Member Briefing – COVID-19 – May 1st 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. 
Today, DTNI, along with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and the Democracy Collaborative presents 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.


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 Meetings
 Trusted to Develop Us – FREE live webinar with Pat Kane – Wednesday 13th May , 11am BST

We are delighted to announce that, in lieu of his appearance as keynote speaker at last month’s cancelled DTNI conference, Pat Kane will join us for a free live webinar and Q&A on Wednesday 13th May.

Pat is a political commentator, writer and musician and activist. Pat is the author of The Play Ethic  and his forthcoming book is Radical Animal. He is also the co-initiator of the new political platform The Alternative UK, and one half of the 80s pop duo Hue And Cry.

One of Pat’s current preoccupations is that of system change; a fundamental change that has an economic and political reset at its core. But what will that look like in an NI context? How can those in the community sector be repositioned as the prime movers in a shift towards an economy that benefits the many not  the few? Can community ownership be the catalyst for a more participative democracy?
These are questions that have a new urgency to them as we start to plan for a post-COVID-19 world.Click here to register for this important discussion
Financial Wellbeing Roundtable
The Money & Pension Service (MaPS) launched the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing in Northern Ireland earlier this month as a 10-year vision for transforming the financial wellbeing of families and communities by 2030. To support the strategy, it will be holding a series of virtual roundtables throughout the month of May.

The discussions will touch upon savings, debt advice, the workplace and much more. They will also look at the impact of COVID-19 on your organisation’s ability to deliver and focus on rebuilding financial wellbeing for the people of Northern Ireland.
Contact MAPS if you’re interested in attending so they can provide a briefing for each topic.

Details of how to join the roundtables here.

Funding & additional financial supportCreative Support Fund
The Department for Communities has made £1.5m available to support individuals and organisations in the arts sector.

Individual artists and creative practitioners can apply for funding of up to £5,000 to continue to provide their talents and services, particularly to those facing barriers to the arts.
Small and medium sized organisations will also be able to apply for maximum funding of £25,000 to help them develop new projects or to  reschedule events which were cancelled due to lockdown.

To find out more about the criteria and to apply visit

Business Support Grant (with new criteria)
£10k will be be made available if you meet any of these criteria:

  • your business is the sole tenant of a rental property where the landlord receives the rate bill;
  • your business is the sole tenant of a rental property and the business receives the rate bill;
  • your business owns the property that it occupies, and the property has a Total NAV of £1,590 or below.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 20 May 2020.  Apply here

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

  • return to work guidance;
  • reduced working o job retention scheme;
  • how personality affects the ability to work remotely.

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
NICVA Emergency Leadership Group
The latest from NICVA regarding emergency funding for the community sector is that the £22m pledged by UK treasury has still not been rolled out but is expected to be in place in May.

More from NICVA here