Useful Information – May 2024

Events, training, charity news, surveys, research, feedback, reports, services and much more – in one handy place!

This page will be updated with new information as we receive it during May. Please check back regularly. (Last update: 28/05/24 – items added on this date are marked as [NEW])

You’ll also find the latest Health and Wellbeing news, events and opportunities in the current post on our News page here.

You can view last month’s Useful Information here to catch up on new information added during April ’24.

For useful resources, information and news, updates on our climate commitment, blog posts from colleagues about what they’re doing (in a work capacity and privately) to minimise environmental impact and more take a look at Cumbria CVS Green

If you’ve seen something you think we should be sharing, let us know! Email us:

Looking for funding information? Check out the latest edition of Focus on Funding here

Training and Events

Webinar: Bringing digital into the boardroom

12 June, online. Driving digital transformation in a charity begins at the top. Board members often have limited time and many topics to cover, which can lead to challenges in leadership and progress.

This session, designed to speed up digital transformation, will help board members set priorities, solve problems, and lead their organisations effectively.

Find out more and book here


IVAR webinar: Involving communities in health service design

26 June, online. Do you want to involve communities in the design of health services? Or work in cross-sector partnership to address local health challenges?

An upcoming webinar on  from the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) will share recent findings from their Connecting Health Communities initiative, and be an opportunity for Q&A. Over the last 15+ years, IVAR has supported VCSE organisations and local systems to work together with communities to take action.

Find out more and book here


Communicating Climate Action in Cumbria

18 June, online webinar. This free event, for communications professionals and volunteers will:

  • Outline the concept of segmentation,
  • Cover the seven segments from Britain Talks Climate,
  • Show how segmentation and mapping can be used to engage people on climate action,
  • Introduce the Cumbria maps and data.

Find out more and book here


Penrith Nursery Recruitment

Looking for a job in Childcare? Wanting further information on different career opportunities? Come along and meet our amazing team and have a look around our newly refurbished nursery! If you are qualified with a level 2 or 3 childcare practitioner, newly qualified this summer or if you are interested in completing an apprenticeship with us, we would love to meet you on the 22nd of May!

First Class Kids Nursery operates as a Charity and not for profit. For more information, click on the thumbnail image.


Digital Inclusion Summit 2024

On 20 June 2024, Charity Digital will be holding a free online event for charity professionals to gain skills and knowledge to help them dismantle the digital divide.

Whether you are a digital master or novice, the event will have something for you. Sessions will introduce the concept of digital inclusion, teach attendees key digital skills for 2024, and explore what we can each do to make the digital world a safer, happier, more inclusive place.

Sign up here


Embedding VCSE Webinar – Commissioning and the impact on VCSE partnerships in health and care

Wednesday 22 May, online. This webinar aims to share learning on the topic of commissioning and the impact on strategic partnerships in health and care, identifying tools and enablers for spreading good practice, by drawing on the experience of case studies.

Find out more, and how to register, here


Dementia Action Week events – Penrith

Click on the thumbnail image to view a leaflet with details of free events taking place at Penrith Leisure Centre on Thursday 16 May.



Reduce your digital carbon footprint; a sustainable way to communicate and collaborate

Wednesday 5 June, online. Learn how to apply sustainable choices and behaviours into your daily use of technology to reduce your individual carbon footprint.

The environmental impact of IT is significant and expected to increase. Us as individuals can support in reaching our Net Zero targets by adopting sustainable best practices when using technology.

Book your place here


Aspiring Leaders Programme Open Afternoon

Fully funded Aspiring Leaders Programme (ALP) is now recruiting for the next cohort starting in September. ALP offers a comprehensive and fully funded apprenticeship degree programme spanning from September 2024 to December 2027.

Led by Brathay Trust, in partnership with Cumbria university, ALP combines formal academic teaching with experiential learning and dedicated mentoring. At the end of the 3-years, participants achieve a bachelor’s degree in leadership and management.

Meet the team at an ALP5 Open Afternoon on Thursday 16 May, 2-4pm at Brathay Hall. Click here to confirm your attendance and secure a spot


On-demand webinar: Securing your charity in the age of AI

In this webinar, Charity Digital and guests explore the essentials of Artificial Intelligence and how charities can ensure they remain secure amid technological advances.

Watch the webinar here


Evaluation Visualisation Design Tool (EViD) Workshop

16 May, online. New to considering evaluation or just looking to explore some new options to improve what you do?

This free 2 hr on-line workshop is for you – learn how to use the easy-to-use EvID tool to evaluate any group, service or project big or small using this great free resource.

Find out more and book here


Network event: Getting to work on Modern Slavery in Cumbria

Thursday 16 May, Carlisle. Keynote presentations by The Clewer Initiative, on County Lines and the Care Sector. Click on the thumbnail image for more information.

Email to book your place


School of Social Enterprise

Are you thinking of starting your own business? Why not start your own Social Enterprise instead?

Applications are OPEN for the brand new School of Social Enterprise, an inspired idea from Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership, who are keen to champion the formation of more Social Enterprises in Cumbria. Starting a social enterprise means running a purpose driven business, and lets you make a positive impact and connect with your community.

Millom – 1 & 2 May (cohort 2)


Capital Fundraising Masterclass

Monday 3 June, online. This NEW Capital Fundraising MASTERCLASS will dive into a practical approach that will make fundraising for Capital projects easier, and increase your chances of fundraising success!

Find out more and book here


Stewardship Masterclass

Tuesday 14 May, online. In this NEW Stewardship MASTERCLASS, Get Grants will breakdown how your ability to build strong, authentic relationships with your donors, funders, and partners WILL have an impact on your level of success.

Find out more and book here

VCFSE News and Information

How to conduct a staff survey

Find out why staff surveys are so important, the benefits of running them, and how you might conduct one.

Read more here


Everything you need to know about the Charity Commission

Explore how history of the Charity Commission, the role of the Commission in today’s society, how the Commission registers and regulates the charity sector, and so much more.

Read more here


How to choose a legal structure for your organisation

A look at the four main charity structures and how to decide what’s right for you.

Read more here


Cumberland Council Newsletter

View the Cumberland Council newsletter from 19/05/24 here, including:

  • Annual Council meeting held
  • Claim Pension Credit
  • Upperby Gala 2024


Westmorland and Furness Council Newsletter

View the Westmorland and Furness Council newsletter from 17/05/24 here, including:

  • Tell us what you think: Healthy Child Programme consultation
  • £100,000 fund open for event and festival grant applications
  • Call for young volunteers to support Summer Reading Challenge


UK’s wealthiest gave £200m less to charities last year, says Sunday Times Giving List

Britain’s wealthiest people gave £200m less to charity in the past 12 months, according to the Sunday Times Giving List.

Hedge fund manager Paul Marshall is the most generous philanthropist in the UK according to the Sunday Times Giving List, in association with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

Read more here


Household Support Fund (Westmorland & Furness)

The Department of Work and Pensions Household Support Fund grant is now available until the 30th of September 2024 or when the funding has been allocated, whichever occurs soonest.

The fund is there to help residents who are facing significant hardship and in immediate crisis, for example, those who are unable to pay for energy bills, food and other household essentials. Please refer vulnerable residents to this fund if they are struggling to cover household expenses.

Find out more in this document


Household Support Fund (Cumberland)

Cumberland Council has a limited amount of money available through the Household Support Fund to help people who are in financial crisis because of rising prices.

They are expecting demand for support to be high, and will now only be able to pay out if you are facing significant hardship. This means they will need to ask for some information about your household and your financial situation.

Payments will only be made to help households in immediate crisis – for example, those unable to buy food, pay energy bills or buy other essentials. Payments are small. They are to help you get what you need while you look for support (such as advice on benefits and debt) from other organisations. They will put you in contact with those services if you need them.

Fid out more and apply here


How to navigate a general election

With a UK general election looming around the corner, Charity Digital share some resources to help charities campaign effectively and within the rules.

Read more here


What are UK political parties offering charities in 2024?

Labour and Conservative Party politicians are already offering strong hints on how they intend to work with charities should they win 2024’s general election.

Read more here


How to improve your annual report

Some tips and tricks to help charities create the best possible annual reports.

Read more here


How to learn AI in 2024

Take a look at some useful resources for learning about AI in the charity sector.

Read more here


Charity leadership challenges for 2024

Explore the modern challenges charity leaders are facing and how they can navigate them effectively to achieve more impact for their cause.

Read more here


Cumberland Council Newsletter

View the Cumberland Council newsletter from 12/05/24 here, including:

  • Funding opportunities
  • Keep up to date with our health research initiative
  • Young Volunteers wanted for Summer Reading Challenge in Cumberland Libraries


Westmorland and Furness Council Newsletter

View the Westmorland and Furness Council newsletter from 10/05/24 here, including:

  • Council makes commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Connecting Cumbria celebrates progress on its Digital Infrastructure Strategy
  • Find out more about fostering this Foster Care Fortnight


How charities can find a CRM that works for them

Explore what charities should be looking for in their fundraising CRM system, whether it’s their first time using one or they’re looking to replace legacy systems.

Read more here


Increasing number of large charities publish highest earner’s exact salary on website

An increasing proportion of large charities publish the exact figure of their highest earner on their websites, according to an analysis by Civil Society.

Currently, charities with an income of over £1m are required to outline how many staff are paid more than £60,000, as well as what they are paid, within £10,000 bands.

Read more here


Seven key resources for advancing your skills in 2024

Is there a new skill you’re itching to learn? Explore the best resources at your fingertips to achieve your goals and make a difference.

Read more here


Fundraising: what lies ahead in 2024

Charity Digital explore fundraising trends from the beginning of 2024 and how donations will be affected in the months ahead, with insight from the Spring Donor Pulse report from Enthuse.

Read more here


The road to better supporter journeys

Explore the key stages of a supporter journey and how charities can turn would-be supporters into strong advocates for their cause.

Read more here


Cumberland Council Newsletter

View the Cumberland Council newsletter from 05/05/24 here, including:

  • Work begins to create Workington’s £19m Community Diagnostic Centre
  • Talk and Tidy event
  • Lake district shuttle bus


Westmorland and Furness Council Newsletter

View the Westmorland and Furness Council newsletter from 03/05/24 here, including:

  • Council agrees strategy for homelessness and rough sleeping
  • Election results 2024
  • Cabinet approves Cared for and Care Experienced Young People’s Strategy


Charities minister responds as MP proposes right to paid volunteering leave

Civil society minister Stuart Andrew has urged caution over a proposal by a fellow Conservative MP to introduce a legal right for all workers to request paid volunteering leave.

Jo Gideon suggested the policy at a Westminster Hall debate about the contributions of volunteers she tabled recently.

Read more here


How AI can serve everyone

The public says no charity should be left behind during the artificial intelligence revolution. Charity Digital explore how to make AI accessible to all.

Read the article here


How to make better decisions with charity data

Discover how digital finance technology is helping charities make better decisions and get a fuller picture of the impact they are delivering towards their mission.

Read the article here


How to stay cyber secure with volunteers

Explore how charities can strengthen their cyber security while working with volunteers, with help from the National Cyber Security Centre.

Read the article here


Free consultancy support to get Big Help Out ready

Across the country, local areas and front line volunteer-involving organisations are getting ready for The Big Help Out weekend, taking place from 7-9 June at the end of Volunteers’ Week.

If you are leading or coordinating local efforts to use the campaign to encourage new local volunteers to come forward, and would welcome support to plan and implement your activities, help is available through NCVO:

  • It could be that you would like to host a flagship, light touch volunteering event to give those new to volunteering a great first experience;
  • Maybe you want to develop a flexible ‘action’ that individuals or groups can undertake in their own time, whilst still making a difference for your cause;
  • Or perhaps you just want to ensure your volunteering opportunities are advertised on the Big Help Out digital platform as well as your own – that your local roles get extra visibility in the national ‘shop window’.

If you’d like to explore any of the above, have something else in mind or would simply welcome a direct link into the national campaign and its partners, contact Gethyn Williams at NCVO for details:


Removals to Rwanda – Important Information

Some useful info/support for an asylum seeker receiving anything mentioning Rwanda, from Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.

Click here to view


West Cumbria Carers name change

Following a major re-brand to celebrate the organisation’s 30th Anniversary in 2022, West Cumbria Carers have now officially changed their name to Carer Support West Cumbria.

View their website here


Charities to pay up to 50% more as Fundraising Regulator increases levy

The Fundraising Regulator has announced it will increase the voluntary levy it asks charities to pay by up to 50% over two years, following a consultation with the sector.

Its increases, the first in eight years, will mean the largest charities pay £22,500 a year, a £7,500 rise on current rates.

Read the article here


Futureproofing Your Charity

Charities are used to operating in a permanent head wind of disruption, but the uncertainty and strain of recent years have created so much turbulence that achieving any significant progress
has been challenging.

Nine Feet Tall have put together a comprehensive framework to help ensure the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of your service delivery and operations.

Click here to view


Hospice charities considering service cuts after ‘worst ever’ £77m deficit estimated

Hospice charities in the UK have recorded an estimated £77m deficit, their “worst ever” financial year, according to a sector membership body.

Hospice UK reported recently that its members faced a collective estimated deficit of £77m in the financial year 2023-24.

Read the full article here


The fundamentals of third-party cyber security

Why charities must ensure that their suppliers, contractors, and partnerships prioritise cyber security and what they need to ask for.

Find out more here


How to boost your brand power

Learn some tips and tricks to digitally supercharge your charity’s brand.

Find out more here


How to make your workplace accessible

Discover how you can support staff with disabilities to excel in their jobs and play an active role in the workplace.

Find out more here


What is reverse mentoring?

Reverse mentoring can have huge benefits for your organisation, such as developing talent, retaining staff, and enhancing equality and diversity.

Find out more here


National Digital Inclusion Network

The Network is powered by Good Things Foundation, the digital inclusion charity, and is made up of thousands of organisations across the UK – all working to fix the digital divide.

Join the National Digital Inclusion Network. It’s free to become a member, and you’ll get a range of benefits in addition to accessing core digital inclusion services for free. These include, free digital skills training, digital inclusion grants and hundreds of resources and more.

Find out more here


Major charities spend millions more on staff costs after minimum wage rises

Several large UK charities have reported spending millions more on staff salaries due to minimum wage rises introduced this month, and commissioners have been urged to cover their increased costs.

Mencap, Age UK and Sue Ryder have reported that their salaries have risen by £6.7m, £1.7m and £1m respectively after increasing staff pay following the legislation changes introduced on 1 April.

Read the full article here


Digital inclusion: Preparing for a more digital future

Explore how charities can make digital for all by accessing free digital inclusion services to get everyone online.

Read the article here


Cumberland Council Newsletter

View the Cumberland Council newsletter from 14/04/24 here, including:

  • Community events extended
  • Councils respond to Government offer of devolution support
  • Families join in the fun to open Whitehaven’s ‘Family Hub on the Harbour’


Westmorland and Furness Council Newsletter

View the Westmorland and Furness Council newsletter from 12/04/24 here, including:

  • Bus service funding supports tourism businesses and communities
  • Councils respond to Government offer of devolution support
  • #GreatBigGreenWeek is back in June

Surveys, Research, Feedback and Reports

Westmorland and Furness Council Healthy Child Programme consultation

A consultation has been launched by Westmorland and Furness Council on a proposed redesign of their Healthy Child Programme services.

The Healthy Child Programme offers every family a range of support, including screening tests, immunisations, developmental reviews, and information and guidance to support parents, children, and young people to grow, develop and thrive. There are two surveys available as part of the Healthy Child Programme consultation, one for families and one for professionals.

Click here for ore information


Donations to food bank charities increase by 50% to estimated £973m

Money donated to UK food bank charities increased by more than 50% last year, according to new research, despite a similar number of people giving.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) found that people donated £973m to food banks in 2023, increasing from £635m in 2022.

Read more here


Take part in Fundraising Magazine’s survey

Fundraisers are great at sharing their insights to help their colleagues raise more for the causes they are passionate about.

This month, Fundraising Magazine is running a short survey to give fundraisers an opportunity to share their experiences and learnings.

Take the survey here


Charity Shops Survey 2024 opens

The 33rd edition of the Charity Shops Survey 2024 is now open. For more than three decades, the survey has provided detailed benchmarking data for charities that operate in retail, giving them a better understanding of the sector.

Participants in this year’s survey will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a £100 John Lewis voucher.

Take the survey here


Quarter of employees unaware of workplace volunteering opportunities, survey finds

A quarter of employees (24.7%) responding to a recent survey did not know how much time their employer gave them for volunteering.

“This alone shouts very loudly that many employers are not promoting effectively employee volunteering to their employees,” the report reads.

Read more here


Young people hear about causes from influencers more than charities, report says

Age has a big influence on people’s perceptions of charities, according to new research, with younger adults more likely to hear about good causes through social media influencers.

Adults under 40 surveyed for the Tomorrow’s Donor, Today‘s second report were more likely to say they had heard about good causes from influencers than local, national or international charities recently.

Read more here


Call for evidence about the priorities of people with lived experience of poverty in the UK

GMCVO and Greater Manchester Poverty Action have been funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to conduct a review that collates evidence from work that has enabled those affected by the economic injustice of poverty to articulate the issues that they face and what they feel are the most important things to invest in.

This evidence will be collated in a JRF ‘knowledge bank’ as part of a programme that seeks to act on the priority areas identified. If your organisation has been involved creating or is aware of any UK based evidence like this, we want to hear from you. Deadline for submissions has been extended to 13 May.

Click here to share your evidence


Gradual rise in donors leaving charitable gifts in wills, report says

There has been an incremental rise in charitable donors writing wills and pledging gifts to charities, according to a new report.

Almost two thirds (64%) of charity donors have written a will, up from 63% in 2022 and 62% in 2021.

Read more here


Make Your Voice Heard survey 2024

Charity Excellence has launched their survey about the wellbeing of charity staff and volunteers.

Take the survey to help the sector better understand volunteer wellbeing and charity staff. It’s open to all staff and volunteers, including trustees/directors, of any non profit of any size.

Take the survey here

The information above is provided in good faith. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that it is correct, Cumbria CVS cannot accept liability for any omissions or inaccuracies and does not take responsibility for the quality for any services or products mentioned.