Information and Advice for the Lancaster District’s Third Sector – 23 November 2023

We are working with the local voluntary and community sector and Lancashire and District-wide partners to support VCFSE organisations and people living in our communities. We encourage you to share this page with others.

An archive of previous editions can be found here.

Click headings below to expand each section.

Swop Shop Skill Share – Impact & Evaluation – 5 December
Our second Swop Shop Skill Share event takes place on 5 December, 12.30pm – 3pm at Lancaster & Morecambe College.

These events are helping to nurture a supportive ecosystem across the district’s voluntary sector by providing a space where you can share skills, ask for advice, work together and exchange resources.

December’s Swop Shop will focus on measuring impact, performance monitoring, and evaluation. Featured speakers include:

Dr Elisavet Christou, Lecturer in Management and Organisation Studies
Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University Management School

Dr Christou’s Little Book of Creative Evaluation is now available online.

Maria Thornton, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Support Service.

The service is one of 8 hubs across the country and is led by Lancaster University and Partners (Manchester University, Manchester Metropolitan University and Liverpool University). Maria will discuss measuring impact through the NIHR Lens – and will demonstrate tools which support organisations to measure impact.

Guy Christiansen, Chief Executive Officer, Lancashire Youth Challenge

Guy will discuss monitoring, evaluation and impact capture tools for LYC’s work with young people.

Find out more and book your free ticket

FestiVOL 2023 – Thank You!
We’d like to thank everyone who came along (in the words of talented poet-in-residence Nathan Parker) “through the dreary November drizzle” to network and explore at FestiVOL 2023. The More Music building was buzzing the whole day long and they were wonderful hosts alongside The Exchange for our second annual celebration of the voluntary sector.

The event really showcased the vibrant tapestry of our district, demonstrating the power of community spirit and dedication.

Very special thanks go to the presenters and performers: East Meets West, Lancaster Mens Hub, Fighting Loneliness, The Gregson, West End Playhouse, King Street Studios, More Music, Stanleys, The Bay: A Blueprint for Recovery, CancerCare, Wise Up Workshops, Bee Adventures, Positive Futures, and Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission – what a list and what an incredible group of people!

Make Moves Fund
Nike and Spotify have linked up to launch the Make Moves Fund – a social impact-led initiative designed to get the least active girls moving through music.

The Make Moves fund will provide £20,000 grants to UK-based community organisations to pioneer innovative, girl-first programmes that combine music and movement.

The application deadline is 30 November.

Find out more and apply

Create & Improve Green Spaces near Starbucks Stores
Grants of up to £6,000 are available to create or enhance green spaces within 5km of any Starbucks store in the UK. Eligible costs include materials, utilities, signage, staffing costs, volunteer expenses, and training.

Deadline for applications is 11 January 2024.

Find out more and apply

Ashden Awards for Climate Innovations
The Ashden Awards bring publicity, grants (up to £25,000) and connections to outstanding climate solutions. Whether powering up off-grid communities, greening cities, or regenerating the natural world, winners work to build a fairer and better zero carbon future.

This year’s award categories include energy innovation, nature based solutions, powering futures in clean energy, energising refugees and displaced people, and more. Some categories focus on the UK, and others cover work in low- and middle-income countries.

Applications close on 25 January 2024

Find out more and apply

The Fore Spring 2024 Funding Round
This grant programme offers unrestricted funding to help applicants grow, strengthen, become more efficient or resilient. The Fore are particularly keen to hear from grassroots organisations working with underserved communities.

Charities, CICs and Community Benefit Societies with income less than £500,000 per annum can apply for up to £30,000 spread over one to three years.

Register for the Spring 2024 round from 6 December until 13 December 2023.

Find out more and apply

Awards for All – Larger Grants and Longer Projects
Community organisations can now benefit from larger grants for longer projects when applying to the National Lottery Community Fund’s Awards for All programme.

Organisations can now apply for up to £20,000 per year (previously £10,000), and can get funding for up to two years, for a total of £40,000 in funding.

Find out more and apply

Kitsquad – Outdoor Gear
Kitsquad’s goal is to assist low-income people with getting out and about in the great outdoors, benefitting both their physical and mental health. 

Unfortunately, those on low incomes find it hard to find the funds to purchase the necessary gear and so Kitsquad want to change this by giving people the chance to experience nature affordably, without money being a barrier.

Find out more and apply for gear 

Additionally, the recycling aspect of this initiative also benefits the environment. If you have or know anyone who has any kit that could be donated, you can do so by post to Kitsquad, Unit 49B Atcham Business Park, Shrewsbury SY4 4UG 

The Power of Music Fund
Opening on 22 November 2023, the Power of Music Fund will be open to make grants to dementia choirs, musical activities for carers and other initiatives which support people through music. 

Music can greatly help people living with dementia and their carers by having a positive impact on mood, self-expression, creativity and reconnecting individuals with those they love. 

Multi-year grants will be available of either £1,000 or £2,000 per year depending upon the size and scope of the project. There will also be a £500,000 grant for a Centre of Excellence! 

Those who wish to apply must have an activity taking place between April 2024-December 2026 and the group must consist of 10 or more people. 

Read more and apply

The Phoenix Way: Children and Youth Round
Grants of between £30,000 and £80,000 are offered for Black and racial minority-led charities and other not-for-profit organisations across England and Wales to work with black and racially minoritised children and young to prevent or reduce violence in their communities and lives.

Funding can support continuation and/or expansion of existing projects as well as new ones. Grants can pay for staff, running costs, activities, equipment and other resources.

The application deadline is 3 December

Find out more and apply

National Churches Trust Cherish Grants
This grant programme provides practical support to help keep places of worship in Wales, Scotland and the North West of England open and continuing to service local people. It is for is for listed and unlisted Christian places of worship, of any denomination, to help with the costs of urgent and essential maintenance and repair projects as well as the costs of developing a church building project.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available for projects costing up to £80,000. Apply by 11 December.

Find out more and apply

Veterans’ Career Development Fund
The Veterans’ Career Development Fund is provided by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and administered on their behalf by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. The funding supports experienced not-for-profit organisations which can create and promote opportunities for UK veterans and their families looking to enter employment, and those already in employment who have the aspiration to progress in their careers, to acquire, or work towards acquiring, supplementary qualifications, technical training and skills.

Grants of up to £70,000 over two years are available. Apply by 8 January 2024.

Find out more and apply

Lancashire Warm Spaces Grant Scheme 2023/4
Groups running a warm space this winter can apply for up to £500. The funding can be spent on:

  • Equipment
  • Energy bills (gas and electric) or meter top ups
  • Premises costs
  • Volunteer and organisational training
  • Volunteer expenses
  • Expenses for light refreshments can be included
  • Projects and activities that build resilience
  • Organisational staff costs

Find out more and apply – the deadline is 3 December, 23:59

Register your warm space with Lancashire County Council

Tell LDCVS about your warm space, so we can put it on the Lancaster Digital Directory

Veterans’ Foundation 2024
The Foundation helps charities and other organisations that support serving and former members of the UK Armed Forces and their dependents. Examples of activities eligible for support include reducing homelessness, increasing employment, providing welfare, reducing addiction, care during old age and more.

Grants are available up to £30,000 for projects, and up to £50,000 over two years exclusively for salary costs.

Deadlines for 2024 applications have now been announced. The first is 30 January.

Find out more and apply

Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust 2024/5
Awarding grants of £1,000 to charities with income/expenditure between £100,000 and £1 million, and £5,000 to charities with income/expenditure over £1 million, the Trust has announced the following rounds:

2024 Rounds 1 & 2: Disability, specifically employment and training
2024 Rounds 3 & 4: Food poverty, focusing on providing meals, education, cooking skills, and eliminating food waste

2025 Rounds 1 & 2: Access to the Arts
2025 Rounds £ & 4: Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Find out more and apply (from 1 February 2024)

Windrush Day Grant Scheme 2023
The scheme supports groups to commemorate, celebrate and educate people about the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants across communities in our country. 

It is intended to fund projects which educate people about the Windrush story, foster national pride and recognition of the contributions made by the Windrush generation and their descendants, and develop the skills and entrepreneurial ambitions of young people.

Grants are available in two tiers – £5,000 – £25,000 and £25,000 – £50,000.

The deadline for applications is 17 December.

Find out more (including information about bidder workshops) and apply here

Department for Health & Social Care Accelerating Reform Fund
The Accelerating Reform Fund will focus on embedding and scaling approaches to transform care and support including for unpaid carers. This will accelerate progress towards the government’s social care vision where people have choice, control and support to live independent lives, and where care and support is of outstanding quality and is provided in a fair, accessible way.

Local authorities are invited to work in partnership with others in their integrated care systems (including community and voluntary groups) to develop proposals for local innovation projects.

Find out more on the Lancashire & South Cumbria VCFSE Alliance website

Clothworkers’ Foundation – digital infrastructure projects
The Foundation has recently announced an expansion of their criteria for their Open Grants Programmes, to include capital grants for digital infrastructure projects (such as websites, databases, CRMs etc..)

Find out more about their digital infrastucture criteria.

A webinar explaining this expansion will take place on 7 December, 10am – 11am. Register here.

Sea-Changers Marine Conservation Social Fund
The aim of the Marine Conservation Social Fund is to support socially beneficial marine conservation approaches and solutions. Its unique emphasis is that as well as supporting marine conservation outcomes, projects will support or enhance participants’ health and well-being and / or deliver benefits for disadvantaged communities.

Grant applications for projects costing between £3,000 – £5,000 should be submitted by 22 December.

Find out more and apply

Crowdfund Lancashire Winter Round 23-24 Launch
This event is your chance to find out more about how Crowdfund Lancashire and Spacehive work, and to hear some success stories from past projects.

16 November, 12 noon – 1pm, online
Find out more and book

There will also be information drop-in sessions across Lancashire. Our nearest will be held at Garstang Library on 7 December, 5pm – 6:30pm.

Find out more about the programme on the County Council website.

Small grants for sports groups
Cash4Clubs offers unrestricted grants for community sports clubs and community groups, funded by Flutter Entertainment, a betting, gambling and entertainment company.

Projects must include activities for adult club members (over 18s), but as these are unrestricted grants they can otherwise be used for anything that will support sporting activity.

Grant of up to £2,000 are available. Apply by 31 December – applications may close early based on the volume of applications.

Find out more and apply

Thomas Wall Trust – grants to help people find employment
The Trust accepts applications from charities which have been running for at least three years, for projects which help disadvantaged people with their communication skills, readying them for employment.

Submit an expression of interest for a grant of up to £5,000 by 8 January.

Find out more and apply

Hinrichsen Foundation – grants for contemporary music
The Foundation offers grants in support of contemporary music, including performance, commissioning of works, non-commercial recording, and publication.

Apply for small grants of between £500 and £2,500, or for larger grants (including for a series of performances) of over £2,000, by 31 December.

Find out more and apply

Ockenden International Prize 2024 – Open for Entries
The Ockenden International Prize for 2024 is now accepting entries, offering cash rewards to registered charities with projects dedicated to enhancing self-reliance among refugees and displaced individuals worldwide. Ockenden International, a charity with a long history of aiding refugees, established this prize in 2012.

The competition seeks initiatives that empower refugees and migrants, emphasizing their agency, dignity, and autonomy. It prioritizes supporting locally-based and refugee-led organizations working directly with displaced populations. Four winners will evenly share the £100,000 prize, receiving £25,000 each.

Deadline for applications is 30 November.

Read more about the Ockenden International Prize

Castle Studies Trust Reopens for Applications 2023
Individuals and organisations across the UK can apply for funding to help advance the understanding of Castle Studies. The Castle Studies Trust is offering grants of up to £10,000 to support the production of new and discrete pieces of research that enhance the understanding and knowledge of castles. Grants will initially focus on new work on castles, such as architectural and geophysical surveys, radio-carbon dating, or projects that enhance the general public’s understanding of castles. The fund will cover costs specific to carrying out research and site work, such as travel to and from a castle site, equipment costs, or services provided by a third party. Funding can be used to co-fund large-scale projects.

The deadline for applications is 1 December 2023.

Learn more about this funding and apply

Devolution Deal for Lancashire
Lancashire County Council has heralded the devolution deal for the county announced this week as “historic” and “amazing news”. If given approval, the proposed deal will transfer new money and powers from central government to a newly created Combined County Authority.

The proposed deal would give local leaders extra powers to tackle key priorities such as better public transport, boosting economic prosperity and improving employment and skills. It will not require changes to the established borough, country or district councils, an elected mayor, or power to precept over and above the normal Council Tax ask.

Read the County Council’s press release to find out more

Lancaster BID Christmas Toy Appeal
Launching this weekend, the appeal encourages the public and businesses to donate new and nearly new toys which will be distributed by CancerCare, Little Joe’s Clothes, Helping Heart for Ukraine, Unique Kidz & Co and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Drop off points include the Wagon & Horses (St George’s Quay), Travellers Choice Carnforth, Cumberland Building Society (Cheapside), Nandos (Market St), YMCA (St Nics), Lancaster Football Club, Accessplanit (Spring Garden St), and My Dentist (St Nics).

Where the Wildings Are Crowdfunder
Where the Wildings Are! transforms schools across the Lancaster district into hubs that reverse biodiversity loss, climate change and food insecurity. Using permaculture principles, the team work with staff and pupils to redesign school grounds, swapping tarmac and mown grass for tree planting, sensory wildlife gardens and organic food growing.

To help support the project, LESS are crowdfunding through the Aviva Community Fund, who will match all donations. Rewards for backers include a two-hour ‘transform your garden WTWA! style workshop’ and exclusive access to a garden designer.

Find out more and donate


NCVO Open Letter to the Chancellor
Charities are facing a Cost of Giving Crisis this winter, with many facing difficult decisions so they can continue operating.

One key challenge for charities delivering public services is underfunding, with many contracts costing more to deliver than their funding pays for. This challenge affects organisations of all sizes, so NCVO is asking the chancellor to urgently address this.

Read and sign NCVO’s open letter here

The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech contains 21 Bills that will be brought before Parliament in this session. This is highly likely to be the last parliamentary session prior to a general election and most announcements have been well trailed in the advance. The bills are divided into three themes: growing the economy, strengthening society and keeping people safe.

  • Growing the economy includes much trailed bills to allow for annual licenses to be issued for offshore gas and oil exploration, regulation of automated vehicles and international trade. It also includes a bill to protect consumer rights in digital markets tackling fake reviews and subscription traps. The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is intended to allow businesses to protect personal data in more proportionate and practical ways than under current GDPR regulations, and to clarify and improve rules around using personal data for scientific research and the delivery of health and social care.
  • Strengthening society includes bills on banning tobacco and regulating vapes; reforming leasehold for houses [but not flats]; renters reform which will abolish no-fault evictions but strengthen landlord grounds for possession and ability to evict antisocial tenants; and a ban on public bodies imposing their own boycotts or sanctions on foreign countries.
  • Keeping people safe: The Sentencing Bill will extend sentencing powers including mandatory whole life orders in some circumstances, serving whole sentences for rape and bringing in a presumption in favour of a suspended sentence for custodial sentences of 12 months or fewer. This is accompanied by another Criminal Justice Bill to introduce mandatory reporting of concerns relating to child sexual abuse; give more powers to probation officers; address violence against women and girls and antisocial behaviour; and transfer prisoners out of England and Wales to serve sentences abroad. Martyn’s Law, The Terrorism (Protection of Premises Bill) has moved from draft stage and will require certain public venues to plan to mitigate the impact of terrorist attacks and reduce harm. This will apply to all public buildings with a capacity of over 100 people.

The two Bills of direct relevance to the sector are: The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill and Martyn’s Law, The Terrorism (Protection of Premises Bill).

Pro Bono Economics – Women and the Charity Sector Report
Pro Bono Economics uses economics to empower the social sector and to increase wellbeing across the UK.

Their latest report – created after lengthy interviews with women working in the sector – examines how charities work for women in terms of employment, volunteering, representation, power relationships, and intersections with race, disability, and sexuality. It concludes with a series of recommendations for the sector.

Find out more and read the full report

Ann Craft Trust Safeguarding Adults Week
The Trust is a national charity which exists to minimise the risk of abuse of disabled children and adults at risk.

Safeguarding Adults Week, 20 – 24 November, aims to highlight key safeguarding key issues, start conversations and raise awareness of safeguarding best practice. Free resources and training events will help other community organisations with their on safeguarding practice.

Find out more, download resources, and sign up for training activities

Lowering Energy Bills in Charities & Social Enterprises: 7 Top Tips
This blog post from Good Finance provides a timely reminder of some measures community organisations can take in the short and medium-term in order to reduce their energy costs. It includes links to useful kits and guides elsewhere.

Find out more

Global Link Hat, Scarf and Gloves Appeal
Global Link are asking people to help them share warmth this winter with individuals who have experienced forced migration.

Donations of unisex or men’s hats, scarves and gloves can be dropped off at 29 Queen Street, Lancaster on weekdays between 9am and 4pm. Please donate before 6 December.

Introducing THRIVEpod
THRIVEpod is North Lancashire’s pilot community food podcast, produced by FoodFutures. It is created by residents living in North Lancashire with the aim of inspiring and connecting with other people living in the area.

Each episode discusses different aspects of our food system and questions: how can we support and create a thriving local food system that is healthy, resilient and fair?

Find out more and listen via the FoodFutures website, or find THRIVEPod on Spotify

NCVO Cost of Giving Crisis Support
Charities across the country are set to face another difficult winter. They feel that they are not just facing a cost-of-living crisis but a ‘Cost of Giving Crisis’.

Such difficulties are due to a combination of the pandemic alongside increasing costs, income falling and demand increasing. The findings of NCVO surveys show that, worryingly, 85% of charities are expecting that this winter will be as tough or even tougher than the last and as many as 27% are saying that they believe they won’t be able to meet the demand that their services strive to meet.

Unfortunately, 1 in 5 charities say they could be forced to ‘disappear’ this winter leaving people and communities dependent on them at risk.

NCVO are highlighting these issues and offering urgent support including practical help, calling for government action and appealing to the public for more of their time rather than just donations alone.

Read about the campaign and support here.

More in Common Groups & Partnerships
The Jo Cox foundation has received funding to develop and grow the More in Common Network, which champions the message conveyed in Jo Cox’s maiden speech to Parliament: “we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us”

More in Common groups are volunteer-led community groups made up of individuals who want to bring their communities together. Following successful pilots, the network is now able to expand.

To find out more about More in Common groups, attend one of the foundation’s regular meet and greet sessions online.

Christmas Volunteers
Every year the Volunteer Centre receives requests from members of the public about volunteering over Christmas.
We know that most organisations need volunteers all year round and this is the advice that we give to people at any time of year, but if you do have special need over the Christmas period – either because of increased need for year-round services, or because you have something specific that you’ll be doing over the Christmas period – let us know now.
We can get your Christmas needs onto our website and will be ready for anyone who contacts us about volunteering just for Christmas. We will also be able to promote the roles to anyone looking for volunteering opportunities generally.
If you need any help or advice, or would like to discuss anything with our Volunteer Centre manager, please contact Mark via email at [email protected]

Volunteer Opportunity Promotion and Recruitment
Have you registered on our website to promote your volunteer roles? By adding your opportunities to our website you will be making them available to the hundreds of people per month who check our site looking for something to do. You will also enable our team to easily and quickly signpost people to your roles, to give them the information that they need to decide whether they would like to apply.

Registering is quick and easy and you can do it here.

Once registered you will be able to add your roles. If you need any help, or have any questions, you can contact Mark by email at [email protected].

In addition to the website, the Volunteer Centre can promote your roles via our bulletins and newsletters; through attendance at in-person events such as volunteer fairs; in 121 meetings with potential volunteers; through visits to various support organisations; drop-in events at local Job Centres; by posting to our social media platforms; and through our bi-weekly column in the Lancaster Guardian.

If you would like to discuss any of this, including having space in our Lancaster Guardian column, please contact Mark.

Volunteering Opportunity Help Guide
We have produced a guide to help you when adding an opportunity to our website – It is quite detailed and covers every possible question. You don’t need to follow it but please do look at it if you get stuck or if it isn’t clear which option to choose when going through the form to add new opportunities.

You can now also add more users to your account. Once registered, log in, hover on Account at the top of the dashboard and click ‘Users’, where you can add more users. This will be useful if you would like someone else to check applicant info and contact potential volunteers.

You can also now choose which category to add your opportunity under, to help people when searching for roles. If you can’t find an appropriate category just use the ‘default’ category and let us know what categories you would like to see added.

Visit the guide here

DBS Checks
We offer a DBS check service, working in partnership with Burnley, Pendle, and Rossendale CVS. If you need DBS certificates for your staff or volunteers, please visit our website here.

Volunteering Opportunities

Samaritans Volunteer Information Day
The Samaritans provide an invaluable listening service for those who are in distress or despair. Their lines are open 24/7 365 days a year and to keep these lines running it’s important that they recruit people throughout the year. 

This time of the year can be a particularly difficult time for a lot of people who would benefit immeasurably from the emotional support which this confidential service provides.  

Those that are interested in helping out are invited to an information day where you can meet the local Samaritans and talk to them about volunteering. 

Date: 1 December, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Location: The Cornerstone, Sulyard Street, Lancaster, LA1 1PX


Chair of Governors at Lancaster & Morecambe College
The College seeks a new Chair of the Board of Governors, responsible for providing effective leadership of the Board in the discharge of its duties. This is significant voluntary role and applicants should be willing to attend monthly meetings and other College events regularly, with an average time commitment of circa 1-2 days per equivalent per month. No formal qualification is necessary.

For further information, please contact Oona Cushen, Governance Adviser on 01524 521238 or email [email protected]

Volunteer at Lancashire Police Museum
The Lancaster Police Museum are looking for volunteers with a passion for policing to assist with the day to day running of the museum. You’ll be expected to engage visitors, assist with enquiries, and explore the rich history of Lancashire policing. Experience a tour of cells, forensic advancements, and current policing. Thursdays and Fridays, 10:30 am to 4 pm. Opportunity for passionate individuals, subject to police vetting, approximately 1 to 2 days a month.

Find out more about this opportunity

Conservation Volunteer – Friends of the Lake District
An opportunity has arisen for volunteer Conservation Work Across the Lake District. There will be hands-on tasks from tree planting to walling, open to all skill levels. Enjoy the outdoors at scenic sites like Kendal’s Helm and Ambleside’s Sweden Wood. Benefits include learning new skills, meeting friends, and, of course, cake! Physical ability needed for outdoor work.

Find out more about this role


Volunteer Workshop Assistants – Lancashire Youth Challenge
Lancashire Youth Challenge are actively seeking volunteer workshop assistants to support their practitioners with delivering youth activities at schools and community centres in the Lancaster District. The volunteer workshop assistants will help to complete attendance registers, capture evidence of engagement and impact, and encourage young people to fully engage in the workshop activities.

Find out more about this opportunity

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas that is undetectable by the human senses. It’s often referred to as ‘the silent killer’.

Monday 20 November marks the beginning of CO Awareness Week and a campaign to ensure that people are not only aware of the law around appliances and homes, but also that they take their own measures to reduce CO risk.

Find out more and download resources

Deaf/BSL Community Project Professional Survey
Healthwatch Lancashire would like to gather information on experiences from people directly, family members/carers and professionals who work with health and social care services.

They would like to know what support is available to people who are Deaf and use BSL. Any feedback will help to know what recommendations can be shared with decision makers and the survey should take no longer than 10 minutes.

All responses are anonymous. Take part in the survey here

ICB Self-Care Winter Communications Toolkit
Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB have shared a detailed winter communications toolkit. These are to make sure you are aware of good advice and support which you can share with your family, friends and neighbours and to use with your networks, groups or connections about how people can stay well this winter.

It includes social media posts, suggested copy for your own newsletters, and a set of PowerPoint slides for digital screens.

Download the posts and copy
Download the PowerPoint slides

For further information, contact the ICB’s engagement team by email at [email protected]

LSCFT Supporting Men’s Health Month
Find out more about LSCFT’s work to support men’s mental health as part of the wider men’s health month agenda, including links to their specialist services.

Read more on the LSCFT website

Healthwatch Lancashire Waiting for Wellness Report
Healthwatch Lancashire have recently published their latest project report ‘Waiting for Wellness’ which investigates people’s experiences of mental health and the accessibility of mental health services in Lancashire.

Feedback revealed that the main barrier to accessing NHS mental health support was the long waiting lists, leaving people feeling let down and unsure when they would receive support. Third sector/charitable organisations received a substantial amount of positive feedback, with people sharing that they were able to talk about their experiences and have the opportunity to socialise and take part in activities.

Healthwatch Lancashire have formulated a series of recommendations in response to the findings of this report for the attention of a number of service providers who provide mental health support in Lancashire.

Find out more and read the full report

Somatic Dance Fitness at Stanleys
Dancing can lead to better brain health, improved core strength and flexibility, reduced stress and depression, and greater energy, stamina, cardiovascular health and coordination!

The Somatic Dancing offered at these free sessions develops connections between mind, breathing, body and emotions, and is ideal for those suffering from muscular skeletal concerns, anxiety or depression. Sessions include clinical nutritional perspective coaching.

Thursdays, 1pm – 1.45pm at Stanleys Community Centre LA3 1UT.

Download the digital flyer to find out more.

November Healthy Eating Workshops with Headway
Lunch at the Allotment workshops are a fantastic opportunity to participate in cooking, learn about healthy food choice, and – best of all – to eat a healthy meal.

Workshops take place from 11.15am at the Dorrington Road Allotments LA1 4TD, on 8, 15, 22 and 29 November.

Find out more by downloading the the digital poster or email Maria at [email protected]

The Bay: A Blueprint for Recovery – New Heysham Session
The Bay : A Blueprint for Recovery is a free wellbeing programme for people in Morecambe Bay. In addition to larger events in the community, The Bay’s Nature and Wellbeing programme offers small-group sessions for adults, working on wellbeing, building confidence and connecting with nature over a series of 12 weekly sessions.

A new small-group session is starting in Heysham, based at Greenfingers Allotments on Smithy Lane. As well as doing activities including food growing and wildlife gardening on the allotment site, the group will explore the surrounding woodland and beach at Half Moon Bay. You can expect beach surveys, marine mindfulness, bushcraft and more! There will also be the opportunity to work towards a John Muir Discovery Award.

To join a Nature and Wellbeing session please complete the online referral form.

Once you’ve signed up, a member of the team will be in touch to talk more about your needs and answer any questions that you might have about the sessions. For more information, see the digital flyer, call 01772 872007 / 07738 102274 or email [email protected]

Adult Additional Needs Sports Sessions
Join in with the Adult Additional Needs Sports sessions at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre. They offer a variety of activities to cater for individuals with different needs and abilities. From cycling with adapted bikes to boost physical, social, and emotional well-being, to football training and multi-sports sessions that promote teamwork and enjoyment. Join in on select weekdays during term time to connect, have fun, and improve your well-being.

All sessions are pay-as-you-go, so just turn up and participate.

Find out more about the sessions

Bay Wellness Suicide Awareness Kit
The Bay Wellness Partnership, formed in collaboration with partners from the Bay area, is dedicated to improving colleague health and wellbeing across Morecambe Bay. They emphasise the importance of physical and mental fitness, especially during challenging times, and aim to empower colleagues to take ownership of their health and wellbeing.

The partnership’s recent focus has been on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day recently. They have created a Suicide Awareness Toolkit to raise awareness and encourage support for those impacted by suicide, emphasising suicide prevention. The partnership is also promoting initiatives like the Zero Suicide Alliance and the Orange Button Scheme to reduce suicides across the Bay. Together, they aim to create “Suicide Safer Communities” and spread hope through action.

Access the toolkit and further info here

Healthwatch Lancashire Waiting for Wellness Phase 2
Healthwatch Lancashire have now launched a second phase of their Waiting for Wellness project (see report in the Health & Wellbeing section) to explore in more detail the experiences of young people’s mental health and accessing mental health support. They also want to hear from parents and/or carers about their experiences.

As well as a number of pop-up community engagement events which will be announced in due course, they would like young people and parents/carers to have their say by filling out surveys:

Young person’s survey
Parent/carer’s survey

To find out more, visit the Healthwatch Lancashire website.

We Are With You – STAR, ASDAN Peer Mentoring & RisKit
STAR (Start Together Achieve Results) is a targeted 8-week treatment programme for young people with substance misuse issues. The programme will run in small groups of 2-6 people within school in weekly 1-hour sessions. 

After an individual assessment, risk assessment and care plan, the project will cover many areas of substance misuse such as personal experiences, goal setting and the laws around drug use and possession and to help identify triggers and developing strategies for reducing and managing substance use. 

For information see the programme overview or contact With You on 01772 281495 

ASDAN Peer Mentoring
This short course provides recognition for skills in mentoring and buddying younger people. It is open to young people of all abilities ages 13 – 18. A number of activities undertaken across five challenges leads to a ten hours certificate.

Find out more in the digital flyer

RisKit is a multi-component risk reduction programme for young people who are vulnerable to risk taking behaviour including drug and alcohol use, early and unprotected sex and offending. The programme is aimed at 14-16 year olds, and although usually delivered in school can be used for anyone of this age group.

Find out more in the programme information pack

Strawberry Fields – Engage to Progress & Outreach Support Service
Engage to Progress
This initiative provides an opportunity for people aged 16 and over and who are economically inactive to actively engage with the world of education, training and employment through facilitating and enhancing their employability.

Find out more in the digital leaflet, call 01524 874246 or 07765308183, or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Outreach Support Service
This is a targeted support service for those on the verge of leaving, or having already left, Local Authority Care – helping them develop a range of skills essential to their positive transition to independent living.

Find out more in the digital leaflet or contact Scot Davidson on 01524 874246 or 07818037929

SAFE Update
Newly registered as a charity, SAFE continues to provide support for young people and adults experiencing mental health and other life challenges through their group provision across the district.

Groups have a creative focus and are intended to help people increase confidence and positively manage their mental health and wellbeing.

Professionals can make referrals using this form, returning it by email to [email protected]

Self-referral can be completed by email to [email protected] or by telephoning 07568 937988

Get Ready for #iwill Week!
20th-24th November marks #iwill Week, where we’ll be celebrating 10 years of the #iwill movement. 10 years ago, in 2013, #iwill was founded to showcase the Power of Youth social action and encourage others to better involve young people in the decisions that are being made. Join us as we celebrate 10 years of #iwill and help build the Movement.

In the meantime, an Establishing Youth Voice report has been produced with how to guides that present insights and learning from an evaluation of youth voice practices and initiatives. It focuses on how to make young people’s voices heard and the impact youth voice has had on young people and communities.

Swop Shop Skill Share – Impact & Evaluation – 5 December
December’s Swop Shop will focus on measuring impact, performance monitoring, and evaluation. Featured speakers include Dr Elisavet Christou (Lancaster University), Maria Thornton (NIHR), and Guy Christiansen (Lancashire Youth Challenge).

5 December, 12.30pm – 3pm, Lancaster & Morecambe College.

Find out more and book your free ticket

Preventing Gambling Addiction
This free 3-hour course will teach people how to spot early signs of gambling in young people and will give guidance on the most effective early steps to prevent addiction. Topics featured are mental health and wellbeing, gaming and gambling harm and where to go for help and support and more.

To view registration details and to book a place please visit here

Date: Tuesday 12 December
Time: 9am-12:30pm
Location: St Thomas Church, Marton Street, Lancaster, LA1 1XX

Social Media: An Overview of the Platforms – free UKSPF funded training
Navigate the world of social media with confidence after this comprehensive workshop, delving into the key platforms, exploring who uses them and how to decide which ones merit your time and energy.

  • Gain a broad understanding of the major social media platforms.
  • Understand the demographics and usage patterns of each platform.
  • Learn how to choose the right platforms for your business based on your target audience and goals.

6 December, 9am – 12:30pm, Lancaster & Morecambe College

Use the LMC enrolment request form to sign up

Creative West End Festive Gathering
The CWE tents and marquee will be visiting the square outside More Music on 2 December from 4pm until 7pm, coinciding with the much loved annual lantern procession.

Attractions will include live music, a pop-up cinema, writing and painting, and hot food and drinks.

Morecambe Community Riso Press Birthday Party
You are cordially invited to celebrate the 1st Birthday of The Morecambe Community Riso Press CIC!

Celebrations take place at The Good Things ( Jeromes ) Celebrations shop on Euston Road, on Saturday 25 November, 3pm – 7pm.

The exhibition is a showcase of all the beautiful Riso prints made since the press opened their doors, and the ideas captured in the Zines made and shared through the Morecambe & Lancaster Zine Library.

Come and bathe in the vibrant light of the non toxic, Riso printed, colours and the craftivism of the Zine Library, doodle your ideas for Year 2 on the doodle wall, and get into some paper folding!

Escape2Make Heritage Market Festival
The FREE festival, produced and hosted by Lancaster and Morecambe’s 11-18 year olds, is the perfect free event to get in that Christmassy mood with live music, dramatic performance, arts and crafts, gift stalls, delicious snacks and a coffee blend especially roasted for the big day itself.

The young people involved can’t wait to showcase the fantastic creative skills they’ve learnt from local experts, artists and organisations this Autumn. Skills such as pottery, jewellery making, festive craft, woodwork and photography!

Come find the perfect gifts, be entertained by live music and feel full of the festive spirit as you wander round the stalls sipping coffee under the twinkly lights.

17 December, 10am – 4pm, Market Square Lancaster

It’s a Man’s Life
It’s a Man’s Life Course aims to cover mental health, physical health, and key male cancers in a 3-hour session. Participants will explore these topics, reflect, and create action plans to improve overall wellbeing. The course emphasises awareness, barrier recognition, treatment pathways, and the significance of an active lifestyle for men’s health.

12 December, 1.30pm – 4.30pm, St Thomas Church

Find out more and book your place

Lancaster & Morecambe College Net Zero & Sustainability Courses

Carbon Reduction Plans and Net Zero
Lancaster & Morecambe College are running these short and informative fully funded courses. This is a practical guide for businesses to understand topics around carbon such as understanding it, guidance on how to reduce its usage and understanding Science-Based net zero targets and loads more.

Dates and Times:
28 November, 9am – 12pm
1 February 2024, 9am – 12pm
20 February 2024, 9am – 12pm

Environmental Certification for Your Business
This course will involve understanding how business can impact the environment, which environmental certification is right for your business and taking environmental action with practical ideas.

Dates and times:
28 November, 1pm – 4pm
1 February 2024, 1pm – 4pm
20 February 2024, 9am – 12pm

Visit site here

Top Tips for Writing a Funding Application (for beginners)
This is a free online session and is ideal for those who have little or no experience of writing funding applications and is particularly for those who are wanting to write successful applications for small funding pots e.g. £500-£5000. It would be particularly beneficial for small community organisations such as sports clubs, uniformed services, church/faith groups, arts and or youth group projects.

Learn more about the course and book a place here

Date and time: Wednesday 29 November 2023 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm 

Lancaster & District Male Voice Choir
The Choir has upcoming performances, including from their Christmas repertoire, at:

25 November, 11am, South Planks Farm, Barton
2 December, 11am, Arndale Centre, Morecambe
9 December, 11am, Marketgate, Lancaster
16 December, 2:30pm, Lancaster Methodist Church
23 December, 11am, Lancaster Library

The choir is welcoming new members – to find out more call Paul Rasmussen on 07811 865556

Heysham Christmas Market
The annual Heysham Christmas Market takes place at The Royal on 9 & 10 December between 12pm and 6pm.

Attractions include local artisan stalls, Father Christmas, Thwaites’ shire horses, alpacas, live music, and a raffle. Entry £1 per adult, free for children.

Find out more

Bid Writing for the VCFSE Sector training from Colas
Colas are an infrastructure engineering company currently working on projects in the Lancaster district. As part of their corporate social responsibility offer during this work, this training is designed to provide you with the knowledge to compose persuasive bids that distinguish your organisation and secure the funding necessary for its success.

7 December, 10am – 12 noon, online
Find out more and register

Fundraising for Beginners Course from Get Grants
During the course, a Get Grants Expert will support you to develop a strong foundational understanding of different types of fundraising and explore what options are available and what will work best for your organisation. Attendees will also consider the importance of a fundraising strategy and receive practical support to put this into practice and confidently take the first steps towards achieving their fundraising goals.

22 & 29 November, 10am – 12 noon, online
Find out more and book

13 & 20 February, 10am – 12 noon, online
Find out more and book

‘Your Pots – Your Say’ – Community Voting Day
Who do you think should get a Pots of Possibility grant this autumn? Join the ‘Your Pots – Your Say’ community voting day to have your say.

Some great projects have come forward to apply for a Your Pots grant. The grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 are to support projects that will have a positive, long-term impact on the environment and people of North Lancashire.

To hear all about them and to have your say on who should get the grants, come to the public voting event where the applicants will present their project ideas and the audience will vote to recommend who should get the money.

Saturday 18 November, 9:30am – 1pm, in Torrisholme

Find out more and register to attend

Read more about this year’s projects

Lancashire Adult Learning at the Mazuma Stadium
LAL are working with Morecambe FC to offer a range of courses at their stadium on Westgate.

All courses below are free, with the exception of the one-day First Aid course, which costs £45 (reduced to free for those who are unemployed, in receipt of benefits and actively looking for work, or earning less than £20,319 per year)

  • Emergency First Aid at Work – Monday 27th November, 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Paediatric First Aid – Monday 4th December 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Medieval Lancashire – Thursday 7th December, 9.30am – 12.00pm

Find out more and book

An Introduction to Skills for Collaboration
Would you like to know more about how to create relationships that foster collaboration?

To collaborate well requires building relationships, finding ways to overcome challenges, and creating productive ways of working together, whether this is bringing together teams from across an organisation or building relationships with other agencies or partners.

This free online webinar, delivered for VCFSE organisations by Primary Care Commissioning CIC, will answer the question ‘what is collaboration?’, provide an overview of the interpersonal skills needed for collaborative working to thrive, and explain the benefits of working collaboratively.

Webinars take place between 1pm and 2pm on 15 December (register here), 12 January (register here), and 26 January (register here).

Aspiring Leaders Programme – Communication and Influence
The Employer Hub at Lancaster & Morecambe College have secured funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to support local businesses, entrepreneurs, volunteers and local community with training and development in line with the local skills demand.

The college will be commencing their Aspiring Leaders Programme with a session on Communication and Influence. This will cover effective ways to communicate, share your ideas persuasively, to inspire and move people to act. This programme will be delivered in 7 half day sessions at the Employer Hub, Lancaster & Morecambe College (remote delivery available).

For further information contact [email protected] or phone 01524 521223.

Online Workshops regarding Energy and Fuel Poverty
For local organisations and community groups already planning for the winter ahead, the following workshops (provided by National Energy Action and the Centre for Sustainable Energy) may be of interest:

National Energy Action:

Energy efficiency in your community building
Thursday 18th January 2024, 11am – 12.15pm

Book online

Free Practitioner Training – Support Families Learn about Money
The Money and Pension Service (MAPS) are providing a free 90-minute workshop for practitioners working with families. It offers a new inclusive family approach to learning about money. The approach supports children aged 3-7 with diverse needs, including autism spectrum disorders and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. The training is funded by the Money and Pensions Service and delivered by Campaign for Learning.

By attending you will:

  • Learn how to deliver an inclusive, differentiated and accessible financial education programme through rich learning experiences using Makaton, sensory icons, storytelling, songs, games and family activities
  • Receive all the resources and tools you need to deliver the activities including facilitator’s guide, multimedia content, session plans and certificates

Find out more and book your funded place

Think Carbon Monoxide Workshops
This autumn The Gas Safe Charity is continuing its Think Carbon Monoxide (CO) awareness raising programme.

Help protect vulnerable people that you support by booking on to one of their free, hour long (9.30 – 10.30) and interactive Zoom workshops. You will learn about the sources, signs and symptoms of CO poisoning as well as what to do to help prevent the risks and some of the sources of support that exist for those people in fuel poverty.

Book on to one of the workshops

Suicide Prevention – Funded Workshop
LDCVS has secured an additional Suicide Prevention workshop, as the first date offered is now full.

This half-day workshop provides learners with the confidence and tools to understand the impact of suicide and take someone who is experiencing thoughts of suicide from a place of danger and isolation to a place of safety and support, using a three-step ‘first aid’ approach.

This approach enables the suicide ‘first aider’ to identify the signs that someone may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, recognize the needs of that person, ask about suicide clearly and directly and use safety planning to empower the individual to find appropriate help.

The workshop is City and Guilds registered, delivered by a trainer registered with the National Centre for Suicide Prevention.

This is a funded course, with just a registration fee (£5 LDCVS members / £10 non-members, plus ticket and payment processing fees) to cover venue and refreshments costs.

5 December 2023, 9:15am – 12:30pm, St Thomas Church

Find out more and book

Lived Experience Project Coordinator & Referral Agency Coordinator at Morecambe Bay Foodbank
Lived Experience Project Coordinator
As an engagement worker, the Coordinator will speak to clients and understand their drivers of foodbank usage and their experience of the service, building a bank of case studies which will inform stakeholders. They will also gather feedback on service delivery and referrals, and compile statistical information.

Salary: £26,457 pro rata
Contract: 1.5 days per week
Location: Hybrid (home, at the Foodbank, and in the community)
Closing Date: 8 December 2023

Referral Agency Coordinator
The Coordinator will be responsible for maintaining accurate information about referral agents, seeking out new opportunities to invite new agents, designing and delivering referral agent training, and supporting agents with the referral process.

Salary: £26,457 pro rata
Contract: Full time
Location: Morecambe
Closing Date: 8 December 2023

Find out more about both roles and apply

Youth Education Officer, North West at the Anne Frank Trust UK
Anne Frank Workers are the front-line delivery posts for all the education programmes of the Anne Frank Trust UK – leading workshops, training peer educators and mentoring ambassadors in schools and communities across the country.

The Trust is seeking a highly organised professional with a deeply held commitment to equality and the skills to engage 9 to 15-year-olds in a structured, creative journey of learning and empowerment.

Salary: £27,820 rising to £30,820 after three years
Contract: Full time, permanent
Location: Home based within the North West (Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire or Lancashire)
Closing Date: 10 December 2023

Find out more and apply

Macmillan Liver Cancer Nurse for the British Liver Trust
The British Liver Trust are looking for someone with experience in liver cancer and hepatology/gastroenterology and with a good knowledge of liver disease and its treatments.

The role includes working within a nurse-led helpline team. You will be providing guidance and support to liver cancer patients, and you will also represent the charity at conferences and events.

Salary: £39,750 F/T pro rata for part time (£27, 553.76)
Contract: 26 hours a week over 4 days
Location: Home based
Closing Date: 4th of December 2023

Visit here for full job description and to apply

Growing Well Multiple Roles

Growing Well Tebay Services – Support Coordinator
Are you experienced in mental health first aid and risk management, and safeguarding management? Are you passionate about mental health recovery through activity and a strengths-based approach? Growing Well are seeking a calm and resilient practitioner with excellent interpersonal skills to be a core member of their multidisciplinary team at the site at Tebay Services.

Salary: 37.5 hrs per week
Contract: £26-28k per annum dependent on experience
Location: Tebay
Closing Date: Friday 1 December 2023, 12pm

For more information and to apply, please download the Job Description and Person Specification and email a covering letter responding to the Person Specification, plus your CV, to Mary Smith at [email protected]

Growing Well Cook – Low Sizergh
Growing Well are seeking a keen cook to cater a simple soup, stew or salad lunch for their beneficiaries on 4 days per week, approx 15-25 meals each day (depending on attendance). You will be working in a 5 star hygiene rated commercial kitchen with all the tools you need to whip up a storm. Food hygiene qualifications will be required but training for this can be provided/funded.

Salary: £12 per hour
Contract: 16hrs per week, 10am-2pm Mon-Thurs
Location: Kendal
Closing Date: Unconfirmed

Please contact Sinead McCann, Site Manager (Sizergh), for more details: [email protected] / 07903 013648

Find out more about the above roles here

Catering Manager at Chadwick High School
The successful candidate will be managing the kitchen, designing menus and also sourcing best value for money in terms of freshness and nutrition for the meals – putting good food at the heart of the school.

Salary: £25,979 – £29,777
Contract: 25 hours per week, permanent
Location: Lancaster
Closing Date: 28 November

Find out more and apply

Community Liaison Officer at Lancaster District Homeless Action Service
This role will ensure that good relations are maintained with LDHAS’ neighbours, ensure that clients in the vicinity of the building are conducting themselves in an acceptable way, manage health and safety during opening hours and assist with facility management.

Salary: £26,421 – £28,700 per annum pro rata
Contract: Four hours per day Monday – Friday
Location: Lancaster
Closing Date: 1 December

Find out more and apply

If your organisation needs support whether it be working with volunteers, completing accounts and payroll, finding funding, solving governance issues, or just want a listening ear, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team:

Funding and governance support, contact [email protected]

Volunteering and DBS,
contact [email protected]

Payroll, bookkeeping and independent examinations, contact [email protected]

Health and social prescribing, contact [email protected]

Children and young people, contact [email protected]

Membership queries to: [email protected]

Partnerships, networks and strategic development, contact [email protected]

Alternatively, call us on 01524 555900

To promote your events, training, jobs, and sector news, email [email protected]