VCSA Newsletter Week of 24th April 2023

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Newsletter for the Week of 24th April 2023


young people from South Shropshire discussing campaign

Young people from South Shropshire plan a campaign. Image courtesy of SSYN

VCS Infrastructure Support Helps Keep South Shropshire Youth Groups Running

Bishop’s Castle Town Council just received £15k from Thriving Children & Families grant funding provided through Shropshire Council and the NHS to continue offering vital youth services in their area.

The funding will be used to maintain some relatively young projects in Bishop’s Castle that might have otherwise had to discontinue their work due to funding coming to an end. Both the Town Council and Hereford Diocese are putting forward match funding. The youth services that will now get time to embed are currently delivered through the South Shropshire Youth Forum (SSYF) and include:

  • A weekly after school junior youth club for 8-11 year olds (term-time only), that is based around a cultural cooking theme with healthy eating and wellbeing at its core.
  • A weekly youth café drop-in for 11-16 year olds, giving young people space to develop confidence, self-esteem, meet friends and take part in activities.
  • A new monthly activity-based session is taking over from the current youth forum meeting. This session will allow young people to express their ideas and to have voice in their town. It is interwoven with the open mic night at the Underground, which is organised by About Music Project, a local community arts group. So, this funding will help to maintain that project as well.

Bishop’s Castle would have lost these programmes were it not for the help of South Shropshire Youth Network (SSYN) Infrastructure Support Officer Marinke Fontein. When Marinke saw the Thriving Children funding become available in the VCSA newsletter, she contacted Bishop’s Castle Town Councillor, Andy Stelman, and noted that this funding could be used to continue this important youth support in the area. Marinke even helped with the council’s application for the funding.

“These services were born out of a 2021 youth consultation SSYN delivered, which highlighted that young people in south Shropshire were looking for things to do and places to hang out, and help with mental health and wellbeing, but in a comfortable, informal way, without labels attached. Thanks to this funding, this important work will continue,” said Marinke.

Marinke and SSYN are also currently supporting Bishop’s Castle Town Council and the Hereford Diocese to create a rural youth hub over the next year or so.

Marinke feels strongly that this successful funding bid emphasises the significance of infrastructure support, especially when it is delivered in a way that makes use of local knowledge.

“It was the ability for someone to see the big picture, and to make the connection between the Town Council and the voluntary organisations delivering services and seeing options for match funding that made the difference in getting this grant secured,” she said.

In addition to Marinke’s support, SSYN offers local knowledge and networking from a large group of peer members operating in South Shropshire. The network meets regularly, and membership is free for those who work with or are interested in working with young people in the region.

To join the next SSYN meeting, or to receive their regular newsletter, please contact Marinke Fontein,

Two other councils, Wem Town Council and Cleobury Mortimer Town Council, were also successful in the first round of this funding. Read more here.

There is still time for Town and Parish Councils to apply for more than £100,000 remaining in the Thriving Children and Families grant fund. The funding is specifically allocated to those councils working on projects with the community sector. The second round of this funding is open until Tuesday, 2nd May 2023. Download the application form here.

Visitors to Meole Estate Community Centre’s Warm Welcome (in Shrewsbury). Picture credit: Energize STW

Community Venues Stepped Up for Shropshire’s Warm Welcome

More than 80 community venues in Shropshire opened their doors to offer residents a warm welcome this winter, as energy prices pushed up the cost of heating our homes. 

The initiative ran from October 2022 until March 2023 and venues included libraries, fire stations, community and village halls among many more. To take part in the initiative venues needed to be free, open to all, and able to offer a warm space to enjoy a chat or an activity.  

Shropshire Council provided support for the participating settings, which included training, resources and signposting, as well as grant funding for voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations. 

Each of the venues also shared Shropshire Council’s cost of living campaign resources, including an advice leaflet aimed at anybody worried about money. 

As the initiative drew to a close in March, warm welcome venues were invited to give their feedback and 91% said that they would like to offer their space as a warm welcome again in 2023/24. 

55% of those who responded, such as libraries, were already providing a year-round community hub, and a further 36% said that they would now consider becoming an all-year hub, offering a space for visitors to access local information, meet people and share interests. 

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, said:- 

“Shropshire’s first warm welcome initiative has shown what a valuable asset our community venues are thanks to the generosity and community focus of the people who run them. Whether visitors came to socialise, to take part in an activity or simply to sit and relax, the warm welcome extended far beyond the chance to save money on heating costs.

The feedback from venues has been really encouraging and has shown us a way forwards so that the initiative can develop further.  Shropshire Council is examining ways that we can continue to support these vitally important community spaces to provide hubs that connect local people to information and opportunities that will help them to live healthy and happy lives in Shropshire.”

For more information about the venues that have taken part, visit: Warm Welcome locations | Shropshire Council 

Image: Visitors to Meole Estate Community Centre’s Warm Welcome (in Shrewsbury). Picture credit: Energize STW

shropshire economic partnership logo

VCSA Represents at Shropshire's Economic Partnership Inaugural Board Meeting

The Shropshire Economic Partnership (SEP)’s inaugural board meeting took place on Thursday 13 April in Shrewsbury.

The board, formerly known as Shropshire Business Board, and the economic taskforce, co-created Shropshire’s economic growth strategy last year, and discussed its role and influence across the county, and how it can support local business, strategic locations and employment and skills in Shropshire.

Comprised of representatives from the public, private, education and voluntary sectors, the board was set up to convey a single business voice for Shropshire, champion growth and sustainability for the business community, and put Shropshire firmly on the map as a county to invest, grow and do great business within. VCSA co-Chairs Nicola Daniels and Julie Mellor represent the voluntary and community sector on the board.

The economic growth strategy focuses on a three-stage process: firstly, an immediate restart following the heights of the pandemic, followed by short-term revitalisation for the county, and finally, a long-term growth strategy which can contribute to creating a healthy economy for Shropshire.

The board will take an active role in concentrating on the most important local issues affecting businesses, and will oversee preparation to create an action plan, review existing projects and funding opportunities, and review its own performance against a stringent monitoring process which looks at indicators such as productivity, wages, investment, homes, and jobs in Shropshire.

The board will meet again in May 2023, and later in July to complete and commit to the action plan. 

Read the full story on the Shropshire Council newsroom.

Shropshire Mental health forum meeting

Get Involved in Mental Health Awareness Week

May 15-21, 2023

The VCSA Mental Health Forum held a meeting and networking event on Friday, 21st April in person at Shirehall for just the second time since the pandemic. All organisations involved in mental health and wellbeing delivery in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin are invited to attend these meetings, which will continue to take place every few months.

One discussion point in this group was how best to mark Mental Health Awareness Week in mid-May. For instance, a Dementia Support Day is being held at the Shrewsbury Town Football Club on 18th May during this week, and supported by many VCS organisations across Shropshire (see events section below).

Other organisations may only just be starting to think about how best to mark this event. To help, the Mental Health Foundation has come out with a number of free resources for organisations to access and help mark this important week. Resources include media packs, images and logos, as well as information booklets to help tackle anxiety.

Are you interested in joining the Shropshire mental health forum networking meetings? Email for more information and to get connected.

Image: Mental Health Forum meeting and networking event at Shirehall, 21st April.

state of the sector survey now open

Only One Week 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

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

Housing "Floating Support" Services Survey: Shropshire Council are asking residents who have access to floating housing support, as well as stakeholders who refer them into the service, to take part in a survey, to help shape the service in the future. Shropshire Council proposes to change the way that potential service users are referred to floating support, and how floating support is allocated. The feedback from the survey will form part of the review of the service currently provided by Sustain consortium, who comprise of a number of support providers. The council are reviewing these contracts, and will be putting new contracts in place from October 2023. Closing 1st May

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

Pay and Equalities Survey 2023: ACEVO, CAF, ACOSVO and Chief Officers 3rd Sector have teamed up to run a really important annual CEO Pay and Equalities Survey. By filling it out, you will play a part in creating a fuller picture of the sectors pay and reward for CEOs. It's a crucial survey that will help to provide a deeper understanding of the current diversity and equality at senior levels. Closing 10th 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

open day flyer

Free Virtual Events from Get Grants


Free Virtual Fundraisers Networking Events:

Free Meet the Expert/Funder  Events:

  • Meet the Expert: easyfundraising
  • When: Tuesday 16th May, 10am – 11am
  • Book a free place through Eventbrite
  • Meet the Funder: The Eveson Charitable Trust
  • When: Wednesday 24th May, 10am – 11am
  • Book a free place though Eventbrite
  • Meet the Expert: National Funding Scheme
  • When: Thursday 15th June, 10am – 11am
  • Book a free place though Eventbrite
  • Meet the Funder: Energy Saving Trust Foundation
  • When: Thursday 7th September, 11am – 12pm
  • Book a free place though Eventbrite
get grants logo

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 and May 2023 they have spaces available on the following courses: 

Course Title

Course Date


Price per Person

1 Day Emergency First Aid

24th April

SPiC Office


Safeguarding Adults Awareness

24th April

Coverage Care (HO)


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

25th April

Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton


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

26th April

The Hub on the Hill, Telford


Adult Safeguarding - Promoting a Positive Safeguarding Culture

10th May

Online - Zoom


Safeguarding Adults Awareness

11th May

SPiC Office



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

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.

