VCSA Newsletter Week of 3rd October 2022

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Newsletter for the Week of 3rd October 2022


matchmade image of business with vcs org

Member Feature: “A Good Thing' Brings Business and Charities Together to Curb Waste

Hands Together Ludlow acquired a new printer and microwave for their new offices over the summer thanks to a local business, DCS Digital, and an app called A Good Thing.

Hands Together Ludlow has never been more needed: they provide aid to disadvantaged people in and around the town of Ludlow in Shropshire by coordinating volunteers to provide short-term assistance to local people, doing great work with local providers, and establishing new projects to meet longer-term needs.

An office move for Hands Together meant that some of the equipment it had on loan was no longer available. But providing people in the community with access to a printer was vital:

‘The printer we use at the moment is not ours – it belongs to the office where our administrator is based, so we can’t take it when we move. It is vital, though: our sessions support people without equipment and/or knowledge.’ Susie, Hands Together Ludlow

Meanwhile, the team at DCS Digital, an e-commerce specialist agency in Bridgnorth, was keen to get back to the office, as they were missing the collaboration and creativity that face-to-face working brought to the group. Scott Bowler, Technical Director at DCS Digital, explained:

‘As soon as the chance to return to the office presented itself, the team was keen to get back. When the pandemic started, I provided them with the kit they needed to be able to carry out their roles at home. When they came back, so did some of the equipment – including a printer we no longer needed.’

Having heard about A Good Thing through a colleague who volunteers with local charities, Scott quickly set up an account, listed the item and had a response within 12 hours!

Hands Together Ludlow collected the printer from DCS Digital’s office in central Bridgnorth, where Scott showed them around and asked if there was anything else they needed for their new space. A surplus microwave ended up being loaded into the car along with the printer, and they both made their way to their new home.

‘Preventing waste is a key part of our mission at DCS. It was so easy to use the A Good Thing app, and I was surprised at how quickly a match was found. The whole team is delighted to support a local charity that’s working closely with the people in our local community. I highly recommend A Good Thing to other businesses having a sort-out!’ Scott, DCS Digital

A Good Thing: Growing in Strength in Shropshire

Started in the Thames Valley in 2021, A Good Thing has quickly grown to cover more and more areas of the UK, helping to connect businesses and charities like DCS Digital and Hands Together Ludlow and increase the strength of the local circular economy through the promotion of reuse. While more and more businesses and charities in Shropshire are signing up to work together through the app, A Good Thing is now looking for a locally-based community champions who can help improve these connections.

What might A Good Thing Community Champion in Shropshire do? Harry, a 21-year-old student and Community Champion in Southeast London explains:

“I have now officially joined the A Good Thing team as a volunteer ‘local champion’! I’m working to raise awareness of A Good Thing within my local area by spreading the word among local businesses. I’ll be helping businesses to identify items they may be storing that are no longer needed, but which an amazing local charity would instantly snap up!”

If you are a local charity, voluntary group or non-profit organisation interested in finding out how A Good Thing might help you, check out their website and sign up for free.

If you are interested in the opportunity to volunteer as a Community Champion for A Good Thing in Shropshire, check out our volunteer listing below, or visit their website to learn more about volunteering with A Good Thing.

worrying about money leaflet

First Cost of Living Briefing Session Reaches 150 Frontline Staff

Last week, a partnership of VCS organisations and Shropshire Council ran the first of two cost of living briefing sessions.

Nearly 150 frontline staff and volunteers from across Shropshire joined the session, which focused on the resources available for signposting people who need support.

The sessions focused on the challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis, the groups who are at particular risk during the crisis, as well as local resources available and the specific support offers from Shropshire Council, Citizens Advice Shropshire, Marches Energy Agency, Age UK Telford and Wrekin and Community Resource.

Emily Fay, Shaping Places Programme Coordinator with the Shropshire Partnership, was one of the session organisers. Emily said that she received a lot of good feedback from people who participated in the trainings. Specifically, she heard lots of positive remarks on the partnership approach that the trainings were taking, involving so many organisations from the voluntary sector, as well as Shropshire Council.

“People were really impressed that we were taking such as collective approach. It was really reassuring to them that, given the scale of what we’re facing, we’re all working together.”

Over 250 people have signed up already for the next briefing session in October, but all are still welcome to join.

If you'd like to join for the next session on Tuesday 11th October, 2pm-4pm you can register here.

The session organisers are keen to cascade this information and resources to as many frontline staff and volunteers as possible throughout the county. If you can't make one of the training sessions, but would like to get this information out within your organisation or networks, you can access all of the training materials, including:

  • A recording of the session 
  • The slides from the session  
  • Healthy Start promotional materials 
  • The ‘Worrying About Money?’ leaflet
  • Links to Shropshire Council’s cost of living webpage and ’16 things that might help’ checklist

Even if you can't make the next session, please still register, and you will be sent a link to all of these materials. 

If you have any further questions, or don't register in time, but would like the materials listed above, please feel free to email enquires to: 

Volunteer Jenny Eastham with 80-year-old Mike Clarke

Help With Digital Confidence for Shropshire’s Older Residents

Free help to use the Internet and get to grips with technology is now available for Shropshire residents aged over 65. Five hundred older people will benefit from a Shropshire Council-funded service through a network of volunteer-led friendly IT clubs based in libraries and community settings.

Over 65s who want to feel more confident using their mobile phones, tablets and laptops are encouraged to sign up for support. Volunteers with good levels of IT literacy and able to give a few hours of support each week are asked to get in touch with their local library or community learning centre.

People who have benefitted from the initiative are delighted with their new-found confidence and keen to recommend others to take the plunge into learning.

Mike Clarke from Shrewsbury admits to being converted. He said:-

“I realise now that the Internet is a wonderful tool. I can see the benefits it brings, and I don’t think I would go back to life without it now.”

Free digital support is available for people aged 65+ and living in the Shropshire Council area. Free tablets and connectivity are available for people in greatest need.

For more information and to join the waiting list for support, contact your local library or learning centre. Personalised IT sessions take place weekly in most libraries and through community settings at:

Shrewsbury’s Roy Fletcher Centre – 01743 341300 and
Church Stretton’s Mayfair Community Centre – 01694 722077.

A learn-at-home service is available for people unable to access community provision through Age UK Shropshire Telford and Wrekin – 01743 233123.

Read the full article on the Shropshire Council newsroom.

Image: Volunteer Jenny Eastham with 80-year-old Mike Clarke

Wilf Talbot

LGBTQ+ Friendship Service 'Reach'

Featured on BBC Midlands Today

A new LGBTQ+ friendship service created this year in a partnership between Shrewsbury-based Safe Aging No Discrimination (SAND) and Age UK Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, received some welcome publicity recently when BBC Midlands Today decided to make a feature of it.

The service, called Reach, aims to connect specially-trained volunteers with older members of the LGBTQ+ community for telephone support and friendship. BBC reporter Laura May McMullen interviewed Wilf Talbot, the first client to make use of the service, along with his volunteer buddy Dan Bebbington.

Wilf was thrilled to be featured and spoke passionately about the challenges facing older LGBTQ+ people. He was enthusiastic in his praise for the new service and we hope that Wilf’s experience will encourage others to come forward.

Watch the BBC video here. 

Image: Wilf Talbot on BBC Midlands Today. Image courtesy of Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin.

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.


Shropshire Council Warm Hubs Questionnaire: Is your organisation planning to run a "warm hub" this winter, or are you thinking about doing so? Shropshire Council would like to help you get the word out about your hub. Closing date TBD

Access to Cost of Living Support Survey: Citizens Advice Shropshire and Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance put together this 10-min survey to understand access to cost of living support in the county. Individuals and organisations can take it. Closing date TBD

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 Carers Support Team Local Activities Survey: Shropshire Carers Support Team are gathering information on the very local activities and groups that are happening throughout all areas of Shropshire. To help them do this, they are asking communities across the county to let them know where they get their local information from that informs people of their local activities in their area. This could be local newsletters (for example from your local parish or town council), Facebook groups or other social platforms such as NextDoor. This information will be used to help those who access social care and their carers’, to connect with local activities in their area, which will help support them. Closing 31st October

Shropshire Healthy Weight Strategy Consultation: Shropshire Council and its partners are developing a Healthy Weight Strategy to help Shropshire residents achieve and maintain a healthy weight and this will be informed by the views of those who live and work in Shropshire. The consultation includes two short online surveys, one is aimed at members of the public and the other is intended for NHS, Council and staff from stakeholder organisations such as voluntary and community groups. Closing 31st 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

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

ask about asthma event mon 3rd oct sundorne

care in the square event 7th oct

cpa awareness day oct 14

energize classes

young people's academy oct 27

nov people's academy nhs

the king's fund logo

Integrated care in practice: realising the potential of integrated care systems

Virtual conference 7-10th November

National and local leaders will discuss the continued importance of starting from local places and neighbourhoods as the building blocks of ICSs. Much of the work of joining up services and improving population health needs to happen more locally and this conference will explore what this means in practice.  Topics include:

  • how local partners are tackling local and national priorities through improved collaboration  
  • the importance of involving communities and moving power to communities as part of efforts to promote integrated care 
  • integrating care for different groups, including older people and people with mental health conditions 
  • local approaches to prevention and promoting health and wellbeing for all citizens  
  • how the development of ICSs has enabled changes to service delivery and collaborative working  
  • new forms of partnership working across the NHS, local government and voluntary and community sector

For more information and to book your ticket, visit the King's Fund website.

HAF learning day invitation follow link

Shropshire Good Food Partnership logo

Shropshire Good Food Summit

15th October, All Day

University Centre Shrewsbury

The Shropshire Good Food Summit is a day of collaboration, planning and action to build the County's local Good Food Movement.

Please register through Eventbrite

Tickets are by donation, which is intended to cover the cost of lunch being provided by Community Kitchen and food rescue organisation OsNosh. Recommended donation is £10 per attendee, and for students and the un-waged on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

For additional information about the Shropshire Good Food Partnership, please see their website.

Download the full invitation and list of events for the day here. Contact:

SAND event future proofing

diabetes uk logo

Diabetes UK Local Events in October

Diabetes UK are holding two local diabetes engagement events called 'Shaping the future of diabetes care'.

All patients are invited to attend, as well as interested VCS health professionals.

Telford event   Tuesday 18 October 6-8pm at Mercure Hotel

Shrewsbury event  Thursday 20 October 6-8pm at Shrewsbury Town Football Club 

This is a great opportunity for you to find out what services are available for people with diabetes in Shropshire; to ask local health care professionals and commissioners questions on diabetes care, and to find out what the future holds.

cedar education logo

Cedar Education Offers Pet Death Cafe

Mayfair Community Centre, Church Stretton

27th October 10:30-12:30

Pet Death Cafe in Church Stretton with tea/coffee/cake at the Mayfair Centre, for people to come together and chat about their companion animal and pet losses to others who are compassionate about animals.

Young and old are often very affected by pet loss, but find it hard to discuss or are embarrassed that others may not take them seriously. The cafe is designed for everyone to share their thoughts and talk about their beloved pet with others in a positive and supportive environment. All are welcome.

£7 per person donation includes coffee, cake and conversation.

Download the flyer for more information and to help advertise this event.

Booking is required to insure appropriate space and food. To book, phone: 01694 722007

Shropshire wildlife trust logo

Green Social Prescribing Workshops

Energize Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and the Shropshire Wildlife Trust would like to invite you to take part in a workshop to better understand Green Social Prescribing.

There is a lot of evidence that they want to share with you on the benefits of using outdoor spaces to improve mental health, general wellbeing, increase physical activity and connect with nature.

As part of the workshop, they also want to give you the chance to take some time out and experience being outdoors as well as the opportunity to discuss any barriers or difficulties you can see in referring your clients to connect with outdoor spaces.

There are several dates and venues to choose from in October, so have a look and choose the one that is most convenient to you. All events will be from 9am to 12 noon.

To see a list of dates and events, and to register, visit the Energize website.

SSYN flyer

Interested in attending? Email Marinke Fontein, SSYN Infrastructure Support Officer, for details.

world health day event poster

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

energize logo

Energize STW Looking for New CEO

Circa £50-55k p.a. (dependent on suitability) with attractive benefits package

Full Time, Permanent contract. Based in Shrewsbury (hybrid working) with local travel

Energize needs someone who:

  • Shares their genuine passion, values and commitment to the role physical activity can play in helping people transform their lives.
  • Thrives in partnership working and really excels in bringing people with common purpose together to collaborate and help build a movement.
  • Can demonstrate a proven track record of effective organisational leadership including governance, strategy development, financial and risk management acumen, empowering people and operational planning.
  • Is personally engaging with a drive and credible style which influences, motivates and inspires others along with a desire to innovate and learn.

Full advert and job description are available on the Energize website.

To apply for the role please send an up-to-date CV and supporting statement (of no more than 2 pages) outlining your skills, suitability and experience to Ali Shipway at Shipway Consulting Limited.  For a more informal discussion about the role please contact the Chair of the Board, Ray Sheldon, in first instance by phone on 07767 370692.

Closing date for applications is 23rd October 2022. 


cab shropshire logo

Advice Services Manager (Partnerships)

Location: Shrewsbury

Hours per week: 37 hours

Salary:  Starting salary £31,913 rising to £33,782 depending on experience + Pension Contribution Holidays: 28 days + Bank Holidays

Contract type: Permanent

In this role, you will be responsible to the Chief Executive Officer and to work with the Senior Management Team to:

  • develop and ensure effective access to high quality advice services across the county and national funded programmes through a range of delivery methods.
  • To oversee the management of current identified contracts and lead on Health & Safety and Information Assurance.

Further details and application form (no CVs) are available from the CAB Shropshire website.

Closing Date:  5pm Monday 17th October 2022. Interviews held in Shrewsbury office on Thursday 27th October 2022

yss volunteer

YSS Seeking Volunteers

YSS is a charity operating across Shropshire and Telford for over 30 years now. Their aim has been to support people in the local community to overcome obstacles, feel safe and be part of their local community. Volunteers have always been an important part of their operation, as they recognise the difference volunteers can make in supporting people alongside local practitioners.

YSS Volunteers can do a variety of tasks depending on their preferences and availability. The only certainty is that by volunteering, they can make a real difference in a person’s life while gaining valuable experience and knowledge.

For people who enjoy learning more about the criminal justice system and supporting young people navigate through it, you could act as an Appropriate Adult for YSS. All you have to do is support the young person while in custody and make sure all procedures are followed.

On the other hand, for people who enjoy supporting individuals on a one to one basis, they have volunteer mentors opportunities. Their volunteer mentors work with service users in their local area who could come from any of the services.

If you are interested in finding out more of what they do, their services and their volunteering opportunities contact YSS, talk to them and get to know them! Know someone who might be interested? You can also download their volunteer flyer here.

The YSS Volunteer Coordinator for Shropshire and Telford is always happy to have a chat! Simply email Pam Fenkli or call at 07815 961188

shropshire good food partnership logo

Shropshire Good Food Partnership:

Diversity and Inclusion Champion

Type of Contract: Freelance Contract

Value: £8,000

Time: 60 days (based on £133/day) rate subject to negotiation based on experience

Duration: 8 months (Mid October – Mid June)

Place of Work: Home based with travel across the county

Reporting to: Partnership Lead

For more information and to apply visit their website.

AGE UK logo

Age UK Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin: Communications Officer



Salary £20,739 pro rata

18.5 hours per week

BASED IN SHREWSBURY (and some home working)

The charity’s vision is for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to be a place where older people flourish. They are expanding our busy Income Generation team to raise awareness of their services, activities and their local campaigning and fundraising. Communicating the positive impact they have on the lives of older people is critical to us achieving their vision.

This is an exciting new role and the successful candidate will need to have excellent communication skills using a variety of mediums, with at least two years’ experience of working in communications and an ability to communicate well with older people.

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:

Closing date: Tuesday 4 October 2022 Interviews: Wednesday 26 October 2022

shropshire mental health support logo

Mental Health Support Workers Needed

Shropshire Mental Health Support are looking for Mental Health Support Workers to work evenings and nights on a contracted basis in their multi-award winning service The Shropshire Sanctuary. Please get in touch if you would like to join an amazing team and work with some fantastic people.

Download advertisement here.

They are also recruiting for relief staff.

Hourly Rate between £10.20 and £11.40 with flexible working and the opportunity to be part of a supportive team.

SMHS is the leading mental health charity in Shropshire and they are growing at a fast pace, providing critical support to all members of the community.

If you are interested in joining their team, please email Heather or Katie or call 01743 368647.

SSYN logo

SSYN Seeks Part-Time Youth Worker

SSYN is looking for a part-time youth worker to cover youth activities in Cleobury Mortimer, Craven Arms and Ludlow, including outdoor street (detached sessions) and project based work.

Minimum 10 hours per week, more in school holiday periods.

The work would be helping to promote the work of SSYN and to assist with social media platforms. The work will mainly be face-to-face with some home working possibly involved.

Email Richard for more information and an application form.

Successful candidates would require a DBS check.

GFS market drayton girls and volunteers

Work or Volunteer With Girls Friendly Society

in Market Drayton

As part of Girls Friendly Society, the local GFS group comes from a long history of supporting girls and women across England and Wales. Today, that means creating a place to develop, strengthen and maintain girls’ positive traits to prepare them for life's challenges.

That’s where you come in.

GFS needs more women volunteers to support more girls. Volunteers are DBS checked and trained, making summer the perfect time to sign up, so you’re checked and ready to start working on resilience this Autumn!

Visit the GFS Market Drayton website or email to find out how you can get involved.

GFS Market Drayton is also looking for a part-time Group Coordinator. 5 hours per week; salary: £2,507 (£12,86 per hr). plus, holiday pay.

Download the full job advert here for more information and how to apply!

Joining GFS gives you the power to change the future for girls in your community, but you’ll also change your world too. As part of this local and global community, you will gain lifelong friendships, invaluable experiences and resources, which many volunteers use at work, in school and at home.

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

VCSA Publishes Latest Funding Roundup

Download the latest funding roundup with deadlines through the end of 2022 here.

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

pound coins

charity excellence framework logo

Charity Excellence Framework: List of Cost of Living Crisis Grant Funding

The Charity Excellence Network has released a list of UK Wide charitable trust and foundation crisis grant funding that is available for charities. 

While this is not a comprehensive list, nor does it include local funding offers, it offers a good overview for organisations looking for funding opportunities specific to the current crisis.

Their free Funding Finder is also a great resource for organisations to search for funding offers by keyword.

If your organisation is seeking help with finding funding related to the cost of living crisis, please also remember that there is a local team available for Shropshire VCS organisations to help with infrastructure support, including funding advice, governance, volunteering and training. Contact the SIP Team today.

Big Bikes Revival Grants Programme

Cycling UK is offering grants of up to £3,000 for voluntary, community, and not-for-profit organisations across England to deliver cycling events for beginners, people returning to cycling after a period of inactivity, and other people who do not cycle regularly or are experiencing challenges and perceived barriers to access.

The Big Bike Revival Grants programme, funded by the Department for Transport, will support projects that:

  • Inspire and encourage the substantial proportion of the population who do not cycle, to start cycling.
  • Increase the number of people that cycle by addressing the fact that a high proportion of adults in England own bikes but are not making use of them.
  • Increase the number of trips made by bike by addressing the fact that adults in Britain appear to be aware of cycling and its potential for shorter journeys but have safety concerns about using it as a form of travel.
  • Improve the perception of cycling safety by providing opportunities for people to access supported cycling activities, training on how to cycle safely and how to keep bikes in safe working order.

Grants can be used for costs associated with project delivery, such as cycling equipment, costs associated with repairing and maintaining bikes, promotional materials, PPE equipment, or refreshments and transport for volunteers and participants.

The deadline for applications is 10 October 2022. For more information and to apply, visit the Big Bikes Revival website.

Comic Relief Community Fund for England Announces Next Round

Non-profit groups across England will soon be able to apply for the second round of Comic Relief’s Community Fund, administered by Groundwork.

The fund’s aim is to create change at the community level, via projects which align with four strategic themes:

  • A Safe Place to Be: Supporting people to rebuild their lives because of homelessness or forced migration.
  • Children Survive and Thrive:  Supporting children up to the age of 11 to grow, play and learn
  • Gender Justice: Championing those who identify as women and girls, including initiatives tackling domestic violence, abuse or exploitation
  • Mental Health Matters: Supporting good mental health in communities and tackling stigma and discrimination.

Grants of up to a maximum of £10,000 are available with:

  • Capacity Building grants of up to £1,000 to be spent on activities to strengthen operations and governance. (All applications must include this grant).
  • Project Delivery grants of up to £9,000 to deliver projects that fit with the strategic themes.

Community-led voluntary organisations are eligible to apply, providing their annual income is less than £250,000.

The application window will open on 31 October 2022 and close on 30 November 2022. For more information and to apply, visit the Groundwork 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: