Barnet Together is a collaboration between Inclusion Barnet, Volunteering Barnet and the Young Barnet Foundation to provide support, training, resources and advice to Barnet’s voluntary and community organisations.
Here at Inclusion Barnet we hold the contract with Barnet Council to support the vital role that the voluntary and community sector organisations play in our vibrant and diverse borough.
Whether you need help in identifying the right fundraising opportunities, advice on governance or business planning, or to find new ways to raise your organisation’s profile and reach new audiences, we’re here to help your organisation adapt and thrive.
We’re here to help in any way we can to support your organisation adapt and thrive in this ever-changing landscape.
Take advantage of our free and confidential service for all of Barnet’s voluntary and community organisations.
Ellen Cheshire our Voluntary and Community Sector Support Lead has worked in the arts, heritage and charity sector for 30+ years, in Fundraising, Marketing and Project/General Management roles. She is keen to use her experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to support all Barnet’s community and voluntary organisations to develop and grow.
Ellen is available via email, phone or videocall to:
Discuss the ways organisations can raise funds and which might work best for particular projects
Research and share grant funding opportunities
Guide you through making a funding application
Help in setting up a new project and/or organisation
Offer support and guidance on any organisational development needs such as: profile raising, finding new audiences or business planning
All sessions are free, and anything discussed will be kept confidential.
Barnet Together hosts a number of networking and special interest forums for those working in Barnet’s VCS including groups focused on the environment and safeguarding, and networking groups for those working in adult services or grassroots organisations. These are all online.
Then do book in for a one-to-one chat with Ellen Cheshire our Voluntary and Community Sector Support Lead, once she has gained an understanding of your organisation’s structure and needs she can carry out searches for Grants from Trusts, Foundations and organisations such as the National Lottery.
Ellen can also be that valuable second pair of eyes, looking at and providing feedback on a grant application before it is sent off, to make sure it is the best it can be. Or provide fresh perspectives on raising money from individuals or businesses.
Our friends at the Young Barnet Foundation, are managing The Barnet Community Response Fund, which has handed out grants to more than 130 local voluntary organisations since the pandemic started in March 2020. Find out more and/or donate to support local organisations in the borough.
Since 2015, Volunteering Barnet has been the London Borough of Barnet’s accredited volunteering centre. They can help your organisation find volunteers and inspire and support volunteering.
From advertising roles to providing training and resources, they work with voluntary and community organisations to ensure that both the organisation and the volunteer are getting the support they need.
Working with children or young people?
If you work with children or young people, in addition to having a chat with Ellen about your needs you may also want to get in touch with the Young Barnet Foundation, who have loads of resources, support, fresh approaches and specialist advice for organisations dedicated to supporting children and young people in Barnet.
Do your beneficiaries need financial support?
National charity Turn2us has produced a complete guide to financial support. It includes details of benefits paid in the event of self-isolation and a benefits calculator which has been updated to reflect the latest government policy.
Closer to home, my colleagues here at Inclusion Barnet, run the Benefits Advice Service as part of Touchpoint. This service is for people who live or work in Barnet; feel themselves to be disabledby a physical impairment, mental health issues, learning disability or long term condition; and are finding it difficult to navigate the benefits system or applications process. Do spread the word on this valuable support service.
Need latest local advice on Covid-19?
The responses, guidance and help that’s available is changing all the time. Stay ahead of the curve by keeping yourself well-informed at a local and national level.
8. Need legal assistance?
If you have a legal query you can’t resolve then you can book a 20-minute conversation with solicitors Russell-Cooke, who are offering Barnet-based voluntary and community organisations to this free and confidential telephone support service.
They can’t look at any documents, but can offer initial guidance on any legal issues, and suggest next steps.
Barnet Together is a collaboration between Inclusion Barnet, Volunteering Barnet and the Young Barnet Foundation. Together we offer high quality training, volunteering support and provide vital resources and advice to Barnet’s community organisations. We unite local people, charities and businesses to grow and strengthen local partnerships enabling our borough to innovate and thrive.
Quotes from people:
“As someone who is new to Barnet, Ellen’s been a huge help in enabling me to become part of the borough’s networks and is always available and keen to share her marketing and funding experience – she’s been great!” Christopher Newport, Centre Development Manager, Sangam
“It has been extremely useful for Community Focus having a free, knowledgeable and experienced resource available in the skillsets that Ellen offers. She has reviewed a mixture of our applications saving our charity much money and time in strengthening bids. Also offering us application opportunities that we may not necessarily have chosen or known about. We look forward to continuing to work with Ellen and Inclusion Barnet in the future fine tuning our funding aspirations!” John McCafferty, CEO, Community Focus
“Thank you, Ellen, you are an angel. You have been so supportive of us giving us the necessary support and pointing us to the right direction. If it wasn’t for Covid-19 I would have been in your office now hugging, you for this life saving information that you are given us.” Faith Unoarumhi, Development Director (Inclusion), AidExcel Support Services
Voluntary Sector Manifesto
Barnet Together is calling for community, voluntary and faith groups as well as statutory organisations and businesses operating in the borough of Barnet, to sign up to the Barnet Voluntary Sector Manifesto.
Developed over several months and with the involvement of seventeen community organisations from across Barnet including Barnet Carers and Barnet Multi Faith Forum, the Barnet Voluntary Sector Manifesto is a declaration of beliefs, commitments and ambitions for organisations that serve the borough of Barnet.
The aim of the Manifesto is to create better understanding and deeper cross-sector collaboration between organisations working within Barnet. By signing up to the Manifesto, groups and service providers agree to adhere to the values within the document. Several have already signed up to the Barnet Voluntary Manifesto and the Manifesto has the full support of London Borough of Barnet Council and its partners.
If you are a representative of a group, service provider or business based in or serving Barnet, then you can sign up to the Barnet Voluntary Manifesto using the sign up form below.
Manifesto Sign UP
Organisations that have already signed up to the manifesto
Advocacy in Barnet
Age UK Barnet
Barnet and Haringey Department of Work & Pensions
Barnet African Caribbean Association
Barnet Carers Centre
Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau
Barnet Multi-Faith Forum
Barnet Refugee Service
Barnet Seniors Association
Barnet Voluntary Group, Diabetes UK
Bread N Butter
Colindale Community Trust
Covenant Support Centre CIC
Disability Action (DabB)
Exposure Organisation Limited
Friend in Need Community Centre
The Good Neighbour Scheme
Homeless Action in Barnet
Homestart Barnet, Brent, Enfield and Harrow
Jewish Volunteering Network
The Last Cuppa CIC
Living Way Ministries
Lodge Lane N12 Residents’ Association
Mind in Barnet
North London Aquatics
Resources for Autism
Solace Women’s Aid
Stonegrove Community Trust
Young Barnet Foundation
Barnet Together News
Read the latest news and advice on Community Organisation Support
Barnet Together hosts a number of groups and networking opportunities:
MASH-VCS Safeguarding Lead Forum, an informal, open space where VCS Safeguarding Leads can ask questions and discuss challenges or ideas with the Adult MASH team from Barnet Council and each other, to promote better communication and confident best practice. Contact Rebecca Sare for more information.
Barnet VCS Environmental Network, an opportunity for those interested in environmental issues to share insights, find partners for funding etc. If you have attended a previous meeting you will automatically be sent a zoom link for the next meeting. They are usually held on the third Thursday of the month from 10.30 – 12noon. Contact Ellen Cheshire for more information.
Barnet Adult Services Liaison Group, a monthly networking group for those providing support services to Adults in Barnet. Contact Caroline Collier for more information.
Grassroots Get-together, a friendly informal get-together for Barnet’s grassroots voluntary and community organisations. These meet-ups are aimed at organisations with a turnover under £250K, although this is a guide, not a hard and fast rule. They are usually held on the third Wednesday of the month. Contact Ellen Cheshire for more information.
Barnet Together Newsletters
Barnet Together produces two fortnightly newsletters, our Main one and an Environmental one.
The Main Barnet Together newsletter provides latest news on Funding, Events, Training and more…
The Environmental one shares news on funding, events, training and opportunities. It is linked to our Barnet VCS Environmental Network, a monthly meeting for Barnet VCOs to meet, share good practice and find like-minded partners for projects and/or funding.
How well you plan and understand your organisation’s finances will have a direct impact on how well you are able to adapt, survive and thrive during a time of uncertainty. Fortunately, lots of guidance is available.
In addition to the links below, you can contact our Voluntary and Community Sector Support Lead, Ellen Cheshire for free advice on funding and help researching fundraising opportunities. Ellen is available to answer any queries you have. You can reach Ellen directly at email@example.com
Good Finance has been quick to create a useful Covid-19 resource hub for charities and social enterprises which includes guidance on funding and investments. The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise section is particularly useful.
Any charities needing an extension to their annual return deadline can contact the Commission to ask for one by calling 0300 066 9197, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Employers can also contact HMRC for a grant to cover some of the wages of their workforce but who are temporarily not working under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The Charities SORP has created a document outlining the implications of Covid-19 control measures and charity financial reporting.
Resources for Fundraising
Are you looking for ways to diversify your fundraising activity, or need to be re-energised into more creative and varied fundraising? Then do get in touch with Ellen Cheshire, our Voluntary and Community Sector Support Lead. She’s available via email, phone or video call to:
Discuss the various way organisations can raise funds and which might work best for particular projects
Research and share grant funding opportunities
Guide organisations and individuals through making a funding application
Offer support and guidance on any organisational development needs such as profile raising or business planning
Call us on 0203 475 1314 or email Ellen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a one-to-one advice session. All sessions are free, and anything discussed will be kept confidential.
Make the most of the free online training sessions and webinars that are springing up to help organisations adapt to new ways of working.
Sign up to our newsletter or follow us on twitter to hear about sessions Barnet Together are running, and keep an eye on these organisation’s websites or sign-up to their newsletters for free or low-cost fundraising, marketing or business events and training sessions.
Crucial for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk, a thorough, well-developed safeguarding policy is a vital component of your organisation’s policy suite. A clear, well-planned policy will outline your commitment to protecting your clients, employees and volunteers and will also demonstrate how your procedures will protect them from harm. It should also outline the process you have in place for reporting and recording concerns and incidents.
Remember, safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and when creating your policy it’s a good idea to involve your staff so that they can understand the issues that arise and what to do. It’s also worth bearing in mind the principles set out in the Care Act of 2014, designed to help protect vulnerable adults. These are:
Ensuring people are supported and confident in making their own decisions and giving informed consent.
It is better to take action before harm occurs
Giving support to those who need it
Providing the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
Partnership Working closely with community organisations can decrease risk as they can assist in preventing and detecting abuse
Being accountable and offering complete transparency in safeguarding solutions will ensure an organisational mind-set that puts safeguarding at the forefront
When designing your policy it is also important to state your intent – in other words your commitment to ensuring that clients, staff and volunteers are protected from all forms of abuse. Remember to be clear on what constitutes abuse and think about the organisational processes that will need to be put in place to report and deal with concerns. Once your policy is complete make sure staff receive appropriate guidance on their role. Include the policy in training and ask everyone to sign it to say they have read and understood it.
Bexley Voluntary Service Council has a very good Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedure Template which can be accessed here. Remember to adapt the policy to reflect your own organisational needs.
Demonstrating the impact your organisation has is an increasingly important part of fundraising applications, and can also help you fine-tune your service based on robust evidence of what works. Sharpening your awareness of the value of impact and evaluation can help you deliver better services, plan more soundly and get your staff behind you with better morale and increased productivity.
The Impact Support Website. More than 100 charities and social enterprises shared their ideas for tools to collect, analyse and present data. A wealth of resources will also help you understand what is and isn’t working and what to do about it. https://impactsupport.org/
It’s of no surprise that increasing competition for funds has led to funders turning down proposals for projects they once would have accepted. However, there are a number of ways to ensure your proposal has the best possible chance of success. Research, a compelling argument, as well as clear evidence there’s a need for your project will go a long way to elevating your proposal, particularly if you can show your organisation to be credible and capable of success.
Give yourself a winning chance with Writing Successful Bids a low-cost introductory course from the School for Social Entrepreneurs aimed at people who would like to learn some of the core principles for writing successful grant and funding applications. https://www.the-sse.org/courses/bid-writing-course/
Clear, consistent policies are at the heart of every workplace, ensuring that staff know what’s expected of them and that managers know how to respond. Find policy templates, free HR advice and employment guides from the following resources.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) provides a wealth of free, impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. Help is available on their A-Z advice pages. www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1390 . They also have a comprehensive online help facility. http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2042. If you can’t find the answer to your HR query online, you can call the ACAS helpline number 0300 123 1100. Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.
The Small Charities Coalition has a wealth of HR resources with free, downloadable guides on topics such as the Pension Auto-Enrolment Scheme, Employing Someone New and An Employer’s Guide to the Employment Tribunal. https://www.smallcharities.org.uk/resources-hr/
A sound financial structure is pivotal to success no matter what the size of your organisation, and it is well worth seeking guidance. The following organisations provide financial guidance specifically tailored towards community organisations.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). This is a membership organisation which can help you with a diverse range of financial topics including (but not limited to) financial responsibilities, controls on financial assets, record keeping, budgetary control and investment. They also publish a comprehensive manual on managing your organisation’s finances, The Good Guide to Financial Management. The NCVO is a membership organisation and fees are based on your charity’s gross annual income. Less than 30k a year is free. Between £100,000-£500,000 costs £164. http://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/finance
The Community Accountancy Self-Help organisation CASH-ONLINE produces a series of financial factsheets specifically for small charities. Topics include (but are not limited to); An Introduction to Charity Tax, Preparing for an Audit or Independent Examination, Payroll and Pensions & Bank Reconciliations. The organisation also offers training and low-cost accountancy services. https://cash-online.org.uk/
The Small Charities Coalition (SCC) offers a wealth of downloadable guides promoting best practice in accounts and finance. These free guides cover areas such as Auto-enrolment for Small Charities, the Charity Fraud Guide and VAT for Charities. https://www.smallcharities.org.uk/resources-accounts-finance/
Effectively engaging audiences and raising positive awareness of your work is key to both the short and long-term success of any community project. Learn to create compelling communications, make the most of social media and get tips for staying on top of new marketing trends and developments with help from the following organisations.
The Media Trust supports charities to build their communications skills offering an online resource hub providing key information on brand identity, social media, digital fundraising and much more.
Ensuring your communications activities and your organisation as a whole is GDPR compliant is now a must. Follow these tips from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to ensure you’re compliant with new legislation. https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/how-to/how-to-comply-with-gdpr
Online surveys are a quick and easy way to obtain valuable insight and new perspectives on your work. Try the following:
After a good ten months of remote working perhaps its time for a strategy re-fresh. Are you and your team working as effectively as you can or do you need help in streamlining your home-working practice? Have a look at our guides below.
1. Home-working policy
Doubtless you already had a home-working policy in place but the chances are it was designed for a small number of staff who occasionally worked from home. Here’s what to think about when updating your procedures:
2. Managing remote teams
Now that you no longer inhabit the same workspace you’ll need to rethink the way you manage your team. Find out how with our top ten tips for managing remote teams.
3. Getting the most out of online meeting
Video conferencing has been installed and (almost) everyone has switched on their audio. What else can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of your online meetings?
4.How to work productively from home
The daily commute is a distant memory but the boundary between work and home is becoming blurred. Power-up your team’s working-from-home strategy by following these tips.
Our partner organisation, Volunteering Barnet, is an accredited volunteer centre that successfully assists charities, organisations and the private sector in involving volunteers. If you need help to recruit and manage volunteers, to develop and promote your opportunities or need advice, support and training in volunteer management then register with their brokerage service here. http://www.volunteeringbarnet.org.uk/
Young Barnet Foundation
The Young Barnet Foundation supports services and activities for children and young people in the borough of Barnet. If you need organisational support, access to a community delivery space or would like to become a member.
The Small Charities Coalition (SCC) exists to support small charities across the UK. Helping community organisations to get their voices heard it also provides networking opportunities as well as a huge range of downloadable resources.
TheNational Centre for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is a membership organisation with a wealth of open access resources. The focus of its work is to champion the voluntary sector, representing the sector to Government, connecting organisations with people and partners and ensuring organisations have access to the latest expertise.
Small Charity Support is a small non-profit charity run by volunteers that provides help with common small charity issues such as accounts, policies and programme planning. It can provide individual support through telephone conversations, email or Skype.
Keep yourself up-to-date with sector news and analysis