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Swindon's voluntary & community sector
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VAS information digest

8th April 2016

In this week's VAS id:
A new report on how successful charities actually are; an open consultation on converting to the CIO model; office furniture available from Royal Mail; an invitation to the launch of Hometruths' new service; free training to help vulnerable clients with household debt and money management; DASH's Bluebell 10k for autism awareness; the launch of Swindon's Dying Well Community Charter; and could you be a foster carer?

We are currently recruiting for a Development Officer - 10 months Maternity Cover with a possibility of the contract being extended. Please see details below in the Vacancies section and pass this on to anyone who may be interested.

Latest News

How Successful Have Charities Been Over the Last Few Decades?

"Are we doing a good job?" This is the single most important question a charity, or any other organisation, can ask itself. A new report from nfpSynergy gives an overview of how charities have delivered their mission, changed society and assessed their effectiveness over the last few decades.

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Open Consultation: Converting to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation

In 2013, the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) was introduced as a new legal structure to meet the needs of small charities in England and Wales. Since then it has proved popular with over 6,500 new CIOs registered by the Charity Commission.

Some charities that have been established with the company structure may wish to convert to the CIO structure, and some community interest companies may also wish to become charities and adopt the CIO structure. New draft regulations would provide a simple process for them to do so.

The Charity Commission is now consulting on the proposed conversion process, and associated consequential changes.

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Could You Be a Budding Foster Carer?

The spring phase of Swindon Borough Council’s campaign to recruit more foster carers is underway and people are asked to consider whether they could help and also to spread the word. There is still a pressing need for foster carers in the borough and you really could hold the key.

If you, or someone you know, could help nurture a child’s potential, foster care might be the perfect opportunity. Age, marital status, sexuality, and whether you are a parent or not are no barrier to fulfilling this vital role. Carers receive payment and allowances to help cover their time and expenses, as well as free ongoing training to develop new skills so they blossom too.

To find out more, call: (01793) 464329, email: or go online at

Office Furniture Available from Royal Mail

Royal Mail are refurbishing offices in Swindon and have a quantity of office furniture; desks, chairs etc. that are surplus to requirements and available to charities / not-for-profit organisations. Royal Mail cannot deliver and so charities will need to arrange collection.

For more information contact Ian Browne, Business Connector for Swindon:

Sector Vacancies

Development Officer at Voluntary Action Swindon

Voluntary Action Swindon are recruiting for a temporary Development Officer - 10 months Maternity Cover with a possibility of the contract being extended.

The purpose of the role is to support the development of groups and networks in the Swindon voluntary and community sector, encouraging coordination and mutual support.

The ideal candidate will have experience of the voluntary sector and working with a wide range of organisations, excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational), strong people skills with the ability to build good working relationships with a wide range of people at all levels, and good experience of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook.

Job Title: Development Officer
Hours: 35 Hours per Week - Part time/flexible working will be considered.
Salary: £22,000 – £25,000, depending on experience, plus pension contribution
Location: Swindon
Closing Date: Midday on Friday 15th April

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Upcoming Events

Bluebell 10k for Autism Awareness

Looking for a fun 10k run or social Spring walk? Help to raise awareness of autism and support the work of local autism charity DASH by entering their 10k event. Starting from Nationwide car park, the 10km route takes you through Croft Woods with its spring flowers and bluebells. Why not get some friends together and form a team?

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Invitation to Life in Harmony Launch

You are invited to attend Hometruths' forthcoming Launch Reception to celebrate “Life In Harmony” - their new specialist provision for survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

When: Thursday 21st April, 10:45am - 12:30pm
Where: The Place, Wyvern Theatre, Theatre Square, SN1 1QN

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Swindon’s Dying Well Community Charter

Swindon’s Dying Well Community Charter launches on 12th May. The Charter is being led in the area by GWH, Healthwatch Swindon, NHS Swindon, Prospect Hospice, SEQOL, Swindon Borough Council and Swindon Carers Centre. It's a national initiative, tailored for businesses and communities in Swindon, to enable us all to support friends, neighbours, families or colleagues with a life-limiting illness; and to support the people who care for them too.

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Upcoming Training

Money for Life

Lloyds Bank, through its Money for Life programme is offering training for charities / not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable clients with household debt and money management. Currently in Swindon there are four places left for the Money Mentors course. This course is aimed at charity staff and volunteers, developing their capability to help others with household budgeting and money management. Training is delivered over two separate days and will take place in central Swindon. Training course fees will be paid by Lloyds.

For more information and to register contact Ian Browne, Business Connector for Swindon:

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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.

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