Voluntary, Community & Faith Sector Newsletter – 7 May 2021

Newsletter and Update No. 29 – 7th May 2021

Message from Cath Witherington – CEO

Reflecting back over the past couple of weeks I have been reminded once again that the only constant in life is change! Some changes are for the better and some are much more difficult to deal with. Yet through each and every change and life experiences we can learn, become stronger and more resilient. I very much hope that will be true for each and every one of us as we increasingly venture out and start to rebuild our real world connections in the coming months. 

This week we have been delighted to welcome Tanya Lee to our team and she will be introducing herself more fully in our next newsletter. Tanya has joined us as our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, providing a tangible link with Inclusion and Fairness Forum, and reaching out to our varied communities. I know she is really excited to be working with us and is looking forward to getting to know us, our members and the range of communities groups across Doncaster. 

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.   

COVID Vaccine Eligibility

Are you eligible for a Covid vaccination in Doncaster but haven’t yet been invited? 

Check online if you’re currently eligible and then please make sure you send your full name, address, date of birth, contact details and name of your GP surgery in complete confidence to donccg.urgent-care@nhs.net. Please include your NHS number which you can find on the NHS website.

NHS staff need all this information in order to help you. Please note – if you are eligible but under the age of 30, you will need to talk to your GP due to the latest guidance on vaccines.

COM-COV2 Clinical Study

A clinical research trial looking at the impact of receiving different COVID vaccines is opening in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. This study is called COM-COV2.

The study team is enrolling from all ethnicities but would particularly welcome participants from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community.

They would like the people in the trial to be as representative of the population as a whole as possible, so would welcome participation by people from all ethnic groups. People with more than one stable medical condition can also be included in the trial.

The study involves 5 study visits, plus an extra visit if a participant gets COVID despite vaccination.

Participants need to be able to access the internet and read and write in English.

The main results should be available by July and participants would have contributed to the future rollout of COVID-19 vaccines that will be beneficial to all communities.

Further information can be found at https://comcovstudy.org.uk/home  

Dementia Health Bus

The Dementia Health Bus will be travelling across Doncaster commencing Monday 17th May to Friday 21st May as part of Dementia Action Week. Please see this poster for full details. The Public Health Doncaster team would also be very grateful if as many people can share this so the drop-in service is accessible for as many people as possible.

For further information please contact Clare Batty via email at clare.batty@doncaster.gov.uk

Keeping Families in Mind Walking Group

Sheffield Mind are running a monthly walking group for military families as part of their Keeping Families in Mind service. This takes place on the third Friday of every month, starting on 21st May 2021.

For more information take a look at their flyer or contact Sheffield Mind by phone on 07900 743930 or via email at kfim@sheffieldmind.co.uk.

Vital Signs Survey 2021

South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) is conducting research to measure the vitality of our community. Vital Signs is a ‘health-check’ that identifies our community’s hidden needs and priorities.

Understanding the needs of a community and the issues it faces is the first step to being able to solve them.

Local data gathered through the research is used to support evidence based, locally relevant solutions to improve the quality of life at the community level.

The findings will enable SYCF to provide targeted intervention where it is most needed.

Please complete the survey and share far and wide to ensure SYCF hears the views of as many of our Doncaster community as possible.

Trustee Recruitment Cycle

Reach Volunteering is launching its Trustee Recruitment Cycle. In it there are tools, inspiration and reassurances to help you and your organisation recruit better, diversify and make your board the best it can be.

Learn how to identify the mix of skills and experience your board needs to lead your charity, plan your recruitment process, write a trustee role description, and get ready to engage with candidates, and create a trustee advert to attract the candidates you want, and share it widely.

Find out more via the Reach Volunteering website.

Charity Trustees Recruitment – Doncaster Housing for Young People Ltd.

Would you like to be part of an organisation that achieves amazing things, transforming the lives of young people in Doncaster who are at risk of homelessness?

As a Trustee, you will oversee the running of the organisation, including strategic planning, reviewing performance and ensuring our finances are well managed.

This is a voluntary role, but reasonable expenses will be paid.  We will provide you with the training and support to help you fulfil the role and develop your own skills and experience. Above all, you will be part of a friendly and forward-thinking team, making a huge difference to young people in Doncaster.

We welcome people with a broad range of skills and experience from a

diverse range of backgrounds.

Trustee meetings are held on a monthly basis at our offices in central Doncaster, or by video conference, commencing at 6.00pm.  

Please email admin@dhyp.org.uk to request a recruitment pack.

The closing date for completed applications is 31st May 2021.

Fully Funded ‘Changing Energy-Related Behaviour’ Short Course

This course is available online from National Energy Action. The course will be suitable for any staff and volunteers who come into contact with community members.

This course aims to make delegates aware of some of the theories and findings in the field of decision making, focusing specifically on simple practical things they can do to encourage people to act on the energy-related advice they receive.

You can find more information and apply for a space on one of these sessions via their website.

Be a part of Act on Advent CIC’s Advent Calendar

Act on Advent CIC are a newly formed Social Enterprise. Their mission is to support grassroots Charitable organisations within the South Yorkshire region. They aim to do this in the first instance by producing an Advent Calendar. Each window will represent one of the chosen organisations.

They aim to support the chosen organisations with a financial donation from the sale of the Advent Calendar along with promotion of their cause via our communication and social media platforms. This Advent Calendar will give people the choice of buying a traditional product with a social conscience, empowering people to support multiple organisations within their own community with a single purchase.

They aim to support a diverse range of organisations spread across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

If your organisation is interested in being considered for inclusion in the Advent Calendar please email info@actonadvent.co.uk by 20th May 2021 for an expression of interest form.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Doncaster Chamber

Doncaster Chamber is pleased to be supporting 2021 Mental Health Awareness week. The last year has been challenging for both businesses and us as individuals and it has never been more important to ensure we are looking after our own wellbeing as well as that of our employees and those around us. We hope you will access the events and services on offer below.

Nature is the theme for 2021 as millions turned to nature to cope during the lockdowns. Connecting to nature is key to our emotional and physical health and has powerful benefits. Explore the stunning parks & outdoor spaces and woodlands Doncaster has on offer.

Chamber Events:

Mindful Mental MOT!

Weds 12th May: 9:30am – 10:30am

Carole Haywood-Poole from Wild Orange will lead a session on understanding why we have negative thoughts, an inner critic ,an internal bully which in turn promotes negative feelings.That drives our behaviour, which is often negative too. We get into a situation that goes around and around in circles. We don’t think we can get out of this feeling.That it will always be like this. Learn how to identify your automatic negative thoughts, recognise patterns of thought, feelings and behaviour to break that cycle, discover how powerful that negative self-talk is and how you can address it. Easy to do practices to stop those thoughts and feelings.

Men’s Wellbeing at Work – Creating the Space to Tackle Important Issues

Thurs 13th May: 9:00am – 10:00am

Introductory discovery session with Men Up North & Dads in Business. This 60 minute (plus Q & A) session will be open to anyone in any business to encourage discussion, engagement and involvement of the men topic. By opening the session to all, we begin to overcome barriers and give permission to the group to accept the challenges men face that may not be spoken about. The session is an honest introduction to the concept and the exercises and steps shared by Rob Taylor and Angga Kara will lead to immediate takeaways and actions for the group to practice.

Managing Time, Stress & Workload in the Workplace Training Course

Fri 14th May: 9:00am-12:00pm

On this training course you will learn how to manage your time, targets and time constraints while maintaining a work-life balance to minimise stress on you and your team. How do you achieve a work-life balance? Recognising and responding to realistic and unrealistic expectations and demands of others, identify personal stress indicators and coping strategies and gain practical tips and techniques to help prioritise tasks, activities and workload demands effectively.


Mental Health Business Support

Doncaster Mind is an independent local charity, raising their own funds & supporting local people by providing high quality mental health services in Doncaster and its surrounding area.

As a Chamber member you can benefit from:

  • A free audit to assess your business needs.
  • 10% discount off workplace wellbeing training and workshops.  The aim is to reduce stigma and provide knowledge, skills and support to significantly lower your business costs related to absence due to mental health problems in the workplace.

Donate to support Doncaster Mind.

Making a Good Grant Application – Free Training

With so much competition for funding, you need to submit the best funding application you possibly can.

Well Doncaster are offering free interactive virtual training sessions to all Community Wealth Builder clients, community organisations and groups to give advice on how to write a funding application that satisfies the funder’s criteria, whilst at the same time promotes your project in an appealing way.

The session will be delivered by South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau and is aimed at those who are new to writing funding applications, or those who have some experience but need some tips on how to improve the quality of their funding applications.

Full Day Sessions:

Thursday 13th May 2021 9.30am – 4.00pm

Thursday 24th June 2021 9.30am – 4.00pm

Half Day Sessions (must attend both):

Tuesday 1st June 10.00am – 1.00pm

Thursday 3rd June 10.00am – 1.20pm

All sessions will be delivered on Microsoft Teams and joining instructions will be sent following booking.

Limited spaces are available so booking is essential. To register your place or for more information please contact marianne.turner@doncaster.gov.uk or 07971 395978.

New WEA Courses

New WEA Face To Face Courses Starting At Changing Lives Doncaster Town Centre:

  • Learn how to Learn & Stay Safe Online Using Devices and ICT – course starts on 11/05/21 10am – 12pm every Tuesday for 5 weeks and then will be repeated (numbers permitting)
  • ICT skills for Work & Everyday Life – Suitable for ESOL students / Beginners – starts 10/05/21 10am – 12pm every Monday for 10 weeks
  • Introduction to sign language for Families
  • Sewing Skills and Garment Making – starts 10/05/21 12:30pm -14:30pm every Monday
  • Confidence to Communicate (hosted at Bentley Pavilion not Changing Lives) – targeted at people with below Level 2 qualifications in Literacy & Language – starts 05/05/21 10am – 12pm every Wednesday for 8 weeks 

Provisions Currently Online Due To The Pandemic

  • ICT for Work and Everyday Life – Fridays 11:30am -1:30pm
  • Computers For All – Fridays  9:15am – 11:15am
  • Comprehensive Canvas – using canvas as a teaching & learning platform – Thursdays 14:00pm – 16.00pm
  • Love to Cook – Wednesdays 11:45am – 13:45pm
  • Exercise, Confidence & Healthy Living (women only) Wednesdays 9:00am – 11:00am
  • Sugarpaste Cake Decorating – Monday evenings
  • Advanced Sugarcraft Skills – Wednesday evenings
  • Drawing & Painting with Mixed Media for Healthy Living/Relaxation – Monday mornings
  • Improving your Digital Photography Skills – Mondays 13:15pm – 15:15 PM & Tuesday 14:15pm – 16:15pm  
  • Practical Skills & Knowledge in Beauty & Nail Care – Entry 3 Level – starting 4th May on Tuesdays 9:00am – 11:00am for 10 weeks

ALL courses are free to people in receipt of means tested benefits. Find out more about the courses on offer via the WEA website.

Training Available for Those Aged 19+ and Unemployed

The Phoenix Training Group has courses available at various locations throughout May which are available to anyone aged 19 and over who is unemployed and in receipt of benefits. The sessions include Warehouse, Retail and Customer Service, Administration and Digital Skills Training. 

For more information take a look at their flyer. For further enquiries or to book a place at any of these training sessions contact Amy Hearne via email at ahearne@extolds.co.uk or by phone on 01709 786411.

English & Maths Functional Skills Courses

The Skills Networks has recently launched their English and Maths Functional Skills e-learning content, designed to provide learners with good knowledge and understanding of Maths and English.

Their interactive courses deliver engaging e-learning and online assessments, with each module including practice assessments, challenging activities, and reflective learning. This allows learners to develop the knowledge and skills needed to prepare to sit an exam with an awarding body.

Their e-learning solution can be used to underpin Functional Skills Qualifications as well as CPDs for staff development and be used for AEB funding. The Skills Network can also help and support your organisation to enhance your tutor offerings with their tutor support service.

It’s a great resource for many reasons, but here are the points that may interest you the most:

  • Development and provision of well-designed e-learning content which is sequenced in a way that supports learners develop a depth of new knowledge and presents learning in an engaging and accessible way. Focus on learning, not just passing a qualification.
  • E-Learning content includes well-designed ‘Stop and Think’ activities and ‘Extend Your Learning’ activities which present learners with an opportunity to think harder about their learning and apply their new knowledge within work and life-related scenarios, case studies, etc. Learning for life, not just for achievement.
  • A course-specific ‘Diagnostic Assessment’ is focused on each learner’s prior knowledge and academic skill to develop a personalised ‘Curriculum Plan’ that designs their learning journey around their individual needs, gaps, and learning preferences.
  • Our market-leading Learner Management System, EQUAL, provides simple access for learners to engage with their learning content as well as innovative functionality including a Learner Forum, Virtual Learning Classroom, and E-Calendar. Whether it’s the delivery of Adult Learning Qualifications, CPD, or Apprenticeship Off the Job, learning is accessible at all times no matter where the learner is.
  • EQUAL has an area for subject tutors and Programme Leads to assess learner work, provide challenging and constructive developmental feedback, and deliver group/individual.
  • All learning content is designed by well-qualified, experienced teaching practitioners who understand pedagogy as well as their subject matter.

If you’d like to hear more, please register your interest and a member of The Skills Network’s team will get in touch shortly.

Funding Opportunities

DMBC’s latest funding newsletter is now available.

Empowering Women Fund

In response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, Solace’s fund aims to fill a gap in support for organisations that are supporting women to recover from problems exacerbated by the pandemic.

The scheme will provide funding to support small women’s groups and organisations to develop innovative ways of empowering women in their local area and build their capacity. It is divided into two strands and grants can run for up to 12 months.

