Voluntary Action Camden

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VAC e-bulletin 12th April 2024


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Spotlight  |   Features, News and Policy  |   Funding   |   Events and Training   |
Jobs and Volunteering   |   Surveys, Resources and Opportunities

Cultural Advocacy Project

This project is run jointly with Mind in Camden, who love the beautiful borough of Camden with all its opportunities, vibrancy and community as much as we do, but also want to make sure that the health inequalities in the borough don’t prevent some of the most vulnerable members of our community receiving the mental health support that they need.

Our cultural advocacy project works with communities in Camden to strengthen awareness of mental health support facilities and build relationships between partner organisations and our own peer support groups. It’s really important to us that we reach people who would benefit from this service, so if you or someone you know is looking for support, you can find out more information and share it here.

NEW – Safeguarding Training 

More details in the Events and Training section

“Halo effect” can blind charities to unethical behaviour
Charitable organisations are prone to developing habits of ignoring unethical behaviour and diminished transparency due to a psychological phenomenon known as the “Halo effect”. A new report from lead researcher Dr Isabel de Bruin at the Rotterdam school of Management, has found that behaviours such as financial malpractice, racism and abuse is often excused or justified by those who have a strong belief in the moral superiority of their cause over all else.

British Muslims donate four times the national average
A new report from Consultancy Blue State has found that donations from British Muslims are four times the amount of the wider UK population, £708 per year compared to £165 for the average Brit. The study also showed that Muslims in the UK are more likely to raise money via community events and via personal challenges, for example running marathons.

Policy change on charities that ignore opt-out requests
The Fundraising Regulator has changed the way they report on charities that fail to implement requests from the public to opt-out of marketing communications. Previously, all groups who failed to act on just one such request would automatically be named on the regulator’s website, but it has been decided that a more appropriate threshold for public naming and shaming will now rise to three ignored requests. 

Every week VAC checks various sources for the latest funding opportunities relevant for Camden groups.
You can visit our website for a round up of the latest opportunities added this week:  Search for Funding – Voluntary Action Camden (vac.org.uk).

We’ve included a selection of the latest funds below but check out our new funding portal for many more opportunities.
If you need help sourcing or applying for funds, get in touch with our consultancy service, free for all Camden groups!

UK-German Connection funds for schools & youth groups
UK-German Connection Instant Impact Grants are now available to support UK schools and youth groups planning visits to their counterparts in Germany this summer. The scheme is jointly funded and governed by the UK and German governments, British Council, and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, offering a dedicated linking service and funding opportunities for bilateral activities. Applications must be submitted at least six weeks before the planned visit.

Adult Social Care Training and Development Fund
Adult social care employers in England can claim varying levels of reimbursement for staff training costs. The government has issued guidance details for the programme, ahead of the launch of a digital online claims service later this year. The aim is to enable the ASC workforce and ASC employers to start planning their training and development for the financial year 2024 to 2025.

Mayor of London’s VRU Innovation fund
The Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit is offering grants to community-led organisations and groups across London to test new approaches and ideas to support vulnerable Londoners who are either at risk or have been involved in violence. This round of funding will support organisations with online networking/ collaboration, capacity-building and other tools.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Arts Fund
Not-for-profit cultural organisations working at the intersection of art and social change within the UK can apply for grants from the Arts fund, which supports the long-term development and transformation of these organisations as a route towards social justice and sustainability.

Open to VAC Members only
If you are a voluntary service or group delivering services in Camden and are not a member of VAC, please join here: https://vac.org.uk/get-involved/membership

Upcoming safeguarding training 
For all VCS organisations, supplementary, faith schools and groups delivering services to under 18’s in the borough.
In partnership with Camden’s Safeguarding Children’s Partnership:

Protecting Children in the Community 24th April, 10.00am – 12.30pm, & May 7th, 10:00am – 11.45 am
Dementia Awareness Workshop
25th April, 10.30am – 12pm
Budgeting and Financial Planning 30th April, 9.30am – 4pm
Voluntary sector organisational structures; what’s right for you? 15th May, 10.00am – 12.00pm


Wellbeing and Cancer Awareness workshop
Healthwatch Camden and Camden Disability Action are holding a workshop with important information on wellbeing and cancer awareness. Attendees will hear from a doctor about the signs and symptoms of cancer, as well as the experiences of a disabled person in fighting cancer. You can register for the event here, or email tom@camdendisabilityaction.org.uk.
Tuesday 23rd April, Greenwood Centre, Kentish Town, NW5 1LB.

Survivors Can Shine Ambassadors for Change event
Taking place on Hampstead Heath on Saturday 25th May, the Ambassadors for Change Community Event is bringing children, young people and the wider community together in collective strength in a positive movement for change. The day will be filmed as part of the documentary, and will include musical performances, food, games, activities and prizes. Register here and contact Lily if you want to volunteer or host a stall.

Children’s Nature Garden Open Day
Join Castlehaven Community Association on Saturday, 27th April, for the opening of their Children’s Nature Garden at the Elm Haven Community Garden located on Barker Drive, NW1 0JW. Plant wildlife-friendly plants, participate in nature-themed arts & crafts and help name the garden. This event is open to all, but children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, please email environmentalteam@castlehaven.org.uk.

VCC Spring Fair and Volunteering Workshop
Volunteer Centre Camden are hosting two volunteering related events over the next couple of weeks. The first, on Wednesday 17th April, is their Camden and Islington Spring 24 Volunteering Fair, an in-person event in Kings Cross where you can meet groups recruiting volunteers. Then on Wednesday 24th April, they are holding essential training for volunteer managers on how build volunteering in a strategic way that adds significant value to their mission, exploring the societal, economic, and technological environment that affects volunteering and trends that should be taken into account.

Google’s Community Affairs Q1 Community training day
This is a regular opportunity for local organisations to get together at Google King’s Cross office for a networking lunch, skills training and a chance to share lessons learned from community leaders. Register here before 29th April.
Thursday 9th May, Google, 6 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG

YCF & Beat webinar on understanding eating disorders
Young Camden Foundation are hosting a webinar along with Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, which aims to give attendees a proper understanding of the three major eating disorders. The webinar will also look at risk factors, early warning signs and learn how best to support someone with an eating disorder. You can book tickets here.
Tuesday 16th April, online

Community Leadership Programme at Birkbeck University
Community Leadership returns to Camden! Would you like to further your skills in the area of community leadership, community development and network with others? Taught by tutors from Birkbeck, these workshops aim to help participants gain skills, knowledge and confidence. Learn more or sign up here.
Starts: 24 April 2024

Scene & Heard 25th birthday pop-up museum
Come see how Scene & Heard brings imaginations to life on and off the stage in Camden at a FREE pop-up museum. Explore interactive displays, galleries and incredible costumes inspired by the amazing imaginations of children. Suitable for all ages, open 10th-11th May, 11am – 7pm. Refreshments available all day. 

Chair at Flourishing Lives
Flourishing Lives is the only London-wide body dedicated to older people, the arts and wellbeing. The organisation helps transform older people’s lives, by promoting community, expression, access and lifelong learning through engagement with the arts. They are looking for an enthusiastic Chair to help take their work forward. Full job description here.
Application deadline: 14th April

Age UK Camden Dementia Wellbeing Worker
Age UK Camden Dementia Wellbeing Service is looking to recruit a Dementia Wellbeing Worker to join their team working 35 hours per week on a permanent basis. The service supports Camden residents over the age of 55 in the early or moderate stages of dementia, to live independently and safely at home for as long as possible, stay socially engaged and carry on doing what they love. Age UK Camden are looking to fill this post on an immediate basis so they will be interviewing shortlisted candidates on a rolling basis.

