Voluntary Action Camden

VAC e-Bulletin – 2nd February 2024



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


VAC Membership
VAC represents local organisations in conversations with local government and funders, we advise on local issues and we inform, support and train local charities depending on their needsIt’s completely free to sign up to be a member, and membership ensures you will be first to hear about all of the services we offer to the voluntary sector. 

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Sector Spotlight: Families 4 Peace

Families4Peace is a grassroots organisation that began with a desire to create a community project that addressed the inequity in London. In 2021, a couple of north west London secondary school friends were looking for a way to make an impact on their community. As they were busy organising their project, the conflict in Ukraine unfolded.

Recognising the gravity of the crisis, the teens quickly appealed to their families, schools, and peers to help address this crisis which would ultimately bring more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to the United Kingdom.

In response to the crisis, Families4Peace collaborated with VAC and Camden council to host a community event to disseminate information to Ukrainians in the Camden area. More than 150 Ukrainian families attended.

In early May 2022, the Families4Peace community centre opened its doors at The Cavendish School to hundreds of newly arriving Ukrainian families. Running by-weekly community hubs and information support, organise more community events including family cooking sessions, prep support for school aged children and after school activities for the many secondary school children in our network.

There are many opportunities to get involved with Families4Peace. They need volunteers to help run their community centre, manage their social media presence, organise fundraisers and help with translation and ESOL courses.

To find out more about this amazing grassroots organisation visit – Families 4 Peace

Trustee celebration on February 28th
Calling Camden’s charity and community group trustees! We’re honouring your hard work and support in our annual trustee event, hosted with Volunteer Centre Camden. This is your opportunity to meet other trustees and celebrate the year’s work over food and drink. Get your ticket here.

VAC Member Benefits Report 2023
We held a survey last year to find out how our members are benefitting from their partnership with VAC, and ways in which we could improve. You can read the report here. Thanks to all who took part!

Furniture needed!

We are looking for furniture donations to help with the move into our new office at 8-12 Camden Road. If you have chairs, desks, tables or cabinets that you no longer need, or you know anyone who might be able to help, please get in touch!

NEW – Safeguarding Training 

More details in the Events and Training section

Funding needed to meet living wage requirement

The SCVO, a charity umbrella body in Scotland has urged the government to increase funding to public sector grants and contracts, after the announcement last year that charities would be required to pay the living wage to all staff.

Changes to laws on charities returning objects overseas
The Charities Act of 2022 is due to be amended for clarification around transferring legal ownership of an object to its country of origin. You can read the letter from DCMS to the Charity Commission here

Laamiga announce annual report
Lammiga are a charity that provides support and tools to empower and enable women from minority ethnic, migrant and refugee backgrounds to reach their full potential. You can read their annual report here.

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!

Origin Housing Community Fund
Local community groups and organisations have the opportunity to secure up to £2,000 Community Grant funding. This funding will be invested in projects that make a difference to Origin’s communities as part of their vision to build strong communities where people can thrive. If you’d like to enquire about the Origin Housing Community Fund, please contact them by email.

Future Camden Fund for small businesses
Small businesses in Camden with fewer than 50 employees can apply for loans or Match Trading grants that come with a package of support. Black and female owned organisations are particularly encouraged to apply. See the criteria and submit your application here.

Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund
The Energy Savings Trust is offering grants to not-for-profit groups for projects that empower householders to reduce their carbon emissions and engage positively with the transition to net zero.
Deadline for applications is 20 February 2024.

Beacon Lodge Charitable Trust 
For organisations that promote the care, safety and upbringing of children in greater London, Beacon Lodge provides financial support in the form of grants to registered charities. New Applications for 2024 will open on the 31st January 2024 and close on the 15th March 2024 – you can submit your application here.

