VCSA Newsletter Week of 11th April 2022

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Newsletter for the Week of 11th April 2022


Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Logo

Four Shropshire voluntary organisations have been awarded 2021 Queens Awards for Voluntary Service

This county has an exceptional history of voluntary work and many wonderful charities. This particular award, known as the MBE for the voluntary sector, was introduced by Her Majesty almost twenty years ago to mark the Golden Jubilee. Since then, many local organisations have been recognised.

The Lieutenancy role is to promote these prestigious awards, help to guide nominations and then undertake assessments. Says Shropshire Lord-Lieutenant, Anna Turner:

"I am confident that there are many more eligible groups within the county, and I would like your help in identifying potential nominations. Organisations need to have been running for more than 3 years, have at least 3 people involved and most importantly be volunteer led. If you know of a group/organisation, please do encourage them to come forward and perhaps attend one of our online briefings."

A few weeks ago, Shropshire was able to celebrate four success stories all of whom have made significant contributions during Covid and were awarded a QAVS. The 2021 recipients are:

Shrewsbury Food Hub, which stops food going to waste and tackles food poverty by sharing good leftover food from supermarkets with community groups.

Bright Star Boxing, based in Shifnal using boxing to help children and adults deal with behaviour and mental health issues.

Shrewsbury Drapers, providing sheltered housing for the elderly, preserving the heritage of their historic hall, and promoting textile design through competitions. 

The Red House Albrighton, providing services and facilities for the local community and providing comprehensive community support during Covid.

More about the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and the other news from the Shropshire Lord-Lieutenant, can be found on their latest newsletter or the their website.

Nominations for next year's awards are now open!

For more information on how to nominate, please visit the QAVS website or take part in one of the many upcoming information sessions to be held across Shropshire beginning on May 4th. Check out our Events section below for a full list of dates for these sessions.

More information, times and dates for these sessions can also be found on the Shropshire Lord-Lieutenant's website.


heart with Ukraine flag

Ukrainian Refugees:

Shropshire DWP Provides Update on How to Support 

Shropshire Department for Work and Pensions have provided some of their latest information and links to support Ukrainian Citizens arriving in the UK. The information below is an update, and we will continue to keep you updated as more information is available.


Benefit Support

People fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the UK can claim benefits immediately.

Emergency regulations have been laid so those arriving in the UK from Ukraine because of the Russian invasion can access Universal Credit and other benefits where eligible, and jobs support immediately.

Translation services are available to help new arrivals with phone applications, and Work Coaches and DWP staff are on hand to support people making claims online.

Without the emergency legislation people arriving from Ukraine would be subject to the Habitual Residence Test, meaning they would have to wait up to three months before being able to receive income-related benefits, including Universal Credit.

You can find out more on GOV.UK. 

There is also social media explainer animation, you can share with your stakeholders and networks, here:

English versions:




Ukrainian versions:





Home for Ukraine Scheme

UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can now record their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the war through the government’s new Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Those who sponsor a Ukrainian individual or family will not see their household benefit entitlements affected as a result.

The statement made by Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions can be found here.


All Ukrainians arriving in England will be able to access NHS healthcare free of charge, including GP and nurse consultations, hospital services, and urgent care centres.

Severn Trent Logo

Severn Trent Community Fund Awards

Public Voting Now Open


Severn Trent customers can vote to award their favourite project in each Award category via their website.    

Non-profit organisations and local community groups with an income of less than £500,000 (averaged over the last 3 years) have been shortlisted by the Customer Panel for a grant of £5,000, £10,000 or £20,000 to support their new community project linking to one or more of the following themes - green spaces, recycling and making the most of resources and water saving heroes.

You can search for local projects using their handy map and each project has filmed a 30 second video about how they’re making our communities an even better place to live. 

Winners will be announced in May 2022.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with Severn Trent Community Fund at

trefonen hill walk

Shropshire Village Celebrates Jubilee with Charity Hill Walk Weekend

A Shropshire village is celebrating this year’s royal jubilee with a packed programme of events wrapped around its traditional hill walk weekend and raising money for three charities at the same time.

The organisers of the Trefonen Hill Walk have lined up a whole range of community activities for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee holiday in June.

The activities will be raising funds for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) which offers medical assistance across the world, plus local charities Oswestry Foodbank and the Ethos Group in Oswestry which supports people with life-changing injury or illness to lead independent lives.

One of the organisers, Helen Francis, who helped to launch the Trefonen Hill Walk event in 1991, said it would be a very busy few days with something on offer for everyone.

Activities will include walks for all ages and abilities, hill running, motorcycle trials, mountain biking, music nights, a duck race and a finale church service and village tea party.

The fun starts on Saturday, May 28th with a fashion show followed by a music night on Wednesday at the village hall.

The Across the Cynllaith hill walks takes place on Thursday, June 2nd with 10 and 16 mile routes on offer through the surrounding hills and woodlands starting from Trefonen Village Hall at 8am. The day ends with the lighting of a beacon at the Mynydd Myfyr which should be visible to other Jubilee beacons across the area.

Family walks will be on offer on Friday, June 3 with refreshments available in a pop-up cafe at the New Barns Farm and the day ends with a Famous Quiz.

The action moves to two wheels and runners on Saturday June 4 with a hill run, motorbike trial and a mountain bike challenge. There will also be a duck race followed by the Trefonen football club’s barbecue and tug-of-war at The Barley Mow.

The schedule rounds off on Sunday, June 5 with a church service and village tea party at the village hall with a jubilee lunch and games on the playing field. There will also be a charity scarecrow trail in the village throughout the Jubilee holiday.

Ethos chief executive Fae Dromgool said that the charity, which has three properties in Oswestry for wheelchair users, was delighted to have been chosen as one of the organisations to benefit from the fund raising jubilee weekend.

“Our aim is to give people with life changing conditions the support they need to lead an independent life and reconnecting with their communities is an important part of that.  So it’s a great honour to be involved in such a community-centred event as Trefonen Hill Walk,” she said.

Further information about the Trefonen Hill Walk events is available on the website at or on the Trefonen Hill Walk Facebook page or by emailing at

The national lottery community fund logo

National Lottery Community Fund Invites Dialogue on Future Community Support

The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has announced as part of its commitment to putting communities first that it is renewing its UK-wide strategy. The 18-month strategy renewal process will shape how NLCF supports people and communities into the future.

The NLCF has launched a six-week anonymous survey and wants to hear from communities across the UK, including individuals, informal groups and organisations, geographic communities and communities of interest, those who have received funding and those who have not, and others who have views on the best ways lottery funding might support their communities in the future.

The announcement accompanies the most recent findings from the NLCF’s Community Research Index, an annual survey of more than 8,000 adults across the UK designed to find out how people feel about, and their ambitions for, their communities. The findings show a ‘stark difference in how communities across the UK think they are faring compared to others. It reveals significant contrasts in people’s perceptions of quality of life, opportunities, job and employment prospects, and other key measures such as health and wellbeing, based on geography, social class, education, levels of local deprivation and ethnicity’.

The research, conducted over a two-week period in September 2021, found that ‘72% of people in the UK think their community is faring well for quality of life compared to other communities’. This increases to ‘78% of people in the Southwest of England, but dips to 67% for those in the Northwest and Northeast, falling further to 62%’ for those living in the most deprived areas of the UK.

Commenting, NLCF Chief Executive, David Knott said:

“This research is about putting communities first and asking them directly what their challenges, hopes and ambitions are today and for the future. We know our funding has a critical role to play in supporting communities to unleash their energy and potential so they can get to where they want to be.

“It’s the start of an important conversation. That’s why we are kicking off a Strategic Renewal process today that will shape how we continue to invest in communities into the future and support them to prosper and thrive. We want to draw on the knowledge, foresight, experiences, and ambitions of communities.”

The National Lottery Community Fund, which offers funding through several different grant programmes, will continue to accept applications during the strategic review. The NLCF is the largest funder of community activity in the UK, awarding £3.4 billion through more than 72,000 grants in the last five years.

Full details on the NLCF Strategic Renewal, including the survey, can be found on the ‘Putting Communities First’ website

Old and young hands holding

House of Lords Call for Evidence

Lifting the veil: Removing the invisibility of ASC

The House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee was established in 2022 to consider how to improve the planning and delivery of adult social care services in England.

The committee has launched a major enquiry, Lifting the veil: Removing the invisibility of adult social care. They want to hear from carers as well as individuals who use social care services.

