VAS id: news, events & information from
Swindon's voluntary & community sector
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VAS information digest

18th December 2015

Latest News

Opening Times Over Christmas

Front of VAS building
The VAS building will be closed to the public from 12 noon on 24th December 2015, and will reopen at 9:30am on Monday 4th Jan 2016.
The main Swindon Advice and Support Centre (SAASC) reception and Citizens Advice Bureau reception at SAASC will close on 24th December at 3:30pm and reopen on 4th January at 9:30am.

Stay Well This Winter

Are you ready for winter? Stay well this winter.
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or over, and people with long-term conditions. The following advice from the NHS can help you to stay well over winter.
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Reach Inclusive Arts: The Crafty Friends Art & Craft Group

Reach Inclusive Arts
Are you retired and looking for new activities in a supportive and friendly environment? This group runs once a week at the Wyvern Theatre and welcomes new members. No previous experience of art and craft is needed to enjoy the sessions. The cost is £5 per week with all art materials and professional artists supplied. For more information, please call Helen at Reach on 01793 520318.

Al Habib Advisory Centre Free Advice Sessions

The Al Habib Advisory Centre (previously known as Millen Advice Point) are exploring opportunities and partnerships to initiate a single point of contact of essential services where they can offer advice, signposting and referrals.
On this occasion, they are offering Immigration Legal Services at their centre. There will be a drop in, first come first served basis, free advice sessions at 20 minutes per person.
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Money for Life Training in Swindon

Managing personal finances
Lloyds Banking Group is sponsoring Money for Life training through to Autumn 2016. This accredited training allows voluntary organisations and those supporting vulnerable individuals to develop and deliver budgeting, household and financial management skills. There are two courses available.

  • Money for Life – teach others, will equip individuals with the skills to teach household budgeting and financial management skills to groups
  • Money for Life – Money Mentors will equip individuals with the skills to teach and coach household budgeting and financial management skills on a one-to-one basis.

Both courses last for two days, spaced over two weeks. Tuition costs will be met by Lloyds Bank as part of its Help Britain Prosper plan.
Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To secure a place or for more information please contact Ian Browne, Business Connector for Swindon.

Upcoming Events

Heritage Is for Everyone

Heritage Lottery Fund logo
Voluntary Action Swindon are working with Heritage Lottery Fund to host an HLF Information Event for equalities groups. HLF funds a wide range of projects from £3000 that actively involve people in heritage. This can include, amongst other things: cultural traditions; histories of people, communities, places or events; languages and dialects; people’s memories and experiences.
When: Thursday 28th January, 10am - 2pm
Where: Voluntary Action Swindon, 1 John Street, SN1 1RT
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Swindon Community Centres Network

Community Centre sign
Do you help run a community centre, church hall or village hall? Would you like to meet others who do so? Are there aspects of running your venue that worry you? Do you have good ideas you’d like to share?

Come and meet other community centres at Swindon Community Centres Network Tuesday 12th January 10:00 – 12:00 at Voluntary Action, John Street, SN1 1RT.
At the first meeting of this new network, facilitated by Voluntary Action Swindon, you can meet others, discuss issues & help set the shape of future meetings of the network. Let us know you’re coming by calling 01793 538398 or emailing

Funding Opportunities

Sovereign Make a Difference Fund

Grant recipients
South West Foundation is allocating small grants up to £1,000 to Voluntary Organisations operating in areas where Sovereign Housing Association has its properties. This includes parts of Bristol, North Somerset, Gloucestershire, B&NES, South Gloucestershire, Swindon , Wiltshire, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. To be eligible the activities/services to be funded must be benefitting Sovereign Residents or areas in which Sovereign has its properties.
Apply Now

Top Tips

Remember to Submit Your Accounts!

Charity Commission logo
Remember that registered charities must provide annual information to the Charity Commission. Your charity must submit an annual return if its income is over £10,000. If your charity’s income is under £10,000, you must still keep your registered details up to date, e.g. income, expenditure, trustees, contact details.

If you don’t keep up to date with the Charity Commission, potential funders and supporters will see this online at the Charity Commission website and are unlikely to fund you. What’s more, the Charity Commission might investigate you. The Commission has recently published the results of their investigation into the Sheffield charity which failed to submit its annual return. Don’t let the next one be you! If you have any questions about what to do, contact VAS and we can advise you.

Do you have something to share? Let us know what your charity or community group is up to and we'll feature it in VAS id. Send through news items, upcoming events, training courses, funding opportunities and vacancies to
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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.