Inside this Issue: Chief Executive Comment: Talking Values...Don't Yawn, We Really Mean It, Supporting the Voluntary Sector - What Could You Offer?, Team Staffordshire to Lead the Voluntary Sector in Bidding for Over £11 Million of European Funds, Support Staffordshire Signs Armed Forces Community Covenant...and more...                                        

Newsletter - December 2015


  • Chief Executive Comment: Talking Values...Don't Yawn, We Really Mean It
  • Supporting the Voluntary Sector - What Could You Offer?
  • Team Staffordshire to Lead the Voluntary Sector in Bidding for Over £11 Million of European Funds
  • Support Staffordshire Signs Armed Forces Community Covenant
  • Staffordshire County Council 'Strategic Capacity Building Partner' Statement
  • Dignity Awards 2015
  • National News: Minister for Civil Society Backs Campaigning as 'Legitimate and Valuable Activity' / Commission Must Produce Clearer Campaigning Guidance / This Year's Biggest Voluntary Sector Survey Launched
  • Skills & Enterprise: European Funding News Update / Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire LEP ESF Commissioning Plan 2014-2020 / Project Innovation Fund for Prevent /
  • Children & Young People
  • Health & Wellbeing: Heathwatch Online Survey on Diabetes / Healthwatch Request Feedback on Experience Exchange / Healthwatch - New Forum Topic: Mental Health and A&E / Neurological Advocacy Information and Recruitment Evening / Celebrating Excellence Awards 2016 - Nominations Now Open...and more...
  • Safer Communities
  • Rural & Environment: LEADER Funding Now Available / Food Summit Event - Rodbaston
  • Arts, Heritage & Culture: Voluntary Arts
  • Volunteering: Work Force Volunteering for 'One Off' Projects / SCVYS Visit to Russia / 'Just Drop-In' Achieve IiV Accreditation / HOST Seeking Christmas Volunteers
  • Funding: Funding For Teaching Adults New Skills
  • Training: Support Staffordshire: Preparing to Volunteer Course
  • Talent Match: The Lantern Parade
  • Jobs
  • Locality Updates: Tamworth & District, Lichfield & District, East Staffordshire, Staffordshire Moorlands, Stafford & District

Talking Values...Don't Yawn, We Really Mean It

...from the Chief Executive

Every now and then we can all feel like it’s a cynical world, and I have to admit that I am with you in being somewhat sceptical when I hear other organisations talk ‘Values’. So this month I want to try and persuade you that you should give them a second chance, BUT only because I want to hear more of us talk values that actually mean something.
It's unfortunately all too easy these days to say you are values-based or that your organisation is values-driven, and then to go on and list things like: Leadership, Accountability, Quality, Independence; Blah blah blah, as if that says it all and now you can really feel what the organisation is about. But genuine values are not about buzz words, they are about how your organisation and its people behave and act. If you splatter the words ‘Sustainable’ and ‘Local’ all over your brochure then outsource your IT to China because it’s cheaper, then values become spin and marketing and are completely undermined.
So, what does Support Staffordshire mean when for example, we state our five values to be:

  1. Community & Person Centred
  2. Local Focus
  3. Sharing and Learning
  4. Fairness & Equality
  5. Building Trust


Garry Jones, Chief Executive

Supporting the Voluntary Sector - What Could You Offer?

Support Staffordshire and Partners are exploring new ways of supporting voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, including peer-peer support.

We are therefore inviting Expressions of Interest from any organisation who feel they have knowledge, expertise or skills to share, of value to the wider VCSE sector.

Please click here to complete our short EOI form.

Support Staffordshire Signs Armed Forces Community Covenant

Support Staffordshire has committed to supporting local armed forces families and communities by signing the Staffordshire Armed Forces Community Covenant. The covenant, first launched in May 2012 and reaffirmed earlier this year, complements, at a local level, the national Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines the moral obligation between the nation, the government and the armed forces.

The aim of the community covenant is to encourage local communities to support the armed forces in their area and promote understanding and awareness among the issues affecting the armed forces community. In Staffordshire there are major armed forces communities at bases in Stafford and Whittington (near Lichfield).

The armed forces are now a permanent part of communities in Staffordshire and we wanted to welcome and support their involvement in the wider community though participation in volunteering, local community and voluntary organisations and other VCSE led activities and projects such as employability for ex-service personnel.


Staffordshire County Council 'Strategic Capacity Building Partner' Statement

Staffordshire County Council has released a 'Strategic Capacity Building Partner' statement.

They are currently working with partners, organisations and individuals from across the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) to shape their future support for VCSE in Staffordshire.

You can read the statement here.

Dignity Awards 2015

Do you know someone who puts dignity at the heart of the care or support that they give? Take the time to thank them for their support by nominating them for a Dignity Award.

These awards provide the opportunity to recognise and reward those people and organisations in the community whose actions make a difference and serve as an example to others. This can include young people, family carers, community groups, supportive friends or a neighbour.

Closing date for nominations is Wednesday 6th January 2016.


National News

Minister for Civil Society Backs Campaigning as 'Legitimate and Valuable Activity'

Rob Wilson, the minister for civil society, has given clear backing to charities' right to campaign in writing.

Commission Must Produce Clearer Campaigning Guidance

The Charity Commission has not given sufficiently clear guidance on charities' ability to campaign in the run-up to the EU referendum, a leading charity law firm has warned.

This Year's Biggest Voluntary Sector Survey Launched

You are invited to be part of the biggest annual survey of charities and voluntary organisations.

NAVCA are part of a coalition of charities that has launched the #biggestcharitysurvey of 2015.

The survey is gathering evidence about the support charities need, and will be used to influence politicians, key decision makers and funders.

All charities, voluntary organisations and community groups are being asked to take part. By taking part you will be helping make sure that funders and decision makers know more about your needs and hear what you have to say.

The survey can be completed in 15 minutes.


by Jill Norman


Team Staffordshire to Lead the Voluntary Sector in Bidding for Over £11 Million of European Funds

Team Staffordshire, a consortium of local organisations, has confirmed it has bid for more than £11 million being allocated to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent through the Building Better Opportunities Fund this November. If successful the group, which also includes the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, NHS and Local Authority support, will receive funds to support people into work or nearer to work through activities such as work placements and volunteering.

Team Staffordshire is chaired by Garry Jones, Chief Executive of local voluntary sector support body Support Staffordshire. ‘ I am absolutely delighted and honoured to chair the Team Staffordshire group; its been a lot of hard work but I am really proud that we have pulled together a lot of local interest and some brilliant organisations to go out and win these funds for our county and city’, said Garry.’ Its wonderful to see the voluntary sector taking a lead, but also working with the public and private sectors to make a difference for our communities.’

The £11M fund combines European Union Structural Investment Funds with Big Lottery Funds and is targeted at supporting people to increase their Employability. The money is designed to help those who are a long way from being work ready due to social, health, educational and other barriers. Team Staffordshire will work with dozens of local organisations and projects, linking them up with each other and into mainstream support from colleges and places like the job centre, and funding them to do what they do best. But the key difference is that this project treats individuals in a holistic way, rather than just trying to get them off benefits.


Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire LEP ESF Commissioning Plan 2014-2020
The Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership ESF Commissioning Plan and Prospectus 2014-2020 was launched at an event on 20th November 2015.

The launch included an introduction to the LEP’s European Strategic Investment Framework (ESIF), details of the Needs Analysis undertaken to inform the Commissioning Plan, and an overview of processes and procedures for procurement by the 3 opt-in partners (The Big Lottery, DWP and SFA) as well as a workshop on the non-opt in element of the funding available.


Project Innovation Fund for Prevent
The Project Innovation Fund for Prevent has been developed by the Home Office as part of the support package to implement the Prevent duty.

The Project Innovation Fund for Prevent aims to support the following types of activities:

  • Particularly innovative projects developing new methods and /or developing new technologies with a potential for replication nationally;
  • Projects promoting understanding and learning, identification and dissemination of best practices; and
  • Pilot projects, including in sectors covered by the Prevent duty.

The fund will be available to all specified authorities under the Prevent duty, businesses, registered charities, civil society groups and third sector organisations. The fund is open to proposals of up to £100,000.


For further information contact Jill Norman on 01538 381356 or at 


SCVYS Visit to Russia
Report from Amy Preece, the Cannock Co-ordinator for Talent Match Staffordshire…

'I recently went to Russia. The trip itself was part of an official exchange between Staffordshire County and Ivanovo Region. The exchange was focused on youth volunteering, and was organised by Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services (SCVYS). The group consisted of 6 young people, and 2 leaders (Amy being one of these, as she’s now too old to be termed “a young person”L). We spent two days in Moscow sightseeing, and exploring the capital. Red Square was an amazing sight (especially at night)!

On the second night we made the 6 hour drive to Ivanovo where the majority of the exchange would take place. In Ivanovo we were kindly looked after by host families who worked closely with YMCA Ivanovo. Whilst there we had a full programme which included sightseeing, seminars, volunteering activities, civic duties, and cultural exchange evenings.'


For further information contact Sandra Payne on 01543 303030 or at


Healthwatch Online Survey: Diabetes
Healthwatch Staffordshire would like to invite you to take part in their online survey about your experiences around diabetes services.

They are undertaking research on behalf of the Staffordshire Health and Wellbeing Intelligence Group to gain further insight about patients’, carers’ and families experiences of diabetes services.

It is a very short survey, containing just 4 short open-ended questions. Please be as detailed as you can. You can access the survey here.

If you know someone who could answer this survey, but doesn’t have access to a computer please ask them to call the Healthwatch Staffordshire office on 0800 051 8371.

Healthwatch Request Feedback on Experience Exchange
Can you help Healthwatch Staffordshire in reaching it’s new target to get over 500 reviews on their feedback platform, Experience Exchange?

Some of you may already be aware of Experience Exchange, but if you have not used it, Experience Exchange is the go-to website for sharing feedback on health and social care services you have used or accessed in your local area.

Through their simple rating system you can be as detailed as you like, and all reviews can be made anonymous, if so desired.

Healthwatch Staffordshire needs to collect feedback on service provision, to ensure that it is aware of any and all issues throughout the county, as well as any experiences of good practice. Healthwatch Staffordshire cannot do this without your help and assistance.

You can access Experience Exchange via the following link

Healthwatch - New Forum Topic: Mental Health and A&E
A new topic on the forum is now open! The fifth topic is 'mental health and A&E'.

They have posted a couple of web articles and questions just to get the ball rolling, so feel free to respond to those or post about anything else related to emotional wellbeing and physical health.

This an opportunity to make your voice heard and give your opinion on mental health in Staffordshire. Healthwatch Staffordshire have set up an online forum for the public to discuss mental health, which can be found here:

If you haven't already registered for the forum, you will firstly need to register on the webpage above by entering a username and your email address. You can make up any username you like as long as it isn’t already taken, so if you would like to remain anonymous you can do so.

The online discussions are designed to gather feedback from the public, including your own experiences of mental health, to inform Staffordshire County Council on how they can best implement the new mental health strategy. Staffordshire County Council’s mental health strategy can be found here:

There is also an opportunity to take part in two mental health-related surveys they are currently running for the same project.

The following survey is open to everyone:

If you work in the health and social care sector, please consider taking part in their professionals mental health survey:

Celebrating Excellence Awards 2016 - Nominations Now Open!
Nominations for the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust annual staff Celebrating Excellence Awards 2016 are now open.

Members of the public can cast their vote in the following two categories in this year’s awards:

  • Service User/Carers Choice Award
  • Volunteer of the Year Award

The Service User/Carers Choice Award will recognise a member of staff or team who is aware of the needs of the people they care for, consistently shows exceptional care and compassion and has helped make a difference.

The Volunteer of the Year Award will recognise a volunteer who has shown commitment in their role and had a positive impact on a service (clinical or non-clinical) through contributing their time and efforts.

You can nominate a member of staff or team who regularly goes above and beyond in their duties to provide exceptional care and support to local people who receive community health and social care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent today! Voting closes on Monday 21st December at 12noon.

To submit your nomination click here

New Round of Sportivate Funding - Deadline: 11 December 2015
Sport Across Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent is pleased to announce the next round of Sportivate funding is now open.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 11th December 2015. Please read the Briefing Note and contact your District Local Lead for more information.

If in South Staffordshire Chris Wood has set aside Tuesday November 17th 8- 6pm and Friday December 4th 8-4pm to discuss Sportivate with potential projects at Cheslyn Hay Sports & Community High School. Please contact Chris to arrange.

Sportivate funding is available to support projects that will run activity targeting 11-25 year olds who aren’t doing any or only doing very small amounts of physical activity. Activity should run for 6-8 weeks, and must lead to a clearly identified exit route so that participants continue to take part after their initial block of activity has finished.

Projects must be delivered between 1st April 2016 and March 31st 2017.

SASSOT is particularly interested in receiving applications for projects that target:-

  • Women and girls
  • 18-25 year olds
  • People with disabilities
  • Young people in areas of deprivation
  • Young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS)

To apply please follow instructions under section 8 of the briefing note.

At a local level, the programme is co-ordinated by a Lead Organisation for each District, who is responsible for ensuring that what is offered locally is what young people want, and for engaging with other local organisations to deliver activity.
If an organisation wishes to deliver Sportivate projects in just one or two local areas (Local Authority districts), they will need to contact the Local Lead Organisations for the relevant areas to discuss this further and to see whether their potential project(s) meet locally-identified needs. If this is the case, they will be asked to complete a delivery plan for their project and to submit it to the Local Lead Organisation for consideration. See Section 8 of the Briefing Note for further information. Local Lead contacts can be found in section 10.
If NGBs or other organisations wish to deliver Sportivate projects in three or more local areas (Local Authority districts) they may wish to consider applying for funding from the sub-regional pot. We recommend that they contact SASSOT to discuss their project before submitting an application.

A delivery plan (using a standard template) will need to be completed and submitted to SASSOT by Friday 18th December 2015 (via Stafford).

Further information:

  • Sportivate briefing note, telling you everything you need to know about Sportivate and how to apply:-
  • The Application form and Delivery Plan (please see both the Word and Excel documents) which is a delivery plan for you project
  • A step by step guide to completing the questions on the Application form (this is also on the first tab of the application form)

POhWER Newsletter
POhWER has a new Newsletter in your area!

To subscribe to our free quartley newsletter please click here. (You can unsubscribe at anytime.)

POhWER is a charity and membership organisation who provide information, advice, support and advocacy to people who experience disability, vulnerability, distress and social exclusion.

Please visit their website for further information.

For further information contact Garry Jones on 01543 303030 or at


LEADER Funding Now Available

A new scheme, aimed at boosting the rural economy across Staffordshire has officially been launched.

The Staffordshire LEADER Local Action Group have secured £2.249 million of European funding through the LEADER Programme (2015-2020). 

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The money will be allocated to businesses, groups or organisations that can demonstrate a benefit to the local rural economy. To be successful, applications must contribute to the creation of jobs or the development of businesses in the Staffordshire LEADER rural area.
The first call for applications for funding, which opened on the 16 November 2015, is for projects from the farming, foresting, tourism and micro/small businesses sectors and also for schemes that support rural services and culture and heritage.  The deadline for outline applications in this first round is the 29th December 2015.  Further call for bids through the programme will be invited from next year.
To discuss a potential project idea or to receive an outline application form, contact the LEADER Programme Team at Staffordshire County Council on 01785 854306 or email

Further details about the Staffordshire LEADER programme can be found at

Food Summit Event - Rodbaston
A wide range of different organisations – from the public, private and VCSE sectors- took part in the first food summit, organised by the Staffordshire Rural Forum, at Rodbaston on 30th November.

There were interesting presentations from Tom Andrews of Sustainable Food Cities and Kay Johnson of the Lancashire Local Food Partnership which showed the breadth of food issues which can affect all aspects of our lives from food poverty and health issues to food production and business impact.

Staffordshire Rural Forum are likely to pursue the idea of a Staffordshire food plan to develop new initiatives and joint working. Any VCSE organisations which would like to be involved in this can contact Jill Norman at Support Staffordshire on or Hilary Foxley at Staffordshire County Council on


Voluntary Arts is focussed on promoting participation in creative cultural activity across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

'Over half the UK adult population is involved in voluntary arts and crafts (cultural activity that people undertake for self-improvement, social networking and leisure, but not primarily for payment). Those activities are wide-ranging and include music, dance, crafts, drama, literature, visual arts, festivals and much more.

We work with policy makers, funders and politicians to improve the environment for everyone participating in the arts, and we provide information and training to the many thousands of groups and individuals who participate in the voluntary arts sector. This includes over 300 national and regional umbrella bodies, and through them, their member groups of local voluntary arts practitioners.

Voluntary Arts recognises that the arts are a key part of our culture and are vital to our health, social and economic development.

More information about Voluntary Arts can be found in our Strategic Plan 2014-17‘, ‘Governance Handbook’ and appendices  and our Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association'

Please visit their website for further information.

You can also sign up to their e-news to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and developments.


Work Force Volunteering for ‘One Off’ Projects?
At Support Staffordshire we regularly have businesses across Staffordshire who contact us asking for ‘one off’ volunteering opportunities for their workforce. For example a request was recently received for an organisation with a workforce of 20 people who are looking to volunteer for a day in March.

Does your organisation have any projects that they would like a group volunteers to undertake for a day? Volunteers could be involved in projects such as gardening, cleaning, painting and decorating or anything else that you have identified could be of use to your organisation.

If your organisation would be interested in being considered for the above, or for future requests which come into our office, please contact Joy Biddell on 01543 303030 or email Let Joy know what projects you have planned both now or in the future, the roles the volunteers would undertake and how many volunteers you would need.

'Just Drop-In' Achieve IiV Accreditation with Support Staffordshire's Help

Congratulations to 'Just Drop-In' of Macclesfield who have achieved their Investing in Volunteers accreditation!

Support Staffordshire were proud to support their application.

You can find out more about 'Just Drop-in' at

For more information on IiV please visit

HOST Seeking Christmas Volunteers

HOST is a nationwide initiative whose mission is to promote international friendship and understanding by welcoming international students as guests in British homes.

Please see the attached document for further information.

You can apply for this volunteer opportunity via the do-it website.

If you are interested in the Investing in Volunteers accreditation please contact Esther Bromley at 


Funding for Teaching Adults New Skills
Money for teaching adults new skills to improve their social skills, health and well-being and employability is on offer.

Staffordshire County Council is inviting bids from community groups, bodies and organisations able to deliver short courses to meet a particular need in their area.

Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Learning and Skills, said: 'Rather than the council dictating what should happen, this flexibility in the Adult and Community Learning programme allows specific courses to be commissioned where they’re needed to improve people’s health and wellbeing, social inclusion and employment prospects.'



Support Staffordshire will be running some more 'First Aid in The Workplace' courses during January and February. For further details please contact Jennie and Louise at the email address below.

For any training queries please contact Support Staffordshire at


The Lantern Parade
Report from Chloe Bourne at Talent Match:-

On the 29th of October Talent Match made their way down to the Chadsmead school with a group of beneficiaries and mentors to create their very own lanterns for the lantern parade.

Ready and eager to get stuck in, the group found themselves a work station and got started immediately. Working in teams of two, they first had to create a base for their lantern. To do this they needed to create a pyramid structure by taping bits of willow together. One ambitious team in particular made themselves a huge lantern, twice the size of the other teams lanterns! Once the base was done, they then got to make fun patterns out of willow to fill the space and support the paper they would be covering it with later on.




Scoping Lead for LGBT Cancer Services Pilot for Staffordshire

The Disability Solutions West Midlands and Macmillan Cancer Support partnership are seeking to recruit a Scoping Lead for the LGBT Cancer Services Pilot for Staffordshire to shape and undertake a scoping project to determine the support needs of people who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender (LGBT) whose lives have been affected by cancer.

Based at Disability Solutions HQ (North Staffordshire Medical Institute), the successful candidate will have a proven track record of successful stakeholder engagement/consultation and design/delivery of community mapping/scoping. They will have extensive experience of working with a high level of sensitivity regarding LGBT communities, and with an understanding of cancer/illness/disability and experience of working in the third sector/health and social care. Successful candidate will be educated to a minimum of degree level or equivalent, and have a full drivers licence and daily use of a car. 30hrs per week. Salary £22,042.80 with 5% pension contribution.

For a job description/person specification and application form please contact Mrs Washington at or on 01782 667324.

Closing date for applications 12noon Monday 7th December 2015, with interviews to be held on the 18th December 2015 at Disability Solutions HQ.

Welfare Benefits Advisor

The Disability Solutions West Midlands and Macmillan Cancer Support partnership are also seeking to recruit a Welfare Benefits Advisor for the Macmillan Welfare Benefits Service for Staffordshire to support individuals affected by cancer in securing appropriate welfare benefits/services. Based at Disability Solutions HQ (North Staffordshire Medical Institute), the successful candidate will have proven successful experience of working in the advice sector and will have an excellent working knowledge and experience of the welfare benefits system. The successful candidate will have a full drivers licence and daily use of a car. 18hrs per week. Salary £10,677.36 with 5% pension contribution.

For job descriptions/person specifications and application forms please contact Mrs Washington at or on 01782 667324.

Closing date for applications is 9am Thursday 10th December 2015, with interviews to be held on the 21st December 2015 at Disability Solutions HQ.

Day Opportunity Manager - Sherratts Wood, Lichfield
A vacancy has arisen for a Day Opportunity Manager at Sherratts Wood in Lichfield.

Salary: £20,000 (More may be available for an exceptional candidate) plus pension and performance related bonus of up to 5% of salary.

Base: Minster Hall, Dam Street, Lichfield WS13 6AE, plus a requirement to work across a number of other sites where Sherratts Wood CIC delivers activities / services.

Sherratts Wood CIC was formed as a not for profit community interest company in 2010 and provides a range of inspirational recovery and enablement focussed activities across a number of venues in Staffordshire, including Sherratts Wood Farm, a joinery workshop in Burton on Trent and a community hub / enterprise centre in Lichfield.

They are an organisation with a desire to provide the best possible services to the individuals who choose them to help move forward with their lives. They support people with a range of conditions and vulnerabilities, including, learning difficuties, mental health problems, autism / Asperger’s, brain injury and early onset dementia.

Please see the attached Job Description and Person Specification for further information.

The deadline for applications is Friday 18th December.  Please submit your application by way of a current CV to

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 23rd December.

Coordinator - Royal Voluntary Service

The Royal Voluntary Service have a vacancy for a part-time Coordinator.

Location: Burton-on-Trent, East Staffordshire
Salary: £7.72 per hour
Closing date: 5 PM, Tuesday 08 December 2015

Please click here to read the Job Advert and Job Description.
Apply online now

The Royal Voluntary Service can offer you career opportunities where your skills, strengths and enthusiasm will be rewarded and appreciated in many different ways.

They are the largest voluntary service delivering practical help in communities across Britain. Their aim is to provide support that enables older people to live independent and fulfilled lives. They want everybody to matter, regardless of how old they are.

They are currently expanding and developing their services to enable many more older people to access the services they provide.


Safer Neighbourhood Panel - Tamworth
Tamworth people are being offered the chance to shape the future of policing at the most local level in their community by Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis.

The Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) is aiming for Staffordshire to be the most open and transparent police force in the country. Local ownership and accountability is central to this vision, whereby the public have a greater sense of confidence in policing.

To enable this to happen, the PCC has implemented an initiative called ‘Safer Neighbourhood Panels’. The panels are designed to ensure that people are better informed and involved, that intelligence and information is shared appropriately and to build links and share areas of concern in local communities.   Tamworth will be the latest area to get a panel following successful launches in places including Cannock, Newcastle and South Staffordshire. Soon every local policing area in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will have one.


Tamworth Town Teams’ Autumn Newsletter
Tamworth Town Teams’ Autumn newsletter is now out!

You can read the latest edition of the newsletter here.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S. AGM will be held on Thursday 14th January 2016 at 7.30pm.

It will be held at their offices on the First Floor, Prospect House, 13, Albert Road, Tamworth, B79 7JN.

If you would like to attend please email or phone on 07740 700918.

CHOICES offer one-to-one counselling, group work, family work, on-site training, and the unique field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) in the Staffordshire area.

They are a team of qualified, experienced counsellors offering a professional and confidential service available to children, young people and adults. The counsellors are members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by their code of ethics, standards and disciplinary procedures.

For further information about the organisation please visit

Free 'Emergency First Aid at Work' Workshop
There is a free workshop on offer covering Emergency First Aid at Work. This is restricted to charities and community groups operating in the Tame Valley Wetlands area, who will benefit from having first-aid trained staff, volunteers or committee members.

Please bring clothing you can move around in.

When: Wednesday, 16th December, 2015

Where: Hams Hall Environment Centre, Canton Lane, Coleshill B46 1GA

Time: 9:30 am to 16:00 pm

Suitable for: Adults

Cost: FREE

Please book by emailing

To contact Support Staffordshire (Tamworth office) please call 01827 709657


Closure of Home-Start Lichfield and District
It is with great sadness that the board of trustees, Home-Start Lichfield and District, decided to close the scheme at their meeting on the 10th November 2015.

Over the last year the board of trustees have worked diligently to access core funding without success.

They are now at a stage where their reserves have to be used to plan a safe and legal closure on 31st January 2016. This enables them to meet their legal responsibilities to their staff, volunteers and families.

They would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have given them support over the last 14 years.

For any further information please telephone 01543 301128.

NHS Blood & Transplant Need Your Help!
With Christmas fast approaching, blood donor sessions struggle to fill and your local support is much needed.

You can give blood at Lichfield City FC on Monday 21st December (please see the attached poster for more details).

Please could you help raise awareness  of this by displaying the poster or leaving out the attached colouring-in sheets.

If you would like hard copies please contact Lawna Pugh at or on 0117 921 7503 (internal 27503).

Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Further information is available at:-

To contact Support Staffordshire (Lichfield office) please call 01543 303030.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in volunteering contact the Volunteer Centre Lichfield on 01543 303030 or email:


Support Staffordshire Volunteer Success!
Support Staffordshire are proud to assist numerous organisations with finding volunteers.

We have received some wonderful feedback from Stuart Briggs of Burton Canoe Club:-

‘I thought I would update you with a success story!  It has been some time since last I asked you to sign post potential volunteers to Burton Canoe Club.  However, from about five efforts we have had one resounding success – Keith Newbold.

In November 2014 Keith came along to help us maintain our stock of equipment.  He soon settled in to the Club and helped with far more than just equipment.  It wasn’t long before he had his first attempt at canoeing, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

In March 2015 he was elected to Vice Chair on the Club Management Team! Keith approached the Club with a view to doing sixteen hours paid work supported by the Shaw Trust who would in fact be his employers.  Keith completed six months work with commitment and dedication and became well known in the Club.  He helped in numerous ways and never forgot his volunteering; volunteering always remained in addition to his 16 hours and he remains a very willing and helpful volunteer to this day.  Furthermore Keith has just gained part time employment at McDonalds; his first paid job in many years.

Naturally he is delighted, as we at the Canoe Club are delighted for him.  He is a valued member of the Club.  He is a Volunteering Staffordshire success story!

Keith continues to enjoy and develop his canoeing and kayaking and is a frequent participant.’

If you would like further information about the Burton Canoe Club please contact Stuart Briggs on 01283 526575, 01283 533416 or 07449 853615. You can also contact him via

Further information is also available on their website:

Holly Road Supportive Care Centre, Uttoxeter
The Holly Road Supportive Care Centre is a new community space in Uttoxeter, providing information, advice and support regarding anything relating to later life and end of life care.

The centre is open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm. They welcome visitors and will be very happy to show people around the centre.


To contact Support Staffordshire (East Staffordshire office) please call 01283 543414

Follow us on Twitter: @SuppStaffsES


Survey of Brough Park
There is currently a survey underway to capture people’s thoughts and ideas about the future development and improvement of Brough Park in Leek. This is an important resource for Leekensians and all ideas are welcomed. The aim is to submit a bid for Heritage Lottery Fund to implement the best ideas.

To take part on line go to or drop in to Brough Park Leisure Centre where survey forms are available for completion.
Case Study: Volunteering in The Moorlands
Do you have time to spare or are you thinking of returning to work?Shine Volunteering

Have you thought of volunteering?

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and have fun. It gives you the chance to get involved in your local community, use your skills and develop new ones. You can give as much or as little time as you have available; become involved on a long term basis or help out at a single event. Although you won’t get paid, you will be given training and work in a safe and supportive environment.

Through Support Staffordshire’s work club, Sara has had the opportunity to look at a wide range of volunteering opportunities before deciding to volunteer at Shine at Haregate Community centre in Leek. Prior to this she had had a number of years out of work whilst she was bringing up her children. Sara was eager to return to work after the break, she felt that she wanted to try something different to the kind of work she had done in the past.


Photo - Left to Right: Matthew Rowlands Shine Activity Co-ordinator, Jayne Page Shine Project Manager, Jacqui Belfield and Sara Barlow.

Invitation to North Staffs Advice Network Meetings
Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent CAB would like to invite you to attend their upcoming North Staffs Advice Network meeting on Tuesday 19th January 2016, 2-4pm about Tax Credit Changes.

These are free events for staff and volunteers working with clients affected by welfare reform. They are an opportunity to look strategically at the challenges our clients and organisations face and a chance to share ideas and expertise. The programmes are yet to be finalised but usually take the form of two or more presentations by CAB or external speakers and a discussion session.


The Prince's Trust 'Getting Started with Robots' Programme
The Prince's Trust are inviting people to register for their 'Get Started with Robots' programme in Stoke-on-Trent with John Findlay from Roaming Robots. This is aimed at  16-25 year olds and starts on 7th December 2016.

This is a great programme and covers all the STEM activities.

Please see the attached leaflet for further details.

You can view videos about the Trust's work on their YouTube channel: videos:

For further details please contact Christine Sutcliffe via or on 01782 957104 or 07436797249.

ESA & PIP Workshops & Medical Note Taker Service
Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent CAB are running the following services:-

ESA & PIP Workshops

ESA & PIP Workshops are for ESA and PIP claimants and their carers. They are also for claimants on other benefits who might be migrated to ESA or PIP at some point in the future.

  • Learn how ESA or PIP is assessed
  • Learn how to complete your ESA 50 or PIP form
  • Prepare for your face-to-face medical

The Workshops take place at the SNSCAB offices in Cheapside, Hanley. Please see the attached poster for more details and dates of Workshops up to the end of July 2016.


Potteries Gold Newsletter - November 2015

The latest edition of the Potteries Gold Newsletter is out - you can download it here!

Contents include:-

  1. Personal Independence Payment – we are conducting a survey on the problems people are having with claiming PIP such as accessibility at Winton House and people being asked to attend assessments in Birmingham and Derby. We are meeting with Capita to discuss this. The survey is attached and is also available online.
  2. Tax Credits and the Autumn Statement
  3. Universal Credit
  4. Work Capability Assessment
  5. Benefit Claims by EEA Nationals
  6. Homeless JSA/UC Claimants
  7. State Pension Online Claims

Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent CAB - Summary of Autumn Statement
The CAB have produced a summary of the Autumn Statement changes (as far as they understand them!).

You can read this here.  

To contact Support Staffordshire (Staffordshire Moorlands office) please call 01538 381356


New Work Club in Stafford
A new work club is starting in the bright and welcoming new Stafford Library at Place 1. Support Staffordshire is running the work club on Monday mornings from 7th December between 10am to 12pm.

Anyone can drop in for advice on job searching and CV writing. Rob Arnold, Employability Officer, says he’s looking forward to supporting people in Stafford: “This new work club will complement others in the town – at Stafford College, Greyfriars and Highfields – so that people can access advice at a range of locations and times. It can be tough finding employment and we’re here to help.”

Rob and his team will be able to show people how to get on line to look for advertised jobs and then how to go about applying, also often through on line application forms. He will also be able to offer advice and information about other help available to tackle issues that can hinder someone getting a job. There is no need for an appointment – just drop into the new library any time between 10am and 12pm.

If you have any queries please contact Rob Arnold on 01538 398240 or via

Stafford Safer Communities Partnership
The Stafford Safer Communities Partnership last met on 3rd November. Key items discussed included the following:

  • PCC People Power Funding - 7 applications were discussed and recommendations made.
  • Stafford Safer Neighbourhood Panel – candidates to sit on this panel were still being sought. Anyone interested should contact Tracy Redpath
  • Safer schools initiative – the aim of this is to reduce vulnerabilities relating to crime and victimisation and promote a safer school environment.
  • Crime and anti-social behaviour multi agency work in hot spot areas – if VCSEs are aware of particular problem areas or clusters they can contact Amanda Knight at Stafford Borough Council
  • Prevent – each locality community safety partnership will be developing a Prevent plan and there is a duty to incorporate all aspects of Prevent into the community safety strategy
  • SPACE – the group reflected on the activity programme that had been delivered over the summer holidays. It was noted that there had been varying degrees of success, mainly due to the short time available to promote the programme.

There are currently two VCSE reps on this Partnership, Jill Norman from Support Staffordshire and Dave Benge from VAST. Any group that wants an issue flagged up at the next meeting (17th December) or more detail on any of the above, can contact Jill on  

Next Stage Plans for Staffordshire History Centre Online
The next version of the plans for the Staffordshire History Centre online is on Staffordshire County Council's (Staffordshire Record Office) website. This includes floorplans, elevations and 3D illustrations.

You can view these on their website.

To contact Support Staffordshire (Stafford office) please call 01785 413160


Support Staffordshire is the countywide service for voluntary and community organisations in Staffordshire.

We can help you organisation to:

  • Develop and grow
  • Find and support volunteers
  • Secure sustainable income
  • Train your staff and volunteers
Registered office:
Support Staffordshire
Mansell House
22 Bore Street
Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6LL
United Kingdom
Tel: 0300 777 1207

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Support Staffordshire is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Registered in
England and Wales no. 8967045); and a Registered Charity (no. 1161077)

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