This fortnight's news - 14th May 2019

Upcoming MVSC and INVOLVE meetings
  • 21st May - Young Londoners Grant Fund Information Session
  • 6th June - MVSC Annual Volunteering Awards
  • 13th June - Sutton and Merton Community Cohesion Conference
  • 1st July - Merton Voluntary Sector Conference
  •  9th July - Health and Social Care Forum
  • 16th July - INVOLVE meeting

Follow this link to events page for details.

Launch of Merton Giving

The new Merton Giving Fund was launched on 14th May 2019.

The Merton Giving Fund Grants programme will fund not-for-profit, voluntary, community and faith organisations, based in or delivering services in Merton.  We will not fund individuals, sole traders or organisations established to make a profit.

This round of the Fund will support the delivery of projects that address one or more of the priorities outlined below.  The fund will not support day-to-day organisational running costs.

Priority will be given to small organisations (with an income of under £75,000 a year) and not currently receiving other funding from the Merton Giving Fund. 

Organisations must:

  • Be delivering services that generate a quantifiable benefit to Merton residents
  • Operate in accordance with the principles of the Merton Compact to provide quality services to the people of Merton and recognising that there is added value in working in partnership towards common aims and objectives.

Volunteers' Week - one month to go

It’s almost the time of year when we come together to show volunteers exactly what they mean to voluntary and community organisations, the individuals and communities they support.  Volunteers' Week takes place from 1st to 7th June.  Many of you will have fantastic activities planned during this week.  How will you celebrate this year?

There are lots of resources available to support your activities on the Volunteers' Week website, where you’ll also find examples from other organisations and planned events that are taking place throughout the country.

Merton Windrush Celebrations 21st to 23rd June 2019

Merton Council, in collaboration with local community and educational groups is pleased to invite you to ‘Windrush Day 2019’ - a celebration of the Caribbean presence in Merton.

The three-day celebration will feature some exciting events and activities and has been funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The Delebration Working Group look forward to welcoming you to all or any of the planned activities which will highlight some of the contributions made by the 'Windrush Generation' to the borough and to the UK.

21st June – Schools Celebration -10.00am to 12.00 noon at Merton Civic Centre, including a Heritage display, traditional Caribbean and other music and storytelling: from ‘Grandma’s Knees’

22nd June - Community Celebration -12.30pm to 4.30pm at Merton Civic Centre.  Heritage display, music, Caribbean migratory history workshop and authentic Caribbean taster food

23rd June - Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service - 4.00pm to 6.00pm at St Barnabas Church, Gorringe Park Avenue, Mitcham CR4 2DJ.

Ann Long Equalities Adviser
Merton School Improvement
On behalf of the Windrush Celebration Working Group

Please RSVP to

Results of elections at INVOLVE

On the agenda of the INVOLVE meeting on 7th May was the election of representatives to boards and partnerships.  Nominations had been sought from the sector in the borough beforehand. 

The following people were elected.

Merton Partnership Executive Board

  • Andrew Whittington - Merton Mencap - CEO

Children’s Trust Board

  • Tracy Weight - Carers Support Merton - CEO

Safer and Stronger Communities (Safer Neighbourhood Board)

  • Hayley Rea - Aim High Dance Academy - Principal
  • Andrew Whittington - Merton Mencap - CEO

Sustainable Communities and Transport Partnership

  • Fitzroy Dawson - Merton Community Transport - CEO
  • Naomi Martin - Commonside Community Development Trust - Director.

Young Londoners Fund information session on 21st May 2019

The Mayor of London has created the Young Londoners Fund to help London's children and young adults make the most of our amazing city.

The new £45 million Young Londoners Fund will help children and young people to fulfil their potential, particularly those at risk of getting caught up in crime.  It will support a range of education, sport, cultural and other activities.

The Young Londoners Fund aims to:

  • Provide aspirational and positive activities to help support young people to make positive choices and reach their potential
  • Give new options to children and young people most at risk of taking the wrong path and stop them getting involved in violence and criminal activity
  • Improve coordination and capacity of London's youth offer so more children and young people can access services.

The GLA in partnership with MVSC will be hosting a Young Londoners Fund Information Road Show

21st May 2019
1.30pm to 5.00pm
Everyday Church Conference Centre, 30 Queen’s Road, Wimbledon, SW19 8LR

Tesco funding for local health charities

Tesco are celebrating their centenary and have opened a new fund for charities or groups that promote health with priority going to tacking heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

A letter with more details is attached here.

London Homelessness Awards

The London Homelessness Awards 2019 are now open for entries.  Three winners will receive cash prizes of £30,000, £20,000 and £10,000 at a ceremony held at City Hall.

The awards honour projects that: take an innovative approach; can be replicated in other parts of London; and improve services to homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless.

Follow this link for more details and how to apply.

2.5-mile fun run and walk

The Wandle 2.5-Mile Fun Run and Walk takes place on 9th June.  It starts at 10.00am at Tooting and Mitcham Community Sports Club and will end at the same spot as and when you finish at your own pace.  The fee to take part is £5 for adults and £2 for children aged four to 16.
Money raised will go to Home-Start Merton, who celebrate their 25th anniversary.  Register on their website.

Follow this link for a flyer with more details.

Welcome check on evictions    

London Councils has welcomed government proposals to ban 'no-fault' evictions using section 21 notices in the private rented sector.

Responding to publication of a consultation paper on the government's new deal for private sector tenants, Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive member for housing and planning , said: 'Government proposals to abolish "no fault' section 21 evictions are a welcome move that we have long been calling for.  Too many Londoners have been asked by their landlords to leave rented accommodation unnecessarily, fuelling the capital’s homelessness crisis.
'As well as ensuring no tenancy ends due to issues that could be resolved, London boroughs want to see a better balance of power between landlords and tenants, streamlined courts processes, more resources for early dispute resolution and mediation and improved legal aid for tenants.'

Tenancies ended by landlords were the biggest cause of homelessness acceptances in England in 2017.  Currently, nationwide, 62 per cent of all ‘no-fault’ eviction notices are issued in the capital.

PrEP trial expansion

London boroughs have agreed to provide more than 4,000 extra places on a national programme led by NHS England in partnership with Public Health England and local authorities that supplies PrEP (an HIV prevention medicine) free of charge to individuals considered to be at high risk of exposure to HIV.

The announcement follows discussions with the NHS over resourcing of the additional places on the PrEP Impact Trial.  Boroughs had previously expressed concern that the trial was being expanded without any additional investment, with potential repercussions for boroughs’ other sexual health services.

However, boroughs have now agreed to accommodate 4,000 extra places at a collective cost of £2.6 million to their sexual health budgets.  The sustainability of London’s expansion of the PrEP Impact Trial will be monitored and boroughs will continue to push for a long-term funding arrangement for future provision.

Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health and Care , said: 'Boroughs have a proud record on HIV prevention and we want PrEP to be available to every Londoner who needs it.  PrEP is hugely important for protecting people’s health and preventing HIV transmission.'

'While extra places on the PrEP Impact Trial represent a step forward, we ultimately want to see NHS-funded PrEP available to everyone at high risk of HIV exposure – as is the case in Scotland and Wales.'

NAVCA Policy and Insight Bulletin

The April edition of the NAVCA Policy and Insight Bullet, available to NAVCA members, contains a host of valuable articles.

Finance and funding

This month, the Institute for Voluntary Action Research published findings and recommendations of an ongoing study on grant-making processes.  'Duty to Care? How to ensure grant-making helps and doesn’t hinder' findings highlight that, despite the persistent and ongoing challenges facing VCS organisations, they and funders are developing adaptable and innovative processes and relationships.  The report highlights that among some grant makers there is 'a desire to reduce the impact of their own processes on the organisations they wish to support'.  It argues that grant-makers need to adopt easier processes, from application through to reporting better to support and work collaboratively with the VCS.

Health and social care

NHS England have announced a forthcoming webinar event on the NHS Long Term Plan and what it means for VCS organisations. The Plan was published in January 2019, setting out the NHS’s vision for improving health and care over the next 10 years.  Over the coming months, Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and Integrated Care Systems will be developing and implementing their own five-year strategies to take forward the ambitions of the Plan in their areas.  They are expected to engage with key stakeholders including the VCS to determine what the Plan means for their area and how services need to adapt and improve.  The webinar will be hosted by the VCS Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

Young people

DCMS have announced plans to develop a new Youth Charter designed to centralise youth services and provide young people with the opportunity to voice their concerns on serious social issues such as knife crime, mental health and climate change.  The plan is Government will collaborate with youth sector organisations and young people to develop the charter.

Office 365 - an amazing tool box of apps - training from SuperHighways

Did you know that UK-registered charities can use Office 365 for free under the Microsoft donation programme?  Are you one of the many organisations using it only for email and file storage?  

This session will help you gain a greater insight into how you could be maximising your Office 365 subscription.  You will be introduced to a range of fantastic apps included, demoing some particularly useful ones for small charities, including: Sway, Forms, Planner, Teams, To Do, and Power BI.

The session will also look at optional extras: eg, email encryption and data management controls – particularly relevant with the introduction of the new Daata Protection Act.

After the demos, there will be hands-on time for you to start trying out some of the apps with trainers available to help you get started and talk through how best to implement them for your organisation.

The session will be delivered by Superhighways who offer advice, training and IT support to help small charities and community organisations across London to be more effective, raise their profile and demonstrate their impact using digital technology.

Event info
12th June 2019
10am to 1.00pm
Vestry Hall, 336-8 London Road, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 3UD

Global Solutions training

Global Solutions’ next courses are:

OCN Level 1 Award in IT User Skills – Starting Thurs 23rd May (and 24th, 29th, 30th and 31st May) at the Chaucer Centre, Morden

NCFE Level 1 Award in Introduction to Health and Social Care – Monday 17th to Wednesday 19th June at Vestry Hall, Mitcham

Flyers with more details are attached XXXX.

Call or email through referrals to:
020 8665 4297

The toll of loneliness

Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  Worse for you than obesity, research shows social isolation to increase the risk of death by 29 per cent.  Feeling isolated or lonely can cause cognitive decline, exacerbate of an existing mental health issue or be the cause of depression.

There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK.  Half a million go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all.  Merton Public Health estimates there are at least 7,500 lonely people in the borough.  Loneliness increases with age and Merton’s over-65 population is set to increase over the next 10 years.
It can be hard to ask for help.  You may be the first to recognise a person is isolated.    

Merton’s Befriending Service offers free face-to-face and telephone befriending to residents aged 65 years and older who are either housebound, live alone or have a long-term condition.  Self-referrals or referrals on behalf of a person are accepted.
More details and referral forms can be found here.

Sayer Vincent charity conference

The Sayer Vincent charity conference takes place on 19th and 20th September 2019 in Nottingham.  The key theme is reinforcing trust.

Sayer Vincent, the award-winning firm of charity auditors and the Directory of Social Change are now taking bookings.  In its 28th year, the headline speaker is Kate Lee, CEO of CLIC Sargent, a UK cancer charity for children, young people and their families, who will open the conference and discuss reinforcing public trust through honest reporting in the first plenary session on 19th September.

Follow this link for more details and registration.

Learning on what works in voluntary sector engagement in health and care

A number of NAVCA members have looked at health and social care integration and voluntary sector engagement work best.  Have a look at the following resources to find out more:

Lessons from Charity Digital News

Focus on mission

The boundaries of what has traditionally been thought of as a digital role are shifting.  Digital doesn’t work in a silo; the required skills are being embedded at all levels across organisations.

However, finding skilled candidates is often a challenge for charities.  This is not helped by the preconception that digitally savvy candidates are driven by salary and training, not by cause.

Don’t be afraid to put your mission at the front of your recruitment efforts.  Research shows this is what candidates are looking for.  Making your charity's mission clear will help you attract talent that matches your ambitions.

Be flexible

Agile working empowers staff to be able to work from anywhere, anytime in a way which suits them.  With more and more organisations recognising this as an important factor in their staff wellbeing, it is important for charities to consider how they can accommodate their team’s needs.

It is becoming more popular for organisations to approach an on/off working culture, with them instilling trust in their team members, whether that be through offering flexible working hours, condensed working days or the ability to work from home.  A big part of being able to approach this culture is to have the technology to support it.  So if you can offer this flexibility, make sure you show this clearly when looking to find new talent.

Get networking

Social media is a great tool to use to evidence your employer branding and highlight your culture.  Encouraging involvement from your staff supports your organisational activity and increases your reach to different audiences.

Also, have a look at the latest digital and tech events (there are plenty out there).  But remember you do not need to attend with a view of recruiting.  Sending any member of staff to an event gives them a chance to up skill as well as networking with individuals from other sectors, which in turn will increase your reach.  Charity Digital News run events on this.

Job as full-time community engagement co-ordinator at Wimbledon Guild

Salary £24,500

As a dynamic local charity, Wimbledon Guild’s vision is for every adult in Merton to get the most out of life, maximise their independence and experience mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. 

This job is a great opportunity for someone who is energetic and outgoing and has a passion for empowering others. A Community Engagement Leader is a busy, hands on and varied role.  If this sounds like a challenge you would enjoy, Wimbledon Guild forward to hearing from you!

Follow this link for details and how to apply.

Do you love to dance?

Would you like a creative and enjoyable way to keep fit and meet new people?

Attic Theatre Company are launching a brand-new dance class for people age 55 and over.

These fun, informal sessions, led by a professional dancer, will introduce participants to a broad range of dance styles and genres in a welcoming environment.

Each week, you’ll learn new steps and choreography to music while improving your strength, flexibility and stamina.

No previous experience is necessary and there is no need to book.  Your first class is free and costs £5 thereafter.

Classes will take place on Wednesdays in June from 2.30pm to 3.30pm at Vestry Hall, 336 London Road, Mitcham CR4 3UD.

For more information call Attic on 0208 640 6800.

Follow this link for more a flyer with more details.

Would you like an article in the eBulletin?  Or to advertise an event on our website?

We welcome news and other articles from voluntary, community and public organisations in Merton.  Please send text and images to Simon Courage at


If you wish to advertise a local event, please log into our website and add your event to the calendar.


Text content

Short and sweet articles work best for readers.  Here is a suggested format:

  • Begin with a sentence or two summarising what you want readers to understand, feel and do as a result of reading your piece
  • Follow this with a short paragraph with information of your event, activity news and so on.  Bullet points are very useful here
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  • Finally, give a named contact

'We' in articles is MVSC: as in 'We [MVSC] facilitated a conference for members of fantastic Merton charity X last month.  Next month, the charity will be launching an interim report on the findings'.

If you want your organisation to be the 'we', this works in a flyer (see below).

In job advertisements and training opportunities, ‘we’ is the recruiting organisation.

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If you are unsure about formats, please contact me.

Next edition and copy deadline

The next edition of the eBulletin will be on 27th May 2019.  The copy deadline for this is 11.59pm on 22nd May 2019.  Sorry, we are not able to accept copy received after this.