NEW TRAINING TOPIC COMES TO BERKSHIRE! Listening Skills for Community Organising, 22.11.19

What is ‘Community Organising’?

When communities work together, the possibilities for positive change are endless. Community organising is the work of bringing people together to take action around their common concerns and overcome social injustice. Community organisers reach out and listen, connect and motivate people to build their collective power. When people are organised, communities get heard and power begins to shift creating real change for good

This interactive, quality-assured course will help you to develop the skills and confidence to start listening to people to build relationships and activate people as part of a community organising strategy. Listening to people is the foundation of community organising because it builds trust and relationships, uncovers issues and is an essential starting point for bringing people together to share stories, ideas and action.

The course is taking place on Friday 22nd November from 9.30am – 5pm at Beech Hill Memorial Hall, Berkshire, RG7 2BE. To reserve your place please click here:

This interactive, quality-assured community organising course you will build on your knowledge and explore:

  • ‘relational’ listening and its importance in community organising
  • How to plan a listening campaign to kick-start your organising work
  • Practical listening tools you can use to engage people, build relationships and find leaders
  • How asking powerful questions helps people to tell their stories
  • How community organisers reflect to improve their work

“The listening exercise made me reflect on how I have been listening to others and sometimes not hearing them.”

People that have attended Community Organisers Ltd courses have gone on to achieve great things and make a real difference to their community. To read some case studies and get a better idea of what YOU could help achieve please click here:

Post Office News – November 2019: Barclays u-turns on ending cash withdrawal service at POs

Barclays has reversed its decision to prevent customers withdrawing cash at post offices reports the Citizens Advice. Barclays’ announcement that from January, its debit card holder would no longer be able to withdraw cash from a post office counter prompted fury from MPs and consumer groups.

Cancelling the plan, Barclays said it had been persuaded to rethink its proposals by the argument that offering the service is “crucial at this point to the viability of the post office network.”

Barclays had been the only one of 28 banks not to fully sign up to a new Banking Framework agreement which ensures consumers can continue to access everyday banking services at post offices. The new agreement also sees an increase in payments for postmasters providing these services. The government consistently cites Post Office banking services as a key part of
the solution to bank branch closures.

Barclays closed around 500 branches since 2015, and an estimated 15 million cash withdrawals were made by Barclays customers at post offices last year. Citizens Advice is currently undertaking research into Post Office banking. For further details see their blog or contact

Subsidised broadband for Rural Communities

Some of the hardest-to-reach rural places in the UK are now eligible for government funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable* broadband to homes or businesses when part of a group project, thanks to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

Premises must be in rural areas where available broadband speeds are less than 30 Megabits per second (Mbps). Vouchers are worth up to £3,500 for a small and medium-sized business and up to £1,500 per home.

You can check whether you are likely to be eligible for the rural gigabit voucher and search for a registered supplier by looking up your postcode at

Talk to suppliers in your area for the connection deal that is right for you and they will advise you on your eligibility and guide you through the process. You must commit to a 12-month contract with your supplier for a new download speed of at least 30 Mbps through a gigabit-capable connection.

*Gigabit-capable means that the connection can handle speeds of 1,000 Megabits per second but you only sign up to speeds you can afford. If your demand increases in the future, you can pay for more speed.

Environmental Impact Conference successful at helping community buildings in Berkshire to become more Eco friendly.

On Thursday 7th November almost 40 individuals representing community buildings & businesses and village halls from across Berkshire came together to look at ways in which they might improve their buildingse to become greener and environmentally friendly.

The conference immediately followed CCB’s 2019 AGM and guests were welcomed by the chance to grab a refreshment before Jacky Akam, from Thatcham & Newbury zero waste and plastic free group, kicked things off with her talk on what Village Halls can do to reduce their environmental impact.

There followed presentations and discussion driven by Kate Meads, our Community Buildings Advisor, on funding opportunities to support a greener vision as well as an environmental audit tool. We were also lucky enough to have Mike from Utility Aid focusing on Reducing Energy costs, Steve from Stanhope Wilkinson Associates looking at Environmental Impact & Sustainability and Anton from Heatsave examining Energy Management Systems.

Delegates then were invited to use the network opportunity to discuss ideas and options further whilst enjoying a yummy home made lunch (thanks Kate)

CCB would like to thank Englefield Charitable Trust and West Berkshire Adult Community Learning team for supporting this exciting and new training opportunity. Feedback from the conference was excellent with one delegate commenting: “I really enjoyed the very practical ideas for making environmental improvements. The audit tool Kate produced will be very useful and we will use it to make improvements in our community building.”

Funding Opportunities in November

Funding articles and information courtesy of Reading Voluntary Action, West Berkshire Volunteer Centre, Wokingham & Bracknell InVOLve and Slough CVS.

