COVID-19 Latest News

12th October 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 12th October 2020

Last month, the report, Levelling Up Our Communities: Proposals for a New Social Covenant, was published by Danny Kruger, a Conservative MP and former “civil society tsar”. 

28th September 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 28th September 2020

Covid-19 has caused pain and loss for all of us directly and indirectly. The response in communities is the adrenaline which kicks in and strengthens our ability to cope. We may not look back fondly on 2020 but there is a lot we can learn from it.

26th August 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 26th August 2020

Safely coming out of lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic, has meant that the majority of activities and services delivered by local voluntary sector members have either been suspended or dramatically altered.  As the government is beginning to inform us how they are removing the strictest lockdown rules, it can be difficult for organisations to navigate these challenging times.  Whilst there will be a desire from these organisations to provide services and activities for their communities, there will also be an acute awareness that this needs to be done in a safe way for both residents and the organisers.

14th August 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 14th August 2020

Take time to look after yourself and each other
As a sector we have been working harder than ever before to continue to provide support to those most in need.  For volunteers and volunteer leaders alike, it has been a very busy time, adapting to new circumstances and working with others to support local people and communities.

7th August 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 7th August 2020

Save the date for Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Conference and AGM
We will be hosting three 2-hour zoom meetings over three days in early September for this year’s Voluntary Sector Conference and our AGM.  The theme for the conference this year is Sustainability and we have an exciting line up planned.

31st July 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 31st July 2020

Sharing the human spirit through friendship
Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division - to confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms - the simplest of which is friendship.

28th July 2020

Press Release on the impact of Covid-19

Almost a quarter of charity organisers believe that without additional support, their organisation would not last until this time next year.

Charities across the districts of St Albans, Hertsmere and Welwyn/Hatfield were invited to take part in the ‘Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) Resilience Survey’ during month 4 of the coronavirus pandemic to help measure the impact that the coronavirus is having on the sector.

24th July 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 24th July 2020

Earlier this month, NCVO released their annual data snapshot of the charity sector, the UK Civil Society Almanac 2020. Although most of the data itself comes from the 2017/18 financial year, we can see some tell-tale signs about what the future may hold for charities post Covid-19 by analysing this data.

17th July 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 17th July 2020

Micro-volunteering can be beneficial to both volunteers and organisations
Micro-volunteering opportunities are easy and often low-commitment actions and activities that can be done from home. Most of these can be completed in short time frames (less than 30 minutes) whilst others can harness high-level skills that can be used to support the work of an organisation. Communities 1st has been exploring micro-volunteering again to build on the momentum created from community volunteering during the pandemic and harness the current spotlight on the fantastic work volunteers do.

11th July 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 11th July 2020

How has volunteering been affected by the pandemic?
During the last few months, as the country has gone into lockdown and we have all had to change the ways we live our lives, the volunteering landscape has also had to adapt the way volunteers support local organisations.

3rd July 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 3rd July 2020

Supporting other charities to rebuild

During late May and June, Communities 1st carried out its second survey of local voluntary and community organisations, in order to understand the sector further at almost 3 months in to lockdown. We aim to use the information to inform our work and target support where it is needed most.

26th June 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 26th June 2020

Celebrating Pride - Equality isn’t just for one month a year
Every year, throughout June, there are Pride festivals and events across the world to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.  As well as being a time for celebration, Pride Month also provides the opportunity to reflect on recent weeks.  This includes the unjust death of George Floyd, the ensuing Black Lives Matter movement, the underrepresentation of BAME, LGBTQIA+ and Deaf and Disabled people in charities and the discrimination many still face.

19th June 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 19th June 2020

Stronger Together
As we’ve celebrated Small Charities Week, I’ve reflected on lessons learned during the pandemic. As we emerge into a new climate of uncertainty.  One key question that voluntary sector providers have to ask ourselves, is whether our organisation can quickly pivot and scale? Are we up to the task of this change?

12th June 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 12th June 2020

Both during and beyond the coronavirus crisis, our voluntary sector is vital in providing services and support.

As organisations look to move into a new era, possibly with more troubled service users, and often having witnessed huge loss of charitable income over the lockdown period, it will be volunteers who will help these hugely important structures pivot and thrive well into the future.

5th June 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 5th June 2020

It’s great to see so many of you celebrating National Volunteers Week this week. A big thank you to the volunteers that work with our community partners to help support and strengthen their organisations.

1st June 2020

Volunteers Week 2020: Hundreds of organisations join forces to say ‘thank you’ to their fantastic volunteers

Communities 1st are delighted to be part of a collaborative action of organisations championing a united response for Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June.  This week Volunteer Managers across the UK are coming together to say a massive thank you to all volunteers.

29th May 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 29th May 2020

A week may be a long time in politics, as the saying goes, but a week during a global pandemic feels even longer.

Like many, at times, I’ve found the pace of change, and the pace of work that accompanied it, difficult to keep up with. As a sector we have done a phenomenal job to respond at speed, but I am thankful that we are starting to have a little more time now to draw breath, reflect and plan for the next phase.

22nd May 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 22nd May 2020

Thank you everyone who responded to our first Covid-19 Sector Survey, we had a great response and this has enabled us to paint a strong picture of the situation and to input this to national datasets (anonymised). Below is what we know from your responses combined with local intelligence. We have now started our second telephone survey, so please do take part if you can – it really helps us to ensure your views, opinions and concerns are heard.

15th May 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 15th May 2020

Life is very strange and challenging at the moment, not least for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations and our beneficiaries. Some of us have had to furlough staff and close services, while others are supporting huge increases in their number of beneficiaries.

8th May 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 8th May 2020

Working together
I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the charities, community groups, social enterprises, local businesses and individuals for giving up their time for local communities during COVID-19. With all your help we have mobilised over 850 volunteers.

1st May 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 1st May 2020

Working in the voluntary and community sector one can become used to the empathy and commitment shown on a daily basis by volunteers, staff, and all the people who use our services, but what I have been amazed about is how individuals, volunteers and countless voluntary and community sector organisations, together with public and private sector organisations have rallied to provide support to communities across our local communities.  From the amazing number of new neighbourhood groups that have sprung up to support our shielded, elderly and isolated people, to all of the previously existing organisations across the county that have redeployed their volunteers, staff, and in some cases even their own family to support people through these difficult times.

24th April

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 24th April 2020

I would like to say a huge thanks to all those who have offered to support us with helping those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you’re aware Communities 1st has been working with a range of local organisations to set up a volunteering hub to recruit and place volunteers during the coronavirus crisis and it’s great when we receive feedback direct from the people we’re helping.  “Thank you for my shopping I received yesterday, everything was exactly what I had asked for and needed.” 

17th April 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 17th April 2020

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something …”

Sometimes it can be difficult to feel inspired at a time of national emergency.  The effect of separation can be extremely hard to deal with and as we move through the Coronavirus lockdown, and hear of more hospitalisation, rising numbers of those ‘in need’ including and increasingly requiring support for their emotional wellbeing, the thought of keeping ourselves motivated or optimistic, let alone others, can be somewhat dismaying.

10th April 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 10th April 2020

We are in a time where everyone is expecting to hear bad news at some point. We’re also in a time where more than ever we need to support each other, to work together and unleash all the skill, creativity, kindness and compassion we can muster. We must all work to support each other and ensure we remain connected for the benefit of our most vulnerable residents.

1st April 2020

Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 1st April 2020

Was that only a week?

Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone working hard to ensure that we support local people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Throughout our incredible membership we have seen an amazing community response.

27th March 2020

Covid-19 Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 27th March 2020

I would like to thank every single one of you for your efforts during this challenging time. I have heard many examples of the fantastic work charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and local neighbourhood groups are doing in mobilising communities, providing frontline services and helping the vulnerable.

24th March 2020

Covid-19 Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 24th March 2020

When crisis hits, people step up – and we’re seeing lots of that right now.  So I’d like to thank all those people volunteering their time and everyone managing and coordinating volunteer efforts.

20 March 2020

Covid-19 Communities 1st Voluntary Sector Briefing 20th March 2020

We are grateful to everyone who submitted answers to our survey or spoke to us on the phone yesterday 19 March.  We have managed to gather data about your readiness for managing volunteers and supporting local people from so many of you and this has been fed in to planning at local, regional and national government level.

17 March 2020

COVID-19 Community Volunteer Sign Up

Communities 1st is registered charity working all year round for a more connected and resilient districts of Hertsmere and St Albans. During this difficult time, we want to make sure that our residents are looking out for one another to help everyone stay safe and healthy.

14 March 2020

Community Action Response to COVID-19

In the wake of the £30 billion emergency fund announced in the Budget yesterday and anticipated switch to the delay phase of the Government four-part plan, leaders from different sectors have today joined forces to launch the Community Action Response to encourage everyone to do what they can to support their communities and particularly vulnerable and isolated people during Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

19 February 2020

Handy Person Vacancy

Communities 1st are looking for individuals who can live and breathe our values; to work in partnership, deliver quality, adapt, be positive and be inclusive.

We are looking for people with great skills in communications, who are proactive in their approach and able to work with colleagues and volunteers to deliver amazing services for the benefit of the people and communities of districts of Hertsmere, St Albans and Welwyn/Hatfield.

Closing Date: 9am on Wednesday 26 February 2020

Interviews will be held on Monday 2 March 2020.

3 February 2020

Mayors Pride Awards

The Mayor’s Pride Awards are held to celebrate extraordinary people and outstanding organisations that make a positive contribution to the local community. Ensure these inspiring individuals and worthy organisations get the recognition they deserve by putting them forward to receive an award. 

4 November 2019

St Albans City & District Community Grants Fund 2019/20

The Community Grants Fund aims to provide Voluntary and Community Groups with a flexible funding opportunity to support the delivery of projects and activities that benefit the local community and help to deliver the objectives set out in the St Albans City & District Inclusion Strategy.

14 September 2019

Older People’s Day at the Alban Arena

Older People’s Day at the Alban Arena, Wednesday 16th October between 10.00am – 1.00pm – FREE ENTRY

14 September 2019

Coming soon

St Albans & District Community Grant Fund November round - opening 4th November.

Watch this space for more information

1st August 2019

Community Open Day – launch of Aberford Community Bowling Green

Communities 1st welcomes budding bowlers to test their talent at the Aberford Community Bowling Green, in Borehamwood.  Visitors of all ages will have an opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends.

13th May 2019

St Albans & District Council Community Grants 2019/20

The St Albans District Council Community Grants fund 2019/20 opens on Monday 13th May at 9.00am

8th January 2019

NEW! Guide to Services for Older People in St. Albans City & District

Communities 1st (formerly known as Community Central or the CVS for St. Albans and District) are happy to announce the publication of a brand new “Guide to Services for Older People”.

19 October 2018

Guide to Community Transport - Released!

The Guide to Community Transport has been released.

It provides details about Community Transport and Minibus Hire in St Albans District.

You can find it here.

15th October 2018

Chair of Communities 1st appointed

Stuart Nagler MBE has been appointed Chair of Trustees of the new organisation, Communities 1st, bringing the merger between Community Central St Albans and Community Hertsmere another step closer.

3 August 2018

Paid Employment Opportunity with CVS for Broxbourne and East Herts

Paid Employment Opportunity with CVS for Broxbourne and East Herts (CVSBEH) (Full-time 1 year contract)

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join CVSBEH’s successful team as a Mentor within the Building Better Opportunities Programme. Have you got a passion to help those furthest from the workplace? Can you work with a varied case load of participants who face multiple barriers to employment? Are you able to work independently and creatively? If this is you then they would like to hear from you. Please click here for more details.

26 July 2018

New Training Courses Announced!

We are pleased to announce our training sessions for the year.

For more information click here.

25 July 2018

The next batch of Stronger Together Meetings are on the horizon!

If you would like more information or to book yourself on one of the days please contact Isobel at or phone her on 020 3559 3559.

25 June 2018

Hertfordshire Hearing Advisory Service - Change of Venue

15 June 2018

Wanted - Immediate Temporary Support [Vacancy Filled!]

We are looking for a someone to help us promote and administer a small charity which supports old people across St Albans District.

You’ll need excellent organisational skills, a great memory, the ability to think laterally, excellent oral and written communication skills and be comfortable using Microsoft office. You’ll need to enjoy talking with old people, liaising with partner organisations and working at pace.

22 March 2018

The District’s First Community Fair!

Over 45 small, local charities within our District are coming together at The Alban Arena on Wednesday June 13th to invite the public to meet them and see how they can help locally.

8 May 2018

Community Grants Fund 2018 IS NOW OPEN!

Exciting news – the SADC Community Grants Fund is now open. And we are looking for organisations to apply for funding for exciting and innovative projects, these may be existing projects that you are developing or a brand new project idea.

26 April 2018

[Deadline Passed] Want to Join our Team? We are recruiting!

Business and Volunteering Projects Coordinator

13 March 2018

Next Batch of Stronger Together Partnership Meetings Announced!

17 January 2018

First time in Hertsmere: Junior Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge

This year Community Hertsmere held the Junior Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge for the first time. Six teams across four schools entered the Challenge with more than 100 students participating.

7 June 2017

New! Computers and a Cuppa

Communitiy Hertsmere are working in partnership with Affinity Sutton are launching ‘Computers and a Cuppa’ to promote and support the use of digital technologies by older people.

4 April 2017

Opening in Radlett New Community Hertsmere's Outreach Hub

Communitiy Hertsmere are delighted to announce the opening of a new outreach hub in Radlett on Tuesday 4 April 2017.

9 March 2017

Hertfordshire Students’ Union and Communities 1st working together to promote volunteering opportunities

Hertfordshire University Students’ Union (HSU) and Communities 1st have signed an historic agreement to work together to promote volunteering opportunities across Hertfordshire to HSU students..

1 March 2017

Opening in Bushey New Community Hertsmere Outreach Site

Communities 1st are delighted to announce the opening of a new outreach site  in Bushey on Wednesday 1 March 2017.

1 February 2017

Community Hertsmere Activities and Events for 2017

Thank you for all your support in 2016, Community Hertsmere are planning on providing lots of activities and events for all ages throughout this year.