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Swindon's voluntary & community sector
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VAS information digest

16th December 2016


Opening Times Over Christmas

The VAS office at John Street will close at 12.30pm on Friday 23rd December and will reopen at 9:30am on Tuesday 3rd January. The VAS building will also be closed today from 11:30am - 2pm.

The main Sanford House reception and Citizens Advice Bureau reception at SAASC will close at 4pm on Friday 23rd December and will reopen at 9:30am on Tuesday 3rd January.

Today Is Local Charities Day!

Local Charities Day is a new government initiative to put small, local charities and community groups into the spotlight, helping them thrive and demonstrate the great work they do in their areas.

The Office for Civil Society is contributing match funding to our #GiveMe5 campaign, which runs today. The campaign will randomly match 1,000 x £5 donations and give everyone the opportunity to get involved and support charities in their area.

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Passes Available for Fleming Way Parking

VAS has three passes available for spaces at the Fleming Way car park. These passes are available at £55 per month for employees of local charities and community groups. The passes can be used at any time, 7 days a week.

For further information please email or call us on 01793 538 398.

Rooms for Rent at VAS and Sanford House

We have office space available to rent in the town centre, at the VAS building on John Street and Sanford House on Sanford Street. The rooms are available to rent at low cost for charities and community groups.

The rooms are of various sizes, including a room suitable for a small charity of 2-3 people, and a room which could house a larger organisation of 10-12 people. All rooms are wheelchair accessible.

To view the rooms and discuss costs, please call us on 01793 538 398 or email


Swindon Community Conference 2017

Community & Voluntary Sector groups working in Swindon are invited to attend Swindon Community Conference 2017.

The event is being organised by Voluntary Action Swindon on behalf of a number of local groups. The aim of the event is to bring together representatives from the wider Community & Voluntary Sector in Swindon, in order to share information on projects and work taking place and identify opportunities for collaboration and developing the sector in Swindon. It will also be an opportunity for networking.

Date: Saturday 21st January
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue: National Trust ‘Heelis’ offices

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Disability Experts Timetable: January-April

Disability Experts, based at the VAS building on John Street, are running a range of courses from January 2017 to the Easter break in April. These courses include Ability First Aid, Employability Skills, Driving Theory, Autism Awareness, and Construction Skills Certificate Scheme.

Their courses are not only for people who have a disability, but also those who prefer learning in small groups, have difficulty with exams or would just like to do things in a warm friendly atmosphere.

Disability Experts also provide courses for those who support people with disabilities, either as part of their work or due to a friend or family connection, and to employers who would like to employ people with disabilities but are not sure about how to go about it.

View Course Dates

Funding & Governance

Charity Commission Issues Data Protection Alert

The Charity Commission has issued an alert to all charities, reminding trustees that they must comply with any data protection laws and regulations.

Following data protection law is a critical compliance area for any charity that handles personal information. It includes, but is not restricted to, collection, use and storage of donors’ personal data. The Commission’s guidance is clear that trustees are responsible for having systems and processes in place at their charity to ensure that its fundraising is compliant with this legislation.

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Details on the Fundraising Preference Service

Plans for the promised Fundraising Preference Service, being set up by the Fundraising Regulator, have been announced. It is due to be launched in spring/early summer 2017 and will enable individuals to select charities that they no longer want to receive any communications from.

The Service will take the form of an opt-out from particular charities specified by the individual, covering all charities and all forms of communication (email, text, telephone and addressed mail).

Read More

Funding Opportunities

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Sustainable Futures Programme

The overall focus of Joseph Rowtree's Sustainable Futures Programme is on developing and promoting sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to the existing and dominant consumerist and growth-based model.

No minimum or maximum amount of grant is specified by the Trust. It is not necessary to be a registered charity to apply to the Trust, however, the Trust can only support work which is legally charitable as defined in UK law. The 2017 application deadlines are Monday 27 March 2017 at midday and Monday 21 August 2017 at midday.

Apply Now

The Charles Hayward Foundation

The Charles Hayward Foundation is a grant-making charitable trust making awards to UK registered charities. Generally, when funding projects, they value projects that develop, expand and replicate a tried and tested approach but we are also interested in supporting creative solutions to problems which seem to be entrenched and elude resolution.

The Foundation funds charities across four streams: social and criminal justice, heritage and conservation, overseas, and older people. The minimum and maximum amount you can apply for varies according to the stream.

Apply Now

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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.

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