Latest edition of Action for All News, the monthly newsletter bought to you by CCB
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Welcome to Connecting Communities in Berkshire monthly e-bulletin full of community training opportunities, funding and Berkshire based news.

We hope you enjoying reading July's edition and wish you all a safe and happy summer. Best wishes Gemma, Tim, Helen & Kate
Funding Opportunities July 2020
Opportunities to apply for Funding this summer. Thank you to Berkshire CVS’s for providing the information found on this news items; Thank you to Reading Voluntary Action, West Berkshire Volunteer Centre, Slough CVS & Wokingham & Bracknell InVOLve. 

Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund
The fund will help smaller equine welfare organisations significantly impacted by the current crisis. Applicants need not be NEWC members, but rescue and rehoming of equines should be the primary focus of the organisation. Round 2 deadline 24th July 2020 (payment by 7th August). Round 3 deadline 16th October 2020 (payment by 30th October). See

UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme
This is a capital fund that awards up to £5,000 to theatres run by charities and not-for-profit groups that can clearly demonstrate the value capital improvements to their theatres would make to their work in local communities. Apply by 5 October 2020. For details see

The Bailey Thomas Charitable Fund
The small grants fund helps organisations working with people affected by learning difficulties. It is for capital and revenue costs and for both specific projects and for general running/core costs. Grants are awarded for amounts from £250 -£10,000. Apply any time. See to apply on line.

National Lottery Community Fund – Awards for All Covid-19 Response funding open
The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) Awards for All funding will prioritise Covid-19 response for the next six months, further information here.

Alpkit Foundation – Covid-19 response funding for grassroots groups
Alpkit Foundation are now prioritising their funds to support projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the Covid-19 virus crisis.

Examples of projects they will consider:
Being active in your local community to help elderly or vulnerable people.
Minimising the impact of self-isolation for those in quarantine and need access to food, medicines or social care.
Supporting food banks and increasing the number of meals on wheels deliveries to support the elderly.
Supporting those who are homeless or in temporary accommodation.
Bringing adventure indoors and overcoming the obstacles that prevent us benefiting from going outdoors.
Who can apply?
Alpkit welcomes any applications from individuals or organisations serving those affected by the coronavirus across the country.
How much can you apply for?
You can apply for funding up to £500. (NB: This funder has generally donated around £60,000 per year)
How quick is the turn around?
They urge applicants to get in touch, and say trustees are available at a moment’s notice to approve applications and can respond very quickly if needs be.

Apply online here.

Berkshire Community Foundation Funding
Funding is still available for emergency grants

SOVEREIGN COMMUNITY FUND 2020/21 Sovereign has £120,000 of Community Funding for 2020/2021 (£40,000 over three grant rounds).Deadlines for the rounds are below
1:  August 31, 2020 – Young People and Financial and Digital Inclusion
2:  November 30, 2020 – Homelessness prevention and Re-entering the job market
3:  February 28, 2021 – Ageing Well and Place and community
The first round is now open for applications and Community groups and charities can apply through The Good Exchange (not directly to Sovereign),  See details and apply via the good exchange  

Aviva Community Fund offers match funding for crowd funded projects. The fund now includes applications for projects that enable causes to adapt or continue their vital services by covering core running costs, so they can help their beneficiaries and communities during this time of need. see details at  Applications are now open for the next round of the Aviva Community Fund until 28th July.    

Grants for Arts and Mental Health. Modest, unrestricted grants (to £15,000) to established organisations in the UK that focus solely on offering creative opportunities to people of any age living with mental health problems using the skills of professionally trained artists. Apply by 18th August 2020.  For details and application form see

Low Carbon Workplaces Grants for Berkshire Businesses
Low Carbon Workspaces are now delivering a total pot of £375,000 in grant funding to help small and medium sized enterprises in Berkshire identify energy reduction opportunities and to subsidise the cost of energy efficiency solutions. 75 grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available to help fund up to a third of the cost of energy saving measures such as insulation, LED lighting, energy efficient boilers, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicles.

More details can be found here:    

British Red Cross Hardship Fund
The British Red Cross Hardship Fund aims to address acute hardship and suffering to the those who are vulnerable, providing a short-term financial safety net for people most impacted by the pandemic. The fund aims to support up to 13,000 of the most vulnerable over a three-month period.
Learn more:

Masonic Charitable Foundation – Later Life Inclusion Grants Programme
Grants for local and national charities in England and Wales that are working to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life. 

Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme
Grants available to charities in Great Britain to help support individual energy consumers in vulnerable situations. 
Safeguarding Village Halls in Berkshire

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has been awarded over £100k from the National Lottery Community Fund to promote good safeguarding practice to village and community halls throughout England. We will be working to make sure that the voluntary management committees that run halls and community buildings have the knowledge and confidence to provide a safe environment for all.

Advice and examples of best practice will be shared with those managing and using village and community halls so that they fully understand their responsibilities and have appropriate and proportionate policies and procedures in place.

The project will be rolled out using our network of 38 county-based members who already provide support to rural village and community halls. They will be working with management committees to help them understand current legislation around safeguarding and make sure procedures are in place which reflect good practice. Ultimately, our aim is to increase awareness of the importance of safeguarding and making sure that these important rural assets are welcoming and safe places for all.
England’s 10,000 village halls are at the heart of rural community life – providing a hub for social activities, classes and services. Through its network of skilled advisers, ACRE supports the 80,000 volunteers who run village halls and similar rural community buildings.

NCVO Safeguarding information

NSPCC child protection guidance

Safeguarding concerns: practice example – hiring out space

Safeguarding guidance for disabled children and adults at risk

Guidance on handling safeguarding allegations in a charity
Working to provide Energy Advice and support those at risk of Fuel Poverty in Berkshire

Energy advice resumes mid-September
Our Energy Advisor Helen is back mid-September to take referrals for energy advice, offer training for frontline workers, and visit groups when sessions for families return.

Since Covid 19 resulted in many face-to-face events postponed or cancelled Helen has kept busy by keeping in touch with practitioners and offering support on Zoom, using YouTube videos, WhatsApp and via the phone to those that have been referred to her.
She states: "I’ve been busy with referrals recently which is great; helping vulnerable families with so much on their plate, single parents with children with life limiting illnesses and  people who said that there were days last winter when they didn't have the heating on when they had no money left." Helen is a term time worker and is back on 15th September 2020. If you would like to get in touch with Helen then please e-mail and she will be sure to offer you support as soon as she returns or for further information please contact

Coronavirus: Energy firms permitted to chase unpaid bills again
Energy companies have been given the go-ahead to chase unpaid energy bills again - although they have been warned not to be aggressive in their pursuit. In March energy companies paused their pursuit of any outstanding unpaid bills, but now the British energy regulator Ofgem has said this could begin again, assuming collection by companies or their agents is "fair", and that suppliers take into account customer’s ability to pay.
Re-Opening your Community Building?

In June & July CCB ran two webinars focused on helping Trustees of Community Buildings on best advice and up-to-date information on how to sucessfully re-open post Covid 19.  72 people signed up to complete the Re-Opening your Community Buildings webinar which were supported by Wokingham Borough and West Berkshire Council Adult Community Learning. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive showing that Trustees felt more enabled to make decisions about re-opening their Halls and assessing which activities could be offered safely in a Covid 19 Secure environment.

Regular updates on what you can and cannot do can be found by using the following links;

Outdoor Gyms and Playground guidance;

All Community Buildings Advice members were able to access this training for FREE. Quotes from a learner : "Excellent course, covered every aspect of re-opening a hall, all thoroughly and confidently presented in a well-structured webinar; answered all questions knowledgeably (within the bounds set by 'anything could change tomorrow'); lots of really useful guidance and forms on risk assessment, lots of useful checklists, etc.  I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the subject but I learnt a huge amount.  You had clearly put a lot of time and effort into preparing it all.  Very many thanks."

If you are involved with running a community building and would like to learn more about the help and support we can offer our members as well as free training available please contact or click on this link for further information please click here.
Information to help village halls and community buildings reopen updated from Action with Communities in Rural England
by Phillip Vincent, ACRE

National charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has published updated information to help village halls reopen in light of new government guidance.
Since 4 July, England’s 10,000+ village halls have been allowed to reopen. But government rules on social distancing, as well as the activities that are permitted to take place in these community buildings are complicated and frequently changing.

Many village halls are run by local volunteers, most of whom are not familiar with interpreting complex legal guidance. Thankfully, help has been on hand from a network of county-based village halls advisers, including our CBAS Advisor Kate, who have been able to explain the new rules using information sheets prepared by ACRE.

The charity first published information to help village halls reopen in June and was met with an overwhelmingly appreciative response. However, at the time it was not clear what sports and performances would be allowed by the government, as well as requirements relating to the numbers of people that could gather in these premises. ACRE sought clarity on many of the questions raised by village halls committees with government officials. To download helpful documents and read the rest of this article please click here.

Headsets Available!

We have 29 of these headsets available. They are brand new, still in packaging. Great for working from home or taking part in online training. We would like to get rid of in bulk and suggest a donation of £60 for our charity in return for them all. Collection from Swallowfield, Berkshire. Please contact if interested.
Farmers and police join forces against rural criminals

More police forces are now dedicating teams of officers to try to turn the tide against criminals stalking the countryside.

The teams are tasked with catching fly-tippers, livestock rustlers, tractor and quad bike thieves, hare coursers and vandals who are committing rural crimes estimated to cost the UK about £50m/year.

Analysis by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) carried out last year found 23 of the 38 rural police forces in England and Wales had a dedicated rural crime team in place. Six had a team partially in place and nine had no dedicated team in place.

To read the rest of this article from Farmers Weekly please click here.

Nominations for the 2020 National Lottery Awards are now open.

The National Lottery Awards celebrate the ordinary people who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

This year,for the first time, the Awards will, honour individuals who have made an extraordinary impact in their community especially those who have adapted during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

There will be no public vote, but your nominations will be put before a judging panel made up of members of The National Lottery family and partners who will crown which of our hometown heroes or lockdown legends will pick up a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy and a £3,000 cash prize for their project. For further details please click here.
Training from Community Organisers

Date: Saturday 25th July, 1pm - 3pm, online webinar

How are the actions that people in communities are taking the foundations for building the world as it should be post-pandemic?

About this Event
Many newly formed groups, and established ones, have started to explore how their actions can continue beyond the pandemic. In this webinar we will look at learning from the community organising framework and explore:
  • What are the changes that we want to see, and what role do we play in it
  • Power, and tactics for shifting it, through people taking action together
  • How we can engage with power holders and decision makers
  • How do we start tackle the root causes of inequality that have meant some, have faced greater challenges than others during the pandemic.
For further details please click here
Kooth: new online counselling service for young people in Berkshire West area

Berkshire West CCG, Wokingham LA, West Berkshire LA and Brighter Futures for Children have jointly commissioned the online counselling service Kooth, a service delivered by XenZone. Kooth will now be an integral component of Berkshire West’s mental health provision offering digital counselling and emotional wellbeing service for young people and young adults.

For a brief video giving an overview of Kooth please click here: Kooth Video
Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional wellbeing support service providing young people aged 11-18 years (up to their 19th birthday) in Berkshire West with a safe and secure means of accessing support with their emotional health and wellbeing needs from a professional team of qualified counsellors. To read the rest of this article please click here.
News from ACRE:  Covid-19 likely to have a negative impact on the delivery of affordable rural housing

A fall in property prices as a consequence of Covid-19 could reduce the number of affordable homes that get built in the countryside whilst larger, more inappropriate development could get the go-ahead warns charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

The delivery of appropriately scaled rural housing developments which include affordable homes plays an important role in sustaining rural communities. Too often young people are priced out of the places where they grew up, whilst workers in rural businesses can find it difficult to secure accommodation. To read the rest of this article please click here.
Supporting the Community Transport Sector: CTA’s Next Steps

The Community Transport Association (CTA) has developed detailed guidance on how to restart and sustain your community transport services as lockdown measures ease.
    This guidance includes:
     •    Social distancing
     •    PPE and face coverings
     •    Comprehensive risk assessments
     •    Training
     •    Looking after staff, volunteers & passengers
     •    Your vehicles
     •    Car schemes 
     Click here to see the information
Got feedback? We'd love to hear from you. If you have any comments or articles you would like to be included in the next edition please e-mail
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