Member Briefing – COVID-19 – May 15th 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

Hardship Fund
The Department for the Economy (DfE) has launched a £40 million Hardship Fund to support micro-businesses and social enterprises that are ineligible for other financial support.

It will offer emergency funding to businesses facing immediate cash flow difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19.

Click here for more info and to check your eligibility.

Charities Financial Support Package

Northern Ireland has been allocated £22m and whilst the NI Executive has taken the decision to give £6.75m to hospice support and to the Cancer Fund for Children, it is still unclear when the remainder of the package will be made available to the  rest of the sector.
An announcement on this is expected in the next few days.


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 @devtrustsniFacebook
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 MeetingsTalking Heads: Leaders Driving Social Change
The next series of webinars from Social Investment Scotland will have “eight socially-driven women share their thoughts on how the third, social enterprise and mission-driven sectors have responded to the current crisis, as well as how socially-focused and impactful approaches can be used to stimulate inclusive growth and address structural inequality.”

You can find more information and book onto the webinar sessions here.

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

  • the SSP reimbursement scheme;
  • undertaking a risk assessment of the workplace;
  • research on impact of pay in the coming year;
  • and a feature reflecting concerns about the level of drinking amongst those on furlough.

Also included: the institute for HR professionals, CIPD, has produced a risk assessment proforma available to download here.
 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