10th June 2022


Stay in touch, and keep your stories coming in.

Sandy Ciccognani


‘The Wednesday Space’– A Place For Community Conversation

As part of the Community Resilience Project in the Cowes Area – we continue to move forward from the effects of the pandemic.  Please continue to join us every Wednesday 10 – 12am in  June & July to contribute to an area ‘Community Resilience Roadmap’ which will link into the development of the Cowes & Northwood Place Plan.  So if you are a local group, resident, organisation or service that works within that area – then do drop in to network and chat.  Particular areas of interest include – local groups/organisations/business, health and wellbeing, family, young people, our green spaces, arts, social isolation – and lots more.
For more information please contact Kay Smith, Community Resilience Co-ordinator in Cowes, Northwood & Gurnard:
Telephone: 07535972848/01983 524058
Any questions or contributions then please get in touch – thankyou!
Kay Smith, Community Resilience Co-ordinator Cowes/East Cowes Area (East Cowes, Whippingham, Gurnard, Northwood and Cowes)

Hospital Waiting Times Survey

Healthwatch Isle of Wight is currently asking the public to share their experience and views of waiting for hospital treatment.  Please find attached a letter from them with a link to the survey which is open till the 30th June 2022.   Please share throughout your networks if possible.  The survey should take 10 - 15 mins to complete.

More about the survey

Complete survey here.

New Support for Islanders Facing Hardship

Those who are struggling to afford food and fuel will get extra help over the spring and summer months thanks to the 'connect4communities' programme — led by the Isle of Wight Council.
Financed by the £1.1 million Household Support Fund, awarded to the authority by the the Department for Work and Pensions, the new measures target households in greatest need with utility costs, food and water bills.
The programme includes: 
  • food vouchers for residents receiving Local Council Tax Support;
  • funding to expand and support community pantries on the Island;
  • support via Citizens Advice for residents struggling to meet the cost of their food and utility bills;
  • a new community grants scheme to support community groups with food and fuel initiatives;
  • emergency housing support.
Households wanting advice about support available with household bills, can contact the existing Help Through Crisis Helpline: (01983) 823859.
Community pantries
Funding will be used to set up two new community pantries in areas of need. Additional funding will also be used to support the three existing pantries at East Cowes, Ventnor and Ryde.
Community pantries work on the principle of giving those in need the opportunity to have a ‘helping hand’ by getting food at a lower rate on a weekly basis. Items found in the pantry will be a range of fresh, frozen, and general foods which will change on a weekly basis.
Community grants
Local community groups will be encouraged to apply for grants that will help support those most in need in their communities with food and fuel initiatives. Further information will shortly be announced on how groups can apply for funding.
For further advice and support, visit the connect4communities website or call the Citizens Advice line on 0800 144 88 48.

RCS Employment Service

RCS Employment Support Service Newsletter.
Jayne and Natalie continue to support Island people with training and employment needs and hold regular drop-ins across the Island.
Anybody wanting further information about our service can contact them directly or call our Community Office. Contact details are on page 1 of the Newsletter, and drop-ins are listed on page 2.
Referral Form

Ventnor Fringe returns 22nd – 31st July 2022

A unique Island tradition, during Ventnor Fringe the Isle of Wight’s southernmost town is totally transformed into a whole world of pop up venues and bars in every conceivable space, hosting over 100 different shows.

From the best new comedians and up and coming bands to truly barmy events like improvised hip hop in a Laundrette or a 1930’s Parisian ‘Book Bus’ the Fringe has something for everyone! Pick and choose which ticketed events to see or simply explore the many free events on offer. Find out more about what’s on here: What’s On – Ventnor Fringe (

If you can support the Fringe by providing low cost accommodation for volunteers and performers during the festival period, please contact Mhairi


Volunteering & Job Opportunities

Optio Voluntary Car Scheme - Drivers Needed

Volunteer drivers are needed across the Island to transport elderly and frail people to medical and other appointments. Active Living also need drivers to bring people in to the Riverside for activities.
If you think you might be interested, please pop into the CommunityAction Office at Riverside and ask to speak to Tina or email

There will also be an open session on Weds 29th June in The Caribrooke Room at Riverside from 10am-1pm for those who want to find out more and meet other drivers.

Community Advocates - St Johns Ambulance

St John Ambulance call on you to support us with the delivery of the National Coordination of First Response project, in partnership with NHS England and Improvement. The aim of the project is to increase the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests from 7% to 25% in England. This is only possible when more people are confident to carry out ventilation free CPR and there is a significantly increased use of AEDs by people in community settings. To save more lives, more people should receive training in CPR and using AEDs and know how to respond in emergency situations, reducing the bystander effect.

If you are confident in communicating with different groups of people and are passionate about promoting lifesaving skills to the public, then the Community Advocate role is for you! You’ll be:

  • Raising awareness of the importance of CPR/AED skills through engagement with targeted communities
  • Providing CPR and AED knowledge to local community groups
  • Reaching out to community groups and networks
  • Tracking confidence levels of learners before and after each session

More importantly, you’ll get a huge sense of satisfaction and pride delivering an essential service. It’s great for you, great for your community and great for our nation, and it requires only a small commitment of your time. You will be expected to commit to a minimum of three hours a month – two 1.5 hours sessions.

Get in touch!

If you are interested in becoming a Community Advocate or would like to find out more about this volunteering opportunity, please contact

We’d love to hear from you!

Volunteers for Dance Sense & Singabout Cowes with Independent Arts


DanceSense is a project run by Independent Arts for people who have neurological conditions which affect their movement.

We are looking for a volunteer who can help support participants to join in safely and confidently. Sessions are led by a qualified professional.

DanceSense sessions last one hour and participants can take part seated or standing.

Singabout Cowes 

SingAbout is a singing for wellbeing project that has been running Island wide for over ten years. The main focus of the project is to improve health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation through singing.

Sessions are inclusive and we invite anyone to come along and enjoy the joy that singing brings.

More about Independent Arts

Fire Cadet Leaders

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service are looking for volunteers to lead and instruct the delivery of the Programme, organise and provide administrative support to the Cadets and your colleagues, and communicating with the Fire Cadet Team Leader at Sandown.
Find out more here

Volunteering at The Fringe

Ventnor Fringe would simply not be possible without the support of many dedicated volunteers who travel from near and far to be part of the festival family and ensure the event runs safely and smoothly. There are many roles to choose from whilst volunteering with us at the Fringe from box office administration, event stewarding, to technical support, marketing and site build and creative.
“When volunteering at The Ventnor Fringe you completely immerse yourself in the celebration of all art forms, meeting the kindest and most talented people you could imagine all in the most amazing town. Giving my time to The Fringe was one of the greatest decisions I’ve made, it’s my favourite week of the year and I have a family there for life.” – Amy
Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, watch free shows, learn new skills and help make something very special happen on the Isle of Wight.
Sign up here:


Early Help Community Capacity Building Grant 2022


New or existing groups, organisations and enterprises on the Island can apply for a Early Help Community Capacity Building Grant. The grants, which are up to £23,000, are available to help organisations deliver initiatives that support families, children and young people living on the Isle of Wight. The grant is available to local groups, clubs and enterprises through our strengthening families programme. It will help new or existing providers organise activities, clubs or groups for families and young people up to the age of 19 (up to 25 with specified additional needs) and/or families, parents and carers.

Grants could be used to set up schemes such as:

  • new baby or toddler groups
  • teenage groups
  • family-based groups focusing on mental health and wellbeing
  • mental health hubs
  • peer support groups
  • outreach support
  • community-led groups and activities

Projects must be able to support the following priorities:

  • promoting emotional resilience/mental health and wellbeing
  • sustainable provision
  • meeting an evidenced community need (community led provision)
  • inclusive provision

The grant amounts vary from £3,000 up to £20,000 for those providers offering targeted support for families most affected by the Covid pandemic and who are not currently accessing community resources.

Applying for a grant

The next application window opens in June 2022.

Volant Trust - Covid Response Grants

The Volant Trust has still accepting applications through its Covid-19 Response Fund. The Trust is accepting applications from registered charities, community interest companies, community organisations or social enterprises in the UK and internationally that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The level of grant awarded is at the discretion of the Trustees.
The final closing date for applications is the 31st July 2022.

Funding for Sailing & Outdoor Activities for Disabled & Disadvantaged Young People

Funding is available to registered charities for maritime activities and outdoor pursuits which “make a difference” to young, disadvantaged and disabled people up to 25 years of age in England, Wales and Scotland. The Whirlwind Charitable Trust will fund projects which encourage individuals of all races, religions and gender who could not otherwise participate in these types of activities, to grow in confidence, ambition and achievement, so that they can fulfil their own potential and make a positive contribution to society. The Trust favour applications providing a positive educational element, particularly with regard to the coastal and marine environment, with longer term contact, mentoring and support.
The deadline for applications for the next Trustee meeting is the 18th July 2022.

