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

What Re-opening looks like in some CMLs and a call for Volunteers

I hope everyone is safe and well. Today we share re-opening plans in some CMLs, we also have a call for Volunteers and finally an update on the virtual Learning and Support Sessions.

Re-opening – a picture of services in some CMLs

Some CMLs are starting re-open and we want to share with you a picture of the services that are being provided by a few. Email us at to share your re-opening plans/learning since you re-opened your doors.


Burley in Wharfedale Community Managed Library reopened on Tuesday 21 July and will be open for order and collect/returns/home delivery service only. There will be no access to the main building of the library for browsing or computer use. There will be a single pick-up/returns point in the foyer. Opening hours now reduced from what they had prior to Covid-19, they are:- Tuesdays 2 pm to 5 pm; Fridays 2 pm to 5 pm; Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm. Check out their Facebook for more information: Burley in Wharfedale CML Facebook

Harbury Village Library

Harbury Village Community Library managed to reopen its library w/c 13th July with a very diminished offer. Warwickshire County Libraries have only opened 4 of the main libraries so far, and only for a click and collect service. At Harbury we have moved large quantities of books so that we now have a single aisle containing our own collection books (purchased or donated) to which we are allowing access one person (or family group) at a time. The fact we work in the original Victorian village school has made reconfiguration quite a challenge.

We continue to operate our Home Delivery, Click and Collect and book takeaway services and hope to provide Ready Read packs to support the Summer Reading Challenge. As Hank Williams used to say, “If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise”, we’ll be able to provide access to one of our Public Access Computers this week. The library cafe is now offering takeaway coffee and cakes from the kitchen door twice a week!

Garden Suburb Community Library – Hampstead London continues to run its really successful click and collect service. As the building is really too small to be able to manage social distancing easily., they are looking to re-open in October at the earliest.

Courteous and respectful

Friends of Jesmond Library – Newcastle will re-open in two stages on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for two hours each day, 2-4pm at first. From August 4, only the current click and collect service and the People’s Network computers will be available with computer use limited to 50 minute sessions. From August 18 book loans and returns will also be available as well as click and collect which will continue for users who prefer it. We will be asking users to wear face coverings in the library and numbers entering will be restricted.

The Archibald Corbett Community Library – Catford London:

Phase 1 – Monday 6th July: Digital offer continues. Click and collect service, Lucky dip pre-selected bundles, Crate at the door to collect returned books. Set up table within foyer area so people only just step inside the building, 1 person at a time to complete their transaction. Door marshal to control access. 2-3 volunteers per shift – plus at least 1 manager to collate books prior to collection. Input discharges on system. Customers to queue outside with 2m markings. Use hand sanitiser on arrival at door Customer to read aloud card number. No exchange of books, cards, anything

Phase 2 – Monday 3rd August: Continue to offer click & collect and Lucky Dip. Add PC Use, Min. 30 mins to 2 hour max. slots, Quick browsing of limited selection – in Dome area only. See below for the opening times:

  • Monday          11:00 to 12:00                      over 70s, people with disabilities
  • Monday          14:00 to 16:00                      all
  • Tues or Thur 11:00 to 12:00                      over 70’s, people with disabilities
  • Thurs              14:00-16:00                          all

A call for volunteers

A number of members have expressed concern that their re-opening plans for a full service may be affected because many of their volunteers are over 70, having to self-isolate or are shielding and may not come back. The Network has linked up with VCS Emergency Partnership to discuss the possibility of VCS providing volunteers to Community Managed Libraries around the country to help them move from a restricted service to providing a full service with regular opening hours.

VSE has asked us to provide a snapshot of numbers, areas and timescale for where there could be a need for them to assess what they might be able to provide.

If your library looks like it will need to recruit new volunteers please email us at latest by Monday 10 August with the name and address of your library, the number of volunteers you might need, how many hours a week they will be needed and when you would want them to start by month.


A massive thanks to members who joined the Learning and Support Sessions between April and July making it really successful. From some of the feedback shared by colleagues most people valued the peer advice and support during these difficult times; for a few it was a lifeline, others felt informed and took away some ideas/information from Libraries Connected, DCMS and Arts Council to inform recovery plans and activities.

I am particularly grateful for your ideas and suggestions for how to improve future sessions.  We are now taking a summer break, resuming in September, new dates to be announced soon.

Have an enjoyable Summer Break and Stay Safe.

A New Guide to Help Libraries Re-open and More

Libraries Toolkit

Libraries Connected published its toolkit to help libraries to reopen in July and to reintroduce their services gradually, in line with the latest public health advice. The safety and health of staff, volunteers and users are at the forefront, and the toolkit was developed in partnership with heads of library services and their teams. The set of resources will support their planning for service recovery as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted: For more information please select this link: Library Recovery Toolkit

Did you see this article in the Guardian about the re-opening of Libraries?

Thought you might be interested in this link to an article on the re-opening of Libraries in the Guardian featuring the Corbett Community Library: Select to find out more: Guardian Article

An example of how Dorset Library Services is working with local CMLs

Wool Community Library, Dorset

A massive thanks to Tracey McGregor, the Dorset Head of Library Service for sharing the following: Recovery planning, Risk Assessment to support staff return to sites and service offers and Individual Specific Risk Assessment Template. Tracey has been working closely with local CMLs to inform and go forward together. We hope you find them useful.

A Case Study from Jesmond Library in Newcastle

Chris Clarke and colleagues from Jesmond shared a case study about their journey as a CML and some useful lessons we can learn from their experiences, thanks to everyone involved.

Stay safe.

Funding Opportunity – The Art Fund

Art Fund Launches Respond and Reimagine Grants

The Art Fund is providing Respond and Reimagine grants to help museums, galleries and cultural organisations respond to immediate challenges connected to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and offer support to adapt and reimagine ways of working for the longer-term future.

These grants can provide practical support to fund what applicants need now. If an organisation is experiencing an immediate crisis with no alternative sources of funding, The Art Fund can consider offering emergency support to help organisations manage during this difficult period.

Applicants are encouraged to let The Art Fund know what support will be most helpful, such as costs connected to re-opening: Staffing Equipment Training Planning for future activities. All public museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives in the UK are eligible to apply. Organisations that are a visual arts agency or festival are eligible to apply providing they can meet the above criteria and have a strong visual arts focus. Grants from £10,000 to £50,000 are available. The Art Fund will consider offering 100% funding.

Next Deadline is 6 July 2020: Click HERE to find out more.

Thank you.


Hello everyone. We hope you are all safe and well.

The Network has been very busy recently: contributing to discussions at national level where we champion the voices/needs of CMLs; running bi-monthly virtual learning sessions; developing a CML database; undertaking research into CMLs which operate as Community Hubs with support from Power to Change; building our website and forum which has just been completed and ready to be populated; creating opportunities for CMLs to share their experiences with others and much more.

Over the next few weeks and coming months we will focus on renewal or recovery, sharing experiences of CMLs as they re-open their doors and services.

What is in today’s Article?

  1. Dates for the July virtual learning sessions focused on Renewal/Recovery planning
  2. A Case study about Garden Surburb Community Library’s Click and Collect Service; an interesting initiative from Archibald Corbett Community Library and a digital skills training case study from ClearCommunityWeb based in South London. Do you have an interesting story/learning to share with other CMLs? Please email us at info@communitylibrariesnetwork.
  3. Resources and Toolkits:
    • Twine Benchmark
    • Digital Boost
    • Digital Skills Training – A Case Study from ClearCommunityWeb in South London

Dates for the June and July 2020 Virtual Learning Sessions – Renewal and Recovery

Click the relevant date to join a session of your choice – we have spaces for 9 more people on the 9th of July. Once you confirm your place, we will send you an email with a Zoom link to join the session on the day.

Please note that the team will take a break from August, so the virtual learning and support sessions will resume in September 2020.

