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Voscur COVID-19 news, jobs & events: 25 February 2021

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Information from Voscur’s e-bulletin: Voscur | Supporting Voluntary Action

We now have a government roadmap out of Lockdown 3, with some dates in the diary for gradually easing lockdown measures. However, face-to-face events are still a way off, which means our online learning programme of training and events is still here to support you in your home or office.

Those of you who took part in earlier sessions of the Youth Sector Support Fund online conference can sign up for an extra online session taking place (due to popular demand) on Tuesday 30 March. 

It’s not just the online conference you can book onto; whether you’re a staff member, a volunteer or a trustee, we have daytime and evening sessions to suit your needs, learning level and budget. You don’t even have to pay at the time of booking unless you want to.

Here are the next small group training courses to try, led by professionals ready to answer your questions:

  • Marketing and Campaigns covers marketing tips during COVID-19, free software and tools, and a guide to making a campaign plan.
  • Introduction to Financial Management, co-hosted with Gerrard Financial Consulting, shows you the essentials and best practice in just half a day. 
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Equality, Access and Inclusion Audit is a practical session led by Stephanie Champion, an expert in equality and diversity. With equalities issues a growing priority for funders, employees, service users and the public, your organisation cannot afford to ignore them.
  • Basic Bid Writing shows you how a funder thinks, and the research and preparation to do before sending your bid. This is a simple and accessible course for beginners.

At Voscur we continue to support charities, community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in and around Bristol, so do get in touch if your group needs help.

Read on for updates on COVID-19, local news, and details of jobs, training and events, including online training courses stretching to April 2021

Are you a frontline social care worker or service-user facing member of staff in Bristol?

Frontline social care workers are a priority for vaccination.

If you are working directly with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 who need care and support and you haven’t yet been offered a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, please speak to your employer.

If you are an employer of eligible workers or you are a self-employed social care worker, please email vaccination.programme@bristol.gov.uk for further details.

Information for frontline social care workers about the vaccine is available here.

This week’s news updates

  1. Bristol City Council’s #WeAreBristol helpline continues to support residents who urgently need medication, food, and other essentials. Call 0800 694 0184 (lines are open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 10am-2pm). 
  2. Looking ahead to the 2021 local elections, what do you want from candidates? What would help your organisation? You’ll be able to vote for the Bristol Mayor, local councillors, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Metro Mayor, and the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner.
    Voscur will put together a list of pledges to these candidates, and we need your help; please complete this short survey.
  3. A new report from Lloyds Bank Foundation shows that smaller charities (those with an income of less than £1 million) ‘showed up’ and ‘worked flexibly’ during the first wave of COVID-19. We certainly noticed this in Bristol and the surrounding area; smaller charities played a big part in the community response, and they continue to play a pivotal role nearly a year later.
  4. EU, EA and Swiss nationals living in the Bristol area need to be aware of the EU Settlement Scheme. EU nationals without settled status (five years’ continual residency) or permanent residency in the UK have until Wednesday 30 June 2021 to apply for the Settlement Scheme, which allows them to live, study and work permanently in the UK, access NHS services and public funds (such as benefits and pensions), and travel in and out of the UK as required.
  5. The Bristol Food Equality Strategy and Action Plan is taking shape, focusing on a fairer future for food access, security and nutrition. Your views are needed to make the strategy and plan clear, practical and inclusive. Click here to take a short survey. 
  6. Bristol Redistro has grants of up to £1,000 available for small local groups and organisations (including unconstituted groups) with an annual income of less than £25,000. The money is designed to reduce inequalities and tackle local issues. Applications close on Monday 29 March. 
  7. Are you ready for the second Bristol Impact Fund, due to run from 2021-2025? 
    Read all about suggested changes to the fund, as a result of recent consultations; if approved by Cabinet on 25 February, these proposed changes will inform the fund and the application process. 
  8. The Originators Fund from Bristol City Council is for events, arts and cultural activities taking place from June 2021 – May 2022. Grants of £500-5,000 are available. Applications close on Monday 8 March. 
  9. There are fewer COVID-19-specific funding opportunities available now; instead, you’ll find more specific grants that could help you adjust your services during and beyond the pandemic. For help and advice with your funding applications, please email jenny@voscur.org or call 07904 099136. 



ACFA is here for free, expert, independent advice in Bristol

Bristol citizens can get advice on debt, benefits, housing (including disrepair, tenant rights, homelessness), employment, discrimination, EUSS, immigration & asylum, financial management, energy bills and more, from ACFA: a network of advice centres in the South West. 
ACFA is working with food banks, community hubs, community media and mutual aid groups to ensure the messages reach the people most in need, including those digitally excluded. It is also taking referrals from the Council’s We Are Bristol helpline (0800 694 0184, open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm).

Jobs and volunteer opportunities

Don’t forget to check our page on volunteering during coronavirus, with advice and resources for volunteer coordinators and anyone looking to volunteer.

Are you looking for a new challenge, or do you need to expand your organisation? The jobs pages on our website are viewed over 13,000 times each month, making them a great place to find new people for your team.

A selection of the most recent jobs (paid and voluntary) are featured in these weekly bulletins, which go out to over 1,800 contacts who work in or with the voluntary and community sector.

Publish your job advert or event

  • To follow social distancing guidelines, please consider telephone or virtual interviews rather than face-to-face job interviews at this time. 
  • The events calendar was viewed over 32,000 times in the past year. It’s free to list events – for public health reasons, your events need to be online only (for example, live-streamed to Zoom, Facebook or Twitch).
  • For more about Voscur’s other work, including membership benefits, consultancy, training and advice, please visit our website



Upcoming Voscur online training 

Being a Good Board Member

Thursday, 25 February, 6:00pm – 8:30pm

This popular course provides basic information for new trustees or those who want to refresh their understanding of what a trustee is, the legal obligations and their role and responsibilities in an organisation. We will look at organisational structures, the strategic role of the board versus the management role, principles of good governance, and much more.

Suitable for: New and existing board members or trustees; anyone thinking about joining a board; those who work with boards and want a new perspective. Already attended this course and want the next step? Bookings are open for Being an Even Better Board Member.

Marketing and Campaigns

Tuesday 2 March, 1:30pm – 5:00pm

COVID-19 has changed how charities and community organisations are run – the services they provide, their volunteer tasks, and so on. It has also changed their marketing. Find out how to market your organisation and run a campaign during or after COVID-19. You’ll learn how a marketing campaign works normally, marketing during COVID-19, the best free software and tools for marketing materials, and what a good marketing or campaign plan looks like.

Suitable for: Trustees, volunteers or staff.

Introduction to Financial Management for Charities

Thursday 11 March, 9:45am – 1:00pm

This popular course will give you an introduction to the basics around financial management for charities. We will look at: differing charity legal structures, annual reporting requirements, record keeping, what to include in a set of management accounts and more!

Suitable for: Non finance managers working in the charity sector and those new to charity finance.

Diversity and inclusion – Equality, access and inclusion audit

Tuesday 16 March, 09:30am – 13:00pm

This session looks at equality, diversity and inclusion in your organisation. We will take a practical approach, supporting you to review and audit your organisation, including your environment and space, communication, and how you work with staff and clients. We will go through some practical steps, reflecting on your recent work through COVID-19, then look at addressing inequality at a structural level and creating change in your organisation.

Suitable for: Staff and trustees responsible for change in an organisation.


More dates for your diaries

  • Click here for more training courses in the months to come. If a course is fully booked, you can sign up to the waiting list. A range of courses for spring 2021 have been announced recently, including, Being an Even Better Board MemberBasic Bid WritingTheory of ChangeSmartphone Video Skills and Event Planning.
  • We have announced an extra date for our online Youth Sector Support Fund conference. The annual face-to-face conference has been taking place over Zoom, and this extra session gives you even more of an opportunity to learn and share. We’ve be providing keynote speakers, workshops and opportunities to network with colleagues, plus the chance to add to the developing Voluntary Youth Sector Strategy.
  • If you feel there’s something missing from the programme, or you’d like to arrange bespoke training for your organisation, get in touch today. Our expert trainers can tailor training to your organisation and at present when many of us are working remotely it can be a great way to combine professional development with team building. 

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