Making a Difference Online: Charity Commission’s Fresh Advice for Charities on Social Media

The Charity Commission has released new guidance on the use of social media by charitable organisations, emphasisng both its potential benefits and associated risks. The guidance, published on September 18, 2023 via the Charity Commission’s website, underscores that social media can be an effective tool for engaging with audiences and communicating about a charity’s work, but it also poses potential risks that trustees should proactively address.

Below are the summarised points from the article published on September 18.

Key points from the guidance include:

  1. Importance of Social Media Policy: Charities using social media are advised to establish and enforce a social media policy. This policy should not only be in place but also actively followed, helping charities avoid problems and respond swiftly to issues.
  2. Trustee Awareness: The Charity Commission highlights a knowledge gap among trustees regarding the risks of using social media. The guidance aims to bridge this gap by helping trustees understand the potential risks, the application of legal duties, and how to address issues that may arise.
  3. Trustee Responsibilities: While not every charity requires trustees to oversee day-to-day social media activities, trustees are expected to comprehend their legal responsibilities, even when tasks are delegated. The guidance emphasises the need for a policy explaining how social media aligns with the charity’s purpose and includes guidelines for trustees, employees, and volunteers using social media on the charity’s behalf.
  4. Managing Risk: Charities are encouraged to have guidelines for managing the risk that personal content posted by individuals connected to the charity, especially high-profile figures like CEOs, may negatively impact the charity’s reputation. It also affirms the right of trustees, employees, and others to express themselves within legal boundaries.
  5. Resources and Support: The guidance offers an easy-to-use checklist to facilitate informed discussions among trustees and senior employees about the appropriate social media policy. It also directs charities to resources and organisations that can assist in improving social media skills.

The guidance underwent a formal consultation from January to March 2023, receiving 396 responses. While many respondents welcomed the guidance, some sought greater clarity on trustees’ expectations. In response, the Charity Commission made several revisions to clarify regulatory expectations and emphasised the benefits of using social media to boost charities’ confidence in utilising these platforms effectively.

Paul Latham, Director of Communications and Policy at the Charity Commission, stressed the importance of balancing the benefits and risks of social media. He encouraged trustees to carefully consider their goals when using social media and apply the guidance to protect their charities’ interests while ensuring compliance with the law.

The full guidance, along with the consultation response, can be found on the Charity Commission’s page, alongside their consultation response.

Summary of voluntary sector representations from boards and committees


23 June 2023 — Rachel Talbot

There has been an increase in referrals to paediatric services for pre-school children along with an increase in need for children with complex needs. As well as this there are long waiting lists for speech and language therapy.

There is still concern about the number of inappropriate out of area mental health placements with work being done to reduce these.

The dementia tour bus that visited care homes across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough earlier in the year was a great success.

27 July 2023 — Rachel Talbot

There has been a reduction in turnover of staff since the beginning of the year. Mental Health nursing however had seen an increase in turnover.

A discussion took place about the Learning Disability Health Needs assessment. There were a list of recommendations however with lack of funding these may be difficult to implement.

Ambulance handover time has improved and is being sustained and are now the best in the region.


12 July 2023 — Education and Development workshop ARCH representation

The Oliver McGowan training and the ability to recruit the right amount of staff and the cost of training was discussed.

Background-the Health and Care Act 2022 introduced a requirement that regulated service providers must ensure their staff receive Learning Disability and Autism training appropriate to their role. The suggested training is the Oliver McGowan training.

17 July 2023 — Leadership and OD subgroup- Sharon Allen

There is a shift in focus from NHS from Serious Incident Review to Patient Safety Incident Reporting Framework (PSIRF). Understanding what within the organisational system led to an adverse outcome. All NHS and commissioned organisations have to introduce PSIRF and Arthur Rank are doing this.

Sharon had taken part in System Change Consulting Programme (a Health Education England funded programme) and she fed back at meeting. The programme had several modules and they are now available online.

The Leading Beyond Boundaries training had 78 nominations including several from Health Alliance members and all have been offered a place.

If organisations undertake staff feedback and are willing to share results and action plans contact Sharon Allen or Anita Pisani


18 August 2023 – Michael Firek

Someone to Talk To- Young peoples mental health service the ICB have agreed to continue to fund this service until June 26. It is a jointly commissioned piece of work with Cambridgeshire County Council and support young people 13-25 with complex mental health needs. The service is currently delivered by Centre 33.

Continuing healthcare efficiency plan- A plan has been received and approved to reimplement clinical tier rates for nursing care beds. A revised and simplified set of rates has been discussed with providers to manage costs and be more reflective of the client needs.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICS Outcomes Framework- work is continuing on this. The intention of the framework is to encompass patient and user experience as well as workforce, culture and leadership elements alongside clinical, care and service outcomes.

PA Consulting- These were engaged in Feb 23 to develop a resource model informed by population health, outcomes and the health economic value of change. Work is currently under way to develop logic models that will help the system to assess the economic benefits of different interventions.

Mental Health Investment Standard (MHIS) Review- more than £183m of funding goes into Mental Health and Learning Disability and Autism services. The ICB has done a deep dive review of expenditure for 22/23 to understand the activity, quality, experience, performance and value for money of the services provided for the local population. Several learning points were identified.

Continuing funding for 23/24 was agreed. There was recommendation to pursue 3 year contracts with Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations who were delivering services funded by the Mental Health Investment standard (MHIS) or the Service Development Fund.

VCSE Health Alliance – Update Bulletin – October 2023

October 2023

Help with your workforce

The Health Alliance meeting in September focussed on the workforce. Sharon Allen, CEO of Arthur Rank Hospice and our rep on the ICB People’s Board, co-chaired the meeting and facilitated the involvement of ICB colleagues. Those who came along were able to hear about the ICB commitment to ‘One Workforce’ and discuss how we make this work for our sector. A key to this will be to explore how we collect and share data.


We also learnt that VCSE organisations will be able to equally access ICB initiatives that are being put in place to help recruitment and retention – watch this space for more details. We will be taking forward the agreed actions and revisiting them at a future meeting.


Question: Can your organisation or group contribute some very simple headline data about your workforce? This will help the ICB understand our sector and see us as integral to health and care provision.



Since the meeting, we have been notified of an opportunity for VCSE organisations to participate in a work and health employers conference next spring. The idea is to bring together examples of great practice and discuss the issues employers experience in supporting staff wellbeing. This will contribute to the ICS work, health and wellbeing strategy. To find out more email Nicola Ward:


Smaller organisations and community groups

As we all know our sector is incredibly diverse; in size, communities supported, services provided and geography. This is the richness that makes the sector so very valuable but at the same time, brings a challenge around partnership. How can we meaningfully engage with the broad spectrum that is the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector? If you are a small group, we want to hear your ideas and how we can work better for you.



Social prescribing and JOY app improvements

The findings from the social prescribing survey have been combined with feedback from members and written up as a report. This is now being shared with ICB colleagues to identify and progress a number of improvements. The Health and Wellbeing Network will continue its information sessions to help us connect with social prescribers and improve our understanding of the app.

The next Health and Wellbeing Network meeting is on 17th October from 12-1pm on zoom. Megan McGrath will be talking about the JOY app. Join the meeting to find out more about the app and how participating can benefit your organisation. To reserve a place please use the link below (note we have moved to Microsoft Forms).


Project proposals, please!

We all know how frustrating it is to receive notice of funding with short turnaround times. That’s why we have sent around a project proposal form. This will help us compile a bank of ready-to-go projects. Please complete and return with your ideas. We’ll keep this open until the end of November and then take stock of what you have sent us.


Health Alliance meetings

Here are the dates of our future meetings, please do put them in your diary. We have tried to get a mix of times, locations and formats to enable as many people as possible to get involved. You’ll see that we are alternating themes with the general Health Alliance business.


A number of members have requested a meeting focussing on health inequalities and this has been scheduled for December. If you would like to suggest a theme please contact We are also keen to get members to Co-Chair meetings on their theme of interest.

  • 18th October 9.30-11.30 Health Alliance business     Zoom
  • 6th December 1-3pm Health inequalities               Zoom
  • 17th January 1-3 Health Alliance business     March Library
  • 28th February 9.30-11.30 Theme to confirm               Zoom
  • 17th April 1-3 Health Alliance business    Peterborough
  • 22nd May 10-12 Theme to confirm               St Ives Corn Exchange

More members, please!

And lastly, please pass this newsletter on to your team and other groups and organisations who may not yet be Health Alliance members. Anyone wishing to join should email Debbie

See here for more information about the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Alliance. (You’ll see we have updated our webpage please do let us have any feedback)

Health Alliance – terms of reference


To provide a strategic network for Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) groups working within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

To engage and embed the sector within the Integrated Care System governance and decision-making structures.

To maximise the value the sector can bring to the health and wellbeing of their communities through greater collaboration across ICS partners.

To provide a voice and improve the wellbeing of all communities by:

  • Encouraging coproduction in the creation of person-centred, community-based health and care which promotes equality for all
  • Enabling the voice of the people with lived experience and those experiencing health inequalities to inform local and national policy, making and shaping the delivery of services
  • Building evidence of sustainable and scalable solutions to mitigate and prevent inequalities impacting on the health and wellbeing of communities


  • Nominated VCSE leads from organizations from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities to represent the diversity of the local community.
  • VCSE Alliance members can attend meetings or just be on mailing lists. The meeting attendances may be restricted number wise so if you are unable to attend after accepting a place at said meeting send a representative or alert Hunts Forum contact in good time.
  • One representative from each organization only unless they cover a different geographical patch.
  • Attendance from other parties, subject matter experts and agencies as identified by the group on an ad hoc basis.

VCSE Alliance members all have a responsibility to gather views from and feedback to, the wider VCSE networks that they represent to ensure the VCSE Alliance is representative of the views of the wider sector and able to affect transformation by fully engaging the wider sector on opportunities. There are a range of different roles individuals can play as members of the alliance. Some alliance members will be asked to represent the sector on ICS Boards, workstreams or ad hoc task and finish groups. Irrespective of the role alliance members undertake they should:

  • Engage with the wider VCSE sector and on behalf of the VCSE sector on their particular group/board etc – they aren’t lone wolves or single organisations
  • Be Accountable – capture and represent the views/experiences of the wider sector to the ICS and keep the wider sector informed of key decisions etc. that will affect them
  • Influence – ensure that they have skills/knowledge and experience to influence policy and decision-making
  • Communicate – keep in regular touch with wider VCSE partners. There needs to be a two-way flow of information, insight and intelligence. This could be through a virtual network or working group.

Purpose of group

  • Raise the profile, increase understanding, and promote the value of working collaboratively with the VCSE sector on the health and wellbeing of communities, on NHS services, health inequalities, prevention, population health management, social prescribing etc.
  • Agree representation from the VCSE Alliance at decision-making bodies, governance groups, programme workstream meetings and other strategic forums, across the ICS or place, as necessary.
  • Improve and consolidate existing links with local community networks and wider VCSE sector.
  • Use shared data to identify emerging trends from across the wider VCSE sector that the VCSE Alliance represents and influence key decision-makers across the ICS or place for the benefit of the sector.
  • Develop shared training and capacity building to ensure the VCSE workforce is able to meet future demands and ongoing quality delivery.
  • Identify new opportunities and to align opportunities through grant funding and social investment with statutory partners.
  • Develop a shared vision for the VCSE sector and proactively search for opportunities to progress the vision and the sector as a whole.
  • Explore opportunities to demonstrate the impact, value, and benefits that the VCSE sector can bring, collaboratively across the wider VCSE sector using the available evidence, data and intelligence to best support the overall sector development and to achieve the vision.
  • Join up intelligence – giving VCSE organizations better access to data and ‘market intelligence’ and vice versa.
  • Identify, promote and share peer learning, training and capacity building to; ensure all members workforce are in a strong position to meet future demands, and improve the quality and sustainability of services for people living in specified location.
  • Demonstrate the added social value and the impact of provision using evidence from member organizations, develop a shared business case for the VCSE sector to identify new opportunities.
  • Positively impact stakeholder perception and understanding of what the VCSE sector is and what the sector offers especially in terms of volunteers/community provision.

Schedule of meetings

Initially, meetings will be Monthly and alternate to be in person and online for 2 hours. The aim is for in-person meetings to be held across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough patch.

Administrative support. Initially, admin and correspondence support will be provided by Hunts Forum.

Safeguarding policy statement

The member organisations of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Alliance recognise their responsibilities to keep the people who use their services safe from harm and abuse. We are therefore committed to ensuring the highest possible standards of quality and safety in line with the Care Act 2014.

The Health Alliance will work with its statutory partners and funders to ensure that Health Alliance member organisations have robust and effective safeguarding standards and measures in place. Health Alliance organisations deliver a vast range of voluntary and community services and vary hugely in size and capacity. The measures will therefore be proportionate and clearly address the safeguarding requirements of the services they deliver. The infrastructure organisations and Health Alliance team will assist in developing resources that help the sector navigate and more easily understand these requirements.

Governance Month 2023 – November will see a range of exciting free events

In the non-profit sector, “governance” encompasses leadership, policy formulation, and strategic vision. This umbrella concept applies to individuals who guide organisations, whether known as trustees, management committees, or directors. Despite the varying titles, their primary duty remains the same.

The way an organisation operates serves as its structural framework. While establishing reasonable procedures, policies, and strategic vision may seem meticulous and time-intensive, it plays a crucial role in aligning everyone involved. Achieving this alignment requires a shared understanding of each individual’s purpose within the organisation and how they contribute to its mission.

Support Cambridgeshire is here to assist you on this journey with our upcoming free events in November. Governance Month is a series of events designed to address these fundamental questions and bridge knowledge gaps.

This month, we are thrilled to feature an engaging event led by Rachel Hales from Get Synergised. She will explore how building relationships with the corporate sector can lead to enduring benefits for your non-profit.

Additionally, Ben Jowitt from Charity Aid Foundation (CAF) will provide insights on managing reserves, including when to utilise or bolster them. This knowledge is invaluable, especially for individuals without a financial background serving on boards. He follows this talk with an ‘Audience with’ event where you can ask questions and discuss the recent CAF UK Giving Report.

Lastly, we’re offering two workshops that delve into the roles and responsibilities of charity trustees. These sessions are open to anyone interested in the topic, whether you’re a current trustee, aspiring to become one, or simply seeking to expand your knowledge. Being a trustee carries legal responsibilities, adding a new layer of accountability. We’ll conduct an in-person interactive workshop led by Hunts Forum on the 30th and two online lunchtime workshops facilitated by CCVS on the 16th and 23rd.

In conjunction with these events, Support Cambridgeshire will actively support and promote the incredible resources and activities of National Trustees’ Week, where several organisations will be running events covering all aspects of Trusteeship.

To discover more and reserve your spot at one of our events, please CLICK HERE

People’s Postcode Trust/Peoples Places/10am on the 2nd October for 24hrs

Grants available: between £500 to £25,000

District: England

Applications open: 2nd October for 24 hours ONLY

Link :

Who is the funding for: 

  • Providing support to improve mental health
  • Enabling participation in physical activity
  • Enabling participation in the arts
  • Preventing or reducing the impact of poverty
  • Supporting marginalised groups and tackling inequality
  • Improving biodiversity and responding to the climate emergency
  • Improving green spaces and increasing access


Funding priorities for 2023 are:

Funding rounds are often oversubscribed, meaning it is not always possible to fund all high scoring applications.

To support decision making, priority may be given to charities and good causes which meet some or all of the following criteria:
• Funding organisations with an annual income of
£250,000 and below
• Funding for groups that are led by and provide services
for people from the following minority/marginalised
• Communities experiencing racial inequity
• People with disabilities
• LGBT+ Communities


Will fund project and core funding.

Am I eligible?
Will NOT fund

Local, regional or government institutions and organisations with core statutory responsibilities (e.g. NHS Foundation Trusts and NHS Charities, parish councils, town councils and public bodies)
Political parties or party-political activities
Organisations less than 1 year old for unrestricted funding (please see criteria for project based funding)
Schools, Academies, Nurseries and Preschools (please see Learning Through Landscapes)
Parent Teacher Associations, Friends of Parent Teacher Associations, and Universities/Colleges (please see Magic Little Grants)
Organisations with solely religious objects in their governing document Organisations outside of Great Britain
Organisations with an annual income in excess of £1,000,000 Hospices and Organisations that also work overseas/internationally can not apply for unrestricted funding (refer to project funding)
Organisations that have received funding through any People’s Postcode Lottery Trust within the last 12 months (this is counted from the date payment was received into your organisation’s account)
Previous grant holders who have not submitted the end of grant review form Schedule 3 Community Interest Companies Organisations that have previously breached their Funding Agreement with People’s Postcode Trust Organisations with core support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery through other Trust

Thrive Together Fund – Blended grant and loan to grow and diversify social enterprise

Grants available: Up to £150,000

District: England

Applications close: rolling

Who is the funding for: 

The Thrive Together funding programme offers up to £150,000 as a blended package of loan (75%) and grant (25%) to those looking to grow or diversify their business models bproviding funding to help strengthen operations, improve resilience, encourage growth, expand impact, and ensure long-term success. 

Link: Thrive Together Fund | Funding | Social Investment Business (


Small and medium sized charities and social enterprises based in and delivering impact in England, who are looking to grow or diversify their business models. 

Am I eligible?
  • Incorporated voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations*
  • Based in England and delivering social/ environmental impact in England
  • A minimum of two years’ operating activity
  • A minimum turnover of £100k in the last financial year
  • A viable borrowing proposal.

* Must be registered as a Charity, Community Interest Company or Community Benefit Society. If registered as any other legal entity, it must have a social object, asset lock and restriction on profit distribution (must distribute less than 50% of post-tax profits) written into its governing documents.

Cambridgeshire Priorities Capital Funding / Community Assets / Expressions of Interest 24th September

Grants available: Up to £40,000

Applications close: Expressions of interests by 24th September

Who is the funding for; Public bodies, including Parish and Town councils, and also to community organisations. The fund will award grants of up to £40,000 to support with the capital costs needed by an organisation to make a community building or other community asset better meet the needs of local residents and users of the facility.

Link: Cambridgeshire Priorities Capital Fund – Cambridgeshire County Council


The Cambridgeshire Priorities Capital Fund (CPCF) is a pot of £1,000,000 ear-marked to support local communities to upgrade and improve community buildings and assets so they better meet the needs of the families, households, and communities who use them. We know that when people can influence and shape the services they are using, the support from these services becomes both more personalised and more effective. By putting people at the forefront of decision making around the community buildings they value and use, we want to fund the work that will make positive changes in local communities and, in doing so, will also deliver the ambitions set out in the County Council’s Strategic Framework. The principle of keeping local people at the heart of everything we do and working with communities and partners to design and develop local services, is at the heart of the Council’s commitment to decentralisation.

Funding Criteria
The Fund’s purpose is to support the modernisation and improvement of community buildings, spaces and facilities. Applications to the Fund must evidence how the proposal will support the Council to achieve its vision through the delivery of at least three of its ambitions as set out in our Strategic Framework 2023-28 and summarised below:

1. Net zero carbon emissions for Cambridgeshire by 2045, and our communities and natural environment are supported to adapt and thrive as the climate changes.
2. Travel across the county is safer and more environmentally sustainable.
3. Health inequalities are reduced.
4. People enjoy healthy, safe, and independent lives through timely support that is most suited to their needs.
5. People are helped out of poverty and income inequality.
6. Places and communities prosper because they have a resilient and inclusive economy, access to good quality public services and social justice is prioritised.
7. Children and young people have opportunities to thrive.

We particularly welcome applications that support the Council to achieve the aims and ambitions of the Care Together programme, by recognising the important role community assets can play in supporting people to remain independent at home for as long as possible, for example by providing spaces that support people to remain active and stay socially connected.


Health Alliance Meeting – 13th September

This month’s Health Alliance meeting was held at Cambourne Hub and was chaired by Sandie Smith and Sharon Allen.

From the work Sharon has been doing with the People Board a Workforce Development theme had been decided for this meeting and guests from the ICB were invited.

Rebecca Tuten- System Workforce Planner

Ade Tams- Deputy Chief People Officer/ Director of Workforce.

Emily Handley

Sharon gave an introduction on Workforce Development and discussed that data that is in the voluntary sector has not generally been aggregated although the Health Alliance have made a start on this. The NHS already have a good system for collecting their data. Because of the data from the voluntary sector is not included/ considered in planning this is not showing the whole system position.

Rebecca Tuten

The State of the Sector survey that came out recently is a useful first insight into voluntary sector. Is there a way that some of the data that is collected going forward able to match the data criteria that NHS are using? If so what do the voluntary sector feel is a realistic ask? What would be useful to both parties.

The Health Alliance members felt that some basic data would be useful but there needs to be recognition that

  • Not all organisations are commissioned.
  • Commissioners ask for data but where is it used?
  • The State of Sector survey did not get information from all of the voluntary sector and some are not involved in health or care.
  • The organisations need to build trust that the data they are sharing is useful/ needed and working to the benefit of all but particularly the service users.
  • What access to the data can the voluntary sector expect if they are contributing.

It was agreed that Sandie would do some work with Rebecca to see what would be a reasonable ask, how the data can be collected and used. It was agreed that “punchy statements” need to be written as to why organisations would be involved.


Ade Tams

Ade talked about the position of the ICS with vacancies. The hospitals use bank staff to fill some of the gaps with a small amount of agency staff- this is one of the lowest rates in England.

In primary care there has been a reduction of GPs by 6% but nursing staff has increased.

All PCNs are being asked how they plan to expand their services.

The ICB needs to understand how to encourage people to use the voluntary sector offer.

A 15 year forecast for workforce has been done but it does not include social care.


Emily Handley

Emily explained that work was being done with Anglia Ruskin University to help deliver a health and care workforce and 2 “attraction projects” are going to be delivered.

Just R– Sustainable workforce solutions- is a bolt on recruitment company. Some passive recruitment and expand the campaign to how to attract volunteers and to look at talent pools for organisation.

It was suggested that the new volunteering portal could benefit from this. Sandie will ensure that those developing the portal are aware of this opportunity.


Working and breaking barriers- a project based around employment to improve health outcomes. This aims to support people back into work or enable them to remain in work. There are 8 pilot areas.

Health Alliance members discussed higher vacancy rates than health locally, the reduction in volunteers and the changing face of volunteering and that the terms and conditions that NHS offer are difficult to match in the VCSE sector.

Ade talked about a pilot scheme to help with recruitment and retention. This is at phase 1 at present and a briefing is due. Phase 2 to cover shared/rotating roles. The HA will be kept informed. A new worker is about to start so Ade will ensure she is linked in with Sandie.

Ade confirmed that the VCSE sector would be very welcome partners in all of these initiatives.


Equality Diversity and Inclusion

Ade-Above Difference is a collaboration to discuss and look at discrimination with goal to produce culture change within the system and make it a safer place for all.

Sharon-Skills for Care are developing a social care Race Equality Scheme which maybe more relevant for the VCSE- this opens soon.

Kat (Barnardos) discussed the Maternity Equity Hub and the work that had been done to improve maternity experiences including looking at how staff recruitment took place. This has had some positive impacts and Kat will share a case study with Sharon to take to the People Board.

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