Developing Support for Young Carers in Somerset

Spark, with support from Somerset County Council, are running a special event for VCSE groups that work with Young Carers in Somerset.

Whether young carers are your main beneficiaries, you regularly come into contact with young carers through other work, or you have an interest in supporting young carers, they would like to hear from you.

Join them at this special event to discuss:

  • what support young carers need
  • what community-based services already exist
  • what support could we work together to provide
  • what funding is needed

It’s being held from 10:30am to 12 noon on Friday 14th December at Monks Yard.

Find out more and reserve your place here.

Somerset Mental Health Stakeholder Engagement Forum

Bookings are now open for the Somerset Mental Health Stakeholder Engagement Forum.

The forum is keen to hear from a wide range of people with an interest in local mental health services.

The theme for this meeting is ‘Fit For My Future’.

Fit for my Future” is a developing strategy to support the health and wellbeing of all the people in Somerset, by changing the way health and social care services are commissioned. It is being delivered by delivered by Somerset County Council, Somerset CGG, and other major health care providers. They are seeking views on the Case For Change, and their ideas so far.

Also on the agenda is SWEDA on the support they offer, Laughter Therapy, and the internationally recognised LEAP programme.

The Somerset Mental Health Stakeholder Engagement Forum is being held on Friday 14th December, from 10:30am to 1pm at SWEDA, Shepton Mallet.

You can find out more and book a space here.

Free Forums for Youth Organisations in Somerset

In response to the recent announcements regarding Youth Service provision across the County, Spark will be holding a series of Voluntary Sector Forums aimed specifically at Youth Organisations.

It’s a great opportunity to meet the Spark team and find out about the support they offer. Local funders will also be attending, and there will be plenty of time to network with other organisations operating in your area.

Dates, times and a locations are:

Monday 12th November, 7pm to 9pm, Victoria Park Community Centre

Tuesday 20th November, 7pm to 9pm, The Art Bank, Shepton Mallet

Tuesday 27th November, 7pm to 9pm, William Blake Memorial Hall, South Petherton

Find out more and register here.


Working with long term Neglect Recognition, Assessment and Intervention: Messages from Serious Case Reviews

At their upcoming Multi Agency Practice Information Groups, the Somerset Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) will be sharing the learning from their most recent Serious Case Review on the impact of long-term neglect and sexual abuse.

It was highlighted within the review that voluntary services can play a significant role in identifying neglect within families from the early help stages, so the SSCB are keen to share the findings and other learning opportunities with the VCSE sector.

Neglect is the most common reason for children to be made subject of child protection plans and is the most common factor feature of serious case reviews. An effective response requires confident interagency working, good assessment skills and targeted interventions.

The sessions will also consider local findings in the context of national reviews and consider the challenges and examples of good practice.

Dates, times and locations of the sessions are:

Monday 26th November

10am – 12pm, Wyvern Club, Taunton

2pm – 4pm, Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater

Tuesday 27th November

10am – 12pm Glastonbury Town Hall, Glastonbury

2pm – 4pm Yeovil Rugby Club, Yeovil

Please contact for further details and to register.

Peer support groups for people with learning disabilities

Our Voice Somerset is running a series of Peer Support Groups across Somerset, for people with learning disabilities. The groups give attendees the opportunity to connect with each other, whilst participating in activities and working together to find solutions to local issues.

Upcoming dates are:

Yeovil Group:

Thursday 8th November, 1:30pm to 3pm at Yeovil Library.

Contact for futher information

Bridgwater Group:

Wednesday 17th October and Wednesday 2ist November, 6pm to 7:15pm at Bridgwater Community Centre.

Frome Group

Wednesday 17th October and Wednesday 14th November, 4:30pm to 6:30pm at Open Story Tellers, HUBNub Centre, Frome.

Contact for further information.

Representatives from each group also have the opportunity to attend Somerset County Council’s Learning Disability Partnership Board.

Fit For My Future drop-in engagement events

Fit For My Future is holding a series of drop in events, to engage with the local community and gather views on health and care services in Somerset.

Anybody who would like to share their experience of local health and care services, and find out more about the Fit For My Future Programme is welcome to attend.

Dates, times and locations are:

  • Berrow Village Hall, Burnham-on-Sea, Monday 15th October, 3pm – 6.30pm
  • Great Bow Wharf, Langport, Wednesday 17th October, 10am- 2pm
  • Basalm Centre, Wincanton, Tuesday 23rd October, 10am- 2pm
  • Axbridge Town Hall, Axbridge, Thursday 25th October, 10am- 2pm
  • Hub Nub, Frome, Monday 29th of October, 10am- 2pm
  • The Arts Centre, Wellington, Tuesday 30th October , 12.30pm -4.30pm
  • Ilminster Town Hall, Ilminster, Wednesday 31st October, 3.30pm – 7pm
  • Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater, Tuesday 6th November, 10am- 2pm
  • HenHayes, Crewkerne, Wednesday 7th November, 4pm – 7pm
  • The Guildhall, Chard, Monday 12th November, 12.00pm – 4pm
  • Abermarle Centre, Taunton, Wednesday 14th November, 10am- 2pm
  • Shape Mendip, Shepton Mallet, Thursday 15th November, 10am- 2pm
  • Brushford Parish Hall, Dulverton, Tuesday 20th November, 3.30pm – 7.00pm
  • Glastonbury Town Hall, Glastonbury, Wednesday 21st November, 10am- 2pm
  • The Hub, Minehead, Monday 26th November, 1.30pm – 5.30pm
  • Abbey Manor Community Centre, Yeovil, Tuesday 27th November, 1.30pm – 5.30pm

If you can’t make one of these events, visit to find out about the ways you can get involved.

Voluntary Sector Forums in Taunton and West Somerset

Engage, the voluntary sector development organisation for Taunton and West Somerset, hold regular, free forums for VCSE organisations.

On the agenda is key speakers, round-the -table discussion of hot topics such as funding opportunities, and the opportunity to network and share your news.

The dates and locations of their next forums are:

West Somerset Voluntary Sector Forum

West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton TA4 4QA

Wednesday 5th December 10am to 1pm

Taunton Deane Voluntary Sector Forum

Albemarle Centre, Albemarle Road, Taunton TA1 1BA

Monday 22nd October. This forum will follow the AGM which starts at 10am.

Booking is essential, reserve your place by emailing



Somerset Funding Event

Somerset VCSE groups are invited to a free funding event.

Come and meet funders in Somerset and hear about their current funding opportunities, and talk to the local support organisations that can to help you to find funding and support you through the application process.

The event concludes with a networking lunch, during which you’ll be able to speak directly to the funders and support organisations.

It’s being held on Thursday 27th September, from 10am to 12:30pm at the Sedgemoor District Council offices.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to

Training and support for Chairs and Vice Chairs in Somerset

The Association of Chairs’ Beacon Programme will be coming to Taunton in the autumn, to provide support to Chairs and Vice Chairs of smaller charities (with an annual income below £1 million) in their role.

The programme will be delivering a series of workshops and providing a wide range practical resources tailored to the specific needs of Chairs and Vice Chairs of smaller charities. You can find out more about the programme here. If you are a Chair or Vice Chair of a smaller charity then this has been researched, designed and created for you!

By completing the registration form, you will be able to join fellow Chairs and Vice Chairs of smaller charities at the programme’s first workshop, ‘Being an Effective Chair’, on Thursday 11th October, from 2pm – 5:45pm at the Albermarle Centre, Taunton. This interactive workshop will provide a unique opportunity for Chairs and Vice Chairs to:

  • Be clear about their role and legal responsibilities
  • Understand what can help you be effective
  • Have practical tools to help you run effective meetings
  • Meet and learn from other Chairs of smaller organisations

Spaces for the workshop are limited, so early registration is advised. After you have registered for the Beacon Programme, you will be able to book your seat for the event here.

The Carers Gathering 2018

Carers Voice, the influencing body for unpaid carers in Somerset, is holding the 2018 Carers Gathering.

Unpaid carers in Somerset are invited to come along for a cream tea, and find out more about the support on offer from Carers Voice Somerset. It’s also a great opportunity to hear about the new Carers Service, find out about other organisations that could help, and meet other carers.

It’s being held on Wednesday 26th September, from 10am to 3pm at Cheddon Fitzpaine Memorial Hall  (TA2 8JY)

Please RSVP to or 07866 785438