NWCN Ebulletin 22 November 2023

1 ‌NWCN Membership & AGM
2 Young Gamechangers Fund
3 Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Annual Funding Programme 2024/25
4 Ageism Action Day: Micro-grants
5 Small Events Grant Now Open - Burns Night
6 Culture Grant Aid Deadline Extension
7 Meet the Funder - Benefact Trust
8 Future Infrastructure Support of the Voluntary & Community Sector: Public Consultation
9 Workforce Issues - Have your say
10 DfC seeking input from the sector:  Future Vision for Labour Market Partnerships
11 Draft Active Travel Delivery Plan
12 Breakfast Briefing: Tax Implications for Cross Border Employers and Workers
13 The Health-Wealth Divide Leaving No One Behind 
14 Energy Train 2024 - Millennium Forum
15 Latest Offers from Salto Youth
16 HURT Comedy Night
17 FWIN Christmas Appeal 2023
18 Welcome to The Cornfield Winter Wonderland, 1st-3rd December
19 Santa Paws Grotto & Craft Fair @AMH Foyle
20 Winter's Dream at Echo Echo
21 Personalised Christmas E-cards!
22 Join the big Christmas Jumper Swap!

1 NWCN Membership & AGM

Its that time of year again... NWCN Membership!

Your membership gives us a mandate and a stronger voice in the north west region and helps us to achieve our Vision of a vibrant, sustainable, inclusive C&V sector in the NW.

If you would like to renew or become a new member of NWCN please see our membership form where you will see a list of the benefits of joining us!

You are invited to attend our AGM at 10:00am on Thursday 07th December 2023, at the Holywell DiverseCity Partnership Building, Bishop Street where we will outline our achievements of the past year and set out our priorities for the year ahead. 

Register your place on 


2 Young Gamechangers Fund

Empowering young people to transform their communities

For too long, young people have been left out of the decisions that affect them the most. 

The Co-op Foundation, in partnership with Co-op and the #iwill Fund, are tackling this through the £4.5m Young Gamechangers Fund.

We’re looking for young activists, campaigners, disrupters, co-operators, and social entrepreneurs to lead youth-led social action across the UK. There are two types of funding available:  

  • Funding for individuals  
  • Funding for groups or organisations with an annual income of less than £250,000 

We will prioritise support for young activists who are committed to creating communities that are prosperous, safe, diverse, equitable and inclusive, healthy, and sustainable. In particular we’re seeking to support groups and communities that prioritise youth activism and shared power. 

The last opportunity to go through our eligibility checker will be 14 December. Applications must be complete and submitted by noon on 19 December to be considered for funding.

Find out more about the Fund and how to apply 


 Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Annual Funding Programme 2024/25

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has opened applications to its 2024/25 Annual Funding Programme. Applications must be made online and will close at 12noon on Friday 15 December 2023. 

To read the guidance notes and make an online application, please visit 

The Annual Funding Programme (AFP) supports Northern Ireland’s arts infrastructure through grants for core and programming costs to organisations in all artforms. Public funding for AFP comes from government and the National Lottery. AFP organisations are key in helping the Arts Council achieve the wider Programme for Government outcomes for Northern Ireland.


4 Ageism Action Day: Micro-grants

Micro-grants are being made available for community groups and local voluntary sector organisations within communities who are part of the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities, to take part in our new annual Action Day to tackle ageism, as part of a pilot programme.

Grants of up to £500 are available, with an additional up to £150 to cover anything needed to make the event or activity more accessible. The lower limit for applications is £75. 

The deadline for applications is 10th January 2024 but we may have to close early if we receive a high level of demand so we encourage you to submit as early as possible. 

We encourage everyone interested in making an application to join an online information session on Friday 8th December between 10am and 11am or Thursday 14 December between 1pm and 2pm.  

Alternatively, you can email grants@ageing-better.org.uk with your specific questions and we will aim to respond. 

More information and booking for online information sessions available here

5 Small Events Grant Now Open - Burns Night

The Ulster-Scots Agency has opened a Small Events Grant for groups aiming to celebrate the birth of Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns.

The grant will support groups delivering Burns events between 1 January and 29 February 2024. 

The Small Events Grants programme aims to support the delivery of events in Ulster-Scots communities and enables the Agency to work with these groups to raise awareness of the Ulster-Scots language, heritage and culture while increasing the amount of Ulster-Scots activity being delivered.

The maximum grant available is £1,000 (minimum of £300) and this can be used to fund an event to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns. Groups are required to provide match funding of at least 25%.  

Find out more 


6 Culture Grant Aid Deadline Extension

Given the technical difficulties that some applicants have experienced with the new grant aid portal 
 the deadline for applications to all of the culture grant aid programmes has been extended to Wednesday 6th December 2023 @ 12noon.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. 
 7 Meet the Funder - Benefact Trust

Faith based organisations and groups are invited to come and meet Andrew Bass, Senior Grants Officer for NI at the Benefact Trust. 

Andrew will outline the scope of Benefact's Grants and we'll hear about the process of application from a group that has received funding in the past. This will be followed by a Q&A.

Monday, 27 November - 10.30am to 2pm | Holywell Trust, Derry

8 Future Infrastructure Support of the Voluntary & Community Sector: Public Consultation

The Department for Communities is seeking views on draft proposals for future Infrastructure Support of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Northern Ireland.

We have carried out a programme of extensive engagement to refresh our approach to supporting sector infrastructure and develop an integrated policy framework to underpin future funding programmes. 

We welcome views and responses on the proposed framework through our consultation events being hosted both in person and online throughout November and December 2023, and are inviting you to sign up for one of our events below. The events will take the form of roundtable discussions and are an opportunity to share thoughts, ideas or comments.

When Where Eventbrite Booking Details
Tuesday 28th November 11:00am – 12:30pm The Junction, Dungannon The Junction
Wednesday 29th November 11:00am – 12:30pm Holywell Trust, Derry-Londonderry Holywell Trust
Thursday 30th November 2:00pm – 3:30pm Virtual (Microsoft Teams) Virtual
Tuesday 12th December 7:00pm – 8:30pm Virtual (Microsoft Teams) Virtual
Wednesday 13th December 11:00am – 12:30pm The Braid, Ballymena The Braid
Thursday 14th December 11:00am – 12:30pm Duncairn Centre, Belfast Duncairn Centre

We also welcome views and responses on the proposed framework via the online survey or via email at vcsinfrastructure@communities-ni.gov.uk.


9  Workforce Issues - Have your say

NICVA wants to hear about the issues sector organisations are currently facing in relation to staffing and workforce and is holding a series of focus groups to engage with the sector. 

Join a workshop:

Thursday 23 November, Holywell Trust, L/Derry 2-4pm.


10 DfC seeking input from the sector:  Future Vision for Labour Market Partnerships

The Department for Communities is seeking views from Community & Voluntary sector to help shape the future of the employability initiative - Labour Market Partnerships (LMPs). 

You are invited to an in-person Innovation Lab facilitated by Ulster University. 

Friday 24 November 2023 – 9.00am – 12.30pm
Ulster University, Derry-Londonderry Campus, Sports Hall, Northland Road, Derry-Londonderry

Register via Eventbrite


11 Draft Active Travel Delivery Plan

Sustrans have been subcontracted by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), consultants to provide professional services to support the preparation of a draft Active Travel Delivery Plan for the region, which will include high level plans for the following;

  • Urban networks
  • Inter-urban routes and corridors
  • Links to Greenways. 

Please see below survey link below along with a link to the mapping too, which they would be very grateful for feedback from within DCSDC area. The links will remain live for the next 2 weeks.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sam (Samantha) Turner Active Travel Officer by emailing 


12 Breakfast Briefing: Tax Implications for Cross Border Employers and Workers

The Cross Border Partnership for Employment Services in conjunction with Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce are delighted to hold an online Breakfast Briefing Seminar - Tax Implications for Cross Border Employers and Workers
Wednesday 6th December 2023 from 10am to 11am
Attendance is FREE of Charge
Speakers: Rose Tierney, Tierney Tax Consultancy and Brendan Casey, PRSI Consultancy Ltd
Topics to be covered include:
• Redundancy payments, pensions lump sums, tax relief on pension contributions and tax requirements for the cross border worker.
• Implications and updates for employing cross border workers.
• Implications and updates for employers with staff members who work in both jurisdictions.
• Social insurance benefits and pensions in a cross border situation.
• Staff retention and planning for future needs.
• Pension qualification issues
To book your FREE place click on:  


13 The Health-Wealth Divide Leaving No One Behind 

Online from 10am on Wednesday, 29 November 2023 

This year’s all-island conference is entitled ‘The Health-Wealth Divide - Leaving No One Behind’ and will focus on addressing health inequalities on the island of Ireland.  

This virtual event will bring together international and local experts to discuss the drivers of health inequalities in the context of the cost-of-living crisis and wider determinants of health.

View the full programme
Register Now

14 Energy Train 2024 - Millennium Forum

Energy Train DJ Workshop - starting in 2024

Energy Train is a free 6-week for people aged 15+ and living with a disability.  Hosted at the Millennium Forum, you will learn DJ skills from DJ Oliver Brown and Silver Fox Entertainment DJ Compere Kevin Boyle.

For more info contact 

15 Latest Offers from Salto Youth

Please see attached document for the latest offers from Salto, including:

  • YEPP EUROPE Breakfast Training: Good Deeds Game
  • Leaving Positive traces for a just and sustainable future
  • Training For Trainers on Facilitating Learning
  • Harvest and Seed
16 HURT Comedy Night

Join us for a Night of Laughter for a Great Cause! 
Get ready for a side-splitting evening of comedy that you won't want to miss! 

Date: Friday 24th November
Time: 7pm
Venue: The Maldron Hotel, Derry

What to Expect:
Hilarious Stand-Up Comedy
Top Comedians in the House
Raffles and Prizes
Final Act by the Comedy Hypnotist 'Dale Thomas'

All proceeds from this event go to HURT (Have Your Tomorrows)...

Your laughter will make a real difference! 

Get your tickets now at 
 and help us make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
17 FWIN Christmas Appeal 2023

FWIN is now accepting donations for our Christmas Appeal 2023.

Donations can be left into Reception at DCCP, Holywell Trust, 10-14 Bishop Street until 15th December.

If you would like to receive a gift for your children or make a referral for someone who could benefit from our Christmas Appeal, please get in touch with us via phone (02871 266291) or email: 

Suggested Gift List
18 Welcome to The Cornfield Winter Wonderland, 1st-3rd December
This December, we’d love you to come and visit the magical winter wonderland at The Cornfield Project! Open to children of all ages and their families, watch as their little faces light up with our special nutcracker themed event.

The event runs from Friday 1st December to Sunday 3rd December, with time slots every half hour from 4pm-6.30pm, at The Cornfield, Hartford Park, Ballysally, Coleraine, BT52 2JW. Saturday at 6pm is a quiet slot for children with sensory/additional needs. Tickets cost £3 per child (adults go free) and are available from Focus on Family, Ballysally and Calf Lane Kitchen, Millburn and Millburn Community Office

Children and their families begin the wonderful adventure with Christmas fun and games in The Cornfield Men’s Shed, followed by a chance to make a very special advent wish to hang on the Wishing Tree. There is a delicious BBQ on site and then everyone is taken down into the woods to hear a brand-new tale from our famous storyteller, and to make the story even sweeter, there will be marshmallows freshly roasted on our fire pit. Then it’s off around the scavenger hunt trail – can you find all the clues and win yourself a bag of golden chocolate coins?

And of course, what winter wonderland event would be complete without a visit to the big man himself? So, the last stop on the adventure is to pop in and see Santa Claus in the Christmas Cottage, where, once he’s checked the boys and girls aren’t on the naughty list this year, will have a gift for every child to take home.

The volunteers who have organised the event have been working hard for many months to get everything prepared and their input is warmly welcomed by the entire local community and beyond. And we also want to say an extra special Christmas thank you to our sponsors and those that donated goodies for the children – Darren & Joanne McCreadie (Ballysally Nearby), ABN Heating, Lidl, Tracy’s Treats, Wades Funeral Services and Aspire Media.
19 Santa Paws Grotto & Craft Fair @AMH Foyle

Raising much needed funds, AMH New Horizons Foyle will be holding Christmas Craft Fair.  Opportunity for you to experience a socially conscious shopping event & support a mental health Service. 

Hand crafted Christmas stocking fillers, artisan crafts, gifts, reindeer food, bakes from the pantry, trinkets etc.  Meet Santa and get a professional photo with your pet. 

Refreshments served all evening, free parking, all pets welcome accompanied by a responsible owner

Wednesday 13th Dec, 1 – 6 p.m.  Unit 13 Springtown Industrial Estate Derry/Londonderry BT48 0LY


20 Winter's Dream at Echo Echo

Echo Echo is excited to announce its latest production, 'Winter's Dream'!

This beautiful winter performance for children is written and directed by ensemble member Tonya Sheina. 

Winter's Dream is an enchanting alternative Christmas show with audience interaction for all the family. Come and join us to delve into the world of the little snowman who wishes for spring and meet the characters along the way.

Performances take place at Echo Echo Studios from Tuesday 12th - Monday 18th December - see days and times below.

Book Now
21 Personalised Christmas E-cards!

In lieu of Christmas cards, make a donation to Autism NI and help us provide vital services to local families across Northern Ireland.

Instead of sending physical Christmas cards, we can provide you a personalised Christmas e-card that you can send to your friends and family online.

Click here to make a donation
22 Join the big Christmas Jumper Swap!

Tis the season! One of the rising stars of the Christmas season over recent years has been the Christmas Jumper. Love them or hate them, no doubt you will see them everywhere again this year. But what do we do with them when we have fallen out of love with them or children have outgrown them? An astonishing 65 million Christmas jumpers are reported to be forgotten or unloved at the back of UK wardrobes, and hundreds of thousands of them end up in our waste streams. So, how do we combat this enormous amount of festive fashion waste?

One way is to swap or donate jumpers.

We will be accepting Christmas jumper donations at the listed drop off points below and then we will have a Big Christmas Jumper Swap weekend in December where we everyone can come along and find their new festive jumper! If you want to do your swap on by donating on the day that’s great too!

Anyone wishing to donate their Christmas jumpers can do so by dropping them off at any of the following local drop off points:

  • Guildhall, Derry.
  • Council Offices, 98 Strand Road, Derry.
  • The 4R’s, Pennyburn, Derry.Waterside Future Village, Derry.
  • The Alley Theatre, Strabane.
  • Council Offices, Derry Road, Strabane.
  • Strahans Road Recycling Centre, Strabane.


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