Safeguarding & Reporting: Are you prepared?

It is near impossible to miss the headlines relating to our sector at the moment, but whilst it might be easy to consider these as ‘big charity’ issues, the problems surrounding Oxfam present important lessons for smaller members of the sector too.

All charities operating at an international, national or local level, have a duty not only to safeguard their beneficiaries, volunteers and staff but also to have clear and robust policies in place for reporting serious incidents. Last year the Charity Commission published concerns over the ‘significant under-reporting of serious incidents’ from charities, urging trustees to ‘act quickly and responsibly in reporting serious incidents as soon as they occur’.

Read more here.

Serious Incidents: What, Who & How?

The Charity Finance Group has published a guide for charities to support them in identifying what is deemed a ‘serious incident’, who should report the incident and how it should be done. Please read this and share amongst your network to build on the good work we know that many charities are already doing in creating a transparent and responsive sector.

Find it here.

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External Job Opportunity: Braintree District Mencap CEO

Braintree District Mencap Society is an independent charity, celebrating 62 years of supporting people with a learning disability and their families. We provide services, information, social events and general support for children and adults. Working within the community, the organisation is active across the Braintree District, including Halstead, Witham and the surrounding villages.

Braintree District Mencap Society are looking for a new Chief Executive Officer, in this role you will oversee and lead its further development. The Board wish to appoint a visionary, tenacious, resilient and motivational person who will join the Braintree District Mencap Society team, share their commitment to the delivery of quality services, work well within the existing organisation and who demonstrates the flair to lead the Society into the future.

A proven manager ideally with some experience of working with statutory and voluntary bodies. An understanding of the social care market is required. This could include winning and delivering on contracts, building partnerships and managing service delivery. Desirable experience would include income generation, knowledge of and empathy with people with a learning disability and experience of financial management that would help you grow the charity.

For the full advert and info see below.

Braintree District Mencap CEO advert and info

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Anglia Ruskin Newsletter- Spring edition

Anglia Ruskin have released their Spring Newsletter, jam packed with loads of interesting and free events for the next few months.

The Essex Book Festival runs from 1 March to 30 March and Anglia Ruskin are hosting a number of exciting events with various speakers attending the Chelmsford campus.

You can view the full newsletter below.

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NHS STP Consultation Summary

“We all want the very best health and care for you and your family.”

While there are many examples of excellent care in mid and south Essex, the NHS Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) know they could do better.

In this consultation, they are facing up to these challenges with an honest and meaningful discussion with you about how, together, they can improve. 

What is the plan?

Over the next five years, our vision is to unite our different health and care services around you and all of your potential needs, with physical, mental and social care working together.

You can view a summary of the consultation below.

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We need Cycle Riders!

Are you a keen cycle rider? Do you have a passion for cycling and want to get involved with rides in your local community? If so Chelmsford City Council and Women Time need your help!

They are looking for volunteer Ride Leaders for their cycle rides that take place on a Tuesday and Saturday morning.

You will be fully trained and mentored in how to lead and instruct group ride sessions.

If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Pauline or Julie now on 01245 250731 or email 

You can find alternative volunteering opportunities on our Latest Volunteering Opportunities page.

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World Cup Wine Tasting

Kids Inspire are hosting a World Cup Wine Tasting fundraising event at Ingatestone Hall on Thursday 22 February. With wines from around the world, all supplied by Ingatestone Wines and delicious artisan cheeses provided by Abigail’s Deli it’s an event you wouldn’t want to miss!

For more information have a look at the poster below, or contact Kids Inspire directly on 01245 348707

World Cup Wine Tasting

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Become a Volunteer Walk Leader…

Heart and Sole is Chelmsford’s free health walk scheme. Throughout the year their trained volunteer leaders take group walks around local parks and green spaces.

Without their volunteer walk leaders, the Heart and Sole walking scheme would not
be possible.

The training is FREE and will give you all the skills you require to act as either a
front leader, a middle marker or back marker during the walks.Walks take place during the week and at weekends.

Location: Civic Centre Chelmsford (Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JE)

Time: 9.30am-4pm

Date:Thursday 5th April 2018

FREE parking is available on request


Location: Civic Centre Chelmsford (Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1JE)

Time: 9.30am-4pm

Date:Thursday 13th September 2018

For further information on Heart and Sole, please contact them directly:
01245 606979

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Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

InterAct are running a Youth Mental Health First Aid training course. The course is for you if you want to learn new skills and strategies, enhance your CV and if you care for or work with vulnerable young people (age 8 upwards).

What you say, how you say it , and how well you listen can have a profound impact on someone who is emotionally distressed or having a difficult time. Everyone can learn and benefit from YMHFA skills.
Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training is an interactive and practical training course to help you spot the early signs of a mental health problem. It will equip you with tools and techniques to help you, your family, friends and colleagues.

“Course very informative on all levels. Will be helpful, moving forward, in school environment to help support students with mental health difficulties”

“This course has been very informative and useful to benefit my family”

The course runs over four mornings: 9.30am—1.00pm—specifically for parent carers

Dates: 23rd Feb to 15th March Every Friday 2018

Venue: Board Room Moulsham Mill Parkway Chelmsford Essex CM2 7PX


Those who wish to attend over 2 days: 9:30 to 4:30

Dates: 23rd Feb & 8th March 2018

We require a contribution of £20 to cover course materials and to book your place
payable on the first session via cash or cheque.

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SECE Mind are calling for volunteers!

“South East and Central Essex Mind (SECE) is such a well-known local charity that I became excited when I read about the IES voluntary roles on the website. I have been volunteering for just over eight months now and have really enjoyed my time at Mind. I have grown in confidence both professionally and in my personal life. I have been able to help people from many different walks of life, and felt like I have been making a difference to people’s lives. Sometimes the content is challenging, but everyone is aware of this so they are very supportive and always around if I need to talk to someone. I am more aware of what mental health services are available in the area and have even been able to direct my friends and family to organisations that could help them.”

– Jessica, SECE Mind volunteer

SECE Mind have a vital phone, email and drop-in service called IES which would not be possible to deliver without their team of IES volunteers. And they’re recruiting!

If you join their team, you will get the opportunities to:

  • Gain experience of working in a professional mental health environment
  • Receive free CPD including Mental Health Training (levels 1 and 2), Dynamic Risk Assessment and Professional Boundaries Training
  • Have your expenses paid for and free tea and coffee.
  • Train under a BACP registered member organisation.

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining their team, please contact them on

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Dementia Adventure are looking for a Social Media / PR Officer

Dementia Adventure are looking for a new team member. Are you an experienced PR professional with social media experience? Do you have an instinct for a good story and know how to use a variety social media platforms to maximum effect?

Dementia Adventure are looking for a special person to strategically manage and co-ordinate our social media channels, and to ensure we reach our target audiences and provide engaging content that aligns with our charity objectives and the various department activities. In addition, you will manage our in-house PR programme and work with external PR agencies. This is a part time role, working as part of our small, flexible team, starting in April 2018.

For a full job description visit the Dementia Adventure website.

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Need help and information managing your Type 2 diabetes?

Do you need help and information about managing your Type 2 diabetes? Diabetes UK are holding a free one day event on Tuesday 30 January 2018 from 9:30am at Hamptons Sports and Leisure Meeting Room.

Full details can be found on the poster below.

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Engage December 2017




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InterAct Activity Programme January – March 2018

InterAct’s new January – March 2018 Programme is here!

InterAct supports some of society’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families. From leisure and social activities, parenting and relationship support, to community connection and volunteering.

From hand drumming to Spice Girls and the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide to pamper evenings, they are sure there is something for everyone to enjoy in the new year. Please book fast as spaces will not last long for February half term and the booking deadline is the 5 January!

You can find the InterAct Activity Programme here.

For more information and to book your place visit:

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Job Opportunity: Recruitment of Community Agents

Community Agents Essex is a countywide network of agents and volunteers who will support older people and their informal carers to find and develop independent living solutions from within their local community.

The service is delivered through a community and voluntary sector partnership, bringing together four well established organisations: Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE); British Red Cross (BRC); Age UK Essex; and Essex County Neighbourhood Watch. These organisations bring a wide range of experience and expertise, working with vulnerable people across rural and urban areas.

As part of the ongoing implementation phase they are seeking to recruit  a Community Agent to work in Chelmsford.

For more information click here.

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Future leaders for the voluntary and community sector

ASPIRE is a 12 month leadership development programme that will bring 15 people from the Voluntary and Community Sector in Essex together to create a strong cohort that will learn together through an accelerated development journey.

The programme has been commissioned by the Essex Partnership in recognition that growing the skills and capabilities of a cohort of leaders for the voluntary and community sector is a long term investment that will support delivery of the county’s shared vision – The Future of Essex – and foster a new generation of leaders for the benefit of the sector and everyone who calls Essex home.

The ASPIRE programme is aimed at senior professionals that are currently employed within the Essex social sector, working for a voluntary or community organisation, social enterprise or charity.

It is most relevant for aspiring and developing leaders that have the desire to forge a future leadership career in the sector.

How it works

ASPIRE offers a chance for individuals to design a bespoke leadership plan building specific personal leadership skills and practicing them through on the job experience. Everyone will benefit from a mix of group residential days, individual 1:1 coaching, group webinars and optional external placements. Individually, participants will receive additional development aligned to personal goals and leadership vision. However, leadership isn’t just about the leader – leadership isn’t done in a vacuum. They will also learn about the nature of the people in the teams they lead, how they can create great environments, enable high performance, and develop and coach their teams. These opportunities will allow participants to develop new skills both through more formal learning and also to apply them in a practical way on real-life issues by providing ‘on the job’ experience in the workplace.

The development programme will leave participants challenged, supported, engaged and ready for more with a valuable learning network to support future growth.

The programme will be delivered by Humans Being, a leading Organisational Psychology Consultancy that works with global clients including PwC, Zurich, UNICEF and Big Society Capital to attract, hire and grow their people.

Apply to Aspire

Good leadership is a skill, and like all skills it can be developed, learned, mastered with the appropriate attention to explicit development opportunities.

Over 12 months Humans Being, on behalf of the Essex Partnership, aims to deliver the most effective leadership development programme for the voluntary and community sector. No dumbing-down, no corner-cutting. The team’s experience from working with blue-chip organisations worldwide has been used to carefully curate a programme that will allow every individual to develop their leadership.

ASPIRE is looking for applicants that can demonstrate the potential and personal commitment to grow their leadership capabilities and have an appetite for change and to bring innovative practice to their organisation.

Applicants should currently fulfil a senior role within their organisation in a position that directly affects decision making and influences business direction and should have the support and sponsorship of the Chief Executive / or Board to participate.

Applications can be made at until 18 December 2017 where more information can also be found. The programme will commence in February 2018.

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Make sure you’re protected against flu – get your jab now

NHS Mid Essex CCG is reminding people to be on the lookout for invitations to get their flu jab if they’re in the ‘at-risk’ groups.

The invitation letters, from our local GPs, are being sent to adults aged over 65; those with long-term health conditions such as severe asthma or heart disease; carers; pregnant women; children aged two to eight and other at-risk groups.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people see their GP with flu-like symptoms and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of flu. In mid Essex 115,000 in at-risk groups are eligible for a free flu vaccination. Last year only 58% of the eligible individuals went for their vaccination.

Symptoms of flu can be very unpleasant, last for several weeks and lead to more serious complications like pneumonia or bronchitis for those with underlying health conditions, and in some cases it can be fatal.

Dr Ahmed Mayet, GP in Witham and CCG Clinical Lead for Planned Care, said: “Flu is a highly contagious illness, which can spread rapidly through local communities. It can cause serious complications for at-risk groups, including pregnant women, the elderly and people with long-term health conditions.

If you are eligible for the free flu vaccination, make sure you act on your letter from your GP and get the jab – please don’t ignore it. Having a flu jab will protect you and others. Contact your GP practice if you believe you are eligible for the jab but haven’t received an invite.”

Although it’s not possible to know which strains of flu will circulate each winter, the flu vaccination is still the best protection against an unpredictable virus, which can cause severe illness and deaths amongst vulnerable groups. 

In some instances, our GP practices may text you instead of sending a letter.

For more information visit

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Job Opportunity: Projects & Communications Assistant at Families InFocus

External Job Opportunity

An exciting new job opportunity to join the Families InFocus team.

Hours 28-37 per week (flexible)

Salary: FTE £20,456pa to £22,434pa (Depending on experience)

Families InFocus are looking to recruit a highly motivated, experienced individual to join the team and provide effective project, communications and administrative support to maintain and develop the efficient running of the charity.

Duties for this interesting and varied role will include providing high quality support to the CEO; monitoring, reporting/analysis across a range of successful projects; administration/HR support; and supporting internal/external communications including website, social media and e-bulletins.

The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic team player with excellent interpersonal, IT, written and verbal communication, analytical and organisational skills with proven experience.

Job pack can be downloaded here, it can also downloaded from their website.

No CVs please.

Email or phone 01245 353575

Closing date 19th September 2017 (3pm)

Interviews: 26th September 2017

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New Guide to Adult Community Learning

ACL Essex offers a wide range of day time and evening adult learning courses to help you improve your job prospects, learn a new skill or simply inspire you. Some of courses lead to qualifications, some don’t, but they all give you the chance to learn something new. They have popular courses like pottery, languages and cake decorating. They also offer qualifications in accountancy, law, beauty, bookkeeping and more.

If you missed out at school or want to change career, they have a range of courses up to and including GCSE and can help you access higher education options, including university.

Read their new Guide or the Easy Read version below or visit:

ACL Course Guides 2017 CENTRAL

ACL Course Guides 2017 NORTH

ACL Course Guides 2017 SOUTH

ACL Course Guides 2017 WEST

ACL LD guide

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Silver Sunday

Silver Sunday is a national campaign to help prevent loneliness and tackle the problem of isolation for older people by organising fun activities for them to join in on this day.  Click here for more details.

Essex County Council are planning to hold an afternoon tea party in the library, with entertainment from a singer or musician, for older people to come along to on this Sunday afternoon and I wondered if you would like to get involved or knew people who would like to attend.  This will be a free event.  We would also be grateful for any publicity you can give us or any contacts you may have of groups or people who may be interested in participating or coming along.

The library is open from 1pm – 4pm on Sundays, so our plan is to start the tea party from 2:30pm, possibly with the entertainment first, and then refreshments from 3pm with a 4pm finish.

For more information contact Ian Messer:

Please feel free to share the poster above.

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Job Opportunity: Volunteer Coordinator at Dementia Adventure

Dementia Adventure is an innovative charity working to make sure that people living with dementia have access to nature and the outdoors on a regular basis. They provide training, research and consultancy services. Dementia Adventure also provide adventures and short breaks for people living with dementia and their carers across the UK.

They depend on a network of volunteers to help them throughout the organisation. Their existing Volunteer Coordinator has developed a number of roles for their volunteers. Volunteers support the delivery of outdoor activities for people living with dementia and their carers, volunteer ambassador roles. There are fundraising volunteers and administration and support roles, including governance roles.

Dementia Adventure are looking for someone with considerable volunteer management experience to cover for her while she is away on Maternity leave.

Read the full job description here.


Applications must be made by Tuesday 29 August.

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