VCSA Newsletter Week of 16th May 2022

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 16th May 2022


A photo of the outside of Loppington Village Hall

An exterior photo of the historic Loppington Village Hall, which received £2,854 from the Community Asset Grant Scheme to improve the hall's safety and accessibility.

sign for Loppington Village Hall

Loppington Village Hall Safer and More Accessible Thanks to Funds from Community Asset Grant Scheme

Loppington Village Hall is a busy community centre in North Shropshire and achieved some much-needed repair work thanks to financial support from the Community Asset Grant Scheme. Thanks to a grant of £2,854 from this scheme, set up by Shropshire Council in collaboration with the VCSA, several necessary improvements have been carried out for the benefit of all those who use the premises.

The centre was remodelled on the old primary school built in 1861 and maintenance and repair is a continual ongoing process - a leaking roof over the disabled toilet, damp in some walls, which probably had no damp course, and a manhole cover in the car park buckling under the strain of much heavier vehicles.

All the necessary improvements are now in place and the village hall committee are very grateful to have received funding from the CAPGS to enable the work to be carried out so promptly.

The hall is in daily use throughout each week. A wide range of activities include Pilates Yoga, Parents and Toddlers, Pre School dance group, WI, Youth Club as well as the Annual Flower and Vegetable Show and Church Fetes. It is also available for hiring by outside agencies.

One of the committee members, John Bulmer, manages the repair and maintenance work that is needed. He has contacts with a wide variety of local trades people, who have carried out the necessary work.

Grants totalling more than £140,000 were awarded to community groups across Shropshire to boost their recovery from the pandemic as part of the council's government-funded ARG programme.

The design of the pilot grant scheme to benefit community assets is thanks in large part to a VCSA-led discussion with voluntary and community partners to make recommendations about the best way to target the ARG funds.


Have Your Voice Heard:

Shropshire Council Seeks Input on Housing and Libraries Plans

Shropshire Council is seeking input from key stakeholders, including VCS organisations, on revisions to its current Housing Allocations Policy. You can download the full housing policy draft here.

The consultation period is from 9th May 2022 to 3rd July 2022. You can send your comments and feedback on the draft housing allocations policy via email to:

Additionally, the Council is engaging in public consultation about refreshing its Libraries Strategy, so library users and the wider community can help identify local priorities and reflect the community’s needs. Read the full story from Shropshire Council's newsroom.

You can download the full library strategy draft hereand a summary, FAQs and the survey to provide your feedback can all be found on the Council's consultation website.

The consultation is from 12th May to 3rd August 2022

healthier minds festival attendees

Healthier Minds Festival: 

ICS: Discussions around mental health and wellbeing must continue

A regular and open dialogue around mental health and emotional wellbeing between the public and health teams must continue to be built upon, following a successful community engagement event. 

That is the view of Simon Whitehouse, Chief Executive Designate of the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS), following on from him speaking at last week’s Healthier Minds Festival, which took place at Telford Cultural and Leisure Centre in Hadley. 

Hundreds of people attended the special event, which aimed to provide an opportunity for people from a range of diverse backgrounds living in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to find out how they can access mental health services in the county. 

Stallholders from a variety of organisations, NHS teams and community leaders were on-hand during the day to discuss with community members what is working well and also find out reasons why they might not be coming forward and making contact with services. 

Speaking after the event, Simon said:

“When I arrived at the event, the energy and enthusiasm in the room was palpable.  

The feeling truly was that we can do more by working with our communities to engage with local people and to understand how we can better meet their needs by reaching out and listening to them, rather than telling them how we do things and how they should access our services. Understanding the possible barriers which make accessing services more challenging for people is key. 

The Healthier Minds Festival has to be the start of an ongoing and open dialogue between community members and health and care teams around mental health and emotional wellbeing. These conversations need to continue – and that’s a particularly important message to share with this week being Mental Health Awareness Week."

At the event, Simon also signed up to Telford & Wrekin Council’s Year of Wellbeing on behalf of the ICS. 

A number of vibrant demonstrations also took place on the day, including a fan dance demonstration from members of the Telford Chinese Arts and Culture Centre, poetry from Alan Bennett from One Voice and local artist Xolo Spkq, tai chi, yoga, pilates and much more.  

Photo: From left, Councillor Raj Mehta, Councillor Andy Burford, Councillor Kelly Middleton, Parkhas Singh Dhami, Sherrel Fikeis, Councillor Amrik Jhawar and Simon Whitehouse.

out of date poster for Shrewsbury LGBT history festival

Shrewsbury LGBT+ History Festival:

Video Released and Feedback Requested

The organisers of the 2022 Shrewsbury LGBT+ History Festival have released a video highlighting and celebrating the programme and its successes.

If your organisation participated in this year's event, which took place in April, or if you just want to see what it's all about and perhaps participate next year, check it out on Youtube!

Guests and volunteers, past and present, whether you attended one of the events this year or not, the Festival organisers love to hear your thoughts about the Shrewsbury LGBT+ History Festival. Please take a moment to answer this online survey.

If you have trouble accessing the survey link, please email James Turner at SAND or phone (07951 786784) for an offline version.

heart flag ukraine

Community Support Hubs for Ukraine Guests Open Across Shropshire

Several community support hubs have been set up across Shropshire to support Ukraine guests who’ve arrived in the county.

Shropshire Supports Refugees have opened two support hubs in Shrewsbury with help from Shropshire Council and the town centre management team.

The hubs offer a place where individuals and families can get together to socialise, make new friends and seek support, including accessing clothes, toys, food and sim cards for mobile phones.

Both hubs have become very popular and are being well attended, with an average visitor attendance of 30 to 40 people a day.

The hubs have also been offering training sessions for hosts and volunteers.

Libraries as well as local leisure and tourism organisations are also offering their services to help Ukraine guests access visitor attractions and integrate into the local community.

In addition to the two hubs in Shrewsbury, three more are being planned, and will be opening up in Ludlow, Oswestry and Wem next week.

Amanda Jones, CEO of Shropshire Supports Refugees, said:-

“As time goes by, we hope more hubs will be created by caring locals pooling together their resources and time.

“Having somewhere to go and something to do out of the house is going to be an essential part of the placements being successful.

“We have met many brave and resilient Ukrainians who are very grateful for their sanctuary in Shropshire and many of them keen to get stuck into local life.

“We look forward to being able to announce further developments in the resettlement scheme, including schools, transport, mental health and wellbeing over the coming weeks.”

You can listen to Laura Fisher, Shropshire Council’s head of housing, resettlement and independent living, and Amanda Jones, CEO of Shropshire Support Refugees, talk more about the Ukraine resettlement Scheme in Shropshire on this short video.

New Homes for Ukraine website for Shropshire

Shropshire Council has also launched a dedicated website for both host families and refugees, which includes advice and information on all the support available, in English, Ukrainian and Russian, to help Ukrainians resettle in Shropshire.

The website will be updated as further guidelines are issued from the Government, and as the local scheme develops.

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

SIP logo

Free and Subsidised Accredited Courses for Shropshire Community Groups

Shropshire Community groups, voluntary organisations, charities and CICs are all encouraged to take advantage of free and subsidised trainings available this year.

Upcoming free sessions include Professional Conduct and Boundaries on 25th May, Involving Volunteers on 26th May, and Adult Safeguarding Awareness training on 31st May. After the 

Two free places per organisation are available on the first programme of courses, held between March and May. From June onwards the same programme will run again and the cost of each session will be substantially subsided at £15.00 per delegate.  

The events are managed by the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) Voluntary & Community Support Team and are supported by funding from Shropshire Council.

For more information and to book your place on one of the events, visit the Eventbrite page

SYA event flyer image

Shropshire Youth Association (SYA) are very pleased to be able to hold a Celebration Event this year now that Covid restrictions have been relaxed. The event aims to bring young people and youth leaders together to share an afternoon of fun, food and good company. 

During the afternoon, awards will be presented by their Patron, the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Mrs Anna Turner JP, to those who have gone the extra mile in their clubs or community.

Download a flyer with full details of the event.

Please email Beryl at SYA to let them know if you are able to attend by 3 June 2022.

SSYN network meeting May 26

Email if you are interested in attending and she will send you a zoom link for the meeting

In The Café with SAND (Safe Ageing No Discrimination)

This is a regular monthly get-together with a theme for the over-50s who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi or Trans. It’s a chance to chat, share information and talk about things that affect LGBT people as we age. Come along for a warm welcome and interesting conversations. Joining them In The Café is one of the many ways that SAND would welcome your involvement. Be part of creating a better experience for LGBT+ people as we age. 

The sext session is 25th May 2 – 4pm at Palmers Café in Shrewsbury SY1 1QG

As you arrive, come through to the room that’s behind the main coffee bar. Look out for the SAND signs on the doors. Your first drink’s on them, so pick a table and settle in. 

