Small Charity week 2022: What’s in store and how small charities are reconnecting

Helen Oparinde, Development Officer in VAL’s Voluntary Sector Support team, finds out about what is in store during small charity week and shares her insight.

Small Charity Week is a campaign to celebrate and raise the profile of the small charity sector.
It is one of the partner events for the Month of Community, which is about creating a focal point in the year to bring people together to reconnect, celebrate what’s local, and help bolster the recovery effort with something that touches everyone. It’s an opportunity to bring our neighbourhoods closer and shine a light on the amazing communities we live in and to give community spirit a boost as we head into summer

Other aspects of the month of community include:

Small charity week is being held during Monday 20 to Friday 24 June during 2022. This year’s theme is all about connection.

NCVO are acting as a supporting partner during small charity week and delivering 3 virtual webinars which small charities can access for free.

These being: Exploring the operating environment for small charities in 2022, Insurance 101, and Digital Candle: Test the experts.

The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) who established the small charity week campaign are also delivering some free events. Such as Getting your small charity ready to take on its first member of staff and one on Project Management about Completing a Project Book.
All the free webinar events can be accessed here.


Even though charities were a key part of supporting communities during the pandemic with things like food parcels for people isolating; the restrictions meant other ways of connecting by small charities were impacted. For example pre pandemic a small excepted charity called St John’s Church Donisthorpe had developed an exhibition to use at local community events publicising their Project Heart. But had only had 5 or 6 chances to show the community their plans.

The church was built in 1836 to serve the people of those times, when mining was in its heyday. Now in 2022 it is recognised the community of Donisthorpe needs an Open Space where it can meet, play, and socialise since the demise of the Church Hall and closure of the Ramscliff Avenue centre. In its present state the interior of the church building is very restrictive in its everyday use. With no toilet facilities on site and limited catering.

The vision of Project Heart is to modify the church into a multi-functional building for all providing the beating heart of the community with a centre to bring people together and to care for one another in an Open Space with Open Minds.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations proved that opportunity to reconnect with local residents. The Donisthorpe Community Group organised a Donisthorpe Platinum Jubilee Family Field Day at the Parish Memorial Grounds, which was attended by upwards of 2000 people mostly from the immediate local area. The church had a stall at the field day and raised so much interest in the Project Heart that they had to have two volunteers cover the stall for the first 3 hours, distributing at least 50 brochures and elicited about 40 completed questionnaires. These completed questionnaires were vital to collate the views of locals about the project and its prospects. As the Church continues its fund raising activities of raising £250,000 to complete the renovation work.

VAL’s sector support team are helping the small charity with their fund raising plans from read and reviewing grant applications to discussing a list of further funders to consider applying to. If you would like to know about Project Heart have a look at the church’s face book page, which you can access here.

If you are a small charity based in Leicestershire and want to make some connections with some funders, then book and come along to VAL’s meet the funders’ event being held on 5 July in Lutterworth.

If you are a local small charity based in Leicestershire who offer support to local beneficiaries and would like some advice and support then contact VAL’s helpline on 0116 257 5050 or to see how we can connect you speedily with the support you need.

Helen Oparinde

Helen Oparinde is a Development Officer for VAL as part of the Voluntary Sector Support team. Helen is an expert in charity governance and provides face-to-face and telephone advice to local charities and community groups. You can contact Helen at