VCSA Newsletter Week of 25th July 2022

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Newsletter for the Week of 25th July 2022


Images of Attingham Estate

Attingham Estate Plans New Outdoor Hub

Attingham Park, the National Trust property in Shrewsbury, have identified a portion of their estate that they plan to open up to provide more access to the outdoors for walking, cycling and other outdoor activities. This would create more accessible green space for the people of Shropshire.

Conservation and sustainability will be at the forefront of every decision, as well as fulfilling their role of providing ‘public benefit’, in line with the wishes of Thomas, 8th Lord Berwick who left the Estate to the National Trust in 1947. The majority of the area identified has previously had a commercial or industrial purpose, it is a historically interesting landscape for visitors to see and explore with a history from the iron age to the present day.

The proposed new outdoor hub will be located away from the main parkland site and is intended to offer visitors new ways to explore the outdoors and discover nature, providing much-needed facilities for visitors and local communities in Shropshire. Attingham Park want to give people more opportunities to get outdoors all year round, to be more active and get closer to nature.

They are working closely with tenants, visitors and local community groups in the design and development of the outdoor hub. This ensures that their voices are at the forefront of what they do and enables access to the outdoors for those that need it most.

They are focussing on working with groups of children and young people, those with visible and invisible disabilities and people at risk of socio-economic exclusion. That way their voices are not only heard, but help to co-create and shape the outdoor hub.

These plans will also allow Attingham Park to deliver for nature, by creating more green corridors throughout Shropshire, working with Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils to connect urban conurbations to the wider countryside. The work will be environmentally sustainable, using renewable energy and materials and working towards ‘net zero carbon’.

Read more about the new proposed outdoor hub at Attingham in their latest newsletter. Attingham Park also wants to hear from you and others in the community about these proposed plans. Get involved by taking their short survey (also listed in VCS engagement opportunities below).

Is your organisation possibly interested in getting involved with the outdoor hub? Email Alison Hulme, Community and Participation Officer to learn more.

Interested in volunteering at Attingham Park? Check out their latest volunteer opportunities in our Jobs/Volunteering section below, or visit the National Trust website and search for ‘Shrewsbury’.

cybersecurity abstract image

How to Keep Your Organisation Cyber Safe

On Thursday, 14th July, Third Sector hosted a live discussion with leaders in the charity sector and cyber security experts on "How to Keep Your Charity Cyber Safe". 

If you missed it, the discussion is now available to watch on-demand. It features:

  • Emerging threats facing not-for-profit organisations right now and how to spot them
  • How to educate and affect change around the cyber security culture in your organisation, including the role of effective training and getting buy-in from the board
  • How to get started on your cyber security journey with practical advice from cyber security experts and best practice examples from charities

With many organisations in the VCSE sector increasingly coming under threat from cyber attacks, the event organisers recommended that all organisations - even very small ones - should have a plan to deal with cyber security and what should happen if they experience a cyber attack. 

Fortunately, there are many free, online resources for smaller organisations who can't afford to hire consultants or their own cyber security specialists. Some shared during the event include:

Ethos trustees Malcolm Kirk, Martin Bennett and Nick Turner make the presentation to chief executive Fae Dromgool

Chief Executive Celebrates 20 Years with Shropshire Charity

A Shropshire chief executive is celebrating 20 years at the head of a charity which gives people with life changing physical disabilities the chance of an independent life.

Fae Dromgool joined the Ethos charity – formerly Transhouse – in 2002 and has since seen it grow to manage three bungalows in Oswestry offering temporary accommodation and support for wheelchair users.

Fae was recently presented with an engraved glass paperweight and garden vouchers by the charity’s trustees led by chairman, Martin Bennett.

Martin paid tribute to Fae’s commitment and her dedication to the Oswestry-based charity. He said:

“Fae’s enthusiasm and dedication have been the touchstone at the heart of Ethos. We are very lucky to have had such an inspirational chief executive who works so hard to make sure that we continue to offer such an important and life-changing service to our clients.” 

Fae said that there had been many challenges during her years as chief executive but she still had the same passion for the work of Ethos as when she joined 20 years ago. She said:

“What we do now is more important than ever. I’m just part of a fantastic team that has a desire to change things for the better. We all believe in what we are doing and all the reward we need is to make a difference in the lives of people who are often at their most difficult time.”

Ethos is currently recruiting new trustees (see Jobs/Volunteering section below) and is particularly keen to welcome those with health and social care experience. For further information see below or visit the Ethos Group website

Image: Ethos trustees Malcolm Kirk, Martin Bennett and Nick Turner make the presentation to chief executive Fae Dromgool

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.


