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Newsletter and Update 88 – 13 October 2023

Oct 13, 2023

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Newsletter and Update No. 88 – 13 October 2023



Cath WitheringtonCath Witherington, CEO Introduction

You know how when you are waiting for a bus – you can be waiting for ages without a bus in sight….then two or three arrive at the same time?  Well that’s a bit like my holidays this year!  With very little time off so far, I took the first week in October to go on holiday with my family to celebrate my sister’s birthday.  This weekend I am starting my travels again.  This time with a friend across Europe.  With meticulous planning our ultimate stop will be Rome where we will be staying with some more friends who I have not seen for many years.  I’m really looking forward to letting the train take the strain and just enjoying the company, different cultures and scenery.

One thing that makes this easier for me is knowing that I have a great team who can and do just get on with things when I’m not around.  Working remotely as we do means that we always place a lot of trust in our team members individually.  We have invested time in developing a clear vision with the team and our trustees which is an ongoing process. We have a good and diverse range of skills and talent within the team and everyone is happy to support colleagues as there is a shared commitment to Voluntary Action Doncaster’s purpose and values. So I can be confident that you will be in safe hands whilst I’m away (again!).

May your week be filled with good thoughts, kind people and happy moments! 




Reports and Information


Doncaster Food Bank Are Fundraising To Provide Packs of Warming Essentials

The foodbank which runs 4 sessions a week in the city, across 3 sites, is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. They provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred by various partner agencies as identified in crisis.

Last financial year, the charity fed 8,162 people which is a 100% increase compared to the 4,089 fed in the year before and vastly more than the reported national increase reported by The Trussell Trust, of 37% across their UK Foodbanks. This huge rise in demand has led to bulk shopping bills of up to £2000 a month in an effort to plug the gaps caused by a drop in donations, as the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis continues to affect everyone in our society regardless of their status, with over 6% of current service users reported being working families who do not receive benefits, and many others reaching out to get help for the very first time.

Project Manager, Julie Poland, told us about their latest campaign which is running now for another 6 weeks on Crowdfunder. She said, “Last winter, between November and February, we fed 3,137 people which included almost 1,500 children and we know that household energy bills were partly responsible for the need for our support.

This Winter, we don’t just want people to be fed, we want them to be warm too. Alongside our usual emergency food parcels, we are planning to provide a Warming Essentials Pack to anyone visiting our foodbank centres who is having to make the gut- wrenching choice between heating and eating, and we’re asking for help to do this. 

Anyone can do a sponsored challenge (make sure to contact us so we can link you to our page), arrange a collection to donate, or help us to source the items needed at cost and what’s fantastic, is that any funds raised are currently eligible for a massive match funding boost from the Crowdfunder Cost of Living Emergency Fund, so every individual donation we receive via our crowdfunding page up to £250 will be DOUBLED, which is absolutely brilliant and will make such a massive difference to the campaign. 

There are rewards available for those who donate as well! As a community-based charity, we rely on the kindness and generosity of others to help us help those facing food poverty, and we are sincerely grateful and blown away by the continued support we receive”.

Each pack will include Slipper socks, Gloves, a Scarf and Hat, a small fleece blanket and items like hot water bottles or wheat bags, Sachets of Soup/Porridge and Hot Chocolate, flasks and reusable bottles, dependant on the household cooking facilities and requirements. The team have said they would also like to try and stave off some of the boredom and isolation that is often felt particularly during the winter months when weather is traditionally coldest and funds lowest, by offering a small activity which doesn’t require electricity for entertainment, such as board games and puzzles or perhaps supply wool/handicrafts for those who like to be creative.

There are various ways that you can get involved if you are interested in supporting Doncaster Foodbank and several volunteer opportunities available throughout the season.

Head to our website  Contact 07568 247 288 / E-mail to find out more about how you can #gethelp if you need it and how you can #givehelp if you’re able.

Harvest Suggestions 2023


Working with over 100 partner agencies throughout the City, the foodbank team provides emergency support to people who have been identified as being in financial crisis. The centres are open as detailed below and you are kindly reminded that you will need a food

voucher and that you should bring ID when you collect.

  • Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am and 12 noon in St James Church, St Sepulchre Gate West, Hexthorpe, DN1 3AQ (around the corner from the train station).
  • Tuesdays between 10am and 12 noon in St Paul’s Church, Durham Road, Wheatley Park, DN2 4HN.
  • Thursdays between 10am and 12 noon in the Holmescarr Community Centre, Grange Lane, Rossington, DN11 0LP.


‘Joyful’ Local Employment Service Awarded Quality Mark For Their Free Support

A Doncaster employment and wellbeing service, Good Work, has been awarded the IPS Grow Quality Mark for its employment support for people with a severe mental illness.  

Good Work offers free employment support to people in Doncaster – anyone age 18 and over can sign up for support to find and stay in work. People can also access help to get into training and apprenticeships, debt and benefits support, and more. IPS (Individual Placement and Support) supports people with severe mental health conditions into employment. It involves intensive, individual support, and a rapid job search. This is followed by placement in paid employment, and time-unlimited in-work support for both the employee and the employer.

Ella was referred to Good Work by her mental health practitioner at RDaSH and has been supported by the Doncaster IPS Good Work team to find work as an Activities Coordinator in a local care home. She said: “Good Work has made a massive difference to me. I can do a lot more than I originally thought I could. Being in work affects everything – I feel like I’m now making a contribution and worth something.”

Good Work is delivered by South Yorkshire Housing Association, in partnership with Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) to support patients who are looking for employment or struggling to stay in work. The Doncaster based Good Work IPS team has been awarded a ‘Good Fidelity’ rating and the ‘Quality Mark’ kitemark. The Quality Mark status recognises the fantastic outcomes achieved on the project so far, including 30% of people accessing support finding employment. Since October 2022, the team has supported more than 125 people to find, retain and sustain employment.

Yasmin Begum, IPS Grow Regional Lead, who carried out the review said: ‘The Doncaster IPS service was a joy to review. The Team Lead and all the Employment Specialists have a clear passion and zeal for IPS and helping their community.’

You can find out more about Good Work and sign up for free employment support at  or by phone on 0114 2900 218.

Shine Mentorship Building Bright Futures

The Shine Mentorship Team are all experienced mentors and qualified tutors, who have worked in a variety of educational settings, skilled in bespoke delivery for people with additional needs, alternative provisions and specialist education. The team are also the directors of Inner Sunshine CIC and provide holistic mental health services, family yoga and mindfulness groups in the community. 

Our Mentoring Services: 

  • Increasing confidence, self worth and self acceptance 
  • Helping to integrate into the community 
  • Supporting with volunteer opportunities 
  • Employment, education or training support 
  • Employment/ Apprenticeship Coaching 
  • Physical, emotional and mental wellbeing support 
  • Enterprising and business support 
  • Functional skills tutoring and academic support 

Funding is available for this type of mentoring service and we are happy to support and give advice. Please feel free to contact Louise for funding support, general information about the service or any referral requests. 

Tel: 07538601914 email:   






Active Independence AGM

The Active Independence AGM is on 16th October 2023 at 2pm Quaker Meeting House, Doncaster, DN1 3RS.  It will be an informal get together to share and discuss with you our progress and plans.  Refreshments available! All are welcome!

If you have any questions please email Barbara Booton 


VCSE Alliance and ICS Working Together: Digital Collaboration and Data and Insights Strategy Event

Date: Wednesday 8 November 2023

Time: 1pm – 2pm

This is an online event, please book your place here.

We would like to invite you to join us to discuss Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSE) needs and aspirations in Digital and Data, in particular:

  • How can we use technology to collaborate better together?
  • How can we work together to improve data collection and provide analytical insights from data that can inform decision making?

Through this interactive session we aim to share the progress made so far, listen to your views on the opportunities to strengthen our approach, and build on this conversation to develop solutions together. 

In this session we will be joined by Dr Kieran Baker, Chief Digital and Information Officer for NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and colleagues from the Digital, Data and Technology Function.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Next Steps Event by Endorphins Events

Fri, 20 Oct 2023 10:00 – 12:30

Riverside House,Main Street, Rotherham S60 1QY


We are holding an event to allow local (South Yorkshire based) organisations with volunteer opportunities to showcase them to potential volunteers.

We see this as a way of the community coming together, sharing their opportunities and working together to fill their posts.

This will be a great information pool/ networking type of event that enables you to connect with other local businesses as well as meet potential volunteers.

If you have any volunteer roles you would like to share and you are able to attend, please register your attendance here.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact our team at – 


VCSE Alliance and ICS Working Together: Apprenticeships and Levy Transfer Information Session

Date: Tuesday 14 November

Time: 2pm – 3pm

This is an online event, please book your place here.

We would like to invite you to join us for an informative session about apprenticeships. This session provides an opportunity to:

  • Find out more about what an apprenticeship involves, the range of apprenticeships available and the potential benefits for your organisation and your team
  • Hear about the opportunity to fully cover the costs of apprenticeship training through the levy transfer scheme
  • Learn about the support available to you to understand more about apprenticeships and to access the levy transfer scheme

In this session we will be joined by Pam Case, Apprenticeship Programme Manager at the South Yorkshire ICS Workforce Hub, and Mark Storey, Chief Executive Officer, SCCCC.


Training Opportunities



South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue – FIre Safety Training

Hoarding, Emollients and Air Flow Products, Know the fire risks –

Nationally there have been at least 56 deaths associated with emollient skin products within the last 10 years. Home oxygen is a potential fire hazard. Like other services across the country South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue are seeing an increase in incidents related to these risks. Hoarding and use of Airflow Products can also be a contributing factor to increases in fire risk and vulnerability.

As part of Safeguarding Awareness week 2023, we would like to explore these risks through a short online session for home care workers and other partners to ensure you Know The Risks and support SYFR in reducing fire fatalities and serious injuries in accidental dwelling fires.

Various dates and times available (from Monday 20th November to Friday 24th November) – to book your place click here.



Funding Opportunities



Cost of Living Resilience Fund

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Cost of Living Resilience Fund where you can apply for up to £50,000 if your project helps individuals and communities navigate and overcome the challenges posed by the cost of living crisis.

As living expenses continue to rise and affect people’s quality of life, the Crowdfunder Cost of Living Resilience Fund is designed to empower initiatives and community organisations across England to address these pressing issues. 

The Fund provides match funding for social sector organisations running services to help people struggling with the rising cost of living. The fund aims to increase the sustainability of these organisations by supporting them to deliver projects which increase enterprise activity to build stability and resilience.

Our programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment – which is focused on tackling areas such as affordable housing, food security, sustainable transportation and reducing household expenses.

Visit our dedicated fund page to find out more.



Make it Big With Pathway Fund

Pathway Fund, a new Black and Global Majority-led social investment wholesaler, is collaborating with open innovation organisation, Do It Now Now (DiNN), to deliver a cutting-edge enterprise development programme supporting Black and Global Majority-led charities and social enterprises.

Funded by Pathway Fund, ‘Make It Big with Pathway Fund’ will provide 12 UK-based charities and enterprises with £30,000 grant funding, bespoke support and training. We will help your organisation build your financial resilience and operational readiness, raise social investment and, in some instances, prepare for asset acquisition.

The fund will focus on two impact areas:

  • Climate and Racial Equity
  • Poverty Alleviation and Racial Equity

You can find all more information on the fund here.

Expression of Interests will close on the 16th November at 5pm.


Christmas Connections 2023 Fund

Charities and community groups can apply for grants of up to £1,000 to run activities for older people over the Christmas period.

The funding is made available through the McCarthy Stone Foundation Christmas Connections 2023 grants programme, which aims to help people over 65 to feel connected and supported over the festive period.

The grant can be used for a variety of activities such as:

  • Christmas meals
  • day trips out
  • Christmas care packages.
  • Activities must take place between the 1st December 2023 and the 2nd January 2024.

Only organisations with an annual income of less than £250,000 are eligible to apply.

No application deadline is given.

Click here to find out more.


Free Webinar: Grants from the South Yorkshire Community Foundation (includes New Video)

Wednesday 1 Nov 2023 10:30 AM – 1 PM

Want to apply for funding of up to £5,000 for your project, group, event or activity in South Yorkshire?

This free webinar and new video will explain how to apply for these grants from one of South Yorkshire’s largest grant-giving charities.

How does it work?

  • This free webinar will explain how to apply for these grants from one of our largest grant-giving charities.
  • The session will use an informal  classroom, with a new video presentation with time for shared experiences
  • Scheduled for breaks and shared discussions
  • You will gain experience of what potential donors need to know about your project in a written format
  • Learn how to present your project to the funder.
  • We’ll explain rules of eligibility, which groups can apply, what you can spend the grant on and give you plenty of tips on how to make your application stand out along with further sources of advice and help.

Level: Beginner

Cost: FREE (Booking Essential) Statutory Body/Individual Consultants: £40.00 per person 

Location: Virtual Classroom (Zoom)

Further details about the meeting will be emailed out the day before the training session to the email provided upon booking.

(Please make sure you give us the email for the person attending the session)


You must book a place through our website. Please register with the email address you would like the further details sent to. (We need the name and email address of the person attending)

*Places on the session are limited; we will open up further dates if there is the demand. To register your interest in future sessions please contact 



Volunteering Opportunities

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




Yorkshire Sports Foundation Are Looking For Board Members

Yorkshire Sport Foundation has a fantastic opportunity to join our Board to make a real difference to people’s lives in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire through movement, physical activity and sport.

The Board of Trustees monitors, influences and guides the overall direction of the charity, to ensure that it meets its legal and charitable obligations and fulfils its mission and objectives. Our Board is made up of senior, talented leaders with a variety of skills and experience.

The individual appointed will be passionate about sport and physical activity, and be motivated to make a positive difference to the work of the organisation. The successful applicant will also have some experience of an influencing role within a charity, corporate or public sector organisation and excellent communication skills. Equity, diversity and inclusion are core to everything we do and we welcome applications from people from all backgrounds.

We are seeking Trustees to provide expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Health Sector e.g. NHS, Integrated Care Boards, Primary Care Networks
  • Local Authority – in particular ‘leisure sector’
  • Sports Structure e.g. National Governing Body, Sports Foundations,
  • Disability Sport and/or those with limiting lifelong conditions
  • Digital Technology

We are one of 42 Active Partnerships in England, working closely with and primarily funded by Sport England, and a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable status.

Our purpose is to encourage more people to be active and play sport and do this through supporting our partners through connecting, influencing and providing opportunities to be active.

Contact: Antoinette Duffin / 0330 2020280 / 

Closing date: Monday 23 October 2023 at 9am.

To apply click here.


Right Up Your Street Are Looking For Volunteers

Doncaster Festival of Light is back! Doncaster Festival of Light returns to Doncaster Minster from Friday 24th November to Sunday 3rd December 2023. 

Right Up Our Street is looking for volunteers to support Doncaster’s only light festival. We need your help to create a welcoming and safe event for our audiences. Shifts would be from 4pm – 9pm and you will receive a 30-minute break and refreshments.

Duties will include but not be limited to:

  • Setting up and packing down equipment
  • Welcoming visitors
  • Checking tickets
  • Directing visitors to the exits
  • Assisting arts activities
  • Overseeing the interactive artworks
  • Asking visitors to complete surveys
  • Answering any questions
  • General signposting

Are you interested? Get in touch at Visit their website to learn more about the festival and book tickets.


Volunteer Opportunities at Doncaster Mind!

One of our volunteers said the most rewarding thing about her work with us is being able to witness people become more connected to themselves, others and things they love… 

You too can make a real change in your community when you join us as a:

Volunteer Befriender 

Young people’s volunteer mentor  

Adult volunteer mentor 

When you join our volunteer team, you’ll not only be making a positive impact on the lives of people in Doncaster, but you’ll also have the chance to develop personally. We’ve got a fantastic support network in place for you, and we provide training to ensure you have a great start! 

For more information about our volunteer roles, please email Don on , we would love to hear from you.


The Don Catchment Rivers Trust

The Don Catchment Rivers Trust is running the project and needs volunteers working on several aspects of the project. These will be Catchment Volunteering (practical conservation, Citizen Science (Wildlife Surveys), Education Assistant (helping the trust deliver educational sessions in schools and to youth groups) and Events Assistant (helping the trust deliver events across the All Hands on the Don project area).

Click on the volunteering role you are most interested in and the Expression of interest form.  Please email this form to: 

Or post to: Don Catchment Rivers Trust / Churchill Business Centre / Churchill Road (off Wheatley Hall Road) / Doncaster / DN2 4LP


Buddy Scheme Volunteer – Independent Visitor Service, Doncaster City Council

Can you spare a few hours a month to befriend a young person in care? If you want to volunteer, have fun, and make a real difference in a young person’s life then become a buddy with us.

A buddy (or independent visitor) is a trained volunteer who visits and befriends a young person in care (usually aged between 8 and 18 years old). The aim of the role is to be a positive adult role model and provide 1-2-1 time and space for a young person to talk, feel listened to, valued, and have some fun. Buddies meet with their young person for 2-3 hours once a month and spend time together. They do activities, go out for food, talk, and generally have an enjoyable time. 

We ask for a minimum commitment of two years for this volunteering role as buddies play an important part in their young person’s development. This consistent friendship helps the young person to build self- esteem, confidence, and resilience. A set budget and travel expenses are provided per calendar month and the outings are flexible to your life and schedule.

We are looking for positive, reliable, and enthusiastic volunteers from all different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. You do not need any specific qualifications or experience to volunteer, just an interest in the development and welfare of children. Full training is provided for this role with continual support from your designated coordinator. To become a buddy, you need to be 18 years or older and willing to undergo background checks, an enhanced DBS check and provide two references.

Please visit our website for more details or contact the team on 01302 734414 or email 



Job Opportunities



Chief Executive Officer – Age UK Doncaster

37 hours per week – the post may require evening and weekend work

£55,000 – £65,000 depending on experience

Closing date: 6 th November 2023

Age UK Doncaster are searching for their new CEO. This is an exciting time for the charity as it approaches its 50th anniversary year.

Age UK Doncaster is the leading local charity working with and for older people in Doncaster to make the most of later life. Their mission is to promote the well-being of all older people and to help make later life a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

The Board is looking for a candidate who will value Trustee input but not be afraid to challenge or be challenged. You will be invested in the organisational values and ambitious in taking the charity forward. Above all, you will maintain Age UK Doncaster’s excellent reputation within the local Health and Care community by ensuring the services are excellent and by developing positive networks.

Full details can be found in our downloadable candidate pack or for a confidential initial conversation please contact Chair of the board, Dr Lisbeth Rodgers, 


Chief Executive – St Leger Homes

Location: Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Salary: Circa £134k (pay award pending)

Closing Date: 20th November, 2023

St Leger Homes is an Arm’s Length Management Organisation managing 20,000 homes and a range of other services on behalf of the City of Doncaster Council. The relationship between the two organisations is excellent. St Leger has been awarded a new five-year management agreement commencing in April 2024 in recognition of the strength of the relationship and the success of St Leger in effectively and efficiently delivering high quality services.

St Leger’s new Corporate Plan will stress the companies’ determination to put tenants’ interests centre stage and the intent to do more for those tenants that need extra help in these challenging times.  St Leger cannot do that alone; therefore we are active participants in advancing the interests of the City by playing a full part in the Team Doncaster Partnership.

Our current Chief Executive retires in May 2024 and we are looking for a leader who can continue to drive the modernisation of St Leger and the pursuit of excellent customer centric services. We are looking for someone who understands social housing and can demonstrate excellent leadership skills and an ability to form strategic relationships that make a real difference.

To download the candidate pack please visit the website. Having read the information, if you then require a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at GatenbySanderson: Simon Wing on 0207 426 3976, Ellie Masters-Gregory on 07867 455 223 or Rachel Salvia on 020 7426 3374.

How to Apply:

Please submit your CV along with a Supporting Statement addressing the person specification criteria, evidencing how you meet the criteria.

Detail any employment or education gaps.

Be ready to provide the names, positions, organisations and contact details for two referees; one should be your current or most recent employer. Referees will be contacted for those proceeding to final stages. We will always gain your permission before we contact referees.

Let us know any difficulty you may have with the indicative timetable.

Check that your contact details are correct before you submit.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email confirmation. If you do not receive, please email 



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 25 October 2023.


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