Our News - CVS Uttlesford

ByRichard Corby

Social Isolation and Loneliness are driving some of the worst issues in our society

CVS Uttlesford hosted a loneliness and social isolation knowledge sharing event at the Uttlesford Community Hub on Friday 6th July 2018.   Here, Chief Officer Clive Emmett talks about some of the learning and the challenges we are facing in energizing our communities to address them

ByRichard Corby

Great free and donated resources for charities and community groups

Charities and Community Groups may find these money saving links useful in running their enterprise

If you need detailed help or support CVS Uttlesford is here for you – contact info@cvsu.org.uk or telephone the team on 01371 878400

On this page we have listed links to organisations who offer free services, donated equipment or resources that charities and community and voluntary sector groups can make use of.

Before spending hard earned funds on computers or software, take a look at donated items available on the Tech Trust website.

There are alternatives to Office365 too, so have a look at Google NonProfit. Eligible organisations can get free business standard email, using your own domain, as well as using cloud drive, calendar and Google Docs too.

We love Breathe HR – a cloud based HR solution that is free to charitable organisations with less than 250 staff.  Manage also staff and volunteers in one place and it is GDPR compliant too!

n.b.  Links provided for information purposes only.  Clicking the links will take you outside of our website.   We are not responsible for external content.

Communications and Digital

IT & Technology

Staff and Volunteer Management

ByRichard Corby

Charity Futures report into core costs

A new report by Charity Futures, ‘To the Core’, explores the ongoing challenges associated with charities’ core costs and outlines the need to be open with donors about how their money is spent

The report points out the importance of administrative support, stating that “Infrastructure is rather more like a skeleton than scaffolding. You need it all the time and, unlike scaffolding, you can’t dispense with it.” It goes on to explore the behavioural science behind funding and suggests that the way we talk about fundraising could be key to changing perspectives on funding core costs.

You can read the report here.

If you need fundraising support or advice, help with preparing your annual budgets or identifying and allocating the true cost of your work, CVS Uttlesford can help.   Please get in touch.

ByRichard Corby

Digital Boomers – A theory of change for older people, technology and independent living

A ground-breaking report lifts the lid on how tech-savvy older people are in Essex – except when it comes to their health – and sets out the massive opportunity for the public sector to help local people use technology to live more independently for longer, aiming that by 2021, older people in Essex will be the most tech confident in the world

The report Digital Boomers – A Theory of change for older people, technology and independent living (www.rethinkpartners.co.uk ) myth-busts many common assumptions about how older people embrace digital and tech. It includes a Theory of Change: a step by step model to enable citizens, families, professionals and organisations to harness new technology at scale.

RETHINK Partners produced the report after being commissioned by Essex County Council to explore the question “How can technology be better used across Essex to promote independent living?” and worked with a group that included local and district councils, NHS, Fire, care delivery organisations and voluntary sector members from across Essex. They pooled their knowledge and set out to discover what may be enabling or hindering technology adoption amongst older people in the county; coupled with extensive face-to-face insight with people from across Essex, as well as an academic literature review by Anglia Ruskin University. The resulting Theory of Change makes six recommendations for collective action for citizens and professionals alike which together should take us closer to our world-leading ambition.

The Digital Boomers report and Theory of Change gives the entire county the blueprint for ensuring the people of Essex lead the way in tech and independent living.

Go to www.rethinkpartners.co.uk to download:

  • full version of the Digital Boomers report
  • short version of the Digital Boomers report
  • EasyRead version of the Digital Boomers report
  • the Digital Boomers Theory of Change infographic

CVS Uttlesford is working in partnership wtih RETHINK Partners to develop a digital strategy that will enable us to support older community members in their adoption of assistive technologies.  We will have more news soon, including details of how you can be part of our pilot phase of the scheme.


ByRichard Corby

Local Infrastructure & Small and Medium Charity Survival

This week, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales launched the findings of major national research commissioned on the impact of small, local level charities and the challenges to survival that they face

The Value of Small  study was carried out by a consortium of researchers from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University; the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) and the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership at the Open University.

A brief overview:

The research focusses on Small and Medium Charities (referred to throughout the report as SMCs, and defined as voluntary, community, social enterprise and civil society organisations that operate at local level with an income of between £10,000 and £1 million). The study highlights distinctive value that SMCs provide by playing a stabilising role between services and communities and by providing tailored, diverse and responsive local support services that plug gaps in local public service provision. 

  • The findings support the longstanding NAVCA and Local Infrastructure position on the urgent need to address gaps in funding, and also makes reference to the crucial role that local infrastructure organisations continue to play in the supporting SMCs.
  • Practical case study examples in the report highlight local infrastructure organisations’ role in coordinating cross-sector networks, facilitating collaboration and administering funding. This work provides a compelling account of the value and importance of local infrastructure organisations in ensuring the sustainability of SMCs.
  • The report makes strategic recommendations around the reform of funding, reframing the role of social value and sustaining relationships between SMCs, wider voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, and public sector bodies.

Copies of Value of Small can be downloaded here

ByRichard Corby

Men’s Health Week 2018

Thank you to everyone who came and joined in the fun Men’s Health Week event we ran yesterday with our colleagues at Maldon CVS

We had a fun afternoon look at the very serious topic of men’s health, with our compere Ronnie Barbour from BBC Radio Essex

Ronnie introduced a range of guests and managed the panel discussion later in the afternoon.    He shared with us his own experience of mental health issues and encouraged men everywhere not to be afraid to speak up when they needed help.   This was a trend that ran through the afternoon – help is available but men are very bad at asking for it!

The main event of the afternoon was a session provided by stand-up comic, writer and broadcaster John Ryan who believes that if you can make people laugh you can make them listen – and he is right!   I think we all learned a lot from his presentation and enjoyed ourselves at the same time.

Thanks also to James from Greenfields Community Housing who provided a sit down exercise session, which is more tiring than you might think!  It’s something we can all take time out to do when we are sitting down, and as James said, just increasing your heart rate a little can have big benefits.  To find out more about chair based exercise contact James Taylor You can also download their poster here

Some useful men’s health links:

ByRichard Corby

Are you Mental Health Aware?

Calling all charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups in Uttlesford District. We are offering a half day introduction to Mental Health Awareness session on 31st August 2018 in Dunmow

Places now available to book via Eventbrite

An introductory four hour session to raise awareness of mental health. It is designed to give:

  • An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue

Learning takes place through a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities. Limited to 25 places so that the instructor can keep people safe and supported while learning.

You will receive:

  • An MHFA manual to refer to whenever you need it
  • A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support own mental health
  • A certificate of attendance to say you are Mental Health Aware

Please Note:

There is no onsite parking however vehicles may be parked in the church car park approximately 150 metres away

To Book

Please visit our Eventbrite page:


Places on the training are free, but we are requesting a donation towards the cost of the course materials for each participant.   Please donate if you can.   Thank you.

ByRichard Corby

Funding Bulletin June 2018

The June 2018 edition of our Funding Bulletin is now free to download

Each month our Funding and Information Officer Jacqui Davies prepares an invaluable funding bulletin, detailing currently open funds that charities and community organisations can apply to in support of their work

Funding Newsletter June 18

If you would like help with any of the funding programmes detailed or advice on any aspect of funding or group development, please contact Jacqueline Davies, Funding & Information Officer
Email: info@cvsu.org.uk

Telephone: 01371 878400

ByRichard Corby

Dunmow’s first Volunteer Celebration event hosted by CVSU draws good numbers

Thank you to everyone who came and supported our #volunteer celebration event in Dunmow today

At one point we had over 55 people in the room – what an amazing turnout!

Dunmow is fortunate to benefit from so many volunteers who freely give of their time, experience and energy – from drivers for the hospice, to people keeping footpath networks open and accessible, through to volunteers who have been working for over twenty years to safeguard local history and heritage.

Thank you all!
















What do I do if I want to volunteer?

Volunteer Uttlesford hold up to date information on a wide variety of volunteering opportunities and can help match your interests to the opportunities that are available.

So please do get in touch:

  • You can search the Do-It website on the Volunteer Uttlesford website for volunteering opportunities across Uttlesford
  • You can phone the Volunteer Uttlesford  to have a chat about your interests or you can contact them to arrange an informal one to one meeting

You are never under any obligation and the service is completely free and confidential.

Volunteering can help you make new friends, have fun, develop skills or learn new ones and achieve satisfaction by helping others

or you can find more local opportunities via the link below:


ByRichard Corby

Volunteers Week 2018 – thank you to all our amazing volunteers

Volunteers make a huge contribution to the delivery of voluntary and community services across Uttlesford each year – including here at CVSU

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

We still can’t say it enough, but we can say it with tea and cake!

Join us on Thursday morning to celebrate our community  from 10.30 a.m. at Foakes Hall, Dunmow, Essex.    This is an open celebration of all volunteering in our District – you don’t have to have volunteered with CVS Uttlesford – if you have given time in any way to support local people, local initiatives, local groups and made a difference – then come along and join the celebration.

Celebrating Volunteers

Foakes Hall


10.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m.

Thursday 7th June 2018


We hope you can join us, and once again, thank you.