Ready for returning to the new world of work? – QED Training Summer 2021 Information Bulletin

From QED Training Services:

At the time we went to press speculation continued about the last part of the government’s roadmap for easing COVID lockdown on June 22. Easing the lockdown will be driven by the data analysis and not the date itself say the government. Whatever is decided, it looks likely that many people will be back in their places of employment by Autumn. We have therefore produced a free Summer booklet to help you get ready! 

It contains information and signposts to:- 

  1. Reviewing contracts of employment when people return to work. 
  2. The implications of “Long Covid” even when COVID 19 infections are exceptionally low. 
  3. Recent employment tribunal judgement on a refusal to wear a face mask. 
  4. Employers’ responsibilities if an employee says they are going on holiday to an amber list country. Can a boss say no to the holiday or leave request? 
  5. The Queen’s Speech – bullet points with signposts to our free full briefings on any listed topic as well as linked training courses. 
  6. Brexit -the end of the transition period on 30th June 2021 
  7. New and Short (2.5 hours) online training courses from QED Training

Do let us know if you require further information and/or any of the free topic briefings on the subjects listed under the section on the Queens Speech. 

IVAR: Voluntary sector adaptation and resilience through and beyond Covid-19

From Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR):

Summary of new briefing: Birds in a hurricane

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we have spoken to over 1,000 voluntary organisations across our portfolio of research. In every conversation, whatever the focus, we have heard about how small charities, social enterprises and community groups have been coping and adapting.

Along the way, we have been capturing snapshots of the live situation through our regular briefing series, drawing specifically from our peer support sessions for voluntary sector leaders. We have been inspired by individuals, holding their teams and organisations together in the toughest of times. And we have reflected on how funders, in particular, could best support their efforts.

This latest briefing, however, draws material from a wider range of projects – most of which began before the pandemic hit. In early 2020, we were facilitating local, cross-sector health partnerships, and looking at how small charities were using technology, not knowing just how vital these already important and interesting fields would become.

We decided to explore how organisations have survived – and in some cases even thrived – since the pandemic began. And we share the things that we believe will help both voluntary organisations, and those who support them, to sustain and develop their contribution for the longer term.

Click here for the briefing on the IVAR website.

IVAR: Response to change – How small voluntary organisations are using tech

From Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR):

Covid-19 has forced small voluntary organisations (SVOs) to experiment with tech. For many, this has enabled them to become more accessible and relevant to their communities, and to explore new ways to tackle the digital divide.

Before the pandemic hit, we were working with CAST to understand how SVOs were using tech, as a follow-up to our Start somewhere study. We’ve followed the journeys of four charities responding to Covid-19 through digital, and here you’ll find tips and advice, stories of embracing digital and suggestions for how funders can support SVOs’ use of tech.

Click here for the IVAR website for more.

National Youth Sector Census

From National Youth Agency (NYA):

As the national body for youth work in England, NYA is undertaking a national census of all youth provision and out of school activities. This is the first time such an ambitious project has been attempted, and we want to hear from your service, organisation, or community group. In taking part, you are helping us, to help you, to support young people today and in the future.

There are lots of great youth services, charities, community groups and others providing much needed support for young people across England. We just don’t know where you all are, what you do and what help is needed. Why does this matter? The Census will give us the essential information to invest in young people and out of school activities. It will inform policy-makers, service providers and funders as part of Covid-recovery and over the long term, to provide resources, training and opportunities across communities.

Click here to find out more.

Uprooting racism in grantmaking

From The Paul Hamlyn Foundation:

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Jane Tanner, Kamna Muralidharan, and Kate Hitchcock reflect on key learnings from some uncomfortable conversations about racism among European foundations, led by Healing Solidarity.

The ugly spectacle of the murder of George Floyd provided an opportunity for many in philanthropy, for perhaps the first time, to examine how racial violence manifests itself in our work. For the last year, many of us in the sector have been examining our own complicity within the whole spectrum of covert and layered forms of intrapersonal, internalised, institutional, and ideological racism.

Click here to read the full article.

Webinar recording: Further re-opening of village halls and community buildings from 17 May

The following webinar was delivered live on 12 May 2021 to over 120 village halls and community buildings to help them navigate the guidance around re-opening.

The webinar focuses on the further re-opening of halls allowed from 17th May. Attendees were asked to pre-submit questions and concerns relating to re-opening before the webinar. Community First Yorkshire Development Officers, Leah Furniss and Joanne Abbott, answer these questions in the webinar.

Click here to find out more.

Working family poverty hits a record high

According to a report from the think tank IPPR, the UK’s relative poverty rate among working households has hit a record high this century of 17.4 per cent, according to the first comprehensive analysis of official data released last month. Working poverty rates among families with three or more children have reached 42 per cent, up more than two thirds over the past decade.

The figures, reflecting the position just before the pandemic struck, show that working poverty rates have risen across the entire country but are highest in London, Wales and the north of England. Families of all sizes have been affected, with single parents, couples with a single earner and large families affected worst.

The sharp rise in working poverty (poverty faced by anyone living in a household where someone is in work) is revealed in the report, No Longer Managing, which lists four factors behind the growth in poverty: spiralling housing costs among low-income households; low wages; a social security system that has failed to keep up with rental costs; and a lack of flexible and affordable childcare.

It identifies the economy’s over-dependence on house price growth as a key factor in driving poverty higher, as more families have to rely on renting privately and housing costs for private tenants have risen by almost half (48 per cent) in real terms over 25 years. One in four households is projected to be renting from private landlords by 2025.

As a result, it says, much of the multi-billion pound benefits bill supports housing costs in the private sector, with any increase effectively channelled into the pockets of private landlords. IPPR estimates that £11.1 billion of housing support spending went to private landlords last year.

You can read more here

Government launches new pilots to further support people to self-

Published 24th May

The government is to launch 9 trailblazing pilots in England to test new, creative ways to help ensure people stick to self-isolation rules in areas with higher prevalence of infection including from new variants.

In partnership with local authorities, the government is backing the pilots with £12 million which will be used for a range of initiatives including providing alternative accommodation for people in overcrowded households, social care support such as increasing existing social care support for vulnerable adults and providing ‘buddying’ services for people whose mental health has been affected by lockdown and the variant outbreaks, and language communications support for individuals where English isn’t their first language. These pilots are designed to encourage people most at risk of catching and transmitting COVID-19 to come forward for testing and to self-isolate successfully if they test positive.

The areas that will receive funding for these pilots are: Newham; Yorkshire and Humber; Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen, Blackpool; Greater Manchester; Cheshire and Merseyside; Royal Borough of Kingston; Hackney; Peterborough, Fenland and South Holland, and Somerset.

For more information go to the Government website

Pandemic led to shift in who volunteers and how they do so, says research

From Civil Society

Some charities benefited from an influx of new volunteers during the pandemic, while others had to pause their activities, according to new research. The latest Respond, Recover, Reset report from NCVO, Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University found a “mixed” picture for charities and other organisations that work with volunteers.

Between 19 and 26 April, 579 organisations took part in a survey. Two-thirds were registered charities, 20% said they were limited companies, and 11% were community interest companies or voluntary associations.

Nearly a quarter of respondents, 24%, said they had experienced an increase in volunteering. This is attributed to existing volunteers having more free time and to new people getting involved.

However, 36% said there had been a decline. This was due to social distancing, restrictions on what services can run and vulnerable volunteers needing to shield.

This is the seventh wave of the project and the focus on volunteering comes a week before Volunteers’ Week.

You can read the full article here

A million over-65s ‘still at risk of loneliness as UK lockdown eases’

From the Guardian

A review by 10 leading charities has found that a million people over 65 in the UK are likely to remain at risk of chronic loneliness despite the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Loneliness, social isolation and living alone are all associated with an increased risk of early death, the Older People’s Task and Finish Group has said.

The group, part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Tackling Loneliness Network, also says that so many support organisations closed for good during lockdown that millions of older people are continuing to suffer loneliness, depression and deteriorating physical health.

The network, co-chaired by Independent Age and the Alzheimer’s Society, has found that only 7% of 96 support organisations questioned have returned to normal service after the pandemic.

Almost three-quarters of older people questioned in the network’s survey said they had no or significantly less support from the charities they had relied on before the pandemic.

“For people who told us loneliness was not just a product of lockdowns and shielding, but a symptom of their every day life before the pandemic, the easing of restrictions is not a silver bullet,” said Deborah Alsina, the chief executive of Independent Age.

Some older people are coping well since restrictions began to lift, but the group found that a sizeable minority are finding life is just as tough as during lockdown.

“The extremely damaging side-effects of lockdown – long periods of isolation, a loss of routine and social interaction – have caused significant mental health as well as physical health deterioration for people with dementia, many of them just ‘giving up’ on life, fading away,” said Fiona Carragher, the director of research and influencing at the Alzheimer’s Society.

You can read the full article here