VCSA Newsletter Week of 6th February 2023

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 6th February 2023


cup of coffee

VCSA Mental Health Networking Event Brings Together Organisations For First Time Since 2020

In the wake of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, Isolation, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns are on the rise across the UK. The demand for Shropshire's many vibrant voluntary and community sector organisations working on mental health is high, and organisations are feeling the pressure.

On Friday, 20th January, approximately 30 individuals from VCS organisations working on mental health across Shropshire met in person at Shirehall in Shrewsbury for tea, coffee, and some much-needed connection.

Large organisations such as Age UK Shrosphire and Citizens Advice Shropshire, as well as smaller and more local community groups attended, and all agreed that there is an increased need for capacity and support for VCS organisations working on mental health in the sector at the moment. 

Colin Foot, a new Mental Health VCS Officer based at Qube, shared information about his new role and asked for feedback and insight into the training needs of mental health organisations for their staff and volunteers.  

Dee Ploszay, representative from the Mental Health Forum to the VCSA Board, and the event's organiser, said:

"The last few years have been difficult for many VCS groups and organisations, often working in isolation. The mental health needs of their staff, volunteers and clients has been at the forefront but having this opportunity to share concerns and share possible solutions to the support they want to offer has been long overdue.  We had a tremendous response. Meeting and talking face to face is invaluable. Networking events will be offered regularly from now" 

Most of the organisations attending the event are members of the VCSA Mental Health Forum, one of the Forums of Interest that the VCSA supports to help develop networks and partnership work across various topics in the sector. The Mental Health Forum continued as an online community throughout the pandemic, but this is the first time that many of these organisations have come together in person since 2020. 

As a result of this event, the organisations attending agreed that regular in-person meetings of the Forum should resume, and they are currently providing feedback on how frequently these meetings should take place.

If your organisation is interested in learning more about the VCSA Mental Health Forum, or in joining in a future meeting of the group, please contact for more information.

healthwatch shropshire logo

Local Patient Experience of Emergency Care Heard by House of Lords

Healthwatch Shropshire evidence has been used in a House of Lords report calling on the government to declare a national emergency to address emergency care crisis.

A case study shared by Healthwatch Shropshire with Healthwatch England about a woman with osteoporosis who was left on a kitchen floor for 21 hours after her daughter called for an ambulance was quoted in the report, Emergency healthcare: a national emergency. The report calls for the government to refer the NHS emergency care crisis to its COBRA committee – which has previously dealt with exceptional risks to the UK such as the pandemic or terrorist attacks.

Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin have published a report into patient experiences of calling for an emergency ambulance. They heard from 160 people in Shropshire and 8 people in Telford & Wrekin. People told them about:

  • The quality of staff, including excellent interactions with staff
  • Long waiting times and the serious consequences of these including long periods of discomfort and indignity, avoidable harm and sometimes death.
  • Having to make alternative travel arrangements to get to the Emergency Department (A&E)

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, said,

“We knew before we put out our call for patient experience that demand for urgent care was high and having an impact on the whole health and care system but we wanted to ensure the patient voice was at the centre of the efforts to improve the situation. We knew the statistics but wanted to show the real impact on patients and their families that the pressures were causing.”

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Director of Public Health and Liz Noakes, Telford & Wrekin Director of Public Health said,

“Understanding the lived experience of our residents is so important, it helps us to see beyond the data and hear the real impact these delays are having on people’s experiences of care and outcomes.  This independent report from Healthwatch highlighting these experiences needs to be at the heart of the planning and improving services and outcomes for our residents.”

The full local Healthwatch report can be found on the Healthwatch Shropshire website. 

padlocked door

Wave of Charity Closures as Cost of Living Crisis Bites

A bereavement charity has launched a second emergency fundraising appeal, as a wave of voluntary organisations face closure because of the cost-of-living crisis.

The government and the public are being urged to dig even deeper to help charities to survive the current storm, which is pushing many to the brink.

Simba, a Scottish charity that supports people affected by baby loss, is one of those facing closure.

It launched its second urgent appeal this month after its first attempt, in December, raised only a quarter of its £220,000 target.

Since its inception in 2005, the charity has supported 50,000 people by providing baby “memory boxes” to hospitals across the UK.

But Sara Fitzsimmons, chief executive and co-founder of Simba, said a surge in requests for boxes from hospitals and a sharp increase in the costs of producing and distributing them had left the charity “running desperately low on funds”.

She said:

“Our costs have increased faster than ever before, while at the same time we’ve seen a huge growth in requests for our precious memory boxes.

“As a result, we are devastated to say that we could face closing our operation unless we receive vital funds by the end of March 2023.”

The organisation has already introduced cost-cutting measures, including reducing staff salaries and working hours.

This comes weeks after a Cornwall-based mental health charity had to close after failing to raise the £200,000 in running costs it required.

Another Scottish charity, Love Learning, which operates Edinburgh’s Georgie Farm, announced last week that it would close its doors next month having "tried everything”.

The charity said that energy bills at the farm, which offers employment to about 30 people, had been a particular issue, with costs rising from £17,000 for 18 months to £27,000 for just eight months.

In Oswestry, a health charity announced it will close in April, after nearly 30 years of service.

Ethos Group Oswestry, which was founded in 1994 to support people with life-changing spinal injuries, said it would close due to “rapidly dwindling finances” and a country-wide shortage of care workers.

Kids and Adults Together, in Glasgow, is also facing closure after its application for £480,000 in funding to cover costs for the next three years was rejected by the city council.

The charity, which provides childcare and community services, is set to close in April, with the potential loss of eight jobs.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations said it would continue to call on the government to provide adequate targeted support for charities that were struggling to keep up with costs.

Josie Hinton, practical support manager at NCVO, said: 

“This is a challenging time for charities, just as it is for communities across the country.

“The cost-of-living crisis is having a real impact on the voluntary sector – and unfortunately this will mean that some organisations will be forced to reduce their services or even close for good.

"NCVO has comprehensive guidance to organisations who may be considering closing – whether that’s because they are insolvent, have achieved their purpose or there’s a lack of members.”

This article was excerpted from ThirdSector, where the full text is available

gas control

New Cost of Living Insights Available from National Charities

Two new reports on the impacts of the cost of living crisis have recently emerged, as national organisations whose research on poverty is well-respected publish findings from winter month data.

Going Under and Without, a briefing from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, offers a detailed analysis of how government support for vulnerable households has not been enough to stop rises in debt and household scarcity.

The NEA UK Fuel Poverty Monitor for 2021/22 also notes a number of important insights from its data, most notably that the lowest-income households are still the hardest hit and the hardest to target by the cost of living crisis.

"Households using prepayment meters have faced the biggest challenges accessing support and are at acute risk" the report states.

This latest research comes at the same time as a concerning report from The Times into prepayment meters and their use in vulnerable households. 

NCVO logo

NCVO Launches The Road Ahead 2023 Series

Each January, the NCVO launches an analysis of what they see as the key trends that will impact charities in the coming year.

This year, they focus on five topics:

Exploring key insights from their extensive data, NCVO offers questions for charities to consider, as well as steps they can take to navigate challenges and overcome barriers related to each of these themes throughout the year. Links to resources are also provided, including events and webinars focusing on some of the areas in depth.

Check out The Road Ahead 2023 now.

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Rural Proofing for Health Toolkit Now Available

Local charity Community Resource is encouraging VCS organisations in Shropshire to check out this new Rural Proofing for Health Toolkit, newly available through Rural England.

The toolkit has been developed over a 2-year period and extensively researched by a consortium of key players including Nuffield Trust and the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health.

What is Rural Proofing?

The term ‘rural proofing’ is used to define a systematic approach which identifies any notable rural differentials likely to impact on service effectiveness and outcomes. It assists service providers by enabling thinking about appropriate solutions, mitigations and opportunities. The objective is to ensure equitable outcomes for service users who live in rural areas.

Community Resource are working with the charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) to help launch a ‘Rural proofing for health toolkit’ pilot in the Shropshire ICS area. 

If anyone has any queries about the toolkit or the Shropshire pilot, please feel free to contact Sue Chalk, Head of Service at Community Resource.

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VCSA 2023 Membership Refresh

This year, the VCSA is changing the way it handles membership.

  • Do you want to be contacted with opportunities and news that is specific to your organisation's area of work?
  • Do you want to easily find data on the sector in Shropshire that is up to date and helpful for funding or reporting?
  • Have you ever wondered who else is a VCSA member?
  • Do you wish that the annual State of the Sector survey took a little bit less time to complete?

Then these are all great reasons to renew your membership today! 

The new membership form is now available online, and can be completed by visiting the VCSA website. Each organisation only needs to fill out the form once, and additional contact names can be added whenever you want. Please note, that if you are currently a member and want to continue your VCSA membership, you will need to complete this new form.

Updating your information will also be easy. Each year, you will receive a reminder to check your membership information is up to date, and you will only need to correct any information that has changed. There will be an "update your membership" link on the website very soon, and you can do it at your leisure. It's that simple!

Not a member yet? Then join us! Any voluntary and community sector group or organisation working for the benefit of Shropshire can join free of charge. Your group or organisation can be as active as you choose.

The Assembly allows VCS groups and organisations to:

  • Meet and exchange information, ideas and good practice
  • Discuss common issues and support each other in delivering services
  • Develop shared plans
  • Work more closely with public sector bodies such as Shropshire Council and the Integrated Care System

VCSA members can benefit in many ways, at any level of involvement

  • Hear of networking and funding opportunities
  • Have the opportunity to have a say through local consultations
  • Voice issues and concerns
  • Access helpful reports, analysis and information on the sector
  • Network with other VCS groups and organisations
  • Express an interest in getting involved in local projects or bids
  • Join in at the annual event and attend other VCSA events and workshops

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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Have Your Say: Current VCSE Engagement Opportunities

Cost of Living Support Interviews - Participants Needed: Citizens Advice Shropshire and the Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance have teamed up to conduct research on the support individuals can access around the cost of living in the county. They are now looking for in-depth interview participants. The interviews can be over the phone and will last approximately 45-60 minutes (they can make an exception and meet in the Citizens Advice Shrewsbury office in person if the phone is not an option). As a thank you for their time and input participants will be gifted a GiftPay voucher after the interviews are completed. If you can refer participants, please contact

Prevention in Health and Social Care Inquiry: The Health and Social Care Committee of the UK Parliament is launching a major new inquiry into prevention. For the first stage of this inquiry, they want to hear from researchers, organisations and individuals interested in or working in preventative healthcare. This is your opportunity to get involved and suggest what specific issues they should be exploring. The topics that the inquiry could seek to cover include alcohol use and smoking. Closing 8th February 

  • More information and the method to submit proposals are available through this online portal

New Home-to-School Transport Policy: Shropshire Council is proposing a revision to its Extremely Hazardous Routes Policy which is how unsafe walking routes are assessed in relation to home-to-school transport. This revision won't affect the number of pupils entitled to free home-to-school transport under this policy, nor does it have any financial impact for the council. Closing 10th February

Sustainable Affordable Warmth Strategy: Shropshire Council has produced a draft Sustainable Affordable Warmth Strategy.  This sets out the importance of tackling fuel poverty, improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions from domestic dwellings. The Homes and Communities team is inviting your feedback. Closing 5th March

Cleobury Mortimer Neighbourhood Development Plan: Shropshire Council is seeking feedback on the draft Cleobury Mortimer Neighbourhood Development plan which has been submitted by the Cleobury Mortimer town council. Closing 10th March

Shrewsbury Health and Wellbeing Hub Targeted Engagement: NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin wants to hear resident's views on a proposal to create a state-of-the-art hub to benefit the health and wellbeing of patients and the community in the South of Shrewsbury. This phase of community engagement is targeted to those who they have heard less from in previous engagement activity.  They are seeking the support of community organisations in Shropshire to help them connect with key groups within your networks and to share details of how seldom heard people can get involved in this important piece of work.  Especially: Young people (16-24); Elderly people and in particular those 80+; Males; People identifying as LGBT+; People from diverse ethnic minority groups; People with disabilities; Expectant and new parents. Closing 31st March

Rural Cost of Living Household Survey: The Rural Services Network has launched this survey in partnership with the Citizens Advice Rural Issues Group. Independent research commissioned by the RSN in summer last year shows rural areas are suffering more acutely from the cost of living crisis compared to urban areas. To lend more weight to the argument for more funding for rural areas the RSN is calling on as many rural residents as possible to complete a Rural Cost of Living Household Survey. The purpose of the survey is to understand more about rural household budgets at, what is, a very difficult time for many. Closing 31st March

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Events and Training Opportunities

Stay Telford logo

Wide Range of Free Specialist Domestic Abuse Training Available for Professionals and Organisations Across STW

Beginning this month, Stay Telford are offering a wide range of free specialist advice and training sessions for VCS organisations and social care professionals across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.

Courses include:

  • VAWG: Understanding Violence Against Women & Girls
  • Understanding and Responding to Rape & Sexual Violence
  • Coercive Control
  • Honour Based Abuse and Force Marriage
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Other Harmful Practices
  • Elder Abuse
  • How to Understand, and Use, the DASH Risk Assessment

Download the full course descriptions here and the full training calendar here.

Want to sign up? Email

business support showcase event telford

A showcase of support available to reduce your organisation's energy costs and become more resilient in the current cost of living crisis

It will showcase the support available to become more efficient and resilient by bringing together partners and organisations that offer advice and guidance on ways to

1. reduce energy costs and move closer to net zero

2. invest in the future for growth

3. build resilience through planning and support

Register here free

HSBC logo

Shropshire Libraries Hosting Friendly Banking Advice Sessions

Libraries across Shropshire are hosting expert advice sessions to help people protect themselves from fraud, manage their money and learn about digital banking options.

Teams from HSBC will be delivering free information sessions which are open to everyone at libraries in Bishop’s Castle, Church Stretton, Much Wenlock, Oswestry and Shrewsbury (main Library) this month and into March 2023. Some sessions have already been held and well received.

There will be three topics:

  • Together against fraud – Covering types of frauds and scams, what to look out for and how to protect yourself online and over the phone.
  • Financially fitter – Covers budgeting, credit score, savings and investing.
  • Banking beyond the branch – A useful session for towns where there are no banking facilities – and anyone wanting to bank in a more modern way. It covers digital banking, telephone banking and using the post office to bank.

The sessions are booked for:

  • Bishop’s Castle Library – Wednesday 8 February, and Wednesday 8 March at 10.30am
  • Church Stretton Library –  Thursday 9 February and Thursday 16 February at 10.30am
  • Oswestry Library – Friday 10 February and 24 February at 10am
  • Much Wenlock Library – drop-in session on Thursday 9 March 2023 from 10am to 1pm.

eye care poster

Register via Eventbrite.

community resource open day information

NHS STW logo


Involving People and Communities Workshop

Join in person on 9 February, 1pm to 4pm, at Meeting Point House in Telford to shape the next steps for putting our Involving People and Communities Strategy into practice. The NHS have made positive steps in developing our approach to involving people and communities, but they are committed to work together to further strengthen their approach with input from partners and the communities they serve.

As a new organisation, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, this year, published its strategy ‘Our Approach to Involving People and Communities’, which was developed following a series of workshops and engagement.    It describes their principles for involving people, their governance, roles and responsibilities, and methods for involvement, aligned to national guidance but influenced by local voices and context.    

This workshop will be the fourth in a series, following on from: 

#1 ‘Involving the VCSE’, May 2021 

#2 ‘Making involvement and co-production business as usual’, September 2021 

#3 ‘Developing our strategy for involving people and communities’, March 2022   

The purpose of the workshop will be:

  • to provide an overview of our approach to involvement and the progress we have made
  • to identify any barriers to achieving what we set out in our strategy and possible solutions and opportunities to prioritise what else do we need to do 
  • to develop our approach to evaluating and measuring the effectiveness and impact of involving people and communities.

Refreshments will be provided. 

Click here to register.

cost of living help logo

Cost of Living Crisis in Shropshire: Q&A Session for Frontline Staff and Volunteers.

Tuesday 14th February, 12-1pm

Register for your free space here


Following on from the first cost of living session last year, this shorter 1-hour call will be a chance to:

Hear a brief update on what we currently know about the cost-of-living crisis

Receive a quick overview of the support available from key organisations including Citizens Advice Shropshire, the Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance, Age UK Shropshire Telford and Wrekin, Keep Shropshire Warm, Community Resource and Shropshire Council

Share what you are seeing on the frontline/ the greatest concerns you have about the rising cost of living

Participate in a Q&A with our panel of Shropshire- based organisations We welcome attendance from staff, councillors and volunteers across all public and voluntary sectors including health, care, community groups, employment, housing, education and faith groups.

They want to hear from you. Take 5 minutes to share your insight on how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting Shropshire residents ahead of the session here. Please note this is a public link so please do not share any sensitive or identifiable information. Shropshire Council may share what you tell them with other organisations and stakeholders as part of their work around the cost of living.

For any questions/ more information please contact:

save our shropshire logo

Free Carbon Literacy Training Available - Please Promote!

Save Our Shropshire will be sharing ideas with people in Telford through a grant funded, two-hour public awareness session, called Good for the Planet and Good for your Pocket which is about how saving the planet can also save you money.

The session starts with science 101, then develops an understanding of our carbon footprint and how our lifestyle choices contribute to global warming through that footprint, i.e. food, stuff, energy & travel.

This then enables people to make informed choices to reduce their use and their costs in these difficult times.

Individuals can sign up through the Save our Shropshire website, and a poster is available to help organisations promote the training. Please help get the word out about this opportunity! 

Dates for the workshops will run all spring across Telford, but the first one is 9th March in Oakengates. Check out the full listing here!

Multiply image of a woman doing banking

Free Maths and Numeracy Courses for Adults

Shrewsbury Colleges Group is offering a series of new free numeracy and maths courses for adults. 

Multiply offers FREE numeracy courses to help individuals brush up their maths skills and help them become more confident with numbers, whether they need help in managing your bills, budgeting or they want to improve their potential at work. 

Courses start as early as February 2023, and include:

  • Support your child with their maths homework
  • Getting to grips with numbers
  • Manage your money
  • Numeracy upskill for ESOL adults

To qualify participants must be aged 19+, a resident in Shropshire and not already have a GCSE at grade C (or equivalent) in maths.

Find out more and sign up on the Shrewsbury Colleges website.

kingston voluntary action logo

Health & Inequalities - Bitesize Trainings

The Bite-size talks and training seeks to empower residents to have practical, everyday conversations around preventing and living better with long term health conditions. These conditions affect individuals and communities very differently, often resulting from health inequalities, which will also be discussed.

The training will initially be covering in separate sessions: Type 2 Diabetes, Mental Health, Cardiovascular disease, COPD, and Cancer, before they open up to other health areas. The sessions will look at national and local data, and local interventions to which they can signpost.

Sessions will be hosted by Kingston Voluntary Action with guest clinical / professional speakers and a short Q&A to best support those around us.

These sessions are for small VCSE groups, Community Champions or Coaches and anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the five long-term health conditions that Core20PLUS5 is focusing on. Each session covers one of the long-term health conditions.

Upcoming dates:

Thursday 16 February 2023 from 11:15-12:15

Thursday 16 March  2023 from 11:15-12:15

Thursday 20 April  2023 from 11:15-12:15

Register here via Eventbrite.

woman undergoing functional fitness mot

Community Resource Functional Fitness MOTs


Upcoming dates & locations:

  • 18th February, Newport, Cosy Hall         
  • 21st February, Church Stretton, Leisure Centre

Download printable flyer here

To book a FREE 2.5-hour appointment call 01743 360641 or email

in the cafe pic of rainbow flag at a table

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

February 22nd 2 - 4pm

This popular get-together continues with more themed discussions. Open to all LGBT+ people aged 50 -100 or more. 2 - 4pm at Palmer's Cafe, Claremont St , Shrewsbury

Transport available, please contact James for further details 01743 590023 or

NB if you are a member of staff working for an organisation which wishes to connect with older and old LGBT+ people, you must contact James to discuss if this is appropriate and, if so, then how this might happen. Please do not just turn up!

st david's day concert poster

Concert in Aid of Shropshire Mental Health Support

The North Wales Association of Male voice Choirs have chosen to support Shropshire Mental Health Support at their upcoming St David’s Day Concert.

This is an unmissable event, featuring Brymbo Male Voice Choir and Rhos Orpheus Male Voice Choir. With Lisa Dafydd ( Soprano), currently a Master’s student at the Royal Academy of Music London, alongside Hefin Duo, Charlotte & Bethan (Harp & Flute) and the concert compare Dilwyn Price.

Enjoy a wonderful evening whilst raising funds for your award-winning mental health charity. Shropshire Mental Health Support will have volunteers at the concert handing out literature about their services and selling raffle tickets.

Book your tickets today Saturday 25th Feb 7.30pm £22 per ticket through Theatre Severn 

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

Energize STW logo

Energize Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin: Project Administrator

Energize Shropshire Telford & Wrekin are currently looking for a Project Administrator.

This will be a key role in their team aimed at supporting their Schools and Empowering Communities teams and their Elevate programme. This role will be involved in the administration concerning these areas and provide vital support to enable the efficient and effective management of these projects and programmes.

Salary: Up to £19,664 per annum depending on experience. The post will also be eligible for winter cost of living payments of £175 (gross) per month to end of March 2023 and there is a pay review pending from April 2023.

Hours: Full time (37 hours per week) or part time will be considered. The post has flexible working, with very occasional evening and weekend work, but it is intended for the role to be mainly delivered during weekdays, office hours. 

Location: They currently work a hybrid system working from home on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with Tuesdays and Thursdays allocated as office days. Their office is in University Centre Shrewsbury in Shrewsbury Town Centre

Contract: This is a fixed term contract until 31 March 2025.

To apply for this role

Please read the job description and if you are interested in applying please send your CV and a covering letter explaining why you believe you have the right qualities for this role to:

Link to the full job description 

Closing date: 12 noon on Monday 13th February 2023

Interview date: In person interviews will be held on Tuesday 28th February 2023, at our offices in Shrewsbury

If you have any questions, please contact Katy Warren, Head of Operations on 07958 318915 or

CAB shropshire logo

Citizens Advice Shropshire: Community Advisers

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

Citizens Advice Shropshire are looking to employ experienced Community Advisers to work in community venues, including foodbanks, in either the north or south of the county.

They encourage and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and will consider trainee positions if you don’t have advice experience.  They will also consider job share.

Salary: £24,188 to £25,668 pro rata depending on experience

Contract: Full time 37 hours per week, permanent.

Location: The successful applicant must be able to work flexibly across the county

Start: As soon as possible

Post may be subject to a DBS check.

Further details and application form (no CVs) are available from the Citizens Advice Shropshire website:

Closing date:           12:00 midday on Wednesday 15th February.

Interviews:             Wednesday 1st March 2023 at their Shrewsbury office (if date isn't convenient another may be arranged, depending on availability).

New SC logo banner

Volunteer Opportunity: School Exclusion Review Panellists

Location: Shirehall, Shrewsbury
Working pattern: Occasional – usually no more than 2 occasions per term

Are you interested in becoming a lay member of Shropshire Council's pool of independent review panel members? 

Parents can request that an Independent Review Panel be convened to review the decision made by a Governing Body to uphold the Headteacher’s decision to permanently exclude their child from school. Volunteer school exclusion review panel members hold hearings to review these decisions.

Shropshire Council is currently looking to recruit ‘lay members’ to the pool of volunteers, to act as Chair for Independent Review of Exclusion Hearings.

Download the full role description and application information here.

community resource logo

Volunteer ‘Buddies’ Sought to Help People Feel Less Isolated

Shropshire charity Community Resource is inviting people to volunteer to help those who are isolated become more active and to help alleviate inactivity and social exclusion.

Community Resource already has over 50 people volunteering for projects including supporting people with hearing and sight loss, helping at dementia support groups, assisting at ‘Functional Fitness MOT’ Falls Prevention events and acting as representatives for people in care homes.

The charity is keen to hear from potential ‘Buddy’ volunteers; individuals who would be interested in accompanying people who are feeling isolated and alone and need some motivation, support, or encouragement to get involved in local activities. Activities that volunteers participate in may include exercise classes, walking groups or yoga classes.

Download the Flyer Here!

Sue Chalk, Head of Service at Community Resource, said:

“Research has shown that physical activity is vitally important for the physical and mental health of people of all ages. Many of us would like to be more active but the idea of turning up at an activity such as an exercise class on our own can be very daunting.

“As a ‘Buddy’ you could provide the support that enables someone to take that crucial first step to get involved in something new. As a result, you are helping them become more active, more resilient, participating in their local community and meeting and socialising with new people with common interests.” 

To become a Buddy, volunteers will be given appropriate training and undertake a DBS check, which Community Resource will arrange. There are no set criteria for the amount of time someone needs to give, with flexible opportunities depending on people’s availability.

Sue added:

“You may be newly retired, have just moved to the area or would simply like to support your local community. Perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to volunteer and try to make a difference. If you have some spare time, think you could help and would like to get involved we would love to hear from you.”

To find out more and express your interest, please contact Community Resource on 01743 360641 or email

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

New SC logo banner

Shropshire Council Offers Funding for New HAF Programmes

Shropshire Council invite organisations to apply for funding to deliver new face-to-face HAF programmes for eligible children and young people, during Easter/Spring, Summer and Winter/Christmas school holidays 2023.

Six geographical areas from across the county, have been highlighted as priority places for new HAF programmes in 2023.

  • Bishops Castle (Town)
  • Claverley / Worfield (Area)
  • Cleobury Mortimer (Town)
  • Morda (Area)
  • Much Wenlock (Town)
  • Whitchurch (Town)

These areas currently have no or limited HAF provision and eligible children and young people living in or near the vicinity.

Organisations can apply to offer HAF places in existing holiday provision within the identified geographical areas, or set-up specific new HAF holiday provision.

Funded by the Department for Education (DfE), HAF offers enriching activities and nutritious meals to children and young people, aged 4 to 16, who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals (FSM).

There are currently 6,965 children and young people in the county eligible for FSMs, a figure which is continually increasing. Shropshire Council aim to reach as many of these children and young people in the county as possible, whilst also ensuring holiday programmes are easily accessible, safe and welcoming.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Portfolio Holder for Children and Education, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the Shropshire HAF Grant application process for new HAF programmes in 2023. The HAF programme provides a fantastic opportunity to unite communities and celebrate the joy of coming together over food, taking part in fun activities, and making friends”.

All potential HAF providers will need to offer a programme of enrichment and physical activities a nutritious meal and food education.

Alongside the new HAF programmes, Shropshire Council are continuing to work in partnership with a core group of over 20 local organisations to run the existing successful HAF programme.

Deadline for Applications for New HAF programmes to be submitted - 9.00am Thursday 16 February 2023.

For more information about how to apply for a grant, including Guidance and Criteria and Application Form visit the Shropshire HAF Website or contact 

New SC logo banner

Deadline Extended:

Adult Social Care Preventative Small Grants Programme: 2023-2024

Closing date for applications - Now midday, 10th February

This programme is designed to provide a grant funding opportunity for community-based activity that supports wellbeing and independence. Funding is up to a maximum of £5,000 per grant for activity delivered between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024. It is aimed at voluntary organisations and community groups working in Shropshire.

They're welcoming funding applications for community-based activities that enable people to stay physically and mentally well, and that support independent living and prevent avoidable admissions into hospital. Funding should contribute to growing existing activity and/or the development of new ideas and start up initiatives that support the wellbeing of Shropshire’s residents.

Community-based activities and groups are vitally important in maintaining our individual wellbeing and independence, and in creating strong and resilient communities. 

The funded activity must contribute to one or more of the council’s priorities for grant funding which include activity which supports:

  • Admission avoidance
  • Supporting discharge from hospital settings
  • The cost-of-living pressures
  • Health and mental wellbeing
  • Falls prevention and reduced levels of inactivity

Furthermore, applicants will need to demonstrate how they support The Shropshire Plan and the Adult Social Care principles. These are:

  •  Healthy, safe communities where I belong 
  • Supporting our most vulnerable, disadvantaged adults, providing early support and prevention, before situations become a crisis 
  • Living in a place I call home 
  • Leading the life I want to live
  • Putting Shropshire back in the community 
  • Focusing on outcomes for customers 
  • Providing value for money 
  • Considering the impact of our activities on the climate 
  • Empowering effective collaborations for positive change 

Applications will be reviewed and scored based on the extent to which the proposed activity supports these priorities and key criteria.

The grant application form and the guidance and information document can be accessed here: Adult Social Care Preventative Small Grants Programme 2023-2024 | Shropshire Council

For more information, please contact Ness Hicken or Lisa Middleton:

Cost of Living Support Available for Youth Organisations across the UK

UK Youth, in partnership with Pears Foundation, is offering unrestricted multi-year grants for charitable and not-for-profit youth organisations across the UK with an annual turnover of less than £500,000 to help them cover rising prices and increased costs due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Through the Cost-of-Living Fund, a total of £4.5 million is available to provide multi-year grants of approximately 10% of the turnover of an organisation per year. For example, an organisation with a turnover of £250,000 can apply for up to £25,000 a year for three years. These are intended to help bring stability to youth organisations and to help mitigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, ensuring groups can cover bills, pay staff salaries, and continue to operate.

Successful applicants will receive three grant payments, each a year apart.

Applications can be submitted at any time. Visit the UK Youth website for more information and to apply.

TRANSforming Futures Fund Now Accepting Applications

National Lottery Community Fund is supporting the five-year TRANSforming Futures project to provide solutions to the issues in healthcare and justice for transgender people across England.

The focus of the Fund is communities-led, grassroots organisations that are led by and for trans people. Broader LGBTQ+ organisations undertaking trans-specific activity that is being run by trans people will also be considered.

Projects should seek to improve existing outcomes, make changes to current systems or pursue different kinds of systems altogether.

There are three areas in which grants will be made:

  • Healthcare.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • Under 18s (with a focus on health and justice).

There is a funding pot of £100,000, from which grants of up to £25,000 will be made.

The deadline to apply is 20 March 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the TRANSforming Futures website.

Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust Opens for First Round of the Year

Registered and exempt charities in the UK can now apply for a grant of £1,000 to help tackle social disadvantage and support vulnerable individuals.

The Trust operates a three-year rotation system, with different fields of interests being funded each year.

During this round, the focus is on rehabilitation of prisoners, ex-prisoners and those at risk of offending.

Organisations must have an operating income of between £100,000 and £1 million to be eligible to apply.

The funders recognise that Black Lives Matter has highlighted discrimination faced by the Global Majority. Across each grant round, applicants will be asked to detail how their project addresses these issues.

The deadline to apply is 28 February 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust website.

shropshire good food partnership logo

Shropshire Good Food Partnership and REDI For Change

Are you a group that works with people and food in some way?

Would you like support in taking practical steps to explore and improve the equality, diversity and inclusion of your work?

REDI for Change may be able to help!

Shropshire Good Food Partnership’s (SGFP) mission is to bring people together to create a local food system which is good for people, place and the planet. 

The partnership has funding to deliver a REDI (Race, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) for Change programme with Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin based groups that are working with food, individuals and communities.

REDI for Change is a part of SGFP’s ambition to understand people’s experiences of buying, cooking and eating food, and to work in partnership with others to come up with solutions to address identified inequalities and barriers.

A number of groups are already involved, with the aim of improving equality, diversity and inclusion, both in their own organisation and in Shropshire’s wider food systems.

Examples of support include

  • facilitated conversations about E, D & I with volunteers, staff and trustees
  • reviewing and developing policies and guides to ensure they reflect best practice
  • guiding organisations through the REDI for Change toolkit so they can self-assess where they are currently in relation to E,D &I and develop useful action plans.

To have a chat and find out more about the support REDI For Change can offer, get in touch with Kate Garner.

Asda Foundation’s Investing in Spaces and Places Grants Programme Opens 6 February

For a second year in a row, the Asda Foundation is offering large grants of up to £25,000 for local groups across the UK who are working to improve spaces in the heart of their local community.

In 2023, there is a total funding pot of £500,000.

Grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 are available to cover between 25% and 75% of the total project costs for projects that address at least one of the following categories:

  • Building repair (external or internal) for spaces and places which already exist but are in disrepair and therefore limit the usability, safety or level of expectations for other to use the space.
  • Building development to enhance a space already in use.
  • Outdoor development to develop outside space for the benefit of the community, particularly outdoor spaces which benefit everyone and can be accessed by large groups of people.

Projects need to align with at least one of the Foundation’s aims:

  • Create and/or develop safe and inclusive community spaces for groups to meet and bring people together.
  • Create or improve spaces which can be used by a range groups on a regular basis.
  • Support groups to deliver long-lasting projects focused on long-term community impact.

Groups must be in a position to begin work on their project before the end of 2023.

Applications are accepted from local not-for-profit organisations with an income of less than £250,000 and unrestricted reserves below £100,000. This includes registered charities, CICs, companies, unincorporated club or association, small community groups or government entities/public bodies.

Application forms can only be obtained from Asda Community Champions, who are based in local Asda superstores. Groups can use the store locator link on the Foundation website to get in touch with their local store and speak to their Community Champion about their project proposal. Applications cannot be made directly to the Asda Foundation.

Applications will be accepted from 6 February 2023 to 19 March 2023.

Innovation for All Grants Now Available

Kilburn & Strode LLP is a leading practice firm of intellectual property attorneys. Annually, it donates 1% of profits to its charitable arm, the Innovation for All Foundation.

Grants from the Foundation are intended to support technological innovation as a tool for community benefit, including through improved wellbeing, greater access to opportunities and improvements to community safety.

This year, a number of grants of £10,000, £20,000 and £30,000 will be made.

The fund is not supposed to be prescriptive in terms of the kinds of activities deemed eligible. Successful past initiatives have included innovative approaches for:

  • Prevention of youth crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Provision of emergency support for people with disabilities.
  • Obtaining justice and reparations for victims of torture and human rights violations.

Registered charities based in the UK or overseas may apply as long as they have appropriate governance in place.

Applications are open until 31 March 2023. Visit the Innovation for All Foundation website for more information and to apply.

Michael Tippett Musical Foundation Reopens for 2023

The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation offers grants of between £500 and £3,000 are available to support the following objectives:

  • To award grants to support the development of group music-making especially involving young people, with composing central to the project.
  • To support the performance or recording of works by Michael Tippet.

For 2023 the Trustees have decided to focus the Foundation’s activity exclusively on the funding of performances and recording of music by Michael Tippett, to generate greater revenue for a wider range of activities in future years. Projects related to any of his compositions will be considered, but priority will be given to plans for specific works that are less frequently performed or projects which are unlikely to be mounted without additional financial support.

Projects for consideration should start no earlier than January 2024.The deadline for applications is 30 September 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Michael Tippett Musical 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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