Newsletter and Update No. 17 – 13th November 2020

Message from Cath Witherington – Chief Officer 

Respecting the Remembrance Day silence is something I have always done throughout my life.  This week felt different.  Working from home alone – just taking those two minutes out of an otherwise busy day, somehow felt even more poignant. No matter how tough this year has been – remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for and dying for their country took on added significance.  For me personally, as well as those veterans of conflict – I remembered the front line key workers who have sadly fallen as a consequence of their vocation in the fight against Covid 19.  

As we are still in the midst of this terrible pandemic, Voluntary Action Doncaster has been working with the Social Isolation Alliance, South Yorkshire Housing Association, the DMBC and other Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector organisations to shape and develop a fund.  We will be ready to announce the details very soon.  We have secured some funding which is intended to help Doncaster based groups and organisations to help the sector

address a range of community needs arising from the Covid 19 restrictions.  We expect to be inviting bids for the funds which will need to be utilised by the end of March 2021.  So please do keep your eyes open as we are working hard to announce the details as quickly as we can.  In the meantime, please do think about what projects or people you could support with a little extra financial support.

Finally from me, you may recall that a few weeks ago we invited bids for 2 refurbished laptops that had been donated to us by Computers 4 Charity.  I am delighted to announce that one will be going to The Doncaster Cancer Support Drop in Centre so that they can provide support group sessions via zoom or skype during the Covid restrictions and beyond.  The second laptop will be going to YWCA Yorkshire.  This will help improve their remote volunteering programme helping a volunteer befriender to support even more vulnerable people across Doncaster. It’s fantastic that we have been able to support such important work and I will make sure the laptops get delivered next week! 

Social Isolation Alliance – New Helpline Number 

Social Isolation Alliance Helpline: 01302 430322

This Helpline is open seven days a week Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 6pm.

The Social Isolation and Loneliness Alliance (SIA) is a collaboration of partners from the public, voluntary, community and faith sectors who are committed to reducing social isolation and loneliness in Doncaster. Anyone who needs help or advice or has no other support can ring the SIA Helpline.  

The Community Hub number (01302 430300) is now being managed centrally by the Council DMBC which is directing callers to the most appropriate local support for wider general enquiries. 

Doncaster Mind – Online Sessions

If you or someone you’re supporting would like to try Mindfulness in the comfort of your own home, Doncaster Mind be running online groups from January 2021. In the new year they will also be running a six-session guided learning Confidence Booster course, which aims to improve self-esteem, build confidence in your abilities and help you be more assertive. This course will also be online, so it’s accessible from anywhere that you have an internet connection! 

If you or someone you know of is interested in either of these, please email or call 01302 812190 as there are a limited number of places.

Keeping Families in Mind – PTSD Sessions

As part of their Keeping Families in Mind project, Sheffield Mind are hosting a new training course which aims to help people support a family member who has served or is serving in the Military, who may be living with PTSD. For more information please have a look at their leaflet.

Online Parenting Courses

Parenting can be a tough job, especially in the current climate! Doncaster Council is providing some prepaid online courses for residents of Doncaster via OurPlace, who offer parenting support from pre-birth to the teenage years. Some courses are available in multiple languages, and there’s also a course for teenagers to take part in themselves! For more information about how to access these courses, have a look at their flyer.

Parental Conflict Support

Parenting is the toughest job and a number of parents are under extreme pressure, particularly at this moment in time. Parental conflict can include regular bickering, arguing and frustration with each other about issues such as money,  parenting or housework. Parental conflict is happening right now and could be impacting on your employees, their families and their children. Doncaster Local Authority has worked with thirteen other Local Authorities within Yorkshire and Humberside to jointly commission a regional website and digital campaign for practitioners and members of the public, where you can access advice and further guidance.

Working Win Extension

Could your workplace benefit from support for employees with a health condition?

Working Win works with people who need support to stay in work, and is a completely free service for people with physical or mental health conditions. We’ll work with employees to build on their strengths and to feel settled in their role.

We can also provide training, support and information to organisations, to help them to create workplaces where all of their employees can thrive.

 Working Win is for employees who:

  • have a physical and/or mental health condition
  • are aged 18 and over
  • are working and want support to continue working, or
  • are off work sick, and want to return to work

What support will employees receive?

  • One-to-one support to help employees continue working and manage their health condition at work
  • Working with their health care team to help manage any difficulties
  • Debt, benefits and employment law advice
  • Help talking to their employer about their needs at work
  • Meetings over the phone, via video or in person, where local Covid-19 guidelines allow
  • Access to a free Westfield Health and Wellbeing package

Working Win is open to anyone living in Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham and Bassetlaw. Employees can refer themselves to Working Win via: or alternatively speak to their GP or Health Professional.

Places are limited and referrals will close on 31st January 2021.

Doncaster Deaf Trust Energy Redress Scheme – Extended

The Doncaster Deaf Trust Energy Redress scheme has been extended until the end of December. The funds are meant for people who are either unemployed, or have been furloughed, and who have a prepayment meter. They can get two x £49 vouchers, which they can apportion any way they wish, between gas and electricity. 

People can apply for this via the referral form provided.

Post-Stroke – Virtual Active Movement Classes

Paces are launching a new 6-week course of post-stroke virtual active movement classes. Led by a neuro-rehabilitation expert, these free sessions are a fun and sociable way to improve both physical and psychological wellbeing. Booking is compulsory as spaces are limited, for further details about the sessions and how to book, take a look at this flyer.

Fuel Poverty Related Webinars

This winter, many people will be spending much more in their homes, making it even more important that we support them to keep their homes warm and healthy. NEA Training Services are hosting free training webinars for staff/volunteers in non-commercial organisations who regularly encounter and provide advice to those in, or at risk of, fuel poverty.

All webinars are delivered via Zoom by expert tutors to small groups to ensure a good level of interaction and support. Following the webinars, attendees will also receive a handout booklet. Find more information about the different webinars on offer and how to book a place on their website.

Project 6 Support Sessions via Zoom

Project 6 have some new digital zoom sessions and support sessions they are running within their service:  

“Here at Project 6 Doncaster, we have launched a series of support groups at Sober Social and Zoom meetings aimed to support people with alcohol issues, mental health issues or people that are isolated.    

Our aim is to run a series of Zoom meetings, which incorporate mindfulness techniques and help develop their own skills to help us better deal with whatever life throws at us. Using creating and fun ideas to motivate the individual with taking charge of their recovery towards better wellbeing.   

Our other aim is to run a series of support groups in Sober Social, which will be around mindfulness, mental health and relapse prevention sessions (as shown in the timetable). All groups are pre-booked due to COVID. This means a maximum of 6 individuals in each group and we have all the correct measures in place with sticking to current guidelines. These groups start on the 11th November 2020  

If you have a person in mind, they can register at or call 01302 360090.”

Baby Basics

Baby Basics is a volunteer-led project aiming to support new mothers and families who are struggling to meet the financial and practical burden of looking after a new baby, including but not limited to teenage mums, people seeking asylum and women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking. You can find more information about their work on their website.

We’d love to see a group or organisation lead a Baby Basics in Doncaster. If you think you could help with this, please contact Karen Seaman by calling 01302 737436 or via email

New Statement from the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising 

The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising have released a statement on the new national restrictions and its impact on fundraising. 

The statement reflects their expectation that charities and their partners to pause public fundraising activities (including door-to-door, street, and private site fundraising) for the duration of the new restrictions.

The Fundraising Regulator has also released useful information on ways in which charities can improve their fundraising reporting. Additionally Civil Society News have published an article sharing some of the best ways charities can continue to raise the funds through virtual means. 

You can read the statement from the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising in full on their website.

The Sleep Charity’s New Expert Advisory Board

Award-winning The Sleep Charity is delighted to announce its newly formed expert advisory board as part of its mission to empower the nation to sleep better.

The voluntary advisory board, named The Sleep Council, will help to shape the future of sleep support nationally and play a vital role around providing advice, challenge and scrutiny on key issues and programmes.

You can find out more about this in their press release.

Funding Opportunities

Comic Relief’s New Global Majority Fund

Comic Relief has opened a new fund for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales called The Global Majority Fund. 

Comic Relief has partnered with the National Emergencies Trust, Barclays and The Clothworkers’ Foundation to launch The Global Majority Fund, which is dedicated to further Covid-19 response work with communities experiencing racial inequality.

The fund has approximately £2.1 million available to make and manage grants. Comic Relief envision that they would make between 10-15 investments between the value of £150,000 – £250,000. Funding is available for up to 18 months.

The fund is encouraging applications from organisations working with communities experiencing racial inequality and other inequities, including those with other protected characteristics or lived experiences. 

Applications close 30 November 2020 at midday (GMT): you can find more information about the fund and how to apply on their website.

Job Opportunities

North Doncaster Development Trust – Community Projects Worker

The purpose of the role is to provide project and administrative support to NDDT, its

projects and staff. Duties include delivering the foodbank and digital inclusion projects, general administrative duties, and other project specific work to facilitate the efficient operation of the organisation. This post is for 24 hours per week and applicants must have experience of using IT and hold a current, clean driving licence.

North Doncaster Development Trust – Business Support Locality Driver

The purpose of the role is to provide project support to NDDT, its projects and staff. Duties include driving flexibly to meet the needs of NDDT including foodbank collections/deliveries, shopping/support for the community that are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and project specific work to facilitate the efficient operation of the organisation. A professional company image to be projected throughout, both in person and through telephone interaction. This post is for 15 hours per week and applicants must hold a current, clean driving licence.

You can find more information about these roles and how to apply on the full recruitment advert.

Live Inclusive – Administrator

Live Inclusive is recruiting an Administrator, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Energy Redress Fund.

They are seeking an experienced Administrator who will ensure the smooth running of office systems, and will assist the Chief Executive Officer, along with providing some support to members of the Outreach Support Workers where required. They are seeking an individual with excellent interpersonal, and strong organisational skills. They need someone with a sound knowledge and competence in Microsoft Office applications. Someone with energy and enthusiasm will be a welcome addition to the team. This is a part-time role (12 hours per week) and the deadline for applications is 23rd November 2020.

You can find further details about the role and application process in the job advertisement.

Live Inclusive – Enabling Support Officer

Live Inclusive is also recruiting an Enabling Support Worker for Doncaster, thanks to funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) via the National Lottery Community Fund, and Her Majesty’s Government.

They  are looking for a passionate and pro-active individual to support adults with long term conditions, and their families/carers in Doncaster. The aim of the service is to help to reduce social isolation, improve confidence and increase motivation, through one to one support and, potentially, the facilitation of peer support groups.  In particular, they need to support our customers through this Coronavirus Health Emergency, where many of our customers are anxious and choosing to shield.

The role is varied and includes developing individual action plans, assisting people to attend and access activities (currently this is likely to be in open spaces such as parks, and digitally); social groups, transport, and working in partnership with the Voluntary Community Sector; Public Sector, and in particular with Doncaster Local Authority. Live Inclusive are seeking an individual with excellent interpersonal and strong organisational skills, with a sound understanding of ways in which to assist individuals to develop their independence, during this Health Emergency and beyond. Careful monitoring and evaluation will be important. Applicants must have a full driving license and use of their own car. This is also a part-time role (18 hours per week) and the deadline for applications is 23rd November 2020.

You can find further details about the role and application process in the job advertisement.

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