Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 8th April 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, here at Communities 1st we have had a mixture of working from home and in the office. Speaking to colleagues across the voluntary sector has got me thinking; how do we support our member organisations as they reopen their spaces, and how will we work in the future?

The COVID restrictions roadmap in England sets out four steps leading to June 21st, by which time the hope is to see an end to social distancing. Many of us in the voluntary sector will soon be looking to open up our face-to-face services and office working again. Charity properties are as diverse as day centres, hospices, offices and stately homes. In terms of technical action, we can turn to much of the generic guidance for all organisations on how to re-open - such as how to work safely and returning to work.


Where we might differ is in the values we will bring. This is a great time to start a conversation with staff and volunteers around what good work is and what our future 'dream workplace' might be.

While social distancing is in place, most offices will be looking at limiting numbers, with partial re-opening, staggered shifts, restrictions on hotdesking and questions around vaccines. As you consider reopening, perhaps ask yourself these key questions:

  • Can you make premises affordable when they are only half used? How should you negotiate with your landlord?
  • Do you need an office at all, and if the answer is yes, where should it be?
  • Is the 'office of the future' one based on spaces to meet rather than desks to sit at?
  • What are the implications for an employer who is mixing office and remote working? For example, for young people who may not have ideal home working conditions, or people living in high pressure/abusive domestic circumstances?
  • How should funders be supporting the sector as it re-organises its property needs?

If you would like to discuss your plans of re-opening offices or face-to-face services, please contact us at

See you back in the office? Yes, but not, I suspect, the office as we knew it.


Many thanks,

Stephen Craker
Chief Executive




To ensure our communities are receiving accurate, up to date COVID guidance, we are engaging with COVID Information Champions, in partnership with Community Help Herts. The information champions disperse accurate, current information through their networks, to keep us informed and safe.

Anyone can be a COVID Information Champion. All you have to do is reach out to your community and share information from Hertfordshire County Council. The information is easily shared through social media, email, text messages and online messaging apps, and can also be printed out and used as a poster.

To get involved email Christine at or call 020 3940 4869.




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. Come along whenever you can!

Register using our calendar.

For more information, please email or phone Christine on 01727 743018.


Thinking about your group's volunteering activities?
Contact our Volunteer Centre team who can help direct you to volunteering activities you can do safely, whether in person or remotely.



Do you know any group who are exceptional and should be put forward for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service?

If you know of an exceptional volunteer group, running for more than 3 years, which has positively impacted on the lives of others in your local community, you could nominate them for the QAVS. Nominations can be made from 1 April to 15 September.

Read more.


COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing recovery action plan

This action plan sets out an ambitious, cross-government, whole-person approach to promoting positive mental health and supporting people living with mental illness. The plan is also a call to action for local communities, families and individuals who can take simple steps to look after their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them.

Read more.


Latest COVID-19 communications toolkit
The Cabinet Office has released its latest COVID-19 stakeholder communications toolkit, which aims to encourage people to take up vaccinations and testing.
Read more.


New public health reform strategy 

This paper sets out the government's new plans for public health reform and invites feedback and insight to be sent to them by 26 April. Read the paper here
This reform includes the aim of 'strengthening the local response' and that includes the development of integrated care systems. 

Read more.


LGA/ADPH Annual Public Health Conference

If you missed the LGA / DPH conference, you can find a recording of it here:

LGA/ADPH Annual Public Health Conference 2021: Rising to the challenge parts 1 and 2

LGA/ADPH Annual Public Health Conference 2021: Rising to the challenge parts 3 and 4


Immune Response to Vaccination

A study led by Sheffield and Oxford Universities finds that 99% of people have robust immune response against COVID-19 after one dose of Pfizer vaccine. 

Read more.


Member organisation urgently seeking new space

One of our member organisation urgently needs a new space to operate in the WD6 area. This could be a small storage space, with room for 5 fridges/freezers, or a larger space they can move their entire operation to, which includes storage space.

For more information please email:


Access ramp available

This is an Aerolite-Lifestyle premium multi-folding ramp, 6 foot long, suitable for a wheelchair or mobile scooter, lightweight and easily transportable. It is in as new condition, purchased a year ago but unused.  In return for the ramp this member organisation are seeking a donation to their organisation.
If you are interested please email:


Charity organisation seeks office space

HACRO, a charity that works towards caring for and resettling offenders, are looking for a space to expand and develop workshops and training etc.

