Member Briefing – COVID-19 – June 18th 2020

Funding & additional financial support

Social & Community Capital Coronavirus Response Fund

Ulster Bank Social and Community Capital launches its £1m Coronavirus Response Fund on Monday 22nd June.
Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 to organisations that employ people from vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.

For more info visit the RBS website

Charities Fund
The Charities Fund was launched on 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 Meetings

Coastal 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
 Social Value Sessions
Social Value Engine is partnering with Social Value UK to deliver a webinar on how to measure impact while taking account of the COVID-19 pandemic – July 8th, 10am-12pm.

Speakers include;
Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible)  will reflect on how the impulse towards more local trading and trusted networking as a means of exchange will change the way local economies work.
Professor John Shepherd (Birkbeck University) will reflect on how new approaches to home working and online retailing will change the nature of towns and cities and the way people relate to them.
Sara Bordoley (NHS England and NHS Improvement will consider how the NHS can deliver social value in recovery and post-crisis; supporting levelling up and reducing health inequalities’.
Dominic Driver (Natural Resource Wales)  will consider the environmental impacts of the virus and their longer-term implications.

To register your interest in this webinar click on this link

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 covers:

  • flexible working post-COVID-19;
  • staff notice periods during furloughing;
  • the impact on staff benefits.

Separately there is significant discussion taking place around the issue of organisational development during lockdown, allowing organisations to explore new ways of working. Reflecting on how things have been done differently may be useful as employers seek to reboot regular activities. 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

South Eastern  Regional College – Skills Intervention Programme

This FREE training programme has been designed for those at risk of redundancy, furloughed or who have already lost their jobs as a result of lockdown. It is an 8 week course, part time, and commences on June 29th 2020.

For further information contact Emma Tate:; telephone 07919 597 734

Money Advice Service

Redundancy consultation periods are sensitive in nature as employers adhere to employment law practices and workers await the outcome. After the consultation period, it is important to provide your staff with support tailored to their individual needs.

The Money Advice Service offers free, impartial and confidential money matter advice and can provide resources to support your staff prior to leaving the organisation. This includes:

  • redundancy pay calculator;
  • Universal Claim Money Manager;
  • pension calculator.

For details of these and much more besides visit the Money Advice Service website.Other services can be tailormade for your business needs by contacting Partnership Manager Margaret McCloskey:; 07766775753.