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COVID-19 Update April 10th 2020

Staff at Development Trusts NI will be working from home until further notice as recommended by the Public Health Agency.

We will be responding to emails and continuing to represent the interests of our members and the wider community and voluntary sector.

We will also be video conferencing regularly.


Charlie Fisher, Programme Manager – – 07595979642

Stevie McGirr, Communications Officer – – 07793865620

Kathleen Smyth, Community Asset Transfer Project Officer – – 07450954349

Margaret Craig, Creating Resilient Local Economies Project Officer – – 07764185318

We can also be contacted on Twitter @devtrustsni


A new private DTNI Member Facebook group has been created as a forum where we can share ideas, links to resources, or just have a chat. For our part, we will keep you posted with relevant news from the sector and share the emerging practice from our sister networks in England, Scotland & Wales.

Join the DTNI Member Facebook Group

NICVA Community Hub

NICVA has set up a community information hub at the Community NI website where you can find out how to get help in every council area. The resource is intended to be a centralised source for all services across NI.

The reliability of the hub will depend on the quality of information it is populated with so it’s important that the entire community sector is aware of it and feeds into it, and we would recommend that DTNI members do likewise.

Follow the link to add your contribution. You will be able to amend any information at any time. If a particular service ceases, please remember to remove the listing from the website.

Susan Glass from NICVA has also offered to help you complete the form or, if necessary, complete it for you. You can contact Susan on 028 9087 7777 (ext 217).

Webinars & Online Meetings

Social Enterprise NI Weekly Stakeholder Meeting

Social Enterprise NI is holding a weekly Zoom meeting every Tuesday as an opportunity to meet with other social enterprise leaders and staff and raise any issues and concerns. The last meeting was attended by SENI’s corporate partners from the banking and insurance industries and some good practical advice was gleaned.

The next one is taking place at midday next Tuesday 14th April.

Join Zoom Meeting       Meeting ID: 989 945 403

If you can’t make the meeting, let us know and we can raise whatever questions you may have.

How to Run a Virtual Event

Marketing gurus Hubspot have just run a live webinar on the practicalities of hosting an online conference or seminar. There is a lot covered in this conversation, from choosing the right platform to content management and you can pick up a recording of the meeting here.

Funding & additional financial support

Community Foundation broadens criteria for Coronavirus Community Fund

Community Foundation NI is broadening the criteria of the Coronavirus Community Fund. Those eligible to apply for funding include groups working with people with poor mental health and with vulnerable isolated people, particularly in rural areas. The fund will also continue to support older people and will seek applications for funding of between £1,000 and £10,000.

See the CFNI website for details of the Coronavirus Community Fund and other funding opportunities.

Information for Employers

Human Resources

This document contains a HR information update from BridgeHR Consultancy, covering issues which may affect the employment terms for, or relationship with, staff.

If there are specific issues for you, your colleagues or board that you wish to discuss, please get in touch with DTNI and we will endeavour to support you directly.

If you need detailed HR support, we will coordinate your query and link you in with BridgeHR.

Other Information

Guidance for Charities

The Charities Commission is providing information and resources as a response to the many sudden and dramatic changes to the way charities operate. This guidance  is for charity trustees, their staff, volunteers and service users, along with others who advise and support charities. It also aims to provide advice to the general public on how they can safely assist charities at this time.

New Counselling Service – Carrick & Larne

Externs new Community in Transition service has been set up in the Larne and Carrickfergus areas, funded by the Health Executive and Co-operation Ireland. Anyone aged 16 or over impacted by poor mental health or drugs/alcohol dependency can get in touch via telephone, WhatsApp or video calling.

A referral can be made from a third party (e.g. family member or GP) or the individual can apply directly through the crisis helpline.

If you need support contact:

Sharon: 07442533165

Patricia: 07974269587 

To obtain a referral form contact

If you are having suicidal thoughts, or know somebody who needs help urgently, you can contact the Extern Crisis Line:

(FREEPHONE) 0800 085 4808

Monday – Tuesday 9am – 5pm

Wednesday – Friday 9am – 9pm

And don’t forget that the Lifeline crisis counselling service is available 24/7, FREE, from anywhere in Northern Ireland – FREEPHONE 0808 808 8000

Again, a referral can be made from a third party (e.g. family member or GP) or the individual can call the crisis helpline directly.