the VANEL e-bulletin for 17th August 2018

Volunteering

Read Betty’s story.  Betty volunteers at St Andrews Hospice and values every minute of the opportunity.  The connection between her and St Andrews was made through VANEL’s Volunteer Development Service (VDS) which St Andrews and more than a dozen other local charities subscribe to.  VANEL worked with St Andrews to share their opportunities and find them volunteers and Betty was one of those who took up a role.  Read the whole story on our blog here. Find out more about the Volunteer Development Service here.  If your organisation would like a much more tailored and hands-on approach to support your volunteering then please have a discussion with Liz in the Volunteer Centre.

Part of the VDS offer is to benefit from our regular Volunteer Managers Network meetings.  The next of these is on 19th September. The agenda will be out next week but if you’re not already connected to the Network and would like to find out more, please contact Liz or Karl at VANEL.

Member News

We’re proud to have Royal British Legion join VANEL as one of our more recent members.  They are familiar to most people through their poppy appeal, but overall the Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community – serving men and women, veterans, and their families.  The Legion provides information, advice and guidance to help the Armed Forces community find and access the support they need all year round. They want to make sure that beneficiaries are able to live in comfort and with dignity. From sports-based rehabilitation courses and careers advice to dedicated care homes for older veterans, The Royal British Legion aims to ensure that every member of the Armed Forces community receives the support they need. Locally they operate our of Lincoln and support beneficiaries across Lincolnshire.  Their work relies on volunteers – particularly volunteer caseworkers who speak with beneficiaries and information volunteers who spread the word about the work of the charity.  Learn much more about all their work from their website at www.britishlegion.org.uk but if you’re interested in volunteering with them then please contact Liz at VANEL who can put you in touch.

Healthwatch North East Lincolnshire are recruiting to fill the position of Volunteer Coordinator. The closing date for applications is 27th August 2018. All of the details about the role are online here including the application process

Governance Weekly

“Charity trustees are the social muscle of our sector: largely unseen, and without financial reward, trustees are the stewards of over £75bn in charity income each year and lead the way in ensuring the 167,000 charities on the Charity Commission register deliver on their mission”
So says the Charity Commission.

The Charity Governance Code was launched in 2017 to help trustees assess their effectiveness and hopefully improve it. The Code is a statement of best practice, designed to be aspirational and to be applied proportionally to the size of the organisation. Already scores of charities nationally are using the Code to review their organisations and use the ‘apply or explain’ approach to implementing changes.

But knowing the Code exists is not the same as applying it and benefiting from it. NPC have just published a new paper – “The Code of Good Governance and how to put it into practice” (yes, they seem to have used the old name for the Code). You can download it from here. If you, your board and trustees and management team are anywhere on the journey of applying the Code then this is worth a read.

VANEL will be holding an “Better Governance by applying the Code” workshop session on Friday 14th September (am), so if you’re a VANEL member organisation and would like to be part of this please contact Karl direct to reserve a place. (Places are very limited so please book).

Law change

On 1st August the law has changed to extend the scope of who will be disqualified from running a charity. This was announced a long time ago but has only recently come into effect. So if you haven’t checked the rules and reviewed your own governance and leadership against it then now is the time to do so. Read it here.

New Trustees?

We still have a couple of local groups seeking trustees and committee members, so if you’d like to contribute your time in this valuable way please speak to Karl at VANEL who can talk the role and opportunities through with you and direct you as necessary.

Funding news

Co-op Foundation launches £2m fund to tackle youth loneliness. “This fund will support new ways to tackle youth loneliness, reduce stigma and make a real difference to the lives of young people across the country”. Charity and community organisations tackling youth loneliness across England can now apply to the Co-op Foundation for a share of £2m.

The Co-op Foundation, the Co-op Group’s charity, launched the fund to help organisations explore youth loneliness in greater depth, test youth-led innovations within their existing provision, and share their learning as part of the Foundation’s national ‘Belong’ network.

Grants of up to £80,000 are available, targeted at organisations supporting young people in more deprived areas or with specific circumstances that increase the risk of loneliness.  The deadline for applications is 26th September with grants being awarded before the end of 2018.  All the information is here in a press statement and the application page is here.

National News

Civil Society Futures is looking at the future of civil society. Julia Unwin – the chair – has just blogged an update on what they’ve learned over the past 12 months.  Her comment is that Government and Charities don’t do enough to give people power.  Read her blog here.  Whilst this is an appeal to government to do empowerment better, it’s also a call for our own sector to truly empower people and communities (not to give people the ‘sense’ of empowerment). Worth a read.

This follows closely on the back of the recent launch of the Civil Society Strategy from the government which provides a level of context for Julia’s comments.  If you’ve not looked at the Strategy yet yourself then please do so.  It’s here.  There are a number of very use blog articles on the NCVO website that analyse the various impacts of the Strategy. Read ‘what you need to know‘ first. Then analysis: what it says about public services, funding and finance, volunteering, campaigning and regulation.

Reminders

The Volunteer Awards organised by West Marsh Community Centre are now open for you to nominate volunteers. All the details of the awards are on the VANEL website here. The nomination form can be downloaded here along with a detailed description of each category here.

The draft Social Value Policy from NELC has been published for consultation.  Info here and you can respond here.

Beach Hut No 9 is still open for business down at Marine Embankment, Cleethorpes. Contact Liz at VANEL to make a booking for you, your family or your voluntary organisation.

If you’ve got confidential documents to dispose of don’t forget the four community shredders across the borough. Details here.

Round 2 of the Crime Reduction Fund (CRF) closes on 6th September. So get applying.