Voluntary Sector Briefing 17th July 2020

Micro-volunteering can be beneficial to both volunteers and organisations
Micro-volunteering opportunities are easy and often low-commitment actions and activities that can be done from home. Most of these can be completed in short time frames (less than 30 minutes) whilst others can harness high-level skills that can be used to support the work of an organisation. Communities 1st has been exploring micro-volunteering again to build on the momentum created from community volunteering during the pandemic and harness the current spotlight on the fantastic work volunteers do.

There are many ways to get people involved away from technology, from doing a 5 minute litter pick in their local community, to creating homes for insects and hedgehogs in their gardens.

Whether you have existing volunteers that may not be able to fulfil their usual role, or volunteers waiting to start when you reopen, micro-volunteering is a creative way to keep them engaged during this pandemic. By offering individuals small tasks that they can complete at home, you will be reminding them that they are valued as volunteers and their work is vital to the running of your organisation. Micro-volunteering can also lead to more long-term volunteering; As volunteers learn more about what your organisation does they may be willing to commit more time and energy to support your cause.

It is important to reiterate that micro-volunteering should not replace traditional volunteering roles. Many people choose to volunteer to reduce loneliness and meet new people.  Micro-volunteers still need some level of supervision and oversight and in some instances volunteers will need to be vetted. Look at what services you already provide and see if they can be divided into smaller roles.

There are lots of ways to support your local community and volunteering is adapting to allow people to continue to offer their time in creative ways.

How could we work together going forward?
If you need any further support to set up micro-volunteering projects would like to have a discussion about potential ideals of engagement, please get in touch.

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

Stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st


This newsletter is split into the following sections:

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



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. 


Collecting customer and visitor details for contact tracing
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published advice for organisations that are asked by government to collect and retain customer and visitor information, for a limited time period, for the purposes of a COVID-19 contact tracing scheme.

Click here to see the details.

Free Qualifications for Summer Holiday Project Staff
If you’re thinking of delivering a holiday project to support disadvantaged young people this summer, it’s important that your staff and volunteers have appropriate training and qualifications.

To help with this, the Herts Sports Partnership have funded three courses that are available to those operating summer provision within Active Local areas this summer. 

What is Active Local?

Active Local is HSP’s place-based approach to reducing physical inactivity working in ten areas across Hertfordshire. It aims to engage and support local communities, alongside partners and stakeholders, to create a more joined up approach to sport and physical activity.  Locations in St Albans and Hertsmere are: Cowley Hill (Hertsmere) and Sopwell (St Albans).

For more information about financial support to projects in the Active Local areas please click here.

Safeguarding & Protecting Children, 2.5 hours  Date: Wednesday 22 July, 2.00pm

Managing Challenging Behaviour, 3 hours  Date: Wednesday 22 July, 1.00pm

Getting Young People Active Remotely, 90 minutes  Date: Thursday 23 July, 10am

10 ways to step up as an ally to non-binary people
This week (14 July) was International Non-binary People’s Day, which aims to celebrate the wide range of people worldwide who identify as non-binary.

Non-binary is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary identities are varied. Some non-binary people do not want to associate with any binary identity adopt some aspects of binary identities.

So would you like to know how you can support non-binary people?

Click here to see the guidance.

Webinar: Equal Power– Calling all BAME women: Explore Your Political Pathway
On 20 July 2020, the Muslim Women's Network and The Parliament Project will lead a workshop for BAME women to learn more about exploring their political pathway and kick-start their political career.

No political experience or in-depth knowledge of the political system are required - just the passion to make a difference and the curiosity to find out more. Registration is free but places are limited.

Click here for more information and to register.

The Doctor Will Zoom You Now
National Voices with Traverse, Healthwatch England and PPL are hosting a free webinar - 'The Doctor Will Zoom You Now: getting the most out of the virtual health and care experience'.

The webinar will discuss findings and insight from recent research into people's experiences of remote and virtual consultations and appointments.

The webinar will be held on 24 July at 11am and you can book your place here.

Donate your old phones and tablets to The Great British Tech Appeal
Vodafone are working with Barnado’s British Red Cross and SafeLives to gift old phones and tablets to families and support workers in-need, with 3 months free data.

Click here for more information.

New Centre for Ageing Better report: Supporting carers back into work 
A new report from the Centre for Ageing Better looks at the needs of those with caring responsibilities trying to seek employment and how they can be supported back into work. The report is based on learning from Ambition for Ageing project, Working Potential.

Read More.

A Parent's Guide to Black Lives Matter 
This guide aims to provide resources, advice, and tips to ensure that children are aware of racial inequality, racial hierarchies, and white privilege present in modern-day society, as well as share tools and knowledge in which to combat racism today.

Read More.

Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own
On 14 July the government published guidance on face coverings.

We recommend all VCSE organisations read the guidance so that they can understand what is relevant in terms of service delivery, volunteers and staff. If you are thinking of making face masks or purchasing branded ones as part of your mix of VCSE income generation approaches, then this guidance is of particular importance. The guidance explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored.

The guidance can be found here.

Major new campaign to prepare UK for end of the Brexit transition period
On 13 July the government launched a major new public information campaign, ‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going’. 

They state it will clearly set out the actions businesses and individuals need to take to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and ensure they are ready to seize the opportunities that it will bring.  The campaign includes a checker tool related to things such as staff being able to continue to work in the UK. Read more.

Companies House to restart the voluntary strike off process
On 10 July Companies House published a news story explaining that from 10 September 2020, they will restart the process for companies that have applied for voluntary strike off. Read more.

Reopen Community Spaces Safely
The government has published a new guidance for community spaces look to safely reopen now that lockdown measures are easing. Assess how safe it is using this guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities, to make your community facility Covid-19 secure. Read more.

VCS Emergencies Partnership website launched
The VCS Emergencies Partnership has launched its website which includes a service to support local organisations and community groups to respond to emergencies, where needed. This is done by matching needs with resources locally, regionally and nationally.

Take a few minutes to look around the website and familiarise yourself with the services that are available, then please share it with your networks.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders has produced a very useful table which translates 186 words and/or phrases associated with COVID-19 into 35 different languages. It also provides you with a definition of each term and it is searchable by term and languages, making it easy to navigate.

For example 'alcohol-based hand rub' is '물없이 문질러 사요하는 알코올 제제' in Korean and 'sabuni ya kunawa mikono iliyotengenezwa kwa pombe' in Swahili (KE).

Click here to see the table in full

COVID-19 and Employment Law with Curwens Solicitors 
Taking place on Monday 20th July at 4pm, this session will provide information about Employment Law in relation to COVID-19.

Find out about furlough and annual leave, as well as the responsibilities employers have when employees are returning to work.

Book here.

SSE has launched Trade Back
A new type of business support grant that incentivises social impact organisations to trade, while supporting them to recover and rebuild. A Trade Back grant includes a small traditional grant to kick-start recovery efforts, plus an incentivised grant to reward an increase in trading income. 

Find out more.

Everything you need to know about TikTok
TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps of the decade, despite only being available since 2016.

However the prospect of migrating your organisation's social media presence over to the site has proved a little daunting to many.

So what we all need right now is an infographic so we can learn everything there is to know about this hit app. And that's what we've found for you.

Click here to view this infographic.

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.


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.

Hertsmere Borough Council – Community Grant Scheme
Hertsmere Borough Council’s community grant scheme has been split into two funding streams.  The first round is for voluntary sector organisations facing financial difficulty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The second stream will be used for projects that have a positive impact in supporting the response to Covid-19 in the ‘recovery stage which will be released later in the year depending on how this crisis evolves.

The first stream of funding is now open for applications.  Click here to read the guidance.

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.

HCF Workforce Development Grants
Grants of up to £2,000 are now available for learning and development in voluntary and community organisations in Hertfordshire.

HCC Adult Care Services are funding this grant scheme for VCS organisations that provide adult social care in Hertfordshire. The grants are managed by HCF Training and Development and can be used to support the:

  • Learning and development of the organisation’s workforce.
  • Development of the capacity of the organisation to deliver training and skills to its workforce, to carers or to service users/clients.

Examples of acceptable uses include:

  • Training or qualifications for paid staff, volunteers or trustees.
  • Coaching or mentoring for key leaders (e.g. managers or trustees).
  • Equipment, software or other resources/materials that will be used for the delivery of training and skills to the workforce, carers or service users/clients.
  • Costs associated with accreditation of courses (provided there is a sustainable plan for maintaining this).
  • To develop and run peer support programmes to aid recovery and provide on-going care and support.

Find out if you are eligible and to apply.

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. 

The Arts Council to Reopen its National Lottery Project Grants
The Arts Council has announced that its National Lottery Project Grants programme will reopen on 22 July 2020. The fund will be open to individuals, arts organisations, museums and libraries. Grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 will be available from the £59.8 million rolling funding programme until April 2021 to support those in the cultural sector and for work that has longer term positive impact such as Research and Development. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the programme will be improved to make it more responsive to the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners, whilst still including a budget for grassroots music venues, touring extensions and national activities over and under £100,000. Updated guidance for the programme will be published by mid-July.

Find out more.

Woodward Charitable Trust general grant round
Woodward Charitable Trust offers funding towards the core costs of UK charities with annual income less than £200,000. Trustees will consider applications for core costs which will achieve a positive impact. The majority of grants are for less than £3,000. Deadline: 31 July

Read More.

Youth Music’s Fund A grants programme
Youth Music’s Fund A grants programme awards grants between £2,000 and £30,000 for high-quality projects that aim to help to achieve a musically inclusive England. Youth Music has six priority funding areas: Early years; Young adults; Disabled young people; Young people facing barriers; The youth justice system; and Organisations and the workforce. Deadline: 31 July

Read More.

Social Enterprise Support Fund
The fund was launched on 13 July providing grants of between £10,000 and £300,000 to help social enterprises during COVID-19.

The fund closes at 1pm on Monday 20 July

It is aimed at social enterprises supporting people at a high health risk from COVID-19, and those supporting people facing increased social and economic challenges as a result of COVID-19. Big Issue Invest, The Key Fund, Resonance, UnLtd and SSE will jointly deliver the grants, with support from CAF Venturesome, the Young Foundation and Ashoka.

Find out more here.

Emergency funding for LGBTQ+ organisations and groups
LGBTQ+ organisations and groups across the UK will soon be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000 to help their vital role in supporting LGBTQ+ communities through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

METRO Charity in partnership with NAZ, Equality Network, The Rainbow Project, Umbrella Cymru, Yorkshire MESMAC and Birmingham LGBT, will be cascading the £585,000 fund from Comic Relief, raised from ‘The Big Night In’.

Register your interest in applying for a grant here.

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund
One-off grants are available to charities and not-for-profit organisations in England for work that will relieve the hardship caused by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic among refugees and asylum seekers and by migrants experiencing barriers to accessing services. Max. Value: £ 50,000

Find out more.

Community Justice Fund
Grants are available for specialist social welfare legal advice organisations to cope with the immediate impact of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and lay the foundations for longer-term renewal.

Find out more.

Comic Relief - Change Makers
Funding for not-for-profit organisations in the UK with proposals to make lasting change related to the social change themes of homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development. Max. Value: £600,000

Find out more.

Baring Foundation - Arts and Mental Health Programme
Grants are available for established organisations in the UK that focus solely on offering creative opportunities to people of any age living with mental health problems, using the skills of professionally trained artists.

Find out more.


Healthwatch Hertfordshire Annual Report 2019/20
Healthwatch Hertfordshire’s Annual Report 2019/20 is now published and available to read here.  The report is full of information about the work that they have been doing over the past year to hear the patient voice in Hertfordshire and to recommend improvements to health and social care services.

If you wish to share your health and social care experiences with us, please call Healthwatch Hertfordshire on 01707 275978 or complete their online form.

Action for Conservation WildWEB – digital action programme for young people 
Action for Conservation have launched WildWEB, a brand new digital programme to support young people aged 13 - 17 to take action for the environment over this period and prepare for the world that lies beyond the lockdown. WildWEB is completely free and is hosted by a team alongside expert volunteers and an exciting lineup of special guests.

Read More.

Online Gaming Safety Advice for Parents and Carers
Online gaming can offer many positive experiences. It can give children and young people the chance to escape into a virtual world, to learn, and to connect with others.

However, there is a risk of children and young people viewing inappropriate content in games and being contacted by adults seeking to exploit them.

Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. (Children Exploitation and Online Protection).

Thinkuknow aims to ensure that everyone has access to this practical information – children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them.

This week the activity pack for parents and carers to deliver to their children explores how they can stay safe while gaming: 

The Traveller Movement Domestic Abuse Project- Film show and workshop on Friday 24th July 2-4pm
‘Never going to Beat You’ is a Traveller Movement film about domestic abuse.  

The project originally began as a community theatre project with Romany Gypsy and Minceir/Pavee (Irish Traveller) women who shared their stories of abuse  to produce a play.

The characters in the film are portrayed by a mix of women and men from the Traveller Movement and professional actors.

We are delighted to let you know we have arranged for an online showing of the film and workshop on Friday 24th July from 2.00pm to 4.00pm – showing the film Never Going to Beat You followed by a presentation from two of the women who were involved with the film and then an open Q & A.

To attend, please email peggy.sharp@stalbans.gov.uk no later than Tuesday 21st July. There is a suggested donation of £20 per head to cover the costs of the project and enable the Traveller Movement to continue their work. However, this cost shouldn’t stop you attending, contact Peggy to discuss subsidised or free places. 

Click here for more information.

Message from Borehamwood Library
Borehamwood Library is now offering a click and collect service called Ready Reads – customers request a type of book pack either online here: Ready Reads or by calling 0300 123 4049

There are plenty of adult and children’s packs available – Cosy Crime, Contemporary Fiction, Sci fi and Fantasy, Literary Fiction and more, plus others for teenagers and children of different ages

Borehamwood Library is open for collection of the pre-ordered packs and for book returns from 10am to 2pm Monday to Saturday. No other services can be offered at this time but we are working towards being able to offer these.

This is a safe way for any residents who have missed the library and social interaction to get out again and have a little chat with staff at the door and come home with some books we have chosen for them

The Summer Reading Challenge will be running again, but online this year. Families can sign up here: Silly Squad website.

Online Jobs Fair
Join Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Jobcentreplus Online Job Fair on Friday 24th July from 10am - 11am. Follow @JCPinBeds on Twitter or #JobsinBedsandHerts

For more information please email Trevor.Buckland@dwp.gov.uk