NWCN E-bulletin 17 June 2020

1 Community Support & New Training 

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
roisin@nwcn.org or neola@nwcn.org

***See No 7 below for our new online Social Media Training for members***

2 COVID-19 Charities Fund & Webinar

The National Lottery Community Fund are distributing the COVID-19 Charities Fund with a grant from the Northern Ireland Department for Communities. This funding programme will provide financial support to charities who have lost income due to the impact of COVID-19 and are not able to cover unavoidable costs until 30 September 2020. 

This funding is aimed at charities who have found themselves in financial difficulties, having exhausted all other avenues of support including internal reserves, other measures such as the Job Retention Scheme and all available hardship funds.

It is vital that this scheme supports and prioritises those charities who can no longer find a way to sustain their services and are at risk of closure.

The assessment will focus on answering:

  • What is the minimum amount of funding that is needed to cover unavoidable costs until 30th September 2020?
  • The extent to which the charity has put in place credible measures to adapt their services and mitigate the loss of income.
  • The extent to which the community relies on the charity to deliver essential services.
We'll ask you about your charity's finances during the application process
You will be asked to provide some evidence to support your application including a copy of your latest bank statement, most recent annual or draft accounts, and you’ll need to complete a financial overview template giving us some detail of how your income and expenditure has been affected by the impact of COVID-19.

Further details and how to apply can be found here: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-charities-fund

Application deadline: Friday 10 July, 4pm

COVID-19 Charities Fund webinar with TNL Community Fund

Date & Time: Wednesday, 17 June 2020 - 11.00am to 12.30pm
Online event

NICVA would like to invite you to a webinar with The National Lottery Community Fund to hear about how the Department for Communities COVID-19 Charities Fund will be delivered in Northern Ireland.  The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Director Kate Beggs and Funding Manager Jenny Fitzgerald will make a short presentation and then respond to pre-submitted questions from organisations. 

Book your place here 

Ecclesiastical £50,000 awards are now open

We understand the importance of longer-term funding for charities, especially when trying to bring ambitious new ideas to life. Through our £50,000 awards, we’re actively championing innovation, giving charities the backing they need to propel their plans forward and turn creative ideas into practical solutions that benefit society.
Applications open on Monday 15 June 2020 and close on Friday 24 July 2020 – giving you plenty of time to create a great project submission.



4 Foyle Foundation Small Grants Scheme

The Foundation understands that charities are now operating within very different circumstances since the March 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. We are keen to be as flexible as can be in our support of small charities during this difficult and constantly changing ongoing period while maintaining a focus on those who can demonstrate a clear (usually local) need for their services and financial viability over the twelve months from the date of their application.

Our Small Grants Scheme is designed to support charities registered and operating in the United Kingdom, especially those working at the grassroots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities.

Online applications can be accepted from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum. Larger or national charities will normally not be considered under this scheme.

What the Foundation will Fund
Our focus will be to make one-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability.

Our priority will be to support local charities still active in their communities which are currently delivering services to the young, vulnerable, elderly, disadvantaged or the general community either directly or through online support if possible.

At present, it will not a priority to consider building projects unless these are for essential repairs or re-equipping, in order for you to carry out your work more efficiently or cost effectively and where you can demonstrate why there is an immediate need to carry out these works.

Until Spring 2021 we are unlikely to consider activities which involve social gatherings. In certain circumstances where social distancing prevailing rules can be maintained, we may consider this by exception.

Please email the Foundation to discuss this further before making any application to us. We will keep this issue under review and update our guidance to applicants periodically. Applicants must show how any grant will make a significant difference to their current work.

For more information and to apply please visit http://www.foylefoundation.org.uk/how-to-apply/forms/WeTCRSGS%20IGAM%20Guidelines%20(June%202020)%20(002).pdf


5 Independent Age Grants Fund  

Reaching Older People Independent Age Grants Fund - Reaching older people most likely to be missing  out – now and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus has changed the lives of everyone in the UK, but this is particularly true for our older generation who remain amongst the most affected. 
Before coronavirus struck the nation, Independent Age was exploring how to strengthen collaboration with older people and local organisations with the aim of shaping a more active role in supporting communities. But right now, our focus must be directed towards the current crisis. We can’t do this alone which is why our trustees have released £2 million from Independent Age’s funds to help smaller organisations across the UK working with older people hardest hit by the virus.
Our Grants Fund will comprise of four separate funding rounds. In each round, we will make £500,000 available where organisations can apply to receive up to £15,000 each.
 Application closing dates for each funding round are detailed as follows:

  Round opens for applications Closing date for applications When we will confirm our decision
Round 2 8 June 2020 9am on 2 July 2020 17 July 2020
Round 3 27 July 2020 9am on 21 August 2020 3 September 2020
Round 4 24 August 2020 9am on 18 September 2020 1 October 2020

Your organisation must be registered as a charity with The Charity Commission for England and Wales, The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, or The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

For more information and to apply please visit


6 Department for Communities Stakeholder Update

Please find the latest in our regular updates on the key announcements from the Department for Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Government and charities join forces to support mental wellbeing
Minister Hargey supporting town and city centres in their recovery
Minister confirms re-opening of the housing market
Return to outdoor training for elite athletes announced

We hope you continue to find these updates useful – don’t forget to check our website and nidirect regularly for the latest information on the impact of COVID-19 on our services.


 7 Online Social Media Training for NWCN Members

Following on from our COVID-19 support survey some of you told us you were interested in participating in Social Media training.
This training will take place via Zoom, 4 hours online training over 2 sessions & then online 1:1 support/feedback. 
Session 1: Wednesday 24th June 2pm – 4pm
Session 2: Friday 26th June 10am – 12 noon
If you are interested please book your place and we will send you further detail.  Email us on

Please note that if further spaces become available we will open the bookings up to everyone.


8 RCN & The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Charity Fund Online Seminar

Rural Community Network NI would like to invite you to a ZOOM session with The National Lottery Community Fund to hear about how the Department for Communities COVID-19 Charities Fund will be delivered in Northern Ireland. The session will be held on Tuesday the 23rd June 2020 from 2pm-3pm.  

To register for the event, please email teresa@ruralcommunitynetwork.org  or ring 028 8676 6670. An email invite to the Zoom session will be sent to you prior to the meeting.

The £15.5 million COVID-19 Charities Fund opened for applications on Monday June 15th to help local charities facing financial difficulties as a result of the current public health emergency. Deadline for applications is the 10th July.

The funding programme will provide financial support to charities which have lost income due to the impact of Covid-19 and are unable to cover unavoidable costs until September 30th 2020.

The programme will provide up to £75,000 for eligible organisations and will be administered on behalf of the Department for Communities by The National Lottery Community Fund.  The amount of funding required to cover immediate costs and prevent short term closure will vary for each organisation.  

More information on the programme is available from:  https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/covid-19-charities-fund

The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Director Kate Beggs and Funding Manager Jenny Fitzgerald will make a short presentation and RCN staff will also be present during the session.

Also if you have any questions about the scheme that can be answered during the session, please email them to conor@ruralcommunitynetwork.org  by 4pm on Monday 22nd June.

If you have any other queries about the session, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


9  FREE Virtual Training Sessions with Autism NI

arents & Carers

Due to the current restrictions, we have launched our virtual training sessions for parents/carers. These courses each have a maximum of 25 people and will be fully interactive, using group activities, discussion and question/answer sessions. Funded by Halifax Foundation, our FREE Fundamentals of Autism and Introduction to Anxiety courses are now available to book online.
For more information about our virtual online training sessions, please call 028 9040 1729 (Option 4).

Book Online Now



A this time of change and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for organisations to communicate effectively and provide a high quality service to the autism community. Our virtual training for groups of staff can support organisations to implement a number of autism friendly strategies and feel more confident about the service they provide. All training sessions can be individualised to the needs of the group. Contact our Training Department for more information on christine.kearney@autismni.org


10 Creative Training Opportunity for Budding Writers

Creative writing - Ladder Project
A collaboration between Derry based writer, Sue Divin and the Irish Writers Centre
Starts: Mon 29 June 2020
Time: 1.00 pm - 2.00 pm (Mon - Fri)
Duration: 1 Week
Cost: Free

The Ladder Project is funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council's Artist and Cultural Practitioner Award and is a collaboration between Derry based writer, Sue Divin and the Irish Writers Centre. The Ladder Project aims to offer free places to 12 writers/emerging from the Derry City and Strabane District Council area to train/mentor them in facilitation skills for writing workshops. They will then use these skills to deliver writing workshops to a minimum of 30 participants from the Derry City and Strabane District Council area. Afterwards they will meet again to share their experiences and learning and to evaluate the project. 
Participants will be chosen using a number of criteria.

The closing date is 3 pm Friday 19 June 2020.

To apply for a place on this course please download the application form  by going to 


11 Free Life Skills Programme

The Life Skills programme in the Western Trust area offers:

Targeted Prevention Service
Is a life skills education programme for young people aged 11-21 years developed and written by ASCERT and funded by the Public Health Agency (Free to your group).
We are reworking some of our sessions to allow us to join with groups online in zoom type setups.
If you would like to cover some sessions with your group please Geoff to discuss how this might work on 
Age groups  

  • 11 to 13 yrs
  • 14 to 15 yrs
  • 16 to 21 yrs       

- Max No. 8 per group
- Min 4 x 1hr sessions
- Young people at risk.
Course overview
Life Skills

Within each of the various age groups the life skills topics and content will remain the same. The method of delivery and resources used may differ to make the session appropriate to the group’s needs.
Our training is based on what the latest research tells us about the causes of substance abuse and it addresses all the most important factors.
Harm Reduction
The training sessions use a variety of harm reduction approaches designed to reduce the harm caused by drug use. It works by educating individuals about the risks associated with their behaviour and gives them information on how they can reduce harm.

Please find more information below:

Overview of Life Skills Programme / Targeted Life Skills Services


12 Latest Offers from Salto Youth

Please see attached document for the latest from Salto Youth to include:

  • Project manager in Erasmus Plus - online training course
  • The Sustainability Academy - 5Rs in Youth work
  • Europe Goes Local SP: Meeting of Municipal Youth Councils,Exchanging Realities & Practices for recognision of local youth work
  • Call for Trainers
  • Eastern Partnership Youth Engagement Summit


13  REGIOSTARS Awards - Vote for Youth Action

The REGIOSTARS Awards are a yearly competition, organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy. It aims at identifying good practices in regional development and highlighting innovative, EU-funded projects, which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions and project managers.

Youth Action's Project is: Youth Network for Peace 
Youth Network for Peace is a regional network of youth activists across N.I and the border regions of Ireland committed to tackling sectarianism and racism.
(practice, partnership, research, resource development, influence).

To vote:
Scroll down to find our project Youth Network for Peace (YNP)
Click heart shaped icon on the right of the project
Voting is open until 9 July

You can vote every day from all your devices
We can do this!


14  Fertility Network Events

Another week into June and we have a few different things happening in the charity over the coming days.
We have the next yoga session in this series on Wednesday 17th June at 8pm.
Here is the link to register.

Our next Zoom group meeting is being held on, Tuesday 23rd June at 7.30pm. The topic for this meeting is Donor Conception. We will have some parents talking about their own fertility journey through donor conception. We are delighted that Gerry McCluskey from Fertility Counselling Service NI will also be joining us. Gerry has been there for many parents guiding them through their fertility journey and will kindly share her expertise with those who are considering donor.
Please email me if you would like the link, 
The next Men-Only Support  Group meeting is due to be held on Thursday 25th June at 7 pm.
Please follow the link to register.



15 RNIB & Guide Dogs - Advice Document for Blind and Partially Sighted People

RNIB NI and Guide Dogs have prepared an advice document for blind and partially sighted people who are offline. The document is attached. We’ve developed it in conjunction with the Dept of Health, Dept for Communities and the HSCB. It covers a range of issues which they may be facing during this pandemic.

The weblink to the document is https://www.rnib.org.uk/sites/default/files/APDF-NI-Covid-Advice-May2020.pdf


16 DfE Energy Strategy - Energy e-zine Issue 1

Please find attached the first edition of the Energy e-zine, which aims to keep stakeholders informed about progress on the new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland.
In this edition:

  • Background to the new Energy Strategy
  • Short overview of the Call for Evidence
  • Next steps in the process of strategy development


17 Construction Materials Technician Vacancy

Please see attached Job Description for your attention.  Applicants must have some experience of a Construction materials technician role with experience testing Soils, Aggregates, Concrete and Blacktop.  Must have full driving licence & CRS card.

Please send CV to Mena on: mena.kearney@outlook.com


18 Live events every day on the FWIN Facebook!

Wednesday 17th June @ 11am:
Week #6 of Stephen Carlin's Exercise Programme!
Thursday 18th June @ 1pm:
LIVE: Chatty Women with Patricia Lewsley CBE
Friday 19th June @8pm
LIVE: An Inspirational Talk with Little Penny Thoughts!



19 Nature Mandala Workshop

With Karen Cassidy

Published on Saturday 20th June at 09:00am on Facebook & Instagram @derryvoid

Join Karen Cassidy and explore the ancient art form of Mandalas using materials gathered from the home and outdoors. Working with mandalas is creative and can be an inspiring way to practice self-discover and mindfulness. Buddhists believe that Mandalas help to transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones, that they can assist with healing and help to bring balance to life.

Suitable for all ages.
Suggested materials: Found objects, flowers, shells, leaves, sticks, paper plates


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