VCSA Newsletter Week of 2nd October 2023

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Newsletter for the Week of 2nd October 2023


Crowdfund Shropshire logo

Introducing Crowdfund Shropshire

Shropshire Council has announced an £150,000 fund to make it easier for people in the county to improve their local area. 

In partnership with Spacehive, the community fundraising platform, the Crowdfund Shropshire programme will enable local residents across the county to exclusively access funding for community improvement initiatives. 

The crowdfunding nature of this programme, in collaboration with council funding, maximises the amount campaigners can raise in order to deliver transformational community projects that matter to them.  

Shropshire Council and Spacehive are keen to hear from Shropshire residents who have an innovative idea to improve their local area and encourage them to get involved. No fundraising experience is necessary; 65% of Spacehive creators are creating a community project for the first time. Spacehive assists project creators with online workshops, one-to-one support and resources, providing advice on everything from project costs to campaign promotion. For more information visit

The Crowdfund Shropshire launch event is on Wednesday 11 October 2023 at Wem Town Hall (see Events section below for more details), with tea and coffee on arrival for a 2pm start (online attendance is also offered on booking). Shropshire VCS Assembly, Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership and Shropshire Council are encouraging individuals and community groups to come along and find out more. 

Register to attend the launch in person or virtually here

All project ideas should be launched on the Spacehive platform and pitched to the available funds by the end of December 2023 for year 1 funding. The programme will extend into 2024. 

photo of young people standing in front of a building smiling

Additional DWP Support Announced for 16-24-Year-Olds

Tens of thousands of 16-24-year-olds will be given access to additional support in finding and securing work following the expansion of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Youth Offer, it was announced last week.

The Youth Offer is an integral part of support offered to young Universal Credit claimants which until today was only available to young people deemed closest to work. The expansion will see this support offered to thousands of economically inactive claimants – those who are seen as further away from and who face more challenges finding long term work.

This will give over 30,000 of 16-24-year-olds the option to access three types of support through the Youth Offer: additional time with a Work Coach early in their claim; access to Youth Hubs; and Youth Employability Coaches.

The Youth Offer consists of three key elements, the cornerstone of which is offering claimants additional Work Coach time early in their claim and help in referring young people to the appropriate support.

Work coaches give claimants support, guidance, and advice to get into work. This could range from identifying transferable skills which fit the local job market, updating CVs and interview coaching.

Alongside this, Youth Hubs across Great Britain give advice and guidance to young people seeking work, and some offer this help on a drop-in basis. They are located within other organisations to provide access to more services in one location.

Young claimants with more serious and complex barriers to work, such as problems with addiction or finding somewhere permanent to live also have access to Youth Employability Coaches. These coaches can provide tailored and intensive support to young claimants before, during and after they have entered work, which alongside the other aspects of the Youth Offer, help to ensure that everyone can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of good employment, regardless of their situation.

Read the full press release from the DWP here.

NPC logo

NPC Release 'Everyone's Environment' Reports

As part of their 'Everyone's Environment' programme, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) has released reports from four key stakeholder groups on what they think charities and policy makers should prioritise when it comes to climate and nature.

The four reports cover work done with people with disabilities, ethnic minority communities, older people and young people. Reports are forthcoming in 2024 for people facing health inequalities and people on low incomes.

These summaries of engagement with people affected on their priorities for action on the social impacts of the environmental crises are a valuable source of information for charities or funders working with a specific social group and considering how to empower them to engage in environmental decision making and action. Briefings summarise what each group has said about how they are affected and what they believe should be the priorities for action by charities and policy makers.

Read more about the 'Everyone's Environment' programme and download all four reports here.

stack of pound coins

2023/24 Cost of Living Payments Resources Available

On 20 September 2023 it was announced that millions of UK households will get the second Cost of Living payment from 31 October 2023.

DWP will make the second Cost of Living payment of £300 to eligible customers between 31 October 2023 and 19 November 2023.

This is the second of three payments over the financial year totalling up to £900. Eligible pensioner households will also receive a further £300 payment later this year as an addition to the Winter Fuel payment.

Eligible tax credit only customers who do not qualify for a payment from DWP will receive £300 from HMRC between 10 and 19 November 2023.

Customers will receive the payments automatically. They do not need to contact DWP or do anything to receive the payment.

More information about the Cost of Living payments is available on GOV.UK, and a new Cost of Living video is also available on X (formerly Twitter).

For further information about the government’s cost of living support package, please visit Help for Households on GOV.UK.

Read further details in the full DWP Cost of Living press release published 20/9/23.

