Thursday, 30 June 2016

BBC Radio 1Xtra Street Studio is coming to Cardiff

Calling all you budding songsters!  What are you doing on Saturday 9th July?  Got lyrics?  Or can you sing?

Get down to Capitol Shopping Centre on Queen Street to record some bars in the 1Xtra Street Studio and have a chance to get your performance heard on BBC Radio 1Xtra.

Apply via this link

Venture Out Activity Programme : July and August 2016

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Shape your future!

Siapio’ch dyfodol!

Sut beth yr hoffech i ddyfodol eich mudiad chi fod?

Yn y byd cyfnewidiol sydd ohoni, un o’r prif heriau sy’n wynebu grwpiau trydydd sector yw meithrin ein cydnerthedd a’n gwneud ein hunain yn barod at y dyfodol. Ond sut beth fydd y dyfodol hwnnw? Beth fydd yn ysgogi’r newidiadau sydd o bwys i’r trydydd sector yng Nghymru? Sut ddyfodol rydym ei eisiau, neu eisiau ei osgoi a pham y mae hyn yn bwysig i’n gwaith heddiw?

Dyma’r cwestiynau y bydd ein dwy sesiwn grŵp ar y 1 a 8 o Orffennaf yn rhoi sylw iddynt. Rydym yn eich annog i gymryd rhan gan obeithio y bydd yn eich helpu i siapio dyfodol eich mudiad chithau, yn ogystal â’r sector ehangach. Dylai hefyd eich helpu i integreiddio meddwl hirdymor yn eich gwaith – un o egwyddorion craidd Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol.

Fe fydd y ddwy yn sesiynau drwy’r dydd ac fe’u cynhelir yng Nghaerdydd ar 1 Gorffennaf ac o leoliadau yn y Rhyl, Aberystwyth a Chaerdydd ar 8 Gorffennaf. Fe fydd y sesiynau yn wahanol, y naill yn adeiladu ar y llall, felly gobeithiwn y gallwch chi neu gydweithiwr ymuno â ni yn y ddwy sesiwn.

Cliciwch yma am fwy o wybodaeth.

Ochr yn ochr â’r sesiynau, rydym yn cynnal cyfres o arolygon arlein rheolaidd felly gwyliwch am y rhain hefyd.

Shape your future!

What do you want for the future of your organisation?

In our fast changing world a key challenge facing third sector groups is to build our resilience and make ourselves fit for the future. But what sort of future might that be? What will drive the changes that matter most to the third sector in Wales? What future do we want, or want to avoid and why is this important to our work today?

These are the questions that our two group sessions on the 1 and 8 July are designed to address. We hope that by taking part, it will help you to shape the future of your own organisation, as well as the wider sector. It should also help you integrate longer term thinking into your work – one of the core principles in the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

Both will be all-day sessions and will take place in Cardiff on 1 July and from locations in Rhyl, Aberystwyth and Cardiff on 8 July. The sessions will be different, one building from the other, so we hope that you or a colleague would be able to join us for both sessions.

Click here for more information.

Please also look out for our series of regular online polls that will run alongside the sessions.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Celebrate your Volunteers event - 28 September 2016 4:00pm-6:00pm at the Redhouse/Old Town Hall

Following on from last year's successful event, VAMT will once again host a celebration event for organisations wishing to celebrate their volunteers' achievements on Wednesday 28 September 2016.  To be held at the Red House/Old Town Hall, up to 5 of your volunteers (together with a staff member, if you wish to send one) can attend, due to space restrictions.  However, we will have certificates available for you to give to all your volunteers following the event.

Places are available on a first-come first-served basis, and are limited, so make sure you get your information to us as soon as possible.  The deadline is 5 August 2016.

For further information and a booking form please click
here for Word and  here for pdf versions.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Social Business Wales Awards

Nominations are open for the 2016 Social Business Wales Awards – the awards scheme for co-operatives and social enterprises in Wales.

In the past few years Wales Cooperative Centre have run the Awards under the banner of Social Enterprise Awards Wales. This year, as well as a new name, they've five new categories for social enterprises in different business sectors.
  • Culture & Leisure
  • Health & Social Care
  • Education, Training & Jobs
  • Environment
  • Consumer Facing
There is also the Social Enterprise of the Year and One to Watch categories.

This means that social enterprises have more chances to win one of the £1000 category prizes and compete for a UK award.

The deadline is midnight on 8 July. Organisations need to express their interest on and they will then send you an application pack.

Fully Funded Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses from New Pathways

New Pathways are running Big Lottery fully funded Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses across Wales and thought this Welsh Government approved training may be of interest to your staff, volunteers or service users. Please feel free to circulate this opportunity to anyone 18+ you think may be interested in attending. 

We currently have fully funded spaces available on the following courses. Please note, the courses are two days and both days are compulsory. The course dates are as follows:
Monday the 18th July and Tuesday the 19th July 2016 - Welshpool
  • Saturday the 23rd of July and Sunday the 24th July 2016 - Merthyr Tydfil
  • Monday the 1st August and Tuesday the 2nd of August 2016 - Neath Port Talbot
  • Saturday the 6th August and Sunday the 7th of August 2016 – Newport
  • Monday the 8th August and Tuesday the 9th of August 2016 - Risca
For more information please visit or to book, email

Friday, 17 June 2016

Looking for funding?

Local groups and organisations with great ideas to make their communities even better places to live are invited to apply for funding to turn their ideas into reality.

Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year or an average of £350,000 over two years, seeking investment of between £5,000 and £50,000 for projects lasting up to two years. We're looking for small and local projects, genuinely designed and run by local people. By small, we mean just a small group of people on an estate, in a few streets or villages.
We're also looking for great ideas from communities of interest. By this we mean a group of people who have things in common and wish to come together to address something that is important to them. These ideas could be based in one neighbourhood, or cover a wider area. 

Applying couldn't be easier. It's an online process with a step by step guide from start to finish.
Using money raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery, Active Communities is currently open in the following areas:

  • HealthControl - Cardiff, Caerphilly, Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf (application deadline - 22 June, 1pm)

Funding Event July 1st

Gerald Jones MP and Dawn Bowden AM
are holding a Funding Advice Surgery
10.00am Friday 1st July at Merthyr Town Football Club, Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 8RF

Please click on the link for more information:  July 1st Funding event poster

Launch of Comic Relief's New Core Strength Programme (UK)

The Core Strength Programme is provided by Comic Relief. It is partly funded by HM Treasury's 'Tampon Tax' to help tackle the various issues that many women and girls face.
Through the Programme, Comic Relief wants to recognise the importance of local community organisations and the pivotal role they play across the UK.
For the first time Comic Relief is providing grants for core costs, which are defined as the core costs of running an organisation. This includes salaries, overheads and day-to-day running costs such as rent, heating and lighting. Grants can also be awarded to support specific work that will strengthen organisations for the future. This could include improving leadership and governance, or planning and development.
Examples of the kind of work that might receive funding through this programme include:
  • Strategic planning and policy improvement, including business planning, fundraising strategies, income generation, policy and procedure reviews.
  • Planning to improve structures and systems that will improve efficiency and quality, including financial controls, human resources, management of volunteers, risk management, monitoring frameworks, impact assessment and accredited quality marks.
  • Improvements in leadership and governance, including review of board/committee policy and practice, Trustee training, involving users, change management and new skills development eg around social entrepreneurship.
  • General running costs, including rent, lighting, heating or contributions towards salaries.
Grants of up to £40,000 over 24 months of activity (£20,000 each year) are available. It is expected that about 100 organisations will receive funding.
Charitable organisations in the UK are eligible to apply as long as they have a turnover of between £100,000 and £500,000. They must be delivering services in one of Comic Relief's programme areas (at least 75% of an organisation's activity must fit one of these themes):
  • Investing in children and young people.
  • Empowering women and girls.
  • Improving health and wellbeing.
  • Building stronger communities.

The deadline for applications is 27 July 2016 (midday).

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Want to show your volunteers they're appreciated? Save the date . . .

Would you like to show your volunteers how much you value their contribution to your organisation?  Make sure that you, and they, keep Thursday 28 September 2016 free in the diary.  More to follow soon . . .

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Cwm Taf ICF Community Capacity Grant Scheme - discuss your ideas


Cwm Taf Intermediate Care Fund
Application forms and supporting guidelines are available via these links:
Deadline – Friday 15th July (12 Noon)

If you would like to book an appointment to discuss your potential application then please contact or (Merthyr Tydfil)
Appointments are available between 9 am and 1pm on Tuesday 28th June, or 1 pm and 5 pm on Tuesday 5th July.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Smart Energy GB in Communities Fund – Open for Large Grants

Smart Energy GB has set up a new five-year fund to support community based organisations that provide information about how to get and use smart meters, especially for those who may face barriers to getting a smart meter.
The fund, which has been accepting applications for small grants since the scheme launched last month, is now inviting organisations with a wider regional reach working with Smart Energy GB’s priority groups to apply for a large grant. These organisations should be not-for-profit, eg, charities, clubs, social enterprises, residents associations, and parish councils.
The funding is intended to support the costs of activities that deliver results against one or more of the following outcomes:
  • Raising awareness of smart meters and understanding their key benefits.
  • Increasing interest in getting a smart meter installed.
  • Motivating people to use their smart meter.
  • Educating people on how to get the most benefit from using their smart meter.
The following are priority groups for 2016 (this may change in 2017):
  • District heating customers (district heating is a system where a communal source of heat is shared with other properties).
  • Lack of proficiency in English (or Welsh in Wales).
  • Lacking basic digital skills.
  • Learning disability.
  • Low literacy.
  • Memory impairment.
  • No personal internet access.
  • Off-gas grid customers.
  • Prepay customers.
  • Private tenants.
  • Severe or profound deafness.
  • Social housing tenants.
The funding can be used for the full costs needed to run the project, for example a proportion of staff salaries, room hire, equipment hire, transport costs, publicity materials, volunteer expenses, costs to support the grant monitoring requirements and other appropriate overheads.
This year's grant must be used by 31 December 2016.

Large Grant Expressions of Interest will be accepted until 10 July 2016. 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Personality of the Year Award

Merthyr Tydfil Annual Business Awards is inviting the people of Merthyr to nominate and vote for their chosen personality of the year.

Most of us know someone who deserves a special thank you for going over and above in their community to improve the lives of others and/or the local environment. For the first time Merthyr Tydfil Business Club would like to recognise this at their annual business awards dinner.

Who is eligible for nomination?

You, a family member, a work colleague, a friend, a neighbour are eligible if you/you know someone who in the last 12 months meets one or more of the below:-

· Given up their own time to support a charitable cause or to improve the local environment
· Raised money for a charitable cause
· Supported local businesses to start/grow
· Inspired and/or supported others to develop
· Used their own time to raise the profile of Merthyr Tydfil

As the award recognises someone who has gone the extra mile we will be able to accept nominations for people who do things as part of their day job.

How do I nominate someone?

You can complete the online nomination form which asks for

· Your name and email
· The name of the person you are nominating and why you have nominated them

What happens once I have nominated someone?

The nomination process will be open until 19th June 2016.

Eligible entries will be added to the awards website for the public to vote for the chosen personality.

The winner will be announced at the award dinner.

Childcare and Play provision: New legislation Awareness Session – is your service prepared?

WHY? All childcare and play provision, (including child minders, day care services, after school clubs, holiday play schemes and play provision) for children under 12 years old, operating for 2 or more hours a day, are now regulated and will be inspected. The purpose of the seminars will be to discuss the National Minimum Standards with providers, and in particular to support the understanding of both the staffing ratio information and the inspection framework being developed by CSSIW

Who Needs to Attend? All providers of the above services to ensure that they are prepared for the legislation changes

An Awareness session has been organised for 23rd June 6-8pm

Where? Bessemer Hotel, Glynne Jones Ct, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan CF48 3DP

Cost? FREE – Only 35 spaces available so please book early

To book your place at the above event please confirm your name, organisation and contact details with - Maximum of 1 place per organisation.

This event has been arranged for service providers within Merthyr Tydfil to complement the national events run by Welsh Government. The evening will be hosted by Marianne Mannello, Assistant Director Play Wales: Policy, Support and Advocacy and in attendance will also be Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and CSSIW to answer any questions you may have regarding the legislation changes.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Changes to Connect.Be Active.Live Well Event 22 June

There has been a change of venue and slight change of times for the 22 June event which will not take place at St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd on Wednesday 22nd June from 11:30am – 2:30pm. Further details are available here

Monday, 6 June 2016

June's Edition of "Inform", VAMT's hard-copy newsletter

Hard-copy editions of Inform, VAMT's newsletter for the third sector in Merthyr Tydfil, are being mailed out today.  It's also available on-line here

Still Places avaialble on Basic Accounting and Governing your Organisation training from VAMT

You'll find all the information you need at:

To book a place click here

Global Village Carnival Costume Making and Drumming Workshops for all the Family

Further details are available  here in English
ac yma yn yr iaith Cymraeg

Revised Merthyr Valleys Homes Grant and Sponsorship

Merthyr Valleys Homes have recently revised their Grants and Sponsorship Award Scheme.
Small Grants of up to £300 are available to constituted and non-constituted groups.  Non-constituted groups will not be provided with a monetary grant, but instead MVH will pay invoices/costs direct to a supplier.
Medium Grants of up to £3000 will be available to constituted groups.
Sponsorship awards of up to £1,000 will also be available to constituted groups.

Further information can be found here

The revised application form can be found here

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Merthyr Parkinson's Café

The Merthyr Parkinson's group meet on the first Friday of every month at the Georgetown Boys and Girls club , Dynevor St, Merthyr Tydfil between 2 and 4pm. The club is on the bus route with a stop just outside but also has ample free parking for those who have their own transport.

Meetings normally take the form of a cuppa and a chat with occasional guest speakers. All welcome both those with Parkinson's and those who help to support.

We like to think you join as strangers  but leave as friends.

For further information please contact group organiser Jeff Lawrence on 07977217074

Wednesday, 1 June 2016