NWCN E-bulletin 08 April 2020

1 Community Support

To all our members and groups within the community sector in the north west, we want to try and support you as best we can over the next few months.  If you need to put a call-out for support e.g. if you need volunteers to help you to continue to provide vital services within the community or have a support initiative that we can help you inform others about, please send on the information to us and we can post this in our weekly e-bulletin, Twitter or on our Facebook page.

Challenging times for us all but we want to work with you and work together so that we can support those in our community who will need it most in the coming weeks.  

Email any information to 

Please note there will be no e-bulletin next week due to the Easter break

2 Groups urged to apply for Community Fund COVID19 support

A special fund of £50,000 has opened in Derry and Strabane to assist with the delivery of support and bolster vital community services in the local response to Coronavirus.

The grants will be administered by the Community Foundation's Acorn Fund who are currently delivering the Northern Ireland wide grant scheme for COVID19 response. The money is part of a £280,000 Resilience Programme package of advance funding announced by Derry City and Strabane District Council last week.

The investment builds on the work undertaken by Local Community Planning, neighbourhood renewal groups, rural networks and the community based volunteer initiatives that have emerged over recent weeks.

The localised fund will provide an additional £50,000 of funding to constituted community organisations throughout Derry and Strabane who wish to apply for £1,000 - £2,500 to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The NI wide Coronavirus Community Fund will continue to provide access to grants of £5,000- £10,000 through the same funding application.
Applicants from the Derry and Strabane area are required to complete the generic NI wide application form for access to the additional £50k of localised funding allocated by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Welcoming the fund, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, urged local groups to avail of the support. "I am delighted to see this financial support being administered so quickly as pressure on these community networks continues to grow," she declared.

"I am aware of so many initiatives across both rural and urban areas that have already been rolled out to tackle need, their resources are limited and many are relying on the support of volunteers and the public.
"This community fund will allow them to extend their services, and continue to reach out to those who need it most. The Community Fund is there to support groups and organisations working with people with a range of needs including the older community – those aged over 50; those at increased risk, particularly in relation to poor mental health and wellbeing; Vulnerable isolated people and families, particularly those living in rural areas, families where a parent/ both parents have lost their employment or where children are living in povertyand children and young people's projects, particularly focusing on the voice of young people and connecting through creative mediums.
"I'm calling on local groups and organisations to consider if their services meet the criteria and if they could benefit from this fund. And as Mayor I want to extend my personal thanks for the vital lifeline these organisations are providing at this time of crisis.”

Acorn Fund Development and Support worker Shauna Kelpie, said efforts would focus on the swift delivery of support to sustain community resilience efforts.
"This is an emergency situation that is increasing in urgency daily and we will work with Council Community Services Officers to ensure the swift delivery of support so local service providers can deliver services in a way that best suits local communities.
"These groups have already created an extensive network on the ground, delivering food, medicine and care to the most vulnerable who are isolated and in need. We want to build on these efforts and allow these groups to do what they do best – protecting their local communities."

Any group who wishes to find out more or submit an application for the fund can go to 


 Tesco Bags of Help

Tesco Bags of Help is responding to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis by setting up a new short-term fund to support local communities. Due to the need to respond quickly to the emergency we have created a streamlined application process and payment process to make it easier to get funds distributed quickly. If your application is successful the fund will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups. The programme is set up to support organisational need in this time of crisis rather than fund specific projects.

 Typically, the fund will prioritise organisations;

  • whose need for services has been disrupted – for example a food bank  whose stocks are running low and need an immediate donation to enable the food bank to restock. 
  • require to put in place new services – for example charities setting up a new home service for the elderly who usually attend a monthly lunch club or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
  • Increased demand –  a holiday hunger club needs more resources due to schools closing, or a children’s centre needs an additional temporary staff member.

Applications will be welcomed from a wide range of organisations including: voluntary/community organisations, registered charities, schools, health bodies, Parish/Town councils, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies, community councils, local authorities and social housing organisations. Other not-for-profit organisations might also be eligible. 

Businesses and ‘for profit’ organisations are not eligible.

Typically we would welcome applications from organisations such as ;

  • Women’s refuges
  • Food banks
  • Hospices
  • Homeless charities
  • Charities supporting the elderly
  • Charities supporting children’s activities

However, this list is not exhaustive and other organisational types will be funded. This is a rolling programme, where community groups or charities can apply for funding at any time during the next few months; we expect to be making weekly awards to eligible groups across the UK. 

For any queries please contact: tescocv@groundwork.org.uk
Frequently Asked Question’s



4 Heritage Emergency Fund launches to help sector

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  

The £50m fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000.

It is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

Organisations which have received funding in the past or are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply.

Priority will be given where:

  • there is limited or no access to other sources of support
  • where heritage is most at risk
  • where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to COVID-19

We know that the majority of heritage organisations are facing temporary closure, severe impact on their revenue and staff shortages. Many face threats to their long-term futures. A small percentage fear they will not be able to last into the summer.

This is why we are taking a short, medium and long-term approach to our support for your immediate challenges and longer-term resilience and recovery.

As well as the Heritage Emergency Fund, we will also support the sector in the following ways:

  • Accelerating the provision of our £1.2m Digital Skills for Heritage initiative to help the sector through the crisis and beyond.
  • By continuing to support the 2,500 projects we have already committed to funding.
  • By being as flexible as possible for our existing grantees.
  • By providing bespoke advice and support.
  • £2m commitment to our network of ROSS consultants in the new financial year. We will direct that support to organisations in need. In doing so we are also helping several hundred freelancers and self-employed people.   
  • Working closely with the Government, other funders and heritage organisations to bring together support for the sector.
  • In the longer term, we have invested £4m in two Enterprise Development programmes across the UK for heritage leaders, and Business Support Programmes in all four countries. More information on this soon.


5 Covid-19: Clothworkers' Emergency Capital Programme

The Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme (CECP) will award small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Priority will be given to organisations supporting vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups within our 
programme areas during this period.

Key features of the fund:

  • Applications are only open to charities whose beneficiaries are not based in London
  • We will award capital grants of up to £5,000 (but we will not award grants equal to more than 50% of your annual income)
  • We aim to communicate a decision within one week (but it may take up to two weeks)
  • Capital projects that are planned as part of your organisation's ordinary course of business are not eligible; for these you may wish to review the What We Fund page for our Open Grants Programmes

Key organisational eligibility:

  • Income of less than £2 million per annum
  • Work of the applicant organisation must fall within our nine programme areas
  • We do not support organisations that promote a particular religion or that only provide services to people of a particular religion
Apply by first completing our eligibility quiz.



6 The Prince’s Countryside Fund Rural Response Emergency Grants Programme

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is inviting applications for emergency funding from farming and rural community support groups, who are providing assistance to counter the effects of isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic.

With thanks to Players of People’s Postcode Lottery, groups can apply for grant funding of up to £2,500 if they:

  • are providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals or;
  • are providing support to farmers and farm businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic or;
  • are helping rural or farming communities to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic

£100,000 total is available in this first round of funding. The Fund will assist projects that support farm businesses or other rural businesses and rural communities. This may include, but is not limited to, volunteer and fuel costs for grocery and prescription delivery from rural community shops, pubs, and hubs; costs associated with emergency support by farm and agricultural support groups; or rural foodbanks and food delivery services.

Applications close on Wednesday 15th April at 12pm.


 7 Grant Fund For Young Entrepreneurs Affected By Coronavirus

The Prince’s Trust And Ulster Bank Launch £5 Million Grant Fund For Young Entrepreneurs Affected By Coronavirus

Initiative offers self-employed young people affected by the coronavirus outbreak flexible access to grants and business support

The Prince’s Trust and Ulster Bank have announced the launch of a £5 million fund to help young entrepreneurs across the UK to keep their businesses afloat during the coronavirus crisis.

