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Issue No. 62

Charity Number 1043989


Spring 2014

Company Limited by Guarantee Number 2993429

AVOW Awarded Investors in People As part of their commitment to staff and volunteer development, AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham) has recently retained accreditation with the Investors in People (IIP) scheme. The award is to recognise the commitment to maintain the rigorous National Standard. Maintaining the Standard for another three years shows the organisation demonstrates that they have a solid foundation of good practice in people management and support. The review undertaken by an external IIP assessor, reflects a measure of progress against areas of continuous improvement and on-going impact of IIP to AVOW. As part of AVOW’s on-going commitment to the voluntary and community sector in Wrexham, we would encourage other organisations to contact us to find out how they can develop quality within their own respective organisation. Contact or for details.

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Making a Difference Success

Exhibition for hire / Mayoral Reception

Heart of Volunteering Day

Funding Information

The Noticeboard

Reviewing and Reshaping Services

Third Sector Engagement

Making a Difference Concert

Making a Difference poem

Samaritans / Easy Fundraising / Health Fair for Carers

Big Health Day

AVOW | T欧 Avow 21 Egerton Street | 21 Stryd Egerton Wrexham | Wrecsam | LL11 1ND Tel/Ff么n: 01978 312556 Fax/Ffacs: 01978 352046 |

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AVOW Making a Difference Update on the success of the ‘MAD’ Grant A number of fundraising activities were held in 2013 including quizzes, a sponsored walk, cake sales, bag packing and culminating in the AVOW Extravaganza Concert in November. Business and individual donations have also been received from a wide variety of organisations including Kronospan and Meadow Vale Foods as well as a donation from the Llangollen Women’s Festival and help from ASDA and B2C.

Roofless through their outreach service . The grant went towards maintaining the service over the Christmas period) • Bradley Fishing Club (to maintain the river bank and pathways keeping it accessible for all users); and • Johnstown Over 60’s club (Christmas event for their members thereby reducing isolation) John Gallanders, Chief Officer of AVOW said “2013 has been a special year for AVOW and we wanted to show our appreciation to the Voluntary and Community sector in Wrexham County Borough for their support throughout the last 25 years. Some thought that the target of £10,000 was too ambitious and it has been tough, as fundraising generally is in these difficult economic times. However we were determined and we have had a lot of support from various quarters – staff, trustees, volunteers, businesses, our service users, performing arts groups and some very generous individuals – AVOW thanks each and every one of them”

The ambitious target of £10,000 was successfully achieved and some of the monies raised have already been distributed to 13 Community Groups and Voluntary Organisations within Wrexham County Borough. Some of the successful applications include; • Wrexham SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) for the purchase of a bereavement bench at Plas Acton Cemetery • Wrexham PHAB Club (to help with the cost of the insurance on their minibus so they can continue taking people out) • Wrexham Feeding the Roofless (a valuable service that provides food and drink to the

The Mayor and Mayoress with some of the successful grant recipients from AVOW’s Make a Difference (MAD) Grant Fund


History of Volunteering Exhibition For Hire Why not make your community event that bit more interesting by having this brilliant exhibition as an added attraction? During 2013, AVOW put together an exhibition celebrating the History of Volunteering across Wrexham County Borough as part of the 25th Silver Jubilee Celebrations. The exhibition includes information on various areas of volunteering in Wrexham, including the volunteers who assisted during the Gresford Mining Disaster, various health organisations and groups across the county, information about youth groups such as Scouts and Guides/Brownies and a range of other voluntary groups within the County Borough. The exhibition was officially opened on Monday 4th November, 2013 in the former Laura Ashley shop on Priory Street, Wrexham by The Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham (Councillor I David Bithell, MBE and Mrs Virginia Bithell), along with AVOW’s longest standing Trustee and founding member of AVOW, Marjorie Dykins, who spoke about her own experiences of volunteering and voluntary work in general. The exhibition remained in Priory Street for two weeks before it was on display at a number of AVOW events, including the AVOW Making a Difference Concert and the AVOW Christmas Reception at Glyndŵr University, as well as at a

number of community based venues across the County Borough. The exhibition shows how diverse organisations in the Wrexham area have benefited from volunteers over many years and continue to do so. John Ellis, the Research Officer AVOW employed to put the information together was quoted in saying, “It has been my privilege to meet many interesting volunteers and hear their stories.” The exhibition is now available for hire from AVOW. Why not make your event more interesting with this incredible and informative exhibition. If you would like to have the exhibition at your organisation for events, open days, AGM’s, meetings etc, please contact Joanne Evans on 01978 312556 or

Mayoral Reception

invaluable roles of the Mayor and Mayoress in the Community life of Wrexham through their support of local charities and community organisations, Representatives of Trustees and Staff of the particularly in regard to fund raising events in Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham these difficult national economic times. (AVOW) with the Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham (Councillor I. David Bithell MBE and his wife Virgina) at a reception in the Guildhall given by the Mayor in recognition of the services and support provided by AVOW for voluntary and community groups in Wrexham County Borough. The Mayor also extended congratulations to AVOW in its Silver Jubilee Year recognising the wide partnership working that occurs between the Council, AVOW and the wider Third Sector. John Leece Jones, Chair of AVOW, thanked the Mayor and Mayoress and paid tribute to the 4

Heart of Volunteering Day


e are holding a Heart of Volunteering Fair to kick start National Volunteers Week and National British Heart Week on Saturday 7th June 2014 on Queen’s Square, Wrexham, and Llwyn Isaf, Wrexham. Volunteers’ Week began in 1984; this year we will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of this festive event. The day will be packed with entertainment,

stalls and plenty of activities. There will also be a mini play day on Llwyn Isaf for children to enjoy. It will be a great chance to see what volunteering opportunities there are in the Wrexham area and what various organisations can offer. If your organisation is interested in booking a stall at this event or having a slot on stage please contact Tegan on 01978 312556 or on

You can read AVOW’s Newsletters online, visit You will find there AVOW’s quarterly Newsletter; Health, Social Care and Wellbeing and Wrexham Carers Service Newsletters as well as Funding Bulletin.



Funding Information For your organisation

Comic Relief Funding Surgery


o you have an idea for an activity or project that you would like to discuss with Comic Relief? We are pleased to announce that a Comic Relief Surgery is to be held at Tŷ Avow on Thursday 10th April 2014. This will be an opportunity for a limited number of local groups to discuss their ideas face-to-face with Alan Whittick, Comic Relief’s Advisor for Wales. Comic Relief has recently launched its new strategy and funding is available for the following programmes: • Better Futures – supporting young people aged 11 to 24 who have limited opportunities and face significant challenges • Healthier Finances – supporting people in financial hardship • Safer Lives – support for people aged 11+ who face violence, abuse and exploitation • Fairer Society – to empower and give a voice

Date for your diary - Big Lottery Fund are coming back! If you missed the Big Lottery information event on 10th January, you will be pleased to note that there will be another chance to see them. As expected, the January event was quickly booked up, so the Big Lottery Fund have agreed to come back on 13th May 2014. Another day of appointments will be available for those who missed out. Contact Heather Hicks for an appointment on 01978 312556 or email

to marginalised groups of people, challenge injustice and bring about positive changes for those who face discrimination and stigma Registered charities and other not-for-profit organisations in the UK are eligible to apply for grants for up to a 3 year period. The minimum grant amount is £10,000 but most grants are expected to be for between £20,000 and £40,000 per annum. Sport can be used as a medium to deliver social change under any of the themes. Comic Relief has a number of funding priorities and these can be viewed at For more information about the Funding Surgery or Comic Relief, please contact Heather Hicks at email: or call 01978 312556. To apply for a Comic Relief Funding Surgery appointment, please provide a brief outline of your group and the work/project that you wish to be considered for funding. Demand for appointments is expected to be high so booking is essential.

New Communities Facilities Programme

community facilities which provide services for people most in need in their local areas. Those applying for a grant will have to prove that their project will prevent and help to alleviate the effects of poverty. The Welsh Government Schemes that will has finally launched the reintroduce or prevent the long awaited Communities loss of community services Facilities Programme. The will also be eligible to apply. Fund has a total budget For more information in the of £10 million between meantime please contact now and the end of 2015. the Community Grants Community and voluntary team for North & Mid Wales: groups, as well as social Nesta Doughty on 0300 enterprises will be able to 062 5627 bid for capital grants of up to £500,000 to improve 6

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Reviewing and Reshaping Services A Third Sector Perspective


t’s probably impossible for anyone involved with the Third Sector to have remained oblivious to the constant references to austerity measures, public sector cuts and recession in the press or in political statements and speeches. What is perhaps not so clear is how that translates to our local situation and what it means for voluntary and community activity in the Wrexham area. Public Sector boards are presently debating and setting budgets for the next financial year, both the Health Board and Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) will be having to make savings, the level of which are unprecedented. This difficult situation will inevitably lead to changes in funding for the Third Sector, some of which might be rapid in terms of non-renewal of contracts for next year. Running parallel with but related to the economic challenges, is the WCBC Third and Faith Sector Commissioning Project. Part of the project is centred on the Local Authority gaining a clearer understanding of the diverse and complex number of funding arrangements that are in place across all of their departments, and developing a more simplified and consistent approach going forward. As the project progresses there will also be a review of all the third sector services and projects, considering how each links to the Council Plan and the extent to which it meets the needs of the community and service users. This might well mean cuts to or even discontinuation of certain funding arrangements. Looking to the long term the authority is intending to develop a commissioning strategy for the sector and carry out market engagement; in addition procurement processes will be fair and transparent and in line with Council processes and legislation. When contracts are awarded in future there will be a model contract in place with clear outcomes and outputs; performance management arrangements will be effective and there will be a requirement for engagement with service users. The commissioning strategy and processes will be subject to regular review. This poses a number of challenges for the Third and Faith Sectors, both in participating in the Commissioning Project now and in preparing for

future arrangements. One of the first considerations has to be supporting the Project by ensuring that the WCBC Officers have a fuller understanding of the sector and its added value. One of the questions posed by AVOW so far is “Does everything have to be about buying a service?” sometimes a small amount of funding can support an organisation to stimulate activity within the community and with current emphasis on co-production and community assets this has to form part of the debate. In terms of becoming a service provider in place of a grant recipient, organisations will need to ensure that they are fit to tender, this means having a review of governance and management, putting in place robust risk management processes and demonstrating quality. Collaboration will become more common-place, so the development of partnerships, consortia and processes for sharing back-office functions will need to be explored further; as will diversifying sources of funding to make organisations more sustainable and less reliant on local authority grants. AVOW as the County Voluntary Council has a key role to play within the Third and Faith Sector Commissioning Project. We are here to ensure that the sector is fully engaged in the process and to bring the sectors perspective to the table, constructively challenging and requesting changes where appropriate. WCBC held a workshop for organisations on 28th January 2014 which was well attended, but this is only the start of the process and AVOW will keep the sector updated on developments through our publications, members meetings and networks. We are also available to provide support to individual organisations to enable them to become fit to tender and will be providing workshops and training as the project progresses and we have a clearer understanding of what might be needed. In order to do this we need to have accurate and up to date information from our membership and local organisations. Keep an eye on our website and mail outs and please complete our State of the Sector Survey. If you would like any more information or to discuss your organisations’ situation in more detail please contact Chief Officer John Gallanders (john. or Deputy Chief Officer Janet Radford (


Third Sector Engagement AVOW’s Representational Role


rexham has a long tradition of partnership working between the public and third sectors; back in 2005 there was a large Third Sector Liaison Group consisting of officers and members of Wrexham County Borough Council, the NHS bodies (North East Wales NHS Trust and Wrexham Local Health Board) and the voluntary sector. The voluntary Sector representation consisted of officers and trustees of AVOW and four elected representatives of the wider sector. The group met several times a year and its primary purpose was to oversee the implementation of the quadripartite Compact. As time passed, there developed a range of partnerships and multiagency working groups covering all areas of public service planning and development, the vast majority of these had voluntary sector representatives. The representatives were supported by wider third sector colleagues through AVOW facilitated networks and Forums. Due to the consistency and robustness of third sector engagement at the time it was widely felt that there was little purpose for the Third Sector Liaison Group since the principles of the Compact were embedded into everyday practice. In its place was established an annual Listening and Responding event which brought together wide representation from across the public and third sector partnerships. The outcomes from that consultation were used to inform partnership working. A smaller Third Sector Liaison Group was formed consisting of officer and member representation from WCBC, NHS (now Betsi Cadwalladr University Health Board) and AVOW with a tighter focus on a few areas such as dealing with disputes arising from the Funding and Monitoring Code of Practice and exploring issues of mutual concern across the sector.

locally and replacement with a single partnership – the Wrexham Local Service Board (LSB). For a period of time there existed few platforms for formal and positive engagement of the third sector, which along with the moves to develop regional partnerships has resulted in the perception of a “closed shop” within the wider third sector whereas in reality there has been a cessation of partnership working at anything other than a high level. Since the adoption of the Wrexham Single Plan “Our Wrexham Plan”, the LSB has been able to establish appropriate structures to take forward the priorities. Late in 2013 three Partnership Delivery Boards were established, all consist of executive officers from the public sector partners, local members and an AVOW officer. The Boards are in the process of developing a few multiagency groups where necessary to take forward the necessary work. The developing structure is represented below.

The changes in local and regional partnership working, and concerns about accountability and representation formed part of AVOW’s response to the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery. This perspective also informed a suggestion to review and refresh the current Third Sector Liaison Group, which although it met the needs of the third sector when the principles of the Compact were embedded into everyday practice it probably is not fit for purpose currently. There has never been a greater need for third sector engagement at all levels and we must ensure there is an appropriate structure in place to enable this to happen. Keep an eye on AVOW website, mail outs and publications for updates.

This arrangement worked well, as long as there were robust processes in place to secure third sector engagement at strategic planning and operational levels. The moves by the Welsh Government to rationalise partnership working led to the systematic removal of all the structures

The Wrexham LSB has a website where further details and copies of Our Wrexham Plan can be found. Information from the Partnership Delivery Boards is circulated at the AVOW Networks for discussion and input from the wider sector.


AVOW Making a Difference Extravaganza Charity Concert AVOW organised a Making a Difference Extravaganza Charity Concert at the William Aston Hall, Glyndwr University to raise funds for their Silver Jubilee grant scheme. The concert had a range of artistes from all ages and genres and included performances by Bitesize Theatre, Brymbo Male Voice Choir, Dancing Shoes, Soloist Kate Parkes, Limelight Productions, Summilan, Wrexham Community Choir, Wrexham Scouts and Wrexham Singing Hands and was compered by Steve Gardner. John Gallanders Chief Officer said ‘The Concert was linked with the AVOW History of Volunteering Exhibition. We are extremely

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grateful to everyone who volunteered their time to perform at the event to make it such a success.’ The evening highlighted a cross section of the talented performers that live in and around the Wrexham area. The evening started with Marjorie Dykins, OBE (a founder trustee of AVOW) reading a celebration poem by Kate Davies of AVOW and ended with the Mayor Cllr David Bithell, MBE giving a vote of thanks to all the performers and Tom (a Scout) thanking all volunteers who support young people to be the volunteers of the future.

Poem written by Kate Davies - staff member at AVOW Join us in celebration of the place we call AVOW Our Silver Jubilee is gathering momentum now From modest, small beginnings, we’ve come a long, long way With faith, belief and vision, to where we are today The things that we have tried to do, we have not done alone For those who went before us have formed our cornerstone A team of special people who will greet you with a smile And be there when the going’s tough, and go the extra mile AVOW is something special, trustees, staff and volunteers And that something’s gained momentum as it’s travelled through the years It seems all of our people always go the extra length Perhaps that is the reason that we’ve gone from strength to strength So join us as we celebrate our Silver Jubilee The show will be fantastic, we give our guarantee We hope to entertain you, our aim is to enchant Whilst furthering the cause of our Silver Jubilee Grant We want to Make a Difference in the best way that we can To help small groups – like we once were – is our ambitious plan So join with us and share the mood, we’re so enthusiastic Just like our Silver Jubilee – tonight will be fantastic

Marjorie Dykins, OBE with John Gallanders, Chief Officer at AVOW


We want to introduce you to this fantastic fundraising opportunity which is simple to operate and generated £650 for AVOW to distribute to organisations in the area. As we go into 2014 I am sure your organisation would like to raise funds with little effort. Have you heard about It’s the UK’s leading good cause shopping site and a really easy way to raise money for your good cause or charity. is helping over 55,000 good causes across the UK - just like you - raise millions of pounds a year! It’s really simple – all you need to do is register and every time your supporters shop online, the retailer makes a donation to your good cause. works with over 2,700 well known retailers like Amazon, Argos, M&S, eBay and many more, and it doesn’t cost you or your supporters a single penny extra to use. Over £5,000,000 has been raised so far, so it really does work! To get started, go to

Come and join us for: • Free health checks • Fun exercise and dance classes (wear comfy shoes!) • Relaxation therapies • Advice on Carers issues • Information about local support and services

Health Fair for Carers Do you look after someone? All ages welcome…

Drop in anytime to our free event on Wednesday 5th March 2014, Acton Resource Centre, Overton Way, Wrexham, LL12 7LB Come and join us for: 10am-1.30pm - Lunch will be provided

• Free health checks • Fun exercise and dance classes (wear comfy shoes!) • Relaxation therapies Contact us for more information. If you need or replacement care please phone Wrexham Carers Service • Advice on transport carers issues on 0800 276 1070. If you have any dietary needs, let us know. • Information about local support and services

Drop in anytime to our free event on the 12 5th March, Acton Resource Centre,

Big Health Day ‘Ageing Well’

More than 44 organisations attended the day providing information, interactive activities and/or advice/ support to members of the public on the theme of Ageing Well. The day was opened by Margie Fielden from Public Health Wales talking about a new project where people can do a health check online. Watch this space for the launch! The target audience was people over 50 years of age. Organisations reported more than 700 enquiries during the event. These were felt to be relevant, suggesting that people

had visited the event with a specific purpose rather than just ‘browsing’. 60% of organisations said that the theme of the day ‘fit’ with their mission and aims and also said that the event was a ’good’ networking opportunity. Other comments from Sector organisations included: • ‘great event’ • ‘good networking’ • ‘Useful day’ • ‘Good support from AVOW before & during the event’



Updates and upcoming training courses Training courses from AVOW

A full description of each course can be found on our website. To book onto any of these courses, visit, call us on 01978 312556 or email All courses are at T天 Avow, 21 Egerton Street, Wrexham (unless otherwise stated)

All Wales Basic Safeguarding Awareness Tuesday 18th March 2014 Food Safety Level 2 Wednesday 19th March 2014 Social Media Thursday 27th March 2014

Other Courses

None of the below courses are run by AVOW. Please contact the respective organisation/trainer for more information on the course and how to book.

All Wales Basic Safeguarding Awareness Thursday 6th March and Tuesday 8th April 2014 Domestic Abuse Wednesday 21st May 2014

Public Engagement: Theory and Practice (ACCREDITED) Wednesday 18th June 2014 Advising Clients in debt Thursday 6th March 2014

Training Skills 5th, 6th & 26th March 2014 - Rhyl

Introduction to payroll giving 12th March 2014 - Llandudno Getting publicity for your EU funded project 20th March 2014 - Wrexham 14

AVOWs Spring 2014 Newsletter  

Spring edition of AVOWs quarterly newsletter.

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