VCSA Newsletter Week of 24th July 2023

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 24th July 2023


cover of healthwatch shropshire report

Healthwatch Shropshire Publishes Annual Report

2023 marks a significant anniversary for Healthwatch, it is 10 years since the network was set up across England. At the beginning of 2023 Healthwatch Shropshire were again awarded the contract to continue to act as the health and social care champion in the county for another 3-5 years.

Their annual report, published this month, details how they have championed the voices of the thousands of Shropshire patients and service users they have heard from over the last year. Including:

  • Raising the struggles people face when seeking urgent help and calling for an ambulance
  • Bringing experiences of Psychological Therapies to life to help the NHS improve services
  • Highlighting the communication needs of people with disabilities and cognitive impairment
Vanessa Barratt, Chair of Healthwatch Shropshire, said:
"One of the highlights of the year for me was our in-person Annual Event at Shrewsbury Town Football Club. ‘One Chance’ brought together the public and professionals to talk about work being done in Shropshire to get care right for people towards the end of life."

heat pump

£11m Available to Help Lift Shropshire Homes Out of Fuel Poverty

Energy experts at Shropshire Council have secured over £11 million in funding for its Sustainable Warmth Programme to assist local people to improve their homes and reduce harm caused by fuel poverty.

The total funding award of £11,073,500 from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero forms part of the Government’s Phase 2 of its ‘Home Upgrade Grant’ scheme.

The council’s affordable warmth and energy efficiency team will use the funding to help retrofit the homes of residents living off-gas. Fully funded works will include insulation, heat pumps, first-time double glazing, and solar panels.

As well as keeping homes cosy and warm, energy efficiency improvements can reduce heating costs and carbon emissions. They can also boost comfort levels at home, and protect against the health risks associated with damp and cold homes.

The affordable warmth and energy efficiency team are now inviting expressions of interest from residents and landlords to the Sustainable Warmth Programme. Qualifying residents will receive a free assessment to identify the types of measures that will be most effective for their home. All works will be delivered by accredited and council-approved contractors.

This new funding will allow the council to support more than 500 households over the next two years, and the affordable warmth and energy efficiency team is currently negotiating additional funding to increase the number of households who will benefit from the scheme.

There are a number of ways residents can qualify: for more information and to check their eligibility, they can visit Shropshire Council's Sustainable Warmth website where they can also apply.

If residents require support with their application, they can contact the free and impartial energy advice service, Keep Shropshire Warm, on 0800 112 3743.

report cover

Fundraisers are an Average of £3,000 Worse Off Than 2019 According to New Report

A new report by Charity Job in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising out this month reveals that inequalities between charity sector fundraising jobs and similar positions in the private or statutory sectors are increasing.

The report finds that overall, average salaries in the sector were down 3% compared to 2019, while the number of jobs posted were up 35% in the same period.

Fundraisers in the sector fared slightly better than the average, but were still seeing real-terms salaries drop, with rises well under inflation. In 2019, a charity fundraiser could expect to make an average of £36,300, but in 2022, this had only risen by 4% to £37, 700 - an inflation-adjusted decrease of around £3,000.

The report opens by saying:

"2022 was a difficult year for charities recruiting. This was due to a highly competitive recruitment market where there were more job vacancies in the UK than candidates available to fill them. Offering fair pay is crucial, not only to attract candidates, but also to promote diversity in the workforce."

Read the full report on fundraiser salaries here. If you want to check out the full Charity Job Salary Report for 2023, you can read that here.

shropshire homes

Shropshire HomePoint to Implement New Housing Allocations Policy 

Shropshire Council will be implementing its new Housing Allocations Policy from Thursday 27 July 2023.

In March 2023 Cabinet approved and adopted a revised housing allocations policy and scheme. The revised policy follows a public consultation where the council sought the views from local organisations and residents on the proposed changes to the criteria used to allocate social and affordable housing to people who live and work in Shropshire.

Tackling inequality is a key outcome of the Healthy People priority of The Shropshire Plan: ensuring affordable housing is allocated to those in the greatest housing need is fundamental to tackling housing inequality.

The revised Housing Allocations Policy (HomePoint) will ensure that applicants in the greatest need are allocated social and affordable housing.

Key changes to the housing policy include:-

  • Increasing the number of bands contained in the policy from four to seven, to ensure people’s housing needs are better managed within the policy.
  • Introducing a local connection criterion, where, subject to statutory exceptions, those who qualify must have been living in Shropshire for the last year or more, have close family living in Shropshire, or be employed in Shropshire.

New applicants who have sufficient income to purchase or rent market-priced housing within Shropshire which is suitable for their needs would not qualify to be on the housing register.

Therefore, the new policy introduces a threshold household income of £50,000 gross per annum, or savings and assets (including equity in a property) of more than £200,000, or both. Those new applicants on and above this threshold would not qualify to be on the housing register.

Those who may no longer qualify to be on the housing register, on the basis of not having a local connection, will be notified and advised on their right to appeal. There are transitional arrangements in the short term, so this will not take place immediately.

The policy also introduces formal nominations agreements with housing associations operating in Shropshire. This will ensure that applicants in the greatest housing need are allocated social and affordable housing.

The new policy moves the Shropshire HomePoint banding system from four bands (Priority, Gold, Silver and Bronze) to seven bands.  A copy of the new allocation policy can be downloaded here.

Show Us Your Impact!

The VCSA along with Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) and the Telford Chief Officers Group (COG) are looking to showcase the impact of VCSE health and wellbeing organisations across the county at the upcoming 'Working with the Sector' event in October (see events below).

We are collecting photos, videos and logos from your health and wellbeing organisations and projects to showcase at the event in a video. If you would like to have your work shown in this presentation, please get in touch!

Interested in having your organisation's stories of success featured in our newsletter, website or social media? We want to hear from you! Contact:

Top of page

Have Your Say: Current VCSE Engagement Opportunities

SaTH Hospitals Transformation Programme Focus Groups: Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals want local communities and patients to have the opportunity to get involved with the Hospitals Transformation Programme (HTP).  They are organising focus groups which will meet regularly over the next three years as plans develop. The focus groups are aligned to the clinical workstreams within the HTP programme:

  • Medicine, emergency, surgery, anaesthetics, and cancer focus group
  • Clinical Support Services
  • Women’s and Children’s

Please email if you would like to join any of these focus groups (please specify which focus groups you would like to attend).  If you would like them to come and speak to a group or organisation that you are involved with they would be very happy to do so.  Please email and they will work with you to arrange a convenient date. 

Closing date TBD

Audiology Services Review - Request to Meet with Groups: Last year many took part in a review of audiology, either by completing a public survey or inviting us to meet with your group. You can read the full report here. What people told the NHS engagement team has been used to help shape the future model for the Adult Hearing Service for Age Related Hearing Loss (age 55 and above).

They would like the opportunity to visit any group you are involved with, who would be interested in discussing the plans for this service. They want to get your views about how they ensure that any potential future service providers consider the views and experiences of people using their service. 

If you would like them to come to your group or wish to make suggestions please contact Jayne Morris or Sara Buckley

Closing date TBD

Healthwatch Shropshire - Diabetes Service Changes: To address the rising prevalence of diabetes in our community STW Integrated Care System wants to transform diabetic care pathways with a vision of improving the lives and treatment outcomes for patients affected by diabetes or those at risk of developing it. In order to do this, they would like to hear from people with diabetes or those who have been identified as being at risk of developing diabetes (pre-diabetic) about their experiences of diabetic care and support. They will then share the responses with the NHS and Public Health to help inform the transformation programme and ensure the patient voice is at the centre of developments. Closing 31st July

Shropshire’s Great Outdoors Survey 2023: Annual user survey in order to identify how and where best to use the council’s resources to maintain and improve Shropshire's rights of way network, country parks and countryside and heritage sites. The survey also provides information to support the delivery of Shropshire’s Great Outdoors Strategy 2018-2028. Closing 6th August   

Shropshire Healthier Weight Strategy 2023-2028 Draft Consultation: Members of the public and other stakeholders are invited to give their views on Shropshire’s draft Healthier Weight Strategy. Reducing obesity is a priority for Shropshire Council and Shropshire’s Integrated Care System and the draft strategy describes how we will work together to promote healthier weight for people of all ages, tackling the broader factors that impact on people’s health and wellbeing. It reflects valuable feedback previously received from the public and stakeholders, alongside current evidence, national guidance and local data on the scale and impact of unhealthy weight in Shropshire. Please share with service beneficiaries. Closing 7th September

Top of page

Events and Training Opportunities

SATH logo

Hospitals Transformation and Planning Events

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust (SaTH) are holding some important public engagement events around the planning at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Hospital Transformation Programme.

Download this flyer with the upcoming dates, which include:

Planning Application Information and Engagement - Royal Shrewsbury Hospital:

  • Monday 24 July 2023 – 3pm-7pm at Gains Park Hall, Gains Park Way, Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HF
  • Tuesday 1 August 2023 – online webinar at 6pm. Registration can be completed by visiting

Hospital Transformation Plan Information and Involvement Sessions:

  • Tuesday 05 September 10:00 – 12:00  Women & Children’s Services Focus Group
  • Thursday 07 September 10:00 – 12:00 Medicine and Emergency Care / Surgery, Anaesthetics and Cancer Focus Group
  • Thursday 21 September Clinical Support Services Focus Group

Members of the project team will take members of the public through the proposals and answer any questions you may have.

If you have any queries about the planning application, please contact

Katey Evans, Personalised Care Navigator and Leah Morgan

Talks, Demonstrations and Music Part of Open Day for Those Affected by Cancer

The Personalised Care Team who support those living with and beyond cancer at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH LWBC), is encouraging anybody who is affected by cancer to go along to the open day on Tuesday August 8.

The event will be held between 10am and 4pm at Palmer’s, Claremont Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1QG.

Jessica Greenwood, Head of Cancer Services & Lead Cancer Nurse at SaTH, said:

“This is a chance to talk about the amazing opportunities for people affected by cancer to get involved in. You are welcome to come along, ask questions, take away information and hopefully reach out to any services that could be of a benefit to you.”

The Personalised Care Team at SaTH has worked alongside services within the Trust, Primary Care and wider voluntary sector to bring everyone together in one room to talk about all the help available for people affected by cancer throughout Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and mid-Wales.

Open Harmony, a community music group, will be there on the day, providing music and talking about the chance for people to get involved with their group, and there will also be the opportunity to have a hand massage.

Members of the team will be talking about personalised care, what the different aspects are within that area and how they could benefit those living with and beyond cancer, including health needs assessments, personalised care and support plans, Living Well Sessions, the award-winning Cancer Information and Support App and treatment summaries.

For more information, contact the Personalised Care Team on or 01743 492424.

Pictured: Katey Evans, Personalised Care Navigator and Leah Morgan, Personalised Care and Cancer Improvement Facilitator, who will be at the event.

shropshire partners in care logo

First Aid and Safeguarding 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 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 July and August 2023 they have spaces available on the following courses: 

Course Title

Course Date


Price per person

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

25th July

Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton


1 Day Emergency First Aid

26th July

Annscroft Office


1 Day Emergency First Aid

31st July

Annscroft Office


Adult Safeguarding - Promoting a Positive Safeguarding Culture

1st August

Online - Zoom


1 Day Emergency First Aid

3rd August

Annscroft Office


1 Day Emergency First Aid

8th August

Annscroft Office


Safeguarding Adults Awareness

9th August

Online - Zoom


Professional Boundaries in Social Care & Health Settings

11th August

Online - Zoom


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

Community Connectors Meetings July/August

Are you a local group or individual delivering activities that benefit and support the communities of Shropshire? Then please come along to one of the community connector network meetings throughout the county to connect with other local community services, groups and support organisations.


3rd August Online 10am to 12pm Please contact Natalie Jackson to book your place

South East

22nd August venue TBC. Please contact Lesley Jewell to book your place


12th September 10am to 12pm Ellesmere Venue TBC Please contact Lou Woolcock to book your place


STW ICS logo

Menopause Meet Up

25th July 12-1:30pm

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 or volunteer in Health or Social Care, whether through the NHS, Local Authority, voluntary or charity 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. Their topic at the July group is cold water swimming through the menopause and they are lucky enough to have Sonya Miller from the Shropshire Bluetits cold water swimming group coming to tell everyone about her experience.

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.

Register here

Questions? Contact Juliet Doman, Workforce Health and Wellbeing Manager, STW ICS  -

NPC logo

Theory of Change in Ten Steps

19 September 2023 10.30am—12pm Online

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) are pleased to invite you to Theory of change in ten steps on 19 September 2023. This seminar is based on the NPC's published guidance and will teach you how to develop a theory of change in just ten simple steps.

The event is part of their Leading Impact series and will be hosted by Tom Lyscom, NPC's Principal: Theorising Change. It will equip you with all you need to create a fresh theory of change.

A limited number of bursary places are available for small charities, ethnic minority charities of all sizes and ethnic minority representatives from charities of all sizes. Bursary spaces are available on a first come first-served basis. Email  to apply for bursary places.

Book here

shropshire charity network logo

Shropshire Charity Network Meeting

Thursday 21st September, 9.30-10.30am Online 


Register here

At the September event we will be joined by Lewis Hardy, from Start Tech. Lewis will be talking to us about Cyber Security in the Charity Sector, giving some recent attacks against charities examples. He will cover how we can protect ourselves and mitigate risk and give some helpful information on Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation and potential Government Funding.

In this session we will also be joined by Selina Graham. Selina will be sharing an update on the new Shropshire Community Foundation, of which she is Chair. It is very likely that you will also be familiar with Selina who was High Sheriff for Shropshire for 2022 – 2023. 

DSC from here to diversity conference banner

From Here to Diversity 2023 Online Conference

28th September

Increased diversity can offer so many advantages to forward-looking organisations, including; improved performance and better governance,
greater creativity, a wider perspective and increased legitimacy and accountability.

This event will help you and your organisation be inclusive in language, behaviour and processes. We have curated a variety of sessions with experts that cover:

  • Keynote on leadership and diversity
  • New initiatives, the latest talking points and helpful resources in diversity
  • Making your digital content more accessible
  • Inclusive recruitment
  • Committing to EDI (equality, diversity, inclusion)
  • How not to do EDI
  • Supporting neurodiversity as a leader
  • Themed discussion groups (you can suggest topics)

You will go away with tips that will enable you to make the changes within your organisation (and your own behaviour) that will help improve society for all of us.

View full session details here.

Register here

picture of grieving young person

Training: Teaching Young People about Death and Loss

Gain knowledge and skills to help young people cope with loss. This is a schools-based programme in teaching Death Education to young people, but is open to VCS professionals working with young people.

To book: Teaching Young People about Death & Loss

CEDAR EDUCATION is a registered Community Interest Company that provides death and bereavement education to teachers, young people, their families and professionals. In 2020, we received the Queen's Award for Volunteer Services for our Innovative Teaching and work with young people. We are now enrolling teachers for a new course for secondary schools. These teacher-training workshops are designed to help you develop death education for PSHE, RE or general lessons across the curriculum. This course will also be open to adults and professionals who need this information.

This is a 2-day workshop that will run from 9:30-4pm on Fridays. Part 1: Understanding Death, 13 October 2023; and Part 2: Understanding Grief, 20 October 2023.

10hours CPD certificate

The course will cover the following topics:

  • The nature of death and dying
  • Understanding grief
  • Helping young people cope with loss
  • Creating a supportive environment for bereaved students and those who are not bereaved, but affected by a death.
  • Developing lesson plans on death and dying

To be eligible for the course, you must:

  • Be a qualified secondary school teacher, head teacher or mental-health lead, youth-worker, and/or,
  • Have an interest in death education and bereavement support
  • Be committed to working with young people

If you are interested in registering for these workshops, please visit  Eventbrite for more information, terms and conditions of booking. Closing date for registration is 1st October 2023.

These workshops are subsidised and places will be limited. Registration is essential. Workshop fees include:

  • Workbook & activities
  • Good Grief Leaf
  • 10hrs CPD Certificate
  • Lunch and refreshments

‘Working with the Voluntary and Community Sector and Social Enterprise Sector – The Key to Health and Wellbeing across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin’

Wednesday 4th October from 9am to 3.15pm

at Shrewsbury Town Football Club

Are you a voluntary and community sector organisation working on health and wellbeing? Want to showcase your impacts to health decision-makers? Ready to network and create partnerships with other VCSE organisations doing similar work?

If you have answered yes to these questions, then this conference is for you!


Join us for this chance to come together and engage in thought-provoking discussions and practical, informative workshops that will be sure to leave you feeling inspired.

Key themes for the day

  • To demonstrate, with evidence, the impact of the VCSE as a key delivery partner in the wider health and care system
  • Showcase the importance of VCSE infrastructure support for Shropshire Telford & Wrekin
  • To ensure a common understanding of the VCSE and strengthen integrated ways of working with Statutory Health Partners.
  • To bring a wide range of decision makers and experts together to gather learning to inform and influence the future plans of the ICS.

On the day there will be a range of engagement sessions and presentations from Voluntary Sector partners, ICB members and guest speakers. This conference will be an opportunity to learn more about the work happening within the Voluntary and Community Sector and how the sector is delivering on improving health, social care and wellbeing for people in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

You will have an opportunity to participate in a range of workshops focusing on Social Value and impact, measurement tools, the value of VCSE infrastructure and ways of collaborating for societal change.

Lunch and refreshments provided on the day.

We have limited spaces and would encourage you to take the opportunity to book early, to save disappointment!

Register here

This conference is supported by Shropshire Council and in partnership with Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership (SIP), Telford & Wrekin Chief Officers Group (COG) and Shropshire VCSA


green open homes logo

Green Doors Scheme October 2023

Energy-efficient households are being asked to lead by example and throw open their doors to people wanting to learn more this October (2023).

The Marches Energy Agency is asking for people who have already started making their homes more energy efficient to volunteer as ambassadors through the Green Doors scheme, which takes place over three weekends in October.

Households who have already carried out works are being asked to open their doors so that people can find out first-hand all the information they need about making their own homes more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

The event is being co-ordinated by the Marches Energy Agency, and participating homes are being mapped on the national network for low carbon open homes.

Tony Baker, project manager at MEA, said:-

“The need for energy efficiency improvements to homes is now greater than ever, with huge energy bills biting, inflation and interest rates hitting people’s pockets, and climate change breathing down our necks.

“Looking around a home which has already been retrofitted and talking to householders who have been on that journey, is absolutely invaluable in giving others the confidence and understanding they need, and that in a nutshell is what Green Doors is about.”

Green Doors takes place on Saturday 14 October, Sunday 15 October, Saturday 21 October, Sunday 22 October, Saturday 28 October and Sunday 29 October 2023, and homes will be open from 10am to 4pm.

Volunteers are not expected to take part on all six days. For information on how to volunteer email Tony Baker at or call 07942 370529.

More information on Green Doors can be found 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.

Top of page

Job / Volunteer Opportunities

together active logo

Vacancies With Together Active

Together Active is a local charity whose vision is to design out inactivity across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The charity has ambitious plans for growing and is making a significant investment in expanding their workforce over the next 12 months.

They are seeking individuals to fill the following roles (click on the links to find out more):

league of friends logo

Seeking Volunteers: The League of Friends of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

The League of Friends (LoF) have over 200 helping in the shops and on the ward trolleys, of all ages from retirees looking to “put something back” whilst socialising to younger people gaining useful experience whilst helping their community. They are looking for more people to help support their important work.

All of the money the volunteers help raise contributes directly to the hospital, but just as important to them and to the patients is being able to offer a touch of kindness or a friendly smile at what may be a difficult time. If you would like to know more, contact the shops manager: 01743 261008.

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!

Top of page

Grant and Funding News

New SC logo banner

Early Market Engagement: Wellbeing and Independence Services for Adults

Shropshire Council would like to take the opportunity to engage with potential providers and/or partners in the future commissioning of Wellbeing & Independence services for adults.

Please note that the purpose of this process is for the council to discuss with the market and inform their current understanding of key issues and themes relating to the provision of these services and also to discuss what the market has to offer to assist the Council to deliver the services from 1st April 2024.

Please note that this is not the commencement of any formal procurement process and the Council is not committed to carrying out such a process.

For the avoidance of doubt no information provided in response to this process will be used by the Council in assessing providers during any subsequent procurement process.

This early market engagement exercise is intended to allow potential providers to outline their views and to provide information to the Council decision making process.

The Council will consider the information received as a result of this exercise to help inform the Council’s options appraisal and subsequent Council decision making process.


The Council currently commissions Wellbeing and Independence services for adults with the overarching aim of helping people to remain independent and active in their own home and their community in order to reduce the likelihood of them becoming unwell, using health services or long-term formal care and support. The current scope of the services consists of the 4 following key elements:

  • Practical help in the home
  • Friendship support (befriending)
  • Day opportunities
  • Keeping well, keeping active incorporating the development and support of groups aimed at keeping people active

The Council is keen to engage with the market to understand the opportunities available to meet the overarching aim set out above.

Please read this announcement and questionnaire in full for details on how to participate in this market engagement process.

Completed questionnaires (see Appendix 1 of document linked above) should be returned to Lisa Middleton by 5.00pm on 4th August 2023.

If you have any questions about this early market engagement, such questions should be submitted to the Council through an email to Lisa Middleton

They intend to invite all potential providers who express an interest in getting involved in this early market engagement exercise to meet with them to discuss their response.  This could either be in person or via Teams and it is anticipated to take about an hour. A provisional date of 15th August has been set for meetings.

Local Organisations Encouraged to Bid for National Automated External Defibrillator Funding

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin is encouraging local voluntary, community or social enterprise organisations to bid for funding from a £1m national initiative.

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a Community Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) Fund, aimed at increasing the number of AEDs in public places where they are most needed to help save lives. The funding will provide an estimated 1000 new defibrillators in community spaces across England and is open for organisations across both Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin.

As part of the grant award, applicants will be asked to demonstrate that defibrillators will be placed in areas where demand may be greatest, such as places with vulnerable people, high footfall, rural communities or certain activities taking place. 

For further information, please click here, and to submit an expression of interest, click

HMRC Offering £5.5 Million in Grants to the Voluntary Sector

HMRC is looking for voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations to help customers to form or rebuild a relationship with HMRC that enables them to engage directly with HMRC in the future.

There is a total of £5.5 million on offer for 2024-2027, equating to £1.835 million per year. This will be given out in grants of £30,000 to £600,000 per year, with a maximum threshold set at 50% of an organisation’s annual turnover.

Registered charities, voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, mutual and co-operatives based in the UK can apply, provided they have an annual turnover of no less than £60,000.

Bids should support HMRC’s principles of support for customers who need extra help and include two or more of the following activities:

  • Help people comply with their tax affairs.
  • Support customers with complex needs (including those referred from the Extra-Support Team).
  • Support people to be able to use digital ways of accessing HMRC’s services.

VCS's support is needed to help those customers HMRC currently find hardest to reach, or who cannot or will not interact directly with HMRC, for reasons that include geography, culture, language and trust.

There will be live Q&A sessions with the HMRC Grant Funding Team on 26 July 2023 and 8 August 2023. Book onto one of these sessions here.

The fund will close at 23.59pm on 21 August 2023. Guidance and application information can be found on the HMRC Grants website.


Cash for Kids Sports Challenge

Free Radio's Cash for Kids has got £10,00 in funding for local sports groups to win! They want to help YOU enable more local children to get active and get involved in sport.

The Cash for Kids sports challenge is back for 2023, entries for the sports challenge open online on Monday 24th July, with the challenge taking place from Saturday 16th September until Monday 16th October.

This is a unique opportunity to get your group or club together behind one goal, working together to help more local children get involved in your sport.

All the money you raise you get to keep, on top of that they have grant prizes to be won with 1st place receiving £5,000 2nd place receiving £2,500 and 3rd place receiving £1,500 plus two prizes of £500 for best use of social media and most creative fundraising idea.

Download a flyer here.

To find out more or to register please visit the Planet Radio website.

New Research Grants from Armed Forces Families Fund

With funding from the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched another grants programme from its Armed Forces Families Fund. These new grants will support research projects to develop understanding of challenges that Armed Forces families can face, with a focus on:

  • Educational attainment for Service pupils.
  • Child welfare.
  • The welfare needs of Service families.

Grants of up to £60,000 over 18 months are available to registered charities or UK-based universities. It expected that the majority of grants will be £30,000 or less.

Projects must address at least one of the following challenges:

  • What are the impacts of Service life on Service children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)? How does access to the necessary support services compare to non-Service peers? (UK or globally).
  • What is the impact of separation of Service personnel from children in their key early years developmental stage? Is there evidenced-based practice for early years practitioners to mitigate identified risks to support a good level of development (GLD) at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (UK only)?
  • Do Service children achieve the highest GCSE grades (Grades 9–5) at a rate comparable to their non-Service (non-Free School Meals) peers? How are their outcomes influenced by geographical location and by the parental Service (RN, RAF or Army) (England only)?
  • What are the key educational risks and benefits associated with transitions between education systems for Armed Forces children? Are particular cohorts of Armed Forces children disproportionately affected by transitions between education systems (within UK & global, age and stage, socio-economic background, SEND etc)?
  • Is there any evidence that serving families from the foreign and commonwealth are overrepresented in statutory social care services and single service welfare provision?
  • To understand how UK Armed Forces families currently receive information from Defence; the formats in which they received it (what they receive, how 3 they receive it and the frequency); and to better understand any preferences that they have in how they would like to receive relevant information.

The funders are not defining a particular methodology for how each research theme should be explored and encourage creativity in approach.

Applications are accepted until 6 October 2023 at 9am. Visit the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website for more information and to apply.

Force For Change Programme Accepting Round 2 Applications

Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is now open for the second round of its local grants programme, aiming to support Armed Forces communities in the UK to become less isolated and engage more in their local area.

This year (2023), Force for Change will support ideas that need small amounts of funding to deliver changes or improvements for Armed Forces communities, particularly for those who are experiencing particular needs due to cost-of-living challenges.

Grants of up to £15,000 over one year are available for projects starting within one month of award.

To be eligible to apply, organisations must be one of the following:

  • An established registered charity or community interest company (CIC) with substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities.
  • An Armed Forces unit or base.
  • A local authority.
  • A school.
  • A statutory body that delivers or co-ordinates NHS care.

The programme is intended to be broad to allow those who know the most about what is needed to deliver their ideas. All projects must:

  • Demonstrate how they are needed and what gap they are filling.
  • Help people from within the Armed Forces community to address a specific need that they are experiencing.
  • Have been developed with people from Armed Forces communities.
  • Not duplicate existing local provision.
  • Support longer-term change.

Funding can cover continuation of existing work, provision of pilot activities or projects that build on earlier work with vulnerable Armed Forces communities.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 13 December 2023, for decisions by the end of March 2024. For more information and to apply, visit the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website.

Continuo Foundation Launch Round Six of Funding for Period Music Ensembles Across the UK

Continuo Foundation is offering grants of between £2,000 and £8,000 for professional ensembles playing period music and instruments to mobilise projects of outstanding artistic merit and create meaningful work for freelance period musicians, whilst engaging a wide range of audiences with historically informed live performances.

Round Six will continue to focus on providing the funds and confidence needed for ensembles to plan and carry out a range of creative projects that will bring inspiring live music to communities across the UK, particularly in areas which lack access to high-calibre live music. The fund will also help more recently formed ensembles to establish themselves, including graduates from 2020-2023 to help them gain visibility and performance experience.

Grants can be used by a period-instrument ensemble to:

  • Provide the funding to enable a concert at risk of being cancelled or downsized.
  • Fund a new project where there is uncertainty about audience size.
  • Fund a chamber recital series.
  • Tour an existing programme to new UK locations.
  • Create a filmed concert which can be used to generate further touring opportunities.

Grants are available for UK-based professional groups of at least three musicians playing period instruments, or faithful replicas, with a consistent membership of instrumentalists, year-round activity, and an identity as a period-instrument ensemble.

Funding is for projects taking place between September 2023 and March 2024.

The deadline for applications is 10 August 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Continuo Foundation website.

Funding for Nature and Natural History Projects Across the UK

John Spedan Lewis Foundation is offering grants of between £2,000 and £30,000 for registered charities with an annual income of less than £1 million to deliver natural history and wildlife projects and activities that fall within the following themes:

  • Research.
  • Habitat conservation.
  • Habitat restoration and rewilding.
  • Environment education.
  • Community action and engagement in nature.

Support for more general operational costs will also be considered if groups can provide evidence that:

  • The funding will make a substantial difference to the capabilities of the organisation to deliver on its strategy (with a clear rationale for this).
  • The funded organisation’s purpose and impact reflect a key strategic focus area for JSLF funding.
  • The organisation is effective in its work and well managed.

Funding is for groups for which natural history topics are explicitly stated among their charitable purposes, including wildlife conservation, entomology, and ornithology.

The deadline for applications is 31 July 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the John Spedan Lewis Foundation website.

Branching Out Fund Accepting Applications for the 2023 Winter Planting Season

The Tree Council is offering grants of between £250 and £2,500 for schools, constituted community groups and charities, community interest companies, Tree Warden networks, and other organisations across the UK to deliver tree-planting activities between the end of November 2023 and early February 2024.

Through the Branching Out Fund, groups can purchase:

  • Bare root, UK-sourced and grown, native trees of an appropriate size (priority will be given to younger trees that will establish better).
  • UK-sourced and grown, bare-root whips (saplings) and cell-grown (root trainer) stock for hedging projects (between 40-120cm height).
  • Hedgerow trees.
  • Orchards, such as fruit trees on semi-vigorous, vigorous, and very vigorous rootstocks.
  • Cardboard/bioplastic tree/hedge guards.
  • Non-plastic ties.
  • Stakes (coppiced material such as chestnut or hazel is preferred, although machined softwood will also be considered).
  • Mulch.
  • Non-peat-based soil improvers if needed.

The following may also be considered:

  • Non-native tree varieties if appropriate to the setting.
  • Non-native varieties and species that are chosen with climate change adaptation and resilience in mind. 
  • Fruit trees on dwarfing rootstock if the setting is appropriate.
  • Trees in containers/raised beds if the reason is adequately explained and supported by a robust and comprehensive irrigation and aftercare plan.
  • More robust and costly guards if the setting justifies it. 
  • Other project resources to support tree establishment such as irrigation equipment like watering cans/irrigation aids, and PPE.

Priority will be given to projects that utilise a wide variety of tree types. Funding is limited and groups are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

The deadline for applications is 3 December 2023. Visit the Tree Council website for more information and to apply.

National Lottery - Awards for All Grants

These grants are quick way to apply for smaller amounts of funding between £300 and £10,000.

They're here to support communities with the things that are important to them, including helping with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

You can apply for funding to deliver a new or existing activity or to support your organisation to change and adapt to new and future challenges.

They can fund projects that’ll do at least one of these things:

  • bring people together to build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage
  • support people, communities and organisations facing more demands and challenges because of the cost-of-living crisis.

In autumn 2023 they will increase the:

  • length of time they can fund projects
  • maximum funding you can get to £20,000.

See their new strategy for more details. They'll announce the exact dates of these changes soon.

Deadline: Ongoing. Apply at least 16 weeks before you want to start the activities or spend any of the money. Apply online via the Awards for All website.

National Lottery - Reaching Communities Grants

This programme offers a larger amount of funding (over £10,000) for organisations that work with their community, whether that is for people living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences.

They're here to support communities with the things that are important to them, including mitigating the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and supporting them as they seek to recover, rebuild and grow following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to support communities, they fund projects and organisations which aim to:

  • build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.

You can expect them to be flexible and responsive to your community’s needs:

  • whether you need long- or shorter-term funding
  • whether your request is for a particular activity or to create more fundamental change
  • whether the funding is to support a single organisation or to bring organisations together.
  • Support for people, communities and organisations that are facing increased demands and challenges as direct result of the cost-of-living crisis
  • Support for organisations so that they can address the immediate issues that are impacting their delivery as a direct result of the cost-of-living crisis during this year and future years.

In April 2024 they will change their funding in England as part of their new strategy.

Deadline: Ongoing - apply anytime via the Reaching Communities website

MPFT logo

MPFT Seeks to Sub-contract Grant Funding for Community Mental Health Transformation

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) are looking to Sub–Contract the management of its grant funding allocation and work in partnership with the Trust. 

The Provision of the service is required to support and achieve a number of key objectives, supporting community and voluntary organisations who are working with service users within the following geographical areas:

  • North Shropshire
  • South Shropshire
  • Central Shropshire
  • Telford and Wrekin

The Service is designed to: 

  • Provide funding to Grant recipients
  • Assist with application assessments and scheme management
  • Ensure grants are issued for delivery of the project aims.


The service aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Alliance building - To develop strong community networks and build thriving mental health eco-systems within communities
  • Co-production - To keep lived experience perspective at the heart of everything we do
  • Community Engagement - To build strong and deep links within communities and from the grass roots
  • Strengthen the local voluntary and community sector
  • Delivering a place based approach
  • Delivering funds to support community mental health transformation


The management of funding scheme(s) (Grants) to the local voluntary and community sector to support community mental health transformation. A place based approach focused on local needs, will under pin the delivery of the funding scheme(s).

The Management of the funding scheme(s) shall include the required process and administrative work needed throughout the grant life cycle this include but is not limited to;

  • Scheme set up
  • Review of applications
  • Award process
  • Dispersal of funds
  • Post award monitoring and reporting

Download the full guidance here. Submissions due 12noon 28th July 2023.

To be eligible to bid for this contract, your organisation must be registered on the MPFT Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). A complete guide to registering on this system can be downloaded here.

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.


Top of page

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