VCSA Newsletter Week of 21st August 2023

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 21st August 2023


culture fest
culturefest logo

Take Part in Oswestry CultureFest

Organisers of Oswestry CultureFest are inviting groups to take a stall at the event this year.

Oswestry CultureFest is on Saturday 9 September 2023 and coincides with the annual Heritage Open Days events in the town.

Oswestry CultureFest celebrates the wide cultural diversity in Oswestry and the surrounding area, not only ‘mainstream’ culture but diversity which is less often celebrated such as alternative lifestyles, disability, sexual orientation, faiths and beliefs, ethnicity and age.

The day is about highlighting some of the local minority cultures, enhancing their day-to-day visibility and inclusion – celebrating differences as a positive contribution to Oswestry’s vibrant community.

The event will include arts and crafts activities, performances and stalls. The whole event is free to the public.

Arts Connection is looking for local organisations and groups to run information stalls and activities to present themselves to the public, with a focus on their equality, diversity, inclusivity, anti-discrimination, human rights and anti-hate crime work.

Stalls are free but a donation to Arts Connection would be much appreciated and would help in organising the event again.

To find out more please contact or call 01691 648 929.

shropshire community foundation newsletter logo

Shropshire Community Foundation Launches Newsletter

The Shropshire Community Foundation is looking forward to sharing news of upcoming grants, events and appeals in the Autumn.

Make sure you don’t miss out by registering for their quarterly newsletter and special bulletins.

Sign up here!

You can also follow them on:



New SC logo banner

New Customer Service Centre Opening Times to Take Effect Today

Shropshire Council’s Customer Service Centre (CSC) opening times are changing today, Monday 21 August, creating more time for targeted, outbound calling to boost preventative work.

As the council’s digital offer grows, using improving technology, the council is also seeking to encourage more people to use online services at a time that is convenient to them. 

The change follows a public consultation earlier this year and an agreement by the council’s cabinet on 19 July. Feedback from residents and stakeholders has shaped the revised opening times so that the CSC continues to meet the needs of residents whilst operating more efficiently. 

The CSC will remain open every weekday 9am-3pm, with extended opening until 6pm on a Monday for a trial period. 

However, some parts of the CSC handle complex issues for Shropshire’s residents, things like adult social care requests and queries, concerns for children, risk of homelessness or financial crisis affecting families. These types of contact from people will always need a skilled adviser and will not change. 

The council’s CSC handles phone calls and other forms of contact from residents for around 50 different council services. Many of the calls it handles are for non-urgent requests that can be made other ways, particularly online.   

The new opening times for non-urgent calls will allow the council to free up capacity to make more targeted outbound calls to vulnerable residents, with the aim of preventing people from falling into crisis.  

Read the full letter to partners and stakeholders here about the changes from the Customer Services Team.

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

Healthwatch Shropshire Domiciliary Care: Healthwatch Shropshire would like to hear people’s experiences of accessing and receiving domiciliary care or care at home in Shropshire in the last two years. Closing date TBD

Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin Health and Care Experiences: Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin are seeking local views on health and care (including experiences with GPs). Closing date TBD

Health Needs Survey for Ludlow (JSNA): Are you an organisation working in the Ludlow area? Please help get the word out about the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) happening now for Ludlow residents. This survey happens every few years and helps determine how health resources are allocated. Closing date TBD

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

Telford & Wrekin Council Adult Social Care Charging Policies Review: Telford & Wrekin Council are proposing changes to their current policies regarding charges for adult social care services. Consultation is underway regarding these proposed changes. Closing 4th 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

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.


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

spic logo

First Aid 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 our 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 August 2023 they have spaces available on the following course: 


Course Title

Course Date       


Price per Person

1 Day Emergency First Aid

   29th August

Annscroft Office



Should you be interested in booking a place please contact Non-Member Bookings on 01743 860011 or email

flyer for BeeU

BeeU Open Day 

30th August 10am - 2pm 

Wellington Cricket Club TF1 2BW

BeeU (Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Children, Young People and Families’ Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service) are hosting an open day event for Children, Young People and Families in the region.

A number of BeeU staff will be present throughout the day, providing information, advice and guidance on a range of topics relating to Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health, and give opportunities to learn more about the services we provide.   

Please share as appropriate and display the attached flyer to ensure as many of our Children and Families know about the event.

Children and Young People not already known to BeeU, will be asked to register, and the registration form is also attached (these will be available on the day and people supported to complete them).

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’. 

health research image

VCSE Workshop: NHS England Research Engagement Network (REN) Funding Call

Thursday 7th September 2023

You are invited to take part in a workshop where a group of partners are looking to co-develop a funding application to NHS England's Research Engagement Network (REN) funding call.  The deadline for applications is 20th September, and given its holiday time they are sending out a 'hold the date' invite for the afternoon of Thursday 7th September.

Many partners will recognise the phrase REND funding others will not have had a chance yet to engage - late last year (November 2022) VCSA organisations in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin developed a joint application with Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care system via the Staffordshire and Shropshire Health and Care Research Partnership (SSHERPa).  SSHERPa brings together NHS, LA, Higher education institutions in our region to work collaboratively in health and care research.   SSHERPa aligns to Shropshire Telford and Wrekin ICS and Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS and was successful in securing REND funding for these regions which they used to hold World Cafes, undertake a survey around research engagement, and to develop the concept of a research connectors database (all in a very short period of time!). 

The good news: 

The group been invited to apply for more REN funding!!  TWICE - one bid has gone in via Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent ICB (via SSHERPa & including STW partners) and this next bid will go in on behalf of SSHERPa partners via Shropshire Telford and Wrekin!

The challenge:

How do we make best use of these funds to engage with diverse communities?

At the workshop on the 7th September SSHERPa would like to share where they got to with previous funding opportunities and develop the ideas for this next funding opportunity.  For the bid, all ideas are welcome - it’s about testing approaches to engagement in health and care research, they are looking for your advice and guidance.  How do we engage with different community groups that may feel marginalised and unable to engage in health and care research?

They know capacity is a challenge, but they also know that establishing 'new networks' that tail off is not useful, so they are keen to work with partners who have community connections, and who would be interested in ensuring that local health and care research opportunities are shaped, developed and offered to a wider, diverse, more inclusive population.

This is short term funding from NHS England, to date SSHERPa have had success in securing funding that has supported our partnerships with different communities, and we're keen to continue to build upon this.  They hope you are able to join them on the 7th September - please find below a link to book your place!

Booking link here

event flyer

Funding to Support Projects Involving Young People & Climate Change  

7th September 11-12am Online webinar

Join this FREE online Meet the Funder event organised by the Energy Saving Trust Foundation on Thursday 7th September 11am-12am.  Meet the Funder Events Get Grants holds regular Meet the Funder events which give attendees the opportunity to speak directly to funders, take part in discussions, get unique insights, and ask questions specific to their project or organisation. 

Click here for more information on this and other Meet the Funder events coming up from Get Grants.

Book your place via Eventbrite

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 logo

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

roadshow graphic

Next Shropshire Carers Partnership Board Roadshow

20th September 2pm - 4pm Bridgnorth Library

  • Free to attend
  • Run by Shropshire Carers Support Team & The Board
  • Carers from all areas of the county can come along to the venue and join virtually
  • Includes guest speakers
  • Partner organisation updates (Health, Vol Orgs, ASC, SATH, MPFT)
  • Refreshments included

The roadshow is being held to offer carers across the county an opportunity to come along and observe the Board meeting and participate as necessary.  

Download the flyer to share the invite!

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. 

DBS logo

Free DBS Workshop for VCSE Orgs Delivering Sporting Activities for Children and Young People

2nd October 13:30-15:00

The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) are delivering a free workshop for clubs and organisations who provide sporting activities for children & young people in the West Midlands.

The workshop will explore how DBS can help in the safer recruitment of staff and volunteers working with children in sports and will be of value to those who take part in recruitment or who are responsible for dealing with any concerns.

The workshop is open to all clubs & organisations, big or small and from any sector.

The workshop will cover:

  • The role of DBS checks in safer recruitment
  • The types of DBS check available and the criteria for accessing these
  • What ‘Regulated Activity’ is with children and its definition
  • The DBS Update Service
  • Reporting concerns to DBS that someone may be unfit to work or volunteer with children

The workshop is interactive, with a 'questions & answers' segment included.

Click here to book your place  

engage conference logo

DSC Engage Conference

Online Thursday, 19th October

Done correctly, influencing policy and politicians can be a highly effective way to bring about change for your beneficiaries and achieve lasting impact. But navigating the constantly changing policy sphere and determining the most efficient campaigning strategy and channels for your cause isn’t easy, even more so with 2024 being a General Election year. Engage, a conference from the Directory of Social Change (DSC) is taking place online on Thursday 19 October, and features:
  • Keynote speech - You'll hear from an influential figure in the sector, providing insights into the current state of policies, trends, and challenges affecting the sector
  • Panel discussion - With the General Election coming in 2024, it is a key moment for the voluntary sector and policy world. You’ll hear key insights and predictions from leading figures.
  • Session on communications and media strategy - Crafting compelling policy messages, media engagement, and leveraging social media are all vital for effective advocacy. This session will help you do all those more effectively.
  • Session on campaigning and the law
  • Case study session - showcasing successful policy advocacy efforts and the impact of those efforts on their respective causes, showing campaigning and lobbying at a local and national level.

Read more from CEO Debra Allcock Tyler, about why engaging with politicians is vital. 

Find out more and book your space on the DSC website

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

citizens advice shropshire logo

Shropshire Information, Advice and Support Service Officer

Contract: Fixed term contract until 30 September 2024 22.5 hours per week (over 3, 4 or 5 days)

Salary:       £25,920 to £26,438 per annum pro rata, depending on experience

Location: Remote / Home working with opportunity to work from Shrewsbury office

Start:         As soon as possible

You will provide information, advice and support in a range of subjects including Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), social care and health through a number of different channels. You will also work with support groups and schools and in partnership with other stakeholders.  The post holder will be subject to a DBS check.

They encourage and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and will consider trainee positions.

Further details and application form (no CVs) are available from the Citizens Advice Shropshire website

Closing date:   Midnight on Thursday 31st August 2023

Interviews:      Friday 8th September 2023 (if date isn't convenient another may be arranged, depending on availability)

MPFT logo

Volunteer Needed: Evaluation of Community Mental Health Transformation

Midlands Partnership Foundation University Trust (MPFT) are looking for someone with lived experience, either direct experience as a service user or as a carer/relative, to join the Community Mental Health Transformation Evaluation Group with MPFT’s Research and Innovation Team. The purpose of the lived experience role within this group is to provide lived experience perspective; inform their approach through a lived experience lens; with an option to be involved in data analysis and reviewing documentation in the future.

Meeting frequency will vary. They will be held virtually on Microsoft Teams every 3-4-weeks at the outset, but may move to every six weeks once the group is established. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Fiona Moore, MPFT Continuous Improvement Co-Production Lead, at

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

New SC logo banner

Early Market Engagement: Advice, Advocacy & Welfare Benefits (AAWB) services

Shropshire Council would like to take the opportunity to engage with potential providers and/or partners in the future commissioning of Advice, Advocacy & Welfare Benefits (AAWB) services.

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 October 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 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.

Please find full information on the engagement, including the questionnaire here or on the Shropshire Council website's tenders page.

Completed questionnaires (see Appendix 1) should be returned to Lisa Middleton by 5.00pm on 4th September 2023.

If you have any questions about this early market engagement, email Lisa Middleton

Funding for Search and Rescue Organisations to Support Operational Volunteer Training

Charities Aid Foundation is offering grants starting from £1,000 for charitable SAR organisations across the UK seeking support to train their operational volunteers and improve the safety and quality of SAR services.

Through the UKSAR Volunteer Training Fund, groups can apply for support for high-priority operational search and rescue training that will improve the capability of the organisation and its volunteers, such as:

  • Core skills training for new or existing volunteers, linked to proven operational needs in the local area.
  • Avoiding skills fade for existing volunteers, caused by delays or reduction of training opportunities during the pandemic.
  • Revalidation of core training for existing volunteers.
  • Training which incorporates appropriate well-being approaches.

Eligible training costs include:

  • Operational training for SAR volunteers in the UK that directly correlate with specific operational needs in the local area.
  • Courses related to the training of operational SAR volunteers that are central to their activities.
  • Hiring external trainers for course delivery.
  • Administration costs (if essential to training courses).
  • Volunteers’ travel costs and accommodation where this is integral to the training itself.
  • Costs of training equipment (such as manikins or training defibrillators).
  • Blue light training (if applicable).
  • Up to 50% of the costs of the training.

All training activities must take place between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2026.

The deadline for application is 14 November 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the Charities Aid Foundation website.

West Midlands Railway’s Your Community, Your Fund Opens for Applications

With funding from the Department for Transport, the scheme offers grants of up to £10,000 for not-for-profit projects taking place across the West Midlands Railways network, at stations, or near lines or route, with the aim to bring local communities together and strengthen community spirit.

The Autumn 2023 round seeks projects that are aligned to at least one theme featured in the Community Rail Strategy which includes:

  • Youth Engagement
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Passenger Safety and tackling anti-social behaviour
  • Rail Recovery
  • Encouraging Modal Shift

Applications will be considered from charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and community led partnerships.

Projects must be ready to launch in Autumn 2023 and be completed by the end of February 2024.

The deadline for applications is 14 September 2023. For more information and to apply, visit the West Midlands Railway 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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To share your news with Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly members and our partners email: