Thursday, 15 December 2016

PQASSO Essentials - Quality Assurance Pilot for Small Organisations launches today

PQASSO Essentials is intended to help smaller, third sector groups and organisations that:
·         May never have reviewed their whole group or organisation and that want to do a basic ’health check‘ to know which areas they need to develop and strengthen
·         Want to start to introduce and embed quality and continuous improvement in their work
·         Need a framework to support the development of their group or organisation, and 
·         Want to be more effective and efficient in how they work.
PQASSO Essentials will help a group or organisation improve two really key areas – governance (the function performed by the Board or management committee) and how risks of all sorts are identified and managed.
Good governance is about ensuring that Board or management committee members understand their roles and responsibilities, that they ensure the group or organisation is meeting all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, and that there is a plan for the intended work or activities. They will also oversee the finances of the organisation and ensure there are effective financial controls in place and a budget that is monitored regularly.
For small groups or organisations the situation sometimes arises where a group of initial founders then become Board or management committee members. They will need to review their role, as they may need to become more strategic and less hands on, especially if staff begin to be employed.
Identifying and managing risks of all kinds – however small a group or organisation is, it should identify key risks to it being able to deliver the work it wants to do, to its financial position, to its reputation or to any other area of how it operates. Identifying and managing risk is a key part of the role of Board or management committee members.

PQASSO Essentials has 10 questions which prompt reflection, discussion, action and learning to develop and strengthen a group or organisation: These include asking:  

·         If a written mission exists

·         If legal requirements are being complied with

·         If the Board or management committee has the skills and experience to lead the direction of the organisation

·         If users or beneficiaries have been identified

·         If the organisation is achieving what it set out to do and how it knows whether it’s making a difference.

Through using PQASSO Essentials, a group or organisation will make a judgement about the extent to which it is addressing the 10 questions, and will be prompted to identify actions to implement until they are confident they fully address the questions. Like PQASSO, PQASSO Essentials takes an evidence-based approach to self-assessment.

There is no option of external accreditation for groups or organisations using PQASSO Essentials but it is a starting point that could lead to using the full PQASSO standards, and applying for the PQASSO Quality Mark, over time.
In order to use PQASSO Essentials you will need to register at WCVA’s website

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

community green space project grant funding from TESCO

Community Groups: Apply for a Bags of Help grant

Bags of Help funds local projects that improve the environment. 
Grants of up to £5,000 are available
Please click on the link below for more information

Tell us your views - Police Community Support Officers

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have been working in our communities since 2002. South Wales Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner are considering how best to inform our communities about the valuable contribution they make, and would like to know what members of our communities understand and think about this important role.

They are therefore holding a ‘focus group’ to discuss community understanding of PCSOs in keeping our communities safe and would like to invite members of the community in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff to join them on:

Thursday 5th January 2017
6pm – 7:15pm
at the Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil, 89-90 Pontmorlais, High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8UH

To book your place on the focus group or for more information please contact either Sophie Rice-Payton on 01656 869366 or email to or Sue Poole on 01656 762924 or email to   

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

How to prepare your annual report - training from the Charity Finance Group hosted by WCVA 26 Jan Cardiff

How to prepare your annual report

26 January 2017         Cardiff

All charities must prepare and submit annual reports and accounts and in the current climate, transparency is key. Based on inspiring case studies from other small charities, this module covers the essentials, from measuring impact, telling your story, and building public trust to preparing for year-end, an audit or independent examination.
This module will give you everything you need to write a first-class annual report, including:

·         Statutory reporting requirements for charities
·         Policies and statements
·         Policies your charity should consider and how they can help your organisation
·         Preparing for year-end; independent examinations (IEs) and audits
·         How to report to donors and funders and get the right messages across
·         Demonstrating impact and telling your story
·         The importance of transparency
·         How to build public trust
Travel Bursaries are available.  To book email

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Community Development Fund - open until 31st January

Rownd 4 - Cyfnod ychwanegol ar gyfer cyflwyno 
Datganiad o Ddiddordeb ar agor heddiw 1af o Ragfyr 2016.

Grantiau yw’r rhain sy’n bennaf ar gyfer Grwpiau Gweithredu Lleol 
LEADER a sefydliadau cymunedol eraill.
Bydd y grantiau yn cynnig amrywiaeth eang o gamau ymyrryd sydd
 wedi’u cynllunio i atal a lliniaru yr effeithiau y gall tlodi eu cael mewn
 cymunedau gwledig er mwyn gwella amodau allai arwain at swyddi 
a thwf yn y dyfodol.

Round 4 – A Further Expression of Interest window opens
– 1st December 2016

Grants which are primarily aimed at LEADER Local Action Groups and other
community-based organisations.
The grants will offer a wide range of interventions designed to prevent and 
mitigate the impact of poverty in rural communities improving conditions which
 can lead to future jobs and growth.

Learning Disability and Dementia - One day course 1 March in Cardiff

Places Available
To book now please click HERE
Course Details:
Title: Learning Disability and Dementia
Date: 1 March in Cardiff
Timings: 9.30 am - 5 pm

About the Course:
A one day course for health and social care staff supporting adults with a learning disability where a diagnosis of dementia is being considered.
This one day course will provide staff supporting adults with a learning disability with the skills to understand the importance of recognising possible signs of the onset of dementia and the need to take a differential diagnosis approach – is it, in fact, dementia or what other possible causes of changes in individuals’ functioning and wellbeing need to be considered? You will then learn practical strategies to ensure that individuals are well supported and their changing care needs are addressed.

Designed for:
This course is designed for health and social care professionals supporting adults with a learning disability in a variety of settings, but especially those working in a supported living environment. In addition, it would be relevant to social workers involved in assessing care needs and others working in a supportive role such as day service staff, support workers and personal assistants etc.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact 

Inacia Rodrigues
Training Administrator
Learning Disability Wales
Direct Tel: 029 2068 1174

Their training course can also be delivered In-House to a group of staff and tailored to meet your specific needs. Ring 029 2068 1174 for more information.


Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council are working together to develop our understanding of wellbeing in the different communities of Merthyr Tydfil.

We want to understand what things make a difference to people's lives, to see the positive things that people bring to their communities, and to understand people's emotional and social needs.  This will help us design and deliver better services that make a positive contribution to the many aspects of a person's wellbeing.

We welcome and value your input and ask individuals and community groups to have their say by attending this community wellbeing workshop.  The workshop will be held on:

19 December 2016
10am – 12 noon
Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil
89-90 High Street
Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8UH

If you can attend, please contact us on 01685 725310 or email

We would also like to continue this conversation with community groups in Merthyr Tydfil.

If you would allow us to visit your community group to run a wellbeing workshop at a time and place of your choosing, please contact us on 01685 725310 or email

 Yours faithfully

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Please share the POSTER INVITATION with anyone you think might like to come along

Annwyl Syr/Fadam,

Mae Gweithredu Gwirfoddol Merthyr Tudful a Chyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Merthyr Tudful yn gweithio gyda'n gilydd i ddatblygu ein dealltwriaeth o les yn y gwahanol gymunedau oddi fewn i Ferthyr Tudful.

Rydym yn awyddus i geisio deall y pethau sy’n gwneud gwahaniaeth i fywydau pobl, i weld y pethau cadarnhaol y mae pobl yn rhoi i’w cymunedau, ac i ddeall anghenion emosiynol a chymdeithasol pobl. Bydd hyn yn ein helpu i ddylunio a darparu gwasanaethau gwell sy'n gwneud cyfraniad cadarnhaol i sawl agwedd ar les yr unigolyn.

Rydym yn croesawu ac yn gwerthfawrogi eich mewnbwn ac yn gofyn i unigolion a grwpiau cymunedol i ddweud eu dweud drwy fynychu gweithdy lles cymunedol. Bydd y gweithdy yn cael ei gynnal ar:

Rhagfyr 19, 2016
10yb a 12 hanner dydd
Gweithredu Gwirfoddol Merthyr Tudful
89-90 Stryd Fawr
Merthyr Tudful, CF47 8UH

Os gallwch fod yn bresennol, cysylltwch â ni ar 01685 725310 neu e-bostiwch

Byddem hefyd yn hoffi i barhau’r sgwrs hon â grwpiau cymunedol ym Merthyr Tudful.

Os ydych yn fodlon caniatáu i ni ymweld â'ch grŵp cymunedol i gynnal gweithdy lles ar adeg ac mewn lle o'ch dewis, cysylltwch â ni ar 01685 725310 neu e-bostiwch

Yr eiddoch yn gywir


Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Merthyr Tudful

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Merthyr Tydfil's Unsung Heros

Throughout 2016 St Tydfil Shopping Centre has been recognising amazing people in the local community with the Star Awards programme and it has one more unsung Merthyr hero to reward before the end of the year. 

The shopping centre is searching for an angel that deserves to be named Merthyr’s Christmas Star.  If you know someone who has dedicated their life to volunteering, or someone who is always putting others first, or maybe someone who has made a positive impact on the town, the shopping centre would like to hear about them.

To nominate, simply email or post your nomination to St Tydfil’s Christmas Star, c/o PMW Communications, PO Box 167, Devon, EX39 9DU explaining why they deserve to win. 

The deadline for nominations is midnight on Sunday 11th December and the winner of Merthyr’s Christmas Star competition will win a selection of prizes. All entries should include both the nominator and nominee’s names and contact telephone numbers.

FREE Volunteer Management Training for groups working in Merthyr Tydfil

Dates have been set for the ever popular Volunteer Management training run annually by VAMT and Interlink, and thank to Cwm Taf Social Care Workforce Development Partnership we have up to 15 FREE places for groups working in Merthyr Tydfil.  For 2017, the training is being run over 4 days rather than 6.
Dates are:
11 and 12 January (at Interlink) - Introduction to Volunteering, Preparing for Volunteers, Recruiting Volunteers

25 and 25 January (at VAMT) Volunteer Selection and Induction, and Getting the Best from your Volunteers.

Places are limited - email  to book your place now.

3Gs Marks retirement of two of its long serving volunteers

Ann Berry and Mary Hagerty who finished volunteering at 3Gs last week ; they have been volunteering for over 15 years, collecting for the Credit Union at 3Gs along with many other duties over the years. They are both local residents.

Cheryl Hagerty said "We are eternally grateful to them. Without fail every Tuesday they came to 3Gs to staff our collection point. W e presented them with flowers and chocolates to say a massive thank you for the commitment they have shown ."

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Looking for a Grant?

Why not find out more about Merthyr Valleys Homes Grants and Sponsorship here

Merthyr Tydfil Mendicants win the Nicola Park Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Volunteering

Congratulations to Merthyr Tydfil Mendicants who won the Nicola Park Award 2016 which was presented at VAMT's AGM on 18 November. 

John Goff is pictured being presented the award by Dawn Bowden AM and Ian Davy, VAMT's Chief Officer here

Read more about the Mendicants plus a review of the AGM in Inform, VAMT's hard copy magazine which should be with you next week.

VAMT's Annual Report

VAMT's  Annual Report is now available to view here

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Quick Reminder - Inform December 2016

Just a reminder that the deadline for news for December's Inform is Tuesday 15 November.  Many thanks, and look forward to hearing from you,  Send any information you'd like to see published to

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Job Vacancy with Drink Wise Age Well

Drugaid currently have a vacancy for a Prevention Worker with their Drink Wise Age Well project.    The job description is available here

An English job advert is here  and a Welsh job advert here

Inform December 2016

The closing date for articles for the December edition of Inform 2016 is 15 November 2016.  If you've got something you'd like to share with the sector across Merthyr Tydfil, a new service or event, a funding success or just what you're up to, then articles are always welcome.  Just email

We've also got the Focus On slot free, so if you'd like to showcase your organisation please let me know asap - first come, first served.

Previous editions of Inform are available at

Safeguarding Level 1 Training 15 November

A Safeguarding Level 1 course will run on Tuesday 15th November 4pm - 6:30pm  in the JM room at VAMT, which is free of charge 

The Learning Outcomes are…

¢  Have an awareness of what is meant by child abuse and neglect and learn about the possible signs, symptoms and indicators of abuse and neglect

¢  Understand the main legislation and policies for working together to safeguard children,

¢  Know how to report any concerns that a child had been abused or neglected
If you'd like to attend, please email

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Welsh Government Consultation on Building Resilient Communities/Communities First

The Welsh Government have recently opened a consultation regarding a new approach to building resilient communities and Communities First.  Please find further details below plus a link to the consultation.   Please encourage your members/clients to complete the survey.

The new approach focuses on three priority areas of Employment, Early Years and Empowerment. By prioritising in this way, we want to create communities that offer children the best start in life, communities that are ready and able to work and communities where the voices of local people are heard clearly when decisions are made.

As well as asking for your views on how these priorities can support greater prosperity and resilience, we are seeking views from people who have personal experience of Communities First. The programme was launched 15 years ago, and has supported many people in some of our most deprived communities. In that time, however, our economy and society have been through huge changes. Consequently, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities has said that he is minded to phase out the Communities First programme. He is clear that the employability programmes, Communities for Work and LIFT, will continue.

Do you have clients who need a bed?

Taff Bargoed Dvelopment Trust currently have approximately 30 beds to donate - they would need to be collected from the Centre.  If you are interested, please contact Howard Jackson on 01443 710827 or

Men's Sheds Coffee Morning - it's not in a shed!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Urgent - Only 6 days left to nominate for the Nicola Park Award

Oustanding Contribution to Volunteering in Merthyr Tydfil - Nicola Park Award 2016
The closing date for nominations for this year's award is 24 October 2016.  This award marks an outstanding contribution to volunteering in Merthyr Tydfil, and this year, for the first time, is open to both organisations and individuals.
 A nomination form and further details are available here  and in Welsh here

The award will be presented at VAMT's AGM on 18 November at the Bessemer Hotel in Dowlais.

Please think about who you could nominate - if you need a hard copy, then contact Karen Foley on 01685 353913 or call in to the Voluntary Action Centre.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Fundraising Quiz Night Winners

Last night saw an excellent £755 raised for the Merthyr Tydfil Community Trust. The winners of the quiz were No Great Expectations who are pictured with the Chair of the Trust, Les Byard. Thanks you to all who participated and helped make this a very successful and enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Cwm Taf: Understanding Our Communities

Dear Partner,

Over the past several months, the Cwm Taf Population/Wellbeing Assessment Core Group have been working to produce a series of briefing documents. These documents have been categorised under the seven client groups of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act and the four themes of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act and have been compiled with the input of key representatives from services, organisations and communities.

The next stage of the population/wellbeing assessments is to continue the conversation with these stakeholders. Conversations going forward need to be around the headlines that are emerging from the briefing documents. Briefing documents, containing these headlines are available on the Cwm Taf Hub.

We are holding the following series of stakeholder workshops in October and November:

Carers (inc. young carers and carers of older people)
Cultural wellbeing
Mental health (adults/children
Social Services and Wellbeing Population Needs Assessment
Wellbeing of Future Generations Wellbeing Assessment
Social Services and Wellbeing Population Needs Assessment
The Feel Good Factory
Abercynon Road, Ynysboeth, RCT
CF45 4XZ
Hawthorn Leisure Centre
Fairfield Lane, Hawthorn, RCT
CF37 5LN
Coleg Y Cymoedd Aberdare Campus
Cwmdare Road, Aberdare, RCT
CF44 8ST

Environmental wellbeing
Older people (inc. dementia) and physical disability (inc. sensory impairment)
Economic wellbeing
Wellbeing of Future Generations Wellbeing Assessment
Social Services and Wellbeing Population Needs Assessment
Wellbeing of Future Generations Wellbeing Assessment
Orbit Business Centre
Rhydycar Business Park,
Merthyr Tydfil
CF48 1DL
Rhondda Fach Sports Centre
East Street, Ferndale, RCT
CF43 3HR
Park and Dare Theatre
Station Road, Treorchy, RCT
CF42 6NL

Violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence
Learning disability (inc. autism)
Social wellbeing
Children and young people (inc. looked after children and children in need)
Social Services and Wellbeing Population Needs Assessment
Social Services and Wellbeing Population Needs Assessment
Wellbeing of Future Generations Wellbeing Assessment
Social Services and Wellbeing Population Needs Assessment
Pontypridd Deaf Club
1, Lanpark Road,
Pontypridd, RCT
CF37 2DH
Canolfan Soar
Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tydfil
CF47 8UB
Pontypridd Rugby Club
Sardis Road, Pontypridd, RCT
CF37 1HA

 I am writing to invite you to attend one or more of these workshops, as appropriate to your role.

All workshops will be independently facilitated, with the aim of all sessions being used to begin to explore some of the detail behind the emerging headlines, why issues/gaps exist and how stakeholders can look to develop joint solutions.

The outputs of these workshops will contribute to the redrafting of the briefing documents, which will then become the Population Needs Assessment and Wellbeing Assessment. Both documents will be key to planning, policy commissioning decisions and service design and delivery across public service organisations and across Cwm Taf. This is your opportunity to ensure that your service/organisation is represented.


·         Please book your place at the session of you choice by using our online booking form. Hard copies of the booking form are available on request.

·         Booking for each event will close two working days before the workshop.

·         More information on the event will follow.

·         Where possible, please register for only one event per person. Places at events are limited. Please consider service representation at relevant events to avoid duplication and allocation of multiple spaces to the same service/organisation.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you soon.


Understanding Our Communities

Cwm Taf: Deall Ein Cymunedau

Annwyl Bartner,

Dros y sawl mis diwethaf mae Grwp Craidd Asesiad y Boblogaeth/Lles Cwm Taf wedi bod yn paratoi cyfres o ddogfennau gwybodaeth. Mae'r dogfennau yma wedi'u dosbarthu yn ôl saith grŵp o glientiaid Deddf Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant (Cymru) a'r pedair thema sy'n rhan o Ddeddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol (Cymru), ac mae cynrychiolwyr allweddol o wasanaethau, sefydliadau a chymunedau wedi rhoi'u mewnbwn iddyn nhw.

Cam nesaf yr asesiadau poblogaeth/lles ydy parhau i drafod gyda'r rhanddeiliaid yma. Bydd angen i'r sgyrsiau yma ganolbwyntio ar y penawdau sy'n deillio o'r dogfennau gwybodaeth. Mae yna dogfennau crynno ar gael ar y Hwb Cwm Taf.

Felly, rydyn ni'n cynnal cyfres o weithdai i randdeiliaid ym mis Hydref a mis Tachwedd.

Cynhalwyr/Gofalwyr (gan gynnwys cynhalwyr ifainc a'r rheiny sy'n rhoi gofal i bobl hŷn)
Lles diwylliannol
Iechyd y Meddwl (oedolion/plant)
Asesiad o Anghenion Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Lles y Boblogaeth
Asesiad Lles – Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol
Asesiad o Anghenion Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Lles y Boblogaeth
The Feel Good Factory
Abercynon Road, Ynys-boeth, RhCT
CF45 4XZ
Canolfan Hamdden y Ddraenen Wen
Fairfield Lane, Y Ddraenen Wen, RhCT
CF37 5LN
Coleg y Cymoedd – Campws Aberdâr
Cwmdare Road, Aberdâr, RhCT
CF44 8ST

Lles amgylcheddol
Hen bobl (gan gynnwys dementia) ac anabledd corfforol (gan gynnwys nam ar y synhwyrau)
Lles economaidd
Asesiad Lles – Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol
Asesiad o Anghenion Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Lles y Boblogaeth
Asesiad Lles – Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol
Canolfan Fusnes Orbit
Parc Busnes Rhyd-y-car,
Merthyr Tudful
CF48 1DL
Canolfan Chwaraeon Cwm Rhondda Fach
East Street, Glynrhedynog, RhCT
CF43 3HR
Theatr y Parc a'r Dâr
Station Road, Treorci,
CF42 6NL

Trais yn erbyn menywod, cam-drin domestig a thrais Rhywiol
Anabledd Dysgu (gan gynnwys awtistiaeth)
Lles cymdeithasol
Plant a phobl ifainc (gan gynnwys plant dan adain gofal yr Awdurdod a phlant mewn angen)
Asesiad o Anghenion Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Lles y Boblogaeth
Asesiad o Anghenion Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Lles y Boblogaeth
Asesiad Lles – Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol
Asesiad o Anghenion Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Lles y Boblogaeth
Clwb y Byddar, Pontypridd
1, Lanpark Road,
Y Graig-wen,
Pontypridd, RhCT
CF37 2DH
Canolfan Soar
Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tudful
CF47 8UB
Clwb Rygbi Pontypridd
Sardis Road, Pontypridd, RhCT
CF37 1HA

Dyma wahoddiad i chi i ddod i un neu ragor o'r gweithdai hynny, fel sy'n berthnasol i'ch gwaith.

Caiff pob gweithdy ei hwyluso'n annibynnol.  Y nod yw dechrau ymchwilio i'r manylion sydd y tu ôl i'r penawdau – pam mae materion/bylchau'n bodoli a sut y gall rhanddeiliaid geisio datblygu atebion ar y cyd.

Bydd y 'canlyniadau' sy'n deillio o'r gweithdai yma yn cyfrannu at ailddrafftio'r dogfennau gwybodaeth, a fydd yn dod yn Asesiad Anghenion y Boblogaeth ac Asesiad Lles. Bydd y naill ddogfen a'r llall yn allweddol o ran cynllunio, polisïau, comisiynu, dod i benderfyniadau, a chynllunio gwasanaeth a'i ddarparu ar draws sefydliadau'r gwasanaethau cyhoeddus ac ar draws ardal Cwm Taf. Dyma'ch cyfle i sicrhau bod eich gwasanaeth/sefydliad yn cael ei gynrychioli.


·         Cadwch le mewn sesiwn o'ch dewis drwy ddefnyddio'n ffurflen ar-lein. Mae copïau caled o'r ffurflen archebu ar gael ar gais.

·         Bydd modd i gadw lle yn cau dau diwrnod gweithio cyn pob gweithdy.

·         Byddwn ni'n anfon rhagor o wybodaeth maes o law.

·         Byddwch gystal â chofrestru ar gyfer un achlysur i bob unigolyn, lle bynnag y bo'n bosibl. Dim ond hyn-a-hyn o leoedd sydd i'w cael. Meddyliwch hefyd am gynrychiolaeth mewn achlysuron perthnasol i osgoi dyblygu a dyrannu sawl lle i'r un gwasanaeth/sefydliad.

Os oes unrhyw gwestiwn gennych chi, mae croeso i chi gysylltu â ni. Rydyn ni'n edrych ymlaen at eich gweld chi'n fuan!


Deall Ein Cymunedau