Voluntary Action Camden

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VAC Newsletter 26/4/2024


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

Farewell to our IT and Digital Manager, Alex Charles

It’s a sad day for us here at VAC. Alex, who is our IT and Digital Manager in name but much much more than that in presence, contribution and stature, is leaving VAC after having been a key member of our team for such a long time. Alex has always been a great champion of VAC’s work, and has been a figure of support and encouragement for all of us here. Her absence is going to leave a significant hole and she will be sorely missed. In her own words:

“Having worked for VAC for close to 20 years in one role or another, it’s with a heavy heart to be moving on to new pastures. Throughout my time at VAC, I’ve remained deeply passionate about the incredible work VAC has done – and continues to do – supporting the Camden VCS. It’s been a wonderful journey for me getting to know Camden in-and-out and meet many groups and devoted and passionate people along the way; some of whom have been working in the Camden VCS for as long as, or longer than me. I will miss you all, and my wonderful colleagues, most of  whom I’ve known for many years, but look forward to continuing to support VAC on it’s journey with Salesforce on a freelance basis. Keep doing the wonderful work you all do and may our paths cross again!”
Thank you Alex for all your help and expertise over the years!
We wish you all the best of luck in the future.

Upcoming Training

We’ve got just a few hot tickets left for our Budgeting and Financial Planning workshop next Tuesday! This day long session will cover the key ingredients and make you a pro in planning your organisation’s finances. The training will take place at the Crowndale Centre on 218 Eversholt Street, NW1 1BD. You can book your place using the link below.

More details in the Events and Training section

Creating Ultra-Low & Local Circular Food Waste Zones in Camden 
Lifeafterhummus Community Benefit Society have shared their report on food waste in Camden (and beyond). In the summer of 2023 they interviewed 109 businesses and over 30 VCS partners in and around Somers Town on the barriers to giving and receiving surplus food. The research revealed that more food than previously thought is going to waste in Camden and has led to 4 recommendations to the Council.The data also suggest that VCS organisations struggle to meet the demand for food related services and need additional resources. Widely requested by over 80% of respondents is Food, Goods, Transport and Funding. The organisation are now inviting councillors, officers, VCS partners and businesses to express an interest in attending a workshop (on a date to be agreed) to look at the possibilities of implementing these recommendations by taking an inter-departmental and collaborative approach.

Exclude us from marriage value changes, charities say
A number of charities have stressed to the government that they will lose millions in charitable funds if proposed changes to marriage value, which relates to property value increase when lease is extended, go through. This could be averted by an exemption for charities, argue key figures in the sector.

Xledger Charity Digital Financial Report
Along with Censuswide UK, Xledger have produced a report looking at digital transformation and the financial backdrop in the charity sector. Xledger’s CEO, Peter Hucker, has also written this piece in Civil Society about how financial tools can aid charities.

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!


  • 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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 

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.

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.

Roundhouse Creative Leadership course
How to lead with clarity, confidence and purpose – The Roundhouse are accepting applications for their creative leadership course. Join a diverse group of emerging creative leaders and learn how to strategise, communicate effectively, and evolve into an impactful leader. For young people seeking roles in high-impact sectors such as government, the arts, business & philanthropy. Free to apply, pay only if selected.
Apply by Wednesday 1st May

Bayes Business School Charity Master’s Programmes
The Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) offer 5 specialist charities master’s programmes, aimed at empowering and supporting performance in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and nurturing the charity leaders of tomorrow. The programmes are taught in a part-time, flexible format, allowing students to balance work in the non-profit sector and study.

TikTok Charity Academy
For those who want to learn more about how to use TikTok for fundraising, advocacy and driving positive change, the social media platform is launching a new initiative along with Media Trust, giving over 100 charities the chance to get 3 weeks free training. Senior figures in the sector spoke at the launch event to explain the opportunities TikTok offers, and urged others not to underestimate the potential of the platform to reach young people. The academy will take place on 1-19 July and is now open to applications until 21st May. 

Historic Royal Palace’s Community Access Scheme
This is a free opportunity for organisations supporting Camden residents to access tickets, resources and special event invitations to Historic Royal palaces (Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and more). Sign up to attend a short training session on either:
•    Tuesday 28 May, 10:00-14:30 at Kensington Palace
•    Tuesday 4 June, 10:00-14:30 at Kensington Palace
To register, please complete this online form by Tuesday 21st May: 

Neighbourly platform for accessing local volunteer help
Neighbourly is a free to use platform for connecting charities and business with local volunteers. The service is all about making people aware of local resources and opportunities, such as time, money or product surplus, to create a positive impact in the community.

Local VCS Newsletters

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