NWCN E-bulletin 10 June 2020

1 Community Support 

To all our members and groups within the community sector in the north west, we want to try and support you as best we can over the next few months.  If you need to put a call-out for support e.g. if you need volunteers to help you to continue to provide vital services within the community or have a support initiative that we can help you inform others about, please send on the information to us and we can post this in our weekly e-bulletin, Twitter or on our Facebook page.

Challenging times for us all but we want to work with you and work together so that we can support those in our community who will need it most in the coming weeks.  Email any information to
roisin@nwcn.org or neola@nwcn.org

2 Co-op Local Community Fund

We want to help communities to come together, co-operate and have a positive impact on community wellbeing – physically and virtually.


Your project must either:

  • bring the community together to help those in need, providing access to life’s essentials such as community spaces, food and bereavement support
  • support the mental and physical health of others through community wellbeing activities
  • enable people to develop or share their skills to foster community spirit and build resilient communities for the future

Your project or event must also:

  • take place in the UK or Isle of Man
  • not have religious or political aims (although you can still apply if you’re a religious organisation)
  • meet the Co-op’s values
  • take place or will still be running after November 2021
  • benefit your local community

To apply you'll need either:

  • your organisation’s charity, HMRC or equivalent registration number depending on your organisation type
  • a governing document proving it is not run for private profit, for example a legal document like your organisation’s rules

You'll also need:

  • your organisation’s bank details – money from the fund cannot be paid into personal accounts
  • proof of your organisation’s bank account (a bank statement or paying in slip)
  • a description of your project
  • 2 contact names, including email addresses
  • basic details of your organisation and what it does, including approximate annual income
  • a good quality photo showing your organisation in action – no logos

Applications must be completed by midnight on 28 June 2020.

To apply:

Nationwide Building Society: Funding for Housing Related Charities and Projects 

Funding to support housing projects working to strengthen local communities and support the most vulnerable. Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 will support local housing projects that will strengthen local communities to support the most vulnerable by:

  • Preventing people from losing their home.
  • Helping people into a home.
  • Supporting people to thrive within the home environment.
Projects that help charities get back on their feet after the impact of coronavirus/COVID-19 will be favoured this year.
The funding will support the following:
  • Core costs (up to 20% of the grant amount requested) including running and facility costs, office equipment, supplies, any travel and accommodation, printing.
  • Staff and volunteer costs for the project lead partner – including full-time staff, part-time staff, project delivery staff costs and other related expenses. All staff must be paid at least the Real Living Wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation, livingwage.org.uk/what-real-living-wage.
  • Small-scale capital costs –including one-off expenses for equipment, or fixed assets that may have use or benefit beyond the life of the grant (one financial year), such as
    computer hardware, or items required to deliver a project, such as paint,
    paintbrushes and gardening equipment.
  • Activity costs – such as catering or insurance, costs that help deliver projects or activities but fall outside of capital, staffing and volunteering costs.
  • Development and capacity building costs – that support organisational sustainability, such as training staff and volunteers, and external consultancy fees.
  • Building works and refurbishment costs – where they are essential to the successful delivery of the project.

The funding period is between one and two years.
UK registered charities, charitable incorporated organisations, Community Land Trusts and housing co-operatives can apply.
The deadline for applications is 31 July 2020.
Find out more at


4 £15.5m fund to support charity sector during COVID-19 crisis to open on Monday

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA has said a £15.5million COVID-19 Charities Fund to help local charities facing financial difficulties as a result of the current public health emergency, will open on Monday 15 June. 

The funding programme will provide financial support to charities which have lost income due to the impact of COVID-19 and are unable to cover unavoidable costs until September 30th 2020.

The programme will provide up to £75,000 for eligible organisations and will be administered on behalf of the Department for Communities by The National Lottery Community Fund.  The amount of funding required to cover immediate costs and prevent short term closure will vary for each organisation. 

Organisations wishing to avail of the fund must meet a number of eligibility points including:

  • Charities that can demonstrate that their fundraising or trading income has reduced due to the impact of COVID -19 and they have unavoidable costs to cover up to 30/9/2020.
  • Charities whose unavoidable costs cannot be covered by existing grants or public funding and are therefore at risk of imminent collapse
  • Charities that have not received other COVID -19  financial support from NI Executive departments such as the Department for the Economy Small Business Support; Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant; Microbusiness Hardship Fund or the £6.5m funding provided by the Department of Finance for hospices and charities.
Further information is available from:  https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/covid-19-charities-fund 


5 Second round of Culture of Solidarity Fund announced

We invite you to apply for the European Culture of Solidarity Fund in various application windows.

The second window will open on June 22nd, and will close on July 14th, 13:00 CET PM.
The Fund supports imaginative cultural initiatives that, in the midst of the global pandemic crisis reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.
Facing the Coronavirus crisis could be a strong European moment. A moment when people understand how important it is to have friends who support each other, a moment of sharing vital information, expertise and supplies, a moment when you realise how a fundamental crisis can be managed much better through cooperation and solidarity.
What we look for:
It is this moment - a European culture of solidarity - we have set out to capture and encourage. The Fund – set up in partnership with other foundations - is looking to support imaginative cultural initiatives - big or small - that reinforce solidarity and the notion of Europe as a shared public space in response to the current crisis and its aftershocks. It is open to individuals, collectives and organisations from all sectors and civil society at large with initiatives and ideas that:

  • expand the notion of Europe as an open and shared public space for everybody in times of inward- looking and national decision-making;
  • express and act in hands-on solidarity with people and communities across closed borders;
  • share experiences, knowledge, skills, stories, ideas and resources of solidarity across Europe, especially outside mainstream public attention;
  • sustain people-to-people interaction beyond European borders and in times of travel restrictions and social distancing;
  • maintain cultural life and social experiences with a European outreach in times of home lockdown and prepare the ground for a cultural revival of Europe after the crisis;
  • develop new approaches in operations of cultural work and new alliances across sectors to deal with the current challenges imposed by the crisis. 

What we offer:
The Fund has grants available in three amounts: 
€5.000 – 15.000 (5 - 10 awarded projects per submission round)
€15.000 – 30.000 (2 - 3 awarded projects per submission round)
€30.000 – 50.000 (1 - 2 awarded projects per submission round)
Grants can be used for financing a wide range of activities ranging from seed money for entirely new initiatives
and (co-)funding for scaling up already existing ideas to European level. They can cover material costs, office costs, online co-working and communication tools, production costs, but also expert fees and staff costs. 

For further information:


6 Department for Communities Stakeholder Update

Please find the latest in our regular updates on the key announcements from the Department for Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic:
‘Stay Home’ Memories Archive Launched
Management information surrounding key benefit areas impacted by COVID-19

One of our Arm’s length Bodies, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland announced updates for two programmes supported by funding from the Department for Communities. You can read about these below.
150 more artists offered funds from Artists Emergency Programme
Arts Council opens emergency programme for arts organisations

We hope you continue to find these updates useful – don’t forget to check our website and nidirect regularly for the latest information on the impact of COVID-19 on our services.

 7 CCNI guidance for charities facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19

During the current COVID-19 emergency, charity trustees are having to cope with serious financial challenges that will have a major effect on their charities and those who depend on them. Many charities are facing the double challenge of a sudden fall in income with an increase in demand for their services.

This guidance is designed for charity trustees, especially of smaller charities, who may not have access to professional financial advice. It sets out some practical steps charity trustees can take to manage their charity through these financial difficulties and, if necessary, plan for the uncomfortable possibility that your charity may not survive this crisis. You will find information on:

  • assessing your charity’s current financial situation
  • identifying when your charity is at risk of running out of funds
  • developing a recovery plan
  • charity trustee liability
  • what to do if your charity cannot continue to operate because of the impact of COVID-19

To read or download the guidance, please click here


8 CFNI COVID-19 Survey

We would be delighted if you could complete the below survey.

The purpose of this survey is for you to describe and explain the needs and the challenges you are facing in the immediate future amidst the coronavirus outbreak and to identify and inform where the Foundation might focus future funding and programmes. 


9  Department of Health COVID-19 Mental Health Response - Quick Survey

In May, the Department of Health published a
COVID-19 Mental Health Response Action Plan.  The Plan included a cross-sectoral and strategic approach in response to COVID-19 and a number of areas including; public health messaging and the provision of information, advice and support which we know are central to the work of many of the community and voluntary sector organisations which we work with.

We are therefore looking for the views of community and voluntary sector organisations in relation to the areas included in the plan, so that we can share these with the Department of Health.
If you have not already done so, we would be grateful if you could complete our survey which includes 18 questions and should take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete.

Anyone interested in making their views known or being involved in any way is invited to complete this online survey before 12 noon on Friday, 12th June


10 Coping with Loneliness, Isolation and Covid-19

The Institute of Public Health is inviting you to take part in an online anonymous international survey to help understand how people are coping during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey has been developed by the International Loneliness and Social Isolation Research Network (I-LINK) that includes the Institute of Public Health along with Ulster University, Trinity College Dublin and Maynooth University as well as colleagues from the UK, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

We want to learn about the issues you face and how you are managing with social distancing and changes to everyday life.  You can offer invaluable insights into life before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, including key challenges and coping strategies.

This information will help us understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted individuals, families, communities, policies and services at both a country and global level.

Click here to complete the survey. 


