Voluntary Action Arun & Chichester


News from the Local Voluntary Sector

Voluntary Action Arun & Chichester provide a weekly e-bulletin with all the latest news, events, funding, training and jobs that is available across our area and West Sussex.

It is not only for you but also ‘by’ you. Send us your updates and we will publicise your events, share your ideas or surveys and inform the local community about your group for free.

Latest News from VAAC

Thu 24 June 2021

Fundraiser Network Meeting - Meet the Funder - National Lottery Community Fund

Some members of the VAAC Fundraiser Network attended a Meet the Funder Q&A event this week with The National Lottery Community Fund.

15 Members attended and enjoyed the opportunity to put forward specific questions to Local Funding Officers Sarah Owen and Claire Webley about the popular Awards for All and Reaching Communities funds.

One Member said: “That was a very helpful event – many thanks for hosting it and many thanks to the speakers who were clear and their presentations were very helpful”. For more information, visit: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/

Thu 17 June 2021

Fundraiser Network Meeting - Meet the Funder - Artswork

VAAC’s latest Fundraiser Network Meeting – Meet the Funder – Artswork on Wednesday 16 June was led by Beccy East, Programme Manager for Arun Inspires – a three year programme of cultural investment in the district of Arun. Beccy gave a brief presentation about the new fund, how best to apply and tips on completing the application form.

Those that attended said: “Really useful session, not just for applying to this fund, but more generally.”

“I really appreciated how thorough Beccy’s presentation was. Everything was so thorough I think it answered all of my questions. Beccy was very clear that we can make contact with her afterwards which was great.”

Read more about the Arun Inspires Fund

Wed 2 June 2021

Happy Volunteers' Week 2021!

As this week is Volunteers’ Week, we want to take the time to say Thank You to all the incredible volunteers who support our charities, groups and communities across Arun & Chichester. You make such a massive difference to people’s lives and we think you’re all amazing!

Look out on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter) to see messages of thanks across the week. And don’t forget to tag us in your posts so we can share them too!

Mon 17 May 2021

Please share your funding successes!

Please tell us about any successful funding applications you have had and in particular if VAAC has, even in a small way, contributed to your achievements.

This could be as result of a referral with the Development Team (a meeting/email/phone call), a funding search undertaken by VAAC on your behalf, a fund you you saw in one of VAAC’s monthly Funding Focus, or a Fundraiser Network Meeting, Funding Surgery or Meet the Funder event that you attended.

This information forms part of our impact reporting to our funders and we would also just love to hear about your successes! Please email Chris Caspari.
Thank you.

Thu 13 May 2021

Volunteer Co-ordinators Network Meeting - Inclusivity and Diversity

Our Volunteer Co-ordinators Network met on Thursday 13th May to discuss the important topic of diversity and inclusion in volunteer management, focusing on how we can do that well as an organisation. We had speakers from Community Works and Sanctuary, and a video from the South Downs National Park, sharing their experiences.

Discussions centred around the importance of being intentional about inclusion and about recognising someone for who they are and the skills people can bring, rather than targeting a person to fit a specific quota which can be a negative experience. Different ideas were shared on how we can be more inclusive, which included simplifying the volunteering process, language and looking at volunteer roles. We also discovered how beneficial this can be for the whole organisation.

Accompanying documents:
Sanctuary slides
VAAC presentation

Wed 5 May 2021

Fundraiser Network Meeting - 28th April 2021

April’s Fundraiser Network Meeting was a Meet the Funder Q&A event with the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust.
20 organisations attended and had the unique opportunity to ask questions of the Director, Sally Case about how to best apply to the Sussex-based trust.

Just some of the comments from groups that attended when asked for their feedback about the sessions:
“Thank you for arranging that online session this morning. It was really interesting and Sally made a great presentation I thought”.
“That was a really helpful session last week with EKCT. Plus Sally gave lots of good tips for applicants. Thank you for organising the session”.
“Sally was so informative, really understands what a bid writer needs to know! Credit to her for being mindful of the time charities invest into bids, e.g. only making the large bids accessible if there is a high chance of success.”
“Very well run and carefully facilitated. It was a really useful and practical session.”

Tue 4 May 2021

Digital Inclusion Conference – 29th April 2021

On Thursday 29th April, VAAC, together with Dr Tim Fooks, then High Sheriff of West Sussex, and other key partners, delivered a Digital Inclusion Conference for local charities and community groups. The conference was a follow up to the Tackling Loneliness Conference that the High Sheriff hosted last year, and sought to understand the types of initiatives that were already in place locally to encourage and increase Digital Inclusion, and to look at ways that we can work together to tackle Digital Exclusion.
It was great to have so many organisations coming together to look at this increasingly important issue and we hope that the connections that were made will lead to even more local initiatives to help people to feel digitally connected.

Thu 29 April 2021

General Networking Event - 26th May 2021

Thank you everyone for coming along to our General Networking Meeting on Monday 26th May. It was great to be able to update you on our new Digital and Marketing Strategy, as well as the recent Government Volunteer management updates. We also enjoyed the discussions with our members on Digital Service Delivery and were thrilled that potential joint partnership projects and funding bids were identified.

Wed 28 April 2021

Forgotten voices – engaging European, Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic groups in Arun & Chichester

Voluntary Action Arun & Chichester (VAAC) are inviting people from European, Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic groups to share their experiences of living, working and accessing services and activities in Arun and Chichester. We want to know what issues are of most concern to you currently, as well as how you like to receive information about local news.

The short questionnaire will only take 10 minutes to complete, but the results will support projects, groups and local initiatives provided for and by the local community, as well as being used to inform and improve the way that services are provided, and information is communicated.

The questionnaire is available in 14 languages – just select your preferred language from the drop down menu at the top of the survey.

If you have more time and would like to be part of a conversation, please do get in touch and we will link you into a focus group or have an individual chat. Please contact the person who sent you the questionnaire or email/ phone Stephanie Mooney – Stephanie.mooney@vaac.org.uk / 07518 596 698.

Early feedback has highlighted the importance of friends and family for support, and revealed that the pandemic has made people feel more isolated and disconnected from their local communities. Key concerns raised include being able to provide for the family and having more access to activities for children and young people.

Wed 28 April 2021

VAAC honoured to accept award from the High Sheriff of West Sussex

Voluntary Action Arun & Chichester (VAAC) along with our colleagues at Crawley Community Action, Horsham District Voluntary Sector Support and Mid-Sussex Voluntary Action, were honoured to be presented with an award recently from the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Dr Tim Fooks. Part of his High Sheriff Awards 2021, the award recognises the essential role that the organisations have played throughout the last year to support the local Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS), particularly around initiatives to tackle isolation and loneliness.

Hilda Sherwood, VAAC Chief Executive, said, “I am really delighted that VAAC as an infrastructure charity has been recognised for the work that we do in supporting the VCS in Arun and Chichester and it is our pleasure to receive this award. Our staff and trustees work hard in providing excellent information, advice and guidance to emerging and developing charities and community groups and I thank Dr Tim Fooks for his support to the VCS over this last year.”

The important role of the local voluntary sector has been highlighted over the previous year, as it has helped communities to navigate and survive through the Coronavirus pandemic. Infrastructure organisations have worked hard to ensure that voluntary organisations have received the support and advice that they needed to continue and, in many cases, extend their essential services. Areas of support including Funding, Health & Safety and Volunteer Management have been needed by the sector more than ever, and VAAC are thrilled to be presented with this award which recognises the work that they have been doing to make sure the help is available and accessible to those who needed it.

Wed 24 March 2021

VCSE Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum

This was the first mental and health wellbeing forum held jointly with Mind West Sussex. This forum provided an opportunity for members to explore and unpack increasing needs for mental health and wellbeing support for staff and service users. Mind West Sussex led us through a stress bucket exercise which is a useful tool to unpack causes of stress and to identify wellbeing needs. There was rich participation from members with good questions being asked. People shared their experiences about what has worked well for them in supporting staff, volunteers and service users in talking about and responding positively to mental health needs. Some useful resources were recommended.

A key point highlighted was that an extra 13,000 will be needing mental health support. To meet this level of need it has to be a community response.

Based on the feedback from the meeting we will be hosting another Mental Health and Wellbeing forum

Giving voluntary and community organisations in Arun and Chichester Districts the tools they need to succeed

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