Voluntary Action Camden

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VAC Newsletter 03/05/2024


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

Informal volunteering and social action
It’s important to remember that so much community work and social action takes place outside of large groups and networks, particularly locally. You can start a volunteering project even if you’re just one person! This week we’re sharing some resources which can help you find small community projects based around swapping and sharing, campaigning, and environmental and community care in the Camden area, and, if there’s gap in the market, find out more information on starting your own!

Upcoming Training

More details in the Events and Training section

Charities losing impact and independence, audience hears
Outgoing CEO of Lloyds Bank Foundation, Paul Streets, told an audience of charity leaders on Wednesday that larger charities are struggling to deliver effective services thanks to underfunded public contracts. Charities should hand back services to the state if they are unable to run them, said Streets, rather than continue to struggle to carry out their contracts.

A third of charities suffered cyber attacks in the last year
32% of charities experienced a form of attack or breach on their cyber security in the last year, a figure which increases for charities with £500,000 or more in annual income. Phishing, viruses and malware, and digitally impersonating organisations were the most common kinds of attacks, but the government has claimed that businesses are more likely than charities to protect themselves through proper “cyber hygiene” measures. 

Majority of community buildings lack energy efficiency 
A report by Social Investment Business has found that over half of the community buildings in the country do not meet a basic energy efficiency standard of EPC rating C, commonly suggested as the minimum required for sale or let. For charities that rent such buildings from local councils to do their work, this results in higher energy bills as councils often neglect essential maintenance work to improve building efficiency. 

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!


  • Voluntary sector organisational structures; what’s right for you? 15th May, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Find out more here: https://vac.org.uk/news-and-events/events/

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


Cost of Living event – Camden Disability Action
Camden Disability Action is hosting a Cost of Living Event at the Greenwood Centre, Kentish Town, NW5 1LB on Tuesday 7th May. There will be presentations about benefits, grants, debt and energy. Attendees will then be able to speak directly to expert advisors from Camden Disability Action, Deaf Plus, Mary Ward Legal Centre, Citizen’s Advice, the Disability Job Hub, Energy and Tackling Poverty Team from Camden Council as well as other local services about any specific issues you may have and to hear what these services can help you with. Captions and BSL interpreters will be present at the event. Contact constance@camdendisabilityaction.org.uk with any questions about the event.

Endometriosis Support Session in Camden
Do you suffer from Endometriosis or suspect you might have the symptoms like painful period, painful bowels, fatigue, pelvic pain, infertility? Endometriosis is an invisible condition which affects 1 in 8 women in the UK, and can have a huge impact on the physical, mental, and socio-economic health of women and girls. Healthwatch Camden invites you to join their upcoming support session with a women’s health practitioner teaching mindfulness meditation and gentle exercises for pelvic pain. You will then hear from a mental health nurse and have the chance to ask her any questions and share your experiences in a safe space with other women who suffer from this condition. Contact info@healthwatchcamden.co.uk or call 020 3687 0015 for more information.
15th May 2024, St Pancras & Somers Town Living Centre, 2 Ossulston St, NW1 1DF

Discover the value of flexible working
Join the Inclusive Business Network on 21 May, 12pm to 1pm, for an online event exploring the benefits of flexible working. Hosted with Timewise, learn about the value of fostering and effects on wellbeing. Hear from experts, share experiences, and drive positive change in Camden. Email christine.shobande@camden.gov.uk or hayley.lynch@camden.gov.uk  to register. You can also register here to join IBN.

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. 

Walking on Hampstead Heath with Heath Hands
Did you know that May is National Walking Month? A great opportunity to join  Heath Hands on their walks, including one of 3 health walks, women-only Nordic walking walk in partnership with QCCA or one of their regular nature discovery and nature mindfulness walks – find out more on their website

Mental Health Employment Specialist (IPS)
Hillside Clubhouse are recruiting an IPS Employment Specialist based within their Camden team. If you are passionate about supporting people with mental health into employment and want to join a well established IPS team, then this could be the role for you!  Please apply here.
Closing Date: 18th May.

Elfrida Rathbone Camden is recruiting a new Director
Elfrida Rathbone Camden are looking for an exceptional leader who is passionate about their missionhttps://www.charityjob.co.uk/jobs/elfrida-rathbone-camden/director/965350?tsId=1 and has vision.  The new Director will be leading the organisation through a period of significant change.
Deadline: 20th May.

Trustees needed at The Winch
The Winch seeks three trustees passionate about child development and aligned with their values of integrity and collaboration. If you’re eager to enhance leadership skills and drive positive change in North Camden, apply by May 27. They seek expertise in property development, philanthropy, and financial strategy. Join them in fostering vibrant communities. Apply now

Part-time Manager at Belsize Community Library 
The Belsize Community Library seeks a part-time Manager, £33,000 (pro rata) for 24hrs/week. Experience in community library settings and events programming is essential. Seeking a highly organized, motivated individual passionate about fostering community connections through literacy and creativity. Apply by May 20, 2024, or sooner if a suitable candidate is found. Interviews are ongoing from April 29, 2024. Read the full job description for details. 

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.
Closing Date: 31st May.

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. 

Volunteer as a tutor with Action Tutoring
Action Tutoring are holding two events over the next two weeks where you can come and find out about volunteering to tutor disadvantaged children with their English and maths. The second event is part of the “Big Help Out” weekend on 7th-9th June. Find out more and sign up here.

Panel recruitment for We Make Camden Kit fund
Camden Giving are aiming to recruit 10-12 Camden residents who will access training and support, to decide how this year’s funds are best spent through their participatory grant giving process. They particularly welcome applications from people from communities and groups that are underrepresented in decision making. These are LGBTQ+ people, men, people with disabilities, care leavers, people under 25 and people from the global majority.
Deadline for applications: Friday 30th May

Go FWD Music Project 
Go FWD is a thrilling new initiative led by Gain Ctrl and Go Forward Youth, offering 10 weeks free studio time and professional independent artist development for young people aged 16-25.  Sessions will run on Wednesdays and Fridays in Camden at Go Forward Youth’s base. With a unique music studio and mentoring experience from producers that have worked with the likes of Potter Payper to One Direction, they are ready to empower a fresh cohort with the tools needed to navigate the music business.  With limited spaces available, please email dominique.buchanan@go-forwardyouth.org for more information.

Stallholder call-out for Camley Street Festival 2024! 
Last year 150-200 local people joined exciting stallholders from across the community; as well as food, music, and fun, free activities! You can participate in lots of different ways, ideas are welcomed. Email your stall idea and who you are to rozita.leetham@camden.gov.uk and caisha.mohamud@camden.gov.uk by midnight Sunday 19th May to sign up!

Single-use plastics and reusables survey and campaign
The NLWA want to hear your thoughts on single-use plastics and switching to reusable alternatives.
Take their survey today and be in with a chance to win a £200 voucher! Open to adults that live or work in Camden. Are you passionate about the environment? Do you see yourself as a reusables champion? You could star in their new campaign! Find out more.

Bertram street multi-use sports hall for hire
A brand-new sports hall will be in the new community centre on Bertram Street, Highgate. The multi-use sports hall is available for a huge variety of activities including basketball, football or to do karate lessons or hold classes for creative music, dance or theatre practice. For more info of the activities you can hire the hall for, please contact the new centre manager Eiran Kelly at Ekelly@hncc.org.uk

Talk for Health 6-day Peer Counselling Programme 
On the full Talk for Health Peer Counselling Programme, you will deepen your knowledge and skills as well as have space to practice the four key learning areas of Talk for Health: open and truthful talking, empathic listening, basic counselling skills, and how to create your own wellbeing group. Starting Saturday 8th June.

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