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Newsletter and Update 86 – 15 September 2023

Sep 15, 2023

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Newsletter and Update No. 86 – 15 September 2023



Cath WitheringtonCath Witherington, CEO Introduction

Welcome to this latest edition of our newsletter and Diverse Doncaster.  Lots of people have told me that it’s helpful, which is great to know.  But after 3 years in its current format, I feel the time is right to seek some constructive feedback and to ask our readers what you would like to see the Voluntary Action Doncaster newsletter develop for the future.  

With over 5000 recipients it may not be possible to please everyone all of the time – but I’d really like to know what you like, what could be improved and is anything missing?  

Please do try and spare just a few minutes to give us your feedback using this online survey.  We will keep the survey open until the end of October to give everyone the chance to have their say and we will report back after that. 




Reports and Information



The Vision for Volunteering

Attracting and retaining volunteers is a priority for all of us and so I was interested to read this article recently.  

Due to the significant changes in recent years in how people want to volunteer, who volunteers and what organisations want and need, a far reaching vision has been developed. The Vision for Volunteering, developed by national partners, aims to put the volunteer, their capacities and motivations at the heart of future good practice. It tackles the biggest challenges and sets the frame for conversation and action. By focusing on the skills and life experience that volunteers bring rather than on the tasks to be completed, VCS organisations have the best chance of developing resilient communities, enabling human flourishing, and encouraging people from a wide diversity of backgrounds to volunteer.

The Vision for Volunteering seeks to develop voluntary action over the next ten years in five key themes, laying out the principles by which volunteering can develop to better serve the needs of volunteers and communities.

  1. Awareness and appreciation so that volunteering becomes part of everyday life at all stages of life, and is seen as important and enriching. Volunteers can decide when and how to engage rather than completing a prescribed task, and are involved in the design and leadership of the activity they are contributing to.
  2. Power is needed for volunteers and communities to build the future they want. Enabling all who want to volunteer to do so, valuing experience, creating flexibility, asking who is missing or excluded, and creating the conditions for communities to take decisions for themselves. Those supporting volunteering need to treat volunteers as equals, be accountable to them and support emerging ideas even if disruptive of the status quo.
  3. Equity and inclusion mean that the benefits of volunteering are equally distributed, with inclusive cultures fostered. Listening to excluded groups to break down barriers and ensuring that the leadership are reflective of the communities they serve are important contributors. LIOs supporting volunteers need to champion inclusion and work with VCS organisations to learn and adapt, and proactively form relationships and collaborate with marginalised or excluded groups.
  4. Collaboration should be a natural part of voluntary activity, growing out of coalitions of interest and collaborative activity in communities, rather than imposed from outside as a requirement to work in partnership. Volunteering must move on from being purely a transactional relationship focused on task or service delivery, to one that is adaptable to expertise, interest and capacity of volunteers. Collaboration to value lived experience, make use of human-led design and co-production principles will help break down barriers to participation.
  5. Experimentation is to be encouraged as part of everyday volunteering, being able to be creative and ask questions about what needs to change. Creating a learning culture, one that is less fearful of failure and willing to learn from mistakes, successes, and unexpected sources. Building these expectations into project design and funding agreements will help embed the principle of experimentation.

What next?

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has funded the next stage of the project, which will focus on how volunteering must adapt and evolve in the five key areas of the Vision. This work has now started to:

  • engage with partners and stakeholders to raise awareness of the Vision and provide training and tools
  • build a movement to champion the Vision
  • share stories of positive change
  • and collect evidence and share learning.

The aim is to achieve systemic change so that VCSE organisations are able to apply the

Vision to their circumstances and activities, and are supported to implement the changes needed to place the volunteer at the centre and make volunteering a usual part of everyday life.

There will be six national hybrid conferences between September 2023 and March 2024, one each focusing on the five themes of the Vision and the final one planning for the next phase of work. The Vision for Volunteering team is running a monthly tea break drop in – open to anyone – for informal chat, questions and updates. For more information see


Brave School Leavers Skydive for local Disability Charity

Abby Martin and Izzy Bowler, both just 18, are going to skydive from 10,000 feet to raise money for Active Independence. “I wanted to something to help” said Abby “My Gran loves going to their quilting and knitting group and they helped my Aunt sort her benefits.” The jump will be on 14 th September and they are working hard to raise money. “We were very grateful when they told us about their kind and brave offer which will help Disabled people and their families get the help and advice they need.” said Naveen Judah, Chair of Active Independence.

Active Independence is a South Yorkshire charity that has helped hundreds of Disabled people and their families and carers since 2013. Barbara Booton, CEO, said “We are overwhelmed with calls for help from Disabled people struggling with so many challenges, such as applying for benefits, getting a Blue Badge, finding carers/PAs. We are completely dependent on finding funding for our services and groups” 

The work of the charity can make a huge difference to people, whether it is getting the benefits they are entitled to or joining one the craft and activity groups. “I am so happy I have been awarded PIP; it has taken away so much worry. Plus, you have helped me get my Blue Badge. Thank you for all the help – I would not have got it without your support” Client

“I feel a lot happier since coming to the group. It gives me something to look forward to. I am out of the house and have a laugh” Maltby quilting group member.

To donate click here. 

For more information contact Barbara Booton 07917607730, , 


Doncaster Fundraising Team Goes The Distance To Raise Money For Darts 


This November, a group of colleagues and Trustees at darts – Doncaster’s award-winning participatory arts charity – are hitting the streets and running the Doncaster City 10k to raise funds for their charity. As well as raising money through sponsorship and generous donations, the team want to raise awareness of the work they do locally, and the fact that they operate as a charity, relying on funding to continue running arts programmes across Doncaster. 

“As a charity, we can only exist through fundraising. We rely heavily on generous grants from local businesses, trusts and foundations to keep afloat, but by running the 10k in aid of darts, we really want to get the local community on board and show how we can come together to raise money for a worthwhile cause.”  – Sophy Sylvester, deputy CEO  

Remaining free or low-cost and open to all is essential to the mission of all of darts’ programmes. This opens up access to the arts and an essential creative outlet for people who might never otherwise take part in opportunities like Art Club or Singing for Memory, or discover new skills through art. As a participatory arts charity, darts relies solely on fundraising to continue its much-needed work across communities in Doncaster. 

“Any donation – whether big or small – makes a huge difference and means that we can keep providing essential and accessible activities for those that need them the most.” – Eliza, Fundraising & Development 

This year, the team wants to go the extra mile and hit their fundraising goal of £1,000 to boost funding across their programmes, designed and delivered so that everyone in Doncaster has access to fantastic creative opportunities, improving life, learning and health. To donate go to the website or to find out how you can get involved with darts’ work, head to the darts’ website or contact Eliza at 

Support With Applying For Universal Credit

‘Help to Claim’ is a dedicated service from Citizens Advice that is free, independent and confidential to support you in applying to Universal Credit.

For help with your first claim, speak to your Work Coach about a direct referral or you can also visit the Citizens Advice Doncaster website.


International Day of Older Persons

The 1st October is International Day of Older Persons and as part of this celebration, Victoria Ryves from Doncaster Culture Services is creating an online exhibition. The theme is Know Our Place: Celebrating ageing in our community’s past, present, and future.

As part of the online exhibition, they are looking for people to share their story – if you, or anyone you know, would like to nominate one of Doncaster’s older residents, please complete the attached form and return it to Victoria at 

Please note, for the resident to be featured, they must consent to their images and information being used, as well as for you to share their information with Heritage Doncaster.



Voluntary sector survey – VCSE: Understanding Value and Impact

There is still time to take part in this survey. We know that voluntary, community, social enterprise and faith organisations are doing great work in Doncaster, but we don’t have up to date information about the Doncaster sector and we lack comprehensive data on your activities. The purpose of this survey is to provide an up-to-date picture of groups and organisations like yours, to identify the makeup of the sector, the challenges it faces and development areas.

It’s your opportunity to ensure the important work that you do is part of the ‘Doncaster picture’ as well as highlighting the opportunities and challenges you face. Please complete the online survey. For completing the survey, there’s also a chance to win £200 for your group!

Here is the survey link 





Heritage Doncaster – Back To Nature 

Be transported to the past, and back to nature in these free sessions for adults in Doncaster. These beginner friendly workshops are led in partnership by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Heritage Doncaster and WEA. Take part in a mix of foraging, campfire cooking, bush craft, and handling museum objects, at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve.

Sessions run bi weekly on Thursdays from 1pm-3pm and will explore a different period in history.

21st September | 5th October | 19th October | 2nd November | 16th November | 30th November

Places are limited; book your free place here. 

For more information email 


Using Multivariate Census 2021 Data To Develop Area Profiles

Monday 16th October 2023 10.00 – 11.30, online (event hosted by UK Data Service)

Census 2021 for England and Wales enables the production of local area profiles using multivariate data. In this workshop, you will explore how to access and prepare this data to develop custom datasets to allow the development of small area information.

The workshop will cover the following areas:
Sources of data: the advantages and disadvantages of Nomis, the ONS ‘Create a custom dataset’ tool and the new UK Data Service tool for accessing aggregate data.
Census geographies: the geographies available from the UK Data Service and the ONS open geography portal that work with aggregate census data.
Accessing data: how to select and download the data you require for an area profile.
Preparing data: how to build an area profile that can be used with mapping software such as ARC-GIS and Q-GIS.
Potential limitations: issues that you may face when working with aggregate data caused by factors such as statistical disclosure control.

This free online workshop is aimed at those who are interested in developing better understanding of multivariate neighbourhood data within local authorities, counties and regions in England and Wales.

For more information and booking



The Adira Black Mental Health Summit is a groundbreaking initiative designed to address the specific mental health challenges faced by the Black community. This conference will bring together mental health professionals, scholars, advocates, community leaders, experts by experience and individuals interested in improving mental health outcomes within the Black population. Through keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, live plays, spoken word and poetry readings and networking opportunities, we aim to create a platform for meaningful conversations, education, and action-oriented strategies.

Funding: From various stakeholders including South Yorkshire police, the Integrated Care Board (ICB), South Yorkshire Housing Association and others.

Date: Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th (Youth summit) July 2024.

For more information please email



Training Opportunities


Looking Beyond Growth Workshop – Sheffield Hallam University

Looking beyond growth: exploring the transformative potential of alternative economic development approaches

Thursday 5th October – 1:30-4:30pm

Sheffield Hallam University (city centre location, venue tbc)


Decades of traditional growth-oriented economic policies have failed to stem widening social inequalities and rising environmental harms. Local policymakers are increasingly adopting ‘alternative’ approaches to economic development such as Doughnut Economics, Wellbeing Economies and Community Wealth Building that seek to balance growth with social and environmental justice to create more inclusive and sustainable cities (e.g. through ‘better’ jobs and enhanced quality of life). Advocates claim these approaches can transform economic development policy, and the left behind places that typically see little benefit from traditional measures, yet there are critical knowledge gaps in terms of: their context-specific implementation; the trade-offs across different objectives; and how ‘success’ is defined and evaluated. Workshops in four UK cities where alternative approaches are actively being implemented, plus a follow-on online event, will establish a research-policy network and shared learning platform.

The workshop will explore the following gaps in knowledge and questions:

Objective 1: Examine how alternative approaches are being understood, adopted and implemented in different cities

  • Current gaps: Limited understanding of how local policymakers in different contexts interpret and put into practice these approaches.
  • Questions: Which approaches are gaining traction? How are these frameworks being understood and translated into objectives? To what extent are different elements of frameworks being combined in ‘pick and mix’ approaches?

Objective 2: Explore the factors that enable or constrain the implementation of alternative approaches

  • Current gaps: Lack of knowledge around: ‘implementation gaps’; trade-offs between objectives; challenges in layering alternative approaches on pre-existing approaches.
  • Questions: What factors enable or constrain local stakeholders in putting alternative approaches into practice? How do devolved funding, powers and capacity shape implementation? What are the potential complementarities and tensions between ‘traditional’ and ‘alternative’ approaches?

Objective 3 – Identify what success looks like and how this can be measured

  • Current gaps: Understanding practices around measuring the impact of alternative approaches
  • Questions: How are outcomes identified and monitoring and evaluation undertaken? What challenge confront monitoring?

This workshop will convene participants from the third, public and private sectors with the session split into three sessions relating to the objectives above.

A briefing note, ahead of the session, will be sent to all participants.

To attend please fill in the registration form


Help to Grow: Management

Start date: Tue 7th November 2023

Help to Grow: Management is a 12-week executive development course designed to support SMEs to boost their business performance and growth potential.

Designed for local business owners and senior leaders, the course takes place via a mix of online webinars and face to face sessions.

For the first time, eligible leaders can sign up for a cohort to be delivered in Doncaster, starting in November.

The course is 90% government funded so businesses only pay £750 for a 50-hour course delivered by highly experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts.

The curriculum has been designed with support from industry, using real-world case studies and will cover key areas of leadership including:

  • Strategy and innovation
  • Growing national and international markets
  • Leading for high performance
  • Building vision and brand
  • Adopting digital technology
  • Financial management

At the end of the course you will have developed a growth action plan tailored to boost productivity, build leadership and promote operational excellence in your business.

Places are limited. Register now to secure your place.



Funding Opportunities


KFC Grants

Grants of up to £2,500 are available for projects which empower disadvantaged young people aged 11 -25 in the UK to fulfil their potential by providing safe social spaces, mentoring, work, and social skills.  The funding is being made available through the KFC Foundation and is available to local charities, registered community interest companies, unincorporated clubs and associations that have a local KFC restaurant in their community. Expressions of interest must be submitted via a two-minute video and a short expression of interest form. 

The closing date is the 24th September 2023. Full details here.


Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust

The Trust aims to give grants to those in society who face the greatest challenges and whose opportunities are the most limited.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available in this round to support children and young people in care and care leavers in the UK.

The Trust does not give grants to CICs, CIOs or non-profit organisations.

The deadline to apply for this round is 30th September 2023. Full details here.


Armed Forces Families Fund Early Years Programme

Grants of £5,000 – £80,000 for projects up to two years which help enhance early childhood education and childcare settings of young children from Armed Forces families.

On behalf of the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Families Fund Early Years Programme, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, is offering grants of between £5,000 and £80,000 for projects lasting up to two years.

Projects must clearly benefit Armed Forces families with a child under the age of 5 years by enhancing their access to high quality childcare. This could be done by increasing the capacity in provision to meet an already known, or anticipated increase in demand, or to fund additional training and resources that will provide a clear benefit to children from Armed Forces families, who are aged 0-5 and not yet in school.

There are two funding rounds. The deadlines for applications are 5pm on 11 October 2023 and 12 January 2024. Full details here.


Crowdfunder Cost of Living Crisis Emergency Fund

Match funding scheme up to £5,000 to assist not-for-profit organisations in the UK who are helping to tackle food poverty relating to the cost of living crisis and who are raising funds through Crowdfunder

The first step is for applicants to set up a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder where they can find the terms and conditions and criteria. Applicants should bear in mind that all projects must be delivered by 31st December 2023.

The fund will close when all the funding is allocated. Full details here.


Volunteering Opportunities

Please see what current volunteering opportunities are available on our website.


The Royal Voluntary Service Is Looking For Volunteers To Work In Its Community CST Dementia Groups

Volunteering is changing and with Royal Voluntary Service you can choose the role and style of volunteering that fits in with your life and lifestyle. Our volunteers work in a wide variety of roles; from offering companionship to people who are socially isolated, to providing practical help to those recovering from illness, to working in our popular community CST Dementia Groups. Whatever role you choose to play, you will be supporting others while enjoying a rewarding experience for yourself. 

We run 5 groups across the borough in Askern, Bentley, Rossington and Stainforth.

The aim of the groups is to:

  • Deliver activities that stimulate memory & recall in a safe/supportive environment.
  • Support families living with dementia.
  • break down barriers to isolation.

To find out more email Jan 


Join Doncaster Chamber’s Board of Directors


An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Chamber’s Board of Directors. 

