VCSA Newsletter Week of 10th October 2022

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Newsletter for the Week of 10th October 2022


Allan Wilson, SOS trustee in front of display

Member Feature: 'Save Our Shropshire' Wants Everyone to Know

"What's Good for the Planet Could be Good for Your Pocket"

In September, the Shropshire Star reported that the ‘fuel gap’ – or the amount of extra income a household would need in order to rise out of fuel poverty - is set to rise to £1,050 in rural areas during October.

This and other horrifying trends around the rising cost of energy worries the volunteers at Save Our Shropshire, a local charity committed to information and attitude change around climate action.

“Net Zero by Three Zero” is the charity’s motto, and Save Our Shropshire tries to reach this goal through education. The charity currently delivers a range of trainings for householders, small and medium-sized organisations, and town and parish councils. The trainings are aimed at educating people about the climate emergency, and also include a "call to action" for each learner to take practical steps in Shropshire to reduce carbon emissions in their community. Save Our Shropshire  have partnered with the Carbon Literacy Project to deliver accredited trainings that award learners with a “Carbon Literacy certificate”.

Save Our Shropshire is trying to get out the message to the community that tackling the climate emergency should go hand in hand with tackling the crisis around the rises in the cost of living.

Richard Watkins, Save Our Shropshire Vice-Chair, says that households need help now. But that shouldn’t stop Shropshire thinking about the ways that the cost of energy is deeply connected to the dependence on fossil fuels. Richard says:

“The response of government to the cost of living crisis, is use less energy and get the government to pay out immediate cash. It is right that governments help.  But there should be an eye on the long-term, not just short-termism.”

The reason for the high energy prices is “obvious” says Allan Wilson, Save Our Shropshire's Chair. Humans have created a lifestyle since 1750 that is totally dependent on gas and oil.

But what can we do? Save Our Shropshire argues that we need to start thinking longer-term and ask for long-term action.

But the difficulty often lies in the cost of investing in long-term changes. One of the things that Save Our Shropshire wants to do is to raise awareness that there is financial help out there for long-term investment in energy savings – and that these investments can also mean long-term financial savings too.

Some ideas from Save Our Shropshire include:

  • Making homes energy efficient: Visiting Marches Energy agency’s Future Ready  Homes Project for ideas, including a free home energy survey.
  • There is also information available on making homes more energy efficient on the Energy Saving Trust website. For example, the site notes that households could save around £600 per year in energy bills by installing proper insulation.
  • Eating a more plant-based diet will reduce the amount of harmful gases going into the atmosphere, but can also save money. A report produced by Kantar in January 2021 showed that a vegan diet costs 40 % less per person - £1.06 rather than £ 1.77. That is a saving of £260 per year per person. Or around £600 per household. Good for the pocket and the planet!
  • Reduce home thermostat by 10C if you currently keep it over 20. USWITCH (the agency that helps people change providers) estimates that reducing average heating temperatures by 10C could reduce the annual bill by as much as 10% per year. (Note that the report does not recommend this for the elderly or those otherwise more vulnerable to cold temperatures). This will also reduce the demand for oil and gas and be good for the planet.

Check out the mission and resources that Save Our Shropshire have on offer by visiting their website.

Save Our Shropshire is looking for trainers! Check out our volunteer opportunities section below to learn more.

armed forces covenant logo

Shropshire GP Surgeries Sign Up for

Veteran-Friendly Status

The Armed Forces Covenant team at Shropshire Council says more than half of the county’s GP practices have signed up to becoming veteran-friendly after a year-long campaign.

In total 27 out of 42 practices in the NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care Board area have now registered, and 24 are from Shropshire.

Through the programme the practices benefit from support to identify their veterans. A clinical lead is also appointed as part of the programme, who undertakes training and other activities specifically related to veteran healthcare.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for the Armed Forces Covenant, said:-

“Shropshire has a large Armed Forces community, including serving members (Regulars and Reserves), veterans and their families, and it is essential that their health needs, which can be specific, are met. This sends a powerful message to our veterans that their needs are recognised and understood.

“I am proud of the work our Armed Forces Covenant team are carrying out, and that they have raised awareness to the extent that more than half of Shropshire’s GPs are now officially veteran-friendly, and I know it will be appreciated by the veterans community.”

Dr Deborah Shepherd, deputy chief medical officer of NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin said:-

“It is vitally important that we ensure healthcare services are available for all. The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge we have made to honour and respect anyone who has served or is serving in the Armed Forces, as well as their families.

“I am delighted that so many of our GP practices have signed the Covenant and have committed to ensuring additional support with education, family wellbeing, starting a new career, financial assistance and access to healthcare.”

Further information about the scheme can be found here.

Check out the list of GP surgeries that have signed up!


New Report: What Charities Need to Know About Inflation

A new briefing from Pro Bono Economics and the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) outlines some important (if difficult) analysis for VCSE sector organisations on how rising inflation will impact their organisations.

Highlights from the report include: 

"Charity costs are set to rise as a result of inflation. In particular:

  • The rising cost of energy and other goods has already affected beneficiaries, volunteers and staff but is set to get worse. Charities’ energy costs are also set to be impacted. 
  • Charities will have to increase staff costs. But were the sector’s expenditure on staffing costs to keep up with inflation, the sector would need to find an additional £3.8bn by 2023 and £6.1bn by 2024, based on current expectations.

Inflation will affect charities’ income. Not only will the public have less available to give but:

  • The value of the average donation and direct debits will decline. The average donation has been stuck at £20 since 2017. Using the Bank of England’s most recent inflation forecasts, we project that a £20 direct debit set up in 2017 will be worth a mere £15.30 next year and £14.90 in 2024.
  • The value of multi-year contracts and grant funding will decline. A three-year £100,000 grant or contract awarded in 2022 will be worth £90,660 next year and £88,300 in 2024, based on current Bank of England forecasts. It is essential that inflation is taken into account when bids and applications are being made.

Additionally, inflation will eat into charities’ reserves. For example, prior to the pandemic, charities with income between £500,000 and £1m had on average 4.21 months of expenditure held in reserves as cash. By 2023, those reserves would cover just 3.48 months of activity if expenditure by those charities rises in line with inflation. This means that a typical charity with an income of £1m in 2021 would need to increase its reserves by £73,430 by 2023 to make up that gap."

Download the full report now!

TNLCF logo

National Lottery Community Fund and Other Grant-Givers Announce Grant Increases In Response to Inflation

Inflation is at a 40-year high, and in response, several charity funders have announced increases to their grants programmes to respond to what Pro Bono Economics has deemed a "crisis" for the sector.

The National Lottery Community Fund is the latest in a string of funders to announce an increase to some of its programmes.

"A spokesperson for the NLCF told Third Sector: 'We are committed to listening and supporting communities with what is important to them. Cost of living is a growing concern and we are responding flexibly while also monitoring the situation closely to ensure we are in step with communities’ needs.'"

Other funders to announce increases in recent months include the Corra Foundation, the Bank of Scotland, and the William Grant Foundation.

Read the full story on Third Sector's website

cost of living vcs survey

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 Healthwatch - Getting a GP referral for tests or support: Healthwatch Shropshire wants to hear from people about their experiences with GP referrals. Please share the link below with your service beneficiaries who might be interested. Closing date TBD

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

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

cpa awareness day oct 14

english courses

safeguarding adults week

Safeguarding Adults Week 21 – 27 November 2022, will focus on the theme ‘Responding to Contemporary Safeguarding Challenges’  

Safeguarding Adults Week is a time for organisations to come together to raise awareness of important safeguarding issues.

Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership, Shropshire Safeguarding Partnership and Shropshire Partners in Care are delivering a week of events to support organisations and individuals to explore different elements of adult safeguarding including exploitation, predatory marriage, the abuse of older people, self-neglect and creating Safer organisational cultures.

The events are available to the workforce and interested individuals in Shropshire, Telford, and Wrekin.

Download the full timetable of events here.

mr motivator

The Mr Motivator Club GP Referral Programme is working with GPs and University College London to make physical activity fun!

The Mr Motivator Club has live Zoom classes with standing and
sitting options three times a week, and a library of pre-recorded classes.
Healthcare professionals in the UK can refer patients with a chronic condition who are not meeting the World Health Organisations physical activity recommendations. 

Patients pay a discounted fee of £1.99 per month (usually £6.99 per month) and have full access to the site including nutrition advice. University College London are performing a study looking at the outcomes after the referral.

To find out more about the programme, download this flyer.

young people's academy oct 27

nov people's academy nhs

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.

in the cafe

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

SSYN flyer

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

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

planet earth

Save Our Shropshire Seeking Community Engagement Volunteer and Multiple Trustees

Save Our Shropshire (SOS) is a dynamic charity delivering training to Parish and Town councils to help them tackle the climate emergency.

The training – approved by the Carbon Literacy Project – is directed at clerks and councillors of Parish and Town councillors to support their work in putting together a practical plan of how to both make their own property “carbon-neutral” and get involved in engaging their communities in changing their lifestyles.

SOS focus on the fact that the Shropshire community (and everywhere) will only tackle climate change by changing behaviour in its daily life. People need to change the way that they travel, eat, buy, and power their homes. Behaviour change is very difficult with humans!

SOS would like people to help them follow through with their training for councillors and clerks in order to support them in their work of developing their plans and their community engagement.

They want to hear from people who have the following skills:

  • Experience in developing relationships with “clients/partners” 
  • Skills in managing projects and making them happen 
  • Mentoring and consulting with “clients” to become a dependable resource
  • An excellent understanding of how local government works. 
  • Use of systems like “Customer Relationship Management”

They want enthusiasm to achieve net zero by 2030, and a commitment to bringing about the required behaviour change.

Visit Save Our Shropshire website for details on the open community engagement and trustee opportunities.

Remap logo

Shropshire Remap Looking for Volunteers: Especially in Shrewsbury and Telford

Remap is a charity which produces aids and equipment for people with disabilities/difficulties where there are no suitable alternatives. This service is provided free of charge and is delivered entirely by volunteers.

Remap volunteers are experienced engineers, crafts people or competent DIYers with access to a wide variety of skills and expertise. Remap Shropshire is one of 70+ local groups spread across the UK.

Each piece of equipment is tailor-made to suit the specific needs of one individual and is for their personal use only. 

Remap usually work with health professionals like occupational therapists to make sure that the equipment they provide meets the needs of each person.  It is best for those they are helping to involve their occupational therapist, or other health professional, from an early stage, but they do take self-referrals for simpler items.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, or would like more information, please email John or phone 07807 113285.

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

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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lloyds bank foundation logo


Grant and Funding News

Lloyd’s Bank Foundation Announces New Strategy 2022-26

As part of its ongoing mission to address widespread systemic inequality, Lloyd’s Bank Foundation has released the details of its new strategy, ‘Building a Better Future’, formed around the following core objectives:

  • To support small and local charities making a real difference to people’s lives.
  • To support collaboration between charities and their partners to collaborate so they can strengthen communities and shape policies, structure and society.
  • To influence practice and policy locally, regionally and nationally to tackle the causes and consequences of complex issues and the barriers people face.
  • To work effectively and efficiently to maximise impact, resources, opportunity and power.

In terms of grant-making, the Foundation will continue its commitment to offering unrestricted funding where it will be most impactful, namely to charities which are:

  • Providing specialist support to people facing complex issues (50% of funding).
  • Led by, and working for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (25% of funding).
  • Led by, and working for, D/deaf and disabled people (25% of funding).

Three-year grants totalling up to £75,000 will be available, with organisations able to use this as they see best.

There will be a focus on transparency and accessibility in the application process, with plans to explore alternative ways charities can apply which may better suit their needs.

The full strategy can now be viewed on the Lloyd's Bank Foundation England and Wales website.

Grant programmes are expected to open later on in the year.

Young Foundation Offering Grants for Research and Innovation

Funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Community Knowledge Fund seeks to foster stronger community connections to research and knowledge sharing, with a focus on the following two themes:

  • Community safety and resilience.
  • Environment and sustainability.

There is a a total funding pot of £950,000 to support up to 34 grants over two phases:

  • In Phase 1, development grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded.
  • In Phase 2, a small number of larger grants from £50,000 up to £100,000 will be awarded.

At the moment, applications are only being accepted to Phase 1, which supports grantees to create the conditions for research and innovation and to develop and begin early testing of their ideas.

Applications will be accepted from constituted not-for-profit groups with a defined legal status and local authorities. Partnership applications are also invited.

The deadline to apply is 7 November 2022. For more information and to apply, visit the Young Foundation website.

Second Round of Youth Music Catalyser Fund Opens for Applications

The second round of a strategic funding programme to support organisations delivering music projects for young people in England is accepting applications.

Funding is available to UK based organisations who are running music projects in England for children and young people (aged 25 or under) to sustain work, scale-up delivery, or create change in sector practice.

Youth Music's Catalyser Fund is supporting organisations by providing larger grants to support the scaling-up of music projects for young people over a longer-term period of two to four years. The second round of the fund is inviting applications from constituted UK based organisations with a track record supporting children and young people facing barriers to make, learn or earn in music.

Grants of between £30,001 and £300,000 are available, and the funding can support a mix of delivery costs and core costs. Projects should last between 24 and 48 months.

The Catalyser Fund has a two-stage application process. Stage 1 is to submit a short Expression of Interest (EOI) form. If the EOI is successful, the applicant will be invited to Stage 2 where they are required to submit a more detailed application form.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest for Round Two is 4 November 2022 (5pm). For more information visit the Youth Music Catalyser Fund 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: