You can apply for up to £5,000 to support your community

In response to the current crisis, the Co-operative have made some changes to their Community Dividend Fund to provide immediate financial support for local good causes, community groups and charities who are responding to some of the most worrying impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Many charities and organisations are suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic – incomes have fallen, demand has risen. 

In particular, they know that providing the basics including food has become a challenge for many people.  Isolation and lack of access to normal services means that mental health and wellbeing is a growing concern. 

The Community Dividend Fund particularly welcome applications from organisations that are meeting needs in these areas.

To find out more and apply visit:

Closing date 31st July 2020

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Life in Lockdown: a Time Capsule in Print

Life in Lockdown: a Time Capsule in Print

The story begins with lockdown and the question…

‘how was our organisation, whose ethos is the importance of connecting communities, now going to provide support to people who needed it now more than ever’?

My name is Charlotte and not long after lockdown I hit on an idea that was met with excited whoops from my colleague Rachel, fully embraced by colleagues Natalie and Bryony and the rest of the Derbyshire Voluntary Action team.

As an organisation Derbyshire Voluntary Action proudly supports hundreds of voluntary sector organisations and community groups. We are passionate about championing the work of the community and its volunteers. We are incredibly proud of our strong working relationship with Public Health, NHS, local businesses, and our funders. With this in mind we feel truly able to make a powerful book that represents how our community has responded to the Covid-19 Coronavirus Crisis.

Through our work as Derbyshire Voluntary Action we have built relationships with some amazingly creative and talented people. We are lucky enough to have these people join us on this journey, please continue reading, and we hope you decide to become a part of this amazing project.  

As the weeks passed the death toll rose, fear in people’s voices evident and the mood increasingly sombre, communities took to social media to express themselves in the most creative of ways; drawing and painting for the first time since they were at school, song writing and performing to raise money, writing reflective pieces and generally chatting about how they were feeling, asking ‘does anyone else feel like I do’?

It struck me that our materialistic somewhat selfish ‘I’m alright Jack’ complacency had given way to a deep sense of responsibility towards others, an overwhelming need to feel connected, not forgotten and cared about. From this, the idea of a book was born, a place to capture that depth of feeling through art, crafting, photography, poetry and story-telling, giving us all a purpose, a reason to stay connected and a common goal.

The young, the elderly, volunteers, health care workers, survivors of Covid-19 and the bereaved… everyone has their own unique story that deserves to be told and preserved for future generations. Volunteers can put in to words why they felt compelled to give their time, how attitudes have changed towards the community they live in and what next? How small businesses have adapted and been hugely resourceful in order to survive but in many cases became a crucial life line for local people. Photographs capturing special moments of hand clapping, rainbows in the windows, VE day celebrations on the drive, emotional reunions and exhausted masked care workers. The first-hand accounts of Covid-19 survivors and the agony of relatives unable to bring comfort to loved ones. 

‘Giving back to those who have given so much’

We aim to publish a book titled ‘Life in Lockdown’ documenting the Covid-19 Pandemic as seen through the eyes of residents of Chesterfield and surrounding areas.

The 200 page coffee table style book will be for sale to the public with the proceeds going towards support local charities or the community.

“It’s our way of giving back to the community whilst singing the praises of those unsung heroes”

We aim to sell the book online, in local shops and museums. If you were interested in submitting to the book please read the guidance on our website

To make this a reality we are hoping to raise £10,000 to cover our publishing, marketing and distribution costs for the initial run of 500 copies.   

You can help by:

1. Donating £1 or what you can afford at

2. Sharing on social media #lifeinlockdownchesterfield

3. Emailing this page to family and friends

Don’t forget the proceeds of this book will go to our local community.

Be instrumental in not only preserving history for future generations, but at this time of need, help provide a therapeutic outlet and something for us all to look forward to… EVERYONE can be a part of this journey.

Charlotte Higgins
Community Coordinator
07907 484835

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Derbyshire Voluntary Action job opportunity

Do you want the opportunity to work for a successful, dynamic and innovative organisation that champions the work and changing needs of the health related Voluntary and Community Sector in Derbyshire? 

So why not work for Us!

Derbyshire Voluntary Action is an independent charity and specialist infrastructure organisation for the health and social care voluntary and community sector.

COMMuniTY CHESTERFIELD is an exciting 3-year initiative, which is 18 months in and has already developed innovative opportunities for the University of Derby and Chesterfield’s Voluntary and Community Sector to work collaboratively together in ways that will strengthen Chesterfield communities.

We are seeking to recruit a maternity cover Project Manager to lead the COMMuniTY CHESTERFIELD team, over the next nine months building on the current achievements and developing the project further.

Project Manager (Maternity Leave)
30 hours per week – 0.8 FTE
£29,909 FTE + 5% pension contribution

Will guide the project further, building on current achievements, exploring new opportunities, building and maintaining new and existing relationships with the University of Derby and the Community Groups. Will head up an extremely collaborative and passionate team of three. The role will also have an eye to the future and work with colleagues on funding to see the project continue beyond its current funding period.

Closing date for applications: Sunday 26th July 2020

Interview dates: provisional date 11 August 2020

For an application pack please call 01246 555908 or email , alternatively visit

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Freephone phone number for mental health support line

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s mental health support line was introduced to offer support and guidance to Derbyshire residents, of all ages, who are experiencing increased mental health needs during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The support line has moved to a Freephone 0800 number.  From 1 July 2020, you simply need to call 0800 028 0077.  The service will be available between 9am – midnight, seven days a week.

It will continue to provide telephone support to people who are experiencing the following:

  • – Increased distress or anxiety as a result of current events
  • – Reduced contact with our services
  • – A need for longer term help – for example by signposting to IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapy) services.

It will also form a professional point of contact for health and social care partners, to support any individuals in mental distress.

For more information about the support line and wider information about Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust services during this time, please visit the Trust’s website:

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Derbyshire Response to COVID-19- Derbyshire Local Outbreak Plan

The COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan sets out Derbyshire County Council’s approach to protecting local residents by preventing, managing and eliminating the virus over time as part of the national Test and Trace programme. It also details how Derbyshire County Council (DCC) will support local workplaces to help them stay COVID-19 free and respond to any positive cases as quickly as possible.

The plan is led by the DCC Director of Public Health and has been developed and agreed by public health protection experts from the NHS, Public Health England, the community and voluntary sector and other local government colleagues.

View the COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan HERE

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Writing Zoom with a Brew

Get the kettle on, grab a pen and join us for a natter in our cozy writing room.

This workshop is for anyone aged 55+ who has something to say about lockdown and wants to get it off their chest.

You provide the brew and we’ll provide everything else by creating an inspiring, fun and caring environment to bounce stories and ideas off each other. Local writers Andy Barrett and Lucy Grace will be your hosts, helping you every step of the way by setting simple and tiny writing tasks each week.

This is the first in a series of 6-week creative conversations taking place on 9, 16, 23, 30 July and 6 & 13 August. You must be residents in the districts of Ashfield, Bolsover, Mansfield, or North East Derbyshire.

So if you have some time on your hands, a Wi-Fi signal, a webcam and, most importantly, a kettle let’s all get together and put the world to rights.

To find out more and learn how to join visit

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Jump Back July

Action for Happiness create monthly calendars packed with actions you can take to help create a happier and kinder world.

This Jump Back July Calendar has daily actions for July 2020 to help us be more resilient in challenging times.

You can sign up to receive monthly calendars and there are also other language versions available too.

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