Charity: the new welfare state? is the theme of this year’s annual conference hosted by Voluntary Action South West Surrey, in conjunction with the University of Surrey’s Students’ Union. It takes place at the university’s Stag Hill campus on Tuesday, April 10, from 9.15am to 4.30pm.
Voluntary Action’s chief officer, Carol Dunnett, said: “As austerity continues and public spending tightens both the statutory and the voluntary sector face tough challenges in delivering services.
“We also have major changes to the welfare benefits system being introduced this autumn, nationally homelessness and child poverty is increasing and of course we have Brexit looming on the horizon.
“Against this back drop voluntary sector organisations are increasingly being asked to fill the gaps left by contracting public services, charities report that the demand for services is rising, and people’s problems are becoming more complex and harder to solve.
“What are the implications of this for the sector when we are also facing reductions in funding, and fundraising is becoming ever more difficult? Can and should charities be replacing vital public services and what are the consequences for vulnerable people living in Surrey?”
“Join us for our 2018 conference where we will be discussing these issues, looking at the problems, discussing ways forward, new ways of working and how the sector should be responding.”
A variety of speakers have already been confirmed, and include Debra Allcock Tyler, the chief executive of the Directory of Social Change; Joanna Killian, the chief executive of Surrey County Council; Jo Cookes, the director of communities engagement at the Diocese of Guildford; and Joanne Tester, the chief executive of Guildford Action.
There will also be a number of workshops all designed to follow through on the conference theme, as Carol Dunnett describes:
“If you are looking to try and influence policy and improve things for your beneficiaries choose Building a Better Society; which is all about campaigning and lobbying.
“Or sign up for A Happier Healthier Guildford – Have your Say, with Guildford Borough Council.
“If you want to get attention for your cause go to local journalist David Rose’s workshop on Engaging with the Media.
“If you need more money for your group then Helen Linnell’s workshop Perfect Pitch on writing better funding proposals should help.
“Involving volunteers is vital to running most voluntary sector services so we have two workshops on different aspects of volunteering plus one titled Measuring the Impact, to see how you are making through your volunteering programme.
“Maria Zealey from the Surrey Welfare Rights Unit will be outlining the changes to the Welfare Benefits System, a vital workshop if you want to understand the challenges faced by anyone on a low income.
Everyone is talking about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) at the moment – are you ready, should you be worrying? Alex Tolley from the University of Surrey will give you the lowdown and hopefully put your mind at rest.
“Strong and successful organisations need good governance and so we have a workshop specifically for trustees run by Helen Harvie, an expert in charity law.”
Places must be booked in advance (see link below) and cost £20 full price, £15 for volunteers, free for small groups with annual incomes under £5,000. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free place.
A light lunch and refreshments will be included.
For more details call Voluntary Action South West Surrey on 01483 504626.
There will be lots of free activities at the Beech Grove Playground in Pirbright on Saturday, March 10, from 1pm to 4pm.
See poster below for more details. Click to enlarge in a new window.
Join the Playeranger team for free fun and games for eight- to 12-year-olds as part of Love Outdoor Play Week, March 12 to 16, at a number of venues across Guildford.
See poster below for details. Click on image to enlarge.
A hard-working volunteer has been rewarded for his dedication with a two-night stay by Room to Reward, a hospitality charity created to give something back to those who do so much, for so many, and ask for nothing in return.
Volunteer Jason Wiggins was initially referred to the Welcome to Volunteering project, co-ordinated by Voluntary Action South West Surrey.
The project gives invaluable one-to-one support to people across the boroughs of Guildford and Waverley to access volunteering opportunities.
It helps people who wish to volunteer their time, skills and services, but who often need additional support to make that happen.
Lorraine Yates from Welcome to Volunteering has supported Jason, finding him additional volunteering roles to those he has already been involved in.
Lorraine said: “Jason spoke at Voluntary Action’s 2017 conference and at our annual meeting advocating the mental and physical benefits of volunteering.
“He is a well-respected, reliable and committed volunteer. He supports other vulnerable volunteers with care and compassion. He truly deserves this award, for the selfless way in which he supports local organisations and his community.”
In fact, Jason has volunteered in numerous roles over many years. He is currently volunteering in a charity shop in Godalming where he was a founder member of the team.
He also runs a user-led mental health support group. Jason set up this group when the funding and resources were withdrawn because he recognised the need and wanted it to continue.
Jason also supports the running of a weekly drop-in for people experiencing mental ill health issues.
Lorraine said: “He always arrives on time, is happy and cheerful and always on-hand to support members of the group in their hour of need. He shows genuine compassion and empathy towards everyone he meets.”
Voluntary Action South West Surrey’s recent Big Lottery funding success will allow it to continue its Welcome to Volunteering project for another five years.
For more details of the Welcome to Volunteering project and how it may help you or someone you know, contact co-coordinator Lorraine Yates on 07775 556772.
A free course for people who have no, or very basic, computer skills and who want to become more confident for work or volunteering is taking place from January 29.
It runs every Monday from 10am to 3pm from January 29 for four weeks.
Those who complete the course will receive a City & Guilds qualification.
To book a place call Linda or Dave on 01483 481789.
See below for full details.
Ash has formed a local dementia action alliance to support people living with and affected by dementia with the aim of creating a dementia-friendly community that is inclusive and accessible to all.
Ash Parish Dementia Action Alliance (APDAA) is made up of local residents, including people living with and affected by dementia and partner agencies. All of whom are passionate and committed to actively contribute towards improving the lives of people living with dementia, their family, carers and friends within the local community.
With funding from Guildford Borough Council’s Project Aspire, APDAA is holding a series of accessible events during Dementia Awareness Week, May 14 to 19.
Events include a dementia friendly service at St Peter’s Church; Active Minds, a dementia friendly music and tea event at the Lion Brewery pub; an information gazebo on the Wharf; dementia friendly books and items at Ash Library; and keep active and fit taster sessions.
The week will close with the official launch of the APDAA, giving people the opportunity to access information from other agencies and speak to members of the APDAA.
Local shops are supporting the launch week by featuring dementia friendly themes with many of them participating in the dementia friends awareness sessions.
Those that have completed a session will be wearing a Forget Me Not badge.
Local businesses that sign up to APDAA will display a sticker in their shop window to show people living with dementia and their carers that they are committed to developing a dementia friendly business.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society website, within Surrey it is estimated that there are more than 16,000 people living with dementia, many of whom are at risk of becoming socially isolated within the local communities.
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. In 2017 225,000 people will develop dementia. Numbers set to rise to over one million by 2025. This will soar to two2 million by 2051. one in six people over the age of 80 have dementia.
More than 40,000 people under the age 65 are living with dementia in the UK. 70% of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.
More than 25,000 people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the UK are affected.
2017 marks the seventh year that Guildford Borough Council’s Playrangers will be celebrating Love Outdoor Play Week, in association with Re:Play, the play association of the South East of England.
This special week focuses on highlighting the play opportunities on offer in the fantastic green spaces across the South East.
It is an annual celebration with events organised all over the region to help children and young people get out and play; encouraging and promoting outdoor play, whatever the weather. Reminding play workers, community workers and families alike that outdoor play is not just for the summer.
Aims and objectives
- to raise awareness of rising levels of childhood obesity and to encourage more outdoor play
- to contribute towards making children more physically active
- to improve and maintain physical and mental health and overall well-being
- to encourage children and their families to be active in the outdoors by providing free activities at sites around their home and local communit
- to highlight the importance of play in children’s development and well-being
- to provide opportunities for children of all abilities and backgrounds to play together in their communities.
Join in the fun between March 20 and 24 during the usual weekly Playranger sessions:
- Monday, March 20: Pirbright Village Green GU24 0JE
- Tuesday March 21, Coronation Gardens, Ash Hill Road, Ash GU12 5DN
- Wednesday, March 22 Westborough play area, Park Barn Drive GU2 8EU
- Thursday, March 23, The Green, Oak Tree Drive, Bellfields, GU1 1JT
- Friday, March 24, Hornhatch Green, Chilworth, GU4 8AX
Each session runs daily after school, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.
There will be a variety of playful, creative and sporty activities available daily on the theme of ‘Giant Games’; such as giant art, giant, smores, giant table football, giant bubbles – all in all there will be a giant amount of fun!
The latest edition of the Joining In! booklet for Westborough and Park Barn is now published, containing details of things to do and how to get more involved in your community.
Once again, groups and organisations are listed with what they have to offer. There’s something of all interest for all ages!
Free copies have already been distributed to schools and churches.
Any other groups or persons who would like copies please contact David Rose on 07825 419408 or email to email@example.com
Fun for children hosted by Guildford Borough Council’s Play Rangers
Play Rangers in Ash meet every Tuesday during term time.
Coronation Gardens, Ash Hill Road, Ash, Surrey GU12 5DN
Grid reference: SU 89676 51510
Amanda Pick, Play and Youth Development Officer, Guildford Borough Council’s Parks and Leisure Services. Tel: 07799 133608