Voluntary Action Newsletter – 3 February 2022

3 February 2022

National Apprentice Week 7-13 February 2022
As part of National Apprenticeship Week – ‘build the future’, Islington Council are hosting an online ‘Apprenticeships Explained’ event aimed at parents and carers. We’ll be hearing from the experts at Amazing Apprenticeships, as well as first-hand experience from an Islington apprentice and a parent.
Wednesday 9 February, 6.00pm – 6.45pm
Where: Via Zoom – Click here to join
For any questions about the event please contact

Welcome to Camden & Islington LGBTQ history Month 2022
is very proud to present a fantastic programme of activities and events celebrating Camden & Islington LGBT History Month. We invite all the community to join the festivities and explore local LGBT history through exhibitions, book groups, film screenings, spoken word, history talks and more!
For events throughout February find out here.

Club Islington is back for people with disabilities
Club Islington in partnership with Islington Council has now opened. Sessions are every Wednesdays at Sobell Leisure Centre, members can enjoy an array of sports. Club Islington is a friendly fun multi-sports club that love playing all different types of sports from Basketball to Badminton so there’s always something for anyone. Specialist taster sessions also take place in the club from time to time including boxing, dance, golf and more. All disabilities and impairments welcome.
Wednesday (term-time) from 5-6pm price £4. First session is free.
For more info and to join here.

Age UK Islington Events and Workshops
Let’s Talk, Wednesday 16 Feb, 10.30am – 12.30pm – on Zoom
Let’s Talk provides the opportunity to talk about anything and everything that’s to do with Islington – whether it’s something you’re having difficulties with or something you’ve discovered that you want to share. For Islington residents 18+ For further details and to book here.

Six Poetry Workshops, Wednesday 23 Feb, 2.30 – 4.45pm
Hosted by Create is the UK’s leading charity enhancing wellbeing through the creative arts. Artist Emma McGordon will lead you through the activities. Emma is an award-winning poet, performer and community artist. Hosted in the wonderful Cally Clock Tower Centre, you’ll have the opportunity to work individually and in groups to read, write and perform poetry (50 yrs+). For more info & book here.

Cooperate Islington launches a new programme
Its aims are to build a stronger cooperative sector, and a more inclusive economy in Islington. Co-ops is a one-year scheme to support cooperatives and co-op start-up groups that work or live in Islington or convert existing projects and businesses into co-ops. For groups that qualify, they can provide expert advisor support, a grant of between £500 and £20,000, or a mixture of the two. Deadline is March 14th. For more details visit Cooperate Islington.

Design Competition for Community Space at Kings Cross
New London Architecture (NLA) and King’s Cross Partnership Launch Competition For New Community Hub.
Individuals, community groups, established or emerging enterprises and organisations can put forward ideas. The existing premises on Beaconsfield Street is a total of 1,200 square feet over two floors. They are looking for proposals on how they could transform the space and what community offer they’d like to bring to King’s Cross Estate. All competition entries are free of charge. Short-listed entrants will be awarded up to £1,000 and invited to work with KCCLP, to develop their proposals more fully.
The deadline for initial submissions is 28th February 2022 For more information on the competition here.

New Initiative to help people set up their own business
Firm Futures is an initiative that helps people in Islington and the surrounding area, who are not in permanent, full-time employment, set up their own business. Registrations for the next intake will be up to February 2022. Monthly workshops will start in March 2022, with the first workshop on 23rd March.
To register your interest, please get in touch with at or telephone 020 7549 8181. Find out more here.

Cally Community Plan
The Cally is an amazing place. The council has worked with local people, organisations and groups to put together a Cally Community Plan to identify the key things we need to work on together to make it an even better place to live, work and play in. We are looking for groups of young people – minimum of three Cally young people, under the age of 25 – with a great idea. You might want to go on a trip to a place, you might want to make your estate greener or you might want to run an activity – the choices are endless. More info here.

Covid-19 Islington Data
Get Islington data for up-to-date coronavirus data, setting out the number of vaccinations, infection, testing, and Covid-19 related deaths in Islington. Information on long Covid is also provided. For info click here.

CPD-accredited Relational Practice Training
Cripplegate Foundation, four voluntary sector partners and Islington Council colleagues spent several years working together, exploring what makes the biggest difference to Islington residents and considering how to deliver services. They have created a website hownotwhat to share ideas, film, training resources and conversations.
They have announce dates for a one-day CPD-accredited training ‘Mattering: An Introduction to the Relational Approach’ open to anyone, at any level, working in Islington’s public and voluntary sector services. There are still some places on the 10 March & 7 April training. To book a place please click here.

The Government announces that hymen repair or reconstruction surgery (also known as hymenoplasty) is to be made illegal. This is as well as a ban on virginity testing. Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation (MEWSo) who, as the first organisation calling for such practices to be banned back in 2019, has campaigned long and hard for this result.
The recent amendment in the Health and Care Bill will criminalise anyone “aiding or abetting” a person carrying out hymen reconstruction, which could result in them being jailed for up to five years. It won’t just relate to medical and health professionals but parents, family members and anyone else involved. It will also make it a criminal offence to take a girl or woman out of the country to have the procedure. The Bill still has to be voted on in Parliament, but the Government allowing both amendments to be added to the Bill with its support shows it’s only a matter of time before it becomes law.
Find out more about MEWSo here.

Bereavement workshops for Counsellors and Therapists
The Ubele Initiative, Majonzi Fund and Thrive London. Are running a series of Immersive Bereavement workshops. If you are you a Counsellor, Therapist, Community Worker or someone who works with or supports people from Black and racially minoritised communities experiencing grief, bereavement, and loss? There are two workshops available at present.
African Caribbean Immersive Bereavement Workshop
February 10 @ 10:00 – 14:30
For more info and to book here.
Muslim Immersive Bereavement Workshop
February 9 @ 10:00 – 14:30
For more info and to book here.

Digital Marketing Courses
The LIFT Digital Marketing School is offering a 10 week programme exploring the world of Digital Marketing. You will learn about social media, getting the top tips from their experts. At the end of the course you will be given guidance in finding a position and how to make a career out of Digital Marketing.
Applications close: 13 February 2022
Programme starts: 1 March 2022
Programme ends: 16 May 2022
further details here.

Free 2 hour training on having conversations about the Covid-19 Vaccination
As part of our work to support the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Islington, VAI and other VCS partners are working closely with Public Health and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) colleagues to disseminate Covid-19 related resources to colleagues in the VCS and to our local residents. There are free 2-hour training for staff and volunteers to help support conversations about the Covid-19 vaccination. For more dates and to book your place go to Islington MECC website here. Next date: Tuesday 8 February: 1:00– 3:00pm. More info here.

Cultural Competence Training by Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre
These workshop aims to enhance participants’ racial and cultural awareness, empathic knowledge and understanding of cultures other than their own and conceptualisation of identity formation. Attendees in exploring their own processes, whether from dominant or minority groups will be more attuned to the impact of their therapeutic engagements with their colleagues and clients.
There are several dates available. Cost £89.67 for more info & book here.

Digital Media Training with paid work placements.
MAMA Youth Project is recruiting for a FREE 6 weeks full time Digital Media Training, where trainees 18-25yrs, gain 6 weeks of intensive training in digital content creation with an opportunity for a minimum 2 weeks paid work placement with one of our industry partners (such as Sky, Banijay, Netflix, Channel 4, Warner Bros Entertainment, Lime Pictures, Fremantle Media, Sister, Gravity Media and many more). The training takes place at the state of the art Sky Campus in Osterley, West London.
Application Deadline: Monday 21st of February 2022, 11.59pm.
Interviews: will take place from 7th-10th of March 2022 via Zoom.
Candidates should follow the step by step guide on our website here.

Laamiga are providing Financial online workshops
As part of their continuous support to women from black, minority ethnic, migrant, or refugee backgrounds, they introduce a new project, Athena, which aims to help women improve their confidence with personal finance and gain financial independence.
These workshops will be delivered by experts, covering topics such as introduction to the UK financial system, budgeting & savings, credit & debit, financial fraud, how to save energy costs, etc. Starting from 25th March 2022. For more info and to book here.

Talk for Health are providing free online peer counselling
It is for anyone who want to take care of their wellbeing and support others. Free taster online course is on 10 February and Free Full Peer Counselling Programme starting on Saturday 5th March 2022 For more details and to book here.

Stuart Low Trust Events and Workshops
Mindfulness: Coming to Your Senses – Saturday 5th February
Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment, without judgement and accepting the reality of each moment, which puts us in a more powerful position to change the things we are able to. Mindfulness has many benefits, including reducing stress and all the related benefits that can bring to our physical and mental health. It can also help to relieve pain, help us to make healthier choices, enhance our experiences and joy in life and improve our relationship with ourselves and others. Delivered by Katy on Zoom.
Chi Kung – Saturday 26th February
Feel great. Release stress. Cultivate stillness. Suitable for all levels of experience, the exercises are beneficial for the beginner and will work on a deeper level for those with more experience. The classes are based around gentle, rhythmic movements that get under the radar to soften, de-stress and enhance your wellbeing. Delivered by Belinda on Zoom. For more info & book your free place. Email or call 020 7713 9304

Allen Lane
Funding for beneficiary groups that will make a lasting impact, including LGBT, asylum seekers & refugees, offenders and ex-offenders, gypsies and travellers’, people with mental health problems, or experiencing domestic abuse or violence. Organisations with a turnover less than £250K. Up to £15,000 (average £5,000) Grants for up to 3 years. Submissions are ongoing, next application to be submitted by the end of March for June 2022 meeting.
More info here. Tel: 01904 613223  Email:

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Main areas of funding are arts & cultural life, children & young people, the natural environment, food & social change projects that enable people who are disadvantaged to participate more fully. They will fund core costs, salaries, overheads and project costs. Average is about £79,000 but can give up to £100,000 and over in special cases. You don’t have to be a registered Charity to apply but your constitution must allow you to do the proposed work. Submissions are ongoing, the next meeting dates are: 22 February 2022, 26 April 2022 and 21 June 2022. More info here. Email:

The People’s Postcode Lottery
Postcode Lottery. Improving mental wellbeing, Enabling community participation in the arts, Preventing or reducing the impact of poverty, Supporting marginalized groups and much more. All of these funds have a Stage 1 – expression of interest – and Stage 2 – full application – process. Grants are from £500 – £20,000
For Voluntary Organisations and Registered Charities. Funding opportunities for 2022 will start from February 2022
The Website for the South of England here.

Mayor of London, Building Strong Communities Fund
The Mayor of London is offering funding for the capital’s voluntary and community organisations to enable community-led projects that help to meet at least one of the following outcomes: Londoners are supported to shape their communities post Covid-19. Unheard voices are amplified and heard so that communities have influence and control over decisions. Feelings of belonging are increased; loneliness and social isolation are decreased. Feelings of connection within and across communities are strengthened.
Deadline Monday 14th February. For more info & to apply here.

Richard Reeve’s Foundation Priority areas of the scheme aims to support disadvantaged people in the local community who experience barriers to education and training and offers: Raising Literacy and Numeracy Standards for early years and primary school students. Progression into Work programme: Earn While You Learn: aims to increase opportunities for young people (aged 16-24) to engage in meaningful work through part-time jobs, paid work experience or traineeships, internships, and/or apprenticeships. The Trust awards around £800,000 in grants each year. Multi-year grants for up to three years, and occasionally up to five years, are funded.
Funding is at the discretion of the Trustees, and they will consider projects of any size.
COpen for Applications. Maximum value: Discretionary. Applicants are advised to contact the Foundation with an outline of any proposed project and discuss it with the clerk in the first instance.

The Portal Trust – Grants to Charitable Organisations and Educational Establishments
Grants are available for projects delivering impactful opportunities for young Londoners, particularly those from disadvantaged or low income backgrounds, to enable them to find and fulfil their potential. There is no minimum or maximum grant amount that can be applied for.
Applications can be made at any time and will be considered three times a year (usually in March, June and October). The Trust operates a two-stage application process – an initial enquiry and a full application stage. Applicants should first complete the eligibility quiz application on the website.

The Islington Funding Toolkit enables organisations to easily search a database of current and upcoming funding programmes.

The updated VAI Funding booklet is out now. The booklet is divided up into eight different sections, this will make searching easier as you will now be able go directly to the sections that you are interested in. Click here for a copy.

The new Model City London impact report has now been published. The Mayor of London partnered with Laureus Sport for Good and Nike to deliver the innovative place-based initiative ‘Model City London’, empowering Londoners to use sport and physical activity to make their communities integrated, inclusive, active and healthy places. Read the report here.

NCVO – The Road Ahead 2022 Report
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has released The Road Ahead 2022 Report. It is an annual analysis of the changing environment for NCVO members and those working or volunteering the in the voluntary sector. The issues highlighted in the publication present opportunities and challenges for voluntary organisations. Trustees and leaders can benefit from using the analysis to explore the effects of these issues for their organisations when planning for the short and medium-term.
Download the report here.