Voluntary Sector Briefing 20th July 2021

 I would like to wish Happy Eid to all our community who are celebrating this week, Eid Mubarak. All of us at Communities 1st are sending you warm wishes of joy and happiness. 

Following the government announcement on lifting Covid Restrictions from today, we have carefully considered this new advice alongside the risk assessments and safety measures we have introduced during the past 16 months. We will continue to ensure that our services remain as safe as possible for everyone. 

Communities 1st's advice is to be mindful that many people will be wary of face-to-face meetings in enclosed spaces and to be respectful and understanding of people who feel vulnerable and request the wearing of a mask. It is still good practice to wash hands regularly.

In terms of volunteering in the post-restriction landscape, many conversations we've had recently suggest a desire to maintain the goodwill and energy that sprung forth from Covid-19. People want to continue to connect with their neighbours. We are continuing to work with member and partner organisations as well as the statutory sector to promote, and where appropriate, develop new volunteering opportunities that engage and support our local communities.

Please be mindful that some people will feel more comfortable with the lifting of restrictions than others, and health vulnerabilities remain. We all need to be kind to each other as we move into this next phase. Let’s keep looking out for one another and recognise that we’re all going to be moving forward at our own pace.


Many thanks,

Stephen Craker
Chief Executive








During #KindJuly we want to say thank you to all our volunteers. Whether you've helped as a steward, a befriender, a Digital Champion, shopping delivery helper or a volunteer driver, you have made such a difference to your community. 

These events are our way of showing our appreciation for the time and energy you've given to others. There will be refreshments available, and a chance to meet some of our staff in person.                                                                    
Volunteer Celebration Events

Harlow, Learning Centre

Town Park, Edinburgh Way, CM20 2QG.

July 23rd - 2:00pm - 3:30pm


Letchworth, The County Ground

Hertfordshire Football Association, The County Ground, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 2EN

July 29th - 2:00pm - 3:30pm










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.


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.

Email: volunteer@communities1st.org.uk






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 network with other local voluntary sector organisations. Is there a topic you would like to discuss at one of our Coffee Mornings? Please let us know by emailing memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

  • Every Wednesday at 11 am. 
  • The sessions are friendly, informal and hopefully useful. Come along whenever you can!
  • Register using our calendar.

For more information, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone Christine or Isobel on 01727 743018.







It's Membership Renewal Time! 
Communities 1st member organisations will soon be receiving a membership renewal notice. Those who haven't registered as members with us can register here.


St Albans & District Foodbank need new warehouse space

Having supplied over 10,000 emergency food boxes to Hertfordshire locals, St Albans and District foodbank been given a deadline to move out of their site in Harpenden. If you or anyone you know has any information that could help contact



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 available space, email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk


Due to redevelopment, a local artist is seeking a new studio

A local artist is seeking an affordable working space, a minimum of 215ft² (20m²). Larger than this is ok, with some daylight suitable for an artist studio. If you are interested please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.


Charities Bill Factsheet

The main elements of the new Charities Bill include changing the law to help charities amend their governing documents more easily and increasing flexibility for charities to use their permanent endowment. It should also produce “a clearer and less administratively burdensome” legal framework for buying, selling, leasing and mortgaging charity land.

  • Read the Charities Bill Factsheet here.


UKCF report on recovery from the pandemic

The UK Communities Foundation has released a new report called 'Investing, inspiring and improving'. The report looks at the continued impact of the pandemic on local charities and the communities they serve and examines the practical steps that funders can take to make their grant-making more responsive, inclusive, and accessible to the sector.


My role in tackling health inequalities: a framework for allied health professionals
The King’s Fund has worked with AHPs from across the UK to develop a framework to support them to think through and understand their contribution to tackling health inequalities, whatever their role. This includes a section on how to work with and advocate for communities.


Filling the gaps in mental health support for young people with cancer
Teenage Cancer Trust has published a report which highlights the experiences of young people with cancer in terms of their mental health and their access to psychological support, along with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Socially excluded older people and their access to health and care services
Age UK has published a report which brings together a series of case studies from professionals who are working with socially excluded older people, including older people who are homeless, former prisoners, those living in poverty, or living with severe mental illness or addiction. It offers an insight into the challenges these older people are facing and provides best practice examples of services making a difference to older people’s lives.






