NWCN Ebulletin 29 September 2021


1 ‌NWCN Draft Strategic Plan Launch event for Members
2 Calling for GP Case Studies
Eight projects in the north west get £343k in Ideas Fund backing
4 Friends Provident Foundation – Developing a Fair Economy Grants Programme
5 Road safety grant scheme
6 The Aviva Climate Fund
7 Musical Instruments for Bands
8 Join the Dots Participatory Budgeting closing on 30th September
9 Meet the Funder - Henry Smith Charity - Strengthening Communities Programme
10 Apply for High Street scheme ‘Spend Local’ prepaid card
11 Launch of new practical guide on the human rights & equality aspects of the Protocol
12 Online discussion on the growing problem of disinformation 
13 Hope Matters Training
14 FREE British Red Cross Workshops
15 Young people’s programme - Northern Ireland 2035
16 Latest offers from Salto Youth
17 Resumption of Hearing Aid Support Service – Strabane
18 Northern Ireland Road Safety Awards 2021
19 Could you be a Coffee Morning Host for Foyle Hospice ☕
20 Job Opportunity: Grants Manager with The Ideas Fund
21 Non-Executive Board Member Vacancies - DfI, DfE and DVA
22 The Story of Us
23 Rural Shared History Project: "100 years of change"
24 Nature Positive 2030
25 DfE Energy Strategy - Energy e-bulletin

1 NWCN Draft Strategic Plan Launch event for Members
NWCN are holding a Members Event on Wednesday 20th October at 10:00am to present our Draft Strategic Plan for feedback from members as well as issuing our new Membership Packs. 
This will be held both in person in Clooney Hall and on Zoom.
This event would be ideal for anyone renewing their membership or for anyone thinking about joining NWCN to get a flavour of the work we do and our future plans.
We value input from our membership and would love to hear your views on our plans!

Refreshments will be provided.
If you would like to attend please email 
 stating if you will be there in person or via Zoom.


2 Calling for GP Case Studies

One of the strategic aims of North West Community Network is to lobby and advocate for the community sector.  With this in mind we wish to gather case studies or examples of the impact of not being able to access your GP or access GP appointments. 

If you or anyone you know is willing to share their experience, please contact us via email  

All examples will be anonymous. 


 Eight projects in the north west get £343k in Ideas Fund backing

The Ideas Fund is a new grants scheme, run by the British Science Association and funded by the Wellcome Trust, that enables the UK public to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing through collaborating with professional researchers.

North West Community Network partnered with Developing Healthy Communities to act as development coordinators for the Ideas Fund, supporting local organisations and projects to find research partners and submit successful applications.

Eight projects in the north west have been granted funding totaling £343,000 which are listed below:

  • Dennett Valley She Shed
  • Informing Choices NI
  • Sole Purpose Productions
  • The Junction
  • The Yellow Wood Group
  • Youth Action Northern Ireland
  • Parenting NI
  • Far and Wild

Roisin McLaughlin, The Ideas Fund Development Coordinator for North West Northern Ireland said, “We are delighted that eight projects have been funded through The Ideas Fund in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area. The project ideas are wide-ranging and will help people of all ages and backgrounds. This funding is very timely for us as the impact of COVID has increased the need for mental wellbeing initiatives in the area. We look forward to supporting the projects and to see the relationships develop between the researchers and communities as they work together.”

Well done to all of the successful projects and we look forward to continuing the journey with them!


4 Friends Provident Foundation – Developing a Fair Economy Grants Programme

Grants are available for charities, social enterprises, and private companies across the United Kingdom to support projects that seek to address systemic economic inequalities.

The aim of this fund is to support projects that seek to tackle the causes of economic disparity, such as inequality, poverty, or climate breakdown, and create an economy that works for everyone. Funding is available for projects that seek to address the structural problems of the current economic system.

Funding operates on two levels:

  • Systems change – projects that involve a radical assessment of how ‘disruptive innovation’ might change the financial system, exploring and informing changes to the regulatory, policy, or other systemic levels that would develop financial system innovations.

