VCSA Newsletter Week of 29th August 2022

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Newsletter for the Week of 29th August 2022


people worried about money

Shropshire Charities Launch 'Access to Support' Survey on Cost of Living

Last week, Citizens Advice Shropshire and Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance launched the 'Access to support in Shropshire' survey.

Aleksandra Zydek, Research and Campaigns Officer with Citizens Advice Shropshire says:

"We all should have equal access to support. Many people miss out on the help they need which leaves them feeling hopeless and alone. We want to hear about the experiences of getting support in Shropshire." 

The two charities would like to ask all other VCS organisations in Shropshire to help them to promote the survey so it can reach as many people in Shropshire as possible. Individuals can also take the survey on behalf of their organisation.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is anonymous (unless you opt-in to share your details)

The more responses received, the better opportunity to take this evidence and make a change for people in Shropshire.

Organisations can also use these posters to help spread the word on social media, websites or in other ways with their service users.

At the end of October, they will be running focus groups with survey respondents who opted in to participate in the sessions. Information on access will then be shared with partners to improve access to support for the cost of living.

MEA logo

Marches Energy Agency Offers Free Home MOTs

Are your service users struggling with their energy bills? You can refer them for a free home energy MOT through Marches Energy Agency (MEA), a local charity specialising in energy.

MEA is urging residents to get their homes ready for winter fuel costs now, before the cold weather sets in and access to help may be harder to get.

Benefits of a Home Energy MOT:

  • They will identify ‘major faults’ and ‘advisories’ regarding energy usage and provide solutions ahead of the colder months.
  • They will support customers by fitting free low-cost energy measures to keep them cosy.
  • A friendly and professional energy expert will be on hand to help with energy queries, big or small.
  • Their expert will leave customers with a copy of their MOT and next steps.
  • It's completely free!

Apply for an energy MOT and an energy expert will arrange a good time to visit. MEA energy advisors are trained to ensure the experience is hassle-free and centred around the householder's needs. They are a charity who want to help residents to be better prepared for energy price cap rises and colder weather.

MEA also have an abundance of resources for your VCS organisation and its beneficiaries about how to save money on energy costs. Check out their websiteor check out the Shropshire-specific advice and information through their partnership with Shropshire Council, Keep Shropshire Warm.

Karen Schofield , Fae Dromgool,  Helen Morgan,  Martin Bennett

North Shropshire MP Expresses Support for Oswestry Charity Helping People with Disabilities

The Ethos Group, A Shropshire charity dedicated to helping people with life-changing physical disabilities and illnesses has received the support of North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan.

Based in Oswestry, the Ethos Group runs three properties for wheelchair users where they receive the support, advice and guidance they need to move on to independent lives.

The work of the charity, set up 28 years ago, has now been backed by North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan who met the charity’s team on 24th August. She visited the charity in Oswestry and heard about its work to provide a specialist home environment and bespoke care packages helping its clients get back to full lives in mainstream society.

Chief executive, Fae Dromgool, said that the Ethos team had been able to discuss the charity’s future during a particularly challenging period with pressures on NHS budgets, difficulties in recruiting carers and the cost of living crisis. She said:

“It is difficult for Ethos at the moment. We need health and social care commissioners in Shropshire to fully recognise the long term benefits of what we do in reducing delayed discharges and avoiding re-admissions to hospital. Without the support of the health care commissioners our future could be in doubt.”

After the visit, Helen Morgan MP said Ethos had clearly made a huge difference to many lives and deserved plaudits for doing so. She said:

“I was also impressed that Ethos is already providing a solution to the issue of patients being well enough to leave hospital yet still needing to sort out housing, care and financial issues which could keep them in a much-needed hospital bed. Freeing up bed space is crucial for speeding up the flow through hospitals which will in turn reduce waiting times and ambulance delays.

The Ethos model is one that many people are campaigning for and already exists. Any service that reduces pressure on hospitals is welcome and therefore health commissioners should pay attention to what is being achieved here in Oswestry."

Image: Left to right Ethos specialist housing support co-ordinator Karen Schofield , chief executive Fae Dromgool, North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan, Ethos chairman Martin Bennett

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.


Third Sector Sexual Harassment in Fundraising Survey: Third Sector has launched an anonymous online survey that invites people working in the voluntary and not-for-profit sector to share their views on and experiences of sexual harassment in fundraising. Closing date TBD

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

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

Youth Futures Foundation: YFF have commissioned a large-scale survey of young people from minority ethnic groups. Please share with young people you work with and ask them to complete the survey as soon as possible. The survey will be closing soon to allow time for analysis before interim findings are released on 14th 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

oswestry community open evening poster 1st sept

NCVO logo

Free Training for Small NCVO Members

NCVO is partnering with Sage Foundation to offer their five most popular courses free to NCVO small charity members with an income under £50,000 this September and October.

Follow the links for individual course information and booking. Don’t delay as these places book up fast:

Charity trustee induction and refresher

Good practice in volunteer management

Safeguarding essentials

Financial intelligence for trustees

Outcomes and Impact Measurement


0-25 summit flyer

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.

Shropshire charity network logo

Shropshire Charity Network Event

Online 29th September 9:30-10:30am

The speaker for this session will be Joanne Turley, Senior Consultant at ARK Consultancy, who will be presenting on Social Impact and how this can be measured effectively. The world of social enterprise and charity funding is filled with acronyms, and jargon. The terms social investment and social impact can be equally as confusing and difficult to understand. Joanne will be dispelling some myths and sharing her experience of how ARK have supported a wide range of organisations to develop bespoke social return on investment approaches to measure their social impact and outcomes.

This session will also include Dan Guy from S3 Tax. How would you feel about saving your charity some money? Dan is a VAT specialist who focuses on the third sector and will be sharing his tips on potential VAT reliefs for charities as well as potential cost saving opportunities.

Visit the Eventbrite site to register now!

Good Food Summit poster

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

Shropshire Council logo header

Shropshire Carers Partnership Board Seeks Expert by Experience Co-chair  

Shropshire Carers Partnership Board, is seeking expressions of interest for the role of Expert by Experience Co-Chair.

As co-chair (with Cllr Simon Jones) of the Shropshire Carers Partnership Board, you will support work to make a difference to unpaid and family carers in Shropshire, including helping to achieve the values and priorities set out in the Shropshire All Age Carer Strategy. The Expert by Experience Co-Chair will have named contacts from the Shropshire Carers Partnership Board to discuss any queries and who will provide guidance and support as required.

Please download the application form and role description for further information. Closing date is 30th September.

If you have queries or need further information or support to complete the form, please email Jayne Smallman-Brooks or phone: 01743 258916.

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. 

Download Job Description.

Please email Allison RichardsonTeam Leader for more information or if you would like to have an informal chat about the role.

NHS STW logo

NHS Seeking Community Representative For Anticipatory Care Working Group

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are looking for a Community Representative to sit on the Anticipatory Care Working Group.

Anticipatory Care is proactive healthcare and support, for people of all ages living with frailty, multiple long-term conditions and/or complex needs to help them stay independent and healthy for as long as possible at home, in the place they call home or in their local community. 

Your role will be to help make sure that the group considers the views and experiences of people using local services to influence the future of Anticipatory Care.

Currently the role is expected to take 5 hours per month which includes one virtual or in person meeting per fortnight. The role is expected to finish on 31st March 2023. The closing date for applications is 16th September 2022.

Find out more by visiting the NHS Shropshire Telford and Wrekin website.  You can also email Jayne Morris, Senior Engagement Officer, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin or telephone: 074848 80804.

age uk logo

AgeUK Shropshire: Benefits Officer

£22,856pa (£13,898 pro-rata)

22.5 hours/week

Based at home and/or in Shrewsbury (hybrid)

Providing a high quality benefits service to older people is a crucial element of Age UK. They are seeking an experienced person, who has an empathy with older people, to join their team. The work will include helping older people achieve their benefits entitlements, giving advice and assisting with appeals and reconsiderations.

You will need to have three years experience in a benefits advice role including applicable and current legislative welfare benefits knowledge and the ability to support older people in appeals and reconsiderations

Closing date: 5th September 2022; Interviews: 13th September 2022

Download Job Description

Download person specification

For further information and an application pack (please note they do not accept CVs) contact:

Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin,

4 Bellstone, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 1QQ

Tel: 01743 233123  email:

Sessional Youth Worker - Bishop's Castle Youth Project

3 hours/week at £10/hour - potential increase in hours as the project develops Helping to deliver project outcomes including a Youth Drop-in facility for 12-16 year olds, a Junior youth club for 8-11 year olds and to set up a Youth Forum group to link with Bishop's Town Council. Including:

  • Help in the recruitment of young people and the preparation and planning of sessions. 
  • To form and sustain relationships with young people individually and in groups.
  • To deliver innovative approaches to youth work that enable and encourage young people‘s participation at all levels.

Full job description Application form to be sent to   Closing date: 9th September 2022

Sight Loss Shropshire Manager

Sight Loss Shropshire have an exciting opportunity for a dynamic manager to deliver high-quality business support to this long-established sight loss charity, now in its centenary year, to take the charity forwards in its development.

Location: Hybrid working can be agreed, subject to at least 15 hours per week worked at the office in Shrewsbury

Hours: Part-time, 30 hours per week (flexible working)

Salary: £25,000 – £28,750 pro rata (actual salary for 30 hours per week £20,000 – £23,000)

Contract: Permanent

Benefits: 28 days annual leave (including bank holiday) and pension

Closing Date: 11th September 2022; Interviews: 22nd September 2022

Download full job description and person specification. For full information and to apply, visit the Roots HR website.

Business Support Officer - Youth Focus West Midlands

Youth Focus West Midlands is small, registered charity.  It provides support to youth services based in the 14 local authority areas that make up the West Midlands region.   It offers support and guidance, information dissemination and collection, networking opportunities and training.   Due to a period of growth the organisation is now seeking a Business Support Officer (see job description and person spec). The post will be for 3 years in the 1st instance, but it is anticipated this will be extended. This role is self-employed at £11/hour, 10hrs/week, mostly home based with some travel to Birmingham / West Midlands.

  • To provide a range of comprehensive administrative/business support services for YFWM
  • To deliver an effective, efficient, and professional front line service.
  • To work with the CEO and the Board to share and promote good practice

Download full job description   To apply please send a CV and letter of application to   Closing date: 16th September 2022

SSYF logo

SSYF Seeking Trustees

South Shropshire Youth Forum (SSYF) have quite a diverse group of trustees: Some old hands, some new trustees, some older people, some younger people, some retired, some working, some that used SSYF services when they were young and so on.

To accommodate everyone the trustees meet via Zoom in the evening and have an away day face to face once a year. There's still space for a few more trustees. Interested? Contact Rich Morley

There are various trustee roles - at the moment SSYF are particularly looking for someone willing to take on the Treasurer role. You don't necessarily have to have experience, training could be provided. Here's the role description. If you're not interested in being a Treasurer, do contact SSYF about the other roles!

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.

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

KFC Foundation Launches Autumn Round of Community Grants Programme

Grants of up to £2,000 are available for charities, community interest companies and clubs or associations with an annual turnover of less than £300,000 to support projects that help young people create firm foundations by addressing their needs through early intervention, and empowering young people to fulfil their potential through the provision of safe social spaces, mentoring, work, and social skills development. 

The Community Grants Programme will support projects in communities where KFC restaurants are located that: 

  • Benefit young people aged 11-25 years.
  • Support those in a position of social disadvantage (ie, care leavers, those experiencing homelessness, young carers, young parents, or young people at risk of or with experience of the criminal justice system).
  • Provide spaces that allow young people to feel safe and secure, helping to unlock talent and build life skills, provide mentoring, and improve their chances of gaining meaningful employment.
  • Empower all young people to fulfil their potential and build a positive future.

There is a two-stage application process. Applicants must first submit a two-minute video about their organisation, along with an expression of interest form, before submitting a full application. 

The deadline to submit an expression of interest is 25 September 2022. Visit the KFC Foundation website for more information and to submit an expression of interest.

First Details of New Jeans for Genes Grant Programme Announced

After a full strategy review, the Jeans for Genes Fund will now be relaunching with a new approach to grant-making under the following objectives:

  • Organisations serving the genetic condition community become stronger, more resilient and sustainable improving their ability to meet need and provide appropriate support in the long term.
  • Every individual in the UK living with a genetic condition and their family is able to access the appropriate support at the time they need it so that they feel supported, valued and included.

The new programme will encompass two funding streams with distinct eligibility criteria, to be released in due course:

  • Project grants of up to £5,000.
  • Core grants of up to £3,000.

The fund will be open to UK registered charities and UK based patient groups.

Full application guidance will be published when it becomes available.

Applications will open on 1 September 2022 and close on 16 October 2022.

Sports Equipment Giveaway

Sport England have teamed up with the Birmingham 2022 organisers and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to give away more than 16,000 sports items used at the Commonwealth Games.

The items, which include bikes, martial arts mats, weights, T20 cricket equipment, basketballs, boxing gloves and weights, as well as general equipment, such as cones and bibs, are being made available to local sport and community groups across the West Midlands.

The community giveaway will support the shared goal to create a lasting community impact in the West Midlands, by supporting people to be active beyond the Games.

Not-for-profit community-based organisations, such as local voluntary groups, schools, sports clubs, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and social enterprises that deliver community-based projects, that seek to tackle inactivity and promote the physical and mental benefits of leading an active life, are encouraged to apply and have until 19th September to get their application in.

More information and a list of equipment, as well as an online application can be found on the Sport England website. Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin applications will be handled by Energize.

New Round of Funding for Energy Advice Initiatives

Western Power Distribution (WPD) is working in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to provide the next round of its Energy Affordability Fund.

To respond to the cost-of-living crisis and escalating energy prices, WPD is looking to support existing energy advice organisations to deliver advice and referrals on to other support organisations as required.

Grants of up to £20,000 are on offer, with applications for lower amounts welcomed.

The fund is open to non-profit organisations based in the WPD network area (Midlands, South West England and South & West Wales) as defined by WPD's postcode database. Applicants can use the postcode checker to find out whether they are in an eligible area.

Projects should involve at least one of the following core activities:

  • Providing remote or in-person in-depth home energy support and advice. This could include:
    • online or telephone advice
    • collaboration with food banks, mutual aid, or community groups (inc. community energy schemes)
    • home visits (including using video conferencing if needed)
    • working with volunteers to provide assistance
    • workshops, one-to-one training, attending community cafés and other events to promote services.
  • Extending existing referral networks to work with other support organisations, in particular where this extends the scope of existing activities, such as more in-depth benefits advice, to offer a more complete service. There is particular interest in partnerships or referrals which support communities who find it hard to access energy advice and support.
  • Extending the geographical reach of an existing advice service into an area where similar services do not currently exist.

Applicants must be free to attend a skill sharing workshop on Zoom on 4 November 2022.

The deadline to apply is 30 September 2022, with outcomes expected by 17 October 2022. Visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy 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: