NWCN Ebulletin 03 May 2023

1 ‌Cost of Living Crisis - Tough Times, Smart Solutions
2 The ARN Foundation:  Tackling Isolation Fund
3 McCarthy Stone Foundation Dementia Action Week 2023
4 Allen & Overy (A&O) Foundation
5 Women and Girls Match Fund
6 Ulster-Scots Summer Schools Grant scheme
7 OCN NI: Centre Learning Grants Programme 
8 Joint Consultation Events – Equality and Disability Action Plans 23-28
9 School Employer Connections – funding cut
10 Volunteer Now Courses
11 Free MHFA Training
12 'Time for Me' - Wellbeing and Personal Development Workshop
13 Latest Offers from Salto Youth
14 GHOSTS show, Derry- NI Mental Health Arts Festival
15 Deaf Awareness Week 1-7 May
16 Zest Healing the Hurt LTD Seeking Volunteers
17 Vacancy at The Playhouse

18 Foyle Jobs and Benefits Office - Mini Job Fair

1 Cost of Living Crisis - Tough Times, Smart Solutions

How can we best support your organisation and help fight your corner through the current cost of living crisis?
Date: 25 May 2023
Time: 1:30pm to 4:30pm
Venue: DiverseCity Community Partnership, Holywell Building, 10-12 Bishop Street.
NWCN in partnership with NICVA would like to invite you to this timely event.  This workshop is an opportunity for you and your organisation to share the challenges you are facing.  Voluntary and community organisations are on the front line of the cost-of-living crisis supporting people and communities, all while facing rising demand for services, falling income, and rising operational costs.
Our sector can't continue to respond to this crisis without support.
This event will be a safe space to share your concerns, learn from other organisations and have a say on the support your organisation and beneficiaries need.


2 The ARN Foundation:  Tackling Isolation Fund

The ARN Foundation’s Tackling Isolation Fund will support organisations to deliver projects in support of older people affected by the cost of living crisis; and will be managed by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

Among the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis are older people. Older people are often on fixed income, and the rising cost of food and fuel has often led to having to choose between eating or heating.  In recognition of the needs of older people, the ARN Foundation has developed a new Fund, the Tackling Isolation Fund, with a particular focus on food and fuel.


  • Supporting older people to keep warm;
  • Supporting older people to access a nutritious meal;
  • Reducing isolation and vulnerability of older people through supporting participation in activities;
  • Enabling older people to access technology, and to potential benefits and entitlements that they may not be aware of;
  • Beneficiaries who are rurally isolated.
Closing Date: May 26, 2023 13:00

Further information available here

 McCarthy Stone Foundation Dementia Action Week 2023

The McCarthy Stone Foundation wants to support older people to feel valued, engaged and connected through intergenerational programmes by providing grant funding for organisations or programmes that support intergenerational activities and learning opportunities and help towards building partnerships with charities, local schools, and community groups.

The Foundation funds projects costs and core costs particularly through their Community Grants programme.

Further information available here


4 Allen & Overy (A&O) Foundation

Charities across NI are invited to apply for up to £100k support from the Allen & Overy (A&O) Foundation. The A&O Foundation in N I has increased its funding by 80% compared to 2022 for charities that specialise in promoting access to justice or those that support and develop education or employment projects across NI.

Administered by the Belfast Grants Committee, interested charities should email belfastgrants@allenovery.com requesting an application form and outlining how their work meets the criteria of increasing access to justice or the advancement of education or employment.

Completed application forms should be returned by 5pm on Friday 19 May 2023.

5 Women and Girls Match Fund

Equality is essential for women and girls to dream freely, achieve proudly and live boldly. That’s why we’re working with amazing charities committed to serving the women and girls in our communities. The Women and Girls Match Fund is here to multiply generosity, tackle gender inequality and stop discrimination.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Be a UK-registered charity with a Charity Commission number or tax-exempt status and an annual income of at least £25,000 (as per last filed accounts).
  • Charities which are registered on BigGive.org (free to register).
  • Charities seeking to raise either £2,500, £5,000 or £10,000 in public donations (to be doubled by the match funds). Charities are able to use the campaign to raise unrestricted funds.
  • Charities working to to improve the lives of vulnerable, disadvantaged or underrepresented women and girls within the UK and internationally.
  • Charities that are led by, for and with women and girls. To assess this, we will look at whether your governing documents specifically mentions women/and or girls, whether you have a majority female board, who your beneficiaries are and your web presence (if your organisation has one).
  • We would encourage applications from charities that are led by Black and minoritised women and girls, LGBTQI women and girls, or Disabled women and girls. These applications will be prioritised in our assessment process.

Applications close 23 June

Further information available here


6 Ulster-Scots Summer Schools Grant scheme

The Agency has opened its Ulster-Scots Summer Schools Grant scheme.  

It is for programmes delivered from 1 July to 31 August 2023 and aims to support community and voluntary groups who wish to deliver a five-day Ulster-Scots Summer School to children aged 7-16 years.  

There are two options available for groups: 

Standard Summer School 
These provide up to 10 different Ulster-Scots workshops and activities.  There will be a maximum eligible funding of two hours for each Ulster-Scots activity (maximum of 20 hours' activity).  

Drama Summer School 
Drama tutors may be funded to deliver a week-long programme, finalising in a drama production.  In addition, groups may provide a maximum of five Ulster-Scots workshops and activities.  

Please note: All summer schools must deliver an Ulster-Scots language workshop. 

Groups are encouraged to read the guidelines and eligible costs before completing an application form.  

Applications close at 12 noon on Friday 5 May.  Late or incomplete applications will be rejected.  

For further information, contact the Agency’s Community Development Officer Derek Reaney on reaneyd@ulsterscotsagency.org.uk or 078 4327 9912. 

Registration form


 7 OCN NI: Centre Learning Grants Programme 

Open College Network NI (OCN NI) plans to award a share of £85K to education, voluntary and charitable training providers locally via their Centre Learning Grants Programme, now in its second year.

The Centre Learning Grants Programme, with a closing date for applications of Friday 12th May 2023, was created by the OCN NI Board of Trustees to help fulfil its charitable objectives. Particular emphasis will be given to help those who may be particularly disadvantaged and would not otherwise have had opportunities to engage in education.

Apply here

8 Joint Consultation Events - Equality and Disability Action Plans 23-28

As part of the consultation on their new Equality and Disability Action Plans, the BSO and nine partner organisations are running two joint consultation events.

The purpose of the events is to provide an opportunity for you to share comments on the proposed action plans directly with any of the participating organisations.

The events are taking place online on the following dates:

  • Thursday 25 May 2023 - 11.00am -12.00pm
  • Tuesday 20 June 2023 - 2.30pm - 3.30pm

If you are interested in attending one of these events, please contact us to register by 12th May 2023. After that, we will send you the details on how to join the videocall on the day.

Please include the following information when you register with us:

  • Which event you are registering for
  • Whether you are attending as a member of the public or on behalf of an organisation
  • Which organisation/s you would like to speak to directly
  • Whether you have any requirements for communication support.
You can contact us via Email to Consultation.EqualityUnit@hscni.net or phone on
028 9536 3961


9  School Employer Connections – funding cut

School Employer Connections (SEC) – the student / employer work placement broker that has operated in the North-West and across Northern Ireland for the last twenty-four years (formerly as FOSEC) has recently been advised of a significant cut in the amount and duration of its funding for 2023/24 by its principal funder, the Department of Education. A registered charity, SEC has typically received 80% of its annual operational funding requirement from the Department.

In a letter to the organisation the Department has offered SEC an allocation of two month’s budget cover (for April and May 2023) or £20,000, during which time it hopes that a final budget position can be reached. This contrasts to the Department’s most recent funding provision to SEC of £110,000 for the 2022/23 year which ended on 31 March 2023. On top of the news of only two months funding for the current year the Department has cautioned that once the final budget position for 2023/24 is confirmed “it is unlikely that any funding will be available to support existing programmes”, such as those currently provided by SEC. The budget confirmation is expected in a couple of months’ time.

Click here to read the full press release


10 Volunteer Now Courses
Volunteer Now courses are booking up fast, especially the safeguarding courses so be quick!  If you don’t see what you are looking for, please drop us an email (training@volunteernow.co.uk) and let us know, we might add it to the calendar!  And don’t forget, we also offer tailored training.

  • The New Environment: Recruit, Retain, Reward Volunteers  |  16 May
  • Keeping Children Safe: Designated Officer Refresher Training  |  31 May
  • FREE Keeping Children & Adults Safe: An Introduction |  20 June 
  • Keeping Adults Safe: Adult Safeguarding Champion & Appointed Person Refresher Training  |  22 June
  • Keeping Children Safe: An Introduction  |  5 July
  • Keeping Children Safe: Designated Officer Training  |  25 July
  • Leading the Way – Governance  |  26 July
  • Keeping Adults Safe: Adult Safeguarding Champion & Appointed Person Training  |  10 August
  • Volunteer Induction, Support and Supervision  |  17 August

Find out more and book your places here – https://www.volunteernow.co.uk/training/courses-scheduled/


11 Free MHFA Training

Facilitated by AWARE

1. MHFA (Face to Face Training - 2 Full day sessions)
Date:    2nd & 9th June 2023
Time:   10 am - 4pm
Venue: Strabane Library, 1 Railway St, Strabane, BT82 8EF
** Both days must be attended in order to complete training **

2. MHFA (Online Training - 3 morning sessions)
Date:   19th, 20th & 21st June 2023
Time:   9:30am - 1:30pm
Venue: Online via Zoom
** All 3 mornings must be attended in order to complete training **

People generally don’t know how to recognise mental health problems or know what help is available.  This is a programme that will provide you with the skills to provide initial support for someone with a mental health problem.

MHFA teaches participants

  • how to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems
  • how to provide initial help
  • how to guide a person towards appropriate professional help
Benefits of the course
  • Clear and accurate information about mental illness
  • Improved skills in recognising mental health problems
  • Confidence in your ability to provide initial information & support.
Download MHFA Flyer
** Register **
Book your place


12 'Time for Me' - Wellbeing and Personal Development Workshop

Would you like a day for yourself?
A day to

  • Connect with others in a safe and interactive environment
  • Build your confidence and self-belief
  • Increase your awareness of your own unique qualities and values
  • Discover why Self Care is not selfish
  • Learn ways to enhance and sustain your physical and mental wellbeing and increase your positivity
  • Consider small changes that can have a positive, lasting impact on your life!

Delivered by Helen Quinn (Life Coach) in a lively, interactive and thought-provoking way, this is an opportunity for you to take time to refocus on YOU, pritorise your wellbeing, and put 'Caring for Me' at the top of you 'TO DO' list!

Saturday 13th May, 10:30am - 4pm
Derry Central Library
Cost: £40* per person
*Early bird price of £40 applies if booked by 5th May 2023, otherwise price is £50.
Places are limited and will be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis.

To book your place or to find out more, contact Helen
Email: quinn376@btinternet.com
Phone: 078 1444 1701
Home (helenquinnlifecoach.co.uk)


13 Latest Offers from Salto Youth

Please see attached document for current opportunities with Salto Youth:

  • Coaching/Mentoring Course 2023
  • Capacity Building
  • Partnership Building Activity
  • Diving into... Youth Exchanges
  • Skin in the Game
  • The Power of Non Formal Education
  • European Solidarity Corps Training
  • Let's Fight for a Social-Ecological Diversity


14 GHOSTS show, Derry- NI Mental Health Arts Festival

GHOSTS by Gemma Walker-Farren and Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company

Sometimes the scariest stories are the ones we tell ourselves.

GHOSTS is about our relationship with fear and how it is an ‘ancient and otherworldly’ feeling. It is about the ghosts we carry with us and how we can sometimes be ghosts in our own lives.

Childhood fears to adult anxieties are woven together with Greek myths and ghostly tales. Incredible projections and soundscapes carry the audience seamlessly from claustrophobic bedrooms to the vast halls of Hades with horror and heartbreak in between.
  • Written and performed by Gemma Walker-Farren.
  • Directed by Tonya Sheina.
  • Sound, video and lighting design by Barry Davis.
REVIEWS for previous performances of GHOSTS 
skillful and interesting, well acted and a brave piece of work. 

 …fantastic concept for a show and so beautifully well-crafted and well acted. 
 Dark and funny and creepy. I was completely hooked from the start. 
 Perfect blend of funny and harrowing….so inspiring to see such a professional level of work. 

Tickets: £10 / £8 concession
Friday 12th Mayhttps://www.wegottickets.com/event/576192
Saturday 13th Mayhttps://www.wegottickets.com/event/576195

Gemma Walker-Farren
 is a theatre maker, performer and writer. She is one half of acclaimed comedy storytelling duo ‘MakeyUppers’ (5 stars- DIVA magazine, North West End). She trained in the Meisner technique with The Impulse Company, London/New York (2013-2015) and writes and performs regularly in a diverse array of projects. As a freelance facilitator/director/writer she has worked across the UK and Ireland for over 15 years with people of all ages and abilities. She regularly devises new theatre with community groups and theatre professionals. Her greatest passion lies in continuously finding new ways of telling stories and connecting people through storytelling.

Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival 2023
This year’s festival runs from 11-21 May 2023 (to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week) with a programme of varied, vivid arts events that aim to create a platform for high-quality artwork that deals compassionately and intelligently with mental health.

Further info: https://www.nimhaf.org/


15 Deaf Awareness Week 1-7 May

It’s that time of year again! Next week is Deaf Awareness week 1-7 May. 12 million adults in the UK are deaf or have hearing loss.
Want to find out how to be more deaf aware, then come along and visit our information stand on: Friday 5th May from 9am to 11am at Derry Central Library

Or visit at rnid.org.uk
16 Zest Healing the Hurt LTD Seeking Volunteers

Zest Healing the Hurt are seeking volunteers to support the organization in the day to day running of the service.

If you are interested please contact Nicole or Mary on: 028 71 266 999

17 Vacancy at The Playhouse

Digital Marketing Specialist for The Playhouse Board
The Playhouse Board wishes to recruit a digital marketing specialist to the Board of Trustees. This Digital Marketing specialist will act in an advisory and stewardship capacity as a guardian of The Playhouse and its people. They will offer advice and ideas for best practice in digital marketing at an exciting time for The Playhouse which recently appointed a Digital Marketing Officer to work alongside its Marketing Manager.  The Playhouse launched a new website in November 2021 and alongside the development of a new broadcasting infrastructure have striven to use technology to bring narratives to life in ways that motivate, inspire and inform our audiences, participants, partners and community.

Ideally the candidate will have a passion for the arts and the power of digital story-telling, as this is a voluntary role. The person would need to be familiar with effective digital marketing strategies, website optimisation, analytics, and email marketing (e.g. to drive ticket and membership campaigns), measurement and reporting, benchmarking and potentially, digital distribution of plays on the international theatre scene to support existing plans around touring major productions internationally.

The new Board member will be a team-player, generous with their time and ideas and a creative thinker with the desire to nurture creativity in others. Ultimately they will be someone with a curiosity and desire to explore new digital trends offering their expertise, ideas and energy to The Playhouse and its staff, artists and audiences.
Recruitment Pack available at 
Video ad available at

18 Foyle Jobs and Benefits Office - Mini Job Fair

Foyle Jobs and Benefits Office will be hosting a mini job fair on Wednesday 10th May from 1:30pm-3:30pm, see attached flyer
There will be a selection of employers in the office with representatives available to discuss local job opportunities they can offer.
This will be a great opportunity to find out more about the employers’ recruitment processes as well as gain an insight of what it is like to work for the companies.
The event is open to the public and anyone interested in attending may want to have a copy of their CV ready as many of the employers will be accepting applications on the day.
The employers confirmed for the upcoming mini job fair are as below.
Please note this list is subject to change.

Superdrug - Retail Pharmacy Roles
Avon - Self employed Opportunities
EventSec - Event Staff
Brook Street – Production, Industrial Cleaning, Customer Service, Admin, etc
AXA - Customer Service
Musgrave - Retail
Swift Shift - Hospitality
Rutledge - General recruitment, training and Apprenticeships


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