New: Community Led Housing Training Webinar

Date: Thursday 4th June, 11am online webinar

To book your FREE place: https://ccberks.wufoo.com/forms/community-led-housing-webinar/

Connecting Communities in Berkshire with the Thames Valley Collaborative Housing Hub are running a FREE short online course on Community-led housing in June. This course is supported by Wokingham Borough Council Adult Community Learning.We are aware that development and new houses are currently being built throughout the Thames Valley on a large scale but are they really affordable or accessible to people growing up or working in your village or community?

Community-led housing is housing built on a not-for-profit basis by a community to meet its own needs. There are a number of different approaches to community-led housing, all resulting in homes built for the community but with different processes and levels of involvement.This short online introductory course will enable participants to understand the differences between the various models of community-led housing. It is aimed at Parish & Town Councillors, land owners and anyone from both rural and urban communities interested in exploring the options for providing affordable housing for people with a connection to their community. Rural exception sites are now quite well-known and at this session we will examine them in the context of other options, including self-build, community land trusts and co-operatives.


Community Loneliness Survey

How Often Do You Feel Lonely? Feeling isolated or lonely is a problem that most of us will face at some point in our lives. Living in a thriving and supportive community is one of the best ways of reducing the risk of loneliness and isolation, which is why CCB is supporting people to examine the kinds of activities taking place in our villages. We can help to reduce loneliness by encouraging more people to get involved with existing activities and providing help with setting new ones up.

The threat posed by the Coronavirus puts us all in an unprecedented position and ensures that the issue of social isolation is in the forefront of everyone’s minds. Whilst in the short-term we may need to restrict contact with friends and neighbours, particularly those more vulnerable to the virus, it is important to consider how to ensure that we live in well-connected communities in the longer-term.

The link below will take you to a survey form, responses to which will help us with this project. The form asks how easy is it to find and access activities in your community, and seeks your ideas on what you’d like to see taking place. You don’t have to give us any personal details, just your reflections and ideas.

https://ccberks.wufoo.com/forms/community-loneliness-survey/

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the project or are interested in getting involved. Thank you. Tim Parry: tim.parry@ccberks.org.uk


Cuckooing – Know the Signs

Provided by Thames Valley Police
Professional criminals are targeting the homes of vulnerable people and using them for drug-dealing – a process known as “cuckooing”.

Dealers often entice the vulnerable person into allowing their home to be used for drug dealing by giving them free drugs or offering to pay for food or utilities. These criminals are very selective about who they target as “cuckoo” victims and are often entrepreneurial. A lot of the time victims are lonely, isolated, or frequent drug users themselves.

“Cuckooing” means the criminals can operate from an unobtrusive property, making it an attractive option. They can then use the premises to deal and manufacture drugs in an environment that is not known to police, usually staying for just one day at a time. When the dealers use the victim’s property for criminal enterprises, the inhabitants become terrified of going to the police for fear of being suspected of involvement in drug dealing or being identified as a member of the group, which would result in their eviction from the property.

The victims of this type of exploitation could easily be your neighbours or other people you know. Just one phone call to the police or Crimestoppers could give the police and other agencies the ability to change someone’s life. Signs to look out for:
• Often takes place in a multi-occupancy or social housing property
• An increase in the number of coming and goings from the property.
• Offenders will often have new vehicles outside the property or hire cars.
• Possible increase in anti-social behaviour in and around the property.
• The victim will often disengage from support services.
• New, unfamiliar persons visiting the property.
If you’re concerned about drug-related crime where you live, call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency, to report any drug-related information or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk



Funding News – May

Many thanks to Reading Voluntary Action, Slough CVS, Wokingham & Bracknel In VOLve and Slough CVS for the information in this article.

Rural Mobility Fund – Deadline Extended to the 4th June 2020
English local authorities can bid for funding to trial on-demand bus services in rural or suburban areas. A total of £20 million available and the DfT expect to see a range of project sizes coming forward, many of which would receive funding of between £500,000 and £1.5 million. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-the-rural-mobility-fund

National Churches Trust
The Trust’s grants are available to any Christian place of worship in the UK that is open for regular worship. They cover a range of different construction, maintenance and planning purposes; from repairing a roof to helping to install an accessible toilet – and many other projects.  Grants are available for projects under £10,000 to Grants up to £100,000.  All 4 grants are open.  See details at: https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/our-grants

Lord’s Taverners Accessible Minibuses Grant Programme 
The Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, is accepting applications through its Accessible Minibuses grants programme. SEN Schools and organisations catering for young disabled people in the UK can apply to the Lords Taverners for specially adapted, wheelchair-accessible minibuses. https://www.lordstaverners.org/how-we-help/young-people-schools/accessible-minibuses/  (keep scrolling down on their website to find the application form)

Music for All Charity
Small grants which can be put towards musical instrument costs, workshops/training, using music to break down barriers, providing a variety of educational opportunities as well as helping to find ways to integrate many diverse and minority groups positively into society. Grants of up to £2,500 are available.   Deadlines extended to November 2020  https://musicforall.org.uk/apply-for-funding/

Golsoncott Foundation
The Golsoncott Foundation aims to promote, maintain, improve and advance the education of the public in the arts generally and in particular the fine arts and music. This includes providing access to the arts for young people and developing new audiences. Grants vary according to context and are not subject to an inflexible limit, but they are unlikely to exceed £3,000 and are normally given on a non-recurrent basis. Applications quarterly. To Apply see  http://www.golsoncott.org.uk/

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.
Read more

The Masonic Charitable Foundation
The Masonic Charitable Foundation has opened the Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund, with a total of £95,241 raised as at 22 April 2020. Funds raised will support charities and projects that are helping people through these challenging times. The MCF will match ALL donations up to £1m.  Funds will be distributed to a registered charity or any other COVID-related activity, as agreed by the COVID-19 Regional Communications Group. 
Read more

Swimathon Foundation Launches COVID-19 Relief Fund
Small swimming and aquatic organisations experiencing short-term financial hardship from the effects of coronavirus/COVID-19 can apply for a grant to of £250 – £1,000. The grants can help with fixed costs or loss of revenue. The deadline for applications is 22 May 2020.
Read more


Thomas Wall Trust: Digital Skills 2020 Grants Programme
Grants up to £5,000 to equip adults with basic digital skills for work and life, helping them access the online world. 
It is open to not for profit organisations/charities that have been established for at least three years with an income below £500,000.
Deadline is 12 June 2020.
Read more

Tesco Bags of Help Covid-19 Communities Fund – open for applications
Tesco Bags of Help is responding to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis by setting up a new short-term fund to support local communities. Due to the need to respond quickly to the emergency they have created a streamlined application process and payment process to make it easier to get funds distributed quickly. Successful organisations will receive a single payment award of £500.

Typically, the fund will prioritise organisations:
whose need for services has been disrupted – for example a food bank whose stocks are running low and need an immediate donation to enable the food bank to restock.
required to put in place new services– for example charities setting up a new home service for the elderly who usually attend a monthly lunch club or a charity needing to set up a telephone service to support beneficiaries.
with increased demand – eg, a holiday hunger club needs more resources due to schools closing, or a children’s centre needs an additional temporary staff member.
Applications are welcome from (not an exhaustive list):
Women’s refuges
Food banks
Hospices
Homeless charities
Charities supporting the elderly
Charities supporting children’s activities
This is a rolling programme, where community groups or charities can apply for funding at any time during the next few months; they expect to be making weekly awards to eligible groups across the UK.

How to apply
Apply online here: https://tescobagsofhelp.org.uk/grant-schemes/tesco-cv-fund/
Contact: tescocv@groundwork.org.uk.

The Yapp Charitable Trust – core funding for small charities

The Yapp Charitable Trust has invited small UK charities affected by the impact of Covid-19 to apply for grants of up to £3,000.

Who can apply?

Registered charities who have been established for a minimum of 3 years, with a total annual expenditure of less than £40,000, who are undertaking work that focuses on one of these priority groups:

  • Elderly people.
  • Children and young people, aged 5 – 25.
  • People with physical impairments, learning difficulties or mental
    health challenges.
  • Social welfare – people trying to overcome life-limiting problems of a social, rather than medical, origin (such as addiction, relationship
    difficulties, abuse, offending).

What can you use the money for?

They only make grants for ongoing core funding, which they define as costs associated with regular activities or services that have been ongoing for at least a year. They cannot not fund new projects, extra services or additional delivery costs. This includes creating a paid post for work that is currently undertaken on a voluntary basis or rent for premises that are currently cost free.

Further information

National Lottery Community Fund – Awards for All Covid-19 Response funding open

The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) Awards for All funding will prioritise Covid-19 response for the next six months, in particular applications from:

  • Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from Covid-19.
  • Organisations supporting communities most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the result of Covid-19.
  • Organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of Covid-19

Further information

  • The applications can be submitted at any time through the usual online application portal.
  • Funding size: £300 – £10,000.
  • Applications are being assessed as quickly as possible and successful applicants will receive the funding within 14 days of the decision.

Alpkit Foundation – Covid-19 response funding for grassroots groups

Reading Voluntary Action (RVA)22 April 2020

Alpkit Foundation are now prioritising their funds to support projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the Covid-19 virus crisis.

Examples of projects they will consider:

  • Being active in your local community to help elderly or vulnerable people.
  • Minimising the impact of self-isolation for those in quarantine and need access to food, medicines or social care.
  • Supporting food banks and increasing the number of meals on wheels deliveries to support the elderly.
  • Supporting those who are homeless or in temporary accommodation.
  • Bringing adventure indoors and overcoming the obstacles that prevent us benefiting from going outdoors.

Who can apply?

Alpkit welcomes any applications from individuals or organisations serving those affected by the coronavirus across the country.

How much can you apply for?

You can apply for funding up to £500. (NB: This funder has generally donated around £60,000 per year)

How quick is the turn around?

They urge applicants to get in touch, and say trustees are available at a moment’s notice to approve applications and can respond very quickly if needs be.

DEFRA Food Charities Grant
Grants of up to £100,000 each are available to front line food aid charities that are unable to meet an increased demand for food from vulnerable individuals as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.  This includes providing food for people that cannot afford food who have moved into temporary accommodation as a result of COVID-19 e.g. those who have left home due to domestic abuse, newly released prisoners, the newly homeless This grant is not to provide food for the extremely clinically vulnerable. See website for eligibility and how to apply. Deadlineth July 2020
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-apply-for-the-food-charities-grant-fund
 
Baring Foundation: Three streams of funding to strengthen Civil Society   Grants of up to £40,000 are available to organisations, with legal expertise in their area of focus to help protect vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals from the impact of covid-19. Apply by 28th May 2020 see https://baringfoundation.org.uk/news-story/strengthening-civil-society-programme-new-funding-to-support-civil-society-through-the-pandemic/ Grants of up to £5,000 to help organisations with operations severely affected by the coronavirus Increase in demand for advice from frontline organisations: grants of up to £30,000 for hub organisations. These are vital organisations which provide expert legal advice to other civil society organisations to drive social change. For streams 2 and 3 contact Barings with a request https://baringfoundation.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/
 
A further fund  Implementing Successful Litigation fund is still running for non covid litigation for civil society! Next deadline is the 20 May.
 
The North Face Covid-19 explore fund
If you support outdoor communities and are a Conservation group or organisation​, outdoor charity or industry association or an organisation registered in UK / DEU/ ITA or FRA and involved in camping, environmental education, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, indoor rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, trail running, alpinism​; then you can apply on-line for grants of €1000-€50,000. Deadline 22nd May 2020. See https://www.thenorthface.co.uk/about-us/explore-fund.html.
 
Charities working with Armed Forces communities
Armed Forces charities and Community Interest Companies (CICs) who are delivering services to veterans, Armed Forces families and others from the Armed Forces community. Grants of up to £60,000 are available. In exceptional circumstances, grants of up to £125,000 or more are available.  Deadline 29 May 2020. Grants will need to spend it all by 31 October 2020. See  https://covenantfund.org.uk/2020/05/12/emergency-funding-for-frontline-armed-forces-charities-working-with-armed-forces-communities/
 
Aviva community fund – crowdfunding
Is open to applications from charities with income less than £1m, who either: Tackle inequality and improve environments for more connected, and resilient communities or Give people the tools to become more financially independent and have project or new initiatives to fund or who need core costs to adapt or continue vital services during the COVID-19 outbreak. Next round of this support closes on 28th July 2020. https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/start-crowdfunding

Youth Endowment Fund launches £6.5 million Covid-19 grant
This round will fund and evaluate work which supports vulnerable young people at risk of youth violence. Charities and social enterprises, NFP’s and public sector organisations including councils, schools or police can apply for funds to develop and deliver Digital/virtual delivery of programmes or Face-to-face activity that can be delivered whilst adhering to social distancing/stay at home guidelines. See https://youthendowmentfund.org.uk/grants-2/covid-19-round/
 
National Lottery Community Funding
Community funding is available for charities, NFPs, community aand voluntary organisations and social enterprises and CIS’s. At present they are prioritising Organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19 Organisations supporting people most likely to face increased demand and challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis Organisations which connect communities and support communities to work together to respond to COVID-19. Awards for all offers grants of £300-£10,000.  Reaching Communities offers grants over £10,000  
See https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding

Football Foundation launch the new ‘Pitch Preparation Fund’
Grants to help get their natural and artificial grass pitches ready for when Government advice allows football to start being played again are available to FA National League System Clubs, FA Women’s Pyramid clubs and eligible affiliated grassroots clubs and organisation. https://footballfoundation.org.uk/grant/pitch-preparation-fund
     

Licting Covid-19 in rural areas – some cursory thoughts from Action with Communities in Rural England

ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is the national body for is our our 37 sister charitable local development agencies in other counties. Together we make up the ACRE Network.


Lifting Covid-19 restrictions in rural areas – some cursory thoughts
by Philip Vincent.

Lifting Covid-19 restrictions in rural areas – some cursory thoughts
Over the bank holiday weekend, the government outlined a phased plan for lifting Covid-19 restrictions, conditional on the rate of the virus being reproduced (‘R’ value) falling to acceptable levels. Phillip Vincent, ACRE’s Public Relations and Communications Manager, outlines some cursory thoughts on what this means for rural communities across England.


Up and down the country, our members are telling us about good neighbour schemes, village halls that are taking on new functions to support key workers and help with relief efforts and emergency plans that are being used and adapted to coordinate community-level efforts
Whilst detailed information and guidance is still emerging, we are having conversations with the 38 charities that make up the ACRE Network to see what the latest government announcements for lifting Covid-19 restrictions mean for their work and the rural communities they support.

In the coming days and weeks, we will be developing our understanding of how rural communities are experiencing these changes, seeking clarity on what community groups such as village hall committees need to do to safely get back up and running and also highlighting inspiring stories where rural residents are helping each other at this time of national crisis.

Unsurprisingly, some commentators are paying particular attention to the lifting of restrictions on travel and the enjoyment of outdoor open spaces and what this means for rural communities. Under the new guidance, people are free to drive the length and breadth of England for this purpose so long as they don’t go to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. This change may well result in high volumes of visitors to parts of the countryside, keen to enjoy new freedoms and make the most of the good weather. In some popular tourist destinations such as the Lake District there are fears this could result in the overcrowding of visitor honeypots. ACRE recognises this could have public health implications and is therefore asking its members to keep a watching brief on the situation locally so they can let us know if problems arise which we can draw to the attention of our contacts within government.

Many of our members too are asking us how village halls and other rural community projects can resume their work. Whilst the government has put forward a framework for employers to make workplaces Covid-19 secure, we have not yet seen any specific guidance that will allow community and voluntary groups to reopen buildings such as village halls and resume much of their work. As such we are in conversation with our members and also Public Health England to think about how groups can be supported to carry out risk assessments sensitive to their circumstances that will keep both volunteers and the wider community safe.