About Us

About Us

CommUNITY Barnet is the umbrella organisation for the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in Barnet and we support and represent voluntary and community groups, charities and faith groups across the borough. We have been established for over 35 years, and our mission is to help ensure Barnet has a thriving, sustainable and vibrant third sector.

Our Teams


Children Young People and Families Team

Volunteer Centre Barnet Team

Healthwatch Barnet Team

Management Team

Operations and Contract Management Team



CommUNITY Barnet Annual Reports



Who we host



Why Should You Volunteer?

There are a variety of reasons why people choose to volunteer. It could be that it is an opportunity to give something back to the community in which you live. Or maybe you want to develop new skills and to build on your existing experience or knowledge. Sometimes, it is simply because you have been touched by an illness or cause in our personal lives that just makes you look at life differently and you want to make a difference in the lives of someone else. Whatever your motivation is, your step into volunteering will be both challenging and rewarding. So whether it is administration, befriending, sport or music that rocks your world, there will be an opportunity that is just right for you out there. It Feels Good Volunteering is super flexible and can be emotionally rewarding. It just feels good. You also get to control when and where you do it and how much time you have to commit. Volunteering can be both challenging and rewarding where you can enhance your own sense of well-being* and in doing so you can help change the world of the people you come into contact with.

Need more inspiration?

Watch this video by NCVO, which tells five inspirational stories from ordinary people, just like you, doing extraordinary things.

The films illustrate the diverse range of volunteering opportunities available, and the different people who give their time. Below are some of the reasons people choose to volunteer. For some, it provides an opportunity to:

  • Give something back to an organisation that has impacted on a person's life, either directly or indirectly
  • Make a difference to the lives of others
  • Help the environment
  • Help others less fortunate or without a voice
  • Feel valued and part of a team
  • Spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem

For some, volunteering can be a route to employment, or a chance to try something new which may lead to a career change. From this perspective, volunteering can be a way of:

  • Gaining new skills, knowledge and experience
  • Developing existing skills and knowledge
  • Enhancing a CV
  • Improving one's employment prospects
  • Gaining an accreditation
  • Using one's professional skills and knowledge to benefit others (usually described as pro-bono) for others, volunteering appeals because of its social benefits. These include:
  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • A chance to socialise
  • Getting to know the local community

*There is lots of anecdotal evidence that volunteering has a positive impact on health. Volunteering England commissioned the University of Lampeter to review all the published research and determine what impact it really has. Credit NCVO



SFSC is an inclusive 13-week programme for anyone involved in bringing up children aged 3 to 18 and is delivered by the Parenting Consortium, led by CommUNITY Barnet. Our trainers, who speak a variety of languages, including Turkish, Farsi, Pashto, Arabic, German, Yoruba and Somali, have links to community organisations where families and schools can receive further support.

Programme Benefits

Parents who attend the course will gain confidence and skills to help them develop:

  • a better understanding of child development
  • positive discipline techniques
  • strategies for promoting children’s social skills, self-esteem and self-discipline
  • knowledge of local services and personal development opportunities

For more information please contact Zoe Kattah 020 8364 8400 ext 216; 07809 342 939 | zoe.kattah@communitybarnet.org.uk.

Useful Information
More information on how the programme works
Fflyer to Display in your School or place of work

This page is under construction, please contact Jeni Osbourne 020 8364 8400 | jeni.osbourne@communitybarnet.org.uk for more information.

Parenting and Family Support

Most parents and carers want to raise confident happy children. Sometimes the day to day challenges in life mean that parents can struggle to manage their children’s behaviours, maintain healthy warm relationships with them and be happy. Most parents simply want to feel confident enough to raise happy, confident children.

At Community Barnet, we recognise that parenting is extremely important and yet it can be a tough, sometimes thankless job. We are dedicated to providing parents, carers and their families the right tools and support when they need it most. We offer a range of evidence based parenting programmes that help parent develop skills, access information and advice and signpost them to the right services.

Our Parenting Offer:

 Incredible Years

This is an evidence based parenting programme that helps parents build on their skills. It helps children develop their academic, social and emotional skills and reduce conduct problems. Children also learn communication and persistence skills which helps build their resilience. This 12 week programme is designed to help parents develop positive parenting strategies and assist them in managing children’s behaviour problems. You can visit their website here.

 Solihull Approach to Understanding your Child

The Solihull Approach is a 10 week universal parenting intervention for any parent with a child between the ages of 0 and 18. The Solihull Approach emphasises containment, reciprocity and behaviour management. Parents identify personal goals and the strategies that will help meet them, and reflect on their child’s behaviour and their relationship with their child. More information can be found here

 Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is an inclusive 13-week evidence-based parenting programme, designed to promote protective factors which are associated with good parenting such as developing warm and close parent-child relationships, promoting self-discipline and self-esteem, as well strategies for anger management to ensure better outcomes for children. This programme helps parents raise healthy successful children, find out more here

 Bespoke programmes

We can also tailor parenting support for groups and individuals to meet specific parenting needs.

We have a team of experienced community based facilitators and volunteers who work towards providing a warm and welcoming environment to the families we support. Our facilitators also speak a range of community based languages.

We work in close partnership with local schools and Children Centres, voluntary and community organisations, statutory providers including CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services), The Nurse Partnership and Barnet Children’s Service.

Parents who attend our programmes learn new parenting skills; learn from each other and make new friends; increase in self-confidence or simply build new social networks that help reduce isolation.

If you are a parent/carer and would like to attend a programme or professional who would like to make a referral please contact us. If you would like to discuss the possibility of us working in partnership in your community, school or service, do get in touch with Zoe at zoe.kattah@communitybarnet.org.uk.




Gypsies are only one of the groups included in the term ‘Travellers’ and is a commonly used term that includes people from a variety of groups, all of whom are or were nomadic. It has been estimated that there are around 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers in the UK, with approximately 150-200 traveller children in Barnet.


What we do

The GRT project aims to create and raise awareness of the Gypsy Roma Traveller community, its culture and practices within the wider Barnet communities. The Project also aims help to get children and young people from the GRT community back into education and training. It achieves this by providing:

  • Support and advocacy
  • Advice including benefits, housing and education
  • Inter-agency work
  • Partnership and networking
  • Community Training Programmes including Literacy Courses
  • Parenting Programme

Join the team at the drop in sessions every Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm at The Rainbow Centre, Dollis Valley Drive, Barnet (Download the flyer here)

For further information please contact our Gypsy Roma Traveller team.
Kelly O’Driscoll - Family Liaison Officer 07775 371 964 | grtworker@communitybarnet.org.uk
Sophia Penfold - Family Support Worker grtsupport@communitybarnet.org.uk

Follow the GRT Project on facebook


This participation programme supports children, schools, council, health, voluntary and statutory groups to develop child centred services. The team can help you develop your participation plans, set up a user's group and get opinions from children about services you are planning.


Youth Shield

Youth Shield is our youth safeguarding panel for young people aged 14-25 years. It was set up in February 2010 and consists of 16 members from a range of youth groups and panels across the borough. The purpose of the panel is to ensure young people can raise issues and concerns around safeguarding in a way that has a direct link to decision makers. It also enables the adult board to have a direct contact with young people where they can explore young people’s key areas of concern.

Panel members act as a collective voice for Barnet's young people on safeguarding issues by:

  • Consulting young people on safeguarding
  • Planning, developing and delivering a programme of work on safeguarding issues
  • Delivering workshops to other young people on recognising healthy and unhealthy relationships

The panel meets monthly and present quarterly reports at Barnet Safeguarding Children's Board meetings.

To find out more and if you would like the panel work on a specific project, please contact youthengagement@communitybarnet.org.uk


Youth Shield's Achievements

Youth Shield have been involved in a number of surveys where they have tried to find what young people in Barnet think about issues that affect them.

- Barnet Young People’s Safeguarding Consultation 2011
- Self Harm and Cyber Bullying in young people in Barnet Consultation 2014


Barnet Youth Shield wins London Safeguarding Children Award
December 2012

A project led by young people to raise awareness about issues which threaten their safety has won the prestigious London Safeguarding Children Award.

Youth Shield, which was nominated by Barnet Safeguarding Children Board, scooped the accolade for their work in giving young people a stronger voice on the issues affecting them.

Led by young people from Barnet, Youth Shield have carried out research with hundreds of children and young people to build a detailed picture of child safeguarding in the borough. Youth Shield was developed and has ongoing support from CommUNITY Barnet.

CommUNITY Barnet Interim CEO, Denise Murphy, said: "I am delighted by the ongoing success of this innovative project and really pleased that the young people who have worked so hard to make Youth Shield a success have received recognition with this award".

Youth Shield now act as formal advisers to the local safeguarding children board, highlighting the key issues that currently concern young people - such as peer to peer violence and sexual exploitation.

Councillor Andrew Harper, Cabinet member for Education, Children and Families, said: “I was thrilled to hear it announced that Barnet's Youth Shield had won the London Safeguarding Children Award 2012. It's a great result for a super group of young people, in the face of stiff competition from some other excellent short-listed entries. “

The pioneering London Safeguarding Children Award scheme, which is in its second year, is run by the London Safeguarding Children Board. It highlights innovative ideas and good practice to improve the safeguarding of children across the capital.

The judges were Rosemary Bennett, Social Affairs correspondent at The Times; Amanda Edwards, Deputy Chief Executive at the Social Care Institute for Excellence; and chair of the London Safeguarding Children Board, Cheryl Coppell.


 CAF Guidance

The CAF is a straight forward way to support a child or young person, raise issues and ensure they receive appropriate services. If you are involved in CAFs, are unsure about how it affects your organisation and want to learn more, we can:

  • Answer your questions in confidence
  • Guide you through the process
  • Support you with informing and involving parents, taking the role of "Lead Professional" or being part of the "Team Around the Child"
  • Signpost you to appropriate organisations
  • Support you initiate and complete your first CAF

For more information and to receive our quarterly CAF and Safeguarding newsletter contact
Zoe Kattah - Parenting Consortium Coordinator 020 8364 8400 ext. 216 | zoe.kattah@communitybarnet.org.uk.

