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May has arrived and with even greater relaxation of restrictions over the next couple of months we should see things gradually returning to a ‘new normal’.

VANS staff have been busy supporting the mass vaccination volunteer programmes across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and we’ve been busy recruiting volunteers but we urgently need more as other sites across the area are also needing non-clinical support volunteers.

If you, or you know anyone who might be interested in volunteering, then get them to register with us and they will be able to view all the opportunities we have available.

If you are a business owner and want to support this programme, consider releasing some of your staff to volunteer as part of their personal development or your corporate social responsibility.  If you’d like to discuss employee volunteering options, then contact Paul Lucock, our CEO on 07930 736778 or email him at: 

Our monthly newsletter is published during the second week of each month, so if you have any items you would like to see included in future newsletters please make sure we receive this information by the end of the first week of each month by emailing any text, photo’s, logo’s or promotional material to:

Voluntary Sector News


Volunteers in non-clinical and stewarding roles are urgently needed to meet the demand at the large scale vaccination site at Ashton Gate, Bristol and at GP Surgeries and Community Pharmacy sites across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).
Volunteers are asked to commit to a 4½ hour session to cover the 12 hour daily vaccination programme at Ashton Gate, Bristol and there are also a number of other sessions requiring cover at GP Surgeries and Community Pharmacy sites across the BNSSG area.
If you’re interested in volunteering to support the NHS medical teams, then register HERE

Once registered, you will be able to see the volunteering opportunities available at the different sites and book the session/s you’re available to volunteer for. You will then receive email confirmation of your commitment.
If you have some free time to support this essential and important programme, then please register NOW.


Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.Whether you attend a face-to-face Information Session or watch the online video, Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.

For more information about becoming a Dementia Friend, click HERE 

People living with dementia, face social isolation, now more than ever.

Learn about dementia and the challenges people face so you can support them in your community’s response to coronavirus.



Kooth continue to be available for young people aged 10-18+ (up to 25 in leaving care or have an additional need) in North Somerset for free, safe and anonymous wellbeing support and advice, accessible from any internet enabled device. There are a number of ways young people can access support on Kooth from our Magazine, Forum,
Therapeutic activities, Journal, Goals, messaging and chat!

You can access Kooth’s promotion hub Swivle where you’ll find digital resources including posters, videos, Covid-19 infographics, data and resources. You can view ‘How to use’ Swivle guide here

Video Link:


‘Commonplace’ the unique interactive platform that captures community feedback went live in February and it’s your chance as a resident of North Somerset to be part of the conversation on how North Somerset can emerge from the pandemic as a stronger, happier, healthier and more inclusive community.

It’s envisaged that by learning from the local North Somerset community, we can make a real positive change in how the community is served moving forward but we need you to get involved and join in the conversation.
It’s live until the end of June 2021 and we want as many people as possible to be part of this conversation, so please get involved and we, together with our partners can plan the best way forward.
If you live in North Somerset be part of the conversation by clicking on the following link:

GamCare are the leading charity helping people with problematic gambling or experiencing gambling harms. We are currently delivering free sessions to all UK professionals who work with vulnerable people, and are funded by the National Gambling Commission.This free training lasting approx 90 minutes can be obtained via single zoom sessions on:

2nd June at 2pm,
7th June at 2pm,
16th June at 10.00am or
23rd June at 10.00am

A session can be booked by emailing are around 500,000 problem gamblers in the UK, up to 20% of whom are women. For every person who has a problem with gambling, up to 10 other people can be affected, and women are disproportionately at risk of experiencing gambling-related harm. Gambling-related harm can include debt, relationship difficulties, housing issues, gender-based violence, depression and anxiety, feelings of isolation, and suicidality. GamCare’s National Gambling Helpline takes over 30,000 calls a year from men and women affected by gambling-related harm and last year over 7,000 people accessed free treatment through our treatment network across England, Scotland and Wales.  Problematic gambling is often a silent and hidden addiction, linked to shame and stigma, and women are far less likely to discuss their worries.


Alliance Support team provides housing related support to the North Somerset community. If you are concerned about your housing, health, work or financial situation and would like free, impartial advice, please ring to be booked in for an assessment on 03000 120 120 option 3. You do not need to be an Alliance Homes tenant to access our services.

We Can Help With:

Make informed choices about your housing situation
Provide advice and guidance on sustaining your independence
Develop skills so you can manage safely in your home
Access aids and adaptations for your home
Access health and social services, and other specialist agencies
Claim the welfare benefits that you are entitled to
Deal with debt and rent arrears
You or a close family member have caring responsibilities
Resettle home safely after a hospital admission

Find advice and help on accessing education, training, employment and volunteering opportunities

For info visit: or:

We support anyone 18+ the service is free. We take customers of any tenure. You don’t need to be an Alliance tenant.

We are not a long-term service, support is dependent on need.  Customers can enter/exit the service as required.

We work in 5 key areas:

Housing Health/Welfare Finances (Benefits/Financial/Debt)
Employment & Training
Carers support

We are an ‘advice and guidance’ service – we are not a statutory service.  Our support is a mixture of practical support and signposting and multi-agency working.

Below are our examples of what are NOT tenancy related tasks:

Not personal care
Not befriending
We don’t attend appointments with people who aren’t clients
Not counsellors/emotional support
(We cannot directly house people, we support to explore housing options and can support resettlement once a property is found).


People in the area are being invited to put an extra spring in their step and join in a series of free ‘Dance Walks’ taking place in seaside resorts in North Somerset from May.
Local arts organisation, Theatre Orchard, is inviting people of all ages to keep fit and boogie by the beach in sessions being held in Weston, Clevedon and Portishead through May, June and July.
Led by dance practitioner Vic Hole, the ‘Dance Walks’ are designed to uplift energy levels and boost wellbeing in a fun and positive way that can be enjoyed by every age. All the routes will be fully accessible, taking in the scenery of the towns including the beachfront promenades and adding some disco sparkle to the seaside.  
The ‘Dance Walks’ will last no longer than 30 minutes and will follow the Covid-safety measures in place at the time of each separate event.
People need to register in advance, with participant numbers limited to those allowed by Government guidelines. To book a place and find out more about meeting places and the Dance Walk routes, contact dance producer Vic Hole at Theatre Orchard on

For more information, visit

Dance Walks Timetable
May – all at 11am
Friday 14 May  – Clevedon 
Friday 21 May – Portishead 
Friday 28 May – Weston 
Friday 18 June – Portishead 11am 
Sunday 20 June – Clevedon 11am
Sunday 20 June – Weston 2pm
July – all at 11am
Friday 16 July – Portishead 
Saturday 17 July – Weston 
Sunday 18 July – Clevedon  


Testing is a major strand of the government’s road map out of lockdown so North Somerset Council are encouraging anyone who is eligible to start to get in the habit of twice-weekly testing. 
Covid-19 testing for people without symptoms is available now in North Somerset.
Find out more at

North Somerset LGBT+ Forum have recently launched some new groups which take place on Wednesdays each month.  They also have a new website which illustrates all the support you can get and also how you can support the organisation.1st Wednesday of the Month: Trans+: North Somerset’s new support group for transgender, non-binary and gender-questioning people aged 18+.2nd Wednesday of the Month: Colours: A safe space for 13-17 year olds who are LGBT+, questioning or allies, to socialise and meet new people.3rd Wednesday of the Month: Family+: A free social group for parents, guardians and relatives of LGBT+ individuals to ask questions, get support or just pop along for a chat!4th Wednesday of the Month: 50+:  A safe space for members of the LGBT+ community who are over 50 to meet new people and socialise.For more information about any of the groups, please email:


For anyone working or volunteering within a community setting/organisation within North Somerset, the Public Health Team have recently launched their programme of mental health courses for 2021. Training is free to attendees and is funded by the Healthier Together Communities Coronavirus fund and North Somerset Public Health Team.  

To enrol on any of the courses listed below, please click HERE:

Mental Health Safety Planning
Suicide Awareness
Listening Skills
Mental Health Awareness
Connect 5 Mental Health

If after registering you are no longer to attend, you need to give at least 2 days’ notice of non-attendance, otherwise you will charged an admin fee of £50.


Supported by Bristol Ageing Better and based on the STAR (Share, Talk and Remember) model, this free training guides local residents and workers through the process of setting up their own bereavement peer-support group in Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire. These groups will be resident-led, self-sustaining, free of charge and open to anyone aged 18 or over.  The course will be delivered by Jan Perry, STAR Network Co-ordinator & Freelance Trainer.The training will embed the core principles of the original STAR group to create a network of STAR bereavement peer-support groups which are self-sustaining, have strong foundations and are led by local residents.The course is particularly aimed at local residents who are interested in setting up a bereavement peer-support group in their local neighbourhood and community workers who can support them with this free training course involves 4 workshops which will take place online via Zoom, followed by a follow-up session 1 -2 months later.The same course will run on Monday mornings, Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday evenings (please sign up to one course only).Click on the following links for more information and to sign up to the training:

Monday mornings (10am – 12pm) Course: 5 – 26 July 
Follow-up session: 6 September
Tuesday afternoons (1pm – 3pm) Course: 6 – 27 July
Follow-up session: 7 September
Wednesday evenings (6pm – 8pm) Course: 7 – 28 July
Follow-up session: 8 September

If you have any questions please contact Claire Chivers (Bristol Ageing Bristol) or Jan Perry (STAR Network Co-ordinator) Claire Chivers: or 0117 928 1539
Jan Perry: or 07595165082

Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) is a national charity founded in 2004. The charity’s main aim is to bring about community transformation by creating strategic partnerships which open up opportunities for crime and disorder reduction and improved community cohesion. This partnership approach has seen crime and anti-social behaviour fall and fresh hope brought to some of the most deprived and challenging areas of the UK, urban and rural alike.

ROC brings together community groups, churches, the police, the fire service, local authorities and voluntary agencies to encourage them to work together in positive partnerships for practical ‘on the ground’ change. As a result, statutory agencies have improved access to the support of community/church groups, and thousands of volunteers are enabled to better serve the needs of their community. ROC Community Mentoring in partnership with COACH (mentoring scheme) is a mentoring programme aimed at supporting people through tough times.

Through goal-focussed mentoring, we create space for people to explore their strengths, try new things and step towards a brighter future.

The role of the mentor is to be a “friend with a purpose” The purpose being to provide the young person with centred support through one to one community-based mentoring.

Youth and family mentors acknowledge that relationship is the vehicle for encouraging and empowering participants to achieve their nominated goals and/or make significant positive change.

Are you looking for a volunteering role where you can really make a difference to the lives of young people and their families?  ROC Weston-super-Mare are currently looking for more volunteer mentors.

If you want to know more about the volunteer opportunities with ROC, then click HERE 


Paid-for Opportunities


Vision North Somerset is a local registered charity at the heart of our community, supporting visually impaired people since 1975. Their aims and objectives are to improve the quality of life, health and wellbeing, independence and inclusion, for blind and partially sighted people in North Somerset. They are looking for two people to join their team.

The new exciting roles will enable blind and partially sighted people gain the skills they need to access the activities they wish to participate in. Both roles will develop digital and face to face opportunities. Experience of working with people is essential.

PEER SUPPORT WORKER funded by St Monica’s Trust

You will develop opportunities and activities for visually impaired people supporting practical, social and emotional wellbeing to reduce loneliness and isolation. Knowledge of IT and assistive technology, including social media is important as is the ability to offer encouragement, support and guidance to facilitate the setting up of activities and connections between individuals and groups.

TECHNOLOGY WORKER funded by The Quartet Community Foundation

You will develop digital and technology-based activities for people and one to one technical learning sessions supporting social and emotional wellbeing. To promote the use of IT and assistive technology amongst visually impaired people. You will have a working knowledge of IT including, assessment and teaching methods. Experience of working with accessibility applications is desirable.

Both roles are 18.5 hours per week, the salary for each post is £22,183 pro-rata (based on full time equivalent of 37 hours per week) and offers a 7.5% employer contribution pension scheme. The contract for both roles will initially be fixed term for 12 months starting 1st July 2021 with a view to extend, subject to funding.

Closing date: 9am 18th May 2021 Interview week commencing 24th May 2021

Vision North Somerset welcome applications from all sectors of the community. Due to anticipated high response they are sorry not to be able to contact people unless they are shortlisted for interview.

For an informal discussion about the roles, please contact Nina Farr and leave a message on 01934 419393. To get a job pack, email

Vision North Somerset registered office: 3 Neva Road, Weston super Mare, BS23 1YD.


Weston-super-Mare Child Contact Centre are looking for a Co-ordinator to organise child-centred children’s contact with parents.

The role will include reviewing and accepting referrals, setting up initial visits, checking the phone and emails, arranging the rota of volunteers and attending the Contact Centre on two Saturdays a month.  The co-ordinator will have good communication and administrative skills.  There will be a payment for the work carried out.

If you are interested please email us on: and provide us with your phone number and we will arrange for you to meet us to fill you in on the role.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have many volunteer opportunities on our website but the following ones have been recently posted  – for more information on them, click on the role title:

Support at Home Volunteer – British Red Cross

Retail Assistant – Sue Ryder – Weston-super-Mare

Digital Connectors – Sirona care & health, North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire

Type 2 Diabetes Peer Mentor Volunteer – Brigstowe, North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire

Organiser for Volunteer Placements in Schools in North Somerset – RSVP, North Somerset

Various roles with The Edge Youth Project:

Fundraiser              Safeguarding Lead              Youth Leader

Funding Opportunities 

There are a number of organisations offering charities and community organisations the opportunity to apply for grants/funds to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond – to find out more go to our website or follow us on Facebook where we regularly publicise grants and funds that are available – sometimes these have short notice periods so it’s essential to react quickly so we promote them via our Facebook page as soon as we are aware of them. 

Copyright © 2021 Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS), All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS)
Weston Court, Oldmixon Crescent,
Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset. BS23 9AU