Support for Charity Leaders, advice, tips and guidance from the VCS Alliance

Barnwood Trust: Support for Charity Leaders and New Research

1. Support for Charity Leaders
In partnership with the VCS Alliance, we have been working to put together a support package for VCS leaders.  This could be for your Chief Exec or trustees in your organisation.  We can offer mentoring, funding, workshops and learning events, and, through the Cranfield Trust, consultancy and HR services.

To help us to direct support for you, please email with what you need, or map your need on this googledoc.  We will then break your requests down into the following categories:

Quick questions – for example…

  • Reserves policies
  • HR questions
  • Fundraising ideas

Hopefully we’ll be able to peer review these and provide quick answers

Learning needs – for example…

  • Contingency planning
  • Budgeting
  • Risk assessments

This information will be used to bring together a learning package for charity leaders

Support requests – for example…

  • You would like a mentor
  • You need more information about funding
  • You need some equipment
  • You want to link in with other similar organisations

We can use this information to make specific requests to the Cranfield Trust, LEP and other partners

2. Research project
The Barnwood Trust is currently undertaking a significant piece of research to map the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people and people with mental health challenges.  If you would like to see the research brief or be involved, please email  She will contact you in the coming weeks about this work.

Moving Your Business (or Charity) Online

Hub Mentors is a business mentoring service created by Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (GFirst LEP) and The Growth Hub. They are offering free webinars under the theme “move your business online”. The next two webinars cover videoconference tools and digital marketing.

Refunding tickets for cancelled charity events during coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Government has issued guidance to help charities process refunds, collect donations and claim Gift Aid for events cancelled due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Find it at

Government announces priorities for charity funding

The Treasury announced last month that charities would receive £750m to handle the impact of coronavirus. Government departments have now released some of their priorities. This funding will be distributed directly to charities by government departments.

The Department for Education has £26m to distribute to charities in England focused on work with vulnerable families including disabled children and children leaving care.

The Ministry of Justice has £25m to help charities working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government will provide £10m to safe accommodation services including charities in England working with families fleeing their homes to escape domestic abuse.

The Home Office will distribute just under £4m to local domestic abuse services and organisations fighting modern slavery, and £7.8m to support charities helping children at risk of sexual abuse or criminal exploitation.

There have not been any updates about how the National Lottery Community Fund will distribute a further £370m to small charities.

More charities can now access coronavirus loan scheme

Registered charities no longer need to show that half their income comes from trading to be eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The terms and conditions have been updated to state: “Charities are in principle eligible if they satisfy the other eligibility criteria of the scheme.  Registered charities are exempt from the requirement that 50% of the applicant’s income must be derived from its trading activity.”
You can find details of the scheme at

Local Business Grant Funds Scheme

The government has set up a discretionary fund to accommodate certain small businesses that were outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Priority is given to businesses in shared spaces, including small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Protecting businesses from COVID-19 scams

Malicious email attachments or false government grant phone calls are among a raft of scams undermining businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response National Trading Standards has launched Businesses Against Scams, a free online training tool to protect businesses, employees and customers from costly scams.

Scams include criminals impersonating government officials or a senior member of the business to put pressure on employees to give out sensitive information or make payments.

The increased risk for businesses has led National Trading Standards to encourage more organisations to join Businesses Against Scams. The initiative provides free tools to help upskill and train employees, through free online training modules that will help staff identify and prevent potential scams. Find out more at

If you think your organisation has been the victim of a scam, you must contact your bank immediately and report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.

‘One stop shop’ for recruitment created for Gloucestershire

GFirst LEP, The Growth Hub Network and GlosJobs have created a new partnership to set up a ‘one stop shop’ so the county can gather together all things recruitment in Gloucestershire.

In response to the recruitment challenges being faced by businesses, and to support individuals who may find themselves being made redundant, anyone with vacancies is asked to list them on, so there is one central point for jobs available.

GlosJobs is the largest online job advertiser in Gloucestershire. They list full-time and part-time roles, plus there will be new dedicated sections for freelancers and volunteers.

New Mental Health & Covid-19 resources for professionals and volunteers

Gloucestershire County Council has published a suite of resources to support you/ your teams when working with an individual who may be experiencing emotional distress, linked to or heightened by the coronavirus outbreak.

All resources are available at
This includes:

  • A 30 minute video with a basic introduction to mental health and how it may be affected by Covid-19. This is aimed at anyone, but especially those with no previous experience of working with mental health.
  • A 45 minute training video about Psychological First Aid, developed by the World Health Organisation, to identify and support people in distress following a crisis or traumatic event. This video is particularly relevant to NHS and social care staff, first responders and coordinators of community led initiatives.
  • A conversational guide to support people through emotional distress. This is for professionals and volunteers who may be contacting vulnerable people.
  • An overview of the mental health services that are available in Gloucestershire for both adults and young people.

Emergency Funding Bulletin

At the VCS Alliance, we are regularly updating the emergency funding bulletin on our website at

Suicide crisis services remain open

Local charity, Suicide Crisis remains open and is offering support at this time of increased need.  We have adapted the way in which we provide services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Most of our clients are receiving telephone support but we feel it is important that we continue to provide some face to face support. We are only able to see clients face to face where there is an urgent need or a high risk of suicide – and only in their own home, rather than at our Suicide Crisis Centres. Fortunately our model of service has always included home visits, and this has become even more important during the current crisis.

Please contact us for information about how we are ensuring the safety of our clients and our team at or visit our website,

World Jungle is offering free online health & wellbeing classes

Using Zoom and Facebook live. The programme includes:

  • Monday:9:15 Yoga/ Pilates 10:00 Dance Fitness (Ben /Jane)
  • Tuesday: 9:15am Pilates (Jane)
  • Wednesday: 9:30 Mindfulness (Ben/ Jane) 10am Zumba (Jo)
  • Thursday: 9:15am Hatha Yoga (Ben)
  • Friday: 10am Zumba (Jo) 6pm African Drumming (Richard)

For details of how to join visit

Online training from Gloucestershire Counselling

Gloucestershire Counselling Services is now offering online training events using Zoom. You can find details of lectures, workshops and an open event on 16 May to explore whether a career in counselling is for you or to develop your listening skills. More at

Wye Dean Wellbeing

Wye Dean Wellbeing provides a directory of independent wellbeing and holistic practitioners and the services they provide.

There are wellbeing hints tips on YouTube at, free resources to aid your wellbeing during the lockdown at and a list of Coaches and Practitioners who are currently offering their services for a donation at


Gloucester Community Building Collective recruiting an Executive Director

Gloucester Community Building Collective is an independent start up social enterprise that seeks to increase community-led change in the city. This role is an exciting opportunity for someone who has the enthusiasm to drive the development of a start-up social enterprise working with statutory organisations across Gloucester. This is a fixed term post (1 year) initially and the salary is £40,500. Closing date: noon on 20 May. Find out more here.

6 May 2020