Gareth Dixon, CEO of Young H&F Foundation is one of 10 small charity leaders awarded places on a unique initiative designed to both develop their own strategic and leadership capabilities, and transform a further 10 charities.

The successful applicants to Pilotlight’s 2020 Bursary Initiative will each be matched with three other senior leaders from the public and private sectors, forming teams which will support charities who have come to Pilotlight in need of strategic input. The engagement between these teams and their charities will be facilitated and project managed by Pilotlight, requiring just three hours of their time each month.

Recipients of the bursary, now in its third year, come from frontline charities in a broad range of areas:

Bruce McCombie, interim CEO, Pilotlight, said: “The social change we ignite doesn’t just impact charities, it impacts the Pilotlighters who coach and mentor those charities too. That’s one of the many reasons why major businesses including Morgan Stanley, Lendlease and Sodexo sponsor their staff to become Pilotlighters.

“Pilotlight has now supported nearly 1,000 charity leaders and through the Bursary Initiative we’re enabling some of them to continue their leadership development by sharing their experience with another charity.”

Angela Smith-Morgan, CEO of Leukaemia UK and a previous Bursary Pilotlighter, said: “As a charity leader myself it has been so interesting to sit at the other side of the table, get to understand a charity in a different sector, and draw on my own experience to tease out the key issues. This is an invaluable opportunity to see the full dynamic of a charity, its governance as well as its operations – so satisfying to be able to help and support a charity whilst also learning so much myself.”

The charities which will receive the support from the Bursary Pilotlighters’ teams will be matched over the next month, with engagements beginning this summer.

We would like to offer you the chance to sign up to an online peer support session, offered by our partners at The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR). You can sign up for your first session heredates are currently available up to the end of June.

These 90 minute sessions, for up to 10 voluntary sector leaders at a time, will give you the opportunity to explore and discuss the challenges you are currently experiencing, precipitated by the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand that you may be facing huge stress and uncertainty, and hope that these sessions will offer a space to share experiences, dilemmas and worries.

One leader who has already taken part commented that: “It was really powerful to be part of one of these sessions … incredible to hear about the wide range of experiences and challenges faced by colleagues and to identify together commonality within that diversity.”

As a by-product of this work, IVAR will also feedback to funders the kinds of challenges that voluntary sector organisations are currently facing. This will help funders to think about what kind of support they need to be offering, and how.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to be kept informed about future dates please email

In Kind Direct along with FareShare, Charity Digital and International Health Partners, have launched last Friday the Product Giving Alliance. In the last year (April 2019 – 2020), they estimate that together, the value of goods and services they have provided to charities supporting vulnerable people was worth more than £59m. Find out more.

Online training dates coming up:

Coaching for PerformanceThursday 11 June

Supporting Others through ChangeTuesday 16 June

Personal Effectiveness WFHTuesday 23 June

Click here for further dates and information.

Charities, social enterprises and community interest companies have until the 31st July 2020 to apply to the Woodward Charitable Trust to have their project considered at the next Trustees meeting. Grants from £100 upwards are awarded for projects covering the Arts; Community and Social Welfare; Disability and Health; Education and Summer Schemes. Preference is given to small to medium-sized charities where small grants can have more impact. Priority is given to projects that make good use of volunteers, encourage past and current users to participate and ensure that funds awarded are being well used. Click here

The long-awaited Coronavirus Community Support Fund, made up of £200m of the £750m promised by government 6 weeks ago, has finally launched. You can read DSC’s response to the launch and how to apply here, but get your skates on, applications need to be in as soon as possible! Find out more.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Comic Relief have announced a new digital funding strand to their joint Tech for Good programme. The aim is to help charities and not-for-profit organisations deliver better services for their communities through technology. The £230,000 Explore programme will provide grant funding of £5,000 for individual organisations or £7,500 for collaborative projects. A 12-week support programme will also be provided to explore how digital technology could transform the ways they work. Support will include access to an online curriculum, one-to-one support calls, and virtual community meet-ups. Applications should address one of Comic Relief’s core themes: Children Survive & Thrive; Fighting for Gender Justice; A Safe Place to Be; Global Mental Health Matters. The deadline for applications is 12pm on the 22nd June 2020. Click here

The UK Government has announced £150 million of funding is to be made available from dormant bank and building society accounts to help charities, social enterprises and vulnerable individuals impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The release of £71 million from the government’s dormant assets scheme will be accelerated alongside £79 million already recouped that will be made available to help charities’ coronavirus response and recovery. The funding will support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances. The Government is also looking into expanding the dormant assets scheme to include a range of financial assets from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors. Click here

The UK Government has introduced £600 million of funding to tackle the spread of coronavirus in care homes. The Infection Control Fund will be allocated to local authorities to ensure that care homes can continue to take the necessary measures to prevent and stop the spread of the virus within their sites by restricting permanent and agency staff to working in only one care home wherever possible. Funding will be used to help providers pay for additional staff and/or maintain the normal wages of staff on reduced hours or those self-isolating. Other measures could include recruitment, putting staff up in hotels if they opt to isolate from their own households, and paying for taxis to avoid staff having to use public transport. Click here

This new bill, passed yesterday, changes the rules around charities trading insolvently as a result of the current pandemic, and allows for online board meetings even if not expressly permitted by your constitution. If you’ve got an AGM or Board meeting coming up or your organisation is struggling financially, this is a really important read. Find out more.