Lingen Davies Cancer Fund Survey: Lingen Davies want to hear from you as part of a project to improve lives for those impacted by the disease in Shropshire, Telford and Mid Wales. It will take no longer than 10 minutes, and your views will help inform our LiveLife Cancer Awareness Service. Please take the survey and help promote it. They also need volunteers for focus groups. Closing date TBD

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

Shropshire Economic Growth Strategy: The Economic Growth Strategy for Shropshire (EGS) for 2022-2027 has now been published as a draft for formal consultation. The strategy has been refreshed to consider the council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the impacts of Brexit and also how these national changes impact on partners and the economy. The draft strategy has been developed through ongoing collaboration between Shropshire Council, the local economic taskforce, Shropshire’s business community, and other partners and key stakeholders. Closing 15th 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

Telford and Wrekin Council Aging Well Survey: Share your views on the support you need to 'age well'. Telford and Wrekin Council, together with a wide range of our local partner organisations are launching a borough-wide “Ageing Well” consultation, asking residents over the age of 50 to share their views on the support they need to age well. Closing 16th September

DCMS Dormant Assets Scheme Consultation: The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is providing an opportunity for the public, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and industry stakeholders to have their say on how to shape the direction of the Dormant Assets Scheme in England in the years ahead. Dormant assets are financial assets, such as bank accounts, that have been untouched for a long period. The Dormant Assets Scheme is led by the financial services industry and backed by the government with the aim of reuniting people with these financial assets. Where this is not possible, the Scheme unlocks this money for social and environmental initiatives across the UK. Closing 9th October 

Shropshire Council Diversity survey: Shropshire Council and partners are working to understand the needs of every local area in Shropshire. They recognise that Shropshire is made up of diverse communities, and not all health, wellbeing, community and personal needs will be the same. Shropshire Council are collecting information to paint a picture about local use of health services, health and wellbeing, and the demographic and economic make up of our communities. Right now, they specifically want to hear from people in: Whitchurch and surrounding area; Oswestry and surrounding area; St Martins. Closing date TBD

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

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 (Safe Ageing No Discrimination)

In The Café  Get-Togethers with a Theme for LGBT+ People Over 50

Next Session 27th July 2 – 4pm at Palmers Café in Shrewsbury SY1 1QG

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. 

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. 

At the last event in June, Karen and Sonya joined them from Radfield Domiciliary Care Service. They are the first home-care service in Shropshire to sign-up to making their service more inclusive of the needs of LGBT+ people. People who came said that it was ‘great to see the passion from the care providers’, ‘opening up conversations, asking questions, helping us get an insight into Radfield’s practice and ethos’.

The next get-together is on 27th July 2 – 4pm: Day trips & Fundraising - Doing it for Ourselves

Are you interested in being involved in organising LGBT+ day trips for the over 50’s?

What about running a fundraising activity for SAND? At In The Café this month they'd welcome your ideas and involvement.

Some of the regulars at In The Cafe have asked about trips out with the group. This falls outside of what SAND can do, but they can help people from the group access support in getting this off the ground.

Another way to get involved is to help them with fundraising for this year. From bake sales to baked bean baths, bring along your ideas for raising money and helping SAND do its work.

Visit the SAND website for more details and a map. Please email or ring 01743 590023 to find out more.

SIP logo

Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership

Free and Subsidised Trainings


The Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership Voluntary and Community Development Team have over 20 accredited courses upcoming this autumn in their training programme .

These courses include a mix of online and face to face training opportunities across Shropshire from a variety of different trainers.

Courses offered are either free of charge or a heavily subsidised £15 per person.

Demand for the training opportunities continues to be very high and places are already booking up quickly. So, they are urging you to sign up to your chosen courses as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Courses offered this Autumn include 1 Day Emergency First Aid at WorkVolunteer Management and Peer Support, Startup Funding for Charities and Social Enterprises, Governance and Legal Structures for Charities, Unconscious Bias, Cyber Security for Charities plus many more.

Courses are limited to 2 spaces per organization and they continue to operate a waiting list. These courses are suitable for all volunteers and staff working in the voluntary sector in Shropshire.

For more information on courses, dates and times, and to book a space, visit the Eventbrite page.

And there is more on the way for 2023 - Follow the team's training offerings on Eventbrite to get notified about more training offerings as they are added.


Save the date 16th Sept for Social Value Workshop

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

NHS STW logo

NHS Shropshire Telford and Wrekin: Two Opportunities

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are seeking members to provide important VCS and/or public representation on the following two committees. Follow the links below to find out more about each opportunity:

Equality and Involvement Committee: This committee will play a key role in making sure that local health and care plans consider the needs of people who experience the greatest inequalities in accessing services and the poorest health outcomes.

People interested in becoming a member of the committee should have an awareness and understanding of the diverse communities of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Members of the committee will be expected to attend one online committee meeting per month and will be provided with the relevant training and support needed to assist them in their role.

To read the role description and register your interest, please click here  or email Jayne Morris, Engagement Officer.

The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 19th August 2022.

Outpatient Transformation Steering Group : NHS STW are looking for a Public/Patient Representative to sit on the NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Outpatients Transformation Steering Group. An outpatient is someone who has an appointment in a hospital or clinic but does not need to stay overnight. 

Your role will be to help make sure that the group consider the views and experiences of people using local services to influence the future of outpatient care in the county.

To read the role description and register your interest, please click here  or email Jayne Morris, Engagement Officer.

The closing date for expressions of interest is Monday, 1st August 2022.

Severn Trent logo

Volunteer Opportunity: Severn Trent Community Fund

Severn Trent are looking for customers with a passion for their community to join their Community Fund Customer Panel, made up of customers from across the region, who review the strongest applications and ultimately decide where their money should go.

This is an excellent opportunity to see how funding decisions are made and to help make a difference in your community.

They are particularly looking for members from Shropshire to join the panel.

Find out more and apply online before 26th July 

Little Stars Baby Bank Logo

Little Stars Baby Bank Seeking Trustees

Little Stars have two exciting opportunities and are seeking a treasurer and fundraiser to join their board.

Joining Little Stars board is a wonderful opportunity for you to use your skills and experience to help shape the future of Little Stars, whilst complementing the skills of the existing and highly valued board members. Having launched in 2020 they are still in their infancy but they have big ambitions. By becoming part of the Little Stars family you can help them realise their vision and help and support even more families across Shropshire.

Firstly, they are looking for a Trustee with a background in Fundraising and Income Generation. In this role you will assist the Board of Trustees to develop a new approach to fundraising and income generation and ensure fundraising is of the highest standard and priority.

Secondly, they are looking for a Trustee with a background in finance/financial management. They work closely with an accountant (so you would not be expected to produce annual accounts), but they are looking for someone to cover specific responsibilities as the Treasurer.

They are seeking individuals for both these roles who have at least 3 years’ experience. Previous experience in a trustee role is not essential.

You will also help to inspire and maintain the charity’s vision, mission and values, as well as ensuring compliance and accountability for finances, legal and governance obligations. They are looking for individuals who would enjoy the opportunity to contribute their skills and expertise to help to provide robust and dynamic governance, to ensure they achieve their ambitions.

For further information about the roles please email Leanne Simcoe, Trustee.

Expressions of interest to be received by 2nd September 2022.

National Trust logo

Volunteer with Attingham Park

Volunteers have always been at the heart of the work of the National Trust in caring for nature, beauty and history and they are really grateful for your interest in supporting them. 

Attingham are seeking volunteers to fill a number of positions,. Please see the attached list for the areas where they are currently recruiting volunteers.

You can apply for any of the volunteering roles at Attingham by visiting the National Trust volunteering pages and searching for ‘Shrewsbury’. Once you have applied, they will send you some more information and invite you to a taster shift or information session for that role.

If you have a particular role or specialism that you’re interested in, which isn’t listed, please let them know so they can keep you informed as and when they are able to offer volunteer positions in those areas.  

Ethos logo

Ethos Recruiting Trustees

Since 1994 the Ethos Group (formerly Transhouse (Oswestry) Limited) has been helping people who have experienced physical disabilities transition back into independent living.

From people who have suffered a life changing spinal cord injury in a road accident to others who are wheelchair users through a sudden illness - the Ethos Group is the place they can call home after discharge from hospital.

Ethos is currently recruiting new trustees and is particularly keen to welcome those with health and social care experience.

For further information see below or visit the Ethos Group website. You can also email or phone 01691 404359 for more information.

Moonstruck Astronaut Logo

Volunteer Opportunity: Drama Workshop Assistants

Moonstruck Astronaut community theatre company is seeking to recruit five Drama workshop assistant volunteers for this year’s ‘Summer Drama in the Forest’.

Event: Outdoor 5-day drama workshop on the Events site of Wrekin Forest School (WFS), with 16-20 children, mixed ages (6-12 yrs), abilities and drama experience, run by Moonstruck Astronaut theatre company.

Venue: WFS, Events site, Crudginton Moor Lane, Telford

Dates & times required: Mon 8th – Friday 12th August, 9am – 4pm* (*until 4.30pm Friday 12th for performance) and for a volunteers briefing at the venue on Sunday 7th August at 1.15 – 2.15pm.

Please visit the Summer Drama in the Forest Eventbrite page to see film and full info on the project.

Download the full volunteer role description here. To apply to be a drama workshop assistant volunteer please send an email by Friday 29th July detailing any relevant experience and skills (attaching a CV if you have one) and why you want to support the project.

Please visit the Moonstruck Astronaut website to learn more about this non-profit community theatre.

Looked after children advert

Qube logo

Qube: Hiring for Three Roles

Qube in Oswestry are hiring for three positions!

  • Finance Officer
  • Transport Officer
  • Social Prescribing Triage Officer

Visit the Qube website to find out more and to apply. You can also email them or phone 01691 656882


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

DCMS Launches Media Literacy Taskforce Fund

The Media Literacy Taskforce Fund is providing funding to organisations piloting new methods of engaging ‘hard to reach’ citizens with media literacy initiatives. Media literacy is described as the ability to apply critical thinking skills to the messages transmitted through mass media, including print, video and the internet.

The scheme will fund pilot projects that will work through communities to engage citizens in ways that are tailored to their needs and relevant to their daily lives, delivering media literacy interventions at a local level.

A range of approaches will be supported, including and going beyond conventional classroom-style learning, such as delivering learning in more informal and community-based ways.

The administering body, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) expects to award a maximum of £250,000 in grant funding to individual projects this financial year. However, exact amounts will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is no minimum funding requirement for this bid.

Applications are accepted from charities and non-profit organisations, private organisations and public bodies that have expertise in media literacy initiatives. As well as applications from individual organisations, DCMS is accepting applications from consortia, which can include public bodies outside of central government. Applicants must be based in the UK and the project must target a local area in England (eg a town or county).

The deadline for receipt of applications is 30 August 2022 (09:00 BST). For more information and to apply, visit the Media Literacy Taskforce Fund website.

Small Grants for Older People on Low Incomes

Small grants of up to £400 are available to support vulnerable older people living on low incomes in England and Wales. Friends of the Elderly currently have four grant streams open for older people who are of/over state pension age, have savings of less than £4,000, and who do not fit the criteria for other funders.

The funding is available to help with the cost of replacing everyday items, small home repairs and mobility adaptations; help older people get online; to help with unexpected bills; and essential living costs including clothing, food, medicines and books. 

Applications must be made via a third-party Referral Agent such as charities, local authorities, housing associations, community organisations, Information, Advice and Guidance providers and social services representatives. Applications can be made at any time, but resources are limited.

Visit the Friends of the Elderly website for more information and to register and apply as a referral agent.

National Lottery Community Fund Now Offering Large Climate Grants

The next round of the 10-year, £100 million Climate Action Fund is now open for applications from projects which focus on the link between climate and nature and bring other social and economic benefits to local communities.

Applications will be considered from community-led partnerships that are made up of a mix of organisations from different sectors, either locally or UK-wide partnerships delivered across at least two UK countries. The lead applicant which speaks on behalf of the partnership should be non-profit.

There is an £8 million funding pot, with grants of up to £1.5 million over two to five years on offer. It is expected that most awards will be in the region of £300,000 to £500,000.

Development grants of £50,000 to £150,000 over 12 to 18 months are also available.

Activities could involve bringing communities together to:

  • Make new, better quality and more accessible natural spaces. For example, where the natural environment has been replaced by human activity in urban areas.
  • Encourage environmental awareness by increasing outdoor learning opportunities.
  • Use nature to address growing climate problems like the rising temperature or risk of flooding in urban areas.
  • Use stories or creative approaches to engage communities with the climate challenge through nature.
  • Explore systems of producing food that are less damaging to nature, more self-sufficient, or that shorten distance we transport food.

Given the focus on increasing participation with climate action and supporting lifestyle and behavioural change, the expectation is that most of the funding will go towards revenue costs.

The programme is open on a rolling basis. Visit the Climate Action Fund web page for more information and to apply.

Need Longer-Term Funding?

National Lottery Reaching Communities Programme

Welcomes Applications Anytime

Your local representatives for the National Lottery Reaching Communities Programme want to remind Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin VCSE organisations that they can apply for funding of over £10,000 for up to three years anytime through this programme.

The Reaching Communities programme fund projects that work to make positive changes in their community – whether that is for people living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences.

In order to support communities to thrive, they aim to:

  • build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

You can expect us to be flexible and responsive to your community’s needs:

  • whether you need long- or shorter-term funding
  • whether your request is for a particular activity or to create more fundamental change
  • whether the funding is to support a single organisation or to bring organisations together.

Visit the Reaching Communities England web page to learn more.

Applications do best when your organisation works closely with the Reaching Communities team, so reach out and get started today!

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: