Gloucestershire VCS Alliance Newsletter


Reflecting on Stage 2 of Covid

Tracy Clark, CEO of Young Gloucestershire and InfoBuzz and a Trustee of the Alliance, has written a blog about the Covid-19 hangover and her experience of leading charities during the pandemic. She highlights achievements from the past six months but doesn’t underestimate the challenges that lie ahead, both for her own charities and the wider VCS working so hard to support their communities.

You can read it at

Mentoring support available

The Business Improvement Group (BIG) is a Gloucestershire-based group of independent business people. They offer companies, not-for-profit enterprises and public sector organisations a free business review session. The VCS Alliance has been working with them to create a package of support for the sector.

The initial approach is to have a meeting with your charity to gain an understanding of your business and to provide a report on ideas for improvement. Any strategic decisions will be made by the charity. There is no charge for this phase.

Training and development is likely to be part of action planning and members of BIG have a fund of knowledge and wisdom which can be delivered through mentoring or training in master classes.

If this you are interested, please click this link and tick any areas where you would like support.

Director of Public Health Annual Report 2019/20: Beyond Covid: Race, Health and Inequality in Gloucestershire

Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health has issued her Annual Report 2019/20: Beyond Covid: Race, Health and Inequality in Gloucestershire. The report has been co-authored with the Gloucestershire County Council Black Worker Network.  It looks at the long-standing health inequalities faced by people of a BAME background in Gloucestershire and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read the full report here:

Please contact Althia Lyn (Chair of the GCC Black Workers Network) at if you wish to discuss this report or request a presentation to a group or board.


Stroud Town Council support for community groups

Stroud Town Council still has funding available to support community groups responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Applications are invited from local voluntary sector organisations and community groups that support vulnerable people. Funding can be used to cover additional costs due to increased activity or functions where there are insufficient resources.

Grants of up to £500 are available for registered charities, community interest companies or community and voluntary groups working in Stroud Town Parish.

To find out how to apply, visit

Western Power Distribution – In This Together – Community Matters Fund

This Fund offers help to the most vulnerable people affected by COVID-19 who are in need of additional support. Funding is available for initiatives such as those offering food, clothing and hot meals, as well as gifts and support to vulnerable children, adults and the elderly over the winter holidays.

Grants of up to £1,500 are available. It is open to registered charities, community groups, parish and town councils and local authorities within the Western Power distribution network area.

Applications must be made by 15 November. Further information at

Ecclesiastical Insurance relaunches 12 days of giving

Ecclesiastical Insurance, based in Gloucester, will be giving 10 charities £1,000 on each weekday from 7 to 22 December. The draw is open to registered charities, not-for-profit organisations and community interest companies. Ten charities will be drawn at random each day. Find out how to be involved at

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner – Commissioner’s Fund

Funding is available for Covid-related projects focused on regeneration that address at least one of the priorities in the Police and Crime Plan. The closing date is 16 November. Find out more at

GloW Community Grants

Applications close on 15 November. Grants of up to £5,000 are available for community led and based activities that contribute to our mental wellbeing and help improve our mental health. To find out more, contact or


Survey on working patterns in the light of Covid

GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, is looking to compile accurate data on current and future working patterns across Gloucestershire in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have produced a short survey about flexible working, working from home, and your post Covid-19 plans. They want to hear about how you are finding working from home and what the ‘new normal’ could look like. This survey is for VCS organisations as well as local business.

The survey will take about 5 minutes to complete and your feedback will help the team at GFirst LEP make informed decisions on the future of new office space, recruitment, business support for the county and mental health and wellbeing.

Here’s the link to the survey:

Gloucestershire Community Foundation wants to hear from you

Gloucestershire Community Foundation (GCF) wants to better understand the support charities and local community groups need right now and in the coming year. The more responses, the more GCF can be sure it designs an application process and funding that are right for Gloucestershire.

You can find the survey at It will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

GCF wants to hear from grant applicants and grant holders, as well as Gloucestershire charities and community groups that have been unsuccessful or have never applied.

Consultations on Hospital Services

1. Fit for the Future – developing specialist hospital care in Gloucestershire
This consultation is about options for organising a number of specialist hospital services across Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital sites.

2. Forest of Dean Community Hospital 
People who live and work in the Forest of Dean are being asked for their views on proposals for services in the new hospital.

To find out more visit or email to request information.  On the website you will fund the full consultations, summary versions, the surveys and supporting information. At the new online consultation space at you will be able to take part in discussion forums. Both consultations are open until 17 December 2020.


Volunteer emotional support sessions

Arranged in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, these sessions offer a peer support reflective conversation, facilitated by a chartered psychologist with experience of supporting volunteers responding to crisis situations. It is an opportunity for participants to discuss the emotional impact of the support they are providing and anything that has caused them distress. Participants can share experiences, discuss self-care and positive steps to look after themselves.

The sessions last 1½-2 hours and are ideally suited to new groups of community volunteers. There is a limited number of sessions available and this offer is initially targeted at new volunteer groups.

A session is offered to a cohort of five people from each community group. If your community group would be interested, the group co-ordinator is invited to contact Nicky Maunder at

Chamwell Centre

The Chamwell Centre’s £5.1 million capital fundraising target has been achieved and the Centre is opening in December 2020. Chamwell has been adapted to be as safe from Covid as possible, even for the most vulnerable.

Services available at Chamwell include:

  • Hydrotherapy for children and adults with severe physical disability
  • Playdays – half days of care and activities for children with severe disability
  • Interactive climbing wall
  • 3 storey fully accessible soft play
  • Wheelchair sports and wheelchair friendly outdoor play area

To find out more, and see the full list of services available, please visit

During school hours in term time, the Chamwell Centre will be for the use of the 320 children with severe and complex special needs at Milestone School and for children with additional needs from the SAND Academy and other schools.

Between 7.00 – 9.00am and 3.30 -9.00pm on school days and 7.00am – 9.00pm on weekends and school holidays, Chamwell will be open to anyone in Gloucestershire who can benefit from its programme of professionally led therapies, leisure activities and work experience.

If you have questions or wish to arrange a visit or virtual tour, please email

The Chamwell Centre is setting up a focus group to identify additional services they could offer. If you would like to express an interest in being involved, please contact

Dementia Awareness Sessions

The Forest of Dean Dementia Awareness Alliance is funding free, informal and online sessions to share practical information and understanding about dementia.  Available dates:

13 November, 10am-11.30am
14 November, 11am-12.30pm      17 November, 10.30am-midday
20 November, 10.30am-midday   25 November, 2pm-3.30pm
27 November, 10.30am-midday   28 November, 11am-12.30pm
2 December, 6pm-7.30pm
4 December, 11am-12.30pm        8 December, 10.30am-midday
11 December, 10am-11.30am      14 December, 2pm-3.30pm
15 December, midday-1.30pm     17 December, 10.30am-midday

To book, please email including your name, phone number and where in Gloucestershire you live, along with your preferred session and an alternative date. You will then be sent joining instructions.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Dementia Awareness Alliance please email Lena Maller on 01594 812609 or


Vacancies at GRCC for Social Prescribing Workers

Recruiting two full-time Social Prescribing Link Workers to join a growing team of health care professionals working across the five practices of the North Cotswold Primary Care Network.

  • 2-year contract for a full-time Young People’s Social Prescribing Link Worker
  • Temporary 6-month post for full-time Social Prescribing Link Worker

Deadline 9am on 16 November. Find out more at

Vacancies at Kingfisher Treasure Seekers

  • Cavern Manager – to oversee the smooth running of the Cavern
  • Cavern Supervisor – to support the Cavern Manager in running The Cavern
  • Cavern Chef – to provide healthy meals, work experience training and income generation to enable people to become the best version of themselves and support the wider work of Treasure Seekers.
  • Support Worker – to provide a listening ear and facilitate a safe space for those with mental health issues. Part-time post.

Find out more at

Healthwatch Gloucestershire recruiting a Team Administrator
28 hours per week worked over 5 days. £17,850 pro rata pa

At Healthwatch Gloucestershire, we are passionate about having a health and care service shaped by the people who use it.  We need someone to help us manage the office, handle our social media accounts, organise events, look after volunteers and answer the phone.

More information at Closing date: midnight on 23 November.

The Wiggly Worm recruiting trustees

Wiggly Worm is about creating opportunities for life through food. Food is at the heart of everything we do and the “social glue” that brings about real and lasting change. We are active around the county working alongside communities where we talk, show, teach, cook and eat together. We work in youth centres, community kitchens, schools, residential homes, parks and playgrounds.

We are looking for applicants who are passionate about our work, possess good independent judgment, will appreciate the collective responsibilities of the Trustee Board and who think strategically. We are looking for a range of governance skills and experience, in particular expertise in finance and knowledge of fundraising. It’s an exciting time to join our Board, as we are currently developing our 3-year organisation plan.

If you want to know more about the role, please contact Joanna Scott on 01242 237802 or email for an information pack.

Apply to by 5pm on 16 November with a CV, supporting statement and details of two referees.


Charity Commission launches short guides for trustees

The Charity Commission has launched five short guides, designed to make it quicker and easier for trustees to find the information they need. They cover topics such as financial oversight and good decision-making. The five guides are:

Charity Commission & UK Finance anti-fraud resources for charities

The Charity Commission and UK Finance have published resources to support charities to protect themselves from fraud. They are warning trustees and donors to strengthen their defences as it fears the pandemic has created environments that are enabling charity fraud.

Charities have reported being victims of fraud or cybercrime 645 times since March, amounting to £3.6 million in total losses to charities. The true scale of fraud against charities is believed to be much higher, as fraud is known to be underreported. For more information click here.

Charities can find free tools and advice via an online hub, and are urged to follow the regulator’s three top tips in the fight against fraud:

1. Be fraud aware
2. Take time to check
3. Keep your charity safe

Wanted: 12 chief execs to engage in new perspectives

AVECO is promoting a reciprocal mentoring programme to develop a new more diverse group of charity leaders that better reflect and understand the communities they serve.

As a pilot programme, 2027 Partnerships is looking for 12 CEOs and senior leaders at established charities to partner with 12 talented 2027 associates in a reciprocal mentoring programme. The pairings will meet online for an hour a month to discuss, debate and learn from each other across six themes: connection, barriers, management, getting on, leadership and legacy.

The programme will run from January 2021 to September 2021 with a commitment to attend 6 one-hour online meetings and generously share feedback. Deadline to apply: 30 November. Find out more at

Age-inclusive social action

Between 2016-2020 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Nesta supported 36 social action innovations that explored age-inclusive and age-friendly practices. Using lessons and insights from these projects, Nesta has published a step-by-step guide to inclusive social action or volunteering. Find it here: The Age of Inclusion: Lessons from social action innovations developing age-inclusive and age-friendly practice

As part of this programme, the Centre for Ageing Better has produced a toolkit to support organisations working with volunteers to engage over 50s and widen participation among different types of people. Access the toolkit here: Helping out: Taking an inclusive approach to engaging older people is a toolkit, Centre for Ageing Better

Lessons from Lockdown: community-facing responses to the pandemic

The MoVE project has published its early findings on the community-facing responses to the pandemic, based on nearly 50 interviews carried out with local authorities and VCSE organisations. This is the first of three ‘Lessons from lockdown’ reports which can be downloaded here.

The MoVE project is a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Hull and Leeds. Over the course of 18 months, the research examines how to understand, scale and maximise the effectiveness of volunteer responses to Covid-19.

They have also begun a series of blog posts; the first is Lessons from lockdown #1: the power of community.

11 November 2020