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Swindon's voluntary & community sector
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VAS information digest

22nd July 2016

Latest News

Research proves match-funding can encourage donors to give more to charity

Charity Digital News Logo
More people are likely to donate to charity and give more money if they know their donation will be match-funded, a new report has found.

The research report, entitled “A Great Match”, analysed data from 138,000 charitable donations, is the first-ever in depth research carried out into match-funding in the UK.

Researchers found donors gave 2.5 times more to charity on average when match-funded. The average value of a matched donation was £333 compared with only £132 for those which were unmatched.

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Help Spread Hope

CAREmongers Logo
Three men are on a mission to banish post-Brexit racism by replacing hate with hope using one poster at a time to spread positivity in the town.

Appalled to see the rise in xenophobic crimes around the country that came in the days following the EU referendum, Jon Richards with the help of his brother Paul and friend Dan decided to tunnel his frustration into something that would make people smile and have set up a non-profit organisation called CAREmongers to show that Swindonians welcome everyone.

They are determined to go further and have launced a crowdfunding site on JustGiving to raise funds to pay for posters and adverts to spread the word everywhere. They are already over 50% of the way to reaching their £2,500 target with less than 2 weeks to go.

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Introducing Advising Communities
Advising Communities Logo

Great news! A new advice and support service is now available at

Sadly, Community Matters was forced to close, but in its final weeks Advising Communities were working with the team on how they could safeguard the essential services they had been offering to the community sector for so many years.

Why did they do this? Because the community sector really matters and it needs high quality, affordable legal and technical advice and information; training and quality standards.

Why did Advising London get involved? Because they’re a charity that specialises in advice, so they were ideally placed to develop a new, modern advice and support service. Like you, they see the efforts and the impacts that community organisations have on society and recognise their collective responsibility to keep the community sector alive and thriving.

In the last 3 months they’ve been busy working out their new service offer which you can now review on their website.

In a way, everything and nothing has changed. A new organisation managing the services, but the services themselves are largely as they were. Also the core team of Associates, who provide the advice, information, training and consultancy, is the same.

Advising Communities really hope that you like what you see and hope that you will part of this movement to keep the community sector buzzing.

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Upcoming Events

Introduction to safeguarding vulnerable adults/adults at risk

Healthwatch Swindon Logo
Healthwatch Swindon have arranged a basic introduction to adult safeguarding session  (for volunteers/voluntary organisations) with Doug Bale, Swindon Borough Council adult safeguarding manager.

The training session will be from 10am-1pm on Tuesday 6th September at Swindon Advice and Support Centre, Sanford House, Sanford Street, Swindon, SN1 1HE.

There is no charge to attend but it is important that people who commit to coming do not drop out at the last minute – so please don’t book speculatively. In order for this training to take place there must be a minimum of 15 people booked to attend.

To book your place on this course please contact Healthwatch Swindon using the link below.

Book Now

Singing Tuition for the Terrified

New College Swindon logo
Do you enjoy singing, but feer holds you back?

This course is about singing for health and well being, or simply for the love of song.

This course is ideal for all... those who have never had the chance to sing, are nervous and not sure how to go about it, or for budding artists who don't know where to start.

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Funding Opportunities

Thousands of pounds up for grabs for charitable causes from the Swindon Advertiser

Swindon Advertiser Logo
It is time for charities to throw their hat in the ring for a chance to receive thousands of pounds courtesy of the Adver’s parent company.

Each year the Gannett Foundation Fund awards a grant to a worthy project making a difference in the Swindon and Wiltshire area.

It supports registered charities running schemes that bring lasting benefits to the towns and villages which they serve whether it be through neighbourhood improvements, by boosting economic and youth development, education and cultural enrichment, caring for the elderly or disabled, or helping the disadvantaged.

Apply Now


The Big Lottery Fund Logo
When was the last time your local community came together to celebrate?

Six out of ten people surveyed say they cannot remember ever coming together to celebrate with their community. The Big Lottery Fund wants to help change this with their Celebrate! programme.

They are offering grants of between £300 and £10,000 for groups to hold one off events or activities which celebrate their local community.

You could celebrate something from your community's history or a local hero. Or maybe it's a chance to bring people together to get to know their neighbours better.

The Big Lottery have a total of £3.875m for projects in England.

What will you celebrate?

Apply Now
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Voluntary Action Swindon is registered charity no. 287732.

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