COVID-19 Update April 7th 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).


Social Investment Scotland is running a series of free expert webinars to address the key challenges being faced by the third sector during this time. SIS has partnered with a number of leaders from the third sector and beyond to deliver a range of topics. See the full list here.

Funding & additional financial support

Crisis Cover Initiative

A cross-border initiative to simultaneously support frontline services and provide employment. Put yourself forward for paid emergency relief to help alleviate the stress put on essential services –  for example, those for homeless people with disabilities and others in residential and care settings.

Services affected include:

  • transport
  • cleaning
  • general support services
  • kitchen & food prep
  • care assistants
  • reception & admin

See the Crisis Cover website for details.

Free Grant Checker

Grant Checker is  free for one month for NICVA members and non-members alike, if you apply within the next two months.

Apply here

Employer Helpline

The Department for Communities has opened two dedicated helplines for any employer who needs help to advertise job vacancies or has queries relating to services for employers.

For help and advice on our services contact 0238 237 6692 or 02890 539 458, alternatively you can email  

Online Training

Hays Recruitment is offering a free online training programme that supports staff who are now working in differing environments including working from home. The Thrive courses are designed to assist with planning working days and working with a remote team, as well as stress management and health and safety.

To apply, email Cara Marks

The Hays Thrive platform is accessible here 

Charities Aid Foundation – Coronavirus Emergency Fund

The Charities Aid Foundation has launched this rapid response fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available and CAF aims to make payments within 14 days of application.

You can apply for unrestricted funding for core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable areas. 

One application only per organisation.

Resurgam Trust Hardship Fund

DTNI member The Resurgam Trust has appealed for donations its Coronavirus Community Response Hardship Fund from those who are in the position to do so.
The fund has been set up to provision of meals, shopping trips, befriending, comfort and support to elderly and isolated individuals in the greater Lisburn area.
If you wish to donate to the fund you can do this via the following means:

  1. BACS – Send these to account name Resurgam Trust, sort code 93-83-35, account number 09628311 and in the reference please put your name or organisation name 
  2. Cheque – Make cheques payable to Resurgam Trust and post to Resurgam Trust, Suite 3 LaganView Enterprise Centre, 69 Drumbeg Drive, Lisburn BT28 1QJ
  3. PayPal – please send these funds as ‘Sending to a friend or to family’ option to

In all instances when you have made a donation can you please email so they can record your support.

Other Information

Resources for Border People

Social security can sometimes be complex for cross-border workers as they try to navigate two different systems. Due to COVID-19 many workers, and advisors supporting them, are unsure which jurisdiction is responsible for redundancy.  New information is now available on the Border People website that should help to guide you in the right direction. Check  out the Border People website for more details.

By the way, if you work or volunteer in an organisation that provides free cross-border advice,  the Cross-Border Practitioners’ Group meets once each month to share information, discuss complex cases and establish relationships between organisations on both sides of the border. 

You may already be busy with cross-border enquiries and anticipate being swamped by Brexit and/or COVID-19 related enquiries. If so, the next meeting will take place on Thursday 30th April 2020, 10.30-11.30 am, ONLINE. 

Registration is now open please visit:

Support by Council Area

In response to a question from a DTNI member about the public/community response in Fermanagh and Omagh district, we made a few enquiries and were eventually directed to the council website where we found a fairly detailed list of community organisations and the respective supports they have made available. It turns out that most councils are doing the same.

Notwithstanding the ongoing population of the NICVA hub, here is the community response so far, listed by council area*:

Lisburn Castlereagh

Causeway Coast & Glens

Antrim Newtownabbey

Mid Ulster

Armagh Banbridge Craigavon

Newry Mourne & Down

Fermanagh & Omagh

Ards & North Down

* No information yet available from Belfast, Mid & East Antrim or Derry & Strabane councils.