At the end of last year, the government published their proposal for transforming public procurement, which is now out for consultation. The government’s procurement green paper is one of the biggest opportunities to influence the way in which government buys over £290bn in goods, works and services each year, right down to our local level.

Let’s be honest, this announcement doesn’t immediately set the pulse racing; however, the paper presents a potential reset moment – to make sure the rules and procedures support services rather than stand in their way.  There are definitely some good things in the green paper that would represent progress. It tries to move the emphasis away from evaluating tenders solely on cost towards a broader understanding of “best value” that encompasses long-term social value as well.  An explicit part of its purpose is to “unleash opportunity for small business, charities and social enterprises to innovate in public service delivery”.

A couple of weeks ago, NCVO, ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation also published their final report from the Rebalancing the Relationship project.

This report is particularly timely as we learn from and build on successful collaborations formed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Open, transparent and collaborative leadership has never been more important to ensure we meet the needs of the communities we serve. There are many useful lessons in the report for leaders looking to build more collaborative cultures, and ensuring a focus on impact over income at a time when charities are #NeverMoreNeeded. 

On Wednesday, the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign issued an open letter to the Prime Minister, calling for the creation of an Emergency Support Fund for communities and causes.

The letter comes as charities respond to growing need for their services while wrestling with an estimated £10bn funding gap caused by the pandemic. Many organisations are already spending their reserves, making redundancies and having to scale back or even close services.

Supporters believe the Emergency Support Fund is needed to quickly get vital funding out to charities who are struggling to meet increasing demand and haven’t been reached by the funding and support that is currently available. The letter warns that without the fund, charity support will be cut back or even disappear altogether, leaving them unable to respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged in our communities.

If you would like to discuss any of the points mentioned above, please contact Christine or myself at

Many thanks

Stephen Craker
Chief Executive



Weekly coffee mornings for member organisations 
Our weekly Virtual Coffee Mornings for voluntary sector organisations are a chance to say hello, tell us what you are working on, what support you need and to hear from other local voluntary sector organisations.  

Every Wednesday at 11am.

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

On 17 March Aya Hastwell, Carers Coordinator from Herts Mind Network is going to lead the session, discussing her experiences of supporting carers during lockdown. Join this informal, conversational session to hear Aya’s experiences of what works and doesn’t work when supporting carers in lockdown. Come along to share ideas,  and learn from the experiences of others.

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

Thinking about your group's volunteering activities?
Contact our Volunteer Centre team who will be able to assist you through the volunteering decision tree to help you work out which volunteering activities can be done safely in person, or remotely. Email


Empower is a 48 week Hertsmere project that aims to improve young people’s mental health through physical activity. Each session includes a physical activity and wellbeing workshop.
To refer someone for the Empower project, please email these forms to:


Herts Sports Partnership: Happy Holiday Activity Programme Fund

Hertfordshire County Council has joined forces with the Herts Sports Partnership and the Hertfordshire Community Foundation, to organise a programme for the forthcoming Easter Holidays aimed at countering the triple inequalities facing Hertfordshire’s most disadvantaged young people – holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation. Programmes can be led by a range of organisations from public, private and community & voluntary sectors.

Book a space on the webinar for more information here, or email Jane Shewring at

Hertfordshire year of culture celebration event

As the Hertfordshire Year of Culture has now drawn to a close, a celebration event is being held to look back on all that was achieved last year. 

This is an open event and will take place online at 9.30am on March 2nd. Partners and creative practitioners will be able to hear about the HYOC 2020 campaign, as well as the wellbeing evaluation and experiences. Read more.

The organisers of Hertfordshire Year of Culture would like to hear your experiences of HYOC 2020. Please fill in this very short survey  It should only take 5 minutes to complete.

Rapid community COVID-19 testing in Hertfordshire

Key and essential workers who cannot work from home are being encouraged to book regular rapid Covid-19 tests as part of Hertfordshire’s new community testing scheme. Read more.

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership
Neglect Strategy and Campaign Launch 

The HSCP are launching the new Neglect Strategy and joint campaign with the NSPCC. Neglect is estimated to affect up to one in ten children in the country. The Strategy aims to eradicate neglect for Children and Young People in Hertfordshire.

25 February 2021 - 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Book your place HERE

'Lunch and Learn' sessions
As part of the launch of the Hertfordshire Neglect Matters campaign, they will be running 45-minute lunchtime sessions for professionals working in Hertfordshire. These sessions are freely available to all practitioners and are from 1pm - 1:45pm.
1 March 2021: The Many Faces of Neglect
2 March 2021: Neglect in the time of Covid-19
3 March 2021: NSPCC – Michelle’s Story
4 March 2021: Reflecting on Practice – A Case Study

More details HERE

LGBT+ History Month

To celebrate LGBT+ History Month, University of Hertfordshire is hosting two free events this week that we welcome you to attend and share with your family, friends and colleagues.
Thursday 25 February, 12:00
Time to Change, A guest talk from Dame Inga Beale

Friday 26 February, 12:30

Engaging the LGBT+ community in public service leadership: experiences from Local Government and the Police

Find out more and book your place HERE

Care home vaccination follow-ups
The Department of Health are advising any care home in England with older residents and staff who have not yet been visited to contact them to ensure vaccinations can be offered as soon as possible.

Read more

Safeguarding Is everyone's business

The Home Office, in collaboration with a number of other government departments including DCMS, produced information and guidance for those who are operating in communities and may not be trained to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect. The guidance covers signs to spot and what to do if there is a concern.

The guidance can be downloaded HERE.

NCSC digital loft events - Spring 2021
NCSC UK Business Engagement team is running a series of free cybersecurity webinars and talks in late February/March 2021. These events are aimed at UK businesses of all sizes, educational institutions and charities.

Events include:

·E&S Digital Loft: Ransomware Workshop

·E&S Digital Loft: Cyber Exercising with 'Exercise in a Box'

·E&S Digital Loft: Cyber Security for Boards

·E&S Digital Loft: Cyber insurance guidance

·Cyber Aware with NCSC

·Introduction to Cybersecurity with NCSC

·Introduction to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)


Transforming public procurement consultation

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 10 March 2021
The government’s goal is to: Speed up and simplify our procurement processes; Place value for money at their heart and Unleash opportunities for small businesses, charities and social enterprises to innovate in public service delivery. Read more.


#NeverMoreNeeded demand government action

#RightNow, the latest action from #NeverMoreNeeded, was launched on 17 February to highlight what charities are doing for communities and causes, and to call on the government to create an emergency support fund for charities. Charities are being asked to sign an open letter to the prime minister, and join in on social media with the hashtag #RightNow.
Many organisations receiving this legal update are already on the list of signatories, but for those who aren't, the open letter and other campaign materials are HERE.



Better Boards 2021 - open for applications

Better Boards is a comprehensive programme of training & consultancy for trustees, developed to improve the effectiveness of Hertfordshire charities. The revised online Better Boards 2021 programme includes:

  • 1:1 individual consultation for the CEO & Chair
  • 'Principles of Good Governance' training to the whole board.
  • In-house training for your trustees tailored to your organisational needs.

HCF Training and Development can fund up to 10x places for organisations providing Adult Care. Application deadline is 31 March 2021.
Find out more about the programme and how to apply here.

Writing Successful Bids 
2 March – 10:00am
Book here.

Funding Strategy And Diversification In The Current Climate 
19 March – 10:00am
Book here.

Acting For Impact - Working Practices And Organisational Culture 
Thursday 18 March – 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Book here.

A free 2 day conference hosted by the National County Lines Coordination Centre

This event will provide knowledge and understanding of county lines criminality, including exploitation of both children and vulnerable adults. It will provide attendees with practical guidance and advice, which will assist them in providing appropriate support and interventions.

Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March.

Book here.



Tesco Bags of Help Grants Programme Opens for Applications 

Community groups and schools can now apply for funding of up to £1,000 for projects in England, Wales and Scotland that benefit their local community. The funding has been made available by the Tesco’s Bags of Help programme and can cover a broad range of projects and can be used: to purchase sports kit, litter pickers, camping equipment; improvements to buildings; the development of outdoor space such as a play area or woodland; running a community event or supporting seasonal activities. A public vote determines which groups will receive a grant. Following the vote, the project that received the most votes in its area will receive a grant of up to £1,000. There will be a new vote every three months. Read more.

Funding to Support Women’s Organisations During the Covid-19 Pandemic 
Grants of up to £40,000 are available to charitable women’s organisations across the UK working to enable women and girls to improve their mental health and wellbeing and/or improve their financial resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic. With funds from the Tampon Tax Fund, Rosa UK and Smallwood Trust have collaborated to create the Women Thrive Fund which will enable organisations to respond to the crisis and support women and girls to overcome the barriers they face. Applicants can also ask for an additional 25% of their grant request for costs to strengthen their organisation. Proposals are particularly welcome from organisations working with vulnerable, disadvantaged and/or under-represented groups such as Black and minoritised groups, older women, those with disabilities, and LGBT+. The deadline for applications is 5pm on the 25th March 2021. Read more. 

New £10 Million Fund to Attract Private Sector Investment in Environmental Projects 
Environmental groups, local authorities, businesses & other not-for-profit organisations in England can bid for a share of a new £10 million Government fund to help develop nature projects to a point where they can attract private investment. The Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund will provide grants of up to £100,000 for nature projects which tackle climate change, create and restore habitats, or improve water quality. The fund, which is being delivered by the Environment Agency on behalf of Defra, will help organisations get specialist advice, engage investors and build capacity to develop their project. The deadline for applications is 5pm on the 26th March 2021. Read more.

National Lottery Heritage Fund Reopens for Applications 
Applications for National Lottery Grants for Heritage have re-opened for applications. The focus for 2021 – 22 will be to support projects that will strengthen the recovery of the Heritage sector from the Covid-19 pandemic. The National Lottery Heritage Fund will award grants of between £3,000 and £5 million to not-for-profit organisations and private owners of heritage across the UK. Priority will now be given to heritage projects that: boost the local economy; encourage skills development and job creation; support wellbeing; create better places to live, work and visit; and improve the resilience of heritage organisations. Applications should fully reflect the changed circumstances brought about by pandemic. Applications can be made at any time. Read more.

Grants for Groups Helping to Tackle Identified Need in Hertfordshire
The HCF Large grants invite applications of up to £5000 from projects that are addressing identified need within Hertfordshire. Successful applications from this programme are funded by a range of the individual, family and corporate funds managed by HCF. Application Deadline: 5pm 13th April 2021 for a panel meeting at the end of May. Read more.

Grants to Promote the Health and Wellbeing of Older People in Bushey and the Surrounding Areas.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to groups working to promote health and wellbeing for older residents of Bushey and the surrounding areas (including Watford, Radlett and Borehamwood). Application Deadline: 5pm 13th April 2021 for a panel meeting at the end of May. Read more.

Warburtons – Community Grants Scheme 
Charities and organisations with charitable aims can now apply for up to £400 worth of funding for projects that have a direct and tangible social impact on families and solve significant social issues. Funding is available for projects that meet the following themes: Health, Place or Skills for families in their community. The Community Grant scheme is being made available by Warburtons and is administered by the Charities Aid Foundation. The next closing date for applications in this round is the 10th May 2021. Read more.

Funding to Help Disadvantaged Young People and Children 
Charities in England and Wales can apply for funding for projects that help disadvantaged children and young people. The funding is being made available through the Masonic Charitable Foundations Early Years Opportunities Grant scheme. The Foundation operates two funding streams. Small grants of between £1.000 and £15,000 per year for up to 3 years and large grants of between £10,000 and £60,000 per year for up to 3 years. The next closing date for the large grants programme is the 31st March 2021. The small grants programme is currently closed to applications and will re-open for applications between 1 March and 5pm on 31 March 2021. Read more.

Funding to develop and improve community partnerships
Not for profit organisations such as community organisations, charities, schools and social enterprises in England can apply for grants of over £10,000 for up to five years to develop a more strategic approach to improving their community by developing and growing new and existing partnerships. During the current Coronavirus crisis, The National Lottery Community Fund will support people and communities most adversely impacted by COVID-19. Support is available to continue to deliver activity to existing users, responding to the immediate crisis or undertaking recovery activity and to change and adapt, becoming more resilient in order to respond to new and future challenges. Applications can be submitted at any time. Read more.



Fit, Fed And Read Easter Programme

Fit, Fed & Read is a free school holiday activity programme that operates across Hertfordshire during the school Easter and Summer holidays. The programme aim is to provide “a high-quality holiday activity programme ‐ including support with literacy ‐ in Hertfordshire’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, with a nutritious meal every day, free of charge.”

Monday 29 March - Thursday 1 April
Tuesday 6 April - Friday 9 April
Further details and a registration form can be found here.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

A new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2021 is being produced to replace the current Inclusion Strategy which is now out of date. The Strategy will set out our vision and plan for the next three years to make our district an inclusive, welcoming place where everyone can thrive. We want to make sure the strategy reflects our diverse communities and that everyone gets a chance to have a say on what our priorities should be.

To complete the survey click here

Advice on COVID-19 vaccination

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

At the current time (17 February 2021) the vaccination is being offered to: 

  • people aged 65 and over
  • people who are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • people who are at moderate risk from coronavirus (clinically vulnerable)
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers

the NHS is now urging everyone aged 70 and over who hasn’t yet had a vaccination to come forward and contact the NHS to book in their jab
The easiest way to arrange a vaccination if you are in a priority group is through the online national booking service at
Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week.
Anyone who would prefer to be vaccinated at a local GP-run centre can instead contact their GP practice to ask about available appointments.

The vaccine is our best defence against the virus alongside effective social distancing, wearing a mask and washing our hands.

Key Information Sources

Free 20 week online award-winning wellbeing programme for 60+ with mobility problem or long-term condition
Gentle, relaxed, fun movement based upon Adaptive Yoga (a simplified form of yoga developed especially for people with mobility issues), the Alexander Technique  and mindfulness.
Anyone interested should email:

Add-Vance - The ADHD and Autism Trust

Add-vance are delighted to announce their programme of spring term online workshops for parents and carers funded by Hertfordshire County Council.
These interactive workshops will be delivered via Zoom and can be accessed via a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
For more details and to book your free ticket, click here or visit their Facebook page.


Healthwatch Hertfordshire COVID-19 surveys

Healthwatch Hertfordshire have launched two surveys to better understand local residents’ experiences of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The first survey is aimed at those who have received the vaccine and asks about their experiences of the appointment as well as the information/communication provided. The second survey is aimed at those yet to be offered the vaccine, exploring attitudes towards the vaccine, likelihood of take-up, and also their experience of communication related to the vaccine.

You can fill in the surveys here.

For Baby's Sake

For Baby’s Sake is an innovative, therapeutic, trauma informed, programme working with all family members supporting a recovery framework to overcome the devastating effects of domestic abuse, acknowledge & explore unresolved & often complex childhood trauma and change harmful patterns of behaviour to develop a home environment where children can flourish.

If you would like the charity to join one of your team meetings then please feel free to call. If you have any questions relating to the referral pathway, you can get in touch here.


Something's Not Right

The 'Something's Not Right' campaign is designed to help secondary school children in England who suffered a range of harms, such as sexual and physical abuse, during lockdown. The campaign aims to help children understand what may be causing them to feel these emotions and signpost support.

Read more here.


Job centre opening hours

Jobcentre Plus is a government-funded employment agency and social security office whose aim it is to help people of working age find employment in the UK

Read more.


National lockdown: stay at home

Under the new restrictions we are all being asked to stay at home to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and save lives. You cannot leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse, including:

  • Working, if you can’t do this from home  
  • Essential shopping  
  • Medical appointments, or if you’re at risk of harm from domestic abuse  
  • Daily exercise, once a day  

Read more.

Mind in Mid Herts continue to offer a huge range of remote support and services:

  • Peer Support – Free one to one support service offering 8 free sessions for clients experiencing mental health issues
  • Online Meeting Places – Various groups supporting men, women, LGBTQ community and young people.
  • Young People’s Helpline – For children aged 10-17 years old who would like someone to talk to.
  • Crisis Helpline – For anyone experiencing crisis out of normal hours, evenings and weekends.
  • Online HAFLS Groups – Anxiety & Fear, Building Self Esteem, Coronavirus & Wellbeing, Confidence Building and many more.
  • Online Carers Group – Offering relaxation sessions as well as online groups.
  • Counselling – For information on this service please call our main number 0203 727 3600

Find the updated 2021 timetable here.
Read more


Online talk series held by Rotary 

Rotary, a global membership and humanitarian service organisation, is holding a series of free online talks. 

The next talk, "Peacebuilding - It's in our DNA" with Peter Kyle - Director, Rotary International will be held on

Tuesday 2 March 7:05pm - 7:45pm

Book here.


Safe Space have published a positive mental health and wellbeing guide for parents and carers during the COVID-19 pandemic 

The guide includes information on 'Looking After Your Mental Health', 'How to Support your Child/Young Person' and 'Practical Needs (finance, housing, food)'.

Find it here.



Hertsmere Borough Council: Community Engagement Officer
Fixed term contract for 8 months
Salary £24,979 - £28,385 per annum (depending on experience)
Closing date: 09:00 Monday, 26 February 2021
Interviews: 5 March 2021

For more details and to apply click here.

Hertfordshire County Council: Polling Stations

Hertfordshire County Council have a number of roles available at Polling Stations around the county. These roles include:

Polling Station Marshall

Poll Clerks

Count Assistants

Payment for these roles range from £80 -£190

If you or anyone you know would be interested please email the elections team on or call 01727 819318.

Poll Clerks
This role is inside the polling station and will include:

  • checking electors are registered to vote against the electoral register
  • issuing ballot papers
  • cleaning surfaces in the polling station
  • Training and PPE will be provided. Payment for this role is £190.

Count Assistants
The dates and timings of the election counts are yet to be confirmed but it is likely these will take place over a number of days between Friday 7 May and Monday 10 May. Training will be provided on arrival at the count centre. Payment for this role is around £80. If you or anyone you know would be interested please email the elections team on or call 01727 819318.


Homeless Navigator – ReStart Resolve’s Homeless Project

Salary: £21, 216 per annum
This is an excellent opportunity for someone with drive, motivation and commitment to join the Resolve Team delivering our expanding Homeless Project & Support Services for homeless individuals as part of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s approach to tackling homelessness.

For an application pack including job description email:
Deadline: 5.00pm Friday 26 March