  • Local economies – smaller projects that focus on testing and reviewing small-scale initiatives that support local economies through diversity, flexibility, and building capacity in communities.

Grants of up to £200,000 are available
Applications will be accepted from charities, social enterprises, and private companies.

Applicants should address the systemic causes of issues such as poverty, climate change, and inequality.

Priority will be given to projects that focus on the following criteria:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion - Projects that will help to identify and address structural inequalities and discrimination relating to characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality, class, and the interplay of these factors in people’s lives.

  • A fair transition – Projects that seek to address the impact of rapid economic shifts and distribute the risks/benefits more equitably, such as the transition to a zero-carbon economy and the development of artificial intelligence.

Funding is to help create new ideas and create practical examples to be built on in other places, rather than for broadly rolling out pre-existing ones.

Funding can be used to cover core costs for a project following a policy of total cost recovery.

Application Deadlines:

5th October 2021 – all applications received from now until this date will be reviewed firstly at our December trustee meeting and then on to March 2022 if invited to stage 2

12th January 2022 – all applications received between 6th October and 12th Jan 2022 will be reviewed firstly at our March trustee meeting and then onto June if invited to stage 2

8th April 2022 – all applications received between 13th Jan and 8th April will be reviewed for our June trustee meeting, and then onto September if invited to stage 2

6th July 2022 – all applications received between 9th April and 6th July will be reviewed for our September trustee meeting and then December if invited to stage 2

5th October 2022 – all applications received between 7th July and 5th October will be reviewed for our December trustee meeting and then again in March 2023 if invited to stage 2

Guidance and an application form are available on the 
Friends Provident Foundation’s website.
Tel: 01904629675


5 Road safety grant scheme

Individuals and groups from the voluntary and community sector can apply for grants of up to £10,000 to develop and run projects aimed at improving road safety or the take up of active travel in local communities. You can only apply as an individual if you’re  working in partnership with a community group. The group must be involved in the application process.

If you’re eligible, you must fill in and return the application form to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to: 

The deadline for applications is 12.00 pm on 15 October 2021.

Application form for road safety grant scheme  

Full details available 

6 The Aviva Climate Fund

A £150,000 programme is offering support to UK community groups seeking funding for local environmental initiatives.

In addition to its usual support for smaller-scale community projects, in 2021 the Aviva Community Fund has established a dedicated strand for local projects designed to help communities prevent, prepare for and protect against the impacts of climate change.

Eligible projects and activities include:
  • Developing a new approach, product or technology.
  • Implementing a new initiative or piloting a new scheme.
  • Expanding existing services to a new area or beneficiary group.
  • Adapting services to meet today's needs without compromising those of future generations.
Through the Aviva Climate Fund, charities and social enterprises can receive match funding, pound for pound, between 26 October 2021 and 7 December 2021 for their Crowdfunder projects in the areas of climate change prevention and preparation.

Full eligibility criteria and guidance notes can be found at the Aviva Community Fund 

The deadline for applications is 23.59pm on 5 October 2021.


 7 Musical Instruments for Bands

The Arts Council has designed this programme to increase the quality of music-making in the community by helping bands to replace worn-out instruments and purchase new instruments.

Particular priority will be given to applications which can demonstrate

• high quality musicianship;
• a commitment to training and musical education, particularly of young people; and
• a commitment to repertoire and technique development in relation to the band’s existing repertoire and technical standards.

This scheme is open to bands based in Northern Ireland, which are formally constituted.

The following types* of bands are eligible for this scheme:
  • Accordion Orchestra/Band (part, melody or marching)
  • Brass Band
  • Concert Band
  • Flute Band (part, melody or marching)
  • Pipe Band
  • Wind Band
You must apply using our online system. Please ensure that you leave sufficient time to upload all documents to the system as there can be long delays as the closing deadline approaches and the system will shut down at 12noon precisely on the closing date, Monday 18 October 2021. If your complete application is not fully uploaded when the system closes, your application will not be accepted.

Full details and application form available 


8 Join the Dots Participatory Budgeting closing on 30th September

There is still time to get your ideas in to create connections for the Join the Dots on-line and all-island PB.

You could Create Connections by bringing new folk together to work on an idea for the common good and then, together, bid for funds for you to deliver that idea OR You could work on an idea that itself will Create new Connections and bring folk together for the common good.  Full details available here:  

What would you do with £500/Euro for positive change?

Closing tomorrow: 30 September


9  Meet the Funder - Henry Smith Charity - Strengthening Communities Programme

This Meet the Funder event is with Mary Mosinghi, Grants Manager at the Henry Smith Charity.
Through attending this session, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the charities’ Strengthening Communities Grant Programme, which Mary manages.

Date and time: Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 

The aim of this grants programme is to fund grass roots, community-led organisations located in and working in the most deprived areas in the UK. This grant programme funds organisations supporting communities in the most deprived areas which are physically located within, or immediately next to the most deprived areas according to the Indices of Multiple Deprivation. Please visit The Henry Smith Charity website for more information.

By attending this Meet the Funder event we aim to give you the opportunity to:

  • Ask questions about the Strengthening Communities Grant Programme, including the application process.
  • Hear about who the programme is focused on supporting.
  • Better understand what is currently being funded by the programme, and whether your project fits within this.
  • Gain an insight into the decision-making processes led by the funder.
  • Receive advice direct from The Henry Smith Charity

This Meet the Funder event is suitable for Community-led charities and not for profit organisations who are:

  • Based and working in the within or immediately next to an area within the 15% most deprived areas in Northern Ireland. 
  • Have income of between 20k and 500k
  • Need funding (including running costs) over 1 - 3 years
Register your place here


10 Apply for High Street scheme ‘Spend Local’ prepaid card

As part of the NI Executive’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery programme, if you are resident in Northern Ireland and aged 18 or over, you are eligible to apply to receive a £100 Spend Local prepaid card to spend in local businesses across Northern Ireland, this is now live.

To apply, you will be asked for your:

  • National Insurance number
  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • sex
  • disability status (specifying if you have a visual impairment)
  • email address (this will be pre-populated)
  • telephone number
  • driving licence number (this is optional but will help speed up the checking process)
If you cannot apply online, telephone applications will open on 11 October and close on 25 October.
The scheme is open until 30 November.

Apply for Spend Local pre-paid card


11 Launch of new practical guide on the human rights & equality aspects of the Protocol

The Social Change Initiative are inviting you to attend the online launch of Human Rights and Equality in Northern Ireland Under the Protocol: A Practical Guide. 

The guide has been produced by the Social Change Initiative in conjunction with the Human Rights Centre at Queen’s University Belfast and the Donia Center for Human Rights at the University of Michigan.

The launch will take place on Monday 11th October from 2pm to 3pm (BST)

If you are interested in attending please register HERE.

The new publication explains in clear and simple terms the provisions dealing with human rights and equality in the Protocol and the Trade and Co-operation Agreement.   It offers practical information on how they can be used to protect rights and includes flow charts explaining how the new domestic and international enforcement processes operate.  The guide also includes a number of concrete case studies illustrating how the system might work in practice.

It should provide a useful resource for anyone interested in understanding the possibilities which these new arrangements provide for the protection of human rights and equality in Northern Ireland. 

We are delighted that Geraldine McGahey and Alyson Kilpatrick, the Chief Commissioners of the Equality Commission and the Human Rights Commission, have agreed to say a few words at the launch about the new enforcement, advice and monitoring duties which they are now jointly responsible for as a result of the Protocol. 


12 Online discussion on the growing problem of disinformation 

Tuesday 12th October at 2.30pm

Social change activists around the world are seeing a significant rise in problems due to disinformation.  In many societies this is causing serious damage to community cohesion, to democracy and to wider stability and well-being.  How exactly is the problem manifesting itself and what does an effective response look like? These are the questions we will explore with three panellists who have distinct expertise and important perspectives on the issue.

Mike Posner is the director of the New York University Centre for Business and Human Rights which has been centrally involved in the debate about social media regulation.  He previously served in the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. 

Aoife Gallagher is an Analyst at the Institute of Social Dialogue where she focuses on the intersection between far-right extremism, disinformation and conspiracy theories and the online ecosystem where these ideas flourish and spread. Previously, Aoife was a journalist with the online news agency, Storyful.

