This is where we’ll post third sector news and important updates that are useful for your organisation.
This week, we’ve been discussing the benefits of volunteering, for the volunteer. These could include:
- Time Credits / Time Banking
- Giving back to, or improving, the local community
- Work experience or improving your CV
- Feel-good factor
- Increase your confidence or self-esteem
- Learn new skills
What do you think are the key benefits? To have your say, email us at [email protected] or join our Facebook group – Essex Charity Chat.
We’ve created a new Facebook group to allow people working for the third sector within Essex to promote jobs and events, ask for help, and share ideas.
To join the group, please visit www.facebook.com/groups/1023659311344980
Content from The Charity Commission
This alert provides information and advice to charities about mandate fraud (impersonation of staff).
We have received several reports from charities who have been targeted by fraudsters impersonating members of staff, specifically attempting to change employees bank details. In all these cases the request was made through an email.
What to look out for
Requests to your HR department, finance department or staff with authority to update employees bank details, usually from a spoofed or similar email address to that of the subject being impersonated.
With a strong social engineering element, the fraudster often states that they have changed their bank details or opened a new bank account.
Protection and prevention advice
- review internal procedures regarding how employee details are amended and approved, especially those in relation to verifying validity
- if an email is unexpected or unusual do not click on the links or open the attachments
Email addresses can be spoofed to appear as though an email is from someone you know. Check email addresses and telephone numbers when changes are requested. If in doubt request clarification from an alternatively sourced email address or phone number.
Sensitive information you post publicly, or dispose of incorrectly, can be used by fraudsters to perpetrate fraud against you. The more information they have about your charity and employees, the more convincingly they can appear to be one of your legitimate employees. Always shred confidential documents before throwing them away.
We issued an alert in May 2019 that provides information and advice to charity trustees about cyber crime and how to report it.
Read Alert for charities – cyber crime and how to report to the Charity Commission
If your charity has fallen victim to this type of fraud, or any other type of fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud.
Charities affected by fraud should also report it to us as a serious incident.
Serious incident reporting helps us to assess the volume and impact of incidents within charities, and to understand the risks facing the sector as a whole. Where appropriate, the Charity Commission can also provide timely advice and guidance.
Our new annual review, grants supplement and annual report and financial statements are now available to view on our website.
The review shares stories about our work and grants, including young people who want to make a difference in their community, voluntary organisations raising awareness about the dangers of gangs and county lines and projects helping people in crisis to get back on their feet.
To access these documents, click here. If you would like to receive a copy by post, please email Kate Cornish.
Organisations working to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing in West Essex are invited to attend the West Essex Mental Health Forum in 2020.
The group meets every 2nd month from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at The Wellbeing Centre, 10-11 Corner House, Bush Fair, Harlow, Essex CM18 6NZ. The meeting dates for 2020 are as follows:
- Thursday 13th February
- Thursday 23rd April
- Thursday 11th June
- Thursday 20th August
- Thursday 15th October
- Thursday 10th December
If you’d like to attend, please contact Lois Sparkes, Community Services Manager, Health, Safety and Safeguarding Officer and Mental Health First Aid Trainer for Mind in West Essex. Email [email protected] or call 01279 421 308.
“The latest meeting of the Reducing Social Isolation & Loneliness Forum took place on December 3rd at County Hall. Attendance at this meeting seemed to be greatly reduced from previous meetings and may be a result of the forum having been influential in designing the current commissioning approach by County Hall which has resulted in the launch of the United in Kind campaign and associated support staff roles.
“The meeting received an update on the UiK forthcoming promotions. The campaign is focussing on “Learn Together” but has also including a Christmas theme of “Be Kind at Christmas” the latter of these will launch on the 9th December. There will be Adwalkers in locations across Essex on the 9th giving out Christmas themed promotion materials including recipe cards and shortbread. This pairs with a short video clip that will be promoted on social media to inspire people to make shortbread to share with friends, family or the wider community.
“UiK coaches are out and about across the county showcasing and facilitating community acts of kindness and were present to give an update. All partners are encouraged to feed into their local coach or to Provide good examples of acts of Kindness and community events so they can be shared on the UiK social media pages, they are also looking for case studies to feature. Templates for this and other useful tools are on the shared Google Drive. If you don’t have access to this contact [email protected] to request access. This is also the email address to send any event information or case studies.”
Sarah Troop, Co-Chair of The Essex Alliance & Director of Maldon CVS
Our Project Lead, Emma Wardall, was also present at the event and has been working to promote The Essex Map alongside the United in Kind Project. Attendees of the Reducing Social Isolation & Loneliness Forum were invited to add listings to the map for their organisation, and encourage others to do the same.
Content originally from the Metro newspaper
FREE counter terrorism training is being made available to everyone to teach them how to react to a major incident.
The lessons, which were devised by counter terrorism officers and security experts, were previously only available to staff working in crowded areas.
But Counter Terrorism Policing has now opened the training modules to anyone who wants to become a so-called ‘CT Citizen’, so they can spot the signs of suspicious behaviour.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the London Bridge terror attack on November 29 was a ‘stark reminder’ of the ‘ongoing threat and the need for vigilance’.
However, the NPCC said the decision to open the training to the public was not made in response to the attack, which left two people dead.
The online training, which was originally devised in partnership with Marks & Spencer, is available from today and free to anyone who wants to take part.
Called ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Awareness, consists of seven modules and takes 45 minutes to complete.
The sections include how to identify and respond to suspicious behaviour, what to do in the event of a bomb threat and how to respond to a firearms or weapons attack.
Dep Asst Comm Lucy D’Orsi, senior national co-ordinator for protective security, said: ‘ACT Awareness eLearning is especially useful for anyone working in or regularly visiting crowded places. The threat level remains at substantial, meaning an attack is likely, so giving everyone the chance to be extra eyes and ears for police and security teams helps keep all communities safe.’
She added: ‘The festive period is obviously a busy one, so this is a good time to join up and become a CT Citizen.’
Following an idea by Chelmsford City Council Chief Executive Nick Eveleigh, July 2019 saw the first ever Chelmsford Skills Festival held for Year 8 pupils from the district’s secondary schools.
Set in the beautiful surroundings of Hylands Park and utilising the colourful tents and marquees that had hosted other festivals the week before, the site was transformed into an array of inspiration.
Working with twelve-and-thirteen-year olds provided an opportunity to showcase the many different jobs and career paths available before they commit to their GCSE options in Year 9.
To give you a little snapshot of what a great day it was we thought you might like to see a short video of the event
It certainly made it all worthwhile when we received many quotes like this from the students;
- “I really enjoyed this trip because it opened me up to new jobs and ideas for my future careers and employment”
- “I never wanted to be a nurse but I am inspired to help others and learn more”
- “It was a great chance to try some new things I would have never had done otherwise”
Whilst lots has happened in the last four months, as we hurtle towards the festive period we are already turning our thoughts toward next summer and starting to plan for Chelmsford Skills Festival 2020.
Following the positive feedback we received this year, some useful suggestions and now a blue print to work from, we aim to make Chelmsford Skills Festival 2020 bigger and better – with more activities and more children to come along and learn. We are also going to open the event in the afternoon to older students who will be looking for the next step in their career journey.
If you are interested in exhibiting for free at this event, please contact [email protected]
Date of Event : Tuesday 7th July 2020 (all day)
Venue: Hylands Park, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ
As part of the overall Uttlesford Winter Warmth Initiative CVSU have compiled the following offer that will hopefully collaborate and support what other organisations are doing in this area.
This initiative will run from the 1st of December 2019 to the 31st of March 2020.
We will provide:
- Coat Swap scheme – Dunmow and Saffron Walden Libraries are going to host a Coat Swap this winter. People bring in their clean unwanted coats on hangers and put them on the coat rail. If they want another coat they can take one. This scheme also includes children coats. This service is free of charge and will work in conjunction with our Winter Warmth Initiative. We will hopefully have the scheme up and running within the next week or 2.
- Emergency Fuel Oil Vouchers – We will provide upto 3 voucher in extreme circumstances to different individuals who are elderly, ill, disabled or vulnerable 60 years +. You would need to liaise with our team who have a basic criteria checklist, if appropriate. We will arrange delivery and direct payment to the supplier upto a value of £300.
- Safer Homes scheme – Comprises of Handyperson service through which we will repair trip hazards, install draft excluders, heat reflectors behind heaters, repair doors or broken windows or fit curtain rails with pre-made curtains, and in addition a Winter Gardening provision – path access snow and ice clearance, managing Hedges, Small tree pruning, etc This service should be booked through the online Frontline Service or by calling 01371 878400.
- Compressed Coffee Granules Fuel Logs – Suitable for Open Fires and Log Burners, will be provided to those in need.
- Winter Warmth Packs – We have 100 Winter Warm Packs for Men and Women who are struggling with or are at risk due to the cold weather. These comprise of a set of fingerless gloves, Thick socks, a Hot water bottle, a Thermos mug and a blanket. Again please request a pack via the online Frontline system or through 01371 878400.
Please note we will ask you some questions as to who you are, if you are referring or acting upon someone’s behalf. Who the recipient is, their home address, contact details and age, also their circumstances. We are required by the funders of this initiative to provide information as to the impact of this provision so where we can we would like to obtain some case studies and testimonials. We will only contact people where permission has been granted and we operate in accordance of the GDPR obligations.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at CVSU.
On Thursday 26th November, our Co-Chair Sarah Troop attended the launch of the Sensory Action Alliance – bringing together organisations who represent different sectors, all pledging to improve the lives of those with sight and/or hearing loss in Essex.
Why do we need a Sensory Action Alliance?
One in six of us has a hearing loss and one in thirty has a sight loss. In Essex this equates to nearly 350,000 people and this figure is set to grow.
This isn’t just something which happens to other people, and so we all need to play our part in making the world we live in more accessible and inclusive.
Barriers to access can be environmental, personnel, system or information-based but often cause people to stop going out, lose confidence and independence and become excluded from society. The knock on is poorer health and quality of life, missed appointments, less footfall on the high street and higher complaints and dissatisfaction.
It is this we are seeking to change through the Sensory Action Alliance by sharing our expertise and supporting providers to become more accessible.
What are the benefits of being a member?
- Publicly demonstrating your integrity and commitment to improving access for all
- Promotion as a founding member of this new and exciting initiative
- Improved customer and staff loyalty and positive feedback
- Opening up your business to thousands of potential new customers and the ‘purple pound’
- Reduced missed appointments and a chance to promote your achievements to the CQC
- Equalities Act 2010 and NHS Accessible Information Standard compliance
- Networking and training opportunities with us and other alliance members to share best practice
- The ongoing support of the ECL Sensory Team and partner organisations for information, guidance and advice
For more information please email [email protected]