Over the summer, DCC published its draft 2017-21 Council Plan for consultation. This stated  16 priorities and described the Council’s vision and commitments for each.  We felt that we should submit a response to this. A draft was circulated in our ebulletin– timescales were quite tight so thanks to everyone who came back with comments or suggestions. A link to the plan, and a copy of our response, are below.  We’ll keep you informed of any feedback.

You can read the draft plan on DCC’s website at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/policies_plans/council_plan/

Response submitted by Michelle Skinner, CEO of South Derbyshire CVS:

We welcome the commitment to partnership work with the voluntary and community sector (VCS) as crucial to delivering quality, value for money services, and a stated commitment to “Build better relationships between councils, businesses and the voluntary and community sector”. As a sector we are able to draw in resources not easily accessible to either the public or private sector – for example public donations, sponsorship, grant and trust funding, and volunteer time and skills – adding value to any investment.

We hope that the review of delivery and commissioning models will include (i) a commitment to ensuring smaller, local voluntary sector providers and social enterprises are able successfully to bid for and deliver services – not just larger providers; and (ii) assurance that grant funding will be recognised as having an important function in resourcing voluntary sector provision, particularly for smaller groups, for whom competitive tendering is less likely to be a realistic option.

There is a network of thousands of voluntary and community organisations in Derbyshire, and these play a vital role in providing community based support to vulnerable people, older people, children, young people and families and the wider community.  For example:

  • Supporting older and vulnerable people and people with disabilities or health conditions to be independent, bringing people together and enabling them to access and enjoy social, leisure and physical activities.  For example, community transport/social car services, shopping, befriending, buddying and mentoring services, befriending groups, lunch clubs, self-help, support and social groups and those offering a wide range of arts, physical activities and hobbies.
  • Providing support and activities to children, young people and families of all kinds.  For example youth groups, childcare, playgroups, parent and toddler groups;  family/parenting support; food banks and benefits advice; help and advice and peer support for families with children with disabilities; sports; arts; uniformed groups such as guides, scouts and cadets which engage young people in positive activities.
  • In addition, services such as vSPA and the Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network work to link people effectively with local community support services that help them to meet their needs; and umbrella organisations like CVS and Volunteer Centres help groups develop, grow and find volunteers with the time and skills to support their work.

We would also like to see acknowledgement of the role that volunteering plays in helping people develop skills and get valuable skills, and in acting as an accessible step towards paid work, particularly for those who face the greatest barriers.   Through participation in volunteering, volunteers themselves can access new experiences and learning opportunities that can be life changing.  One of our staff gave the example of a local resident who came to and then volunteered to help prepare community meals. This ultimately led to her decision to do a degree in nutrition which will have a deep effect on both her and her children’s lives.

We would like the VCS’s role to be acknowledged more in the plan, and an explicit commitment to supporting and working with us as partners to make sure local residents, especially the most vulnerable, are offered and able to access all the support and opportunities available to them.

There is strong evidence linking social isolation with poor mental and physical health outcomes and we would like to see a specific commitment to addressing people’s social needs and to addressing loneliness and isolation.

Finally, we are pleased to see a commitment to ‘Champion local communities’.  Our experience is that some of the best solutions are those that grow organically from within local communities themselves, rather than those provided ‘to’ or ‘for’ them.  As a voluntary sector support organisation with 20 years’ experience of community development work, we can give many, many examples of successful and thriving voluntary self-help, social and activity groups which support some of the most vulnerable in our communities.

However, we also know that it takes time, skill and support to encourage and enable people to organise and act – particularly in those communities which have the least experience and least confidence. The Plan talks about the Council ‘establishing new ways of supporting community activity’ – while we welcome this commitment we would like you to trust us (VCS infrastructure) to deliver this thereby making best use of  existing local support and expertise.  We would argue that some ‘vibrant networks of local staff and local people who work together to tackle local problems’ already exist within our local voluntary and community sector and would welcome the opportunity to build on these.

On local charity with which South Derbyshire CVS works contacted us in relation to this consultation to say that “I think your response [i.e. our draft response to the Council Plan which we circulated to local voluntary groups] is good. I think it comes over as positive but clear on the need for local support from CVS and local organisations. As you say local communities and vulnerable people often need help to build confidence and knowledge to access the opportunities available to them. With your experience and skills you play a vital role in helping local people to act for themselves.”

South Derbyshire CVS has two Passport courses coming up in September and October.

The course is a perfect opportunity for anyone in Derbyshire who is looking to start volunteering, or who already volunteers and would like to add to their skill-set and knowledge with some accredited training. Attendees must complete all five sessions to receive their accreditation.

The training is free, and with one course in the evening and one in the daytime, there is the opportunity for people who work during office hours to attend.

Please click below to download:
the SEPTEMBER course poster and booking form – evening course
the OCTOBER course poster and booking form – daytime course.

Contact training@sdcvs.org.uk or call 01283 219761 to book.

The course explores five subjects:

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
What is equality? Who might be discriminated against?
How, as a volunteer can you promote inclusion?
Keeping Yourself and Others Safe
Identify different types of abuse – what would you do if you suspect someone you’re volunteering with is being abused? How do you keep yourself safe whilst volunteering?
Health and Safety
Who is responsible for Health and Safety? Explore case studies and discuss how you can keep yourself safe in relation to Health and Safety
First Aid 
In this practical first aid session, learn what to do if there was an accident; how to treat bleeding wounds, what to do if someone is choking and much more!
Person Centred Approach 
Explore what is meant by the term ‘Person Centred Approach’;
look at different ways of communication and how to actively listen
and engage the people you are volunteering with.

Please click below to download:
the SEPTEMBER course poster and booking form – evening course
the OCTOBER course poster and booking form – daytime course.

Contact training@sdcvs.org.uk or call 01283 219761 to book.


Would you be interested in volunteering in the Peak District National Park?

If you are interested, contact Nazarena Plumb at nazarena@peak-district-challenge.com for more information.

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We are looking for volunteers for the Peak District Challenge 2017!

The event is taking place from Friday 22nd – Saturday 23rd September and is based in Hathersage in the glorious Peak District National Park (easily accessible by train from Sheffield and Manchester).

We have a variety of roles and time shifts available starting from Friday 22nd September 5pm – all the way through to Saturday 23rd September at 11pm.

We are looking for help for the following roles:

·         In headquarters to register entrants, prepare goody bags, keep the hall tidy, prepare and serve     food

·         On checkpoints around the Peak District to record people’s times, cheer them on and give them food and drink (having your own car is handy for this role)

·         In taking photos and video clips so that entrants remember their challenge forever (there is a competition prize for the best photo and video clip taken on the event)

The event has a very friendly atmosphere and is a chance to support some incredible people and great causes.

We also have a celebration day on Sunday 24th September in Hathersage that you would be invited to, including swimming in the heated outdoor pool and going for a nice pub lunch together.

We have free overnight accommodation available on the hall floor on the Friday night for volunteers.

Help to support this fantastic charity challenge (which is raising money for a variety of fantastic causes). One cause that is especially close to our heart is S.A.L.V.E. International who create opportunities for children living on the streets of Uganda to build a brighter future. In 2016 we raised over £5000 for S.A.L.V.E. to help them to build a rehabilitation home to help children to adjust to life off the streets before being reunited with their families. But we want to raise even more this year!

In 2017 we are also raising funds for great causes such as; Macmillan, Child Brain Injury Trust and Rain Rescue.

Interested? contact Nazarena Plumb at nazarena@peak-district-challenge.com for more information.

CQC has been asked by the Secretaries of State for Health and for Communities and Local Government to undertake a programme of local system reviews of health and social care in 12 local authority areas.

These reviews, exercised under the Secretaries of State’s Section 48 powers, will include a review of commissioning across the interface of health and social care and an assessment of the governance in place for the management of resources.

We will look specifically at how people move between health and social care, including delayed transfers of care, with a particular focus on people over 65 years old. The review will not include mental health services or specialist commissioning but, through case tracking, will look at the experiences of people living with dementia as they move through the system.

David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: “People should be able to expect good, safe care when they need it, regardless of how this care is delivered. And yet we know there is wide variation in how health and social care systems work together, with some local systems working together effectively to ensure people get the right care, while others struggle to do so – these reviews will seek to examine why these levels of variation exist.

“Our intention is that the review findings will highlight what is working well and where there are opportunities for improving how the system works, enabling the sharing of good practice and identifying where additional support is needed to secure better outcomes for people using services.”

The purpose of the reviews is to provide a bespoke response to support those areas facing the greatest challenges to secure improvement.  On completion of the review our findings will be reported to each local authority area’s health and wellbeing board.

A further eight sites for review will be identified in the coming months and once all 20 reviews have been completed we will be publishing a national report of our key findings and recommendations.

The first 12 areas are:

•    Birmingham
•    Bracknell Forest
•    Coventry
•    East Sussex
•    Halton
•    Hartlepool
•    Manchester
•    Oxfordshire
•    Plymouth
•    Stoke
•    Trafford
•    York


Umbrella are holding a number of sessions during the summer holidays for families in Southern Derbyshire and Derby City with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and / or disability, and are for the whole family – including siblings.  The session are a good opportunity to meet other people, and have some fun in a calm and relaxed environment.

Umbrella are not able to take responsibility for individual children, but there are members of the family support team and volunteers on hand to help with activities.  parents remain responsible for children/young people at all time and must stay with

Please see below for details of each session and the booking form, and please pass the details on to any families which may be interested.

Bug themed Family Fun session for the whole family. 

There will be a workshop with Bugs ‘n’ Bones, bringing their animals for us to hold and stroke, as well as animal art and craft activities.

On: Wednesday 26th July 2017 from 9:45am -12 noon.

At: St Oswald’s Village Hall, Mayfield Road (off School Lane) Ashbourne, DE6 1AN

Cost: £4.00 per child/young person toward refreshments and activities, to be paid at the time of booking.

Activities: There will be Animal themed art and craft activities, as well as a visit from Bugs ‘n’ Bones, who will bring a selection of reptiles and furry animals for us to hold, stroke, and find out about. Parents/Carers must be responsible for children/young people at all times and stay with them.

Places must be booked, and are limited to 25. These sessions are for the whole family, parents, siblings, children and young people you MUST book your session by calling  01332 785658 or emailing the booking form below to familysupport@umbrella.uk.net

 Please click here for the bugs’n’bones booking form


Cooking themed Family Fun Session

For the whole family.  There will be a workshop with Cooking Stars, who will be helping us cook pizza pies and rock buns,  as well as a feely game, and craft activity, at the end of there workshop we will all get to eat what has been made….yummy!

On: Monday 31st  July 2017 from 10 am -12 noon.

At: Sawley Methodist Church Hall,  214 Tamworth Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire, NG10 3GU

Cost: £4.00 per child/young person toward refreshments and activities, to be paid at the time of booking. Parents/Carers must be responsible for children/young people at all times and stay with them. Places must be booked, and are limited to 25. These sessions are for the whole family, parents, siblings, children and young people you MUST book your session by calling  01332 785658 or emailing the booking form below to familysupport@umbrella.uk.net

Please click here for the cooking session booking form


Family Fun Park Visits

For the whole family. Come along with your own picnic, explore the parks and take part in some of our activities.  We will have bubble and bug fun, sensory activities and crafts; enjoy the park and have fun together.

On: Saturday 5th August 2017 from 10am to 4pm.

At: Shipley Park Slack Lane Heanor DE75 7GX


On: Wednesday 30th  August 2017 from 10am to 4pm

At: Markeaton Park, Derby DE22 4AA

Cost: These events is FREE so why not come along to both parks. You need to bring your own picnic.

Parents/Carers must be responsible for children/young people at all times and stay with them.

Please let us know if you are coming so we can ensure there are a good range of activities for all ages and abilities call  01332 785658 or emailing the booking form below to familysupport@umbrella.uk. net

Please click here for the picnics booking form.

Last few places remain! Please click here for the booking form. 

To view a higher quality PDF Version EFAW_First_Aid



If you are struggling to find work, have been out of work for a while, or are looking to build your skill-set up, have you considered that volunteering could help you do this?

Yes, you need to focus your efforts on finding any type of paid work, but whilst you are searching for jobs, if you can give a couple of hours a week to volunteer, it can help in a number of ways.

Here’s how:

  1. You can put your voluntary experience on your CV, which helps break up long gaps where you have been out of work.

2. It shows you are willing to actively find work experience, that you want to gain skills and it helps to demonstrate your level of motivation and commitment.

3. It keeps you involved with people – which can help you stay positive. It can help you build networks of people who may know of other job openings. If you are really lucky, sometimes volunteer roles can lead to paid roles in the same company.

4. You’ll have more to say at interviews – you will be able to give examples or demonstrate where you have experience through your voluntary work

5. It can set you apart from the crowd. Finding work is very competitive and even small differences can help tip the balance. Volunteering it quite a big thing – you’re giving your time for free and it really can make the difference on your CV and at interviews.

6. Build skills and experiences that are useful in the workplace. Think of ‘buzzwords’ that you see on job adverts – teamwork skills; customer service experience; flexible; hard-working; experience of using Microsoft Office; working in a busy, fast-paced environment; interpersonal skills. Believe it or not, you can learn the same skills in certain types of voluntary roles.

So where can you find voluntary work?

Do-It.org is a national database of voluntary opportunities.

Go to your local Volunteer Centre (South Derbyshire’s is in South Derbyshire CVS, 46-48 Grove Street, Swadlincote  DE11 9DD) – volunteering@sdcvs.org.uk, tel 01283 219761.

Put a search in your preferred search engine and look through the results.

See below for some opportunities which are currently being offered at South Derbyshire CVS:


If you are looking to work in Social Care, with elderly people or a care environment, our Practical Help Voluntary role might be a great one, as it involves helping people who have recently come out of hospital (or help prevent them from being admitted in the first place)

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You’ll benefit from volunteering, but you’ll get to help real people who are in real need of some help too.

driving volunteering poster for practical help

Thanks for reading!