News

Fri 17 Apr 2020

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something …”

Sometimes it can be difficult to feel inspired at a time of national emergency.  The effect of separation can be extremely hard to deal with and as we move through the Coronavirus lockdown, and hear of more hospitalisation, rising numbers of those ‘in need’ including and increasingly requiring support for their emotional wellbeing, the thought of keeping ourselves motivated or optimistic, let alone others, can be somewhat dismaying.

But we start this week’s newsletter with the above quote as a reminder that you are not alone, and that EVERY SINGLE DAY, we are hearing of and seeing, more and more incredible stories of kindness, neighbourliness, companionship and selflessness across our districts.   

At Communities 1st, we want to help share - we will continue to produce and share new resources, guidance and support as we have been. But we also want to hear more of the amazing things happening across our districts of St Albans and Hertsmere and shout about them as loud as possible so that others can be inspired to follow in your footsteps.  You can share your stories with us by email, or on our social media platforms, and we will keep the good news rolling on…

I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have offered to support us with helping those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 via email on: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or by completing an online form here and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

Do you need volunteers? 

Please let us know asap if you are in need of volunteers by emailing us at volunteer@communities1st.org.uk with ORGANISATION NEEDING VOLUNTEERS in the subject line.

In addition to checked and screened volunteers with cars who can help with deliveries, including shopping and prescription deliveries, we have screened volunteers with specialist skills including: therapists / doctor / filmmaker / project management and construction / lawyers / counsellors / communication and marketing specialists

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.

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.

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.

Be a Good Neighbour

We want to encourage kindness and neighbourliness, but we want people to stay safe so we’ve made a Being a Good Neighbour Booklet – Top Tips to help others guide free for everyone to access.  We’ve produced some animations to share with volunteers, including: safeguardingpractical support volunteering and keeping in touch volunteering and many downloadable factsheets on our  COVID-19 Setting up a new group webpage.  

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

The Government has updated guidance and launched further resources to encourage people to volunteer while remaining safe.  Find out more.

Charities SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) News

The SORP-making body has published guidance for trustees and preparers of charity accounts looking at the potential impact of the control measures to contain COVID-19 on financial reporting by charities. The guidance considers the implications for the trustees’ annual report, going concern and the alternative basis to going concern when preparing accounts under the SORP:

Implications of COVID-19 control measures and charity financial reporting here.

Trustees may also find the FRC’s guidance to company Directors helpful when looking at their assessment of going concern: www.frc.org.uk/news/april-2016/guidance-on-the-going-concern-basis-of-accounting.

Cybercrime on the increase during pandemic

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) says there has been an increase in cybercrime - with coronavirus being used as a main theme.

They have produced some resources which provide advice for individuals and organisations on how to deal with this new trend.

Also they have produced guides on the following issues which may be of interest to you currently:

Charity Sector Survival: #EveryDayCounts

The #EveryDayCounts campaign was set to persuade the government to provide emergency funding that will keep charities alive and enable them to continue to serve their beneficiaries and communities. The campaign is asking charities to share their stories, so the government can understand how essential it is to invest in the sector and prevent its collapse.

  • Use the #EveryDayCounts campaign badge on your website, emails and social media to show support and promote the campaign. You can download the badge from the Charity Finance Group where you will also find useful tips about sharing your message on social media
  • Share your stories; use local media, social media using the hashtag #EveryDayCounts and get your stories out there by sharing what are you doing to support in response to COVID19 crisis.  Highlight any increases in your activities as a result of the crisis any capacity or financial squeezes.

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 £5000 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.

Nationwide Community Grants - join the online event on 21 May 2020 and help us solve the housing emergency in your area

Local charitable organisations can apply for grants of up to £50,000. You can take a look at who can apply here.

Want to find out how you can apply?

Join the live Community Grants event on 21 May 2020 at 2:30pm, to:

  • find out more about our programme and the brand new and improved application process
  • hear from one of our awarded charities about their experience and how they’ve used the grant money
  • ask our experts any questions you've got about our Grants programme.

Simply let them know you’re coming and they’ll send you the link seven days before the event which you can save in your calendar.

Sport England: Community Emergency Fund

This fund is specifically targeted at organisations, including those not currently supported by them, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing crisis. Awards will be between £300 and £10,000. In exceptional circumstances they will consider awards of more than £10,000.  Find out more.

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. 

The 2.6 Challenge

The organisers of the UK's largest mass-participation sports events have come together to create The 2.6 Challenge to raise vital funds to help save the UK’s charities.  The challenge is due to take place on the 26th April, the day that thousands of people would be running or tuning into the London Marathon. It is encouraging people to take on a challenge or initiative of their choice, on that day that is 2.6 or 26 of something - 2.6 sofa dips; 2.6km cycle; 26 laps of your garden etc. - and to then fund raise or donate to a charity of your choice.  There’s a great video here which is a summary of what the campaign is all about.

All charities that are registered on either Virgin MoneyGiving or JustGiving are eligible to benefit from this, and all other charities can now register for free on these platforms in order to also benefit from this initiative.

COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant

As part of the UK Government's collaborative response to supporting key infrastructure throughout this difficult time, Defra has made £3.25m available through the Resource Action Fund administered by WRAP.

Phase 2 for small surplus food redistributors is now open.

Phase 3 for medium-to-larger operators is now open.

Heritage Emergency Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Find out more.

A B Charitable Trust

A B Charitable Trust supports charities that defend human rights and promote respect for vulnerable individuals whatever their circumstances. The Trust is particularly interested in charities that work with marginalised and excluded people in society, with a focus on: migrants, refugees and asylum seekers prisoners and penal reform human rights, particularly access to justice. Deadline 26 April. Find out more.

The Concertina Charitable Trust

Concertina makes grants to charitable bodies which provide musical entertainment and related activities for the elderly. This not only brightens up their lives, but also provides a therapeutic benefit to their health and well-being. Deadline 30 April.  Find out more.

#iwill Fund

A limited number of grants are available for not-for-profit organisations to deliver peer support and/or youth-led advocacy projects to help young people up to the age of 20 experiencing bereavement.  Max. Value: £ 10,000. Find out more.

Big Society Capital

Big Society Capital is planning to launch an emergency loan fund for the sector. Around £100m is expected to be available and more details are still to be announced. Find out more here about Big Society Capital Funding.

Standard Life Foundation

The Standard Life Foundation has launched funding for work directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. Grants will be made to organisations which tackle financial problems and improve living standards for those on low-to-middle incomes in the UK. Find out more about Standard Life Foundation.

 

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

FAQs from Carers UK

Carers UK has brought together the questions they have most frequently been asked by carers, to help address the main concerns and help put carers' minds at rest, reassuring them that they’re not alone and guiding them to what support there is to help.  Please share this resource.

UK coronavirus rules relaxed for people with autism and learning disabilities

The government has amended guidance relating to people with learning disabilities or autism leaving the house for exercise. It states they can now do this more than once a day and can travel outside of their local area under current lockdown measures.

The guidance refers to people with a “specific health condition” and reads:

“This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.”

You can read the updated guidance here.

Safer Places have launched a new live chat service to support those experiencing, or at risk of abuse

The new service enables anyone experiencing abuse to chat directly with a member of the Safer Places team.

The service provides survivors with information and supports individuals to make choices about how to increase their safety, the safety of their family and make decisions about their future. Safer Places online chat service is available both day and night and enables those who feel safer seeking support online to chat to a qualified professional to get confidential support and advice when, where, and how they want it.

The new service will initially be open between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday and 8pm - 8am Fri - Sun 8pm - 8am.

