VCSA Newsletter Week of 7th August 2023

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 7th August 2023


two people walking in a wood

Image from the Shropshire Wildlife Trust website

New Free Green Spaces Guides Available from Local Charities

New guides showcasing local green spaces have been created to encourage people to spend more time outdoors experiencing natural environments to the benefit of their physical and mental health. 

9 locations have been chosen across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to make up the guides, which contain maps, photos and waymarked trails. Each location has a free downloadable route, instructions on how to get there, accessibility information, and details of what you can see and do.  

This is one of the outcomes from a two-year Green Social Prescribing project, run by a partnership between Energize STW (the active partnership for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin) and Shropshire Wildlife Trust, with support from both local authorities in our County. The project is all about encouraging people to access outdoor spaces to help improve their health and wellbeing.  

The guides have been designed for everyone; from those taking their first steps to get out in nature, to social prescribers based in GP surgeries across the County who want to help provide their patients with options to access free local green spaces.  

The 9 guides are available to view on the Shropshire Wildlife Trust website. 

Sharon Smith, Green Social Prescribing Officer at Energize STW and Shropshire Wildlife Trust said:  

“Our research has shown both social prescribers and the public were needing more information about local green spaces which are free to access and enjoy. Our focus was around what we coined the 3 Ls – low cost, low level, and local. We wanted to showcase short routes that were accessible and not intimidating to beginners in nature, so nothing involving steep, long hikes. We selected walks that required very little to no financial cost to visit and that were local, or on bus routes, so that car travel wouldn’t be a necessity.” 

Abi Lowe-Werrell, Healthy Lives Advisor in Shropshire and a #TogetherWeMove Champion with Energize STW said: 

“Through my role as a Healthy Lives advisor, I have supported patients to make use of their local outdoor spaces, be it sitting on a bench down their street to watch the world go by, walking to the park with their children or taking an active role in a community project.  I have seen people improve their mental health through mindfulness and making connections with nature and other people.  Others have used outdoor space to support weight loss and have gained confidence in their body and ability for change.  Being in the outdoors can energise and inspire us.” 

If you would like more information about the Green Social Prescribing project, please contact Sharon Smith, Green Social Prescribing Officer at or 07903 018035. 

pie chart of members geographic coverage

VCSA Publishes 2023 State of the Sector Survey Report

The VCSA has published its 2023 State of the Sector Survey report. The report is based on the data collected from VCSA member organisations, as well as a State of the Sector Survey which is conducted in the spring.

The report contains data and analysis for VCSE organisations across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. It includes comparisons with last year's State of the Sector survey results, as well as insights from data gleaned from other sources such as The Charity Commission, Pro Bono Economics, 360 Giving and more.

The highlights of the survey results were shared at this year's Annual Assembly in July, but now the full report is available for download on the VCSA website. 

The report's insights include the following conclusions:

  • The sector is a major employer and economic contributor to the county.
  • Experiences working with statutory partners have been mixed.
  • Staff and volunteer recruitment and retention is a growing concern.
  • Service demands are increasing and likely to continue to do so.
  • Financial concerns in the sector present a risk to sector benefits.
  • There is demonstrated need for funded infrastructure support to the VCSE sector across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.

Download the full report here.

Members of the council and shropshire supports refugees standing together

A Home for Hope: Charity Gets New Base

Shropshire Supports Refugees has moved its place of operations as a result of funding from Shropshire Council. This significant milestone for the charity means that they can continue to host a range of services to local refugees, and it strengthens the connection between our two organisations as our own Housing and Resettlement teams will now have a permanent office base at the hub.

Amanda Jones, CEO of Shropshire Supports Refugees, explained the impact of the move:

“We were so pleased to be able to host Lezley Picton on our first day of opening our new hub. We can’t put into words how grateful we are for the support that Shropshire Council have given us over the past seven years and for the funding that has enabled us to move into this beautiful new home.

"From this new venue, we will be able to triple our output with practical, emotional, and social support to people who have come to live in Shropshire that are escaping war, persecution, and poverty.

"We very much look forward to working in collaboration with all our partners, and with the Shropshire council’s Housing and Resettlement teams, who will have a permanent office in our building ensuring even closer collaboration between our two organisations.

"We look forward to expanding our English for Speakers of Other Languages provision, adults and children’s psychosocial support and activities, and healing and well-being workshops, all under one roof.

"Everybody is welcome to come and say 'hi' and get involved with our ever-growing family from international (and local) backgrounds.”

