Monday, 21 March 2016

Survey of Partnership Working with Police and Fire Service

The South Wales Compact (with the Police and Fire Service) was recently launched and implementation has commenced. The Steering Group wish to map partnership structures and find out about the level of third sector engagement. They also want to map third sector activities that are carried out in partnership with the Police or Fire Service and ask for ideas to improve partnership working. 

A brief questionnaire has been created using survey monkey. We would be very grateful if you could complete the Survey by 8th April.

If you have any questions please email Ian Davy

Thursday, 10 March 2016


1,000 young people with a learning disability and/or autism to gain employment from new £10m five year project in Wales

ELITE Supported Employment Agency Ltd are delighted to announce, that we will be the South Wales Supported Employment delivery partners, within a consortium led by Learning Disability Wales that has been awarded a £10m grant, to boost the employment prospects of young people in Wales with a learning disability and / or learning difficulty, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The five-year Engage to Change project, starting in April 2016, will work with 800 employers across Wales to help 1,000 young people with learning disability and/or autism to develop their employment skills through paid work placements lasting between 6-12 months.
Learning Disability Wales are leading the consortium of organisations to deliver the Engage to Change project. These include Supported Employment Agencies ELITE and Agoriad, the international internship programme Project SEARCH, self-advocacy organisation All Wales People First and Cardiff University.
The project is being funded by The Big Lottery Fund's Getting Ahead 2 grant - the largest ever awarded by the organisation in Wales. The grant was developed in partnership with Welsh Government to meet priorities for supporting children and young people. It will be funded by money that has been dormant in bank and building society accounts across the UK for 15 years or more.
Youth unemployment in Wales is an issue for all young people but for those young people with a learning disability and/or autism, the routes into employment and the support that is available isn't always clear. The project will allow us to draw from previous good practice and clearly demonstrate what works for these young people.

Welcoming the funding, Andrea Wayman, Chief Executive Officer of ELITE said: “ELITE are delighted to be delivering the Supported Employment element of this project across 16 Counties in Wales. This funding will change the lives of young people with learning disabilities / difficulty, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, who will participate in the project, allowing them to demonstrate their skills and abilities that will contribute to the workforce in Wales. This project will validate that investing in person-centred, tailored training through Supported Employment programmes produces sustainable employment for individuals, establishing with employers the benefits of a diverse workforce, creating opportunities for future generations”.

Southwest Foundation Invites Applications to Esmee Fairbairn Foundation’s Small Grants Programme

The Southwest Foundation is administering the Small Grant Fund on behalf of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation who, for the five year period 2016-2021, will be providing grants throughout the South West region.
Small voluntary and community sector groups are eligible to apply for grants of up to £1,000 for projects that address the needs of people in their communities by engaging them in community activities either as volunteers or as beneficiaries. Most grants are expected to be in the region of £200-£600, and priority will be given to small organisations with running costs under £20,000 and with less than 12 months running costs in free reserves.
To be eligible to apply, all organisations must:
  • Be working in the South West of England.
  • Have a constitution or set of rules.
  • Have a bank account in the name of the organisation with at least two signatories.
Priority will be given to organisations working in rural areas, market and coastal towns. The Foundation considers rural communities to have the following characteristics:
  • Sparse population.
  • Limited local services.
  • Poor transport links.
  • Difficult access to services and information because of geographical dispersement.
  • Less likely to attract any major funding streams.
Priority will also be given to organisations that are supporting people most in need, including:
  • Disabled people, including people with learning disabilities.
  • People with mental health problems.
  • Frail older people.
  • People who are unemployed or on low incomes.
  • Carers of people with additional needs.
  • Young people who are affected by ‘disadvantage’ in any way.
  • People threatened or affected by domestic violence.
  • People from the Black and Minority Ethnic Community.
  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
  • People from Gypsy and Traveller Communities.
  • People from any other marginalised group.
Applications from Bristol, Plymouth, Gloucester, Swindon and Exeter will not be accepted unless the applicant can demonstrate that the project will assist and/or support people from rural areas and/or coastal and market towns.
Applications can be submitted at any time.

Click to view further information about this newsflash

2016 Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards Open to Nominations

Since 2004, the Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards have recognised and rewarded groups and individuals in Wales who have made an outstanding contribution to their community.
There are six categories for nominations:
  • Adult (25 years and over).
  • Young volunteer (under 25 years).
  • ‘Green’ volunteer (individual of any age who volunteers with an environmental organisation or project).
  • Trustee.
  • Groups (two or more individuals, whether as an informal group or a formally constituted organisation).
  • International (for individuals who have volunteered with international partners/organisations in Wales).
Nominees must live in Wales, or undertake their volunteering work in Wales. Nominated groups must be based in Wales.
Up to three winners will be selected for each award category and permission must be sought from the person or group nominated.
The deadline for nominations is 15 April 2016.

Click to view further information about this newsflash

Monday, 7 March 2016

Opportunity for third sector secondment to social work degree course


This opportunity is open to third sector
  • In 2016 Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is planning to second two candidates for the Open University route of the Social Work Degree:
  • One place will be ring fenced for staff working in Children’s Services.
  • One place will be available to staff across the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and the wider Social Care Development Partnership.
If you are interested in finding out more then contact:

Malcolm Thomas
Training and Development
Community Services
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Telephone:    01685 724697

Friday, 4 March 2016

CITIZEN PANEL for Cwm Taf Social Services & Wellbeing Board

The Cwm Taf Social Services and Wellbeing Board will be setting up a Citizens Panel comprised of people who access care and support services, and their carers. 

The purpose of the panel is for policy makers to better understand the impact their decisions have on people and to make sure that they address the issues that matter to people.

The panel will come together for a full day at least 3 times a year to look at specific areas of policy development and should comprise of citizens that:

  • have insight into how services work from their personal experience 
  • will have ideas about how services can work better and are motivated to improve them
  • will have ideas about how their lives can be improved 
  • will speak for themselves; they do not represent a group of people 
  • will advise the Partnership Board as well as the Policy officers working on the Partnership priorities 
  • has no lobbying role but performs by bringing personal experience and expertise 
Information will be provided to all panel members before meetings and other support can be provided (if necessary) to ensure they feel fully prepared. Reports and paperwork will be provided in any formats required and reports illustrating the outcome of the meetings will be co-produced with the panel to enable them to have influence over their content. All reports will be presented to the Board.

How can you help?

We are looking for at least 12 panel members that represent a whole range of experiences from across the region and we would like your help in finding people who have the enthusiasm and motivation to make a difference.

So….. If you know someone who you think would be interested in sharing their views and ideas in this way, could you please do the following :-

  • Ask the person if they would like to consider joining the panel
  • If they are, please seek permission to share their contact details with me 
  • Please forward these contact details to me by Monday 7th March 
Once I have these details, I will send them information about becoming a panel member which will include a simple application form. Depending on the volume of interest, we may be a required to carry out an informal selection process to ensure we have adequate representation across the region/service areas.

Sharon Richards

VAMT - 01685 353932 / Sharon Richards