Somerset Mental Health Stakeholder Engagement Forum

Bookings are now open for the next 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. VCSE staff, volunteers and services users are all welcome.

The theme for the meeting is ‘where can I access support when in crisis?’ Jess Popham from the Somerset Partnership will discuss the role of the Home Treatment Team in a crisis. The forum will also talk about the support on offer from telephone helplines, and hear how the Princess Theatre is working to improve community health and wellbeing.

The forum is being held on Wednesday 23rd October, from 1:30pm to 4pm at The Princess Theatre, Burnham on Sea.

You can find out more and book your free space here.


The Future of Social Care Workshop Update

Following the two-part Panorama documentary films about the pressures facing social care, the VCSE Strategic Forum ran a workshop to engage with Adult Social Care Commissioners. There were 56 attendees who represented a variety of organisations.

The workshop included:

  • Exploring the challenges faced, and hearing from Stephen Chandler, Director of Adult Services outlining why Somerset chose to engage with Panorama;
  • Understanding what initiatives are already in place and how the VCSE can get involved;
  • Seeking views from the VCSE on how to collaboratively rise to the challenge.

The presentations from the day can be viewed here.

Key themes which came up in group discussions are below, and a summary can be accessed here.

  • How to focus more on prevention and early intervention;
  • The need for better awareness as some people were unsure of what Community Connect is and also Somerset Direct;
  • Commissioning;
  • Communications and engagement and strengthening links at a local/community level, particularly with parish/town councils.

As requested, Adult Social Care have produced information regarding Community Connect which can be viewed here.

For further information about support available, click here or call 0300 123 2224.

Further to the workshop, if you have had any additional reflections or thoughts on how we can collaboratively work better together or other innovative solutions you are keen to make us aware of, then please email

Be part of the Sedgemoor Conversation

Spark are working in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council to deliver The Sedgemoor Conversation.

The council recognises that Sedgemoor is changing – communities old and new are changing and forming, and there is a need for them to understand those communities and what support they need. As a result, The Sedgemoor Conversation, a conversation with Sedgemoor communities and locals about the issues and daily challenges that they face, has been created.

Be part of the conversation – the feedback will be used to help shape the Council’s Corporate Strategy, as part of their ongoing commitment to keep the Strategy live and dynamic in the changing times we face.

The Sedgemoor Conversation is being held on Wednesday 6th November from 10am to 12pm at Sedgemoor District Council, Bridgwater.

Book your free space and take a look at the agenda here.

2018 Somerset Activity and Sport Awards

Nominations are now open for SASP‘s 2018 Somerset Activity and Sport Awards.

The awards will celebrate the achievements and successes of outstanding athletes, inspirational volunteers, great coaches, community clubs and organisations from across Somerset.

Is there somebody within your organisation who has made a fantastic contribution to community sport and physical activity? Say a big thank you by nominating them for one of the following awards:

  • Young Coach of the Year
  • Children’s Coach of the Year
  • Participation Coach of the Year
  • Young Volunteer of the Year
  • Club Volunteer of the Year
  • Club of the Year
  • Get Somerset Active
  • Contribution to School or College Sport
  • Active Workplace
  • This Girl Can
  • Sports Performer of the Year

The awards evening for the finalists will be held on Friday 19th October at Somerset County Cricket Club.

You can find out more and submit a nomination here. The deadline for nominations is Friday 31st August.