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 and pass the word on .

You can also support our COVID-19 Appeal

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

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. 


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.

Mon 4 Nov 2019

The Community Grants Fund aims to provide Voluntary and Community Groups with a flexible funding opportunity to support the delivery of projects and activities that benefit the local community and help to deliver the objectives set out in the St Albans City & District Inclusion Strategy.

Everything you need to know about applying for Community Grants Fund can be found in this document or links provided.

Community Grants Fund 2019-20 is a total of £55,000. Groups can apply for grants over £500 and under £5000.

There are 2 rounds this year for Community Grants Fund.

1st round took place in May 2019. £35,143 was allocated in this round.

2nd round- November 2019. This second date was arranged for newer groups still formulating ideas and who would benefit from more time set up and get advice on their application or for groups for whom May timings were not suitable either in terms of project or cultural/faith calendars etc. The remainder of the fund will be allocated in this round. The amount to be allocated in this round is £19,857.00.

For both rounds, applications are considered on how well they meet St Albans City and District Council priorities. The council will aim to fund a spread of projects to ensure that all the priorities are being met. For 2nd round, we particularly encourage applications for projects meeting the needs of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic), Older residents and those living in target wards of Sopwell, Cunningham, Batchwood, London Colney and Redbourn.
Groups who were not successful in the 1st round can resubmit an application however it is strongly advised that they seek feedback and advice before doing so. Applications must show considerable development in order to be considered. Groups who are successful in 1st round will not be eligible to apply for the 2nd round.
Organisations may submit more than one application for different projects but please note a group will only be awarded a maximum of 1 Community Grant per year.

Community Grants Fund 2019-20 Application Form

Criteria and Guidance

Inclusion Strategy 2017-2020

Sat 14 Sep 2019

Older People’s Day at the Alban Arena, Wednesday 16th October between 10.00am – 1.00pm – FREE ENTRY

Sat 14 Sep 2019

St Albans & District Community Grant Fund November round - opening 4th November.

Watch this space for more information

Wed 10 Jul 2019

We’d like to invite you and your colleagues to our FREE annual conference which is taking place on 18 July from 2pm to 6pm at The Trestle Theatre on Russett Drive in St Albans.

On the day there are talks from several external speakers, on topics including

  • How to generate more income
  • Why the voluntary sector still matters
  • Financial literacy

Mini masterclasses including

  • Funding
  • Recruiting and retaining volunteers
  • Measuring the impact of volunteering

As well as 1:1 funding advice sessions from the National Lottery, HCF and others

To book a place please visit

For an enquiries please call 020 3559 3559 or email 

Mon 13 May 2019

The St Albans District Council Community Grants fund 2019/20 is now open.

Constituted voluntary and community groups are invited to apply for grants from a £55,000 fund run by St Albans City and District Council.

Every year St Albans City and District Council offer this financial aid to groups who do valuable and important work in our community to support vulnerable people.

Their community fund has benefitted thousands of people across the District and they want that success to continue in the year ahead.

Groups from Hertsmere can apply, however, beneficiaries of the project will need to be from St Albans & District.

St Albans & District Council in conjunction with Communities 1st will have a Community Grants Information Event on Monday 20th May between 5.30 – 7.00pm at The Hub, St Albans Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans AL1 3JE. No need to book but please email to let us know you would like to come along.

There will be Open Advice Surgeries to discuss project ideas & give advice on applications (turn up no booking required)

Dates and venues:

Open Advice Surgeries

St Albans, Wednesday 29th May 2.00 – 4.00pm

Communities 1st, St Albans Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, AL1 3JE

Redbourn, Wednesday 5th June 10.00am – 12.00pm

Guide Room, Redbourn Village Hall, 63 High Street, Redbourn, AL3 7LW

Harpenden, Tuesday 11th June 2.00pm– 4.00pm

Council Chamber, Harpenden Town Hall, Leyton Rd, Harpenden, Al5 2LX

A second round of Advice Surgeries to discuss completed draft applications (bookable for previously emailed applications)will be held at:

Redbourn, Wednesday 19th June 3.00 pm – 5.00pm

Guide Room, Redbourn Village Hall, 63 High Street, Redbourn, AL3 7LW

St Albans, Tuesday 25th June 10.00am – 12.00pm

Communities 1st, Boudicca room, St Albans Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, AL1 3JE

The St Albans District Council Community Grants fund 2019/20 closes at midnight on Sunday 7th July

An Application form can be downloaded here and the Criteria and Guidance can be found here.

Thu 9 May 2019

Coming soon!

The St Albans District Council Community Grants fund 2019/20 will be opening week commencing 13th May 2019

Constituted voluntary and community groups are invited to apply for grants from a £55,000 fund run by St Albans City and District Council.

Every year St Albans City and District Council offer this financial aid to groups who do valuable and important work in our community to support vulnerable people.