In partnership with Spark Somerset, we’ve launched the second Somerset VCSE State of the Sector Survey.
The survey, which will be run every three years, gives VCSE organisations large and small an opportunity to tell us about their organisation, the great work that they do, and any challenges they face. It explores key areas such as income and expenditure, volunteering and workforce and has become a valuable resource for the voluntary and community sector.
The first State of the Sector Survey was run in 2016, and the findings have proved invaluable for a range of activities, including lobbying and fundraising. In addition, they are used to inform local government and funders of the scale and impact of our sector. You can view the report here.
Your input is vital to ensure we understand fully the situation and views from the diverse range of charities, community groups and social purpose organisations working in our county.
You can take part in the survey here. To request a paper copy of the survey, click here. It closes on 14th January 2020.
As a thank you, everyone who participates in the survey will be entered into a draw to win a donation of £250 for their organisation*, courtesy of Somerset Community Foundation.
Every Mind Matters
Every Mind Matters, the first national NHS mental health campaign for over 18 year olds, launched this month.
The site is full of useful resources to support people to help themselves and others, and focuses on anxiety, low mood, stress and poor sleep. Users can take a short quiz to receive a personalised action plan to support their mental health and wellbeing.
You can visit the Every Mind Matters website here.
An Update from the Safer Somerset Partnership
The latest edition of the Somerset Domestic Abuse Newsletter, which contains updates on local and national domestic abuse related matters, is now available to download here.
Somerset Community Connect Website now Live
Connecting you… A new way to plug-in to Somerset’s growing Community Connect movement is now available!
The Somerset Community Connect website is full of information and advice that can help you and the individuals you work with, to make local links that will help make life better. Whether you’re supporting someone who is looking for groups and activities or community transport; struggling with loneliness, financial issues or arthritis; the site provides information that could make all the difference.
It’s a new way to be part of Community Connect, which is all about promoting independence and improving people’s lives by working with our communities – harnessing the skills and expertise of a huge range of organisations and volunteers.
A ‘What’s relevant to me?’ search feature helps individuals to find what they are after, whether it’s for themselves or someone they might know.
Some of the key things you’ll find on the site include:
A directory of Micro-Providers – the growing network of small-scale, often single-person, care providers who can help with care at home.
A list of drop-in events being run by a huge range of community and voluntary organisations in your local area
A directory of registered home care and care home providers
Information about support for carers
Help to access equipment through the county’s two Independence and Advice Centres
The team behind the site are keen to further enhance what is available and continuously improve the quality of information they are providing to our communities. Therefore if you have any feedback and ideas for development, please get in touch!
The Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board launches it’s Improving Lives Strategy
The Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board launched it’s Improving Lives Strategy this week, with a workshop for key partners in held in Taunton.
The strategy presents a vision for health and wellbeing priorities across our county, and describes members of the Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board and it’s wider partners will work together over the next ten years to improve the lives of Somerset residents.
The strategy has a wide remit and recognises the many different factors that contribute to improving lives including housing, education, transport and communities. The strategy is the product of a year of joint working, followed by public consultation in the summer which highlighted public support for the approach and priorities.
Building on an understanding of the health and care needs of the Somerset population and consultation with key stakeholders, the Health and Wellbeing Board has identified four key priorities where they believe partnership working could make the biggest difference:
A county infrastructure that drives productivity, supports economic prosperity and sustainable public services
Safe, vibrant and well-balanced communities able to enjoy and benefit from the natural environment
Fairer life chances and opportunity for all
Improved health and wellbeing, and more people living healthy and independent lives for longer
The strategy also identifies several Partnership Boards who are already working to deliver aspects of this vision through existing plans and strategies. These include the Safer Somerset Partnership, Somerset Growth Board and Fit for my Future.
Somerset County Council is changing the way it provides day time activities for people with memory loss or dementia. They have announced a community grants programme, which is now open for applications. The initiative is aimed at supporting the development of services for people in Somerset with memory loss or dementia, over the next five years.
Grants will usually be for £250 to £10,000 per year.
The grants will:
Directly benefit residents of Somerset and grass roots community groups and organisations.
Support an increase in people with memory problems or dementia using community groups and services, even when their condition worsens and extra support is required.
Fund activities and services that support both Somerset County Council’s Adult Social Care clients who use Direct Payments to pay for their support, and people who pay for themselves.
Fund projects that become self-sufficient and sustainable
For further information please view Dementia Community Grant Outline and Dementia Community Grant EOI template
If you wish to have an informal conversation about this grant and what it can fund, please email the Adult and Health Commissioning Team at firstname.lastname@example.org , and a member of the team will call you back.
Celebrating involvement in healthcare community grants 2018 – apply now!
NHS England are on the lookout for VCSE groups that have done some amazing patient, service-user or carer involvement work that’s improved healthcare services.
They will be awarding grants of up to £2,500 to a number of projects that showcase good practice around patient and citizen involvement in healthcare.
The grants will be awarded to organisations that can tell the story of their patient and citizen involvement project. Using the funding, they will share what worked, how they involved patients and citizens and what impact involvement had on services. Organisations should be able to tell their story in a creative, appealing and accessible way which can include producing films, photo or audio books, leaflets and posters, graphics or comics.
NHS England knows that patient groups, VSCE organisations and a diverse range of community groups all over England are involved in shaping and improving healthcare services. It wants to encourage the promotion of learning and sharing of good practice by making funds available to groups to highlight and share their work with others.
The grants can only be awarded to a voluntary organisation. Please ensure you read the community grants guidelines document before you apply, to check that your organisation and project is eligible. If you are eligible, you will need to complete the application form by Thursday 20 September.
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
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.
The LGA green paper for adult social care and wellbeing – share your views
The VCSE sector is being encouraged to respond t0 The Lives we Want to Lead, the Local Government Association’s (LGA) green paper for adult social care and wellbeing.
The green green paper is only a starting point, the LGA wants to to build momentum for a debate across the country about how to fund the care we want to see in all our communities for adults of all ages, and how our wider care and health system can be better geared towards supporting and improving people’s wellbeing.
The green paper poses a series of consultation questions and the VCSE sector is invited to share its views. Click here to complete the consultation before Wednesday 26th September.
SASP launch new Active Spaces project
Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) are excited to announce the launch of the new Active Spaces project in Sedgemoor and West Somerset. Active Spaces is a community-based activity project which offers local communities the chance to get out and get active in their local area.
SASP believes communities in the Sedgemoor and West Somerset areas will benefit from high quality exercise sessions delivered by experienced, well qualified and insured instructors. This will be provided at low cost and gives communities opportunities to come together socially whilst utilising their local open spaces. Sessions will include: family activities, fit for your life general fitness sessions, running groups and walking football. All details on location of sessions, costs and instructors, can be found on the fresh new website www.activespaces.co.uk and Facebook page ‘ActivespacesSASP’.
This project was created to aid in combating inactivity levels in Somerset, but also to encourage families and friends to take part in fun social activity together. One in five adults in Somerset do less than 30 minutes of activity per week, and one third of adults in Somerset do less than 150 minutes of activity each week. The link between physical activity and good health is proven, and national statistics now show that 4 in 5 young people are not active enough to maintain good health.
The Active Spaces project is set to launch in August 2018 and will be starting in the following areas: Williton Memorial Ground, Watchet Memorial Ground, Nether Stowey Recreation Ground, Stogursey Victory Hall Playing fields and Manor Park in Burnham on Sea. The project is funded through EDF and the Hinkley point CIM fund and will also be working with several local partners including Sedgemoor District Council.
Gareth John, Active Spaces Project Lead says, ‘Active Spaces will offer people exciting opportunities in their local areas to move more, get active and reap the physical and emotional benefits of physical activity. We are looking forward to launching this in August’.
If you require any further information regarding the project please contact Gareth John on the following, phone 01823 653990 and email email@example.com