Recent blog posts

Interested parties are invited to participate in a Provider Forum Event for Housing Related Support Services on Wednesday 14 October 2015 from 9.30am until 4pm, to be held at Warwick Gates Community Centre, Church Hall, Cressida Close, CV34 6DZ.

The purpose of the forum will be to provide an update on the democratic process and to give current and potential new providers the opportunity to assist with the shaping of future HRS services.

There is a maximum of two people per provider for the event.

To book places at the event please email

Warwickshire County Council is undertaking a fundamental review of these services, to ensure they are meeting need and demand in the future and that they reflect the national landscape for social care, in particular the Care Act 2014. This is not a call for competition and participating in this event will not place any provider in an advantageous position if future procurement activity takes place for HRS services.  Any future procurement exercise (or exercises) that may arise from this forum will be an Independent process and will be subject to separate PIN(s) and/or Contract Notice(s).

More details on the Democratic process may be found on Warwickshire CC Council and Democracy pages via the link below:

Tagged in: housing WCC

VASA's Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2015 are now available to download.

Please click on the link below to access the Annual Report and Financial Statements


Tagged in: members VASA

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Warwickshire County Council (WCC) would like to offer community and voluntary organisations the opportunity to bid for funding.

Joint Healthy South Warwickshire Funding: funded by Public Health Warwickshire (part of Warwickshire County Council), South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Stratford District Council and Warwick District Council.

The partners are looking to fund community and voluntary sector projects primarily up to the value of £10,000 for a one year contract, with the possibility of a one year extension – subject to satisfactory performance (up to 50% of funding for year 2, subject to funding availability).

Statutory or national organisations or individuals who are working in a partnership led by local ‘not for profit’ groups and/or town and parish councils in relation to the specific project that funds are being requested for can still apply, so long as the project focuses and is based in Warwick and/or Stratford District.

Projects should address one or more of the outcomes below:

  • Reduction in unhealthy lifestyle behaviours including (but not limited to) smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Promotion of activities that reduce obesity related long term conditions, e.g. increase healthy eating and/or physical activity.
  • Increased utilisation of outdoor space for exercise/health.
  • Reduction of unplanned hospital admissions and supporting people to stay happy, healthy and well in their homes.
  • Reduction in social isolation – people reporting they have as much contact as they would like.
  • Improved self-reported mental wellbeing – using Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.

The bidding process is being facilitated through the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Joint E-Tendering Service (CSW-JETS).  Interested parties must register as a CSW-JETS user to access all of bidding documents, by going to

The bidding process ends (bids can be submitted up to) at 12.00 noon on 30 October 2015.

In putting together bids VASA is able to offer the following assistance:

  • Help using CSW-JETS.
  • Critical friend for draft bids.
  • Help with related matters, e.g. deciding on a legal structure, writing a constitution, setting up a bank account, arranging suitable insurance cover, putting in place necessary policies and procedures.
  • Signposting to other sources of funding.  To run alongside this funding or, in the event of an unsuccessful bid, as an alternative.
  • Help to determine and/or quantify social return on investment.
  • Help to set strategic context of bids/ideas.
  • Support for community consultation leading to bids.
  • Help to determine appropriate outputs, outcomes and projected impacts.
  • Help to put in place suitable sustainability measures.
  • Help with the recruitment and management of volunteers.

For more information on the support that VASA can offer please contact David Morgan, Funding and Development Officer, by telephone 01789 298102 or email

VASA have just published its October newsletter for all its Members - on Fundraising and Development.

It's a monthly e-mail to all the lead contacts for VASA members, who then circulate it amoungst their membership.

Each month it is a reminder of closing dates for Grants, up-coming events and advice and support you can find for training, organisation development, and for helping communicate the wonderful work you do.

If you would like to receive a copy of the newsletter in the future, please e-mail with your name and some details of what you do in the community

To read this month's newsletter click this link Oct-2015-Funding--development-Newsletter.pdf

Do take a look. There are several webinars that you can attend, both this week and on-demand, which could be invaluable for planning for 2016.

If you like any of the webinars, we have tweeted direct links to them so that to share, you just need to re-tweet!


Warwickshire County Council is currently working hard to map community assets around the county, which in turn will inform the Community Resilience Plan, part of the Warwickshire Cares Better Together campaign.

The Council values information that community groups have regarding what is out there and working well to provide community support to people.

Community groups are invited to take a look and complete an online survey.  If you click on the link below it will take you directly to the survey.  After you have answered the questions please press submit and your results will be sent to the Council automatically.

Community Groups Survey

Deadline for responses is Friday 30 October 2015.

Charities Aid Foundation has recently published two reports, one showing the continuing high level of public trust in charities, the other highlighting the important role that young people can play as charity trustees.  Please click on the links below to access the reports.

Please click on the link below for the latest newsletter:


Tagged in: welfare

Posted by on in News

Springfield Mind have teamed up with a leading dietician to offer an innovative food programme that includes:

  • Creating mindful meals.
  • Nutricious and delicious means on a budget.
  • Connecting how we eat with what we feel.
  • Meeting new friends.

To book a place or find out more information please contact Jo Min on 01789 298615 or

Location: Ken Kennett Centre, 100 Justins Avenue, Stratford-upon-Avon.  CV37 0DA.

Dates: 25 November, 2 December, 9 December, 16 December.

Times: 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Cost:  Free


Tagged in: health mental health

St Andrew’s Parish Hall, Stratford – Thursday 17th September – It was a pleasure to welcome representatives of 31 groups to St Andrews for the final Volunteer Forum of 2016, some old friends and several new faces.

These half-day seminars are a chance to showcase the work of groups and of the huge support that the Districts’ local authorities are able to give – even during these more stringent economic times – and the three short presentations reflected work done and how Stratford District is responding to an ever faster pace of change.


First up was Elaine Ives who is part of the Business Change Team for the Social Care & Support Services People Group at WCC – her presentation can be found HERE - Elaine-presentation_20150923-102311_1.pdf


Elaine took attendees through how the 2014 Care Act has already affected the lives of older people (and of other age groups and people with a disability) and what will happen over the next few years.


Once you’ve taken a look at the presentation, please use these links for more information –


Further information is available on the Warwickshire County Council website:


You can request leaflets if you do not have access to the

internet: Please ring: 01926 410410


For details about support services in Warwickshire



Next to speak was Lynne Barton from the Entrust Care Partnership. Lynne is a Director of the Partnership which is a CIC – a Community Interest Company – and her telling of the story of what is a very ‘young’ organisation was wonderful. There was lots of hard work early on (which continues to this day!) and stories of the grant support which has made a real difference – from national bodies such as the National Lottery through to local providers such as The Stratford Town Trust.

For Lynne’s presentation CLICK HERE - Lynne-presentation.pdf

If you can you help as a volunteer, to raise funds, to work for Entrust, to make a donation, collect pre-loved children’s toys and clothes – please contact Lynne and her team -

Fairview House, 26, Vicarage Lane, Harbury, Warwickshire CV 33 9HB - 07712326273 -


The final speaker was Marie Darwen from the Communities Team at SDC – her presentation looked at the detailed research continually carried out as Strategic Plans are developed.

It was all about the work being done on Social inclusion, work which will continue on looking at indentifying and then developing the support that people in need in our District should have.

Some of the key areas covered were –

Education/employment and training

Income and debt work

Social inclusion work

And part of the whole project is the Digital Inclusion Fund. The grant fund has a closing date of 16th October, with £40 000 to be distributed to groups who have projects that will help as many people as possible become ‘connected’ to this new world of information and access at our fingertips. For details and how to apply CLICK HERE


To close each forum, there is a chance for attendees to talk about their work. If you’d like to see a copy of all the news CLICK HERE - VSF-170915-Information-Exchange-notes.pdf


There are though three events you may well be interesting in coming up in the next couple of weeks –

GAGA, a Stratford based charity generating growth for African children and communities, devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere are holding a South African barbecue on 25th September, 11.30am to 2.00pm, at 50 Cygnet Court, Stratford, to raise funds for and increase the profile of GAGA.

This is their web site -

On Tuesday 6th October there are two events for your diary –

Making Space, who provide person centred support for people living with a range or mental health conditions, are holding a Tea and Talk event between 11.00am and 2.00pm, at Briar Croft, Stratford. Join Making Space for tea and cake, and have a conversation about mental health to help raise and end stigma. Contact

At Stratford Racecourse, Stratford SCAM are holding an all day conference on ‘Living Well with Cancer' - all the details are available on THIS POSTER - Scan-conference-poster-AUG15_FINAL.pdf

You’ll find lots of help and support looking at what services & support can help after a cancer diagnosis. Do go along if you can!



The next Voluntary sector Forum will be early next year – probably sometime in February. All VASA members will receive an invite but if you want to find out more, please do bookmark this site or join our Twitter account



Thank you to all the speakers – Elaine, Lynne and Marie – and to all those who came along. Our thanks also go to St Andrews for allowing us to host the event in their beautiful Church Hall.

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Volunteers are needed to assist in the running of “Café WRAP”, which is dedicated to supporting those looking after a loved one living with dementia.


The café is open each Friday from 2.00 until 4.00 pm and is held at Bishopton Community Centre, Drayton Avenue, Stratford upon Avon.


You will be required to complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service form).


To obtain further details and an application form please contact:


Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project,

Stratford Hospital,

Arden Street,


CV37 6NX.

Tel 01789 778431


£9.00 per hour, 9.00am to 4.00pm every Friday.


An experienced care assistant is required to lead a new day care service.


Responsible for managing volunteers, assessing and supervising clients and developing the service.


To obtain further details and an application form please contact:


Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project,

Stratford Hospital,

Arden Street,


CV37 6NX.

Tel 01789 778431




Closing Date for applications Monday 19 October 2015

Tagged in: disability health

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Please click on the link below for the latest information update from Warwickshire Race Equality Partnership.


Tagged in: equality

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Stratford upon Avon Foodbank is currently looking for volunteers for the key role of Foodbank Team Leaders.  To perform this role you will need to be a flexible team player and have passion for helping those in need in our local community.  Stratford upon Avon foodbank is a charity founded on Christian principles but welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds and faiths.  

Please click on the link below to access the role description:


If you would like more information on the role then please use the contacts on the role description or get in touch with the Volunteer Centre on 01789 262889,

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Please click on the link below for the latest newsletter:


Tagged in: health

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The Stratford Town Trust has just announced its grant round closing dates for 2016.

They are -

Round 1: 5pm, January 15th 2016
Round 2: 5pm, May 13th 2016
Round 3: 5pm, September 2nd 2016


For full details -

What is The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service?


The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise the outstanding work carried out in their own communities.  It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and is the MBE for volunteer groups.


Any group doing volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. The winners are announced on 2 June every year.


How can you make a nomination?


If you know a local volunteering group deserving of recognition for services to the local area, please consider nominating them!  Anyone aware of the group including people who benefit from the group's activities may make a nomination. Please don't nominate your own group if you're a volunteer or paid staff member!


To nominate, simply complete the online form at  Notes to help you can be found at   


Nominations are open until18 September 2015, so nominate today.

Tagged in: community members

Do you have 4 hours to spare each week?  Volunteers are needed to sort through donated books, assess their value and price them accordingly, display them attractively and occasional work on the till.  In return you’ll have the opportunity to work as part of a friendly team.

Please click on the link below for a copy of the role description:


For further information or to apply please contact the Volunteer Centre on 01789 262889 or



All details are available on our website on this link

Deadline is midday on 1st October.

Tagged in: fundraising

Springfield Mind is setting up a new Dementia Wellbeing Café in Stratford upon Avon.  The aim of the service is to support those living with dementia to gain peer support, get information/ signposting, have a greater understanding of the disease and enjoy a variety of wellbeing activities that are encompassed within the ‘five ways to wellbeing campaign’.

The Dementia Wellbeing café will run on a Saturday morning from 10 -12noon and will offer light refreshments, speakers and activities. To enable Springfield Mind to deliver the café successfully we require the support of initially 3 volunteers.

If you have an interest and or experience of working with people living with dementia and would like to be part of a new developing service we would love to hear from you.  We are particularly interested in individuals that have skills in different areas such as art, photography, gardening, flower arranging, exercise, reminiscence…this list is not exhaustive so if you feel you have something positive to bring to those living with dementia – don’t hesitate contact us know!

Please contact Clare Moorman Volunteer Officer on 01789 298615 or

Tagged in: mental health

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What we do:

We provide the service user involvement service for people who use mental health services in Warwickshire.  Service user involvement is about giving service users a voice and the chance to influence the development of services.  This not only allows the services to be improved but gives the individual the chance to learn new skills and gain confidence.

Our aims:

  • To empower and give Service Users a voice.
  • Gather feedback on mental health services.
  • To shape, improve and develop services that are needed.
  • For individuals to develop skills, meet others and become part of a supportive group.
  • To maximise on service user involvement opportunities.
  • To make a positive contribution to the community.
  • To update service users on Local and National issues.

How you can get involved:

  • Our quarterly newsletter. 
  • Training.
  • Campaigning to breakdown stigma and showcase recovery e.g. Time To Change Projects.
  • Mental health training Sessions for professionals.
  • Consultation.
  • Workshops and Events.
  • Bimonthly Forums.

Phone: 01926 679207


Tagged in: mental health


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