As part of the wider Government strategy to improve safeguarding practice across the voluntary sector in England, DCMS in partnership with Big Lottery Fund are investing a total of £1.14 million to improve access to training, support and advice.

The Safeguarding Training Fund will provide funding in two phases until 2022. For the first phase DCMS is seeking an organisation or partnership of organisations with the track record and knowledge to develop high quality resources which will be freely available to the voluntary sector to improve safeguarding practice.

This will then be followed by a second phase which will fund a small number or organisations or partnerships to share the resources developed during Phase 1 and support grassroots charities and community organisations to improve their safeguarding practice.

For details of how to apply visit:

Phase 1 applications are open now.  Applications invited for up to £570,000 and the submission deadline is Monday 14 January at 12.00pm.

Taken from (Office for Civil Society) OCS For Info (London and South) – December 2018



First of two finance webinar sessions designed for CMLs.

Session 1 – 26 June 2019

  • Explores basic principles underpinning good financial management.

We will encourage colleagues who attend the first session to commit to participating in the second session as this is a follow up to the first session, building on learning from session 1.

Session 2 – September (date to be agreed with attendees to the first session)

  • We will ask attendees to our first session to outline some of the key areas of issues they would like us to cover in our next session.

The webinar will be led by Neal Trupp, Chartered Accountant (FCA), a SFEDI-accredited Business Adviser, and holds an ICAEW Practising Certificate.

Register Here

Twine WEBINAR – a Free Digital Tool for community businesses from Power to Change

This webinar delivered by Edward Walden walks you through Twine, a bundle of digital tools being offered FREE by Power to Change to community businesses.

Twine allows you to

  • log volunteer hours and visitor footfall quickly and digitally and then use this digital data to create efficient reports.
  • It is designed overall to make reporting on volunteer and visitor stats faster and easier. It has been designed with simplicity in mind and overall is very easy to use.

Twine could save you a lot of time and effort from logging volunteer hours on paper.

Twine is FREE and to find out more about this excellent tool tailored for organisations like yours, join us on either

See below for a short video about Twine:

Register Here

The Future of Civic Culture in the UK — Event registration – 2nd July 2019, Newcastle University

On 2nd July 2019, Newcastle University is hosting a one-day event on the theme of The Future of Civic Culture in the UK. Contributors to the day include academics working across the libraries/museums/parks sector, as well as representatives from Libraries Connected, Parks Alliance and the English Civic Museums Network (plus many more!).

Join colleagues for a day of discussion about the way that the ‘civic purpose’ of contemporary public cultural organisations have changed since austerity. Organisations from across the museums/libraries/parks/heritage sector will discuss the way that austerity has re-shaped their civic purpose and questions will be asked about the impact that this has on wider issues of equality, diversity, inclusion and social justice. What, we ask, is the future of civic culture in the UK?

The team are currently looking into trying to create some bursaries to pay for delegate travel particularly for those whose organisations do not have the budget for this kind of event. We are waiting to hear back from our finance team about whether or not this is possible. If there are people who are interested in attending but who do not have the budget, please contact

Link to the Evenbrite page, where you can register for this event is below. Registration is free, but places are limited so be sure to register for yours early!

The Future of Civic Culture in the UK?

Tuesday July 2nd 2019


Venue: Kings Hall, Newcastle University


TWINE – FREE bundle of digital tools offered by Power to Change to Community Managed Libraries


Twine is a bundle of digital tools being offered by Power to Change. Twine allows you to log volunteer hours and visitor footfall quickly and digitally and then use this digital data to create efficient reports. It is designed overall to make reporting on volunteer and visitor stats faster and easier. It’s been designed with simplicity in mind and overall is very easy to use.

Power to Change, the independent charitable trust that supports and develops community businesses in England, is building a community of Twine users around the country. When people ask “Why should I use Twine?” the answer usually is that if you are currently logging volunteer hours on paper, or have a similar paper system for logging visitors/service users, Twine could save you the time and effort.

Volunteer Co-ordinators and Service Managers have a lot on their plate, Twine saves them the time spent typing up paper forms into excel.  Twine is completely FREE courtesy of Power to Change. You can call or email their team 5 days a week for support. Training is conducted by web video chat and is free of charge, and can be repeated in the event of staff changes. The only cost associated with Twine is if you would like training to be conducted at your premises but due to the simplicity of the platform, this is uncommon.

FREE Twine Webinar Sessions

31 May 2019. To register, visit

Another session is planned for 13th of June 2019.

The Twine webinar sessions will be delivered by Power to Change’s Digital Transformation Officer, Edward Walden, who is also the Training Co-Ordinator for Twine. This session will cover everything you need to know to decide if Twine is a good fit for you or not. You’ll see it in action and have plenty of time for questions and answers. If you like what you see, you will have all the knowledge to start using it by the end of the session and Edward can create an account for you immediately afterward.


Find out more about Twine by watching this short video:

Thank you.



Learning Events – webinars and workshops

Today’s piece shares some of the learning and resources from the recent community engagement, volunteering and networking session in Sheffield plus links to free webinars and a face to face session in Northamptonshire.

Learning from the Community engagement, volunteering and networking session in Sheffield

On 30th April, two colleagues from the CML Peer Network (Peter Ranken from Archibald Corbett and Margaret Adjaye, Upper Norwood Library Hub) set off from London to Sheffield to meet Darrell Porter, Sheffield Libraries, Sean Kelly, Libraries Taskforce and other CML colleagues for the community engagement, volunteering and networking session.

Peter led a session covering the

  • types of community managed libraries
  • remarkable range of skills and contributions made by volunteers
  • volunteer types, from trustees to librarians, activity volunteers, management etc
  • how to engage (from our communities), recruit, manage, develop and retain volunteers

You can find slides from Peter’s session here – sheffield volunteers workshop 30 April 2019.

Peter also shared a copy of his library’s Volunteer Handbook and Sean took colleagues through some of the resources and toolkits on the Libraries Taskforce site.

Margaret then led a brief discussion on how to embed diversity and inclusion into volunteering and community engagement practices.

We then spent some time discussing and sharing our experiences on cyber security, books supply, safeguarding and DBS, code of conduct for volunteers and much more. 

We agreed to host at least 4 – 5 networking events each year in various places and not just in London and Sheffield marked the beginning of a very informative and extremely useful learning and networking event.

If you would like to connect with us, or if you have any queries or want to know more about the Network and how we can support you, please contact us at

Community Business Market 2019 Survey

FE Research has been commissioned by Power to Change to undertake research which aims to assess the community business market, measure the confidence levels of business leaders and review the future outlook for different sectors. The resulting data will inform a public report of the wider sector’s views of the strengths and opportunities facing community businesses like yours as well as the challenges that lie ahead.
We hope you wish to help Power to Change improve its understanding of community businesses’ needs and ways of best supporting and advocating for them by completing an online survey. To view Power to Change’s privacy policy for applicants and grantees please click here. This survey is entirely voluntary and you are under no obligation to complete it.
The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.  Please click on the link below, or copy and paste it into your internet browser, and complete the survey by Friday 31st May 2019.
If you have any further queries about the survey or the research in general, please do not hesitate to contact either Amelia Hicklin, Research Executive at CFE Research at or on 0116 2293300 or Suzanne Perry, Research Officer at Power to Change at
Thank you.

A peek into the Community Shares Booster programme and panel

A warm hello to everyone!

We are always on the look out for interesting and relevant stories, case studies and opportunities to share with colleagues and supporters. With this in mind, we recently connected with the team who manage the Community Shares Booster programme.

Alice Wharton, Programme Manager for the Booster Programme has kindly prepared a short piece explaining what the programme is about and also takes a peek into the panel, highlighting some of the things the panel looks for from applicants.  If you are interested and want to know more, then please read on!  You can find out more including details of how to apply here:

A peek into the Community Shares Booster Panel by Alice Wharton, Programme Manager

The Community Shares Booster Programme is a five-year programme that has already been hugely popular just months after it was launched. Over a quarter of a million pounds of grant has been requested to support the launch of community shares offers and almost six million pounds of equity investment has been requested!

We have been astounded by the range of projects that have submitted their ideas to the Booster Programme over the last 12 months and we would like to share some insights from the Booster Panel meetings where we decide whether we can support the applications that have been submitted. From lidos to bookshops, skate parks to historic wool mills, we’ve read them all with intrigue and an appreciation of the dedication of the people involved.

This is a great sign for how the community shares funding mechanism has struck a chord with community groups who want to create thriving and sustainable businesses with the involvement and support of their communities.

However, like all support programmes, we do not have infinite budgets and so we have had to whittle down the applications to the ones that most closely fit the Booster criteria.

The Panel is often asked about how we choose the projects to support and so we’d like to give you some top tips if you are thinking of applying.

The key things that we look at are:

  • Is the project intending to use community shares and does it meet Power to Change’s definition of a community business? This means that the business will be locally-rooted, accountable to the local community and trade for the benefit of the community as a whole. You can read more about this definition on the Power to Change’s website.
  • Is the project in an area of deprivation or where the use of community shares is under-represented? We want to support communities, especially more disadvantaged groups, that are facing a series of challenges during the share offer which prevents them meeting their targets or proceeding with the venture due to external factors.
  • What will be the impact of the community business? We want to hear from community businesses that aim to have a highly positive impact on the local area, the local community and their user or clients. How are you getting lots of different people involved and coming together to make your communities even better places to live, work and play.
  • How viable is the business idea? We need to see that you have thoroughly thought through the business plan and have a good understanding of what you need to do over the next 10+ years to make it a sustainable and thriving business. You can apply for grant funding to get expertise to refine your business plan and how to make community shares funding a solid part of this, but we want to see that you have already made a lot of progress and you are very close to launching your share offer.
  • Is there any innovation? The Booster Programme is as much a learning programme as a funding programme and so we want to use this opportunity to develop our understanding of how community shares can be used in many different ways to support community development. We have provided some ideas about how you could build innovative ideas into your share offer in our guidance notes on Investment Propositions but you may have some more ideas of your own. We’d love to hear your ideas at any point, even before you submit an application, so get in touch.

So far we have supported 29 groups with over £200K of grants to help with their share offer launches and another £1.1M of equity invested into 18 community businesses across England.

For case studies on some of the organisations funded through the programme visit

We can’t wait to receive more of your applications in 2019 and to keep on boosting community businesses through community shares!

Alice Wharton, Co-operatives UK

Community Engagement and Volunteering Workshop in Sheffield 30 April 2019

The Community Managed Libraries (CML) Peer Network is hosting a workshop in Community Engagement and Volunteering on 30th of April 2019 at the Sheffield Library.  The session will be facilitated by Peter Ranken from the Archibald Corbett Community Library and other CML Peer Network colleagues.

The session uses real life learning, case examples, group exercises and best practice from community managed libraries and elsewhere. It shares tools and strategies for effective community engagement; walks you through the volunteering resource developed by Archibald Corbett and some resources from the Libraries Taskforce, and covers approaches to recruiting, developing, sustaining volunteers plus some succession management strategies. The session also explores ways to embed diversity and inclusion into community engagement and volunteering activities.

A short Network Meeting will be held at the end of the session to introduce you to the Community Managed Libraries Peer Network, some of the work we are doing/planning, our evolving membership programme and how to get involved.

The session is Free and you can book your place through Eventbrite using this link: 

We look forward to welcoming as many of you to our Workshop and Network Meeting.


Libraries Taskforce Evaluation Workshops

The Libraries Taskforce is running a series of workshops on evaluations facilitated by The Audience Agency, a national audience development consultancy and independent not-for-profit organisation, these workshops will support you in building an understanding of:

  • what evaluation is (and what it isn’t!)
  • why evaluation is important
  • how it can help you achieve your aims
  • how to do it effectively

Using presentation of good practice and case studies, discussions and shared learning, and creative task-based exercises, the workshops will address the challenges and explore the benefits of embedding evaluation in the work of libraries, including strategic planning and project delivery.


  • 18 March – Exeter Library (Rougemont Room)
  • 22 March – Newcastle City Library (Bewick Hall)
  • 27 March – Idea Store Whitechapel, London (Conference Room)

Sessions run from 10.00-16.00 (with a start time of 10.30 to allow for registration and for everyone to get a coffee and network beforehand). Lunch and refreshments will also be provided – when booking your place on eventbrite please make sure to include any dietary requirements.

To Book:  register via the Eventbrite pages.  If you have any further queries about the events, please email