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:

Online Safeguarding and Social Media’ Workshop (In partnership with Camden Prevent and Lightbulb Learners)
Thursday 8th February 2024: 10am – 12.30pm
Face-to-face at: Meeting Room 3.1, Third Floor, Crowndale Centre,
218 Eversholt Street NW1 1BD
Essential knowledge for all, but especially those currently working with children and young people in the borough. To find out more or to secure your place, please visit our website or 
email the VAC Safeguarding Lead Dianne Carlton-Ogunyemi on: dogunyemi@vac.org.uk

Women and Girls’ Personal Safety and Awareness
(In partnership with The Safeguarding Foundation)
Wednesday 13 March 2024, 10.00am – 12.00pm
Face-to-face at Ludham & Waxham TRA Hall, Lismore Circus, Camden NW3
To find out more or to secure your place, please
 visit our website or email the VAC Safeguarding Lead Dianne Carlton-Ogunyemi on: dogunyemi@vac.org.uk


Noah’s Ark Hospice Volunteer Information Evening
Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice help babies, children and young people with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions, and their families, make the most of every day. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer who supports families in Camden and Islington, you can find out more at their upcoming information evening.
Event Details: Wednesday 7th February 18:30 – 20:00, King’s Place, York Way, N1 9AG.

Financial Wellbeing Workshops at Castlehaven
Castlehaven Community Association has teamed up with The Money Charity to deliver two financial well-being workshops filled with practical advice, valuable tips, and information on local services to navigate the challenges of the rising cost of living. Join on the 6th of Feb, for a session open to all and a specialised workshop for women on the 9th of Feb. Booking is essential. Secure your spot now by emailing healthhaven@castlehaven.org.uk or calling 020 7692 2238.

Hopscotch Women’s Centre panel on healthy relationships 
On Wednesday 21st February, Hopscotch Women’s Centre are hosting an online panel, discussing how policy, culture and colonial power affect relationships. Featuring Jess Phillips MP and Apsana Begum MP and a Q&A with panellists. Sign up here.

Free Saturday Club with Roundhouse and The Place
Young people aged 13-16 can join the Performance and Theatre Saturday Club at the Roundhouse, and develop their dance and circus skills with professional artists.
Every Saturday they will explore contemporary and creative dance techniques, and learn acrobatics, parkour, and juggling. No previous circus or dance experience is necessary. They can learn to balance, flip and improve their co-ordination, guided by professional tutors, while working towards a final performance piece. This is a unique opportunity to meet other young people and develop performance skills in a fun and supportive environment. 

Digital Information Skills Workshop
Birkbeck University are hosting an online workshop on the 8th of February, focusing on critical thinking when digesting news media. The approach will be relaxed and interactive, and you don’t have to have any prior experience to attend. Find out more information, and book your place here.

VCC Volunteer Manager’s Forum
On Wednesday 7th February, Volunteer Centre Camden are hosting an online, free to attend forum with opportunities for networking and peer support. Attendees can choose the topics to discuss. Find out more and book your place.

Learning and Development Business Partner at LDN
Learning Disability Network have a fantastic opportunity for an experienced Learning and Development Business Partner to join our friendly team. If you’re someone who is focused and innovative and drives staff learning and development, then LDN London would like to hear from you!
Closing Date: Monday 12th February

3 New roles at Hillside Clubhouse
Hillside Clubhouse are launching a brand new community café from Highgate East inpatients facility.  Aiming to make the café a warm, safe and supportive destination for the whole community, not just patients and visitors, this is an incredibly exciting opportunity to grow and develop a community café and tackle stigmas associated with mental ill health.  The team will be instrumental in the success of the café. The clubhouse are looking for people who feel confident and happy working under their own initiative as well as leading a small team, but most importantly, people who are passionate about coproduction, food and community!
Three roles are being recruited, the deadlines are 5th and 11th February respectively. Please click on the links below for job descriptions:

–    Full-Time Community Café Manager
–    Part-Time Front of House
–    Part-Time Cook

Community Mental Health Recovery Support Worker

Mind in Camden are looking for looking for a self-motivated, empathic, and dynamic Community Mental Health Recovery Support Worker to join their one-to-one mental health support service.
Closing date:  13.00 on Monday 5th February 2024
Salary: £27,657
Contract: Permanent – fixed until end of March 2026 with probable extension
Hours: 35
Click here to find out more.

Community Champions Co-ordinator
Thanks to extended funding SHAK are looking for a dynamic, committed and organised individual with a passion for community development to lead the “Community Champion project” taking it to the next level. You will build on a successful project which has co-produced initiatives with residents/volunteers such as community gardens, walking, knitting, food-based, arts groups as well as warm spaces and community events/trips.
Click below for more info and to apply:
Closing date: 8 February 2024

Part time Guest Co-ordinator at Touch Project
The Touch Project are looking for a reliable, trustworthy, local person, ideally with a DBS, who would like one hours work on Thursday evenings at the Old Diorama Arts Centre, from 6-7pm each week. This person would ideally be female or non-binary, and would be responsible for room set up and welcoming guests. Please contact Kathy by text on 07932737813 if you would like to apply.

Rethinking Masculinities with Beyond Equality
Beyond Equality are partnering with Movember to offer community groups across London the opportunity to participate in a free three-part workshop series supporting men aged 18+ to chat in their community about mental wellbeing, healthy masculinity and how to build supportive communities. They are looking for community groups that work with men to reach out and get involved. Community groups need to provide between 6-20 participants, the space and AV equipment. Workshops can take place until September 2024.

Camden Community Room Hire
Origin Housing is offering local community groups and organisations the opportunity to bring their services and activities to Origin residents and their neighbours at their Community Halls, in Kentish Town and Somers Town. If you’d like to enquire or book one of their Halls, please contact them by email or have a look at their listing on our website.

Dive into LGBTQ+ History Month at Castlehaven
From thought-provoking cinema screenings to a visit to Queer Britain Museum and a special Queer gardening workshop, join Castlehaven to celebrate, commemorate and learn more about LGBTQ+ history. All events are inclusive, fully accessible, and open to everyone—no booking required. Check out the full programme here.

Apprenticeships on offer through Good Work Camden
Camden Council’s Apprenticeships team provides a free recruitment service targeting local candidates. They’ll help you develop vacancies, source apprenticeship training and provide guidance as required throughout the apprenticeship contract, allowing you the freedom to focus on developing the skills of your new employee/s. Email or visit the link to find out more.

Workspaces available for charities in London
Integrate is a social enterprise committed to repurposing vacant office spaces by partnering with charitable organisations. Integrate matches landlords with charities aligned with causes they are passionate about, offering them rent-free workspace in a vacant central London property. Charities pay a fixed £250 monthly contribution to bills, and should have 3+ people working from the space and for a minimum of 3 days a week. 

North London environmental survey
The NLWA are running a research study about environmental behaviours, to help inform their work in the region. Local residents can share their thoughts and be in with the chance of winning a £250 Love to Shop voucher here.

Local VCS Newsletters:

Young Camden Foundation (Funding Newsletter)
Young Camden Foundation (Events and Training Newsletter)
AWN (sign up)
Fitzrovia Community Centre
Coram’s Field Community Newsletter (sign up)
CAWH newsletter
St Pancras Community Association (sign up)
Castlehaven in Bloom (sign up)
UCL Volunteering Service Newsletter (sign up)
Latin American House
London Irish Centre (sign up)
Castlehaven Community Association (sign up)
Heath Hands
Age UK Camden (sign up)
Somers Town People’s Museum
Calthorpe Community Garden
Torriano Meeting House

If you would like your Camden VCS newsletter added to this list, please email social@vac.org.uk

Looking for a previous newsletter entry? Find it in our archive here

Find presentations, recordings and resources from past forums here

Got an item for the e-bulletin?

Send your item to social@vac.org.uk by noon on Wednesday for publication in the following Friday’s edition. Submissions should be 50 – 75 words. Please send plain text or a format that can be copied (ie not embedded in an image). Send links to documents rather than attachments. Make sure to include contact details.

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