CCS Thatch Bulletin July 2022

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JULY 2022


Welcome to the Summer Thatch Bulletin We can't issue this Bulletin without acknowledging the horrific conflict continuing in Ukraine. We have heard of the bravery and courage of the people of Ukraine to defend and secure their freedom, and those who are protesting the invasion in Russia and Belarus. We have created a webpage of local and national information, a Somerset Welcome Pack to support anyone from the Ukraine who is now here in our County, see page 1. In this issue... NEW Micro-providers Support and Advice project NEW Community Review Project from Smart Communities Ltd NEW Health Inequalities webpage is now LIVE! CCS Village & Community Agent updates Community Buildings updates

Happy reading!

Somerset Ukraine Support

New Ukraine webpage for refugees in Somerset Welcome to Somerset! Ласкаво просимо до міста Сомерсет We have collected local and national resource links to support your arrival in Somerset. Welcome to Somerset! Ласкаво просимо до міста Сомерсет Find useful information and resources to help you arriving in our County. Знайдіть корисну інформацію та ресурси, які допоможуть вам прибути до нашого округу.

Somerset Host/Sponsor Families Сім’ї господарів Сомерсета Our Village Agents are conducting compulsory welfare checks on behalf of the Local Authority and we receive information about hosts/sponsors and guests to enable us to do this. Once your guests have arrived, if you haven’t heard from your local Village Agent within a few days. Complete the online form:


NEW Micro-Providers Support and Advice

Flexible Work Supporting Local People We have launched a NEW MicroProviders support and advice service.

We are looking for people who provide care and support services such as:

Gardening De-cluttering Dog walking

Have you heard about Micro-Providers? A Micro-Provider offers paid-for support or care to help people with everyday tasks, to stay well and get out and about. They make a positive difference supporting local people. Interesting, varied work in your area Flexible working hours Free help to set up and find clients Ongoing support and advice Free accreditation by Somerset County Council You can be a Micro-Provider and work alongside other employment, building up a client base as you go. The flexibility can help fit work around family life, or perhaps you’re retired and want a little extra income?


Mobile hairdressing Hobbies

Staying active

Care provision

Help at home Companionship

Handyperson services Getting out Cleanin Holistic therapies g Cooking and more....


Make a positive difference

Could You Be A Micro-Provider? We are looking for existing or start-up sole traders, self-employed or very small businesses to join Somerset’s network of Micro-Providers. They help people to remain in their own homes for longer and live life as they choose. Our Enterprise Advisors are here to support you in becoming a Micro-Provider as a new self-employed career. They offer free help, advice and specialist signposting to anyone with an idea to develop and set up a small service. They provide: Mentoring


It was the best decision I ever made. I'm happier, my family are happier and most importantly, so are my clients. TK, Taunton

Contact Us Contact our Enterprise Advisors for more information. West Somerset: Cat Sweatman 07746 340546 East Somerset:

1:1 coaching

Claire Searle

Access to workshops

07939 910046

Help to reach the 'Doing it Right' quality standard

We need you! Working at the heart of Somerset's communities

We are recruiting! We have 2 vacancies and are currently recruiting for: x1 Village Agent South Somerset x1 Village Agent Sedgemoor 21,755 per annum 35 hours per week Initial 1 year contract. Possible extension subject to funding 25 days per year plus bank holidays Application deadline 2nd August 2022. We will consider part-time / job share applications for any of our vacancies. We support anonymous recruitment. This means we will hide your personal identifying information, removing bias from the hiring process. We encourage applications from all backgrounds, communities and industries and are committed to having a team that is made up of diverse skills, experiences and abilities. We actively encourage BAME, disabled and LGBTQ+ applicants and value the positive impact that difference has on our teams. We are committed to equality and diversity within our workforce. Join our award-winning, innovative and fast-growing charity. For details of how to apply and the full job descriptions visit:


Membership Renewal

Community Buildings Membership It’s not too late to take up our annual membership for your Community Building. Membership brings a wide range of support for your village or community hall, including free access to all the ACRE and CCS information sheets, 1-2-1 support, discounted training and networking opportunities and an opportunity to enter the Hallmark Quality Accreditation scheme for your hall.

I have been very impressed by the conferences and ongoing support CCS have shown us - it saves volunteers like myself a great deal of time and confusion, please keep up the excellent work!’ Eleanor Jones, Nether Stowey Village Hall


Ecohalls update Our Community Buildings Team have been working hard to support halls looking to make environmental improvements by providing new information resources, holding events and giving advice and support. Webinar topics so far have included energy audits, biodiversity and renewable technologies. We are also working with energy consultants Inspired Efficiency to provide energy audits and 1-2-1 advice for halls. Take a look at our new webpage for information, useful resource links and news on upcoming events. Download our new DIY energy audit template to identify some quick wins for saving energy at your hall. This project is funded by the Prince's Countryside Fund.

Platinum Jubilee Fund for Village Halls A huge thanks and congratulations to all the village and community halls who organised and hosted events to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. To mark this occasion, the government has announced a new fund to support over 100 rural community buildings across the country with capital improvements. Full details are yet to be released but ACRE is recommending halls complete a short form to register their interest and be kept informed.

Visit: 6

Food Resilience Grant 2022 During the pandemic, hundreds of meals were distributed across Somerset with the support and coordination of District Councils, generous donations of some food suppliers and CCS Village and Community Agents. We now find ourselves facing rising food costs, and some products are harder to purchase and additionally fuel prices continue to increase. In response to this, Somerset County Council provided grant funds of up to £2000 for local community groups who are finding innovative ways to support and feed their local communities to combat food poverty. In total 35 groups received funding for a wide range of creative and resourceful solutions; providing new foodbanks, developing existing pantries, community lunches, new equipment to store food: fridges, freezers, and purchasing catering equipment. Other communities used the funding for community growing plots not only to provide food but also use the opportunity to learn about growing food, nature, and improving people’s general mental health and wellbeing.

The immediate impact for our community will be that the members have something structured to do, a purpose, a role in their community. Axe Valley Men’s Shed


This grant has taken us to the next level. We have been able to get equipment that we can use for bulk cooking, eg the soup/casserole cooker/warmer, the toaster and the spacer for the grill. The other main benefit from this grant is the grant application feedback that I received from yourself which opened my eyes to how this project could be really sustainable. St Mary's Church Bridgwater

New Project!

Comm unity Review future plan


Smart Communities Ltd are delighted to be working on a NEW Community Review project, delivered on behalf of Somerset Association of Local Councils (SALC) and funded by Somerset County Council (SCC). The Community Review project will support 14 Parish and Town Councils to initiate or review their Community Plan. With support from the Smart Communities team, Councils will be guided through the process, and supplied with documents, templates, and workshops, as well as one-to one support. If you would like your community to be involved, encourage your Town or Parish Council to contact us. They can take this fantastic opportunity to plan for your community’s future together with local experts. If your Parish or Town Council is interested please complete an Expression of Interest Form (by 31st July):

Do you know what your community needs and wants in the coming years? How can you support your community to recover from the impact of the pandemic, as well as increase resilience in the future?

If you would like to better understand your community, why not undertake a Community Plan or refresh an existing plan?

Contact us: Call 01823 475190 or visit our website:

Funded by


on behalf of

Community focused consultancy

Smart Communities Grant opportunities Since summer 2021 community groups will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matchedfunding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses. In exceptional cases, up to £1 million matched-funding will be available to help establish a community-owned sports club, or help buy a sports ground at risk of being lost without community intervention. Please note that the next applications will be open as follows:

The Fund will run until 2024/25 and there will be at least 8 bidding rounds in total. Round 2 is now open for application since Spring 2022 Round 3, which was scheduled to open in May 2022 Grants can be used to:

Acquire a physical community asset or facility at risk, such as land and buildings which deliver a benefit to local people. Move a community amenity to a new, more appropriate location within the same community. This might be because a different location offers better value to continue the amenity, or because the venue is an asset of community value. Renovate, repair, or refurbish the asset, only where this is part of a sale or transfer to save a community asset at risk and where this is critical to saving the asset and making it sustainable. Set up a new community business, or buy an existing business in order to save an asset or amenity of importance to the community.

For further information on criteria and application process please visit: Community Ownership Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK


Somerset Social Enterprise - ARK The Somerset Social Enterprise are jumping with excitement for ARK at Egwood who have for the second year in a row been selected in the annual NatWest Top 100 Social Enterprises in the UK. Last year they were recognised as a ‘Trailblazer’ – a category for emerging enterprises. This year, there were seven award categories to celebrate all things social enterprise, sharing stories of success and the challenges and solutions behind them. We couldn’t be prouder to have ARK in the Network and of all they have done to put social enterprise on the map in Somerset over the last two years.

To follow, like and interact with network visit:



DonateIT If you have a laptop, computer or iPad you don’t need anymore, Donate IT can refurbish and rehome it to families or individuals in need. Check out their website here

Stephen lives with his mum. He is excited to get a laptop because he can play Nessy - a reading, spelling programme and NumBots for maths!

SSEN Events All workshops and events are free to attend and for social organisations and aspiring entrepreneurs based in Somerset. Most events are online: 22nd July - Save It! Cut costs and reduce your carbon footprint. (Repeated due to high demand /book early to avoid disappointment!) 11

Health Inequalities

New Health Inequalities Project Our Somerset Diverse Communities Team has grown with the addition of a Health Inequalities project delivered by Liz Johnson-Idan.

Together we can make a difference! Available to download now! FREE local resources for ethnically diverse communities covering:

Working with Somerset’s diverse community and health/social care providers, we want to improve support and services to ethnically diverse and minority communities. The project aims to address inequalities in both access and care for patients and professionals. Our health is vital in every part of our lives, so it is important that we get the best experience and treatment available, no matter where we are from or who we work for.

Mental Health Sexual Health Domestic Abuse Visit: health-inequalities/ If you have experiences or a story

Are you from an ethnically diverse community in Somerset?

to tell about how this has affected

Please share your experience of the health care service and complete our online Survey!

Contact: Liz Johnson-idan


or email:


you, please get in touch.

Call 07495 177012

New Podcasts NOW AVAILABLE! Welcome to Series 2 SDC podcasts! Join the Somerset Diverse Communities (SDC) team meet, listen and hear the diverse voices of Somerset, discuss experiences and learn about the cultural exchanges happening on our doorstep.

Catch up with our newest Podcasts episodes: 1. 'Mental Health Doesn’t Ask Where You Are From Before It Takes You Down!' 2. Patients differ in many ways - the differences in accessing health services 3. Why, How and What can you do to access local medical services in Somerset.

Language Connect Volunteers WANTED! Can you help Ukrainian refugees? Could you volunteer to help someone learn a new language? We are recruiting volunteers to support Ukrainian people coming to Somerset to help improve their English speaking skills.


To get involved contact Jusna Email:


Viney Court, Taunton, TA1 3FB Community Council for Somerset is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 3541219 and is a Registered Charity No. 1069260.


Bishop Fox's Educational Foundation Grants for young people aged 11-24 years

2022 GRANT DEADLINES Monday 22nd August 2022 Monday 31st October 2022

The aim of The Bishop Fox’s Educational Foundation (BFEF) is to promote the education of young people through a grant scheme. Grants for young people from or going to school in Taunton. School uniform grant for over 11s Capital grants for schools and youth organisations.


For full details of the grant scheme visit: or Contact Sarah on

Being outside brings huge benefits for our physical and mental health. We are working with organisations from across

If you are involved in any outdoor activities you would like listing on the website, get in touch with the Get Outside team!

the County to support people in Somerset to get outside and move in more ways that suit them. A brilliant website covers a wide variety of activities, events and challenges, as well

They are also looking for passionate people to support the project and inspire the community to get outside to improve their physical and mental health – so share your passion with Somerset and become a Get Outside Ambassador!

as information on a wide range of topics across health and wellbeing, and the website is regularly updated with new activities to inspire people in Somerset to make the most of our beautiful County. From yoga in the park, fishing and geocaching, to cycling, climbing and forest bathing, there is something for everyone.


For more information, please visit

Free support and information for Carers just like you.

Somerset Carers If you regularly look after someone, such as a friend or a family member, in an unpaid capacity,

Have you seen the new look

Somerset Carers can support you with advice and

newsletter for Carers?

guidance. Our Village and Community Agents can support you if you are a Carer, at any and every stage of your caring journey. A Carer recently supported by an Agent said: I felt all doors were shut until a Village Agent came and opened them and got me the help I needed. In association with Spark Somerset, we also run

Packed with advice, tips and more for Carers in Somerset such as: Wordsearches and quizzes Apps to help you Book recommendations from other Carers Recipe of the month Focus on topics such as Dementia and well-being

County. Find your local group here:

Visit the website to register for the next issue and read past issues:

Carers Groups, online and face to face across the

Our wonderful Carers Co-ordinator Fiona Harvey was on BBC Radio Somerset's Drivetime show during Carers Week - listen now! She sums up beautifully the challenges faced by Carers in Somerset and how Somerset Carers can help.


Problem-solving, solutionfinding super heroes!

Updates from our Village & Community Agents South Somerset Team The South Somerset Agent team have been supporting Ukrainian refugees by carrying out Welfare Checks. However, in true Village and Community Agent style, we couldn’t just see it as a paperwork task and as a team have been collecting a range of essential items for these amazing people. If you feel you may be able to help with donations, then please do get in touch with Andrea Male, South Somerset Locality Manager at

South Somerset Talking Cafés If you or someone you know is in need of some support, advice or a chat and a friendly ear, then please drop into a Talking Cafe, no appointment is necessary.

Wednesdays: Chard, The Guildhall: 10am - 12 noon

Thursdays: Langport Library: 10am - 12 noon


Problem-solving, solutionfinding super heroes!

Updates from our Village & Community Agents South Somerset Team Village & Community Agent, Dechen Chodron recently visited Carymoor Environmental Trust to find out more about services that are available within our communities. Carymoor Environmental Trust brings green issues to life all year round using their remarkable site which combines a capped landfill site with a beautiful nature reserve, sensory and wildflower gardens, a replica shanty town, Celtic roundhouse, forest school area and a sustainably built education centre. To find out more visit If you would like a Village Agent to attend your event. Email:


Problem-solving, solutionfinding super heroes!

Updates from our Village & Community Agents Taunton & West Somerset

Village Agents Katherine West & Debbie Harris at Vivary Park, Armed Forces Day.

Our Village and Community Agents have been busy working and meeting communities. On Saturday 2nd July we were at the Somerset Armed Forces Day where we received a high number of referrals for help with a variety of issues. We also spoke to many members of the public and members of the wider health and social communities about our services and role.

New Hub in Wellington! On Tuesday 5th July Village & Community Agent, Carolyn Grout visited the new Wellington Community Hub which we have set up with Wellington PCN and St Johns Church.

Wellington Community Hub White Hart Lane, Town Centre, Wellington TA21 8HN Call: 01823666233


This will be a weekly event where members of the public can pop along for a chat, advice and information. On this day we had Annie Harris from RNID, Becky Bastock from Age UK in attendance. Also available during the morning were Health Coaches and Somerset Fire Brigade.

Problem-solving, solutionfinding super heroes! West Somerset Talking Cafés If you or someone you know is in need of some support, advice or a chat and a friendly ear, then please drop into a Talking Cafe, no appointment is necessary.

Mondays: Minehead, The Beach Hotel: 10am – 12 noon

Tuesdays: Williton Pavilion: 1pm - 3pm

Dulverton School: 3rd Tuesday of the month, 9am - 11am

Thursdays: Dulverton, MAGNA, Fishers Mead Community Room: 10.30am - 12.30pm

Taunton Talking Cafés


Bishops Hull Hub: 2nd & 4th Monday of the month, 1pm - 3pm Wellsprings Community Church: 10.30am - 12.30pm


Wellsprings Comm, Church: 2nd Tuesday in month, 10.30am - 12.30pm Ruishton Village Hall: 3rd Tuesday of the month, 2pm - 4pm Wellington, St John's Church: 10am - 12 noon

Thursdays: Tacchi Morris Arts Centre: 3rd Thursday of the month, 10am - 12 noon

fridays: 21

Burrowbridge, King Alfred Pub: Last Friday in month, 2pm - 4pm Galmington, St Michaels Church: 1st Friday of the month, 9am - 10.30am

Problem-solving, solutionfinding super heroes!

Updates from our Village & Community Agents Sedgemoor Team The Sedgemoor Village and Community Agents have been working with Will Freeman of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to deliver a programme of activities which has seen clients making a willow sculpture. Clients Nikita, Jacqui and Rodney can be seen enjoying the benefits of nature-based activities at the Steart Marshes.

Sedgemoor Talking Cafés If you or someone you know is in need of some support, advice or a chat and a friendly ear, then please drop into a Talking Cafe, no appointment is necessary.

Tuesdays: Burnham-on-Sea, Methodist Church: 10am - 12 noon

Thursdays: Bridgwater, The Hub at Angel Place: 10am - 12.30pm Highbridge, Hope Baptist Church: 9.30am - 12.30pm


Problem-solving, solutionfinding super heroes!

Updates from our Village & Community Agents Mendip Team At the end of April the Mendip Agents helped deliver donations to the Wells Baptist Church for a consignment of items going to Poland to help with the Ukraine Crisis.

A HUGE Thank you to everyone who donated!

East Somerset Railway new Community Café Assisted by the new Mendip Village and Community Agent, Tina Hazelhurst, contact Mobile 07985 680262


Download Monday Cafe poster Dementia Friendly Events 2022 poster


Money, money, money ...funding opportunities

The Elmgrant Trust The Elmgrant Trust is a charity which makes grants for charitable purposes to individuals living in the South West of England and to organisations and groups with projects in the South West. The Trust aims to improve the quality of local life and welfare through education, the arts and social sciences.

For more details visit:

Email: Telephone: 01803 863 160

New payment option with our Community Oil Scheme! No need to pay at the time of your Oil order. Order now and pay on or shortly after the 24th of the following month. You will only be charged for hte oil volumne delivered. Protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. Gain access to our monthly pre-payment plan.


Crisis Fund

A fund for people in crisis

Our CCS Agents work with people who

Our Crisis Fund allows Agents to access

find themselves in situations no-one

funds to pay for things to get people OUT of

should be in – without food, heating, basic

crisis and help make their lives instantly

essentials or at a life-changing moment in


their lives, but poverty is preventing them

We are in desperate need of funds for the

from moving forward.

Crisis Fund as the unprecedented demand during the pandemic has depleted the resource.

Please donate – every £ helps immeasurably!

A young man hadn’t eaten in three days & couldn’t afford the bus fare to a job interview 20 miles away. Our Agents were able (by using the crisis fund) to provide basic nourishment and buy him a bus ticket. He got the job, and was able to apply for social housing nearby.

Make a real difference to people's lives If you love Somerset, please support the people and communities who live in the County by donating to our Crisis Fund. You can donate directly to our Crisis Fund via our Local Giving page. 27



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