derbyshire voluntary action

‘Experts by Experience’ wanted by Community Chesterfield

Community Chesterfield, which links up the skills, knowledge and experience at the University of Derby with those of the local voluntary and community sector, is looking for ‘Experts by Experience’ from within the local community.

The project’s Experts by Experience scheme sees members of the community working within the voluntary and community sector contribute to lectures at the University of Derby.  It’s a great chance to help widen the horizons of future health professionals by sharing real life experiences on health and social care related topics.

Whether you are a community group wishing to enlighten our future health care professionals or a University Lecturer wanting to enrich your student’s learning, Experts by Experience can be of huge benefit to all.

Past speakers from the community sector have been experienced in subjects such as:

  • Hearing/sight loss
  • Being a family carer
  • Medications management
  • Mental health issues
  • Fibromyalgia

However, Community Chesterfield is currently looking for a range of expertise in all areas of health and social care and would love to hear from you!

If you have a lived experience that you’d like to share, why not contact Community Chesterfield via community@dva.org.uk to discuss becoming an ‘Expert by Experience’.  A small financial contribution is paid to your charity of choice by way of thanks.

If you are a University lecturer and would like an ‘Expert by Experience’ to deliver a session to your students about a particular topic, you are also being invited to contact Community Chesterfield in order to arrange this.

Community Chesterfield is a Lottery funded project between Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) and University of Derby. For more information about Community Chesterfield, visit www.communitychesterfield.org.uk.

Community Chesterfield supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital Trusts Carers Project

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Derbyshire Voluntary Action celebrates opening of new community hub

Friends of Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) gathered at a new community hub recently to celebrate ‘Feeling Connected Week’.

The Hub @ Low Pavement is DVA’s new pop-up community venue in Chesterfield’s town centre and will serve to promote better social connectedness and improved mental health and wellbeing for people in the local area.

The Hub will host activities, exhibitions and social get-togethers, as well as providing information about the local voluntary and community sector.

Chief Executive of DVA, Jacqui Willis, explains: “We’ve wanted to create an inclusive, welcoming and friendly place for members of the public and for volunteer-led community groups to come together and forge new connections for some time.  To have the opportunity to do this at accessible premises in the heart of Chesterfield is fantastic.”

The Hub will also be an important asset for DVA’s Feeling Connected project, which supports local people and groups to combat loneliness. During ‘Feeling Connected Week’ the project shone a spotlight on some of the great volunteer-led initiatives that bring people together week-in week-out in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield.

The aim of Feeling Connected Week was to inspire people to talk about what they have done to make themselves or others feel more connected, as well as encouraging people to come together and reconnect as group, whether it be with colleagues, friends or a social or special interest group.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) is an innovative independent charity, which strategically represents and champions the work of the health and wellbeing related voluntary and community sector in Derbyshire. It provides vital support to a diverse range of local charities and community groups, and connects people and resources to projects and ideas.

For more information about The Hub @ Low Pavement and the Feeling Connected project, contact Derbyshire Voluntary Action: info@dva.org.uk / 01246 555908.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Week-long initiative launched to help people feel more connected

A project aiming to break down the barriers around ‘social connectedness’ has launched an initiative encouraging people to share what they have done to feel less lonely and isolated.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s (DVA) Feeling Connected project has launched ‘Feeling Connected Week’, taking place between 25 September and 2 October.

The aim of the initiative is to inspire people to talk about what they have done to make themselves or others feel more connected, as well as encouraging people to come together and reconnect as group, whether it be with colleagues, friends or a social or special interest group.

The week also aims to encourage those who are struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation to get in touch for support.

Debbie Fennell, Social Connectedness Development Worker at DVA, said: “This has been such a difficult and lonely year for so many people. As restrictions lift we want to encourage people to get together more and help to reduce those feelings of social isolation that many people have struggled with during the pandemic. This is where the idea of Feeling Connected Week came from.

“Whether you are meeting with friends, have re-grouped with your social or special interest group or are having a team meeting with colleagues, or maybe you run or lead a group and haven’t met for some time but would really like to get going again.  This could be the perfect opportunity to invite everyone to reconnect.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing and hearing about the positive impact that reconnecting with others has had on people and what they have been doing to support one another. But also it’s a great opportunity for us to provide further support to those who might still be struggling with loneliness and isolation.”

Feeling Connected project aims to raise the profile of the benefits of being socially connected, raise awareness of existing services that support social connectedness and identify interventions, initiatives, and activities to assist people to feel socially connected.

The project is a multi-agency Health and Wellbeing Partnership project in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, led by DVA. DVA, which has created a network of more than 300 organisations with the aim of making the voluntary sector stronger and more joined up, is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary this year after forming in 1991.

People can share their stories on social media of what they are doing to help themselves and others feel more connected during Feeling Connected Week by using the hashtags #FeelingConnected and #feelingconnectedweek.

For more information about the Feeling Connected Week visit https://dva.org.uk/feeling-connected-week or contact Debbie by email at debbie@DVA.org.uk or phone 07547342251.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Men across Chesterfield to be encouraged to consider careers in healthcare

A free event aimed at encouraging men to consider careers in health and social care is set to take place in Chesterfield.

Health and Social Care Needs Men is part of ‘Careers that Care’ week, a series of virtual events organised in partnership with Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s (DVA) Community Chesterfield project, the University of Derby and Joined Up Careers Derbyshire.

The event will see a panel of men who work in health and social care answer questions and discuss what led them to work in the sector, what they get out of it and why there are less men working in certain healthcare professions than women.

The panel will be made up of representatives from the public sector, including a Derbyshire County Council social worker, a 111 senior trainer from DHU Health Care and nurse, as well as voluntary sector workers. These will include Nathan Wood, Chief Executive Officer of the charity Ability, who appeared in a short film made for the event, and a spiritual care practitioner from Ashgate Hospicecare. Questions will be asked by a current nursing student from University of Derby.

Charlotte Repton, project manager at Community Chesterfield, said: “A career in health and social care offers a huge range of career choices, all of which can be hugely rewarding for those who choose to follow that path. Through the Health and Social Care Needs Men event, we wanted to open up the discussion around why, despite this, there is still a higher percentage of women in many healthcare roles, particularly in areas such as nursing.

“The event is set to provide an extremely interesting insight into this topic, directly from men who work in health and social care, as well as giving attendees the opportunity to have their questions or concerns around stepping into a career in health and social care answered.”

This event is open to anyone from Chesterfield and surrounding areas with an interest in health and social care. However, it will be of particular interest to men who may be considering a career in health and social care, parents or teachers who may be offering guidance to a young person making decisions about their future careers and current students who wish to find out about the range of careers their studies could lead them to.

For more information or to book a free place on the Health and Social Care Needs Men event, visit www.careersthatcareweek.org/events.

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Ground-breaking role created at Chesterfield FC Community Trust

Mollie Ward is relishing her ground-breaking role as a young people’s physical activity link worker, based in the HUB at the Technique Stadium.

Mollie recently took on the newly-created post, which sees her working with young people aged 14 to 25 who face challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential.

The role has been created as a result of a partnership between Chesterfield FC Community Trust and Derbyshire Voluntary Action, who have come together to create a brand new social prescribing service for young people in Chesterfield.

Connect to… @ The HUB harnesses Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s experience in running social prescribing services for older adults for the last eight years, with Chesterfield FC Community Trust’s expertise, experience and facilities in supporting health and wellbeing in the community.

Summing up her role, Mollie says: “My job is to provide a person-centred support service for young people, working with them to highlight their interests and strengths, address their challenges, and to help them make the connections they don’t feel able to make by themselves.

“The connections could be to a community-based advice or counselling service, or to something sporty, arty, creative or social. Alternatively, it could be to volunteering, or literacy support, or a combination of several of those things – all of which will give them a strong foundation, positive wellbeing, basic skills and reliable relationships.”

Her new role represents a homecoming for Mollie, who was born in Bolsover and went to Heritage School in Clowne and the sixth form at Brookfield School before gaining a degree in psychology and working in London.

She worked in mental health services during her time in the capital, helping people in supported housing following discharge from hospital.

“For complete independent living, the people I supported needed help with community reintegration and engaging in community activities because often they had complex mental health needs like psychosis, schizophrenia and personality disorders,” Mollie explains.

“My clients were people who had been very withdrawn from society and had had long stays in hospital, some lasting five to ten years.

“My experience in London transfers into this role because you’re talking person-centred care and that’s what this role is about, it’s working with a person holistically, so not just the things that are holding them back, but also the positives.”

Mollie is delighted to have been given the opportunity to take on this new challenge, saying: “I’m really honoured because it is such an exciting thing to be part of what feels like a grassroots project. We really are building this new service from the ground up.

“I’m excited to get started – to have some young people come through the door and be able to work with them and follow their stories.”

Mollie can be contacted by emailing mollie@dva.org.uk or on 07522 023571.

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Community Chesterfield launches virtual health and social care careers showcase

An innovative week-long event to showcase the diversity of careers and pathways into health and social care has been launched in Chesterfield.

‘Careers that Care’ week, a series of virtual events organised in partnership with Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s (DVA) Community Chesterfield project, the University of Derby and Joined Up Careers Derbyshire, will take place from 21 to 25 June.

The event, which is funded by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP), will feature opportunities for attendees to watch videos from people playing crucial roles in the region’s health and social care sectors, allowing them to find out more about what they do in the role day to day and where the career could take you. These will include disability support worker, radiography and podiatry.

The videos will be available to watch on YouTube prior to the event and those attending the event are invited to post questions for the expert via the comments section under each video. These questions will then be answered during live Q&A sessions throughout the week, equipping delegates with knowledge about what it is like to work in that field.

The week will culminate in a live panel discussion, with special guests including Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, Jacqui Willis, chief executive at Derbyshire Voluntary Action and Linda Garnett, Workforce and Organisational Development Lead for Joined Up Care Derbyshire as well as Emily Williams from Chesterfield Borough Council.

Toby Perkins MP, Labour MP for Chesterfield and Shadow Minister for Further Education and Skills, will introduce the panel. Attendees will be able to watch Question Time-style discussion via a live stream.

The panel will be looking at the big picture of health in the local area, the barriers and strengths within the sector and their thoughts on what individuals can do to support through both community action and careers in health and social care.

Charlotte Repton, project manager at Community Chesterfield, which links the skills, knowledge and experience of Chesterfield’s voluntary and community sector, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Joined Up Careers on this event, which will promote the variety of roles available across the NHS and public sector and highlight why people should choose these sectors as a career path.

“Our role at Community Chesterfield is to bring the University and community together to create a resourceful, experienced and knowledgeable health and social care sector in the area, as well as creating learning and personal development opportunities for students. This event should help to do just that.”

Careers that Care is open to anyone from Chesterfield and surrounding areas with an interest in health and social care, but will be of particular interest to young people at the point of making a decision about their career or to individuals who might be considering a career change.

It will also benefit parents or teachers who are supporting a young person to make decisions about their career and current students who wish to find out about the range of careers their studies could lead them to.

For more information visit www.careersthatcareweek.org

Derbyshire Voluntary Action and University of Derby support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Derbyshire County Council apprenticeships

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Derbyshire Voluntary Action celebrates 30 years

An organisation which supports the work of the health and wellbeing charities and volunteer organisations in the North Derbyshire area, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA), which has created a network of more than 300 organisations with the aim of making the voluntary sector stronger and more joined up with each other, has reached the milestone after forming in 1991.

The organisation specialises in supporting health and wellbeing related voluntary and community sector organisations – from tiny volunteer-led self-help groups through to local and regional charities delivering projects to the benefit of large numbers of Derbyshire residents.

Charlotte Repton, Project Manager at DVA, said: “If you were going to sum up what DVA does, I think the simplest version is that we is a charity which supports other charities – but there is much more to it than that!

“Healthy communities really are the key to why we do what we do. The voluntary sector is vital to delivering specialised, responsive support in the community, enhancing what is offered by public services such as the Council and NHS. I think the pandemic has made that more clear than ever.”

DVA supports the voluntary sector in a range of ways including regular forum meetings where members can meet, share updates and find out about local and national news.

Jacqui Willis, Chief Executive of DVA, said: “When DVA was formed in 1991 it was a very small operation, but the ambition was always there to provide a voice for the voluntary and community organisations and to look for innovative ways to strengthen the sector, and our local area as a whole. You could say that the forum is where it all started.

“But now we do so much more. On top of communicating through our weekly bulletins and the quarterly Network magazine, I attend lots of meetings, committees and boards with statutory partners where I am able to be the voice for the voluntary sector. Campaigning for and championing the voluntary sector is one of the most impactful things we do.”

DVA also leads on a specialist Mental Health Liaison Service, which creates a network and hosts forums for mental health support organisations across the county.

The charity also has a history of delivering ‘social prescribing’ where, rather than medication, individuals are prescribed services and activities in the community to help them improve their health.

As with all essential services, funding is key to the work of DVA. The organisation distributes grants to groups, allowing them to continue the great work they do.

As well as giving out funds, as a charity DVA applies for national funding, bringing money and resource into the local area and allowing the organisation to run innovative projects. Two examples of projects currently running are Community Chesterfield, a partnership with University of Derby, and the ConnectTo… project which promotes social connectedness.

Jacqui added: “We are going to be using our birthday to celebrate the voluntary sector and we hope that we can encourage people to show some appreciation for local charities and groups which make a big difference.”

Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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New partnership launched to combat loneliness and social isolation across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire

Residents across Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and Bolsover District who are feeling alone and isolated during the ongoing pandemic are being encouraged to seek support.

‘Feeling Connected’ is a partnership project led by Derbyshire Voluntary Action with the support of Chesterfield Borough Council and North East Derbyshire District Council, which aims to tackle social isolation in the local area.

The project has been commissioned by the Healthy North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield Health and Wellbeing Partnerships which are funded by Derbyshire County Council Public Health.

The ‘Feeling Connected’ project aims to:

• help people better understand the benefits of being socially connected
• raise awareness of existing services which support social connectedness
• identify interventions, initiatives and activities which help people to feel socially connected and which could be further supported and developed in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield

Jacqui Willis, Chief Executive of Derbyshire Voluntary Action, said: “Most people, young and old, feel lonely from time to time. This is normal, and even healthy. It can be a prompt for action, a reminder to make contact with other people and to create or reaffirm connections.

“Where it can become a problem is if people become isolated through circumstances beyond their control, and if feelings of loneliness become entrenched, or persist for a long time.”

As well as encouraging people who may be socially isolated to seek support, the partnership is also encouraging residents to think about those in their local community who may be alone and consider how they can help them.

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Tackling social isolation and supporting our residents to overcome the impact of the pandemic is a priority for Chesterfield Borough Council and is at the heart of our Covid-19 community recovery plan.

“Many people have experienced social isolation throughout the pandemic – especially those who have limited access to technology so we’re really pleased to be supporting this project and looking into new initiatives which will help promote social connectedness for our residents.”

Councillor Alan Powell, North East Derbyshire District Council’s cabinet member for Partnership Engagement and Strategy, said: “The pandemic has affected us all, but for some people the feelings of loneliness and isolation have been greatly amplified during this time.

“We are therefore delighted to be supporting this project which will help our residents access the support they need and encourage others to think about those who are alone.”

In the spirit of connecting with others, the ‘Feeling Connected’ project has linked up with similar work which is happening in Bolsover District: ‘Connect Bolsover’ led by Bassetlaw CVS.

Bolsover District Council’s Leader, Councillor Steve Fritchley said: “The situation over the past ten months has highlighted the impact of loneliness and the importance of being part of a community. Even though we have new technology, there is no substitute for human contact, having a cuppa, a biscuit and a chat.

“I believe we will see more people suffering from agoraphobia. Organisations like chit chat groups, craft classes and toddler groups play a huge part in a local community and can provide people with the boost they need if they are feeling lonely or isolated. So we are delighted to support this project within Bolsover District and the wider north east Derbyshire area.”

You can find more information about ‘Feeling Connected’ at dva.org.uk/feeling-connected and about ‘Connect Bolsover’ at bcvs.org.uk/bolsover-together

Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Jacqui Willis, Derbyshire Voluntary Action

 

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Derbyshire Voluntary Action welcomes new recruit to help Chesterfield residents feel more connected

Debbie Fennell has joined Derbyshire Voluntary Action in the newly-created role of ‘Social Connectedness Development Worker.’

Derbyshire Voluntary Action is a membership organisation for North Derbyshire’s health and wellbeing related voluntary and community sector. North Derbyshire spans the districts of High Peak, Derbyshire Dales, Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire and Bolsover.

Through specialist infrastructure services, the organisation actively engages with and support 320+ members, which range from tiny volunteer-led self-help groups through to local and regional charities delivering projects to the benefit of large numbers of Derbyshire residents.

Debbie joins the DVA team to play a key role in the ‘Feeling Connected in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield’ project – an initiative to improve local approaches to tackling social isolation and reducing the impact of loneliness.

Debbie, who describes herself as a ‘people person,’ has nine years’ experience of working in the voluntary and community sector, most recently as a Project Coordinator at Age Concern Chesterfield and District, where she was responsible for the ‘Active Age’ project.

In her new role, she will work out and about in communities across Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, supporting residents and communities to create and take up opportunities to be better socially connected.

Debbie says, ‘My role is about building relationships with people who want to make a difference in their street, estate, village, town or workplace – and to be responsive in helping them in whatever way they need. It’s a challenging time to be starting a job like this, but even in lockdown there are many ways we can all keep our spirits up and continue to connect with family, friends and the people who live around us.’

If you have ideas about keeping your community connected this winter, Debbie would love to hear from you. Call her on 07547 342251, email debbie@dva.org.uk or find her on Facebook: FeelingConnectedNEDC.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

 

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