Information and Advice for the Lancaster District’s Third Sector – 2 February 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.

LDCVS Annual General Meeting – 22 February at 1pm
Our next Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 22 February 2024, starting at 1pm. We’ll be holding the meeting online, via Teams. Use this link to join, or download this calendar file to add the event and Teams link to your own calendar.

The meeting is open to anyone who would like to learn more about our work and meet our staff and board. We will be reporting on our activities and financial performance for the year ending 30 June 2023, as well as conducting business relating to the appointment of trustees and auditors.

Download: AgendaAnnual Report & Accounts for the year ending 30 June 2023 ▪ Election Statements

Organisations that are full members of LDCVS are able to vote at the AGM and will have received the papers above by email, plus the minutes of the last AGM and a proxy nomination form. If you think your organisation should have been contacted but wasn’t, please email [email protected] to check your membership status.

We look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

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!

Boots Charitable Trust
Boots Charitable Trust, an independent registered charity wholly funded by Boots UK Limited, is dedicated to supporting local communities across the UK. In 2023, the Trust expanded its reach beyond its home county of Nottinghamshire to fund projects nationwide. Focusing on health, lifelong learning, community development, and social care, the Trust encourages applications from charities and voluntary organisations. Grants of up to £10,000 are provided to organisations where the impact can be most significant, aligning with the Trust’s commitment to caring for people, customers, and communities.

Learn more about this fund

British Ecological Society Outreach Grants
The British Ecological Society are providing Outreach and Engagement Grants that aim to support BES members in conducting independent outreach, public engagement, and science communication activities that connect public audiences with the significance of ecological science. The grants, with amounts up to £2,000, are open to individuals, teams, and organisations at all experience levels, developing diverse and innovative approaches, including in-person events, digital formats, or physical resources.

Application process: There will be two funding rounds in 2024:

  • Round 1 opens on 11 January and closes on 8 March 2024 with notification in late May 2024.
  • Round 2 opens on 11 July and closes on 11 September 2024 with notification in late November 2024.

For more information, contact [email protected] or visit the British Ecological Society’s Outreach and Engagement Grants website.

Charles Plater Trust’s Annual Large Grants Open for Applications
The Charles Plater Trust are offering grants ranging from £5,001 to £60,000 to local charities with an annual income below £10 million in England and Wales. The Trust supports projects promoting social justice through education in its broadest sense. Focused on three types of change—individual, organisational, and societal—the grants aim to bring significant positive impact to marginalised individuals, enhance organisational capacity, and contribute to social or systemic change. The funding covers project revenue costs for activities related to Leadership for Laypeople, Social Action, and Applied Research. Collaborative applications aligned with Catholic Social Teaching principles are encouraged, irrespective of the applicant’s religious affiliation.

The deadline for large grant applications is 22 February 2024, 5pm
Learn more about this fund and how to apply

Thomas Wall Trust Accepting UK Applications for Summer 2024 Meeting
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for UK registered charities for specific projects that improve communication skills for disadvantaged adults and supports NEET people into employment.

The Trust views communication skills as critical capabilities for people who want to improve their employment prospects, self-confidence, resilience, and life chances.

The funding is for registered UK registered charities with an annual turnover of between £25,000 and £500,000 that are working to develop communication skills for people from disadvantaged groups who want to improve their employment prospects. Beneficiaries must gain at least one accredited vocational qualification during delivery.

There is a two-stage application process. The next deadline to submit a first stage application is 29 April 2024 for assessment at the July 2024 meeting.

Find out more about this funding opportunity

Black and Racially Minoritised-Led Groups Can Apply Now for Flexible Finance
The Flexible Finance Fund, a collaboration between Social Investment Business, The Ubele Initiative, and Create Equity, aims to provide £4 million in funding and support to 15-25 Black and Racially Minoritised charities and social enterprises in England. The initiative supports organisations dedicated to improving people’s lives or their environment.

The funding package includes flexible grants, support, and loans from the Government’s Recovery Loan Fund. The funding is unrestricted, allowing organisations to utilise it for various community-benefiting purposes, such as hiring staff, undertaking building projects, or expanding capacity through new initiatives. The fund encompasses individuals outside the category of ‘White British,’ covering diverse ethnic backgrounds.

There are no deadlines. Applications can be made at any time.

For more info, eligibility guidance and application details

Funding to Support the Conservation of Rural Historic Buildings
The Historic Houses Foundation is offering grants of up to £250,000 to support organisations in England and Wales involved in the repair of rural historic buildings, including gardens, grounds, and outbuildings where applicable. Projects eligible for funding should demonstrate a compelling need for work within the next two to three years, enhance the historic environment, ensure appropriate public access, exhibit financial need for the grant, proceed within a reasonable timeframe, and have a sustainable conservation and/or business plan.

The buildings or structures must be listed, but grants involving unlisted structures, particularly in conservation areas, may be considered. Eligible organisations should be legally responsible for repairing buildings, garden, and grounds. Grants ranging from £1,000 to £250,000 are available, with larger awards granted in exceptional circumstances.

Applications can be submitted at any time.

Read more about the Historic Houses Foundation

Naturewatch Foundation Launches New Pet Rescue Grant for UK
The Pet Rescue Grant is a new fund provided and administered by Naturewatch Foundation, a registered animal welfare charity whose mission is to end animal cruelty and advance animal welfare standards. The Foundation is offering £5,000 to help frontline animal welfare services in the UK to provide a second chance to pets who have been exploited for profit.

UK registered charities and Community Interest Companies (CICs) registered with the Companies House can apply. Priority will be given to projects by smaller organisations that may not have the time or resources to apply to larger funding bodies.

At least £5,000 will be made available each year. One or more organisations may be selected to receive a grant each year.

The grant can be used for things such as:

  • Veterinary care.
  • Behavioural support.
  • Specialist facilities or equipment.
  • Training for personnel

The 2024 application window opens on 24 January and closes on 21 February 2024.

Learn more about the Pet Rescue Grants

PRS Foundation Launches Talent Development Network to Support UK Music Initiatives
The Talent Development Network aims to support and unite frontline organisations involved in talent development for music creators across the UK. Organisations selected for the network will have access to grant support, with funding of up to £25,000 per year available for Phase 1 of the initiative (2024-27). Multi-year funding will be considered based on demonstrated creative, career, and professional outcomes.

Selection criteria include the quality and diversity of opportunities offered in the region, nation, genre, or music specialisation, as well as the year-round impact on supported music creators. Decisions will also be based on what organisations can contribute to the Network, with an expectation that Network members will actively collaborate with PRS Foundation, partners and other Network members.

Deadline: Monday 26 February 2024, 6pm.

Find out more about this funding opportunity

Nature Computes Better: UK Opportunity Seed Funding Call Invites Applications
Funding is available to support projects based on bold ideas that challenge assumptions, open up new research paths, or provide steps towards new capabilities by means of scientific and technological breakthroughs.

The Nature Computes Better funding call is provided by the Advanced Research and Innovation Agency (ARIA). Created by an Act of Parliament, and sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, ARIA funds projects across the full spectrum of R&D disciplines, approaches and institutions.

In this call, ARIA is seeking to fund high potential proposals with between £10,000 and £500,000 each. ARIA initially expects to fund up to 10 opportunity seeds in this space.

The deadline for Round 1 applications is 19 February 2024, 4pm.

More details on this fund

Rural England Prosperity Fund
Funding is available by the Rural England Prosperity Fund, which although described as rural, also covers market towns including Carnforth as eligible. Applications are welcome from across the district from Halton to Glasson Dock to Overton!

The interventions for the fund are:

  • Support for Business
  • Community and Place

It is capital funding (to be spent on lasting assets such as buildings and equipment). Projects need to begin after April 2024 and be completed before March 2025.

Application deadline is 5pm on Monday 5th February

Download the application form here
Further information can be here

UK Shared Prosperity Fund
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment up to March 2025. Lancaster City Council has been allocated £5.3million which will be split between the following three core Priorities, as defined by Government:

  • Communities & Place
  • Support for Business
  • People and Skills

Organisations in the local VCSE sector have had successful applications on the above intervention of People and Skills, so this fund is not to be overlooked. Projects need to begin after April 2024 and be completed before March 2025.

Please also refer to appendices A and B

Application deadline closes on Monday 5th February, 5pm

Download the application form

Further information can be found here

Grow Wild Guidance for Applicants
Grow Wild’s Community Programme awards groups across the UK with £2000 grants to transform urban spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife through planting and championing UK native plants. This opportunity is more than just a grant – they are seeking groups who will actively engage with the programme, including bespoke online training and peer support facilitated by Grow Wild…

Read more about the programme

Open Societal Challenges Programme
The Open Societal Challenges Programme at the Open University is running a competition open to  UK Charities  to find the most exciting research ideas tackling real-world problems.

Winning Challenges will be assigned to an OU Research Team to take on the research idea and will receive a baseline of £25,000 in research funding.  Winning Charities will be invited to co-design the specifics of the research project with the research team, and to contribute their perspective, knowledge, and experiences to the project. The winning Charity will also receive an optional paid internship for one of its employees, trustees, or volunteers with the research team to help build research capacity (hybrid or inperson).

Find out more and how to enter

Funding for Cultural Organisations to Improve Digital Infrastructure Across the UK
Bloomberg Philanthropies is providing grants of up to £150,000 over two years through the Digital Accelerator Programme. Cultural organisations with at least three years of operation and a turnover of £500,000 in the 2023 financial year can apply. The funding aims to enhance digital infrastructure for content creation, customer relationship management, digital archives, and website upgrades. Eligible costs include hardware, software, staff time, and training. The initiative seeks to help organisations boost revenue, engage audiences, and improve operations.

Application deadline: 13th March 2024

Find out more and how to apply

Funding to Develop Volunteering Infrastructure in Health and Care Systems Across England
CW+, in collaboration with NHS Charities Together and NHS England, is providing grants ranging from £150,000 to £500,000 over three years through the Volunteering for Health Programme. The funding supports partnerships of NHS and VCSE organizations aiming to enhance volunteering infrastructure, ultimately improving the experience and outcomes of individuals in health and care systems.

Projects should contribute to outcomes such as better integration of volunteering, support for health and care priorities, improved volunteer experiences, and the sharing of innovative approaches. Eligible organizations include NHS trusts, ICBs, and VCSE entities. The application process involves multiple phases, including initial development grants for successful Phase One applicants.

The deadline to submit a Phase One application is 23 February 2024.

Full details here

Eric Wright Charitable Trust 2024
Once again, Lancaster District CVS is working with the Eric Wright Charitable Trust to distribute grants of up to £500 to community organisations with an annual income below £50,000. Projects simply need to show how they can make a positive difference to the lives and wellbeing of people of any age.

