Voluntary Sector Briefing

We are already more than two weeks into the new year and delighted to announce that Communities 1st Annual Conference for the Voluntary and Community Sector is taking place on Thursday 16 July. This will be our third in person conference since the Covid pandemic and we are busy planning a packed schedule full of opportunities to network and liaise with partner organisations, so please do mark the date in your diary today!

We have several other courses and events taking place in the coming weeks, including a two part bid writing training course and our latest Meet the Funder event with The Clothworkers Foundation.

Communities 1st offer a range of CVS and Volunteer Centre services and throughout 2024 we will continue to develop our training and support programmes.  If you need advice or guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Stephen Craker
Chief Executive




What We Stand For
Communities 1st are working to develop policy position statements on a number of important issues impacting the sector and the communities we serve. We want you to be a part of this conversation, so that the position statements reflect the views of the sector. Please come to the Stronger Together Networks to join in, if you would like to input but cannot attend a Stronger Together Network, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk



Stephen Craker’s CEO Blog
Did you know that our CEO, Stephen Craker writes a regular blog? Read the latest entry ‘Rebuilding From Burnout’ here. We also invite you to our website to read the previous entries.


Meet Euro Youth Mental Health

Euro Youth Mental Health is a CIC Non-profit, started in 2017, based in Hertfordshire.  They work with young people, for young people, across Europe, ensuring they are involved in projects, decisions, research and activities on youth mental health that impact them.  Currently run entirely by volunteers, they are slowly building their capacity to become a CIO this year and welcome anyone interested to hear more, or help out, to get in touch at info@eymh.org

In June 2023, Euro Youth Mental Health went to the European Youth Event, in Strasbourg, France, and delivered identical workshops to approximately 200 young people.  The workshops raised awareness of youth mental health and explored what topics are impacting young people's mental health the most across Europe right now, you can read more on this here.  



We would love to feature your organisation in Members Spotlight, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk for more information on how to do this. 


If you want more information you can visit our website or contact our Voluntary Sector support team on 01727 649940.


Stronger Together Networks 2024
We have listened to feedback and updated and amended our 12 Stronger Together Networks so that they better reflect the needs of local organisations. 

If you are interested in networking with colleagues working in a similar field, sharing challenges and best practice as well as hearing from outside speakers and about new funding opportunities, then do come along. Please click here for details of all Stronger Together Networks.

NEW FOR 2024- Communities 1st are working to develop policy position statements on a number of important issues impacting the sector and the communities we serve.  We want you to be a part of this conversation, so that the position statements reflect the views of the sector.   Please come to the Stronger Together Networks to join in, if you would like to input but cannot attend a Stronger Together Network, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk

Para Dance UK update
We can now proudly announce that Communities 1st and Para Dance UK have now officially merged.

Para Dance are now able to continue our important mission of providing dance opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people of all ages and abilities, upholding our most important message that #EveryoneCanDance.

The union of our two organisations means we will be able to give strength and sustainability to our work in a way that enables us to move forward for a more positive, exciting and enduring outcome.


Help shape community priorities
If you use services in Hertsmere, have your say on local services by participating in the ‘Community priorities’ survey by clicking here

Have your say on budget proposal (2024-25)
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) published the draft budget for the next financial year. 

HCC are now seeking the views of Hertfordshire residents on their budget plans and inviting them to share their feedback by completing the survey. 

Have your say by completing the online survey which is open until 28 January 2024.


NYA Regional Roadshows
The NYA and the Regional Youth Work Units are co-hosting regional roadshows to share their work and to gather insights from those working with young people and in youth services across the country, to inform their collective action.

Join them as they tour each region of England throughout January to March for a day of discussions, planning, sharing and networking. The seven in-person events will run from 10:00 – 16:00 with a networking lunch included. 

The East of England and East Midlands Regional event will be on Thursday 8th February at the Education and Conference Centre, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, Cambridge. 

Read more about Roadshow events here.
Sign up for your place on Eventbrite here
If you have any questions on Roadshows, get in contact with Lydia lydiaa@nya.org.uk.


FREE Training for Your Staff and Volunteers
Do you have staff or volunteers who do not have a GSCE grade C/4 level Maths? We can offer courses free of charge to improve the number confidence of your workforce. Through a wide range of short learning sessions including Excel, Managing Personal Finances and Presenting Data, these can all be accessed online in your own time. If you, your staff or volunteers are interested please email training@communities1st.org.uk for more information, or call us for a chat on 01727 649950.

Digital Training Offer for Communities 1st Members
We are offering Communities 1st members access to an extensive programme of e-learning. Training is available from the following categories:

  • Digital Skills 
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity 
  • Essential Skills 
  • Food and Hygiene
  • Health & Safety 
  • Leadership & Management 
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing 
  • Personal Development 
  • Policy & Legislation 

All training is available now. 

£125 gives access to 25 people per organisation to any of the courses. 

£200 gives access to any of the courses to 50 people per organisation. 

If you would like to take up this excellent offer but are not currently a member of Communities 1st, please contact memberservices@communities1st.org.uk.

Please email Juli Riley, Head of Engagement and Skills, Communities 1st for further information Juli.Riley@communities1st.org.uk


New Leaf College
New Leaf College offers hope for the future despite life's challenges, offering opportunities, learning from other student's experiences and equipping students with skills to make changes to support their wellbeing. 

The college offers sessions in Stevenage, Watford, Ware and Hemel Hempstead as well as continuing to provide sessions online. 

They would like to work with partners who may be able to offer access for residents to join their online sessions from a local venue. If you can provide a venue, please call 01442864966 or contact louisa.whorrod@nhs.net

Please visit the New Leaf College here.



Clinical Lead/Supervisor

Salary: £35,000 – 40,000pa (full time equivalent)

Hours: 2.5 days per week, open to flexible working/job share etc

Location: A mix of home and office (we are very open to flexible working). There is a requirement to attend the weekly full team /clinical meeting each Thursday (1.30pm – 2.30pm).

Youth Talk looking for an experienced Clinical Psychotherapy Lead/Supervisor to support the day to day clinical management and supervision of their well established Counselling Service supporting 13 – 25 year olds across St Albans and District. This is a new role for the charity and recognises their growth and the significant demand on the service.

The successful candidate will work in close partnership with our clinical supervisor to ensure that our counsellors are effectively supported and supervised. They will also work closely with the Operations Manager on the day to day running of the service, and with Chief Executive and Board of Trustees on the longer-term strategic development and clinical excellence of the service.

If you want to join a highly experienced, professional and fun team then please do take a look at the job pack. 

Alternatively if you’d like an informal conversation with  Chief Executive, David Barker them please do drop him an email at david.barker@youthtalk.org.uk

Closing date midnight Sunday 28th January 2024. 


Hours: 7.5 hours

Salary: £10.80 / hour 

Full Details: You can view the full details of this role here

How to Apply
You can send your application for this role via email to us@communities1st.org.uk or you can call us on 01727 649900.

About The Role
The Cleaner / Caretaker role is to provide a comprehensive cleaning service at the Phillimore Community Centre managed by Communities 1st and to provide occasional holiday cover for office cleaning at Ver House.
The successful applicant will be required to open and close the community centre for occasional hirers as required both during the week and at weekends. Regular hirers of the centres have their own keys and do not need this service.