This is where we’ll post third sector news and important updates that are useful for your organisation.

Faith New Deal Pilot Fund prospectus

The Faith New Deal Pilot Fund is a new, competitive grant programme to help support faith-based organisations to use their resources effectively within their community and to build trust between national government, local government and faith groups.

Government wants to recognise the role faith-based organisations play in the resilience of our communities and the importance of local faith groups working collaboratively to respond to societal issues.

Read more about the fund here. 

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

LIVE Essex Health Series Webinars

Active Essex are pleased to host the free, online Essex Health Series. The aim of these seminars is to provide anyone who delivers sport or physical activity with the latest information on ways to support people recovering from Covid-19, how this has impacted on those most vulnerable and opportunities for the Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure sector to support residents of Essex.

This is a very unique seminar that aims to develop the knowledge and understanding of common types of cancer but more specifically the types of treatments people may go through. We explore how these treatments can affect the body and how physical activity and exercise can help make the journey through treatment and post treatment, more manageable and positive. This condition is exceptionally complex; therefore, the session focuses on how we as coaches, health and fitness professionals can make a person’s everyday life more enjoyable and maintain independence.

By the end of the seminar, you should feel confident and competent to plan and adapt existing exercise sessions for individuals living with, or recovering from, cancer, promoting greater inclusivity.

Cancer and Exercise Webinar

Thursday 30th September


Register your space here

Watch previous webinars here

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

‘Soft opt-in’ to contact people could be extended to charities under government proposals

Proposed government reforms to UK data protection standards could change how charities are able to contact supporters and beneficiaries.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has launched a consultation on plans to reform some of the key elements of the General Data Protection Regulation, such as its data processing principles, its data rights for citizens, and its mechanisms for supervision and enforcement.

The government says its proposals aim to deliver an “even better” data protection regime that will support vibrant competition and innovation to drive economic growth.

The proposals would affect how charities can use emails, text and video messages for direct marketing purposes.

Businesses are able to contact individuals who have previously been in touch during a sale or transaction, providing they have not refused or opted out of receiving marketing communications about similar products.

This is known as a “soft opt-in” that aims to strike a balance between people’s data protection rights and legitimate business activity.

Organisations that rely on this approach must also give individuals a chance to opt out in every subsequent communication and the process must be simple – for example, with a clear ‘Unsubscribe’ link.

But there is no equivalent provision for charities to engage in direct marketing in this way.

The government is therefore proposing to extend this “soft opt-in” to electronic communications to organisations other than commercial companies, where they have previously formed a relationship with a person – perhaps through membership or subscription.

Giselle Cory, executive director of DataKind UK, said: “It is crucial that any reform to data protection puts individual rights and privacy front and centre, and that any changes are communicated clearly.

“The GDPR was a positive step forward for the data rights of individuals, and that should not be eroded.

“With the introduction of the GDPR, many charities struggled to interpret the law, and some felt paralysed by uncertainty and fear of stepping outside the law by accident.

“There is so much potential for the use of data to inform decision-making within charities – and ultimately have a greater impact on the often vulnerable individuals and communities they serve.

“The government needs to be careful not to quash this potential.”

Organisations are invited to submit a response by 19 November.

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

NICE and PHE recommend all employers give mental health training for managers

All managers should be given the skills to support employees with mental health issues, NICE and PHE have said in new guidance.

Reducing stigma and equipping managers with skills to have conversations with employees about mental health is likely to facilitate conversations that address concerns about their mental wellbeing, the guideline says.

NICE and Public Health England’s guideline on Mental Wellbeing at Work covers how to create the right conditions to support mental wellbeing at work through an environment and culture of participation, equality, safety and fairness in the workplace based on open communication.

The independent guideline committee, made up of mental health experts, employers, professionals from across the NHS, local authority members, and lay members, recommended when offering mental health training for managers, employers should consider including:

  • how to have a conversation about mental wellbeing with an employee
  • information about mental wellbeing
  • how to identify early warning signs of poor mental wellbeing
  • resources on mental wellbeing
  • awareness of the stigma associated with poor mental wellbeing
  • ongoing monitoring of mental wellbeing in the workplace

The guideline  says the training should equip managers with the knowledge, tools, skills and resources to improve awareness of mental wellbeing at work. It should also improve employees’ understanding of and engagement in organisational decisions and the communication between managers and employees.

Dr Paul Chrisp, director of NICE’s centre for guidelines, said: “Even before the pandemic, the state of the nation’s mental health has been a topic of conversation at home, in the workplace and in the media.

“Our new guideline has considered issues which were a problem before COVID-19 emerged and new issues which have presented themselves as a result of the pandemic.

“Reducing stigma and equipping managers with skills to have conversations with employees about mental health is likely to facilitate conversations between managers and employees about any concerns about their mental wellbeing. This makes it more likely that managers can support employees with mental health issues.

“Further research is needed in this area, but providing managers with skills to discuss mental wellbeing improves the relationship between manager and employee so that they can identify and reduce work stressors.

“This is a practicable step employers can implement and adopted quickly without a huge amount of investment.”

The committee agreed that it was important that all line managers received training and support. They considered that this was good practice in all industries and all sizes of organisation, and that managers benefit in terms of their mental wellbeing from feeling skilled to perform their line management duties.

A Deloitte report, Mental health and employers | Refreshing the case for investment published in January 2020, estimates that poor mental health among employees costs UK employers £42bn – £45bn each year. This is made up of absence costs of around £7bn, presenteeism coming to work despite poor health and underperforming- costs ranging from about £27bn to £29bn and turnover costs of around £9bn. This is an increase of about 6bn and 16% on the figures in their our 2017 report, driven primarily by a rise in presenteeism.

