VCSA Newsletter Week of 21st February 2022

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Newsletter for the Week of 21st February 2022


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Complete the 2022 VCSA State of the Sector Survey Today!

Don't wait another minute to have your voice heard in this important survey of the voluntary and community sector in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Take the survey, and then please spread the word. The survey is open until March 31st, but we are hoping to have as many voluntary and community sector organisations (including CICs) participate as possible so as to ensure that our information is as useful as it can be to:

  • Public sector partners
  • VCS organisations in the county and beyond
  • Funders
  • And more!

Thank you for your help!


NCVO and ACEVO Release Report

Encouraging Flexible Working

"Why do we need a 1930's working model for 2022. Let's lead by example as a sector and create organisations that include," says Sarabajaya Kumar, NCVO Trustee.

This quote summarises the recommendations of a new report co-produced by NCVO, ACEVO, and Starfish Search on flexible working in the third sector.

The report sets out several tips and recommendations for organisations aimed at encouraging flexible work in the sector.

Click here for an executive summary of the report, or download the full report from the NCVO website.


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Healthwatch in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Publish Report on Young People's Experiences of Crisis Mental Health Services

It has been widely reported in the media over the recent months that the on-going Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of children and young people and this has led to a greater severity of need among many and an increased demand on services at a time when they have had to adapt to working under Government restrictions and increased staff shortages.

However, the lack of ‘Tier 4’ beds (specialist inpatient beds for the most seriously unwell) in the county means that children and young people will be admitted to either Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal Hospital, or The Redwoods Centre (an adult mental health hospital) while waiting to be moved to a suitable hospital outside Shropshire.

Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin were asked to give these children and young people the opportunity to share their experiences and say what could have been done to improve the help they have received.

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire (and VCSA Board member), said, “The report highlights the need for the system to reduce waiting times and provide information, support and advice for children, young people and their families and schools while waiting for assessment, diagnosis and specialist services to prevent crisis. Alongside this there needs to be close monitoring to ensure children and young people can be prioritised according to need and closer partnership working to include schools and adult services to ensure no child or young person falls into the gaps between services. We heard from families and professionals who were calling for more awareness raising and training to help them to support the children and young people who are struggling.”

Check out the report summary or download the full report now on the Healthwatch Shropshire website.


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Functional Fitness MOT: Telford & Wrekin

The next Functional Fitness MOT in Telford & Wrekin will take place at The Wakes, Oakengates on Monday 7th March. 

Booking is essential. Please email Sara Edwards at Community Resource or phone (01743) 360641.

Community Resource would appreciate this information being circulated as appropriate. Here is a flyer for this purpose.

The Functional Fitness MOT is a one-to-one fitness test of strength, balance, flexibility, and stamina designed for people aged 60 plus which records performance against what is considered 'normal' for your age bracket.  Seven simple tasks are measured by a trained instructor, followed by a conversation about current activities and lifestyle and the development of an Action Plan with regards to future activity and the opportunities available in the local area. 

The session also comprises a short film and talk about reducing the risk of falling, developing a Falls Plan for your home and a demonstration of ways to get up from the floor safely after a fall. In addition there will be the opportunity to participate in a short taster session at a gentle exercise class.


Shropshire Council's Welfare Support Team Has a New Web Page!

The Shropshire Council Welfare Support Team has a new web page: Welfare Support Team - local welfare provision | Shropshire Council

The previous web page has been disabled but for the time being anyone searching for it within the Council's website will be redirected to this new page. 

If organisations have links from your own website, the Welfare Support Team asks that you please be sure to update your links with the new page.



Shropshire Council Announces Date for Resilience Conference 2022

Resilience Conference Flyer



Multiple Supports Available for Carers of People Living With Dementia

Information Programme - Shropshire Alzheimer's Society

Shropshire Alzheimer's Society is offering an online 4-part information programme beginning March 1st for carers, friends and family members of people who are living with dementia.

A flyer for distribution and with more information can be downloaded here. 


"Care for the Carer" Short Course:

A 2-part course focused on helping carers of people living with dementia to learn self-care will be soon be offered at The Lantern.

The course is offered in two three-hour sessions on March 2nd and March 9th. Participants can choose between morning or afternoon sessions.

The cost is £65 and booking is required.

A flyer for distribution and with more information can be downloaded here.


"Active Adventures" Aimed at SEND Families in Shrewsbury

Over the next eight months, Taking Part is offering Active Adventures - Inside and Out at Mereside Community Centre in Shrewsbury. The activities are aimed at SEND families with children ages 7-14 years old, but any families interested in creative play are welcome. They would appreciate help spreading the word.

Activities are £4 per child or £10 per family with 3+ children.

Siblings are welcome, and carer respite is optional.

Flyers below are available to distribute:

Feb/March Flyer

April - September Flyer


12-17 year olds urged to get vaccinated pic Romilly and Eliza Pickering

"Grab a Jab" Campaign for Half Term

Shropshire Telford & Wrekin Covid Vaccination Service is seeking support for their "Grab a Jab" campaign to encourage young people ages 12-17 to get vaccinated over half term.

Click here for a copy of the flyer.

Here are some other resources and information that organisation could use on digital media:


2022 Charity Property Matters Survey Open

Property advice charity the Ethical Property Foundation is launching the national 2022 Charity Property Matters Survey asking organisations about their property experiences as they emerge from the pandemic. With the voluntary sector now facing serious challenges - this is an opportunity to have your voice heard by policymakers, landlords, grant funders & social lenders.

The survey will run until 31st March 2022. This is the only charity-led property research in the UK - run bi-annually since 2012.   

The Ethical Property Foundation provides free property learning and advice to charities, social enterprises, and community groups, as well as affordable consultancy.   



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Events and Training Opportunities

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Aspiration: Unlocking Potential

Exploring Approaches in Telford & Wrekin

The Lloyds Bank Foundation invites all organisations interested in working collaboratively with an Alliance toward the goal of Aspiration and Unlocking Potential to their next online workshop on March 2nd from 9:30-11am.

To register for this event click here. 

At this workshop on the 2nd March the Alliance will explore approaches to the engagement of Community Researchers and co-production. They will discuss how to look beyond school attainment data in undertaking a neighbourhoods-based review.

This workshop is for anyone living or working within Telford and Wrekin who are interested in developing services linked to Aspiration: Unlocking Potential such as charities, CIC’s, the local authority, public sector organisations, social landlords, education providers, funders and commissioners. The session will be of particular interest to those who are in senior or management roles. However, the workshop is open to anyone interested in finding out more or being involved.

Lloyds Bank Foundation has been working with Telford and Wrekin partners since 2019 to get to know the area and its people. They have been laying down foundations, determining strengths that already exist within the system locally, and considering a starting point for Aspiration: Unlocking Potential.

To find out more about this initiative in Telford and Wrekin, visit the People and Communities page of the Lloyds Bank Foundation or email Ann Johnson, Local Implementation Lead.


NPC Leading Impact Logo

NPC Webinar: Reporting and Reviewing Impact - What Good Looks Like

Often organisations are successfully collecting and assessing data, but failing to learn and report on their data. Understanding and reporting on organisational learning and impact is a vital step in the impact cycle. It can be difficult to work out what information is the most helpful for learning and the key things to include in reports.

This seminar will explore:

  • What data to include in your reporting
  • The principles of good impact reporting
  • How to turn data into learning
  • The benefits of being open and honest in your reporting by sharing your learning when things haven’t gone to plan.

Tickets are £25. Book here.

This 1.5 hour webinar will be hosted by Sarah Handley, NPC’s Principal of Shared Measurement. Sarah will be joined by Colin Capper, Associate Director of Evidence and Participation at Alzheimer’s Society and Vicky Lechuga, Centre Manager at Hillingdon Women’s Centre.

This event is part of the NPC's 2022 Leading Impact series of seminars.

A limited number of bursary places are available for small charities, ethnic minority charities of all sizes and ethnic minority representatives from charities of all sizes. Bursary spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. Email them to apply for bursary places.


Event: Cost of Living Crisis as a Climate Issue

We are living through an unprecedented cost of living crisis. As UK households see a painful rise in their energy bills, NEF research has found that the poorest families will be hit 7.5 times harder than the richest. .

New Economics Foundation is hosting a free online event on Thursday, 24th February from 18:00-19:00. To register for the event, visit the NEF website.

Speakers will explore questions such as: How is the cost of living crisis linked to the climate crisis, and why does this matter? What are politicians across the political spectrum proposing as a solution to this crisis? And what demands can we make that protect both the most vulnerable in society and the climate?


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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

Community Resource - Head of Service (Wellbeing and Health)

Salary: £32,910 per annum Hours: Full time (37 hours), two-year initial contract

The current postholder is retiring after nearly 18 years and they are looking for an exceptional person to step into her shoes. Does the below sound like you? If so they would like to hear from you.

  • A good working knowledge of the Adult Social Care and/or health services
  • Management experience in the voluntary and community sector
  • Commitment to, and experience of, partnership working
  • Strategic thinking with operational experience
  • Creativity to develop projects, initiatives and new areas of work around health and well-being
  • Good Project management

Job description: Download here. The Application form is downloadable from their website.

Closing date for applications: Monday 21st February


Shrewsbury Ark - Volunteer Trustee/Honorary Treasurer

The Trustees of the Shrewsbury Ark are looking for a new volunteer Trustee to become Honorary Treasurer, superintending the finances of this active, forward-looking and highly successful charity.  Experience in managing charity finances and/or business experience at a senior level would be an advantage, but we are happy to consider applications from any individuals who have a comparable background and are ready to learn  -  and who can give their time (perhaps up to two days per week) to help guide the charity forward. 

Candidates must be in sympathy with the objectives of the charity, to help support homeless and vulnerable people.  Anyone who is interested should contact Ursula Howells, Clerk to the Trustees.


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Grant and Funding News

Shropshire Telford and Wrekin CCG Seeking Bids for Grants Supporting Mental Health for 18- to 25-Year-Olds

Shropshire Telford and Wrekin mental health system are developing support with a focus on 18-25 year olds as part of Community Mental health transformation

Community Mental Health Transformation will make services easier to access and use.  By everyone working together the aim is to make a real difference to people’s overall wellbeing.

  • People will be able to access mental health care where and when they need it.
  • Health, social care, the voluntary sector and local people, including those with experience of mental health services and their carers, are working together.
  • Care will go beyond symptoms and illness, offering hope and the opportunity to live as healthy and fulfilling life as possible.

The CCG are looking for third sector partners to work with MPFT teams to support the development and running of group programmes which will aim to give young people increased skills around problem solving, mindfulness and managing emotions. The work will include supporting coproduction of the programme, booking venues, administrating the courses and undertaking joint presentation of the course working alongside a psychologist.

The programmes will be held within the PCN service areas:-

  • North Shropshire
  • Central Shropshire an Shrewsbury
  • South Shropshire
  • Telford and Wrekin (there will be two programmes in Telford)

There is £20,000 per PCN (£40K in Telford because of the size of population and deprivation) for third sector organisation to undertake the work over the next 12 months. Third sector organisations can bid for one or more areas and partnerships will also be considered.

Full details including bid details is available to download here. Bids should be sent to Frances Sutherland, Head of Transformation and Commissioning - Mental Health, LD&A at Shropshire Telford and Wrekin CCG, by 1st March 2022.


KFC Community Grants Programme: Open for Applications 

Funding is available for charities and grassroots community groups and associations to support young people aged 11-25 years old in communities where KFC restaurants are located.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available for registered charities, registered community interest companies, unincorporated clubs or associations or unregistered charities with a turnover of less than £300,000, to help young people in communities where KFC restaurants are located. The Community Grants programme will help young people fulfil their potential by providing safe social spaces, mentoring or work opportunities, and building life skills.

Funding is for projects that:

  • Benefit young people aged 11-25 years old.
  • Support those in a position of social disadvantage (ie care leavers, those experiencing homelessness, young carers, young parents, young people at risk of or with experience of the criminal justice system).
  • Provide spaces that allow young people to feel safe and secure, helping to unlock talent and build life skills, provide mentoring, and improve their chances of gaining meaningful employment.
  • Empower all young people to fulfil their potential and build a positive future.

There is a two-stage application process. Applicants must first submit a two-minute video about their organisation, along with an expression of interest form. Successful groups will then be asked to submit a full application in Spring 2022. 

More information can be found on the KFC Foundation website. The deadline to submit an expression of interest form is 13 March 2022.



VCSA Website Features New Funding Roundup 

The VCSA website will now feature a regularly updated roundup of relevant funding opportunities. While our newsletter highlights some of top latest funding news and opportunities, this list is a collection of many more up-to-date grant opportunities in an easy to download document. Check it out!


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To share your news with Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly members and our partners email: