Member Briefing – COVID-19 – June 5th 2020

Post-COVID 19 Solutions: A Message from DTNI

“Rescue, recover, reform” and “build back better” are the refrains, from across the third sector in the UK and Ireland, to the predicted and emerging post Covid-19 economic collapse. Community wealth building is the means by which we can deliver change. The power of community and social businesses, now lauded in public, are key to delivering social and economic change, generating community wealth and building the public services we deserve. We need to reimagine a collective ownership of our commons, our people, our land and property assets, placing the third sector on an equal footing with the independent private sector. 
DTNI, along with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and the Democracy Collaborative present the case for a change to ‘business as usual.’ In the coming weeks we will be working together on behalf of the community development trust network in NI to prepare a positioning paper advancing a community wealth building approach to build back better, rescue, recover and reform the economy for all in NI.
We welcome your voice and support for the power of community.

Click here to find out how we can rebuild better,not return to business as usual.

Funding & additional financial support

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Small and medium-sized businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 (capped at 25% of turnover). No fee or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 6 years, with no repayments due during the first 12 months.

Details of how to apply here

Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Small and medium-sized businesses can access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. For businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million.

Apply for Business Interruption Scheme here

Micro Business Hardship Fund
Support for micro-businesses and social enterprises unable to access other COVID-19 support measures.
Up to £10,000 is available for businesses which pay business rates on premises and up to £5,000 for those that do not. 

Visit NI Business Info to check your eligibility

Emergency Programme for Arts Organisations

Aims to assist small to medium scale organisations organisations most in need due to loss of income or operational capacity up to 31st March 2021.

Information and applications here


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 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).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:

Social  Enterprise NI / Viable Corporate Services – Changes to Furlough Scheme
On 10th June, no new amendments may be made so if you are considering or have taken part in the Job Retention Scheme, this is an important call to attend.

A Zoom call will take place on Monday 8th June, 11am on the proposed changes.

Register via this link and details for joining the meeting will be sent to you at 10am on Monday Morning:

Big Virtual Lunch – Mi Casa Su Casa, with Belfast Friendship Club

Hosted by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council via zoom on Saturday 6th June 12.30 – 2​pm

Four facilitators from the Belfast Friendship Club will speak about:

  • growing up in a different part of the world, a different culture or religious background, a different environment or climate
  • living far away from family and friends
  • the challenges of being new to Northern Ireland
  • different reasons for moving to NI
  • and most importantly, a unifying feature across all cultures – food! –  food memories and celebratory events and dishes 

Priority  will be given to those from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.

To register contact​

Rest & Relaxation for Volunteers
As part of Volunteers Week, a 15 minute mindfulness session will be led by Helen McDonnell from Indigo Life Coaching on Friday 5th June, 2pm.

To access the session click on the link below…
Meeting ID: 840 3001 5280
Password: 632110
If you missed the first live session on Wednesday you can access a recording by clicking the link below:

Information for EmployersHuman Resources
This week’s HR update from BridgeHR Consultancy includes the latest on:

  • changes to the furlough scheme – important for those contemplating using the new flexibility for part-time return in July;
  • information on fraudulent claims;
  • research into ‘presenteeism.’

 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