Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 26th October 2020

Footballer Marcus Rashford speaks for many when he says: “I have no interest in party politics. Letting millions of children in the UK go hungry at night is only an issue of humanity. We need to do better.”

One of the main lessons from the pandemic is the importance of planning for resilient systems.  The concept of a planned society was a key factor in the success of post war social and economic policy in the 30 years since the Second World War, but in recent years, we have more heavily relied on a ‘just in time’ approach, with little or no spare capacity.

In time, a new national plan is needed to develop a ‘big reset’ for our society.  Rather than having a society driven by profit, the plan could build on the surge in community spirit produced by the pandemic to foster solidarity where everyone has enough.  This would require a sustainable economy that enhances the natural world, while creating meaningful work. The plan would need to examine all government policies to ensure that it is life enhancing, so that, for example, education produces enthusiastic lifelong learners who can develop meaningful lives rather than people who can pass exams.

We should look to use the idea of wellbeing as our national goal. Wellbeing means that people feel good, have robust physical and mental health, and find fulfilment in their work, leisure and family lives. The Carnegie UK Trust has developed a framework for how to develop wellbeing in society.

Given the upheaval caused by the pandemic, there is the opportunity to #BuildBackBetter.

If someone has forwarded this to you, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters directly into your inbox here:

Best wishes, stay safe, stay well, be kind

Stephen Craker,

Chief Executive,
Communities 1st


Weekly Coffee Mornings for Member Organisations
Drop in to say hello, tell us what you are working on, what support you need and to hear from other local voluntary sector organisations at our weekly Virtual Coffee Mornings for voluntary sector organisations, every Wednesday at 10am.

The sessions are friendly, informal and hopefully useful.  You don’t have to come every week, come along whenever you are able to.

To register, visit or for more information please email or phone Christine on 01727 743018.

Trustees Week: Register your vacant trustee positions
Trustees' Week 2020 takes place 2–6 November. It's an opportunity for the general public to consider trusteeship. As part of Communities 1st ’s approach to trustee week, we will be promoting the various trustee opportunities registered with us via social media.

If your organisation is a registered or unregistered charity and you have some vacant trustee roles within your trustee board, then register as a recruiter now by emailing

Charity Commission Guidance Update
Updated guidance is out.  Measures around postponing and cancelling AGMs and other meetings have been extended to 30 December. It has also been clarified that you can hold trustee or members’ meetings of more than 6 people where these meetings are necessary for providing charitable services. Full details here.

Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs
On 21 October the Government updated its press release explaining that children's centres have been removed from the local authority facilities rule of 6. The press release explains that Hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000. Read more.

Winter Plan for Children
Save the Children have publishing a new briefing, A Winter Plan for ChildrenWhy families on low incomes shouldn’t be left out in the cold this winter, after conducting research with families on low incomes to ask about their experiences of the past few months. They found that families are starting the winter already struggling with lack of money. Parents are relying on help from charities for food and clothes, they are taking on debt, and struggling to afford food and other basic essentials. Their aim is to keep the issue of child poverty in the public debate, following on from the work of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Keep the Lifeline campaign, the Resolution Foundation’s The Winter (Economy Plan) is coming and End Child Poverty’s launch of local statistics.

Effect of pandemic on children's wellbeing revealed in new report
A new report published to mark World Mental Health Day (10 October) provided an in-depth picture of the experiences of children and young people during the pandemic and how it affected their wellbeing.

Some challenges were identified including isolation from friends, learning from home, or worries that family or friends might get sick but many parents also reported improved relationships with their children and that the majority of children spent time in outside green spaces at least a couple of times a week during lockdown.

Click here to view the report.

Do you know your fundraising reporting requirements?
The Fundraising Regulator has recently published the results of their latest review into charities’ compliance with the fundraising reporting requirements in Section 13 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, which applies in England and Wales. Click here to see their updated guidance on fundraising reporting requirements.

They also published a new webinar to help trustees understand what their responsibilities are with regards to fundraising. Organisations are welcome to use this resource as part of their board induction and training.

2020 Newton Charity Investment Survey
Newton Investment Management has published the findings from its annual Charity Investment Survey.

The findings cover topics such as the implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the activities, administration and fundraising abilities of charities, how environmental, social and governance issues have affected charities and their investment strategies and the progress towards greater diversity among charity trustee boards.

Click here to read the report.

Is your small charity ready to take on it's first paid member of staff?
The majority of charities begin life managed by a passionate founder and/or a group of dedicated Trustees and volunteers. In some cases charities continue like this for years or even decades. A question I see frequently is how can a small charity make the transition to taking on a first paid member of staff?  Read more here.

UK pandemic preparedness
On 20 October the Government published a policy paper on how the UK prepares for and responds to an infectious disease pandemic, particularly a potential outbreak of pandemic influenza. It also sets out how exercises carried out as part of our pandemic preparedness have informed the UK’s COVID-19 response. Read more.

Government pledges £1m in response to ITV's Help our Helplines campaign
Inspired by ITV’s Help Our Helplines campaign, the Government will donate £1m to charities through the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund, administered by Mind.

The extra £1m of Government funding came as part of a package of support for the mental health sector on World Mental Health Day, including £2 million for research into the effects of Covid-19 on the mental health of at risk groups, and over £400 million to eradicate dormitories in mental health facilities in England.

Click here for the full Government announcement.

Health Secretary warns of long-term effects of COVID-19 as new film released
On 21 October the Government published a press release about new data that suggests long COVID affects around 10% of 18 to 49 year olds who become unwell with COVID-19. The Health Secretary urges people to follow the guidelines to protect themselves and others from the potentially debilitating long-term impact of COVID-19. A new film has been released featuring the stories of 4 people, one aged just 22, who are living with the long-term effects of the virus. The press release and video can be found here:

The long shadow of deprivation: differences in opportunities
The Social Mobility Commission has produced a report highlighting the differences in social mobility opportunities within local areas in England.

The report shows that social mobility in England is a postcode lottery, with large differences across areas in both the adult pay of disadvantaged adults, and the size of the pay gap for those from deprived families, relative to those from affluent families.  The report calls on regional leaders to urgently tackle this social mobility post code lottery.

Click here to view the report.

Government urged to define ‘levelling up’
The Government has been urged to define what it means by ‘levelling up’ as new data suggests that solely focusing policy and funding on broad geographic areas will not create a ‘ladder of opportunity’ for people living in some of the most deprived communities in the UK.

Click here for more information.

Rough sleepers to be helped to keep safe this winter
Rough sleepers and those at risk of becoming homeless will be helped to keep safe this winter through a package of support, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced. This will give local areas the tools and funding they need to protect people from life-threatening cold weather and the risks posed by coronavirus. Click here for the full article.

Government needs to "do more to support young people who self-harm"
Young people who self-harm are not getting the support they urgently need, according to a new inquiry led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention, supported by Samaritans.

The report found that young people who self-harm are made to wait until they reach crisis point before having any chance of receiving support.

The cross-party group of MPs and peers spoke to expert organisations, health professionals as well as young people with experience of self-harm and heard how support arrives much too late due to service waiting times, thresholds and all too common stigma.  Click here to read the article.

The Earthshot Prize
The Royal Foundation and Prince William have launched The Earthshot Prize, the most prestigious global prize for the environment in history. Nominations open on 1 November, with over 100 nominating partners from across the world being invited to submit nominations of those individuals, communities, businesses and organisations who could win The Earthshot Prize. As well as identifying evidence-based solutions to the biggest environmental problems the planet faces, The Earthshot Prize aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism that we can rise to the biggest challenges of our time. Read more.

The Fawcett Society has launched the #RightToKnow campaign which aims to modernise the Equal Pay law by implementing the Right to Know - where women who suspect they are being paid less than their male counterparts are legally entitled to have this information.

60% of women reported either not knowing what their male counterparts earn or believing they earn less than them for the same work.

If you would like to support their campaign you can click here to write to your MP.

Esmee Fairburn Foundation: New strategy launched
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the UK’s largest independent funders. Their new strategy will focus their funding on three interdependent aims. The three interdependent aims are, Improving Our Natural World, Tackling injustice to deliver A Fairer Future and Nurturing Creative, Confident Communities. Work outside of these aims will no longer be funded. Under the new strategy, they will be providing larger and longer-term grants as well as strategic support to organisations or initiatives with brilliant ideas working towards these aims. Read news article about their new strategy here. The application process, which consists of six steps can be found here.

The #NeverMoreNeeded partnership (which we are a part of) has developed an updated Five Point Plan which shows how the Government could provide additional support to the VCSE sector, ahead of the second wave.

Download, review and share the 'Five Point Plan' here.

VCS Emergencies Partnership
The VCS Emergencies Partnership website 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.

Click here to go to the VCS EP website.

Furniture available to member charities
Please contact us at if your charity or group can use any of the following:

  • Open plan desks and associated beam work and screens
  • Pedestals
  • Wardrobes
  • Mid height cabinets

A minimum group of desks are a 3 pod and there will not be enough leg parts to set all these up as 3’s because they were originally configured in groups.


Do you know your fundraising reporting requirements?
The Fundraising Regulator has published a new webinar to help trustees understand what their responsibilities are with regards to fundraising. Organisations are welcome to use this resource as part of their board induction and training.

Investment Markets and the post-Covid future – Webinar
M&G manages £1.2billion of endowment and reserve funds for over 10,000 charities large and small – a new account can be opened with £1,000.  In 2019, they generated in excess of £60 million in dividend income to help charities fund their objectives.  

M&G specialise in providing attractive income levels from a range of asset classes, including Equities (company shares), Bonds, and Multi Asset strategies. 

As Director of Charities, Richard has a wealth of experience to draw on from his 25-year career with M&G. In this session, he aims to summarise where investment markets stand in the midst of the COVID pandemic, what the key drivers of equity markets are, and where this is likely to lead in the future – particularly with regards to income prospects, which the vast majority of both operational and grant-making charities are increasingly in need of. 

Click here to register:  Tuesday 03 November 2020 at 12:30pm

Volunteer Management: Volunteering Within the Law - Training
Understand the legal context as it applies to the involvement and management of volunteers.

This course is for anyone currently working with volunteers or wishing to develop a volunteer-led programme. The content for this course will be relevant to supporting volunteers across all sectors.  Please note this training is not taught by a lawyer so the trainer will not be in a position to address specific legal issues.

BOOK HERE:   Wednesday 11 November 2020: 10am – 12.30pm

Financial Reporting: Essentials of Charity Finance - Training
In this overview on financial reporting you will learn the various terms and practices of charity finance: assets, liabilities, depreciation, accruals etc and what key financial information is needed as part of financial reporting. Participants will receive a Post-Course Workbook.

BOOK HERE:  Thursday 12 November: 10am – 12.30pm

HCF Training & Development have launched their Autumn programme
The programme includes practical courses such as 'Digital fundraising' and 'Re-opening buildings confidently during COVID-19'. All courses have been adapted to be run online and support workforce development needs in the current climate.

You can find the full list of courses here.


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 and they will book some time in to work with you.

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

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.

For any queries relating to these funds please contact Hertfordshire Community Foundation at

Youth Futures Foundation
Youth Futures Foundation's Development and Impact Grant Funding is still open.  Applications must be submitted by the 9th November for a decision by the 31st December.  Good news is that the Youth Futures Foundation's level of financial support has changed to:

£30,000 - £150,000 pa for delivery of their development grant for 50-150 young people per year, duration 1-2 years.

£100,000 - £1.2m pa for delivery of their impact grant for 150+ young people per year, duration 1-5 years. 

Full details here.

Small Charities Challenge Fund
The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) is a funding opportunity for small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations. SCCF project grants of up to £50,000 are available for projects of up to two years, for UK-registered organisations working towards addressing the Global Goals to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, SCCF will be prioritising applications that can demonstrate that they are responding to longer term impacts of Covid-19. Deadline: 25 March 2021, 5pm. Full details here.

Grants to Cover Running Costs for Small Charities (UK)
Grants of £300 to £2,000 are available to small charities to help them to pay for with running and core costs. The funding is available to registered charities (Community Interest Companies are excluded) working in the areas of literature, arts and heritage; social welfare; environmental causes and animal welfare; education and training; and healthcare. The funding is being made available through the Marsh Christian Trust. There are no application deadlines.  Full details here.

VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund 2020-21: Starting Well
Grants are available for VCSE organisations in England to run projects that improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from BAME backgrounds from preconception to up to 2-and-a-half years of age.

The aim of the Fund is to promote equality and reduce health inequalities by building the evidence base about good practice, sharing lessons and widening the adoption of interventions with a proven track record. The current funding round focusses on giving people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) or poorer backgrounds the best chance at a healthy start in life. Approximately 20 projects will be funded.  Deadline 30 Oct.  Full details here

National Archives Scoping Grants
The National Archives has announced that the next deadline for its Scoping Grants is the 11th January 2021. The funding is available to museums and other public bodies, registered charities and not for profit organisations that hold collections. A Scoping Grant prides funding of up to £3,000 to produce a report that incorporates expert advice on a range of areas relating to collections management and the development of an organisation’s collection. Please note: the fund is currently heavily oversubscribed, and there is currently funding to award four Scoping Grants per application round.  Full details here.

New £25 Million Fund to Support Cultural Organisations
The Garfield Weston Foundation has announced that its new £25 million fund to support mid to large scale cultural organisations that have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic is now open for applications. Performing and visual arts organisations, arts centres, and accredited museums and galleries across the UK with a minimum income of £500,000 in a typical year, can apply for funding of £100,000 to £2 million each from the Weston Culture Fund to help them restart work, re-engage with audiences, adapt to changed circumstances, and generate revenue. The deadline for applications is the 9th November 2020. Full details here.

Funding to Support Vulnerable Energy Consumers
The Energy Saving Trust has announced that charities in England, Scotland and Wales can now apply for funding of up to £1 million through the Energy Redress Scheme. The scheme which distribute payments from energy companies who may have breached rules funds projects that support energy consumers in vulnerable situations. The scheme offers charities the opportunity to apply for grants of differing amounts to deliver a range of new and innovative energy related projects designed to help vulnerable energy consumers and address households that may have been impacted by COVID-19. The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 4th November 2020 Full details here.

The Cares Family – The Multiplier
The Multiplier is a brand new programme helping people to develop their own bridge-building initiatives in their own communities in their own ways. Over the next five years, the partnership between The Cares Family and UnLtd will support 50 leaders who are building connections across divides in their neighbourhoods to adapt and grow, building capacity and changing lives. In this first year, the eight-month programme will include leadership workshops, coaching, storytelling and networking. Deadline for grant application:  3rd November at 11am.  Full details here.

The Volant Charitable Trust Covid-19 Response Fund
The Volant Trust accepts applications from charities in the UK and internationally that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for medical equipment and the production or distribution of PPE will also be considered. The Trust is accepting applications from registered charities, CICs, community organisations or social enterprises in the UK and internationally. Deadline: 31 December.  Full details here.


Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support
If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, you’re under a legal obligation to do so, and could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

This guidance sets out who can claim support and explains how to apply. Click here for more details.

Citizens Advice St Albans Support with Energy Costs
Citizens Advice St Albans provide one to one Energy Advice Appointments, with qualified advisors to help with matters related to household energy supply.

Contact Citizens Advice St Albans on 01727 811118 or email for an appointment to help to find the best energy tariff, deal with fuel bills and more.

Crime prevention tips...
As we move into Autumn and Winter I thought we could send a reminder about crime prevention. Burglaries often increase during the autumn and winter months, when burglars tend to target homes that are unlit during the darker afternoons. 

Residents can make their homes more secure by following some basic crime prevention advice such as:

  • Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVC doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them.
  • Consider installing a door bell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm.
  • Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.
  • Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
  • Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed or locked garage.
  • Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows.
  • Ensure your vehicle is locked and remove all valuables as burglars often check to see if doors are left unlocked.
  • Join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch for alerts and advice:

Join Stoptober 2020
The Better Health team are back to help you quit smoking. And right now, looking after your health has never been more important.

Smoking attacks your lungs and makes it harder to breathe. So when you quit smoking, you give your lungs the chance to repair.

So this Stoptober, get the free support you need to stop smoking and start your journey to better health.

Go Sober for October!
Sober October encourages people to go booze-free in October to raise money for a great cause.

Sign up to go sober for 14 or 21 days, or the whole month and raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

No matter how long you choose, you'll be helping Macmillan be there for millions of people with cancer.

Sign up today and go Sober for October here.

"Stay Safe Hertfordshire: Play Your Part" Campaign
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a countywide campaign focussing on four of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus: hand washing, social distancing, wearing a face covering and getting tested if you have symptoms. A useful toolkit, with social media posts and posters, has been created.

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, and Welwyn Garden City.
  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub - providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents


You can advertise your job vacancies, events and contracts through Communities 1st (it's free if you're a member, and very reasonably priced if you aren't) and through our Twitter page!

Just send details including a weblink to

Communities 1st is supporting the #ShowTheSalary campaign. Show The Salary has been born out of frustration at the lack of action being taken to address pay gaps and inequity in the charity sector. One very basic enabler of these pay gaps is job roles being published without transparent salaries. There is ample evidence that this is a discriminatory practice. Please ensure any advert you do send through shows the pay scale, To find out more about the #ShowTheSalary campaign click here.

CDA Herts - Jobs Pathway Project Manager
CDA Herts are looking for a self-starter, lots of enthusiasm and commitment on this new and exciting pilot project to place ex-offenders in meaningful job placements or jobs.

This is a flexible 3 days (22.2 hours) role reporting to the Jobs Pathway Board and Steering Group who are working and providing mentoring/coaching schemes for their clients. The salary pro rata is £15,984.

Please contact Kate Belinis for the Job Description and application is a covering letter and CV e:

Closing date: noon 30 October 2020.  Interviews w/c 02 November 2020.