The next session will be: ‘Give Us a Clue – Make a Plan’. 

Ever thought of writing down what’s important to you – otherwise how would anybody know what you’d want?  What if you were involved in an accident or got dementia? What if the worst happened?

Come and meet with others who are exploring how to make a start.

The specialist this time is Helen, an End of Life Doula, whose job is to help people think about this, talk about it and when they’re ready, make a start putting plans in place.  Visit SAND's website for more details and a map.

people walking

Get Telford Walking 2022: Join Telford's biggest walking event from 16 to 22 May to explore the borough while getting some fresh air and some gentle exercise, in good company. For details of your local walk see Get Telford Walking 2022 - Healthy Telford

think co logo

Online Free Carbon Monoxide Awareness Workshops

The Gas Safe Charity will offer more of their popular and free carbon monoxide awareness workshops.

Aimed at front line staff and volunteers, these workshops help people who work in the homes of vulnerable people be more aware of the risks and to help prevent poisoning taking place.

The interactive workshop lasts an hour. There are six dates left between 16th May and 8th September. To find out more and to book please visit their Eventbrite page.

person with arthritis pain

Free Arthritis Awareness Event

Community Resource are holding an Arthritis Awareness event on Wednesday 25th May.

This free event takes place from 10am to 12.30pm at the St Martins Centre. 

It features a talk from Michael Delahay, Clinical Physiotherapist specialising in Rheumatology at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), a gentle exercise taster session led by Lisa Perry, Rheumatology Therapy Support Worker at RJAH along with the opportunity for questions and answers and a discussion on healthy eating to help the condition.

Download the distributable leaflet for full information.

To book a place, or to ask questions, email Lindsey or phone on (01743) 360641.

shropshire charity network logo

Shropshire Charity Network virtual meeting

May 26th 9:30-10:30am

The speaker for this session will be Wayne Flynn, Director at Mr. Flynn Creative, who will be presenting on Brand Clarity and Consistency. Your brand is about far more than your logo. It’s your identity and how people recognise and experience your organisation. Wayne will be talking about how to ensure your brand runs through your whole organisation with clarity and consistency.

Wayne Flynn is an award-winning designer who specialises in website design and branding, working with business, education, and charity clients from start-ups to international.

The group will also be joined by Selina Graham, the High Sheriff of Shropshire 2022, who will be talking about the role and her aspirations for the year.

Book your free spot to attend by May 20th on the Eventbrite site.

food bank image

Free online NPC event - 

The cost of living crisis: can charities be the only safety net?

6th June 2022, 2:30-4pm

The cost of living crisis is becoming a reality for nearly everyone that the charity sector supports.

After having come through the Covid-19 pandemic, many in the sector are justifiably concerned for the resilience of organisations NPC research suggested was already stretched thin before the pandemic began. With a dangerous potential combination of increased demand, reduced access to volunteers, inflationary pressures on income and reduced donations, it is unclear whether organisations around the country will weather the shock this time.

This event will explore:

  • What role charities are currently playing in our society.
  • What the deeper causes of this shift is.
  • What role we think they should be playing.

At this event participants will hear perspectives on the current crisis, what wider changes we need to see for charities to be able to continue to serve their communities, and what role charities have in bringing those changes about. Speakers include, Sumi Rabindrakumar, Head of Policy and Research at The Trussell Trust.

 Click here to book your free place.

To watch previous NPC events visit their YouTube Channel.

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

CAB Shropshire logo

Citizens Advice Shropshire:

Communications and Community Project Coordinator

Are you passionate about making a difference, making society fairer and working for an organisation that values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination? 

This exciting role will involve working with communities in South West Shropshire to develop sustainable community led solutions to reduce health inequalities by focussing on food insecurity.

The post is funded by the Health Foundation and Local Government Association until September 2024 as part of the Shaping Places for Healthier Lives Program. The project is a partnership between Citizens Advice Shropshire, Shropshire Council, Public Health.

Fixed term contract until 30th September 2024.

Part time 30 hours per week.

Salary £24,920 pro rata. (Actual £20,205)

Closing date: midnight Sunday 22nd May 2022

Full job details and application available on the Citizens Advice Shropshire website.


Workers' Educational Association logo

Volunteer Opportunity:

WEA Herefordshire Branch Chair

This is a new County-wide branch formed by the merger of 4 locally based branches.

Volunteering alongside other members of the branch committee, The Workers' Educational Association (WEA) would like you to help support the local education team in overseeing the planning and co-ordination of WEA courses by chairing the branch committee, sharing and cascading information, facilitating communication with students and reporting to the branch Annual General Meeting.

If you have other skills and experience which you think could be helpful to the WEA, please let them know.

The position is unremunerated but travel expenses can be reimbursed and support and training are provided. Further details of the position and the organisation can be downloaded here.

If you are interested in this post please email an expression of interest to: 

invite to volunteer with SaTH

Volunteer Opportunity:

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH)

SaTH are looking for people to join their volunteer community, supporting patients, visitors and our staff. As a local NHS volunteer, you will meet lots of new people and be part of a successful team here at SaTH. 

Roles include volunteering on wards or in their busy A&E, in an outpatient department or behind the scenes in labs, or perhaps meeting and greeting visitors is your thing. If you can’t decide why not be a Response Volunteer supporting your hospital where needed.

Volunteering at SaTH will give you good experience, if you are looking for a career in the NHS, or if you want to put something back into your community. There are lots of opportunities to learn and share your skills, and volunteering is a great addition to CVs. Whatever your reason, the SaTH team would love to hear from you. To find out more or apply today, please visit the SaTH volunteer website or call them on 01743 492256

Learn more about volunteering with SaTH at their next online drop-in session on June 1 from 3-4pm. Book your place now.

energize logo

Two positions: Energize


Marketing and Communications Officer

Location: Hybrid, working within the office in Shrewsbury and from home.

Hours: Full time (37 hours per week). The post has flexible working, with some evenings and occasional weekend work, but it is intended for the role to be mainly delivered during weekdays, office hours.

Salary: £23,721 - £27,603 depending on experience

Contract: Fixed Term to March 2027

Job closes on 11.59pm on Monday 16th May 2022.

Full job details and application form are available on their website.


Empowering Communities Manager (Community Engagement Manager)

Location: Hybrid, working within the office in Shrewsbury and from home.

Hours: Full time (37 hours per week). The post has flexible working, with some evenings and occasional weekend work, but it is intended for the role to be mainly delivered during weekdays, office hours.

Salary: £29,651 to £33,709 depending on experience

Job closes on 11.59pm on Monday 16th May 2022.

Full job details and application form are available on their website.


qube logo

Three positions: Qube


Finance Officer – Part-time 22.5 hours per week

Qube need a detail focused, organised, approachable Finance Officer to support the financial operation and administration of Qube. You’ll be a qualified or part qualified bookkeeper (AAT, ICB or IAB), or be able to demonstrate that you’ve built up equivalent work experience.

This is a part time permanent employment contract and the 22.5 hours can be worked flexibly.

Please visit the Qube website for a recruitment pack and application form (please note CVs will not be accepted).  Closing Date:  19th May, 2022


Social Prescribing Community Development Officer – Part-time 22.5 hrs per week

Social prescribing is a non-medical ‘prescription’ which supports people to make positive changes to their lives. This post will support voluntary and community groups across north Shropshire, to become more involved with social prescribing.  This will involve working closely with the Voluntary sector and Health/Public sectors to provide information and advice, networking opportunities and the development of services where gaps are identified.

The successful applicant will have experience of working within the voluntary sector and a good knowledge of voluntary sector structures, policies and procedures. 

This is a 2 year fixed term contract with the option for a further year dependant on funding

Please visit the Qube website for a recruitment pack and application form (please note CVs will not be accepted).  Closing Date:  19th May, 2022


Community Transport Assistant – Part-time 30 hrs per week

Qube has operated a Dial-a-Ride and Community Car Service for 30 years serving the local community. You will need experience of working in a transport or logistics office environment, and knowledge of the local Oswestry area.  Previous experience of working with volunteers is preferred but not essential.  You will need strong IT skills and be willing to drive a minibus when necessary

This is a part time permanent employment contract

Please visit the Qube website for a recruitment pack and application form (please note CVs will not be accepted).  Closing Date:  19th May, 2022

big solar coop logo

Three positions: Big Solar Co-op

Big Solar Co-op are currently recruiting for 3 new roles delivering Big Solar Co-op in Birmingham, Stroud and Shropshire & Telford.

Working together with local community partners in each area they are looking for Big Solar Co-op Local Coordinators to join their team. Each role is part-time at £24k (pro rata) and on a fixed term contract basis for 1 year.

These roles are focused on finding new solar sites, working with local volunteers and site owners to design solar schemes, and then getting them built through Big Solar Co-op’s 100% co-operatively-owned structure.

For more details and to apply follow these links:

Big Solar Co-op local coordinator (Stroud)

Big Solar Co-op local coordinator (Shropshire & Telford)

Big Solar Co-op local coordinator (Birmingham)

Deadline for applications is Monday, 16th May. If you would like further general information about the roles or application process please email Noel Lambert.

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

money saving expert charity logo

Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity

to Bring Forward its September 2022 Round

In response to the current cost-of-living crisis, MSE will bring forward its next planned funding round, which was originally due to open in September this year.

The theme for the round is Building and Developing Resilience, and projects should focus on providing urgent money guidance and emergency debt help to those of in need of support through the cost-of-living crisis in the UK.

There is particular interest in applications which use memorable, innovative, and or creative ways of delivering financial life skills which will make a lasting impact on the way people think, behave and manage their money.

Small to medium-sized non-profit organisations with a constitution can apply, including UK registered charities, community interest companies, social enterprises and credit unions.

The Charity has updated its eligibility requirements, and will now accept organisations with an annual income of up to £750,000. Groups must also have unrestricted reserves that are less than six months of their running costs.

Applications will open on 20 June 2022 and close on 22 July 2022 (or when 40 applications have been accepted).

For more information about the grant, and to apply once the fund re-opens, visit the MSE website.

national lottery community fund logo

'Bringing People Together' Programme 

Still Accepting Applications

A year into the Bringing People Together programme, National Lottery Community Fund has so far awarded just over £3 million to 13 projects across the UK.

Not-for-profit groups and statutory bodies may still apply to the fund, providing they:

  • Have a clear equality, diversity and inclusion focus.
  • Deliver across at least two countries in the UK.
  • Demonstrate they can learn and adapt as they go.

Grants of up to £1 million for projects lasting up to five years are currently available, with most of the funding expected to be awarded to groups requesting between £200,000 and £500,00. There will be a smaller number of awards made for projects requesting above £500,000.

All projects must align with at least one of the following priorities:

  • Build connections across communities, not just within existing communities.
  • Support and explore what is needed to connect communities and enable stronger collaboration to bring people together and keep people together - community infrastructure such as networks, shared resources or coordinated approaches, or supporting infrastructure organisations that support the work of other groups.
  • Focus on creating longer-term change.
  • Bring people together around climate action in communities.
  • Build collective action and strengthen communities' own abilities to have control, influence and agency on the things that matter most to them (collective efficacy).

There is a particular interest in supporting organisations led by, or supporting people and communities experiencing racial or ethnic inequity, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, and people who are refugees or seeking asylum.

Applications can be made at any time while the funding remains available. For more information and to apply, visit the Bringing People Together Programme webpage.

Rosa Announces Launch of Stand With Us Fund

Originally set up by Reclaim These Streets as part of a wider movement encouraging thousands to speak out against male violence, Rosa has now opened its Stand With Us Fund, which will see grants of up to £25,000 given to organisations against gender-based violence in the UK.

The fund is exclusively open to women’s and/or girls’ organisations. Rosa defines women’s and girls’ organisations as those which are run by, for and with women and girls. This means that organisations will be governed and led by women, with the main object of working with women and girls.

Additionally, priority will be given to organisations which are:

  • Led by and for Black and minoritised women and girls.
  • Led by and for disabled women.
  • Led by and for LGBTQ+ women and girls.
  • Operating in the top 20% most disadvantaged areas in the UK.
  • Based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

The funding can be used for organisational development work that will allow organisations to survive, thrive and grow. It is intended to support extra capacity, rather than existing costs. This could include investing in staff training, development and capacity building activities.

The deadline to apply is 4pm on 9 June 2022. For more information and to apply, visit the Stand With Us fund webpage.

great big green week logo

Grants to support Great Big Green Week 2022

Small and medium grants are available to support activities for the Great Big Green week 24th Sept - 2nd Oct.

Our Great Big Green Week Community Fund supports community groups to organise local events, activities and festivals during the Great Big Green Week 2022. These should engage the local community and celebrate action and progress being made on climate change.

Small grants range from £200 - £500 and medium grants from £500-£5,000.

Full fund details and application information are available on the Great Big Green Week Community Fund website.

Applications are due by 30th June 2022.

Don't forget to check out our website for the latest VCSA funding roundup as well as grants with rolling deadlines. 

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