Safeguarding Support for Village Halls in Berkshire


Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has been awarded over £100k from the National Lottery Community Fund to promote good safeguarding practice to village and community halls throughout England.  

We will be working to make sure that the voluntary management committees that run halls and community buildings have the knowledge and confidence to provide a safe environment for all.

Advice and examples of best practice will be shared with those managing and using village and community halls so that they fully understand their responsibilities and have appropriate and proportionate policies and procedures in place.

The project will be rolled out using our network of 38 county-based members (of which CCB are the member in Berkshire) who already provide support to rural village and community halls.  We will be working with management committees to help them understand current legislation around safeguarding and make sure procedures are in place which reflect good practice. Ultimately, our aim is to increase awareness of the importance of safeguarding and making sure that these important rural assets are welcoming and safe places for all.

England’s 10,000 village halls are at the heart of rural community life – providing a hub for social activities, classes and services. Through its network of skilled advisers, ACRE supports the 80,000 volunteers who run village halls and similar rural community buildings.

NCVO Safeguarding information

NSPCC child protection guidance

Safeguarding concerns: practice example – hiring out space

Safeguarding guidance for disabled children and adults at risk

Guidance on handling safeguarding allegations in a charity

Funding Opportunities July 2020

Thank you to Berkshire CVS’s for providing the information found on this news items. Thank you to Reaving Voluntary Action, West Berkshire Volunteer Centre, Slough CVS & Wokingham & Bracknell InVOLve. Please check it regularly as we add to it as the month progresses.


Awards up to £50,000 to help longer-term project funding
The Grant must be used:
• to cover a specific project (rather than funding general ongoing running costs);
• to take an existing successful project or initiative to a new level or bring a creative and challenging new idea to fruition; and
• to advance education and skills; citizenship or community development; and/or the advancement of arts, culture or heritage
Apply by 24th July see for details and to apply

Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund
The fund will help smaller equine welfare organisations significantly impacted by the current crisis. Applicants need not be NEWC members, but rescue and rehoming of equines should be the primary focus of the organisation. Round 2 deadline 24th July 2020 (payment by 7th August). Round 3 deadlie 16th October 2020 (payment by 30th October). See for details and apply.

Respond & re-imagine grants of £10,000 to £50,000.
New grants to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis, and support to adapt and re-imagine ways of working for the future.
There are three funding rounds for these grants:
Round 1: Apply by 6 July 2020, with a decision by 31 July 2020
Round 2: Apply by 17 August 2020, a with a decision by 21 September 2020
Round 3: Apply by 12 October 2020, with a decision by 9 November 2020

UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme
This is a capital fund that awards up to £5,000 to theatres run by charities and not-for-profit groups that can clearly demonstrate the value capital improvements to their theatres would make to their work in local communities. Apply by 5 October 2020. For details see

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
Data and digital tools to support COVID19 recovery across local governmentMHCLG’s fund responds to the need for digital and data-enabled approaches to council operations post-COVID-19. Applications invited from three thematic areas:
• Data and reporting Community engagement
• Developing new working practices
Applications do not need to have a pure technology focus – please refer to the Local Digital Declaration tthe principles encouraged in every project. Lead applicants and partners must be Local Digital Declaration signatories. Deadline 15 July 2020 see

The Bailey Thomas Charitable Fund
The small grants fund helps organisations working with people affected by learning difficulties. It is for capital and revenue costs and for both specific projects and for general running/core costs. Grants are awarded for amounts from £250 -£10,000. Apply any time. See to apply on line.

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.

For further guidance on making funding applications or if your group is adapting its services to meet the Covid-19 need, contact for advice and support.

Alpkit Foundation – Covid-19 response funding for grassroots groups

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.

Apply online here.

Berkshire Community Foundation Funding
Funding is still available for emergency grants

The Care Workers’ Charity
The Care Workers’ Charity currently offers two grant funds, the Crisis Grant Fund and the Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

The Care Workers’ Charity COVID-19 Grant Fund aims to provide emergency funding for individuals who are currently employed in a role that is involved in or supports the provision of adult, elderly or disability care. These may include residential social care, domiciliary/home care, supported living care.

The Care Workers Charity is currently offering the following grants:
ISOLATION AND SHIELDING GRANTS – If you have taken two or more weeks off work due to Covid-19 for either illness, self-isolation, or shielding. We are currently awarding between £500 (2 weeks of self-isolation), up to £2,000 (12 weeks of shielding).
FUNERAL COST GRANT – If you are a care worker who is responsible for paying the funeral costs of a next of kin (partner, parent, sibling, child, or other on a case-by-case basis) OR if you are the next of kin for a care worker who has passed on from COVID–19, then we are awarding grants of up to £2000.
Read more

Frugi’s Happy Childhood Fund

The deadline is approaching for this fund; supports small, grass roots registered charities across the UK improving the lives of children living in poverty.

