Voluntary Action South West Surrey

A member of the Ash & Tongham, Godalming, Cranleigh, Haslemere, Farnham, Guildford, Surrey Business and Surrey communities

About Voluntary Action South West Surrey

We are a local support and development group helping local voluntary and community groups develop and thrive.

We provide funding advice, we recruit volunteers, we run training and events and have projects to promote community involvement and encourage volunteering.

If you are a local community group needing more volunteers, some help with finding funding or with any other aspect of running you group please get in touch, our email is info@vasws.org.uk

Find us online

Visit our website at https://voluntaryactionsws.org.uk/

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Latest posts

Making Zero Happen: New Community Climate Hub for Guildford

Zero Carbon Guildford (ZCG) are super excited to announce that they have secured the use of 14 - 16 Friary Street, Guildford (previously New Look). Over the coming weeks the team will turn the empty shop into a vibrant space, ready to be used by countless local community groups and organisations as they seek to build an ambitious, collaborative, and community-led plan to help Guildford adapt to climate breakdown and ecological collapse. And they are calling it Zero.

Zero will bring together individuals, projects and organisations and offer resources and platforms for collaboration to enable greater benefits than each individual project alone. The hub will also offer opportunities for anyone to drop in and learn more, pick up tips and resources to take action and engage in wider projects, if they wish. Vital to all of this is the development of wellbeing and mental health frameworks which help residents face up to and combat the climate crisis, whilst being able to process the overwhelming emotions that will come with such realisations. This will both empower and spur us into action, rather than leaving us paralysed with fear.

To help convert this former retail space into a vibrant hub, they have set up a Crowdfund campaign to cover the running costs for the first few months while they establish the centre. They will use the funds to develop displays for local social and environmental groups, set up interactive exhibitions on climate and environmental issues, kit out their zero-waste food shop, and loads more.

They are delighted to announce that they have already received pledges from generous individuals to match fund donations up to £10,000! This means that for every £10 donation, Zero receives £25 (£10 donation + £10 matching + £5 Gift Aid).

As a big thank you they are going to permanently display the names of their most generous supporters on ‘Zero’s Wall of Heroes’. Those who donate £25 or more will get their name on the wall and be permanently carved into Guildford community lore.

Supporting Zero, in building a community action plan to cope with a changing planet, is an investment in Guildford’s future.

If you would like to be involved check out their volunteering portal

For more general info please see their website.

Skill up for the future and drive post COVID-19 recovery

Regional recovery is key to helping organisations rebuild and move forward following the pandemic. With the focus on accelerating digital strategies to safeguard for the future, the charity sector must enable people with the digital skills that they need to ensure that they continue to drive impact within the community.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations are holding a live webinar to find out.

Date: 12th October 2021.

Time: 11am - 12pm.

Venue: Virtual.

Topics Covered:
  • What regional recovery is.
  • Why digital skills are vital in driving recovery.
  • How digital skills can help your charity’s post-pandemic recovery: customer case studies.
  • The next steps in building your digital recovery plan.
To register please visit their website.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2021

Charity Fraud Awareness Week (18th – 22nd October 2021) is an award-winning campaign run by a partnership of charities, regulators, law enforcers, representative and umbrella bodies, and other not-for-profit stakeholders from across the world.

The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of fraud and cybercrime affecting the sector and to create a safe space for charities and their supporters to talk about fraud and share good practice.

Why is it important?

All charities, NGOs and not-for-profits are susceptible to fraud and can be targeted. Those providing services and supporting local communities may be especially vulnerable to fraudsters attempting to exploit current national and global crises to carry out fraud and cybercrime. This means that now - more than ever - charities need to be fraud aware and take steps to protect their money, people and assets from harm.



Who is it for?
  • Trustees, directors, board members, staff and volunteers.
  • Organisations that represent the interests of the sector and/or act as their voice.
  • Accountants, auditors, solicitors and insurers acting as professional advisors to the sector.
  • Regulators, law enforcers and policymakers working to safeguard the sector.
  • Anyone else who wants to protect the sector and the crucial work it does.
For more information, please visit their website.

Link Workers' Day

The third UK Annual Social Prescribing Link Worker Day took place this week to celebrate and showcase Social Prescribing Link Workers’ impact and role in creatively disrupting inequalities and powering up integrated care. Activities marking the day kicked off with a virtual #LinkWorkerDay2021 Awards ceremony on Thursday to recognise all those who have made outstanding contributions. A virtual conference also took place.

Whilst 2020 and 2021 have been overshadowed by the pandemic, the response to COVID-19 has highlighted the valuable role Social Prescribing Link Workers have played in creatively disrupting inequalities and powering up integrated care.

Social Prescribing Link Workers’ have become an integral part of the NHS workforce. Evidence shows that the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities are largely dictated by a range of environmental and socio-economic factors. These factors are largely responsible for inequalities. These unfair disadvantages have an impact on the overall healthcare system.

They not only serve as the missing link between Community, Health and Social Care but also serve as creative disruptors, who challenge existing models of care to reduce inequalities and enable patients and communities to take control of their health and wellbeing. This disruptive and innovative approach helps reduce pressure on overstretched health services and plays a pivotal role in integrated care.

For more information, please visit their website.

The Governance App - Free webinar

The Governance App is a new, free and easy way for your board of trustees to review and improve its governance, together.

Date: 22nd October 2021.

Time: 11am - 11.45am.

Venue: Zoom.

The session will help you to make the most of the Governance App. It will cover everything from registering your organisation and completing the surveys, to using your results and planning your next steps.

You can then use the Governance App to:

• Gather responses from your whole board.

• Get a performance score out of ten in seven different areas.

• Highlight where board members have different views on performance.

• Have targeted discussions about what’s going well and where to focus on improving.

You will be sent the link to the webinar in your confirmation email from their Customer Services team.

Find out more about the Governance App and register for free now.

We are with you in Surrey - Free NHS Talking Therapies Service

We are with you Surrey offer a range of free, confidential talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), for problems like:

  • Worrying all the time.
  • Feeling low and hopeless.
  • Obsessive thoughts or behaviours.
  • Panic attacks.
They offer different kinds of therapies depending on the difficulties you are having and how severe they are.

For example, you could:

  • Join one of their free online courses – see what courses they offer.
  • Access Silvercloud, an online CBT programme that you can work through at your own pace.
  • Have a one-to-one therapy, such as counselling or CBT.
How to register:

You do not need a referral from your GP, but you do need to be aged 17 or over and registered with a GP in Surrey.

  • Choose a service.
  • Fill in a short online form.
  • Choose a time and date for a phone conversation with one of our trained staff.
  • You will agree a treatment plan together.


  • For more information and to register, please visit their website.

    Postcode Innovation Trust: The Dream Fund

    A new round of The Dream Fund has opened to applications. Charities can apply for up to £1.25 million to deliver their ‘dream’ project, including Covid-19 recovery projects. Applications must come from a partnership of at least two charitable organisations, one of which will be the lead. The website states that Applications must be innovative, creative and original, and present projects that are a genuine ‘dream'.

    Please go to the Dream Fund section to learn more about the criteria and to read the guidance notes.

    They also have an Innovation Toolkit to help you develop original, impactful and innovative projects. The Toolkit contains tools you can use to:

    • Identify the problem you want to solve.
    • Understand your audience and their needs.
    • Develop and build ideas.
    For more information and to apply, please visit their website.

    Mayor’s pledge to support charities and volunteers at Civic Service

    The Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Commander Susan Lochner, Mayors from around county and Waverley, guests and local dignitaries gathered at St Bartholomew's Church in Haslemere for the Mayor of Waverley's Civic Service on 3rd October 2021.

    The mayor Councillor John Robini made his promises of office and received a blessing in front of the congregation.

    Cllr Robini pledged to support charities that had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the work of volunteers throughout the borough. This year his nominated charities are a Place2Be which works to provide an inclusive space for young children, Hydestile Wildlife Hospital in Hydestile and Skillway which provides training for young people.

    Thanking the congregation for their attendance at the service, Cllr Robini said: “The past 18 months have hit many people hard, in debt, food and mental health. For the remainder of my mayoral year I want to support all our hard working volunteers, that year after year ensure all our community buildings and vulnerable citizens are provided with the help and assistance they desperately need. Without this army of volunteers we would be a much poorer borough.”

    The service was led by the Rector of Haslemere, the Reverend Chris Bessant. The readings, covering the Calling of Moses and the Charge of St Paul, were given by Cllr Robini and the Vicar of St Alban’s, Hindhead, the Rev Richard Bodle respectively.

    Volunteers needed with electric cars

    Waverley Borough Council are looking for DBS checked volunteers with access to fully electric cars. The primary role will be to help community nurses with private vehicles who cannot refuel and will need transportation to vulnerable residents. They will then compile a list of volunteers to be offered to the Surrey Local Resilience Forum.

    Any volunteers interested please use the contact information below.

    Email: emergency.planning@waverley.gov.uk

    Garden Maintenance Services

    Guildford Borough Council is exploring opportunities for local organisations to offer training, skills and work experience opportunities for members of the community through the delivery of garden maintenance services at its main offices and sheltered housing schemes.

    If you would like to express an interest in providing this service for the Council or wish to discuss this further, please use the contact information below.

    Steve Benbough (Strategy and Communications Manager)

    Email: stephen.benbough@guildford.gov.uk.