April 2020

Monthly Archives

The Persimmon Charitable Foundation

The Persimmon Charitable Foundation is joining forces with Team GB to give away £1 million to help support under 18’s in health, sport, and education and the arts through its Building Futures competition.

Registered charities, clubs, schools and other organisations across England, Wales and Scotland can enter the competition with project ideas in these sectors. Funding can be used to cover costs such as equipment, facilities, training, or medical research and support groups. In each sector there will be a first prize of £100,000, a £50,000 second prize and a £20,000 third prize. Alongside the top prizes, smaller individual prizes of £1,000 each will be given away during April and May 2020, and 87 shortlisted finalists will each receive £5,000.

The deadline for applications is the 31st May 2020.  Please view for further information – https://www.persimmonhomes.com/building-futures/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0JTzh-6F6QIVVOvtCh3ivwLpEAAYASAAEgJIl_D_BwE

Cruse Bereavement Care – Update on Service Provision

Cruse Bereavement Care – continues to provide a service. We have moved to telephone support, including Zoom. Our lines are open.

There is a National helpline 0808 8081677 and email helpline@cruse.org.uk and a regular updated page specific to Corona-19 https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus-dealing-bereavement-and-grief . This has some excellent resources and can be accessed by anyone along with other self help information.

In Sandwell our office is closed and staff working from home. There is an answerphone which is checked regularly and our Bereavement Volunteers continue to offer support. Our local number is 0121 558 1798 or email sandwell@cruse.org.uk

Charity Commission Issues Advice About Coronavirus-Related Financial Difficulties

The Charity Commission has published guidance on coronavirus related financial difficulties in charities and how to work through them.

It states that “charities will be exposed to higher levels of risk than in more normal times” and that it will recognise this.

“We understand that many trustees are having to cope with serious financial challenges that will have a major effect on their charities and those who depend on them. We have therefore set out some guidance for trustees, especially at smaller charities, who may need help facing difficult situations or decisions,” the guidance reads.

The guidance states that in reaching decisions, open and informative communication with users, supporters, staff and volunteers will be important.

It adds that it is important to make sure to have as accurate a picture as possible of the current and immediate future operations and their financial implications on the charity.

‘We will take account of the fact that things may go wrong despite the best efforts of trustees’

It tells trustees to consider the best interests of the charity. This will likely include considering the trade-off between reducing costs in order to be there to support users in future, and meeting the immediate needs of the charity’s users with the possibility that in future the charity will have to reduce its services or close entirely.

The guidance adds: “As trustees you will generally be protected when you have carefully applied your skills and experience to decisions and taken advice when needed. We recognise that these decisions will often be difficult, that there may not be an obvious ‘right’ decision, and that charities will be exposed to higher levels of risk than in more normal times.

“We also recognise and will take account of the fact that things may go wrong despite the best efforts of trustees to act in their charity’s best interests.”

The guidance also states that if it looks as though the charity may not survive the Covid-19 period, “you should consider when to develop plans to close”.

“Also agree who will do this and when to trigger closure if the recovery plan does not succeed,” the guidance adds.

Charities should report a ‘serious incident’ to when an assessment reveals that either that the scale of financial loss threatens the charity’s ability to operate and serve its beneficiaries, or the charity’s financial reserves or other measures are not sufficient to cover the losses.

Source: Civil Society

The Charity Commission Issues COVID-19 Guidance for the Charity Sector

The Charity Commission in the UK has issued advice for charities across the country on handling potential coronavirus (COVID-19) related fraud and cybercrime.

According to the commission, fraudsters are exploiting the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak to carry out cybercrime. Police have reported a spike in coronavirus related scams as well, which has prompted the commission to issue an alert to help charities in minimising the risk of falling prey to such frauds and cyber-attacks.

The Charity Commission warned that all charities across the UK, particularly those offering services and supporting local communities during the COVID-19 crisis, could be the targets of fraudsters.

The commission believes that there are various ways in which charities can be a victim of scams, including those which involve the online sale of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and gloves.

Warning that certain sellers have been fraud, the commission said that in some cases, once payment is done online, no products are dispatched or the products do not comply with the necessary standards.

The Charity Commission wants charities to undertake due diligence in case they are purchasing from a company or person they did not know previously. Furthermore, when charities are not sure from whom they are buying, it is advisable that the concerned person discusses with fellow trustees, colleagues or volunteers before making the purchase, said the commission.

The charities’ regulator wants charity employees to be cautious all the time when asked to make changes to bank details or sending payments to a new account. It urges charities to follow their validation procedures, wherever possible, and check the authenticity of such messages prior to making any payments or carrying out banking changes. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

The Charity Commission said that charities should always question unsolicited offers of goods or other financial support which require an advanced fee payment. It warned that just because someone knows the charity employee’s name and contact details, it does not confirm that they are genuine.

Source: Government Computing

Coronavirus and Social Isolation

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the UK, it will be harder for people to maintain their social connections.

Campaign to End Loneliness will keep their page up to date with ideas for how we can all combat social isolation and look out for each other during the spread of the virus. They’ll also link to the latest guidance and advice from government, charities and experts on how to stay safe and healthy during the outbreak.

For many people there will be a tough, but necessary period of social isolation. Many of us will miss seeing family and friends and taking part in our usual hobbies, interests and activities.

It shows how important friendship and connection are in our lives, and how difficult it can be when they’re missing. This reminds us that for too many people their lives are often quite a lot like this.

Research shows that half a million older people regularly experience these kinds of protracted periods of isolation, going at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all. During the Coronavirus outbreak it’s especially important we can stay in touch with people who are alone.

Staying in touch
Making sure that you stay in touch with friends, family and neighbours can help to ease any feelings of loneliness you and others may experience while in isolation. Technology can help with this enormously.

  • Call your friends, colleagues and relatives regularly on the phone and see how they are.
  • Create WhatsApp groups with neighbours, family or friends. Share how you’re getting on and ask other people how they are.
  • Use Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date and keep in touch.
    Offer to help with shopping or running errands. You could use an app like Nextdoor to see if your neighbours need assistance. If you’re worried about transmitting the virus you can leave the bags on the doorstep.

For many, the telephone will be the easiest and most accessible way to keep in contact. Some of this technology might be new or difficult to use for some older friends and family. Offer help and support to install and use apps.

When using social media be mindful that this may be a frightening and isolating time for many. Be kind. Offer help and advice where you can. Try not to spread unfounded rumours that may cause upset or panic.

Technology can’t replace the feeling of communicating in person, but there are ways of staying connected in isolation that can help.

For many of us this will be a difficult time. Isolation measures are to protect as many people from the worst effects of coronavirus and this will be temporary. If we make the effort to stay connected, we can make a big difference to people who are feeling alone at this time.

Source: Campaign to End Loneliness


Community Fund Isolation and Grantholders Adapting Their Services

Most people will feel lonely at some point in their lives, but if loneliness becomes chronic it can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health. It can affect anyone and is often triggered by transitions or sudden changes in our lives.

Here, The National Lottery look at how our grantholders are adapting their services in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the changes we’re all facing whilst living under lockdown.

A Community Response
Many people are responding by taking action in their local community to support and connect with others. They welcome this and are part of the Community Action Response campaign, which encourages people to do what they can.

Charities are sharing tips on how best to support neighbours and friends, whilst ensuring everyone stays safe. Doing Good Leeds’ Being a good neighbour pack gives top tips on offering help, looking after yourself and staying safe at home and online.

Some groups are encouraging people to connect with their local community. Lack of contact can make people feel very fragile and we know that small moments of connection or gestures of kindness – from looking out for a neighbour, to smiling and saying hello – can make a big difference. Fun Palaces brings local people together to share skills, culture and have fun. They are currently sharing practical suggestions for people to connect with their community.

Some groups have already successfully set up community volunteering teams, like Ageing Well Torbay, which has set up a matching team to pair volunteers with people who would like contact.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) provides comprehensive advice on involving and managing volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak, which includes pages on safeguarding and data protection, amongst others.

To read the full article click here.

You can also check out SCVO’s COVID-19 pages on our website at www.scvo.info/covid-19/ packed full of useful information, online resources, funding and much much more.

Source: National Lottery Community Fund

Sandwell Cash for Sports Clubs – Round 5 COVID-19 Emergency Funding

Sandwell Council understand that sports clubs, like every other sector, may now find themselves experiencing financial difficulties. Therefore, due to the current circumstances we are re-profiling the Cash for Sports Clubs grant scheme this year to make grants quickly available for local Sports Clubs to support you with any immediate or urgent financial issues.

You can apply for up to £1,000 to support with any immediate losses or issues, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Sandwell Council wants to help you to ensure that our sports clubs are still with us when this crisis is over. You may want to apply for funds to support the sustainability of your club during this time, e.g. training and qualifications, if they are currently available from your NGB.

They are also aware of a number of other schemes to support sports clubs during this crisis. The Sport England Community Emergency Fund has recently been created, and Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) are also offering support. If you require any further information or support with accessing these funds, please contact the Council’s Sport & Leisure team at Sandwell_SportsClubs@sandwell.gov.uk

We are also planning on setting up some virtual meetings and Webinars so that clubs can come together to share challenges and solutions to issues faced. We can invite colleagues from local organisations that may be able to provide help and support.

For more information click on the links below:

Sports Clubs Questionnaire

The questionnaire seeks to understand the difficulties you may currently be experiencing, that might require a greater extent of financial support than we can provide. Council officers will follow this up by getting in touch with you to provide you with advice and support.

To complete the survey click here.

£5m Emergency Fund Received Applications Totalling More than £40m

CAF’s fund, launched on 30 March, had to be closed on 5 April because it was so oversubscribed.

The Charities Aid Foundation received more than 5,000 applications for grants totalling more than £40m for a £5m fund in just one week.

CAF launched the emergency fund on 30 March but said it had to close applications on 5 April because the fund was so oversubscribed.

It said the new fund would offer grants of up to £10,000 to small charities, non-profits and social enterprises with annual incomes of less than £1m that are struggling amid the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

It said the applications it had received were almost all from registered charities.

CAF said yesterday that it had paid out grants totalling about £1m to 256 UK charities. It hopes to be able to attract further investment and reopen the fund to applications at a later date.

Monica Brown, head of charity advisory and programmes at CAF, said: “I am pleased to see that we have been able to get more than £1m in help to charities in a matter of weeks and it is our plan to grow this fund so that we will be in a position to help more small organisations to continue to deliver vital services in the weeks and months ahead.”

Source: Third Sector

How to Enjoy Heritage From Home

The Heritage Fund has put together a list of heritage-inspired activities you can do from home – they’ll be updating the list, so keep checking back to find new things.

They have been keeping an eye out for some of the wonderful heritage activities that you can do from home.

Many of their staff members will be taking part, often with families in tow, as we all find ourselves adapting to new ways of working. Please join in with them!

Share what you do on social media by using the hashtag #HeritageFromHome.

Be inspired by nature – inside and outside

They know that nature can be hugely beneficial to our wellbeing.

If you can’t go outdoors, then having greenery around your house is also positive for mind and body. Even images of nature can help to enhance your mood.

“Let’s support each other through these challenging times by sharing the beauty of nature and spring.”

Can you see natural heritage from your window? Do you have any house plants? Please share them with us! Let’s support each other through these challenging times by sharing the beauty of nature and spring.

Turn any outside space – including your windowsill – into a wildlife hotspot. We can all help make a big difference to the natural world. While we can’t go out to volunteer, here are some fun things to try at home.

Enjoy a peaceful moment with the Breakfast Birdwatch with the RSPB. From 8–9am every weekday, look out for nature outside your window – and share your sightings using #BreakfastBirdwatch. Follow them on Twitter: @Natures_Voice.

Why not brush up on your nature knowledge? Use your daily walk to identify birds and bees with Devon Wildlife Trust – and back at home make your own binoculars or mini nature reserve.

The live camera feed has been switched on at the Dyfi Osprey Project in anticipation of the majestic birds’ imminent return from migration – you can watch it below. Stay with the pair of ospreys that breed at Cors Dyfi as they reunite, hunt for fish and raise their chicks, before flying back off to west Africa in the autumn. Follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.

To read the full Heritage Fund article click here.

Source: Heritage Fund

Digital Skills for Heritage – Meeting the COVID-19 Challenge

Josie Fraser explains how the Heritage Fund will help organisations face the current crisis and beyond through our digital skills initiative. 

They recently announced our Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, designed to help organisations thrive in the digital era.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made the need for organisations to understand and make use of digital more pressing than ever before.

Because of this, they are working with their partners to better meet the new and emerging needs of the heritage sector. They also want to help organisations develop the skills that will build their resilience long term.

Making use of digital means that staff, volunteers and communities can continue to stay connected. It also means many heritage organisations are having to upskill more quickly than ever before.

What is The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Response?  
The Heritage Fund will act on what organisations are telling them they need support with, but adapt this as new needs are identified and as the situation changes.

They will work with the sector to help find solutions while keeping an eye to the future – helping develop the skills that will build resilience long term.

Their approach focuses on finding out what organisations need, and scaling support though peer learning and network development, and through providing free, openly licenced resources.

They will continue to keep an eye to the future by building skills that will help organisations through the current crisis and into the future.

Surveying The Sector
The Heritage Fund are inviting all organisations who work in heritage to register now for the Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) survey, lead by Timmus Ltd – Click here for the English sign up.

You can let them know about your organisation’s current digital support needs. You can also tell them if your organisation currently provides free digital skills support to the sector or would like to.

The full survey will be open between Monday 27 April and Friday 10 July 2020. It will look at a range of issues including putting content online, communicating and fundraising, collaboration and group work, and innovative digital practice.

They ask that only one person from each organisation signs up initially. They will send this person a custom link to pass on to others in their organisation once the survey opens.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Heritage Fund

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