Preventing exploitation of children

  • The Lucy Faithfull Foundation's confidential helpline ‘Stop it Now!’ (0808 1000 900) is for anyone concerned about their behaviour or the behaviour of others. They also have a secure messaging service and information on their website
  • The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command Centre (CEOP) has launched its #OnlineSafetyAtHome campaign to prevent online exploitation, plus they've produced a number of resources for a range of age groups
  • Finally, the NSPCC has produced some guidance for parents on online safety

RSPCA urges pet owners to fill out a pet care plan

Pet owners are being urged to make a plan for their pet during the Coronavirus outbreak, to make sure animals get the care they need in an emergency.  Click here to download the pet care form.

Herts Inclusive Theatre are launching online live interactive sessions

Herts Inclusive Theatre will be running online live sessions from this week. These include drama activities, games, yoga, breathing techniques and mindfulness for children, young people and adults. All sessions will take place via 'Zoom' and will happen on a weekly basis.  

Warnings and advice about COVID-19 scams

Friends Against Scams has issued guidance on the particular types of scams related to COVID-19 that have been identified. These include doorstep crime, online scams, refund scams, counterfeit goods plus several more. You can read the guidance here.

Fri 10 Apr 2020

We are in a time where everyone is expecting to hear bad news at some point. We’re also in a time where more than ever we need to support each other, to work together and unleash all the skill, creativity, kindness and compassion we can muster. We must all work to support each other and ensure we remain connected for the benefit of our most vulnerable residents.

The Chancellors announcement on Wednesday about funding available for the charity sector will support many charities currently on the frontline of the current pandemic.  This will make sure that much-needed services supporting those in need – including hospices, food banks, domestic abuse services along with homelessness and addiction charities – can continue to support the communities that need them more than ever at this time.

There is still work to be done though.  We’re very aware that while this money will support some, there are many charities and other voluntary organisations who will not be able to access it.  Communities 1st is working hard to identify funding options for everyone and will continue to support our members to recognise other funding pots available.  Our website has updated funding information relating to COVID-19 and our weekly updates include information on new funds that we have identified.

We continue to work with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the National Association For Voluntary And Community Action (NAVCA) to share what is happening at a grassroots level, which allows them to continue to make the case to government. Consequently, we ask you to keep in contact with us throughout this time, letting us know what support your group needs and what issues you are facing. This can be done by making contact via email at memberservices@communities1st.org.uk, calling 01727 743018 or by filling out our member survey

I would like to say a huge thanks to all those who have offered to support us with helping those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 via email on: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or by completing an online form here 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 Broxbourne and East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield Volunteer Centres, Volunteering Herts, Harpenden Cares, London Colney Good Neighbour Scheme, #TeamHerts, HertsHelp and many other local organisations.

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.

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.

Be a Good Neighbour

Many people want to help as the Coronavirus causes more people to stay at home – this is great, but people aren’t always sure where to start and some are worried about safety or fraud.  

We want to encourage neighbourliness in these uncertain times, so we have put together some advice for community involvement during the Coronavirus outbreak. We want to encourage kindness and neighbourliness, but we want people to stay safe so we’ve shared some tips for everyone to please bear in mind.

  • Keep it local and manageable – we suggest your own street or about 20-30 houses at most, please don’t try and cover a larger area!
  • Don’t try to cover more than you realistically can sustain – this might last for months
  • Stick to a patch you know well
  • Keep to where people will recognise you and trust your offer is genuine
  • Don’t get into personal care or going into people’s houses – be assured that other agencies are looking at this
  • Keep it to essentials so we are talking pence not pounds and don’t expect or ask people to pay for support, if they insist, suggest they pay you back later ‘in kind’ when they are well
  • Keep an eye out for fraudsters, and if confident to do so, politely (and safely) challenge any cold callers in your area
  • Follow the advice, and don’t pass on germs
  • When dropping off supplies, remember to observe social distancing guidance

We’ve made a Being a Good Neighbour Booklet – Top Tips to help others guide free for everyone to access.  We’ve produced some animations to share with volunteers, including: safeguardingpractical support volunteering and keeping in touch volunteering and many downloadable factsheets on our  COVID-19 Setting up a new group webpage.  

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

NCVO free resources during covid-19: A trustee's role and responsibilities

NCVO has a diverse community of over 14,000 member organisations – a third of the voluntary sector workforce in England. They have made their member-only resources free to everyone because of the current situation. They think it’s important people have the guidance they need to run their organisations during this time.

One of those free resources is access to a pre-recorded four-part practical course which will introduce you to the key aspects and responsibilities of any trustee role.  Find out more here.

NCVO Government funding for charities: An important start but more is needed

Elizabeth Chamberlain is Head of Policy and Public Services at NCVO. Her expertise is on charity law and regulation. Her policy interests include charity campaigning, the sector’s independence, transparency, and accountability.

On 8 April Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a bailout package for the UK charity sector.  Read blog here.

Charity Sector Survival: #EveryDayCounts

The #EveryDayCounts campaign was set to persuade the government to provide emergency funding that will keep charities alive and enable them to continue to serve their beneficiaries and communities. The campaign is asking charities to share their stories, so the government can understand how essential it is to invest in the sector and prevent its collapse.

  • Use the #EveryDayCounts campaign badge on your website, emails and social media to show support and promote the campaign. You can download the badge from the Charity Finance Group where you will also find useful tips about sharing your message on social media
  • Share your stories; use local media, social media using the hashtag #EveryDayCounts and get your stories out there by sharing what are you doing to support in response to COVID19 crisis.  Highlight any increases in your activities as a result of the crisis any capacity or financial squeezes.

Mental health for small workplaces

Now might be a very good time to focus on your team’s mental health as the current pandemic puts us all under unusual levels of stress. This free resource from Mind is a quick eLearning tool with three modules:

  • Building your awareness
  • Looking after yourself
  • Supporting each other

Take a look

How DBS is supporting the fight against coronavirus

The government has updated its guidance on how the DBS is supporting the fight against coronavirus. On the dedicated webpage you can find a collection of factsheets, updated guidelines and news stories related to DBS and coronavirus. These include FAQs, updated ID checking guidelines and information about Enhanced DBS checks for healthcare professionals. Take a look

First aid cover and qualifications during coronavirus (COVID-19)

If first aid cover for your business is reduced because of coronavirus or you can’t get the first aid training you need, there are some things you can do so that you still comply with the law.

For example, if you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access requalification training because of coronavirus you may qualify for a 3-month extension. Find out more.

Free business support for charities

Cranfield Trust provides free tailored business support to voluntary organisations. During this challenging time all its services are being offered remotely.  This includes one-to-one telephone support from experts on topics such as finance, communication and business contingency planning, tailored HR and employment advice, management consultancy and leadership mentoring.  Email admin@cranfieldtrust.org or visit www.cranfieldtrust.org for more details.

Supporting BAME communities

The Ubele Initative has set up a new webpage about the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities and the charities that work with them. The website includes the statement that the Ubele initiative has released to government, case studies, webinars and research into the impact of COVID-19 on BAME community and voluntary organisations. Visit the website now.

A guide to fact-checking content

There is a huge amount of data out there that the average person is expected to process and understand. With social media and internet searches making up the vast proportion of data directed at informing the general public, separating fact from fiction is becoming increasingly difficult. This article from Charity Digital News, gives advice and practical tips on some of the ways charity digital leaders and staff can ensure that the right message gets across. Read now.

Considerations for community groups, volunteers and charities

Ladbrook Insurance have produced a document relaying and relying on other published materials to provide some information to policyholders and prospective clients.  This includes information for those managing premises that have recently become unoccupied.  Read now.

 

FUNDING

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

HCF - grants of £2000 available

HCF have grants of up to £2,000 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.

Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme

The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme is run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and jointly funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

  • Start Up: Your project is in the planning stages but ready to start, or less than two years old. It makes £0 – £15,000 a year
  • Trade Up: Your project was established at least a year ago, and probably has at least one paid member of staff. It makes at least £15,000 a year
  • Scale Up: Your project was probably established two or more years ago, and probably has two or more paid members of staff. It makes at least £75,000 a year

Applications are open until Thursday 30 April 2020. Find out more.

Sport England: Community Emergency Fund

This new fund aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need. It’s specifically targeted at organisations, including those not currently supported by them, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the ongoing crisis. Awards will be between £300 and £10,000. In exceptional circumstances they will consider awards of more than £10,000.  Find out more.

In This Together: Emergency Grants Fund

Emergency grants to support local organisations that are meeting the current needs of those experiencing homelessness across the UK and who are affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.  Find out more.

Audio Content Fund

The Audio Content Fund has “announced a special funding round, for content that will support radio audiences during the coronavirus crisis. The fund, which is financed by the UK Government, has made a minimum of £200,000 of its budget available for ideas that will improve the quality of listeners’ lives during restrictions in place due to Covid-19.”  Find out more.

Can your VCSE organisation apply for Covid-19 support for businesses?

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.  Find out more.

Coronavirus Voluntary Sector Support Fund

Catalyst Housing has set up an emergency fund to help small charities and voluntary sector organisations responding to support communities with the challenges of coronavirus.  The fund is open to organisations working in Catalyst neighbourhoods that are supporting those with low and insecure incomes, older people and vulnerable adults, as well as those with mental ill health.  Groups can apply for up to £2,000 and will cover costs.  Find out more.

BBC to host Big Night In fundraiser

BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief are joining forces to host an evening of fundraising in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Big Night In will be broadcast live on 23 April from 7pm to 10pm and will feature a range of celebrities and artists, some performing from home to respect social distancing rules.

This is the first time that the charity partners have collaborated. Funds will be divided between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief and will then be used “to provide essential support to local charities, projects and programmes across the UK to help those most in need.”

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Self-care during COVID-19

Mental health experts, Combat Stress have shared some help and advice to support everyone in managing their mental health throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The guidance includes some simple and quick tips as well as more detailed guides and resources on topics like managing anxiety and working out from experts including occupational therapists and art therapists.  Take a look

Increase to Universal Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided information relating to an increase in Universal Credit allowance:  The standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit were increased for one year. Both will increase by £20 per week on top of planned annual uprating. This applies to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants and to existing Working Tax Credit claimants. This means that for a single Universal Credit claimant (aged 25 or over), the standard allowance will increase from £317.82 to £409.89 per month.  Click here for the most up to date information about changes to Universal Credit.

Warnings and advice about COVID-19 scams

Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.

Friends Against Scams has issued guidance on the particular types of scams related to COVID-19 that have been identified. These include doorstep crime, online scams, refund scams, counterfeit goods plus several more. You can read the guidance here.

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.  The process at this stage for all situations is just to register your interest. Find out more and register your interest.

St Albans Minor Injuries Unit temporarily closed as part of COVID-19 response

Patients with minor injuries should visit www.111.nhs.uk, the 111 online service. This will provide advice on where a patient should go for their symptoms. People should only phone 111 if they cannot get online.

Those patients who feel that they need a GP appointment should call their local GP practice and they are likely to be offered a phone or video consultation in the first instance, unless a face-to-face appointment is necessary. Patients who have sustained serious injuries and/or are suffering blood loss or a serious deterioration should call 999.

No-one with COVID-19 symptoms should attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do by the NHS 111 service or the 999 call operator.

For more information, visit West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust website

Update on mental health and learning disability services

At this challenging and unprecedented time, like many of our colleagues across the NHS, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust have needed to make some changes to the way they are providing services to keep staff and service users safe during this challenging time.  Find out more here.

 

Sat 4 Apr 2020

Was that only a week?

Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone working hard to ensure that we support local people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Throughout our incredible membership we have seen an amazing community response.

All through the last few weeks I’ve heard from amazing folk in other charities and voluntary organisations who are working flat out to help. They are rewiring their entire organisations to be able to do what is needed right now, to keep people safe and well. Although we’re physically distancing, being socially connected has never mattered more. Rightly, the NHS is getting a lot of attention as our NHS staff are at the frontline of dealing with the impact of Covid19. It’s also important to remember that the wider system includes social care staff in Local Authorities, care homes, agencies which provide support at home and of course thousands (and I’m not exaggerating here) of charities and community groups.

Some things we’ve done

  • Launched our Compassionate Community Connector volunteer programme - The headline has to be the fantastic response to our call for volunteers – over 2,000 people have signed up already
  • Created a space for local charities and community groups to tell us what they need
  • Added to our resources with news about funding, safe practice and much more 
  • Working with partners to gather information about what’s going on in neighbourhoods, what the needs are, what’s in place and what isn’t and how to connect it all together. We are effectively building in a matter of days a district-wide information system. The start of this is here
  • Launched our helpline for people who are in an at risk group and need help or support.  Please can complete the form here: www.communities1st.org.uk/COVID19support or contact us on 020 8207 5115 or email help@communities1st.org.uk

Some things I’ve learned this week

  • There is a massive collective effort. Each of us is just one cell in this collective brain trying to figure it out and get everything done. Without any one of us it wouldn’t be as smart, with just one of us it wouldn’t work at all
  • It’s very easy for time to be eaten up when working in a crisis. Whole days have gone by moving from one conference call to the next without time to change mental gears
  • We all need time out and time to smile. I’m still learning how to do that

Stuff still to sort

  • Some groups of people are still too invisible in all of this
  • NHS Volunteering. It’s wonderful to see so many thousands of people sign up. All that’s needed now is some ideas of how that’s going to be organised because I don’t yet understand how we are supposed to connect to it. We’ll find a way
  • Crisis funding for charities. Some funds available are listed here

So if you’re feeling that this is still an anxious time where not everything is clear, all I can say is that’s OK. Everything is still coming together but it is making a difference. It will get better, more connected and the system will improve. Last week I said, it was not a sprint, but a marathon. I’d add to that now: it’s a relay marathon where the course keeps changing. 

Thank you once again for all you have done and will do in the future.

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive, Communities 1st

 

COMMUNITIES 1ST 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.

  • What are the implications of Coronavirus for your organisation?
  • Do you have or need volunteers?
  • Is your service operating?
  • Can we signpost to you?

If your organisation is facing challenges as a direct result of Coronavirus you can contact us via email on: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or by completing an online form here 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 Broxbourne and East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield Volunteer Centres, Harpenden Cares, London Colney Good Neighbour Scheme, #TeamHerts Volunteering and many other local organisations.

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.

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.

Can anyone set themselves up as a support group? 

Anyone can set up a group and its great people have a natural impulse to do so. Once you start to form an organisation you encounter more legal responsibilities by default. This includes how you’re managing safeguarding and a common part of doing that is criminal record checks along with references.  We’ve made a Being a Good Neighbour Booklet – Top Tips to help others guide free for everyone to access.  We have also produced a short video on recruiting and retaining volunteers.

We’ve produced some animations to share with volunteers, including: safeguardingpractical support volunteering and keeping in touch volunteering.

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

TrustLaw: Series of webinars on the law and Covid-19

TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono network, are continuing to operate core services online during the evolving COVID-19 situation and are arranging a series of webinars with partner law firms. These webinars will provide an opportunity to ask lawyers questions on the legal implications of COVID-19.

If you would like to attend one of these webinars, register your interest here. The registration form will ask you for your contact details and to indicate the areas of law which you would most like to discuss. Once enough information has been gathered topics will be confirmed based on popularity.

Updated guidance from the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance to help with running a charity during the coronavirus outbreak. In the guidance, the Commission sets out its response to the most commonly asked questions. This includes consideration of whether your charitable objects allow for your charity to offer support, how you can get support to pay staff and whether you can use reserves and restricted funds to help your charity survive the crisis.  You can here: www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector.

