Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Jobs

Hours per week: To suit your situation

We are passionate about our social purpose to support disabled children and their families. People tell us that with our care and support we make a positive difference. We all love our work but we are a small organisation and need help.

We provide a range of different services tailored to each family and in order to do this we must money.

We therefore sell pre-loved children’s clothes and toys to help this ambition.

We are trying to find someone who not only shares our values and has aspirations to be a social entrepreneur but also a person who has retail experience or an interest in developing it  – please tell me it’s you!  

You will find a warm supportive welcome and will not be expected to work alone.

Could you revolutionise our tiny sales base into something much grander through:

* Researching potential outlets & markets where we can sell our children’s preloved clothes and toys  
* Help encourage other volunteers to prepare clothes & toys ready for sale
* Help organise sales on line through Facebook or location based groups

All reasonable expenses met.

If you are interested and want to know more please call Lynne Barton on 07712326273

Hours to suit your availability

We are Entrust Care Partnership, working with families of children with special needs to provide them with the support and services tailored to their unique requirements.  We raise money to do this through grants, sales of gently used children’s clothing, renting out accessible holiday caravans and providing support services.

Our background is in social work and caring for children with special needs.  We are uniquely placed to know what help families need.  However, where we need help is in leveraging social media to improve our fundraising, raise awareness of what we do and finding volunteers for some of our events.

Specifically, we need help with

* Accessing local Facebook groups to publicise our events, find additional donors for our gently used clothing sales (local mums’ FB pages, groups), and promote volunteer opportunities
* Using our Facebook page and Twitter account to do the same
* Promoting our accessible holiday caravans on relevant websites

For a minimal time commitment (a few hours a week, working from home if you like), you will be able to make a significant and quantifiable difference to our business – with impacts such as :

* The % increase in rental revenue and/or bookings of our holiday caravans
* The % increase in income generated from our gently used clothing sales
* The % increase in volunteers for events, or in the numbers of events we can hold if we have more volunteers to help staff them

Not only can you make a real contribution to our business and to our objective of helping families, you will also be able to update your CV with a role where you have made a real impact with measurable results.

Interested and want to know more ? Please call Lynne Barton, Director on 07712326273

Posted by on in News

Are you a personal assistant or interested in a career in support in Warwickshire and looking for work?

The aim of this new PA Finder service is to provide a central register where (clients) employers can search for a suitable Personal Assistant (Care Worker).

Penderels Trust is a charity that supports people with disabilities (clients) to live independently in their own home. They are operating the PA Finder service on behalf of Warwickshire County Council; the aim is to provide a central register where (clients) employers can search for a suitable Personal Assistant (Care Worker).

If you join Warwickshire PA Finder you can make finding the right job much easier. PA Finder is a register of personal assistants who are looking for work supporting people with disabilities to live independently in their own homes in Warwickshire.

Benefits to you

Joining PA Finder is free of charge

Potential employers can see your profile at any time

You can say where and when you would like to work

Being on PA Finder does not stop you from looking for other work or holding other jobs (e.g. if you work part-time but would like more hours)

You can take yourself off PA Finder at any time e.g. if you find a job

Employers’ access to PA Finder is controlled by a login process ensuring only genuine employers see your details

We will provide you with further information to help you develop as a PA.

Penderels Trust is operating PA Finder on behalf of Warwickshire County Council.  Penderels Trust is authorised to provide direct payment and personal health budget support services to people with disabilities or health care needs in Warwickshire. Your employer will be the person you support, not Penderels Trust or Warwickshire County Council.

For full details please download this leaflet



Posted by on in News

Coventry is large enough to have a Consumer Network, an organisation which collates and then reports on scams which range from mysterious telephone calls to food recalls and internet fraudsters.

Do take a look at this in-depth report that they have produced for August and if youc an, please do publicise any of the case studies in your social media or newsletters as they may well be repeated in our much more rural - and therefore vulnerable - areas.

If you have any scams that you have come across and would like reported, please do contact our Local Trading Standards - full contact details here




Startford Foodbank are currently looking to increase the number of volunteers they have that are trained in putting together our food parcels – we tend to call these volunteers ‘box packers’. Once you have competed this training you will then be given the opportunity to take part in our next rota which will run from Oct 2016 through to Feb 2017.

Time Commitment:

Box packers are needed on a Tuesday between 11.30 and 2.15pm and at the same time on a Friday. The amount of commitment is up to you. Most of our box packers volunteer once or twice a month.

Purpose of the Role

This is a vital role for our foodbank as our box packers are the people who collate the food parcels our clients take away with them. This role does not require a lot of lifting but does require a little twisting as items are taken from our warehouse shelves.

Time and Place of the Next Box Packing Training

If you are interested in learning more about this role and seeing what is involved we are running an informal training session on Friday 13th September 11am through to about 2pm
Janis McBride will be showing volunteers what is required in this task and then needing help at teh session itself wich runs from 12 - 2. The training takes place at our warehouse which can be found at the Tesco Maybird carpark, at the top of the carpark on the left hand side up by the click and collect area. The warehouse is a porta cabin branded with Foodbank logos. Please note that if you do attend the training you should check in at Tesco customer’s services desk first so they can make a note of your car registration number.
What to do next

Places will be limited to a maximum of 2 people  (the warehouse is small and as we neverknow hw busy the distribution session is we neede o ensure we have room to move aound quickly aand easily) so if you are interested please email ASAP. Please also include your contact phone numbers

Would you like to come on a FREE course to learn about myGRaCE, a website designed to help you find out more about your mental health, wellbeing and personal safety – and how to manage them?
• What affects my mental health, wellbeing and safety?
• Why do I feel like I do?
• How can I explain how I feel to others?
• How can I get help
• What can I do to feel better?
On these courses you will look at all these questions and more through teaching, discussion, case studies, and learning to use the myGRaCE website (see

Where: The IT Suite, Brunswick Hub, 98-100 Shrubland Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 3BD

When: Courses run on Wednesday mornings 10am – midday, and the next two available dates are Wednesday 17th and 24th August.

There are courses being run in Stratford:

Recovery & Wellbeing Academy Open Day

Tues 6th Sept    11am-2pm                

Springfield Mind
Timothy’s Bridge Road,

Come along and find out more, register or take away some information. Referring professionals also welcome.

Further courses are being planned in October - please see the attached full course schedule (below) which includes events across Warwickshire

Who is it for? Anyone interested in exploring these issues. All are welcome. Basic IT literacy required.
To find out more or to book a place contact Dr Ann Adams  Booking recommended as places are limited.

(myGRaCE is underpinned by research evidence, and GRaCE does not promote any particular belief or value system).


Stratford Time Bank need a Time Broker (Community Development Worker)
You will be working from home but needing to travel locally

28 hours per week - Salary £17,600 (£22,000 pro rata)

This will be a challenging and rewarding role which includes managing volunteer assignments as well as the promotion and development of Time Banking across Stratford-on-Avon district. Own transport essential.

For further information
phone 01789 298503 or e-mail

Closing date for returned applications: Monday 5 September

Interviews will be held on Friday 16 September

Posted by on in Jobs

Volunteering with your local MS Society group is a fantastic way to get involved and make a difference. They have an exciting opportunity for the role of Chair for our Stratford MS Society Group.

This is an unpaid voluntary role.

Skills / experience needed:

Theyare looking for someone who is interested in developing the work of the Stratford MS Society group, so that the group can support as wide a range of people who are affected by MS, as possible
Someone who is a good leader, with good organisational skills
Someone who is able to motivate others
Someone who has the ability to coordinate a number of activities and also the actions of a small committee
An understanding of multiple sclerosis is desirable but not essential

The role involves:

Chairing group meetings (committee meetings  are held once a month during week day hours)
Having oversight of all branch activities
Work with the other group committee members to ensure that all activity is carried out according to MS Society processes
Ensuring that the group’s work is focused and directed  in a positive way

Induction is provided for this role as is ongoing training and support. Out of pocket expenses are paid.

For more information please contact Lyndsay Smith, Local Network Officer on 07734 777054 or at

“Loneliness is not having anyone to tell that you are lonely”

Did you know? In the UK, more than 1 million people aged over 65 say they often or always feels lonely. We have 1,000 older people waiting for a Silver Line Friend. They have chosen to be called Silver Liners.

By volunteering as a Telephone Friend for The Silver Line, we match you to a Silver Liner that you call once a week.

“Just speaking to someone helps me cope a little better…” – Silver Liner

This is a volunteer role that you can do from home or from work. All you need is access to a telephone and the internet. We ask for a commitment of up to a year where possible and the ability to make your call on the same day and time each week. Friendship calls can be made between 8am and 8pm Monday - Sunday.

The Silver Line pays for the cost of all friendship calls and for safety reasons we also record the calls.

In the time it takes to read the paper, watch the news or take a trip to the shop, you can volunteer with The Silver Line. A regular 30-minute call from a friend really can change the life of a lonely person.

See how a call from a Silver Line Friend makes a big difference by searching 'The Silver Line' on YouTube.

About The Silver Line:
The Silver Line is the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK, open every day and night of the year. Our specially trained helpline staff:

•    Offer information, friendship and advice
•    Link callers to local groups and services
•    Protect and support those who are suffering abuse and neglect

If callers would like to be put in touch with Silver Line Friends, they can receive a weekly friendship call or a regular friendship letter. Silver Line Friends are volunteers who have contacted The Silver Line because they enjoy talking to older people.

Practical Considerations:
To be a Silver Line Telephone Friend you will need:

To be aged 18 and over
Access to the internet and an email account
A UK, Channel Isles, or Isle of Man, landline telephone (we cannot facilitate calls from other countries)
To be able to commit to a 30-minute friendship call, at the same time and day each week, for up to a year
To want to speak to, and build a relationship with an older person

Further FAQs:

1.    Does this vacancy require any particular skills, qualities or experience?
The most important skills you need as a volunteer in this role is to enjoy conversation with older people and have the ability to listen.

2.    Is this role flexible?
You must be able to commit to the same time and day each week to make your 30-minute friendship call. Your call can take place any day of the week, from 8am – 8pm.

3.    What does the application process involve?
Our application process requires each volunteer to complete an application form and provide details for two references. There will be a 20/30-minute telephone interview and then a 90-minute training session that takes place on the phone, with up to 5 volunteers.

4.    Is there anyone that is not suitable for this opportunity?
This role is not suitable for anybody under the age of 18.

The Silver Line website:

The Silver Line Volunteering Page:

Posted by on in News

As part of Community Centre Week, it's a great time to highlight the valuable Community Halls Service in Warwickshire and Solihull delivered by WRCC (Warwickshire Rural Community Council). It provides practical help and guidance on all aspects of running and managing a community building; a village hall, church or community hall, or community centre. The service provides for a range of mainly rural community buildings, in which a variety of activities and services take place, ranging from pantomimes and playgroups to post offices and parcel delivery.

The Community Buildings Adviser (formerly Village Halls Adviser) is based at WRCC near Wellesbourne, with a support network of thirty-eight advisers across England, supported by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England). 

There are 10,000 village halls in England, run by volunteer management committees, so the combined knowledge and experience of the specialist advisers provides a considerable resource, backed up by the specialist information and legal team at ACRE.

Locally, you can find information about the service on the WRCC website. Here you will find a list of ACRE publications and essential documents for running a hall, such as the model hiring agreement.

There is a comprehensive set of more than 40 easy to understand Information Sheets available at just £10 each. These will help management committees to deal with diverse topics such as trustee roles and responsibilities, premises licences, asbestos and car parking. View the full list on the WRCC website.

WRCC offers the quality standards scheme, Hallmark, to promote good practice in the management of community buildings. The scheme aims to encourage improvement in established customs and procedures encourage, establish and reward good practice
obtain recognition from other bodies for the standard of management of community facilities. Hallmark is currently a free scheme open to village hall management committees.

WRCC provides a free monthly E-newsletter containing both local and national community buildings news, funding updates, topics of interest and essential legal updates. To subscribe, email your own name and hall name to


Sketts have just announced details of how you can apply for a Market Stall at the Christmas Fare's in Leamington & Warwick. As soon as we have details of Stratford, we will post them.

The Christmas Market in Leamington are on Sundays, starting from 20th November and for four weeks.
This is the letter to apply for a stall at these markets (there are four stalls per market day) Yuletide-Charity-App-2016.pdf

The Christmas Warwick Victorian Evening is on Thursday 24th November
This is the letter and application form for that evening warwick-victorian-eve-charity-app-2016.pdf

Both Markets are available on a first-come-first-served basis.. If your work or your support is in Warwick & Leamington, it could be an opportunity for some Christmas Fundraising. Please not you cannot sell second-hand goods.

There are currently 7100 people living with dementia in Warwickshire and this is expected to increase by 34% over the course of the next 10 years. Dementia is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century and over the coming years a lot of people accessing Council services will either have dementia or will know someone who does

Being Dementia Friendly is about being aware of the impact that the condition has on a person and their life and how this might affect their behaviour and their ability to undertake everyday tasks. If someone experiences difficulty or confusion whilst accessing Council services it may suggest they have dementia but this may not necessarily be the case. However, if someone is suspected as having dementia they may need extra help, support, time and consideration. This would require good people skills, kindness, common sense, good communication skills and a culture of customer care.

It is about organisations, communities and individuals enabling people with dementia to continue living a good life by making them feel supported, welcomed and encouraged about accessing their local community.

Stratford District Council pledged to become a dementia friendly organisation in 2014 and now has an action plan which was approved by Councillors in 2015.

NEW - Dementia Care Leaflet

Stratford District Council has produced a leaflet detailing all the dementia cafes, day care and other activity groups which are available across the district for those living with dementia. The leaflet also gives information on support groups available for carers. For further information please contact Marie Darwen, Policy Officer at Stratford-on-Avon District Council on 01789 260108

To download the leaflet click 1627-Dementia-Services-In-Stratford-District-APR16-low-res_FINAL.pdf

The Summer 2016 Partners and Parish briefing from Stratford District Council is just out. It's full of info and features on all the SDC is doing and its work with partners across the District.

There is a feature from the new Executive Directors, a complete picture of all the management structures, news from the Police Commission Elections, an article all about the new Small Business Support Centre at Venture House.

Other features include a look at Health & Well-Being in Alcester and Studley, the broadband roll-out across the District, the Heatworks and the Affordable Homes Schemes - plus lots more.

To read the briefing 1026-Parish-and-Partners-19---June-2016-low-res---FINAL.pdf

For info on a deal for the opening of Venture House VH-DL-Summer-Offer-postcard-Jun16.pdf


Evenbreak is a not-for-profit social enterprise and was formed to help disabled people find jobs and careers. They also assist employers with their equality agenda.

They have a job board with vacancies for disabled applicants with inclusive employers. On the job board there are vacancies across the country in a variety of sectors.

John Lewis and Lloyds Bank and other companies place all their jobs with Evenbreak.

The job board can be found at:

If you know of anyone that Evenbreak could help, please share this article.

Evenbreak are also offering a series of webinars* run for people with disabilities by people with personal experience  to help job hunting seem less daunting. Job Candidates can join these webinars from home and we are awaiting confirmation that those already shown will be available on-demand.

Webinar details are as follows:

8th June 11am
Gaining Confidence – Have confidence in what you have to offer

14th June 11am
Identifying Your Strengths – You have more skills than you think

21st June 11am
Searching For Jobs – Not all jobs are advertised. Where to look.

29th June 11am
Writing Your CV to Stand Out From the Competition

5th July 11am
Excelling at Interviews

Customers can register for Webinars at:

What is a ‘webinar’?

A webinar is exactly what it sounds like – a seminar that takes place online.  It is interactive and all you need is an internet connection and some headphones or speakers.  Attendees can type in any questions they may have and receive a response in real time.

If you've not see it yet, the new Stratford Hospital is being built between the present hospital buildings and the Railway Station. It will be completed early in 2017 and on the ground floor there will be a special section set aside to have a Health & Well-Being Centre for the Town & District.

New inbuild

What is - what could be Health & Well-Being Centre for the Hospital?

It could be a place to meet up with local organisations and groups who can help you with all sorts of things – not just when you need support for medical issues – places to go (and for support) to keep healthy, be active, make friends, do new things, learn new skills, meet up ... the Development Team have had lots of ideas so far but they’d really like to know what you think!

If you'd like to take part in the Questionnaire CLICK HERE

If you want to see what other communities have done, take a look at these links:

This is Bromley-by-Bow:


 Or closer to us this Maggies in Cheltenham:

Maggies Ch

 Then there is this facility in Exeter - or this one in Eden!

If you'd like to give your input about our centre CLICK HERE



This is the training programme provided by Warwickshire CAVA for the next two months. If you are interested in a course please use the contact details or the link below

Evidence Gathering Evidence Gathering (A Quality For Health* Module)

Tues 28 Jun.  09:30 – 12:30

Aim: To support you and your organisation to effectively identify and structure outcomes-based evidence in order to maximise funding/tender applications


Connectivity Connectivity (A Quality For Health* Module)

Tues 28 June. 13:00 – 16:00

Aim: This workshop will explore the importance of connectivity in terms of delivering more effective services and developing sustainability in terms of organisational development and funding.

Leadership & Management Leadership and Management (A Quality For Health* Module)

Fri 1 July. 09:30 – 12:30

Aim: This workshop will explore the concepts and differences between leadership and management and explore effective models of leadership suitable for a service delivery environment.

Governance Governance (A Quality For Health* Module)

Fri 1 July.  13:00 – 16:00

Aim: This workshop will look at the importance of effective governance in organisations as part of a positive leadership model

*What is Quality for Health? Quality For Health is a brand new, innovative, unique, quality assurance system for the VCSE, developed by Voluntary Action Calderdale and endorsed by Calderdale CCG. This is the only quality assurance system in the country designed to support the VCSE to demonstrate the outcomes of their health services through rigorous external assessment. The system measures outcomes-based evidence across three levels and is a vital tool in supporting the VCSE to deliver local health services for local communities.

If you are interested in Quality for Health and want to find out more, please contact the ConnectWELL Team on 01788 539572 or


For the WCAVA Training page CLICK HERE

For the Training Diary pages CLICK HERE


We’re making £200,000 available for OneFamily customers to nominate local projects close to their heart. This is for community groups & projects based in the UK, covering the following categories:

-    Health, Disability & Social Care
-    Schools & Centres of Education
-    Sports & Social Groups
-    Youth & Affiliated Organisations

Terms and conditions apply.

Nominations close 29th June, with all approved projects being entered into a public vote to determine the winners. Voting runs from 4th July – 20th July, with the winner announcement on Wednesday 27th July 2016.

OneFamily was formed in April 2015 when Family Investments merged with Engage Mutual Assurance. Some of our customers may still think that they belong to either mutual, so it is well worthy including this in any communications.

Here are a few user guides on our website that might help projects moving forward with their applications:

Although they look into generating votes for your project, the same can apply to help locate a OneFamily customer to get involved with a group’s project.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has relaunched its £1.7 million energy advice grants programme and is currently accepting applications from third sector organisations in England, Scotland and Wales.

Following the success of the first three years of the Big Energy Saving Network, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched the application process for grant funding of the 2016/17 programme. The programme is jointly funded by DECC and National Energy Action.
The £1.7 million programme of training, support and grant funding is for legally constituted third sector organisations and community groups to deliver an extensive programme of outreach to vulnerable consumers, focused on helping them reduce their energy costs through assisted action on tariffs, switching and the take up of energy efficiency offers.

The programme has two objectives, which are:

•    To provide assisted action for the maximum number of vulnerable consumers possible with the funding available, helping them save money on their energy costs through attendance at BESN Champion and/or Volunteer led outreach sessions.
•    To deliver a training programme to frontline workers who come into regular contact with vulnerable consumers, in order that they can give direct help and advice to clients to help them save money on their energy costs where practical.

Each grant award is for a total of £5,000 per 'Champion', which is made up of an initial £4,000 grant to be followed by a further payment of up to £1,000 if the agreed objectives of the grant are met in full.
The funding can be used for staff costs, venue hire, publicity, printing, IT, translation costs, travel and other associated expenses to run events and/or make home visits.

The outreach programme will run through autumn/winter 2016/17, with outreach activity concluding on 24 March 2017.

There are two deadlines:

•    8 July 2016 for print applictions delivered either by post or by hand.
•    10 July 2016 (midnight) for applications submitted by email.

Full details can be found on the GOV.UK website

This is the link above –

AS per usual, there are just a few weeks to apply – 10th July by e-mail.

Changes to funding criteria

As less waste is going into landfill sites and the percentage of tax that can be distributed through the Landfill Communities Fund is decreasing, BIFFA have had to tighten our eligibility criteria.

They know this can be disappointing, but Biffa Award as a scheme is heavily oversubscribed and there is now less funding to distribute. The following changes will come into effect as of 1st May 2016:

·  All Community Buildings and Recreation (ENTRUST D and E) projects must be within 5 miles of a Biffa operation and 10 miles of any landfill sites or 10 miles of an active Biffa Landfill site. Please check your eligibility with our postcode checker.

·  All Rebuilding Biodiversity (ENTRUST DA) projects must be within 15 miles of a Biffa operation. Please check your eligibility with our postcode checker.

·  The Small Grants Scheme will be closed in its current form.

·  Biffa Award will now have one grant scheme where applicants can apply for between £10,000 and £75,000, with the project total cost not exceeding £200,000 inc VAT.

·  The Cultural Facilities theme will no longer be open to applications through the Main and Small Grants Schemes; instead we will support heritage projects through our Partnership Scheme project with the Association of Independent Museums.

If you have any queries about these points or your project’s eligibility, please get in touch with a member of the team on 01636 670000 or via

Training from WWRAC on Welfare Rights for Older People

FEE: FREE to WCC / Warwickshire IPU staff - see leaflet for full details.


Looking to boost the independence of older people?This course will highlight the key benefits - Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance – which can significantly boost the finances and therefore wellbeing of your customers/clients.We detail Pension Credit which tops-up many people’s pensions, and show you how to meet the definition of ‘personal care’ for Attendance Allowance.The combination of these two can sometimes double the income of your customers.We also outline pension Reforms, explain exactly what / when ‘pension age’ actually is and outline how to challenge bad decisions.

SPECIAL OFFER !!! - attend this course AND our very practical "Attendance Allowance Filling in the Claim Form" on 23 June 2016 and save £20 on the overall fee - for some agencies that’s better than BOGOF!

See our flyer on Attendance Allowance Filling in the Claim Form or visit us on

BOOK on-line at



HOW TO CONTACT USAccess via our

For MORE DETAILS about course content or to book a tailor-made course, contact Stephen Watkins at:

Posted by on in News

Stratford-on-Avon District Council have launched a new grants scheme to support small shops (particularly in rural villages), within Stratford District.

The scheme aims to give a helping hand to local shops and businesses by providing a one off grant of up to £200 towards the cost of purchases that can enhance or promote the business.

Eligible purchases can include anything from a new till to printing promotional flyers.

The scheme is open to applications from shops and businesses within the District, with the exception of the Market Towns (Stratford-upon-Avon, Shipston-on-Stour, Alcester & Southam). Priority will be given to applications from smaller rural locations that have not had the benefit of previous funding schemes and initiatives.

Further details and a copy of the application form can be downloaded by visiting: a copy of the form is also attached for your convenience.

Closing date for applications is Friday 1st July 2016.

For further assistance please contact the project officer, Lana Long on 01789 260609 or 01789 260803, or, by email:


warks towntrust ncvo
navqa doit coop volforum

Registered Charity Number 1067584 | Voluntary Action Stratford-on-Avon District
Company limited by Guarantee number 3482562 (England and Wales) | Copyright © 2016 Voluntary Action Stratford-on-Avon District