Voluntary Sector Briefing 3rd July 2020

Supporting other charities to rebuild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here: www.communities1st.org.uk/newsletter.

Stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,
Chief Executive, Communities 1st


This newsletter is split into the following sections:

  • Communities 1st COVID-19 Information and Support
  • Information to support voluntary and community sector organisations
  • Funding for non-profit organisations
  • Information to support individuals


Compassionate Community Connector Programme
Supporting Individuals: People who need help whilst isolated (or someone on their behalf) can complete an online form here or call 020 8207 5115 or email.  

Volunteering: for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others. Individuals wishing to volunteer their time can sign-up here or call 020 3940 4865 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Charities, Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups - we are here to help
If you need information, advice or support Communities 1st is here to help.  We can offer advice on issues from fundraising to governance and to managing volunteers.  You can contact us on 01727 743018 or via email: memberservices@communities1st.org.uk and we will prioritise support for your organisation.

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

  • Funding sources – we’re updating our funding sources regularly with the latest information
  • Resource Hub – including staffing issues, governance, managing a funding crisis, digital support, safeguarding and other useful resources (operational issues and guidance on working with different sectors of the community)
  • Useful Covid-19 volunteer introduction videos and documents for your organisation and information about mutual aid groups

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

If you want more information you can visit our website: www.communities1st.org.uk/Covid-19Updates or contact our Voluntary Sector support team on 01727 743018.  


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

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

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

Tuesday 14 July  between 11.00am -12.30pm.

Click here register for the event.

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

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

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

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

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

Read the updated guidance here.

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

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

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

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

View the report here.

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

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

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

Book your free place through Eventbrite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the Cyber Aware campaign click here.

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

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

Click here for more details.

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

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

Click here to see all six steps.

Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities
Community centres, village halls, and other multi-use community facilities support a wide range of local activity. However, their communal nature also makes them places that are vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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

Full details here.

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

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

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

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

Engaging with Gypsy and Traveller people and communities

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

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

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

Deadline for submission is 10 July.

Click here for full details.

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

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

Click here to read their statement in full.

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

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

Deadline for submission is 21 July.

Click here for more details

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

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

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

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

The #NeverMoreNeeded website is here and ready for you to use!

To fuel you all with content and activities to keep banging the #NeverMoreNeeded drum, the #NeverMoreNeeded website is now live. Click here to have a view.

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

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


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

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

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

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

To book please click here.

Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF): Coronavirus Relief Fund Phase 2 Informed by the results of the local and national surveys/reports on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, HCF have launched their next round of funding to support the voluntary sector and the people of Hertfordshire. They are welcoming applications on a rolling basis for the following:

  • Fast track grants of £1,000 to £5,000 prioritising smaller organisations continuing to meet immediate need.
  • Grants up to £10,000 for organisations that have adapted their support services and are looking to the longer-term.
  • Grants up to £20,000 for collaborative proposals that see organisations coming together to address specific needs.

Click here for more information.

Herts Sports Partnership have produced a funding newsletter which is extremely useful for sports groups and can be found on their website.

It includes both local, national and sport specific funding packages.

Crowdfund Hertfordshire
Crowdfunder are working with a number of partners across Hertfordshire, helping to make great ideas happen through a combination of expert crowdfunding coaching, events and grants.

Do you have a great idea for a project or initiative in Hertfordshire that needs funding?

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at ana.siewniak@hertscf.org.uk.


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

Please note the following conditions have changed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

From 1 August, people who were shielding:

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

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

Full details can be found here.

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

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


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

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

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

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