Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead eNews

15 November 2021
Hello <<First Name>>

Welcome to VARB e-news.  In this edition, top takeaways from the Funding Fair, a focus on volunteer wellbeing, free furniture and local networking events.

But first, it is AGM season and we are pleased to invite you to join the VARB team on 25 November as we turn our thoughts "Back to the Future" and start to consider some of the other big issues coming over the horizon - details here.  Appropriately this will be our first hybrid event, taking place in Tadworth and online.  Slightly nervous about the technical side, but also looking forward to seeing people in person.    We hope you can make it.

Best wishes,
The VARB Team
Funding and Resources
Funding Fair Takeaways
Below are my top 3 takeaways from the recent Central & East Surrey Funding Fair:
  • Ask for what you need in funding applications.  The National Lottery said they spend a lot of time encouraging people to increase the amount they ask for, to make their applications more credible!
  • Tell the stories of the people you help.  Community Foundation for Surrey said this is the most powerful way to show how you are making a difference.
  • Tesco grants and Comic Relief are short on applications from Surrey - there was a plea to submit your applications by Groundwork who administer these funds.   
The full presentations and follow-up information are available here.

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council Funding Update
Since the last edition of eNews, the Council has announced that it is proposing to pause its Medium and Small Grants Schemes for next year.  This is part of a fundamental review of the 2022/23 budget to be discussed at the Executive Meeting on 18 November. (The Round 2 grant awards for 2021/22 are not affected.)  This is concerning, in our view, as it is taking place at a time when many voluntary sector organisations are facing increased demand.  We would encourage groups to take part in the consultation process, which is expected to launch next week.  Report available here.    

Community Foundation for Surrey
CFS is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis for crisis projects dealing with urgent issues.  In particular, projects supporting refugees or people facing debt and poverty.  If your organisation is facing a financial crisis, CFS will also consider short-term funding.  From April 2022 CFS will move to themed funding rounds.  Details here.  
Promoting Volunteer Wellbeing
Last year 84% of volunteers placed by VARB felt volunteering had improved their wellbeing (and this is reflected in many national surveys.)  The reasons include:
  • gaining a sense of purpose, from helping others
  • feeling part of a team and making social contacts
  • a sense of perspective - recognising that other people are going through challenging times can help you cope with your own life
VARB is holding two events looking at how volunteers and their host organisations can maximise the health benefits of volunteering: Volunteer Forum 30 November (for volunteers only) and Volunteer Co-ordinator Forum 9 December (for host organisations).

Request a free Digital Trustees session for your Board 
Help your board understand what digital trustees can bring to a charity.  Figure out what type of expertise you need, and how to recruit digital trustees.  Ross McCulloch, founder of Third Sector Lab, is offering to attend your board meetings for a free 30-minute session.   Find out more and book your session here.
Other News
Lockers and Pedestals available
Surrey County Council is offering some spare office furniture free of charge - including various lockers and 3 drawer, under-desk pedestals.  For details see Surrey Marketplace. 

Local Forums and Networking 
25 Nov  Carers Fair (Redhill)
29 Nov  Surrey Charities Forum (online)

6 Dec    East Surrey Community Health Forum (online)
7 Dec    Reigate & Banstead Older People's Service Provider Forum (Woodhatch)
Further details of all local network events and forums 
(See our Vacancies page for more jobs)
This newsletter has been sent by Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead (VARB).  We are a charity that supports the local voluntary sector with information, events, and volunteer recruitment. 
Charity no 1138897, Company no 07217319.   

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Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead · Woodhatch Place · 11 Cockshot Hill · Reigate, Surrey RH2 8EF · United Kingdom

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