The VANEL e-bulletin for 8th March 2019

Empowering Grimsby Women

“Empowering Grimsby Women” is today, Friday 8th March at Grimsby Town Hall to mark International Women’s Day 2019. The event is from 9am-6pm at Grimsby Town Hall. There will be speakers, networking, staffs, careers advice, arts & crafts, workshops and live music. Free entry. Come along and hear from inspiring local women and find out what opportunities are out there. For further information search Facebook IWDGrimsby.

Kirsty from our IGNITE team has written an article explaining about the origins of International Women’s Day and why it, and our local event, are so important. The theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter and Kirsty explains what this is and how you can get involved. The article first appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph earlier this week and you can read the full article on the VANEL blog here.

VANEL news

Did you enjoy your pancakes this week? Well, put a date in your diary for next years celebration of all things pancake! We’re already planning ahead – we’re thinking about our Pancake Day Race on Tuesday 25 February 2020 ! You can read all about the fundraising Pancake Day Race on the VANEL blog just here then pop the date in your 2020 diary. (Not got one yet? Don’t worry, we’ll remind you again!).

The next meeting of the Northern Lincolnshire Volunteers Managers Network (VMN) will take place on Wed 27th March 2019 at Green Futures. Agendas have just been sent out to all members of the Network and of the Volunteer Development Service. We’ve got a full range of discussions on the agenda including an in-depth look at the recent “Time well spent” survey of volunteering attitudes. If you’d like to join us for the discussion then please contact Liz ( who can get you involved (non VDS members can just pay as you go for the session if necessary).

VANEL have two Trustee related training courses scheduled in. Our “Roles and Responsibilities of Trustees” 2 hour training session (for newer trustees) will be on Wed 20th March (4-6pm). £20 per head (£30 non-members). And we have a “Technology for Trustees” training session (2 hours) on Friday 22nd March (10am-12noon). Again £20 per head (£30 non-members). This workshop looks at technology issues, skills, funding, benefits and more. It’s not highly technical, but is designed to help trustees, committees and boards to understand how to bring benefits to their organisation through better use of technology (recently updated to include more about cyber security!). Further details next week but if you’re interested in either of these please get in touch with Karl Elliott ( to discuss or reserve a place.

A number of member groups are currently working through their assessments towards level 1 and level 2 of the Supporting Volunteers Award (SVA). It’s an assessment tool that allows a volunteer hosting organisation to demonstrate to its volunteers (and itself) the quality of their hosting practices and policies. So if you host volunteers I’d recommend a read of this article on the VANEL blog which explains a little more about SVA. After that, visit the SVA website at for more information.

Member News

A date for your diary in May. Grimsby Philharmonic Society are giving a concert at Grimsby Central Hall on Saturday 11th May at 7.30pm. The “Eternal Light Concert” will be a great evening concert and Grimsby Philharmonic Society would like you to join them. Tickets are available via Grimsby Central Hall box office. Further details are on the box office website here.

Local News

North East Lincolnshire Council has identified the need to publish additional information in relation to the development of sites for wind energy use and has prepared a draft supplementary planning document (SPD). Following approval by Cabinet Committee (19 December 2018) the Council has now published this draft document and is inviting you to comment on its content and to suggest any changes you think may be necessary to improve the clarity of the information it contains. All comments need to be received by 18th April 2019. The consultation documents are all here.

If you think these consultations have no impact then it might be worth taking a look at NELC’s “you said, we did” webpage where they explain the actions that have been taken in response to public consultations. Take a look here.

The High Sheriff of Lincolnshires Awards 2018-19. This Award recognises anyone who has made a significant contribution to the well-being of the community in Lincolnshire (including North East Lincolnshire). Nominations can be sent in (on this form) up until 19th March and there will be a ceremony on 30th April in Lincoln when the Awards will be presented. Email completed forms to Service and voluntary organisations, charities and community groups throughout Lincolnshire are invited to nominate individuals for this special recognition of their efforts.

The NHS Long Term Plan – getting it right for North East Lincolnshire. North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NELCCG) and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) are joining forces again to host “Way Forward” public and stakeholder engagement meetings. The focus will be the NHS Long Term Plan published by NHS England last month. So join an event on…
Thursday March 14th 1pm – 4pm
Humber Royal Hotel, Littlecoates Rd, Grimsby DN34 4LX
Or if you are unable to come to the daytime meeting please attend the bite-sized twilight session the following week…
Tuesday March 19th 5pm – 7pm Centre4, Wootton Rd, Grimsby, DN33 1HE
This meeting is open to all so please book your place by email to or call 0300 3000 567. More information can be found in the Accord newsletter for Feb 2019 here.

Development Blog

We’re aware that many groups and organisations have limited awareness of Copyright and how to avoid infringement or take control of your own created Copyright. So we’ve written a full ‘need to know’ article about Copyright on the VANEL development blog just here. Have a read. It’s important.

The Small Charities Coalition has produced a new website full of guidance, checklists and resources to help people understand all the steps required to setup a new charitable or non-profit organisation. Called CharitySetup the website is here. VANEL can also help Members & friends to develop their structures, documentation and policies. We generally offer signposting advice and critical friend but can get as involved as you need us to. We charge for services on an hourly rate with discounts for members & friends. Talk to Karl or Richard for advice on what we can help with.

Funding News

Applications are now open for the 2019 Stephen Lloyd Awards in search of entrants with an early stage project addressing a social problem in an innovative manner. Anyone with a novel project with a vision for systemic change, are encouraged to apply before 5 April. The Awards provides emerging innovations with the vital encouragement needed to cultivate their ideas and spread their impact. Winners will receive funding of up to £20,000, and shortlisted ideas can receive up to £2000. For full details on the application process and how to apply, please visit

The Crime Reduction Fund (CRF) is currently open for applications up to 14th June 2019. But if you’re unsure whether you have a project that will meet the guidelines then please have a conversation with Richard Wendel-Jones early on and he can guide you. All the information you need is here.

A note about WH Smith’s Community Grants scheme. Applications can be made here and full information about their Trust that makes the awards is here. The grants are small but aim to support communities and to promote a love of reading and literacy. If you’re interested visit their website.

Cyber Security news

It was only last week that we delivered our Cyber Security Training for Small Charities, but we’ve had a lot of interest since, both from attendees and from other groups. Yes, we’re planning to deliver more of these sessions, but we’re trying to deliver them as part of a plan with national funders and local support so bear with us whilst we schedule dates. If you’re particularly interested then contact Karl Elliott and he’ll keep you on the waiting list.

As a follow up we’ll be sharing news and information on a regular basis now to help you keep on top of Cyber Security. This week I wanted to share a recent story about a national dental charity that fell foul of a specific type of cyber fraud. Here someone had been sharing a fraudulent phone number pretending to be for the charity but instead connected to a premium rate phone line that was making money for the fraudsters whilst doing serious damage to the reputation of the real charity. Cyber criminals can easily create bogus websites, or donation campaigns or social media campaigns that pretend to be your organisation. People may engage with the fraudulent online experience without you ever knowing, yet the potential damage to your beneficiaries and reputation can be considerable. How to tackle this? By doing a regular digital footprint audit. Google your organisation and all your projects. You might uncover websites, social media or stories about yourselves that did not come from you. You can then take steps to intervene. But knowing it’s happening in the first place is part of the solution. Make such a Digital Footprint Check a regular thing.

Cyber Security is certainly hitting charity news a lot at the moment and even the Charity Commission has been carrying out a survey of 15000 randomly picked charities to help them get a better understanding of their resilience to fraud and their levels of cyber security. You don’t need to take part in the survey unless you’ve been contacted, but we’re hoping the results of the survey will be shared in due course and will help produce some tangible support for the sector.

And finally, so you know. If your charity is experiencing a live cyber attack then the number you need to call is 0300 123 2040 to contact Action Fraud. Read about this here and make sure you’ve got that number to hand should the worst occur. Not every cyber attack is rapid and serious enough to need this 24/7 hotline as most of our organisations don’t have the scale of IT systems, size of data or amounts of money to get into serious problems of this nature. But after running the Cyber Security training last week it would be remiss of us to not share the equivalent of 999 for cyber attacks.

National News

NCVO published an article by Stuart Etherington outlining the dangers to our communities of a no-deal Brexit. Read it here. NCVO also sent this briefing paper to MP’s explaining the impacts a no-deal Brexit could bring.

The last newsletter from the Charity Commission was in January and generally your trustees and key management staff should be receiving it automatically. But if you missed it then Issue 62 for Jan 2019 is here.

And finally

Long read: how to be a better charity leader in 2019. Whether you are on a committee or board, in a senior management position or simply leading a team, it’s well worth you spending ten minutes reading this article.