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Voluntary Action North Somerset 16 July 2021
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News and Views from the VCFSE Sector – July 2021

July brings more change with restrictions being lifted and many voluntary organisations are now opening up and needing more volunteers to support their activities.  We have some new opportunities registered in our Online Volunteer Centre, so, if you have some spare time available, then why not think about volunteering by clicking HERE 

The mass vaccination volunteer programmes across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are increasing with a new mass vaccination site opening in Bristol as well as many pop up sites.  We’re also encouraging youngsters (16 years and over) to think about volunteering during the school holidays – it’s always good to have some voluntary experience on your CV.  So if you know any youngsters who might be interested in enhancing their CV’s then get them to register to help out by going to our website:

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.  To discuss employee volunteering options, 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


With a final push to get everyone vaccinated, we’re still recruiting volunteers to help in non-clinical and stewarding roles across a number of vaccination sites in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).  With the school holidays just around the corner, we’re encouraging youngsters aged 16 and over to volunteer which can be a great way for them to enhance their CV’s. There’s also a new mass vaccination site which has just opened up at the University of the West of England, Frenchay campus (the old Nightingale Hospital venue) with plenty of on-site car parking.
Volunteers are asked to commit to a 4½ hour session to cover the 12 hour daily vaccination programme at UWE 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


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.


North Somerset LGBT+ Forum has an excess of PPE which they are offering to volunteers for free. They have received large donations throughout the pandemic and now have surplus supplies which they would like to offer to any volunteer, charitable organisations or community groups across North Somerset.  Supplies would need to be collected from their offices on The Boulevard in Weston-super-Mare and you should email Steve ( to express an interest. Any donations to cover the storage costs that NSLBGT+ Forum have incurred are welcome, but not obligatory. 


To-date we are missing a number of our key VCFSE sector organisations feedback and you’ve only got another week to join in the conversation and have your say!  

Once the survey closes on Friday 23 July, we will be analysing the data received to help set out strategic priorities on your behalf.  We would really appreciate feedback from as many people within 
voluntary sector organisations across North Somerset, including your volunteers, regarding the impact of COVID and beyond.  

Here is the link to Commonplace:


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:


The Care Forum’s Dialogue Team in partnership with the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have launched a survey as part of the Health Equality Partnership Programme.

We know that people from Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, those who are living on a low-income, and those who live in deprived areas have strengths which are often not recognised, used or understood by the people who design health services. We are investigating how health services have worked with these people in the past and how collaboration can be improved.

By strengthening understanding of how BME communities and people living on a low income can be better involved in the design of health services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), the project aims to improve future consultations that address health inequalities.

We have an created an online survey which we are encouraging people from the above mentioned areas to complete to send in their thoughts and feedback to help us understand how things can be improved for them. We will also be working with local groups and organisations across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to get the people that they work with involved in answering these important questions.

You can find a link to the survey below, we would really value your input.


On Monday 7th June the Healthier Together Partnership launched the 12 week public consultation for the changing of stroke services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to provide the best opportunity to survive and thrive after stroke. More details on the consultation can be found via the Heathier Together website: Stroke services consultation – Healthier Together ( 

The website contains a number of sections including the consultation documents and animation, the link to the survey and public events details. To ensure accessibility, the survey and other consultation materials can be requested in different formats and languages. 

GamCare are the leading charity helping people with problematic gambling or experiencing gambling harms and are currently funded by the National Gambling Commission to deliver FREE sessions to all UK professionals who work with vulnerable people.   This FREE training lasts approx 90 minutes on zoom on the following dates:

19 July at 10am
22 July at 10am
27 July at 2pm

To book a session email:

There are around 500,000 problem gamblers in the UK – up to 20% are women. For every person with a gambling problem, 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, 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 with over 7,000 people accessing free treatment through their network across England, Scotland and Wales last year. Problematic gambling is often a silent and hidden addiction, linked to shame and stigma, with women far less likely to discuss their worries.


A programme providing healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children is to be expanded in North Somerset.  The Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) aims to ensure that children and young people eat more healthily, are more active over the summer and Christmas school holidays, learn about health nutrition and can access fun and enjoyable activities.

Holiday clubs funded must provide free to access places to all those on benefits-related free school meals for at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, for 4 school holiday weeks during the summer and the choice to also run for 4 hours a day, 4 days a week during the Christmas holiday.
The DfE defines enriching and physical activities as “fun and enriching activities that provide children with opportunities to develop new skills of knowledge, to consolidate existing skills and knowledge, or to try out new experiences. 
Expressions of interest are invited from existing or new partnerships including voluntary and community sector organisations, youth and play organisations, sports clubs, schools and other educational establishments such as SEND, PRUs and supplementary schools and out of school provision, arts and culture organisations, and outdoor adventure and education organisations, plus applications from organisations above who are planning on working in partnership with each other.
To find out more about the programme contact:


Developed as part of Weston Heritage Action Zone work you can access the tour by clicking on the following link:  A Heritage Tour of Weston-super-Mare (

Local arts organisation, Theatre Orchard, is inviting people of all ages to keep fit and boogie by the beach in 30 minute sessions being held in Weston, Clevedon and Portishead. 
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.  
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
July – all at 11am
Friday 16 July – Portishead 
Saturday 17 July – Weston 
Sunday 18 July – Clevedon  

North Somerset Council has successfully applied for DfT support to fund electric bike trials across the region until spring 2022. The project aims to bring first-hand experience of electric bikes to broader audiences and to less represented groups such as older people, BAME communities and people experiencing financial, health or other challenges or inequalities.

If you: 
a) work with people who could benefit from this healthy, zero-carbon activity,
b) have a secure storage location for the bikes and
c) have the in-house staffing capacity to run a scheme of this nature,

get in touch with Kerry, Sustainable Travel and Road Safety Officer, on It’s likely that a handful of bikes will go to delivery partner organisations for a three-month duration.     


A new leaflet has been produced to promote services in North Somerset which address social isolation and loneliness. It pulls together information on local organisations which can help people connect with others in their community, e.g. through support groups or activities. Research evidences that feelings of social isolation and loneliness increase the risk of serious health problems.  

If you would like a copy of this leaflet, please email Aimee Horne:


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


At the end of November 2020, Weston Town Council passed an anti-rascist resolution that will help to ensure Weston-super-Mare is actively inclusive and anti-racist.
As part of this resolution the council has been holding meetings with many of the towns representative and community groups – such as the local Polish Association, the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) network, the Bangladeshi community, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the Multicultural Friendship Association (MFA) to name a few.
We now would like to encourage wider engagement and participation by opening some of these meetings to impactful organisations via Zoom and will broadcast the meetings live to the larger community in Weston via the Town Council Facebook page. 
Future such meetings will be themed and will include a speaker on our chosen topics. The first of these will be on 27 July at 6pm and Dawn Jarvis will be the speaker.  If you are from an organisation and would like to attend this event, please email
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:


The Local Connections Fund makes awards of £300 – £2,500 to help small charities and community groups working toreduce loneliness by building community connections across England. The closing date is 6th August.


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.
At least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence and on average a women is assaulted 35 times before they call the police. Next Link are working hard with clients and agencies across North Somerset to support victims of domestic abuse. We can work with anyone who is worried about domestic abuse and wants help or someone to talk to – do not hesitate to call 0800 470 0280

We have also seen a growing increase in abuse in rural communities so we have a specialist as part of our Reaching Out Domestic Abuse Work – email: Or you can chat live online with one of our support workers at and click on “live chat NOW”.
(Mon to Fri 1pm – 5.30pm) 
We also offer free training to agencies and organisations to ensure you can support clients you work with. Get in touch on 0800 470 0280 or email: and ask about reaching out.

  Paid-for Opportunities                                 
OTR is a mental health social movement by and for young people aged 11-18 in North Somerset. They are looking to recruit more people to join their North Somerset team.  They currently have the following three vacancies: 

– School Engagement Worker (North Somerset – Weston Area) – Wellbeing Practitioner (North Somerset – Weston Area) – Creative Practitioner (North Somerset – Weston Area)  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE ROLES, PLEASE CLICK HERE 

CLOSING DATE:  19 JULY 2021  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:

Pulse Oximeter Delivery Drivers – Sirona care & health, North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire

Support at Home Volunteer – British Red Cross

Health Walk Leader – North Somerset Council

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

Various roles at Weston Hospicecare across North Somerset

Trustees – Curzon Clevedon Community Centre for the Arts

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

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

Party in the Park Stewards – various venues across 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.

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