11 Boardroom Apprentice is back

The Boardroom Apprentice vision is simple. Bridging the gap between aspiration and reality for those who wish on Boards in the Public and Third Sectors to be enabled to do just that. It is built on three key pillars:

  1. Provision of a 12-month practical hands on board placement to learn and gain experience
  2. The transfer of knowledge and understanding through the provision of a suite of learning days
  3. Support through a designated board buddy from within your host board

With over 50 Host Boards from across the public and third sectors (health, education, justice, funding, young people, older people, housing and community), all keen to provide this opportunity for aspiring Board Members. The 2020 Programme runs from the 1st September 2020 until the 31st August 2021.

With COVID-19 very much still with us, we have to do things a little bit different this year. We need our Boardroom Apprentices to be agile, flexible and willing to learn across a variety of means.

Being a Boardroom Apprentice requires a significant time commitment over the 12 months, much of which will be during the working day along with personal time in the evenings and weekends. If you are employed you will need your employer’s support to be a Boardroom Apprentice.

The application form is online and easily navigated, and can be completed over a number of sessions. There are two questions you need to prepare in advance and they are all about the WHY. Why do you want to be a Boardroom Apprentice and why do you want to be matched with your chosen host boards? Prepare in advance and allow yourself plenty of time to complete the form.

The programme is open to all ages (16+), all backgrounds and all abilities. This programme is for people who have never served on a Board.

If you have any questions, then email apprentice@strictlyboardroom.com

The closing date is Monday 29th June at 11:00am. Good luck.



12 Psychedelics, Trauma and Addiction

The Western and South Eastern Connections Services are delighted to jointly host our next Service Providers Network event entitled “Psychedelics, Trauma and Addiction.” Despite promising research in the field of Psychiatry in the 1950s, Psychedelics fell out of favour for decades after they were made illegal in 1966. Only recently have researchers begun investigating the therapeutic potential of these substances to treat a range of conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and addictions. MDMA assisted psychotherapy (commonly known as Ecstasy) is likely to be licensed in America and Europe within the next two years to treat PTSD and research centres such as Imperial College London are showing promising results using Psilcoybin (the active compound in magic mushrooms) to treat depression. This event aims to bring you up to date on the current research in relation to the therapeutic use of Psychedelics and discuss the potential of Psychedelics to address trauma and addictions.

Speakers: Dr James Hawkins and Dr Aisling Quiery both from Psychedelic Health Professionals Scotland

Date and Time: Mon, 29 June 2020, 10:00 – 13:00

13  Fertility Network Update

Yoga online is back!!
The new session set starts this Wednesday, (Wednesday 10th June) at 8pm
Here is the link to register if you have anyone interested.

We are also delighted to offer the second in our mini-series about Fertility and The Art, when Fertility Network’s Anya Sizer will be chatting to Jack Thorne. Jack lives in London with his wife, Rachel, and their son Elliot, 3, whom they finally had after seven rounds of IVF. Their fertility struggles inspired his play The Solid Life of Sugar Water at the National Theatre in 2016. Jack Thorne is a writer of film, television and theatre. In film, his credits include Wonder, The Aeronauts, Radioactive and The Secret Garden. His television work includes National Treasure, Kiri, Don’t Take My Baby, The Virtues, His Dark Materials and The Eddy. For theatre, his plays include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, When You Cure Me, Hope, A Christmas Carol and the end of history… Jack is a patron of Graeae Theatre Company and an associate artist of the Old Vic Theatre. The webinar is on Thursday 11th June at 3pm. If you would be or know of someone who would be interested in joining the webinar and listening to the interview, register using the link below.



14  Extern's Back on Track - Who are we?

Operated by Extern, Ireland’s leading social justice charity, this Communities in Transition Project provides employability and training opportunities to those aged 16+ male and female, living within the Brandywell and Creggan areas of Derry-Londonderry.

Funded through the Executive Office, the project aims to improve employability skills and create meaningful pathways into work for those who have been involved in, or are at a higher risk of becoming involved in, paramilitary or coercive activity.
Through an intensive programme of activity, the project aims to overcome barriers to employability for participants living within the target areas.

What we can offer you?
• Tailored needs assessments
• Individual support plans
• Soft skills development
• Work-readiness
• Accredited educational and vocational training tailored to your future employment
• 24 weeks paid employment with suitable local employer
• 1-1 mentoring throughout your journey
• Site visits and field trips which may help support your journey.
• Explore opportunities you feel are relevant to your future employment

What is expected of you as a participant?
• Commitment to complete training and a paid employment placement (hours tailored to your individual circumstances)
• Complete OCN Level 1 in Lawfulness
• Belief in yourself that a new career awaits everyone has a positive contribution to make to society and within their community.

How do I access this service?
For referral details and form, please email -
BackOnTrack@Extern.org or call us at 07436 537 646


15 AWARE NI| Video - Young People and Mental Health

AWARE is delighted to announce the launch of our fourth video in our series of mental health awareness videos.This video explores the key mental issues affecting young people today. This guide shows you how to recognise signs of poor mental health and provides self-help tips and ideas to improve your wellbeing.