STW ICS logo

Menopause Meet Up

Book here for 22 May 23

The Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System Health and Wellbeing Team would like to invite you to join them at their next Menopause Meet up, bringing women together to share their experiences of the menopause. Each event is held virtually via Teams and is an informal peer support group where people are free to contribute to the conversation or simply listen while others talk about their experiences. 

If you work in Health or Social Care, whether through the NHS, Local Authority, voluntary sector or in a care home, this is for you and they would love to see you there.

You are welcome whether you’ve joined the group before, or are new to all things menopause. The topic at the May group is The Beginners Guide to Menopause so will be particularly relevant to you if you are just starting to go through perimenopause or menopause.

Offering support and information throughout this session will be Kate Trifunovic, Specialist Occupational Health Nurse, and Dr Melanie Thompson, GP Partner and Clinical Lead for Health & Wellbeing for STW ICS.  Menopause Meet ups are here across the ICS in order to help women open up and feel more confident speaking about their experiences.  They also help to banish any unhelpful myths, raise awareness of this important topic, and positively impact on your wellbeing.

See you there


Juliet Doman, Health and Wellbeing Manager, STW ICS  -

Climate change adaptation flyer

Find out more information and register here.

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

Looking for Local Health-Related Events and Information?

Looking for health-related events and meetings local to your area? The VCSA recommends subscribing to the Community Connectors newsletter for all of the latest local event information, including classes, clubs and social groups that are related to health and wellbeing. You can subscribe by emailing

Download the Community Connectors Leaflet for more information on what they are and how you can get involved in social prescribing in Shropshire.

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

national centre for creative health logo

Job Opportunity: Creative Health Associate

Part-time: 0.8 f/t (4 days / 30 hours a week)
Salary £42,000 per annum pro-rata
Fixed term contract
until 30th September 2024
Home-based with possibility of some hybrid working
Regular travel within the region
Some travel outside the region
Deadline for applications: 30 April 2023


Download the full job description and information packet, which includes information on how to apply.

Art-efact logo

ART-efact – Oswestry’s Artist Residency 2023

Oswestry’s Cultural Consortium is delighted to announce an exciting new artist-in-residence program, ART-efact, that will be the centrepiece of Oswestry’s 2023 creative programme “Summer of Art”.

Four local artists will be selected to participate in ART-efact from June 2023 through to September 2023. The artists will have a unique opportunity to have paid time to work intimately with the collections and archives at Oswestry Town Museum or Oswestry Town Council.

They will work with local people to develop a body of work and ideas that brings alive Oswestry’s history, heritage and culture. ART-efact will culminate in an iconic group exhibition for the 2023 Heritage Open Days programme, themed “Creativity Unwrapped”.

During the residency, artists will have the opportunity to work in a supportive and collaborative environment with facilitator Holly Maries. They will also share their work with members of local cultural partners Qube and Designs in Mind, helping to improve access to Oswestry’s culture and improving community wellbeing.

Artists are expected to work the equivalent of 15 days over the course of the three months project in return for a fee of £2,835, with an additional material stipend of £500 for a Heritage Open Day Festival exhibition in September 2023.

How do I apply?

To apply for the ART-efact residency, artists should submit a CV, address, six images of their work, and a cover letter providing details about their practice, why they would like the opportunity to work with Oswestry Town Council archives or the Oswestry Town Museum (specifying which resource you would prefer to work with) and how it will benefit your own development.

Please also indicate if there is a particular subject matter you would like to research as a part of the residency, eg geology, social and industrial, decorative and ceramic, historical/heritage, LGBTQ, military, or a specified other.

We encourage applications from all communities and creative disciplines. Please send applications to by end of Sunday 7 May 2023.  Applicants must be 18 or over.

The funding for ART-efact has been provided by Arts Council England and Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).

Social Media and Facebook links:

Instagram: artefactoswestry

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.

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

National Grid Invites Applications to its Community Green Spaces Fund

The Green Spaces Fund is provided by National Grid’s electricity distribution business in partnership with Localgiving as part of the Community Matters Fund, which is paid for by National Grid shareholders.

Organisations must be based and projects must be delivered in the National Grid's electricity distribution area in the Midlands, South West England or South Wales.

Project need to meet one of the following funding themes:

  • Tree planting and biodiversity.
  • Improving accessibility of green space.
  • Developing new or improving/expanding green space.
  • Addressing litter and pollution issues.
  • Green skills and education about the local environment.

The funding is intended to support project costs; however, it will fund running costs related to project delivery such as management and staffing for the times during which project activities take place.

A total of £500,000 is available with two levels of funding:

  • Grants of up to £10,000 for registered charities or non-profit companies limited by guarantee.
  • Grants of up to £2,000 for constituted charitable organisations with no charity number.

Projects can start in June but must be completed and funding spent by 31 December 2023.

The deadline for applications is 12 May 2023 with notification of decisions by end of May 2023. Visit the Localgiving website for more information and to apply.

Women’s Urgent Support Fund Now Open for Applications

Smallwood Trust, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, has opened the first round of its £3 million funding programme aimed at emergency provision for women most impacted by the cost-of-living crisis in England.

The first round sees a total of £1 million available, which will be awarded in grants of £15,000 to £60,000 over three years. It is expected that around 20 grants will be made.

The fund is open to frontline voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that are women-led with an annual turnover of less than £1 million. The funders particularly welcome applications from smaller sized organisations.

Applications are accepted from groups across England, though there are priority areas – a list of which can be found on the Smallwood Trust’s website.

There is also a focus on supporting organisations working with women from these key client groups:

  • Women experiencing racial inequality.
  • Disabled women.
  • Women with No Recourse to Public Funds.
  • Women that are the sole parent to children under 18 years.
  • LGBTQ+ communities experiencing financial insecurity.

Funding must be used to support the provision of essential services to women most impacted by poverty and the cost-of-living crisis. This can include staffing, rent, equipment and organisational capacity development costs.

The deadline to apply for round one is 5pm on 19 May 2023. Visit the Smallwood Trust’s website for more information and to apply.

Rewilding Innovation Fund Reopens for 2023

Rewilding Britain is offering grants of up to £15,000 to help remove barriers to rewilding projects across Britain, whether they are at the early planning stage or wish to scale up pre-existing projects. The Rewilding Innovation Fund will support rewilding projects on land and at sea, at a scale of more than 40 hectares, that adhere to Rewilding Britain’s rewilding principles.

The Rewilding Innovation Fund will support works that could potentially unlock further funding or move a project in scale, such as:

  • Developing a social prescribing and community outreach programme run from a nature-based campsite. 
  • Community forest planting and restoration.
  • Modelling carbon capture.
  • A feasibility study to identify potential areas for seagrass restoration.
  • A tree seeding experiment.

Funding can be used to cover costs such as:

  • Business plans and strategies.
  • Community engagement activities or co-design.
  • Feasibility studies.
  • Technological innovations.

Priority will be given to applicants who are taking an innovative approach to land and marine rewilding, and applicants that will help develop learning and evidence for others within the Rewilding Network.

Applicants must first become a member of the Rewilding Network before submitting a full application. There are typically two funding rounds per year.

The next deadline for applications is 31 May 2023. Visit the Rewilding Britain website for more information and to apply.

Veolia’s Sustainability Fund (with Crowdfunding) Opens for 2023 Projects

Veolia’s Sustainability Fund is provided by Veolia, the UK leader in resource management, in partnership with crowdfunding platform Spacehive.

Now in its third year, the Sustainability Fund aims to help grassroots community projects in transforming their local communities, providing social and environmental benefits.

The Fund offers grants (cash sponsorship) of up to £1,000, in-kind resources or staff volunteers to support not-for-profit organisations and community groups.

Veolia will match up to 50% of the money raised by groups through Spacehive up to a maximum of £1,000.

Funding is for local projects that support one or more of the following themes:

  • Enhancing biodiversity
  • Promoting sustainable waste behaviours (reduce, reuse and/or recycle)
  • Protecting or preserving resources and the environment
  • Its use of recycled, reused or reclaimed materials

The funder looks favourably on projects that have considered the long-term or ongoing benefits for the community and will consider all projects based on merit.

Larger projects that require more funding are sometimes considered.

Any not-for-profit organisation, community group or individual can apply.

Although applications will be considered from across the UK, there is particular interest in areas where Veolia works with the Local Authority:

Applications will be accepted from 21 April to 29 September 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Spacehive site for the Veolia Sustainability Fund.

Deadline Reminder for Create Equity’s Capacity Building Fund

Organisations across England have two weeks left to apply for an unrestricted grant from Create Equity to build their capacity and resilience.

The fund offers grants of up to £70,000 and bespoke business support and is open to registered charities and social enterprises with an annual turnover of at least £100,000.

To be eligible, applicant organisations must have a board and senior management that is at least 51% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME).

Grants are primarily aimed at those working in creative industries.

Grants are intended to support organisations to get to a position where they are well equipped to access further grants/funding in the future.

The deadline to apply is 2 May 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Create Equity website.

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 and applications can be found on the Nationwide Community Grants website.

Scops Arts Trust Reopens for Applications in 2023

Scops Art Trust is offering grants of up to £30,000 to registered charities, and other constituted, not-for-profit organisations, to deliver projects and activities that give people of all ages a better quality of life by enabling them to understand, participate in, and enjoy the arts, particularly the performing arts (music, drama, opera, and dance).

In 2023, the Trust is especially interested in supporting performing arts projects aimed at adults and projects which will benefit all ages across the generations. It is also keen to hear from organisations planning smaller regional festivals in areas where there is little arts provision, due to socio-economic circumstances or geographically remote locations.

While the Trust will continue to consider applications for music education projects for children and young people, priority will be given to projects this year that focus on adults and whole communities.

Most grants will be awarded for specific projects, but the Trust will also contribute towards the core costs of smaller organisations where a grant could make an impact.

Priority will be given to small-to-medium-sized organisations. Both one-off and multi-year grants will be considered.

There is a two-stage application process, wherein groups must complete an eligibility check before being invited to submit a Stage 1 application. Selected applicants will then be invited to complete a Stage 2 online application form.

The deadline for applications is 28 April 2023 (noon). For more information and to apply, visit the Scops Art Trust website.

Triangle Trust 1949 Fund Reopens for 2023 Applications

Following a period of closure to undertake a strategic review, the Triangle Trust 1949 Fund is once again accepting applications. This year, there will be a focus on young offenders or those at risk of offending.

For round one, proposals must be aimed solely at supporting young people (aged 11 to 25 years) with criminal convictions. Funded projects should follow a ‘Sport 4 Development’ approach. This refers to the intentional use of sport and physical activity to attain specific social development objectives, in this case to reduce rates of reoffending.

Grants of up to £80,000 over two years are on offer, with a maximum of £40,000 that can be requested per year.

Registered charities, not-for-profit social enterprises and community interest companies that are working within the UK and have a UK office can apply. Applicants must a turnover of less than £1,500,000 and previous experience of working with young people with criminal convictions.

The funders are particularly interested in proposals that:

  • Have specific outcomes and targets related to individual development, health and well-being, employability, education, and social cohesion.
  • Demonstrate that they understand the wide range of challenges and issues that will need to be addressed to help a young person succeed after being released from a Young Offenders Institution or prison.
  • Show existing work with young people who have been in the criminal justice system is already taking place and can evidence a track record of helping them to achieve positive outcomes.

Projects which offer targeted support to young people from Black or minoritised backgrounds, young women and girls or young people with experience of the care system will be given priority.

The deadline to apply is 23.59 on 21 May 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Triangle Trust website.

AHF Launches New Grants Programme for Historic Building Projects in England

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is offering new funding for 2023-2024 which aims to help a range of not-for-profit organisations, including social enterprises, through the early stages of planning to restore and re-use historic buildings.

Project Viability grants of up to £10,000 are available and are normally valid for one year.

The grants typically support an initial assessment of the building’s conditions and repair needs, outline designs sensitive to the heritage that would accommodate the uses being considered, the outline cost of the works needed to repair and convert the building, and surveys or audits that identify ways to improve energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. At the end of the funded work, organisations should be able to decide whether to commit to further costs, risk and effort in developing their project and have a clear idea of the next steps to be taken.

The funding can be used to meet a range of costs, including fees for professionals to undertake initial surveys, designs and costings, advice on legal and governance matters, and help with outline business planning, market testing, and fundraising strategies.

Applications are welcome from across England, but priority will be given to projects that:

  • Involve the new use of a vacant historic building.
  • Help revive high streets.
  • Are in the top 30% most deprived areas.
  • Involve and support diverse communities (traditionally underrepresented among heritage asset owners).
  • Have a strong focus on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.
  • Contribute to local regeneration schemes.

There is a two-stage application process.

Expressions of Interest may be submitted at any time, but applicants should bear in mind that the programme closes to full applications on 26 January 2024. Find more information and applications on the AHF website.

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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

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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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