 How to Start a CAF

Since April 2015, the council has a new referral process for the CAF. Once you have completed your E-CAF training and you are ready to start a CAF with a family, you will need to “Request to Start a CAF” with the council. This will allow the CAF Team to check whether the family are already known to the council to prevent the creation of duplicate files and to check whether there are any safeguarding or other concerns about the family.

On completion of the “Request to Start CAF”, the CAF team will set you up on the EHM system and add the family to your online account, generally within the same day.

To Request to Start a CAF, click here.

If you have a family who you think could benefit from a CAF, but are not on the EHM system, you may complete a “Request to Start a CAF” and the CAF team will assess who would be best placed to take the lead on the referral.

If, however, you have safeguarding concerns, you must refer to the MASH Team, using the MASH referral form.

 CAF Training

The CAF training is a great way to fully understand the process and to give you and your colleagues confidence in initiating and taking forward a CAF for a family you support.

For more information and to book onto a free CAF course at Barnet Council, please click here

If you are unable to access the council’s CAF training and want to find out more about the CAF process, you may contact Zoe Kattah who will take you through the process and provide an easy to understand presentation that can be shared with your staff.

Zoe Kattah on 020 8364 8400 ext.216 | zoe.kattah@communitybarnet.org.uk

 EHM System and "Me Learning" for E-CAF

The online E-CAF system is also known as EHM (Early Help Module); while the Me-Learning is the training that sector organisations are required to attend in order to complete a CAF online. For more information and to sign up for Me-Learning training, click here.

 EHM Drop-in Surgeries and Practice Guidance

Barnet Council offers a series of half day drop-in surgeries to help you familiarise with using EHM and to answer any queries you may have about the system. Please note that attendance is on a first come first served basis and you must have completed the Me-Learning training and have been issued with a password.

Further support and practical guidance notes with step-by-step guide on how to use the system with screenshots are also available online. Please visit the CAF Practitioners page here.

 The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

MASH was developed by the police, Local Authorities and other agencies, in response to feedback from Serious Case Reviews and public enquiries on agencies’ inability to effectively share information, by providing a hub to co-locate safeguarding agencies and their data in a secure, research and decision making unit. Core agencies include the police public protection desk, children’s social care, health and education, with representatives attending from CAHMS, adult services, substance misuse, early intervention services, probation, housing and other services.

MASH in Barnet is the single point of entry for all referrals regarding concerns about a child or young person (unborn-18 years) or where it is felt they would benefit from additional support. Referrals will cover all thresholds of need from child protection to early help. If you have concerns about a child’s safety you can contact the MASH team to discuss your concerns. You will be expected to follow this with an online referral the same day.

MASH team: 020 8359 4066 (Monday–Thursday 9am to 5.15pm; Fridays -9am to 5pm)

If you would like to discuss a case without making a referral, please contact the consultation line for professionals on 020 8359 4336 (Tuesday and Wednesday 9.30am to 11.30am).

Outside of these hours, care and welfare concerns about children and young people that require an immediate response should be reported to the Emergency Duty Team on 020 8359 2000. Where an emergency response is required, at any time, the police should be called. For full details, can be found here. [link missing]

 Barnet Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The LADO provides advice and guidance to employers, individuals and organisations who have concerns relating to an adult who works with children and young people (including volunteers, agency staff and foster carers) or who is in a position of authority and has regular contact with children (for example religious leaders or school governors).

There may be concerns about workers who may have:

  • Behaved in a way that has or may have harmed a child
  • committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • Behaved towards a child in a way that suggests they may be unsuitable to work with children

For further information about Barnet Council’s LADO click here.


If your group or organisation works with children or vulnerable adults, it may be necessary for paid staff and volunteers to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service checks (formerly known as CRB checks). DBS checks are designed to help organisations from public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain areas of work, especially those which may involve contact with children or other vulnerable members of society.

Next Steps to Completing Your DBS Check 

To start the DBS process please contact Sian Avery at sian.avery@communitybarnet.org.uk | 020 8364 8400 to book an appointment.  You will be required to attend our Barnet office to complete our check and authenticate your documents, this will usually take about ten minutes. 

Services and Charges

Enhanced Staff Check – includes DBS charge, admin and VAT - £65

Enhanced Volunteer Check – includes admin and VAT - £15

Fees can be paid in advance by BACs. We will issue you with an invoice payable within 30 days.

For further information and to book a DBS check, please contact Sian Avery at sian.avery@communitybarnet.org.uk | 020 8364 8400.

Useful Downloads

Information and Links

  • If you have moved within the last 5 years, previous address details, including postcodes will be required.
  • If you have changed your name, you will need to bring details including the date that your name changed.
  • When to check someone else's criminal record - Gov.UK
  • Documents required to complete a DBS check - Gov.UK
  • For more information about the Disclosure and Barring Service, the application process or tracking please take a look at their website - Gov.UK

We may be able to visit your organisation to undertake the checks if you have a large number to be completed, this service is subject to a charge, please contact us to discuss