Unlike previous years, there are no fixed application deadlines. Apply for funding at any time up until midnight on 31 July, and we’ll let you know the result by the middle of the following month. For example, all organisations who submit an application before midnight on 31 January will find out whether or not they have a grant in the middle of February, February applicants will find out in March, and so on until the fund is entirely allocated.

Download full guidance and apply at or to ask any questions about the fund please get in touch with Sharon Phillips by email at [email protected]


Lancaster Community Fund – next deadline 9 February
The final deadline for the Lancaster Community Fund’s 2023/24 allocation is approaching. The fund, offered in partnership with Lancaster City Council, distributes grants of up to £1,000 to projects which meet one or more of its priorities:

  • Projects that increase community involvement, build community wealth and resilience.
  • Projects that contribute towards carbon reduction and a more sustainable district.
  • Projects that contribute to individual and community wellbeing.

Applications are welcome from all voluntary and community organisations working in the district, and particularly from groups working in disadvantaged areas of the community and from new and smaller grassroots groups with low income.

Download full guidance and apply at or to ask any questions about the fund please get in touch with Sharon Phillips by email at [email protected]

Berkeley Foundation’s Accepting Applications for Third Year of Resilience Fund
The Berkeley Foundation’s Resilience Fund is now open for Stage 1 applications until February 2, 2024. With a £900,000 investment, the fund aims to strengthen the voluntary sector by supporting small-to-medium-sized organisations focused on young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The fund prioritises diversity, equity, and inclusion, offering successful organisations up to £60,000 over two years for organisational resilience. Eligible groups in specified geographical areas can apply, and the two-stage application process involves an initial eligibility check. Learn more about this opportunity and the Foundation’s commitment to organisational resilience on their website.

Find out more about this fund and apply


Boots Charitable Trust Extends Grants Programme to Support Local Communities across the UK
The Boots Charitable Trust has expanded its grants programme, offering funding opportunities of £100 to £10,000 for registered charities across the UK. The grants focus on health, lifelong learning, community development, and social care. Smaller voluntary organisations with an income/expenditure under £5,000 per year can apply for grants up to £5,000. The funding aims to support projects demonstrating commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion, with a particular interest in those capable of significant impact.

Applications are accepted quarterly, with the next window open from 1 to 28 February 2024.

Learn more about this grants programme

Funding to Promote Visual and Performance Arts Across the UK
Jerwood Foundation is providing grants of up to £2 million per year to support UK organizations promoting visual and performance arts for public benefit and nurturing emerging talent in the arts. The funding is available for projects and activities lasting between three and 12 months. Past recipients include Brixton Chamber Orchestra, The Courtauld, Paintings in Hospitals, Persona Arts, and Arnolfini, supporting various art-related initiatives and exhibitions.

The next deadline for applications is 1 March 2024.

Find out more about this funding opportunity

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.

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

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

Lancaster City Council receives accreditation from White Ribbon UK
Lancaster City Council has received accreditation from White Ribbon UK for its commitment to ending male violence against women. White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. We are inviting communities from across the district to also make the White Ribbon promise, or become a White Ribbon Ambassador or Champion. Visit White Ribbon UK to find out more.

Are you In The Know?
Are you, your family and friends kept up to date on important matters in the community? Would you like to feel safer in your neighbourhood and be informed of urgent occurrences in your area? ‘In The Know’ is a free messaging service brought to you by Lancashire Police supported by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire County Council.

The service allows you to decide when and how you are kept informed about what is happening in your area such as regular crime updates, information on road closures and other emergencies. You can also learn about what your local neighbourhood policing team is doing.

Be informed, be In The Know! Find out more and sign up here

Community Conversation: Disability Access
Join the community conversation on “Disability Access” in the Lancaster district at Lancaster University Management School. Participants will discuss barriers to access in the Lancaster District, focusing on Transport, Buildings (public and private), Attitudes, and Environmental access. The identified issues will inform future campaigns. The venue, equipped with disabled parking and accessible by bus, is partnered with organisations such as the NHS, LDCVS, RNIB, and more. Refreshments are provided, and the event is free to attend.

Two sessions are being held on Thursday, February 29th (2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm)

Find out more and reserve your place

Open Letter of Support – Fair Plan for Refugees
Global Link, as a member of the Together with Refugees coalition, is actively supporting the national Fair Begins Here campaign. They have drafted an Open Letter calling on the UK Government for a fair new plan for refugees, emphasizing protection for those fleeing war, a strategy for welcoming refugees, and global cooperation to address root causes. The letter will be published online and in local media on Valentine’s Day, with a local event at Global Link’s offices on Queen Street.

Local organisations are invited to sign the open letter by February 9th to show solidarity for refugees. If you would like to sign the open letter the full letter can be found at this link. Please sign by 9 Feb 2024.

Free Guide on Sexual Harassment Prevention – 10 Key Steps for Employers
The new Worker Protection Act, receiving Royal Assent on October 26, 2023, is set to come into force in October 2024. This legislation introduces a proactive duty for all employers to take “reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. QED training services provide a Free Guide which outlines 10 steps to help employers meet this duty, creating a workplace free from harassment, promoting respect and inclusivity, and cultivating an open culture. Additional free resources, including case studies, PowerPoint slides on advertisements, and insights on managing social events, are available upon request.

