Information and Advice for the Lancaster District’s Third Sector – 12 January 2024

We are working with the local voluntary and community sector and Lancashire and District-wide partners to support VCFSE organisations and people living in our communities. We encourage you to share this page with others.

An archive of previous editions can be found here.

Click headings below to expand each section.

Lancaster District Voluntary Sector Leaders Network
The next Voluntary Sector Leaders Network will take place online on Thursday 25 January 2023, 9.30am – 11am. This network is open to voluntary community faith and social enterprise organisations working across the Lancaster district. Be a part of a network that is working towards creating a strategy that demonstrates the strategic work the sector plays in the economic and social growth across the district. We’ll discuss collaborations with health, local authorities, and community programs. Let’s work together to strengthen our sector’s voice and influence at various levels. Register to attend the meeting or to stay informed about future meetings. For more information, contact Yak Patel on 01524 555900 or email [email protected]

Join the meeting (save this link)

FestiVOL 2023 – Thank You!
We’d like to thank everyone who came along (in the words of talented poet-in-residence Nathan Parker) “through the dreary November drizzle” to network and explore at FestiVOL 2023. The More Music building was buzzing the whole day long and they were wonderful hosts alongside The Exchange for our second annual celebration of the voluntary sector.

The event really showcased the vibrant tapestry of our district, demonstrating the power of community spirit and dedication.

Very special thanks go to the presenters and performers: East Meets West, Lancaster Mens Hub, Fighting Loneliness, The Gregson, West End Playhouse, King Street Studios, More Music, Stanleys, The Bay: A Blueprint for Recovery, CancerCare, Wise Up Workshops, Bee Adventures, Positive Futures, and Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission – what a list and what an incredible group of people!

Crowdfund Lancashire Project Creator Workshop
Learn how to initiate innovative, community-led crowdfunding projects in Lancashire at the Crowdfund Lancashire Winter Round 23-24 January Project Creator Workshop. Lancashire County Council, in partnership with Spacehive, invites participants to explore ways to create, fund, and execute their project ideas. Discover how Lancashire Culture & Sport Fund offers grants of up to £20,000 for projects across Lancashire. Gain insights on securing funding, crafting successful crowdfunding campaigns, and accessing specialised support in breakout sessions. Don’t miss this chance to make a positive impact in your local community. For more information or to address accessibility concerns, email [email protected]

Date & time: Tuesday 16th January 2024, 12pm
Location: Online

Learn more and book your place

Closure of Household Support Fund
The current Household Support Fund closes on 31 March 2024. The government is yet to make a decision on whether the fund will be renewed beyond then. As part of their work to gather evidence to convince central government to continue the fund for another year, the LGA are conducting a short online survey on the level of demand for the fund, the impact of the fund ending on local welfare provision, and how the fund could be improved if it were to be extended.

 Whilst the survey is targeted at councils that administer the fund, voluntary and community partners are being encouraged to respond and answer the questions only relevant to them. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. If you want to contribute, the deadline for responses is 5pm on Friday 19th January.

Fill in the survey here

VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme – Programme Guidance
The VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme, supported by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, aids voluntary, community, and social enterprise organizations in enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability. Available until August 2024, the scheme offers Independent Energy Assessments (IEAs) and Capital Grants, assisting eligible organizations in reducing energy costs and improving services. IEAs involve comprehensive assessments to identify potential savings, while Capital Grants fund energy-saving installations aligned with IEA findings. Eligibility criteria, application details, and priority factors are outlined for both components. Access more information and apply early via the online portal to benefit from this scheme’s support.

Visit this link for more details or contact [email protected].

British Gas Energy Trust Accepting Applications for Individuals and Families Funding
The British Gas Energy Trust offers grants to individuals and families in England, Scotland, and Wales facing energy debt. The Individuals and Families Fund, open until March 2024, covers debts up to £2,000 for BG and non-BG customers with credit energy accounts or pre-payment meters. The Energy Support Fund aids British Gas customers with debts between £250–£2,000, addressing fuel poverty. Before applying, seek advice from a money advice agency. Grants are credited to energy accounts, not given as cash. Applications take up to four weeks for assessment, and successful applicants are notified through the portal.

Application deadline March 31 2024

Apply and find more information on eligibility and criteria on their website.

Lancashire Women’s Fund Application Closing Today! (12th January)
The Lancashire Women’s Fund, managed by the Community Foundation for Lancashire, is accepting applications until 12th January 2024. Aimed at supporting women facing barriers, the fund prioritises projects addressing confidence, aspiration, self-belief, domestic violence, mental health, and social isolation. Women-led groups with a track record of supporting women or making women a key charitable objective are encouraged to apply. The maximum grant is £7,000, with a Lancashire budget of £62,000 available. Real Living Wage employer Community Foundation welcomes applications including staff costs at the current Real Living Wage.

Learn more about this fund and how to apply

Crowdfund Lancashire – Call Out For Individual Projects
Crowdfund Lancashire’s latest funding round is accepting pitches until February 14th. Having already supported 80 projects with £544,385 in pledges across Lancashire, this initiative is an excellent entry point for fundraising. Notably, 96% of projects that received pledges from Lancashire County Council successfully met their targets. This round emphasises engaging individual project creators, allowing them to apply for funds to improve cultural experiences or physical health in their communities. Individuals can receive up to 50% of their project target, with a maximum of £1,500. The application process is simplified, and support is available from the Spacehive team. Encourage individuals delivering cultural or sporting activities to apply or share with potential project creators.

Explore eligibility criteria and guidance notes for more details.

From Idea to Impact: UnLtd Offers Funding and Support for Social Ventures
UnLtd is offering funding and specialist support for UK social entrepreneurs aged 16 and above who are founders of social businesses. Depending on the venture’s stage, funding ranges from up to £8,000 for startups to £18,000 for scaling ventures. Eligible entrepreneurs must have identified a social issue, demonstrated a track record of delivering social impact, and possess growth potential. Social ventures must be 1-4 years old, have a turnover under £250,000, and show readiness for local, regional, or national scale. In addition to funding, participants receive expert advice and mentoring. Apply to develop as a social leader and grow your social venture.

Application deadline March 31 2024

Learn more about this opportunity

Leeds Building Society Foundation Announces Changes to Themes for 2024 Funding
The Leeds Building Society Foundation has updated its 2024 funding program, focusing on supporting secure housing. UK registered charities addressing themes such as financial stress, security, housing quality, and health for the homeless can apply. Small grants of £250-£1,000 and large grants of £25,000-£100,000 are available. Applications are encouraged from those using Housing First and/or relationship-based approaches, emphasising evidence of strength-based practice, trauma-informed care, and psychologically-informed environments. There are four application deadlines in 2024.

The first deadline for applications is 4 March 2024.

Explore this funding program

Comic Relief Announces New UK Fund for the UK’s Migration Sector to Open in February 2024
Comic Relief has unveiled a new five-year strategy with a focus on innovative funding and new program areas. In February 2024, they plan to launch a UK funding opportunity for the Migration sector. The funding will support organisations aiding refugees, asylum seekers, and those working on influencing safer routes and improved outcomes. The focus areas include the Effects of Poverty, Tackling Injustices, and Climate Justice programs.

Additional funding criteria are in development, and more details on the application process will be provided in February 2024.

More details here

Grants for Digital Projects Tackling Problems in Vocational Learning
The VocTech Activate scheme is offering support for the development of innovative digital ideas aimed at transforming vocational learning in the UK. Described as a ‘test bed,’ the scheme provides funding for the design, development, and early-stage testing of novel approaches to digital vocational learning. Grants of £30,000 to £60,000 will be awarded to projects lasting up to 12 months, focusing on taking ideas through basic prototyping to seeding the market with a first proof of concept prototype. Early-stage businesses, digital innovators, charities, trade bodies, learning providers, and employers seeking to test new digital approaches are encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is 31 January 2024.

Explore this funding opportunity

Lloyds Bank Foundation’s Specialist Funding Programme – Deadline Reminder
Lloyds Bank Foundation’s Specialist Programme is open for applications from small, local, specialist charities addressing complex issues such as homelessness, addiction, and domestic abuse. Charities can receive a three-year unrestricted grant of £75,000 along with tailored development support. To be eligible, charities should have an annual income between £25,000 and £500,000, focusing on one of the eight specified themes.

The deadline for applications is January 25, 2024.

Learn more and apply on their website.

Vision Foundation Accepting Applications for Vision Fund
The Vision Foundation’s Vision Fund is currently accepting applications for social impact funding to support projects aiming to reduce loneliness and isolation experienced by blind and partially sighted individuals across the UK. The fund is open to organisations throughout the country, with a focus on involving experts by experience. Projects addressing various emerging themes, such as those targeting rural areas, boosting confidence, providing practical tools, supporting healthy relationships, and addressing challenges faced by underserved groups, are encouraged.

The deadline for applications is January 22, 2024.

Learn more and apply on their website

Forestry Commission Launches £2.5m Tree Production Capital Grant
Forestry Commission announces re-opening of Seed Sourcing Grant and Tree Production Capital Grants. £2.8 million available to enhance domestic trees and seeds production. Eligible applicants include foresters, nurseries, and seed suppliers. These grants aim to elevate quantity, quality, and biosecurity of England’s tree and seed supply, nurturing resilient woodlands. Apply by January 30, 2024, to avail funding for innovative projects supporting tree and seed production. Visit for more details.

Find out more about this funding option

Manchester Prize: £1 Million AI Innovation Competition
The inaugural Manchester Prize, launched by the UK government, offers a £1 million grant for innovative AI solutions targeting societal challenges. Focusing on energy, environment, and infrastructure, this landmark competition aims to harness AI’s potential for positive change. Entries open until February 1, 2024, providing opportunities for UK-based innovators from diverse sectors. Explore for entry details.

Learn more about this

Funding for Projects that Promote Fine Arts and Music Across the UK
Golsonscott Foundation is offering grants typically up to £3,000 for voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver projects and activities that demonstrate and deliver excellence in the arts, whether in performance, exhibition, artistic craft, or scholarly endeavour. Priority is given to the applications from arts organisations whose main objective is the perfection of the art form itself, or performance excellence. For proposed projects involving young people, the trustees are interested in establishing long-lasting connections between them and the art, rather than a project offering little scope for further involvement.

The next deadline is 10 February 2024 for consideration at the late February 2024 trustee meeting.

Find out more about the funding

Adventures Away from Home Fund
The Adventures Away from Home Fund (AAfH) by UK Youth, partnering with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, aims to grant 8,500 disadvantaged young people with outdoor learning experiences. With a £1.5 million fund, it targets underrepresented youth, offering opportunities for personal development through nature connections.

The program includes day sessions and residential stays, and applications for organisations to apply are open until mid-December. This initiative builds on prior success, providing accessible outdoor experiences to bridge barriers and enhance young people’s well-being and skills.

Learn more about this fund

Sport England Offers Funding for Flood-Damaged Facilities in England
The Return to Play Fund by Sport England now includes emergency flood relief funding for sports clubs and non-profit organizations affected by recent floods caused by storms. Eligible areas experiencing the worst effects of flooding can apply for grants to repair flood-damaged facilities such as pitches, clubhouses, or electrical systems. Applications are open to specific regions and organizations, aiming to restore sports facilities in preparation for reopening after lockdown restrictions ease.

Find out more about this funding

Fund to Support England’s Natural Environment
The Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund supports nature projects in England focused on climate change, habitat creation/restoration, and water quality enhancement. It aims to prepare these projects for private investment, establishing a pipeline for future funding models. Grants range from £10,000 to £100,000, targeting specific environmental goals across various natural asset types.

Applications from farmers, farmer-led groups, and certain organisations are accepted between December 11, 2023, and February 16, 2024, prioritising readiness proposals associated with investment.

Full details here

Masonic Charitable Foundation Hospice Grants Open for Applications
A funding opportunity has arisen with the Masonic Charitable Foundation Hospice Grants 2023/24 for adult hospices in England, Wales, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. The grants aim to improve transitional care for young people by addressing gaps in access to short break/respite care. Eligible hospices, members of Hospice UK, can apply for grants up to £40,000 for projects lasting 18 months. Applications open from December 5, 2023, with a deadline of February 5, 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March. For more details and guidance notes, visit the Hospice UK website or contact [email protected]

More information and apply

Three Guineas Trust Offers Grants for Legal Advice for Disabled People in the UK
The Three Guineas Trust are providing a funding scheme that aims to boost legal support for disabled people in the UK regarding benefits, debt, housing, care, personal liberty, and access to services. Non-profits meeting specific quality standards can apply for up to £50,000 per year for one to three years. Applications are open until January 12, 2024. Interested parties can request application materials via email from the Three Guineas Trust.

Find out more here

MSE Charity Announces Funding Theme for January 2024 Round
The Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity is offering grants up to £8,000 for UK-based non-profits focused on financial skills projects for individuals dealing with long-term challenges like dementia, autism, disabilities, and mental illness. Eligible organisations with an annual income below £750,000 and unrestricted reserves less than six months of running costs can apply in January 2024. Applications, limited to the first 40 accepted, open on January 15th and close February 16th, supporting projects improving financial life skills for defined groups facing long-term challenges.

Visit the MSE Charity website for more

The Blue Spark Foundation
The Foundation supports the education and development of children and young people by providing grants for educational, cultural, sporting and other projects. [projects include: Encouraging independence, Helping enhance self-confidence, Team working skills, Promoting creativity & individuality, Encouraging creativity & individuality, Encouraging inspiration, Enhancing aspiration, Enhancing educational achievement, Widening educational horizons and helping future employability.

More details here

National Archives’ Resilience Grants Open for UK Applications
The National Archives is offering Resilience Grants of up to £20,000 for UK-based archives and heritage organisations. These grants support projects lasting one year, aiming to build adaptability, sustainability, and resilience within the sector. Eligible projects cover various areas such as organisational stability, staffing capacity, cost reduction, income increase, collection preservation (physical and digital), diversity initiatives, climate change responses, and archive network development. The upcoming deadline for applications is on January 19, 2024, providing opportunities for archives to enhance their operations and contributions to communities and the economy.

Find out more about this funding opportunity

The Matthew Good Foundation – Grants for Good
Grants for Good is funded by the John Good Group and is designed to direct funding only to small and growing charities, voluntary groups or social enterprises that are making a big impact on communities, people or the environment. This programme offers unrestricted funds that can be used for any of your organisation s costs, including core running costs.

Ongoing deadlines

Learn more about this funding option

Wave 2.2 of England’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Opens for Applications
Wave 2.2 of England’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is open for applications, offering up to £80 million in grant funding to local authorities, combined authorities, and social housing providers. The aim is to improve energy efficiency in social homes, targeting properties below Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C standards, reducing carbon emissions, tackling fuel poverty, and enhancing the comfort and health of tenants. Eligible projects must address a minimum of 100 social housing properties below EPC band D-G per bid and allocate the grant by March 2025, with an option for project delivery until March 2026 under specific conditions.

The deadline for applications for Wave 2.2 is 19 January 2024, 23:59

Find out more about this fund

Ashden Awards for Climate Innovations
The Ashden Awards bring publicity, grants (up to £25,000) and connections to outstanding climate solutions. Whether powering up off-grid communities, greening cities, or regenerating the natural world, winners work to build a fairer and better zero carbon future.

This year’s award categories include energy innovation, nature based solutions, powering futures in clean energy, energising refugees and displaced people, and more. Some categories focus on the UK, and others cover work in low- and middle-income countries.

Applications close on 25 January 2024

Find out more and apply

The Power of Music Fund
Opened on 22 November 2023, the Power of Music Fund will be open to make grants to dementia choirs, musical activities for carers and other initiatives which support people through music. 

Music can greatly help people living with dementia and their carers by having a positive impact on mood, self-expression, creativity and reconnecting individuals with those they love. 

Multi-year grants will be available of either £1,000 or £2,000 per year depending upon the size and scope of the project. There will also be a £500,000 grant for a Centre of Excellence! 

Those who wish to apply must have an activity taking place between April 2024-December 2026 and the group must consist of 10 or more people. 

Read more and apply

Veterans’ Foundation 2024
The Foundation helps charities and other organisations that support serving and former members of the UK Armed Forces and their dependents. Examples of activities eligible for support include reducing homelessness, increasing employment, providing welfare, reducing addiction, care during old age and more.

Grants are available up to £30,000 for projects, and up to £50,000 over two years exclusively for salary costs.

Deadlines for 2024 applications have now been announced. The first is 30 January.

Find out more and apply

Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust 2024/5
Awarding grants of £1,000 to charities with income/expenditure between £100,000 and £1 million, and £5,000 to charities with income/expenditure over £1 million, the Trust has announced the following rounds:

2024 Rounds 1 & 2: Disability, specifically employment and training
2024 Rounds 3 & 4: Food poverty, focusing on providing meals, education, cooking skills, and eliminating food waste

2025 Rounds 1 & 2: Access to the Arts
2025 Rounds £ & 4: Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Find out more and apply (from 1 February 2024)

Department for Health & Social Care Accelerating Reform Fund
The Accelerating Reform Fund will focus on embedding and scaling approaches to transform care and support including for unpaid carers. This will accelerate progress towards the government’s social care vision where people have choice, control and support to live independent lives, and where care and support is of outstanding quality and is provided in a fair, accessible way.

Local authorities are invited to work in partnership with others in their integrated care systems (including community and voluntary groups) to develop proposals for local innovation projects.

Find out more on the Lancashire & South Cumbria VCFSE Alliance website

The Aspiring Leaders Programme
The Francis Scott Trust are seeking your valuable feedback on transforming the Aspiring Leaders Programme into an apprenticeship degree. This evolution aims to broaden access to high-quality, accredited leadership training within Cumbria and the Lancaster District’s voluntary sector. Your feedback will be pivotal in identifying potential barriers and enhancing the programme’s impact. It’s a brief survey, taking just 6-10 minutes, and your input will play a crucial role in shaping the future of leadership training.

The survey will be closed to new submissions at 5pm on February 2nd

Share your thoughts via this link

Me and My Beliefs Video Project
In collaboration with Lancaster & Morecambe College, Dr Shorna Pal and Lancaster Integrated Care Community Lead Sarah Baines (with support from the Communities Together group) are asking residents to take part in a video project. The aim of the videos will be to share the many rich and diverse cultures and faiths in our local community with each other, to build community understanding and cohesiveness.

Filming will take place at Lancaster & Morecambe College week commencing January 29th during the following times:

Monday- 9am-4pm
Tuesday- 9am-12pm
Wednesday- 9am-12pm
Thursday- 9am-4pm
Friday- 9am-4pm

Sarah and Shorna would love as many people as possible from a wide range of communities to get involved and share wonderful insights into you and your beliefs.

If you could/would like to be involved, please email [email protected] by January 12th 2024 latest. If you would like to be involved, but the timings (above) don’t suit you, please get in touch with Sarah and she will see if the college can provide additional out of hours sessions.

New Report from NAVCA – Learning from Social Prescribing
NAVCA has released a new report, “Learning from Social Prescribing,” offering insights and recommendations to enhance the social prescribing system. The report emphasises the crucial role played by Local Infrastructure Organisations (LIOs) in supporting voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations within the social prescribing ecosystem. The five key recommendations include highlighting community engagement, funding additional VCSE sector capacity building, adopting a whole-system approach to local social prescribing plans, standardising Full Cost Recovery in ARRS contracts, and conducting further analysis of the impact of VCSE-hosted Link Workers.

Download the full report for comprehensive insights into improving collaboration in social prescribing.

AI Checklist for Charity Trustees and Leaders
Zoe Amar Digital introduces an AI Checklist for charity trustees and leaders, addressing the increasing interest in artificial intelligence (AI) within the third sector. With 78% of charities acknowledging the relevance of AI to their work, the checklist aims to help trustees and leaders create a shared understanding of AI, make informed decisions, and review progress. Divided into sections such as skills, ambition, accountability, and data, the checklist provides insightful questions and considerations for organisations to navigate the integration of AI into their operations. Feedback from charities highlights its transformative value. Access the full checklist and related resources for comprehensive guidance on AI adoption in the charitable sector.

You can find the checklist here

Lancaster District Street Aid Winter Campaign
Lancaster District Street Aid, is a collaborative effort between Lancaster District CVS, Lancaster City Council, Lancaster BID, and local homelessness support agencies, which aims to assist former rough sleepers in accessing crucial resources to rebuild their lives.

This December and January, we’re launching a campaign to help generate donations that support workers from organisations like Acorn, Let’s BeFriends, and Calico apply for and spend on behalf of the people they work with. Contributions will create a grant pot, aiding individuals in accessing life essentials and staying off the streets for good.

At a time of year when people’s thoughts turn to giving, continuing to push the Street Aid message across a variety of social media channels will help us to provide much-needed support over the coming year. Whether it’s creating awareness of our outlet donation points around the district or directing them to the online donation page, every penny counts to help support former rough sleepers move on from homelessness. 

We’ve done all the hard work for you – inside our social media kit you’ll find a selection of images, suggested text for posts, and instructions on what to include if you’d like to craft your own.

Join us in making a difference this winter.

Download our social media resources here

Learn more about Lancaster District Street Aid

Using Technology Sustainably – How Charities Can Support Digital Inclusion
Technology can have an important role in helping organisations to become more sustainable, but alongside the opportunities there are also challenges to navigate. Embracing digital tech sustainably is key for charities but balancing benefits with environmental impact is crucial. Discover how initiatives like the Tech Lending Community Fund and Design Hops are empowering communities and improving digital inclusion. Below are examples of how organisations working in, or alongside the voluntary sector, have tried to  address some of these challenges.

In partnership with Virgin Media O2, Hubbub established the Tech Lending Community Fund, which has provided laptops and data to charities who work with vulnerable groups, including survivors of domestic abuse, refugees, asylum seekers, and those at risk of homelessness. This can enable people to connect with critical services that they would otherwise struggle to access – for example medical appointments, or job applications.


The Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) is a charity that works with non-profit organisations to help them better understand how to develop online services, and how to embed digital approaches into their strategy and governance. CAST runs a number of programmes each year, including:

  • Coffee Connections – a networking event showcasing best practice digital solutions from organisations in the voluntary sector
  • Design Hops – a free course where charities can learn step-by-step methods for designing online services.

Find out more about Design Hops and CAST’s other programmes and activities.

Integrate UK
Integrate UK is a Bristol-based charity that aims to empower young people to transform society. The charity was aware of the challenge of digital inclusivity when it transitioned from an organisation offering workshops and other communications entirely in-person to an online operation.

Digital software
A number of organisations provide free or discounted software to charities and voluntary organisations, which can help support their financial sustainability. Benchmark provides a number of free software packages for charities, including accounts and payroll, and customer relationship management. Demos of each of these pieces of software can be downloaded directly from the Benchmark website.

The Document Foundation, created by a group of free software advocates, provides LibreOffice (commonly known as OpenOffice) a package of software offering word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows and other resources.

Charity Digital has helped more than 38,000 charities to save money on software. Charity Digital partners with leading software providers to source free or discounted software, such as accounting, payroll and antivirus software.

Cost of Living Support
Help with the cost of living is at hand on Lancaster City Council’s Cost of Living site where you can read about the help and support available for residents and businesses.  For residents, there are many problems with the rising cost of living and there is plenty of information available to help you or even a relative, friend or neighbour.

There is a vast array of information, including advice about energy bills, finance support, housing support and much more. There is also a Business and Skills Support Hub for free support for local businesses. Help is available to access grants, finance and funding.

Visit the site here

Neurodiversity at Work Webinars
Red in the Spectrum will host a series of one-hour webinars in early 2024 focused on neurodiversity in the workplace. Each Sunday evening session covers different aspects, such as discrimination, legal rights, and workplace adjustments. Led by experts, these sessions aim to encourage inclusive environments and empower participants, including neurodivergent workers, job seekers, allies, and employers, to create more neuro-inclusive workplaces. Registration is open for individual webinars, encouraging donations rather than fixed fees. These interactive discussions offer insights, case studies, and opportunities for questions, aiming to drive positive change in workspaces.

For more details and to register

Digital Poverty
Lancashire libraries are involved with a great initiative helping to tackle digital poverty and this will be very useful for any vulnerable families your group may support. The National Databank provides free SIM cards mobile data, minutes and text from Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three.

You can qualify for data from your local library if you are over 18, are from a low-income household, and

  • have no access or insufficient access to the internet at home
  • have no or insufficient access to the internet when away from home
  • cannot afford your existing monthly contract or top up

To benefit from the scheme, a recipient’s device must either be unlocked or, if locked, be locked to O2, Vodafone or Three. You will need to make an appointment at a library to collect the SIM card and you can click here to find your local library.

The Charities Tax Group on the Outlook for Charities
The Autumn Statement 2023, despite focusing on economic growth and business support, lacked significant measures to aid struggling charities, drawing disappointment from CTG Chair Richard Bray. Key announcements included reforms to Energy-Saving Materials VAT Relief, National Insurance contributions cut, an increase in the National Living Wage, adjustments in business rates, benefits increase, and various tax-related measures. While some reforms could impact charities, the absence of specific support drew concern, prompting hopes for future measures in the Spring Budget to alleviate charity pressures.

Richard Bray, the CTG Chair of the Charities Tax Group commented on the Autumn  Statement:

“While recognising that the Chancellor’s priority was to stimulate growth and support business, we had hoped that the Autumn Statement would have contained at least some measures to help charities, many of whom are struggling to maintain the services on which many depend. Along with others, CTG had argued for the introduction of some simple and inexpensive reforms, particularly in relation to goods donated by businesses to charity. Their absence and the general lack of acknowledgement of charities is a significant disappointment.

“In the longer term, we hope that the measures announced today will help to alleviate the pressures that many feel and will also ease some of the pressures that charities currently face and that the Chancellor will include measures to support charities in the Spring Budget.”

Read more of the Autumn Statement 2023 here

LGBTQIA+ People with Energy Limiting Conditions – Creative Research Workshops
LGBTQIA+ individuals in the UK living with energy limiting conditions or chronic illnesses are invited to join creative research workshops conducted by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University, in collaboration with Chronic Illness Inclusion and Healing Justice London. These workshops aim to envision better futures for health and social care. Participants can select workshops tailored to their gender identities or energy levels, with asynchronous options available for those with low energy.

Interested individuals can find more details here

NCVO Small Charities Data
Small Charities Data brings together the latest and best available information on small charities in the UK, including data drawn from our own research. Explore data and insights that could help your small charity via this link.

Devolution Deal for Lancashire
Lancashire County Council has heralded the devolution deal for the county announced this week as “historic” and “amazing news”. If given approval, the proposed deal will transfer new money and powers from central government to a newly created Combined County Authority.

The proposed deal would give local leaders extra powers to tackle key priorities such as better public transport, boosting economic prosperity and improving employment and skills. It will not require changes to the established borough, country or district councils, an elected mayor, or power to precept over and above the normal Council Tax ask.

Read the County Council’s press release to find out more

Volunteer Opportunity Promotion and Recruitment
Have you registered on our website to promote your volunteer roles? By adding your opportunities to our website you will be making them available to the hundreds of people per month who check our site looking for something to do. You will also enable our team to easily and quickly signpost people to your roles, to give them the information that they need to decide whether they would like to apply.

Registering is quick and easy and you can do it here.

Once registered you will be able to add your roles. If you need any help, or have any questions, you can contact Mark by email at [email protected].

In addition to the website, the Volunteer Centre can promote your roles via our bulletins and newsletters; through attendance at in-person events such as volunteer fairs; in 121 meetings with potential volunteers; through visits to various support organisations; drop-in events at local Job Centres; by posting to our social media platforms; and through our bi-weekly column in the Lancaster Guardian.

If you would like to discuss any of this, including having space in our Lancaster Guardian column, please contact Mark.

Volunteering Opportunity Help Guide
We have produced a guide to help you when adding an opportunity to our website – It is quite detailed and covers every possible question. You don’t need to follow it but please do look at it if you get stuck or if it isn’t clear which option to choose when going through the form to add new opportunities.

You can now also add more users to your account. Once registered, log in, hover on Account at the top of the dashboard and click ‘Users’, where you can add more users. This will be useful if you would like someone else to check applicant info and contact potential volunteers.

You can also now choose which category to add your opportunity under, to help people when searching for roles. If you can’t find an appropriate category just use the ‘default’ category and let us know what categories you would like to see added.

Visit the guide here

DBS Checks
We offer a DBS check service, working in partnership with Burnley, Pendle, and Rossendale CVS. If you need DBS certificates for your staff or volunteers, please visit our website here.

Volunteering Opportunities



Treasurer (trustee position)
Let’s BeFriends needs a new trustee to act as Treasurer. The ideal candidate will have experience of working with finances. Let’s BeFriends is a lived-experience charity, which means that ideally you will have firsthand, secondhand, or tertiary experience of addiction, poor mental health and/or homelessness but this is NOT essential for the role of treasurer. You will however have empathy and a desire to support people living challenging lives.

The role will require your commitment to approximately 5 to 6 hours per month dealing with staff and volunteer expenses, ensuring that invoices are paid on time, updating the finance system, and other associated treasurer duties.

Find out more about this opportunity!


Trustee Role with Ludus Dance
Ludus Dance is looking for new trustees. The dance organisation are seeking individuals with an interest in youth-led work and are champions of young people with particular skills and experience in The Arts and Climate Justice, Socio-political Arts, Personal and Social Vulnerability, Isolation and Displacement and an understanding of the role arts can play in improving wellbeing.

Deadline for Applications: By 12pm 31st January 2024
Interviews Week Beginning: 19th February 2024

Candidates are invited to contact the Co-CEOs [email protected] and [email protected] prior to application for an informal, confidential discussion about this opportunity with no obligation

Download a recruitment pack here

SAFE’s Prop Up Project Session Volunteer
An opportunity has arisen to help support young adults, aged 20-25, facing challenges related to mental health and wellbeing at SAFE’s Prop Up Project. Your role involves facilitating creative activities, encouraging participation, and encouraging social interactions among attendees. Volunteers will prepare sessions, assist during activities, and contribute ideas for engaging sessions. Training and DBS checks are provided, and adherence to SAFE’s safe working policies, including safeguarding, is required. Sessions in Morecambe occur monthly on the last Monday from 2:30pm-5:30pm.

Find out more about this opportunity

SAFE will also be running a Carnforth session on a Tuesday.

Find out more about getting involved with their Carnforth session


Administration Volunteer – MS Society
Join the Lancaster, Morecambe and District Group of the MS Society as an Administration Volunteer. In this role, you’ll support our local group’s activities by managing information circulation, ensuring data compliance, and being the initial point of contact. Offering around 2 hours a week, this flexible role helps our group run efficiently, supporting the MS community. You’ll enhance administration skills and contribute to valuable services. Apply online if you’re tech-savvy, have local understanding, and are passionate about aiding those affected by MS.

More information about this role

Wise Up Open Evening for Volunteer Opportunities
Wise Up Workshops CIC are celebrating their ten-year journey this year and are looking to strengthen the board’s areas of expertise. There are volunteer opportunities as a board member to learn and grow as part of a successful Community based organisation based in Morecambe and the surrounding areas. If you are looking for an exciting opportunity, come along to meet the team to find out more. The Board meets quarterly online and/ or in person at their offices in Morecambe, are pro-active and are involved in follow up tasks, advocacy for the organization and contributions to strategic work.

Do you have experience in?

  • The charity/ 3rd sector organisations with the community
  • In the creative arts and performing arts
  • Within finance
  • In the education sector
  • Working with people with disabilities

Call 07506295782 or email [email protected] to attend our open evening event

Chair of Governors at Lancaster & Morecambe College
The College seeks a new Chair of the Board of Governors, responsible for providing effective leadership of the Board in the discharge of its duties. This is significant voluntary role and applicants should be willing to attend monthly meetings and other College events regularly, with an average time commitment of circa 1-2 days per equivalent per month. No formal qualification is necessary.

For further information, please contact Oona Cushen, Governance Adviser on 01524 521238 or email [email protected]

Volunteer at Lancashire Police Museum
The Lancaster Police Museum are looking for volunteers with a passion for policing to assist with the day to day running of the museum. You’ll be expected to engage visitors, assist with enquiries, and explore the rich history of Lancashire policing. Experience a tour of cells, forensic advancements, and current policing. Thursdays and Fridays, 10:30 am to 4 pm. Opportunity for passionate individuals, subject to police vetting, approximately 1 to 2 days a month.

Find out more about this opportunity

Conservation Volunteer – Friends of the Lake District
An opportunity has arisen for volunteer Conservation Work Across the Lake District. There will be hands-on tasks from tree planting to walling, open to all skill levels. Enjoy the outdoors at scenic sites like Kendal’s Helm and Ambleside’s Sweden Wood. Benefits include learning new skills, meeting friends, and, of course, cake! Physical ability needed for outdoor work.

Find out more about this role


Volunteer Workshop Assistants – Lancashire Youth Challenge
Lancashire Youth Challenge are actively seeking volunteer workshop assistants to support their practitioners with delivering youth activities at schools and community centres in the Lancaster District. The volunteer workshop assistants will help to complete attendance registers, capture evidence of engagement and impact, and encourage young people to fully engage in the workshop activities.

Find out more about this opportunity

Mental Health Support – Adullam Programme
The Adullam Programme, Lancaster have provided a brief overview of the various mental health support groups running between January and April 2024.

Living Life to the Full course
An 8-week course based on CBT principles to help people with their mental health. 

NEW TIME:  Wednesday afternoon – Hope Church (rear hall), Queen Street, Lancaster:  2pm till 4pm, starting 17th January to 13th March

Social/Community Groups:
This term offers a variety of activities planned including craft groups, a book club, a pamper morning, a monthly trip out (this term include visits to Yew Tree Barn, Low Newton), and Cook-along sessions where you’ll learn to cook something healthy, new and on a budget and then eat together afterwards too.

Tuesdays starting 9th January – 10am until 12pm – Hope Church, Queen Street, Lancaster.

Cooking on a Budget
Learning how to cook healthy and affordable meals.  The 6 week course includes how to cook soup, pasta, meat, chicken (or vegetarian/vegan alternatives), pastry and then the last week you’ll have a free choice week that ends with a fun cooking competition.

Celebrate Recovery (12 step Programme): 
Providing weekly support for anyone struggling with any of life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits (not just addiction).  Participants can find help with trauma, depression, bereavement, divorce, low self-esteem, anxiety – the list of issues is very varied. 

Tuesdays 7.30pm to 9.00pm or Wednesday 10am to 12pm (term time)

Purpose Workshop
This Workshop offers participants the opportunity to work alongside a professional Trainer who will help them discover their skills and talents and learn how to use these to find fulfilment and purpose.

Date to be confirmed – Hope Church, Queen Street, Lancaster

For more information visit their website

Love Your Liver January Info Packs
The British Liver Trust offers free Love Your Liver information packs for individuals and organisations interested in raising awareness about liver health. The pack includes informative materials such as factsheets on cutting down on alcohol and healthy eating tips, Love Your Liver leaflets and info cards, posters, a fundraising guide, balloons, wristbands, and ribbons. Those interested can fill out the online order form with their details to claim the information pack, sharing liver health awareness in communities and workplaces. The Trust encourages supporters to stay informed about their work and potential ways to contribute, with options to receive updates via email, phone, or post. Donations to support the Trust’s work are also welcome.

View the campaign e-poster here

Order your awareness pack here

Women’s Health Hubs – Your Thoughts Needed
Lancashire and South Cumbria are developing women’s health hubs and seek input from women across the region. The aim is to understand women’s needs to optimise the use of allocated funding. Sarah O’Brien, ICB Chief Nursing Officer, emphasizes the significance of this survey in identifying barriers to accessing services. Your input will directly shape these initiatives.

ICB chief nursing officer, Sarah O’Brien, said: “It is really important that women contribute to this survey so that we know what the needs of our population are, and we can use this money to best help them. We want to know what the barriers are for women accessing services, so that we can remove them.”

Take part by contributing your thoughts and needs

LCC Get Ready for Winter Campaign 2023-24
 When the winter chill sets in, it’s crucial to stay warm and keep well. Here are some top tips to navigate the season from the Lancashire County Council Health Protection team.

Keeping Safe & Well this Winter Toolkit
The NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board have circulated information outlining key winter safety tips and tools, recognising the overwhelming volume of available resources. Two versions have been shared, focusing on keeping you safe and well in the winter months. Additional detailed toolkits on various topics are available on their website, including falls prevention, primary care, and long-term conditions, each equipped with social media content and other resources for dissemination.

View their key messages here

For any enquiries or opt-out requests, contact the ICB’s engagement team at  [email protected]

The Dales Railcard
Discover the Dales Railcard with ticket savings. Do you live in Carnforth or an LA2 postcode? Get the railcard for just £10 and save 1/3rd on tickets for a whole year. Enjoy discounts for up to four accompanying children. Experience scenic travel between Settle, Carlisle, Lancaster, and more. Explore the beautiful regions and save on your journey. Find out more here

Deaf/BSL Community Project Professional Survey
Healthwatch Lancashire would like to gather information on experiences from people directly, family members/carers and professionals who work with health and social care services.

They would like to know what support is available to people who are Deaf and use BSL. Any feedback will help to know what recommendations can be shared with decision makers and the survey should take no longer than 10 minutes.

All responses are anonymous. Take part in the survey here

ICB Self-Care Winter Communications Toolkit
Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB have shared a detailed winter communications toolkit. These are to make sure you are aware of good advice and support which you can share with your family, friends and neighbours and to use with your networks, groups or connections about how people can stay well this winter.

It includes social media posts, suggested copy for your own newsletters, and a set of PowerPoint slides for digital screens.

Download the posts and copy
Download the PowerPoint slides

For further information, contact the ICB’s engagement team by email at [email protected]

LSCFT Supporting Men’s Health Month
Find out more about LSCFT’s work to support men’s mental health as part of the wider men’s health month agenda, including links to their specialist services.

Read more on the LSCFT website

Healthwatch Lancashire Waiting for Wellness Report
Healthwatch Lancashire have recently published their latest project report ‘Waiting for Wellness’ which investigates people’s experiences of mental health and the accessibility of mental health services in Lancashire.

Feedback revealed that the main barrier to accessing NHS mental health support was the long waiting lists, leaving people feeling let down and unsure when they would receive support. Third sector/charitable organisations received a substantial amount of positive feedback, with people sharing that they were able to talk about their experiences and have the opportunity to socialise and take part in activities.

Healthwatch Lancashire have formulated a series of recommendations in response to the findings of this report for the attention of a number of service providers who provide mental health support in Lancashire.

Find out more and read the full report

Somatic Dance Fitness at Stanleys
Dancing can lead to better brain health, improved core strength and flexibility, reduced stress and depression, and greater energy, stamina, cardiovascular health and coordination!

The Somatic Dancing offered at these free sessions develops connections between mind, breathing, body and emotions, and is ideal for those suffering from muscular skeletal concerns, anxiety or depression. Sessions include clinical nutritional perspective coaching.

Thursdays, 1pm – 1.45pm at Stanleys Community Centre LA3 1UT.

Download the digital flyer to find out more.

The Bay: A Blueprint for Recovery – New Heysham Session
The Bay : A Blueprint for Recovery is a free wellbeing programme for people in Morecambe Bay. In addition to larger events in the community, The Bay’s Nature and Wellbeing programme offers small-group sessions for adults, working on wellbeing, building confidence and connecting with nature over a series of 12 weekly sessions.

A new small-group session is starting in Heysham, based at Greenfingers Allotments on Smithy Lane. As well as doing activities including food growing and wildlife gardening on the allotment site, the group will explore the surrounding woodland and beach at Half Moon Bay. You can expect beach surveys, marine mindfulness, bushcraft and more! There will also be the opportunity to work towards a John Muir Discovery Award.

To join a Nature and Wellbeing session please complete the online referral form.

Once you’ve signed up, a member of the team will be in touch to talk more about your needs and answer any questions that you might have about the sessions. For more information, see the digital flyer, call 01772 872007 / 07738 102274 or email [email protected]

Adult Additional Needs Sports Sessions
Join in with the Adult Additional Needs Sports sessions at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre. They offer a variety of activities to cater for individuals with different needs and abilities. From cycling with adapted bikes to boost physical, social, and emotional well-being, to football training and multi-sports sessions that promote teamwork and enjoyment. Join in on select weekdays during term time to connect, have fun, and improve your well-being.

All sessions are pay-as-you-go, so just turn up and participate.

Find out more about the sessions

Bay Wellness Suicide Awareness Kit
The Bay Wellness Partnership, formed in collaboration with partners from the Bay area, is dedicated to improving colleague health and wellbeing across Morecambe Bay. They emphasise the importance of physical and mental fitness, especially during challenging times, and aim to empower colleagues to take ownership of their health and wellbeing.

The partnership’s recent focus has been on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day recently. They have created a Suicide Awareness Toolkit to raise awareness and encourage support for those impacted by suicide, emphasising suicide prevention. The partnership is also promoting initiatives like the Zero Suicide Alliance and the Orange Button Scheme to reduce suicides across the Bay. Together, they aim to create “Suicide Safer Communities” and spread hope through action.

Access the toolkit and further info here

Healthwatch Lancashire Waiting for Wellness Phase 2
Healthwatch Lancashire have now launched a second phase of their Waiting for Wellness project (see report in the Health & Wellbeing section) to explore in more detail the experiences of young people’s mental health and accessing mental health support. They also want to hear from parents and/or carers about their experiences.

As well as a number of pop-up community engagement events which will be announced in due course, they would like young people and parents/carers to have their say by filling out surveys:

Young person’s survey
Parent/carer’s survey

To find out more, visit the Healthwatch Lancashire website.

We Are With You – STAR, ASDAN Peer Mentoring & RisKit
STAR (Start Together Achieve Results) is a targeted 8-week treatment programme for young people with substance misuse issues. The programme will run in small groups of 2-6 people within school in weekly 1-hour sessions. 

After an individual assessment, risk assessment and care plan, the project will cover many areas of substance misuse such as personal experiences, goal setting and the laws around drug use and possession and to help identify triggers and developing strategies for reducing and managing substance use. 

For information see the programme overview or contact With You on 01772 281495 

ASDAN Peer Mentoring
This short course provides recognition for skills in mentoring and buddying younger people. It is open to young people of all abilities ages 13 – 18. A number of activities undertaken across five challenges leads to a ten hours certificate.

Find out more in the digital flyer

RisKit is a multi-component risk reduction programme for young people who are vulnerable to risk taking behaviour including drug and alcohol use, early and unprotected sex and offending. The programme is aimed at 14-16 year olds, and although usually delivered in school can be used for anyone of this age group.

Find out more in the programme information pack

Strawberry Fields – Engage to Progress & Outreach Support Service
Engage to Progress
This initiative provides an opportunity for people aged 16 and over and who are economically inactive to actively engage with the world of education, training and employment through facilitating and enhancing their employability.

Find out more in the digital leaflet, call 01524 874246 or 07765308183, or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Outreach Support Service
This is a targeted support service for those on the verge of leaving, or having already left, Local Authority Care – helping them develop a range of skills essential to their positive transition to independent living.

Find out more in the digital leaflet or contact Scot Davidson on 01524 874246 or 07818037929

SAFE Update
Newly registered as a charity, SAFE continues to provide support for young people and adults experiencing mental health and other life challenges through their group provision across the district.

Groups have a creative focus and are intended to help people increase confidence and positively manage their mental health and wellbeing.

Professionals can make referrals using this form, returning it by email to [email protected]

Self-referral can be completed by email to [email protected] or by telephoning 07568 937988

Citizen Journalist Training
Explore the latest edition of THRIVE North Lancashire online! Access the ninth edition featuring local stories, citizen journalism, knowledge sharing, and research highlighting the journey of FoodFutures towards creating a thriving local food system that is healthy, resilient, and fair. All are invited to participate in a training day dedicated to the pool of journalists contributing to THRIVE. If you’re interested in writing for the magazine or attending the free training day, please reach out to Jim Greenan at [email protected].

Date & time: Saturday, May 13th, from 10 am to 5 pm

Lancaster Skill-Share Workshops
A local collaborative partnership will be hosting Lancaster Skill-Share Workshops throughout 2024, a series of 11 sessions aimed at promoting resource efficiency and sustainability. Led by local experts, the workshops will include bicycle repair, efficient control of lighting and heating, laptop revival, furniture repair, and more. Attendees are encouraged to share their skills, fostering a collaborative learning environment.  If you’re on benefits, discount codes are available. The sessions take place at the Sustainability Hub, Unit 6, Marketgate Shopping Centre in Lancaster, providing practical insights into maintaining and repairing various items.

The first 3 upcoming workshops are:

  • Bicycle repair and maintenance – 21st January
  • Efficient Control of lighting and heating – 18th February
  • Revive your laptop – 17th March

Find out more and secure your place on these informative and eco-conscious workshops.

Annual Potato & Seed Swap Day
Lancaster’s annual Potato Day and Seed Swap is taking place at the Friends Meeting House on Sat 27th January (10-3). Come along to get your seed potatoes, swap seeds, talk to local community projects and get a meal at the potato themed cafe.

Find out more here

Unlocking the Potential of Community Energy
The UK Climate Change Committee highlights the essential role of community energy in achieving net zero by 2050, stressing the significance of local engagement and fairness. A policy paper has been created which delves into the value of community energy businesses and the necessary support to expand their potential in facilitating a just transition to net zero.

It emphasizes the need for community engagement in reaching climate goals and highlights how community energy groups (CEBs) drive local action and empower individuals, providing insights into various ways these groups benefit communities and contribute to a fair, sustainable transition to net zero.

Read the full report here

Food Futures – Sustainable Food Places Award
North Lancashire has been awarded a prestigious Sustainable Food Places Silver Award! This is all thanks to the outstanding effort of individuals, organisations, businesses and community groups from across the region. 

This award recognises the work of partnerships in promoting healthy, sustainable and local food which also helps tackle some of the most common social challenges such as food poverty and diet-based ill-health and the disappearance of family farms and independent retailers.

THRIVE and the future of our food
‘The future of our food’ is the winter edition’s food for thought theme. It sees a range of young people from across North Lancashire share their food stories and ideas for creating a more sustainable food system. Pick up your copy at Lancaster’s Midwinter Market on 15 December.

The Seasonal Market is all about buying from local, independent businesses and helping people repair and reuse things they already have. The Midwinter Market repair and mend stall will include Lancaster and Morecambe Makers, Lancaster Sewing Cafe, Relic Plastic and Sunflower Cycles.

Read THRIVE online

The Gift of a FoodFriends membership
FoodFriends is a fundraising scheme created to support the development of regenerative local food projects and the training of new small-scale farmers. The proceeds from the scheme currently support the Plot, (a new market garden and education centre), and is used for training new entrant farmers.

The gift of a FoodFriends membership provides the recipient with the knowledge that they are supporting the future food security of the district. Every FoodFriends member is also entered into a monthly draw where they have the chance to win one of six £30 Food Vouchers to spend with a partner business.

Interested in writing for THRIVE Magazine?
The Spring 2024 edition of THRIVE Magazine will explore the ‘faces behind our food’ alongside the usual seasonal and local recipe ideas and stories of people taking things ‘into their own hands’. 

FoodFutures is also offering citizen journalism training on 13 January 2024 10:00 – 17:00 for anyone interested in becoming a citizen journalist. The day will cover an intro to citizen journalism, finding a good story, writing well, doing interviews and writing for THRIVE. For more information and to register your interest complete this form by 31 December 2023.

Baylight ’24
Baylight ’24, a Light Art Trail is set for a return to Morecambe for 2024, featuring an expanded collection of 21 captivating installations and experiences, including a dazzling Friday Night Parade from 6pm to 7pm. Presented by Morecambe Sparkle CIC, this free event promises a magical journey along Morecambe Bay, illuminated by local and national artists. Residents can participate in the vibrant Friday Night Parade, contributing to the community spirit. Supported by Lancashire County Council and local businesses, Baylight ’24 celebrates art, light, and community, creating a breathtaking ambiance with reflections in the evening tide. Save the date and be part of this extraordinary winter celebration!

Date & time: 15th to 17th February 2024, 6-10pm
Location: Morecambe Promenade

Discover more about this event

Introduction to Charity Finance
This one-hour online session by Embrace Finance on January 19, 2024, delves into the fundamentals of small charity finance. Geared towards trustees, finance officers, and charity leaders, it covers financial governance, management, and decision-making. Led by experienced professionals Liz Pepler and Rachel Cooper, the session aims to demystify charity finance, providing insights into financial sustainability and resilience. Attendees can expect to explore the finance cycle, key reports, and practical tips for navigating financial challenges. The event caters to those seeking an overview of charity finance tools and strategies to bolster their organization’s financial standing.

Find out more and book your place

Preparing for your Independent Examination
Focused on independent examinations, this one-hour event is designed for trustees, chief officers, and finance professionals. Led by experienced trainers Rachel Cooper and Liz Pepler, the session takes a look at year-end examinations, covering the why, what, and how of independent examinations. Attendees will gain insights into preparation, the role of independent examiners, and the key distinctions between independent examinations and audits. Whether you seek an introduction to independent examinations or aim to streamline the process, this session offers valuable perspectives and practical tips.

Date & time: Thursday 1 February, 6pm
Location: Online

Find out more and reserve your place

Brew Monday

Pause and connect with those around you over a cup of tea as part of Samaritans’ Brew Monday. Download resource here. Lancaster Samaritans and Community Connectors are planning events for residents to join in with – please keep an eye out for further information near the time.

Project Management Workshop with NFP
An introduction to the principles and issues of project management within organisations. Covers a wide area of topics from Project phases to scoping, stakeholder analysis to risk management. The course is for staff members, volunteers, trustees or board members of charities, schools, healthcare or public sector organisations who wish to manage projects within their organisation. People who provide advice to organisations are also welcome.

Dates available:
Friday 26th January 2024
Friday 23 February 2024

More information on NFP workshops

Lancaster Skill-Share Workshops
From the end of January, a series of monthly workshops will be asking local people with skills in repairing, mending and maintenance to pass on their tips and techniques. The workshops are all about using resources efficiently: maintaining, preserving, and repairing to avoid throwing things away and consuming unnecessarily. Each month will have a different theme.

Find out more and sign up

Pirates of the Panto Family Pantomime
In January, the team from Wise Up Workshops CIC are performing ‘Pirates of The Panto’, a family-fun pantomime for all ages. The swashbuckling Zac Sparrow sinks the ship of Captain Spongebag Roundpants, the meanest pirate on the high-seas and steals his treasure map.

He then sets sail to dig up the treasure, accompanied by his family & friends. They end up on the island of Discomania, which is ruled by disco-diva Queen Chaka Khan. The eventual showdown between Zac and Spongebag, takes an unusual twist! Get your tickets at The platform/ £5 per ticket

View the e-poster for this event

The Curve Free Digital Skills Workshops
The Curve is a series of free, 90-minute workshops for third sector organisations. These online workshops aim to build knowledge around best digital practices, raise awareness of digital tools and ultimately help increase impact with digital. Workshops are open to anyone working or volunteering with a third sector organisation in the UK.

Introduction to Power Query
Power Query is Microsoft’s best kept secret, an enormous toolbox of easy to use tricks for cleaning and transforming data.

Find out more

Getting better with data
This workshop is an opportunity to learn about how organisations can get better with data.

Find out more

Excel’s newer features
There have been a huge number of changes and new functions introduced to Excel in the last few years. This session aims to provide you with the highlights of the most universally useful new features.

Find out more

Key data skills for everyone
This workshop is an opportunity to explore some of the key data skills that everyone in an organisation should have.

Find out more

Impact measurement
This workshop is about measuring impact. The session will cover ‘theory of change’ and the five key types of data organisations need.

Find out more

Lancaster & Morecambe College Net Zero & Sustainability Courses

Carbon Reduction Plans and Net Zero
Lancaster & Morecambe College are running these short and informative fully funded courses. This is a practical guide for businesses to understand topics around carbon such as understanding it, guidance on how to reduce its usage and understanding Science-Based net zero targets and loads more.

Dates and Times:
1 February 2024, 9am – 12pm
20 February 2024, 9am – 12pm

Environmental Certification for Your Business
This course will involve understanding how business can impact the environment, which environmental certification is right for your business and taking environmental action with practical ideas.

Dates and times:
1 February 2024, 1pm – 4pm
20 February 2024, 9am – 12pm

Visit site here

Fundraising for Beginners Course from Get Grants
During the course, a Get Grants Expert will support you to develop a strong foundational understanding of different types of fundraising and explore what options are available and what will work best for your organisation. Attendees will also consider the importance of a fundraising strategy and receive practical support to put this into practice and confidently take the first steps towards achieving their fundraising goals.

13 & 20 February, 10am – 12 noon, online
Find out more and book

An Introduction to Skills for Collaboration
Would you like to know more about how to create relationships that foster collaboration?

To collaborate well requires building relationships, finding ways to overcome challenges, and creating productive ways of working together, whether this is bringing together teams from across an organisation or building relationships with other agencies or partners.

This free online webinar, delivered for VCFSE organisations by Primary Care Commissioning CIC, will answer the question ‘what is collaboration?’, provide an overview of the interpersonal skills needed for collaborative working to thrive, and explain the benefits of working collaboratively.

Webinars take place between 1pm and 2pm on 12 January (register here), and 26 January (register here).

Aspiring Leaders Programme – Communication and Influence
The Employer Hub at Lancaster & Morecambe College have secured funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to support local businesses, entrepreneurs, volunteers and local community with training and development in line with the local skills demand.

The college will be commencing their Aspiring Leaders Programme with a session on Communication and Influence. This will cover effective ways to communicate, share your ideas persuasively, to inspire and move people to act. This programme will be delivered in 7 half day sessions at the Employer Hub, Lancaster & Morecambe College (remote delivery available).

For further information contact [email protected] or phone 01524 521223.

Online Workshops regarding Energy and Fuel Poverty
For local organisations and community groups already planning for the winter ahead, the following workshops (provided by National Energy Action and the Centre for Sustainable Energy) may be of interest:

National Energy Action:

Energy efficiency in your community building
Thursday 18th January 2024, 11am – 12.15pm

Book online

Community Co-ordinator – Barton Road Community Centre
A community co-ordinator is required at the Barton Road Community Centre, Lancaster LA1 4ER. The Centre is owned by Lancashire County Council, but the day-to-day running of the centre is the responsibility of the Barton Road Centre Charity. With the exception of the Community Co-ordinator the Centre is staffed by volunteers.

Salary: £26,421 – £28,770 pro rata (NJC Scale points 12 – 17) (£13.69 – £14.91 per hour)
Contract: 52 weeks per year and includes occasional out of hours and weekend work
Location: Lancaster
Closing Date: Friday 2 February 2024, 5pm
Interview Date: Friday 9th February 2024

Please send your letter of application setting out how you meet the criteria to The Trustees at the above address or by email to [email protected]. Applications are invited from those wishing to undertake the full post and those wishing to job share.

Please also see Barton Road Community Centre website for details of centre’s current activities. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your application, please call Janine Bebbington on 01524 65622.

Find out more about this role here

Mental Health Practitioner – Lancashire & South Cumbria Reproductive Trauma Service
Do you have empathy and passion to support women experiencing birth fear, trauma, and perinatal loss? Do you have experience of working within perinatal services or an interest in perinatal mental health or willingness to learn more about working within this field? Are you looking for flexibility that involves remote working, as well as face to face? The L&SCRTS are looking to expand the team with like-minded, compassionate, and enthusiastic people who are keen to make a difference to women and their families.

Salary: £28,407 – £34,581 pro rata
Contract: Permanent
Location: Blackpool
Closing date: 22 January 2024, 23:59

More details and how to apply

Therapy Services Coordinator – CancerCare
CancerCare are looking for a Therapy Services Coordinator to work within CancerCare’s policies and processes to deliver services to local people whose lives are affected by cancer, bereavement, and other life limiting conditions, across North Lancashire, South Cumbria and Barrow in Furness. Therapy services coordinators are responsible for processing all the referrals which are received by CancerCare, to ensure that clients receive the most appropriate service for them, in a timely manner.

Salary: £17,160 – £18,376
Contract: 30 hours per week over 5 days
Location: Slynedales, Lancaster (with occasional travel to our centres in Kendal, Morecambe and Barrow)
Closing date: Unconfirmed

Find out more here

General Kitchen Assistant – Rainbow Centre
The Rainbow Centre in Morecambe are recruiting for a Kitchen Assistant to contribute to the family atmosphere of their centre and to assist the Kitchen Manager prepare and serve lunch meals for their members, staff and service meetings and groups as required. The café provides service Monday to Thursday between 10.00am and 2.30pm and will be looking to open on a Friday after the Easter break in 2024.

Salary: Circa £6,600 per annum. Pay rate review due April 2024
Contract: 17 hours per week, 44 weeks per annum / Contributory pension scheme
Location: Morecambe
Closing Date: Monday 15 January 2024, 12pm

Find out more and apply

If your organisation needs support whether it be working with volunteers, completing accounts and payroll, finding funding, solving governance issues, or just want a listening ear, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team:

Funding and governance support, contact [email protected]

Volunteering and DBS,
contact [email protected]

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

Health and social prescribing, contact [email protected]

Children and young people, contact [email protected]

Membership queries to: [email protected]

Partnerships, networks and strategic development, contact [email protected]

Alternatively, call us on 01524 555900

To promote your events, training, jobs, and sector news, email [email protected]