Furlough guidance

This guidance sets out the process to claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It explains who is eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (“furlough”) due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

There is a very important and relevant paragraph which states that if you're receiving public money to cover staff costs you cannot furlough those staff even if you can't deliver the work. This could make the process very complicated as VCSE organisations will need to look at every contract to see what the implications are. This information is detailed under section ‘Who can claim’ and under the sub-heading ‘Public sector organisations’Read the guidance here.

Community groups and COVID-19: what you need to know about data protection

Ian Hulme, Director for Regulatory Assurance at the ICO explains some of the basics of data protection, and gives new and established community groups, services and charities clarity on how to apply the law in this extraordinary time. Read this blog.

Update from Association of British Insurers.

Support those who use their cars to help their communities.  If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update your documents or extend your cover. This applies to all categories of NHS Volunteer Responders, including transporting patients, equipment, or other essential supplies.  Read more.

Using local radio to reach your clients, colleagues or the public

If you need to reach your clients, colleagues/volunteers or just the local public, you can use a special programme (Local Life) that is being broadcast on Radio Verulam 92.6 FM and live online at www.radioverulam.com.

In terms of ongoing support here are Radio Verulam’s community-focused initiatives:

  • Community Circle: www.radioverulam.com/communitycircle/. Charities and not-for-profits can have a profile on our website, which includes a function for blog posts and occasional on-air mentions
  • Community Corner: contact Rob Pearman info@sadt.org.uk. If clients, colleagues, the general public or volunteers need to reach each other, they can email a message which will be broadcast on our Local Life programme
  • Community Shoutouts: www.radioverulam.com/shoutout/. As above, however, people can press a button to record a message or thank you on their phone, laptop or PC, this will also be broadcast on air 
  • Local news: www.radioverulam.com/mynews. Charities, support groups or local organisations can share their updates, events or offers of help
  • #SideWithStAlbans: @radioverulam on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. A community-led project created by our volunteer digital media team to encourage residents and organisations in Hertfordshire to share their positive news online 

Charity Bank COVID-19 Resource Hub

Charity Bank has created a Resource Hub which it is updating regularly to include information on topics such as HR, finance, fundraising and fraud. Take a look

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

On 26 March HM Revenue and Customs published its guidance “Claim for your employee’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme”.

This guidance sets out the process to claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It explains who is eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (“furlough”) due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

There is a very important and relevant paragraph which states that if you're receiving public money to cover staff costs you cannot furlough those staff even if you can't deliver the work.  This could make the process very complicated as VCSE organisations will need to look at every contract to see what the implications are. This information is detailed under section ‘Who can claim’ and under the sub-heading ‘Public sector organisations’. Read the guidance here.

Coronavirus and Your Charity’s Finances

A Webinar about Coronavirus and Your Charity's Finances was recorded here.

Sandy Adirondack’s legal updates

We’ve shared bits and pieces from legal specialist Sandy Adirondack before as she regularly issues mailings with relevant and clear guidance, advice and resources for the voluntary sector. Now more than ever, we recommend signing up to Sandy’s mailing list. You’ll receive updates including links to home working policies, risk assessments, HR guidance and legal advice, plus much more.

To sign up for the legal updates email list contact Sandy on legalupdate@sandy-a.co.uk.

FUNDING

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

HCF - grants of £2000 available

HCF have grants of up to £2000 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.

Small grants scheme for smaller charitable organisations

Charities Aid Foundation has launched a small grants scheme for smaller charitable organisations. It’s for grants of up to £10,000 for smaller organisations affected by the virus outbreak. Details can be found here:  www.cafonline.org/charities/grantmaking/caf-coronavirus-emergency-fund.

Nisa Stores charity funds

All Nisa Stores across the UK have a charity fund to support small, local charities. Retailers are facing unprecedented demands at the moment and are extremely busy so don’t have the time to actively seek out charities, but if you call or pop in (safely) to ask, you may be in luck! Find your local Nisa store.

National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF)

NHLF remains open for its current grant programmes and are seeking to reassure everyone they fund that they will be as flexible and supportive as possible.  Find out more about Heritage Fund funding.

CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a rapid response fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by COVID-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.  Find out more about CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund.

The National Emergencies Trust

NET has launched a Coronavirus fundraising appeal to raise funds for local charities. The British Red Cross will be managing donations. Find out more about National Emergencies Trust funding.

Power to Change

Power to Change have paused their current programmes for community businesses in order to turn their attention and funding towards the support and advice the sector needs now. Find out more about Power to Change funding and support.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EFF)

EFF are currently concentrating on supporting the organisations they already fund. Find out more about Esmee Fairbairn Foundation funding.

Big Society Capital

Big Society Capital is planning to launch an emergency loan fund for the sector. Around £100m is expected to be available and more details are still to be announced.  Find out more about Big Society Capital Funding.

Standard Life Foundation

The Standard Life Foundation has launched funding for work directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. Grants will be made to organisations which tackle financial problems and improve living standards for those on low-to-middle incomes in the UK.  Find out more about Standard Life Foundation funding.

John Lewis and Waitrose £1m fund

The partnership has launched a £1m community support fund. Waitrose stores will have these funds to support their local area based on the needs of the community.  Find out more about John Lewis and Waitrose funding.

Arts Council England

 

Emergency funding package and support for funded organisations and individuals announced.  Find out more about Arts Council funding.

The Indigo Trust

The Indigo Trust is making £2.5m available through emergency grants to help charities respond to the coronavirus emergency. The trust responded to an initiative from charity think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), which has published guidance for philanthropists on how to best support charities through to the crisis.  Find out more about Indigo Trust funding.

Steve Morgan Foundation

Housebuilder Redrow’s founder Steve Morgan has also pledged £1m a week to charity, joining the list of celebrities and business people offering their support.  Find out more about Steven Morgan Foundation funding

Cadent Foundation

Charities and community groups can apply for individual grants of between £100 and £100,000 as a new foundation, funded by the UK’s biggest gas network Cadent, opens for applications.  It committed £240,000 to the Trussell Trust last week to help food banks respond to challenges presented by Covid-19.  Find out more about Cadent Foundation funding.

Youth Futures Foundation

The Foundation’s rolling grants programme is now live.  The new fund will be distributed to organisations across England that have a promising track record of supporting young people (aged 14-24) who face barriers to accessing employment.  The Foundation is also calling for government to unlock an emergency support package for charities and social enterprises working with children and young people. Find out more about Youth Futures Foundation funding.

Localgiving and People’s Postcode lottery – Magic Little Grants

Magic Little Grants of £500 are available to local charities that support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise. Localgiving have announced that they will support projects that help people to stay active during social distancing, such as online fitness classes delivered via video conferencing software or Youtube.  Find out more about Magic Little Grants.

Emergency funding to support highly vulnerable veterans

The Covenant Fund Trust will this month be launching an emergency programme to support the Armed Forces Community with funding from the Covenant Fund and from HM Treasury; with special attention on those who have faced hardships as a result of the pandemic; on projects to help isolated people reconnect with wider communities; projects that support improved mental health and encouraging stronger links between Armed Forces Charities.  Find out more how the Covenant Fund Trust is responding to COVID-19 here.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Herts Sports Partnership launches WorkOut from Home

WorkOut From Home is the starting point to learning how you can WorkOut your Body, WorkOut your Mind and WorkOut What's Next.  It includes a downloadable, editable tracker for you to use to keep the whole family's activities scheduled on. Download it and make changes on any device, or print and pop up in the kitchen where everyone will see a daily reminder!

Hertfordshire Year of Culture – WhatsONLINE

HYOC2020 is keen to remind everyone that whilst lots of things might be cancelled, creativity certainly isn’t.  Organisations across the county are finding new ways to deliver their content and you can find it on the WhatsONLINE page on Creative Hertfordshire.  There’s plenty on here to keep your creative mind active during social distancing. Organisations can upload their own online activities directly here.  Follow @HYOC2020 across all social media platforms for some more inspiration or to share your own creations. 

