VCSA Newsletter Week of 27th June 2022

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Newsletter for the Week of 27th June 2022


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2022 VCSA State of the Sector Survey Report Published

In early 2022, Shropshire’s Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly (VCSA) conducted its first ‘State of the Sector’ survey since 2017. The survey results have now been published in a report that details the needs and value of VCSE organisations in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

The survey was open to all voluntary groups, charities, and social enterprise organisations between February 15 and March 31 of this year. A total of 47 organisations responded to the lengthy survey questionnaire, and the VCSA especially thanks them for their valuable time in helping to complete this study.

Report highlights:

  • Survey respondents reported an average of 59 working days per organisation per year in volunteer hours – meaning that volunteers to Shropshire charities contribute approximately £578m in social value per year.
  • Shropshire charities spent approximately £592m last year, contributing most of that directly to supporting the county.
  • Shropshire charities provide approximately 3% of jobs in the county, adding approximately £137m in social value to the economy last year.
  • Most organisations cited partnership working and their ability to continue serving their communities during Covid as their major achievements over the past year.
  • In the wake of the pandemic and with a rising cost-of-living crisis, VCSE organisations saw their expenditures and the range of services offered rise while incomes did not always rise proportionately or at all.
  • A large minority of VCSE organisations are concerned about their ability to secure funding through grants and contracts in the next year.

Read the full report here.

The survey will now be conducted on an annual basis, providing the VCSE sector and its partners in the public and private sector the opportunity to build on these insights and to better track the value and needs of the sector year on year.

If your organisation or partnership group would like to have a presentation of this report, or if you have questions, you can contact Sarah Hampson, Insight and VCS Engagement Officer, Shropshire Council.

20 years of npc

NPC Marks 20th Anniversary By Asking:

"Where Next for Social Impact?"

To mark their 20th birthday, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) have been talking to leading figures and people doing things differently to ask: Where next for social impact?

Between now and 4th July, you can access essays and audio interviews with leading VCSE sector names.

Topics now available include:

"How political should charities be?" with Samuel Kasumu of Inclusive Boards

"After austerity, a pandemic - now a cost of living crisis" with Alison Garnham from Child Poverty Action Group

Check out the full list on offer here and join the conversation now!

art - women suffering from depression

People's Health Trust:

Mental Health Impacts of Covid-19 on Grassroots Volunteers

A new report from the People’s Health Trust details the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of frontline grassroots voluntary workers. 

Based on data gathered from grassroots VCS organisations between April 2020 and February 2022, the report highlights that organisations in their study are reporting concerns about mental health support for voluntary workers as their number one concern.

The report states:

"One grassroots VCS leader described ‘compassion fatigue’ and in February 2022, 82% of survey respondents were worried about staff burnout in the coming six months."

You can read an overview of the report and its key findings here, or download the full report (10 pages) to learn more.

image of a person taking a survey


Current VCSE Engagement Opportunities

The VCSA newsletter will now contain a regular feature highlighting current open surveys and engagement opportunities that are relevant for VCSE organisations and their beneficiaries.

Flyers/materials for distribution will be made available for download as well as any relevant links. If you have engagement opportunities to share/list here please email Sarah Hampson, VCS Insight and Engagement Officer at Shropshire Council to have it included in an upcoming newsletter.


Victim Support: LGBT+ Support Services: Victim Support West Mercia want to gain a greater understanding of the visibility of victim / survivor support services in the LGBTQI+ communities in the region. They are also very interested in understanding any additional barriers/challenges to accessing such services; and/or reporting to the police. They would appreciate sharing of the survey with your beneficiaries as well as any feedback from the VCSE. Closing 30th June

Coton Hill House service reconfiguration: consultation is designed to obtain the views of local residents and all stakeholders prior to making the planning application in summer 2022 for change of use of Coton Hill House, from a residential home to a supported housing scheme. Closing 30th June

  • Survey link
  • Send feedback via email
  • Post feedback to: Feedback and Insight team, Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shropshire. SY2 6ND

Telford and Wrekin Council are hosting two consultations for two of three Telford Town Fund projects

Housing allocations policy revisions: Have your say on draft revisions to Shropshire Council's Housing Allocations policy. Closing 3rd July

Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Canal and River Trust and Energize Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are coming together to empower people to make use of their local green spaces, (the canal networks) for their health and wellbeing in the Whitchurch area. They want to understand your thoughts and barriers to being active in green spaces and understand more about the challenges people might face in your area. Closing 19th July

Libraries strategy 2022-2027: Provide your feedback on the draft strategy, which describes the changes the Library Service will make to be at the forefront of the council’s future relationship with its residents, and how the service will work in partnership with others to deliver the county’s priorities. Closing 3rd August

Charities Commission Annual Return Consultation: A consultation on its proposed new approach to the annual return, and a new set of up to 16 questions it plans to include. These changes would come into effect from 1 January 2023. Closing 1st September

Healthwatch: 999 and ambulance services feedback. Healthwatch want to understand how the current strains on the ambulance service are impacting people’s health and lives. No closing date

Healthwatch: Accessible Information Standard survey as part of the 'Your Care, Your Way' campaign. Closing date TBD

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

SAND logo

SAND LGBT+ Awareness Training

Tuesday 28th June 10.00am – 1.00pm

In person at the Roy Fletcher Centre Shrewsbury

This LGBT+ awareness raising course has a specific focus on issues impacting on LGBT+ people accessing services as we age. It provides a safe space for people to explore and discuss issues relating to creating safe, inclusive and welcoming environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, in particular focusing on older and old LGBT people

For more information and to book please visit the SAND website.

Here is what attendees have said about these sessions:

"I will definitely use the learning going forward not only within my role at Wrekin but in my wider life too! Although I thought I had a good understanding, this training has really built upon this."

"The session provided by SAND was excellent, it has built upon my knowledge to provide me with a much broader understanding and appreciation of the history of LGBT+ groups and the importance of inclusivity and wellbeing as people get older."

"We found the session useful, necessary and clear."

"Enlightening, but not overwhelming."

 "Eye opening"

arts cafe

Shropshire Council Arts Café Event in partnership with Creative Lives

26th July online 6.30pm 

The session will look at:

  • Partnership working with other arts professionals, the community and other sectors
  • Researching and applying for funding
  • How art and culture can be a catalyst for positive change within a place or community

The Arts Council's new strategy 'Let's Create' emphasises the importance of creativity in everyday life, and challenges artists to think about how they can open up their practices to allow more people to embrace creativity. In this session, Nicola Winstanley- Creative Lives Development Officer (West Midlands)- shares some guidance on co-creation, creative placemaking and approaches to funding. The session will include case studies from across the UK, and there will be time to discuss ideas and approaches specific to Shropshire.

For a zoom link to attend this event, please email Barry Trench, Arts Development Officer at Shropshire Council.

The session aims to address:

  • Partnership working with other arts professionals, the community and other sectors
  • Researching and applying for funding
  • How art and culture can be a catalyst for positive change within a place or community 

Creative Lives is a registered charity that was established in 1991. They champion community and volunteer-led creative activity, and work to improve opportunities for everyone to be creative. In particular, they celebrate and promote people expressing themselves creatively with others, recognising the benefits this can bring. 

Beat the street

Beat the Street Game Coming to Shrewsbury

29th June to 10th August

Beat the Street is a free, fun initiative that will see Shrewsbury transformed into a giant game! 
See how far you can walk, cycle, run, scoot and roll in just 6 weeks. There are great challenges to enjoy and prizes up for grabs.

The game will start on Wednesday 29th June 2022 and end on Wednesday 10th August 2022.  
Getting started to play is easy - watch this video for the basics! You can pick up your card or fob from one of these locations.
Full details available on the event website - check it out now!

Energize logo

Energize Shropshire Telford and Wrekin to Host #TogetherWeMove Event

5th July Sunnycroft in Wellington 10am - 12:30pm

Energize's ambition is to eliminate inactivity focusing first on those who experience the most barriers to achieving an active lifestyle.

But they can't do this on their own.

They know it’s going to take a collaborative effort and they don't have all the answers.

And that is what #TogetherWeMove is all about.

Energize are so excited to kick-start this movement and to invite you to the first #TogetherWeMove event on 5th July taking place at Sunnycroft in Wellington from 10am – 12.30pm, followed by lunch and a chance to chat to 1.30pm.

This will be an opportunity to share, to learn and to work together on how all of this can be taken forward.

Please click on this link to register

If you would like any more information on this event, please email Suzy O’Shea Head of Engagement at Energize.

Lezley Picton meets Market Drayton residents at the last Meet The Leader event

Meet the Leader in Bishop’s Castle

Wednesday 13 July from 10am until 12pm 

Bishop's Castle Town Hall

Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, is to host a Meet the Leader session in Bishop’s Castle next month.  

Lezley will be at Bishop’s Castle Town Hall (SY9 5BG) on Wednesday 13 July 2022 from 10am until 12pm.  

Slots during Lezley’s Meet the Leader event will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

There are also two more planned for Bridgnorth and Wem later this year.  

More information on these will be issued nearer the time, and many more are planned for 2023. 

Read the full story on the Shropshire Council newsroom.

Image: Lezley Picton meets Market Drayton residents at the last Meet The Leader event

national lottery community fund logo

Aging Better: A Celebration

Free online 28th June 10am - 1pm

This is the final Ageing Better event to explore and celebrate the work of the Ageing Better programme, which worked with people aged over 50 to reduce social isolation and loneliness. This session will share key approaches and learning developed by the Ageing Better programme and partnerships.

As well as sharing wider learning, Ageing Better partnerships will be highlighting and detailing four of the key approaches developed within the Ageing Better programme which include:

  • Community Connectors
  • Co-Production
  • Micro-Funding
  • Warm Welcome

There’ll also be lots of opportunities for discussion and space to share experiences, challenges and solutions.

This event will be relevant to anyone involved in running groups, services or activities aimed at people aged 50+ seeking to address loneliness and isolation.

Visit the Eventbrite page for more information and to book your place!

welcome to Telford sign

Telford and Wrekin at its Best 

July 6th 9:30am - 2:30pm at Meeting Point House in Telford

Come join the Telford and Wrekin Unlocking Potential Alliance for an event that they hope will inspire you, encourage you and help build on the strength of your knowledge and work within the borough.  

A full-day event to talk and share progress from the work of the Unlocking Potential Alliance and Lloyds Bank Foundation People and Communities; the opportunity to help shape and influence the next steps of the work; and to ascertain the role we all play in enabling the unlocking of potential for those living and working in the borough by sharing successes, work being undertaken and further opportunities.   

The event will include a light network breakfast and lunch followed by opportunities to understand other ways to engage, benefit and be involved in areas of Lloyds Bank Foundation work within the borough.   

This event is open to all: those familiar to the work of the alliance; those new to the work and want to learn more or those who want to be engaged in its development.  

More detail and a link to register for this exciting event can be found on their Eventbrite page. 

save the date

All voluntary and community sector groups are encouraged to attend this workshop to hear more about the Draft Health Inequalities Plan for Shropshire. 

The workshop will be an opportunity to hear about the draft plan and to provide feedback.

If you are interested in attending, please email Sarah Hampson, Insight and VCS Engagement Officer with Shropshire Council to receive a link for the meeting.

Procurement bill image

The Procurement Bill: A Voluntary Sector Response 

Online - 12th July 10.30-11.30

The Lloyds Foundation for England and Wales in partnership with the NCVO is hosting an online discussion on the Procurement Bill.

The Procurement Bill sets out the proposed new rules that will shape how government at all levels ‘buys’ public services. If you are involved in public service delivery, the new rules will affect you. They are being introduced now that we no longer have to follow EU procurement laws.

The Bill, published in May, proposes some changes to the rules which Lloyds Bank Foundation think could be helpful for charities. Yet they think the Bill doesn’t reach its potential and that there are a number of areas where it could be strengthened to increase small charities’ ability to access funding alongside improving the public services that people access.

If you’re keen to find out more about the Bill and discuss what needs to change, join the Lloyds Bank Foundation for a session they're hosting in partnership with NCVO on 12th July from 10:30 – 11:30.

You can find out more and register to attend on their Eventbrite site.

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

desktop computer

Volunteer Opportunity: Roy Fletcher Centre

Digital Tutors

The Roy Fletcher Centre in Shrewsbury is looking for volunteer Digital Tutors to provide digital skills support to a 65+ age group who have little or no experience of the digital world.

Volunteers would help at their IT tuition service and IT support groups on Mondays and/or Wednesday mornings 10:30-12:30 or Thursday mornings 10:30-1pm.

Download the full role description here.

Interested? Contact Pauline Briand at the Roy Fletcher Centre on 01743 341300 

Shropshire MHS logo

Shropshire Mental Health Support:

Paid and Volunteer Roles Available


Dual Diagnosis Outreach Support Worker:

30 hours per week

£10.30 per hour

Download full role description here.

Shropshire Mental Health Support is a multi-award winning charity based in Abbey Foregate. They support people living in Shropshire with their mental health needs. Due to demand and increase in the services they deliver, Shropshire Mental Health Support has some exciting opportunities for experienced staff who are committed, reliable and passionate about supporting people with their mental health.

For further information/discussion, to find out more, and to obtain an application form, please email Heather or email Katie or phone 01743 368647

Volunteer Opportunities:

Shropshire Mental Health Support is also looking for volunteers! Do you have some experience of working with people who live with poor mental health? Volunteering with Shropshire Mental Health Support can help you gain more understanding, to widen your experience and to find out about their person-centred approach.

Volunteer posts in Shrewsbury include:

  • Telephone support service
  • Various support groups
  • Walking groups
  • Calmer Café

If you are interested, please contact Shropshire Mental Health Support on 01743 368647

CAB shropshire logo

Tackling Food Insecurity in South West Shropshire - 

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.

They encourage and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.

Fixed-term contract until 30th September 2024.

Part-time 30 hours per week.

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

To start as soon as possible.

The post will be subject to a DBS check.

Closing date:            12 midday Monday 4th July 2022

Interviews:               11th/13th July 2022

For more information and to apply visit the Citizens Advice Shropshire website.

Join our team

Lingen Davies: Health Engagement Coordinator

Are you a confident, friendly person with excellent communication skills and a passion for improving people’s health?

Lingen Davies are recruiting a health engagement coordinator to work with the Health Engagement Team, delivering on the ground cancer awareness within communities – they’ll be able to support cancer champions with opportunities to get out into communities should they so wish.

This is a public-facing role, getting out into the community at events and on high streets to raise awareness of cancer (early diagnosis, cancer screening and prevention), looking for new opportunities to engage with people from all walks of life, across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and Mid Wales.

This role will focus on developing programmes of work throughout the region, using a range of activities and settings to effectively engage with the public, making maximum use of the Lingen Davies Health Promotion Van to take engagement activities out into the community.

Full details and application form can be found on the Lingen Davies website

Closes 21st July 9am.

For an informal conversation about this role please email Miranda Ashwell, Health Engagement Officer, or phone 01743 492396

tennis racket and ball

Trustee/Treasurer Needed: Tennis Shropshire

Tennis Shropshire would like to recruit an accountant to join the Committee of Trustees of Tennis Shropshire, acting as Treasurer for the organisation and providing financial and commercial leadership to the Trustees and to the organisation generally. If you have an accountancy qualification, an interest in community sport and a wish to contribute to the health and wellbeing of your community then this could be the role for you.

Tennis Shropshire is a registered charity, affiliated to the LTA and is run by the Committee of Trustees
made up of volunteers from across Shropshire who share a common goal of supporting and promoting
participation in tennis across the county.

Tennis Shropshire is opening a community tennis centre, funded through a combination of grant and
loan funding, and has also recently registered for VAT. The County has also become a registered charity and is required to comply with the governance requirements of both the Charities Commission and the LTA. Accordingly the County would like to appoint an experienced accountant to replace our long-serving treasurer who has decided to step down after a number of years of service.

The treasurer will be responsible for ensuring that the organisation fully complies with charity
accounting and the financial aspects of the wider governance requirements. They will also be
responsible for liaising with the LTA, other funders and sponsors, for filing annual accounts, for
drafting an annual budget which supports the delivery of the County’s strategic plan and for providing
reports to the Trustees on expenditure against budget and other financial matters. They will also be
responsible for raising and paying invoices and will provide financial leadership to the Trustees
generally, as well as acting as a member of the Committee of Trustees.

In addition to an accountancy qualification an interest in tennis would be an advantage but is not
essential. Nor is it essential to live in Shropshire although some in person attendance at Trustee and
other ad hoc meetings will be required. Time commitment to the role is anticipated as being around
24 days per annum, and an honorarium of £1,300 will be paid to the successful candidate who will
also have the opportunity to attend major national tennis events.

For an informal chat please email Fiona Jones, Tennis Shropshire Chair or phone 07549 045885.

Download a Trustee Recruitment Pack here. To apply for the position please email Fiona Jones with your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are interested in the post. Closing date for applications is 30th June 2022.

community theatre

Would You Like to Volunteer for Newport’s Emerging Community Theatre Company?

Moonstruck Astronaut community theatre company is seeking volunteers to join their team and help them succeed in filling the gap in supporting local children’s creative development.


There are multiple volunteering roles available, including:

Volunteers must be 16+ and there is no upper age limit.

To find out more about Moostruck Astronaut, you can:

Moonstruck Astronaut is based in Newport, Shropshire. Their mission is to bring the local community of Newport, Shropshire together through theatre projects and foster friendship, self-expression, belonging and confidence, first with primary-school age children, then extending to young people and adults in time. They run a Youth Theatre in Newport and outdoor Drama in the Forest workshops at Wrekin Forest School. 

You are also welcome to email Hannah de Quincey, Artistic Director, or phone her on 07961 050961.

Ukrainian flag in a heart

Become a Volunteer with Shropshire Supports Refugees

Shropshire Supports Refugees has more people looking to it for support now than ever before.  You could be part of their teams of volunteers that what makes all the difference to people rebuilding their life having fled persecution or armed conflict. 

They aim to facilitate as many offers of volunteer support as possible, including but not exclusively:

  • ESOL
  • Befriending
  • Interpreting and Translation (Do you speak Pashto, Dari, Ukrainian or Russian? You are especially needed!)
  • Tutor of school age children 
  • Fund raising
  • Other Services, such as counselling and youth work
  • Coordinating, collecting and sorting donated items
  • Local area orientation 
  • Social Media

Shropshire Supports Refugees is now partnering with Shropshire Infrastructure Partnerships, due to the huge increase in demand for services and the corresponding need for volunteers. A SIP team member will be assisting us in coordinating our volunteers and processing their DSB checks.

Click here to make contact with Duncan at SIP, and please also contact the SSR admin so that they can list you on their system too. 

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 (MSE) Charity Opens for New Round

Due to the cost-of-living crisis, MSE Charity has brought forward its usual September funding round and is now accepting applications under the theme of ‘Building and Developing Resistance’.

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

To be eligible, applicants should:

  • Have an annual income of less than £750,000.
  • Have unrestricted reserves that are less than six months of their running costs.

During this round, projects should focus on providing urgent money guidance and emergency debt help to those in need of support through the cost-of-living crisis.

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.

The deadline to apply is 22 July 2022 (or as soon as 40 applications have been received). For more information and to apply visit the MSE charity website.

Motability Invites Applications for Active Transport Grants

UK charities and non-profit organisations can now apply to a new funding programme from national disability transport charity, Motability.

Grants of £100,000 to £4 million are available, and can be split over one, two or three years.

The funding is aimed at medium to large organisations with established ways of working, and intends to promote and expand active travel options for people with disabilities.

To be eligible, groups must:

  • Have been established for at least three years.
  • Be fully incorporated with a charitable purpose and undertaking research to support disabled people with their transport needs.
  • Have had an annual income of at least £150,000 per annum over the past three years.
  • Hold reserves of between three and twelve months of operating costs.

Grants can cover:

  • Active travel work which is helping people get from A to B, or active travel as a recreational activity, excluding competitive or social sport.
  • Continuation funding for schemes, programmes and initiatives that already exist, and who provide best practice solutions, but need further support to remain operational or scale up the service they can provide to help more disabled people.
  • Staff or volunteer training costs.
  • Full recovery costs, including indirect costs.
  • Local, regional, or national initiatives to increase awareness of active travel and influence its inclusion in transport strategy and policy.

Priority will be given to organisations which can demonstrate that their application takes into account the views and needs of their beneficiaries, and they will continue to be involved during the delivery of the work.

Stage One applications can be submitted at any time, with decisions expected in around four weeks. Visit the Motability website for more information and to apply.

Don't forget to check out the VCSA's latest funding roundup, which is now available to view on our website, or you can click here to download a copy now.

Don't forget to check out our list of grants with rolling deadlines as well!

Don't see something on this list that should be here? Please contact us and let us know.


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