There are 3 priorities:

  • Hunger
  • Shelter
  • Nature

They look to fund small projects in their entirety, not running costs.

Deadline: 12pm on 8 July 2020

Read more 

Co-op Local Community Fund

Small grants are available for small, locally based voluntary and community groups to support projects which benefit local communities around Co-op food stores and funeral homes across the UK. No size specified, but grants are typically around £2,000.

Deadline: Midnight on 12 July 2020

Read more

Funding for Young People’s activities in Slough
The YES Summer Programme will be out in the next couple of weeks. If you need any support with funding activities with/for Young People aged 11 to 25, email Dom and the team at

Early Years Opportunities grants: Large and Small  Early years grants help disadvantaged children and young people overcome the barriers they face to achieve the best possible start in life. Small grants of between £500 and £15,000 over 1-3 years are open to charities with incomes under £500,000. These small grants are unrestricted. Apply by 31 August 2020 (notification in March 2021)

Large Grants are available for charities with incomes of over £500,000. The money is for projects, Apply by 31 July 2020 (notification in March 2021). See   Over 60’s and BAME Communities  Grants of up to £1,000 are available to UK charities with income over £100,000, and that focus on the often complex issues arising from Covid 19 those aged 60 and over. Priority given to BAME communities. Apply by 31st July 2020 see   Charity Survival Fund for Health and Wellbeing, Welfare and Education, Arts and Culture This £10m Fund will provide core funding to help charities, especially small and medium sized, to offset lost income in the current financial year.  Apply by Monday 27 July 2020. See eligibility, other details and application form at   

SOVEREIGN COMMUNITY FUND 2020/21 Sovereign has £120,000 of Community Funding for 2020/2021 (£40,000 over three grant rounds).Deadlines for the rounds are below
1:  August 31, 2020 – Young People and Financial and Digital Inclusion
2:  November 30, 2020 – Homelessness prevention and Re-entering the job market
3:  February 28, 2021 – Ageing Well and Place and community
The first round is now open for applications and Community groups and charities can apply through The Good Exchange (not directly to Sovereign),  See details and apply via the good exchange  

Aviva Community Fund offers match funding for crowd funded projects. The fund now includes applications for projects that enable causes to adapt or continue their vital services by covering core running costs, so they can help their beneficiaries and communities during this time of need. see details at  Applications are now open for the next round of the Aviva Community Fund until 28th July.    

Grants for Arts and Mental Health. Modest, unrestricted grants (to £15,000) to established organisations in the UK that focus solely on offering creative opportunities to people of any age living with mental health problems using the skills of professionally trained artists. Apply by 18th August 2020.  For details and application form see  

  Co-op Local Community Fund Grants are available for small, locally based voluntary and community groups to support projects which benefit local communities around Co-op food stores and funeral homes across the UK. See   and check your local co-op is still accepting applications. Deadline 12th July. 

    HSF provides grants for a range of health projects, care, research or support of medical training.  Not sure if you are eligible for an HSF grant? Have a look around the website to get an idea of the range of people and organisations helped. Grants to £2000 and to £10000. See apply by 13th July 2020  

Community Buildings Advice: Practical information to help village halls reopen published by leading rural charity

Practical information to help village halls reopen published by leading rural charity and CCB’s national network Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the national charity which champions and supports community-led projects and assets in the countryside, has today published comprehensive information that will help village and community halls reopen once government coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

“We know that up and down England village halls support close to 300 different kinds of activities across England and for a busy hall, finding the time between bookings to clean to Covid-19 requirements will be a challenge.”
On Monday 15 June the government changed the rules to permit holding indoor markets in community buildings and it has now been confirmed that village halls can re-open for some activities from 4th July.

Deborah Clarke, ACRE’s Rural Evidence and Village Halls Manager said, “Over the past couple of months we have been contacted by numerous volunteers who manage village halls wanting to know how and when they can reopen and help their community recover from Covid19. That’s why we’ve been working with relevant government departments to make sense of the emerging regulations and produce this guidance which is tailored to village halls. I encourage all village halls committees to read this information as it will allow them to put in place measures needed to make their buildings safe for use before they are given the green light to open their doors once again”.

To read the rest of this article please click here.

At CCB Kate Meads our Community Building Advisor has put together information and presentations for Village Hall Trustees on Re-opening their village halls post Covid-19 via a webinar. Both sessions are now fully booked but if you have questions concerning this and would like to know more about our Community Buildings Advice membership which offers support and advice with this and many other common enquiries please contact

Support our work, become a member

Our charity Connecting Communities in Berkshire (CCB) is a membership organisation, and organisations and individuals can join CCB to support our work and benefit from our membership offers. Becoming a member of CCB is an effective and rewarding route to building connections, accessing information and support, and helping to ensure communities like yours are strong, successful and well represented.

The cost of membership for 2020 is £35 for parish/town council and voluntary or community organisations or £18 for individuals.

Please take a moment to read our 2020 Annual Review by clicking here which gives a snapshot of all that we have been able to deliver as a charity over the course of the last year. Our membership is always at the core of what we do and key benefits to our standard members can be found below:

Benefits of Membership
Specific membership benefits you can expect to receive include:
•    Free or discounted training opportunities at our range of courses that ultimately focus on strengthening communities.
•    The opportunity to become a CCB Trustee and to nominate and elect members to our Board.
•    An invitation to attend our training conference and Annual General Meeting (1 vote per membership)
•    Monthly e-bulletins and updates on our work including services, funding opportunities, events and training workshops that may be of benefit to you, your colleagues and community.
•    The opportunity to market your community events, news or local facilities via our e-bulletin and website.
•    Prompt access to the CCB team who will be available to discuss issues affecting your community.

If you would like to become a member and support a local charity please complete our membership form by clicking here.

We also offer a bespoke membership service to those volunteers and trustees involved with Village Halls and Community Buildings. To read more about this please click here. If you heat your home or business using oil you may be interested in joining our Oil Club which offers savings to members by bulk buying oil. Please click here for information on this.

Rural Community Energy Fund – Supporting Rural Community Energy Projects

The National Grid estimate that up to 65 percent of electricity generation can be produced locally by 2050. Supporting the development of clean renewable energy generation at community level is beneficial to both the community and the wider environment. Income from renewable projects can provide benefits to the community, including the creation of jobs and the promotion of social cohesion. Considering the above, Community Energy has a significant role to play. It is vital rural communities are enabled to act and are not left behind during the energy transition.

Five Energy Hubs, funded by BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) have been set up across England to develop Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Projects. These projects can be delivered at scale to assist in the decarbonisation targets of their respective regions as detailed in the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnerships) Energy Strategies. Part of the responsibility of the Hubs is to deliver the £10 million Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) that has been provided to enable rural communities to take ownership of the energy challenges facing them. The fund provides grants to support communities in rural locations to develop their energy projects and is split into two stages.

• Stage 1 feasibility grants < £40,000

• Stage 2 grants < £100,000 for business development and planning of feasible schemes

The fund covers the high-risk costs of projects, facilitating the development of feasible projects giving local communities the confidence to finance and deliver beneficial renewable and low-carbon energy projects. Principally the Rural Community Energy Fund aims to:

· Support rural communities – by helping them to maximise the income generating potential of renewable energy and putting this to work locally;
· Increase the uptake of community and locally owned renewable energy, to support the Government’s targets for renewable energy and carbon reduction; and
· Promote rural growth, job creation and volunteering opportunities – to enable communities to access the economic benefits associated with renewable energy schemes.

The initial designing of a scheme, understanding the technical feasibility and upfront costs associated with gaining planning permission are considered challenges for the development of community scale projects. The Rural Community Energy Fund will achieve its aims by removing these barriers to investment which are not readily available in the commercial market by providing funding to community organisations establishing the feasibility and development of the business plan for a renewable energy facility.

Community Energy has a critical role to play in the evolution to a decarbonised environment and rural communities in particular must not be left behind. It is important that rural communities are empowered to make decisions about their future energy needs and enabled to make decisions on the provision of their local energy supply. With shrinking public funds, there is also an opportunity for rural communities to use their savings and generated revenue from local energy projects, to keep valuable community assets and services funded.

To contact your local Energy Hub to find out more please go to:

How to apply
RCEF is being run by 5 regional Local Energy Hubs. If you would like to register your interest for the scheme, or would like further information, please contact the relevant hub for your area.

Local Energy Hubs
The hubs are split by Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) regions. Use the following list to see which hubs cover you LEP regions.

South East
· Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
· New Anglia
· Hertfordshire
· Buckinghamshire Thames Valley
· Oxfordshire
· SEMLEP (South East Midlands)
· Coast to Capital
· South East
· Enterprise M3
· Thames Valley Berkshire
· London