MVSC eBulletin 5th November 2018

This Fortnight's News - 5 November 2018


NCVO have said loud and clear that the public want to know what difference their support for charities has made.  They want to know how their donations, and their volunteer hours, have helped.
NCVO are therefore asking every charity to use the hashtag #YouMadeItHappen on social media on Monday 19 November.
It’s an opportunity to thank your supporters and, after a time when some charities have had media attention for negative reasons, for all of us to show the difference we make together.

Mind Mental Health at Work Tips

Here are five simple tips from Mind to create a healthier work place:

  • Set up a wellbeing committee to raise awareness and promote mental health and wellbeing issues
  • Carry out an anonymous employee survey to gauge colleagues’ sense of wellbeing and identify any issues or potential issues
  • Insist that colleagues take breaks, at least 30 minutes at lunch when they are away from their desk/task.  Likewise, encourage colleagues to take all their annual leave entitlement and utilise all TOIL accrued
  • Provide the space for open discuss and the time for one-to-one support
  • Encourage colleagues to be active – organise some fun activities that you can undertake together: lunch time walks, bring and share lunches, provide free healthy snacks, mindfulness exercises and activities, quizzes and games.

Mind has a helpful factsheet on Promoting Wellbeing at work, which you can download.

Clarion Futures Digital Grants

Clarion Futures Digital Grant Fund is now open again for applications until 5pm on Wednesday 12th December 2018 to community, voluntary and charity groups.

Clarion Housing Group is the largest housing association in the country.  Through its Digital Grant Fund - managed by The London Community Foundation - it awards grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to charities, community organisations and voluntary groups for projects which primarily benefit its residents.

The fund is designed to address digital exclusion, and to:

  • Support Clarion Housing residents of all ages to get and stay online and use the internet as an everyday tool in their communities
  • Support residents to discover the full scope of how the internet can assist them in their everyday lives, and to provide them with the skills and confidence to do so
  • Support residents to access the tools that meet their individual needs and circumstances
  • Encourage residents to use the internet securely and with confidence
  • Support residents of all ages, regardless of whether they go online regularly, to use it safely, and avoid risky and/or illegal behaviour.

Please note, the fund is primarily, but not exclusively, for Clarion Housing residents.

Access the application form and guidelines

Access London Community Foundation website

Key issues from London Councils

London Councils is the membership body for the 33 London boroughs, including Merton Council.  Here is the latest issue of London Councils’ Key Issues.

NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton Clinical Commissioning Groups Engagement

NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been running an engagement programme since June with local people and their representatives, to look at the challenges and potential solutions for Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

The CCGs have published the feedback report from the July engagement events produced by our independent facilitators. You can find it on their website.

At the end of October, they we will be publishing the full independent engagement report, which will cover all of the work they will have done to date with staff, patients and the public through events, focus groups, high street market stalls, workshops and feedback people have sent them.

Mayor of London Funding for Early Years

The Mayor of London is offering a total of £150,000 to improve awareness of free early education for two-year-olds and increase take up of places by eligible families.  A maximum of 30 grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 each will be awarded to local projects.
Delivery is expected to take place between January 2019 and September 2019.
Proposals must target areas of low take up and evidence how they will effectively engage families and communities who are currently missing out on this vital offer.
You can download the application pack and find out more, including FAQs

The deadline for applications is Friday 30 November.

Mayor of London Funding for Young Londoners

The Mayor's of London new £45m Young Londoners Fund to help children and young people to fulfil their potential, particularly those at risk of getting caught up in crime.  It will support a wide range of education, sport, cultural and other activities for children and young people.
£30m is available for projects in local communities (over two rounds) and the remaining £15m will be invested to expand existing projects funded by City Hall that support young Londoners.
Organisations can apply for funding to build on their existing networks to support new and prospective Young Londoners Fund fundholders with advice, guidance and support.
For more information on this competitive grant process, including the ‘Request for Proposals’ and ‘Funding Application Form’.
The deadline for submitting grant applications to is 12 noon on 5 November 2018.


Reboot UK  is funded by The Good Things Foundation and delivered by Homeless Link and partner organisations like ours, Evolve Housing + Support.  Reboot are looking for local charities ideally working with people who are homeless or have been homeless. 

The charity must be willing to nominate staff, volunteers or peers to become digital champions.  It’s a programme to create a network of organisations to support homelessness services improve the digital skills of their service users, giving them greater choice and control over their lives. 

Please go to Reboot's website to sign up of for more information.

What is Flu?

Flu is a common illness due to infection with the influenza virus which affects breathing. Children can catch flu all year round but it’s especially common winter.  Flu is transmitted through coughing and sneezing and can be horrible for little children and they can easily spread it to their whole family and peers.

What are the main symptoms?

Children and adults have the same flu symptoms, which can last up to a week.  These include:

  • High temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Chills
  • Aching muscles
  • Headache
  • Stuffy nose
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat

In Merton, the NHS are encouraging eligible groups to get the flu vaccination this winter. This includes pregnant women, children aged two and three years old, adults with underlying health conditions, people aged 65 or over, carers and health care professionals.
Vaccination is the best protection we have against flu. That’s why the flu vaccine is free for eligible groups.

The flu vaccine is available through your general practice, pharmacist or midwife

Mayor of London Adult Education Budget

You are invited to the Mayor’s Adult Education Budget (AEB) Programme Information Sessions, which will provide an opportunity for interested providers to hear more about the AEB procurement opportunities launched this month and ask questions ahead of submitting a bid.
The AEB Procured programme will deliver a range of adult education training services through multiple contracts for services.  The total value of the programme is approximately 130m GBP over four years.  It is intended that successful providers will enter into individual contracts to deliver a range of education and training services to both in-work and out of work London residents aged 19 or above, to help them gain qualifications, progress into further education and access and sustain employment. More information can be found in the PIN (Prior Information Notice) online.

Places at the four events below are limited to two per organisation.  Organisations will be able to attend any one of these events, but are encouraged to attend the event located in the area in which they are based to support networking opportunities.  Please register for the event of your choice using the Eventbrite links provided below.

Thursday 8th November     10.00 – 14.00    

W12 Conferences, Artillery Lane, 150 Du Cane Road, W12 0HS

Friday 9th November    13.00 - 17.00  

University of East London, Stratford Campus, E15 4LZ

Tuesday 13th November     10.00 – 14.00    

The Business Xchange, Croydon, CR0 2BX

Friday 16th November     13:00 – 17:00     

The Chamber, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA

Presentations will be available online after the events. If you have any questions, please contact, with the subject title ‘AEB’.

Would You Like an Article in the eBulletin?

Next Copy Deadline - 23:59 on 14th November 2018

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


Short and sweet articles work best for readers.  A sentence or two to set out what it is that you want readers to understand or do as a result of reading your piece.  Then, usually, a short paragraph.  Bullet points are helpful.  Then next steps for people.  Go to a website, register, complete a survey, talk to a friend or neighbour.

The font to use is Arial 12.  Please do not include a lot of formatting in your article.  Bullet points are fine but tables are difficult for us to accommodate (unless they are an image - see below).  Please spell out hyperlinks so we can ensure that, in the final version of the eBulletin, they work as intended.

'We' in articles is MVSC: as in 'We carried out a survey of members last month.  Next month, fantastic Merton Charity X will be launching an interim report on the findings'.

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

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


A photo can bring an article to life.  Please use PNG format and 300 dots per inch.  Most modern cameras use this format.

Other images should also be in PNG format.  If you are unsure about formats, please contact me.

The software we use does not accept PDFs in the eBulletin.

We can also usually include two or three flyers in each Bulletin.  Remember they are going to appear on the reader’s screen in the width and height of an email message, so make sure they can be read at this scale.


If you would like to include an attachment to your article, including a PDF as an attachment, please put your document on your website and give us the link to the document.  We will then include the link to your document in the eBulletin.