Thursday, 25 August 2016

Active Inclusion Fund - Drop-In Support Sessions at VAMT

Eleanor Jones of WCVA's Active Inclusion Fund is holding two drop-in support sessions for organisations who wish to find out more about applying for Active Inclusion funding.  Eleanor will be here on Friday 1 September and Friday 7 October between 10:00am - 4:00pm.  For more information on the Active Inclusion Fund click here

Merthyr and the Valleys MIND - Recovery College

Merthyr and the Valleys MIND have recently published their new term timetable for Recovery College.
The Recovery College builds on the drive to create a society where people with mental health difficulties have access to the same opportunities in life as everyone else.
More information is contained in their Leaflet.  Here is their Enrolment form and timetable

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Cyfarthfa Park Roman Excavation - Volunteers Needed

The Glamorgan & Gwent Archaeological Trust are carrying out an archaeological dig in Cyfarthfa Park on behalf of Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust and Merthyr Tydfil CB Council and we need your help.

 Between 22nd – 26th August 2016 and 30th August to 4th September, 2016 ,volunteers under the supervision of Archaeologists will excavate two sites in the park where we hope to uncover Roman & Medieval Artefacts . Come along and join in - all are welcome. If you have a special requirement or need wheel chair access, let us know so we can ensure your needs are met.

 You need old clothing and if sunny, sun cream and a hat, if raining suitable clothing. All children and Young people under 18 years will need an adult throughout their stay so please make suitable arrangements.
To sign up, please contact:

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Annual Funding Fair 21 September 2016 Merthyr Town FC

More information can be found here
WCVA will also be in attendance to tell you all about their new Volunteering Wales grants.

Job Vacancy - Marketing and Communications Officer with Valleys Steps

Marketing and Communications Officer x 1 Post

Salary: £22,000 - £27,000 pro rata (dependent on experience).

Hours: 30 per week (negotiable).

Base: Abercynon, Mountain Ash.

 Valleys Steps is an exciting new organisation currently being established in the third sector. It delivers early intervention mental health initiatives including Mindfulness and Stress Control courses.

 We are seeking to appoint a Marketing and Communications Officer to implement the organisational marketing strategy which will assist the organisation in achieving its aim of increasing mental well-being for the communities of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.
To download an application pack please go to:
or email:

Closing date: 29th September, 12pm
Interviews: 6th October

Please be aware it may not be possible for us to respond to all applications, but feedback is available on request.



Monday, 22 August 2016

Dowlais Male Choir - 51st Annual Concert with the Kings Singers

Dowlais Male Choir hold their 51st Annual Concert on 24 September with the Kings Singers.  More information is available here

September Training from Valleys Steps - Mindfullness and Stress Control

For full details of Valleys Steps September training timetable, please see  here

Aberfan - Rememberances of a Photojournalist

A digital exhibition of the work of I C Rapoport will be held at the Redhouse/Old Town Hall between 13 September and 29 October 2016 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster.  A renowned photojournalist, "Chuck" Rapoport spent time in Aberfan immediately after the disaster.  Further information can be found  here or contact Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust  01685 384111.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Inform - September edition of VAMT's hard copy magazine

Have you had a funding success?  Got something exciting and new planned?  Like to share what you do with the wider third sector in Merthyr Tydfil?  VAMT's hard-copy magazine, Inform, will be published late September.  Contributions are welcomed from all third sector organisations in the borough.  Inform has a wide circulation, so it's an ideal opportunity to show others what you do.   Please feel free to send your contributions to   by Wednesday 7 September.

Free Training from Drugaid

We have still have space available on our  substance awareness training courses. These courses are free to anyone working directly with young people in the Cwm Taf area. If you are interested in attending any of the courses; please complete your registration following the links below.

Working with Young People and Substance use
2nd September;

‘New Psychoactive Substances
16th September;

For further information contact:

 Francesca Minty
Young Persons’ Caseworker / Gweithiwr Achos Pobl Ifanc'

Drugaid Cymru

Oldway House

Castle Street

Merthyr Tydfil/ Merthyr Tudful

CF47 8UX

Phone / Ffon : 01685 721991

Mobile / Ffon symudol : 07758 928046

Ffax / Ffacs : 01685 389421

Website / Gwefan :








Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Training for Carers/Support Workers from the Touch Trust

Training for Carers / Support Workers.

‘The Touch Trust Training and ‘Communicating through Touch’ programme ‘

Through its licensed creative movement programme the ‘Touch Trust’ makes a significant difference to the lives of individuals in the disabled community.

Using techniques based on Laban’s creative educational movement, babies and their mother, adults and their carers; even those with dementia benefit enormously, especially in their self-confidence and self-esteem as they experience success! In addition, their families are supported and helped.

We run a training programme and also offer a one day ‘Communicating through Touch’ workshop for carers, parents and related professionals. It is a holistic, sensory and expressive experience which enables one to become a Touch Trust session leader or simply gain new ideas and techniques which enhance your abilities in understanding and helping your guests/clients/service users alike.

Please visit us at for more information or contact Telephone:02920.635.664

Queens Award for Voluntary Service - closing date 16 September

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK. This annual award recognises and rewards excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.
 First announced in 2002 as part of the celebrations for The Queen's Golden Jubilee, the award is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

Over the years, the award has gone to many different types of groups including those who are working to improve their local environment, running community centres, supporting families, or working with children and young people.

Anyone in the UK can nominate a group. To be eligible, the group must consist of two or more people who have been doing volunteering work for at least three years. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK.

Groups cannot nominate themselves but can be nominated by those who benefit from their work, members of the public, representatives of public bodies, or other voluntary groups.

Nominations are assessed by a regional committee before being passed to a national committee for final selection and recommendation to The Queen.

To be nominated, groups should do work that:
  • Provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community.
  • Is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it.
  • Is run locally.
The winners are announced each year on 2 June (the anniversary of The Queen's Coronation). They will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenants in their counties at special ceremonies arranged by the Lieutenancy offices and in the countries of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The deadline for nominations to the 2017 Awards is 16 September 2016 (midnight).

Further details are available from: or email:

(Information originally received via WCVA newsletter)

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Beginners Welsh for Adults Merthyr Tydfil and Cynon Valley

Information on Beginners Welsh for Adults and Welsh for the Family Classes in Merthyr Tydfil and Cynon Valley - courses all start in September.
Details are here  and here

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Localgiving - a New Opportunity for Small and Medium Charities to fundraise online

Lauren Swain is the new South Wales Development Manager for Localgiving, a charity that helps grassroots organisations fundraise online, develop their digital skills and connect with local people.

Since 2009, Justgiving has helped charitable organisations to raise over £13 million online and in July, thanks to generous funding and support from Big Lottery Wales,  launched a new Development Programme for Wales. Through the programme, Localgiving will work with 250 local community groups across Wales; to inspire them to take control of their financial future, empower them to confidently engage with online fundraising and enable them to gain access to the kinds of online marketing tools available to larger charities.

 As part of the programme, two dedicated members of staff (Lauren based in Cardiff & Emma based in Rhyl) are on hand to work closely with organisations; to deliver a bespoke package of training that will support them to develop online fundraising campaigns, improve their confidence using online tools and make the most of their Localgiving membership. As well as locally based staff and bespoke training, the programme will offer:

·         A year’s free Localgiving membership (usually £72) for local voluntary & community groups – including those too small to be registered charities. This also gives all groups access to gift aid on all of their donations through the Localgiving Foundation, whether they are registered charities or not.

·         A match fund campaign (£200 ring-fenced for every group that signs up) as an extra incentive to fundraise online and to make that first 'ask' much easier for groups.
Lauren will hopefully be coming to Merthyr Tydfil soon, but for the moment, further information is available at


Telephone: 07808889672

Address: 4th Floor Market Chambers, 5-7 St Marys Street, Cardiff. CF10 1AT
Twitter: @LaurenS_SWales @Localgiving

Monday, 8 August 2016

Everyday First Aid from the British Red Cross

British Red Cross work with groups such as carers, substance misuse groups, mental health peer support groups, 50+ groups and homeless groups, with a remit to teach lifesaving skills to those who are more at risk of a first aid emergency and those who work with the risk audiences.
The ‘Everyday’ approach uses interactive teaching methods and avoids technical jargon. This learner focussed approach makes the skills easy to learn and easy to remember, which in turn increases the learner's confidence and willingness to act in an emergency.
The sessions last between 1 and 2 hours and are tailored towards the specific risks faced by the ‘at risk’ audience that is being taught.
Further information is available from James Harris
British Red Cross
9 Village Way
Greenmeadow Springs Business Park
CF15 7NE
Office: 02920 695746
Mobile: 07885 807 276

Friday, 5 August 2016

New £1.2m EU project to support ethnic minority and migrant communities

A £1.2m EU-backed project to improve the skills and job prospects of people from ethnic minority and migrant communities has been announced by Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford.
The Achieving Change through Employment (ACE) project will be supported by £950,000 of EU funds and delivered by the charity, Sova Cymru, over the next three years.

 Around 400 people in North, West Wales and the South Wales valleys will benefit from training programmes and opportunities to achieve qualifications and take part in work experience or volunteering.

 Mark Drakeford said: "I'm delighted to announce almost £1m of EU funding for Sova Cymru's ACE project.  It  will provide important opportunities for many people at risk of exclusion, and will help develop a stronger and more inclusive society in Wales.

 "This is another example of the contribution EU funds are making to enhancing skills and training in Wales, including huge investment in thousands of apprenticeships and traineeships."

Through one-to-one mentoring and support provided by volunteers recruited and trained from local communities, the ACE project will improve literacy, numeracy and personal skills particularly among people affected by long-term unemployment, low skills, disabilities, and care or childcare responsibilities.
Specialist support with job-seeking and assistance with transport will also be provided through the scheme.
ACE will help more than 100 people into employment, generate around 180 new qualifications, and create almost 100 work experience and volunteering opportunities.

 Sova Chief Operating Officer, Sophie Wilson, said: "Sova is absolutely thrilled to be delivering the Achieving Change through Employment (ACE) project. We know how important it is to provide specialist support to people who face significant barriers to accessing education, training and employment.
"We believe that given the support, people from ethnic minority and migrant communities in Wales can succeed and thrive, and our team of dedicated staff and volunteers will be on hand to make that happen."

Volunteer at St Fagan's National History Museum's Food Festival

Our annual Food Festival at St Fagans National History Museum is coming around very fast and we are looking for people to volunteer their time to help us with this large event! The Food Festival is our biggest event of the year and on top of that there’s amazing food to snack on!

 So, if you are free on the 10 and/or 11 of September 2016 take a look at our role description for more information

 We need lots of hand to help with this event so if you are free and want to volunteer email to register your interest. This role is available in Welsh and English. This is also ideal for anyone whose learning welsh and would like to practice.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Free First Aid and Moving and Handling Training for Carers

Are you caring for an adult? Perhaps you care for a child with a disability? If you are a carer living in Merthyr Tydfil why not book a place on our free carer training:  

Tuesday 27th September, 10 – 3 First Aid for Carers at Integrated Children’s Centre, Pentrebach where you can learn how to undertake many of the practical elements of first aid
Tuesday 11th October, 10 – 3 Moving and Handling for Carers at Keir Hardie Health Park where you can learn the correct way to use equipment such as hoists and slings, and best practice to reduce the risk of injury.  

To book a place contact Siân Musto, Carers Information and Development Officer on 01685 353907 or

Further information on the training and other events and topics of interest to carers is posted on the Merthyr Tydfil Carers Facebook Page. Visit the page to find out more. While you’re there, why not Like the Page and keep up to date with carer information and carer activities across Merthyr Tydfil?

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales - Transform Fund Opens

This new one-off £1 million grants programme is part of the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales £3 million commitment over three years to strengthen the sectors and improve responses to domestic and sexual abuse.
Charities or Charitable Incorporated Organisations registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales can apply as long as their annual income is between £25,000 and £2 million; their core work is focused on domestic or sexual abuse; and they have a proven track record of expertise in in domestic and sexual abuse.
The Foundation expects to award grants of up to £100,000 to up to 10 charities. The activity can be funded for up to two years, starting from the date at which the grant is made.
To be eligible, proects need to:
  • Meet Transform's objectives through one or a combination of:
    • Influencing policy and practice at either a local, national or regional level.
    • Building the evidence base (through research and analysis) around needs and identification of effective interventions.
    • Developing and sharing models that help and support small and medium-sized specialist providers.
    • Developing and supporting effective partnerships within and across sectors.
  • Be focused on a distinct project/activity/change that can be delivered over one/two years.
  • Have identified a demonstrable need with a clear set of objectives built upon meeting this need.
  • Demonstrate how they will achieve the objectives set.
  • Have a framework in place for monitoring progress against the objectives. Lloyds Bank Foundation will actively review and monitor this and put in place a framework for monitoring and evaluating the programme as a whole.
  • Be able to start quickly after being awarded funded, and certainly by April 2017, so that it could be completed within the two year funding period.
There is particular interest in proposals presenting innovative ways for small and specialist services to make greater impact.
Projects will be prioritised which show the greatest potential in sharing learning and have a clear plan to achieve it.
The funding can be used for all costs related to the proposed project to be covered. This includes but is not limited to:
  • Staff costs.
  • Activity costs.
  • Materials costs.
  • Evaluation costs.
Core costs will be covered but only where they are overheads clearly related to the proposed project.

The deadline for initial applications is 30 September 2016 (5pm)