VSI Alliance – Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team

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Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team


VSI News

Volunteer Week 1st to 7th June 2020

I’ve been humbled and awed by the few stories I’ve heard of local people and local groups rising above the fear and confusion to reach those most at need, to offer food, medicines and good old-fashioned human warmth & kindness at this time. I’ve been impressed by the speed and dexterity with which voluntary sector groups have adapted, always keeping those that they support at the centre of their service. But that’s one of the many things that the voluntary sector does best, isn’t it? Adaptation! We see a need and work out how to meet it – and we don’t worry about whether it’s in our job descriptions or whether it’s something that we ‘normally’ do!

I want everyone in the area to hear stories that will remind people that we really are in this together and without local people stepping up and reaching out to both neighbours and strangers alike, these last few months would have been much much worse for many. I do not doubt that volunteers have saved lives, saved families and saved sanities! I know that children and our older generation have been kept safer because of volunteers. I know that, because of volunteers, our neighbours who seek refuge and asylum are being respectfully cared for and included. Volunteers have made life-affirming contributions to those with disabilities, those suffering long-term isolation, homelessness and those with on-going mental health issues.

I want to share stories of the volunteering that is going on in Calderdale – to celebrate their efforts and, I hope, to go some way to restoring people’s faith in humanity at this time of isolation and growing division. We rightly clap for the NHS and carers on a Thursday evening – we should also be clapping for the kindness and compassion given freely by volunteers.

Please can you share with me a story or a brief case study (or even just a couple of lines/quotes) about some of the work that you’re doing at the moment that I can share on our social media outlets for Volunteer Week in June? My hope is that our IT wiz, the lovely Jake, can help me build your stories into some kind of presentation/video (I wouldn’t have a clue!) that we can all share around to let the world know that Calderdale is an amazing place with amazing people.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. If you’d prefer to chat over the phone rather than email, please let me know – I’d be happy to call at your convenience.

Charlie Johnston
Volunteer Development Officer

Calderdale News & Information

Here I Am – Deadline: 5th June
Here I Am invites people living in the Borough to make something about them during this time. All entries will be collated and projected into a specially made lantern house in the Piece Hall courtyard for Refugee Week.

Latest News from Calder Valley Community Land Trust
Calder Valley Community Land Trust is still keeping very active and have a date for a virtual AGM.

Regional/National News & Information

Commissioning and Contracting – Shaping the ‘New Normal’
Help by sharing your experience of commissioning and contracting practice – whether it’s good, bad or mixed.

Partnership Pays Tribute to Vital Role of Volunteering as Part of National Volunteer Week
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) are proud to be supporting national Volunteers Week which starts Monday 1 June.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Charities
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has published its report on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on charities.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Weekly Update
This week’s leadership message comes from Partnership Director; Ian Holmes, and Tony Jamieson, Director of Transformation for Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network.

West Yorkshire Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) Service Information Sessions
The service will soon be running Skype information sessions for professionals working within community settings. The sessions will include the role of the ISVA, how to make a referral and a brief overview of the Criminal Justice System in sexual violence cases.

Earlier this week:

Coronavirus Scam Alert Issue #8
West Yorkshire Trading Standards weekly update on COVID-19 related scams.

Public Health England Coronavirus Posters for Stay Alert Phase
These resources contain official guidance and key messages for Stay Alert phase relating to social distancing in specific settings.

What the Latest Government Guidance Means for People Affected by Dementia
The government has updated the restrictions on what people can and can’t do during the coronavirus pandemic and it’s important to be aware of what this means for people affected by dementia.

Funding News

Charities Encouraged to Bid for £15 Million Tampon Tax Fund – Deadline: 7th June
Organisations supporting women and girls are invited to apply for a share of £15 million from the Tampon Tax Fund.


About VSI Alliance:

All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact info@vsialliance.org.uk, or see below contact information.

We can support you with:

  • Organisational development
  • Social enterprise, business development and asset transfer
  • Governance
  • All aspects of establishing a new group or organisation
  • Quality assurance including Quality For Health
  • Safeguarding support
  • Fundraising and income generation
  • Partnership working
  • Specialist financial advice and services
  • Volunteering brokerage and development
  • Engagement Champions
  • Voice and representation of the VCS sector

Contact information:

Delivery Manager, food banks and Sowerby/Ryburn area – contact Jayne Leech: jayne.leech@vsialliance.org.uk

Funding, business planning and any groups in Upper Valley – contact Pat Akerman: pat.akerman@vsialliance.org.uk

Engagement Champions – contact Nikkie Dooley and Jayne O’Connell nikkie.dooley@cvac.org.uk / jayne.o’connell@cvac.org.uk

Communication – e-bulletin/social media – contact Jake Farrar: jake.farrar@vsialliance.org.uk

Volunteering support and any groups in Central Halifax – contact Charlie Johnston: charlie.johnston@vsialliance.org.uk

Organisational development – any groups in North Halifax – contact Rachel Shaw: rachel.shaw@vsialliance.org.uk

Organisational development – any groups in Lower Valley – contact Olivia Swingler: olivia.swingler@vsialliance.org.uk

Locality specialist support – contact Sophie Michelena: sophie.michelena@vsialliance.org.uk

WYCAS: specialist financial advice – contact Helen Galvin: helen.galvin@vsialliance.org.uk