Latest news from the Gloucestershire VCS Alliance
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Alliance welcomes new Trustees
The Alliance is delighted to welcome three new trustees to join its Strategic Board.  They are Emma Griffiths, Jenny Hopkins and Ali McGuckin. 
Emma is CEO of Gloucestershire Counselling Service a county wide charity providing high quality affordable counselling. Before joining GCS, Emma worked at a therapeutic community for children at both residential care and senior management level. She re-trained as a teacher and taught Health & Social Care, Leadership and Management, and Early Years. Emma is part way through an MBA and has previously served on the Alliance’s Operational Board.
Jenny was CEO of Gloucestershire Deaf Association (GDA) from 2008 to 2018, during which time she led its transformation into one of the most vibrant and highly respected charities in Gloucestershire today. Having previously always worked in the private sector, she considers her ten years at GDA to have been the most rewarding and at the same time challenging of her career. The experience of running a not-for-profit organisation has left her, she says, with a burning passion to help re-define the role of small and medium-sized charities. Specifically, her ambition now is to share what she has learned in order to raise awareness and provoke debate, and through that play a part in the future sustainability of other SME not-for-profits. Jenny is a director of a new consultancy supporting SMEs in the not-for-profit sector.
Ali has broad experience both as a clinical specialist in the NHS and in IT, primarily delivering solutions to NHS healthcare providers in the secondary and mental health sectors.  She is a Trustee for Lydcare, a small charity which delivers a voluntary driving service, Lunch Clubs and Wellbeing and Benefits Advice to those in need within the Forest of Dean. Ali is keen to support the move to the delivery of care and wellbeing provision for all citizens within Gloucestershire utilising both statutory, voluntary and social enterprise partnerships. 
New Year’s Honours List
Congratulations to Joy Hibbins from the Suicide Crisis Centre who was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to vulnerable people.
Inspiring Volunteering - Be Better, Be Different

1.30 - 4.30pm, 21 January at Springbank Community Centre, Cheltenham
The volunteering landscape is changing. The Gloucestershire VCS Alliance and GRCC invite you to a conversation about what this means in the county.
Whether you are involved in volunteering, community action, helping out, time-banking, reward-based volunteering - come and discuss the potential for new approaches and delivery models in Gloucestershire. 
Inspiring Volunteering will include a look at the current picture of volunteering in Gloucestershire, presentations on current trends and delivery models. Shaun Delaney from NCVO will give the national perspective on trends and models; a local example of using technology to attract volunteers; and workshops to discuss opportunities for Gloucestershire.
Places are limited, please book as soon as possible on Eventbrite.
Alliance Engagement Sessions are back!
These 1:1 meetings are an opportunity for you to meet a member of the Alliance to talk about how we can help you and listen to your views, concerns and suggestions.  The next dates are:
Monday 4 February Cinderford Community Café 10-12
Tuesday 5 February GL11, Cam 10am-12pm
If you would like to make an appointment, please email with your preferred date and time. We are arranging further dates in February across the county. These will be advertised on our website and in the next newsletter – but please get in touch if you would like to arrange to meet us.
Health and Wellbeing Priorities for Gloucestershire
The VCS Alliance is linking up with the Health and Wellbeing Provider Forum to give you an opportunity to have a real say in the county’s Health and Wellbeing strategy. This event is a follow up to the 17 December workshop, where many VCS organisations discussed the county’s health and wellbeing priorities.
Following a brief introduction, there will be an overall update on the progress of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy development. Then there will be workshops for you to discuss what you have heard.  It is not essential that you attended the December workshop, this event is open to all voluntary and community sector organisations in Gloucestershire who are interested in health and wellbeing in the county.
This event will be held on Tuesday 29 January at the Gloucester Guildhall, Eastgate Street, Gloucester GL1 1NS from 2.00pm to 4.30 pm.
Please book your place at  Space is limited and we ask that only one person from each organisation books at this stage.
Forest Youth Association
In light of significant funding cuts to youth provision in the area, FVAF has been working with Town and Parish Councils from across the District to explore the possibility of forming a Youth Association to better support and improve what’s available for young people in the Forest of Dean.
The next meeting of the Town and Parish Council Working Group will be hosted by West Dean Parish Council on 16 January at 7:00pm in the West Dean Centre in Bream.
FVAF invites anyone who wants to be part of finding a solution to the lack of youth provision in the District to attend. Please email if you intend to go.
Roads to Recovery
‘Roads to Recovery’ on Saturday 19 January, hosted by Encounter Church in Winchcombe, will bring together expert speakers from the 2gether Trust, Christians Against Poverty, Foodbank and mental health charity, the Independence Trust. It is supported by Encounter Church, The Independence Trust, Mental Health Experience Led Opportunities (MHELO) and the 2gether Trust.
This event is open to anyone who has been affected by anxiety or depression - whether you feel like you need help yourself or have a friend of family member who needs support.
The event, from 10am until 1.45pm is free to attend and includes a light lunch. Reserve tickets online at
No Child Left Behind
Cheltenham partners across all sectors are coming together to address issues affecting children in the town, particularly those affected by poverty. A recent report showed that poverty is having enormous lasting effects on our young people, on their educational attainment, their health, their family life and their confidence in their futures. 
Over 2019 the project will focus on some of the key issues, with events aimed at children, families, and professionals.
The first event of the year is #OurTown – A Poverty Summit on 28 January from 1700-1900 in the Municipal Offices. The event will have experts, both national and local, speaking about child poverty and its effects and is an opportunity to meet other partners and see how working together can make a difference. Please click here for tickets.
Gloucestershire County Council Budget Consultation

Gloucestershire County Council is asking for Gloucestershire residents, community groups and organisations to have their say on the council’s draft 2019/20 budget.
In the coming 12 months the Council wants to focus on protecting the most vulnerable in the county and invest in better roads.  In the draft budget they propose to invest £11m into children’s services as part of a £15m overall revenue budget increase, and make a capital investment of £179m for schools, community facilities and highways.
You can find more information on the proposals at The consultation is open until 5pm on 21 January 2019.
Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan Consultation
This is a stakeholder consultation on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Gloucestershire. Gloucestershire County Council is looking for your feedback on the evidence they have built to inform proposals in the ‘CSV Cycling Infrastructure Plan’ and the ‘CSV Walking Infrastructure Plan’.  It is intended that the schemes proposed will be included in the Local Transport Plan review for public consultation later in 2019.
You will need to review the Supporting documents before you start the survey. You can make your comments at by 21 February 2019.
Voluntary Safeguarding Code of Practice for Out Of School Settings & Guidance for Parents

The Department for Education is consulting to inform the development and dissemination of a draft voluntary safeguarding code of practice for out-of-school settings (OOSS); and accompanying guidance for parents, setting out the key questions they may wish to consider when choosing an out-of-school setting for their child.
OOSS refers to any institution which provides tuition, training, instruction, or activities to children in England without their parents’ or carers’ supervision that is not a school, college, academy for 16-19 year olds, or provider caring for children under 8 years old which is registered with Ofsted or a childminder agency.
Take part at The consultation is open until 24 February 2019.
Mental health campaign launches in Gloucestershire
Healthwatch Gloucestershire has launched a campaign to find out about people's experiences of mental health services in the county in a bid to help improve support for patients. 
Over 25% of all feedback given to Healthwatch Gloucestershire is about accessing or using mental health services and they are running a three-month engagement campaign to gather more feedback.
All Gloucestershire residents can take part but Healthwatch Gloucestershire are keen to hear from people who currently use or have used mental health services in the last two years; relatives or unpaid carers of those using, or have used mental health services or support. Have your say or find out more. The consultation is open until 16 March 2019.
Vote for who should receive £10,000 from Lansdown Insurance Brokers

Cheltenham-based Lansdown Insurance Brokers are giving £10,000 to one Gloucestershire charity with other awards available for 9 runners up.  17 local charities have been selected by Lansdown employees.  Voting is now open until 5pm on 31 January. Cast your vote at
Forest of Dean District Council Voluntary and Community Sector Fund 2019-2022
The Voluntary and Community Sector Fund (VCS Fund) aims to provide voluntary and community organisations in the Forest of Dean area with a flexible funding opportunity to support the delivery of services, projects and activities that benefit the local community and help to deliver the Council's corporate priorities. Applications are invited to deliver the following outcomes:
  • Fund A. Advice: People have access to good advice services
  • Fund B: Active Living: People's health and wellbeing is improved by engaging in active living
  • Fund C: Supporting Older People: Older people are not isolated/lonely.  Older people have access to a hot meal when required
  • Fund D: Supporting Young People: Young people have access to support to assist in the transition from education to employment.  Young carers have access to a good support network
  • Fund E: Training & Support for Volunteers and Community Groups: The Community Sector has access to good advice, support and training
Closing date: midday on 4 March. For further information, including guidance notes and application forms, go to
Active Communities Programme
The Health Lottery South West has announced that it is seeking applications for funding through the Active Communities Programme. Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are available to local community groups for projects lasting up to two years with great ideas to make their communities even better places to live. This funding round covers parts of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Bristol and the closing date for applications is 1pm on 16 January 2019.  Find out more at
High Sheriff Grants Programme
The High Sheriff grants programme from Gloucestershire Community Foundation, aims to support projects and activities working with young people to encourage them to be involved in challenging activities that may deter them from anti-social behaviour, raise confidence and self-esteem, and provide learning and development opportunities.
The closing date for applications is 23 January 2019. Further information can be found at
Forest Voluntary Action Forum has vacancy for a Youth Development Officer

The postholder will work in Cinderford and surrounding areas to support youth activity and develop a strategy for youth engagement in the town. 
22.5 hours per week (worked flexibly). 36 months fixed term with the hope of extending this subject to funding. Salary: £21,508 – £25,809 pro rata
Click here for the Job DescriptionApply Now. The closing date is 5pm on 17 January.
‘What do you do?’

The Directory of Social Change has produced a Charity Facts report to help you respond to general questions on charities and fundraising from family and friends. Charity Facts is available at
Research into end of life care in Gloucestershire published
Patients and their families in Gloucestershire say better information needs to be provided for local people around end of life care, according to the latest findings from Healthwatch Gloucestershire. Their End of life report: Evaluation of non-clinical support is based on findings from a survey of the public’s experiences on accessing information around end of life care in the county.
The findings from the survey will now go to the End of Life Care Clinical Programme Group – a group of partners including the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) set up to ensure all people and their families at the end of their life receive high quality care.
Charity Awards 2019
The 20th annual Charity Awards are now open for entries. The Charity Awards provides charities of all shapes and sizes with a window to showcase their efforts and the impact they have made. Submitting an entry is free, and can support your organisation's efforts to influence policy-makers and funders and boost the morale of your staff and stakeholders. Entries close on 22 February. Find out more at
Learn how the Suicide Crisis Centre in Gloucestershire saves lives

A new book explains how the Gloucestershire Suicide Crisis Centre saves the lives of people who come to them in crisis. It’s called “Suicide Prevention Techniques: How A Suicide Crisis Service Saves Lives”. It explains about their methods, approach and ethos – the things they do to ensure that their clients survive. Every copy sold will raise money for the Suicide Crisis Centre.
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, it costs £16-99. The publisher is paying the author’s cut directly to Suicide Crisis. For more information about the book, including reviews and how to order:
Copyright © 2019 Gloucestershire VCS Alliance, All rights reserved.

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