Women’s groups and organisations can apply for:

  • Seed funding grants (£500-£1,000)

Available to small women’s groups to establish and run micro women’s empowerment projects in their local area that support women to build skills and confidence, and decrease social isolation.

  • Women’s Sector grants (£1,000-£25,000)

Available for women’s groups and organisations to develop capacity to respond to changing needs in their communities and run projects over a fixed duration of at least 6 months.

The fund is particularly aiming to reach those who have not previously applied for funding and those from marginalised communities.

The deadline for round one applications is Friday 28th of May 2021.

You can find further information, including guidance and FAQ documents, on the Solace website.

If you have any questions or queries not covered in the information available, please get in touch with the team via email at labyrinth@solacewomensaid.org

The Thomas Pocklington Trust

Grants of mostly under £25,000 are available for a broad range of projects that support the delivery of positive outcomes for blind and partially sighted people around their key funding themes across the UK:

Education: Enabling opportunities for blind and partially sighted children and young people in and entering education;

Employment: Creating employment opportunities for blind and partially sighted people;

Engagement: Facilitating the voice and encouraging self-determination of blind and partially sighted people;

Collaboration and Sustainability: Promoting positive change to improve the sustainability of the sight loss sector. 

They also fund research and technology projects that support the key funding themes set out above. 

The deadline for applications is 14th May 2021. Full details can be found on the Trust’s website.

Local Support Grant Barnsley

Barnsley Council has a fund to support vulnerable individuals suffering because of the pandemic. If you work with people who may benefit, please let them know.

  • 80% of the funds must be allocated to support with food, energy costs (heating, lighting, cooking), water costs including sewerage.
  • 20% of the funds can be allocated to expenditure related to food, heating, lighting, cooking, water and sewerage needs, but excluding rent or other housing costs. Allowable expenditure includes sanitary products, warm clothing, soap, blankets, boiler service/repair, purchase of equipment including fridges, freezers, ovens, etc.

They want to receive expressions for using the 80% allocation.

Note: the funds must be spent by 20th June 2021. Full details can be found on the Barnsley Council’s 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

Independent Chair – Doncaster Cultural Education Partnership

Doncaster Cultural Education Partnership (DCEP) is looking for a new independent Chair to provide strategic leadership to DCEP meetings.

The chair will be passionate about connecting young people with great arts and culture in Doncaster and act as an ambassador and spokesperson for cultural Education and the DCEP.

The chair will ensure that the DCEP is governed effectively and is functional through its meetings, working groups and events.  In collaboration with the DCEP, the chair will consider issues, risks and opportunities and come to well-founded decisions that align with the DCEP’s vision and mission.

You can find out more about the role via the full job listing. Applicants should send a letter of application (two sides of A4 max.) setting out suitability for the role to Jo McQuade via email at jo.mcquade@doncaster.gov.uk by midday on 18th May 2021. Interested candidates can also contact Jo for further information or to arrange an informal discussion of the requirements of the role. Interviews will be held Friday 21st May 2021 via Zoom.

The successful candidate will be able to join the next DCEP meeting which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 15th June 15:30 – 17:00 via Zoom. All further meeting dates are to be arranged.

Projects Officer – NAVCA

Are you a pro-active, highly motivated, and organised Projects Officer? Could you lead delivery of NAVCA’s project activities and achieve agreed outcomes for our organisation and our members? 

We are seeking someone to join our team and take on the newly-created role of Projects Officer. Ideally, you will have experience of working in a grant/contract-funded project environment within the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

If successful, you will work alongside NAVCA colleagues, our members and our partners to successfully deliver internal and externally funded project outputs and achieve agreed outcomes, and deliver the administrative functions required to ensure appropriate reporting and monitoring.

In particular, the post holder will lead delivery of our:

  • Safeguarding Project (funded by The National Lottery Community Fund) which supports our members to offer high quality safeguarding advice and support to their local VCSE sector, through the provision of tools, training and opportunities for peer-learning.
  • Social Investment Support projects (funded through various contracts) which aim to increase our members’ knowledge of and engagement with social investment in order to support their local VCSE sector.

Whilst knowledge and experience in the specific project subjects is desirable, it is not essential for the role, as you will be bringing together and coordinating expertise from others. The post holder may be required to work on additional projects as new opportunities are secured. 

For an informal discussion about the role please call Alex Boys, Head of Business Development, on 0114 278 6636 or email alex.boys@navca.org.uk 

Deadline for applications: 11:30pm on 16th May 2021.

Interview dates: 25 and 26 May 2021 (via video conference).

How to apply: please read the job description and person specification carefully and complete the application form. All documents can be downloaded via the NAVCA website. Send your completed application form to recruitment@navca.org.uk before the deadline above.

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 19th May.