Read more about the 10-step approach

2024 Message from NCVO’s Chief Executive
The Chief Executive for The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) shares her views on the year ahead, giving emphasis on the importance of the charity sector’s collective voice this year. CEO Sarah Vibert outlines key priorities, including supporting organisations to campaign for change, raising the voices of small charities, building a sustainable workforce, amplifying volunteer voices, and uniting voices for a greener future. The focus is on creating an environment for charities to thrive, collaborate, and address challenges collectively, including engaging in the upcoming general election and advocating for a more sustainable future.

Read Sarah’s message here

NCVO Lessons from Governance Forum
The Governance Forum convened governance professionals to address challenges in the charity sector. The latest session featured insights from the Charity Commission on their strategy, discussions on equity, diversity, inclusion, and safeguarding with Stone King, and an overview of NCVO’s Fuelling Positive Change campaign. Key takeaways emphasised reevaluating the term ‘ESG’ and focusing on social value and impactful work. …Read more


Sue Widden
Lancaster Civic Vision have published a tribute to Sue Widden, who died in early December. Sue will be remembered keenly by many local people for her contribution to the wellbeing of the Lancaster district through her involvement with Citizens’ Advice North Lancashire, Lancaster Civic Society, Lancaster Homeless Action Service, and the Friends of the Judges’ Lodgings Museum.

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

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

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

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

Befriend a Local Young Person in Care
Nyas (National Youth Advocacy Service) are looking for Volunteer Independent Visitors who will take a young person who is in care out for a ‘fun’ visit once a month for a minimum of two years. An Independent Visitor is a volunteer who befriends and develops a long-term friendship with a young person in care.

This can involve helping young people develop new interests, skills and hobbies or going on outings such as to the cinema, bowling or just a walk in the park. Becoming an Independent Visitor can be very rewarding for you and life changing for a young person in care, being a consistent and supportive person in their life, helping them learn to trust, have fun and grow.

View their campaign poster
Click here for opportunities

Escape2Make Trustee Role
E2M seeks a passionate Trustee – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to enhance the well-being of young people (11-18). Responsibilities include advising on safeguarding, policy support, training oversight, and collaboration for safe events. Essential: experience with youth, safeguarding training, Microsoft proficiency. Desirable: youth work knowledge, policy writing experience, DSL training willingness.

How to Apply:
Email CV and cover letter (or ask for more info) to Jane Samson (she/her) at [email protected] by Fri, 9th Feb.

Escape2Make is passionate about equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion and encourage diverse candidates to apply.

Learn more at

Volunteer Opportunities – Lancashire Youth Challenge

Lancashire Youth Challenge are seeking volunteers who have experience of working with young people, such as retired teachers or those working in the youth sector or about to enter it, although any interested parties are welcome.

LYC primarily work in the Lancaster district but also have projects in Preston and South Ribble. LYC would provide safeguarding and any other training required. Any out-of-pocket expenses would also be provided.

For more information, email [email protected] or visit:

Wise Up Open Evening for Volunteer Opportunities

Wise Up Workshops will be holding an Open Evening on January 24th, 2024, at 6 pm, to celebrate their ten-year journey and seek to enhance their board’s expertise. Volunteer opportunities are available as board members for this successful community-based organisation in Morecambe and surrounding areas. Whether you have experience in the charity sector, creative and performing arts, finance, education, or working with people with disabilities, come and meet the team to explore exciting possibilities. 

The board meets quarterly online and/or in person, engaging in proactive tasks, advocacy, and contributing to strategic work. RSVP at 07506295782 or [email protected]  Visit for more information.

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!

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

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

3 Bridges 10k
Have you started running and maybe been involved in Parkruns and would like a new challenge? Then why not enter the popular 3 Bridges 10k on Sunday 14th April at 11am from the Lancaster & Morecambe AC clubhouse at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre. This race draws participants from across the north-west region. Many view it as an ideal warm-up for spring marathons and other extended races. Additionally, it caters well to novice runners who may be progressing from Parkruns to tackle longer distances.

Still low entry fees – only £14 for members of running clubs and £16 for non-members.  An extra £3 for entries on the day.  A really great medal for all finishers included.

Pre-enter here

PrEP Van in Market Square for HIV Testing Week (Tuesday 6th February 2024)
National HIV Testing Week is next week (5-11th February). The charity Renaissance will be bringing their PrEP van to Market Square all day (from 9am on Tuesday 6th) to talk about PrEP and to offer advice, support and HIV testing.

To ask a question or to request further information, please contact Jane Altham, sexual health practitioner with Renaissance, via email [email protected]

Find out more here

Health Coaching Skills Training and Attendance Bursary
Lancaster District CVS are offering bursaries for VCFSE staff and volunteers to attend a two day face-to-face accredited health coaching skills training course. The course aims to upskill individuals so they can have better conversations and support people to reach their self-identified goals.

The course is for people who perform roles where they have the opportunity to support people to make behavioural changes that will encourage improved health and wellbeing. It will provide a range of tools and techniques that will help structure conversations to help individuals set and work towards goals that are important to them, whether this is about lifestyle changes that will promote better health and wellbeing or being better able to manage long term conditions.

VCFSE organisations which would like help to enable their staff or volunteers to access this training can apply to Lancaster District CVS for an attendance bursary. This is to help cover the costs of time taken to attend the course. The bursary totals £175 which will be paid to the organisation’s bank account once both days of the course have been completed.

To take advantage of the bursary, your organisation must first secure a place on a course.

Applying for Health Coach Training Course
Courses are currently being offered in February and March – read the information leaflet to find out more.

Complete the application form in full and send it to [email protected]

Participants that have sent a fully completed form will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis for each course. They will receive a confirmation email, followed by further information with full joining instructions.

Applying for an Attendance Bursary
Forward your confirmation email to Jenny Reddell at [email protected] , who will allocate and confirm a bursary. Like the courses, bursaries will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until they have all been distributed.

Once your two-day course is complete, your trainer will forward the attendance register to CVS and Jenny will get in touch with details about how the bursary will paid.

North West Childhood Immunisation Pilot Campaign
The UK Health Security Agency, NHS and DHSC are introducing a campaign that supports efforts to increase uptake of childhood immunisations among 0-5-year-olds.

The campaign will run across the North West region in March and April, with additional focus on the areas of lowest vaccine uptake and within identified ethnic minority groups less likely to take up the vaccine offer.

Messaging will stress the importance of vaccinations and help parents to make informed decisions, and support the ongoing and dedicated work in our region to ensure children are protected against infections that can cause serious harm.

Download the project briefing document

Love Your Liver Roadshow
East Lancashire NHS is conducting free liver checks using their mobile Love Your Liver roadshow unit. The events are aimed at identifying individuals at high risk of liver disease and offering free fibroscans. The locations and dates include:

  • Kendal: Morrisons, Queen Katherines Avenue LA9 6DU on Tuesday 6th February
  • Fleetwood: Affinity Lancashire Outlet Shopping, Anchorage Road FY7 6AE on Wednesday 7th February
  • Chorley: Fazakerley Street PR7 1BG on Thursday 8th February
  • Accrington: location TBC on Friday 9th February
  • Burnley: St James’s Street BB11 1QL on Saturday 10th February

The checks are targeted at adults with diabetes, high BMI, high alcohol consumption, or previous/current viral hepatitis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, factors increasing the risk of cirrhosis. The East Lancashire team handles all assessments, scans, and follow-ups.

If you have any questions about the roadshow, contact [email protected]

Carnforth Rotary Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference
Are you a local group supporting mental health and wellbeing? The Carnforth Rotary are holding a Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference on Friday, April 19th, 10am onwards at Crag Bank Village Hall. This is a great opportunity for local groups to connect and come together for a healthier, happier community. They are seeking 4-5 presenters and 8 to 10 stalls promoting your services. There are no Charges for participation or attendance.

Contact President Arthur at [email protected] to get involved.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
NHS England aims to eradicate cervical cancer by 2040, but with a collective effort, this goal can be achieved sooner. Join the cause during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, advocating for government commitment, increased resources, and accessibility to HPV vaccinations, cervical screenings, and cell changes treatment. Let’s make prevention programs more effective and reach the target faster. Explore resources and share the message across networks to raise awareness.

Download Cervical Cancer Prevention Poster 1 (Cervical Screening)

Download Cervical Cancer Prevention Poster 2 (HPV Vaccinations)

Watch a video by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

Warm and Welcome Spaces
There are several Warm and Welcome Spaces in the Lancaster District including new initiatives in from Marketgate Shopping Centre who have joined hands with Lancaster Against Loneliness, providing warm drinks and chats every Monday, 1pm-3pm. Supported by Age UK Lancashire, St Thomas’ Church, and The Friendship Centre Lancaster. Gregson Centre introduces a warm hub offering free hot drinks, drop-in sessions, and community support from Lancaster City Council. Find out where to find more warm hubs at the Lancaster City Council website where you will find a drop down menu of 25 venues in the area.

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

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

Break the Mould Evaluator
In 2023, the Francis Scott Trust celebrated 60 years of supporting work with young people. To mark this milestone year, they asked that a group of local young people to distribute funds on the Trust’s behalf. Young people from across the Trust’s beneficiary area of Cumbria and Lancaster District were invited to design a grants programme and distribute £60,000 throughout 2023 that would benefit other local young people via their organised groups to support activities that are important to them.

To help us document the impact of a pilot initiative, Cumbria Youth Alliance and Lancaster District CVS are seeking an experienced interviewer and evaluator to work with a small group of young people and staff from the Break the Mould project. To gather the information, CYA and LDCVS will support the professional to set up a series of informal meetings with young people and staff from the project.

Find out more about this opportunity and how apply

The Confucius Institute Chinese Language Courses
The Conficius Institute are offering Chinese Language classes for children at Lancaster University.

To register for these classes, please visit the Lancaster University Confucius Institute website: Extracurricular Classes – Lancaster University

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

Hedgerow Planting at Hare Appletree Farm
Ever wanted to get involved in a community project that will help native wildlife, improve soil quality and have a positive impact on the environment?

A local farmer is looking to re-wild large areas of land by planting native hedges and trees. This is a huge development with 40,000+ trees and hedges already planted, but with more to go he is looking to the community for assistance.

There are a further 4,500 saplings ready to go in, so if you can spare a couple of hours to help, please book a session!

Sandylands and West End Morecambe, Safer, Greener and Healthier Streets
Residents and businesses in Sandylands and West End, Morecambe, have the opportunity to contribute to plans for safer, greener, and healthier streets. Lancashire County Council, with funding from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund, aims to enhance sustainable transport, reduce traffic collisions, and create a pedestrian-friendly environment. Measures may include traffic calming, improved crossings, and enhancement of the street environment. Share your views through an online survey and attend information events on January 30th and February 23rd at Morecambe Library. Engage in the initiative to help achieve a vibrant and safer community.

You can contact them by email at [email protected]  (It is advised to use subject ‘Sandylands and West End Safer, Greener and Healthier Streets Stakeholder’).

Learn more about the scheme

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.

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.

Embark on a Nautical Adventure with Baylight ’24 this Half Term!
Morecambe Sparkle CIC is excited to introduce a series of standout installations for the upcoming Baylight ’24 festival. Amidst the 12 captivating installations and a mile of light interventions, you are invited to see the Morecambe prom transformed in light over the 3 exciting nights of Baylight. Be amazed as a giant sea creature’s tentacles take over the stunning Grade 2 listed Morecambe Winter Gardens. This fun installation promises to be a visual spectacle, seamlessly blending creativity and innovation to bring a touch of magic to Morecambe Seafront. To help keep this extraordinary fusion of art and architecture going in the years ahead visitors are being asked for their support through donations via the Baylight website or paying by phone on the evening.

Contributions will help to ensure the success of the Baylight festival and to allow it to continue bringing captivating experiences to the community for years to come. With FREE entry for the public from 6 pm – 10 pm, the Baylight ’24 festival welcomes everyone to witness this enchanting display.

Go to Morecambe Promenade from February 15th – 17th during Half Term for an unforgettable experience and consider making a donation to support the festival. Readers’ generosity will help create lasting memories for all.

Find out more about Baylight ‘24

FREE CAP Money Coaching 2 Week Course
CAP UK are delivering a 2 week money coaching course.  The course will be in person with video content, you will learn about building your budget, planning your budget & applying this to your own finances. Lunch will be included.

Dates: Thursday 22nd & 29th February 2024 12:30-2:45

Location: ‘The Centre’ (St Thomas Church) Marton St, Lancaster, LA1 1XX

Find out more and book your place here

Prime Time Film Club – February and March
As part of The Dukes offer to older members of the local community (65+) they have announced the next 2 Prime Time film club screenings:

The Servant – Wednesday 21st February at 11am
The Piano – Tuesday 19th March at 11am

There are 50 free tickets available for each screening and then £4 following that and these can be reserved via the Dukes box office or via the website.

Both films will be followed by the £5 vegetarian soup and a roll offer from The Borough (please also book and pay for in advance via the box office) and a social discussion in the Gallery.

More information about the Prime Time project

If you would like the promo code to book the free tickets or if you require further assistance with booking tickets, please email [email protected]

Chinese New Year – Year of the Dragon

The Chinese New Year Festival in Lancaster takes place on Sunday 4th February. The festival starts at 10am with performances and activities centring around the Market Square plinth and other parts of the city centre.

The official opening ceremony starts at 12 noon in Market Square followed by the lion and dragon parade around the city centre.

Click here for further information

The Woman Who Influenced Me – an online exhibition for International Women’s Day 2024 (Closing date Monday 19th February)

King Street Arts and Lancaster City Council are working together to mark International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March. The Woman Who Influenced Me will collate responses from people living in the Lancaster district about women they know who have played an important role in shaping their character and interests, being a positive influence in their life.

It only takes a few minutes to submit a response. Entries are open until Monday 19th February. (It may not be possible to include all responses.)

Please see the attached flyer. Responses can be sent via email. The ‘Print version’ PDF is for groups to use as a discussion activity in which scans/photos of written work can be submitted. You can also  submit online.

The exhibition will be available at King Street Art Studios on Friday 8th March.

Build your Skills with NCVO Training
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) training courses cover a variety of topics, such as volunteer management and financial sustainability, to support you in your work. Delivered by expert trainers with hands-on real-life experience, their diverse set of courses aim to enhance your skillset to another level. In addition, members get a 30% discount on all training offerings.

Find out more about their training here

Lancaster Chess Club – Third Rapid Play Congress
The Third Lancaster Rapid Play Congress is set for Sunday, February 18, 2024, offering a £1,000 prize fund (subject to entries). The event features sections like Open, Major, Intermediate, and Minor, each with specific prizes. The schedule includes 6 rounds, ECF rated, with 20 minutes per game plus 10-second increments.

The Chief Arbiter is Keith Freshwater, and Assistant Arbiter is Marcus Fung. Entry cost is £20 for platinum, gold, and silver ECF members, with an additional £9 ECF fee for bronze or non-ECF members. Entries received after February 14 will require a £5 late entry fee. Parking is available near the Alexandra building, and the venue is disability-friendly.

Refreshments may be limited, and participants are advised to check the website for updates. For more details, contact Richard Walsh at [email protected]

Find out more about the event here

Sigh of the Sea with More Music
More Music commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the Morecambe Bay cockling tragedy on Sunday, February 4th. The event on Morecambe’s West End Beach includes music, warm drinks, lanterns for messages, and a boat-shaped fire. An evening event at More Music features the Long Walk Chinese Ensemble and flautist Guo Yue. Remembering the 24 Chinese lives lost, the event reflects on migrant worker exploitation, safety, and the impact on Morecambe Bay. Come along to share wishes, thoughts, and music!

Find out more

Mental Health Champions Network Training

Youth Mental Health First Aid
The MHCN are offering youth mental health first aid training sessions in March that will be offered with two types of access:

Online in 4 half day sessions – 5 / 7 / 12 & 14 March
Afternoon sessions 1-4pm – all four sessions must be attended with online learning completed in between the virtual sessions.

Face to Face at HIC @ Lancaster University – 18 and 19 March
Both full days must be attended 9am-5pm

Bereavement Support for Children & Young People
Facilitated workshop by Charmaine and Rachel Waalker from Cancer Care at Slynedales, for children and young people that are experiencing bereavement and significant loss.

Date & time: Monday 25 March | Full Day | 9.30am- 4.30pm TBC

Supporting Better Sleep in Children and Young People
Facilitated by Sam on MS Teams

Date & time: Friday 2 February 10.30am – 12pm
Location: Online

MHFA for Self-Harming Behaviour and Suicidal Thoughts
Facilitated by Sam and Charmaine on MS Teams

Date & time: Thursday 22 February, 2-4.30pm
Location: Online
Limited to 10 people max per session

Find out more about the above MHCN sessions

Aspiring Leaders Programme
Lancaster & Morecambe College are running a leadership programe for those aspiring to attain leadership positions, providing guidance on the best way to demonstrate key leadership characteristics. Whether you’re a leader in an official capacity, or a team member who seeks greater responsibility, adopting, practicing, and applying the aspiring leader’s principles will support you to develop the key  traits to achieve personal and professional objectives.

Upcoming courses:

Supportive and encouraging • 7 February 1:30pm – 4:30pm
To be an effective leader, you must have the trust of your team. They need to know they can
count on you to follow through on your commitments and to support them. Do you encourage
them to speak their mind? Do you recognize them when they perform well? Do you really listen,
or do you wait until it’s your turn to talk?

Strategic mindset • 6 March 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Leaders are responsible for aligning their team’s performance to the strategic objectives of the  organisation. Exceptional leaders have a deep understanding of the organisation’s mission and  are able to model its core values.

Innovative • 27 March 1:30pm – 4:30pm
In today’s uncertain times we need to harness the skills, knowledge, and experiences of
those around us to develop a creative and innovative environment. We will explore how to
capture rebel ideas to enhance organisational performance.

Download their Aspiring Leaders Programme here

For further information contact [email protected] or call 01524 521223

The Homeland of Olives
Dive into Palestinian culture at “The Homeland of Olives” on Jan 20, 11 am, hosted by the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA). Explore identity, heritage, and more through talks, art, food, and activities. Talks begin at 12 noon and the charity auction will be at 4:30 pm. Come along and celebrate in resilience and understanding.

For info, email [email protected]


Neuro Tea & Coffee Social
Come along for a Neuro Tea and coffee social on 2 April at Kings Community Church, Phoenix St, Lancaster. The social session will be from 10am till 4pm.  There will be cake! For more information contact [email protected]

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

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 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

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.

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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:
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:
20 February 2024, 9am – 12pm

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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
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Network Development Manager x2 for Kinship 
These are perfect roles for proactive and dynamic individuals. You will be developing relationships with local authorities to support the delivery of their new national Kinship Carer Training and Support Service. Great communication and presentation skills are a must along with accurate and timely use of their Salesforce CRM, effective collaboration across teams and excellent attention to detail.

Salary: £34,774 – £ 36,774 per annum
Contract: 18 months with possible extension
Location: Midlands or North of England (2 home based roles with regular travel to other locations and London office)
Closing Date: 11:59pm on Monday the 5th of February 2024
Interview Date: Monday the 12th of February 2024

Read the full job description and apply here


Global Community Manager for Recourse Alliance 
The Global Community Manager will play a pivotal role in developing and executing innovative marketing strategies to expand the community. The Resource Alliance will launch a digital platform where they can bring the Global Community together also in virtual ways – and collect and disseminate content, learnings, best practices anywhere and everywhere, while connecting people from all over the globe.

They are seeking a dynamic, energetic, and engaging individual to lead their community and relationship management efforts. The role focuses on community building and engagement, relationship management and marketing.

Salary: £35,000 – £45,000
Contract: Full time, Permanent
Location: Remote
Closing Date: 28th of February 2024 at 11:59pm

Read full description and apply here

Director Of Development for Recourse Alliance 

This is a pivotal leadership position at the Resource Alliance. The successful candidate will strategically collaborate across the organization to cultivate and manage transformative, long-term partnerships with a diverse range of entities, including foundations, trusts, and private sector partners. They are looking for a dynamic and strategic individual with expertise in marketing, alongside strong leadership in partnership development and fundraising. 

As the Director of Development, you will be instrumental in driving income development, leading fundraising initiatives with a pronounced emphasis on foundations, trusts, key accounts and business development. This role involves building and nurturing enduring partnerships to advance the Resource Alliance’s purpose, working closely with the CEO to enhance engagement and income growth. 

Salary: £60,000 per year 
Contract: Full time, permanent 
Location: Remote 
Closing Date: February the 26th 2024 at 23:59pm 

Read full description and apply here 

Experiential Advisor-Engaging with People on Probation (EPOP) for St. Giles Trust
St. Giles Trust are seeking people with lived experience of the prison and probation services across England and Wales to participate in this work on a sessional basis. You will be trained and supported to participate in a wide range of ways, gaining skills and experience for life and work while having the opportunity to influence long-term positive change for PS and people on probation.

They are looking for people who have, amongst many other qualities, knowledge and understanding of the issues which people on probation are facing, relevant lived experience relating to the role and similar, sensitivity to people’s experience and able to treat information as confidential. 

Salary: £13.15 per hour and travel expenses paid
Contract: Part time (Commitment of 1.5 days per month for 6 months)
Location: Remote
Closing Date: 11th of February at 23:59pm 

Read full description and apply here

Lancaster Floating Support – Accommodation Finding Officer
Gateway are looking to expand their offer of homelessness services and are recruiting a Accomodation Finding Officer. This role is to support customers to source affordable, private rented accommodation, and provide casework support to set up and maintain their accommodation for the long term. Building up networks with private landlords to increase move on provisions and maximise

Salary: £24,355 – per annum
Contract: 37.5 hours per week. Fixed until 31st March 2025 – Opportunity for extension on a yearly basis.
Location: Lancaster
Closing Date: 20 February 2024

Learn more about this role and apply

Executive Director at More Music
More Music is hiring an Executive Director to spearhead their vision and guide the team into the future. The charity, with 30 years of experience in music and education, seeks a leader to drive strategic planning, oversee programs, manage human resources, build partnerships, and handle policies and operations. More Music, an Arts Council NPO, holds a strong reputation in community arts locally and internationally. The role requires a dynamic individual with inspirational leadership to further the organisation’s vision.

Details and application information

The Well Communities Multiple Roles

Female 12-Step Behaviour Change Facilitator/ Supported Housing Colleague for The Well  

This role will involve you having a specific remit to work with an identified cohort of service users with multiple, complex needs.  The cohort includes individuals with additional support needs such as offending behaviour, substance misuse, ill mental health and domestic violence which may make them vulnerable to homelessness. Also assessing the needs of individuals to give then the best support in their personal growth, practical skills and development for them to live independently. 

A 12-step recovery program will form a key part of a holistic approach to recovery and wellbeing and the experience of participation in such models of recovery is essential to this post. 

For an informal conversation, please contact Sharon Mullen, on 07594254142. 

To request an application form, please email [email protected]

Salary: £22,000 – £25,000 per annum 
Contract: 1 Year 37.5 hours per week 
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire 
Closing date: Unconfirmed

Volunteer Van Drivers
The Well are looking for a volunteer/s who can help assist their community members to access the gym, take members to the Saturday hub in Lancaster and do their food collection from FareShare in Preston on Friday mornings. If you like variety and want to meet new people, this could be the role for you! Their community relies on their volunteers to keep them running successfully. But one thing that never changes is that they need volunteers to help them to spread the power of kindness.

Read full description for duties and requirements

For an informal discussion please contact Richard Hancock on 07444 907135 or Jo O’Brien on 07581 027413

Apply here

Vacancies at Birchall

Volunteer Coordinator
This new role at Birchall will see you make a stamp on their new volunteering and B-friending service. As part of the community engagement team you will lead, manage and coordinate their programme, supporting volunteers in all aspects of their journey, creating a clear volunteer pathway.

Learn more about this role and apply

Business Development Officer
This role is a varied support role that will include helping to attract funding through writing funding bids and reports, co ordinating community fundraising and donor management and leading on internal projects across the organisation to improve the range and quality of trauma informed services offered.

Learn more about this role and apply

Wellbeing Practitioner
Birchall are looking for two Wellbeing Practitioners, to support people to reach their potential whilst delivering a trauma informed wellbeing service to join the team. Providing practical support, advice, and guidance you will support a client’s recovery and enable them to develop self-help strategies to manage the impact of their abuse. This may include support around housing, benefits, court procedures as well as psycho-educational support such as mindfulness, grounding, stabilization, and relaxation to help reduce the symptoms of trauma.

One post is based in East Lancs and one on the Fylde Coast

Learn more about this role and apply

Break the Mould Evaluator
In 2023, the Francis Scott Trust celebrated 60 years of supporting work with young people. To mark this milestone year, they asked that a group of local young people to distribute funds on the Trust’s behalf. Young people from across the Trust’s beneficiary area of Cumbria and Lancaster District were invited to design a grants programme and distribute £60,000 throughout 2023 that would benefit other local young people via their organised groups to support activities that are important to them.

To help us document the impact of a pilot initiative, Cumbria Youth Alliance and Lancaster District CVS are seeking an experienced interviewer and evaluator to work with a small group of young people and staff from the Break the Mould project. To gather the information, CYA and LDCVS will support the professional to set up a series of informal meetings with young people and staff from the project.

Find out more about this opportunity and how apply

Finance and Office Manager for Global Link
Global Link is an education centre all about making the world a more sustainable and fairer place both through education and immigration support for refugees. The organisation are looking for someone who has the relevant experience to undertake a vast array of tasks such as recording all financial transaction on QuickBooks and creating project budgets and providing financial information for funding bid and implementing and developing financial policies and procedures. 

The office management aspect of this role will include, amongst other responsibilities, overseeing Global Link’s data management systems in line with GDPR and updating office records, including staff handbook and policies. See the job description and person specification to find out if you are the right fit for the role.

Salary: £27, 493-£34, 562 pro rata (depending on experience)
Contract: 21 hours per week, flexible hours
Location: Lancaster
Closing Date: 9am on Monday the 5th of February
Interview Date: Thursday the 8th of February
Start Date: March the 11th or as close to this date as possible

Therapy Service Coordinator for Cancer Care
The aim of this role is 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.  The role of the therapy service coordinator is to process all referrals which are received by CancerCare so that clients receive the correct service for them and in a timely manner.

Amongst many other responsibilities the role will involve maintaining the computerised data bases to manage records of referrals, attendances, discharges and outcomes and also undertaking initial assessments at CancerCare’s premises to support the referral process.

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 and apply here 

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

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]