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund is available to entrepreneurs aged 18-30, who can apply for grants and tailored support from today. Grants can be used to maintain core business operations during the crisis, as well as meet any existing financial commitments, such as paying for essential equipment or settling invoices from suppliers. In conjunction with these grants, the initiative will also offer one-to-one support and guidance to applicants who need it. 

To be eligible, businesses must have started up in the last four years and be run by someone aged 18 to 30. Young people who are in the process of starting a business and don’t have any other source of income during the crisis are also eligible to apply for a grant.  To apply for funding and support from The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund visit https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/coronavirus-response/enterprise-relief-fund.


8 Comic Relief: No Child Goes Hungry – Community Support Programme

Applicants will be asked to provide details of the programme being proposed, and how it will support families with children under the age of 10 who may face food poverty as a result of the order to close schools and/or loss of household income as a result of the COVID-19 virus. As the closure order may run into the summer holiday period the fund is keen to support community based programmes that can provide support across this entire period. 

Priority will be given to small, locally based and local run groups or organisations in areas of disadvantage that have a clear understanding of the needs of their community and are undertaking actions as a means of addressing these needs. Depending on the quality and volume of applications received priority will be given to:

  • Those that are new to Comic Relief and/or Community Foundation funding
  • Those in geographically underfunded areas

Those with lived experience, where people directly affected by the issues are involved in all.

If applications are received from a number of groups operating in the same geographical area, the Community Foundation reserves the right to contact these groups asking them to develop a more coordinated approach thus enhancing the potential of the fund to reach out to as many communities as possible.



9  The Leathersellers’ Company Small Grants Programme

This is a fast track application process for small one-off grants. It could be particularly useful for funding small projects or to cover unexpected costs. The value of the grant awarded could be up to a maximum of £3,000.

In the light of the unprecedented challenges that now face small charities providing vital services to the most vulnerable members of our community, our small grants programme invite applications from UK registered charities which are currently supporting:
– the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless
– provision of food and essential supplies
– victims of domestic violence
– nursing care to vulnerable patients

You can expect a decision in a maximum of 4 weeks of applying (we expect it to be less as we are holding 3 meetings in the space of 8 weeks). In order to distribute maximum funding to organisations urgently, applications will close for summer on 11th May, with the final allocations made the week after. Applications will then reopen in early August 2020 (we expect with new priorities).

For those based outside London or with other needs, please complete our application form 



10 Free GrantTracker for One Month during Covid-19 Crisis


NICVA's recent survey demonstrated Covid-19's negative impacts on fundraising.  So, we want to help you access all the funders you can, not just new Covid-19 related grants, but also grants for your work after the pandemic.

If you have free time on your hands, or your staff or volunteers do, there is probably no more worthwhile way to spend it than settling done with GrantTracker and checking out which of its 800+ NI-relevant funders might want to fund your work.  So we felt the best way we could help our sector was to offer it free for a month to NICVA members and non-members alike.

Simply click 
here, choose the £40 / month option and use the discount code below within the next 2 months, i.e. 2nd June



11 Isolation Helpline 

Men’s Action Network currently have a dedicated telephone, ring-back service for men aged 50+ who feel isolated by the Corona Virus situation, within the Derry and Strabane District Council area.

This service will act as a:

  • Listening Ear
  • Community Information Sharing
  • Sign Posting Service to Relevant Agencies
  • Hours: 0830 – 1630 – Monday – Friday (Other times can be arranged by agreement)

As we know, people can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, such as getting older or weaker, no longer being the hub of their family, leaving the workplace, the deaths of spouses and friends, or through disability or illness and in these current times, the pressures the Corona Virus brings.

Whatever the cause, it's easy to be left feeling alone and vulnerable, which can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing. Our phoneline will act to combat these feelings of isolation.

Register your interest for a call back on:
T: 028 7137 7777
W: http://www.man-ni.org/

Men’s Action Network continue to offer counselling and benefits advice services on a daily basis via the telephone or through digital measures, accessible on the details above or on social media: 

Facebook: Men's Action Network NI
Twitter: @Man_In_Derry 


12 AWARE NI Video - 'Looking after your mental health during lockdown'
With AWARE’s  well-being programmes currently suspended due to COVID 19, our Education and Training Team is having to get creative! 
Check out our new well-being video featuring staff member Nigel Fyffe (and his family!!), guiding you on looking after your mental health during the lockdown
View the video on AWARE NI Twitter and Facebook as well as on the YouTube Channel: 


13  NEXUS Update on Training and Helpline

Normally, the start of a new quarter would bring with it new training dates. However, in light of the current situation, we at Nexus have made the decision to suspend all training dates until it is safe to congregate. We may look into alternative ways to offer training should the restrictions continue long-term, but for now we are not able to offer any training courses.

We thank you for your understanding if you have recently had a cancelled or postponed workshop, and we will be in touch when things return to normal with rescheduled dates. 

In the meantime, all our other services have moved to remote operations, including the 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline. Please continue to share the Helpline number, and to refer people for counselling with us if you are able to. 

If you have some spare time, and would like to give back to the community when we are in lockdown, we are looking for volunteers for the 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline. All the training and work is done from your home. The operators are responsible for support, signposting, enquiries, taking referrals, making risk assessments, distributing information and all associated administration processes. The helpline is contacted via phone, webchat and email. Please consider joining us during this crucial time.  

If you are a counsellor, support worker or just want to help, go to this 
link to learn more about this role. We would really appreciate your contribution. 

Call the domestic and sexual abuse helpline on 0808 802 1414


14  Community Support News Sheet from FWIN

Latest FWIN Newsletter to include: 

  • Food Support
  • Transport Support 
  • General Advice, Support & Assistance
  • Other Services



15 COVID-19 Information Hub

Please find attached a flyer promoting DHC Covid-19 hub.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves it will continue to affect all people and parts of our communities.  We have pulled together resources and links to information from trusted sources to help support you through this difficult time.  Our Hub provides information related to; supporting good mental health, changing circumstances for families, workplaces and community responses.



16 Can you help?

10,000 food boxes will be delivered through Department for Communities
and Councils to support the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Can you help identify those in need?

Freephone COVID-19 Community Helpline on 0808 802 0020;
Text ACTION to 81025.


17 Altnagelvin Hospital Donations

Altnagelvin hospital are preparing for the arrival of patients in the coming weeks. They hope to organise a supply of essential toiletries for each patient as there will be no opportunity for their families to visit and bring their personal effects.  Any donation, no matter how small would be appreciated.

Items needed for patients:

  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Tampax/Sanitary Towels
  • Roll on deodorants
  • Toothpase and Toothbrushes
  • Shower Gel
  • Hair brush / Comb
  • Hand Cream
  • Face Wipes / Wash
  • Moisturiser
  • Cotton Pads
  • Basic pants and Black Socks
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Male & Female pyjamas (preferably buttoned)
  • Night Dresses

Drop off points include:

  • Tesco's, Lisnagelvin
  • Fountain Street Community Development Association, Strabane
  • ME4MENTAL (18a Queens Street) Drop off Tues/Weds/Thurs @ 12-4pm


18 Share Your Organisation's Support Services 

NICVA are putting together a database of services that can make a difference to the public during Covid-19.

If your organisation offers a product/service that will have a positive impact on society, please register here and show your support to those in need:



19  Calling Digital Volunteers

Business in the Community, in partnership with Go ON NI and NI Direct, is recruiting digital volunteers to help offer free advice to those struggling with their technology during this difficult time.

We’ll be asking people to text a help number (to be released week commencing 6 April) for those needing help with the following:

  • Email
  • Attachments
  • Skype/Facetime/Facebook (connecting by video)
  • Social Media
  • Staying safe online
  • PayPal
  • Shopping online
  • Saving and sharing photos
  • Computer settings

We’ll connect our volunteers with those needing help. If you can provide support by making just one call a day, please register on: 

Do you know someone who needs some digital help?