CASE STUDY: Garden Suburb Community Library’s Click and Collect Service

Like all libraries Garden Suburb Community Library made the decision to close on the 17th March, find out what they did and lessons learnt from their Click and Collect scheme.

garden-suburb-case-study-3 Download

CASE STUDY: Digital Skills Training in South East London

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis ClearCommunityWeb in partnership with Upper Norwood Library Hub has helped over 100 people
stay connected online, many of whom are vulnerable or working with
vulnerable groups. Read the case study to learn more.

An Interesting Initiative by Archibald Corbett Library

The ‘Doorstep Chat’:  Throughout June & July they are offering a ‘Doorstep Chat service’ for customers that are shielding and fancy a chat! You can book a 30minute slot and a volunteer will come to the outside of your house and sit either in your front garden (if you have one) or on your front wall and chat with you. You can also use this opportunity to place book orders if you are a library member.

Plus the online support services starting form Monday 8th June  where you book a slot with a colleague from the Online Support Services. He can help you complete any online forms you may be struggling with. This will be done at a table in their courtyard out the back of the library so social distancing measures can be put in place.


Twine Benchmark: you can learn more about the financial health of your CML using Power to Change”s Twine Benchmark. To find out more please click HERE to access their webinar.

Boost your digital business skills: Digital Boost launches today, the platform is founded by Founders4Schools and BCG Digital Ventures, with support from DCMS. It offers free digital advice for small businesses and charities impacted by coronavirus, provided by expert volunteers, helping them to improve their digital capability to grow and prosper. You can download the media pack below:

Thank you all and stay safe.

New Dates for the Virtual Support Sessions and General Updates

Hello everyone. As always, I hope you are keeping well and safe. Many thanks to all who contributed to the DCMS and Arts Council surveys. We hope to share updates from the surveys when they become available.

Today’s edition covers

  • Future dates for the Virtual Learning and Support Sessions
  • Free Webinar from the Arts Council’s Digital Culture Network
  • General Updates and links to useful resources

Virtual Learning and Support Sessions – A focus on Recovery

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_62052618_207977903246_1_originalThese sessions have been very well received and fast becoming a useful vehicle for CMLs to receive and share updates/ideas, ask questions, discuss their concerns and challenges and support each other.

With libraries set to be open in the third phase of the government’s “COVID-19 recovery strategy”, and July 4 earmarked as the earliest date for this to happen, the virtual learning sessions will now focus on RECOVERY.   To book a place at these sessions simply click the date you wish to attend and follow the instructions. We will send you a ZOOM link to join the session when you register.


In advance of these sessions you may wish to read this interesting blog from Libraries Connected:  Safety first: The recovery of Library Services.  You may also want to look at BEIS guidance on safe operation of various workplaces – on GOV.UK here

Also, to note that Libraries Connected are developing general libraries guidance for restoring services that will have input from Public Health England.  The Peer Network will be sitting on the ministerial group that will work through and agree it and will update you in due course.

The Arts Council’s Digital Culture Network

The Arts Council’s Digital Culture Network is offering a free webinar session on 3rd June looking at online safety.  The session has been designed to help arts and cultural organisations intending to work with young people online create robust safeguarding policies and procedures as well as raise awareness of good practice in online safety.  For more information please see the following link:

General Updates and Useful Links

At the last virtual learning and suppGarden Suburb_001ort session, colleagues raised questions on recovery plans, volunteering, books, computers and board games and safety.  Below we have shared some helpful feedback on these topics from Sue @ Libraries Connected who is also a CML Peer Network trustee.


Recovery  may take the following phases:

  • Phase 1: Concentration on opening libraries for basic services with a focus on Continuation and development of digital events and activities
  • Phase 2: Very limited group activities in libraries with strict social distancing and maintaining a vibrant online programme
  • – this was published by the government a couple of days ago and gives an opening date for libraries of 4th July as part of a step 3 process – but very much baby steps.