Volunteering Opportunities at Abbey Community Centre
ACC are looking for volunteer befrienders to help reduce isolation by regularly visiting individuals over 60s in their homes and help provide ad hoc support. If you’re passionate in Children’s Services and family support, you can volunteer in assisting running creative and fun activities for under 5s whilst building relationships with their parents and carers. Other volunteering opportunities available, please contact vol-opps@abbeycc-kilburn.org.uk with any questions. 

West Hampstead Jester Festival 2024 – volunteers needed
The annual Fortune Green Jester Festival takes place on July 6th, and they are looking for volunteers who can help local residents who organise the festival. Responsibilities include traffic management, setting up gazebos, selling raffle tickets, litter control and stewarding. Volunteers will get a free Jester T-shirt and a tabard and clipboard if needed! Contact mrj@mikejennings.co.uk with any queries, and have a look at last year’s festival

Women + Health seek female trustee 
Women + Health supports Camden residents with physical and mental health. They need a female fundraising trustee with fundraising experience, working on strategy, events, corporates and high net worth individuals. She will work with the director, MC and fundraising coordinator. BAME women and other underrepresented groups are welcomed.  Have a look at the current board of trustees, and contact trustee@women-and-health.org.uk with your CV or any questions.

Volunteers needed to lead Camden reading group
The Reader is a project put together by Camden Libraries for the visually impaired, which brings people together by reading stories and poems aloud. They are looking for volunteers to lead the reading group in Pancras Square library. The volunteers will receive in-depth training and support from the community of reader leaders. Contact filizemre@thereader.org.uk to find out more. 

SHP Peer Mentoring Team open recruitment
SHP Peer Mentoring Team are looking for volunteers to join their peer mentoring service in Camden, Islington and Westminster with lived experience of substance use, mental health support, homelessness and the criminal justice system and who are now a minimum 6 months abstinent, are stable in their recovery and want to volunteer their time to help others. Send applications and enquiries to peermentoring@shp.org.uk by 28th April 2024.

Charity Excellence AI Ethics & Governance Framework
Amid new recommendations from the Charity Commission that charities should consider developing internal AI policies, Charity Excellence have released a framework for managing the ethical challenges of using AI. This resource can be used to help create a new policy for your organisation, or as a tool for evaluating your existing policies. You can find the framework here, along with many other helpful resources for navigating AI.

Central YMCA launch two new initaitives 
Project Move
Project Move focuses on empowering individuals to lead healthier lives, improve their physical fitness, and enhance their overall well-being. From swimming lessons to yoga, dance, and basketball, there are a variety of engaging sessions for young people no matter which type of movement they enjoy. If you’re interested in hearing more about this work or know someone who might be, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lucia Lovine.  
Y’s Girls Project
Central YMCA is launching the Y’s Girls Project in London, where girls between the ages of 9 and 14 will be paired with a trained mentor who will work with them to gain confidence, explore their interests, and learn new things in an informal and fun environment, and it opens opportunities for the girls to try new things that they might not get the chance to do otherwise. If you would like to learn more about the Y’s Girls Project or you’re interested in becoming a mentor or mentee, please reach out to Allison Bishop.

Camden Adult Community Learning – Digital skills classes 
Camden Adult Community Learning runs free digital skills classes in community venues throughout Camden and online. You can enrol now for new courses, including:

•    Digital Portrait Photography at the recently-opened Euston Skills Centre and Swiss Cottage Library
•    Essential Digital Skills Qualification (EDSQ) at Training Link
•    Online courses in Design with Canva, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint & Digital Safety
•    Child Online Safety Workshops for Camden Parents

For a full list of courses see the Course Guide or visit the online enrolment page. You can also enrol in person on Thursday 18 April, at the Adult Learning Centre, Netley Campus, 74 Stanhope Street, NW1 3EX.

Could your charity get discounted energy?

Utility Aid has launched the National Charity Tender to help voluntary organisations get discounted energy through Group Energy Purchasing. Their offer is available for not for profit groups so you can get in touch to find out if this is the right option for your organisation.

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