Your Briefing 6 May 2020

Supporting you through this current crisis

This web version of our weekly briefing contains all the information you would receive if you are on our mailing list – plus extra content we couldn’t fit in.

This week

  • Visionary latest – how Visionary can support you
  • Covid-19: A sector-wide approach – How the sector is working together
  • It’s all about the money – Funding news, opportunities and updates
  • Member Spotlight – Sharing successes and ideas from members
  • HR Matters – HR advice and sources of information
  • Sharing the love – great ideas, successes and stuff that works
  • In the know – Latest Covid-19 Updates, news and resources

Visionary Latest

Welcome to your weekly briefing. We hope you are all looking forward to the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.

This week, we have again listened to you and have developed another full programme of online support and training session on the issues that are of greatest concern to you. Look out for sessions on employee wellbeing, fundraising and befriending in the coming weeks. We wanted to remind you all that most of our sessions are open to your staff and Trustees, not just CEOs so please do share details of these sessions with your teams.

Final chance to enter the Visionary Bank Holiday quiz tomorrow!
We will be hosting a quiz tomorrow – 7 May 2020 at 3pm for members. The winning team will receive a £20 Amazon voucher for all team members (max 6 in a team). We will be using Zoom breakout rooms to answer questions so there is no need to be in the same place as your team mates! Email Sarah Cosby to enter.

Advice and support
We can provide immediate advice and support via our Telephone Helpdesk on 020 8090 9264 or email.

Online support sessions
Monday 11 May at 3pm

Trustee Support Session
To join, click here or use the dial in details below.
A session for Trustees – a safe confidential space to seek advice, share experiences, challenges and learning from the current crisis. We will discuss how trustees can best support CEOs/Leaders at this time and what trustee priorities should be along with sharing key legal and regulatory updates. Please share these details with Trustees and encourage them to join us.

Tuesday 12 May 2020 at 10am
CEO weekly support session
To join, click here or use the dial in details below.
Our regular session for CEOs – no agenda, just an opportunity to share experiences, talk about what is working and find some peer support with what isn’t working so well

Tuesday 12 May at 2pm
Small Societies follow up session
To join click here or dial in on 0800 389 5276 (access code 389-706-965)
This session is aimed at small sight loss societies and is a follow up from the session held last week. New attendees are very welcome!

Friday 15 May at 12 midday
Employee Wellbeing & Home Working during COVID-19 
To join click here or call 0203 481 5240 – Webinar ID: 826 1643 9012
Alison Smith, Director at Roots HR CIC will talk about the importance of employee wellbeing and building resilience, with particular emphasis on the impact of COVID-19 on wellbeing. She will introduce practical tips and tools that can be used to help manage both your own wellbeing and offer an opportunity to discuss the impacts of home/remote working.

Thursday 21 May at 11am
Basic small bid writing skills 
To join, click here or use the dial in details below
Hosted by Tim Atkinson from TPT, join this session for tips on writing small funding applications.

Tuesday 26 May at 2pm
Fundraising Master Class – The Post COVID-19 Fight Back
To join, click here or use the dial in details below
Hosted by Fiona Ashcroft, CEO of Alder Hey Charity and Chair Institute of Fundraising North West. Join this session for ideas on developing your fundraising strategy for post COVID-19 and for an opportunity to join a Q&A on all your fundraising challenges and issues.

To join any sessions by phone (apart from Small Charities session and Roots HR session – see specific joining details above) call:
(Toll Free): 0800 169 0432 Access Code: 780-863-517

If you missed any of our previous sessions

CEO Support session – 5 May 2020 
11 CEO’s joined the session – no agenda, just an opportunity to come together and talk. We talked about preparing to return to front-line service delivery. Carol Theobald (iSight Cornwall) shared that she had a recent meeting with her CCG about the ECLO service and how that service might resume and Mike Jenkins (CamSight) talked about gathering data from people who use services and how to use the information to shape future delivery.

We talked about the briefing and the need to make sure the mailing lists were current – so if there has been any contact changes we need to know about please tell us!  We discussed how refreshing and useful it can be to undertake some personal development and some ideas around this were shared. Finally, we had a really interesting conversation about optimism and pessimism. The CEO’s shared some useful information which can be found here:

  • Reach Volunteering – a site where CEO’s have found success finding well qualified volunteers to assist with various projects
  • CITA – a dating agency for IT volunteers willing to support charities.

Please join us next week – it would be great to have you!

Planning and delivering beyond this crisis – 27 April 2020
13 people joined this session hosted by MySight Notts CEO Michael Conroy. The group discused and updated each other on the current picture in relation to the current status of ophthalmology and rehab services  and tackling the increased isolation of service users during and post pandemic. You can read the full note here.

Guidance on Supporting Visually Impaired people with minor tech issues
With a huge number of local organisations now delivering services online in response to the current pandemic, it is crucial that visually impaired people are supported to stay connected and equipped with knowledge and information to overcome simple tech issues. Many people experience minor tech issues with their phone, tablet, smart speakers, laptop or PC that can mean they become disconnected from services, friends and family. Visionary (big thanks to Eamonn Dunne) have developed some resources to support you to help your users stay online and keep connected. You can find the resources here as part of the Visionary Covid-19 Knowledge Hub.

Covid-19: A sector-wide approach

National Organisation Updates

Thomas Pocklington Trust Employment Service

With lock down measures in place and no hint of when they might end, the recruitment landscape is particularly challenging right now. But if you or any of your service users are looking for work or to change career TPT’s employment team is here to help. TPT have put together five top tips to get you ahead of the curve to outshine your competition when companies restart their recruitment. These tips as well as resources on a range of topics – CV writing, application forms, cover letters interviews etc can be found here.

Guide Dogs launch video-sign service for their COVID-19 information line and resources

The Guide Dogs Covid-19 Sight Loss Information Line (call 0800 781 1444  9am-5pm Monday to Friday), supports people with sight loss, and their family and friends, as they face the unique challenges of living with a vision impairment during the Coronavirus outbreak. They are referring through to local societies where appropriate. The service is now fully accessible to deafblind customers who use BSL. Visit their webpage and click on the SignVideo logo on the right hand side, or access through the SignVideo app.  Accessing the phone number this way connects to a SignVideo interpreter who will then connect to the information line. To find out more, click here and please do sign post any deaf-blind service users who may find this useful.

Survey for Parents and carers of visually impaired children on the impact of COVID-19 on Education and Children’s Services

Voluntary organisations in the vision impairment sector are working together to respond to the Education Select Committee inquiry. We want to ensure that they gain a deeper understanding of the effect COVID-19 has had on the lives of children and young people with vision impairment and their families, and how they can plan for the future.

Two surveys will inform this inquiry. One to parents and carers, the other to the VI education workforce. The deadline for responses is Friday 15 May. You can access the Parents survey and Professionals Survey by clicking on the links.

It’s all about the money

In these challenging times for you and your finances, checkout the It’s all about the money page on our COVID-19 knowledge hub. We’re growing the resources available and in the meantime if you need advice, please get in touch and share anything you find useful.

Charity Digital – Free online guide to virtual fundraising 

COVID-19 has left many charities scrambling for new ways to raise funds. Charity Digital have created a resource hub and a really useful online guide to virtual fundraising which can be downloaded here.

National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund has started reaching out to grantees, partners, and other vital civil society organisations to understand how it can support communities and the sector during COVID-19. The Fund aims to share what it learns over the coming weeks. Read more here.

Fujistsu – Charity Partnership Opportunity

Fujitsu have this week launched a charity of the year opportunity that is open to charities with income of up to £2 million per year and have a requirement to improve their digital capability. Read more about this here.

Financial difficulty and insolvency

As the COVID-19 crisis bites an increasing number of charities, including some Visionary members, are facing difficult financial challenges. This overview from the NCVO highlights the areas you will need to think about. Members of the Visionary team are experienced in supporting charities with their finances, especially in difficult times, so please do get in touch if you’d like to discuss in confidence any aspect of your organisations finances.

Small Business Grant Fund

The Government has announced its intention to make the scheme eligible for small charities. The scheme will continue to be administered by local councils with details yet to be confirmed. Find out more here.

Raise money from peoples Amazon purchases

A lot more people are home shopping. Did you know that if you register via Amazon Smile then a charity can directly benefit? It is straight forward to register as either a shopper or as a charity.

More charities can access Covid-19 loan scheme after terms changed

More charities can access one of the government’s schemes as registered charities do not now need to show that half their income comes from trading to be eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Read more here.

Funders award more than £11m in COVID-19 grants

Funders have awarded more than £11m in COVID-19 grants, according to data from 360Giving. Read more here.

FREE webinar – Managing investments in unprecedented times

As charities continue to struggle with the widespread financial implications of the COVID-19 crisis, is now the time to hold your nerve and stick to your reserves investment strategy? For expert advice and comment join this free webinar.

New Coronavirus funding updates

More updates from the DSC research team in Liverpool, this blog post is being constantly updated so check back regularly – for more information on over 8,000 funders also check out Funds Online .

Can we fundraise our way out of this crisis?

Creative and inspiring fundraising efforts are helping to relieve some of the boredom and worry of lockdown by giving people something positive to focus on and generating much needed income for struggling charities.  What could you do? What’s been going on? Read more.

Now not the time to cut fundraising spend

“Organisations should avoid being conservative on fundraising at this time and think about the long-term picture”, British Red Cross’ Paul Amadi has said. Read more here

A step-by-step guide to using social media to raise more funds

In the wake of COVID-19, digital fundraising is as important as ever. Checkout these resources and webinars from Charity Digital a charity established to help other charities accelerate their missions using digital technology.

More charities can access Covid-19 loan scheme after terms changed

More charities can access one of the government’s schemes as registered charities do not now need to show that half their income comes from trading to be eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. More here

Legacy income could fall by a quarter this year

Charities’ legacy income is expected to decrease even more this year than previously forecast, by up to 27%. Read more

Member Spotlight

Kirklees Visual Impairment Network (KVIN)

KVIN is a small charity based in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. They have responded incredibly quickly to adapt to the lockdown caused by COVID-19 to work in different ways to ensure their services users could stay connected and supported.

The Network provides phone-based technical support for smart phones, tablets and laptops. They can also help if people would like to learn something new. They have set up Zoom group chats and support service users with shopping and welfare calls as well as technical help. You can find out more about their fantastic work here.

Sight Service working with local Optometrist

Sight Service have worked with their local optometrist who has put together some Low Vision videos. You can watch the three videos here. Although these are Sight Service specific, we thought it was useful to see what other organisations are up to and think they are still relevant to anyone who wants low vision equipment while in lock down.

HR Matters

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers

This guide explains the information that employers need to provide to claim for their employees’ wages. The guide is now also available in Welsh.

Training opportunities 

We’ve often said that DSC training courses are good. Like many they are moving to online delivery and tailoring courses to issues relevant to the COVID-19 situation. Checkout their latest offerings here. The NCVO also have a range of online training/webinars available.

Sharing the love

Have you had success recruiting a suitably qualified Treasurer?

Galloway’s, based in the North West of England, are looking for a new Treasurer to join their Board of Trustees. Do you know of anyone who might be interested? Or have you got any tips on how to find a suitably qualified person or good places to advertise? If so, please email us.

British Wireless for the Blind (BWBF) launch new National Support Service to support people during COVID-19

BWBF provide a range of specially adapted audio equipment including DAB/FM radios, USB (memory stick) players, CD players and more, all designed to make it simpler for someone living with sight loss to use. The equipment is given free of charge to those who meet BWBF’s criteria.  In response to the current crisis, they have launched ‘BWBF Connect’ which allows people to receive their chosen piece of audio equipment via a doorstep delivery.  Further ongoing telephone support is offered to the recipient to ensure that they have successfully received, unpackaged and installed the equipment. If you or someone you know is interested in receiving a device, please contact BWBF on 01622 754 757 or email.

Disability Law Service – here to help!

The Disability Law Service can provide free legal advice to disabled people and their carers to ensure they have access to justice and receive what they are entitled to. They cover key areas of law as outlined in their update here. They are well versed in the changes brought about by COVID-19, how these are impacting disabled people and their carers and how to use the law to react. You will find a number of Covid 19 related factsheets and webinars on their website.

Charity Commission Regulatory and Risk Framework

This framework sets out the Commission’s regulatory approach and how they assess risk when deciding how to deal with individual cases. They have updated the regulatory and risk framework and set out how the Charity Commission operates as a risk-led regulator.

Safeguarding crisis hub

If you are looking to get the most up to date advice and guidance on safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk during COVID-19, SAFEcic has developed a crisis hub with resources to help voluntary sector organisations stay on top of safeguarding.

In the know

Help with benefits and pensions if you have accessibility needs 

Last week, the DWP launched this guidance along with some additional support services to help people who have difficulties claiming benefits and pensions because of a disability or health condition.

Key considerations for charities in the current crisis

Our legal partners Russell-Cooke have published another very useful update here – with information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Government financial support for charities, claiming GiftAid on tickets for cancelled events, Serious Incident Reports, engaging volunteers and entering into mortgages. If you need guidance on any legal issue arising from the crisis, you can call any member of their team for a short conversation, without charge or obligation on 020 8394 6350.

Closed any of your buildings/offices/premises?

Sadly several Visionary members have had their unoccupied offices broken into recently. If you’ve closed any of your premises then you might want to look at this guide from insurers Zurich. It has useful advice about ensuring you have “closed up shop” properly and points to consider regarding insurance cover – you need to check with your own insurers too.

Trust in charities rises amid COVID-19

Public trust in charities has grown significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new polling report. – read more here.

Government rejects call for more charity COVID-19 funding 

The government has rejected demands to increase the amount of emergency COVID-19 funding for charities. Read more here.

Good practice and support resources for boards/trustees 

Click here for a useful guide to virtual board and committee meetings as we know many members are now conducting their trustee meetings virtually.
You can also access some useful resources on governance from NCVO here.

Overlooked charities could add much more to the economy than current estimates 

The charity sector’s contribution to the economy is severely underestimated and could amount to £200bn per year, a report from Pro Bono Economics has found. Read the report here.

I want to hear more….

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And we also share news and updates on Twitter – follow us @visionary_uk 

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