Below are links to the previous videos in this series.

Looking after your mental health during lockdown: During these challenging times it is so important to look after our mental health. This short video explores how you can look after your mental health during lockdown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SphLG0znXd4&feature=youtu.be 

Take 5: These are difficult times and it is important to try to look after your mental health as much as possible. The 'Take 5 steps to well-being' is a set of evidence-based public health messages aimed at improving the well-being of everyone. They are really simple steps that everybody can take. This short video shows us how we can apply them to daily life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXHgUWnOo68

10 things you can do to feel better right now: Simple steps that we can implement into our lives that can make a big difference to our mental health.



16 AWARE - Connections Challenge for young people aged 6-18

AWARE NI are delighted to launch the ‘Connections Challenge’ for young people for the purpose of reporting on young people’s lives during COVID-19. 

This has been and continues to be a very challenging time, especially for children & young people. We want to invite you take part in our C.O.N.N.E.C.T.I.O.N.S challenge to encourage you to think about what this experience has been like to live through and to promote connections at a time when these are harder to maintain than ever.  The challenge is for children & young people aged between 6-18. 

Read through the questions in the attached Connections Pack and type your answers in the boxes provided on the form. Then email the form back to Tom@aware-ni.org for a chance to win a £20 Amazon voucher!

Responses will be used anonymously for the purpose of reporting on young people’s lives during COVID-19.


17 Latest Offers from Salto Youth

Please see attached document for the latest from Salto Youth to include:

  • Online diversity and inclusion training: Hear me out, take me in!
  • Mentor in Volunteering activities - online training course - English / Spanish / Italian / Romanian languages
  • TICTAC - Multilateral Training Course to support quality in youth worker mobility activities
  • Call for trainers


18 Vacancy for NIHRC Commissioners

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland invites applications for the appointment of six new Commissioners to the board of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. 

These appointments will be made with effect from 1 September 2020 when the terms of the current members will expire. 

Further details of the positions, including the terms and responsibilities can be found in the candidate information booklet.  

How to apply

The candidate information booklet and application material can be downloaded at: http://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ 

Alternatively, application material can be obtained by telephoning 028 90765437 or by e-mail to nihrc2020@nio.gov.uk


19 Public Appointment - The Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse 

The public appointment competition has been launched and closes at 12:00 noon on Friday 3rd July 2020.

The Commissioner will be responsible for promoting the interests of any person who suffered abuse while a child and while resident in an institution at some time between 1922 and 1995.  This is a statutory appointment under the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Act 2019.

For more detailed information and how to apply, please go to www.nicsrecruitment.org.uk


20 A Day in the Life... 

A Day in the Life is an online programme that gives you the chance to preserve your place in history by contributing to the Tower Museum’s contemporary collection of life in the North West during the 2020 pandemic.
How will this programme work?

  • We will offer five fun activities including letter writing, family history, cooking & music.
  • You’ll receive a package in the post with helpful items to get you started.
  • An online community hosted in Slack will allow you to share activities and engage in conversations with others.
  • Activities are encouraged by all members of your family or group, but can also be completed by yourself.
Expert facilitators and curators from the Nerve Centre, Tower Museum and PRONI, musician Paddy Nash and a well-known local chef will join us on our journey.
  • This programme is FREE and open to anyone aged 18+.
  • Participants must be from Derry City & Strabane District Council area or Donegal.
  • The programme will run between 16th June to 3rd July.
  • There will be six scheduled live meet-ups on June 16th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 30th and July 3rd, from 11am to 12.30pm.

***You will need access to a computer, tablet or smartphone with video and audio to take part in this programme
If you have any questions or disability access requirements you would like to discuss with us in advance, please contact 
Sign up today @ 
This programme is part of the Decade of Commemorations project, delivered by the Nerve Centre and Tower Museum, supported by the European Union's Peace IV programme, managed by the Special EU Programme Body (SEUPB).


21 Not the Knitting Police | Arts & Culture News from the North West

For the latest edition of this newsletter please click on link below.

  • Funding Opportunities
  • Culture News
  • Training News
  • What's On Guide



22 Nature Mandala Workshop

With Karen Cassidy
Sunday 21st June at 9am
Published on Facebook & Instagram @derryvoid

Join Karen this Father's Day and explore the ancient art form of Mandalas using materials gathered from the home and outdoors. Working with mandalas is creative and can be an inspiring way to practice self-discover and mindfulness. Buddhists believe that Mandalas help to transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones, that they can assist with healing and help to bring balance to life.

Suggested materials:

Found objects, flowers, shells, leaves, sticks, paper plates

These nature mandalas are the perfect present for your Dad this Father's Day.

Suitable for all ages.



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