If you know of an available space, email


Study on the experiences of older (50+) lesbian, gay and bisexual people accessing community based social care services
If you are a person who works in a community based social care service or group that supports older people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, your views are also needed.
Read more.



Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Thursday 20th May 2021 - 10.00am – 12.30pm

Register here.

Managing and Supporting Volunteers

Thursday 20th May 2021 - 2.00pm - 4.30pm
Register here.

for further information email Carmen Dillon at or call 01707 274861.


Safeguarding adults at risk- Level 1 (£15)
Wed 21 April 2021 - 10.00 - 2.00
Register here.


The Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership Induction Session

This induction session is aimed at recent starters within external partner organisations. The session enables recent recruits to learn about the structure, work and current priorities of the Herts Sports Partnership. 

Thursday 22 April from 10.30am to 11.30am.

Register here.



St Albans City & District Council- Grant coming soon for community groups
This grant will allow year-round applications with grants awarded between £200 and £2,000 from a total pot of £6,000. It is for organisations in need of small capital items to aid their delivery of services. Examples include IT equipment, portable ramps and sports or arts materials. The new Community Project Funding will also be launching this year. It will be allocated twice-yearly and open for applications in May and November. Grants of between £500 and £5,000 will be awarded from a total fund of £41,000 available. 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 13 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 13 April 2021 for a panel meeting at the end of May. Read more.

Grants to Support Grassroots Community Sports Clubs Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Made by Sport, in partnership with the Cash4Clubs scheme, has launched a new COVID-response fund to enable grassroots community sports clubs across the UK to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people affected by the pandemic. The #ClubsInCrisis Fund will provide grants of up to £2,021 to local sports clubs and third sector organisations using sport to help young people develop life skills, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, improve employability skills, or tackle mental health issues. Match funding is encouraged. Funding will be made available through the UK Community Foundations from the 12th April 2021. Read more.

Funding to Support Youth Organisations
Not for profit youth organisations that support disadvantage young people (aged 14 – 25) can apply for grants of up to £90,000 spread over three years to help them to sustain or expand their work. The funding is available to support the core operating costs of the applicant organisation. Examples of what can be funded include developing volunteers; additional fundraising or income generation capacity; and upgrading IT systems or website. The funding is being made available through the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Youth Fund and applications can be submitted at any time. Read more.

Funding for Creative & Mental Health Opportunities for Ethnically Diverse Communities 
The Baring Foundation’s Arts Programme has launched a new Fund supporting projects that promote the use of art to address mental health problems in people from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Grants of between £10,000 and £40,000 are available to charities and not-for-profit arts organisations that focus on offering creative opportunities to people living with mental health problems in ethnically diverse communities across the UK. The type of work funded might include shadowing, internships or apprenticeships, or mentoring or free training opportunities. £500,000 is available in total for this Fund, and the Foundation expects to award in the region of fifteen or more grants. The deadline for applications is 12pm on the 21 April 2021. Read more.

Funding to Support the Reopening & Recovery of Community-Run Leisure Centres 
Grants of up to £50,000 will be available through the Community Leisure Recovery Fund to support leisure centres who provide a general leisure offer such as swimming, sports hall, fitness, and health and wellbeing facilities. Funding will support the difference between income and expenditure during April to September 2021 and will include a bespoke support package. Priority will be given to organisations supporting disadvantage and minoritized groups including people on lower incomes, disabled people, people with long-term health conditions, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Applications can be submitted between the 6th April 2021 and the 29th April 2021. Read more.

Funding to Support Vulnerable Young Migrants
Not for profit organisations and private law firms working with vulnerable young migrants can apply for grants of up to £30,000. Grants will enable the organisation to undertake strategic legal work to benefit young migrants (under the age of 25) living in poverty who face significant disadvantage or discrimination in connection with their (or their parents') migration status. Applicants should note that the average grant size is around £12,000. The funding is being made available through the Strategic Legal Fund (SLF) for Vulnerable Young Migrants and the closing date for applications is the 4th May 2021. Read more.

Hertfordshire CC seeking county-wide applications from voluntary sector/not for profit organisations supporting mental health and helping reduce suicide

The £3,000 one year of funding is part of NHS England 4th wave provision for Herts and West Essex Integrated Care System (ICS). Its purpose is to encourage resilience and build greater community support for those at increased risk of suicide and reduce the incidence and associated stigma of self-harm and suicide. Aimed at small and innovative projects, the grants will be up to £3000 each and will be for 12 months, with opportunity to apply for more funding next year. While there can be only one bid per organisation, match funding or other evidence of joint working will increase chances of success. Deadline for applications is 7th May. Read more.

Grants to Improve the Quality of Grass Football Pitches
To prevent the cancellation of thousands of football matches in England each year, the Football Foundation has launched a new £14 million fund to improve and maintain the quality of grass pitches. The Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund will provide eligible grassroots clubs, leagues, charities and National League System Clubs (Step 1-6) a grant of £2,500 to enhance pitches that are considered 'poor' or 'basic', or £750 to help them sustain pitches already at a 'good' level. The funding must be used to carry out maintenance recommendations provided by the Foundation which can include contractor works, and the purchase of materials and equipment. Read more.

Grants to Support Women’s & Girls’ Charitable Organisations 
Women’s and girls’ charitable organisations will be able to apply for a share of more than £525,000 to continue their work to make the UK a fairer and safer place for women and girls. Rosa, the grant making charity that supports women and girls’ organisations in the UK, will manage the distribution of the funds that have been raised though a JustGiving Crowdfunder set up by Reclaim These Streets. Grants awarded will be awarded to organisations working to change and save women’s and girls’ lives, particularly those most at risk of harm. Further details will be made available in the coming weeks. Read more.

Grants to Enable Disabled People to Play Tennis 
Special schools as well as coaches, clubs, disability groups, associations and individuals can apply for grants from the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust for equipment and specialist wheelchairs to enable disabled people to play tennis. Funding of up to £1,500 is available for groups and clubs and up to £500 for individuals. The next closing date for applications in this round is the 29th June 2021. Read more.

Funding to Support Disabled & Disadvantaged Children 
Grants of up to £5,000 are available to registered charities to fund equipment and services to support disabled and disadvantaged children under the age of 13 across the UK. The Toy Trust fund helps disadvantaged children and their families to alleviate suffering; support children through awful experiences; encourage achievement through adversity; purchase vital equipment; provide care; bolster existing initiatives; initiate brand new projects; and satisfy basic needs. Groups that have carried out some form of effective fundraising by themselves are particularly encouraged to apply. The next deadline to apply is the 30th June 2021. Read more.

Music for All Re-opens its Community Project Funding Grant Scheme 
Grants are available to UK based community groups and schools to bring music to their community. The funding is available to help schools and community groups get established as a sustainable music programme and can be put towards musical instrument costs, workshops/training, using music to break down barriers, providing a variety of educational opportunities as well as helping to find ways to integrate many diverse and minority groups positively into society. The funding is being made available by the charity Music for All and applications are assessed three times a year in Spring, Summer and Autumn. The next closing date for applications is the 1st July 2021. Read more.

Funding to Support Education in Disadvantaged Areas
Grants are available to support schools and registered charities that wish to undertake educational work with children and young people under the age of 25 in disadvantaged areas within the UK and international projects working with marginalised communities. The British & Foreign Schools Society (BFSS) normally makes grants totalling about £900,000 in any one year. For UK projects the focus is on projects to improve the educational outcomes and life chances of Young Carers and Children Looked After. Grants for UK projects will range between 30,000 and £100,000 and for international projects up to £60,000. The next closing date for applications is the 8th July 2021. Read more.

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Sustainable Futures Fund
To address climate change and its effects, organisations, individuals and charities can apply for grants to support projects that develop and promote sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to the current consumerist and growth-based economic model. Grants are available for projects that address the current unsustainable economic system; excessive consumerism; giving marginalised groups and young activists a voice; and responding to the dual harms of COVID-19 and systemic racism. The deadline to apply is 5pm on the 23rd August 2021. Read more. 

Grants to Help Disadvantaged People Overcome Complex Social Issues 
£9.5 million in funding is available to charities in England and Wales helping disadvantaged people overcome complex social issues. The Lloyds Bank Foundation are making two-year unrestricted grants of £50,000 available to 190 small, local charities with a yearly income of £25,000 to £1 million, to tackle complex social issues such as homelessness, trafficking and domestic abuse. At least 25% will be ringfenced for Black, Asian and minority ethnic led charities. Read more.

Funding to Support Grassroots Organisations During the Coronavirus 
In response to the coronavirus, The Alpkit Foundation are prioritising funding to support projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the crisis. Grants are available to grassroots organisations serving those affected by the outbreak. Funding can provide support for activities which might include helping vulnerable and elderly people who are self-isolating, supporting the homeless, providing access to food, medicines or social care, supporting foodbanks, increasing the number of meals on wheels deliveries, and bringing exercise indoors. Applications can be made at any time and will be checked on a daily basis. Read more.



