Voluntary Action Camden

VAC Newsletter 19/4/2024


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

Guide to Governance

For those of you who are involved in the management of a voluntary or community group, and would like more information on the structures and responsibilities involved in running your organisation, we have some great resources available on our website. This is a great launching pad for starting out or for anyone who needs a refresher on the fundamentals on governance in non-profit groups and charitable organisations.

Upcoming Training

More details in the Events and Training section

Sector vision-setting in the next political era
The former CEO of NCVO has laid out a broad vision for what the relationship between the charity sector and the next government might look like, and in which areas lobbying efforts could focus on. Stuart Etherington writes in Civil Society that the current financial backdrop means goals for the sector will need to be realistic, and low cost policies in generic areas should be prioritised. 

New service to explore local statistics

The Office for National Statistics have just released a new service to explore local statistics. It brings together 57 local data sets including housing, household income, health and business information amongst other things. It is currently in a testing stage, but data can be extracted by local authority area and parliamentary constituency, and is presented with useful reference data such as national average. Check out the new service here.

Almost a third of charities experienced a cyber breach or attack in last 12 months, survey finds
Around a third of charities (32%) have experienced some form of cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months, according to government data. This is much higher for high-income charities with £500,000 or more in annual income (66%). Do you know how to keep your systems safe? Check out our on-demand content to help manage risk relating to cybersecurity and data breaches.

UK Giving
How generous is the UK? The UK Giving report from Charities Aid Foundation answers this question by mapping generosity across the country.

Inclusive services
Community organisation have an important role to play in creating local services. It’s important to consider how these services can be made more inclusive to address health inequalities. Read this report from Locality to find out how

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!


  • 24th April, 10.00am – 12.30pm, & May 7th, 10:00am – 11.45 am – Protecting Children in the Community
  • 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

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.

Grandparents in Taiwan – An Illustrated Talk
Photographer, Hsi Lun Chen (Shiloh), grew up on the island of Matsu off the coast of Taiwan. From 1956 to 1992 tight military control had restricted the use of cameras on the island. As a result, a whole generation of grandparents had few or no photos of themselves or their young families. In 2015 Shiloh set out to change this, photographing residents aged 85 and above and exploring their lives and untold stories. Book your tickets for this event at Community Association for West Hampstead on Friday 26th April.

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.

Free steel pan music-making for young Camden residents
The Steel Pan Music team are inviting young people in Camden to their free music-making sessions, held in the Warren Centre on Mondays and Saturdays. Steel pan is learnt by rote, copying note patterns, not reading sheet music, so progress is fast and lots of fun! Contact hi@steelpanmusic.org.uk for more information.

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 Volunteering Workshop
Volunteer Centre Camden are holding essential training for volunteer managers on Wednesday 24th April on how to 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.

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

Calthorpe Community Garden office administrator 

Calthorpe Community Garden is seeking an experienced and driven part time office administrator to take ownership of business stream management as well as the charity’s office tasks. This is a part time (fixed term contract) six month role with an aim to develop into a long term position at the charity, so they are looking for someone who is ready to become part of the team! To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter to info@calthorpecommunitygarden.org.uk by 30th April 2024

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.
Deadline: Saturday 27th April

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.

Anti-racism & learning programme open for applications
A new programme launched by ACEVO and Voice4Change England is accepting applications from civil society CEOs and senior executives who are committed to anti-racism and race equity. Consisting of both small group online work and whole group engagement, the 12-month programme will be led by Martha Awojobi of JMB Consulting and Pari Dhillon of Social Justice Collective. You can apply for Further, Faster here.

Third Sector’s Technology Transformation Hub
On Third Sector’s new technology transformation hub, you can find helpful resources and guidance catering to the charity sector. Industry experts offer a range of resources including a beginner’s guide to AI, information on maximising your charity’s digital presence and fundraising tips.

Status of UK Fundraising 2024 Survey
Blackbaud have opened up their 2024 state of fundraising survey to find out what fundraising opportunities those in the sector are excited about this year, as well as what challenges are expected and which trends have developed in the last year. You can give your input here, and last year’s report is available to view here

Central YMCA launch two new initiatives 
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

Local VCS Newsletters

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

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