Newsletter and update No 11  – 24 August 2020

Message from Cath Witherington – Chief Officer 

Hello everyone.  To start this edition of our newsletter I just wanted to report back from the first meeting of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce Charity Forum which was held on 13 August.  It was great to see the event was so well attended. I was given the opportunity to introduce myself and tell everyone about some of our exciting new developments.  This week sees both the launch of our new Volunteer Hub and the launch of our Board recruitment process.  We are now seeking nominations for people to join our Board of Trustees.  Read on to find out more! At the Charity Forum it was great to listen to the other speakers too.  John Holt, The Vice Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, talked about the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and encouraged everyone to submit nominations.  To be considered for the 2021 awards, nominations need to be made by 25th September 2020.  More information and guidance is available on the website  Let’s all make the most of this opportunity to nominate some of local community heroes!

Doncaster Volunteer Hub

Our new Volunteer Hub is now live!  We have updated our website to make it even easier for member organisations to register and manage their volunteering opportunities.  Individuals can also register themselves and search for opportunities.   Please help us to let everyone know.  Also when you are looking for volunteers, please remember do add role details so that we can help you find the people you need.   It would be great to include some photographs and stories about local volunteering successes on our website.   So please don’t be shy – send us some photos so that we can share and inspire others.

Voluntary Action Doncaster Board Recruitment

This is a new and exciting time for the Voluntary Community and Faith (VCF) Sector in Doncaster.  We are establishing a new Cooperative organisation that will provide a strong voice, infrastructure support and a point of access for commissioning and partnership working to a diverse group of organisations serving the needs of residents. 

Following the appointment of our Chief Officer, we are recruiting 9 Board Members to be instrumental in the organisation’s success:

  • Chair
  • Treasurer
  • 7 Board Members to provide strategic representation and governance. 

The 7 Board Member positions are paid positions.  Organisations that release a staff member to join the Voluntary Action Doncaster Board will receive £1,800 to work 9 days per annum for a minimum of 18 months.

We are looking for people that are passionate about the sector and are committed to working towards generating the best outcomes and opportunities for our membership.  Board members will be elected from the VCF sector in Doncaster; chosen for their skills, knowledge and experience.  They will provide vital strategic support and direction.

To nominate a member of your organisation you must be a member of Voluntary Action Doncaster:

Interested?  Please contact  for an application pack and apply by 5pm Friday 25th September 2020.

Your Input Counts

We are now at the exciting time of electing a new board of trustees for the new Voluntary Action Doncaster. You told us the structure needs to be adaptable, influential, achievable, inclusive and independent. Together we chose the ‘Fair Share’ model. We now invite you to get involved in the board election process and perhaps even consider a role to represent your community. This is your time to be heard and validated for your work and have an impact on the future planning, running and coordination of the VCF sector across Doncaster. We aim to run 4 zoom sessions which will introduce the question, HOW DO WE CREATE A VIBRANT, POWERFUL AND SUSTAINABLE VCF SECTOR IN DONCASTER? In order for a true representation of the sector for the election process YOUR INPUT COUNTS! All you have to do is email us at to request a zoom login link. SEE YOU ON THE CALL.


The Social Isolation Alliance is recruiting a Programme Manager.  For more information and to apply please visit the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust website

Guidance on self-isolating after returning to the UK

Guidance has been published for employees and employers on self-isolating after returning to the UK.

In summary:

  • Where possible people should work from home during their self-isolation period. Employees should talk to their employer about working from home before they travel.
  • Employees can agree with their employer to take leave to cover the period of their self-isolation, providing they have enough leave remaining.
  • Employers can also tell employees to take leave as long as they give them enough notice. Find out about notice periods.
  • Employees may be able to take unpaid leave if they’re forced to travel to deal with an emergency involving a family member or dependent. Find out about time off for family and dependants.
  • If you’re out of the country when a quarantine is announced. Employees should talk to their employer as soon as possible to discuss options.

More detailed information can be found here.

Strategic Economic Plan Consultation

Sheffield City Region has opened its consultation for the new Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) is open and we would like to encourage you to contribute. The SEP primarily aims to address the longstanding structural and fundamental challenges in the South Yorkshire economy. It sets out how the region will build and sustain a competitive economy that unlocks growth and prosperity, creating a thriving South Yorkshire.  It sits alongside South Yorkshire’s Renewal Action Plan (RAP). The RAP has been submitted to Government setting out how we will kick-start South Yorkshire’s social and economic fightback from the coronavirus pandemic, with an immediate £1.7bn investment

The SEP consultation is running until Friday 18 September. You can read both plans and complete the consultation on the Sheffield City Region website.

National Digital Lifeline Campaign

Thousands of people still lack the basic skills and confidence to operate a computer, restricting their access to opportunities that the rest of us take for granted. The WEA National Digital Lifeline Campaign is working to smash digital exclusion and want to let people know about their Digital Lifeline campaign.  You can follow the campaign on Twitter by following #LearningIsALifeline and #LeaveNobodyOffline on Instagram and Facebook or donate at

IICSA: Support services for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published new research exploring the challenges faced by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in accessing statutory, private and voluntary sector support services.

The report shines a light on the role of support services in the healing and recovery process, with survivors who sought to access support stressing the importance of being listened to, understood, believed, and not judged, by caring and empathetic professionals. 

Commissioned by the Inquiry and carried out by independent research consultants Broome|Gekoski in conjunction with the University of Hertfordshire, the report analyses the support service experiences of over 180 victims and survivors. It considers a number of key areas including survivors’ awareness of the services available to them, barriers to access and reasons for not doing so, as well as the effectiveness of services in meeting the needs of survivors.

The full report is available to read here.

£5m Covid-19 Digital Response Fund

The Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response Fund is a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and Centre for The Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST), with support from the Catalyst network. The £5m fund is now open for applications, aimed at organisations in England whose work has been affected by Covid-19 and who need emergency funding to continue to deliver essential services.

The funding will support organisations to develop their digital, data and design capabilities that allow them to address urgent issues and serve the most vulnerable. Emergency funding of up to £60k is available to nonprofits in England that are committed to proactively sharing learnings with other organisations in their networks.

They are particularly interested in applications from user-led organisations and organisations led by and for marginalised communities and those most affected by the Covid-19 crisis (particularly Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic; Deaf and Disabled; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and/or women-led groups). 

There are two strands to the fund – discovery and development. Application deadlines:

  • 7th September 2020, 5pm (Discovery Programme)
  • 20th September 2020, 5pm (Development Programme)

Find out more and apply here.

Coronavirus and depression in adults, Great Britain: June 2020

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has updated its research that provides an insight into the mental health of adults during the coronavirus pandemic to include  a comparison to before the pandemic .  Almost 1 in 5 adults were experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic, almost doubling from around one in 10 before the pandemic. Adults who were young, female, unable to afford an unexpected expense or disabled were the most likely to experience some form of depression during the pandemic.  The full report is available on the ONS website.

Guidance: safe use of multi-purpose community facilities & face covering exemptions

The guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings has been updated. The guidance has been revised to reflect changes to restrictions on permitted activities under section 3 and to clarify face covering advice under section 2C.

As of 8 August, face coverings are now required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings including: community facilities, museums, galleries, cinemas, places of worship, and public libraries. On entering a community facility users will be required to wear a face covering, and will be required to keep it on, unless covered under a ‘reasonable excuse’. To access the government’s new Face Covering Exemptions Toolkit click here.

To read the full guidance click here.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance 

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is an independent charity providing a lifesaving rapid response emergency service to 5 million people across the whole of Yorkshire. To keep both of our Air Ambulances maintained and in the air, we need to raise £12,000 every single day, which is the equivalent of £4.4m a year. The generosity that we receive really is the life blood of our Charity.

We are available to give speaker presentations to groups across the region both in person or, at the moment, in zoom (video call) format. We have an interactive power point presentation that can be shared and includes a whole range of subjects from how the charity started, to the patients we carry, and any new charity developments.

The presentation will inform your group about the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and help to educate them as to why it costs us £12,000 per day to keep the Charity running. For further details about what we offer or to book a talk, contact Laura Lawton via email or telephone 07384 511 775.


Voluntary Action Doncaster has a small fund available to pay for PPE for volunteers. You can put a request in by contacting us at 

You must provide the following information for your request to be considered: 

  1. The name of the organisations/project 
  2. An outline of the work the you are doing
  3. Why you need the bursary (it can only pay for PPE)/ how it will be used and how many volunteers will benefit
  4. How much you are requesting

Please note, we are unable to make payments to an  individual’s personal bank account.  If your bid is successful, you will need to provide the details of your  organisation’s bank account. 

There is still time to submit bids for several opportunities included in Council’s 

Funding Newsflash which they published on 13 August.