Pictured (L to R): Leader Lezley Picton, Emma Hughes (SSR), Amanda Jones (SSR), Jacki Cairney (Housing and Resettlement Team) and Rob Caffery (Housing and resettlement Team)


Pop-Up Youth Spaces Across Shropshire in August

Young people across Shropshire are invited to join in host of activities throughout the summer. The sessions are organised by Shropshire Council’s youth support team and will run  through August.

The Pop-Up Youth Spaces can be found across the county, and will offer a safe space for young people from 11 years old upwards to come together, chill and enjoy a huge range of activities including

  • Martial arts
  • Arts and crafts
  • Pizza-making
  • Games
  • Music
  • Sports, including ‘Embrace’
  • Photography and many more activities.

Young people will also be able to chat to their local youth support worker and find out what help and opportunities there are to support their wellbeing. There will also be free food and drink available.

The sessions are for children and young people from 11 to 18, though those who are 11 or 12 will need a signed consent form from a parent or carer.

Helena Williams, Shropshire Council’s youth support team manager, said:-

“Pop-Up Youth Spaces are a good way to keep young people safe over the summer by filling up green spaces with activity and fun. Youth workers will be on hand to offer support and guidance as well as stay safe messages.  We look forward to seeing lots of young people all over Shropshire this summer.”

For full list of dates, activities and locations, visit the Shropshire Council Newsroom.

ONS logo

Impacts of Cost of Living on Adults: ONS Report

In July, the Office for National Statistics released a new report using data from the latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey on the impacts of the cost of living on adults in Britain.

The report especially identifies those characteristics that increased financial vulnerability and covers the period from February to May 2023.

The report finds that around a third of adults reported difficulty affording their rent or mortgage, and 57% of those receiving help from charities reported such difficulty.

View the report summary or download the full report on the ONS website.

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

Carers Feedback Form: Shropshire Council Carers Support Team would like to remind all unpaid and family carers in Shropshire that they would love to hear from you. Carers can provide feedback to the team using the form below. Ongoing

Experiences Trauma Management- ICS Workforce Wellbeing Offer: The ICS is seeking feedback on the needs of health and wellbeing-related VCS organisations around supporting your employees and volunteers following actual or potential trauma. The Workforce Health and Wellbeing team are evaluating their offer around trauma management. Closing 31st August

Bishops Castle Draft Neighbourhood Plan Consultation: Shropshire Council is seeking the views of all parties on the Draft Bishops Castle Neighbourhood Plan and its related documents. Closing 1st September

Three Parishes Draft Neighbourhood Plan Consultation: Shropshire Council is seeking the views of all parties on the Draft Three Parishes Neighbourhood Plan and its related documents. Closing 1st September

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

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Events and Training Opportunities

picture of a lotus flower jenna blair yoga

Free Yoga and Wellbeing Sessions Available for Community Groups

Jenna Blair Yoga in Shrewsbury is delighted to have been awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a range of community yoga and wellbeing sessions facilitated by their team of fully qualified teachers at zero financial cost to participants.

Jenna's mission has always been to offer the benefits of yoga to as many people as possible, so this opportunity has been received with huge gratitude.

If you know of any groups or individuals who may benefit from accessing yoga and wellbeing sessions without financial implication, either in Shrewsbury or other locations locally, get in touch! Phone 07812 596609 or email

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.

functional fitness mot flyer cover

Functional Fitness MOTs In Claverley

Community Resource is holding another Functional Fitness MOT event in Claverley later this month.

Wednesday 23rd August 2023
Claverley Village Hall, WV5 7DS
from 9.30am – 4.30pm

People can book a FREE 2.5-hour appointment by calling 01743 360641 or emailing

Download the flyer to help spread the word.

cavalier centre logo

Wellbeing Retreats Available at the Cavalier Centre Much Wenlock

Free retreats focusing on health & wellbeing in recognition of Shropshire Carers Week 2023.

Veterans Community Wellbeing Day - Wednesday 9th August 2023 - 10am to 2pm.

A wonderful retreat including relaxation and mindfulness, a talk by a farrier from the Household Cavalry and spending time with the horses. 

More information and contact details are available here

Community Wellbeing Retreat for Carers and Professionals - Wednesday 23rd August or Tuesday 29th August 10am - 2pm

Free half-day retreats focusing on health and wellbeing for professionals and carers who support others.

More information and contact details are available here

Interested in booking onto one of these half-day wellbeing retreats? Phone Lynette Fryer at the Cavalier Centre 01952 443 752 or email

in tune radio logo

Community Radio Station Offering Free Training For VCSE Orgs Who Want to Share Their Stories

INTune Radio CIC, your local Shropshire Community Radio station, wish to feature your charity or community organisation each month to help your organisation communicate your services to a wider audience.

To take advantage of this offer, that can reach pockets of communities throughout our county, and the world, is simple.

The next training session is being held at Shropshire Chamber offices in Telford on Wednesday 6th September 11:00am till 2:00pm - they're delighted that the county’s chamber is supporting INTune Radio and assisting in enabling local charity and community organisations to produce monthly audio telling the community about their updates for free.

All you need is your laptop and a smile ready to learn. 

You will learn how to create an audio update schedule, how to record a 3 to 5 minute update, and how to send that to INTune Radio to master.

INTune Radio will take your monthly audio, master it and roll it into their schedules on their show called ’The Mag’ which airs 10 till noon each day. 

You will know the day it’s to go out giving you ample time to communicate this to your contacts and on social media.

Starting in September, the VCSA will have a regular feature on The Mag - be sure to tune in!

If we all contribute to telling our contacts, more people will learn about what you do, and why, and this can have positive implications for grants, funding, volunteers and their retention, service take up, etc

You don’t have to be a seasoned presenter, this is community radio, what your organisation will need is positive commitment to continue your audio each month to air.

Please email your name, organisation name, preferred contact email and telephone number to to confirm you and your organisation wish to undertake training. 

To listen, click the play button on the INTune Radio website or download the app from your app store, search for ’Shropshire Community Radio’. 

suicide first aid training poster

SATH logo

Hospitals Transformation Events

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

  • 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

NCVO Charities and Climate Change Series

The NCVO is hosting a free webinar event series related to their 'Fuelling Positive Change' campaign aimed at encouraging charities to consider divestment from from fossil fuels.

Places are free, and you can sign up to the first two events taking place in September and October now.

12 September Charities and climate change: How can we tackle the climate crisis? - book here

19 October Charities and climate change: How can we stop funding fossil fuels? - book here

NCVO logo

suicide bereavement conference information

Harmlessa suicide prevention charity, are hosting their forth online Suicide Bereavement conference to examine the practical application of working in the field of suicide bereavement, split over 8 live webinars during the month of World Suicide Prevention Day.

The programme is designed to help those of us working with anyone impacted by suicide to improve our knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to suicide bereavement. Delegates can expect to take away from the conference a range of knowledge, inspiration and practical applications for the implementation in real life personal and professional situations. Learning from some of the leaders in the field, delegates will have access to interactive sessions that can drive change in the field of suicide bereavement.

For more information and to book a place, visit the Eventbrite site.

You can also download the conference programme flyer 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

‘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.

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Job / Volunteer Opportunities

shropshire mhs logo

Vacancies with Shropshire MHS

Would you like to work for an award-winning charity?

Shropshire Mental Health Support have the following vacancies:

Outreach Support Workers –  Various hours

Sanctuary Support Workers – Various hours, night and late shifts

Relief Support Workers – To cover various services


For further details please contact Heather on 01743 368647 or email

InTune Radio logo

Volunteer & Get Involved, InTune Radio Have BIG Plans

Would you like to volunteer for your local community radio station in Shropshire?

Did you know that they welcome the radio experienced and non-experienced!

You’ll be 18+, have half a day each month to contribute, and possess skills and experience for the volunteer opportunities below:

  • New Business Manager
  • Business Account Executive
  • Social Media Executive
  • Office Administrator
  • Event Organiser
  • Community and Charity Liaison Officer

This is a very exciting and unique volunteering opportunity in the exciting world of radio - they have BIG plans!

To apply, and view more information please go to: the InTune Radio website and fill out the form.

#ListenLocal #GetInvolved #Shropshire #CommunityRadio 


Informal discussion - email

Application pack

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

Islamic Relief UK Grant Programme

Islamic Relief UK is offering grants of between £1,000 and £40,000 for voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector organisations across the UK to deliver projects that support marginalised and vulnerable people and their communities across the following themes:

  • Building resilience to poverty: 
    • Prioritise programme delivery within disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
    • Incorporate sustainability within programme initiatives.
    • Develop the capacity of local communities to address issues of poverty.
  • Empowering women and girls: 
    • Providing economic opportunities for women.
    • Supporting survivors of domestic abuse.
    • Developing the confidence and skills of women.
  • Supporting refugee and asylum-seeking populations: 
    • Prioritise work which supports and promotes the rights of refugee communities.
    • Engage in projects which empower refugee communities socially and financially.
  • Youth and family development: 
    • Engaging young people in constructive activities.
    • Encouraging youth leadership and confidence-building.
    • Supporting disadvantaged BAMER populations.

Funding can be used to cover project delivery costs, such as staff salaries, room hire, equipment and materials, or organisational and core costs proportional to the size of the project, such as rent, heating, or insurance costs).

The deadline for applications is 13 August 2023 (midnight). For more information and to apply, visit the Islamic Relief UK website. 

The Arts Society Accepting Applications for Autumn 2023 Funding Round

The Arts Society is offering grants of up to £3,000 for UK-registered charities with an annual turnover of less than £3 million to deliver projects across all aspects of the arts and heritage, such as:

  • Projects that support a wide range of activities to introduce people of all ages and backgrounds to artistic experiences and practise, such as the development and training of skills in the arts, crafts, and heritage through bursaries, sponsorships, and crafts apprenticeships.
  • Support for regional museums, galleries, and arts organisations, such as: 
    • Special projects.
    • Displays.
    • Internships and part-time posts.
    • Training.
    • Conservation activities.
  • Regional and local theatres and performing arts spaces and groups.

Priority will be given to projects that provide access to the arts to those that would not normally have access to them, projects where there will be more emphasis on localism, and projects and organisations that support the arts and heritage at a grassroots level and achieve greater impact for local communities.

There is a two-stage application process, wherein groups must register their organisation with The Arts Society through their online portal before applying.

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2023. 

Home Office Community Engagement Fund Reopens for Applications

The Community Engagement Fund (CEF) is a £150,000 grant fund to support grassroots and community groups to engage communities and raise awareness of priority Home Office policy areas and the support available.

Some nationality groups, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana and India, despite possibly having been impacted, are not coming forward for compensation to the Windrush Compensation Scheme. There also remains a significant difference between the number of people granted through the Windrush Scheme (documentation) and applications made under the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The reasons for both disparities are unclear.

During 2023 to 2024, the funding is intended to:

  • Raise awareness of and address any misinformation about the Windrush Compensation and Windrush Documentation Schemes with a focus on non-Caribbean communities and encourage them to apply to these schemes.
  • Build on the insights and learning taken from existing work on Windrush to understand:
    • why individuals are not applying for the Windrush Compensation Scheme and/or the Windrush Scheme.
    • how to encourage eligible individuals to apply to these schemes.

A total of £150,000 is being made available in 2023-24.

Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 can cover costs associated with:

  • Holding events, for example cost of venue, refreshments, and other related costs.
  • Creating and sharing marketing materials, like leaflets and posters.
  • Running communications campaigns both in person and online.
  • Accessing and using communication channels, for example social media or local radio.
  • Getting support from corporate partners, public figures or advocates.
  • Staff time to work specifically on the project.

The fund should support short and easy-to-deliver projects which must be completed by 29 March 2024.

Applications will be accepted until 30 August 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the GOV.UK Community Engagement Fund page.

Arts Council England Announces Changes to National Lottery Projects Grants From Autumn 2023

Arts Council England created the National Lottery Project Grants (NLPG) as an open-access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects and to help deliver the Arts Council’s strategy. The programme was last relaunched in 2021 to align with the 2020-2030 strategy ‘Let’s Create’.

Based on recent feedback from a wide range of applicants about how the NLPG can be more accessible to everyone who wants to apply for funding, Arts Council England has announced that it is making the following changes to NLPG starting in Autumn 2023:

  • New guidance notes available in September 2023.
  • New application forms and new online resources available from November 2023
  • Moving from one application form (currently grants of £1,000 to £100,000) to three application forms determined by the grant amount being requested:
    • £30,000 or under.
    • £30,001 to £100,000.
    • £100,001 or over.
  • The website will be changed to make finding relevant information and guidance more straightforward.

Two strands within the NLPG (Nationally Significant Projects and Touring Projects) are being refocused.

  • Nationally Significant Projects will provide grants of £100,001 and over and thus will become Major Projects. It will focus on supporting cultural projects of scale and ambition that will help ACE to deliver the Let’s Create Outcome, A Creative and Cultural Country. It will support projects that help build a cultural sector that is innovative, collaborative and international.
    • Expressions of Interest for Nationally Significant Projects will close on 30 October 2023.
    • Expressions of Interest for Major Projects will open on 1 December 2023.
  • Touring Projects (Regional, National and International) will be refocused on the Outcome, Cultural Communities, and international aspects of A Creative and Cultural Country. It will support projects that help to re-establish and evolve touring ecologies at all scales and disciplines so that organisations and individuals are better able to manage post pandemic and other ongoing economic challenges.
    • New guidance notes will be published in September 2023.

The current version of the National Lottery Projects Grants programme remains open for applications until the end of October 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Arts Council website.

Funding to Support Training in Ecclesiastical Heritage Skills Across UK and Ireland

Benefact Trust is offering grants for registered Christian charities across the United Kingdom and Ireland to support the preservation of key heritage skills that are essential to the conservation of historic Christian buildings.

Through the Heritage Skills for Christian Buildings Grants Programme, groups can train individuals with apprenticeships, scholarships, and training courses in skills that are relevant to the maintenance and preservation of Christian buildings, including:

  • Stonemasonry.
  • Carpentry/joinery.
  • Heritage plumbing.
  • Heritage electricians.
  • Heritage bricklaying.
  • Lime plastering.
  • Thatching.
  • Lead work and glazing.

Funding can be used for both capital and revenue costs, including:

  • Purchasing tools required for training.
  • All trainee employment costs, such as salaries or National Insurance costs.
  • Costs for existing staff which relate solely to the training.
  • Costs associated with off-the-job training, such as college fees.

Grants can be used to support individuals for the duration of their training up to a maximum period of three years. All individuals supported through this programme should receive an accredited qualification at the end of their training that is recognised within the Heritage sector.

Applications can be made at any time. For more information and to apply, visit the Benefact Trust website.

£75m Cost of Living Fund Opens for Applications from Frontline Charities and VCSE Organisations in England - Webinar Available

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund have launched the new £75 million Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund. The fund is the first portion of funding from a total pot of £101.5 million announced by the Chancellor at the Spring 2023 Budget.

The funding is for frontline charities and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that are experiencing increased demand for critical services and increased costs in delivering them. The main priority is to fund organisations supporting low-income households and individuals.

A total of £70.9 million is being made available with grants ranging from between £10,000 to £75,000. Grants will be awarded from October 2023 until January 2024. Note, the grants can cover some retrospective costs incurred between 24 July 2023 and the date a grant is offered. All funding must be spent by 31 March 2024.

Applications will be accepted from the following organisations:

  • Registered, exempt or excepted charities (either incorporated or unincorporated).
  • Charitable incorporated organisations (CIO).
  • Not-for-profit companies limited by guarantee who are a registered charity or have a not-for-profit 'asset lock' clause in their articles of association.
  • Community interest companies (CIC).
  • Community benefit societies.
  • Co-operative societies who have a not-for-profit 'asset lock' clause in their society rules and are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

To be eligible, applicants must already run critical services around at least one of the following:

  • Food and emergency supplies, eg, food and baby banks or the provision of hot meals, clothes or toiletries.
  • Emergency shelter, eg, night shelters or other accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Safe spaces, eg, domestic abuse services and youth services.
  • Warmth, eg, warm rooms and spaces.
  • Financial and housing advice, eg, giving people advice because of the increased cost of living.

Organisations must also be facing both:

  • Increased demand for these critical services, and
  • Increased costs of delivering these critical services.

Small and medium-sized front-line organisations with an annual turnover of between £10,000 and around £1 million are more likely to be successful.

However, larger organisations can also apply if they do both of the following:

  • Show that they work closely and effectively with local communities.
  • Fill a gap in essential local services.

The funding can be used to cover both project and core costs retrospectively from July 2023 until 31 March 2024.

An informational webinar will place on Friday 18th August at 10:30. You can book you place by clicking HERE

This short webinar will provide an opportunity to find out more about this fund. The presenters will:

  • Give an overview of the new fund and who is eligible.
  • Outline what the fund can cover and provide guidance on how to apply.
  • Provide an opportunity to ask any specific question or queries you may have

Applications are to be made through the National Lottery Community Fund website.

The deadline for applications is 16 October 2023 (12 noon).

The Million Hours Fund

Up to £3m available for projects that support young people primarily aged between 11 to 18 (up to 25 for young people with SEND) during the 2023 school summer holidays.

Organisations must meet The Fund’s Awards for All eligibility criteria

Projects must:

  • Take place in and/or benefit young people living in one of these eligible wards.
  • Effectively engage with young people at risk of antisocial behaviour.
  • Deliver additional youth provision.
  • Start during or before the 2023 school summer holidays.
  • This postcode checker allows you to check whether you are in an eligible area.
  • When submitting an application, prefix your project name with MH.

For more information and to apply, visit the Million Hours Fund page on


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.

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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