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Ownbooks was founded in 2014 working out of Henley Community Library and in response to children not having access to books in their homes.

The idea of the group is to provide children with free books through their schools.  The children can either keep the books or return them if they wish.

The aims of the project are:

  • Encourage young children to have an early love of books and reading through choosing and having their own books at home.
  • Allow children to select one or two books a week for themselves from the appropriate age categories, to take home when it suits them.
  • Avoid any need or obligation to buy or return the books.
  • Remove any stress and financial constraints on parents over acquisition of books.
  • Encourage parents to read with their children at home.
A volunteer driver is needed, with their own car or van, to be responsible for collecting donated children’s books from various charity shops, deliver them to Castle Road or Henley Community Library,  and to deliver sorted, cleaned and labelled books to participating schools and nurseries in Henley, Wootton Wawen, Studley, Alcester, Leamington Spa or Warwick. The volunteer driver will be reimbursed for token donations to charity shops, parking fees and mileage at HMRC rate (currently 45p/mile). The volunteer driver will set their own hours in cooperation with the schools, library, shop opening hours and the Project Manager.
For more information or to apply for the role please contact the Volunteer Centre - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 01789 262889.

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HM Revenue and Customs has updated its 'Charities: detailed guidance notes', specifically sections 3.11 to 3.18 of Chapter 3 on Gift Aid.



Tagged in: governance

The Inspired Facilities programme supports the improvement and refurbishment of sports clubs or transforms non-sporting venues into modern grassroots sport facilities. It is open to clubs, local authorities, schools or parish councils. Grants are £20,000 - £75,000 for voluntary organisations, sports clubs and parish councils, who will get 70% of the budget. Schools and local authorities can apply for £20,000 - £150,000. Deadline is 8 June.

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Healthy Heart Grants of up to £10,000 are available for new, original and innovative projects that actively promote heart health and help to prevent, or reduce, the risk of heart disease. Grants are available at different times across the country - check the website for the deadlines for each region.

Tagged in: funding fundraising

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The offices of VASA will be closed on Monday 25 May, open as usual from Tuesday 26 May.

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The Air Ambulance Service, which operates the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, is holding an event on Thursday 11 June to recruit new volunteers.

Come along to the Arden Hotel, Waterside, Stratford at 7.45pm to find out about the exciting range of volunteering opportunities that the service has to offer, including:

  • Shop volunteers
  • Fundraisers
  • Community representatives
  • Speakers

For more information please contact the Volunteer Centre on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01789 262889.


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Join us at Pedal for Parkinson’s, our summer cycling event in Stratford upon Avon on Sunday 7th June 2015. 
We’re looking for 10 friendly, enthusiastic people like you to marshal our three different routes (19, 40 and 57 miles around the Stratford upon Avon area. ) to help keep cyclists safe, and give them a smile and a cheer!   Volunteer Marshals will be assigned to potentially hazardous points on the route to direct and encourage cyclists. 
We are also looking for volunteers to assist at the start/finish area, handing out medals and cheering our cyclists. 
The Stratford event starts at 9am at Stratford Racecourse and there will be approximately 250 cyclists taking part to raise vital funds for Parkinson’s UK. 
Volunteer opportunities are available between 8am and 4pm with a minimum commitment of a 4 hour shift. Volunteers must be over 18, and preferably would have their own vehicle on the day. 
We'll provide reasonable travel expenses, lunch, and a Parkinson's UK t-shirt to wear on the day. We’ll also send detailed notes and fully brief you on the day. 
For more information please contact the Volunteer Centre - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 01789 262889.

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Please click on the link below for the latest bulletin.


Tagged in: community WCC

Please click on the link below for the May newsletter.


Tagged in: health

Our Vision.  To meet the needs of disabled children, young persons, adults and their families and carers through the provision of short break activities, care, support, training, advice and brokerage tailoring services which are bespoke to the individual.

We are hosting a series of  informal "Health Hot Slots" for parents and carers of disabled children, young people or adults.  Meet others, make friends, share experiences and lunch together, be the centre of attention for a change.

Sessions run every Tuesday from 2 June for 7 weeks.  10.00am to 1.00pm with shared lunch.

Stratford ArtsHouse, Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon.  CV37 6LU.

The programme of workshops will be facilitated by guest specialists and will include these topics:

  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • Getting your voice heard
  • Building emotional resilience
  • Healthy life choices and 24/7 care
  • Just need some sleep
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Reiki, reflexology and massage

To register an interest , have a chat or for more information please contact:

Lynne Barton, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07712 326273

Emma Smith, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07792 969245



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Please click on the link below for the latest information bulletin.


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Volunteers are needed for the following roles:

Voluntary Action Stratford-on-Avon District – Volunteer Drivers.  Do you have the time, care and patience to become a Volunteer Driver?  This essential service provides transport to hospitals, doctors and day centres, and is a lifeline to many people.  An allowance of 45p per mile is paid for authorised journeys.

Gaydon Village Store – Various roles.  This community shop is looking for help with the following roles: marketing, EPOS management, Treasurer and Counter Assistants.  The Treasurer will need financial skills, the EPOS Manager will need IT skills and Counter Assistants will need good customer services skills.

The Bear Pit Theatre – Front of House and Backstage Volunteers.  Performing from their base at Rother Street in Stratford, the group is looking for front of house help: audience seating, box office and bar.  The group is also looking for backstage help: costumes (making and repairing), sets, props, lights, sound and stage movers.

Escape Community Arts – Arts and Heritage Centre Volunteers.  Interested in giving something back to your community, or building skills in the arts and heritage world?  Escape has volunteer roles to suit everyone at The Old Slaughterhouse Arts and Heritage Studio.  Get involved with this fun, friendly and creative charity.

Springfield Mind – Admin Support Volunteers.  Volunteers are needed to assist with record keeping and paperwork, media monitoring and updating the website, assisting with phone calls, visitors and directing enquiries to appropriate personnel, and overseeing the smooth running of machinery: copiers, printers etc.

Stratford River Festival – Volunteers.  Would you like an opportunity to get involved with one of the biggest events in Stratford? Leaflet and poster distributors are needed before the festival and then over the weekend of 4 and 5 July marshals and litter pickers are needed.

For more details or to apply for any of these roles please contact the Volunteer Centre on 01789 262889 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Charity known as WRAP for short has been successful in obtaining a Warwickshire County Council Grant to provide an information programme

for those caring for a loved one living with dementia .

The programme covers the different types of dementia and all aspects of the journey you will undertake.

There will be guest speakers that cover legal information and advice and medical facts, Carer’s allowance and much more.

This Free programme runs for eight weeks two hours per week, between 10.00 and 12.00 beginning on Friday 22nd May at  Briar Croft . Alcester Road.

There are ten places available, so please book soon.

If you would like to attend this free programme please contact the secretary

Mike Strophair 0n 01789 778431 or e-mail wrap1

Tagged in: health
Senior Citizens Action Networks (SCAN) are local groups, meeting six mornings a year, specifically for older people living within Stratford-on-Avon District.
All six groups are supported by small committees made up of a number of SCAN members and other associates.  These committees plan the meetings; hold the accounts; select and book speakers; organise refreshments and lead the individual sessions.
The Stratford SCAN is looking for a Treasurer to hold the accounts for the group.  The Treasurer will maintain simple accounts and present these at network meetings.  The Treasurer will also produce annual accounts for presentation at the Annual General Meeting.  Knowledge of basic financial processes will be necessary and a willingness to hold a cheque book and, on occassion, to handle a small amount of cash.

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The Legion's External Grants programme is open to applications. It is for groups supporting serving and ex-service people and their dependants who are suffering financially.

Applications for the following three themes will be prioritised:

  • Employment and training
  • Family support
  • Homelessness and outreach

The typical award is below £20,000 – smaller applications are encouraged. Salary contributions of up to £35,000 will be considered for 'homelessness and outreach' projects.

It is a two stage application process. The next deadline for first stage bids is 25th May 2015. Full details here:



Tagged in: funding fundraising

Dementia Friends is an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society based on the principle that people with dementia can live well with a little help from other people. Becoming a Dementia Friend is about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things we can all do to make a difference to the lives of people affected by dementia. The initiative aims to change the way people think, speak and act about dementia. You don’t need to already know someone with dementia to become a dementia friend.

In Warwickshire, there are estimated to be over 7,500 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the County by 2021. The fact is that most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes. To support people to live well with dementia and to raise awareness and understanding of the condition, Warwickshire County Council and partners have set a target to create 10,000 Dementia Friends by June 2015. We currently have 6,244 Dementia Friends so we really need your support to help us reach our target. Our local target will also contribute to the national target – to create 4 million Dementia Friends by 2020.

You can become a Dementia Friend through one of the following ways:

1. Watching a short video on the Dementia Friends’ website and leaving your details on the site so you can be sent your Dementia Friends badge and Little Book of Friendship. This is the quickest and easiest way to become a Dementia Friend.


2. You can book a place on a public session by visiting the Dementia Friends website and searching for a local session.

It is Dementia Awareness Week and also Learning at Work Week from 17-23rd May, so please show your support to people living with dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend before or during Dementia Awareness Week, or by working with us to organise a Dementia Friends session that will ideally take place before 30 June 2015.

If you have any queries or suggestions for ways to create more Dementia Friends, please contact: Claire Taylor, Health Improvement Lead, Public Health, Warwickshire County Council: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tagged in: health mental health

Springfield Mind has submitted a bid for an arts based project for people living with mental health distress with the AVIVA Community Fund.

The more votes Springfield Mind gets the more likely the charity is to get funding. Service users from Springfield’s Information Hub came up with the idea and name of the project so it would be fantastic to support them to realise the project.

Please click on the link below to access a video and place your vote! Feel free to forward this email to colleagues, friends, family and acquaintances – the more votes the more likely the bid is to succeed.

Tagged in: mental health



Dear Third Sector friends and colleagues
We are asking for applications from people who would like to represent Warwickshire's Third Sector on a partnership group with Public Sector agencies. 
The closing date for applications is Thursday 14 May.
The Group will be made up of 8-10 Third Sector representatives and the same number of officers from Warwickshire's Public Sector bodies (District and Borough Councils, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the County Council). 
It is expected that the Group will meet several times a year, and that it will focus on bringing about stronger working relations and opportunities across the sectors. The Terms of Reference for the Group will be agreed when it starts to meet.
Representatives sitting on the Group will need to be willing and able to commit to taking an active role, and to prioritise attending the meetings. They will be expected to represent a wide variety of interests, and to commit to both sharing information widely and bringing issues to the Group on behalf of those they are representing.
The WCC Localities and Partnerships Team is running the nomination process on behalf of the Third Sector working group, which came together after our March event. Where there are more applications than places available on the partnership group, or where there are gaps in the representation of sections of the Third Sector, the Sector working group itself will choose the representatives. In the event that a selection process is needed we will make sure that you know how the process will work.
A short application form is attached. Anyone wanting to apply to be a Third Sector representative needs to complete the form and return it to me by Thursday 14 May.
If you would like more information on anything here do please contact me.
Jane Coates Localities & Partnerships Officer, Warwick District Community Partnership Team 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to build a strong Case for Support for your organisation. The Case for Support is the What, How and Why of your organisation - it’s how you present yourself to funders and supporters, so it’s really important to have a clear and effective message.

This is a full-day event, in Rugby on Thursday 7th May. For voluntary and community groups it’s only £25!

The event is run by the FSI, and brought to you by our friends at WCVYS (Warwickshire Children & Voluntary Youth Service).

To find out more and to book your place, please click here.

This is part of a series of events that WCVYS is hosting for voluntary and community groups across the district. You can see the full schedule of events and workshops at:


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