The focus of this funding and programme of work is to help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity.  The target audiences are: Lower Socio-Economic Groups, Black, Asian Minority Ethnic Communities, Disabled People and People with Long-Term Health Conditions (LTC). 

It has been allocated for community groups/organisations that work in Hertfordshire’s Active Local areas (Waltham Cross, Wormley and Turnford, Grovehill, Hertford Sele, Cowley Hill, Jackmans, Sopwell, Bedwell, South Oxhey, Holywell, Peartree) and use physical activity or sport to help with wellbeing.

For further information, please contact Jamie or Richard on 01707 281201.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects that are helping to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live.

www.hertscf.org.uk/pcc-action-fund.

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.

Coronavirus Community Support Fund
The Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund opened for applications today, Friday 22nd May.

This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England.

The Fund has two key objectives:

  • To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
  • To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/covid-19/learn-about-applying-for-emergency-funding-in-england.

www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/covid-19/learn-about-applying-for-emergency-funding-in-england#item-2.

Greggs Foundation
The foundation provides small grants of up to £2,000 in areas where Greggs operate. Funding is for work in a socially deprived area, or with Older people, People with disabilities, People with caring responsibilities, Homeless people.  Click here for more information.

Grocers' Charity
Financial support for UK-registered charities, with the selection of recipients being regularly reviewed in line with a policy to support specific areas of need. The relief of poverty (including youth poverty) and help for the disabled usually take priority, with medicine, the arts, heritage, the Church and the elderly also designated. Click here for more information.

The Football Association: Pitch Preparation Fund
Alongside the Football Association, The Premier League, the Government and Sport England have collaborated through their Football Foundation to launch the new ‘Pitch Preparation Fund’.

The fund is here to try and support as many clubs and organisations as possible to be ready for when football returns. Every applicant must be a club or organisation with a minimum of 12 months’ security of tenure over the pitches they wish to improve by freehold, leasehold or licence, and have the legal responsibility for maintaining them.

It can be used for such things as: grass cutting, line marking and weed killing etc. For 3G pitches it can be used for deep cleaning etc.  Any work that has been completed since The FA suspended football on the 16 March 2020 is eligible to be funded.  Details of the full criteria and eligibility can be found here.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs:  Covid-19 Food Charity Grant Scheme
If you run a front-line food aid charity in England, you can apply for a grant of at least £30,000 up to a maximum of £100,000 to help you continue to provide food to the vulnerable

You’re eligible to apply if you are unable to meet an increased demand for food from vulnerable individuals or supporting charities or you have the capacity to distribute all of the food purchased under this grant by 9 August 2020.

You can apply for the grant to provide for people:

  • unable to afford food
  • who have moved into temporary accommodation as a result of COVID-19, for example those who have left home due to domestic abuse, newly released prisoners, the newly homeless

You’ll need to provide details of your current food distribution activities. If you receive food from the Fare Share network, you are still eligible to apply for this grant. The deadline for applications is 6 July 2020.

Further information and details of how to apply are available here.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust: Armed Forces Covid-19 Impact Programme
The Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund are administering the Ministry of Defence funding to ensure that people from armed forces communities can keep accessing important services, where resources for these services have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Armed forces charities and community interest companies can apply. Grants of up to £60,000 can be applied for. In exceptional circumstances, grants of up to £125,000 or more may be awarded.

Organisations must be working in one of nine key areas:

  • Support to the elderly (including care homes)
  • Mental and physical health
  • Welfare
  • Domestic violence
  • Housing
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Service families (including childcare)
  • Bereavement
  • Employment

£300k funding available through Clinks
Working with HM Prison and Probation Service, Clinks - the criminal justice charity - has been given £300k to share with organisations working with people in the criminal justice system and who have an annual income of less than £500k.

Bids should be directly related to Covid-19 and meet an immediate requirement or anticipated gap in provision.

Bidding opens this week and the funding is available for six months, or until the funding runs out.

Click here for further details.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

If you are looking for a good way to spend time during a pandemic, Alison.com could have the answer. Alison offers over 1500 free courses with the option to purchase the certificate after taking the course. Courses cover many topics, from Business and Marketing to IT, Science and even the notorious Coronavirus course, which has been translated to most major languages in the world.

NHS in Hertfordshire is still here to help you get the treatment you need over the Spring bank holiday

The local NHS is still here to help you get the treatment you need over this coming Spring bank holiday.

The bank holiday weekend means that some pharmacies and GP practices will be closed on Monday 25 May.  However, the good news is that there are pharmacies open, dispensing advice as well as medicines.  To find one near you, visit: https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/your-services/local-services/find_a_service.

As well as advice from pharmacists, don’t forget that NHS 111 online is here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if you urgently need health advice.

Urgent treatment is also still available at local hospital urgent treatment centres. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust 'minors' department in Watford General Hospital A&E is open 24 hours. Hemel Hempstead Urgent Treatment Centre is open 08.00 - 22.00 every day. Both departments see adult patients with minor injuries.  The children's emergency department at Watford General Hospital is also open.

Further details of how to access urgent treatment at other NHS Trusts who cover our local area can be found on their websites:

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Trust launches ‘round the clock’ enhanced mental health support

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (HFPT) is providing increased access to help and support for people in Hertfordshire who are experiencing a mental health crisis, looking for mental health help or just need to talk.

Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0300 777 0707.

Herts residents experiencing a mental health crisis now also have the option to access our team of mental health professionals directly via the NHS 111 service. Selecting option 2 for mental health services will automatically direct Herts callers to the 24/7 HPFT helpline team.

A clinician specialising in children and young people’s mental health is also available on the helpline number, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They provide specialist advice to families and other professionals for children and young people in a mental health crisis and can also arrange an assessment if required.

Living Room Herts
People who suffer from any addiction that need help and support can call Living Room Herts to discuss their needs.  The service delivers group counselling therapy via Zoom (during the pandemic), but usually takes the form of group therapy in three centres – St Albans, Stevenage and Watford.  They also support the loved ones and carers of people suffering with an addiction. The lockdown has seen heightened needs for their services generally and they want to help people to have coping strategies that divert them away from drugs, alcohol or behavioural addictions, by connecting with other people who have experienced the same or similar issues.

www.livingroomherts.org 0300 365 0304 and out of hours helpline (Family Lives) 0808 800 2222.

Bereavement
In normal circumstances, bereavement can be a lonely and isolating experience, and these feelings can be made worse by the impact of self-isolation and social distancing measures which are currently in place. 

Local Bereavement Support is available from Peace Hospice Care, who have a team of volunteer bereavement counsellors and run regular bereavement groups. Tel: 03332 340 868 and ask for the Bereavement Support Team.

Cruse Bereavement Care Hertfordshire provide telephone support to bereaved people via a telephone helpline. You can access support on 01707 278389 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.  For helpful resources see the Cruse website.

InTouch is a countywide emotional support line for older people, open Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm. Tel:  01992 629 358 OR 01992 634 964 OR 07538 954 189 Email: InTouch@ageukherts.org.uk.

Join stakeholder reference group on hospital plans for residents of west Hertfordshire
Over the last couple of months West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys CCG have been busy responding to COVID-19. The outbreak hasn’t diminished our ambition; to provide patients, staff and the community with new buildings and up-to-date hospital facilities. We are still aiming for new buildings to open in 2025.

An outline business case (OBC) is being developed, in line with HM Treasury guidelines. It will revisit the case for change and the preferred way forward identified in the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) last year. As part of this work we would very much like to involve interested people from across west Hertfordshire to join our stakeholder reference group.

Fri 15 May 2020

Life is very strange and challenging at the moment, not least for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations and our beneficiaries. Some of us have had to furlough staff and close services, while others are supporting huge increases in their number of beneficiaries.

Challenging as the present is for us all, it feels like we are in the lull before the economic storm Covid-19 will leave in its wake. Charity reserves will start to run dry with no means to recoup lost income. The local voluntary sector has been a lifeline during the immediate crisis but looks likely to have to retrench just when we should be moving into “post-crisis” support mode, when the sector will be needed more than ever as demand for services spikes.  

As a sector, we must also prepare ourselves for the far more difficult, and much more costly, challenge that awaits us post-emergency: “recovery” and “renewal”.  Our CVS Team are undertaking a second telephone survey with member organisations to understand how they are responding to the current situation and the future plans post-crisis.  This information will enable us understand the real state of the voluntary and community sector in Hertsmere and St Albans and to inform local authorities, Hertfordshire County Council and national voluntary sector infrastructure organisations such as NCVO and NAVCA.

We have adapted our Stronger Together Network meetings to take place on Zoom over the next few weeks.  The focus of these meetings will be around moving on from the immediate crisis response, and thinking about the first stages of recovery/easing of lock down.  If you would like to come along to network, share ideas and best practice you would be very welcome. Please see details below. 

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

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

Support for groups/charities

We need to hear from you
If your voluntary organisation is still delivering your service, please inform us of what kind of help, support, guidance you most need from Communities 1st.

If your organisation is facing challenges as a direct result of Coronavirus you can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

Compassionate Community Connector Programme
This programme is being co-ordinated by Communities 1st in response to Covid-19 and covers the Districts and Boroughs of St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts in conjunction with many local organisations.

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.

They will then be either matched with one of the Compassionate Community Connector volunteers, offered support immediately or signposted/referred on to a local voluntary/community organisation.

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.

On our website you can find a range of resources and support aimed at local charities, community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises on issues relating to Covid-19, including:

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information we find
  • Planning and adapting – 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
  • Changes to services – our Covid-19 Community Directory provides information of local charities and how their services have adapted and been affected by the current situation.

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

Stronger Together Network

We have adapted our Stronger Together Network meetings to take place on Zoom over the next few weeks.  The focus of these meetings will be around moving on from the immediate crisis response, and thinking about the first stages of recovery/easing of lock down, including:

  • Service delivery
  • Volunteer offer
  • Lost/ reduced income
  • Future opportunities
  • Achievements during covid-19
  • Building on collaboration

If you would like to come along to network, share ideas and best practice you would be very welcome.  There are 6 Stronger Together Networks:

  • The Mental Health Network – Tue 19 May: 10.30am – 12noon
  • The Children & Young People Network – Wed 27 May: 10.30am – 12noon
  • The Transport Network – Wed 20 May: 2pm – 3.30pm
  • The Older People Network – Tue 19 May: 2pm – 3.30pm
  • The Culture and Environment Network – Wed 20 May: 10.30am – 12noon
  • The Disability Network - Tue 26 May: 10.30am – 12noon

Please contact Isobel Hatfield on 020 3940 4870 or email Isobel and Christine at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk for zoom meeting details.

Valuing Volunteer Management Training – recruiting and retaining volunteers

This interactive and engaging one-day course explores the challenges of recruiting, retaining and managing volunteers. It is ideal for any staff who have responsibility for supporting or managing volunteers in their role. As volunteers play an ever more vital role in the way our organisations are run this course could not be more timely. Best practise in volunteer management is something we all need to be aware of.

The full day’s course is split into two halves to give participants more choice.  The morning session is focussed on the recruitment process the afternoon is geared towards the ongoing management and motivation of your volunteers.

It’s also a really great opportunity to begin the process of working towards achieving the 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 25 June 2020
10am – 12.30pm - Recruiting Volunteers
2pm - 4.30pm - Managing Volunteers

Cost:
Herts voluntary organisations: £25 half-day or £45 full-day (includes handbook)
Statutory organisations: £50 half-day or £90 full-day (includes handbook)

For further information email Volunteering Herts at info@volunteeringherts.uk or call 01707 274861

Volunteering Herts Valuing Volunteer Management Conference

Now in its 13th year, the Valuing Volunteer Management Conference this year will take place via zoom on Wednesday 3rd June.   The revised programme is just being finalised.  Places are limited to 90, so please email info@volunteeringherts.uk to book your ‘virtual seat’.

Dementia Friends Training

We’re delighted to say that this week we’re on track to have close to 100 new dementia friends as part of our pilot with The Alzheimer’s Society.  With more online sessions booked we hope to have a lot more dementia friends being created.  It’s great that our volunteers are learning how to challenge their own perceptions of dementia and treat those living with the condition with kindness and understanding.

Sunday 17th – 2pm – 3pm  – Book here

Thursday 21st – 1pm – 2pm  Book here

Friday 22nd – 11am – 12noon  Book here

Saturday 23rd – 3pm – 4pm  Book here

Keep telling the world why your organisation is #NeverMoreNeeded than now

Let's make a significant social media noise using the hashtag #NeverMoreNeeded. Share your stories, share your members' stories - tag us in it (@1Communities) if you want us to give it a retweet etc. And please, also ask the organisations in your network to do the same. If you'd like to download the official logo click here. For the Twitter logo its here and finally there is a LinkedIn one here

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October

This week the Chancellor announced an extension to the current furlough system.

From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

The government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period.

Full details of the announcement can be found here

Contingency planning and Financial Implications

NCVO have produced some guidance on contingency planning and the financial implications of the current crisis.

Charity Retail Association Reopening Pack

The second draft of the CRA's Reopening Pack is available for download. 

The pack consists of helpful guidance for when the green light to open up shops begins to shine, and provides some suggestions of things to think about in the meantime.

As the pack is being updated regularly in response to feedback and as government guidance changes, please do send the CRA any comments and feedback.

You can view the pack here.

#LetsTalkAboutLoneliness

The Government has launched a plan to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak and period of social distancing.

As part of this plan, national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections are invited to apply for a share of £5m funding.

There is also a toolkit, resources and advice page on their website which you can delve into.

Accounts and tax returns

You can apply to extend your accounts filing deadline with Companies House if you cannot send your accounts because of an event that’s outside of your control. Due to Covid-19, you can apply for an immediate 3 month extension if your company is affected by coronavirus.

As a charitable company or a social enterprise such as a community interest company or a company limited by guarantee, you are legally required to complete a return to the regulator companies house. To qualify for this extension, you must apply before your filing deadline. You may not be eligible if you’ve already extended your filing deadline, or shortened your accounting period.

To apply for an extension due to coronavirus you must apply online. Details of how to apply can be found here.

Confidential Support for St Albans community groups

If you are a staff member or volunteer working for a community group or charity during this pandemic period, you might be feeling you need some emotional support yourself. If so, we are here to provide you with a trained listener and a confidential space as well as practical information to enable you to continue delivering the valuable service you offer to our local communities.

The Counselling Foundation, in partnership with St Albans City and District Council, has set up a free and confidential helpline service for you.

Your issues could be due to the pressure of helping others in distress, working in your home environment, bereavement, concerns about your health or health of those around you, or simply wanting to talk or find resources.

Although the sessions will not be counselling, you will be talking to counsellors who are trained and work within the Foundation’s strict confidentiality boundaries.

All you will need to do is email helpline@counsellingfoundation.org and someone will contact you to arrange a phone or online call. Funded by St Albans City and District Council.

Amendment to insolvency law – relevance to charities and social enterprises:

On 14 May, the government amend insolvency law to give companies breathing space and keep trading while they explore options for rescue.

This was initially announced on 28 March, but has now been extended in light of the government’s update to lockdown rules earlier this week.  This will enable companies to continue buying much-needed supplies, such as energy, raw materials or broadband, while attempting a rescue.

The temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions, retrospectively from 1 March 2020 for three months, will enable company directors to keep their businesses going without the threat of personal liability.  The press release on this can be found here.

To understand how this is relevant to a charity, Bates Wells have produced a guide called “Charity Governance and Solvency: A Coronavirus Guide” view here.  Aspects of the guide might also be useful for social enterprises.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - increased risk of fraud and cybercrime against charities

On 12 May the charity commission updated their alert providing information and advice for charities about coronavirus (COVID-19) related fraud and cybercrime.

It provides an update to their scam email and protect your devices sections. Including a free webinar that can be accessed at your leisure. It highlights some of the common ways that charities may be affected by fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic and provide some simple prevention tips. Read more.

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) - grants of £5,000 available
HCF have grants of up to £5,000 available for community groups and charities dealing with emergency issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please check the fund eligibility criteria before completing your application process.  Click here to access information from HCF about the application process.

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. 

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Action Fund
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for projects that are helping to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live. www.hertscf.org.uk/pcc-action-fund.

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

Ecclesiastical Insurance
Nominate a charity to win a donation of £1,000. Ecclesiastical Insurance is inviting nominations to its £1 million Movement for Good Awards.

The Youth Endowment Fund
The Youth Endowment Fund has opened a new £6.5m COVID-19 round of grant funding to support vulnerable young people at risk of youth violence. Of the total fund, 50% will be reserved for charities and social enterprises.

It is expected that the average grant will be around £50,000. The minimum organisations can apply for is £25,000.  Funding will focus on two work areas:

  • Digital/virtual delivery of programmes
  • Face-to-face activity that can be delivered whilst adhering to social distancing/stay at home guidelines

For more information click here.

Heritage Lottery Fund - Heritage Enterprise
The Heritage Enterprise process is for projects that seek to achieve economic growth by investing in heritage. It is aimed at enterprising community organisations and commercial organisations working in partnership with community organisations to help them rescue neglected historic buildings and sites and return them to a viable productive use. You can apply for a grant from £250k to £5m. Deadline is 1 June. Full details here.

D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust funds United Kingdom Registered Charities operating in the UK in the fields of the advancement of the arts, health and medical welfare and environmental protection or improvement. The majority of the Trust’s grants are single grants over a one-year period. Occasionally longer-term grants (usually up to 3 years) are agreed by the Trustees when deemed to have particular merit. Deadline is 1 June. Full details here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apply for the Food Charities Grant Fund
Frontline food aid charities can now apply for a grant of up to £100k to provide food to vulnerable people within your community.

Eligible organisations are those who are unable to meet the increasing demands for food and can distribute food purchased by 9 August. This grant is not to provide food for the extremely clinically vulnerable, who are already being supported by government.

The grant scheme closes on 6 July. Full details here.

Strengthening Civil Society programme: new funding to support civil society through the pandemic
The Baring Foundation has introduced three new funding streams to support civil society to undertake legal action related to COVID-19.

This funding will run throughout 2020 and represents a commitment of up to £1m to supporting civil society at this time.

The first deadline is 28 May with more deadlines outlined in the application form. Full details can be found here

Social Investment Business
Charities and social enterprises can now apply to a £25m emergency loan fund for financial support during the coronavirus crisis. See more here.  

Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme
The latest round of the Energy Redress Funding Scheme is now open for applications. There is £13m available to help support vulnerable energy consumers and reduce fuel poverty.

If you want to find out more about the application process and future funding rounds head over to their website.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Update on gambling addiction services available

GamCare - the charity which supports those with an addiction to gambling - has posted a blog outlining which of their services are still available during the lockdown.

Their helpline is open 24/7 plus they have online forums and chatroom sessions to provide additional support. Treatment services are being done over the phone - click here to see the full details of their support.

Top Tips for resilience at home
A new group has been set up to oversee the mental health and wellbeing support available to Hertfordshire residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hertfordshire’s Behaviour Change Unit has developed a Top Tips for resilience at home infographic.

Bereavement
A series of guides to support people through bereavement are available on the county council website.

The St Albans Big Iftar 2020

You are invited to join St Albans Big Iftar Steering Group on Wednesday 20th May and fast for the day.

17 Hours of no food and no water, are you up for the challenge?

Come together this Ramadan with your friends, colleagues and neighbours to experience a day like no other.

To find out more and register online go to www.theaddaclub.co.uk.  You can also get an Iftar pack filled with information on Ramadan, tips to get you through the day and some delicious sweet treats to break your fast. The money raised from the packs will go to St Albans and District Food Bank.

Want to shout about your fast and encourage others? Why don’t you video yourself saying “I’ll fast for the day on 20th May” and share it around! Just watch the video here to get the idea. www.youtu.be/cKfRIEbo-rE.

So join in and fast for a day, and come together as one community, #alonetogther.

Healthwatch Hertfordshire

Healthwatch Hertfordshire are looking to understand the experiences people have had over recent weeks and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their care and treatment. To do this they have created three different surveys for people to share their views.

One survey focuses on how coronavirus has affected mental health, one survey is specifically for people who have been advised to shield to understand their experiences, and the final survey focuses on health and social care more generally. Please find below the links to each survey:

Shielding: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RJQ9RX2

Mental Health: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RJDLQ23

Health & Social Care: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RC62QGV

All the links can also be found on their website: www.healthwatchhertfordshire.co.uk/covid-19-surveys/.

Fighting against Gender Bias and Equity

Community Action Dacorum are carrying out research through focus groups and online survey from stake holders and organisations to see if there is training available in this subject and there are gaps. Once they have compiled the findings they will be creating online training.  If you could complete the survey, it would help to capture wider viewpoints. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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