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

Communities Can – Covid 19 – No Going Back – Virtual Conference

The North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance are hosting a virtual conference on tackling inequalities on 11th October 2-4pm.

Living through Covid for the last 18 months has highlighted a host of inequalities that we need to learn from and tackle together as a system.  Our key note speaker is Sir Michael Marmot, a leading figure in the world of tackling health inequalities. Sir Michael Marmot will highlight some of the inequalities in health outcomes, particularly throughout the pandemic and how we can attempt to break down some of the barriers, together.  As well as our speakers, you will also hear from some of our citizens who will share their own stories.

The event is free to attend and you can book your place through Eventbrite here –

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

Meet The Funder

If you are new at applying for grant funding or just want to know a little more bout how ECF works then this is the talk for you.

About this event

This interactive webinar is an opportunity to learn more about ECF if you are thinking of applying for funding. The session will cover:

* How ECF works

* What we look for in an application

* The application journey

* Types of work we can fund

After the presentation there will be an opportunity to ask questions and an open discussion ,sharing best practise between other charitable groups on the call.

Register here. 

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

New borrowing scheme launches in Essex Libraries

You can now check out more than books at our Libraries as we pilot the Essex Library of Things.

We now have a catalogue of items ranging from a drum set to a pressure washer available to reserve and borrow free of charge.

All you need is to be over 18 and have a Library card. You can then reserve the item and collect from one of five libraries or the mobile library service.

All items in the ‘Library of Things’ are free of charge during the pilot and include:

• DIY and gardening tools (such as a drill, pressure washer, leaf blower)
• Household appliances (such as a bread making machine, sewing machine and stand mixer)
• Musical instruments (including a drum kit, guitar and keyboards)
• Camping and sports equipment (such as a tent, gazebo and outdoor games)

Bookings will be reviewed and where appropriate, stock will be increased if there is high demand.

Items can be reserved online on the Love Essex website and collected from Chelmsford, Witham, Great Parndon, Laindon and Clacton libraries. There is also an option to use the mobile library service for collection.

Not only will the Library of Things help residents who might not have the means to rent or buy themselves, it also reduces waste.

This pilot is a collaboration between the BLUEPRINT to a Circular Economy Project and the Essex Library Services.

Last updated 8 September 2021

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

Good causes in Essex invited to sign up for funding from the Essex Lottery

The Essex Lottery is an online lottery created by Essex County Council to support local causes across the county. More than 300 good causes are now receiving funding from the Essex Lottery and more are invited to join.

Since the Essex Lottery launched in 2017 over £321,888 has been donated to good causes in the county. This is thanks to the thousands of players who buy a weekly £1 ticket – with 60p of every ticket they purchase going to good causes.

Over the last eighteen months, many good causes and organisations have struggled to raise funds to keep them afloat as many of the traditional fundraising routes were unable to go-ahead.

Essex County Council wants to make organisations, charities and good causes aware of this opportunity and potential new income stream they may be able to benefit from.

Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance, said: “For many charities, the last 18 months have proved difficult when it comes to funding-raising.

“However, more residents than ever are making the choice to buy a weekly Essex Lottery ticket and support charities and good causes within Essex. By allowing them to tap into the tremendous goodwill of the people of Essex, such organisations can really benefit and boost their funds.

“As a good cause it’s easy to sign up with no fees or contracts involved, it really is a win-win situation for all involved.”

A common misconception is that you need to be a charity to benefit from the lottery. If your organisation has a formal constitution and provides community activities or services within Essex, which are of benefit to local residents, then you can join.

Your group could be a charity or a not-for-profit organisation based around local arts, sports clubs, scouts and brownie groups, education and school PTA’s, animal welfare, children and elderly groups. All are welcome.

It’s free for all causes to join and it is quick and easy to register.

Each ticket costs players £1 a week and you receive 50p from every ticket your supporters buy via your dedicated page on the Essex Lottery website and a further 10p from the ticket sale is donated to other good causes in Essex. The draw takes place every Saturday at 8 pm.

To play the Essex Lottery, or apply for Essex Lottery funding visit: or call the Essex Lottery support team on 0300 302 32 32.

Last updated 15 September 2021

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

Wellbeing and the Workplace: what can you do to support your staff?

Thursday 7 October 14:00 (UK Time)

The past year has created unimaginable change to our everyday lives which has hugely impacted every single one of us. Remote working, furlough and mass redundancies are just a few of the challenges that people have been facing at work throughout the pandemic.

But how can businesses support their staff in navigating these changes? BSI has created a brand new framework with practical guidance on how to support psychological health in the workplace which is here to help you.

It includes:

  • How to identify the psychosocial hazards that can affect workers, such as home working
  • What to do to minimize the risks associated with them
  • How to raise awareness and develop competence in the management of psychosocial risks
  • Information on what is important for the recovery and return to work of affected workers

Join BSI’s Global Head of Health, Safety and Well-being, Kate Field as she chairs this session on well-being and the workplace, featuring Mental Health at Work at Mind’s National Lead, Andrew Berrie and Jonathan Gawthrop, Executive Director of Wellbeing, Sustainability & Assurance for EMCOR UK – as we discuss what practical steps businesses can take to protect the psychological health of their workforce.

Register here. 

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

Patient Participation Group

Do you live with a life limiting illness or have you cared for someone at the end of life and would like to work with local health and social care services to improve the services available for people towards the end of life?

We’re eager to hear from interested people who have experience of such services and invite you to be part of our Patient Participation Group to support this work. This could involve joining a focus group or an online network of people keen to support end of life care.

Please get in touch at [email protected] 

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News