The Nineveh Charitable Trust: Countryside & Environment
Schools and not for profit organisations can apply for funding for projects and activities that promote a better understanding of the environment and countryside, whilst facilitating improved access, education and research. Grants are normally less than £5000 per year for 1 to 3 years.  To apply see to apply.

£250,000 Fund to Help Disabled People Become More Active 
Voluntary or community organisations, clubs and charities providing activities for disabled people; and that are registered with the Parasport Online Hub can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to improve the quality and quantity of equipment available to disabled people. To register with the hub visit Apply for funding by 20 December

The Wakeham Trust
Support for small volunteer organisations that meet the needs or benefit the community.  The trust helps projects that are too new to get support through established funding channels, or which are threatened by national or local policy changes. It generally provides an initial £125 to £2,500 where it can make a real difference. Organisations be registered charities or work with or be supported by a charity who would initially provide a holding account.

ESFA Community Training Grants Now Available!

Do you have a project which helps people improve their employment prospects? Grants of £5,000 – £20,000 are available for Thames Valley Berkshire projects which help move individuals either into employment, or establish a route towards employment.

Projects should:

  • Work with those who are unemployed or economically inactive
  • Provide activities that will bring them closer to the labour market (into education or employment)
  • Engage participants 16 or over
  • Engage participants who are legally allowed to work in the UK

In addition to formal skills training this can also be activities which have softer benefits, such as work readiness, confidence or anger management.

The ESFA has highlighted four priority groups that it wishes to engage with:

  • Participants over 50 years of age
  • Participants with disabilities
  • Participants from Ethnic Minorities
  • Participants who are women

The ESFA Community Training Grants Team have provided a number of useful resources to help you decide if you are a suitable candidate and how to apply. Please see links below. The deadline to apply is Monday 16 December. If you submit your application by Monday 9 December you will be offered feedback on how your application could be strengthened, giving you time to update and resubmit prior to the deadline. For further information please click here.

£2 million for frontline groups to tackle loneliness

The government has launched a £2 million fund to help organisations tackling loneliness across the country.

The funding aims to support frontline, grassroots organisations that bring people together and help them make friends. These could include community cafés, street parties, coffee mornings or local walking groups.

The investment will help small organisations promote themselves more widely, help fund the use of suitable venues and accessible transport, and bring established groups together to best serve local people at risk of loneliness.

The funding marks one year since the publication of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy, which outlined almost 60 commitments to end loneliness. This included funding 126 projects through its £11.5 million Building Connections Fund – the first Government fund ever dedicated to reducing loneliness, jointly funded with the Co-op Foundation and National Lottery Community Fund. Further information to follow.

Community Development Fund

The Community Development Team is inviting applications of up to £2,000 from community/voluntary groups and charities in Slough.

The deadline is 30 November.

Application form
Find out more information

The Toyota Parasport Fund

The Toyota Parasport Fund has now launched! This exciting new UK-wide programme aims to help activity providers improve the quality and quantity of sport and activities available to disabled people.

This £250,000 funding opportunity is available to support specialist equipment and training (depending on location). Open exclusively to those registered on Parasport, the application process and what’s on offer differs between each of the home nations so check out the link below for more information.

Run a club, activity or event for disabled people? Interested in applying, but not yet registered on Parasport?

The deadline is 5pm on 20 December 2019.

Find out more information

Ecclesiastical – 12 days of giving

Ecclesiastical Insurance is giving 120 charities £1,000 in the run up to Christmas.

People can nominate any UK or Irish registered charity, and nominations will remain open until midnight the day before each draw. Winning charities will be drawn at random from nominations received (so the more often you are nominated the better the chances). Draws will take place each weekday from 5 – 20 December 2019. 

Find out more information

Climate Action Fund

The Climate Action Fund will support communities across the UK to take action on climate change. This Lottery Fund is now open for an initial round of funding applications. It will support up to 15 place-based community-led partnerships to make the changes in their community they believe will have the biggest impact on climate change.

The amount of funding available per application will depend on what each partnership needs at this stage:

Applicants who need more time to develop their partnership, engage widely or test their approaches can access initial development funding (up to £200,000 over 18 months).

Applicants who might be able to start longer-term plans at an earlier stage can access larger, longer-term awards (up to £2.5m over five years).

Initial ideas must be submitted by 5pm Wednesday 18 December 2019.
Full proposals must be submitted by midday Friday 27 March 2020.

Find out more information

Funding News October 2019

With thanks to and information courtesy of Slough CVS, Wokingham & Bracknell Involve, Reading Voluntary Action and West Berkshire Volunteer Centre.

Children in Need Small Grants
The Children in Need Small Grants programme is open to charities and not-for-profit organisations applying for any amount up to and including £10,000 per year for up to 3 years.