Kavisha Pillay is a social change activist working with Corruption Watch in South Africa.  She is currently working on how big data techniques can be used to advance social justice and how best to understand disinformation and prevent its exploitation.  She is also exploring practical ways for the public and communities to counter this growing problem in SA and globally.

To register for the event please sign up 


13 Hope Matters Training

Facilitated by: Marie Dunne & Martin Heaney
Venue: All sessions will be delivered online via Zoom  
New Dates Now Available
Thurs 21st Oct  2021 - 10.00am - 1.00pm
Tues  26th Oct  2021 -  6:00pm - 9:00pm

Booking Essential

Hope Matters is a new skills programme developed by RESILIO
. It is based on research that suggests ‘Hope is a teachable skill’.  The three-hour programme aims to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to grow and maintain hope within themselves and others during these challenging times.
Hope is one of the strongest protective factors in reducing the risks of suicide and self–harm.

Contents of the 3-hour interactive workshop will cover:

  • Introduce the concept of HOPE
  • Explore the evidence and how it is linked to supporting the recovery of trauma
  • Introduced to skills and knowledge to develop and maintain hope, even during these challenging times

Have the confidence to act as an ambassador of hope in your families, communities, and workplaces

When you have completed the training you may wish to further develop your skills by attending one additional 3-Hour module where you will have the opportunity to be trained as a facilitator to deliver Hopeful minds programme to children and young people

For Community & Voluntary sector organisations delivering services in the Western Trust area to apply for a place please read carefully the 
Booking and Cancellations Policy

14 FREE British Red Cross Workshops

Our free workshops (for adults 19+) will help you learn skills to help in an emergency, connect with others and build confidence and coping skills.
  • First aid - Do you want to learn essential, life-saving first aid skills to help in an emergency? The aim of the workshop is to build confidence so you can help someone in a first aid emergency. (Available digitally & Face to Face)
  • Adapt to and recover from adversity - This workshop will help you speak openly about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on you, positively or negatively. You will learn skills to help you and others adapt to returning to normality. (Available digitally via Zoom)
  • Exploring loneliness - Speak openly about how it might feel to be lonely or isolated and learn skills to help others who may be suffering. (Available digitally & Face to Face)
  • All workshops are approximately 1½ to 2 hours with minimum of 8 participants
To book a workshop call/email Geraldine: Telephone: 07808243707 or Email: gfitzpatrick@redcross.org.uk

15 Young people’s programme - Northern Ireland 2035
Forthcoming young people’s programme- NorthernIreland2035 - free leadership development for 18-25 year olds- this October.

The programme has been made possible by the generous support of our sponsors; Belfast City Council, Power NI, Allstate NI, Belfast Charitable Society, Halifax Foundation for NI and Belfast Met.

Diversity is key! We are looking for a group of 18-25 year olds from different backgrounds, from every corner of Northern Ireland - some will be in work, some studying, some campaigning or volunteering, it really doesn't matter. What is important is they care about the future of their community, are curious, and want to broaden their understanding of and work together on, the challenge of sustainability and the environment.

Our Legacy programmes are more important than ever, given that young people will be the hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic. We’d like you to help us to spread the word and encourage young leaders to apply as an opportunity to expand their networks, work together around a complex problem and develop cross boundary leadership skills.

Delivered via Zoom, on 14/ 15 and 18/ 19 October (1 – 5pm). Further information and a link to the application can be found here: 


16 Latest offers from Salto Youth

Please see 
attached document
 for all the latest Salto training to include:

  • PERSE Training for Youth Workers
  • FITA 6 – From Idea To Action 6
  • Change the Story, Change the World


17 Resumption of Hearing Aid Support Service - Strabane

RNID is resuming its free drop-in support session for hearing aid users in Strabane at The Ballycolman Community Centre, Ballycolman estate, BT82 9EH on Thursday 30th September 2021 from 10am -12 noon.

The socially distanced drop off and pick up service provides new batteries, cleaning and retubing of ear moulds for NHS hearing aids.

Hearing aids must be placed in a labelled envelope with name and contact details. They will be collected at the entrance by a volunteer and brought inside for maintenance. Users can wait in their car or return later to collect hearing aids. Hearing aids can also be dropped off by friends or family members.

The sessions are run by trained volunteers and funded by the Health & Social Care Board.

For more information visit 
www.rnid.org.uk or contact Mary Cruickshank; email mary.cruickshank@rnid.org.uk
 or call 07918 767640.


18 Northern Ireland Road Safety Awards 2021

Road Safe NI Charity in partnership with headline Sponsor 
CRASH Services
 are delighted to launch this year’s Northern Ireland Road Safety Awards, which recognise the contribution of individuals and organisations who have worked to improve road safety in their communities. 

There are a total of 12 categories open for nominations:
Education; Primary Schools, Education; Secondary Schools, lollipop person, driving instructor, emergency services person, voluntary sector, open category, LGV/PCV sector, public sector, business sector, fleet maintenance provider and lifetime achievement.

A nomination form can be downloaded here: NOMINATION FORM and all completed forms should be emailed to roadsafenicharity@gmail.com.

Alternatively completed nomination forms can be posted to Road Safe NI, 48 Copperthorpe, Drumahoe, Co. Londonderry, BT47 3LT.

The closing date for entries is Friday 22nd October.


19 Could you be a Coffee Morning Host for Foyle Hospice 

October is Foyle Hospice’s official Coffee month. They are looking for ‘Coffee Morning’ Hosts or people to organise Coffee related fundraising at home, work or virtually during the month, to help raise much needed funds.

If you can help or for more information, please contact Ailbhe Temple, Community Fundraising Officer on 028 7135 9888 or 


20 Job Opportunity: Grants Manager with The Ideas Fund

Job title: Grants Manager
Reporting to: Head of Grants
Responsible for: Programme Officer (to be confirmed) and contracted Development Co-ordinators
Based: Remote working or office based. If office based, our Head Office is in London, but we have an agile working policy enabling people to work at another UK location up to 4 days/week (this is a trial policy and subject to review). We welcome applications from people based in other parts of the UK. Some UK travel will be required.
Terms: Full time (35 hours per week), permanent. Requests for flexible working and/or secondments will be considered​.  
Salary: £29,583 – £37,906 per annum 

We are seeking someone to join our Grants Team in delivering The Ideas Fund, an exciting new programme which looks to connect communities with researchers in order to develop and try out ideas related to mental wellbeing. The Fund is currently being delivered in four areas of the UK – Oldham, Hull, the Highlands & Islands of Scotland, and North West Northern Ireland, although the successful candidate can be based anywhere in the UK.

With support from the Head of Grants, we expect that you will have lead responsibility for our work in two of these areas, building strong relationships with our Development Co-ordinators and contributing to the successful delivery of the overall programme. You will oversee the support for grant holders to learn from what is working and feed this learning into improving future rounds of the Fund, as well as sharing insights externally.

The closing date for applications is 9am Monday 18 October 2021. 
Interviews are due to take place the week commencing 1 November 2021.

Further details and how to apply are available here


21 Non-Executive Board Member Vacancies - DfI, DfE and DVA

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI), Department for the Economy (DfE) and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) are advertising an open competition to recruit 4 Non-Executive Members to their Boards.
For your reference, a copy of a 
flyer which provides some more detail on the appointments has been enclosed. Please use the link below to access the competition documents, including the Candidate Information Booklet and the application form.  A criteria based selection process will be used for these appointments and applicants will be expected to demonstrate their ability, experience and skills across a number of competences.  

Applications will be welcomed from all sections of the community.
Women, younger people, people with a disability and ethnic minority communities are currently under represented on our Boards and so applications from these groups would be particularly welcome. Applications are also invited from people who have gained suitable experience from within the community or voluntary sectors.
If you have any questions regarding the recruitment process please do not hesitate to contact the DfI, DfE and DVA NEM Recruitment Team at - 


22  The Story of Us
‘We are the stories we tell ourselves’
Storytelling is the oldest of all the arts.

We’ve been telling stories for centuries, long before we could write them down. The desire to tell and hear stories is deeply-rooted in our human nature. Stories help us make sense of the world around us; they allow us to reflect on the past, document the present and imagine the future. They bring us closer to the minds and lives of others and remind us that we are not alone.

Storytelling is at the heart of the Irish and Ulster-Scots traditions. We fondly refer to ourselves as an island of storytellers. We have filled the imaginations of the world with fairytales, tall-tales, folklore, legends and myths and our literature and song hold a special place in the hearts of people here and across the world.

This year’s programme reflects on the theme of storytelling in its broadest sense including; the literary legacy of Seamus Heaney; the stories of the Great Irish Famine which endure in folk memory; and a personal account of the Ulster-Scots language and its power to evoke a unique sense of home and place.

Derry City and Strabane District Council presents Island Voices 2021 - a series of talks exploring storytelling within the English, Irish and Ulster-Scots traditions.

Please note these events are free however registration is required. Please register at: 

23 Rural Shared History Project: “100 years of change”

Series of six talks (Nov 2021 to Feb 2022)
Wednesday 3rd November 2021 - 7pm (via zoom)

RCN is pleased to announce that it has secured an evening with Dr Fionnuala Walsh (first of the series of six).

This talk shows the impact of the Great War on women’s everyday lives in Ireland, focusing on the years of the war and the immediate aftermath. Irish women threw themselves into the war effort, mobilising in various forms, such as nursing wounded soldiers, preparing hospital supplies and producing weapons of war. However, the war’s impact extended beyond direct mobilisation, affecting women’s household management, family relations, standard of living, working conditions and opportunities. Dr Walsh will bring women’s wartime experiences out of history’s shadow as she examines welfare, domestic life, bereavement and employment, and reflects upon the significant impact of the Great War on Irish society.

Dr Fionnuala Walsh is Assistant Professor in Modern Irish History in University College Dublin. She completed her PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship in Trinity College Dublin. Her first book, Irish women and the Great War, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. It was shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize for the best first book on British or Irish History. Dr Walsh is the Secretary of the Women's History Association of Ireland. 
To register email 
teresa@ruralcommunitynetwork.org or ring 028 8676 6670
24 Nature Positive 2030

A new report, Nature Positive 2030, has been published. This is a joint report between Natural England, JNCC, NatureScot, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

The report aims to build ambition and encourage action for nature in this critical year for climate change and biodiversity. It also aims to put our nature ambitions on an even footing with our climate change goals, in line with the scientific consensus that we either tackle the crises of biodiversity loss and climate change together, or we will tackle neither.

Our report is framed around the 30by30 commitment and, in particular, the commitments made in the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, which has been signed by over 85 world leaders including from the UK. The commitments in the Leaders’ Pledge are wide-ranging, spanning how we protect, value, use and engage with nature. The report demonstrates how the UK can succeed in delivering these commitments, by scaling up delivery that builds upon best practice from across the UK. You will see a number of NI exemplars contained within it. There is already good work under way but much more is required.

In the report, we conclude that it is not too late for the UK to become Nature Positive by 2030, provided we significantly scale-up activity now. In doing so, we would also make a critical contribution to the UK’s climate change ambitions. The report highlights important policy areas currently being developed. However, we also conclude that much needs to be done to deliver the scale of change needed by 2030. The report identifies nine actions that can be implemented rapidly, by national and local governments, land owners, businesses and others that would have particularly high impacts on reversing biodiversity loss this decade.

25 DfE Energy Strategy - Energy e-bulletin

Please find attached the fifteenth edition of the Energy Strategy E-Bulletin, which aims to keep stakeholders informed about progress on the new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland.
In this edition:
- Working towards energy decarbonisation
- Invest Northern Ireland
- Northern Ireland Water
- Translink
- Keep yourself informed!
Links to the e-bulletin can be found directly below:

Energy Strategy e-bulletin 15 | Department for the Economy (economy-ni.gov.uk)
Northern Ireland Energy Strategy 2050 | Department for the Economy (economy-ni.gov.uk)


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