Member Briefing – COVID-19 – June 12th 2020

Funding & additional financial support

*Time Sensitive: MIcro-Business Hardship Fund Closes Tonight!

The NI Micro-Business Hardship Fund closes for applications at 6pm on Friday 12 June. Depending on whether you meet the eligibility criteria your businesses can qualify for support of either up to £5,000 or up to £10,000.

Check your elgibility and apply here

Charities Fund
The Charities Fund will finally be launched this Monday 15th June for charities which have exhausted all other avenues of support and are facing imminent closure.

It will provide financial support to charities that have lost income due to the impact of COVID-19 and are unable to cover unavoidable costs until September 30th 2020.

For more information, check the DfC website

CFNI Community Fund
This fund was launched a few months back but is still open for applications and has no deadline. Grants of between £1000 and £10,000 have been made available.

See the Community Fund NI website for details.


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

Webinars & Online MeetingsCoastal Communities Network
Locality, sister network to DTNI in Englandis bringing coastal communities together for a peer-learning and networking event on Thursday 25th June.

Our coastal communities have extraordinary assets, and community organisations play a vital role in using them to help create opportunity and tackle local challenges. The aim of the event is to share best practice, exchange skills and ideas and harness the collective evidence base to influence national policymaking. 

Specifically for DTNI members:

  • the group is interested in creating solidarity with the wider coastal community across the UK and learning from a larger network of organisations;
  • you will have a chance to discuss challenges your English counterparts have encountered, particularly during the C-19 crisis, and hear from members across the UK who operate in similar communities. There will be a discussion on how to influence English policy, but input from all nations and an open space to discuss policy should be informative for all involved;
  • there will be input from Fernanda Balata from the New Economics Foundation, who leads NEF’s work on coastal economies, which is aimed at reconciling social and economic prosperity for coastal communities with marine conservation.

If you would like to take part, register here to receive joining details:

Design Thinking and Critical Problem Solving Workshop
Social Enterprise NI is teaming up with The Lens, a social enterprise based in Scotland, to deliver this workshop on Tuesday 30th June, 12 to 13:30pm.

The workshop will help you grapple with the challenges of adapting the support and services you provide for customers during lockdown and includes:

  • tools and techniques that will help turn your ideas into action;
  • ideas that will allow you to nurture you and your team’s innovation skills which will help build an entrepreneurial culture across your organisation;
  • free downloadable resources.

Visit Eventbrite to register

Effective Online Trustee Meetings
A NICVA-organised event from last week covering tips to ensure your trustee meetings are effective.

Watch again here

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 GroupNICVA 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).

Information for Employers

Human Resources
This week’s HR update from BridgeHR Consultancy includes:

  • latest changes to the furlough scheme;
  • legalities of employee surveillance during lockdown;
  • protected disclosures.

 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.

Download the latest HR update here

Other Information

Communications and social media consultant ForaChange specialises in campaigns and strategic communications for progressive social change. It has produced a detailed document that includes links to loads of resources you may find useful as you try to respond to C-19 related challenges.

Included on the document is information regarding digital campaigning, activism, online meetings, as well as a host of interesting articles and podcasts.

Download the ForaChange Digital Resources document here