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

Consultation on Community Wealth Fund in England: The Government has launched a technical consultation on a Community Wealth Fund in England. This technical consultation follows a commitment made by the government in its response to the consultation on the English portion of dormant assets funding. This stated that community wealth funds would be the fourth cause to receive dormant assets funding in England. Closing 19th October

DWP Changes to Work Capability Assessment Consultation: As part of Government’s mission to support more people into work, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on changes to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), following the landmark Health and Disability White Paper published earlier this year. The consultation seeks views from the public, charities, employers, and other interested parties on proposed changes to the WCA. Closing 30th October

Severn Valley Country Park: Shropshire Council and partners would like to hear what you think about how they manage Severn Valley Country Park for both visitors and wildlife.The results of the survey will help them understand how satisfied visitors are with Severn Valley Country Park and will help them see what future actions should be prioritised. They would also like to hear from you if you do not use Severn Valley Country Park so they can understand what the barriers to visiting are. Closing 5th November

DWP Pre-Employment Checks for Health and Care Volunteers Consultation: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) seeks views on the proposal to remove the statutory requirement for a full employment history when appointing volunteers in health and care settings. The consultation asks whether the full employment history requirement poses challenges to the appointment process and whether it is necessary to inform appointment decisions. We’re also seeking to understand whether the remaining required pre-employment checks would be enough to ensure the suitability of volunteer applicants. They especially seek views from the VCSE sector. Closing 18th November

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

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Events and Training Opportunities

collage of pics of caregivers and supporters of Embrace

Small Steps Big Difference Conference

3rd October 2023, 9.15am – 4.15pm, Shrewsbury Town Football Ground

EMBRACE A Culture of Inclusion is a unique local campaign – and you can hear why people have joined in by clicking this link (4 mins).

Small Steps Big Difference takes this all a step further to practical action. It is a conference which will consider some of the issues specifically facing LGBT+ people as they age and then showcase some of the amazing work being done in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin to make this a safer and more inclusive place to age well.

Come to the conference to find out more. You will hear from local organisations which have made a commitment to EMBRACE A Culture of Inclusion, with contributions from: Residential care providers * GP Practice * Social Housing providers * Domiciliary Care Providers * Social Prescribing * Information & Advice services * Counselling services * and more ..

There will be opportunities for discussion around: 

  • how to get started with implementing change 
  • the development of a new resource which helps community and social groups to more easily understand why inclusion matters
  • how to make Equality, Diversity and Inclusion a golden thread throughout organisational practice

Plus films, stalls and lunch! For more information and to book - click here: Small Steps Big Difference

The conference is organised by locally-based organisation, SAND (Safe Ageing No Discrimination CIC) and is sponsored by Coverage Care, Cruse Bereavement Support and Wrekin Housing Group

InTune Radio Workshop attendees

FREE Radio Audio Workshop for Community and Charity groups in Shropshire

Wednesday, 4th October 11am - 1pm

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, Shrewsbury

Book your free place here!

InTune Radio have already trained local organisations to use audio in their marketing mix to reach more diverse people across Shropshire in a dynamic way, they include:

  • Open Harmony
  • Citizens Advice Shropshire
  • Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance
  • Sight Loss Shropshire
  • Telford Crisis Support
  • SYA

This audio workshop is FREE, friendly, and is all about COOLaborating with each other - because working together we are stronger!

They're supplying light refreshments. Places are limited - please book early.

This is a pro-active opportunity to use radio, one of the most trusted marketing platforms - now available to you to use within your marketing mix.

All they ask is that you commit to creating 3 to 5 minutes of audio each month, within a predefined schedule, that they will master and roll into a regular show spot.

To learn more about InTune Radio, check out their website, or follow them on social media with hashtags #ListenLocal #GetInvolved

Thanks to Shropshire Chamber of Commerce for supporting this event.

shropshire landscape

Crowdfund Shropshire Launch

Wem Town Hall, High Street, Wem, SY4 5DG

1:30pm arrival for a 2.00pm start, then networking until 4pm

The VCSA is excited to support the introduction of Crowdfund Shropshire - an exciting new community fundraising programme to bring the people of Shropshire together and create more opportunities for people in the local area to get involved in their communities.

Shropshire Council, through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, has £150,000 available to pledge to local crowdfunding projects which help create healthy people, a healthy economy, a healthy environment and a healthy organisation. These projects will be crowdfunded via Spacehive, their digital funding platform partner.

The event will be led by Nicola Daniels, Joint Chair of Shropshire VCS Assembly with Julie Mellor. Nicola will be joined by others, including the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership Community Development Team, the Leader of the Council, Lezley Picton, and the Spacehive team.

