Change to HR Law

Did you know that there has been a change to HR Employment Law?

Employees only need to provide a sick certificate if they are off sick for more than 28 days. This is effective as of now and is due to stop on 27th January. For more information visit this article.

https://www.mccabeandco.com/news/emergency-changes-to-self-certify-sickness/ 

Government website can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/statutory-sick-pay-employee-fitness-to-work.

ICS December Newsletter

As the Integrated Care System (ICS) develops, there have been many advances. To keep you all in the loop, please find the latest newsletter explaining how the transition is progressing, while also announcing the appointment of the CEO designate and critical programmes of work that will be going ahead in the new year.

Click here or on the image below

 

Critical Friends – Developing a new project

 

COPE (Cambridgeshire Older People’s Enterprise) is a registered charity providing information/advocacy, social groups, outings and a bi-monthly newsletter to more than 2,300 registered members living in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. The organization was established by volunteers to ensure that older adults have a voice in their community and to highlight quality of life issues for this segment of the population. It remains volunteer driven with all programmes developed and supervised by volunteers.

The need
Following a needs assessment distributed to members in 2018, COPE created TALKING TOGETHER, a free, weekly telephone-based series of discussion groups enabling registered participants to come
together from the comfort and security of their homes to share ideas experiences and a love for life-long learning. The programme’s importance was underscored during the Covid – 19 pandemic when all face to
face groups stopped, and many COPE members started shielding. It will remain a valuable source of support as the pandemic plays out, and as restrictions on meeting in groups continue. COPE initially required a consultation to ensure it took all necessary steps in creating a new programme and in gaining insight into the network of collateral service providers in the area. Once TALKING TOGETHER was successfully established, information about appropriate funding sources was needed.

What was done
Cope found CCVS extremely helpful in the early planning stages, examining the aims of the programme, service design and plans for outreach to the older adult community. We were able to act as a critical friend and ask questions that helped COPE clarify the projects aims and how it might operate. Once the project plan had been agreed, further discussions focused on identifying funding sources and suggestions on how to best position the organisation to be successful with its grant applications.

The Impact/change
CCVS staff acted as a “sounding board”, always asked the right questions, and made very useful suggestions, assisting the organization in the challenging process of taking an idea from conception to realisation.
The outcome is a funded project that is now delivering an increasingly important service to COPE members, including a successful series of events over the summer of 2020.

Testimony
“CCVS staff provided the essential information and helpful critique which contributed to the development of TALKING TOGETHER. They were, and remain, available to test ideas, consider alternatives and continue moving the programme forward. Always generous with their time, CCVS’s input has been a key factor in ensuring the creation and growth of our unique service for older adults.” Deborah Katznelson, COPE trustee

 

This case study can also be downloaded here

COPE critical friend sc logo

Managing Volunteers – a package of support

Introduction
Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) is dedicated to supporting innovation in patient care at the Addenbrooke’s and Rosie hospitals. We are the only registered charity dedicated to supporting innovation in patient care across Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Thanks to the immensely generous support of our donors, Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals can provide a level of patient care beyond that which can be delivered by NHS funding alone and make projects happen sooner or to a greater degree than might have otherwise been possible.

ACT have a team of dedicated volunteers who often give their time to say thank you for the care they experienced at our hospitals. Their roles include, Fundraising Volunteers, who help to raise awareness of ACT, in their communities and/or the hospital as well as Office Volunteers, who support us with administration tasks.

This case study has been written by the new Volunteer Coordinator.

The need

My role as Volunteer Coordinator is new for ACT. I joined a year and a half ago and got in touch with the CCVS for support in re-envisioning how ACT involve volunteers and to put in place a formal volunteer programme.
The ACT volunteer team at the Chariots of Fire race 2019

What was done

The CCVS have supported ACT in developing its volunteer programme through the Volunteer Management forums, training and 1-on-1 advice. The Volunteer Manager Forums have provided a welcoming environment to talk to others in similar roles to myself as well as giving a valuable opportunity to learn from how they work with their volunteers. In addition, I have attended training sessions, in-person and online, on topics such as volunteer recruitment, supervision skills and legal issues. This has helped to build my knowledge base and develop a reference library of good practice guidance, that I can
share with colleagues and use on a regular basis. Finally, and importantly, being able to ask for expert advice from the CCVS on a 1-on-1 basis, is extremely helpful. The team have always provided informed and considered feedback quickly and professionally and this has been invaluable when working on bigger projects, such as putting in place the charity’s first Volunteer Policy.

The Impact/change 

The CCVS has helped ACT put in place a supportive supervision structure for our volunteers, introduce a Volunteer Policy and has given me greater confidence in championing the need for a considered approach to volunteer recruitment and management. ACT is now able to grow and extend the reach of the volunteer team whilst having a structure in place that ensures existing volunteers are valued and provided with development opportunities.

Testimony

“The support and quality of training provided by the CCVS, whilst developing and delivering ACT’s volunteer programme, has been exceptionally helpful and of great support. It’s wonderful to feel part of a wider team through the Volunteer Manager Forums and the training has enabled me to make informed recommendations to colleagues and implement positive change. I am also extremely grateful for the additional support offered since the Covid-19 pandemic. This has helped me in my approach to communicating with our volunteer team, whilst physically dispersed, as well as reminding me to maintain an awareness of my own wellbeing when working under difficult circumstances.
Thank you CCVS!”

 

September 2020

To download this case study click here

ACT volunteer management support sc logo

Volunteers needed for Vaccination Programme

The CCG continue to recruit volunteer staff to support the biggest and fastest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS. They have asked that the VCS share the below information with their communities.

 

There is an urgent need for volunteer stewards (RVS) and volunteer unregistered vaccinators (St Johns Ambulance) locally to support the vaccine programme.

Stewards

Stewards help and guide people at vaccination sites – this could be at a GP Vaccination Hub, a Large Scale Vaccination Centre, or at Pharmacy vaccination sites.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the steward role is asked to sign up via the Royal Voluntary Service website.  Volunteers are asked to commit to at least 2 shifts at a vaccination site each month. Shifts are up to 4 hours long.

Once registered (takes approx. 48 hours) volunteers will be notified of available shifts via text and email alerts.  Volunteers are then able to confirm which shifts they are able to do.

All vaccination sites (GP hubs, Vaccination Centres and Pharmacies) will advertise their available shifts through the Royal Voluntary Service website.

A DBS is not required for this role, although volunteers will be asked to declare any unspent convictions as part of the application process.

Unregistered vaccinators

Anyone interested in volunteering for the unregistered vaccinators is asked to complete the ‘expression of interest’ on the St Johns Ambulance website.  Unregistered vaccinators administer vaccines under clinical supervision – these roles require training and assessment.

Volunteers can sign up for both options if they choose to do so.

Omicron – VCS Gets Ready

Updated on 13/12/2021

A note from Julie Farrow, CEO at Hunts Forum. She recently was contacted by the CCG regarding government announcement and the support VCS can offer with the vaccine role out.

 

Dear Colleagues

Following the announcement yesterday of the increase in vaccinations required to stem the wave of Omicron, I writing to you to ask you to ‘be ready’ for a potential call to support the vaccination effort. 

WHAT CAN VCS DO?

Now

CCG has put a call out for volunteers via the national Volunteer Scheme for more volunteers: https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer/volunteer-roles/steward-volunteer. Would you please promote this amongst your networks?

Moving forward

We are unsure if  the National Volunteer Scheme will meet demand.  It is prudent to ask VCS groups in Cambridgeshire to also think about what they can do to support either by signposting existing volunteers to NHS Responders or

  • Assessing your capacity to manage staff and volunteers
  • Identify staff and volunteers willing/able to help (marshalling, admin)
  • Identify staff and volunteers willing to become untrained vaccinators (need an enhanced DBS check and 2 days training)
  • Have your response ready – Yes we can help – No we don’t have capacity

Things are moving very quickly and there is genuine concern that health may come under pressure.

Please do watch out for more details as soon as I know more, I’ll be in touch.

Steward Volunteer (COVID-19 vaccinations)

Considering becoming a Steward Volunteer for NHS Volunteer Responders? Find out more about the responsibilities of the role and how to sign up.

Steward Volunteer (COVID-19 vaccinations)

Considering becoming a Steward Volunteer for NHS Volunteer Responders? Find out more about the responsibilities of the role and how to sign up.

 Take care

Julie

 

Launch of Health Inequalities Prize

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS is committed to tackling health inequalities, including those which are a result of digital exclusion. We have launched an innovative new challenge fund to tackle digital exclusion in healthcare across the county.

Digital health and care innovation is beginning to transform health services, and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the use of digital healthcare support. However, it has also shone a light on the inequalities of digital access to health and care services, as people who do not have access to information and services online are likely to be more at risk of poorer health and social care outcomes.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2022 aims to tackle the digital divide in our communities and support the most vulnerable people in our community.

The Health Inequalities Challenge Prize encourages NHS organisations, social care organisations, charities and local innovators to help tackle health and social care inequalities caused by digital exclusion. The prize has been launched in partnership with Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Individuals, groups and organisations wishing to apply must do so by 1 February 2022.

Eight finalists will each be awarded a grant of £3,000 for projects designed to support those who are digitally excluded. From these, one winner will be chosen and awarded an additional £10,000 prize money to continue their project. All finalists and the winner must adhere to the objectives as set out by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS. For more information please visit https://www.cambscf.org.uk/cambridgeshire-peterborough-health-inequalities-fund.html

Councillors tell us their communities needs

Back in early July, Support Fenland met with some of the Fenland District Councillors to update them on the project and hear their views on what their communities need.

By Victoria Hopkins

In this meeting we shared with them the themes that had emerged from our engagement sessions earlier in the year, which you can read about in more detail on our previous blog posts, and then we talked to them about their hopes for the voluntary sector in their areas.

We discussed what make a good community, and how it was driven by having a variety of social activities. However, it was about more than just the social aspect of the group, it was about how they become hubs within the community, where individuals can find out about other groups within their community who might be able to help with other issues. It was also important that there was physical infrastructure to allow people to have the space to come together, whether that is parish halls or a play area.

It was also important to have local groups where members of the community can support each other. This has become particularly relevant with the Covid-19 pandemic and the transport difficulties in Fenland.

The challenges the groups were facing were focused on the lack of volunteers and funding. Many groups are relying on the same volunteers to deliver activities. There can be a lot of bureaucracy involved, especially around groups which work with children, which can put other volunteers off joining activities, and there can be a large time burden. When it comes to funding, the traditional fundraising opportunities have all been cancelled due to Covid-19, whilst at the same time groups are seeing increased costs, especially relating to speakers.

We wrapped up the session with a discussion on the ways that the councillors thought that we could help.

Help groups to find new volunteers, including rethinking their volunteering offer to include more flexible, shorter terms and local activities.

Explore ways to reduce bureaucracy to make it easier for groups in Fenland to operate.

Finding a way to coordinate volunteers across different organisations, and to deliver the services needed for the communities.

Explore other barriers to volunteering and support groups to overcome those issues.

Helping businesses to understand the benefits of employee volunteering.

Encouraging groups to apply for local funding opportunities to help reduce the shortfall from traditional community fundraising activities.

A huge thank you to all of the councillors who gave up their evening to talk to us about their communities. The input that they gave has helped to further shape our proposed work in Fenland over the next 6 months.

Firstly, there will be a big focus on volunteering. We are meeting with our infrastructure colleagues in Norfolk to understand the work that they are doing on volunteering passports, and whether they help to remove bureaucracy for small groups. We will report back on this, along with the national work that is being looked at in this area. Our September Fenland Networking event is all about volunteers, and the great work that is already happening which can be built upon. In November there will a workshop for groups in Fenland on how to gain recognition within their communities, to build relationships and secure volunteers and funding in the future.  We are also discussing potential volunteer fairs for Fenland, whether they are face to face, online or hybrid events, early in the new year to tap into those who are looking to start the new year by supporting their community.

At each of our Fenland networking events we have an update on funding where we discuss upcoming funding opportunities with different grant bodies. We know that groups in Fenland aren’t making as many applications as groups in other districts, so in November we’ll be working to understand what these barriers are, and then working with both the funders and the groups to start to overcome these barriers. CCVS & Hunts Forum also regularly run workshops on different aspects of funding, including making good funding applications and crowdfunding which Fenland groups are encouraged to attend.

When it comes to businesses, Hunts Forum & Support Cambridgeshire are running events in October & November which are focusing on how groups can engage with businesses more effectively. Whether that is by securing funding or volunteers, these workshops will focus on creating a business engagement strategy and practical steps to take. Details of both events can be found on the Support Cambridgeshire website

Vic will continue to be available to any group who would like support on any aspect of running their group. Appointments can be made using an online booking system on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Vic is also available every other Thursday evening for those who need support outside of our usual working hours.

We’ll be back again with another blog post in October, where we’ll update you on our networking events so far, and our training plans for the remainder of the year. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletters to keep up to date with everything that’s happening with Support Fenland, as well as the rest of our work across Cambridgeshire.

Funding in Fenland…what next?

One of the topics that we have talked about a lot during the Support Fenland project has been funding. We know from speaking to funders that Fenland is a priority area for their funding programmes, and we know from speaking to groups that they’re worried about where their money is coming from. So, the question we’ve been asking representatives of community groups, charities, funders, and support organisations this autumn is “how do we increase funding success for groups in Fenland?

 

One of the biggest issues is that groups aren’t making applications. They told us that they are put off making applications because:

  • They find funding applications complex, time consuming and there is no guarantee of success.
  • They aren’t looking to deliver something different. Instead, they want the funds to carry on doing the things that they already do
  • Finally, funders are seen as risk averse and need to have proof of success at the point of application, rather than to fund you to test out activities first. This is particularly a challenge for small and medium sized groups, who don’t have the money to deliver the activities to get that proof upfront, and so get stuck in a vicious cycle.

 

We heard from the funders about adjustments that they are putting in place to make their application processes more accessible to smaller groups. This includes Living Sport who have been switching to telephone calls instead of application forms so that groups can talk to a grants officer about their project, and changing their evaluation requirements to make them more proportional for smaller grants.

Funders told us that where the groups were able to apply for funding, then their applications were well received. If applications weren’t successful, it was because the groups hadn’t built a relationship with the funder, hadn’t considered the long-term sustainability of their work, or were trying to squeeze their project to try and fit the requirements of the funders.

We discussed lots of ideas about things that the funders, the groups, or support organisations like us could do differently to overcome these issues. We’ve shared the slides from our Jamboard below so that you can see all the details, but ideas that we came up with included:

  • Reviewing funding application processes to make them simpler and easier to navigate. This might include scaling the complexity of the application with the amount of funding, or changing the language on the application forms to make it easier for groups to understand what the funder is actually looking for.
  • Increasing the level of support to applicants. This might include making it easier for groups to speak to funders and build relationships before application, having a series of short videos on how to complete the application, or enabling support organisations to help groups complete the application forms.
  • Developing capability within groups to complete applications and deliver on funded projects. This might involve running and attending training course or workshops, recruiting volunteers with specific skill sets relating to fundraising, or creating and attending peer support networks.

Here at Support Cambridgeshire, we’ve been working up ideas that we can take forwards, alongside our existing offering. For example,

“Meet the Funders” events where groups can make appointments to speak to representatives from different funders about their projects. This is a great step towards relationship building, and to get an idea of whether your project will be fundable.

Training courses on funding applications that are run periodically throughout the year.

From 2021 there will also be a new Fundraising Network, where you can come along and meet others who have responsibility for raising funds, to learn and share with each other about what is going well and discuss what support you need.

You’ll be able to keep up to date with all the events as we announce them, by signing up to the CCVS and Hunts Forum newsletters.

We’re also running regular meetings between support organisations like ours and funders, where we can share insight that we are getting from groups, work out the best ways for us all to work and learn together, and understand the barriers to accessing funding and identifying changes that can be made. Building these relationships between our organisations will make a difference in the support that we can all offer to groups who are looking to apply in the future.

Cambridge CVS & Hunts Forum are on hand to help support you with finding funding opportunities for groups, and to review and help complete your applications. If you would like some one-to-one support, then contact Vic (vic@cambridgecvs.org.uk) to arrange a time for you to speak with a development worker.

What have been your experiences with funding applications? Have you managed to secure grants to support your organisation? Have you been worried about taking the first steps in an application and stalled? Whatever your experiences, we’d really like to hear from you to help shape our thinking for the future.

 

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