Elected by their fellow members, this group works to ensure that our organisation is being run as effectively as possible in the interests of the business community that we serve. They do this by — among other things — providing strong leadership, governance, oversight and support to the senior leadership team.

A voluntary role, Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) serve on our board for a period of three years. Once that term is up, new people are then able to put themselves forward while the outgoing NEDs have a chance to seek re-election. Such is the case right now, as we currently have up to 5 openings on the board and are looking for prospective candidates to fill them.

In terms of the eligibility requirements, you will need to be a senior leader within an organisation that is a paid-up member of the Chamber. You will also need to evidence the endorsement of five other Chamber members who will support your nomination.

By joining our board, you can help us to fulfil our ambitions, achieve our strategic goals and amplify the voice of our members. The Chamber welcomes applications from people from all sizes and sectors of business, as well as from people that have no previous non-executive experience (again, as long as they are senior within their own organisation).

To be considered for one of the NED positions, you must fill in the relevant forms and send them to  by midnight on 1st October.

You will need to supply a brief statement (on why you want to be a NED and what your priorities would be if successfully elected) and a collection of signatures (from senior representatives of 5 other businesses that are also members of the Chamber). The purpose of providing a short statement is to help our member community make an informed decision in the eventuality that we have a contested election for these positions.

You can download the relevant forms here.

Once applications have closed, all members will be able to vote for their preferred candidate in October, before they are appointed at our AGM in November.

For more information, please email 


CItizens Advice Doncaster – Join Forces With Us

Volunteer and make a difference in your community!

Are you passionate about supporting your fellow veterans and your local community?

  • Update your skills
  • Gain experience dealing with the public
  • Support your fellow veterans
  • Collaborate with partner organisations
  • Interact socially with our diverse advice team

To find out more email or visit their website


Job Opportunities



Doncaster Housing For Young People – Chief Executive Officer

Salary £41k, Full Time

Doncaster Housing for Young People is a well-established local charity which aims to transform the lives of young people aged 16-25 who are vulnerable to homelessness, through the provision of user-led services so they can achieve their own unique potential. We are in a stable financial position and have a team of dedicated staff and volunteers.

We are seeking to recruit a new Chief Executive Officer who will work closely with clients, trustees and staff to move the organisation forward. You will lead the development and delivery of the strategic plan, deepening client participation, and strengthening our financial resilience.

As CEO, you will lead DHYP through the challenges of a testing financial environment,

ensuring the organisation has the resources to develop and deliver high quality services that meet complex and evolving client needs. You will lead SHIP’s team of staff and volunteers and support the organisation & efforts to become more diverse, inclusive and representative of the communities it serves.  You will put client needs at the heart of all DHYP does so that it can continue to deliver the highest standards of service, capitalising on the excellent work already being delivered.

You will be an experienced leader, with excellent strategic planning and collaboration skills. You will have knowledge of the third sector, housing issues and the challenges facing young people at risk of homelessness. Most significantly, you will have a strong commitment to enabling client participation throughout the organisation.

How to apply:

For an application pack, please email 

Please note that we do not accept CVs.

Closing date: 2 nd October at 12 noon.

Interview date: Thursday 12th October at our offices in Chequer Road, Doncaster, DN1 2AA


Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care – Volunteer Coordinator

28 hours per week

£23,587.60 – £25,720.10 pro rata per annum

Award winning charity Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (‘SCCCC’) supports isolated older people in Sheffield and Doncaster.

The key focus of this role will be to work with the existing Volunteer Coordinator to:

  • maintain a pipeline of diverse volunteers and to recruit and induct new volunteers into a variety of volunteering roles within the charity;
  • promote volunteering opportunities by carrying out outreach activities and liaising with other groups;
  • support the continuous development of volunteering practice, procedures and approach.

You will have at least two years’ experience in a relevant post or organisation working within community engagement or a volunteering environment, have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and ability to recruit, select, induct, support and supervise volunteers.

To request an application pack, please email or telephone 0114 250 5293

Deadline for applications is Tuesday 3 rd October 2023 at 9am.

Interviews expected to be held on Thursday 12 th October 2023.

We are particularly welcoming applications from people from black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities, people who are LGBT+, and individuals with varied accessibility needs, as these groups are underrepresented in our organisation and we wish to expand the variety of lived experience on our staff.


Yorkshire and Humberside Asbestos Victims Support Group – Benefits Advice Worker

Hours: 16 hours per week (preferably between Wed – Fri to cover gaps in service but can be discussed)

Annual Salary: £13,212.16 (£17.19 p/h)

Length: 12 Month Position – May continue subject to funding

Responsible to: Head of Service and Charity Development

Location: Rotherham Office or Remote working, but may be required to travel throughout Yorkshire and Humberside

Main Purpose:

The focus of the role is to provide advice and assistance with a range of welfare benefits to people with terminal and chronic asbestos related disease, their families and carers, whilst also ensuring a holistic approach to the client’s circumstances and ongoing support. This may include assistance with reconsiderations of decisions, and representation at Tribunal appeals, the provision of support and assistance for families at Coroner inquests, if required, and assistance with the delivery of support groups.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Interview clients, either face to face, on the telephone or by home visits, providing advice and assistance on benefits, access to compensation and other areas of support.
  • Effectively communicate with clients, in order to gather facts to advise them accordingly
  • Carry out calculations to work out entitlement to particular benefits
  • Explain the range of choices available to them and what they mean
  • Consider options and identify the best possible course of action
  • Carry out research where necessary to find out more in-depth information
  • Provide practical help such as completing benefit applications, writing letters, making phone calls
  • Signpost/refer clients to other services and sources of help where appropriate, for example to a healthcare worker or solicitor
  • Attend our support groups to provide advice/information around benefits, if required.
  • Represent the client where necessary – this may include at Tribunal and Coroner’s court.
  • Be organised and able to prioritise and manage a caseload.
  • Keep timely, accurate records of client cases
  • Promote the services on offer and distribute publicity materials
  • Liaise internally with the team of Benefits Advisors, the Activity and Support Coordinator and external organisations
  • Maintain confidential case records through use of a database.
  • Undertake any other duties that are deemed appropriate to be commensurate with the needs and overall aims of the organisation.

For personal specification please click here.

To request an application email: 

The deadline for applications is midday on Monday 24th of September


Home Support Services Organiser – Age UK Doncaster

Job Purpose:

You will ensure the smooth running of the day-to-day activities such as shopping, cleaning and befriending. Provide support and guidance to home service workers. Support the home services manager and colleagues to develop and embed new ways of working and new services in accordance with our Policy framework and our vision, mission and values.

Main Duties:

  1. Ensure continuity of service, organise the weekly rota and cover any visits that are unallocated at short notice.
  2. Deal with general enquiries and case management of support packages.
  3. Carry out risk assessments and formulate support plans with people and their key individuals where required.
  4. Ensure accurate and up to date records are maintained for staff and the people we support and produce reports as required.
  5. Liaise with people accessing our services, their key individuals and other professionals where necessary.
  6. Provide day to day support and guidance to Home Service Workers including regular 1-1’s and team meetings.
  7. Support colleagues to evolve, develop and embed new services and ways of working.
  8. Work closely with the wider team to ensure appropriate cover for all Services as per Age UK Doncaster Continuity Plan.
  9. Any other reasonable duties which may from time to time be required in line with the job purpose.

Hours of work: Approx 17.5 hours per week Wednesday to Friday. Evening and weekend on call duties on a rota basis may be required.

Salary: £21,258 pro rata


  • Flexible working opportunities within the scope of service delivery,
  • Access to counselling, legal, financial and wellbeing advice for you and some family members through our Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme,
  • Company sick pay,
  • Automatic enrolment into the workplace pension scheme at 3% employer contribution,
  • Starting annual leave entitlement of 23 days plus bank holidays for FTE

For a personal specification please click here

For more information and to request an application pack email or leave a message on 01302 812345. 


Contribute to our Next Newsletter!

If you have an article, job opportunity or funding opportunity you would like to see included in the next edition of this newsletter, please send it to us at by 1pm on Wednesday 27 September 2023.

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