VCSA Newsletter Week of 12th December 2022

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 12th December 2022



Shrewsbury Ark and NHS Partner To Offer Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic

In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, the NHS is prioritising homeless people by organising bespoke clinics to drive uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccine service recognises that to reach this vulnerable group they need to ramp up their efforts by working closely with shelters and charities in the area, to ensure that homeless people who may not be registered with a GP or have access to a computer or phone can still get protected against the virus.

The Shrewsbury Ark, the Shropshire based charity which provides ongoing support and day centre facilities for the homeless and vulnerable in the community, opened its doors to Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Covid-19 vaccination team recently to help give homeless and vulnerable people the opportunity to boost their immunity against Covid-19.

The vaccination clinic offered those attending the chance to receive either their first, second or booster vaccine. This was the latest in a number of visits to The Shrewsbury Ark and other venues across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin over the past few years since the pandemic began.

Michael Randall, a service user at The Shrewsbury Ark, was one of the many to come forward and get his vaccine at the clinic, remarked:

“I’ve had my jab to make sure I don’t catch Covid this winter. It was good that it was available, and I had the opportunity to get it. It made things a lot easier for me to access this service by them coming to The Ark.”

Emily Bell, Chair of the Shrewsbury Ark, said:

“Access to healthcare is a really big problem if you’re homeless, so to be able to have a safe environment here at The Ark where we can ensure everyone can keep up to date with their vaccinations is brilliant.

“It was lovely to see so many people come forward today and top up their protection as we lead into what can be a very challenging winter period for them.”

Read the full story and learn more on the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin NHS website.

Image from STW NHS: Michael Randall receives vaccine from Linda Hart

stack of pound coins

VCSA Cost of Living Impacts Survey:

Wave 3 Deadline Extended!

The deadline to respond to Wave 3 of the VCSA Cost of Living Impacts Survey has now been extended to Friday, 16th December.

Thanks very much to those organisations who have taken part in the first two waves of the VCSA Cost of Living Impacts Survey.

Wave 3 is open now! You can still take part, whether or not you participated in Waves 1 or 2. 

Wave 3 of the survey focuses on increases in service demands for VCS organisations. Each wave of this survey takes an average of just 3 minutes to complete, so please take a moment to do so, and then pass it on and get other organisations to take it as well!

Please take just a moment to respond to these few questions and help inform the sector decision-makers in the council and the sector about the impacts of the crisis on organisations like yours.

WAVE 3 NOW OPEN! (through 16th December)

community connector logo

Have You Signed Up to the Community Connectors Network Yet?

If not, why not do it today! This network provides a convenient way of staying up to date with what’s going on across Shropshire’s voluntary and community sector.

You can join the virtual network which will ensure you’re kept up updated via regular email bulletins (please email Louise to join). Additionally, you’re invited join live meetings (held both virtually and face to face) which are specific to the various locality areas and provide the opportunity to network with other partner organisations.

Please email your local Community Development Officer for more details and to join.

king's fund logo

New Podcast Episode Looks at Health Impacts of the Cost of Living Crisis 

If you have never checked out the King's Fund podcast series, there are a lot of great conversations happening in this space relevant to the voluntary and community sector.

The latest 33min episode tackles health inequalities head on, and is titled "The cost-of-living crisis: is the nation’s health paying the price?"

Anna Charles speaks to Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation, Helen Barnard, Associate Director at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Marie Gabriel CBE, Chair of North East London Integrated Care System and Cormac Russell, Founding Director of Nurture Development, to find out how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting the nation’s health and wellbeing and what the health and care system can do in response. 

Stream the episode now.


New "Work Express" Bus Launches in Telford & Wrekin This Month

Funded by Telford & Wrekin Council, the new 100 bus route, nick-named the ‘Express’ will launch on Monday, December 19 and is set to transform the way people get to work and the way pupils get to Telford Priory School.

People are being invited to catch a free ride and experience the route and timings on the launch day between 11.30am and 1.30pm from all stops. Not only that, a recruitment agency, Telford Industrial and TCAT will also be on board taking details of people looking for work and training opportunities.

The new service will cover continental shift patterns and enable people to get to work on time in a cost effective and reliable way. The first morning departure from Madeley bus station is at 4:50am seven days a week and runs throughout the day until 11pm.

It will also provide direct transport for pupils to Telford Priory School according to its timetable with an additional service for after school sessions.

Employers have also been invited to meet people on the bus so people are encouraged to bring a CV along with them if they can.

The free bus will depart from Sutton Hill on Thursday, December 19 at 11.50am and will continue to collect passengers for free along its normal route until the end of the second loop, ending at Sutton Hill at 13:40pm. The second free bus will depart at 12:50 and return at 15:40pm.  

Read the full story and find out more on the Telford & Wrekin council website.

If you are an employer who would like to join the recruitment drive, then please email

image of a person taking a survey

Current VCSE Engagement Opportunities



Youth Support Services Survey: The newly established Shropshire Council Youth Support team provide provide support through working on the streets, interacting with young people and running arranged sessions in schools. They want to hear from young people across the county about what they need from this new team. If you are an organisation working with young people, please share this widely. Closing 16th December

Telford & Wrekin Draft Autism Strategy: Telford and Wrekin Council and Autism West Midlands are running a consultation to get people’s feedback on a borough-wide five-year autism strategy, focusing on the services and support available for autistic people in the borough. Closing 2nd January

Shropshire Council Revised Tenancy Strategy and Policy: Shropshire Council is inviting feedback on its revised tenancy strategy and revised tenancy policy. Both can be found on the Council's consultations page. Closing date 6th Jan 2023

Shrewsbury Design Codes: Participate in a consultation about the design of Shrewsbury as part of the Big Town Plan. The organisers are particularly encouraging those from often underheard groups and communities such as those with disabilities, those from diverse ethnic and religious communities and mothers of young children, to take part. Closing 14th January

Shropshire Political Boundaries Review: The Local Government Boundary Commission wants to hear what residents and organisations think about their local area as part of its electoral divisions review. The Commission is reviewing Shropshire to make sure councillors represent about the same number of electors, and that division arrangements help the council work effectively. It wants to be sure that its proposals reflect community ties and identities. The Commission is interested in views on which communities should be part of the same division. What facilities do people share, such as parks, leisure centres or schools and shopping areas? What issues do neighbouring communities face that they have in common, such as high numbers of visitors or heavy traffic? Have there been new housing or commercial developments that have changed the focus of communities? And are there roads, rivers, railways or other features that people believe form strong boundaries between neighbourhoods? Closing 30th January

Veterans' Survey (Office for National Statistics)Over the next 12 weeks, veterans across the country are able to complete the survey to shape the future of veteran services. Funded and commissioned by the Office of Veterans’ Affairs, this is the first ever exercise to collect feedback from the entire veterans community across the UK. Please share the link with your service beneficiaries and encourage them to complete the survey. Closing date 2nd February

Outpatient Services Survey: As part of their Outpatient Transformation Programme, the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin NHS want to hear from people about their experiences with outpatient services. Closing date TBD

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

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


Mentoring Courses Available

WEA are enrolling for a short Introduction to Mentoring course (non-accredited and online) starting on 5th January and finishing on the 9th January (2 sessions a week Monday 10am – 12.30pm and Thursday 10am -12.30pm). From this course, students can look to enrolling onto the NCFE Award in Mentoring L1 course.

Students can also directly enrol onto the NCFE Award in Mentoring Skills L1 course.  Students will need to register for an Initial Assessment to check eligibility and suitability for the accredited course, which we are planning to run from the 16th January 2023 (Monday and Thursday 10am – 12.30pm each day for 24 sessions until the 27th April 2023).

The L1 Award in Mentoring is designed to provide a more in-depth understanding of the role of a mentor; developing the skills and competences needed to become an effective mentor, and its application in different settings and circumstances. The accredited course is particularly beneficial to those with either no or limited experience of mentoring.

Download a flyer with more details on both the non-accredited and accredited course.

Shropshire infrastructure partnership logo

Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership Upcoming Trainings for 2023

Don't forget to check out the upcoming slate of trainings being offered in the new year by the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership Team. 

These trainings are offered free or at a heavily reduced rate of £15pp and cover a wide variety of topics vital to voluntary and community groups, including:

  • Volunteer management and peer support
  • Writing good policies and procedures in the voluntary sector
  • Start-up funding for charities and social enterprises
  • Cyber security
  • and more!

Visit their Eventbrite page, and be sure to check back, as new trainings are added all the time,

coffee cup

In The Café  Get-togethers with a theme for LGBT+ people aged 50-100+

December 14th 2022 - Seasonal Social

2 - 4pm at Palmer's Café, Shrewsbury

The get-together will include a report from the November trip when some of the regulars visited the Shire Living development in Greenfields, Shrewsbury.

This will be followed by some social time and discussion about In the Café, plus an update on progress with a photography project.

Open to all LGBT+ people aged 50 -100 or more. 2 - 4pm at Palmer's Cafe, Claremont St., Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury Transport available, please email James for further details or phone 01743 590023.

SAND logo

LGBT+ Awareness Course

SAND's public training

Tuesday 7th February 2023 - Face-to-Face, Central Shrewsbury

£40 per person

Get tickets here via Eventbrite

Targeting staff and volunteers:

  • working in health and social care, voluntary sector, housing and other associated services.
  • working in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

This half-day LGBT+ awareness raising course has a specific focus on issues impacting on LGBT+ people accessing services as we age. It provides a safe space for people to explore and discuss issues relating to creating safe, inclusive and welcoming environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, in particular focusing on older and old LGBT people. 

Telford Together Event Flyer

strettfest logo

Invitation to Arts, Youth, Aports and Community Groups to Participate in Strettfest Carnival 2023

The aim of the Strettons Arts Forum is to promote collaboration between the many and various cultural and activity groups of all ages in the town for the benefit of both residents and visitors. In July this year, the Forum ran a pilot community parade through the town. SSYN helped find two young people to evaluate the event.

The parade was very well received, prompting calls for it to be repeated and expanded.   Please have a look at the video of the event. The Forum is planning an expanded Carnival Parade on Saturday May 27th 2023. This will be an opportunity for community groups of all kinds and ages to come together in a noisy and colourful community parade around the town, bringing together art, music, singing and dance. The Parade will start from Rectory Field and return there for a picnic lunch and further performance opportunities into the afternoon.

If your Group is interested in coming to a briefing / preparatory session in January, where ideas can be pooled, please email Noel Beattie before December 14th.

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

Job vacancies notice for Shropshire mental health support

citizens advice logo

Advice Session Supervisor or a Trainee Advice Session Supervisor

Citizens Advice values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.  They encourage and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.

Are you passionate about making a difference, making society fairer and working for an organisation that values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination?  

Citizens Advice Shropshire is recruiting an experienced Advice Session Supervisor or a Trainee Advice Session Supervisor. They encourage and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and will consider trainee positions.

Salary: £24,188 to £28,340 depending on experience

Contract: Full time 37 hours per week, permanent.

Location: The successful applicant would be based in Shrewsbury office and must be able to work flexibly across the county when required.

Start: As soon as possible

Post may be subject to a DBS check.

Further details and application form (no CVs) can be found on the Citizens Advice Shropshire website.

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

Severn Trent logo

Severn Trent Community Fund Core Costs Funding: Closing Soon!

Severn Trent have some exciting news to share with you - through a new separate funding stream, their Community Fund is now offering support with core costs.  

Due to the popularity of this fund, Severn Trent will be closing applications at midnight on Wednesday, 14th December. 

They have committed to allocating £150,000 from the Community Fund to cover core costs for groups finding it hard to maintain their activities, to help them to continue delivering their vital services to our communities. 

Charities and organisations can apply to be considered for a restricted grant of between £5,000 - £20,000 (depending on the size of the organisation) for 1 year to help them and our communities get through this very challenging time. 

This support will be available to not-for-profit organisations that: 

  • Support communities within the Severn Trent region; 
  • Have been operating since 2017 or before
  • Have an annual income of £250,000 or less (averaged over the past 5 years); 
  • Deliver a service that links to one of our three key elements of community wellbeing (people, place and environment)  

Severn Trent Community Fund: Core Funding will be open on a rolling basis until the budget has been awarded and they anticipate demand for our support to be high, so whilst they'd love to, unfortunately they won’t be able to fund every application received.   

Full eligibility criteria and details on how to apply can be found on their website.

This core funding stream will run alongside their main Community Fund, so they will still be accepting applications for new projects through that separate channel.  

Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity to Reopen in January 2023

Funded by Money Saving Expert, the MSE Charity gives grants to not-for-profit organisations that deliver activities which make a lasting impact on how people think, behave and manage their money.

The next round, which has been brought forward due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, will focus on Raising the Next Generation. Under this theme, projects should support the younger generation (under 25) to help them learn financial life skills and to grow during the difficult financial climate.

Work may include:

  • School-based activities.
  • Migrants.
  • Lone parents.
  • Victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Family outreach services.

Small to medium-sized non-profit organisations with a constitution can apply, including UK registered charities, community interest companies, social enterprises and credit unions, providing they have an annual turnover of less than £750,000 and reserves of less than six months’ running costs.

Grants of up to £7,500 are available. The MSE Charity will consider full project cost recovery, but costs must only relate to the project itself and not the organisation's core funding.

This round is due to open at 9am on 3 January 2023. Visit the MSE Charity website for more information and to apply.

New Fund Launching for Racial Justice and Mental Health Projects

Synergi is an England-wide programme of work which focuses on the intersection of racial justice and mental health. As part of the programme, there will be a small grants fund delivered by National Survivor User Network (NSUN).

One-year grants of £2,000 to £3,000 will be on offer to organisations which are:

  • Led by and for Black people and people of colour.
  • Led by and for people who have shared experiences or identities with those they are creating spaces for.
  • Benefitting people or communities who live with mental ill-health, trauma, and distress.

The fund is intended to reach communities experiencing the most extreme forms of discrimination or injustice including the hostile environment, anti-transgender legislation and Prevent.

Types of work funding can cover include:

  • Collective care. This includes providing food and essentials parcels, writing to incarcerated community members, creating opportunities for people to come together and support each other using shared experiences as in peer support groups, mutual aid, creative practices like dance or singing, or covering the costs of accessing therapy or other healing practices.
  • Campaigning and change-making. This could include protest, work to create change on a local or national level, sharing information and skills such as community organising training, or creating resources for members of your community to better advocate for themselves.

There will be an information webinar on 14 December 2022, 3pm to 4pm.

The fund will open on 4 January 2023 and close on 29 January 2023. To learn more and to apply, visit the NSUN website.

New Round of Community Grants from NHS Blood and Transplant

Previously known as the Community Investment Scheme, the newly named Community Grants Programme has now launched for 2023 and is accepting applications across England and Wales.

The funding is intended for community and faith/belief organisations to positively engage Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic communities. In this latest round, the scheme is broadening its scope to cover a range of health inequalities:

  • Blood donation (projects engaging Black African and Caribbean communities only).
  • Deceased organ donation.
  • Living kidney donation.
  • Stem cell donation.
  • Combined blood and deceased organ donation, funded using a combination of the above. The blood element of the project must focus on Black African and Caribbean communities.

Registered charities, limited companies, charitable incorporated organisations, community interest companies, unincorporated groups and registered societies may apply. Organisations applying for the larger grants (over £10,000) must have previous experience of working with either a governmental department (ministerial or non-ministerial) or a public body.

Grants can cover costs directly related to projects which drive awareness of deceased organ donation, living kidney donation, blood donation and stem cell donation.

The deadline to apply is 8 January 2023 at midnight. To find out more and to apply, visit the NHS Blood and Transplant website

Lloyd’s Bank Foundation England and Wales Launches Unrestricted Grants

Following the release of its 2022-26 strategy, ‘Building a Better Future’ the Foundation has announced the launch of a Specialist Funding Programme to continue supporting small and grassroots organisations across England and Wales.

Charities and Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) with a turnover of £25,000 to £500,000 can apply for an unrestricted grant of up to £75,000 over three years, provided they are carrying out work which fits in with one of the fund’s priorities:

  • Addiction and dependency on alcohol, drugs and/or gambling
  • Asylum seekers and refugees
  • Domestic and sexual abuse
  • Homeless and vulnerably housed
  • Offending, prison or community service
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Trafficking and modern slavery
  • Care leavers

The funding is for organisations supporting people (17 years and older) who are experiencing complex social issues resulting in a significant impact on their lives. As 'specialist organisations', applicants need to demonstrate the following:

  • In-depth services, rather than short-term or one-off support.
  • Holistic and person-centred services.
  • Personal plans in the form of written or electronic records of every person being supported, noting progress against activities.

Grants can be used to support any costs which further the charity's purpose, including building reserves and meeting core costs.

There will be an information webinar on 12 January 2023 to discuss the fund. Register here for this webinar.

The deadline to apply is 3 March 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Lloyds Bank Foundation 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: