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Swindon's voluntary & community sector
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VAS information digest

25th November 2016


VAS Annual Review 2015-16

Voluntary Action Swindon’s Annual Review for the 2015-16 year is now available.

This Annual Review includes a foreword from Lord Joel Joffe, information on the services provided to charities and community groups, and commentary from our Chair Tim Ward and CEO Richard Hill on the progress made in the last year on building towards a settled and sustainable future for VAS.

Read the Annual Review 2015-16

Read the Annual Review 2015-16: Easy Read (Clear Text) version

Select Committee Discusses Digital Skills in Charities

The Lords Select Committee on Charities has heard that too many charities lack the required levels of digital knowledge and skills to ensure they invest in the right products and services.

Peers heard that opportunities to boost organisational and fundraising strength are being missed because charity leaders aren’t investing in skills.

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B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Summary Sustainability Transformation Plan Released

Health and care organisations across Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire have released a summary of their Sustainability and Transformation Plan ahead of full publication in the coming weeks.

Overall, across B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) the standard of health and care services compare well to other areas of England. However, there are still improvements that need to be made to make sure services are the best they can be – and are sustainable now and in future years.

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Report Loan Sharks

Loan sharks are illegal moneylenders who often charge very high interest rates, with horrendous consequences for the victims. Families live in fear of the knock at the door, knowing they could never be free of the debt and wondering where the next meal for their children might come from.

If you have any information about loan sharks in Swindon - even the smallest detail - please fill in as much of the linked form as you can and email it to Wendy Loades, Lead in Awareness, Intelligence, Support & Education from the Stop Loan Sharks Team - Trading Standards, at

Information Form to Report Loan Shark Activity


Carers Cuppa

Are you looking after an adult with a learning disability? If so, Swindon Carers Centre are holding a Carers Cuppa on Monday 12 December between 1 and 2.30 pm at Sanford House, SN1 1HE. Meet others, chat, share stories and think about how the Carers Centre can influence local decision making about services available for carers and the people they care for. There will be free tea, coffee and biscuits.

Contact Becky Gammon/Heather Goldsmith at the Swindon Carers Centre for more information on 01793 401095.

Funding Opportunities

Have You Got What It Takes to Win an Epic Award?


Are you part of a creative group that is doing something exciting and interesting? Have you embarked on a particularly ambitious project, interesting collaboration or made a difference to the lives of others in your community?

You can nominate your group or a group in your local area for special recognition and a range of prizes from financial support to advice, partnership and performance opportunities. Winning groups are those that demonstrate the four Epic qualities – Engagement, Partnership, Innovation and Creativity – in projects that involve people taking part for the love of it.

Deadline: 12th January 2017

Read More & Apply Now

The Casey Trust

The Casey Trust aims to assist the setting up of new and innovative projects by UK registered charities to support children and their welfare. Funding is available for projects that are concerned exclusively with children and their welfare. The Trust defines children as aged 0 to 18. The Trust is increasingly looking at start-up projects or new initiatives within an existing project. Grants are available for UK based and worldwide initiatives.

Previous grants have been for between £1,000 and £12,500, although the vast majority of grants are for £2,500 or less. Applications are received and considered by the Trust on an ongoing basis.

Read More & Apply Now

Funding & Governance Advice

Survey Reveals Donor Communication Preferences

The results of a survey from the Institute of Fundraising and fast.MAP reveals that different methods of communication work for different demographics. Key findings include:

  • Donors aged 55+ strongly prefer email as their way of receiving communication.
  • Donor engagement via SMS is growing, particularly among 35-54s.
  • Street fundraising is welcomed among 18-34s and those who donate more than £100-a-year.
  • Social media is welcomed among high-value donors.

Read More


Writing Better Applications

Writing Better Applications is an interactive session for trustees, staff and volunteers of Wiltshire and Swindon voluntary groups to understand what funders are looking for and how to write more successful grant applications.

Date: Thursday 26th January
Time: 10am - 12 noon
Venue: Wiltshire Community Foundation, Devizes, SN10 1JX

Book Now

Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) Awareness Training

This training, from Swindon Autism Team, will help organisations to comply with the Autism Act 2010 requirement for front line staff to be equipped with appropriate autism awareness training.

The course objectives are to introduce you to Autism Spectrum Conditions and a “Different way of thinking”; to describe the differences in communication, social interaction and imagination that people with ASC experience; and to consider adaptations and adjustments that can be made when working and supporting people with ASC.

Dates: Friday 20th January; Tuesday 21st February; Tuesday 21st March
Time: 9:30m - 12:30pm
Venue: Room CR6, Civic offices, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH

Read More

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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.

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