Supermarket vouchers for children who get free school meals

Parents of children eligible for free school meals will begin getting weekly supermarket vouchers to try to help them through the coronavirus shutdown, ministers have announced. The government has acknowledged that the closure of schools was “dramatically affecting the lives of many families” and has introduced this new measure in a collaboration with major supermarket chains including Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys.

Schools will provide vouchers to families electronically - with parents showing codes on their phones at supermarket titles - or as gift cards for families without internet access.  You can read more on this here.

Look out for the blue tick on Twitter

There’s a lot of fake news out there about coronavirus so it’s really important to get your news from a trusted source. The NHS has worked with Twitter UK to make sure local NHS organisations are blue-tick verified – so it’s easier to know who to trust.

Cyber Threats and Increased Risks

There are increasing risks of cyber-crime during this period of lock-down.  It is worth reminding staff who are working at home, and some of whom, may be using their own equipment of the risks and what to do/not do.  You may want to consider circulating a reminder.  The do/don’ts below should cover the majority of scenarios at present.

Top tips:

  • Check that incoming emails are from a legitimate sender. At a quick glance the email address may appear to be that of a colleague, a client, or a known third party, however, it could be just a single character different
  • Never click on links in emails from sources where you do not know the sender, are not expecting the email or the contents appear suspicious in any way
  • Never share bank details with anyone over email. Never accept changed bank details from anyone over email
  • Always follow the organisation’s processes for identity checking, verifying and double-checking bank details, confirming client identities etc
  • Never share personal or confidential details about yourself or others when requested to do so via email
  • Be wary of bogus websites that can copy the identity of a genuine firm.
  • Avoid clicking on adverts in websites that you cannot verify as genuine – they may contain hidden code to download malware
  • Be aware of the increased incidence of “doorstep” scams. Do not accept offers of help or to provide services when you do not know the caller and have not previously arranged to engage with or speak to them
  • Always ensure that your anti-virus software on your personal computer is up to date and fully operational
  • Never allow anyone else to use your login, nor access your personal computer equipment
  • Never allow anyone other than authorised personnel to download any software onto your computer equipment
  • Always check with your manager or a partner if you are unsure about the authenticity of an email, or a request to provide information or carry out a financial transaction.
Sun 29 Mar 2020

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

I also want to thank member organisations for keeping in regular contact with Communities 1st during this time. I know from personal experience that running a charity is a full-time job even at the best of times. But the information that you have provided has been critical in our efforts to support local communities. Our members are our greatest asset, and we will never take you for granted. So, thank you again for all your help and please continue to work with us.

COVID-19 is already making radical changes to the way that people think about our society. Things that were unthinkable just a few days ago, are now received wisdom.  It’s unlikely that we’ll back to ‘business as usual’ after something of this scale. Things must be different. Our priority for the moment must be to respond to this health emergency and the needs of members and the local community. But beyond this I hope we can all commit to working together so that the sacrifices that are being made are not in vain.  I would encourage any members with thoughts or ideas about how we can achieve this to contact me.

Our COVID-19 Support and Resources webpages are being updated daily with briefings, guidance and other practical resources to help you through the coming weeks. You are not alone.

Thank you once again for all you have done and will do in the future.

Stephen Craker,
Chief Executive, Communities 1st

 

COMMUNITIES 1ST INFORMATION AND SUPPORT 

Support for groups/charities

We are in contact with many local charities and community groups to identify how we can help support you and your organisation in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and thank you to those organisations who are continuing to provide valuable support to our most vulnerable residents.  We’ve added this feedback on a new community directory here so everyone can see what organisations are able to deliver during this time.

Where possible, please let us know what services or initiatives your organisation is delivering during these challenging times and how we can help you - whether that's with advice, volunteer recruitment, capacity building, accessing available funds or any other issues that you're becoming aware of within your organisation or in your communities. 

If you are contacted by a resident needing help, but don’t have a suitable volunteer available, or if you have a volunteer available, but don’t have a job for them you now can work together with other organisations by completing an online form here. If a group or local organisation would like to discuss anything, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or call on 01727 743018.

New page of Ideas and inspiration for fun

Ideas to keep yourself busy or entertain the kids at home during the coronavirus outbreak www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid19Ideas.

New page for funding sources following the Covid-19 outbreak  

This page is intended as a place where groups, charities and social enterprises might find additional funding which they might need as a result of Coronavirus and the general www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid19Funding

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 Broxbourne and East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield Volunteer Centres, Harpenden Cares, London.

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.

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 help@communities1st.org.uk. 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.

Can anyone set themselves up as a support group? 

Anyone can set up a group and its great people have a natural impulse to do so. Once you start to form an organisation you encounter more legal responsibilities by default. This includes how you’re managing safeguarding and a common part of doing that is criminal record checks along with references. We’ve made a Being a Good Neighbour Booklet – Top Tips to help others guide free for everyone to access.  We have also produced a short video on recruiting and retaining volunteers

The laws around volunteer safety and safeguarding can be quite complicated.  We’re doing what we can to support groups that are setting up to make sure they’re safe and effective.  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.  

If you would like to join the Communities 1st family which will then allow our insurance to cover your group, please review our template partnership agreement and contact the Voluntary Sector team on memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

We’ve produced some animations to share with volunteers, including: safeguardingpractical support volunteering and keeping in touch volunteering.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

Six key points for community organisations to consider

COVID-19: support for businesses
COVID-19: guidance for employees

  • As a charity, community group or CIC you should see how your resources could be useful to the community in partnership with other charities etc.  This situation is a big jolt and it is a very difficult environment now – but this could be an opportunity for your charity to fulfil its objective in a way that builds its good reputation.

Filing charity annual returns during the coronavirus pandemic

Any charity that needs an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Charity Commission to ask for one.

Talk to us if you have questions about any of the above or would like to discuss how these points relate to your own situation.

Safeguarding Factsheet: Community volunteers during COVID-19 outbreak

The government has published a safeguarding factsheet with accompanying FAQs to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time. You can read the factsheet and FAQs here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-factsheet-community-volunteers-during-covid-19-outbreak.

Every day counts

Last week a number of national charity membership bodies launched the #EveryDayCounts campaign. Through this campaign, non-profit organisations are asking the government to provide emergency funding that will keep charities alive and enable them to continue to serve their communities.

However, despite regular engagement with officials and some amazing support from MPs and peers of all political parties, our understanding is that this is not enough. We understand that the case is not sufficiently strong to convince the chancellor of the voluntary sectors’ need.

We are being asked for a list of charities which will be in significant financial difficulties within the next few weeks if the chancellor does not act to support the work of the sector.

Ideas, resources and templates

  • Write to your MPs – using this template
  • Mobilise your supporters – by asking them to write to their MP using this template letter 
  • Share your stories - share videos talking about your work, use local media, social media using the hashtags #EveryDayCounts and get your stories out there, in particular:
      -  what you are doing to support in response to COVID-19 crisis (through existing services and/or additional activity you have taken on)
      - highlight any increases in your activities as a result of the crisis
      - highlight any capacity or financial squeezes where you can
      - tag local media outlets/journalists/mainstream media

Using local radio to reach your clients, colleagues or the public

If you need to reach your clients, colleagues/volunteers or just the local public, you can use a special programme (Local Life) that is being broadcast on Radio Verulam 92.6 FM and live online at www.radioverulam.com each Wednesday evening between 7 and 8pm and on Sunday morning from 8 till 9am, and then on Listen Again for 7 days. Radio Verulam has a coverage area of over 450,000 people and we have over 11,000 social media followers. You can either send an emailed message to the producer who will announce it or you can send a good quality (brief) audio recording which will be broadcast as soon as possible. Radio Verulam has already stepped in to help the local Talking Newspaper to reach their visually impaired listeners starting next Thursday evening from 7 till 7.30pm. If demand from other charities, voluntary groups etc is as heavy as expected, the joint team at Radio Verulam and the Talking Newspaper will expand the total broadcast time and facilities available. Contact Rob Pearman at info@sadtn.org.uk for more information.

INFORMATION TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS

Look out for the blue tick on Twitter

There’s a lot of fake news out there about coronavirus so it’s really important to get your news from a trusted source. The NHS has worked with Twitter UK to make sure local NHS organisations are blue-tick verified – so it’s easier to know who to trust.

Rightsnet: corona virus support

Rightsnet provides daily news and caselaw updates across five areas of social welfare law - welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and community care - and facilitates access to peer to peer case work support via online adviser forums.  Rightsnet has now made its resources more widely available – take a look at the website.

COVID-19 and homelessness

Homeless Link is running weekly webinars to provide updates on the situation and how homelessness services are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find webinar recordings here:

https://www.homeless.org.uk/covid19-homelessness

Harpenden Cares

Harpenden Town Council is supporting a new initiative called Harpenden Cares. Harpenden Cares is a community-led response to the coronavirus that involves lots of Harpenden’s brilliant voluntary sector groups. The initiative aims to support local people at risk, help keep key services running, and to be a trusted source of information.  They can be contacted on 01582 460 457 from Monday – Friday between 10am – 2pm.

London Colney Good Neighbour Scheme

London Colney Parish Council has set up a good neighbour scheme. They can help with Shopping, Posting mail, Prescription collections or a friendly Phone call, If someone you know who lives in London Colney and need helps while isolated they can call the Good Neighbour Scheme on 01727 261104 (Monday to Friday between 10am -1pm).

Support and advice for people working from home

The FSI and Skill Pill have created a free remote working pack with 6 short films to help get your small charity up and running with working away from the office. The pack includes:

  • Setting up a remote team
  • Effective virtual meetings
  • Managing remote teams
  • Working as part of a remote team
  • Building emotional resilience
  • Writing effective emails

Access your free pack via the website

Coronavirus and your wellbeing has been produced by Mind to help people to cope with anxieties about coronavirus and to deal with issues around self isolation.

Working well from home under self-quarantine for coronavirus: this guide from Leapers explores what you can do to plan for the possibility of staff needing to self-isolate, as well as tips for home-workers. Advice includes using a variety of ways of keeping in touch with colleagues, how to build a structure for your day, and ensuring you don’t neglect the important social aspect of work.

Remote working: a practical safety guide for businesses.

You can find these and other guidance on the Mental Health at Work website.

Domestic Abuse during COVID-19 Guidance & Information

Many residents will be following the national advice around household isolation and social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This advice is in place to limit the spread of the virus and keep as many people as safe and well as possible. We know that there are vulnerable people in our communities who will be more concerned than others about the prospect of staying at home for a number of reasons, including those who have been the victims of domestic abuse such as violence or coercive and controlling behaviour.

While all public services are adapting to new ways of working during this pandemic, our message to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse is clear: You are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence - we will still be here for you, no matter what.

Hertfordshire Police, local authorities and providers of domestic abuse support across Hertfordshire continue working together to maintain essential services and contacts for anyone affected by domestic abuse during the weeks and months to come.

If you, your child or anyone in the family are at immediate risk of harm, you should contact the police urgently, CALL 999.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or believe someone you know is please contact Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088.

Further support can also be found at these national agencies:

Advice from National Trading Standards:

People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk.  

NTS is also issuing urgent advice to help prevent people falling victim to COVID-19 scams through its Friends Against Scams initiative.  www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/shopimages/coronavirus.png.

Members of the public are being urged to keep in contact with family members regularly and inform them of the most prolific scams and the possible dangers to them. If someone has been targeted by a scam it can be reported to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 2040.

For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam, visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam.

The following article from Which? On how to spot them and stop them www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/coronavirus-scam-lookout-for-fake-lockdown-fine-texts/.

Tue 24 Mar 2020

When crisis hits, people step up – and we’re seeing lots of that right now.  So I’d like to thank all those people volunteering their time and everyone managing and coordinating volunteer efforts.

People are still keen to sign up to volunteer – which is great!  We have received nearly 1,400 volunteer applications in the eight days since our Compassionate Community Connector programme was launched.   We are busy working behind the scenes to contact everyone who has registered an interest.  We are also working closely with a range of partner organisations to ensure they are being supported during these challenging times.  However, this is a marathon not a sprint. We’re not at the peak and your help will be even more crucial in a few weeks’ time.  So, we’re continuing to collect details of potential volunteers so we can call when needed.

On a personal note, there are moments when it doesn’t feel real. And then there are moments where it feels all too real. And it hits you again, the sheer scale of what is happening. When I first started getting involved in conversations about covid19 only a matter of days ago, I couldn’t visualise where it would take us.  Every day there is something new, something else to take into account but never, never in any doubt that we should keep trying.  That is something I have seen in everyone I have spoken to or connected with or, increasingly, been in a conference call with. Despite the fast pace of change, the complexity and the uncertainty, everyone is trying their best to help. And everyone is still working out what that help might look like and how to do it.  We have to trust ourselves and each other to do our best.

Below is some information which we hope will be useful. 

 

Stephen Craker

CEO, Communities 1st

 

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 Broxbourne and East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield Volunteer Centres, Harpenden Cares and #TeamHerts Volunteering

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.

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 EmailThey 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.  

Local Groups and Organisations: Can your organisation be contacted by local residents needing help or make use of additional volunteers? If you are contacted by a resident needing help, but don’t have a suitable volunteer available, or if you have a volunteer available, but don’t have a job for them you now can work together with other organisations by completing an online form HERE. If a group or local organisation would like to discuss anything, please Email or call on 01727 743018 .

 

Can anyone set themselves up as a support group? 

Anyone can set up a group and its great people have a natural impulse to do so. Once you start to form an organisation you encounter more legal responsibilities by default. This includes how you’re managing safeguarding and a common part of doing that is criminal record checks along with references. We’ve made our Being a Good Neighbour Booklet - Top Tips to help others guide free for everyone to access.  We have also produced a short video on recruiting and retaining volunteers.

The laws around volunteer safety and safeguarding can be quite complicated.  We’re doing what we can to support groups that are setting up to make sure they’re safe and effective.  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.  

If you would like to join the Communities 1st family which will then allow our insurance to cover your group, please review our template partnership agreement and contact the Voluntary Sector team on memberservices@communities1st.org.uk

We’ve produced some animations to share with volunteers, including: safeguarding, practical support volunteering and keeping in touch volunteering.

New Disclosure and Service Barring (DBS) Checks Information
On 19 March 2020, the DBS updated how they are currently accepting new DBS checks with volunteers to make it easier to process so volunteers do not have to physically meet Volunteer Managers with proof of ID & Documentation. They can do this via Video Online and scanning documents. See full details here:

www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-changes-to-standard-and-enhanced-id-checking-guidelines

Communities Prepared – Public Health Emergencies Training
Communities Prepared has developed training resources to help Community Emergency Volunteers and spontaneous local groups better understand public health emergencies and their potential role in supporting community resilience at this time.

www.communitiesprepared.org.uk/2020/03/communities-prepared-launches-public-health-volunteer-training-in-response-to-coronavirus/

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH)
This programme has been created by Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.  The programme includes key materials to help the health and care workforce respond to Coronavirus. This link may be useful to share with your volunteers (formal or informal groups):
www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/coronavirus

Coronavirus and your charity - Free webinar, Wednesday 25 March,10am: 

NCVO are hosting a webinar on Coronavirus and your charity: Key legal issues to consider  with legal experts Bates Wells who will be advising on:

  • HR and employment law 
  • contracts, insurance and serious incident reporting 
  • governance and solvency considerations 
  • legal considerations when managing volunteers 
  • meetings and decision making.