Voluntary and community sector groups and organisations, town and parish councils, local businesses, and public sector contacts among other stakeholders will be welcomed at this launch event.

Please promote this crowdfunding opportunity to your networks and support locally-led projects that matter to communities.

This briefing session will cover:

  • How crowdfunding works for communities
  • How you can access funds provided through Crowdfund Shropshire
  • How to share the opportunity with your networks
  • How to get involved and the key dates to be aware of

There will also be interactive breakout rooms to access specialised support for your project.

Light refreshments will be served.

Register to attend the launch in person or virtually here.

If you have any questions about the event or accessibility requirements, please email or

logos for Shropshire Council, Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership and Spacehive

crowsmill craft centre celebration flyer

Please RSVP if possible: or 01746 781942.

Community Resource Logo

Healthy Eating Awareness Events in October

Community Resource are offering two free Healthy Eating Awareness events in October. They are working in partnership with the Shrewsbury PCN Primary Care Dietitians to offer people information on how to eat a healthy diet. 

Click on the links to download flyers for each event:

Tuesday, 17th October in Severn Fields Health Village (top floor) 

Friday, 27th October in Castle Hall, Bridgnorth

As well as the talks on basic food groups, portion size, ultra-processed foods, gut biome etc, there will be a 30-minute gentle exercise class. 

The events are free of charge but places must be booked in advance by contacting Community Resource on 01743 360641 or

Cost of Living Event at Shrewsbury Job Centre

18th October 10am-11:30am

Shrewsbury Job Centre is holding a Cost of Living Event for local residents.

Several VCS advice and service organisations will be there, plus the DWP will be supporting attendees with better off calculations and conversations around PIP.

Please download the flyer and share with your service users to help spread the word.

event flyer image

community resource logo

Community Resource AGM

19th October 10am

Community Resource would love to welcome you to their 2023 AGM taking place at Dawley Town Hall, Telford on Thursday 19th October from 10am.   

Their Chair Hugh Strickland and CEO Bev Baxter will be sharing the exciting plans they have for the future, and how they'll achieve them, with the launch of their new five-year strategy. They will also be reflecting on the year’s highlights and how the charity has been navigating these ever-changing and challenging times.   

High Sheriff of Shropshire, Mandy Thorn, will be sitting down with Board member Simon Broad for a Q&A about her time in office so far, and his Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, will be presenting cheques to grant recipients.   

Attendees will also get the opportunity to view part of the Wave Project, an exhibition of photographs celebrating and raising the profile of older and old LGBT people in Shropshire. The exhibition was put together by the group Safe Ageing, No Discrimination (SAND), who Community Resource has been working closely with this year.   

Doors open at 10am for Tea, Coffee and networking, plus access to the Wave Project exhibition.   

The AGM will start promptly at 10.45am and finish at 12.30pm.    Tickets for this free event can be booked via - TicketSource, by emailing or calling 01743 360641. 

Severn trent logo

Meet the Funder: Severn Trent Community Fund

Thursday, 9th November 12-1pm Online

This Meet the Funder event is with Natalie Cunningham, Community Fund Officer at Severn Trent Community Fund.

Through attending you will have the opportunity to take part in a session discussing the Severn Trent Community Fund, a programme that aims to support community wellbeing and protect and sustain water and natural resources focussing in three different areas: People, Places, and Environment.

Attending this event you will have the opportutnity to:

  • Hear about the current funding opportunities through Severn Trent Community Foundation
  • Identify the current priorities for the Foundation.
  • Gain an insight into the decision making processes led by the funder.
  • Receive advice direct from Severn Trent Community Foundation.

Book your free place via Eventbrite

NPC logo

How Can Charities Centre Lived Experience?

Free Hybrid event Tues, 5th December 9am - 10:45am

Join NPC and its research partners as they launch a new guide for charities looking to centre lived experience within their organisations.

In this live event, hear the headlines of the guidance, alongside a panel discussion around the importance of centring lived experience and the realities of making it work.

Book your free ticket via the Eventbrite site.

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

Little Stars Baby Bank logo

Volunteer Opportunities

Little Stars is excited to announce they are expanding their team and are recruiting volunteers. They have various roles available if you would love to make a difference to the families we support across Shropshire.

Do you like sorting and getting hands on?

Become one of their stockroom sorters and help sort through donations and pre-pack items ready to go out to families who need them.

Prefer being on the road?

How about helping them with collections and deliveries so they can keep their stocks of nappies and other toiletries essentials looking healthy?

Like meeting people?

Volunteer at their monthly pop-up events where families are able to drop-in and top up on some of the essentials they need.

Want to be a part of our exciting new venture? 

Why not help out in their new Little Stars charity shop? You'll be dealing with customers, replenishing stock and ensuring the shop floor remains welcoming and tidy.

If you want to know more and to apply please visit their website Little Stars or get in touch

Shropshire MHS job vacancies ad

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

McCarthy Stone Foundation Offers Christmas Connections Grants

The McCarthy Stone Foundation is offering 30 grants of up to £1,000 each to support local groups that are organising events and activities for people over the age of 65 years during the festive period (1 December 2023 and 2 January 2024).

The funding is intended to help older people who may be isolated or lonely, particularly during this time.

The grants can be used for a number of different things, including but not limited to:

  • Trip out to a Christmas market
  • A subsidised/free Christmas meal together
  • Delivery of Christmas meals/care packages
  • Small gifts as part of a befriending initiative
  • Costs of befriending visits/volunteer expenses

Registered charities, community groups with constitutions, and Community Interest Companies (CIC) limited by guarantee who are based in Great Britain can apply.

Groups must be independent, have a bank account in the organisation's name and an income of less than £250,000 per annum.

Priority will be given to groups where activities are free/low cost at point of use, to ensure inclusivity and equity.

No deadline has been specified but given the small amount of funding, groups should not wait to apply via the McCarthy Stone Foundation website.

Government Launches Children and Young People’s Resettlement Fund for England

The new £2.5 million Children and Young People’s Resettlement Fund is provided and administered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The Fund aims to support the estimated 100,000 young people from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong who are on the established visa routes and pathways to the UK.

Local authorities and VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) organisations based in England can apply for grants of between £100,000 to £300,000.

A total of up to £2.5 million is being made available across 2023/2024 and 2024/2025. It is anticipated that 10 to 20 multi-year projects will be funded. A minimum of £1.5 million will be awarded to regional and national projects though smaller local projects are also welcome to bid.

The funding is for organisations to help run local, regional or national projects that can be up and running as soon as possible once the funding has been awarded (from autumn/winter 2023). Projects are expected to have 16 months of delivery time and must be completed by 31 March 2025.

The grants will support children and young people aged 21 years and younger who are on:

  • The Homes for Ukraine scheme
  • Ukraine Family scheme
  • Ukraine Extension Scheme
  • Afghan Resettlement scheme (pathways 1, 2 and 3)
  • Hong Kong BN(O) visa scheme

The funding will support projects that:

  • Address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of children and young people aged 21 and under who have arrived by one or more of the pathways. This includes mental health and trauma.
  • Provide support to enable children and young people to recover from traumatic experiences, displacement and/or resettlement into a new country.
  • Support children and young people to transition into England and their community, while retaining a connection to their culture.
  • Deliver projects across local authority areas to maximise impact.
  • Develop an evidence base on what works in supporting vulnerable young migrants and displaced people.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is holding an online event on 6 October (13:30) to explain the competition and process for applying. Registration is required and should be done by sending an email to by 5 October (13:30).

The deadline for applications to the Fund is 1 November 2023 (23:59). Find out more and apply via the GOV.UK website. 

The Million Hours Fund Opens for Second Round

The Million Hours Fund is provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF). This is the second of two rounds. The first round ran during the summer.

The Autumn round is offering grants of between £30,000 and £100,000 for projects that help create better outcomes for young people who may be at a higher risk of anti-social behaviour.

It will support extra hours of youth work that will help young people to have:

  • Improved emotional wellbeing
  • Improved life and practical skills
  • Access to trusted relationships with adults and feel safer.

By 'youth work' is meant an activity that improves young people's well-being through education or leisure, supported by a voluntary relationship with a trusted adult. This can include detached youth work.

These extra hours could be used for learning, arts, playing sports, or developing life skills.

The funding is intended for projects that:

  • Benefit young people aged 11 to 18, or up to 25 for young people with SEND
  • Takes place in or benefits young people living in eligible local areas
  • Effectively engage with young people at risk of anti-social behaviour
  • Deliver extra youth work hours (not existing provision)
  • Take place outside of school hours and are available on a regular basis
  • Deliver youth work that is open access
  • Demonstrate youth voice within the activities
  • Are run by trusted adults, such as qualified youth workers, youth support workers or experienced volunteers.

The funding must be spent by 31 March 2026 and can be used to support:

  • Staff salaries for delivery of this project
  • Volunteer costs for delivery of this project
  • Training costs
  • Service delivery. For example, any direct costs associated with delivering the youth work provision such as materials, equipment, food.
  • A share of the organisation’s overheads. For example, any fixed costs to support the day to day running of their organisation, such as overall management, administration and support staff costs, venue hire, rent and utilities.

The deadline for applications is 24 November 2023 (12 noon). For more information and to apply, visit the Million Hours Fund page of the National Lottery Community Fund website.

DHSC’s Community Automated External Defibrillators Fund Opens for Applications

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is now accepting applications from local community organisation across England.

A total of £1 million is being made available. An estimated 2,000 new defibrillators will be funded.

The funding for the scheme is based on a 'first come first served basis'.

The funding will be allocated on the following basis:

  • 100 applications will be selected by DHSC to receive a fully funded AED - selection is based on areas that are most in need of AED throughout England. Applicants will be advised in mid October and units shipped in mid November.
  • 1,900 applications will receive partial DHSC funding for an AED - organisations will be required to provide their own match funding of c.£750.

Local community organisations, such as sports clubs, local theatres, community halls, etc, can apply.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be based in England.
  • Not be an organisation that is eligible for the Department of Education scheme, eg, a school.
  • Locate the secure defibrillator cabinet outside in an area that is accessible to members of the public 24 hours per day.
  • Be able to provide an electrical power source to ensure the defibrillator cabinet light and heater operate to keep the device at the right temperature.
  • Provide match funding for their application (c. £750).

The deadline for applications is 21 September 2024 (23:59) or until all the funding has been allocated, whichever comes first. For more information and to apply, visit the Gov.UK website.

UKSPF logo


Shropshire Council has been allocated £3,067,408 for the Supporting Local Community and Place Priority of Shropshire’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund to be delivered by March 2025.

Shropshire Council are seeking applications for projects that will deliver until 31st March 2025 under the Supporting Local Community and Place Priority.

Projects applying under this call must start before January 2024 and all outputs and outcomes must be delivered by 31st March 2025.

The call is specifically for intermediary organisations to deliver support, services, amenities or facilities to local communities i.e. one to many. Proposed projects must demonstrate a clear positive impact on their community

How to apply:

Refer to the links below for the application form, full details, including information on the types of projects required and eligibility.

The call application window closes at 5pm on Friday 6th October 2023. Visit the Invest in Shropshire website for more information.

Supporting Documentation:

Applications are invited for activity that will deliver the objectives, outputs and outcomes of Shropshire’s UKSPF Investment Plan and meet the aims of the Shropshire UKSPF Investment Plan, the Shropshire Plan and Economic Growth Strategy.

UKSPF logo


Shropshire Council has been allocated £1,600,000 from the Rural England Prosperity Fund as part of the UKSPF Investment Fund for Rural Communities projects to be delivered by March 2025.

Shropshire Council are seeking applications for CAPITAL only projects that can deliver up until 31st March 2025 under the Rural England Prosperity Fund – Rural Communities priority. Projects applying under this call must start by January 2024 and all outputs and outcomes must be delivered by 31st March 2025.

Projects must be in rural areas of Shropshire with populations below 10,000 and the wider countryside and market or ‘hub towns’ with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding rural areas as centres of employment and in providing services.

On this basis projects within the Shrewsbury Town Council area are not eligible to apply under this call.

How to apply:

Refer to the links below for the application form, full details, including information on the types of projects required and eligibility.

The call application window closes at 5pm on Friday 13th October 2023. Visit the Invest in Shropshire website for more information.

Supporting Documentation:

Applications are invited for activity that will deliver the objectives, outputs and outcomes of Shropshire’s UKSPF Investment Plan and meet the aims of the Shropshire UKSPF Investment Plan, the Shropshire Plan and Economic Growth Strategy.

UKSPF logo


Shropshire Council has been allocated £5,900,000 for the Supporting Local Business Priority of Shropshire’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund to be delivered by March 2025.

The call is specifically for intermediary organisations to deliver support to businesses, such as through business support initiatives or grant programmes, i.e. one to many. It is not a call that will support individual grant requests from businesses for their own benefit.

Shropshire Council are now seeking applications for activity that will start within 6 months of 1st November and will deliver all outputs and outcomes by 31st March 2025.

How to apply:

Refer to the links below for the application form, full details, including information on the types of projects required and eligibility:

The call application window closes at 5pm on Friday 6th October 2023. Visit the Invest in Shropshire website for more information.

Supporting Documentation:

Applications are invited for activity that will deliver the objectives, outputs and outcomes of Shropshire’s UKSPF Investment Plan and meet the aims of the Shropshire UKSPF Investment Plan, the Shropshire Plan and Economic Growth Strategy.

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: