Dear VASA Member

I hope you have Christmas ‘ready’ – whether it’s decorations in your offices or premises through to starting your own and your families’ Christmas preparations – and of course that your clients are going to be supported as best as you can. It is a time that lots of people enjoy but it’s also a time that lots of people don’t have the best experience and many of you do such vital work at this time of the year in helping people cope and then look forward.   

For all community groups this is a time to look back on successes in 2015 but with a bit (if not a lot) of trepidation as to what you will be able to do in 2016; whether your funding will still be there, if your sponsors and supporters will be able to continue at the levels that they have done in the past, whether you will be able to cope with added pressures to do more – for less.

I look forward to being of as much support as I can to you in 2016 – helped by our team here at VASA. It might be the end of the year but there are still grants that can be applied for (some close in January), there are volunteer positions that we can help you fill (and take advantage of people’s New Year Resolutions to give something back), and there are plans and documents to be prepared that will be a key to getting funding, contracts and support over the coming months and years.

As in previous newsletters, I’ve split it into three sections – EVENTS – FUNDING – TRAINING/SUPPORT

  1. There is one you may well be interested in this month.
  2. The funding opportunities listed do include some that close very soon. If you want to put in an application and the time is running out, I’ll do my best to help out.
  3. As for training, the links given mostly take you to blog posts written by some very authoritative people. If you are asked to sign up to access some of them, you should only be asked to give basic details and you can unsubscribe at any time. I try to select those which you can view without giving any details away. Those which do ask for a contact point are of a quality that you can consider this.     



The web site is now LIVE

We have a Twitter account

And one for Facebook

Plus we have produced a first (hopefully funny) video to entertain – and inspire

Our target is 100 recipes or stories by Christmas – please spread the word! There are articles on the site to help people decide what they could/would like to do and every contribution will have a message to go with it asking for people to do something in our locality next year – to volunteer, support or donate – hopefully to YOU!

On the 12th Night after Christmas the web site will change from being ‘Christmas in Stratford District’ to being ‘Community in Stratford District’ – a place where people (like you and your clients and supporters) can have publicity for project past, present and those you’d like to do. A special e-mail will be on its way soon about how you can be part of this (we very much hope you will!)

To send in a contribution is easy – just e-mail




Thursday 17th Dec –Do you have Leadership/Management experience that you could give to help ‘The Challenge’ programme in 2016?

                             This is a free get-together on Charlotte Street in Birmingham to meet the team behind ‘The Challenge’ and find out more about how your support could help                              the programme in 2016 – over 30 000 young people (aged between 15-17) across the UK taking part in National Citizen Service.

                             For more details CLICK HERE – to book CLICK HERE


PLEASE NOTE: Several of the Funding Notices below came from the Warwickshire CAVA newsletter. It’s a very good (free to subscribe) WEEKLY newsletter which covers events, funding, job opportunities and volunteering positions. If your group operates in other Districts, you’ll be able to see all these opportunities for the whole of the County. To join CLICK HERE

For funding, volunteer positions, events, news etc for Stratford District – this is OUR WEB SITE – which of course you’ve visited (and bookmarked!)

In date closing order (some are repeated from the November newsletter) and with new funds in BLACK text rather than BLUE

Wallace and Gromit Children’s Charity

Application deadline: Friday, 11th December 2015

The Wallace and Gromit Children’s Charity offers grants to registered charities in the UK working to improve the quality of life for children in hospitals and hospices.
The Charity aims to fund projects which are not funded directly by the NHS.  For example, arts, play and music programmes for patients, facilities for parents such as parent accommodation, a wide range of projects in children’s hospices, capital building programmes for children’s hospitals and hospices and state of the art equipment.
To download all the necessary information including Grant Policy Guidelines, Application Guidelines and an Application form visit: 


Help the Homeless – Supporting homeless charities throughout the UK

Application deadline: Tuesday, 15th December 2015

Help The Homeless’s main funding remit is the regular allocation of grants (generally up to £5,000) for projects that help homeless people rebuild their lives and re-enter society. Funding is targeted at projects focused on helping disadvantaged individuals return to the community through training or residential facility provision, rather than merely providing short term shelter.



The Hilden Charitable Fund Community activities for 16-25 year olds

The Hilden Charitable Fund provides grants to small organisations (maximum turnover £200,000) with an average value of £5,000 to support community based activities for young people aged 16 to 25.

The next application deadline is 16th December 2015.


Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund

The application form and guidance for Covenant Fund small and large grants is now available from

The next deadline is 17th December and the application portal will be re-opened on the 12th November for that deadline.

For guidance please visit


GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund

They are looking to help small, local community projects and community minded people through their GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund.

From November 2nd 2015 for 17 weeks, they are seeking to award 85 £300 donations to help volunteer groups and people just like you. Supporting warm-hearted people and projects

For more information: CLICK HERE

For the web site


War Memorials Trust

Application deadline: Thursday, 31st December 2015

The scheme is designed to help with projects for the repair and conservation of freestanding war memorials in England. Key information relating to the scheme can be found at:

The WCC Transformation Fund

You were sent a special e-mail about this fund when it was announced in mid November – full details are HERE and the second round closing date is 1st February 2016

 It is a substantial amount of funding split across the five districts in Warwickshire and if you want any advice or support to put forward an application don’t hesitate to contact me.  


Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales – Announces Next Funding Round

Application deadline: Friday, 18th March 2016

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales, which provides funding to charities for projects to help people break their cycle of disadvantage, has announced that its grants programmes will re-open for enquires on the Monday, 4th January 2016. The Foundations operates two funding programmes. These are:
“Invest” which is a flexible, long term core funding programme for charities helping disadvantaged people. Grants are up to £25,000 per year for between 2 and 6 years, with the opportunity for continuation funding for up to six years in total
“Enable” which is a smaller and shorter grants programme for charities that have identified clear development needs. This funding aims to help the organisations deliver their mission more effectively.

CLICK HERE for full details



The Stratford Town Trust Annual Grants

As in previous years The Town Trust has three (3) grant rounds and the first for next year closes on January 15th 2016 at 5pm – for full details CLICK HERE  

The Stratford Town Trust Queen’s 90th Birthday Party Grant

The Stratford Town Trust have a special £10 000 grant fund for Town community groups who want to hold a special party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th – with up to £400 per group towards to costs.

For full details CLICK HERE

The closing date is 29th January 2016 at 5pm

Glasspool Charity Trust

The Glasspool Trust is one of the few national charities making grants to individuals, which has no restrictions on the type of beneficiary. The Trust’s aim is to provide timely, life-enhancing support to people in need; short-term involvement for long-term impact.
They do not accept applications from individuals directly, instead believing their grants are most effective through working with front-line advice and social care agencies that provide a package of support.


I will be doing Twitter and Facebook Training early in January. If you’ve not asked for this yet, please reply to this e-mail. I do want to give you what you need – basic/intermediate/advanced – so I need to know what level you are at. If you have either (or both) of these accounts, please let know their URLs (addresses).


How to get content shared         

How to write compelling subject lines for your e-mails and letters

Then how to write the best message you can (how have I done – please let me know!)

A very good kit on how to understand and use Linkedin (useful for business support)

Learn more (Lots) about Crowdfunding – a webinar next week

5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use The “Psychology Of Giving” With Content Marketing  

How to take good pictures with a mobile phone

That’s about it for 2015. I hope you’ve found these newsletters useful.

From everyone here at VASA – our Trustees, our Staff and of course our Volunteers (a HUGE thank you from us to them) – we hope you have a wonderful time over the festive season.