Insurers must pay many small firms for Covid lockdown losses

Tens of thousands of small businesses will receive insurance payouts covering losses from the first national lockdown, following a court ruling. The Supreme Court found largely in favour of small firms receiving payments from business interruption insurance policies. For some businesses it could provide a lifeline, allowing them to trade beyond the coronavirus crisis. Click here for the full story.

Changes to the Mental Health Act

The Department for Health and Social Care has put forward some recommendations for changes to the Mental Health Act. They have issued a consultation asking for views on these changes to be submitted to them by 21 April. The changes are based on 4 principles that have been developed with people with lived experience of the MHA. They are: choice …

An update on VAST’s Vintage Volunteers project

After three fantastic years, the funding for our Vintage Volunteers project has concluded. We would like to say a massive thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for supporting our project which has made a real difference in the local community and influenced the way we view volunteering. We would also like to thank all the organisations and fabulous …

New Funding from Grants Online

Grants Online have shared the latest funding streams available to VCSE groups working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Updated funding includes: Sport England (England) Name of Fund: Return to Play: Community Asset Fund Sports clubs, local authorities, schools and community organisations can apply for grants of between £10,001 and £50,000 to help clubs and community groups through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic …

Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent and Healthwatch Staffordshire Primary Care Survey

A new Public Experience of Primary Care survey has been launched by Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent and Healthwatch Staffordshire. This is following the Primary Care mini callout that was shared towards the end of last year. Several people told us that they were having issues accessing services at their GP Practice. People shared both positive and negative stories and as a result, …

How has the voluntary sector responded to Covid-19?

Guest Blog from The King’s Fund ‘Voice, power and influence lie not only in corporate bodies and institutional might, but in mobilising people and networks’ In this new blog, leaders of small and medium-sized organisations from across the voluntary sector share their experience of working through the pandemic and highlight the importance of keeping their communities’ needs at the heart …

YMCANS Youth Day

Friday 22nd January 9-12 a.m. We come together to celebrate youth through our dedicated #YouthDay2021 online conference. Join guest speakers, sector leaders, and funding giants for an inside look into YMCA GO!, Stoke’s dedicated youth work programme which launched in 2017. Follow the link to book your ticket online FREE:  Book Here

Stoke-on-Trent transport services consultation

VAST will be hosting a consultation meeting in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to explore ways local VCSE organisations could help shape the future commissioning of transport services. This is a meeting to explore options to create viable solutions for transport within the city. This is an exciting opportunity for you to be involved at the conception stage and to …

Have you accessed your GP Surgery? Share your experience!

Between September 2020 and November 2020, Healthwatch Staffordshire and Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent each completed a Public Experience of Primary Care mini callout due to the number of people telling us that they were having issues accessing services at their GP Practice. People shared both positive and negative stories and as a result we have decided to look into patient experience of …

Lockdown 3 – key points for the VCSE sector

Here are a few key points for the VCSE sector: People can leave their homes for the following reasons: to go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home – you may wish to revisit our volunteering guide here. This can include working in other people’s homes where necessary – but please …