Information from Wiltshire Council

Wiltshire Council has asked us to share the following message with voluntary and charity sector organisations delivering frontline social care functions.

In line with the national Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI) framework and the associated Standard Operating Procedure, Wiltshire Council is acting as the co-ordination point for the roll-out of Covid vaccinations to those delivering front-line social care roles across Wiltshire including those in the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS).

The associated documents below which you can download describe the process and requirements that we have put in place to enable relevant staff/volunteers to be put forward for vaccination as well as a FAQ document that hopefully clarifies some of the common queries.

It is important to note that the primary aims of the vaccination programme are:

  • preventing mortality resulting from Covid infection and

  • control of the virus

We are asking that prioritisation of volunteers and staff is made in accordance with this focus rather than on wider issues. We appreciate that Covid continues to have a massive impact upon the VCS’s ability to deliver a wide range of very important services and that this is an area of concern for many people. However, due to the restricted availability of vaccine we must focus this first phase of the programme on reducing mortality and controlling the infection initially in those groups deemed at highest risk by JCVI. Once staff/volunteers in the higher priority groups have been vaccinated, we will be able to progress to the lower priority roles; it is therefore vital that you fully consider the criteria for the priority categories before requesting vaccines.

Having considered the documents and the clarification of focus above, if you feel that you have staff/volunteers that are within scope of the vaccination programme please do follow the process as described in the attached documents and return the completed spreadsheet to 

Please also use this email address if you have any queries about the process.

Many thanks and best wishes

Wiltshire Council Staff Vaccinations Team


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Wiltshire Community Foundation
Sandcliff House
21 Northgate Street
SN10 1JT
01380 729284

The community platform that connects people, groups and organisations in Wiltshire.

The New Year has seen a surge in activities being registered on Wiltshire Together.  There are currently 246 organisations registered and sharing information about 140 activities, including 49 volunteering opportunities and 48 events.  Don't get left behind, sign-up today. 

Acts of Appreciation Campaign calls for communities to appreciate keyworkers. 

WILTSHIRE’S High Sheriff and MPs are backing a charity’s call for people to show appreciation for frontline and key workers for their efforts through the pandemic.

Wessex Community Action has launched its Acts of Appreciation campaign to encourage people to do something for neighbours and friends working or volunteering for the NHS, charity sector or in key roles such as shops, transport, schools, refuse collection, the postal service or councils.

Chief Executive Amber Skyring said the idea of the campaign is for communities to show key and front line workers living among them their appreciation for all their efforts through an act of kindness.

“It could be baking them a cake, delivering some flowers, fruit and vegetables or a home-made card or painting a picture; just offering to wash their car or help in their garden,” she said. Whatever we decide to do, to do it safely. 

Read the full article on  

Don't forget Wiltshire Together is your community platform for sharing similar community listings, events and volunteer opportunities.

Wiltshire's Voluntary and Community sector Forum, 23rd February  

In a couple of weeks, Wessex Community Action will be hosting the next meeting of the Voluntary and Community Sector Forum on 23rd February. 

We will continue to consider and develop the themes that emerged from our last meeting in December and host space for any other conversations and new possibilities. 

To do this well, we are taking a facilitation and participatory leadership orientated approach to gathering together for the next year. What this means on a practical level is that each meeting will now have a section at the beginning which focuses on arriving and sharing some stories that may be drawn from a personal perspective or work perspective. This focus will allow us to build richer relationships in order that we can collaborate well together and give us a wider perspective on what is happening in our sector. 

Following this collective networking, we will be using Open Space Technology, to create opportunities for self organised conversations. We will have 6-10 breakout spaces where any member of the community can host a conversation about a topic that matters to them right now.

To complete our time together we will come back to a larger group and share some of our learning from the conversations we have had and work together on a google jamboard to share any needs and requests that might be within our community. This jamboard and the learning from the conversations will be shared more widely after the meeting.

We will leave the meeting open for a further 30 minutes afterwards for any additional networking or connecting that you would like to do. 

Please join us in exploring some new ways of collaborating together which will increase the potential for understanding, cross sector networking, collaboration and learning.

If you have already signed up, thank you, I hope the above provides a bit more information about the session.  If you haven’t registered, Please do sign up to attend via Eventbrite here  and share with your contacts and networks.

Calling all Volunteer Managers  

If you are responsible for managing volunteers within your organisation, Wessex Community Action would like to invite you to the next meeting of the Volunteer Managers Forum on Tuesday 23rd March 10.00 - 12.30.

The Volunteer Managers Forum was set up in 2019 for volunteer managers to network, share good practice, raise the profile of volunteering in Wiltshire; identifying training needs and respond by accessing training opportunities; working together to share challenges and solutions. And more!

The forthcoming meeting aims to provide an opportunity to check-in and see what is emerging in your organisation, where you may need more support, advice and training etc and to consider the state of volunteering (as we know it) in the sector at this time.

As in previous Forum meetings there will be space for some Peer 2 Peer support using the Action Learning Set model and we hope to hear from other volunteer managers who have created some innovative ways of engaging and supporting existing and new volunteers.  Find out more and book here. 

Training Opportunities for Voluntary and Community Groups and Organisations  

Community First Wiltshire, Wessex Community Action and Wiltshire Community Foundation are very pleased to be working together to support Wiltshire's Voluntary and Community Sector through the publication of a joint training calendar.

The joint publication combines the training available from the partners and aims to make it easier for voluntary and community organisations in Wiltshire find the training they need to support their activities.

There are a range of courses available from short 2 hour free sessions to affordably priced training courses and a range of topics covered including; Getting to grips with Zoom, Meet the Funder events, Mental Health training and Train the Trainer.  The calendar currently runs until the end of April 2021 and will be updated as new courses and opportunities become available.

To find out more about the training available and how to book download the training calendar.  Click Here to download 

Training available through Wessex Community Action  

Book now for training in February and March;

For the full programme of training available from Wessex Community Action visit our website here

Local News

Mental health forum members produce their own guide to support services

People with lived experience of mental ill health have produced their own comprehensive guide to mental health and wellbeing services on offer in Wiltshire.

Members of the Wiltshire Mental Health Open Forum worked together to compile the Wiltshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Services list, which details where adults, children and young people can get support, counselling, and advice on topics such as addiction, bereavement and homelessness.

To find out more about Wiltshire Mental Health Open Forum and to download the Wiltshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Services list, go to

People are being urged to vote by post and have their say in a safe way. 

On 6 May, registered voters will be able to have their say in the Police and Crime Commissioner, unitary, and town and parish council elections, as well as a number of neighbourhood planning referendums.  Due to the ongoing pandemic, Wiltshire council's Returning Officer is asking that as many people as possible register to vote via post. Click here to find out more.

Covid 19 Information 

Support for people who need transport to their vaccination appointment

If you have an appointment (or know someone that does) and are having trouble accessing transport to get to your appointment, the following transport options are available:

  • your own vehicle, public transport or a private taxi

  • via family, friends or neighbours

  • the Link Schemes running across Wiltshire

  • rescheduling their appointment to a different time and day when you do have access to transport

If none of the above are available, call the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub on 0300 003 4576 and they can help arrange transport.  For the full details on the support available

Could you help transport people to get their COVID-19 vaccination?

Community First are looking for volunteers in the local community to help transport people to get their COVID-19 vaccination.  If you are able to help, please call 01380 722241 or email

Half term holiday childcare for parents working to support the Covid-19 response. 

Wiltshire Council has been working with local childminders to provide a directory of half term paid for childcare for parents working as critical workers during the holiday.    Parents, who are having difficulties, are asked to email for details of providers with vacancies in their area.

The first option for any parent needing childcare during the February half term school holidays is to consider forming a childcare bubble locally.  The government has said that people who need childcare during the school holidays for a child under 14 can form a childcare bubble with one other household - ideally who live locally.  Click here to find out more.

GP registration campaign  

Being registered with a GP has many benefits, the most important one at the moment is that GPs can identify those people who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and ensure that they are invited to get a vaccination.

To support all people, particularly those who experience health inequalities, to register with GPs, the following resources have been produced for people working and volunteering in the voluntary community and social enterprise sector to support the people you are working with to register with a GP.

Access cards can be downloaded here.  These support the message that everyone is entitled to register with a GP. On the back of the card is the NHS England and NHS Improvement Customer Contact Centre number, for people to use if they have been refused registration.

VCSE organisations can get physical copies of the access card from their local Healthwatch, to share with the communities they work with, or download a digital copy of the access card from the FutureNHS platform.  You may require access to view this page. If so, please follow the steps outlined to request access.  Some VCSE partners will be receiving batches of the cards to distribute directly to their service users.

Twitter graphic for social media - Please share this campaign on social media – this Twitter graphic can be downloaded here.

Posters - There are two posters that give clear information about how to register with a GP, which you can download and print.

  1. The ‘Welcome to General Practice’ poster can be personalised with practice-specific information.

  2. The ‘Please come and register with your local GP’ poster can be displayed in any prominent places where people go for advice and support.

For more information please visit the FutureNHS platform.

Covid-19 Vaccine key messages

DCMS has produced a Covid-19 Vaccine comms pack to support voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations disseminate key messages on vaccines.   This pack has been produced to support you in sharing and disseminating information about COVID-19 vaccines through your networks. The pack includes;

  • Guidance and basic explanations you can use answering ‘What is a vaccine?’

  • Comms assets and resources on vaccines you can use and share

  • Vaccine resources for British Sign Language users

  • Key messages on COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

  • Misinformation - assets and copy you can use to tackle misinformation on vaccines

Download the pack here 

NCVO Coronavirus guidance for voluntary organisations.

NCVO provides information and guidance that explains how voluntary organisations can work in a way that reduces the risk of people transmitting Covid. Their webpage includes links to relevant Government guidance, practical ideas of how to undertake a risk assessment and change the way you work. The page is for anyone who works in voluntary organisations, including trustees, leaders, staff and volunteers and has been updated to include information regarding the covid-19 vaccination programme.  

The full guidance for voluntary organisations from NCVO can be found Here.

Updated Government Guidance : Enabling safe and effective volunteering during Coronavirus

This guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic.  It has recently been updated to include new sections on ‘Political campaigning’ and ‘Volunteers eligible for vaccines’. 

Click here for the full guidance.

Covid-19 recovery and resilience: what can health and care learn from other disasters?

While Covid-19 can feel like an entirely unique event, there are parallels with and lessons to be learned from other disasters from the past 20 years.   The report, published by the Kings Fund, draws on key insights from people involved in recovery work around the world and sets out to understand what the health and care system can learn from the experience of recovery from other disasters. 

The research highlights that recovery should focus on understanding what individuals and communities need to cope with the impacts of a disaster, and be in a better position to withstand the next one. To know that recovery will be a long haul and that progress will not be linear.

In the aftermath of a traumatic event, successful recovery doesn’t just happen. This report shares the four priorities that require conscious attention and action.

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing

  • Communities

  • Collaboration

  • Workforce Wellbeing  

The full report can be viewed Here

National News

Rebalancing the Relationship: How to collaborate with other charities, NCVO report.

NCVO have launched a report on competition and collaboration between larger and smaller charities and social enterprises in partnership with ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.

The project has focused on organisations working within the context of the competitive commissioning environment and aims to encourage more collaborative ways of working and highlights five key questions every leader and individual should consider to improve how their organisation works with others:

  1. Power. What advantages does my organisation have compared to others, and how can we level the playing field? How can we support organisations led by marginalised groups and communities?

  2. Empathy. What are the challenges other organisations of different types and sizes face? What do other organisations do better than us? What are the challenges and values we have in common?

  3. Honesty. How do other organisations, and people who work for them, experience working with us? How can we make them feel comfortable to have an honest conversation with us?

  4. Communication. Do others know we want to work in partnership and how we approach partnership working?

  5. Impact. How are the people we serve supported by other organisations? How can we work with other organisations to centre the people we serve and coproduce services? How can we prioritise impact above organisational interest?

You can read the report here.   

NCVO to withdraw Funding Central service as part of new strategy

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations will stop running its Funding Central online fund-finding service and wind down its “trusted charity” quality standard as part of its new strategy. 

The umbrella body has drawn up its strategic priorities through a consultation involving more than 900 stakeholders and taking into consideration the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the NCVO and its members.  It said this had caused it to make decisions on where it could have the greatest impact and the role it needed to play as an umbrella body. 

The NCVO said its future work would be guided by priorities in four main areas: supporting voluntary organisations, making the case for charities and volunteers, connecting through local and national networks, and evolving by embedding new ways of working.  

Alongside this, it said it would cease operating its Funding Central service, which showcases thousands of grants, contracts and loans available to voluntary sector organisations, on 31 March.  NCVO said it was working with other providers to ensure alternative options are available.  Click here for the full story.

To support local groups search for funding you can use the Funding database maintained and supported by Wiltshire Community Foundation.  Find out more and register for free here 

Resources and Guidance

My UK Charity

Small Charities Coalition (SCC) will soon deliver training sessions on charity management in multiple community languages. My UK Charity, is aimed at breaking down inequality in the delivery and design of infrastructure support which disadvantages those who either do not speak English, or in some cases for those for whom English is an additional language.

Building and Managing Your Charity in the UK for Hindi Speakers.
Friday 12 February 10am-12noon
Places can be booked here. 

More languages will be covered in future months including; Polish, Urdu, Bengali and Mandarin.  Click here to find out more.

Weston Communicating Climate   

This is a new six-month free skills programme for small-medium climate and environmental organisations which is being supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation.  The programme will support 30 UK-based organisations to extend the power and reach of their communications work, through structured strategic communications training, mentoring by media and communications experts, peer networking and media interview training. 

Applications for Weston Communicating Climate are open and will close on Tuesday 16 February. Click here for more information.

Headlining Mental Health

Headlining Mental Health is an exciting new programme from Media Trust for 20 small mental health organisations, running from March – September 2021. Mental health is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and one of Media Trust’s priority areas of focus in 2021.

Many mental health organisations are operating under enormous pressure, with more demand than ever for their services. This free programme is designed to help them extend the power and reach of their communications, supporting them in their mission - whether that’s to reach people who need to access support, to normalise conversations around mental health, or to make sure the voices of people living with mental health issues are heard.

Applications are open on 4 February and will close on 22 February. There will be an online Q&A for prospective applicants on 11 February. Find out more here

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and kinder world. Everyone's path to happiness is different. Based on the latest research, 10 Keys to Happier Living have been identified that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell "GREAT DREAM".

For each of the ten you'll find information, questions, resources and suggested actions to help apply them in your daily life. Read more.

TECH Corner

Getting to Grips with Zoom 

If you are new to Zoom or looking to improve your skills, this free short course is for you. Feel more confident, knowledgeable and skilful in using Zoom for either personal or work use. Learn how to host or join a Zoom meeting as well the key features such as breakout rooms, chat, whiteboard and screen sharing.

This FREE session is being offered by Wessex Community Action in partnership with WEA. 

Getting to grips with Zoom.
Thursday 4th March 10.00-12.00 noon
Places can be booked here 

When should you post on social media? 

Blog2Social has produced an infographic which outlines when you should post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc in order to get the best coverage for your post/tweet.
It also gives you frequency too - so you can check if you are posting too much/too little/just right. Click here to find out more.

How to start and manage your email marketing calendar? 

The average charity sends out about 66 emails to each subscriber during the course of a year. That’s an email every five days. That’s too many emails to try and wing it.

For some best practices, tips, and tools you can use to maximise your email marketing calendar for this year and beyond.  Click here.

Funding Opportunities

Cameron Grant Memorial Trust
Applications for a grant of between £100 and £2,500 will be considered. The grant can be used to trial a new service, create an asset, a technology, a performance, fund research, or otherwise experiment in any way that supports the treatment mental health. The emphasis will be on innovation – using new methods, channels, technology, ideas or approaches to reach out and effect change.  Note the grants are for project-based activities that demonstrate clear innovation. They will not be made to fund ongoing operational expenses or salaries For more information please click here. 

Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust
Funding for UK registered charities for projects supporting people who are homeless with priority given to BAME communities.  UK registered charities with an income of between £100,000 and £1 million can apply for grants of up to £1,000.

The deadline for applications is 28 February 2021.

Money Saving Expert Charity
MSE Charity gives grants to not for profit organisations that deliver activities which make a lasting impact on how people think, behave and manage their money.  The February 2021 round is targeting and supporting the younger generation (under 25) who in the current difficult economic climate need support to develop and learn personal financial life skills.

All applications must demonstrate how the project they are seeking funding for has a lasting impact on the people taking part.  The maximum grant is £7,500. The applications most likely to be successful are those that ask for funding for a specific activity cost rather than a general contribution to running costs or a much larger project.

Applicants are advised to apply early in the month as the round will be limited to the first 40 applications that are accepted or the deadline, whichever is soonest.

The deadline for applications is 26 February 2021.

Swimathon Foundation - Covid-19 Relief Fund
The Swimathon Foundation is providing grants of between £250 and £1,000 to small swimming and aquatic organisations experiencing short-term financial hardship from the effects of COVID-19, especially where access to financial support is not otherwise available. These range from National Governing Body Affiliated Swim Clubs, Aquatic Clubs and Swim Schools to Independent Swimming Organisations.

The deadline for applications is 26 February 2021.