Voluntary Action Newsletter Copy

March – April 2020

Islington Community Network

As reported in previous newsletters the ICN structure was be replaced by thematic action groups (facilitated by VAI) which will address four big local issues:

          • Community Safety
          • Health and Well Being
          • Inequality

Antony Bewick-Smith for more information: or 0207 832 5833.

Due to the government’s recent advice to close offices and work from home if possible many events running in Islington have been either postponed or done online. There are some June events posted, hopefully by June things would have gotten better and events be running.

Maa Shanti supports single Asian mums and their children by providing advocacy, guidance, support, workshops, social activities and signposting.  They are running services during the covid-19 pandemic remotely. There online activities include yoga, arts & crafts, support groups and cooking club. They are also providing group support via WhatsApp. Maa Shanti are available Monday-Friday 9am – 3pm for referrals, support and information. Please call 07340 990 119 or 07904 034 278.

Talk for Health training  – All of April the training will take place online.  You can join Talk for Health Cafés, Chair & Share groups, Tasters and Talk for Health programmes using a computer, laptop, smartphone, ordinary mobile phone or landline. Technophobes. All April online events listed here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – advice for the voluntary and community sector and community centres
Voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations are integral to keeping residents and communities thriving, and play a big part in reducing social isolation and addressing social issues. However, as many of your service users, particularly the elderly or those with underlying health problems, are at risk, we want to make sure people are kept safe and protected. They have developed guidance for the VCS and community centres to help you make decisions about whether to stop, change or scale the services you currently offer. The guidance can be found here: Guidance on Civid19 for community centres and VCS This guidance is on a dedicated webpage for the voluntary sector, please click on the link here. We will post any further updates on this page.

Funding: For organisations receiving funding from the council, such as the VCS Partnership Grant, be assured that the council will continue to process payments as usual, despite any changes you need to make to services including temporary closure. The council has also committed to sign the London Funders pledge which can be found at here. What support is out there for residents? If you are a voluntary organisation or community centre continuing to provide a service or activity, and are happy for us to share details of this with residents in the local area, please fill out the questionnaire on the VCS webpage, under ‘Useful documents’, and send it to so we can start to collate this information and signpost residents as appropriate.

There is a facebook group called Islington COVID 19 Mutual Aid  This is a group set up to help coordinate support in the London borough of Islington. The group will be looking to help people access food, complete errands etc – particularly those who are elderly, disabled and/or immunocompromised. The mutual aid groups are set up to offer support to anyone who needs it regardless of immigration status.

North London Cares have launched #AloneTogether, which is an entire month of daily activities for older and younger neighbours to take park in there homes. It is one daily activity everyday in April.  Download the pack  to see the activities going on each day.

Russell-Cooke law firm are providing telephone help to organisations in need of a quick bit of legal guidance around the current issues regarding the Government legislation in response to the current situation regarding COVID-19. Voluntary Action Islington are reminding our members that you still have access the Russell-Cooke legal helpline. They will help to address questions about the schemes around work and employment that are being put in place by Government. If your organisation or charity need this support then they will try and help, and will point you towards useful guidance, as the detail of the terms and processes are still unclear.

Telephone 020 8789 9111 for support and ensure to mention that you are a member of Voluntary Action Islington. This telephone helpline service is currently monitored by one person who takes messages and then reallocates to the most appropriate person in the team, do bear this in mind when you call. Visit their website it will be updated as things become clearer and they will be issuing updates from time to time as things develop and become clearer.

The Coronavirus Charity Help Fund has been set up by Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) to help those affected by the coronavirus. Small or local charities are able to apply to receive a grant of £5-20K for specific coronavirus poverty relief projects.The form is really simple and applications close on Wednesday for a quick turn around.  They’re especially interested in projects that directly help people affected by the effects of the virus, such as by giving access to food, toiletries, basic necessities, as well as community projects to help people in isolation. Deadline is on the Wednesday 25th March 2020 by 11.59pm.  Apply for the coronavirus poverty relief grant application form here Find out more information about the grants here 

Cripplegate Foundation – Islington Community Chest Applications are accepted from organisations that support people who live, or who are in full-time education, in the Borough of Islington. This includes unregistered community groups, registered charities, social enterprises, companies limited by guarantee, community interest companies and other not-for-profit organisations. Deadline is 5th May 2020 at 12pm. Application form | Guidance for applications | More information here |

London Funders – has launched a £2m fund for organisations facing immediate financial pressures and uncertainty because of the coronavirus. These include increasing demands for services, higher staff absences, fewer volunteers and lower donations. The London Mayor has pledged £1m to the fund.

London Community Response part of London Funders has created a funding called Wave 1 Small Grants. This first wave of funding is for urgent needs so that you can cover costs that you are incurring right now to support communities affected by the covid-19 outbreak and the move to social distancing, with a focus on food and essentials. Grants offered are up to £5,000 – apply now

CAF – Coronavirus Emergency Fund Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK. People who can apply fore the funding are organisations with a charitable purpose and charitable activities, which had income of £1million or less in their last financial year. Apply here | If your organisation is not a registered charity, it is possible that they will need to make further checks on your organisation, and if so, it may take slightly longer.  The aim is for grants to be paid to selected organisations within 14 days of application.

Arts Council England will be providing £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals hit by the coronavrius. Application guidelines will be posted on their website on March 30th 2020.

Youth Futures Foundation are providing the rolling grants programme which is designed to find, fund, support and evaluate promising practice. Funding will go to organisations working with young people aged 14-24 to help overcome barriers to finding meaningful work. Take the Eligibility quiz

Techforce19 is a new £500k fund for technology companies who come up with digital support solutions for people who need to stay at home because of coronavirus.

The National Emergencies Trust, established last year, launched its Coronavirus Appeal in partnership with the British Red Cross, with backing from the Duke of Cambridge. It will distribute money to charities and grassroots organisations.

The Indigo Trust is making £2.5m available through emergency grants to help charities respond to the coronavirus emergency.

Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust has made changes to their application guidelines and processes for its Spring application round with the aim of supporting small and medium-sized charities, which may need extra assistance at this time.  Eligible projects are those that aim to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children, supporting early intervention and preventative work that will: improve the reach to targeted groups of 0–3 year olds; bring about improved defined outcomes for these targeted groups.  Grants will be paid as soon as possible after the closing date.

Premier League Community Facility Fund committed 6 million per year for the next three years into a ring fenced facility pot, to be called the Premier League Community Facility Fund (PLCFF), to be accessed by professional clubs through their community organisations and managed and administered by the Football Foundation. There is no application deadline. Contact or on 020 7864 9171 for more information.

Sports England are offering £195 million coronavirus support package which is to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing crisis. More information on what types of funding are available here

The Childhood Trust is launching the Champions for Children  match-funding campaign to raise UNRESTRICTED FUNDS for charities working with children whose lives have been impacted by the pandemic.  You need to meet the criteria’s before applying for funding are Charities working with vulnerable children and young people based in London, Charities with at least one set of accounts showing on the Charity Commission, Charities with over £25,000 income as per their last financial accounts. Apply now If you have any questions about the Champions for Children campaign and the funding for participating charities, please contact The Childhood Trust 

Crisis – In This Together grants programme The grants programme which will support local homelessness organisations across the UK to respond to the Covd-19 emergency. Awards up to £5k available – Written application form and decision within 24 hours of receipt. Apply now

Crisis In This Together grants programme This grant scheme awards up to 50k grant to make sure no-one who is now indoors needs to go back to homelessness. These grants will support more substantial changes needed so that the help that is started through an emergency can turn into something permanent – Written application form following a Skype call and decision within 48 hours of receipt of form. Apply now

Friends Provident Foundation next deadline is on 27th April 2020 at 12 noon. They are an independent charity that is particularly concerned with the impact of economic systems on the most vulnerable. This is where the flaws in the system show most starkly, not just in terms of poverty, but also inequality. It supports projects geared towards systems change, and local economic resilience. The grants will cover core costs, the costs must be proportionate and based on a clearly outlined methodology. Recent grants range from £15,000 to £200,000 and the grants are targets for Charites and not for profit agencies. Here are the projects they are funding, read the outline application guidance notes for any support while applying to the grants. Apply online here.

The Magic Little Grants 2020 programme launched 10th March 2020, the deadline is on 31st October 2020.  Together with Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Localgiving is delighted to offer charitable organisations the opportunity to apply for grants of £500. The fund will be awarding over 900 grants to community projects across Great Britain. Successful projects will support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise with the primary aim of improving the physical health of participants. Applications will receive a decision on their application and, if successful, the funding within two months of submitting a complete application. Apply for the grant here

You can find more information about these and other funding opportunities in our March 2020 Voluntary Action Islington Funding booklet. Some applications for grants will be closed in late March, early April, make sure that you do not miss the deadline by checking our funding booklet!

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

London is in the midst of climate, air pollution, public health and road safety crises. Reducing car dominance and making walking the easiest and safest option for everyday journeys is a key part of the solution. But walking is often overlooked. Every Londoner should be able to live an active, healthy and easy life without a car; this is not the case. Read more about the campaign here.


The Institute for Community Studies: What matters to communities? The mission of the Institute of Community Studies is to improve and inform the efforts of all people working in and with their communities’ across the UK. The Institute for Community Studies, powered by the Young Foundation, is a national endeavor to understand and identify what matters to communities in the UK in their own words; to prioritise which issues need most attention by research and policy, and to share what’s working in finding solutions that support communities and those in power to take action.

This survey is looking to hear what unanswered questions and gaps in research and evidence exist today from the perspective of people who work with and within different communities in the UK. The aim is to understand where to focus on research that could make a real difference to communities.

Unregulated provision for children in care and care leavers – Children in care and care leavers are some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society. Every child and young person should have access to a stable and secure placement in accommodation that can meet their needs and, most importantly, keep them safe. They need to work together to make this happen and deliver the support of these vulnerable children and young people deserve. The proposals include: banning using independent and semi-independent provision for under 16s; introducing national quality standards; ensuring Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) represent young people’s interests; requiring local authorities and police forces to liaise, and new legal powers for Ofsted to take action against illegal providers. They would like your views on proposals on the appropriateness of placements in independent and semi-independent provision for children in care and care leavers, and system checks and balances.

The 2020 Charity Digital Skills Report – It’s that time of year when Skills Platform, Zoe Amar and Catalyst ask charities to fill in a short survey to contribute to the annual Charity Digital Skills Report. If you work for a charity based in the UK they would love to hear your views. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete.  This is our fourth year running and they are delighted to be supported by The Catalyst to develop an analysis and publish the anonymous dataset. All the information you provide will remain confidential and will not be identifiable to you or your organization. This survey please complete by midnight on Friday 3 April and the results will be published and shared in the press on 5 May.

Securing the future of social care funding – This report sets out the financial issues facing voluntary sector disability organisations and why it is of utmost importance that the government puts in place a sustainable funding plan for social care.

New government working group to draft quality standards for unregulated supported accommodation – CYP Now reports that the DfE has brought together organisations believed to include Ofsted, the Local Government Association, Independent Children’s Home Association and the National Youth Advocacy Service to draw up draft quality standards for such provisions. It is set to provide DfE with “expert advice” alongside the consultation and will be chaired by former Association of the Director’s of Children’s Services Sir Alan Wood.