Have you received a Census Reminder Letter? Don’t worry, there’s still time for you to complete the questionnaire - and we can help through the whole process before May 4th.

If you need help completing your census form, have a look at this document. For more assistance and advice, you can visit the Borehamwood Healthy Hub. Call 020 8207 5115 to book an appointment.

Below are the latest COVID-19 public health guidelines to help you, your family, friends and community stay safe.


Advice on COVID-19 vaccination

COVID vaccinations

People should attend their COVID-19 vaccination appointments when invited to do so.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) continually monitors the safety of vaccines in the UK. You can read a statement from the MHRA here.

Residents aged between 50 - 54 years can now book vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service or by calling 119.

To make sure you get your call to be vaccinated, you should register with a GP surgery. You can find instructions on how to register here.

Vaccine Resources:

Mind Hertfordshire Network Summer Courses

Mind in Hertfordshire are offering a range of online courses this summer, including Understanding Anger, Learning to Accept Uncertainty and Change, and Overcoming Anxiety and Fear. 

Read more and register.


West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust hosting virtual public exhibition - 26 March - 23 April

The exhibition will provide an opportunity for you to see the latest proposals for the Watford General Hospital redevelopment. You can read about their plans for services and buildings on their website.  There are a number of virtual public exhibitions you can join, to have your say.

Read more.


We Move, She Moves Outdoor Classes Resume

Learn to Run

Designed for total beginners, these sessions will teach the key skills and techniques perfect for those of you who have always wanted to try running but felt you weren’t fit enough, fast enough or strong enough.

Stroller Strength 
Get some fresh air while you get fit! Stroller Strength is a one-hour class that intermixes walking, resistance exercises and mummy tummy toning all in one great class. Meet other mums, have fun and get fit.

Read more.


Study on the experiences of older (50+) lesbian, gay and bisexual people accessing community based social care services

If you are 50 years of over and a lesbian, gay or bisexual person, you could help inform this research by participating in a survey.

Read more.


Food Poverty Needs Assessment:
Understanding Service Provision in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire residents are encouraged to take part in a research study about food poverty. This will help researchers and Hertfordshire County Council to understand how people are managing with food at this difficult time, and analyse services in Hertfordshire. You will also receive a voucher as reimbursement for your time.

Read more


Herts Inclusive Easter workshops

You can still catch some Easter workshops, organised by Herts Inclusive Theatre. These include 'The Basics of Puppetry', 'Interactive Musical Theatre Singalong', and 'Music and Movement'. 



Empower is a FREE 48 week project which takes place in Borehamwood from next month and aims to improve young people’s mental health. 

Each session is 90 minutes in length and consists of 60 minutes of physical activity, followed by a 30-minute wellbeing workshop. Children between 9 and 12 years can take part.

To refer anyone for Empower or find out more, please email:


Hertfordshire Family Adult Learning Services and Oaklands College are running a Resilience Course, to help you build the skills to thrive in uncertain times. Register here.

Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service are offering a range of courses, starting this April. These include Jewellery Making Made Easy, Intermediate Word and Excel, and Photography for Beginners. Read more. 

The Saracens are holding an online Employability Course over four days. For more information or to register, email:




Chief Executive

Home Start Hertfordshire

£45,000 per annum
30 hours per week/permanent

Based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

More information and apply here.


Deputy Service Manager
Hospital and Community Navigation Service

Welwyn Garden City
Temporarily remote
£32,000 - £35,000 per annum. 

More information and apply here.


Tender for Branding Consultancy and Creation

Hertfordshire Libraries Culture and Creativity Offer and My Story
Salary Fee - £3500 + VAT if applicable
Closing Date – 11 April 2021

For the full brief, email:


Hospital & Community Navigator

Permanent, Full-time - 35 - 37.5 hours per week

22,500 per annum.

Responsible for working with volunteers. 

Closing date: 11 April 2021

More information and apply here.


District Council seeking  staff for Local Elections

The paid work (all COVID 19 secure) is on Thursday 6 May at the Polling stations and / or  at count the following Saturday 8 May, Sunday 9 May and Monday 10 May.

Find all role descriptions here. 

Find more information here.
To express an interest in any of these roles please complete an elections application form or contact / 01727 819318.


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

Email your interest to the elections team at or call 01727 819318.