VCSA Newsletter Week of 8th January 2024

VCSA logo

Newsletter for the Week of 8th January 2024


adult social care grants

Adult social care small preventative grant programme to be launched in January

Shropshire Councils adult social care small preventative grant fund will be open for applications in January 2024 for grants of up to £4,000, for community-based organisations in Shropshire that support wellbeing and independence.

The council will be looking to grant fund activity supporting residents to remain independent and physically and mentally well, with the aim to prevent avoidable admissions into hospital or from reaching a crisis.

Funding will be available for activity to be delivered between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025. It is aimed at voluntary organisations and community groups working in Shropshire, and for those wishing to start up new initiatives. All applicants will need to demonstrate how their proposed activity supports The Shropshire Plan.

Find out more here.

red plaque town crier

Abbey Road Station awarded Shropshire's first 'Red Wheel' plaque

Abbey Road Station, run by the Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust, unveiled the 'Red Wheel' plaque in December - making them the first recipients of this rare award in Shropshire. 

The plaque is awarded by the National Transport Trust, to recognise and commemorate the most significant sites of historical importance to transport heritage. 

A special ceremony was held in honour,  attended by Shrewsbury Mayor, the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, Shrewsbury Town Crier and representatives from the National Transport Trust. 

Philip Davies, SRHT Chairman said: “The award is an important accolade for Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust and acknowledges the significant history and transport heritage of Abbey Station which was originally founded in 1866. It is now called the Abbey Station Visitor Centre, where people can discover the important railway heritage of Shrewsbury and the surrounding area."

Congratulations to our member, the Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust on this historic achievement!

Photo source: My Shrewsbury


Low-income households to receive over £2 billion in further cost of living support

Around 8 million eligible households across the UK are set to receive a £299 Cost of Living Payment between Tuesday 6 February and Thursday 22 February 2024. This is the third of three payments over the financial year, totalling up to £900.

Customers will receive the payments automatically. The full list of benefit recipients that qualify for the upcoming Cost of Living payment are those who receive:

  • Universal Credit;
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Income Support;
  • Working Tax Credit;
  • Child Tax Credit;
  • Pension Credit

To be eligible for the payment, customers need to have been entitled to a payment for one of these benefits between 13 November and 12 December 2023 ('the qualifying period'), or a payment for an assessment period ending between these dates, or later found to be entitled to a payment.

If a household becomes retrospectively entitled to a Cost of Living payment or believe they are entitled but do not receive one, they can report this on GOV.UK from the 23 February 2024.

Customers can also find out about the wide range of government support with the cost of living by visiting the Help for Households website.

Supporting Shropshire residents worried about Cost of Living this winter


If you or the people you work with are concerned about the rising cost of living this winter, you're not alone. Shropshire Council and VCSE partners have pulled together all the support that's available in the county onto this webpage here. 

Please share the webpage widely and this video on social media so that those that need support know where to go.

There are three key messages for everyone to know: 

  • If you or someone you know is worried about money or is struggling right now, you're not alone
  • There may be simple steps you can take to cut costs or maximise your income
  • If you're getting into debt or your mental health is suffering, don't wait to get help

Thank you to Age UK, SFPA, Community Resource, Citizens Advice, Keep Shropshire Warm, MEA and Shropshire Larder for creating this resource. 

Of Interest..

  • What does 2024 have in store for charities? - Third Sector Podcast. Listen on Spotify.
  • Andy Broomhead: Key tenets of outstanding volunteer experiences - Civil Society
  • Digital and financial exclusion in the UK: what's driving it and how can we turn the tide? - DSC

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

Telford and Wrekin draft Local Plan consultation:Telford & Wrekin Council wants to know your views on their draft Local Plan and proposed site allocations for the borough. Hard copies are available from libraries and community centres. Closing 12th January 2024.

Parish Council boundary review consultation: Shropshire Council is undertaking Community Governance Reviews, focusing on five areas within Shropshire: Shrewsbury Parish and adjacent Parishes; Albrighton and Donnington Parishes; Ludlow and Ludford Parishes; Baschurch and Bomere Heath (Pimhill) Parishes; Market Drayton and Adderley Parishes. Closes 26th January. 

Budget consultation: Share your thoughts on Shropshire Council’s budget plans. This is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on  the £50m spending reductions that must be made before 2025. The themes include increasing efficiency, increasing income, reducing third-party spending and making sure the organisation is the right size. Closes 28th January.

AI: please share your opinions, experiences - and support needs: CAST, a charity helping organisations use digital for good, is running this survey to gauge not just how charities and social impact organisations are using AI - but also what support might be most valuable. Closes 31st January.

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

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Events and Training Opportunities

girls club


Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership FREE courses for VCSE 

Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) has a wealth of exciting and informative courses coming up. These include:

  • Mental Health Awareness, January 9th
  • Adult Safeguarding Awareness, January 25th
  • Effective Minute Taking, February 7th

These courses are free, please contact: To see the full list of courses and sign up, visit their events page here.


Dementia and Advance Care Planning 'the importance of understanding dementia to get advance care planning right' In Person Workshops 

  • Wednesday 10th January 1-3pm Meeting Point House Telford


  • Friday 16th February 10am-12pm Shropshire Wildlife Trust Shrewsbury

This workshop hopes to bring people living with dementia, carers/family members/supporters of people with dementia, together with professionals and voluntary agencies to enable an Advance Care Planning (ACP) discussion. It is important to understand how to enable those living with dementia to easily make an ACP at a time/pace that suits and how to lobby to improve the current system.. People living with Dementia may already have completed a ‘Living Well Plan’ and have annual reviews at their surgeries.

To book a place register here. If you have any special requirements for attendance, please contact:

NCVO training

strength and balance

An introduction to skills for collaboration

A free event for voluntary and community organisations. Would you like to know more about how to create relationships that foster collaboration?

This free lunch time webinar delivered by PCC (Primary Care Community Interest Company) will explore:

  • What is collaboration?
  • An overview of the interpersonal skills needed for collaborative working to thrive.
  • The benefits of collaborative working 

Book here for the 60-minute free workshop:

Join the mailing list: PCC third sector newsletter. You can unsubscribe or subscribe at any time in the future.

You can find out more about PCC on their website

Discuss how the cost-of-living crisis and squeeze on household budgets are influencing public opinion ahead of the upcoming elections.

Sign up here.

CAB event

vibrant shropshire

Creative Health Workshop - Vibrant Shropshire

Thursday 18th January, 4pm, University Centre Shrewsbury

Creative Health covers a range of artistic health-benefiting activities, along with innovative approaches to health and social care. 

Led by Jane Hearst, Midlands Representative for the National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH), this free workshop will introduce participants to the term 'Creative Health' and demonstrate how arts and culture can have a positive impact on people's health and wellbeing.

Joseph Schneider, Director of Rural Art Hub, will deliver an interactive activity demonstrating the benefits of art and culture to us all.

Cost and Eligibility: FREE and open to all partners

If you are not a partner, but would like to attend, sign up here for free.

Booking: book onto this FREE workshop via Eventbrite

This workshop is funded by Arts Council England.


Shropshire Charity Network

Thursday 25th January, 9.30am, online

This event will be on: 'Creating your charity's strategy' and 'Considering charity tax limits' and attendees will hear from Victoria Handbury Madin (Charity Consultant) and Dan Guy and Phil Waller from Cubed Tax.

Book your free place here.

shropshire charity network


UK Poverty 2024 - Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Thursday 25th January, 10am, online

Hear the latest findings of JRF’s flagship annual report. The UK Poverty report looks across a range of data sources and published insights to set out a comprehensive picture of the current state of poverty in the UK and to determine who is worst affected, how levels have changed over time and what the future prospects are likely to be.

As well as an overview of the overall rates of poverty, deep poverty and persistent poverty in the UK, it also shows how levels of poverty vary between different groups across the UK.

Register here.

falls prevention promotion


Tackling Economic Abuse: Effective approaches for councils and VCS partners

Thursday 8th February, 10am, online

How councils and voluntary community partners can help to effectively tackle economic abuse. 

Join Money Advice Plus (MAP), Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) and the Government Debt Management Function (GDMF) for this webinar covering what economic abuse is; the forms it can take in a council context, why a joined-up approach is important, and the role local government can play in supporting those experiencing it.

Sign up to attend this free webinar via Eventbrite.


Stop Illegal Money Lending FREE workshop for  Shropshire VCSE

Friday 20th February, 11am-12.15pm

The session will shine a light on the issue and how they operate, the tactics that they use, and how the England Illegal Money Lending Team is combatting the loan shark menace. 

Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is a government think tank. They recently completed in-depth research into hidden debt and Illegal Money Lending. Their investigations concluded that in England, 1.08 million people are estimated to be using illegal money lenders (more commonly known as loan sharks). CSJ recorded the physical and psychological abuse of those unable to meet repayments stretching indefinitely into the future. Illegal money lending is one of the biggest drivers of debt and poverty. They target vulnerable people and destroy lives.

Please contact for further details.

Survey Design in the Charity Sector

4th April 2024, 10.30am-12pm, Online

This seminar from NPC will be exploring survey methodologies and questionnaire design. This session is for people with a little or no experience in running surveys, and will cover both survey methodologies and tips on questionnaire design. There will be an opportunity to share your own experiences and ask questions to the experts. 

Cost £30. Book your place here.


domestic violence support

flyer for coursesflyer

dementia support group

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 Council logo header

Carer Support Practitioner

Shropshire Council currently recruiting for a Carer Support Practitioner to join the Carer Support Team within Adult Social Care.
As a member of the carer support team within Adult Social Care you will contribute to creating a carer friendly community in Shropshire, delivering support and information to family and unpaid carers empowering them to achieve their own outcomes.

Deadline 15th January. Find out more and apply here.

Shropshire Supports Refugees

Service Manager

Shropshire Supports Refugees

Shropshire Supports Refugees, is a multi-award-winning Community focused registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). They support refugees and migrants who have come to live in Shropshire. They welcome people when they arrive in the county and develop services according to need.

'The ideal candidate will be someone who shares our vision of a cohesive community in Shropshire where diversity is celebrated, communities come together to support each other in difficult times, and share an optimistic view of the future.'

Find out more and apply here.

Shropshire Council logo header

Digital Skills Assistant – Shropshire Digital Skills Programme – Shropshire Council

Looking for a new role for 2024? This part time role is fixed term until 31 March 2026, and flexible over 22.5 hours a week within a small friendly team in Customer Services at Shropshire Council. If you’ve got great Microsoft admin skills, an keen eye for detail, marketing strengths and a good understanding of the voluntary sector, we’d love to hear from you.

For some people, through no fault of their own, digital confidence is beyond reach. Since 2020, the digital divide has deepened, with digitally excluded people left behind more than ever before.

The Shropshire Digital Skills Programme funds a range of providers to help people become confident online - including charities, community interest companies, libraries and community groups.

The Digital Skills Assistant will work from home, but will need to travel independently to venues around Shropshire. The role involves a number of skills including marketing the service to adults of all ages to increase numbers of people coming forward for digital support as well as volunteers to work alongside them. There is detailed administration involved using a range of Microsoft applications, and you’ll need the confidence and ability to work alongside leaders of organisations across the area. Application deadline: 19/01/2024.

Click here for more information and to apply.

lingen davies

LiveLife Project Coordinator - Lingen Davies

Would you like join a leading local charity to be a part of an exciting project to reduce the impact of cancer on people’s lives?

The coordinator will be responsible for delivering our LiveLife community health engagement work, with a primary focus on raising cancer awareness for early diagnosis, cancer screening and prevention. This includes:

  • Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Cancer Champion project, working in partnership with NHS Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, and Qube, to deliver the Telford component of the NHS England funded “CORE20PLUS-5” Cancer Champions project.
  • LiveLife, community health promotion initiative, bringing cancer awareness to communities across the region.

The role will ideally be full-time (37.5hours per week) although negotiable to 4 days per week (30 hours) for the right candidate. This is advertised as a permanent position. Apply and find out more here.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Shropshire Wildlife Trust - various roles

Shropshire Wildlife Trust is currently recruiting for three positions: 

  • Visitor and Conference Centre Officer deadline 8th January
  • Operations Manager (Facilities/ICT/Health & Safety) deadline 14th January
  • Evidence and Data Specialist Officer (GIS) deadline 15th January

Find out more and apply here.

Shrewsbury Ark - Charity Director, Charity Co-ordinator

The Shrewsbury Ark, which supports people experiencing homelessness is looking to fill two positions:

  • Charity Director deadline 11th January
  • Charity Co-ordinator deadline 16th January

Find out more and apply here.


Shrewsbury Ark

Shrewsbury volunteer

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

Hubbub Nature Hubs Fund

With Starbucks, Hubbub is offering around 50 groups up to £6,000 of funding to develop green space initiatives and increase access to nature. Groups will be connected with a local Starbucks store, who will support projects in a number of ways.

Deadline 11th January 2024. Find out more and apply here.


road signs

Safer Roads Fund

Focused on curbing harm on West Mercia’s roads, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has launched the second round of his Safer Roads Fund. The £250,000 available will be divided into two lots.

Communities and partners across the three counties can apply for funding to launch measures in their area to address local road safety concerns.

Deadline 2nd February 2024. Find out more and apply here.

Screwfix Foundation - Capital Grants

Capital grants of up to £5,000 are available to local and national charities and not-for-profit organisations, including Community Interest Companies (CICs), across the UK to fix, repair, maintain and improve properties and community facilities for people in need. 

Deadline or current round 10th February. Find out more and apply here.


MPFT logo

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Community Mental Health Fund for Adults

This programme will support voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that encourage engagement with and provide training and interactive training materials to secondary care mental health service users. They welcome applications from VCSE organisations with experience of engaging with service users between 18 and 25.

Organisations can apply for grants between £1000-£20,000. Applications are welcome from all but priority will be given to organisations which do not currently receive MPFT funding.

Deadline 14th January 2024. Find out more and apply here.

heart of england

Inclusive Communities Fund

Launched on the 6th of November 2023.  It's a major funding round for the West Midlands area, incorporating £9 million worth of grant programmes, and most not-for-profit organisations can apply for funding.  

Grants range from £500 to £300,000, meaning small and large organisations can apply.  Grants will be available for works, activities and services that will contribute to the four core missions of the Commonwealth Games, and which fall within one or more of the following three themes: 

  • Physical activity and sport 
  • Mental health and well-being 
  • Arts, culture and creativity

More information about the fund can be found here.


7Stars Foundation

Grants of up to £2,500 for registered charities with an annual turnover of less than £1.5 million across the UK to deliver projects and activities that support young people aged 16 years and under across the priority themes of abuse, addiction, child carers, and homelessness.

Deadline is 31st of January for the current round. Find out more and apply here.

tennis lessons

£250 grants available to support ‘Introduction to Tennis’ sessions for disability groups

Tennis Shropshire has received funding from the LTA THROUGH ITS open Courts programme and are therefore pleased to invite bids from community disability groups for £250 to fund 5 x one hour sessions in the Cathie Sabin Community Tennis Centre. These sessions would be daytime at a time to suit, coach led and tailored to the ability of the group.

These grants are limited so if any groups would like to apply then please contact to receive a form.


Rural start up Fund

Forest Holidays and the Royal Countryside Fund have partnered to support businesses starting up in rural areas of the UK. 

Entrepreneurs who are embarking on new farming and agriculture business ventures in rural areas of the UK will be eligible to apply. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how their business will, in some manner, support rural communities, promote conservation of the countryside or support rural sustainability.

The deadline for applications is 12 February 2024. Find out more here.


british gas

British Gas Energy Trust - Individuals and families Fund

British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charitable body set up to support those who are struggling to pay their bills, regardless of energy provider.

The Individuals and Families Fund is intended to tackle fuel poverty by clearing the energy debts of struggling households and respond to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Grants to cover arrears of up to £1,500 will be credited to the energy account of eligible households.

Fund will close at the end of March or once funds are spent. Find out more and apply here.


VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme

Part of a package of over £100 million of support being delivered by the Government to help frontline delivery organisations with the increased cost of living. Deadline 30th August.

This scheme will have two elements:

  • Eligible organisations will be able to apply for the cost and delivery of an independent energy assessment. This will help them identify how to reduce their bills and where to get further support.
  • Organisations with an energy assessment may then be eligible to apply for a capital grant to install recommended energy efficiency measures in their premises.

Find out more here.

Rural Funding Digest

 Rural Services Network has released their monthly 'Rural Funding Digest' with over 50 different funding opportunities covering a range of fundraising areas including: arts and culture, capital, agricultural, social, arts and culture, veterans and more. Read the full list of grants here.


Shropshire Community Foundation

Shropshire Community Foundation 'Zac's Fund' 

Zac’s fund is being used to provide grants to give financial support to children and young people, aged up to and including 21 years of age with a cancer diagnosis.  Funding can be awarded to individuals or families who have a diagnosis of cancer and are in need of support.

Funding may be awarded to support their treatment, where it cannot otherwise be obtained free of charge, but also, at the discretion of the awardees, on any related expenses, including, but not limited to, respite, travel expenses, educational catch up, gifts, special outings and end-of-life palliative care.

The scheme will be launching the 1st of December 2023. Phase 1 closes 19th January 2024. Find out more and apply here.

national lottery

National Lottery Grant Schemes

The National Lottery has two regular community grant schemes which are ongoing (no firm deadline).

Awards for All: Offers grants between £300 and £20,000 for up to 2 years.

Reaching Communities: Offer grants from £20,001 for up to 5 years.

Both programmes fund projects or organisations that will do at least one of these things:

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

lloyds bank foundation

Lloyd's Bank Foundation Funding Programme for Specialist Small Charities

This new funding programme offers three-year unrestricted grants of £75,000 with tailored development support aimed at helping to strengthen charities and build the knowledge, skills and capabilities of staff and trustees. In addition, grants of up to £500 are available for groups who need accessibility support to apply.

The funding is for small, local, specialist charities with an annual income of between £25,000 and £500,000 who are providing in-depth services in one of the following eight themes:

  • Addiction
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Care Leavers
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Homelessness
  • Offending
  • Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
  • Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Deadline 25th January 2024. Find out more on on guidelines, eligibility and how to apply here. 

three guineas

Three Guineas Trust: Access to legal advice for disabled people

This is a new programme to increase capacity for legal advice and advocacy for disabled people on:

  • Benefits and debt
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Community care
  • Personal liberty
  • Equal access to goods and services

The maximum annual grant will be £50,000 a year. Grants can run for 1-3 years. There are no restrictions on what resources the grant can be used to pay for provided the funding furthers access to justice for disabled people.

Find out more and apply here. Deadline 12th January.

weston charity awards

Weston Charity Awards

Through the Weston Charity Awards, unrestricted grants of £6,500 are available for up to 22 charities. Winning applicants also gain free access to the Pilotlight 360 programme - a ten-month package of leadership coaching.

  • Charities working in the fields of Community, Environment, Welfare, or Youth
  • Based in the North or Midlands of England, or Wales
  • One paid full-time member of staff in a leadership position and an income of less than £5 million per year

Deadline 10th January. Find out more here.

charity awards

Charity Governance Awards

These are the only charity awards that are designed to celebrate trusteesfree to enter (with a free awards ceremony), and do not generate profit for the sponsors or partners. The awards have six categories.

Find out more about how to enter here. Deadline is 6th February 2024.

veterans foundation

Veterans Foundation Grant

Funding to help charities and other not-for-profit organisations that support serving and former members of the UK Armed Forces, and sometimes their dependants, who are in need.

The following grants are now available:

  • Grants up to £30,000. This can be for one year or a multi-year grant for up to three years (eg, £10,000 per year over three years).
  • Grants up to £50,000 (an increase from the previous £40,000) for the exclusive use of salary costs, over a two-year period may be awarded, (ie, £25,000 per year over two years).

Deadline 30th January 2024. Apply here.

Elise Pilkington Trust

Capital grants between £2,500 and £15,000, are available to UK registered charities working in the equine sector or charities/hospices supporting older people.

Deadline 9th February 2024. Find out more here. 


Delamere Foundation

Grants between £250 and £5,000 are available to registered charities and charitable organisations in England, Scotland and Wales working in the areas or agriculture, the environment, education, children and young people, financial hardship and the relief of sickness.

Deadline 29th February 2024. Find out more and apply here.

Don't forget to check out the VCSA's latest funding roundup, which is now available to view on our website, or you can click here to download a copy now.

Don't forget to check out our list of grants with rolling deadlines as well!

Don't see something on this list that should be here? Please contact us and let us know.


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