VCSA Newsletter Week of 24th October 2022

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 24th October 2022


new doors

New Doors at Brownlow Community Centre, Whitchurch


Community Asset Grant Scheme: Whitchurch Community Centre Opens Its New Doors Following Grant Funding

The Brownlow Community Centre Trust, Whitchurch has benefitted from £14,300 worth of grant funding which supports local community organisations with pandemic recovery.

The community asset fund was open to organisations who could evidence the economic, social and environmental benefits each project would deliver, and was launched in December 2021.

The centre, in Claypit Street Whitchurch, is a former Victorian school built in 1896 on land given by Lord Brownlow. When the school closed in 1982, the building was donated to the community by Lord Brownlow as a community centre and aimed to enhance the community’s quality of life.

The funding has been invested into improving the accessibility of the centre, and has seen old, heavy wooden doors be replaced with automatic ones at both entrances. The new doors provide a wider entrance for those visiting, and remove barriers for those users with mobility issues, or who require wheelchair or pushchair access.

In addition to this, the centre has installed a new disabled parking area for those visiting. The new entrances to the centre have already been well-received by visitors, in particularly those community groups who have additional accessibility needs.

Grants totalling more than £140,000 were awarded to community groups across Shropshire to boost their recovery from the pandemic as part of the council’s government-funded ARG programme.

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 ways to target the ARG funds. 

NCVO logo

NCVO Publishes 2022 Civil Society Almanac


Last week, the NCVO publishes its annual UK Civil Society Almanac 2022, providing the latest available data on the voluntary sector's finances and people.

The Almanac provides a wealth of insights, trends analysis, and answers to questions like:

  • How many organisations are there and who are they helping?  
  • How much are charities raising and spending?  
  • How much do they contribute to the economy?  
  • How many people work in the sector, and what do they do?  
  • How many people volunteer and how is participation changing?

The Almanac is a particularly useful resource for anyone involved in planning or strategy work, helping identify opportunities and challenges likely to impact your organisation in the future. It's well worth sharing with your trustee board, for instance.

Read Five Key Insights About the State of the Sector

Read the Executive Summary and Full Report 

cost of living poster

VCS and Shropshire Council:

Working Together to Support Residents Through the Cost of Living Crisis 

Shropshire’s public and voluntary sector have joined forces to support residents through the cost of living crisis.

Over the last four months the council has been developing a plan alongside its partners to ensure residents know how to get support with energy, food, money, debt and more.

The Social Taskforce has brought together a huge range of organisations including Shropshire Council, Citizen’s Advice Shropshire, Age UK, Marches Energy Agency, Community Resource, Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance and other key partners.

Jackie Jeffrey, Citizen’s Advice Shropshire’s chief executive, said:-

“We know that many people in Shropshire are worrying about the winter months, the spiralling cost of food and energy and it can feel overwhelming.

As organisations that support people in Shropshire, we have been worried too so we have come together, in partnership through the Social Taskforce to ensure we have things in place to support you.

The taskforce represents all sectors, public and voluntary, and we now have a number of initiatives set up to help Shropshire residents. You are not alone, together we are much stronger, and we are here to help.”

Together the partners have set up a dedicated cost of living advice website which signposts residents to all the help on offer in Shropshire, run vital training sessions for frontline staff so they are equipped to support them, carried out extensive research to identify the most vulnerable residents, and lobbied MPs and the Government.

Read the full story on Shropshire Council's newsroom.

Meanwhile, Telford & Wrekin Council have also announced their Cost of Living support package. You can read all about this on the Telford & Wrekin Council website.

carers register

Shropshire Carers Support Team Develop New 'Carers Register'

Shropshire Carers Support Team recognised they needed a mechanism for sharing important information with unpaid and / or family carers quickly and effectively.  To do this, they have developed a Carers Register which holds carers' contact details and the main condition of the person being cared for so that they can share information relevant to each carer – tailored to suit!

The new Carers Register is also a great way for VCS organisations to circulate information/activities that are relevant for carers. 

The Carers Support Team just need 2 working days’ notice to be able to action the request to be included in the register. Please also bear in mind when promoting activities, you’ll need to allow time for carers to be able to source alternative support for their cared for person to allow them to attend.

If you feel that your activities would benefit from being distributed via their register, please email Jayne Smallman-Brooks in the Carers Support Team.

bills past due

VCSA Survey: Impacts of the Cost of Living Crisis on Your Organisation

***** Is your organisation starting to see impacts from the cost of living crisis on your staff or your volunteers? *****

We want to hear from you!

The first wave in a series of four short surveys to voluntary and community sector organisations across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is now open. These surveys will take place over the next few months, between October 2022 and February 2023.

Take Wave 1 Now! (open through 26th October)

Each survey contains just a few questions, so it takes under 5 minutes to complete, but taken together, the four waves of the survey should give us a good picture of how the cost of living crisis is impacting the sector in our county.

This information will be used to help inform decision-makers in the council and the sector about the impacts of the crisis on organisations like yours.

image of a person taking a survey

Current VCSE Engagement Opportunities


BEIS Net Zero Review: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has commissioned a review to ensure that delivering the net zero target does not place undue burdens on businesses or consumers. They have issued a call for evidence, giving the general public, businesses and other organisations a chance to share their views on the whole economy transition, maximising net zero growth opportunities, the challenges to address in this review and the future of net zero. Closing 27th October

BEIS Energy Costs Survey: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) opened a consultation with organisations including charities on how the government should support them with energy bills from next March.The BEIS survey includes a range of questions on organisations’ energy costs and usage, other costs and their expectations for the months ahead. Closing 30th October (extended from original closing on 24th Oct).

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

job fair flyer oct 27

shropshire charity network logo

Shropshire Charity Network Meeting

Shropshire Charity Network are pleased to announce their final event for 2022 will be an in-person networking event which will be held at the Peach Tree on Monday 28th November 2022.

Please join them between 5pm and 7pm for some informal networking, festive activities and a much welcomed chance to meet in person once again.

They will be using the upstairs meeting area, which unfortunately is not accessible for anyone not able to use stairs. They will endeavour to ensure all in-person meetings are fully accessible in future.

Numbers are limited so please do book your place using the Eventbrite link.

DWP logo

DWP Information Sessions:

Health Adjustment Passports

You are invited to join the DWP for an information session to find

This is the latest support tool to help people with disabilities
move smoothly into the world of work. All are welcome.

They will be holding 3 x 40 minute online sessions via Teams
on the following dates. Click on a date to join the meeting.

Social enterprise network meeting flyer

in the cafe

SSYN flyer

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

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.

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

RBL logo poppy

Poppy Appeal Volunteers Needed for  Shrewsbury Town Football Match

Could you help the Royal British Legion raise funds at the Shrewsbury Town FC Remembrance match on the 12th of November?

They are looking for football fans to don a Poppy Appeal t-shirt and take donations for poppies before the match. All participants get a free ticket to the match afterwards!

Children are welcome to collect with a parent or guardian. Please email Jenny Komatis to register.


Volunteer with the NSPCC

Be a ‘Speak out. Stay safe.’ volunteer

NSPCC ‘Speak out. Stay safe.’ volunteers are returning to primary schools.  They are looking for new volunteers to join them and help us protect a generation of children from abuse and neglect. As a ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ volunteer, you will visit primary schools to deliver ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ workshops that teach children about the different typed of abuse and how they can speak out to stay safe.

Their ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ workshops are age-appropriate and memorable and need energetic and enthusiastic people to deliver them.  You’ll work alongside other ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ volunteers to make sure at the end of each session, children feel empowered and know who to speak out to if they are worried.

If you are interested in volunteering as a ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ volunteer and want to find out more about the role, the next step is to attend a Volunteer Information Meeting which is a fantastic opportunity to:

  • Meet with staff as well as volunteers to ask any questions you may have
  • Learn more about the application process and your volunteer journey

Their meetings are designed to help you decide whether you want to apply -there’s no obligation that you will apply if you attend one.  At the meeting you’ll also receive information on other ways you can become a supporter of the NSPCC.

Download the role profile

If you have any questions or experience any issues, please email the Volunteer Recruitment Team.


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.

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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Grant and Funding News

Neighbourhood Planning Grant Funding – Locality

DLUHC have extended the 4-year support programme (2018-22) for a fifth year into 2022/23.

The programme will continue to offer grants and Technical Support packages. If you're working on a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order, you can apply for grant funding of up to £10,000. Further grant funding up to an additional £8000 is available to groups meeting certain criteria.

For more information and to apply, visit the Locality website. 

Climate Action Fund – The National Lottery Community Fund

This funding aims to help communities across the UK to address climate change.

They’re looking for projects that focus on the link between nature and climate. They want to fund projects that use nature to encourage more community-led climate action. The Fund expect these projects to bring other important social and economic benefits such as the creation of strong, resilient and healthy communities or the development of ‘green’ skills and jobs.

They are interested in projects that can do at least one of the following:

  • show how creating a deeper connection with nature will lead to changing people’s behaviours and greater care for the environment.
  • show how by bringing nature back into the places we live and work, we can help communities to reduce or adapt to the impacts of climate change.

They’re looking to fund between 12 and 15 projects with up to £1.5 million over 2 to 5 years, with most projects between £300,000 and £500,000. Development grants of £50,000 to £150,000 over 12 to 18 months are also available.

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, visit: Climate Action Fund | The National Lottery Community Fund (

Yapp Charitable Trust

Grants are available of up to £3,000 per year for up to three years to support the running costs of small registered charities in England and Wales working with elderly people, children and young people and people who have disabilities or mental health challenges, or working in the areas of social welfare or education and learning.

The Yapp Charitable Trust makes grants to small charities in England and Wales to help sustain their existing work. Work must fit into the Trust's priority areas:

  • Elderly people.
  • Children and young people aged five to 25.
  • People with physical impairments, learning difficulties or mental health challenges.
  • Social welfare - people trying to overcome life-limiting problems of a social, rather than medical, origin such as addiction, relationship difficulties, abuse, offending.
  • Education and learning, with a particular interest in people who are educationally disadvantaged, whether adults or children.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis. For more information and to apply, please visit the Yapp Charitable Trust website.

Shropshire Community Resource: Grow and Thrive Grant Fund

VCS groups and organisations provide a wide range of community support to people in communities and they want to ensure that these groups can continue to develop, grow and remain active for as long as they are needed. The aim of the Grow and Thrive Grant is to give a modest amount of funding to help this process. They also want to encourage groups to look at new ways of working so they they can be more efficient, more effective, engage more with local people and offer local people more opportunities to volunteer.

Funding available:

Grants between £500 and £5,000 maximum


For funded schemes in Shropshire that predominantly serve Shropshire residents and are:

  • Working with individuals or groups of people to reduce loneliness, isolation and prevent the deterioration of health and wellbeing OR
  • Working with groups or children/adults at risk in their community who have additional support needs AND
  • Are, or will be, offering opportunities that will boost public participation, help stimulate the local economy and provide social value including opportunities to volunteer.

How to apply:

Application form - Apply here
Further information - Download here


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. The grants scheme will be closed once all available funds have been allocated.

Shropshire Community Resource: Spark Up Grant Fund

The Covid 19 pandemic has shown that when one or two individuals recognise there is a need for a service or additional support in their community, a solution can be found but to make that happen some initial seed funding is required. Funded by Shropshire Council through the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF), Community Resource is making available small grants to help start up new initiatives, or new community support groups which can/ or will be delivering practical help and support to help people in their community. 

Funding available:

Grants between £50 and £300 maximum


For funded schemes in Shropshire that predominantly serve Shropshire residents and from applicants that demonstrate:

  • They are/will be working with individuals or groups of people who require some additional support or have an additional needs
  • They are, or will be, providing practical help or support to people in their community e.g adult/children at risk, the elderly, children and young people, young families

How to apply:

Application form - Apply here
Further information - Download here


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. The grants scheme will be closed once all available funds have been allocated.

Community Matters Fund - Fuel Poverty Plus

Localgiving has teamed up with National Grid Electricity Distribution to tackle fuel poverty this winter and they are distributing grants of up to £10,000 to non-profits and local authorities who are working on this theme. There is £2.5million worth of grants available until 31st of October and the application process is very simple.


-Must be in a National Grid Electricity Distribution area - check here

-Must have a bank account in organisation's name with 2 signatories

-Must have a governing document/constitution

-Can apply for up to £10,000 or 50% of most recent annual income.

For further information and to apply, click here  where you will also find the guidance document, application questions and Frequently Asked Questions.

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: