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VAS information digest

3rd February 2017


Involve Swindon Launches Business Buddy

Are you the CEO or Trustee of a medium sized charity with an income of more than £100k? Do you think you could benefit from a “Business Buddy” to help you with the everyday challenges of running your organisation?

A Business Buddy is a charity’s conduit to a support network of business skills, helping charities better articulate the skills they need, assisting them in finding skilled volunteers, and being a supportive “buddy”. Business Buddies are the heart of enhancing skills volunteering, committing more than a one-off skills volunteering activity, but less than the formal responsibilities of a Trustee.

Their role is to:

  • Act as a mentor / sounding board, befriending the manager in their every day role
  • Work with the manager and Trustee board of the charity to identify how and where opportunities for using skilled volunteers could benefit the work of the organisation
  • Use existing business contacts and networks to find solutions to enable the manager to move forward

If you think you or your charity could benefit from a Business Buddy, get in touch with

It would be helpful if you could indicate what you may need help with initially so Involve can try and match you up with the appropriate buddy.


Everyday First Aid

British Red Cross are offering free Everyday First Aid sessions for organisations working with groups of older people in Swindon. These sessions will focus on skills around trips and falls, choking, heart attacks and strokes. By learning a few simple skills, people can become equipped with the knowledge and support to help someone in an emergency.

The sessions can last an hour or two hours, but British Red Cross can be flexible with this, and can accommodate up to 20 people per session, at your own venue.

Read More


A Year of Celebration with Swindon175

Swindon175 requests the pleasure of your company to mark the end of a year of celebration, and look to the future with Switch on to Swindon.

Swindon175 would like to take the opportunity to look back at the year and the town’s achievements and also look at how Swindon can continue to be celebrated as an industrious, innovative and community focused town. The event will include a complimentary buffet and tea and coffee. A cash bar will also be available. The event will raise money for Brighter Futures.

Date: Wednesday 1st March
Time: 18:30 - 21:00
Venue: Great Western Hall, STEAM – Museum of the GWR, Fire Fly Avenue, SN2 2EY

Read More

Swindon JobFest 2017

The Routes to Employment team at Swindon Borough Council will be running their flagship Careers Event on the 23rd February 2017, 1pm-6pm at the Steam Museum.

This event has been organised to:

  • Promote a range of apprenticeships to young people
  • Provide an opportunity for businesses that employ young people to promote themselves, and the types of work they have available, to that audience
  • Enable young people who are currently unemployed, or leaving education to look for work, to gain a better understanding of the range of employment opportunities in Swindon, and to come to the event prepared to talk to employers
  • They are looking for local employers who are actively looking to employ young people from Swindon aged 16-24 who are looking to get their career off the ground.

Read More

Swindon's #ShowTheLove 2017

As part of the on-going #ShowTheLove campaign, the Swindon Climate Action Network (SCAN) will be hosting a community 'potluck' meal on Thursday 9th February from 6.30 – 9pm at the Central Community Centre, Emlyn Square.

Join them to talk about the things you love which could be affected by #ClimateChange and put your heads together to see what you can do to help. Please register to attend on Eventbrite – it’s free to attend though the organisers ask that you bring some food to share.

SCAN will also be making a collage of all the things Swindon loves and wants to protect from the effects of climate change - so why not also bring along an image, word, piece of craft - for a collective photo which they can tweet and share on February the 14th.

Register on EventBrite

#ShowTheLove WI Event

On Saturday 11th Feb from 1.30 – 3.30 pm, the Swindon WI (Women’s Institute) will hold a green-heart making session at Muffin Break in the Brunel Centre to craft and show their love of climate and talk about what can be done about climate change.

Swindon WI will have some materials to share, but invite you to bring along anything you would especially like to use, from newspapers, cardboard, yarn, felt, etc.

Come along to this free session for some crafting and to show what you love that could be affected by climate change. Everyone is welcome!

Email Swindon WI if you have any questions.

Funding Opportunities

The #iwill Fund (Youth Social Action Fund)

Currently, 4 in 10 young people regularly engage in social action – such as campaigning, fundraising, and volunteering. The #iwill campaign has been launched to increase this to at least 6 in 10 10-20 year olds taking part, by the year 2020.

The Youth Social Action Fund is part of the #iwill campaign and offers grants to groups working with young people between the ages of 10 and 20 years old (or 25 for young people with disabilities) in Wiltshire and Swindon.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available to fund social action opportunities for young people. The fund is not to cover general youth club provision nor to fund general activities for young people. The fund is to cover specific activities for young people aimed at developing their skills and confidence as volunteers in their community.

Apply Now


Mental Health Recovery Worker at Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness are currently recruiting for Mental Health Recovery workers in the Swindon area. The role involves working under the leadership and guidance of the service managers to support service users to maximize their independence and to ensure person centered recovery focused support is provided to individuals. Good communication skills are essential for this role, as well sound organisational skills and IT skills.

Read More and Apply

Project Director at SMASH Youth Project

SMASH has transformed the lives of thousands of children and young people in the past 17 years. Their mission is to give them the chance to become everything they can be, sometimes when no one else believes they can.

They are recruiting for a new Project Director. The Project Director's goal will be to take the organisation forward and to make it sustainable, through a variety of means including fundraising events, community engagement and trust fund applications.

Read More and Apply

Community Outreach Support Worker at Swindon Women’s Aid

Swindon Women’s Aid is looking to recruit an Outreach Worker to join their fully integrated domestic abuse service in Swindon. This post will be based at Swindon Women’s Aid but involve working within the local communities of Swindon.

As an outreach worker you will work with both female and male victims of domestic violence and abuse in the locality. You will be responsible for undertaking risk assessments, safety planning, assessing referrals, establishing and implementation of effective support plans and managing a caseload. You will also assist victims with signposting into other relevant support services.

Read More and Apply

Trustees Needed - Volunteer with Wiltshire Law Centre

Wiltshire Law Centre is a registered charity that has been providing free confidential advice for over 30 years, offering advice in Welfare Benefits, Housing and Debt.

They are seeking enthusiastic people to join their Board of Trustees. Trustees meet 6 weekly and welcome people of all ages, background and experience.

If you are interested in helping a valued local advice agency then please contact in the first instance:

Martin Kerr, Administration Manager
Wiltshire Law Centre
Sanford House
Sanford Street

Tel: 01793 486926

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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.

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