Funding to Support Disadvantaged Young People and Offenders

Small registered charities can apply for grants of up to £15,000 for projects working with young offenders; prisoners and ex-prisoners as well as young disadvantaged people at risk of criminal involvement. To be eligible for funding, local organisations such as those working in a village, estate or small town should normally have an income of less than £100,000. Those working across the UK or in larger cities should normally have an income of not more than £250,000. Grants are usually given for one year. The funding is being made available through the Weavers' Company, a textile-related, charitable and sociable organisation,
Next closing date for applications is the 14th July 2022.

Holidays for Disadvantaged and Disabled Children

Schools, youth groups, not for profit organisations and charities can apply for grants of £500 to £2,500 to support recreational trips or holidays within the UK for groups of disabled or disadvantaged children (aged 13 or under). Priority will be given to applications coming from the 20% most deprived areas in the UK. The grants can cover up to two-thirds of the cost of a holiday or trip lasting one to seven days. The funding is being made available through the Henry Smith Charity.
Applications will be accepted until the 30th June 2022, for day trips taking place in July - September 2022. 
Applications must be made at least six weeks before the trip or holiday is due to take place.

Grants of up to £2000 for Disadvantaged and Disabled Children

Local children’s groups and organisations such as playgroups and sports classes providing services to support disadvantaged and disabled children can apply for grants of up to £2,000. The funding is being made available through the Little Lives UK Children’s Community Support Programme. There is no minimum grant that groups can apply for, and Little Lives UK will additionally support the work of successful applicants through their social media channels and on our website.
Four or five grants are awarded on a monthly basis, and the next application deadline is the 30th June 2022.

Tesco Community Grants

Registered charities, voluntary and community organisations, schools, parish/town councils and other not-for-profit organisations can apply for grants of £500, £1,000 or £1,500 through the Tesco Community Grants programme to support local good causes that focus on helping children and families across the UK.
Every three months, three local good causes/ projects are selected to be in the blue token customer vote in Tesco stores throughout the UK.  Grants will be awarded depending on the number of votes their project receives.
The scheme will give priority to projects that provide food security and support to young people.

The fund will be administered by Groundwork and applications can be made at any time.

Grants to Support People Experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences

Grants up to £25,000 are available for UK registered charities or Community Interest Companies working to prevent the occurrence of and/or support recovery from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
The funding, which is available through the Leathersellers’ Main Charity Grants programme - Adverse Childhood Experiences, will enable charities run by and for people with lived-experience of ACE to provide trauma-informed and evidence-based interventions that support deprived and under-represented children and young people and/or adult survivors in recovery.
This could include those suffering domestic abuse; physical, sexual or psychological/emotional abuse; mental illness or substance misuse by a close family member; neglect; or having a close family member serve time in prison.
The deadline for first-stage applications is 6pm on the 30th June 2022.


Activities & Events

Free Online Health & Care Conference

Empowerment in Health and Care Conference – Where next? | CEmPaC

Island Volunteer Fair - 3rd July

Connect, Network and Get involved in your community!

Put the date in your diary - Sunday 3rd July!

Come to the Island Volunteer Fair at Northwood House and meet charities and community groups from across the Isle of Wight, including:
Citizens Advice, Cruse Bereavement Support, Diabetes Group IOW, Embracing Age - Isle of Wight Group, English Heritage, Friends of Northwood Cemetery, Friends of Shanklin Theatre, Friends of St Mary's, Gift to Nature, Girlguiding Members Isle Of Wight, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, Hampshire Constabulary Southern Support and Training HQ, Healthwatch Isle of Wight, Samaritans, Isle Access, The Isle of Wight Community Club, Isle of Wight foodbank, IOW Green Gym, IW Steam Railway, Mountbatten Isle of Wight, Optio Car Service, Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Station, Sightfor WightAdmin, South West Advocacy Network, Tidal Family Support, Victim Support, Veterans Outreach and Wessex Cancer Trust
Find out what they do and whether you would like to get involved.
The Isle of Wight Volunteer Centre are organising the event and will be available to talk to you about how to decide what volunteering opportunity might be right for you, how volunteering can help enhance your career opportunities and how to find new volunteers, if you are a group looking for help.
The event will be officially opened by the Isle of Wight High Sheriff,
Cream teas will be served on the lawn.

Ventnor Day - 2nd July

The voluntary sector makes a huge contribution in every area of our lives. If you have a story to share or any queries about the content of this newsletter, please contact
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