Information & advice for the third sector across Lancaster District – 15 Sept 21

We are working with the local voluntary and community sector and Lancashire and District-wide partners to support the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector and people living in our communities. We encourage you to share this page with others. Previous editions of this bulletin are available by emailing [email protected] and are also available on our new website via this link.

Become a member today, it’s FREE!

Are you a member of Lancaster District CVS? It’s free to any VCFSE organisation based in the district and comes with plenty of benefits including this email bulletin, funding and governance advice, volunteering support and much more.

Even if your organisation has been a member for years, we’ve recently introduced new software and systems to better manage memberships and support the sector. To retain your membership, please create a new record – if you haven’t done so already.

Click here to begin the process – it only takes a couple of minutes.

Email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Select section titles below to reveal contents

Save the date – Lancaster District CVS AGM, Thursday 21st October, online. Details to follow.

Health and social care levy – from an employer’s perspective

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced a series of forthcoming changes to taxation to fund health and social care.


An HMRC policy paper on the levy can be read here but if you need a quick summary we have one for you here: 

  • From April 2022, National Insurance will rise by 1.25 percentage points. From 2023, the National Insurance increase will appear on people’s payslips as a ‘Health and Social Care levy’.
  • The current 12% rate on earnings between £9,564 and £50,268 will rise to 13.25%.
  • The current 2% rate on earnings over £50,268 will rise to 3.25%.
  •  Workers above state-pension age will also contribute to the new levy.
  •  Employers will be required to contribute an additional 1.25% (employer National Insurance is currently 13.8%).
  •  Anyone earning under £10,000 will be exempt.

The Levy is going to increase costs for charities as employers. The Charity Tax Group has outlined how the Employment Allowance can be a helpful relief that currently entitles most charities to a reduction in their secondary Class 1 NICs liabilities of up to £4,000 per year.

Lancaster Community Fund (LCF)

All voluntary or community groups are welcome to apply, and we specifically welcome applications from new and small grassroots groups. Groups without a formal constitution are asked to seek support from an established organisation or group. The LCF aims to support projects that:

  • Increase community involvement, build community wealth and resilience.
  • Contribute towards carbon reduction and a more sustainable district.
  • Support to individual and community wellbeing.

Grants of up to £1,000 are available. The next application deadline is Sunday 31st October 2021. Visit the Lancaster Community Fund  page to start your LCF application


Urgent Response Fund (URF)

For charities and community groups in need of resources to effectively deliver projects/activities to support the basic health and wellbeing needs of vulnerable members of the community in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdown and from March 2021 to the gradual easing of restrictions.

No minimum or maximum award amount. Applications are reviewed monthly.

Click here to find out how to start your URF application.


Lancaster District Street Aid

The Street Aid initiative has been launched by Lancaster City Council in partnership with Lancaster BID, Lancaster and Morecambe Area Police and Lancaster District CVS. Street Aid helps people who are, or have been, on the streets to apply for a grant to help them get off, and stay off, the streets.

Types of support that can be applied for via the scheme include access to housing, furniture and other home essentials, education/training courses, clothing for job interviews, transport to interview/place of work, and help with searching for a job.

Maximum application value of £750. Applications are reviewed as submitted.

Click here to find out how to apply for the Lancaster Street Aid.


Lancashire Community Food Grant Scheme

This year’s Lancashire Community Food Grant Scheme is now open for applications.  Funding can be used on Equipment, Venue hire, Training or Volunteer expenses to support projects that provide emergency food and/or tackle food insecurity. Submitted applications are reviewed as soon as possible.

Grants of up to £1,000 are available. The deadline for applications is Sunday 10th  October 2021. 

Click here to find out more about the food grants scheme.


Step Change – Resilience and wellbeing support 

None of us needs reminding what a hard time the past 18 months have been, but as we adapt to living with Covid and something like everyday life resumes, the stresses and strains of life under lockdown, at a time of global crisis leave their mark. As a local funder with around ninety active grants, we have a lot of conversations with community organisations and charities who have been weathering the storm in all sorts of different ways. One of the concerns raised consistently amongst those we listen to, is the human effects of the crisis on them, their organisations, and their teams – at all levels. Some experience tension and challenges bringing teams back together after periods of furlough, for others there is anxiety about returning to an office environment or directly delivering programmes with groups of people. And for senior leaders and Trustees, the strain of navigating their organisations through 18 months of heightened levels of uncertainty and dynamic change. All these factors risk the health and sustainability of our vital community organisations. 

We are therefore encouraging eligible organisations (those who fit the existing FCSCT eligibility criteria, which can be found at  to apply for up to £4,000 as part of our existing Step Change programme, specifically to help address these needs. Organisations should determine their own solutions, which may include but are not limited to – team and/or board development events, coaching or mentoring for key staff, structured well-being programmes for staff and volunteers.

Click here to start your application.

For guidance and advice about what other solutions would be considered and to direct you to local facilitators who may be able to provide support, please get in touch with the team at FCSCT by calling 01539 742608, or emailing Helen or Kevin on: [email protected] or [email protected]


Volunteer Centre

The last 18 months or so have been challenging, not least for volunteers and volunteer recruitment. During the pandemic, Lancaster District CVS has looked closely at how volunteers, and volunteer involving organisations, engage with each other and as part of a sustainable plan for future volunteering in our district, we have invested in a new online platform which will, eventually, underpin our Volunteer Centre offer.

You can REGISTER as a volunteer-recruiting organisation by visiting our new website here.

It is a very simple process and should take you mere minutes.  Once registered, our Volunteer Centre manager, Mark, will contact you to discuss your volunteer requirements, whether straightforward recruitment and promotion of roles, or training, or anything else related to volunteer engagement. The new platform is very much in its infancy, but we are confident that it will prove to be a valuable tool in helping you find and recruit new volunteers.


Volunteer Coordinator Training

This online learning programme is aimed to support volunteer coordinators, whose role is to support other volunteers. The volunteer coordinators are also volunteering and give up their time to support others. The programme has therefore been devised as an introduction to the topics identified with progression routes available for more in-depth learning.

Date: 20th September 2021 to 29th November 2021 

Time: Every Monday, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Click here to enrol for the volunteer coordinator training.


Volunteering and Ideology – Event

Hosted by The Institute for Volunteering Research, this free online event will explore how volunteering underpins the way we see the world and how the way we see the world underpins the way we volunteer.

Date: 26th October 26 2021

Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm BST


Click here to register for the volunteering and ideology event.

Community Learning Network 

The Lancaster District Community Learning Network is a network of community education providers and community development organisations that are passionate about developing the skills of people living and working in our communities. Our aim is to provide educational pathways by offering a wide range of courses that can lead to people gaining new skills that are valuable in all areas of life and work. We are working to provide community led, community-based opportunities and your support in helping us to understand your community needs would be most welcomed. You can find out more about the Community Learning Network vision and goals by visiting our website here.

We would like to invite you and your community to complete our 10 minutes survey so that we can find out more about the skills and interests you would like to discover. We would very much appreciate this survey being shared with your community residents, people that use your services and people looking to learn and develop their skills and confidence. You can complete the survey by clicking here. 

Email [email protected] for paper copies of this survey.

We are in the process of arranging information briefings, personal invitations, presentations and we very much look forward to discussing this network with you in the near future. In the meantime, please do share across your networks and your communities.  

COVID-19 vaccinations required for people volunteering in care homes

From 11 November 2021, anyone working or volunteering in a care home will need to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19), unless exempt.

Click here to learn more about requirements and exceptions.

Organisations working with children, young people and families are welcome to attend the next CYPMAF. This forum is a great opportunity to share your work, find out about what is available and network. There will also be an opportunity to listen to the range of activities that took place over the summer and find out more about funding opportunities. Members of the CYPMAF mailing list will receive an invite shortly.

Date: Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 9.30 am – 11 am.

If you are not on the mailing list and wish to attend, please email [email protected]

Introducing the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health Inequalities Commission

The event aims to introduce the Health Inequalities Commission (HIC), its purpose and ambitions, and ask for support to help change our region for the better. The event should appeal to health, care and community leaders and other stakeholders.

Date: Monday 20th September 2021, 4-5 pm.

Click here to register to attend.

Apply for The Regional Leadership for Personalised Care Programme

The regional programme is an in-depth development experience with three full days of learning through online workshops with leaders from your region.

The workshop will take place online and will cover topics on personalised care, building skills in relating and storytelling, collaborative leadership, host leadership and leading in complex systems, developing your local plan for change and much more!

Deadline to sign up is Wednesday 15th September 2021.

Visit here to register as an individual or group

Embrace Digital – fully funded training for Lancashire Businesses

The Embrace Digital programme is a series of webinars, workshops and 1:1 support to help businesses decide which digital software can support their future resilience and growth. The programme covers digital productivity tools, digital marketing, cloud accounting and e-commerce, and is fully funded for Lancashire businesses by Lancashire County Council.

Register here for the next FREE training sessions.

CAP Money Course (in-person & online)

CAP Money is running a free course to help you manage your money better and learn to budget, save and spend well. To register your interest please email: [email protected]

Course Dates: 

Mondays -13th, 20th and 27th September 2021(in-person), 10.30 am -12.00 noon at Hope Church, Queen Street, Lancaster, La1 1RX. 

Wednesday evenings – 15th, 22nd and 29th September 2021 (online via Zoom), time -TBA.

Communications Assistant – Science4society week 2022

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) is seeking a self-motivated and conscientious individual to assist with the promotion and participation in our Science4Society Week 2022 activities and events which will run 14-19th March 2022.

The main tasks will include promoting Science4Society Week 2022 through generating interest and participation, developing social media content, and developing the Science4Society website.

Salary £23,080 [NJC Scale 5; SCP 14] pro rata.

This is a temporary, part-time flexible post (7.5 hours per week for 6 months).Application closing date is 27th September 2021 (9 am).

Find out more information about the role here or email Dr Emily Heath: [email protected]

Apprenticeship for Youth Support Worker – Lancashire County Council

The Targeted Youth Support team part of Lancashire County Council’s, Children and Family Wellbeing Service is looking to recruit 4 Apprentice Youth Support Workers, to work 30 hours a week, who are enthusiastic, organised, and passionate about making a difference and changing young people’s lives.

Salary £19,922 – £22,104 per annum, fixed-term contract. Application closing date is September 19, 2021

Click here for more information or contact Brian Wood at [email protected]; Phone: 01772 538857.

Mental Health Support Groups – Delivering ongoing support throughout the year

Do you struggle with depression, anxiety or poor mental health? Are you feeling lonely or isolated? Or do you struggle with low self-esteem?

Adullam is providing a range of mental health support courses. Get in touch and register your place.

Next date: 1st October – 26th November 2021, 10.30 am.

Email: [email protected] or Call: 07449373979

Click here to learn more about available courses  

COVID-19 communications toolkit for young people and vaccines

The Cabinet Office has published a communications toolkit which includes the key messages of:

The Food Insecurities Report

The Food Insecurities Report, completed by Rose Regeneration demonstrates the importance of collaboration in the pandemic.

The report was prepared for the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP SW) and is intended to support the move away from emergency and towards recovery, in a space where ‘business as usual’ will not be an option for many communities.

Read the Food Insecurities Report here. 

Did you receive FREE PPE from the Department of Health?

If you answered yes to the question above, please complete this survey to let them and NAVCA know about your experiences and how you used this PPE to help your community.

It’s not too late to contact your MP about Universal Credit

As you may be aware, the government is planning to cut Universal Credit by £20 per week. This is due to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday (tomorrow) so it’s a good moment, if you haven’t yet, to email your MP.

This will affect over 13,500 residents in the Lancaster District, many of whom rely on Universal Credit to live. Cutting £20 per week from this benefit will be catastrophic for some household finances and we are worried that it will lead to more people using foodbanks, getting into debt and not being able to afford the very basics.

In addition to this, those living on legacy benefits have never had their benefits increased and we know that they are struggling with finances, and also need a rise in their payments, especially as utility bills are set to rise.

We would urge you to write to your MP and tell them that the government should not cut Universal Credit and to extend the uplift to Legacy Benefits. The MPs in our area are: 

David Morris
Conservative MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale  [email protected] 

Cat Smith
Labour MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood [email protected]

If you’re not sure what to write, the Josepth Rowntree Foundation has written letters to the prime minister which you can read and copy from here:

If you are on Universal Credit yourself, or on Legacy Benefits such as ESA, we’d encourage you to tell your story to your MP and explain how the cut may affect you and your household, as these stories are really effective for giving MPs examples of what this will mean for residents in our District.

Our organisational development team provide support on fundraising, governance, policies & procedures, safeguarding, DBS checks, monitoring and evaluation, media & marketing and setting up new community groups. If your organisation needs support whether it be listening ear, all aspects of volunteering support, payroll, independent examinations of accounts or funding guidance and support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team:

Free one-to-one development support, contact [email protected]  

Volunteering and Upskilling your workforce, contact [email protected]

Payroll, bookkeeping and independent examinations, contact [email protected]   

Or call 01524 555900 or email [email protected]