HCF Better Boards online trustee training series
This is a collection of training designed to support Hertfordshire trustees and improve board effectiveness. All courses are free for Hertfordshire VCSE organisations.


Burnout, Compassion Fatigue & Moral Injury Webinar


Suicide Intervention Training

This is an informative training session to provide you with the skills needed to handle suicide intervention.






Our volunteers have been creating bedtime stories, for you and your families to enjoy at home. These stories are a great opportunity to help your children improve their literacy skills.

Email: bedtimestories@communities1st.org.uk to get access to our bedtime stories videos!

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





Advice on the COVID-19 Vaccination 

Vaccine Resources:


Fit, Fed and Read Summer 2021

With easy online bookings using the code 'FFR2!'. Sessions will take place in Borehamwood at Saffron Green Primary School. The event will be running from August 2nd to August 26th at usual times of 10am – 2pm Monday- Thursday, providing a free hot meal each day for every child. Read more.


Coaching for People Living with Diabetes

The Adda Club are offering FREE lifestyle coaching for people living with type 2 diabetes who are of Bangladeshi, Indian, or Pakistani origin. Read more.


Hertfordshire Family Centre Services

The Hertfordshire Family Centre is running various courses for families, including 'Families Feeling Safe', 'Parenting Puzzle' and 'Welcome to the World'. 

Read more and book here.


Hertfordshire Libraries and partners are looking for two artists in residence as part of a new project
This brand new, exciting opportunity will give the chosen artists the chance to work alongside library staff in unique and varying studio spaces. Working in our libraries, artists will be able to raise the profile of their work amongst library users, the local community and beyond.

To learn more email:  library.promotions@hertfordshire.gov.uk


Herts Valleys CCG Survey

People across west Hertfordshire are being invited to have their say on future urgent care services at St Albans City Hospital as part of a public engagement exercise that launches today (18 June) and runs until Sunday 1 August. Read more.


Changes to providing free prescriptions to people aged 60 and over

The government is thinking about changing how people aged 60 and over pay for their prescriptions. They have 2 ideas for the changes. They want to make sure they listen to people to know what they think about their ideas. They would like you to tell them what you think about any potential changes. Read more.











Policy & Communications Co-ordinator

  • Hours: 25 - 37 hours per week
  • £24,982 p.a. pro-rata (Fixed term to 31 March 2022) – with possible extension

The ideal candidate for this role will be proactive and able to work with colleagues and volunteers to deliver amazing services. 


Cleaner / Assistant Caretaker

  • 16 per week including morning, daytime, evening & weekend work
  • £9.65 per hour

The role of the Cleaner / Assistant Caretaker role is to provide a comprehensive cleaning and setup service at the Community Centres managed by Communities 1st.


Project Co-ordinator

  • 37 per week
  • £25,187 p.a. (Fixed term to 31 March 2022) – with possible extension

The ideal individual for this role will have excellent people skills, empathy, compassion and
awareness of safeguarding.


Community Playwork Coordinator (Family Group Worker)

  • 18h per week
  • £23,836 per year

Home-Start is a leading family support charity, committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under the age of 5. Parent volunteers offer regular support to families in their own homes, helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.


Young People’s and Families Projects Leader

  • Phoenix Group for Deaf Children and Young Adults
  • 30h per week, £23,296 per year

The Phoenix Group for Deaf Children and Young Adults is an independent user-led charity looking to recruit a highly
motivated, positive and experienced Young People and Families Project Leader to work with our members and
partners within Hertfordshire. 


Equality Council Co-ordinator Officer 

  • Herts Equality Council
  • 12 month post
  • £14,430 per year, 2.5 days a week

Herts Equality Council are looking for an experienced, highly motivated, self administrator and skilled community development officer to support, advocate, the issues and concerns faced and raised by the protected groups and people. Email info@hertsequality.org to apply or for a detailed job description.


Digital Inclusion Project Lead Wanted

  • West Essex Community Action Network
  • 37 hours per week
  • Up to £31,000 (Dependent upon experience) 

This person will be working with Local Authorities, VCS groups and health partners to provide both access to technology and data, as well as directed support to BAME and MH communities to enable them to benefit from virtual interventions and services.