There will also be a Q&A session for any questions you have. Register now

Coronavirus financial support for charities

NCVO is working closely with government on a package of financial support specifically aimed at supporting the voluntary sector as the coronavirus emergency unfolds. This forms part of a coordinated effort with sector partners in highlighting to government that charities, like business, are experiencing financial pressures because of coronavirus, while also being on the frontline of supporting vulnerable people at this crucial time.

National Emergencies Trust coronavirus appeal – Funding Available through HCF

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has launched a fundraising appeal to help people most affected by the coronavirus emergency. The appeal will raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that can provide vital support to people in the quickest way possible.

Individuals and charities should not apply directly to the NET for funds. Applications for grants of up to £2,000 for groups dealing with the emerging issues in the community caused by the threat of the Coronovirus (Covid-19) outbreak can apply through Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF).

The focus of emergency funding is being prioritised to organisations providing services and support to older and vulnerable people as well as those with low and insecure incomes.  They are also inviting applications from groups applying to support people of all ages with mental health issues. 

Visit www.hertscf.org.uk/coronavirus for the fund criteria and how to apply.

Data Protection and Coronavirus

On the 12th March the Information Commissioners’ Office (UK regulated of Data Protection Law) released the following statement:

‘We all share the same concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The need for public bodies and health practitioners to be able to communicate directly with people when dealing with this type of health emergency has never been greater.

The ICO is a reasonable and pragmatic regulator, one that does not operate in isolation from matters of serious public concern. Regarding compliance with data protection, we will take into account the compelling public interest in the current health emergency.

The safety and security of the public remains our primary concern. We are here to help our colleagues on the frontline. We can offer advice to make sure the law around data protection and direct marketing is clear. Information is available on our website or you can call our helpline on 0303 123 1113.’

www.ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-coronavirus

Online isolation notes launched – providing proof of coronavirus absence from work

 People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service. Isolation notes will provide employees with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.

As isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.

The isolation note service can be accessed via the 111 online coronavirus service or www.NHS.UK/coronavirus as well as via the NHS app

Individuals on Benefits and coronavirus

The national charity Turn2us which provides practical help to people who are struggling financially has created a complete guide to financial support during coronavirus. It includes guidance on the various benefits available in the event of self-isolation and a useful benefits calculator based on the latest government policy.

Message from the Hertfordshire Beacon Victim Care Service

The Hertfordshire Beacon Victim Care Service is still providing a service for anyone who has been affected by crime in Hertfordshire. If you require support from Beacon, please email info.hertfordshirebeacon@catch-22.org.uk  and a Case Manager can get in touch to provide support, including helping with:

  • Providing someone to talk to about the crime
  • Practical support and information, for example, how to keep safe.
  • Support with contacting other organisations who are involved, for example, the police
  • Information about other organisations that can help

The main phone line, is more limited than usual, however you can leave a voicemail and someone will get back to you: 0300 0115 555 (option 3).

www.hertfordshirebeacon.org

Community Action Response – five things you can do:

  1. Think of others, consider your actions & be kind: People in every community will face the challenges of Covid-19 in some way – from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.
  2. Connect and reach out to your neighbours: as self-isolation increases, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers and stay in touch.
  3. Make the most of local online groups: Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations using platforms like Nextdoor.
  4. Support vulnerable or isolated people: different groups in our communities are at increased risk and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for local support services or donating to food banks to help.
  5. Share accurate information and advice: Support anyone who may be anxious about Covid-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.
Fri 20 Mar 2020

We are grateful to everyone who submitted answers to our survey or spoke to us on the phone yesterday 19 March.  We have managed to gather data about your readiness for managing volunteers and supporting local people from so many of you and this has been fed in to planning at local, regional and national government level.

 

Communities 1st is working in partnership with St Albans City and District Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Broxbourne & East Herts and Welwyn/Hatfield Volunteer Centres, Citizens Advice, plus many other member organisations. Without wishing to sound like a wartime poster, we are stronger when we work together and I have been struck by the support there is across the network of members.

 

There is no indication that the COVID-19 outbreak will be over in just a few weeks, so let's keep working together.

 

Stephen Craker, Chief Executive, Communities 1st

 

What Communities 1st is doing

Communities 1st, together with Broxbourne & East Herts and Welwyn/Hatfield Volunteer Centres is taking a lead on coordinating the volunteer response to the COVID-19 pandemic across the districts of St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts.

 

What the partnership is offering:

  • A group of volunteers to support the most vulnerable people across the districts of St Albans, Hertsmere, Welwyn/Hatfield, Broxbourne and East Herts 
  • Guidance on how to best to support neighbourly action in a safe way
  • Identified local partners to support teams of volunteers.
  • A central place for people to request help and support and for those that are self-isolating

 

Key actions to progress the above:

  • Provision of a 7-day contact centre – in place from this weekend.
  • Online registration form – in place now
  • Voluntary Sector support webpages, including Communications pack – in the next couple of days
  • DBS checking process – in place
  • Online induction for volunteers – should be in place by early next week – week of 23 March.
  • Neighbourly action pack - ready by early next week
  • Local coordination and deployment through local trusted organisations
  • Volunteers identified though the above online registration process

At the time of writing, we have received nearly 800 volunteer signups through the online form, showing that local people are really stepping up.

Supporting for the Voluntary/Community Sector

  • Can your organisation be contacted by local residents needing help?
  • Can your organisation make use of additional volunteers?
  • Can we signpost people to your organisation?

If you are a voluntary sector organisation who needs help or can offer support, please complete the form at:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KHFFL88

If a group or local organisation would like to discuss anything, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone us on 01727 743018.

Loss of Income and Funder Support

Many local organisations are facing substantial financial losses as a result of the coronavirus situation. There are 3 things you should do:

  • Alert the funder to the situation. They may not be able to react swiftly or at all but if all organisations in receipt of a grant alert them to the issues then funders can work together to address the situation
  • Check your insurance policy. If you have business continuity insurance there is a chance that some of your losses may be covered (see below for more details).
  • Keep an eye on sources of sector news for national and local responses. Central government has already put a range of measures in place for small businesses and sector leaders are lobbying for those to be extended to charities.

Government Support

Trading efforts have been hit. There has also been - and will continue to be - a devastating loss of income due to cancellation of fundraising events and regular small donors being more cautious about what they do with their money.

Without urgent help, many of these charities and voluntary organisations are facing imminent collapse. Alongside fighting for their cause, they are also fighting for survival. Without these grassroots organisations, the people who are most in need in our communities will be even harder hit.

If you feel able, there are two things you can do to help.

  1. Add your organisation's name to the letter to the Prime Minister organised by the Small Charities Coalition.
  2. Share the link to the details of the campaign with your networks and ask them to support this campaign too.

MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis offers grants to small charities

Martin Lewis says: "We face an unprecedented challenge to our health, economy, businesses, personal finance and way of life. And many of those who normally help society – our charities – are going to face similar pressures right now too.

"To try and help I'm going to release £1,000,000 from my personal charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 to £20,000 to small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK – to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects."

Find our more here .  The deadline for applications is Wed 25 March 2020.

Business Continuity Insurance 

You may have business continuity insurance in place and this will often include cover for loss of rental income. However, it generally doesn’t include cover as standard to provide for business interruption for notifiable diseases.

Even if you have the notifiable diseases cover in place you may find your insurer refusing to accept COVID-19 as it was not on the list of notifiable diseases when the insurance was taken out.   However, as of 1700 on 5 Mar 2020, emergency legislation reclassified COVID-19 as a notifiable disease so the recommendation is to go back to your insurers with this additional information. www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-listed-as-a-notifiable-disease  

Charities are known to have run into the issue with Zurich and Aviva policies.

NCVO, NAVCA and other nationals are trying to lobby the government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to resolve it.

Guidance and Information

We're busy adding a whole range of material to our website, in our new Resources Hub.

We've split material into five sections:

  • Organisational and remote working guidance
  • Guidance on working with different sectors of your community
  • Safeguarding
  • Governance
  • Communications, including a guide on dealing with the media

We're adding more material all the time and will let you know what's new in future editions of this Bulletin.

Education settings - guidance and details of key worker categories

More information is now available on schools and other educational settings. This also includes detail about the classification of key workers, whose children can still be sent to school if needed.

More information here.

Message from Radio Verulam - offer of help

This is a very difficult time for everyone and, as your local radio station, we want to do whatever we can to support you and our community through it.  That might be helping to get messages out, promoting what your business or organisation is doing or giving advice to people in need when reaching them direct is difficult.

Our coverage area is over 450,000 people and we have over 11,000 social media followers; we want to make sure you get the best, most useful access to our audience.  Of course, we will do this without charge.

Please could you go to www.radioverulam.com/sidewithstalbans to let us know how you think we might be able to help and to establish contact.

Updated statement from The National Lottery Community Fund: COVID-19

In a recent statement by Dawn Austwick, CEO, The National Lottery Community Fund, they have that they:

  • will be flexible with regards to your current grant
  • will support you and your teams through this crisis
  • don’t want you to worry about deadlines and reporting

Their funding officers can answer questions you might have, do get in touch with them if you need to.  All details can be found here: www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/contact

If you want to help those in need

Communities 1st have set up the Compassionate Community Connector programme for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others.   Sign up to the programme using the online form: www.communities1st.org.uk/COVID-19-community-signup  or by phone:  020 3940 4865 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday.  There are a range of volunteer roles available. 

Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice in a number of languages.

Doctors of the World and British Red Cross have put together Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice in a number of languages. So far there is English, Albanian, Dari, French, Pashto, Portuguese, Bengali, Vietnamese, Kurdish Sorani, Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish and Farsi, with Malayalam, Amharic, Tigrinya and Somali coming soon.

You can find them here https://www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid-19Updates

If you need help, or know someone that needs support and are self-isolating

For people who need help (shopping, dog walking/pet hosting, telephone tech support for online shopping or using skype/facetime etc) whilst isolated, they (or someone on their behalf) can complete an online form at www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid19support contact us on 020 8207 5115 or email help@communities1st.org.uk

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

Tue 17 Mar 2020

Communities 1st is registered charity working all year round for a more connected and resilient districts of Hertsmere and St Albans. During this difficult time, we want to make sure that our residents are looking out for one another to help everyone stay safe and healthy.

Lot's of people are getting in touch to support others in their community which is great. If you're healthy and at low-risk, you can be a Compassionate Community Connector. This programme has now been extended and covers the districts of St Albans, Hertsmere, Broxbourne, East Herts and Welwyn/Hatfield in partnership with Broxbourne & East Herts and Welwyn/Hatfield Volunteer Centres. Sign up now by visiting https://www.communities1st.org.uk/COVID-19-community-signup and pass the word on .

You can also support our COVID-19 Appeal gf.me/u/xq28ad

Sat 14 Mar 2020

 

In the wake of the £30 billion emergency fund announced in the Budget yesterday and anticipated switch to the delay phase of the Government four-part plan, leaders from different sectors have today joined forces to launch the Community Action Response to encourage everyone to do what they can to support their communities and particularly vulnerable and isolated people during Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Launched by Eden Project Communities with partners The National Lottery Community Fund, Nextdoor, Neighbourhood Watch, Campaign to End Loneliness and Eco Attractions Group, the Community Action Response has been created because of the unprecedented challenge that Coronavirus presents for people in every neighbourhood in the UK.

Eden Project Communities is a UK wide network that has grown out of community building campaign The Big Lunch, which reaches over six million people in communities every year. The organisations are calling for everyone to take steps that will help communities cope when the worst impacts of the virus hit.

Community Action Response - five things you can do

1. Think of others, consider your actions & be kind: People in every community will face the challenges of COVID-19 in some way – from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.

2. Connect and reach out to your neighbours: as self-isolation increases, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers and stay in touch.

3. Make the most of local online groups: Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations using platforms like Nextdoor.

4. Support vulnerable or isolated people: different groups in our communities are at increased risk and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for local support services or donating to food banks to help.

5. Share accurate information and advice: Support anyone who may be anxious about COVID-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.

Helping to connect our communities

Research from The Big Lunch shows nearly a fifth of us in the UK have no-one in our neighbourhoods outside our immediate family we could call on if we needed help or support.

With the rapid spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) increasingly likely, this is a real risk and - combined with the need to self-isolate - this gap in our community connections needs to be closed.

The research also reported that more than 36 million people feel distant or very distant from their neighbours, yet three quarters of us believe it would be better for our communities if we were closer to them.

The Big Lunch commissioned independent research published in their Closing the Distance report to explore how connected our people in communities in the UK feel to one another.

Bringing people together to advocate for community action, Peter Stewart - Executive Director of the Eden Project said: “Through our work with communities UK wide we see the difference that people working together can have. Neighbourly support can make a huge difference in a world fraught with challenge. The current threat is set to impact all of us in one form or another, and stronger local connections within communities are vital to see this crisis out. That’s why we’ve joined forces with our friends and partners to call on people everywhere to take positive action to support and care for each other in the coming weeks and months.”

Dawn Austwick, CEO The National Lottery Community Fund said: “As the largest funder of community activity in the UK, we know community life and connections can help to build bonds of support during difficult times. Being kind, offering support and thinking of one another makes neighbourhoods and communities stronger together. This is particularly important for those who are more vulnerable and isolated. At The National Lottery Community Fund we support communities to thrive, this is why we’re pledging our support for this call to action in the coming weeks and months.”

Wed 19 Feb 2020

Communities 1st are looking for individuals who can live and breathe our values; to work in partnership, deliver quality, adapt, be positive and be inclusive.

We are looking for people with great skills in communications, who are proactive in their approach and able to work with colleagues and volunteers to deliver amazing services for the benefit of the people and communities of districts of Hertsmere, St Albans and Welwyn/Hatfield.

Closing Date: 9am on Wednesday 26 February 2020

Interviews will be held on Monday 2 March 2020.

To apply: please email your completed application form and a covering letter to stephen.craker@communities1st.org.uk.

All appointments are subject to a disclosure from the DBS.

Handyperson – 30 hours per week (£25,187 pro-rata)

The appointed individual will provide a handyperson service for older and vulnerable people across the districts of Hertsmere, St Albans and Welwyn/Hatfield. The appointed individual will need excellent people skills, empathy, compassion, awareness of safeguarding, and a good range of general household maintenance and repair skills. You will need to be a highly organised individual, with the flexibility to undertake a wide variety of tasks, and have a keen sense of humour.

Handyperson Job Description

Application form

Mon 3 Feb 2020

The Mayor’s Pride Awards are held to celebrate extraordinary people and outstanding organisations that make a positive contribution to the local community. Ensure these inspiring individuals and worthy organisations get the recognition they deserve by putting them forward to receive an award. 

Cultural Innovation Award 

Creative people or groups whose ideas or achievements are an inspiration to others can be nominated for this award. 

Young Person of Distinction 

This award provides an opportunity to commend an exceptional child or young person for their talent, positivity, energy or strength of character. 

Community Oriented Business of the Year 

This award is for businesses in St Albans District that are working with the public or voluntary sectors on initiatives to benefit the community. 

Inclusive Communities Award 

This award will be given to a community initiative that unites people of different ethnic, faith or socio-economic backgrounds. 

Environmental Champion of the Year 

A group or individual showing innovation or commitment to improving the local environment will be honoured with this award. 

Nominations

You may nominate as many people or organisations in as many different categories as you like. 

The deadline for nominations is Monday 10th February 2020.

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