Updates including Network Meeting Dates from September 2021

I hope you are all well. A few updates, a funding opportunity plus dates for our Network Meetings from September 2021. Wishing you all a peaceful and restful summer.

  1. Public Library Service operational guidance for the period after 19th July 2021

This guidance note is for public library services in England and applies to operations in Step 4 of the government’s recovery plan which started on 19th July. The note has been prepared by Libraries Connected in consultation with Public Health England, and in line with guidance published by the Government. You can find out more here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zYSMRA3KXU25FDlBNp9vh6N8xEXU8Qw3/view?usp=sharing

2. The Arts Council’s Youth Advisory Board

Our Youth Advisory Board will consist of approx. 10-15 young people from across the North of England. Together they will work with staff from across the organisation to ensure the voices of young people are at the heart of what we do.

Our first cohort will be in post from September 2021 – July 2022, during our pilot phase, where they will have the opportunity to engage in arts and culture whilst developing skills to support them in their future careers. 

We’re working with three organisations to support the delivery of this programme: Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus North East and Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and the Humber. Find out more > https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news/we%E2%80%99re-recruiting-our-youth-advisory-board

3. Network Meetings from September 2021

Network meetings resume from September 2021, below are the dates for the meetings. On 9th September, we will discuss life post 19th July, and there will be a Speaker from the Low Carbon Network and another to cover all things digital. We are hoping to invite other speakers to all our meetings and will update you all in due course.

9th September 2021 13 January 2022
7th October 2021 17 February 2022
4 November 2021 24 March 2022
9th December 2021

4. Power to Change Community Business Market Survey is now live

The Power to Change annual Community Business Market survey is now live. The survey helps Power to Change and the rest of the sector understand and better support community businesses across England. Never has community-led business, nor the support they receive, been more important than in this time of recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year one of the key focus’ of the survey is the environmental impact and activities of community-led businesses. If you are, or think you might be, a community business, please follow the link for more information and to complete the survey. This should take no longer than 25 minutes. https://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix/p556611249606.aspx?P=3

5. Other Updates

Read, Talk, Share – How the Reading Agency helped libraries tackle loneliness – DCMS Libraries (blog.gov.uk)

A report by the Centre for Ageing Better offers examples of good practice and recommendations for organisations that deliver services to users and help digitally excluded people with skills training: COVID-19 and the digital divide: Supporting digital inclusion and skills during the pandemic and beyond | Centre for Ageing Better (ageing-better.org.uk)

The Rediscover Summer campaign will be based around a central page on GOV.UK, with dedicated ‘Shorthand Social’ pages that gather details on summer activities for children and young people across across the six main themes from government and partners: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aUn4yb8Kg4yxHoUJoHBXhof7Ijc9HJ5d/view?usp=sharing

Funding Opportunity

£100,000 donation for Charities working to support vulnerable people and communities impacted by COVID-19

As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, Barclays will be making a further 50 donations of £100,000 each to UK charities working to support vulnerable people and communities impacted by COVID-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis. UK charities, with an annual income of at least £1m, are invited to apply to receive a donation of £100,000 to meet the needs of our communities as they emerge from the pandemic, including:

  • help for people experiencing physical and mental health issues;
  • financial assistance for people facing financial hardship;
  • support for ethnically diverse communities disproportionately impacted by the crisis; and
  • enhancing digital accessibility.

Applications close at 6pm on Friday 6 August, 2021. Find out more and apply here.


Rediscover Summer

Colleagues, hope you are well. An interesting update for you all, please see below:

The Rediscover Summer campaign will be based around a central page on GOV.UK, with dedicated ‘Shorthand Social’ pages that gather details on summer activities for children and young people across across the six main themes from government and partners. These are:

  • Week 1 – Reading / 26 July
  • Week 2 – Creativity / 02 August
  • Week 3 – Sport / 09 August
  • Week 4 – Nature/ 16 August
  • Week 5 – Heritage/ 23 August
  • Week 6 – Community/ 30 August

The campaign team at DCMS is now gathering content so they can profile the amazing things happening over the summer, aiming for a soft-launch of the campaign on 10th July, to give organisations enough time to highlight what they have on offer that parents can plan ahead for during the summer holidays. The DCMS team will also be profiling individual examples during the themed weeks highlighting what’s on offer on their social media channels.

How to get involved

DCMS want to use this as an opportunity to showcase the sort of things that libraries have to offer. Although the Reading Week is obviously one that libraries will be front and centre of (and which links in to the TRA-led Summer Reading Challenge and Summer of Reading activities that libraries are so involved in) looking at the other themed weeks there may be other activities/events that libraries can provide material for, such as creativity, heritage (local studies etc) and community.

To help libraries’ content and activity to be featured on the campaign’s channels, please email Rediscover-Summer@dcms.gov.uk with details of:

  • Activities libraries are running over the summer so the team can promote this and add it to their pages. 
  • Content such as video footage, trailers, montages, explainer ads etc. and images that libraries are happy for the team to add #RediscoverSummer branding to, either in the form of a logo on stills, or an endslate for video.

They also want public libraries to get involved by posting activities on their channels, using the #RediscoverSummer hashtag aligned to the weeks and themes above. Please let the campaign team know (via the Rediscover-Summer@dcms.gov.uk mailbox) what you’ll be publishing/posting and when so they can look out for it and amplify. There will be a #RediscoverSummer toolkit available before the 10th for you to use with your content. You’re also welcome to tag:


Across the campaign, the DCMS team would like to gather data to measure the effectiveness of the campaign in supporting you and our partners. They would like to play a part in helping drive uplifts in footfall and other participation rates. We hope that through the campaign any promotion the campaign gives will raise awareness and encourage people to take part in your summer activity. Any data you are happy to provide which would allow the team to track this activity would be gratefully appreciated (including social media metrics and visitor data).

Thank you.