Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector Newsletter – 4 June 2021

Newsletter and Update No. 31 – 4th June 2021

Message from Cath Witherington – CEO

As we come toward the end of Volunteers Week, I just wanted to say a HUGE Thank You to all the volunteers, and to the people that host and support our volunteers in Doncaster.  

Over 400 volunteers have signed up with Voluntary Action Doncaster so far this year.  Many have told us that they have been glad to help the fight against Covid by volunteering at the vaccination centres.  One said “I have encountered many lovely people who are really appreciative of the work we are doing. It’s always nice when we can share stories and a laugh together”. 

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Whatever the motivation, our volunteers tell us time and again that it’s challenging, rewarding and fun. As the schools return for the final term of this year, many young people will be preparing to leave full time education.  I’d encourage them to think about signing up with us to learn about the array of volunteering opportunities available on their doorstep. 

People from all walks of life take time to volunteer and make a huge difference to our local communities. We see the fantastic contribution that volunteers make every day.  We greatly appreciate them giving their time, energy and expertise to the many charities and community groups across Doncaster. Thank you!

Volunteering Opportunities

Multiple Opportunities – Citizens Advice Bureau Doncaster

Citizens Advice Bureau Doncaster (CAB) are recruiting volunteers! They are also very keen to recruit someone with sign language skills or people with the ability to speak other languages. They are always interested in any one with experience in Administration and benefits advice.


Being an adviser is a very varied role. As an adviser you will:

  • Interview clients at drop-in sessions and appointments in the bureau, over the phone and at outreach sessions
  • Give information from the CAB electronic information system and other sources
  • Give advice in explaining the choices and consequences the client faces
  • Give practical help by writing letters, making phone calls, completing forms, doing calculations and even representing clients at tribunals
  • Refer clients to other agencies if they are better placed to help
  • Keep records of all clients’ cases
  • Prevent future problems by identifying issues that affect a lot of clients

You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience to train as an adviser. All sorts of people are CAB advisers. You need to:

  • Be good at listening
  • Be able to work in a team
  • Be able to read and write English, and do basic maths
  • Be open–minded and non-judgemental
  • Enjoy helping people


Administrators ensure that bureau systems run smoothly. Good support is essential for the running of any organisation, and CAB is no different. There are many different administrative roles – they can match your skills and time available to the bureau’s needs. Tasks may include:

  • Using spreadsheets, databases and word processing packages
  • Maintaining and developing administrative systems
  • Stock control of leaflets and materials and updating information
  • Helping to arrange events
  • Receiving and sending faxes, mail, email and telephone calls
  • Taking notes and minutes at meetings


Receptionists are the public face of the CAB. They are the main link between the public and the bureau. This role would suit people who are methodical, organised and patient. As a receptionist, you would:

  • Greet clients and make them feel comfortable
  • Arrange appointments and answer phone calls
  • Provide information on the CAB Service to clients
  • Manage the waiting room
  • Keep records

You can find out more about these roles and apply via their website.

Administrators – Voluntary Action Doncaster

We are looking for administrative assistance to help us in our work supporting the voluntary, community and faith sector in Doncaster. One key project we are working on at the moment is the development of an online directory for the sector. We need help in sourcing and inputting information into our database. It would be great if anyone who is interested and able to do this working from home, could get in touch via our email volunteering@voluntaryactiondoncaster.org.uk 

In addition, there will be opportunities for many different administrative roles – they can match your skills or perhaps help to develop your skills and strengthen your CV by providing a broader range of evidence for future employers. Roles may include:

  • Using spreadsheets, databases and word processing packages
  • Maintaining and developing administrative systems
  • Financial planning and reporting
  • Helping to arrange events, and supporting communications to let people know about them
  • Receiving and responding to emails and telephone calls
  • Taking notes and minutes at meetings
  • Checking in with member organisations to find out what they are doing
The following roles are available via our Doncaster Volunteering Hub – you can find out more about these roles and apply by registering as a volunteer through the Hub.

Engagement Volunteer – Healthwatch Doncaster

Engagement can take many forms, for example face-to-face at events, on the telephone, via video call. Anyone considering this volunteer role should have a desire to engage with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and be a good listener. This role is very flexible and can in some cases be done remotely.

Flock of Stories Project – RSPB Old Moor

There is a rich history of mining and strong community spirit in the Dearne Valley – RSPB Old Moor wants to celebrate and share this, not let it be forgotten. In the Flock of Stories project, Chol Theatre will gather memories and stories from the local community. The source material will be crafted and edited into a script and developed into a live performance to share with our visitors.

There are various community connection, creative and performing arts roles for volunteers to take part in the development of the Flock of Stories project in connection with Chol Theatre. Roles available in multiple locations.

Welcome Volunteer – RSPB Old Moor

Are you a friendly, approachable people person with a ready smile?

RSPB Old Moor are looking for people to greet visitors to their nature reserve, tell them what’s on, what they can see and help them to have the best visit possible. You might also tell people about the wider work of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and talk to members of the public about membership (a regular donation to the charity).

At the moment, welcome is from a wooden hut at the reserve entrance but then Covid restrictions allow, the role would be based in their visitor centre and perhaps involve helping in their shop (if you’d be happy volunteering there too).

Peer Support – Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

Have you been Bereaved by Suicide? Do you have a desire to help other people who have also been Bereaved by Suicide? Are you comfortable listening to the experiences of others? You could be just the person they are looking for to support group sessions. Typically, their groups meet once a month and last for around 2 hours. Presently many groups are meeting virtually via Zoom but when regulations allow, they will return to Face to Face. They provide an opportunity to listen, to share, to ask questions and to connect with others. Role available in multiple locations.

Project Officer – Aurora Wellbeing Centres

Aurora is formulating an easily accessible, local Cancer Services Directory, that will enable anyone with cancer, to locate appropriate services that can provide support. This will hopefully list every local service, supporting people with cancer and their families from transport to emotional support.

There are many great services in Doncaster and Mexborough that can support you through your cancer journey but often, we don’t know about them and what they can do for us and consequently miss out on this much needed help. To do this they need your support, they are looking for volunteers to help with the research and administration of this project.

If you can spare 3 hours a week, are able to work from our Mexborough site or home and have good communication skills they would love to hear from you.

South Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion Support Assistant – Touchstone Support

One of Touchstone’s many services includes the South Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion (L&D) service which identifies people who have mental health, learning disability, substance misuse or other vulnerabilities when they first come into contact with the criminal justice system as suspects, defendants.

Volunteers will get the opportunity to gain experience of working with people who have contact with the criminal justice system. You will work as part of a team drawing upon your lived experience to support service users.

L&D Volunteers will provide emotional and practical support to South Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion service users. You will work as part of a team to support service users providing emotional and practical support to enable them to access support services and other resources in the community.

Support Worker (Child Contact Centre) – Yorkshire Children’s Centre

Yorkshire Children’s Centre, based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire serves communities locally and regionally in supporting children, young people, families and older people in need.

Their Child Contact Centre supports children and their parents/guardians/relatives in child-centred and safe contact arrangements following the breakdown of family relationships. In this role you will greet and engage with families attending the centre, support contact workers, and prepare contact rooms for the sessions.

Charity Forum – 1st July 2021

The next Charity Forum, co-hosted by us at Voluntary Action Doncaster and Doncaster Chamber, is taking place on 1st July 2021.

These forums will facilitate collaborative thinking among the industry leaders and are designed to generate discussion and insights on the challenges and opportunities in this sector. Each session will have a theme and a panel of guest speakers that will approach the subject from different vantage points. The forums will be a platform to stimulate, educate and drive collaboration, partnerships and foster business opportunities and growth.

Our guest speaker, Wendy Ward, from Let’s Save Consultancy, is a specialised consultant who continuously works to support the third sector. More details on her presentation to follow shortly.

We will then move onto our Charity Spotlight. This time we are delighted to welcome Weston Park Cancer Charity who will give their advice on what it takes to run a successful marketing campaign.

