VCSA Newsletter Week of 17th April 2023

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 17th April 2023


shropshire countryside

Rural England Prosperity Fund to Bring Additional £2.5m to Shropshire

Communities across rural England are set to benefit from an extra £110 million in local authority funding to support rural business and community groups, it was announced on 7th April.

Eligible local authorities in England will receive the funding, which they can invest in initiatives such as farm diversification, projects to boost rural tourism, and community infrastructure projects including electric vehicle charging stations. The funding will also help people start up local businesses to supercharge growth and create employment opportunities for rural areas.

The confirmed allocations are spread right across the country, and include £2.5 million for Shropshire.

The Rural England Prosperity Fund is a rural top-up to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment to support levelling up across the UK. 

Across rural England, the money will be spent on two key areas:

  • Communities and place: projects to improve community facilities such as green spaces and boost access to arts and culture to grow local tourism economies.
  • Supporting local business: projects to support agricultural businesses looking to expand their remit, and rural businesses looking to launch or grow their products and services.

Rural England Prosperity Fund allocates £110 million between 2023 and 2025. Defra is in contact with each of the eligible local authorities to confirm their allocated funding, and more information will be shared from Shropshire Council (and included in this newsletter) when it is available.

Read the full article on GOV.UK.

Volunteers Week graphic

Get Ready for Volunteers' Week 2023: 1-7 June

Volunteers Week takes place 1-7 June every year. It's a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities and say thank you.

Volunteers’ Week is supported and celebrated by small grassroots organisations as well as larger, household-name charities.

Together they run hundreds of activities across the UK. which showcase and celebrate volunteers and their contribution in our communities.

Every year hundreds of events, both online and in–person, take place to celebrate Volunteers’ Week and the huge range of ways in which volunteers give their time. This year will be no different.

A wide variety of activities will be happening across the country from volunteer recruitment events and open days to celebration and recognition events.

Volunteers’ Week is taking place during the #MonthOfCommunity. Running throughout June, the #MonthOfCommunity brings together some great organisations with a range of events including Volunteers’ Week, The Big Jubilee Lunch and Small Charity Week.

This collaborative month aims to encourage everyone to think about and join in with the wide variety of positive activities and initiatives happening in local communities across the UK.

Check out the full range of free resources provided by NCVO to help you prepare for and celebrate Volunteers' Week.

older couple walking in cold weather

Shropshire's Winter Support Service Summary and Evaluation

Shropshire's Winter Support Service has now drawn to a close following a successful 5 month delivery period.

The service has now moved into the evaluation phase. This will include telephone-based interviews with recipients of the service. In addition, Shropshire Council is asking for feedback from its workforce on experiences referring into the service.

One page summaries for each of the VCSE organisations that delivered the Winter Support Service during 2022-23 are available to download below:

The organisations that supported the delivery of the service continue to provide vital activity that supports residents to lead healthy and independent lives, and frontline staff are still encouraged to refer to these services.

state of the sector survey now open

Less Than Two Weeks Left!

Take Part in the VCSA State of the Sector Survey 2023

Take the survey now!

Take part in the biggest survey of charities, voluntary and community organisations in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

This annual survey by the VCSA provides an up-to-date picture of the local VCSE sector and build up a valuable evidence base of information.

By taking part in the survey, you will be helping to inform funders, partners and other key stakeholders of the current state and needs of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) in Shropshire.

Survey questions are categorised into four themes; information on organisations, partnership working, challenges/achievements over the past 12 months and looking ahead to the next 12 months. The survey can be completed in less than 20 minutes.

Complete the survey and ensure that your voice is heard! Thank you for helping to present a powerful and robust message for the sector in the county by completing the survey and encouraging other VCSE contacts to do so.

Take the survey now - and then share it!

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

Health Needs Assessment for Shrewsbury: Shropshire Councils Public Health Community Wellbeing Outreach Team is collecting the views and wishes of all Shropshire residents regarding their current and future health and wellbeing needs. They feel it’s very important to make sure community voice is heard when decisions are made about where funding is allocated across Shropshire. Right now, they are surveying Shrewsbury residents only. Please help spread the word about this research. Closing date TBD

Healthwatch Shropshire: Healthwatch Shropshire wants to know about people’s experience of making complaints about their NHS or social care services, not only if people achieved the outcome they sought through the complaint but also their experience of making the complaint, did they feel supported, did they have the information they needed, how they were treated and if they felt listened to. Closing date TBD

Shropshire Council Customer Services Consultation: Shropshire Council is consulting on proposed changes to its Customer Service Centre (CSC) opening times. The Customer Service Centre handles some complex issues for Shropshire’s residents in relation to Adult Social Care, concerns for children, risk of homelessness or financial crisis affecting families. These types of contact from people will always need a skilled adviser and will not be affected by the proposed changes. However many other calls are for the more “generalist” side of Shropshire Council’s CSC and are for relatively simple requests that can be made another way, particularly using online requests.  It is the opening hours for these services that form the proposal for change. Closing 23rd April

Please help encourage clients and service users to participate. Here are ways to give feedback:

  • Online survey
  • If you can’t go online, copies of the consultation are available at the following Shropshire Council libraries;  Bayston Hill, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Gobowen, Library at the Lantern, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Oswestry, Pontesbury, Shrewsbury, Wem and Whitchurch 
  • At Shropshire Council’s Shropshire Local sites in Ludlow and Shrewsbury 
  • If you would like the survey in an alternative format, please email to request a copy or call 0345 678 9077 and explain any support you need to allow you to respond.

Please also help spread the word about this consultation! Here are some social media assets for you to use:

Veterans' Health Priority Setting Partnership Survey: Veterans, their friends and family and the healthcare professionals who work with them are sought to answer a short survey. This is being done as part of a Priority Setting Partnership led by veterans, family members, charities and healthcare professionals and supported by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs. The partnership want to hear about areas of veterans’ physical and mental health and wellbeing that need further investigation.  This survey will be a crucial influence in deciding what research should be funded in the future to shape healthcare. Closing 30th April

Children in the Early Years (aged 0-4) Stakeholder Survey: Shropshire Council invites you to participate in the first stakeholder engagement survey for Shropshire’s Children, Young People and Families Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) which will focus on Children in the Early Years (aged 0-4). Please share widely across all service areas supporting children and families in Shropshire. Closing 1st May

Early Years Stakeholder Survey: Shropshire Council invites you to participate in the first stakeholder engagement survey for Shropshire’s Children, Young People and Families Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) which will focus on Children in the Early Years (aged 0-4). Closing 1st May

Housing Floating Support (Sustain) Proposed Changes: Shropshire Council currently contract with a number of support providers to deliver housing-related floating support across the county. These support providers are known collectively as the Sustain Consortium, or ‘Sustain’. The council are reviewing these contracts and will be putting new contracts in place from October 2023. The council propose to change the way that potential service users are referred to floating support and how floating support is allocated. It's important to the council that they hear from service users and stakeholders to help set out requirements for floating support from October. Closing 1st May

Prepayment Meter Experiences Survey: Ofgem and Citizens Advice are launching a national evidence-call to ask energy customers to share their experiences of moving to a prepayment meter (PPM). The eight-week partnership is a key part of Ofgem’s comprehensive market review of prepayment meters and remote switching, to ensure suppliers are meeting their legal obligations in protecting customers. It is calling for the experiences of customers who either have had PPMs installed to recover unpaid bills or those actively choose to use pay-as-you-go to manage their budgets. Closing 4th May

Shrewsbury Public Spaces Protection Order: In accordance with the provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 Shropshire Council is seeking your views and comments on an extension and possible amendment to the ‘Shrewsbury Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Order (No. 1) 2017’ (‘the Shrewsbury PSPO’). The proposal is to enable the Order to continue for a further three years.  The current Order will expire on the 31st July unless extended by Shropshire Council. Prohibitions covered by the current order include: (a) urinating/defecating; (b) leaving personal belongings; (c) a wider enabling provision to require a person to stop drinking alcohol and/or hand over alcohol if causing anti-social behaviour; and (d) a wider enabling provision to require a person to leave an area and not to return for 48 hours if causing anti-social behaviour.

Proposed amendments are designed to extend the persons able to enforce the PSPO and a wider range of prohibitions to cover other forms of anti-social behaviour. Please find below a link to the details and attached document which also includes details of the current Order and associated data.

Shropshire Council would welcome any comments you wish to make particularly in response to the questions posed within the consultation covering the proposed extension period, impact of the existing PSPO, and need for amendments. Closing 14th May

Please respond in writing, including the nature of your interest (i.e. VCS group/ organisation, resident etc.) via post or email.

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Events and Training Opportunities

shropshire partners in care logo

First Aid and Safeguarding Adults Training

Shropshire Partners in Care is a not-for-profit organisation supporting over 250 independent adult social care providers across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. Established in 2003, they exist to represent, upskill and champion our local adult social care providers and their staff. They offer quality and reasonably priced First Aid training at their offices in Annscroft, Shrewsbury, primarily to Members, but also to non-Members such as schools and community groups. All First Aid Training is nationally accredited by The First Aid Industry Body (FAIB). Safeguarding Adults Awareness training is aimed at all staff and volunteers working in social care, health, housing, charities and other areas of the independent sector.

In April 2023 they have spaces available on the following courses: 

Course Title



Price per Person


Safeguarding Adults Awareness

19th April

Online - Zoom


1 Day Emergency First Aid in Ludlow, Market Drayton or Telford

26th April

The Hub on the Hill, Telford



Should you be interested in booking a place on any of these courses, please contact Non-Member Bookings on 01743 860011 or email

networking event flyer craven arms

NPC logo

How Can Trustees Respond to the Climate Crisis

April 20th 1-2pm

FREE online event: register here

Join NPC as they explore approaches to facing the challenges ahead in the charity sector.

Guest speakers:

The event in held in partnership with The Clothworkers’ Company will explore how trustees can embed environmental issues into their decision making and how charities might evolve their strategies and programmes in light of the climate and nature crises.

mental health forum logo

Mental Health Forum Relaunch and Networking

Friday, April 21st 9:30-11:30am, Shirehall, Shrewsbury

Register here

All VCS organisations who have mental health and wellbeing as their focus are welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting, even if you are not yet a member of the forum or the VCSA. Come and network and see what it’s all about!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the networking event in January. We hope to continue the conversation and relaunch the mental health forum.

Time: Arrive and chat from 9:15 . Event runs from 9:30-11:30am

Agenda will cover:

1. Introductions and updates

2. Background of MH Forum and review of ToR

3. Election of officers and meeting dates

4. Discussion and networking


carer with older person

Dementia Support Information Day

Thursday 18th May, 10am - 3pm

Shrewsbury Town Football Club

This is an event for people affected by dementia across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.  There will be a multitude of organisations in one location, so you can find everything you need to know about dementia in one place.

Find out more here.

KAVS logo

King’s Award for Voluntary Service Briefing Sessions

The King's Award for Voluntary Service celebrates the outstanding work of local volunteer groups across the UK. Groups do not have to be a registered charity and any voluntary

organisation with three or more volunteers can be nominated. The award is the equivalent to an MBE and the highest award given to local voluntary groups in the UK, giving Royal recognition to the work they do.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire has been delighted to see so many voluntary groups in the county being awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and would like to support even more organisations across Shropshire win this award which following the Accession of King Charles III, has now become The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

To help and encourage voluntary organisations understand the award and the nomination process the Shropshire Lieutenancy will be holding three briefing sessions:

Thursday 11th May 2023 at 4pm – 5pm

Shrewsbury Room, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6ND

Tuesday 16th May 2023 at 10.30am – 11.30am

The Baptist Church, Water Lane, Newport, TF10 7LD

Tuesday 13th June 2023 at 7pm - 8pm

Via Zoom

They recommend attendance in person at one of the workshops (Newport or Shrewsbury) as this provides an opportunity for members of the Shropshire KAVS panel to look in more detail at the individual volunteer group’s eligibility; the zoom session is added to assist employed trustees who are unable to attend during the working day.

What the recipients say:

Joe Lockley, Director of Bright Star Boxing Academy said,

“Winning this award is absolutely amazing for all of the staff and volunteers at Bright Star, it’s great to see the impact we’re having is recognised nationally. ”

For further information and/or to book a place please email:

Information can also be found on the KAVS website.

third sector fundraising summit

Third Sector Fundraising Summit

6-7 June 2023

Free Online Tickets

Join the Third Sector Fundraising Summit to understand how fundraising has had to evolve over the past year, and gain an overview of the current state of the landscape.

Find out what you can do to stand out in a saturated market and continue to provide a good service on stretched budgets. Explore how putting a spotlight on strong leadership, strategy and clear communication will help you and your organisation feel unified and connected to your donors.

Join in-person or virtually on 6-7 June and gain the insights and tools you need to boost your fundraising strategy. Online tickets are free and sessions are both live and recorded. 

Register here

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

ncvo logo

Interested in Becoming an NCVO Trustee?


Do you know somebody who might be?

There are only a few days left to apply or nominate someone else for this great opportunity - closing date is Thursday 20 April.

As an NCVO member, Shropshire VCSA can put forward one or more people, so do please let us know if you would like us to nominate you or someone you know.

The NCVO have five board vacancies coming up all through election by members - with four current trustees standing for re-election.

Is this you, or do you know someone who fits the bill and would make an outstanding trustee for NCVO? This can be anyone including your staff or trustees. 

Nominations for the elected roles and applications for the appointed role will both close on Thursday 20 April 2023 and results will be announced at the NCVO AGM and members event on Monday 16 October 2023.  

Get full details of the process, including a role description, person specification and how to nominate.

SaTH logo

Volunteer Opportunities: Clinical Support Services Patient Engagement and Involvement Representatives

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals would like a Patient Engagement and Involvement Representative to work with them in each of their 4 Centres to become “critical friends”:

  • Help them to review patient and service user feedback and develop action plans to improve services, for example, Friends and Family Test results, national and local surveys
  • Meet and speak to patients to help SaTH to find out what patients think about their services and how they could improve them
  • Challenge them to make the improvements to services that patients want
  • Help them to make plans for changes to the way SaTH deliver service or to locations
  • Join SaTH in some of their regular meetings to help them to think about the patient’s view when they review concerns raised with the PALS Team or formal complaints or risks to patient safety and to help them develop action plans
  • Join SaTH in reviewing their department environments to make sure they are as user friendly as possible

Examples of services within Clinical Support Services are:

  • Radiology including Breast Screening
  • Pathology including Phlebotomy, Anti-coagulation therapy and the Mortuaries
  • Therapies: Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Dietetics
  • Pharmacy including specialist homecare medicines

Ideally, they would like you to spend about 12 months or more with them in this role and offer between 1 to 4 half days a month. They can be very flexible to suit the amount of time you can offer.

Download a full role description here which includes more information and contacts, and please share this opportunity.

MEA logo

Volunteers Needed at Events in 2023 to Promote Home Retrofitting for Net Zero Carbon

The Marches Energy Agency (MEA) has purchased an electric van for its Future Ready Homes programme which will be available to support a series of Retrofit Roadshows, mostly at week ends. Locations will be throughout South Shropshire and the van will be fitted out to include:

  • samples of insulation, heat pumps and other retrofit materials
  • the latest information on grants and help for struggling households
  • a continuous PowerPoint slideshow
  • handouts on all aspects of retrofitting, including historic buildings, and links to the best websites.

MEA need volunteers to help at some of these events:

  • to drive the van
  • staff the event
  • talk to the public

Training will be provided. If you are interested in finding out more please contact Nick Read by email.

shropshire disability network logo

Volunteer Opportunity: Shropshire Disability Network

Shropshire Disability Network is currently seeking for a Volunteer Secretary to assist the charity with its secretarial support.

They are asking for any applicants to send in their CV and a Covering Letter explaining why they believe they would be the ideal candidate for the role. All CV's and Covering Letters should be sent to

Download the Job Description and Person Specification.

shropshire wildlife trust logo

Shropshire Wildlife Trust Seeking Trustees

Shropshire Wildlife Trust are looking for new trustees to join them in autumn 2023.  In particular they would like to see more trustees aged 18-30, and more from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, to help ensure that they address the needs of the population as a whole.

You do not need years of management experience or specialist knowledge of conservation, just an enquiring mind and a genuine interest in our vision and goals.  They will arrange a comprehensive induction programme for new trustees, and training and mentoring as required.  Trustees are not paid but expenses are covered.

To apply, please email telling them why you want to be a SWT Trustee, how you fit the role requirements and what skills and experience you can bring.  Or if you prefer you can send them a two minute film about yourself, your interests and life experience, and why you think you might make a good trustee.


For 2023 the closing date for expressions of interest is 24 April 2023.

Find more information, including a role description on the Shropshire Wildlife Trust website.

CS Youth Drop In Volunteers Needed

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

Nationwide Building Society Community Grants - 2023 Dates Announced

Housing-focused charities in the UK will soon be able to apply to the annual community grants programme from Nationwide Building Society, focusing on:

  • Preventing people from losing their home.
  • Helping people into a home.
  • Supporting people to thrive within the home environment.

This year, the awards have increased in size, meaning that grants of £10,000 to £60,000 are now available. Nationwide will fund between 50% to 100% of the total cost of a project.

Registered charitable organisations can apply, providing they have been running for three years and have an annual income of at least £25,000.

The fund can support core costs (up to 20%), staff costs, small-scale capital costs, activity costs and development and capacity building costs.

Applications are reviewed, discussed, and voted on by a regional Community Board made up of Nationwide members and colleagues who live and work in the 11 regions of the UK. The funded projects will also get community and volunteering support.

There is a cap on applications to preserve a success rate of approximately one in four, which means 25% of those who apply within each region will receive funding.

Applications open on 25 April 2023 and close on 26 May 2023 (1pm). More information along with the applications (when they open) will be available on the Nationwide Community Grants website.

TNL community fund logo

Funding for Mayor’s Community Weekend Returns to the West Midlands

On the weekend of Saturday 9 andSunday 10 September 2023, the Mayor’s Community Weekend returns to the West Midlands for the first time since the pandemic. This is a chance for groups to come together to celebrate the strength and diversity of communities across the West Midlands.  

Working with the Mayor of the West Midlands, The Community Fund are offering grants of up to £2,000 to groups who want to run events or activities on this weekend.

Community groups from all areas of the West Midlands can apply. Events should be community-focused, such as community gatherings and sports or cultural events. 

Applications open on Tuesday 9 May and will close on Wednesday 7 June. Further updates and information will be shared in this newsletter, but you can keep an eye on the Community Fund website as well.

In the meantime, why not start thinking about whether you’d like to run an event and what that could look like?

New SC logo banner

Apply for Free Funding for Apprenticeships

Shropshire Council are offering small and medium sized businesses and other, non-levy paying organisations (such as VCSE organisations) the chance to apply for free training through apprenticeships.

It means that the council can help you to cover the cost of apprenticeship training, enabling you to take on and train new staff or boost the skills of your existing staff.

Applications are open until 5pm 24 December 2024 (as long as funds are still available).

This funding is available through a transfer process from the council's unused levies. Detailed guidance can be found on transferring unused apprenticeship funds to other employers on the website. Please read this guidance before you apply for the funding.

To apply, please download the application form, complete and return to Someone will confirm receipt of your application form within 5 working days.

Find out more by visiting the Upskill Shropshire page of the Shropshire Council website

UKSPF logo

Call for UK Shared Prosperity Funding Now Open

A new window for applications for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund opened this week. It will be for activity that delivers between July 2023 and March 2025.

This will focuses on 2 priorities: Supporting local businesses, and Community and Place

Under the Supporting Local Business priority, the council is seeking applications for projects from intermediary organisations to deliver support to businesses, for example through business support initiatives or grant programmes, i.e. one to many. It is not a call that will support individual grant requests from businesses for their own benefit.

Under the Community and Place priority, the council is once again seeking applications from intermediary organisations to deliver support, services, amenities or facilities to local communities. This could include community and place initiatives or grant programmes i.e. one to many.

Projects under this priority must deliver a positive impact on their community and the call will support applications that can clearly demonstrate this.

All projects under both calls must start within six months of 1st July 2023 and all outputs and outcomes must be delivered by 31st March 2025.

The minimum bid thresholds are £100,000 and £60,000 for activity relating to Supporting Local Business and Community & Place respectively.

Organisations have until Friday 12 May 2023 at 5pm to apply.

All prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to further details on how to apply, particularly the eligibility criteria. All the necessary documentation is available on the Invest in Shropshire website. 

Cllr Dean Carroll, portfolio holder for Growth, Regeneration and Housing said:

“We are extremely excited to be able to offer Shropshire’s UKSPF funds through this open call for proposals and we are looking forward to being able support a range of projects and programmes that will have a true positive impact to all communities within the county”.

Further opportunities for applying for UKSPF funds will be announced in due course, including details on how the People and Skills elements of the funds will be delivered.

If you have any queries or wish to speak with a member of the team in more detail, please email

Don't forget to check out the VCSA's latest funding roundup, which is now available to view on our website, or you can click here to download a copy now.

Don't forget to check out our list of grants with rolling deadlines as well!

Don't see something on this list that should be here? Please contact us and let us know.


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To share your news with Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly members and our partners email: