KVA News - March 2022

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MARCH 2022

Statement from Community Leaders in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Sanja Djeric Kane CEO Kingston Voluntary Action 

As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian women and children are escaping from their country to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, fleeing from the war Ukraine was forced into by Putin, we are joining the Leader of the Council in a reminder that Kingston is a “welcoming and inclusive place… committed to play its part in providing support and reassurance to those affected”. 
We have been watching with horror and shock the invasion of Ukraine by Russia televised across all media. We have been stunned by the speed with which this territory grab has turned into an action which has escalated to involve every country on the planet. 
KVA will do all it can to support refugees arriving in the borough by providing support, signposting and advice to our local groups/communities.
We will also be liaising with RBK to make sure communications are circulated. In addition, London Plus is trying to map, connect and prepare relevant organisations for a surge in need and is asking for organisations willing to help.  
We condemn the act of Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin in launching this offensive against its neighbour.  And we stand ready to support our local organisations, who will be advising, and counselling refugees and locals alike. 


John Azah , Chief Executive Officer of Kingston Race and Equalities Council (KREC)

The whole world was shocked when Russia invaded Ukraine. Even with all its institutions, the world was unable to stop this happening and whilst a lot of strategic actions have been taken to get Russia to stop, the impact of many of these may not be felt for a number of years.
And even though we talk about Russia, this is Vladimir Putin’s war. Many Russians will not support the war Putin is fighting and may be facing personal challenges or abuse for something they had no part in deciding or have no responsibility for.  So, it is important that we are mindful of how we talk about Russians.
Many innocent people are suffering from being in the war zone and many others are leaving their country as refugees. We need to do everything we can to help them.
This war is unacceptable, and it has to stop. 
In Kingston we need to work across agencies and communities to highlight what is happening in Ukraine and stand in solidarity with Ukrainians and all those who are against the war, regardless of where they come from.
KREC wants to work with the Kingston Interfaith Forum, Refugee Action Kingston, Kingston Voluntary Action, the Royal Borough of Kingston and any other agency or individuals, to express our support for those whose country is being destroyed and to implore our Government to do what it can to help Ukraine.


Isik Oguzertem, Director Refugee Action Kingston

The recent developments in Ukraine have shocked us and our community. For many of our staff and clients, the harrowing realities of war are all too fresh, and the images coming out of Ukraine revive painful memories of separation and loss. As Refugee Action Kingston, we stand firmly in solidarity with the civilians caught up in this needless conflict, and commit to warmly welcoming any and all individuals requiring sanctuary. We will work with our partners in the Council and across the borough to ensure all parties are doing everything possible to make routes to safety possible, and to welcome those fleeing the conflict. 

Councillor Andreas Kirsch, Leader of Kingston Council, condemns the invasion of Ukraine, expressing  deep shock and sadness.

Follow this link to read the full article from Cllr Kirsch 
Support for Ukraine and Ukrainians 
What can you do to support?

Demonstrations of Support could include email to your MP, sign one of the many petitions ciruclating, donations of cash through reputable fundraising platforms,and keeping informed. 

The Ukrainian Institute in London has all the up-to-date information where you can find ways to offer support .

London Plus has just published a list of organisations, particularly those that are London-based, for signposting and matching support for those affected by the Ukraine crisis. 

The list covers how you can help; where you can find support if you are a Ukranian living in London; useful resources and a list of charity and community support groups listed by London Borough.

Follow this link to London Plus  then you need to scroll down and 'click to read the document'.

Regulators urge safe giving to support Ukraine - read more on Gov.UK
KVA  news

Good news on VCSE Strategy Development

Many of you will be aware that discussions have been going on for some time about the development of a new VCSE Strategy for the whole borough.

This follows on from the Review of Commissioning to the VCSE sector which started in 2019 (put on hold because of the pandemic) and builds on the experience of how the VCSE sector responded proactively to the challenge of Covid-19.

Last year, a small working group from the Chief Officers’ Network looked again at the 2014 VCS Strategy. They agreed that the main themes of Community engagement, Commissioning and Communication, underpinned by capacity building and tackling inequalities, were still relevant and suggested that Assets should also be included in any new strategy.

The development work has now taken on a new impetus with Kingston Council recently appointing Julia Mlambo as Senior Strategy and Partnerships Officer – VCS Strategy to work with Louise Footner, Assistant Director, Culture, Communities and Engagement, to support the co-production work over the next few months, under the ‘ownership’ of Kingston Strategic Partnership (KSP).

The strategy will aim to build more equal, transparent and collaborative relationships between the VCSE sector and our statutory partners, particularly Kingston Council and Health.

Next steps

A working group will be set up to progress the co-design process between now and May 2022, so that the emerging strategy will be ready for consultation by June 2022. If you would like to join the working group, please contact Sanja (sanja.djerickane@kva.org.uk) and/or Jill (communitydevelopment@kva.org.uk)

Snapshot of our sector's delivery and activities between  Oct 2021 to Jan 2022

KVA’s survey aimed to find out how organisations have been coping with the ever-changing circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This information would then enable KVA to

  • provide our users with better support
  • and better inform our partners in the statutory sector about the sector’s current issues and concerns.

Click here to view Snapshot of Kingston's VCSE  Activity Oct 21 - Jan 22 

Visit KVA's news page
Local News

 Mind Kingston is recruiting

Exciting new project with  Mind in Kingston team.

  • Volunteer Coordinator (14 hr p/w)
  • Executive Assistant (35 hrs p/w)
  • Director of Operations (28 hrs p/w)
  • Director of Development (28 hrs p/w)

Details can be found on Charity Job. You can also visit Mind's website Job Vacancies – Mind in Kingston 


Debt and money - Citizens Advice  

Money problems can often be confusing, and Citizens Advice has a lot of information  about finances that you can use to support someone. Citizens Advice Kingston upon Thames has a team of volunteers to help local people  manage their money with ideas on budgeting, financial literacy, saving energy costs and more.
This is a link to one of our most recently updated factsheets Making the Right Choices:  useful ways to deal with debt and how to get finances back into shape.  


Homelessness and rough sleeping strategy – NEW  

RBK has produced a draft Homeless Strategy (2022-20227) in collaboration with partners to tackle homelessness in the borough.  
Have your Say 
To read the draft strategy and share your thoughts, follow this link  kingstonletstalk.co.uk/homelessness-strategy 


Free support with basic digital skills at Kingston Library..... update

Digi Buddies digital skill support available through the local libraries is now promoted on the  Connected Kingston website, making it easier to refer people to the service.

Follow this link to Connected Kingston find out more about it.

New contact at Kingston Council for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 

Clara Barnes (she/ her) Is the Interim Senior Strategy and Partnerships Officer (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion).
Clara is very keen to meet with any community groups and organisations who primarily work with the following areas linked to age, disability, sex (including maternity and pregnancy), race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or economic position. Contact email is clara.barnes@kingston.gov.uk 


Giving World
Giving World  ( a registered charity) can help your community group meet the needs of you beneficiaries by providing business surplus stock free of charge.
They offer items like clothing, food , toiletries, cleaning and household products,as well as other useful items. Goods can be collected directly from them, or they can arrange delivery at cost - you will only ever pay for transport. To find out more.... 

  • Register your organisation
  • Call them on 0116 251 6205 between 9.30am-4pm Monday-Thursday and 9.30am-12.30pm Friday.
  • Send  an email with any queries to admin@givingworld.org.uk.

Clean Energy Campaign - Solar Together 

Councils across London are working in partnership with the Mayor of London to make the transition to clean energy as cost effective and hassle-free as possible.
Solar Together is a group-buying scheme which makes it easy for homeowners and small-medium sized enterprises to install solar panels and battery storage for a competitive price with a trustworthy, pre-vetted installer.
Deadline:  You can register your interest for free and without obligation online until 15 March. The website has lots of  information solartogether.co.uk/kingston/home.

Funding updates
A reminder to keep checking our Funding page on the KVA website, which includes new funding opportunities, upcoming deadlines and details of funds with ‘rolling programmes’. 

As ever, please ensure that you read the eligibility and guidance for each fund very carefully!

If you have any questions about any of the funding opportunities you see on our website, or need help with finding funding or completing an application form, please contact Alison Ewart, our Funding and Organisational Development Officer, at alison.ewart@kva.org.uk.

KFC Foundation Reopens Community Grants Programme for 2022

Grants of up to £2000 are available in areas where there is a KFC, to support grassroots organisations providing safe social spaces, mentoring, work, or social skills for young people aged 11 to 25 years old in the UK.
Deadline: 13th March 2022

Tudor Trust

Grants are available to smaller community-led groups that support people at the margins of society in the UK, encouraging independence, inclusion and integration. Grants up to a discretionary amount are available to smaller community-led groups that support people at the margins of society in the UK, encouraging independence, inclusion and integration.
Deadline: 31st March 2022

Jules Thorn Innovation and Improvement in Health and Care fund

Grants of between £100,000 and £500,000 available to registered, exempt charities and NHS bodies  to support innovation and improvements in health and care in the UK.
Deadline: 8th April 2022

Prudence Trust

Grants from £30,000 to £150,000 available to local not-for-profit organisations delivering projects which offer young people support with anxiety and depression in Greater London.
Deadline: 25th April 2022

Home Instead charities

Grants of up to £1500 are available for grass roots community groups and charities addressing mental health and isolation in older people in the UK.
Deadline: None specified 

Alpkit Foundation

Grants of up to £500 are available for organisations serving those affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.
Deadline: None specified

Matthew Good Foundation

Grants are available of up to £3,500 for local community groups, charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises in the UK for projects that have a positive impact on communities, people, or the environment.
Deadline: None specified
Visit KVA's Funding page
Training and events

KVA training

KVA continues to offer an exciting range of online training courses. Our courses are FREE for VCSE organisations in Kingston. 

Have a look at our Eventbrite page to read more about our upcoming training offers, on a variety of topics, including 
And don't forget to follow us on Eventbrite, so that you receive a notification every time we list a new event! 

The Wandsworth Training Hub

The hub provides a number of exciting training courses that are free to any member of the staff teams of South West London Charities.
There are a wide range of personal and professional development training courses. From developing an HR  strategy to motivating staff; preparing staff for difficult conversations and practice;  and social prescribing webinars.
To find out more and book on a course of your choice, follow this link to the Wandsworth training hub.
Starting Up: How to become a Charity or Social Enterprise

Date: 22/03/22
Cost: £11.37

This online training is suitable for anyone setting up a community group, charity, or social enterprise based in the London Borough of Croydon, Kingston, or Richmond upon Thames.

You can come as an individual, new group, or a community group that has been running for a while, but needs a refresher. Real-life examples will be used in group work.

This interactive online session will cover legal structures, leadership risks, how to plan/develop your project, plan/budget, determine leadership actions, compare different kinds of legal structure (and identify the pros and cons of them), and help you create a clear action plan for the next three months.

This session is particularly helpful if you need to work through your project ideas, think about what type of organisation you want to be, or if you want to reflect on who will control/decide things.

After the workshop: Eligible attendees from Croydon and Richmond will have the opportunity to receive some one-to-one support after the session, to help them further develop their ideas.

Book on here 

Ask The Expert

We have a number of expert staff who would be very happy to support you. Their specialisms are outlined on our website here.

If you would like some advice or support, please complete this form, outlining your support needs, and we will get back to you as soon as we can to set up a free 45 minute appointment for you with a relevant member of staff. 

Digital Inclusion Network meeting Wedensday 27th April

Join Superhighways and KVA on Wedensday 27th April at 10am online for the third meet up of a new digital inclusion network for Kingston's voluntary and community sector.  Find out more and book your place here
Visit KVA's Eventbrite
Other local events and meetings
Mayor's Cultural Celebrations 2022 
Support the Mayor's Charitable Trust by joining the cultural celebration on 10th April 2022.Anstee Bridge and Milaap will benefit from your evening out.  Box office is 020 8174 0090. 

Engaging with diverse communities - February and March

We know how important it can be to engage with all members of your community. Campaign for Learning's new ‘Engaging With…’ workshops focus on community groups you may not be familiar working with, or that may not be accessing your services. 

This workshop series will equip you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to open your learning offer to your wider community. Find out more here 

Consultation  - Kingston Strategic Partnership is offering a further chance to have your say on the emerging vision for Kingston.
Discussions around an emerging vision for Kingston and an opportunity to consider the role the voluntary and community sector can play in realizing it.

These sessions follow extensive engagement by the consultancy, Collaborate, including conversations with more than 900 people in Kingston over the past 6 months and earlier workshops with voluntary and community sector organisations in January

Session Two is aimed at more formal voluntary and community sector organisations and will be held on Thursday 3 March from 3.30 pm to 5 pm.

The first half hour of either session will be a briefing for those who did not attend the initial session in January.

This is a really good opportunity to have a say in the borough’s forward direction. Email Ann-Sophie Freund at Collaborate (ann-sophie@collaboratecic.com), if you would like to be involved or have a questions.

Your Day, Your Say consultation

RBK would like to hear from residents and their carers who use adult social care services like a day service or other adult social care service.

Share your view in the online survey: ‘Your Day, Your Say’ - closing date: Sunday 27th March 2022.

Combatting poverty network meeting

Date:  Thursday 10th March 9.30am- 10.30am online
Topic for meeting: Cambridge Road Estate regeneration plans and the CA Kingston cost of living crisis toolkit.

The KIAA Combatting poverty network aims to share information and knowledge with local partners who are working to alleviate poverty in Kingston.   
This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from a panel of experts and to find out what is happening locally. There will be a chance to hear about the work being done in various organisations and to make sure that you are up to date with all you need to know about information and advice services locally.

Book on via Eventbrite 
Join Kingston Council’s State of the Borough Debate 

Date: Tuesday 22 March 2022.

The evening will be a question-and-answer session held online with a panel of experts from 7-9pm. The event will be live streamed here www.youtube.com/user/kingstoncouncil

This year’s theme will be ‘Covid impact and recovery,’ which will include discussions on how the borough came together in response to the pandemic and how the community and the economy are recovering.

To sign up for the event and submit your question on Covid impact and recovery to the panel  www.kingstonletstalk.co.uk/state-of-the-borough-debate-2022

VCSE Emergencies Partnership wants examples of YOUR good practice 

The VCSE Emergency Partnership wants to highlight and promote the excellent work that is happening on the ground.

It is looking for examples of good practice, innovation or impact from across the sector in relation to emergency response, planning or preparedness. You can share examples as case studies, reports, research, videos, toolkits, events or through other media.

There is an engagement fund to help backfill the time spent preparing examples to be shared with them, and you can find out more about this and how to apply to the fund.  

The Good Food Co-op weaning box
We are very happy to be launching a Good Food Co-Op Weaning Box in March.
We are working with Growbaby to provide referral customers with a weaning pack, including a blender, bibs, utensils, and recipes alongside a weekly selection of fresh, spray free vegetables for babies to try.
The weaning boxes will also be available for all customers from 10th March. For more information,  visit goodfoodcoop.org.uk.


Free Sim Cards for Residents in Need 

Superhighways have free sims/data to give away through Vodaphone’s charities.connected
scheme!  Each sim has 20 GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.  
Apply  https://forms.office.com/r/PUNXFnCQut

Essential Goods for your beneficiaries 

Following the challenges of the past few years and the further impending increase to the cost of living, the need in our communities will continue to grow. Giving World can help you to meet that need by providing business surplus stock free of charge, such as clothing, food items, toiletries, cleaning and household products as well as other useful items.

Goods can be collected directly from us, or we can arrange delivery at cost – you will only ever pay for transport. To access these goods when you need them, simply register your organisation here: https://www.givingworld.org.uk/register/user
For more information call 0116 251 6205 between 9.30am-4pm Monday-Thursday and 9.30am-12.30pm Friday. Or email   admin@givingworld.org.uk.
 Covid-19 information
Due to the emergence of a new Covid-19 Variant of Concern (VOC), Omicron, the government has reintroduced some public health measures, including mandatory face coverings in shops and on public transport.

Read Kingston Council's latest COVID information here.

Book your first, second or booster vaccination now

You can visit www.nhs.uk to book your appointment, or for those who would prefer to walk-in, information about walk-in and pop up vaccination clinics across South West London is regularly updated on the SW London CCG website.


Covid Resources

To access and download useful coronavirus resources, including information and advice about Omicron, please see the Public Health England website here.

Subscribe here to receive the latest Covid19 resource updates as soon as they become available.

Weekly Covid briefing sessions

A reminder that KVA continues to host information sessions, presented by the Public Health team at Kingston Council, fortnightly on Mondays at 13.30. These 30 minute sessions focus on trends in the transmission of the virus in Kingston, hotspots in the borough and key new messaging. It is your chance to feedback on whether messages are working / where more messaging is needed, and let us know your thoughts on how we can target activity. 

The slides and recording from the latest session are on the KVA website here.
Visit KVA's Covid-19 page
Links below to information on the community response to Covid-19 and how you can make a difference.
Activities to keep people healthy
Self-isolation information
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