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.
All welcome to attend tea party to celebrate 10th anniversary of the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association
Make a date in your diary for Saturday, September 30, when the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association celebrates its 10th birthday with a free tea party and a free prize draw.
It is taking place at the Park Barn Centre, off Park Barn Drive, GU2 8EN, from 2pm to 4pm.
The prize draw will have a £150 and two £50 Tesco vouchers up for grabs.
As well as free refreshments, there will be music from the locally based Rhythm of Life community choir, craft activities for children, and a display of pictures showing past events the association has been involved with in the area.
Go and find out what the association does for the community of Park Barn and Westborough and how you may wish to get involved too. Its friendly committee members will be very pleased to talk to you!
Plus there will be a visit from the Mayor of Guildford, who will be thanking some of the long-standing and past members of the association.
Take a look at the association’s website www.weloveparkbarnandwedstborough.com that keeps the community up to date with what’s going on in the area. Be a friend of its ever-growing Facebook group www.facebook.com/ParkBarnandWestboroughCA/
A series of classes offering a gentle introduction for people wanting to increase their flexibility and strength and who are new to yoga are taking place in August.
Thursdays, August, 3, 10, 17, from 6pm to 7pm at St Francis Church Hall, Weston Road, Guildford GU2 8BU.
£6 per session, participants need to book on to all three classes. Total £18 to be paid at the first class.
Wear something to easily move in, such as jogging bottoms and a T-shirt, i.e. something that’s not too floppy.
To book your place and for more details contact yoga teacher Natalie Coleman on 07813 132701.
Guildford Grove School’s Volunteer Reading Scheme
Reading volunteers listen to children read individually, and support and encourage them with their reading and / or numeracy.
They are guided by the class teacher and receive training. No special qualifications are required, but you do need to enjoy reading and spending time with young people as they learn to read.
Placement is subject to satisfactory references, completing a short training course, and a DBS check.
Once a week during term time, mornings or afternoons
Guildford Grove Primary School, Southway, GU2 8YD
Scheme co-ordinator on 01483 504713