NWCN E-bulletin 29 April 2020

9 Setting up a Coronavirus appeal: advice from the Fundraising Regulator
10 Department for Communities COVID-19 Stakeholder Update
11 Charity Commission for NI latest advice
12 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – how to make a claim webinar
13 Economy Minister announces details of free online courses for furloughed workers
14 Impact of COVID-19 on Women's Sector
15 Latest Information from CDHN
16 Community Family Support Programme
17 COVID-19 Support Services from CALMS
18 Free online stress control classes
19 Innovation Recovery - Online Courses 27th April to 27th May 2020
20 Keeping kids safe online webinar
21 Response to Channel 4's Dispatches: The Truth about Traveller Crime
22 Latest Offers from Salto Youth
23 Mayor invites children to get creative for competition
24 Prehen Bluebells
25 Void Online - responding to COVID-19
26 Working remotely – tips to ensure productivity

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 

2 Apex Funding for charities – apply for up to £1,000

Calling all local charities! If you could make use of a grant of up to £1,000 for your work in local communities, we want to hear from you.

Apex Housing Association is now inviting applications for funding from its Common Fund.

Applicants must be registered charities with a proven track record of delivering services and projects in Northern Ireland; and use the funding to:

  • provide housing accommodation and / or infrastructure to support and develop communities
  • support social, environmental , recreational and health and well-being activities in communities; or
  • support educational training and employment activities in communities

Application forms can be requested by emailing FinanceDept@apex.org.uk

Deadline for applications: Monday 11 May 2020 at 5pm



 Henderson Group - Community Cashback Grant

We are responding to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis with a new 'Community Cashback' fund of £20,000 to support communities in need in Northern Ireland.

Who should apply?
Applications will be welcomed from a wide range of organisations including: voluntary/community organisations, registered charities, health bodies, social enterprises, Community Interest Companies. Other not-for-profit organisations might also be eligible.

Businesses and 'for profit' organisations are not eligible.

Typically, we welcome applications from charities/community groups supporting:

  • Children and young people
  • Disabled people
  • Older people
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Homeless people or rough sleepers
  • Socially isolated people
  • People with health conditions
  • People/households on a low income
  • People in lower socio-economic groups

However, this list is not exhaustive and other charities/community groups will be considered.

Shortlisting & The Public Vote
Applications will open on Thursday 23rd April 2020 and close on Thursday 20th May 2020.

A large number of organisations are likely to apply for support and sadly we won't be able to support all applications.  We use our professional judgment along with external professional advice to make the difficult choices between the many organisations seeking funding, based on the information provided in the application.

Four applications will be shortlisted each week from all received entries.

All shortlisted applicants will be put to a public vote – this will take place weekly, over a four week period,  online on SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO and VIVOXTRA's facebook pages and on the Henderson Group website.  Each week, the group that receives the most public votes will receive £2000 (1st place), the group with the 2nd most votes will receive £1500 (2nd place), the group with the third most votes will receive £1000 (3rd place) and the group with the fourth most votes will receive £500 (4th place).   Successful Grantees will be notified on a weekly basis. Payments to grantees will be made as soon as possible but may take up to four weeks.

Applying Online
Click here to apply for the grant.

If you require assistance with your application please contact brandteam@henderson-group.com

Good luck with your application.



4 Funding for COVID 19 response

Derry and Strabane 4 Community provides free access to funding and business advice services. You can browse or search for funding, generate reports, access news items in full and set up alerts to receive updates  regarding suitable funding opportunities.

Community Development Officers and Councils Funding Unit at Derry City and Strabane District Council can support you with your funding applications



5 Communities Minister Launches £1.5m Support Fund for Arts Sector

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA has announced funding of £1.5m to support individuals and organisations in the Arts Sector in response to COVID-19.

'The Creative Support Fund', has been created to provide financial support for a diverse range of performing artists and community art organisations.

Individual artists and creative practitioners, who have lost their work as a result of COVID-19, can apply for funding of up to £5,000 to take new and innovative approaches in continuing to provide their talents and services to audiences, particularly those facing barriers to the arts.

Small and medium-sized organisations will be able to apply for maximum funding of £25,000 to help them develop new projects or programmes or re-arrange events which have had to be cancelled during the COVID-19 period.

The Creative Support Fund will be administered by the Arts Council NI who are contributing £500k of Lottery Funding to the initiative. The Individual Artists and Creative Practitioners Programme will be available immediately.

To find out more about the criteria and to apply, visit www.artscouncil-ni.org


6 The Edward Gostling Foundation

The Edward Gostling Foundation supports charitable organisations that work with people living with a mental and/ or physical disability or long term illness.

The Foundation has suspended its usual criteria for grant-making during the COVID-19 crisis, to concentrate on helping smaller charities providing frontline community services. It will be awarding grants of up to £10,000 to eligible charities with less than 6 months' worth of free reserves, to support core operating costs.

To find out more, click the link below


 7 Online Grantfinder Training for Community and Voluntary Sector

Quick, simple and accessible online training session for volunteers and staff in the community and voluntary sector.
If you need a refresh or want to introduce new people to the system this 30-45 min online session delivered by Simon Lawrence from the Idox group will introduce you to the functionalities, search facilities and settings to ensure that you get the best from 
Grantfinder Derry and Strabane 4 Community.
After the session you will be able to browse or search for funding, generate reports, access news items in full and set up alerts to receive updates  regarding suitable funding opportunities.

Date Options Times
Wednesday 6th May 2020 10.30am - 11.15am
Wednesday 13th May 2020 7.00pm – 7.45pm
Please email 
Claire.lynch@derrystrabane.com by Friday 1st May with the following information;
  •   Date of the session
  •   Name/s of attendee/s
  •   Email address for attendee/s
  •   Has the individual used Grantfinder before? (Yes/ No)
Places are limited. Additional sessions maybe run in future if there is a need. Confirmation email with an invite to the online session will be issued three days before the training dates (Monday 4th and 11th May).
Funding Support for Community and Voluntary Sector
The Grantfinder training is part of Councils commitment to support the community and voluntary sector response to COVID 19;


8 COVID 19 Community Support Page - DCSDC Website

NEW UPDATES this week on the Community Support Section of Council's website 
In particular please note the 
free access to the Grantfinder portal and the new localised funding guidance  being offered through Community Support Officers. Please circulate this to your networks.
For organisations 

Support for Community Organisations

  • Communications/ resources from the PHA (resources tailored: 90 languages/ people with learning disabilities and more)
  • FREE Psychological First Aid course for staff, volunteers and call handlers
  • Insurance reminders for groups dealing with prescriptions (Join the CDHN – Community Development and Health Network pharmacy scheme)

Funding for COVID 19 response

  • FREE access to Grant Finder Open 4 Community funding portal 
  • Localised funding opportunities will be updated on a weekly basis by Community Support Officers (every Monday)
  • Crowdfunder – 100% free during COVID 19 crisis 
  • Sport Hardship Fund suspended due to high demand 

Recruit and Manage COVID 19 volunteers

For individuals 
Resources to Stay Healthy 

  • COVID 19 App now available on desktop 
  • Access FREE eBooks, audiobooks, emagazines and enewspapers with Libraries NI
  • Extern Community Crisis Intervention Service offering extended telephone support (people at risk of self-harm or suicide)
  • Directory of Services for Mental Health and Wellbeing and Alcohol and Drug Services in the Western Trust Area

Get Help
Get Advice
Give Help to Others 

  • Digital Help scheme (support with email, attachments, online payments, shopping online, social media and staying safe online). Text DIGITALHELP to 67300


  • Volunteer Now have suspended volunteer recruitment after 4,000 registrations
  • North West Volunteer Centre will continue with volunteer recruitment

Child Friendly Information 

  • Young Social Innovators (YSI) call young people aged 13-19 to submit their ideas to tackle coronavirus by 31st May 2020.



9  Setting up a Coronavirus appeal: advice from the Fundraising Regulator

For those considering setting up their own Coronavirus appeal, the Fundraising Regulator has published guidance to highlight some of the specific things you need to do to make sure your fundraising is legal and ethical.

Launching the 10 steps to setting up a fundraising appeal, which is available online 
here, Priya Warner, Head of Policy at the Fundraising Regulator (FR), highlighted the following advice. 

Work with charities where you can 
Before launching an appeal, be clear about who you want to help. Then see if there already are any local community groups or existing charities you could fundraise for, rather than starting something new. For example, many hospitals will have a charity that can accept donations. It is likely that these organisations are already set up to fundraise and deliver the services you want your appeal to support. 

It is also best to contact these groups, if you can, to let them know you want to fundraise for them. They may also be able to support you with materials or advice to help the fundraising you do have a greater impact.