They give grants for projects working with children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:

  • Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  • Any kind of disability
  • Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  • Living in poverty or situations of deprivation

Application deadline: 11:59pm 2 December 2019

Find out more about Children in Need Small Grants

The National Archives: Cataloguing grants
Applications are now open for Round 3 of Archives Revealed’s Cataloguing Grants.

This strand awards grants of up to £40,000 for archives to create catalogues of archival collections. These grants are designed to:

  • support the transformation of archive services
  • help archives to improve access to collections
  • help archives to increase public engagement with history and the UK’s documentary heritage

They will fund archives with collections that can:

  • show clear local, regional, national or international significance, or significance to a specific audience group
  • demonstrate a high level of potential to engage people and communities with archives and heritage

The next deadline for applications is 9 January 2020.

Find out more about The National Archives: Cataloguing grants

British Science Week Community Grant Scheme

The mission of the British Science Week Community Grant Scheme is to expand the audiences that engage with science and self-identify as having an interest in science by empowering and supporting community groups to run their own science activities during British Science Week (6-15 March 2020).
This grant scheme offers £500-£1000 for community groups that work directly with audiences who are traditionally under-represented in science activity.
The next deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 11 November 2019.

Find out more about the British Science Week Community Grant Scheme

The National Lottery Community Fund –
Funding opportunities for community groups Are you looking for funding? Do you know any groups that are working hard to improve the places and spaces that matter to communities? We are here to help!

People understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone and we are always looking to fund new projects that bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities. In 2018/19 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund awarded over £500 million to projects that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. Thanks to National Lottery players, our year-round funding is open to everyone.

Canoe Foundation Funding
Funding applications from £2,000 to £10,000 are welcome from clubs, community groups and regions with an active interest in, and project purpose of, wider canoeing participation. Online funding applications via: Deadline 28 February 2020.

One Stop Store Carriers for Causes Grants
Community groups, schools, health bodies and charities can apply for grants to £1000 for projects to benefit local communities within 2 miles of the One-stop store. For details see: No deadlines; rolling programme.

Community Business Trade Up Programme
Funding & training for early stage community businesses available to £10,000. This is allocated in equal proportion to the additional income which your community business or organisation can generate from trading.
Deadline: Wednesday 27th November 2019.

Les Mills Fund for Children
Charities & NFP’s can apply for funding up to £1000 to support to improve the education and physical and emotional wellbeing of children living in poverty, or who have physical, mental health problems or disabilities
Deadline: Tuesday 18th November 2019

Pocket Parks: Helping communities transform unloved or derelict areas into new green spaces

Programme objectives
Grants of up to £25,000 are available for new pocket parks and gardens or to support renovation of parks that have fallen into disrepair providing spaces for the local community to use, either as place to relax or for activities which will benefit the physical and mental health of local people.

What kind of community needs might a pocket garden support?
The renovation of parks or parts of a park should address specific local needs and lead to a significant increase in the use of the park, for example by:
• Bringing a children’s play area back into use.
• Encouraging local people to use parks for exercise and physical activities and improve physical or mental wellbeing.
• Bringing communities together to overcome social barriers, for instance younger and older people or people from different cultural backgrounds.
• Encouraging people to use the park who may be less likely to do so, for instance disabled people or people from BAME backgrounds.

Further details can be found here.

2020 Windrush Day Grant

The Windrush Day Grant scheme provides funding to communities looking to celebrate, commemorate and educate about the Windrush Generation and their contribution. Applications for funding will remain open until 8 December 2019.

Find out more about the 2020 Windrush Day Grant

National Garden Scheme – Community Gardens Award

Amateur gardeners from community groups in England and Wales are eligible for grants to create a garden or similar project with horticultural focus for the benefit of their local community. Maximum grant is £5,000 (but highest award last year was £3,000)

Deadline: 31 December 2019.

Find out more about the National Garden Scheme

Get Berkshire Active Activate Fund – round 2 opens on 14 October 2019

Get Berkshire Active (GBA) are managing the Activate fund on behalf of the Sports Council Trust Company (SCTC). The aim of the fund is to provide new physical activity and sport opportunities for inactive people living in deprived areas in Berkshire.

  • Organisations can apply for between £750 and £2000.
  • Applying organisations must have an income of less than £250,000.
  • Round 2: opens 14 October 2019. Closes 25  November 2019. Announcements of grants awarded week commencing 9 December 2019.

For further details please click here.

Funding for Community Radio Stations 
Community Radio Fund will help support the core costs of running licensed community radio stations. It is open to community radio licensees. Grants from £2,000 to £20,000 have been given. See
  for how to apply and application form. Deadline 5th November.