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News and Views from the VCFSE Sector – November 2021

We’re on a countdown to Christmas and we need your help!  

Ecclesiastical Insurance have just launched their 12 days of giving – £120,000 for 120 charities over 12 days in December (6th – 21st).  The more nominations a charity receives the more chance they have of receiving a £1,000 donation and we want as many of our supporters to nominate us so that we stand a greater chance of being successful in the charity draw.

If you could click on the following link and nominate Voluntary Action North Somerset, then we’d be really grateful!

                                             NOMINATE VANS NOW!                                                   

We’ve also just received some great news – VANS were part of a collaborative bid to the UK Community Renewal Fund submitted by North Somerset Council.  It was announced earlier this week that the bid has been successful in securing funding for four out of the six projects that were submitted, two of which VANS will be involved in: North Somerset Works Together will receive over £585,000. The council will work in partnership with Weston College, Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) and Curo to provide a new tailored offer to residents needing support, matching job vacancies with jobseekers in the most deprived communities.  North Somerset Community Hubs will get nearly £700,000. The council will work with the North Somerset Black and Minority Ethnic Forum, VANS, town and parish councils, The Stable, West of England Rural Network, Avon Local Councils Association and Culture Weston to establish a network of community hubs as focal points for delivering community services. We look forward to working with partners on delivering these great community projects.

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 the push to get booster jabs done as quickly as possible, we are seeing an ever increasing demand for more volunteer support across nearly all vaccination sites we are working with in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.  
From feedback we know that some people who originally volunteered during the lockdowns have now returned to work following furlough or they have other commitments which don’t allow them to do regular volunteering.  However, with the mass vaccination programme, volunteers are able to select however many or few sessions as they want, when then want and where they want, giving them great flexibility. 
If you’re looking for some flexible volunteering to support the NHS medical teams and ensure your community is protected through the winter, then please register


The Step Forward programme is tailored to each individual on their journey to recovery and well being. Our aim is to support your journey to discovering and utilising your SKILLS & LIFE experience, to enable you to step forward towards a positive future. Discover your purpose in your community by empowering yourself through access to volunteering, employment and training, with ongoing individual and peer support, tailored to meet your needs. SKILLS – we aim to support your journey towards discovering and utilising your skills and life experience.  TRAINING – access training and education to support your next step. EMPLOYMENT – tailored employability advice and guidance to help identify new opportunities. PURPOSE – empowerment through volunteering in your community and tailored peer to peer support. For more information about the Step Forward programme, contact Marc Robinson. Tel:   01934 416486/07949 486048 Email: To download a copy of the Step Forward leaflet, click HERE
KOOTH PARENT & CARER INFORMATION is available for all young people aged 10-18+ (up to 25 if young person is in leaving care or has an additional need) in North Somerset with free, safe and anonymous wellbeing support and advice.  Accessible from any internet enabled device, Kooth is available every day.  If you would like any further information, or would like to book an assembly, please email Lauren at lfinn@ What’s on Kooth in November HERE Anti Bullying Week 15-19 November
The South West Team will be running two regional webinars this quarter: 15 November 3.30pm for any professionals wanting to know more about Kooth: 8December 4.00pm for Parents and Carers who would like to know more about Kooth:
Reprovide in Somerset – working with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence An update session on Domestic Violence Intervention research and programme delivery for referring professionals in Bath, Somerset and North Somerset is scheduled for Thursday, 25 November between 10 – 11am. Dr Nate Eisenstadt from the University of Bristol Research team and the Somerset Reprovide team will give an overview of the research and an update about the programme. Reprovide is a free domestic violence intervention programme for male perpetrators of domestic abuse, Barnardo’s have been running weekly face to face groups successfully since July 2020.  

To attend the session, click HERE to book online.

The Zoom link will be emailed 24 hours before the session. If you have any questions about the programme or have a referral you would like to discuss please contact the Somerset Reprovide team on 07925 146873 or email –
Stop Adult Abuse Week: 15-19 November 

As part of this week-long campaign, a series of jointly held online workshops have been arranged that will be free to access for any practitioner working with adults across Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset.
The theme is ‘Creating Safer Cultures’ and the Workshops will take place daily from 12.30 – 1.30 (Via MS Teams) with the following topics being covered:   Session One: Emotional Health & Wellbeing – Monday 15th Nov Session Two: Trauma Informed Practice –  Tuesday 16th Nov Session Three: Gambling Awareness – Wednesday 17th Nov Session Four: Exploitation of Adults – Thursday 18th Nov Session Five: Safe Cultures – Friday 19th Nov   Full Details and to Book a Place click here
Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week:  22-28th November
The Gas Safe Charity is offering free carbon monoxide (CO) Zoom workshops this Autumn to help launch Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week on the 22 November. As the days get colder and the heating is turned on, the potential risks of CO poisoning increase. 

The workshops last about an hour and are a mix of practical information and interaction and are aimed at staff and volunteers from any organisation that delivers a service in the home of a vulnerable person. This could be face to face or telephone support.
The focus is on the sources, signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and the risks around low level poisoning and what actions to take if you suspect this. If you would like to book a place, please click on this link: or if you prefer e-learning, then email us on
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.     

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.
Paid-for Opportunities

LINK WORKER (SOCIAL PRESCRIBING) Location:      Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding area
Hours:          37.5 hours per week (part time / job share considered)
Contract:      Initial fixed term 12-month contract
Salary:         £20,221 to £24,971 depending on experience We are looking to recruit a highly motivated Link Worker to join our Social Prescribing Team. This role is jointly funded through the Pier Health PCN Social Prescribing Service (a partnership between Pier Health, CANS and Alliance Homes) and Quartet Community Foundation Catalyst Fund. The role will involve building trusting relationships with people, empowering them to take control of their wellbeing and health by giving them time to focus on ‘what matters to me’ and the 5 Ways to Wellbeing; and then supporting them to connect to groups and activities. You will have good IT, numeracy and literacy skills and preferably have experience of working in the not-for-profit sector. Citizens Advice North Somerset (CANS) is an established and well regarded local independent charity who provide free, impartial and confidential advice. We undertake research & campaign work to influence policy makers and to effect change. We work in partnership with the Local Authority, The Legal Aid Agency, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Money Advice Service, Wessex Water and many more local and national partners to deliver our advice services to over 7,500 clients living and working in North Somerset. Advert Job description and person specification Application form Guidance notes For an informal conversation about the role please email or call 01934 836201 and ask to speak to Fiona Cope or Beverley Wadley. Closing date: Monday 29th November 2021 at midday
Completed applications to be emailed to
Interviews will take place on Wednesday 8th December 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:

Clerk to the Trustees -Yatton United Charities

Active Befriending/Walk & Talk Volunteer – Age UK Somerset

Academic Support Tutor – IntoUniversity, Weston-super-Mare

Various Retail Roles – RSPCA:
Retail Volunteer (Whitecross Road, WsM)
Retail Volunteer (Worle)
Retail Volunteer (Yatton)

Volunteer Host for Time for You – Weston Hospicecare

Hydrotherapy Group Assistant – Weston Area Rheumatoid Matters

Volunteer Speaker – WaterAid, North Somerset

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

Community Fridge Volunteer – Weston Town Council

Pulse Oximeter Delivery Drivers – Sirona care & health, North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire
Funding Opportunities 
Surviving Winter Fund – Quartet Community Foundation   The Surviving Winter Fund  will this year support projects run by voluntary and community groups with charitable aims whose work helps older and vulnerable people who are experiencing fuel poverty, isolation and acute financial pressures during winter.

Grants can e applied for via Quartet’s Express grant programme – for more information about eligibility criteria and how to apply click HERE
Launch of £100k reducing inequalities grant for local communities

The BNSSG Reducing Inequalities Grant builds on the work our Maximising Uptake Group has undertaken in collaboration with communities to encourage uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local community organisations are invited to apply for funding of up to £10,000 for projects that: Help promote health and wellbeing. Increase vaccination awareness, acceptance and uptake. Address a particular community need around reducing health inequalities. The aim of the grant is to empower local groups by funding projects they have designed to address local issues, in a way that works for their community.

For more information about the grants and how to apply, click HERE
There are a number of organisations offering charities and community organisations the opportunity to apply for grants/funds to help them – 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 some grants are only promoted 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