VCSA Newsletter Week of 13th February 2023

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 13th February 2023


Elaine and Anthony Lewis volunteers at Fordhall Farm

Volunteers at Fordhall Organic Farm in Market Drayton

VCSA Member Feature: Fordhall Organic Farm in Market Drayton

Have you visited a farm lately? If not, you may want to take the time to find out just how visiting green spaces such as local farms in Shropshire can make a difference to your mental health.

A growing body of research suggests that green social prescribing – programmes designed to get people out into nature to support and improve their mental and physical wellbeing – can have incredibly positive impacts on health outcomes.

Community has always been at the centre of Fordhall Organic Farm, from its establishment as England’s first community-owned farm, following a high-profile campaign in 2006. At the time over 8000 people across the world supported siblings Charlotte and Ben Hollins to save their family home.

Now owned by the community and farmed by Ben Hollins, Fordhall is a wonderful example of community spirit and real organic farming. Among the number of community-based programmes and events, which have developed over the years, is Fordhall’s Care Farm. This project offers a wide range of outdoor working activities for people with learning disabilities.

The North Shropshire farm currently offers exactly the opportunity for access to green spaces which our wellbeing so desperately needs. Accessing the farm is always free, through free entry, parking and access to the scenic trails. Social prescribing and wellbeing programmes for Shropshire residents are also available, all free of charge (or for a small suggested donation* for those who are able to pay).

The social prescribing offer at Fordhall is tailored to each individual, and once a referral has been made, an individual can speak to farm staff about their needs. For this reason, all sessions must be pre-booked. They welcome self-referrals or referrals through support services.

This particular project is called Fridays at the farm  and is a regular opportunity to get involved in diverse ways, including accessing social prescribing and volunteering opportunities on the farm - whether you want to join an “afternoon amble” or a small group doing woodwork, gardening or other gentle activities outdoors.

Volunteering weekends take place throughout the year and are a fantastic opportunity to get really involved with a bigger conservation project on the farm. They also offer the opportunity to stay for free in the beautiful volunteer built onsite eco building, the Straw Lodge. *Insert link to the 2023 volunteer weekends poster*

Read this volunteering story from Elaine and Anthony Lewis, who have benefitted from Farm Fridays as well as the Youth Project.

Do you want more information on how to refer your beneficiaries to Fordhall, or more about their social prescribing offers? Contact Nicola on or 01630 638696.

*Suggested donation is only for those that are financially able to contribute, as they want to welcome as many people as possible to the farm who would benefit from time there.

Oswestry Mens Shed

£15,000 Awarded to Community Projects Across Shropshire

Shropshire community groups and ecological transformation projects are set to benefit to the tune of £15,000 – thanks to Veolia and Shropshire Council’s Envirogrant scheme.

Nineteen projects from across the county have been chosen to receive funding, ranging from a scheme to build a bird hide, to money to help with supporting a children’s garden project.

More than 100 separate applications were received from a wide range of schools, community groups, sports clubs and Eco projects. The awards will be handed out at a ceremony at Shirehall in Shrewsbury later this month.

This first-ever EnviroGrant scheme in Shropshire enabled clubs or groups to apply for up to £1000 in funding for projects that benefit the local community or environment. The funding project is one of the many ways that Shropshire Council’s waste contract with Veolia goes to benefit the local community.

The Envirogrant scheme is aimed at groups who are looking to improve areas, from planting wildflowers to clearing paths to enable access. The scheme was  open for applications between 5 September and Monday 31 October 2022.

Community recipients include Oswestry Mens' Shed (pictured). To read more on this story, including a full list of successful projects, visit the Shropshire Council Newsroom.

Love Oswestry logo

Love Oswestry Returns This Month

Love Oswestry is back. Oswestry’s newest arts festival makes a welcome return this month.

From Valentine’s Day week and through February half-term, Oswestry holds an eclectic mix of events, closing with a family-friendly, twilight lantern parade through the streets of Oswestry. The main Love Oswestry day is on Saturday 25 February 2023.

The Love Oswestry 2023 programme is stronger than ever. It gives the people of Oswestry the chance to show their love for the town by watching or taking part in a feast of cultural activities and performances.

Local people will be able to sign up for drama, writing and music workshops, free guided tours of the town, and there will be music in the pubs and on the streets. You can even get involved with English Heritage at Old Oswestry Hillfort.

Highlights of the programme include a spectacular twilight Lantern Parade, designed by local cultural organisation Designs in Mind, and led by local young people. Shropshire- based Twisted Techno has once again designed a really exciting music programme, which includes DJ, drum and singing workshops at Hermon Arts.

From Thursday 16 February onwards, VCSA member Qube will host a major exhibition of photographs under the theme “Love Oswestry; Love Where You Live”. This fabulous event will bring back Qube’s much loved local photography competition and there will be a series of prizes including special prizes for under 16s.

There is an exciting new drama offer developed by the Five Star Theatre group in conjunction with drama experts from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and other professional drama tutors. Young people (aged 10-15) will take part in three days of exciting drama and stage combat workshops, building to a performance on Friday 24 at Hermon Arts.

There will also be the Ossie the Sheep town trail. A bit of a surprise, a lot of fun and you may win a cuddly sheep.

For more information and booking links, visit The Love Oswestry webpage

Read the full story on the Shropshire Council Newsroom

The mansion at Attingham Park

Attingham Park Outdoor Hub Update

Last Summer Attingham Park first reached out to a number of organisations and groups in the local community to share their proposals to open up more of the Attingham Estate by developing a new site close to the existing Attingham Park site. The aim is to create space for people to spend time outdoors, be active, and connect with nature and each other.

They included a survey where they asked questions about what people would like to see on the new site, and these grouped into 3 key themes: activity, nature and culture.

Please click here to read the Outdoor Hub newsletter with updates on their findings from the survey and what this could mean for the site.

The proposed new site is a project they are continuing to develop, and their aim is to submit a planning application to Shropshire Council later this year. Attingham are working with groups in the local community to design elements and plan what the visitor experience will be based on the feedback from the survey, as well as exploring key themes including welcome, safety and inclusion.

Future updates will be shared on this project timeline on the Attingham Park website, so please keep an eye on that page to see how the project develops.

If you have any questions about the proposed project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Alison Hulme, who is leading on the project..

vcsa logo

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

Pro Bono Economics VCSE Sector Barometer: The second quarterly VCSE Sector Barometer is now live. Completing this independent survey, produced by experts at Pro Bono Economics and Nottingham Trent University's National VCSE Data and Insights Observatory, is hugely important. By taking part, you will help inform government, media, and many others, of the pressures that charities, community groups and voluntary organisations are facing across areas such as income, people, demand and impact. Backed by all major membership organisations, the results of this survey will provide essential information on issues such as retention, recruitment and skills. This latest survey will focus on issues around the sector's workforce The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. Closing 20th 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

The draft Shropshire All-Age Carer strategy 2022-2027 review: Unpaid and family carers of all ages are invited to take part in this consultation of the Shropshire All Age Carer strategy 2022-2027. An unpaid and family carer is someone who, without pay, provides support to an individual who lives in Shropshire and may be ill, frail, with disabilities, have poor mental health or drug and alcohol problems, meaning they're unable to manage without this care and support. Please share this information with unpaid and family carers known to your service and with staff members, who may also be a carer. Closing 6th 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

Lezley Picton

Meet the Leader in Bridgnorth on Thursday 16 February from 10am until 12pm 

Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, is to host a Meet the Leader event in Bridgnorth later this month.

Lezley will be at Bridgnorth Town Council’s Castle Hall on West Castle Street on Thursday 16 February 2023 from 10am until 12pm.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the event in Bridgnorth and sit down with Lezley to share their ideas to help make Shropshire an even better place.

Slots during Lezley’s Meet the Leader event will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lezley’s visit to Bridgnorth follows a series of Meet the Leader events which have so far taken place in Ludlow, Ellesmere, Market Drayton, Bishop’s Castle and Church Stretton.

There is also another one planned for Wem in March 2023.

More information on this will be issued nearer the time, and many more are planned for the year ahead.

Love Telford logo

Love Telford - Book Your Table By 15th Feb

Love Telford an event being hosted by Telford and Wrekin Council in partnership with the Telford Interfaith Council.   

This event is all about celebrating the best of Telford, the diversity our people and place, the connections and welcome as communities. It is very important to the organisers to have as wide a range of participants as possible.  

The date of the event is Saturday 18th March 2023 and time will be 12pm to 4pm. Location is Southwater in the Town Centre. 

The Council are now reaching out to the communities involved last year to ask if you would like to be involved again and what you would propose to bring to the event. They plan to have a similar set up to last year, where they provide marquee cover and tables and communities book a space and attend to do one of the following:   

  • Provide a display– images, photos, information about your group, religion, cultures 
  • Provide a demonstration or activity relating to your community background that provides insight into your culture e.g crafting, turban and sari dressing 
  • Bring some performance – music, dance, song,, traditional display as part of the programme of entertainment.  
  • Provide a food offer, this can be sold to the public if you have been 5 * rated by Telford & Wrekin Council environmental services (ask us for more details if you are unsure.

If you are interested or want to know more. Then they would like to hear from you before 15th February 2023 to give time to prepare for the event. 

Expressions of interest welcome as soon as you are able to come back to them. Please phone Sue Wright on 01952 381969.


March Community Connectors Meetings

Please join one of the online or in person gatherings to meet with other community services; to share and hear about local offerings, events and support.


South West:Ludlow on 7th March at 10am

South West: Bishops Castle on 8th March at 3pm Both meetings are online. Please email for a link

South East on 21st March at 10am Online meeting. Please email for a teams link

Shrewsbury on 16th March at 10am Sundorne Sports Village Please email Natalie to book your place

North Shropshire on 8th March at 10am Online meeting. Please email for a teams link

shropshire european organisation logo

Shropshire European Organisation: International Community Buffet

Shropshire European Organisation would like to invite you to their International Community Buffet to celebrate Women's Day on 11th March from 5.30 till 8.30 at Radbrook Community Centre.

Every year, individuals from different backgrounds and with rich cultures, meet together and celebrate their traditions and have amazing food.

This year they expect representatives from sixteen countries and are hoping to have more. It is a unique day when you can speak with people from different countries who decided to live in the local area in one room.

Please come and join them and celebrate International Women's Day. They are raising money for Lingen Davies where two of their staff signed up to become cancer champions Tickets are £4 for adults and £2 for children.

Please use this poster to help promote this event!

welcome to telford sign

Unlocking Potential in Telford:

How to Create Greater Collaboration

You are invited to a meetup to discuss how to create greater collaboration in Telford 20th February 1.30 - 3.30  (via Zoom)

Come to discuss: how we can give space to share, learn and most importantly join forces towards unlocking potential in Telford?

To read more or to register on this exploratory meet up visit the Eventbrite site. 

If you would like more information about this event or the wider work of Lloyds Bank Foundation in Telford or the Unlocking Potential Alliance, then email Ann Johnson

picture of someone with depression

Mental Health First Aid Training

20th March 9am - 5pm

Mayfair Community Centre, Church Stretton

This is an exciting opportunity to attain a Level 2 qualification in Mental Health First Aid. This 2-day course will give you;

  • An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to step in reassure and support a person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support - whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer, the NHS, or a mix

Please note, this course is limited to a maximum of 16 people. Book your place now using Eventbrite.

marches energy agency logo

Free Energy Saving Webinars from Marches Energy Agency

Are you looking to make your home warmer and greener?

To find out, check out these 2 FREE webinars coming up in partnership with Building Sense, sign up below:

Monday 20th Feb, 1pm - 2pm

The case for solar: cost-benefit evaluation: The case for solar: cost-benefit evaluation Tickets, Mon 20 Feb 2023 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

Monday 20th March, 1pm - 2pm

Retrofitting historic buildings: Retrofitting historic buildings: Grade II and curtilage listed case studies Tickets, Mon 20 Mar 2023 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

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

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 March at 10.30am
  • Church Stretton Library –  Thursday 16 February at 10.30am
  • Oswestry Library – Friday 24 February at 10am
  • Much Wenlock Library – drop-in session on Thursday 9 March 2023 from 10am to 1pm.

Register via Eventbrite.

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.

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!

save the date south shropshire youth conference

Save the date for South Shropshire's Youth Conference - 24th June 2023

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

Qube logo

Qube: 2 Positions

Chief Officer

Qube is expanding and diversifying their portfolio of wellbeing services and seek a new Chief Officer to bring their ideas, vision, skills and funding acumen to refine the charity’s strategic vision.

You will be well-connected and creative in your approach with the confidence to challenge and drive services for the local area.

If you wish to enhance the well-being and quality of life of the communities in the area, please contact Rachel Davies today at Peridot; or visit the Peridot website to learn more.

Download the full advert or visit:

Closing date for applications: Monday,  27th February 2023 at 9.00am


Transport Supervisor

Qube are looking to appoint a Transport Supervisor who will be responsible for the day to day operation of our Dial-a-Ride, Community Cars and other Community Transport department, which we operate within the town of Oswestry and the wider communities of Shropshire and the Welsh borders. You will also be involved in the strategic development of this valued service.

Location:          Office based at our centre in Oswestry.

Hours:              37.5 hours per week.

For more information regarding this role, please contact Nia Lloyd at Qube or 01691 656882.

Closing date for applications:   Monday, 27th February 2023 at midday.

Shropshire Telford and Wrekin ICS image of people

Freelance Creative Facilitator

The National Centre for Creative Health and the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System are looking to recruit a freelance Creative Facilitator local to the Shropshire area to work closely with a group of young people and their parents and carers to explore co-production and co-produced outcomes that can support other young people accessing BeeU services (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service), part of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The sessions will take place in person in Shropshire.

The overarching role of the Creative Facilitator is to provide a creative and safe space for the group to voice and explore ideas and suggestions that aim to influence services and ultimately provide a better service for other young people accessing services. This might include exploring thoughts around the community outpatient building environment, or thoughts on how to engage more young people in providing feedback on their experience of using services.

This project is part of the NCCH’s Huddles programme, funded by the Baring Foundation. The Huddles are interdisciplinary learning activities for small groups to use co-production and creativity to explore and resolve challenges in healthcare settings. With creativity and lived experience at the heart, the Huddles bring together patients, participants, clinicians, artists and managers. The relationships developed will lead to new work being tested in health settings, and the learning from the work that takes place in the Huddles will spread more widely through the NCCH’s Hubs programme with NHS England.

The NCCH and staff from Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System will support the Creative Facilitator in preparation for the sessions.

The facilitator will use creative activities and techniques to provide a focus for the group that ensures they feel supported and heard. This approach will require the creative facilitator to be sensitive, experienced and able to share the creative process and work from a place of equality.

They are looking for a facilitator who has:

  • Strong experience of working creatively with young people to encourage discussion and the sharing of ideas in a safe space
  • Knowledge and experience of working in a co-produced way, particularly in a healthcare setting, would be beneficial

Download the full brief HERE

Deadline: 9am, Thursday 23rd February 2023

Freelance Fee: £1,500 (Equivalent of 6 days at £250 per day to cover planning, preparation, delivery of 6 sessions, and any relevant follow up)

Freelancers are responsible for their own Tax and NI on any fees paid.

To apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter outlining why you are interested in the role and explaining how your experience meets the person specification to:

3 counties community rail partnership logo

Chairperson: 3 Counties Connected Community Railway Partnership

The 3 Counties Connected Community Railway Partnership is recruiting for the role of Chairperson. The partnership is looking for a chairperson to support the management and delivery of the partnership. You will share their passion for the local community, the environment and economic development.

The Partnership covers the rail services along the line of the route between Chester - Shrewsbury – Crewe via Wrexham operating across the Wales and England Border, covering the local authorities of Cheshire West & Chester, Wrexham County Borough and Shropshire Council. The communities of Chester, Wrexham, Ruabon, Chirk, Gobowen, Shrewsbury, Yorton, Wem, Prees, Whitchurch, Wrenbury, Nantwich and Crewe form the lines.

The aim of the partnership is to develop the Chester Shrewsbury Crewe Railway line as a community railway with a high level of community involvement that delivers diverse, relevant and inclusive experiences and opportunities that reach out into the community. The CRP will develop links with other Community Rail Partnerships in Wales and the UK, demonstrating its success with case studies and good news stories across all media.

Applicants need to be able to commit to a two-year term during which they will need to undertake the following activities:

  • Chair meetings at least four times a year.
  • Attend training and development activities as required up to six times a year.
  • Attend Community Rail conferences as required, up to twice a year.

For an informal discussion about this role, please contact Josie Rayworth on 07759 526918

For further information about this role, please download the role description and person specification from their website

To apply for this role, please send a CV and covering letter explaining why you feel you would be suitable and how you meet the requirements of the role description. Completed documents should be returned to

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).

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NEW! SaTH Volunteer to Career Programme

Know someone who might be interested in a career in Healthcare? This is a brand-new programme which provides a direct route in to work in the healthcare sector. It’s ideal for people who are interested in a career in healthcare and would like to try out the role to see if it’s for them. You do not need previous experience or qualifications to apply for this programme.

If you would like to know more about this exciting new programme from the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals, visit their 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

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Twemlows Fund

Is your group/organisation is within 15 miles of Prees in North Shropshire, and running projects focussed on environmental improvements or community participation?

You can apply for a grant up to £1,000 to support your work. The fund is being managed by Community Resource, and applications are being accepted for the next six months.

Find out more and apply by visiting the Community Resource website or phone 01743 360641.

McCarthy Stone Foundation:

Winter Warm Spaces Support Grants - 2023 

Connection and engagement for older people is often dependent on access to a space suitable to host groups. The McCarthy Stone Foundation know that the costs of this are often a major expense for small community groups and charities, and that these costs have been rising recently. 

This year their foundation would like to provide some support for the many small clubs and organisations across the country providing a regular warm space for older people in their community to come together, for example, lunch clubs, coffee mornings, or memory cafes. They are making £30,000 of funding available to those grassroots groups, often led by volunteers, who need a little extra help over the winter months. 

The funding will be awarded in grants of £750, meaning there are 40 grants available. Applications are now open and will close at the end of February. 

Funding will be prioritised to grassroots groups with annual income less than £100,000 p.a. and less than 6 months of free reserves.
To qualify, your club must be independent, with its own constitution and bank account.  

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Town and Parish Councils Opportunity to Bid: Thriving Children and Families Fund

This opportunity is the result of a collaboration across the Local Authority and the Integrated Care Board, with financial input from the ICB and Public Health.

In the wake of the pandemic, this funding has been secured with the understanding that Covid, and our national response, has left its mark on young people, their families and communities. At its core, the funding is to enable healthy, vibrant communities, where young people have the opportunity to thrive and grow with the support of their community.

Key elements in the application include how town and parish councils have worked with (or will work with) young people to understand needs and wants. As well, it is clear that the application demonstrates how the work will be sustained following the end of the funding.

The funding is open for Town and Parish Councils to bid for up to £25,000, and they are strongly encouraged to work with organisations within the VCS sector.

Download the letter to Town and Parish Councils

Download the application form

The application closes on Monday 6th March, 2023 at 12 noon.

Please contact Melanie France, Integration Lead, Public Health  with questions. 

Windrush Day Grant Scheme

Groups have around two weeks left to apply to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)’s Windrush Day Grant Scheme.

2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HM Windrush in the UK, with a funding pot of £750,000 on offer for commemorative projects. The grants available are as follows:

  • Tier 1: smaller projects between £5,000 and £24,999.
  • Tier 2: larger projects between £25,000 and £50,000.

Local authorities, registered charities/community interest companies or community groups with a charitable purpose based in either England or Northern Ireland can apply.

Activities need to support the central aims of Windrush Day – to tell the story of the Windrush Generation and celebrate and recognise how they have shaped Britain’s heritage. Projects should be rooted in communities and involve the Windrush Generation descendants in as many areas as possible as well as those from different age groups and background.

22 June marks National Windrush Day and projects must include an activity on this date. Events and activities can take place over a longer period, but all projects must be completed by 31 August 2023.

The deadline to apply is 22 February 2023. More information and applications can be found on the Near Neighbours website.

Centre for Social Justice Awards

The 2023 application window for the Centre for Social Justice Awards is now open.

This year, instead of the usual £10,000, four winners will each win £20,000 to scale up their impact.

Each year, the award judges look for organisations that:

  • Focus their work in the most deprived areas of the UK.
  • Tackle the root causes of poverty.
  • Intervene early to prevent poverty.
  • Are ambitious for the lives of their clients.
  • Find innovative ways to combat poverty.
  • Are working with people living in Britain.

Applications are open to small, grassroots charities and social enterprises with an annual turnover of less than £2 million.

The deadline to apply is 6 March 2023. Visit the Centre for Social Justice website for more information.

Shropshire Hills Conservation Fund 2023-24

The Shropshire Hills Conservation Fund is now open for applications looking to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, landscape, wildlife or heritage of the Shropshire Hills AONB
  • Develop educational and awareness-raising activities relating to the AONB and its conservation, especially involving young people

The maximum grant award is £2,000. Grants can be up to 75% and match funding can be in kind and volunteer time contributions as well as cash.  Apply via the Shropshire Hills ANOB Conservation Fund website.

The project ideas form must be completed by 20th Feb 2023 andfull application completed by 13th March 2023.

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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 

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.

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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

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.

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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