In terms of questions raised around books, computers and board games:

  • Re books – they need to be quarantined for 3 days. There is a real debate about how we do that – PPE etc etc – but I think given the conversations running about gloves and the risk of contamination each CML may need to decide what to do – but bottom line is you need to keep washing your hand.
  • Computers – the protocols are still being worked on, but you may wish to start out by blocking out every other computer to maintain social distancing and mice/keyboard/chair/desk/terminal will have to be cleaned after each session, and  decide on how long each session should be to cut down dwell time. Plus to start with you may wish to do click and collect and even when people start coming into the building – seats will be taped off, soft toys etc put away, etc to keep social distancing and stopping people spending too much time in the building. So at the moment I am buying Perspex screens, floor space markers, thinking about space marshals inside/outside library like supermarkets (Perspex screens – you can buy ones that are not fixed plus signage– Terry Knight at Atlas UK Ltd ( on LinkedIn is doing that)
  • Board Games etc – the issue is about how do you manage social distancing with games etc and how do you avoid contamination – you could lend them out and then treat them like books? We are doing crafts etc on YouTube (my staff are filming themselves on their camera phones and it looks ok) – and keeping/building my audience so when it is safe for them to come back and do that in the library we have not lost them. So I am still thinking about Phase 2 activities and how to do that safely.

We will discuss Volunteering at our Virtual Sessions, and insights from colleagues will be shared here.

Please continue to visit announcements and updates. Visit our website for information/resources: CML National Peer Network website and continue to visit the Arts Council website for a wide range of updates and resources.

Thank you all and stay safe.

Quick Updates – New Business Rates Discretionary Fund and some case studies from CMLs during the Lockdown

Morning colleagues. I trust you are all well. A few quick updates, and hope you find them useful.

New Business Rates Discretionary Fund

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.  To find out more please select link to the announcement made over the weekend. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities and the fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief are to be prioritised.

Whats happening in some CMLs during the Lockdown? Book Ordering/Collection, Home Deliveries and Online activities

Five (5) case studies from Garden Suburb Community Library, Corbett Library, Harbury Village Library,  Upper Norwood Library Hub and Jesmond Library

  • Garden Suburb Community Library in London are now offering a book ordering / collection scheme to their readers. Click HERE to learn about the scheme.
  • Harbury Village Library also started a Home Delivery Service. People select books from the online catalogue of their own collection of books (c. 4000 items). Volunteers then prepare and deliver the books. Extensive precautions are taken (see website for details). They are only serving a small, compact, rural village with virtually no homes of multiple occupancy.  There is also the Takeaway Shelf:  Harbury receive many donations of books, some they have already and some they don’t want to add to their collection. In normal times these books are put out on Takeaway Shelves in the library foyer. Since last Monday a selection of these books has been put on a wheeled shelf which is placed outside the library from 10 am to 12 noon. Volunteers ensure social distancing recommendations are followed. For more information: Website: Blue Label Books – Harbury Village Library  Facebook: Harbury Village Library & Biblio’s Cafe

Thank you.



Capturing the Voice of CMLs

Dear Colleagues

I hope you are all well and safe. Here are a few updates, please share with colleagues and in your networks.

Arts Council England:  Arts Council England in partnership with DCMS and the Network have just launched a new survey to establish the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on community managed libraries. This survey builds upon the previous survey and consultations conducted by the Network. The survey link should now be with a contact in your library. If have not received a link and you would like to complete the survey, please contact who will issue you with a survey link.

Department for Communities Media and Sports (DCMS):   DCMS is conducting a survey to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions. It has been commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answer will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. Please follow the link below to begin submitting your response: DCMS Business Impacts of Coronavirus Survey  To be completed by by 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020.

Useful Information, Resources and Toolkits

DfE: DfE recently launched a platform: Skills Toolkit– a platform aimed at furloughed workers (and others that want to take the opportunity) to upskill, with an initial focus on digital and numeracy skills.  Here’s a link to the GOV.UK news story.  The toolkit is not sector specific and can be promoted widely. The two key audiences to reach are those individuals that may have scope to take up this offer, and also employers to encourage their staff to do so.

Libraries Connected:

#LibrariesFromHome is  one of the resources that can be used by parents or carers homeschooling primary age children, and is on the Hungry Little Minds campaign website, which provides fun activities for children to help stimulate speech and language development.

CILIP have also launched the National Shelf Service, to share the expertise of librarians through daily book recommendations.

Law Works: Covid-19 related guidance, information and advice for charities and not-for-profits. Including: corporate/governance, employment, property and tax issues:

Covid-19 Virtual Support and Learning Sessions

These sessions are well attended by CMLs and feedback has been very positive.  Attendees share their experiences around the impact of Covid-19 on their CMLs/communities, they also get the opportunity to exchange ideas with their peers, ask questions, seek support and learn from others. The sessions are held on Zoom.

To register please select one of the links below, and follow the instructions. We will send you a Zoom Link to join the session on the day.

Next week, we will share future learning and networking sessions here and on our website:

Thank you.

Summary feedback from Covid-19 Survey, other feedback and useful learning…..

I hope you are all well and safe.  This morning’s communication

  • provides a brief summary of findings from our recent survey/consultations;
  • dates for the next Virtual networking and learning events
  • links to resources, learning and funding opportunities and some useful ideas from other CMLs


Many thanks to all who contributed. 15 completed the online survey and we received 40+email contributions. 4 main issues identified by CMLs and a number of questions. Some of these are being fed back to appropriate sector agencies and their responses shared with CMLs (see below). We are collectively exploring some of these issues in our Virtual networking and support sessions (see below for future dates), and will be looking at some tailored resources in the near future.

1. Funding and financial support for CMLs, particularly those amongst us who trade in events, space hire, cafes and more… With the buildings shut, there is a significant loss of income, which could potentially impact on the organisation in the longer term.  There was also the question about whether CMLs could access the government package of support for businesses.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has confirmed that CMLs are entirely within the scope for accessing the Government’s Covid-19 business rates relief and cash grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors both under the leisure classification and also retail where they trade.   

If a CML has a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 it may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 and likewise if its property has a rateable value of up to £15,000 it may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.  This is irrespective of whether a CML gets 80% rates relief as a charity and a further 20%  charitable discretionary relief from its local authority which may or may not be given by the Local Authority depending on its policy re discretionary relief.

If a CML is not a charitable trust and is paying business rates it will qualify for a business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year under the Covid-19 scheme.  If a CML is already receiving small business rates relief it will be eligible for a small business grant of £10,000 if it is not a charity and it uses only one property. Applying for a grant or rates relief should be done through the Local Authority that sends you your business rates bill which will have a reference number to quote and also shows what the rateable value of the building is. All details and how to apply will be on your Local Authority’s website under Covid-19.  If it is queried by the business rates team then it may be best to seek support from your Head of Libraries at your Council for your application.

2.  Guidance on book deliveries:  Some of you want to start book deliveries but the question is how to do it in a safe manner to avoid spreading the infection to users or putting volunteers at risk? There were concerns about the hygiene of books and whether to quarantine the books, and for how long?  A few of you have been able to mobilise other local volunteers to deliver food and medicines however for CMLs with volunteers aged 70+, they are all self-isolating so there is no one to do the deliveries and collections. For others the building is shut and will remain so until we are advised to re-open.

3.  The Return: Life as we knew it before will not be the same post crisis.  Will CMLs need to practice social distancing as with many public spaces today? Has anyone thought of a re-opening plan and what this could look like for CMLs? Is there something like a phased, slow return or full on return to normal and what are the key considerations? Some expressed concerns around the building safety and measures to take to prevent a further outbreak in the building/community.  Could limited maintenance tasks in the building can be carried out whilst closed?   One also felt that post lockdown there should be a national publicity drive for the benefits of libraries, involving all community led libraries alongside publicly funded libraries, along with closer working between all types of library, including independent CML’s

4. Volunteers: our lifeline. Social isolation may go on for many months and for some of our volunteers aged 70+ they may be unwilling to return to the buildings once re-opened, whilst some may fear working with the public. Volunteer recruitment, retention and indeed retraining (how to work in a post Covid-19 environment) will be a major issue for CMLs.  Some of you want to know if there are CMLs doing anything to hold onto/bring volunteers back post pandemic? Others felt it would be beneficial to collate a profile of volunteers in the sector and to start working on a succession management strategy for CMLs.  Could CMLs be at risk of having no one to run the building/provide services when we return?

Thank you  again, if you would like to share any of your views, ideas or concerns, do join us at one of our online sessions, or email


Below are the dates for our next networking and support sessions. To book a place simply select the date you wish to attend, follow the instructions provided to register. A Zoom link will be sent nearer the time, please use this to join the session on the day.

Dates for June and early July will be announced in coming weeks.  See below for brief feedback from 3 colleagues who attended on 16 April:

I found it helpful to see and hear people and catching up on the situation they find themselves in, and what they are doing to keep contact with volunteers and service users………. The common themes seem to be how much our libraries have become community hubs and a power for social inclusion, and the engagement and pride our volunteers feel. Linda, Glen Hills, Leicestershire

 Just wanted to say I really, really found the Zoom meeting useful, motivating, informative, well organised and thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone from around the country.  Being given the opportunity to talk and chat to everyone about their libraries was a real breath of fresh air for more.  Deborah, Derby Law Centre

It’s vital that we keep our volunteers and library users interested and engaged during the shutdown period and we are preparing to offer a series of virtual clubs, activities and events.   Alison, Trustee from Northfields Community Library in The Borough of Ealing which was due to open in April 2020, but now unable to due to Covid-19.


Funding Opportunities

There may be Covid-19 funding opportunities specific to your own local communities or regions so do look out for them on relevant websites. You can also check funders’ websites, local authority sites, speak to people in your local networks, listen out for regional/national announcements. Below are a few we have received, some may have deadlines approaching:

Interesting Resources

 Surrey Libraries

Ideas from some CMLs

  • Phone vulnerable customers to make sure they are okay and ask if they are in need of food, chat or prescriptions and then organise yourself or volunteers wherever possible to supply any of that if needed
  • If there are people in your community/users who have a computer or smart phone but are not very good at getting online, you can offer this service to them or help them find out if there is support locally.
  • Offer your space to co-ordinate efforts for food/essential deliveries
  • Put a call out for volunteers of all ages so you can start building a pool of volunteers for when you return
  • Speak to your local authorities about what support is available for your organisation
  • Provide virtual services eg music, storytelling, craft sessions, language classes and reading groups: see Sing Song from Virginia at Garden Surburb Community Library

Thank you all and stay safe.



Virtual Catch Up

Hello Colleagues, I hope you are safe and well.

A reminder that the first Virtual Support and Learning during COVID-19 hosted by David Smith, Chair of the Network, will take place tomorrow 16th April 2020 at 11.30am. If you plan to join the session tomorrow please register HERE.  We will immediately send you a ZOOM link to join the session.

The next session will take place on 30th April 2020 11.30am – 12.30pm, please book a place HERE

Purpose of the Virtual Sessions:

  • To support each other during these unprecedented times and capture your feedback
  • Share ideas, experiences, learning including existing and planned activities during the pandemic
  • Keep abreast with local and national developments including opportunities open to CMLs

The virtual support sessions will be organised through Zoom.

Many thanks and look forward to meeting some of you online.


CML National Peer Network


We hope you are all well and safe.  There is a lot of information contained in this communication and we hope you find it useful.


The Network is involved regularly in contributing information at the strategic level to the DCMS. This means that issues from the field are therefore critically important to pass on quickly in this rapidly evolving situation.  With this in mind, we would like to capture the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your CML and would be very grateful if you could spend 5-7 minutes completing a very short SURVEY by 9 April 2020. Results from the SURVEY  will be shared on this site and passed on as quickly to relevant colleagues.

Please select SURVEY to complete. Thanking you all in advance.

CMLs – Virtual Support and Learning during COVID-19

We have organised two virtual/online support and learning together sessions on

The session will be open to a maximum of 12 people at a time and led by the Chair of the CML National Peer Network, David Smith.  To book, simply click on the date you wish to attend the virtual session and it will take you straight to our Eventbrite booking page. You can then register to join the event. If you experience any difficulties or want further information please email

Further sessions will be planned in May 2020 depending on feedback and learning we capture from the survey and the two online sessions.

Purpose of the Virtual Sessions:

  • To support each other during these unprecedented times and capture your feedback
  • Share ideas, experiences, learning including existing and planned activities during the pandemic
  • Keep abreast with local and national developments including opportunities open to CMLs

The virtual support sessions will be organised through Zoom. Once you register, we will send you a confirmation email plus a short guide explaining how to join the Virtual Support Session on Zoom.


Arts Council

The Arts Council has put together an Emergency Response Package made up of: £20 million available to individuals, £50 million to organisations outside of their National Portfolio and £90 million to National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs).  Please select this link to find out more: ARTS COUNCIL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PACKAGE

Good Finance

Good Finance have also put together a COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises. The site includes useful resources, funding and investment guides, support programmes and much more, available HERE

Power to Change

You can also find out How Power to Change is supporting the community business sector in response to COVID-19 HERE. The site also includes a link to the support packages announced by government.

On 1st April 2020, Power To Change and its delivery partners hosted a Webinar on Managing your community business during the Covid-19 crisis, further information including the presentation slides can be found HERE.


You may wish to check out Locality’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Support hub for COVID-19 funding and support opportunities. For those CMLs who are Locality members, the site includes support available to members.


There is guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit NCVO site for further information


We have been collating information and resources we hope will be useful for you, your organisation and communities during these unprecedented times:

  • GIFT AID: If you are concerned GIFT Aid on cancelled tickets

For CMLs who run as theatres or cultural venues who have queries around claiming Gift Aid when patrons agree to donate to the venue the value of their tickets for an event cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the response here.


The following are a few activities organised by some CMLs/organisations during the lockdown period.  You can find out more by clicking the links provided. If you are doing something interesting or have a new idea to share with everyone, then please email

  • Activities for children, families and everyone in the community

We came across this link to activities you can enjoy as a family, with friends and users during the lockdown: Lockdown links.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf

  • Sing Song Time at Garden Suburb Community Library, Hampstead

Virginia from the Garden Suburb Community Library in Hampstead Garden, North London has run an amazingly successful Sing Song Time on Thursdays, for a number of years.  For many children confined to their homes for the foreseeable future Virginia recorded a special Sing Song Time just for you ! You can access it here:

Virginia would also love to receive feedback either by email or on through Facebook @gardensuburbcommunitylibrary or Twitter @HGScLibrary

  •  Daily live streams at the Upper Norwood Library Hub:  Upper Norwood Library Hub in London runs volunteer led daily live streams: from yoga, to singing classes, talk shows to bed-time stories. You can join/access by selecting this link: DAILY LIVE STREAMS FROM UNLH

Digital Inclusion sessions – Virtual Offer from Clearcommunityweb and Upper Norwood Library Hub

The library hub also offers virtual digital sessions each week for Seniors, both 1-1 and group sessions. Sessions include

  • Help to set up video chat software to stay in contact with family, friends, neighbours during this time. (Skype/ Facetime/ WhatsApp)
  • Help to set up online shopping account and making that first purchase
  • Critical form filling and applications: Council, Rent, Health Service

Harbury Community Library

Runs online Classic Book Group and relaunch of online Spanish and French lessons, online publication of cake recipes from list of favourite homemade cakes served in the library cafe, online publication of art works by local artists which are currently hanging in the unvisited library, and finally working with Parish Council to start home delivery service for library books to most vulnerable people in our community who already being supported by PC volunteers.

Jesmond Library

The library is setting up a collection and a home delivery service to allow people to have access to books/resources. The service will be publicised on their website:; facebook page and through posters at strategic sites in Jesmond. They are developing procedures for new memberships, home deliveries and collection of books.

Repair Cafe

Collaboration between library and Harbury Energy Initiative.

Seed Share Initiative

A collaboration between community library and primary school gardening club ( This has been incredibly successful.

Thank you for your time and we will stay connected.