From week commencing 6 April, we will make available a DIGITAL HELP number. They just need to type DIGITALHELP (one word) followed by the type of help they need eg: EMAIL to this number and one of our volunteers will be in touch.

*All text messages will be charged at your network operator’s standard rate. Information is held securely and is non-identifiable and not shared with a 3rd party. Information will be used by Digital Partners for this service only. There is no charge for receiving texts from this service while in the UK.


20 Community groups & COVID-19: what you need to know about data protection

As COVID-19 continues to sweep across the UK, more and more people are driven to help the most vulnerable in our communities. Church groups, neighbourhood and residents associations are being set up to support the work of existing community groups, services and charities.

Often, these groups need to handle sensitive personal information and share it with others. And that means taking account of data protection law.

For all you need to know: 


21 Good Governance Online 

Supporting Communities have created this great resource for Good Governance which includes:

  • What is Good Governance
  • The Code of Good Governance
  • Charity Commission NI
  • Charity Finances
  • Annual Reporting
  • Financial Systems



22 Part-Time Degree In Community Development - Extended Deadline!

Due to COVID19, we have extended the application deadline to Friday 29th May! If you are working or volunteering in the community or voluntary sector and would like an opportunity to gain a professionally recognised degree in Community Development, apply now.

No prior qualifications required! If you have current experience in the community/voluntary sector (equating to approx. 1 day per week) and can demonstrate a reasonable grasp of English language, you can apply directly to the BSc Hons Community Development.

The degree starts in mid-September and runs over one day per week, 9:30am - 4pm Wednesday, until early May. It normally takes four years to complete the degree but exit points are available after one, two and three years (e.g. Certificate, Diploma, Associate Bachelor Degree). You will normally attend university approximately 27 days per year. Please note if you are not currently working in a community development setting, you will be required to supply a letter from a community/volunteering organisation confirming that you are volunteering one day (approx 8 hrs) per week.

The course examines current issues facing marginalised and disadvantaged communities and explores how community development can be used to challenge inequality and social injustice, in order to help transform communities. You will also gain skills in working with people, managing community projects, writing funding applications, delivering informal education, conflict resolution and peace-building. This programme is professionally endorsed by the Endorsement Standards Board (UK) and All-Ireland Endorsement Board.

If you would like more information, see  https://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/202021/community-development-20973

You can also contact by phone or email: Dr Rosemary Moreland
Tel: +44 (0)2890 368333     


23 TEDxStormont Online
During April, every Monday at 4pm TEDxStormont will host a special online TED Circles programme themed around COVID 19, changing world and our well-being.

Join the conversation at: 


24  Latest Offers from Salto Youth

Please see 
attached document for the latest offers from Salto Youth including: 

  • Online Masterclass: how can Youth Organisations integrate Virtual Exchange?
  • Online sessions: producing radio shows in lockdown
  • Let's Talk About Mental Health! - Online Seminar
  • Youth work with music “Omnia vincit music”
  • YOCOMO – an ETS online course on competence-based development for youth workers


25 Facebook Online Events with FWIN!

Join FWIN for live events on Facebook! 
Come together, chat in the comments, learn some new skills and have a laugh.

Let's get together by staying apart! #inthistogether

Wednesday 10AM: Healthy soups cookery
Thursday 2PM: Cutlery enamelling workshop
Friday 8-9PM: Houseparty with Tyrone duo Brothers Inc!



26 Job Opportunities at Larchwood Care NI

Larchwood Care NI is a locally-owned care home company. We own operate 8 care facilities for nursing, dementia and residential care across Northern Ireland.
We now wish to hear from dedicated and caring, appropriately qualified nurses who want to make a difference to the daily lives of elderly residents.  

Opportunities in Derry/Londonderry & Strabane: 



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