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Swindon's voluntary & community sector
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VAS information digest

10th 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.

Grassroots Tennis Swindon

Swindon Community Tennis have been awarded funding from the Lawn Tennis Association to provide 8-week tennis coaching courses for 14-25 year olds in the local area.

They will be offering a number of 8-week courses at St Marks, which will be significantly subsidised by this funding. The courses will cost £15, plus each player will get an access key fob for 12 months to play unlimited tennis at St Marks in order to practice what they will learn on the course. Usually this costs £78, so this is a significant saving of approximately 80% off.

Swindon Community Tennis have enough capacity to offer the subsidised tuitions to 70 participants in the Swindon area.

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One Day Without Us

Join us for a special lunch at Broadgreen Community Centre on Monday 20th February as part of the 'One Day Without Us' National Day of Action to celebrate the contribution that migrants make to the UK and bring our communities together. The event is being organised by Voluntary Action Swindon and Swindon Equality Coalition, in partnership with the United Lunch Club. The invitation is open to residents from across Swindon.

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Ageing Well in a Dementia Friendly Swindon

Healthwatch Swindon, in partnership with the Dementia Pathway Task Group, are hosting a community network event for staff and volunteers working across Swindon. They will have a number of speakers and opportunities to meet / share and have table discussions around dementia services, dementia design, community hub (Sanford House), library & information services, keeping healthy, volunteering, transport, BME/inter faith, and safe places.

Date: Friday 17th March 2017
Time: 9:15-13:15
Venue: Civic Offices. Euclid Street, Swindon

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Parkinson’s UK Coffee Mornings

Parkinson’s UK (Swindon & District Branch) have set up a Monthly Coffee Morning for Branch Members and other people affected by Parkinson’s in the Swindon Area on the first Tuesday of each month from 10am to 12pm starting on Tuesday 7th February 2017. This is to provide an opportunity to meet others with similar issues and concerns to chat and support each other.

Justin Tomlinson MP, who is a supporter of the Swindon & District Branch, has offered his premises free of charge for the use of the Coffee Mornings. The premises are located at the Orbital Shopping Park which is on main bus routes and has plenty of free parking including disabled at the rear parking area of the Orbital close to the building.

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Inner Flame Pub Quiz

Join Inner Flame for a fun Quiz Night and Raffle in Old Town. The Quiz Master will be TV presenter and radio show host, Alastair Greener, who recently climbed the highest mountain in Africa for Inner Flame. There will also be raffle prizes up for grabs.

Inner Flame is a local charity which runs courses for 16-25 year olds, to help them develop the essential skills required for both independent life and work.

Date: Tuesday 21st February 2017
Time: 7pm for 7.30pm kick off
Venue: The Royal Oak, Corner of Newport Street, Old Town, Swindon SN1 4BQ


SAPAC Evening of Sitar Recital

South Asian Performing Arts Centre (SAPAC) presents an evening of sitar recital by world renowned Partha Bose, accompanied by Indrani Mullick on Tabla. Tickets cost £15 per adult - this includes drinks and delicious snack box provided by New Delhi Restaurant.

Date: Friday 10th March 2017
Time: Doors open from 7pm
Venue: Swindon Dance, Regent Circus, Swindon, SN1 1QF

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Funding Opportunities

Wiltshire Community Foundation Small Grant

Grants for organisations with an income of less than £50,000 are available from the Wiltshire Community Foundation. The Foundation Small Grants Programme will support projects which will make a sustained impact in the lives of disadvantaged people in Wiltshire and Swindon. Applicants must demonstrate that the majority of people benefitting from the grant experience disadvantage either economically, socially, geographically or physically.

You can apply for up to £2,000 per year and you can apply for two years at a time (total £4,000).

Apply now - Expressions of interest close on 24th March 2017. Closing dates for the full application will be advised if you meet the criteria to apply.

Apply Now


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

Funding & Governance Advice

HMRC to Exempt Charities From New Digital Filing Rules

HMRC has confirmed that charities will be granted an exemption from new rules that will force businesses to keep digital records of its accounts and produce quarterly updates. While charities will be exempted, trading subsidiaries will need to adhere to the new rules.

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Community Interest Companies (CICs) Guidance

The CIC Regulator has published guidance on Community Interest Companies (CICs), including information on how to form a CIC, how to finance a CIC, what is meant by the CIC's asset lock, and how a CIC should be governed.

A Community Interest Company is a type of company designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good. They are not charities but may be a more appropriate legal form for some organisations in the voluntary and community sector.

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An Emotional Journey: How Charity Brands Can Cut Through the Noise

This new report from nfpSynergy looks at the role of emotions in the public's relationships and engagement with charity brands. Although donors usually say that impact and effectiveness lie at the root of their decisions, in practice, there is little evidence that rational deliberation bears any major role in donor decision making. Donor decisions are trending towards quick, emotional choices, rather than deliberative decisions.

View the Report

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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.

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