13/06/13 – FaithAction E-News
Welcome to this weeks’ e-news for members of FaithAction.
This week, we are pleased to welcome back Felicity Smith, FaithAction’s National Co-ordinator, who has been on maternity leave. Welcome, Felicity!
This week is Men’s Health Week, which this year tackles stigma in men’s mental health. See our Resources section below for a number of useful tools, videos and information promoting men’s mental well-being and help-seeking in men, produced by the Men’s Health Forum.
We also have information on DH fund for health and social care, events for the justice sector and church leaders, and resources which include a guide to the PASC report from last week and a look at possible concerns with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund
The Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund (HSCVF) has launched its fourth local grant and capacity building scheme. The scheme is designed to help the voluntary become more sustainable and improve its potential in the care landscape. Unlike other grant schemes, the HSCVF’s focus is on helping organisations grow and develop, with chosen organisations receiving not only the project funding of up to £50,000, but also a tailored capacity-building support package.
The scheme is seeking projects that have potential to develop new, improved and/or streamlined systems in health and social care volunteering, and which fall under one of five themes: 1) Increasing User Voice to Improve Quality of Care, 2) Community Based Health and Care Interventions, 3) Improving Public Health through Prevention and Risk Reduction, 4) Improving Management of Chronic and Long Term Conditions, and 5) Building Capable Communities.
The HSCVF are also running a number of advice sessions, where interested parties can speak with a member of the HSCVF team and discuss the suitability and eligibility of project ideas.
Those interested in applying for the fund must first register online on the Volunteering Fund website between 10 June and 19 July. After registering, organisations may submit applications through the online portal until noon on 31 July.
Public against cuts to charity funding, says Charities Aid Foundation survey
A survey of public opinion regarding council funding cuts by the Charities Aid Foundation has found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents were against disproporniate cuts of funding to charities by councils looking to retain money for other areas of their budgets. The survey, in support of the Back Britain's Charities campaign, also shows that around two-thirds of people are worried that their local communities would suffer as a result of funding cuts, and that another two-thirds were concerned of being personally affected by the cuts. The results also show a lack of confidence in government, with only 25% of people believing that the government is doing enough to support charities and their work during the economic downturn.
John Low, Charities Aid Foundation Chief Executive, said, “We often take for granted many of the services these charities provide, but they offer invaluable support to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. In these tough economic times, many of these services are facing even greater demand and charities are struggling to do more with less, without having their funding disproportionally cut by local authorities."
Government's first social value ambassador is MP Chris White
Third Sector reports that, at the Social Value Conference in Birmingham today, Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd announced that Chris White, Conversative MP for Warwick and Leamington, would be the government's first social value ambassador. A statement from the Cabinet Office said that the newly-created position's role was to improve the social, environmental, and economic impact of public service contracts.
In June 2010, White introduced the Private Members' Bill that led to the creation of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, which came into force at the beginning of this year. The act, which received support from all parties, means that authories are required to consider the social value of services they comission, not just the financial costs. This requirement aims to open up more public service contracts to voluntary organisations, many of which already demonstrate their social value.
A statement from White said, "I look forward to championing this important act and the principles behind it. I look forward to working with stakeholders in local government and the public sector as well as engaging with civil society organisations and social enterprises on the ground to see how we can make sure that this act reaches its full potential."
justmentoring Launch Events
To celebrate the launch of justmentoring (see Resources below), NOMS and the MBF are holding a series of regional launch events. For more information, see the following links:
Church & Civic Engagement Forum
Tuesday 2nd July; Emanuel Christian Centre, London
The Cinnamon Network are inviting local church leaders to a free event on the role of the church in civic projects, including theological narrative and new opportunities, a briefing on Cinnamon Network sponsorship, and guest speakers including John Glen MP and Francis Davis.
For more information, please visit the Cinnamon Network.
Men’s Health Week
In support of Men’s Health Week 2013, we’re highlighting some of the resources available on the Men’s Health Forum
Livability are seeking a full-time Campaigns Coordinator based in London to help develop a joined-up campaign strategy to improve the lives of disabled and disadvantaged people.
NCVO, the Charity Tax Group, the Charity Finance Group, and the Institute of Fundraising and Stewardship are running a survey regarding the HMRC’s Charities Online service and Gift Aid.
The Guardian has an article regarding a service that will make it easier for small charities to switch bank accounts.
NCVO have launched A Day in the Life, a free work-shadowing scheme that allows members of the voluntary sector and members of government to spend a day in each other’s organisations.
Peter Horner, Policy Adviser at NAVCA, writes about the new Disclosure and Barring Service (CRB checks replacement) and the possibility of unrealistic expectations with the renewal scheme.
Funded by NOMS and developed by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation, justmentoring is a newly launched online resource for the benefit of the justice sector that provides a comprehensive directory of mentoring services.
NCVO have released a 2-minute guide to the Public Administration Select Comittee's report on the Charities Act published last week, providing a quick summary of its findings and recommendations.