London Plus October 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to October’s edition of our newsletter containing sector reports, funding opportunities, resources to support your practice and much more.

Events & Training

Superhighways VCSSCamp
Tuesday 20 October, 10.00 – 15.30
Superhighways are hosting the VCSSCamp for Local Infrastructure Organisations (CVSs, Volunteer Centres and other specialist 2nd / 3rd tier organisations) to explore digital and tech for smarter working, service design and supporting thriving communities.

They also have lots of other events coming up in the next couple of monthsincluding Datawise London – Data Talks: Indices of Multiple Deprivationpresented by the London Plus Social Research and Data Lead Lucy Smith.

Data, decisions and impact: How statisticians and operational researchers can help civil society
Tuesday 03 November, 13.00 – 14.15
The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and Operational Research Society (ORS) are hosting an online event to highlight the ways in which volunteers with statistical and operational research expertise have worked with charities to deliver better data analysis and robust decision making. The event is for VCSE organisations.


“Our Place: local authorities and the public’s mental health”
The Centre for Mental Health has produced its latest report which examines the initiatives of local councils that are rising to the challenge of promoting good mental health and preventing poor mental health in their communities. Camden and Islington borough are featured as a case study (page 28) [PDF].

Over 95% of young Londoners oppose the removal of free travel
A poll of over 2000 young Londoners by Partnership for Young London, London’s regional youth unit, has found huge opposition to the removal of free travel, and that paying for travel would restrict the freedom of choice for young Londoners over their education and extra-curricular activities.

Report on COVID-19, Punjabi communities, and mental well-being
Taraki, a user led organisation has compiled research on the impact of COVID-19 on this community involving 470 Punjabi respondents sharing their experience. You can access this important report here.

Rapid Evidence Review – Inequalities in relation to COVID-19 and their effects on London
The review was commissioned by the GLA to document and understand the impact of COVID-19 on those with protected characteristics, as well as those living in poorer, or more precarious, socioeconomic circumstances. The report provides the outcomes of the review, as well as a series of recommendations.

Levelling Up Our Communities
In July we posted our submission to Danny Kruger’s MP review. The report has now been published along with the Prime Minister’s response to the report, both can be found here.



Fore RAFT Transition Fund
Unrestricted grants of up to £15,000, are available for organisations with a turnover under £500k. They are particularly looking to fund small organisations working with marginalised groups and led by people in the community that may have found it hard to access trust and foundation funding in the past. Registration opens at 10am on Monday 21st September 2020. Applications close 19 October. 

The Volant Trust Covid-19 Response Fund
Registered charities, community interest companies and community organisations that ‘demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic’ can apply.

Morrisons Foundation funding
Morrisons are offering grants of up to £25,000 to registered charities which make a positive difference in local communities across England, Scotland and Wales.

Sector News

Sector News

COVID-19 and Voluntary Sector Organisations in the UK: Impact and Response 
Researchers have secured funding to conduct an investigation into the way that COVID-19 is impacting the VCSE sector and how organisations are responding. There will be a monthly barometer over 15 months, from mid-September 2020 to November 2021. Results will be published publicly each month so that organisations can compare themselves against other organisations of similar type and size. To find out more about this project, please contact the project team at or the project lead Daniel King at To participate in the survey please visit COVID-19 and VCSE Organisations’ Responses.

Interested in improving the lives of Refugee and Asylum seekers? 
HostNation are a London based introductory service connecting residents to refugees in the city. As a result of Covid they are now offering ‘smart’ befriending where matching, introductions and initial befriending is online. Weekly video-calls are followed by face-to-face meet ups in the city when both parties feel ready. They ask for a minimum commitment of three months.

Update: NHS Volunteer Responder scheme

If you or someone you know requires help with things like shopping, collection of prescriptions and the ‘check in and chat’ facility for those feeling lonely, you can now call the scheme directly on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm). Currently you can’t self-refer online but this may change. For those who need help with transport e.g. to hospital appointments, you still have to be referred by the NHS, your local authority or via a local VCSE organisation. Please see the RVS website for more info and eligibility criteria.

Resources to Support Your Practice

Advice for being an ally
In this information sheet from the Black Asian Minority Ethnic Education organisation (BAMEE), Dr Muna Abdi shares some of the ways you can show up and support your organisation to stand up as an ally for the BAME community.

How to interpret research on ethnicity and COVID-19 risk and outcomes: five key questions
With all the research currently taking place around the impact on BAME communities, it can be a bit overwhelming to interpret it all. The Health Foundation has helpfully produced a publication on five key questions you can ask yourself to understand the quality of what you are reading.

Great for those of you trying to get socially distanced sport activities up and running
The Mayor of London’s community sports team have come up with a toolkit offering suggestions and support for organisations running activities [PDF]. It was piloted with young people, but there’s lots of opportunity to adapt to fit your organisation’s needs.

Digital Exclusion
The Hear Network have produced a series of downloadable case studies and good practice examples on Digital Exclusion which you may want to implement. New case studies will be published regularly in the coming weeks on their websiteYou can also read about their work with members on digital exclusion.

Children in families at risk – Local area maps
The maps present the Children’s Commissioner projected proportions of children living in households where an adult has any of the ‘toxic trio’ factors present, or where multiple factors exist in the same household. These factors are alcohol/substance misuse, domestic abuse and mental health problems

Community Building: 11 resources for developing thriving local food movements
Sustainable Food Places have written a blog asking ‘What do our local areas need in place to resource and amplify public action on healthy and sustainable food?’.