MVSC eBulletin 13th February 2019 - this fortnight's news

Gymnastics for older people - come and join Love to Move

Following the launch of their new club at the Wimbledon Library, Home Instead are delighted to bring a new initiative to the borough.

In partnership with the British Gymnastics Foundation, they are launching a chair-based gymnastics programme specially designed to get older people moving and functioning better.  Follow this link for more information and booking arrangements.

Almost every part of this exercise programme works on the bi-lateral asymmetric movement patterns.  This benefits all older people including those with dementia and mild cognitive impairment, by enabling the left side and right side of the brain to process information independently, thus improving cognitive function, co-ordination and the ability to carry out activities of daily living more independently.  So basically, it’s great!

The programme starts on 28th January from 10.30am to 12 noon at the Lantern Art Centre, Tolverine Road, Raynes Park and will run every Monday throughout the year.  There will be refreshments in a friendly and encouraging environment.  There is a £3 weekly contribution to cover the cost of the room hire.

Improve health with One You Merton

Are you interested in raising awareness about healthy lifestyles?  Would you like to know more about signposting people to health services and physical activities in Merton?

Health Champions raise awareness, inform people about public health issues and support them to adapt to having a healthier lifestyle.

One You Merton coordinates the recruitment and delivery this training.  Follow this link for more information.


London volunteering conference

In partnership with NCVO, Partnership for Young London and London Plus, the Volunteer Centre Croydon are holding a volunteering conference to help you future proof your volunteer programme.

Follow this link for more information and booking.

This is an exciting opportunity for organisations to hear from our keynote speakers about the future of volunteering, trends and developments, and the importance of recognising the impact of social action within our communities.

  • Shaun Delaney - NCVO Volunteering Development Manager, responsible for NCVO’s volunteer management and good practice strategy, including information and resource support of infrastructure and front-line organisations.
  • Margaret Cooney - London Plus - CEO of this new infrastructure organisation supporting the region’s civil society.
  • Sharon Long - Partnership for Young London Strategic Director, influencing policies and practice in the youth sector with wide experience across infrastructure and front-line organisations.

There’s a choice of workshop sessions including informal volunteering, corporate social responsibility, developing an effective volunteer team and safer recruitment.

There will also be networking opportunities and the launch of the Croydon Grassroots fund in partnership with Croydon Commitment.

In addition, participating groups receive a volunteering development toolkit and a free follow-up support session.

Tickets start at £55.  Lunch is included, sponsored by the Mayor of London.

Tuesday 19th March 2019, 9.30am to 4.00pm
Croydon Conference Centre, Surrey St, CR0 1RG
Five minutes walk from East Croydon station (or two minutes walk from George Street Tramstop)
Follow this link for a map.

Follow this link to book.

If you would like to book an information stand, contact the volunteer centre Croydon team.


Free training for volunteers

Would you like to gain accredited qualifications, alongside gaining valuable experience as a volunteer?

Catch22 is a social mobility charity.  They are currently helping individuals and organisations by providing free accredited courses as part of the UK Adult Education Budget.

The courses are open to anyone aged 19 to 65, for volunteers or individuals working less than 16 hours per week.

The courses include:

  • Health & Safety in the Workplace (Level 1)
  • Customer Service (Levels 1 and)
  • Food Safety in Catering (Levels 1 and 2)
  • Stewarding for spectator events (Levels 1 and 2)
  • Functional Skills in Maths and English.

The training usually take two to three days to complete (depending on the level of support).  All coursework materials and certificates are provided free of charge.

For more details of this training and to enhance your personal development please contact Sudipta on 07872 416 574 or email to register your interest.

Culture in the Capital

The January edition of the Mayor of London’s Culture Newsletter is out.  Learn about London’s borough of culture, ideas for growing culture in your community and an upcoming jazz festival - among many things.

Charity Digital news

This new edition of their news contains a wealth of news and ideas for applying IT and digital technology in charities, including funding for digital campaigning and using artificial intelligence to predict heart disease.

News from the Charity Commission

The latest edition of Charity Commission News contains a wealth of updates and information about subjects including the safeguarding of children by charities and a worrying fall in the quality of charity accounts.

Sayer Vincent expand training and events

Sayer Vincent, the award-winning firm of charity auditors and chartered accountants, will host their largest ever programme of training seminars and events in 2019 aimed at charity finance professionals.

Sayer Vincent’s training experts will help people navigate the complex financial rules and regulations in the charitable and not-for-profit sectors.

The programme includes a new Technical Update seminar in London on 8th October 2019 in London, which will cover a comprehensive summary of key updates and changes in the law that will have an impact on the charity sector.

This morning session will look at VAT, tax, financial reporting, SORP, governance and other relevant issues to charity finance professionals.  Other key financial topics to be covered throughout the year at sessions in London and Birmingham include:

  • Preparing charity accounts
  • VAT made simple
  • Reading charity accounts
  • Financial sustainability
  • VAT and gift aid on fundraising for charities
  • How to be a good trustee.

Sayer Vincent will also run its 28th Charity Accountants’ Conference in September.  This year’s date will be confirmed shortly.

The sessions are free for Sayer Vincent’s clients (unless otherwise stated).  Non-clients can attend for a fee of £75 plus VAT for the half-day seminars and £150 plus VAT for the full-day seminars.

Follow this link for information on booking.

Start Up, Step Up London – funding opportunity

The GLA have announced that procurement has now started to deliver Start Up, Step Up London.

This £500k entrepreneurship programme has been developed as part of the Mayor’s continued commitment to promote a fair and inclusive economy for Londoners.  It will provide Londoners with the skills to access entrepreneurship and/or grow their business.  It will focus on supporting under-represented groups, particularly women, disabled people and ethnic minorities, to help reduce the employment gap among those who face labour market disadvantages.

Start up, Step Up London is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the London Growth Hub.

Follow this link for more information.  The deadline for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 8th March 2019.

Sutton Women’s Centre conference

The first ever Sutton Women’s Centre’s conference will take place from 10.00am to 3.00pm on 28th March at the Grage Bar, Restaurant and Events Venue, Beddington Park, London Road, SM6 7BT.  Follow this link for more information and booking.

More GLA funding opportunities

There are currently a number of live grants available through the GLA that might be of interest to readers:

  • Active Londoners grants is looking at tackling inactivity with grants from £5,000 to £75,000
  • The Citizen-Led Engagement Programme is looking to strengthen connections and engagement with communities, with grants of £12,000
  • Culture Seeds is looking to fund cultural projects with grants from £1,000 to £5,000
  • The European Social Fund is looking promote social inclusion and develop the skills of the future and existing workforce.

Enjoy Ephemeral Arts

There is an exhibition of ‘ephemeral arts’ at Mitcham library from 12 noon to 3.00pm from 16th February to 16th March.  There will be chances to join in making art from flowers, seeds and rice!.  Follow this link for more information.

Polka start a choir

Polka audiences love the music.  Much-loved classics such as Giraffe the Pelly & Me, Gorilla and The Everywhere Bear are at the heart of what they do.

So they have decided to start a choir… with a difference!

They have teamed up with Merton Music Foundation  to launch Re:Sound  – Merton’s only intergenerational choir.  Whether you are five or 105, they want you to sing and help celebrate their 40th year in style.

Join in and learn four Polka classics.  Each weekly session will be an opportunity to make new friends, have a cuppa and sing your heart out.  The group is open to everyone.  There is no need to audition and no need for experience.

It’s fun.  It’s free.  It’s yours.  Follow this link for more information.

Retail training from NCFE

  • NCFE Level 1 Award in Retail Knowledge – Monday 25th – Friday 1st March at the Chaucer Centre

This course is fully-funded for any adult, aged 19+, who is looking to build their skills and knowledge in either the health and social care or retail industry.  These courses are funded by Merton Council.  Follow this link for further information on the course and how to refer yourself or another person onto it.

Funding for making a difference in your community

Want to do something good for your neighbourhood but not sure what?  Got a brilliant idea for a project that would make a real difference in your community?

Whether it's a community kitchen or a creative workspace, Crowdfund London grants money to Londoners to make their local areas even better.  Pitch them your idea and you could get up to £50,000 to bring it to life.

  • Step 1: Attend a workshop near you to learn more, then start planning your project.
  • Step 2: Pitch your idea on the crowdfunding website Spacehive, and they will pick the best ideas to pledge funding to.  
  • Step 3: Hit your crowdfunding target and make your idea happen.

Crowdfund are hosting five events across London to show you how to bring your idea to life.  You don’t have to be an entrepreneur or expert – sign up to a free Crowdfund London workshop and take the first step to crowdfund your idea.

Last year, Crowdfund helped 26 Londoners with their people-powered ideas to improve their local areas.  From a Community Hub and Café in Tottenham, to cleaning up green spaces in Lambeth, ideas became reality because Londoners came to workshops just like these.  Now it’s your turn.

Next edition and copy deadline

The next edition of the eBulletin will be on 25th February 2019.  The copy deadline for this is - 11.59pm on 20th February 2019.

Would you like an article in the eBulletin?  Or to advertise an event on our website?

We welcome news and other articles from voluntary, community and public organisations in Merton.  Please send text and images to Simon Courage at


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