VCSA Newsletter Week of 15th August 2022

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 15th August 2022


shropshire countryside

Shropshire Charities Featured in National Blog on Cost of Living

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) is a national think tank and consultancy for the social sector. Their blog has a massive national and even international readership, and last week it featured Shropshire charities talking about the Cost of Living crisis and its impacts on our county.

The question and answer piece, with charities from Shropshire, including Citizens Advice ShropshireAge UK Shropshire Telford & WrekinMarches Energy Agency and Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance, was the second in a series of interviews which further explore the impact of the cost of living crisis on individuals and charities.

NPC asked these Shropshire charities questions about how the increase in the cost of living is affecting organisations in their area and their service users in Shropshire. 

Just a snippet from the important discussion includes the following observation about the impacts of increased petrol prices:

"Being a rural county, people are much more reliant on their cars than those in an urban setting. Citizens Advice internal analysis has shown that a household living in a rural setting, that needs one driver to travel 25 miles per day (such as for work and food shopping and medical necessities) at 35 miles per gallon of unleaded petrol, faces a 12.2% increase in costs—an increase of £22.16 per week which amounts to £1,152.45 per year."

Read the full piece on the NPC website now!

St James Hall After renovations

St James Hall, Bridgnorth Benefits from Community Asset Pilot Grant Scheme

St James Hall, Bridgnorth has been awarded £13,000 as a result of their successful application to the Community Asset Pilot Grant Scheme. 

This funding has allowed the removal of the large single glazed apex window which covers most of the east end of the hall, and replacement with new modern double glazed window panels. This has both increased the longevity of the community building and enhanced its energy profile through better insulation.

St James Hall sits at the heart of the Grove Estate and is a greatly used community resource, both as a place of worship and for the hosting of community events. The impact of the pandemic on the hall was overwhelming, as it had no significant income for 18 months at a time when it needed to cover a number of regular costs for services and routine maintenance.

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:-

"It is wonderful news that St James Hall has been successful with the Community Asset Pilot Grant Scheme. The venue is a hub of activity and it is great to see the hall thriving for the community to enjoy."

The work completed at the hall means it can now be used again by a large range of community groups throughout the week such as Jiggy Wrigglers, Stageworkz, a martial arts group, Yoga and Fitness and Csaba’s Style Dance classes.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, a local Shropshire Councillor for Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbotts, said:

"This is excellent news for our community who want to engage with the wide range of activities hosted from St James Hall. Following the difficulties the building and local venues have faced during the pandemic, we can now all look ahead and enjoy meeting and socialising as a community."

This pilot grant scheme, administered through Shropshire Council, is Government funded from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and aims to provide direct business grants and wider business support as part of the recovery from the pandemic. 

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.

child with blocks

Oswestry Early Help Integration Pilot Project Gets Underway

A new programme is being set up to test how Shropshire Council and its partners can work more closely together and respond quicker to the needs of families with children and young people in Shropshire. It is being piloted in Oswestry with a view to being rolled out in other areas of the county in the future. 

This project will identify opportunities to work with families at an earlier stage to improve their lives, and in turn reduce the need for more specialist services across the council and the NHS. 

It has been developed in recognition of the negative impacts of the pandemic on children here in Shropshire. The goal is to create a more positive and promising future for young people. 

The aim is to develop a new team, including family support workers, public health nursing, midwifery, social care and early years staff, to deliver a service from a local building, accessible to families over a 12-month period. VCS organisations delivering important help for families are also being integrated into this work.

Many VCS organisations working in Oswestry have already been contacted by the VCSA to get involved with this pilot and are working closely with project organisers to be part of this integrated pilot model.

Please email Melanie France  or Jo Robbins for more information about the project.

shropshire goes green logo

Spaces Still Available for Exhibitors at Shropshire Goes Green Event

More than 30 companies have signed up to take part in Shropshire Goes Green, Shropshire Council’s first sustainability festival being held in September 2022 – and the list is still growing.

For the many VCSE organisations working on climate change, sustainability and more - this is a great chance to be part of this Shropshire-wide event.

Building on the success of November 2021’s Shropshire Goes Electric event, which put the spotlight on sustainable transport and encouraged the use of electric vehicles, Shropshire Council is now focusing on all aspects of sustainability.

The event is being sponsored by Telford-based AceOn Group – a nationally respected energy storage and battery company passionate about helping the country meet Net Zero Carbon ambitions and targets.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets and the green economy, is delighted so many exhibitors have reserved a place at the event, to be held at Shrewsbury Town Football Club on Sunday 25 September 2022.

Ian said:-

“Shropshire Goes Green already has twice as many exhibitors as our transport-only event last year, and we are still taking bookings.

More than 1,300 people visited us last year, and this demonstrated there is a real hunger in people to find out more about what they can and should be doing to live more sustainably and help tackle the climate crisis.

Our sponsor AceOn will be demonstrating the latest in energy storage and technologies, and there is a varied list of exhibitors for our home zone, including electric vehicle charging point providers, agricultural experts and companies providing green energy solutions for households.

We are also delighted to be featuring transport solutions too; welcoming back some main dealers to showcase their ranges of electric vehicles, and supporting cycling as a sustainable way of getting around.

We’ve always said we wanted Shropshire Council to be at the cutting edge of the fight against climate change and this is yet another example of how the council is leading the way.”

Spaces are still available for organisations interested in being part of Shropshire Goes Green. For more information email Darren Griffin at Shropshire Council.

family on laptop

Shropshire Families Missing Out on Healthy Start

Healthy Start is an NHS Scheme that supports families on low income to buy fruit, vegetables and milk and access free vitamins.

In Shropshire, uptake of the NHS Healthy Start Voucher Scheme has fallen below 30%.

Many Shropshire families are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. It has never been more important for the most vulnerable families to access to financial support available to them.

Shropshire Council wants to encourage eligible families to apply for Healthy Start. Public health have been working with partners including Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance and the Trussell Trust to improve awareness and uptake of the NHS Healthy Start Scheme.

All professionals working with pregnant people and young families can play a key role by talking about Healthy Start and promoting the offer. The scheme is now digital, making the application process easier. 

Here are some useful resources for learning more about Healthy Start and how to communicate with your beneficiaries about the scheme:

Meet the leader session with Lezley Picton

Sign Up for the New 'Leader's Update' Newsletter

Interested in finding out what's going on at Shropshire Council right from the top? Shropshire Council Leader Lezley Picton has a new newsletter.

The newsletter is sent out quarterly, and includes details of important happenings at the Council as well as information on upcoming Meet the Leader and other local events.

Read the Summer 2022 issue now!

You can subscribe by going to the Shropshire Council website and updating your subscription preferences to include the Leader's Update newsletter. 

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

Attingham Estate Outdoor Hub Feedback Requested: The National Trust seeks to create increased opportunities for people to get active and enjoy the outdoors. There are early plans to open up an area of the Attingham Estate to provide more access for walking, cycling and other outdoor activities. It is this potential 'Outdoor Hub’ they are specifically interested in your views on. They  want to hear from as many people as possible, including those who may not visit Attingham Park at the moment, so please feel free to share this survey with your friends, colleagues and groups you may be connected to. Closing date TBD

Telford and Wrekin Vision 2032: The council has launched an online survey to gather feedback about Vision 2032, the forward-thinking ambitions of what the borough should look like in ten years’ time. The survey is split into three specific ambitions: creating a carbon-neutral economy, how communities can thrive and how residents can live healthy and independent lives. Participants can complete the whole survey, or just the sections that interest them most. Closing 29th 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

Shaping the Future of Healthwatch Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin: Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council would like you to help them to shape how Healthwatch in your area will look from 2023 onwards. There are lots of changes happening in relation to health and social care services. For example, the new 'integrated care system' for the whole of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin which aims to integrate care across different organisations and settings, joining up hospital and community-based services, physical and mental health, and health and social care. They  are interested in your views as to how Healthwatch best fits in to this new system. Closing 5th 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

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment for Shropshire: Shropshire residents and organisations are encouraged to provide feedback on experience of using pharmacy services, to help shape the future of pharmacy services in the county. Closing 30th 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 

Open consultation Down Syndrome Act 2022 guidance:  This call for evidence will inform the development of the Down Syndrome Act statutory guidance. The Department of Health and Social Care are seeking your views on what should be included within the guidance. They will consider those views when producing draft guidance which we intend to publish for full public consultation. Closing 8th November

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

in the cafe poster

bridgenorth job club

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

AGE UK poster

ICS logo

NHS Shropshire Telford and Wrekin ICB:

Outpatient Services Public Engagement Session


When:             Friday 23 September 2022, 9.30am – 12pm

Where:            Via MS Teams: a link will be shared closer to the time

Your local health and care organisations in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are working together to improve outpatient services and are looking for local people to get involved.

Outpatients are when someone has an appointment in a hospital or clinic but does not need to stay overnight.

They are looking for the public, patients and carers to join us for a virtual event to tell us what they should consider in the design of future outpatient care.

This is an exciting opportunity for you to give your feedback and share your views to help inform the design of future outpatient care in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Register on the Eventbrite site.

Good Food Summit poster

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

NHS STW logo

NHS Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Seeks Members for 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.

SIP logo

Volunteer Engagement Officer, Maternity Cover

Oswestry based with Qube and a Northern Shropshire remit

Salary £23,484 pa (full time salary) + employer pension contribution

Hours: 37 hours per week

This role works very closely with the other members of the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership Team (SIP).  This role, together with 3 others employed at Community Resource, delivers infrastructure support across Shropshire.

  • Job Purpose: To promote volunteering and encourage new volunteers to come forward for the benefit of Shropshire VCS organisations and communities. Provide advice, support, and guidance to local charitable groups/organisations, including support to volunteer managers on recruitment and retaining volunteers. Develop relations with community led based local groups to support future growth and sustainability
  • Key activities: To promote good practice in volunteer management in VCS organisations. To support and offer development advice to new and existing charitable groups/organisations through advice, guidance, and signposting. 

For a full job description and an application form, please email Allison Richardson.

citizens advice shropshire logo

Citizens' Advice Shropshire Hiring Projects Administrator


Do you like to work as part of a team but also like being independent and resourceful?

Are you passionate about working for an organisation that is committed to making a difference and making society fairer?

If so you can help!  Citizens' Advice Shropshire are looking to employ a:

Projects Administrator

Location: Shrewsbury

Hours per week: 27.5 hours over 5 days

Salary: £20,043 annual pro rata + Pension Contribution

Holidays: 28 days + Bank Holidays

Contract type: Permanent Position

In this role, you will be responsible to the Specialist Services Manager.

  • Working as part of a team, you will be the first point of access for clients into the service
  • Provide a triage service which directs clients towards the appropriate type and level of information and advice resources
  • Deliver administration of various projects

Further details and application form (no CVs) are available from their website:

Closing Date:  5pm Monday 22nd August 2022

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 30th August 2022 in their Shrewsbury Office

ludlow concert band logo

Volunteer Instrumentalists Needed for Ludlow Concert Band

Are you a woodwind or brass musical instrument player? Do you enjoy playing in a group?

Ludlow Concert Band are looking for amateur players to join them in their love of Concert Band music – they are particularly hoping to hear from brass players, trumpets/cornets, Bass, Euphonium, Trombone etc. Also keen to recruit a percussionist/dep drummer – but all instruments are welcome.

Their musical experience is as wide as their age range – they have retired professionals to players just starting out – the common thing is that they all enjoy playing in a band and entertaining an audience.

They rehearse every Thursday evening at St John’s Church Ludlow and probably give around 12 concerts and play-outs a year.

For a chat please contact them via their website.

Royal British Legion logo

Volunteers Needed: The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

The Royal British Legion is here to help members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families. And we’re not going anywhere.

Volunteering with them helps make an enormous difference to the Armed Forces community. However much time you can give, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved as a volunteer and make a difference.

Have a bit more time to spare or looking to expand your skills? The Royal British Legion are recruiting for a Poppy Appeal Organiser for Oswestry, High Ercall and Telford Central. To find out more and apply please click on the adverts below:

Oswestry Poppy Appeal Organiser

High Ercall Poppy Appeal Organiser

Telford Poppy Appeal Organiser

You can also visit the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal volunteers website to learn more.

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.

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

pound coins

VCSA Publishes Latest Funding Roundup

Download the latest funding roundup with deadlines through mid-November here.

You can also always access the latest roundup, as well as a list of funds with rolling deadlines on our website.

Funding for Financial and Digital Empowerment Projects

Funding is available to UK charitable organisations for projects to improve people's digital confidence, knowledge and skills to enable them to make more informed decisions about money and have access to financial services.

Applications will be accepted from charitable and social enterprise organisations with an annual income above £75,000.

Applicants must:

  • Be based in the UK and working within one of the nations or regions.
  • Be a UK registered charity or Community Interest Company.
  • Have at least three unconnected Trustees, Directors or Management Committee members.
  • Have a bank account in the organisation's name with at least two unconnected signatories.
  • Have been operating for at least 18 months and have at least one set of annual accounts.

Priority will be given to small and medium-sized organisations with an income of less than £2 million.

The programme will provide grants of up to a total of £150,000 per organisation.

Grants are for a period of three years. Successful applicants may request differing amounts in each of the three years, with a minimum of £25,000 in any one year.

The deadline for applications is 23 September 2022. Visit the Santander Foundation website for more information and to apply.

New Deadline Dates for Families Matter Community Grants

Warburtons the bakery business has announced the next set of deadlines for its Community Grants programme.

The scheme offers small grants of up to £400 to tot-for-profit organisations with charitable purposes that are operating in England, Scotland and Wales.

Employees of Warburtons are also able to apply on behalf of organisations if they are actively involved with them (eg, they are a volunteer, trustee or active supporter).

Projects should align with one of Warburtons’ key outcome areas:

  • Health - supporting families to care for each other and lead healthier lives:
    • Improving physical health.
    • Improving wellbeing.
  • Place - supporting families to flourish in communities that are safer, greener and more inclusive:
    • Making spaces safe and inclusive.
    • Connecting communities with the environment.
  • Skills - supporting families to gain useful skills for life and work:
    • Developing useful life skills.
    • Developing useful skills for employment.

Applications are assessed quarterly, with decisions expected within six weeks of the deadline.

The next deadline is 7 November 2022. Visit the Warburton's website for more information and to apply.

Grand Plan Fund Applications Now Open

 The Grand Plan Fund is to support people of colour in the UK to develop and deliver a wide range of creative and cultural projects. The funding is made available by the Grand Plan, which awards ten grants every two months to support projects for which £1,000 would make a huge difference, ranging from poetry, paintings, fashion, zines, music, food, flowers, and photographs to workshops or events. It can be used to cover costs such as equipment, courses, time, materials or travel – anything needed to create and deliver a new cultural project.

Deadline for submission: 30th September.

For full details of this opportunity and to find out how to apply please visit the Grand Plan website.

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: