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Voscur news: 6 January 2021 – Lockdown edition

This information was sent to Ways2Work by another organisation. For more details please use the contact details or links in the post below.

This message is taken from Voscur’s newsletter. If you work in the Bristol area as a charity, community group, voluntary organisation or social enterprise, we recommend you sign up. Visit Voscur | Supporting Voluntary Action for more information.

6 January 2021

We’re now in Lockdown 3 to keep everyone safe and protect the NHS (please follow government restrictions, outlined here), and it’s okay to feel disappointed or frustrated about the ongoing effects of coronavirus on our daily lives and future plans.

But with two vaccines being rolled out, more vaccine trials on the horizon, and a resurgence of community spirit and mutual aid, there are reasons to be hopeful.

As ever, 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. We have details of funding opportunities further on in the ebulletin (such as the Youth Sector Support Fund), and a bid writing course for beginners.

Time doesn’t stand still in a pandemic, and your career development still matters. We’ve published a range of online training courses stretching to April 2021, which you can book and pay for on the website. We’ll add more to the calendar in the coming months, but it pays to book ahead, as places fill up quickly. Unless otherwise stated, all courses take place over Zoom. Highlights include Five Ways to Wellbeing, and a Theory of Change

Read on for updates from the sector, COVID-19 news, and details of jobs, training and events. 


This week’s updates and funding opportunities

  1. The Census will take place on 21 March 2021, and local engagement managers want to get community groups involved in spreading the word. It’s compulsory to complete the census, and the data collected helps charities and voluntary organisations as well as local and national government. 
  2. Bristol’s voluntary sector organisations can access free skills-based support from local businesses, with the help of the City Funds Pro Bono service. Contact john.stienlet@quartetcf.org.uk to find out how Bristol’s City Funds Pro Bono Brokerage can connect your organisation with the skills or resources that you need. 
  3. Thrive Bristol is offering more free online training courses in 2021 for people working and volunteering in the community. Courses cover mental health awareness, psychological wellbeing tools, communication skills, self-harm and suicide, and loss and bereavement. Open access courses can be booked here. Alternatively, book closed sessions for your organisation or group by emailing thrive.bristol@bristol.gov.uk.
  4. A new £4 million fund to combat loneliness is open for small grant applications from small charities and community organisations. The first round of the Local Connections Fund, from The National Lottery Community Fund, is open until 21 January.
  5. The CROWN UK Fund, from Dove, has grants of up to £20,000 available for Black-led charities, community organisations or projects and social enterprises that empower and celebrate Black women and girls. Applications close at 5pm on 21 January. 
  6. Funding is available from the Ministry of Justice for VCSE organisations led by or working with Black and Asian service users in the criminal justice system. If you are new to writing a funding bid, why not consider taking Voscur’s Basic Bid Writing half-day online course on 13 January?
  7. Applications for the current round of the Youth Sector Support Fund, from Quartet Community Foundation and Bristol City Council, close on Tuesday 12 January. If your youth or play organisation supports Bristol’s young people aged 8-19, and you meet one of the five funding aims, you could receive a grant: up to £10,000 per organisation and up to £30,000 per partnership of two or more organisations. Voscur can support you before, during and after your application.
  8. The Screwfix Foundation has small grants of up to £5,000 for charities and not-for-profit organisations to repair, maintain, improve or build housing and community buildings. Applications are reviewed every quarter.
  9. Our list of funding opportunities and emergency grants is changing all the time. Don’t miss out. For help and advice with your 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. 
Although most charities can’t give face-to-face advice, phone lines are open and they would urge people to get advice before crisis is reached – it can make all the difference.
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). 
Over 20 organisations work closely together under the ACFA network. You can find downloads of flyers and posters, plus a searchable database of advice, here.

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 – bear in mind any events taking place in the next few weeks will need to be held online only (for example, live-streamed to Zoom, Facebook or Twitch) in the current climate. 
  • For more about Voscur’s other work, including membership benefits, consultancy, training and advice, please visit our website

Upcoming Voscur online training 

Basic Bid Writing

Wednesday 13 January, 1pm – 4pm

It can be hard to get funding for your group, and even small bids present a challenge if you aren’t sure of the right approach. This workshop will take you through the basics from identifying the right opportunity to receiving a grant. We will look at preparing to apply, writing a good bid and managing your fundraising.

Suitable for: People who are either new to bid writing or who have done a little and would like additional skills.

Setting up as a Community Interest Company

Thursday 14 January, 12:30pm – 2pm 

Becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC) is an exciting step forward for groups or organisations that want to be a business and have social impact. However, you will need to think about some key issues first, to make sure you’re doing the right thing for you and your social enterprise. This briefing covers why and how to set up as a CIC, and how to run well once you are set up.

Suitable for: Anyone considering a CIC model for their social enterprise, or for an existing business or charity that wants to convert to a CIC.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Monday lunchtimes, 12:30pm-2pm. Five part course: 18 and 25 January, and 1, 8 and 22 February.

The course uses the five ways of wellbeing to help you make manageable changes in your life and support your mental health. You can use the advice as an individual, but it also can apply to supporting others. This course is delivered by Voscur’s associate trainer, Rob Wright. Following a varied career in both education and social care as a manager, trainer and a lecturer in psychology, Rob is currently a trainer in mental health and wellbeing.

Suitable for: Anyone working or volunteering in the VCSE sector who wants to learn how to maintain wellbeing.


More dates for your diaries

Salaried jobs

 Voluntary roles

Tel: 0117 909 9949 
Website: www.voscur.org 
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Please note, information shared on the Ways2Work network comes from many different organisations. Please use the links and contact information above to find out more details about this opportunity.

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