Be specific about who you are fundraising for 
You need to be specific about who you intend to help and how you are going to do it. It's a legal requirement that you use the donations you receive for the purpose you outlined in your fundraising appeal. Avoid using broad wording like 'supporting those affected by COVID-19'. Instead, say something specific like 'raising funds to buy shopping for those self-isolating in the local area', or 'raising money for [charity name]'.

Remember to include a timescale or target for your appeal. For example, if it is to pay for food for families affected by COVID-19, is that until the current lockdown ends or will it carry on until funds run out?

Make sure you have a back-up plan
If you do set up your own appeal, it is worth getting others involved from the start. This will mean you have the right support throughout so that you can make sure that the funds you raise can be given to the cause. For example, if you were unable to continue your appeal because you fell ill or needed to self-isolate, you may need to ask other people to get involved so that the purpose of the appeal can still be fulfilled. 


10 Department for Communities COVID-19 Stakeholder Update

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

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.


11 Charity Commission for NI latest advice

To support you, we have been listening to your concerns, your queries and your needs. We recognise that COVID-19 is already impacting on the charity sector and that, sadly, some charities may not continue as a result of it. Where we can help, we will, and the first step in that process is through the issuing of guidance for charities, and the public.

Our comprehensive COVID-19 guidance aims to answer as many queries from charities as we can, guiding and supporting you where possible, as well as providing advice to the public on how they can safely assist charities at this time. It includes guidance on where your charity might access emergency funding, how you might change your purposes to provide assistance as well as queries around using reserves or restricted funds to see you through.

We have also included signposting and advice on issues of particular relevance at this time, such as avoiding scams, giving safely to charity and volunteering, amongst other vital areas. For example, now more than ever it is critical that charities protect and safeguard their beneficiaries, volunteers and staff.

This is an unprecedented situation and we do not yet have all the answers, but as the situation develops we will continue to research and provide guidance on the areas you want to know about.


12 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – how to make a claim webinar

As part of the government's commitment to supporting employers through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees' salaries through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The following live webinar provides a step-by-step guide on how to make a claim through the scheme.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim

Choose a date and time

During this webinar we'll be taking you through the following steps:

  • essential information
  • before you make your claim
  • calculating your claim
  • processing your claim
  • after submitting your claim.

If you've missed any of our other recent webinars, or have been unable to join, you can now view a recording on HMRC's YouTube channel.

We will endeavour to bring you the most up-to-date information to keep you fully informed of changes as they develop.

Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.


13  Economy Minister announces details of free online courses for furloughed workers

The Department for the Economy has partnered with the Open University (OU) to offer a range of free training courses to help people across Northern Ireland improve their skills and wellbeing.

The OU courses cover digital skills, employability and essential skills. The options include digital literacy, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, leadership, communication, maths and English.

Information is also provided on other free courses available online through Northern Ireland's other universities and colleges and a range of other providers.

Information on all of the courses available can be accessed at 
nidirect Online Training Support


14  Impact of COVID-19 on Women's Sector

The survey will take less than 3 minutes to complete and is aimed at women's groups and organisations. the anonymous information you provide will be used to identify the particular impact Covid-19 is having on women's groups and organisations.

Survey for Women's Groups and Organisations

We have a separate survey which aims to capture the issues faced by individual women.

Survey for Individual Women


15 Latest Information from CDHN

Find out about our Fact Check project and download the HSC Fact Sheet
here for the full article

The latest COVID-19 Factsheet for Northern Ireland is available now from HSC. We're delighted to feature due to the Community Pharmacy Support Scheme. You can read it 
here - worth signing up for! 

Community Pharmacy Support Scheme
If you are a community group delivering prescriptions on behalf of your local pharmacy contact us to register
Call: 028 3026 4606


16 Community Family Support Programme

The Community Family Support Programme is still here, working remotely with new and current participants' offering Health, Social and Employability support. Current lockdown may be causing isolation, CFSP is here to ensure participants NEVER feel alone.

Family Support: At a time like this families face multiple barriers including social isolation, financial worries and stress management. Our Family Mentor will listen, support and guide you to ensure you receive the help and support you need.
We help with educational activities following schools closures, confidence building session and parenting tips on communication and managing kids during this time.
Additional support includes information on grant schemes and financial aid, food vouchers and telephone counselling by our qualified counsellors helping you through this stressful time.

Employment support: Our career support focuses on what participants need to do to get the jobs that are currently hiring.
Have you recently worked part time and have been furloughed? CFSP can now support you in finding work again and increase your hours.

  • Create or improve CV
  • Job Search supported by career mentors.
  • Access to online learning and Short Accredited Courses
  • Interview preparation
  • Our wide range of accredited level one courses are currently being offered via Google Classroom.

Our remote/digital support includes:

  • Facetime Support.
  • Access to quality certificated online training.
  • Phone Support providing one to one advice & guidance from Family and Career mentors.
  • Tutor support packages can be delivered/emailed to participant address.
  • Create or improve your CV via tutor support.

Contact us to access this support on the numbers below.
Strategic Manager (Janice 07715200255)
CFSP Senior Coordinator/Derry City & Strabane (Leanne 07710971549)

Information Booklet


17 COVID-19 Support Services from CALMS

CALMS are currently offering free telephone support for anyone struggling with the current challenges of this pandemic.

  • Are you feeling stressed?
  • Are you anxious?
  • Do you feel isolated or lonely?
  • Are you worried or scared?
  • Do you just want to talk to someone?

Please make that call and talk to one of our friendly team.
028 7126 8698

CALMS are offering the services listed below; via telephone or Zoom
Our services are free of charge

All can be provided on a one-off basis, or over a number of sessions, as needs dictate

  • Psychological First-aid (as outlined by WHO)
  • Listening ear/Social contact
  • Practical problem solving approaches, worry management
  • Essential coping skills - eg: maintenance of healthy routines, sleep techniques, relaxation techniques, "first-responder" emergency breathing methods
  • Information on practical and social supports available within the community
  • Social welfare and rights information
  • (Spanish and Italian Language Available)

Welfare Rights Advice
Please contact Dee Robson on 075 9339 6094
Monday to Friday between 12noon to 2pm

Email: calms.wellbeing@hotmail.com

FB Page: CALMS Stress Management


18 Free online stress control classes

A new online programme of stress control classes has been developed to support people during the response to coronavirus (COVID-19), recognising the need to stay at home, while also recognising the impact that the pandemic and changes to our lifestyles is having on mental health.

The free online stress control classes are being supported by the Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board, Health and Social Care Trusts and Public Health Agency and are aimed at supporting people's mental wellbeing at this time of massive uncertainty.

The classes, presented by Dr Jim White, a clinical psychologist, will be available at www.stresscontrol.org. Simply click on the subscribe button and you will be kept up to date with the latest videos when logged in to YouTube. The classes can be watched either in the afternoon or evening and each class lasts for one and a half hours.

These gold standard sessions are very effective in helping to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

Topics covered include an overview of what stress is, controlling your body, your thoughts, controlling your actions,  techniques to get a good night's sleep.
Stress control is a class, not 'group therapy'. People can take part in the class from the privacy of their own home.


19  Innovation Recovery - Online Courses 27th April to 27th May 2020

Please see 
here for information on a range of Zoom courses from Innovation Recovery to include:

  • Maintaining my wellness through COVID-19
  • 5 ways to wellbeing
  • Physical activity for wellbeing
  • Learning to like yourself
  • The COVID wellness toolbox
  • Getting a good night's sleep
  • Introduction to mindfulness


20 Keeping kids safe online webinar

The internet is an amazing placce.  Kids can play, create, learn, and connect - the possibilities are endless.  But there are also risks.

To help, the NSPCC and O2 are working together to offer free 30 minute webinars for groups of parents, grandparents and carers, making it easy for you to keep your family sage online.  Webinars are delivered by experienced NSPCC staff.

Topics covered include:

  • Why children enjoy using the internet and how it can help them, as well as the risks
  • Concerns that families might have about their child's use of the internet
  • Exploring how families can navigate the digital landscape together, safely.

Free to join, the webinars offer lots of practical tips, as well as signposting to free resources and extra support for families

If you'd like to organise a webinar on behalf of a group (community group, staff team, corporate supporter), or register your interest to attend a pre-recorded webinar, please contact 


21 Response to Channel 4's Dispatches: The Truth about Traveller Crime

Craigavon Travellers Support Committee are trying to organise a collective complaint against a recent episode of Dispatches on 'The Truth about Traveller Crime'.

We would be grateful if you could add your voice to the anger by replacing the CTSC information with that of your own organisation and copy and pasting into the Friends, Families and Travellers page for a collective complaint to head of Channel 4 and OFCOM through the link below: 


We appreciate your support on this.

If you have any queries about this, contact the Committee directly on 


22 Latest Offers from Salto Youth

Please see 
attached document for the latest from Salto Youth.

  • Webinar: Making Youth Goals Visible
  • Call for Trainers


23 Mayor invites children to get creative for competition

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Michaela Boyle has launched a new initiative for youngsters in the local District to express how they feel about living through the current coronavirus situation.

The Mayor is asking local children to send her either a picture, which can be accompanied by a short story, or alternatively to write a poem that focuses on the positive things that they have enjoyed despite this uncertain time.

The competition will be broken up into two age groups – primary one to primary three children, aged 4-7 years old, and primary four to primary seven children, aged 8-11.
Entries are open and will close in two weeks' time when the Mayor will select a winner and a runner up for each category (picture or poem) from each age group and they will receive a goody bag of prizes.

Mayor Boyle said that she wanted to give young people within the District a way of expressing their feelings creatively, while also praising them for how well they have handled the current situation.

"I have been so impressed with how well the children of our District have done in dealing with this strange time we are in. I know so many of them would love to be out playing in the sunshine with their friends, but they have been so good in following all of the rules and in listening to their parents and guardians to keep themselves, and all of us, safe. I think they should all be really proud of themselves.

"Although I'm sure there were a few excited faces about getting out of school, it's still important to do some fun learning activities at home. This initiative is a great way to do that while also getting to draw and write down how you feel and the parts that you have enjoyed about the last few months, like spending lots of time with your family.
"I am so excited to read and see all the pictures, stories and poems. I already know it will be impossible to pick a winner because we have so many talented boys and girls!"

Entries can be submitted by emailing 
mayor@derrystrabane.com. Please include your contact details and the name and age of the child. The deadline for entries is Tuesday 12th May.


24 Prehen Bluebells

At around this time each year we usually have our now famous Bluebell Walk in Prehen Woods which is one of the top ten Bluebell Woods in the UK. Unfortunately this year, because of the very sad and difficult Covid 19 situation, we cannot offer our group Bluebell Walk outing.

The good news is that the woods are open to the local community to visit and enjoy. However we would ask those using this precious woodland space to respect the social distance rules that apply at the present time. Kindness and respect can save lives. Keep to the rules --- Keep your distance --- Keep safe.

Be kind also to nature that is all around you, nature has her health giving benefits. "Every tree and every leaf of every tree is important to the well-being of every one in our community". Be kind to Mother Earth and with that mystical mix of nature and science Mother Earth will be especially kind to you.


25 Void Online - responding to COVID-19

Void Gallery is currently closed because of the pandemic, COVID-19. We are postponing all upcoming events. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to bringing you content through our social media channels so stay tuned for virtual tours of our exhibition, ideas to keep the kids occupied, adult workshops, and suggestions for reading material and films inspired by Void's programme. Details of what is outlined below will be provided via our website and our social media channels - Facebook I Instagram I Twitter.

Make sure to stay connected with Void through our website and social media and don't forget to take some photographs of your creations and post them to our Facebook page and Instagram page @derryvoid #VoidCommunities! You will enter a draw to win a free family workshop!

Ima-Abasi Okon
Our current exhibition may be closed to the public but we are still bringing the work of Ima-Abasi Okon straight to your screen. Void will be publishing detailed imagery of her work as it is installed in the gallery and providing accompanying text to describe what the works are. These will be published on Facebook and Instagram @derryvoid.

Void for Kids

Rise & Shine - Easy Paper Mobile
With Sinead Crumlish
Published online on Wednesday 29th April, 3pm
On Facebook @derryvoid  I Instagram IGTV @derryvoid I YouTube Void Derry channel
In this workshop, Sinead will show you how to make a sun which moves in the breeze - great to hang outdoors.


Void online workshops - don't miss a thing!

With Karen Cassidy, Sinead Crumlish and Stephanie Gaumond
27 April - 3 May 

With so much fantastic content being shared by organisations across the world, sometimes it's easy to miss something you might have loved to engage with, so Void will be re-sharing some of the fantastic workshops for both kids and adults alike during the week of 27 April - 3 May to ensure that you don't miss a thing. Learn how to make giant bubbles, Pom Pom chicks, paper crafts, and mindful drawing. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages for more.

See our Facebook events for each workshop for the list of materials needed - everything used should be something you have already or can easily pick up when you're doing your main shopping.


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