The networking session (which is a highlight) will be extended to 45 minutes to ensure you all get a chance to build on those connections and of course make new ones. 

This event is free to attend, book your place now via the Doncaster Chamber website!

Working towards Levelling Up Doncaster: Have Your Say

Locality and Doncaster Council are working towards creating a better Doncaster for everyone who lives here, and they need your help.

They will be applying for significant funding from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, and they want your views on initial project ideas that have been developed, so please take some time to look at these ideas and tell them what you think.

It’s simple and easy to have your say. Click on the link below and add your comments online. It only takes five minutes and once you’ve finished, why not tell your friends and family to tell them what they think too.  

Have your say via the Doncaster Levelling Up website.

Fully Funded Training for Doncaster Voluntary, Community and Faith Organisations

Thanks to funding made available from South Yorkshire Housing Association, Social Isolation Alliance and Doncaster Council, Skill Step Training C.I.C are pleased to be able to offer Doncaster Voluntary, Community and Faith (VCF) organisations fully funded training.

The following funded courses are available as part of the project:

  • L3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work
  • L3 Award in Paediatric First Aid
  • L2 Award in Introduction to First Aid for Mental Health
  • E-learning (including H&S, E&D, Safeguarding, GDPR and much more)

The aim of the training is to support Doncaster VCF organisations to be compliant in the provision they are delivering and to equip staff and volunteers with the skills and knowledge they need whilst supporting our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Skill Step Training C.I.C wants the training to support the VCF sector to grow whilst sustaining quality provision.

To be eligible to access any of the funded training organisations must:

  • Be a not-for-profit voluntary, community or faith organisation 
  • Be serving the communities of Doncaster 
  • Be providing COVID-19 response services 

For more information about the funded training courses available and to download a booking form please visit their website or email info@skillsteptraining.co.uk


We recently received another two fully refurbished laptops from Computers4Charity to be used by local volunteers, or to help address digital isolation and exclusion. If you feel that you could make good use of one of these laptops let us know! It would be helpful if you could tell us how the laptop would be used and what difference it would make to your organisation or clients.  

Please complete the form by 18th June 2021 to be in with a chance of grabbing one of these laptops. We will announce the winners in a future newsletter.

Carers Week 2021: Wellbeing Workshops with IAPT

As part of Carers Week, taking place on 7th – 13th June 2021, Doncaster Carers Reach Out Service is hosting a series of free wellbeing workshops.

The following workshops will take place between Monday 7th June and Friday 11th June:

  • Improving your Wellbeing with Jess and Julia
  • Worry and Wellbeing with Meg and Julia
  • COVID-19 and Wellbeing with Emma and Jess/Julia
  • Relaxation and Wellbeing with Julia and Meg
  • Sleep and Wellbeing with Gemma and Rick

For more information about the sessions or to book a place, contact Doncaster Carers Reach Out Service on 01302 986900 or email: DoncasterCarers@makingspace.co.uk

EU Settlement Scheme

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can protect your rights to live, work and use public services in the UK, by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.

You have to apply online (using a PC, laptop, Android device, or iPhone) on the GOV.UK website.

There is no charge and you have to prove your identity, prove your residence in the UK and declare any criminal convictions that need to be disclosed.

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.

Telephone support is available from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre. Call 0300 123 7379 Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm or weekends from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

A helpline service called EU Citizens Support is available by phone from the Citizens Advice Bureau – Call 0800 916 9847 Mondays and Fridays from 9am to 1pm or Wednesdays from 1pm to 5pm.

You can also get advice and assistance from the Citizens Rights Project who can also offer support in different languages. Phone 07518 926137 or email info@citizensrightsproject.org.

ME/CFS Questionnaire

ME/CFS is a deeply disabling disease, affecting 250,000 people in the UK. Sadly, more are likely to be diagnosed with this chronic illness post-Covid-19. Quality of life for people with ME/CFS is often very low, with 25% of those affected becoming housebound or bed bound.

Currently, there is an exciting opportunity in the UK for people with ME/CFS, their carers and clinicians, to prioritise what areas of this illness should be researched.

Anyone with ME/CFS, a carer or clinician can take part by answering a short and easy questionnaire at www.psp-me.co.uk.

There are so many aspects of ME/CFS which need researching and it is important that the needs of people with ME/CFS from different minority ethnic groups are represented.

The questionnaire is simple to fill and closes on 5th July 2021.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021

Applications for the Christmas Challenge 2021 are now open. The Christmas Challenge is a week-long match funding campaign which launches on #GivingTuesday, 30th November. Last year, the Christmas Challenge raised a record breaking £20.1m for 764 charities!

Up to £25,000 of match funding is available per charity. There are millions of pounds of match funding available for a wide range of charities.

As well as accessing Champion funds, evidence shows that donors are more likely to give, and to give more in match funding campaigns. The Big Give also offers a free suite of resources, training and guidance for all participating charities. 

The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 2nd July (although the Big Give may be able to accept late applications). For more information and how to apply visit: https://www.thebiggive.org.uk/s/christmas-challenge

If charities would like to find out further information about the Christmas Challenge, the Big Give is hosting a webinar on Monday 7th June from 12pm – 1pm to give further details on how the Christmas Challenge works and the opportunity for charities to ask the Big Give team their questions.

Have Your Say – Help Us End Domestic Abuse

Doncaster, like other towns and cities up and down the country, has seen a rise in reported cases of domestic abuse as victims have been the subject of abuse in their own homes during coronavirus lockdowns.

The council, along with our partners, believes anyone can experience domestic abuse and it is everyone’s responsibility to end it. We are absolutely committed to putting an end to domestic abuse in Doncaster and are asking the public to complete a survey on this matter.

The results of the survey will help form the new domestic abuse strategy. We need everyone in Doncaster to work together to say that we will not accept domestic abuse. Please share this survey with your groups and communities and ask them to complete it.

We need to hear from practitioners, community leaders and activists about how services can be improved to prevent and tackle domestic abuse and we have developed a separate survey for these groups of people.

Finally, it is more important than ever that survivors of domestic abuse, and their families, have their voices heard and specific questions be developed to gain this information.

The surveys can be accessed via the Doncaster Talks website.

The closing date is 11th June 2021. All completed questionnaires are anonymous but if you would like to be more involved in tackling domestic abuse in Doncaster please contact Karen Shooter, at Doncaster Council at Karen.shooter@doncaster.gov.uk

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need support please contact the Doncaster Domestic Abuse Hub on 01302 737080 or visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/domesticabuse

Domestic Abuse Awareness Training 

There is a series of domestic abuse awareness training courses being delivered via Microsoft Teams over the coming months. Those running in June are listed below.  All sessions run from 10am to 12 noon unless otherwise stated.

Course Date of Delivery Closing date for delegates
Supporting Older Victims of  Domestic Abuse9th June 2021 7th June 2021
Honour Based Abuse, Forced  Marriage and FGM10th June 2021 8th June 2021
Trauma Informed Working 15th June 2021 11th June 2021
Supporting Young People  Experiencing Domestic Abuse16th June 2021 14th June 2021
Stalking and Harassment 22nd June 2021 18th June 2021
Domestic Abuse Awareness 23rd June 2021 21st June 2021
DASH and MARAC 29th June 2021 25th June 2021
Supporting Older Victims of  Domestic Abuse1st July 2021 28th June 2021

To book on these courses please email andrea.hamshaw@doncaster.gov.uk with the training date you wish to attend and also your email address to receive the invitation. 

We will keep you posted on future sessions.

Thriving Communities Workshops

Join Thriving Communities for their Heritage & Social Prescribing webinar on Wednesday 9th June at 12:30 pm.

They will be hearing how engaging with heritage can improve our wellbeing.  

The webinar series brings together individuals and organisations committed to using social prescribing through the arts, culture, health, sports, leisure, and the natural environment, alongside other aspects of our lives, to promote health and wellbeing at a national and local level. 

What will you learn? 

  • how connecting with heritage and the historic environment can improve our wellbeing 
  • how heritage can be used in social prescribing to increase people’s health and wellbeing 
  • how heritage can work with other sectors 

You can find out more about this session and book your place via the booking link.

There will also be another Thriving Communities webinar which will explore how social prescribing informs NASP national partner support from Natural England, Historic England, Sport England, NHS Charities Together, NHS England & Improvement and Arts Council England – this will take place on Thursday 6th July at 3pm.   

What will you learn?  

  • The context of the NASP national partnership – who are the partners? How do the national partners work across the country? How does it affect people’s health and wellbeing?  
  • How national partners are navigating the offer to ensure a collaborative approach to social prescribing.  
  • You’ll get some top tips to work more closely with national organisations at a local and regional level to fulfil social prescribing development in place.  

Further information can be found via the booking link for this event.

You can join the Thriving Communities Network by heading to their website.

darts Secures Youth Music Funding 

darts has been successful in its bid for three years of Youth Music funding to continue its music and Makaton programme in Doncaster Special Schools. 

Professional musicians will create music making opportunities with Disabled children and young people that build choice, voice, independence and confidence. Young people will take the lead, designing their own mini-projects and coming up with new tracks, podcasts, radio shows or musicals. There will be lots of performance opportunities in partnership with Doncaster Music Education Hub so that parents, carers and families can see the young people’s talent and progression.  

This project is supported by Youth Music, using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Youth Music is a national charity investing in music-making projects that support children and young people aged 0-25 to develop personally and socially as well as musically. 

darts’ Assistant Director, Helen Jones says “Disabled young people in Doncaster want opportunities to develop their musical, social and life skills. We know that by using music and Makaton, young people can make huge steps with their confidence, musical ability and independent thinking. We are so grateful to Youth Music for supporting this vital work.” 

darts will be collaborating with Doncaster SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities) Forum to design and develop this project, meaning that ten Disabled young people will be involved in ensuring that the project meets local needs.  

To find out more about darts’ work, go to the website www.wearedarts.org.uk and sign up to the e-newsletter or contact hello@wearedarts.org.uk 

Funding Opportunities

DMBC’s latest funding newsletter is now available.

Doncaster VCFS Fund

You may recall that we launched this fund towards the end of 2020 and have been pleased to see many organisations and groups submit applications. The large grant is now closed. We are no longer able to consider applications for grants above £5000. The General and Micro grants remain open and we continue to welcome applications. 

Guidance on the fund and how to apply is available on our website

Doncaster Barrier Buster Fund

The Doncaster Barrier Buster Fund has been extended and more grants are available to distribute to Social Enterprises.

The Barrier Buster fund is available to the following groups in Doncaster who are supporting people or communities during Coronavirus pandemic: 

  • Not-for profit voluntary or community organisations 
  • Registered charities 
  • Faith-based organisations 
  • Not-for profit companies, community interest companies or social enterprises 

Please make sure you read the information and criteria in full. Applications should be clearly marked ‘Barrier Buster Fund’ and emailed to welldoncaster@doncaster.gov.uk or posted to Public Health, Well Doncaster, Floor 4, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU. There is no deadline for this fund.

Note that organisations who have already received funding from this grant are eligible to apply again, as long as the project/idea is different.

Job Opportunities

The latest Vacancy Bulletin from DMBC is now available.

Helpline Team Leader – The Sleep Charity

A Helpline Team Leader is required to support the development of The Sleep Charity’s national sleep helpline. This is an exciting opportunity to lead a small team of volunteers and practitioners and improve the nation’s sleep. 

This is a new role, developing and delivering their helpline that will be open 7pm to 9pm Sunday to Thursday. The Helpline Team Leader will work from home for 12 hours each week covering the times that the helpline is open and an additional two hours to be agreed. 

Full details can be downloaded from the Charity Jobs website, where applications can also be made. The closing date for applications is 10th June 2021.

Engagement Officer – Healthwatch Doncaster

Healthwatch Doncaster is looking for an enthusiastic, dynamic and motivated Engagement Officer to join their team.

Are you interested in working for an organisation that is focussed on engaging with local people, being informed about local services and influencing health and care providers to improve quality? If sp, they want you to be part of Healthwatch Doncaster’s Engagement Team and engage with local people in communities across Doncaster.

Healthwatch Doncaster captures people’s experiences of health and care services so that common themes can be identified and opportunities for service improvement shared with Providers and Commissioners.

This post is a fixed term post until 31 March 2022.

The post-holder will be required to work up to 20 hours per week

This job is part-time for 20 hours per week and the salary will be pro-rata at 0.53 which means that the salary will range from £10,600 – £13,500 depending on relevant qualifications and experience.

You can find out more about the role and how to apply by downloading the recruitment pack from their website.

If you would like more information or if you would like to have a chat about the role then please contact Jill Telford, Engagement Team Manager on 07834 686857 or Andrew Goodall, Chief Operating Officer on 07834 686855.

Completed application forms should be emailed to admin@healthwatchdoncaster.org.uk

The closing date for receiving completed application forms is 4pm on 18 June 2021.

Interviews will be held on 30 June 2021 via Zoom.

Healthwatch Manager – Barnsley CVS

Barnsley CVS are currently looking to recruit for the Position of Healthwatch Manager. The aim of Local Healthwatch in Barnsley is to give local people a stronger voice to influence and challenge how Health and Social Care services are commissioned and provided across the Borough.

Healthwatch also:

  1. Provide or signpost people to information to help them understand their choices about the health and social care services they receive.
  2. Gather information and intelligence to support service development and change.
  3. Signpost people to the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) should they wish to complain about the services they have received.

The post holder will be responsible for management and lead co-ordination of Healthwatch Barnsley, reporting to the CEO of Barnsley CVS and accountable to the Healthwatch Barnsley Strategic Advisory Board. They will have overall responsibility for the operation of Healthwatch Barnsley and will coordinate and manage every aspect of the functions required to enable Healthwatch Barnsley to perform its contractual and statutory remit.

The Healthwatch Manager, as an employee of Barnsley CVS, will remain responsible to the Barnsley CVS management team and Board of Trustees.

A full job description and person specification for this role can be found on their website, along with an application pack.

Please return all completed applications to hr@barnsleycvs.org.uk by 12pm on 10th June 2021.

CV’s will not be accepted.

Warden – The Conservation Volunteers

Every day TCV works across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone – communities where our activities have a lasting impact on people’s health, prospects and outdoor places.

They are looking for someone to join their team in South Yorkshire to help them care for some wonderful community woodlands.

TCV, in partnership with the Land Trust, engages local communities in the use and management of 465 hectares of green spaces across South Yorkshire. Reporting to the Operations Leader, you will be part of a team responsible for delivering a busy program of site maintenance works and inspections.

This is a part-time, temporary role mainly working Monday to Wednesday from 9:00am to 5:00pm (although some flexibility may be required) until September 2023.

Working as part of their supportive team, sometimes independently, you will carry out various patrols and inspections, keep the sites clean and tidy, carry out planned and reactive maintenance, practical conservation and land management tasks as well as engaging with local communities and communicating with partners and the general public whilst on site.

You will also occasionally support community engagement through volunteering initiatives, health programmes and events.

You will also assist with the maintenance and use of a range of different resources including vehicles and tools.

This is a new role, funded until September 2023 that will help TCV to continually improve the condition of these much used and well-loved sites. The role will be based at their base in Doncaster and most of your time will be out on site. Some home working may be required.

You can find out more about the work TCV do and apply for this role via their website. The closing date for applications is 21st June 2021.

Contribute to our Next Newsletter!

If you have an article, job opportunity or funding opportunity you would like to see featured in the next edition of this newsletter, please send it to us at info@voluntaryactiondoncaster.org.uk by 1pm on Wednesday 16th June.