The call for evidence has a section for family and unpaid carers to give their feedback on 7 questions relating to support that would make a difference for carers, including support to remain in or start paid work if they wish to do so and how carers’ wellbeing and resilience can be supported.

The questions and how to provide feedback can be found here

The deadline for submissions is 27 May 2022.

If a family and unpaid carer would like to take part they can either:

  • Respond individually through the link above, or
  • Email feedback to Margarete Davies, Shropshire Carers Manager and Carers Lead, to collate and send an amalgamated submission. Deadline to receive the feedback for amalgamation before submission is Wednesday 11 May 2022.    ‘

Interested in having your organisation's stories of success featured in our newsletter, website or social media? We want to hear from you! Contact:


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Events and Training Opportunities

Business Boost logo

Shropshire VCS Can Access Free Trainings/Webinars Through New Business Boost Platform

The Marches Growth Hub received 25k as part of a wider ARG financial package to deliver meaningful local business support in Shropshire and the Marches. One of the programmes it designed and developed was the Business Boost programme. This programme will be a legacy of the funding for the next two years.

The Business Boost platform, is a FREE to access programme of webinars and workshops.

VCS organisations, alongside local businesses, can access a range of free information on key business topics through the programme: an online suite of webinars designed to help local firms learn, develop and support the Marches economy.

There are currently around 70 webinars, covering everything from data protection and GDPR, start-up to growth, health and wellbeing to sales and marketing and much more.

It includes short workshops up to 30 minutes long to keep learning focused and are delivered by leading local experts who are regular presenters on behalf of the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire.

Funded by the Shropshire Council Economic Recovery Fund, this free resource will be available for 2 years through the Invest in Shropshire website.

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service Nomination Information Sessions

There are briefing sessions to help and encourage voluntary organisations understand the nomination process. They are:

  • Wednesday 4th May 2022 at 2pm – 3pm
    Telford & Wrekin Council Offices, Addenbrooke House,
    Ironmasters Way, Telford,TF3 4NT
  • Friday 13th May 2022 at 12pm – 1pm
    Garden Room, Methodist Church, 52 Broad St, Ludlow, SY8 1NH
  • Thursday 19th May 2022 at 1.30pm – 2.30pm
    Council Chamber, Castle View, Arthur Street, Oswestry, SY11 1JR
  • Wednesday 25th May 2022 at 2pm – 3pm
    Shrewsbury Room, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6ND
  • Tuesday 14th June 2022 at 2pm – 3pm
    Venue TBC

For further information and/or to book a place please email

Information can also be found on the QAVS website.

Shrewsbury Food Hub Walk Against Waste April 24th

Armed Forces Outreach/Support Events

Shropshire Council, the Shropshire Armed Forces Outreach Support, and Armed Forces Covenant are offering a series of outreach events beginning April 11th and going through to the end of May. For a full list of events, download their flyer.

You can also download a flyer for the Ex-Forces Hub, a community group that meets weekly on Tuesdays at Shrewsbury Town FC from 1-3pm. 

Finally, starting in September, the Oswestry Cricket Club will be hosting a weekly Armed Forces Drop-In called 'Brew, Banter and Support'.

people standing in front of Telford cultural centre

Healthier Minds Festival

The NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is inviting people from different ethnic communities living locally to come together to find out what services, community groups and activities are available to them in the area to encourage and enable healthier minds.

Community leaders, NHS teams and stallholders from a wide range of voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations and groups will be on-hand to meet the communities they serve. They will also discuss with community members what is working well and also find out reasons why community members might not be coming forward and making contact with services.

The ICS want to find out:

  • Whether communities know what services and support is out there locally for them and where they can go for help relating to their emotional wellbeing.
  • How we can improve the support that is currently available.

For those who attend, this is a chance to shape and improve local services for the future.

This event will be run as an informal, market stall style event to encourage lots of discussion, networking and a chance to forge supportive, local connections.

As part of the day, there will be:

  • A free, vegetarian lunch served for those who attend.
  • Representatives from a range of organisations from the voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector
  • NHS teams including colleagues from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides physical and mental health, learning disability and adult social care services locally.
  • A variety of demonstrations

Please note – the Healthier Minds Festival will form the beginning of a roadshow set of events, where following on from this the ICS will be asking community groups to get in contact with them, so that they can visit people in their familiar and trusted community spaces.

More information about the event can be found via the ICS website, and a flyer for display/distribution can be downloaded here.

Free Race for Life Training Programme

Shrewsbury Sports Village are encouraging the community to support Cancer Research UK with their Race for Life event to be held on the 19th June at the Quarry Park, Shrewsbury. 

The Sports Village are offering a free 10 week training programme to help motivate and improve fitness levels leading up to the Race for Life. 

The programme begins April 13th and runs weekly until the June race.

Please download this distributable poster: Road to the Race for Life.jpg for details or call Shrewsbury Sports Village on 0345 0007002. 

Free Webinar: Online Harm and Safety Bill

The Online Harm and Safety Bill’s purpose is to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, regulating content platforms to tackle harmful content and misinformation online.

To get there, organisations will need to risk assess their operations and services to identify the harm that users may encounter when engaging with them and comply with a brand-new statutory duty of care. The social networks are going to be leading the way and you will need to play by their rules!

Thursday 28th April at 11am Steve Kuncewicz will be helping organisations get to grips with what these new responsibilities may be, how to comply, and what may happen if you fail to do so.

What will it cover?

  • An overview of the online harm and safety bill
  • How you should start to prepare
  • Responsibilities for organisations and individuals
  • False advertising and misinformation - protecting the consumer
  • Use of influencers
  • A.S.A (Advertising Standards Agency) how will their remit change and what are they going to focus on
  • Compliance requirements and practical tips

You can sign up for free here. If you can't make it live, they will send a link to watch the recording at your leisure after the session

Annual Assembly invitation

VCSA Annual Assembly: Register Now!

Don't forget to book your place for the 2022 VCSA Annual Assembly Meeting. VCSA members and partners are all welcome to this free event. This is a great opportunity to learn about what's happening in the sector, to have your voice heard on important priorities, and to get in some much-missed networking time!

Full event details can be found on our website, or on the Eventbrite booking page.

Members can feel free to bring flyers/information to put out on tables.

Refreshments will be served.

If you need a lift from the Shrewsbury bus station or train station, email Sarah Hampson, as we will be arranging a shuttle to take people from public transport to the Football Club.

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

Join our team flashing sign

Lingen Davies: Cancer Champions

Lingen Davies are hiring for two positions:

A Shropshire Cancer Champions Project Officer (0.6 wte, 22.5 hours employed by Qube, Oswestry)

A Telford Cancer Champions Project Officer (0.6 wte, 22.5 hours employed by Lingen Davies Cancer Fund)

Consideration for a full time 37.5 hour post may be given to a successful candidate willing to undertake the role for both Shropshire and Telford.

The successful candidate will be responsible for building a body of enthusiastic, engaged and trained volunteer Cancer Champions who work within their own community and other settings, targeting population groups with the highest cancer burden.

To be successful, you will need exceptional organisational skills and have the initiative to manage your workload.

They welcome applications from people with lived experience and those from minority communities.

These roles are funded by the Shropshire and Telford CCG to deliver their CORE20 Plus Community Connectors NHS-funded project. This is a 12-month fixed-term contract in the first instance, with the possibility of extension depending on funding and outcomes.

Please see below for the full details of the post and application form:



CCC Application Form Final

Closing date for applications: Monday 2nd May, 8pm

Interviews will be held Wednesday 11th May.

For an informal discussion about these roles please email Miranda Ashwell or telephone on 01743 492396.

Completed applications should be emailed to Paper applications will not be accepted.

Volunteer Opportunity: Speciality Patient Experience Groups at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH)

Speciality Patient Experience Groups are being established to drive patient experience initiatives at a local level. The groups will work with services across the speciality to improve patient experience in the area, including:

– How the service responds and learns from feedback
– Identifying trends to inform work and help improve services
– Represent the patient voice, providing insight from a patient perspective

This is an opportunity for patients or carers who have accessed services within the Trust between 2021 and 2022 to get involved. As a result of their recent experience, they will be able to offer valuable insight and a unique perspective on service development and improvement.

Please note – successful applicants will need to go through volunteer checks and induction. Additionally, volunteers are asked to commit approximately three hours a month to support the work.

Closure date for applications is 30th June 2022 For more information and to submit an application, visit the SaTH website.

Do you have a job or volunteer opportunity you would like us to promote? Please send your information to and we will include it in our next newsletter!

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Grant and Funding News

New Tender Opportunity:

Mental Health and Learning Disability Services

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils are seeking providers for the provision of all age care, support, supervision and live well skills development for people with learning disability, autistic spectrum conditions and mental health needs.

Please find more information on the Shropshire Council website.

Youth Music Launches Trailblazer Fund for England

Funding is available to organisations in England to run projects for children and young people (aged 25 or under) to make, learn and earn in music through Youth Music's new Trailblazer Fund.

One of the initiatives which have been introduced to replace Youth Music's Funds A, B and C, the Trailblazer Fund has been designed to support:

  • Small organisations who support children and young people to make, learn or earn in music.
  • Those who work with children and young people facing barriers who want to trial a new music offer.
  • Established organisations that want to test a new way of working or disrupt the status quo.

Examples of eligible projects may include:

  • A new CIC testing out different ways of supporting nurseries to embed music-making into their day-to-day activities.
  • A Music Education Hub that wants to disrupt the status quo of their local music scene by setting up a Youth Board that has budget and power to make decisions about how the hub is run.
  • An established youth centre trialling music activities for the first time.

Applications must meet at least one of the following Youth Music themes:

  • Early years.
  • Disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent young people.
  • Youth justice system.
  • Young people facing barriers.
  • Young adults.
  • Organisations and the workforce.

The following levels of funding are available:

  • Grants of £2,000 to £15,000 are available to organisations of less than one year old.
  • Grants of £2,000 to £30,000 are available to organisations of more than one year old.

All funded projects may last between six and 24 months.

The deadline for Round 1 applications is 13 May 2022 (5pm). For more information and to apply, visit the Youth Music Trailblazer Fund website.

Stop Loan Sharks Community Fund Welcomes Applications for 2022 Round

Local residents' groups, charities, private companies, social enterprises, community and voluntary groups, schools and statutory agencies can now apply for their share of a £160,000 funding pot to tackle loan sharks in England.

Delivered by England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), the funding has come from the proceeds of crime taken from convicted illegal money lenders.

Grants of £5,000 are on offer for project which:

  • Contribute to raising awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks.
  • Prevent crime and disorder and makes a difference in local communities.
  • Promote the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in communities.
  • Encourage reporting of loan sharks and signposts victims to the team.

Applications are welcomed from partnerships, with organisations each bidding for £5,000 for a collective project.

IMLT actively encourages projects and initiatives that are different from the rest and will leave a legacy in the communities in which they are delivered.

The deadline to apply is 30 June 2022. More information and an application form can be found on their website.

Technology for an Ageing Population Grants Open to Applications

Funding available to UK-based organisations to test the Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) Principles.

The Technology for our Ageing Population Panel of Innovation (TAPPI) project examined current practice and set out the future directions for the use of technology in housing and care contexts, with the aim of creating practical and useful principles for action that make life better and more fulfilling for our ageing population.

This funding call aims to ensure that the evidence gathered in Phase 1 is built upon and used to create a TAPPI Framework, by embedding the recommended TAPPI Principles within a transformational change programme, developing and testing supportive guidance and tools in live “locality based” (demonstrator sites) and with a view to catalysing nationwide adoption through engagement from the “ground up”.

The fund is looking for practical, holistic solutions and supporting services that can enable people to achieve better, personalised outcomes effectively and efficiently within local communities.

The programme will be co-produced with the successful applicant organisations over a 12-15-month period.

UK-based organisations are eligible to apply. Applicants might include:

  • Local Authorities
  • Housing Associations/Providers
  • Healthcare Trusts
  • Charities etc.

Applicant organisations would ideally be from a mix of urban and rural settings, two-tier and unitary authorities, and organisations (both third sector and private sector) who are both experienced and new to the concept of integrating technology with housing, health and social care.

The amount available will be £75,000 per organisation which could provide up to £40,000-50,000 for resourcing and £25,000-35,000 for seed funding for enabling technology solutions. 

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 16 May 2022 (5pm). More information can be found on their website.


VCSA Website Features New Rolling Funds List

along with Monthly Funding Roundup 

The VCSA website now hosts a list of relevant local and national funding opportunities with rolling deadlines (this just means that you can apply anytime during the year).

In addition, we continue to feature a regular roundup of relevant funding opportunities with deadlines that is updated on a monthly basis. 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: