MVSC eBulletin 19th March 2019

This fortnight's news - 19 March 2019

Nominations for important roles in INVOLVE and Health and Social Care Forum now open

Nominations to become INVOLVE representatives are now open.  INVOLVE and its sub-groups address the most urgent and important issues facing the voluntary and community sector and individuals and communities in the borough.  That is why it is so important that INVOLVE is fully represented on the boards that sit within the Merton Partnership structure.  If you want to know more about these exciting and important opportunities, please follow this link for more information on the process, roles and the nomination form.  

Nominations to become Chair and Vice Chair of the Health and Social Care Forum are now open

The Health and Social Care Forum is a thematic forum of INVOLVE.  It meets regularly to discuss its particular areas of work.  Members include voluntary and community organisation representatives from health, social care and wellbeing services in Merton.  If you want to know more about these exciting and important opportunities, please follow this link for more information on the process, roles and the nomination form.

The elections for these important positions will take place at the next meetings of the Health and Social Care Forum on 9th April and of INVOLVE on 16th April.  Follow this link for more details on these meetings.

Wellbeing Services at the Wilson: Steering Group Meeting – meeting postponed

The Wilson Steering Group meeting on 20th March 2019 has been postponed to enable participants to attend the Friends of the Canons open evening between 4.00pm and 8.00pm on 20th March 2019 at the Toby Carvery, Park Place.  See this flyer for details.

With this being such an important community event, the meetings will not compete with each other to allow people to attend both if they would like to and to participate in the important and exciting conversations about local developments.  The Steering Group meeting will be rescheduled for a date in April, to be announced as soon as possible.

VCS Leadership Digital Inclusion

Event from Superhighways

10.00am to 12.00pm 26th March 2019
Vestry Hall

This session will help VCS senior managers and trustees to assess areas for improvement in digital as a small charity leader.
What does digital mean for you?  Is it the nuts and bolts of having a website, sending an email or taking a donation online?  What about IT security?  GDPR and keeping people safe?  Choosing IT systems?  Is it key to how you deliver your social impact?

Board members and CEOs face some tough decisions. Resources are tight and it’s hard to know what to prioritise. It’s also hard to make sound strategic choices when digital isn’t your day job.  However, digital offers a big opportunity to increase the impact of your work, be more collaborative and secure funding.

In this interactive, thought-provoking workshop, Superhighways will use the principles of the recently launched UK Charity Digital Code of Practice to explore how small charity leaders can develop their organisation’s digital capability. 

Follow this link for more information and to register.

Opening of Morden Leisure Centre

Morden Leisure centre is opening on 30th March.  The event will take place from 2.00pm to 6.00pm on the green outside the new centre.  There will also be free indoor fitness sessions.  There is more information in this attached flyer.

If you would like to pitch a stand or stall, please get in touch with Tony Brown, Community Sport Manager at

Vestry Hall open day

Vestry Hall in Mitcham, which happens to be where MVSC’s offices are located, is a building with a fascinating history.  Vestry Hall is having an open day between 1.00pm to 4.00pm on 5th April.  Please come along.  There are more details in this flyer.

Friends of Canons open evening

Many people will want to attend the Friends of the Canons open evening between 4.00pm and 8.00pm on 20th March 2019 at the Toby Carvery, Park Place.  It will be an evening in a special place in the borough.  Details in this flyer.

National map of disability access

A charity travel website is appealing to the public to help it create a comprehensive survey of disability access around the UK.

See Around Britain is a website and app that is GPS equipped to provide disabled holidaymakers and travellers with disability access information at venues, attractions and facilities across the UK.  The site is now looking to take its information to the next level by including reviews and photos of as many sites as it can in the UK with the public’s help.

Merton CCG patient engagement findings

Merton Clinical Commissioning Group carried out a Patient and Public Engagement with the Learning Disability Forum last year.   Here is feedback in the form of the Commissioning Intentions Key Themes Feedback Report and the You Said We Did presentation.

Health and wellbeing strategy workshop feedback

Some of you will have attended Public Health’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy workshop on the theme of healthy place on the 12th February.  Here is the write up of the workshop.  Here also is the healthy healthy place brief, which was circulated to workshop attendees before the workshops.  It explains what is meant by ‘healthy place’.

Here is a link to the Healthy Place Survey.  This is intended to reach more people in Merton.

Sexual Health Strategy consultation

Merton Council and Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working alongside NHS England, are responsible for commissioning sexual health services. The CCG, in partnership with the council, are developing a joint five-year sexual health strategy. 

This sets out how partners and stakeholders will work together to ensure everyone in Merton has good access to sexual health services.

These services include: contraception; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections; information and advice; support for relationships and sex education in schools; and HIV prevention services.

They are gathering knowledge and experience of sexual health services of people in Merton Council. 

They are conducting a consultation exercise with residents and the Merton workforce.  If you would like to take part in this consultation please follow this link.

Warm & Well in Merton

Warm & Well in Merton aim to reduce hospital admissions particularly over winter.  They provide support and advice on keeping warm and well.  As the weather warms up, they are looking at how they can prepare for next winter.  This includes giving talks to individuals about keeping warm and well.  This is such an important issue for the residents of the borough.  There is much more information in this flyer.

Free EMC activities

There is a wonderful set of activities at the Ethnic Minority Centre.  They take place every Monday to Thursday.  Activities include knitting, maths and Zumba!  Follow this link to find out more.

Mitcham Town Centre Trust schools students success ceremony

Mitcham schools celebrated recent staff and student successes in an uplifting award Ceremony at Cranmer Primary on 12th March.  The programme consisted of an Award ceremony for staff and pupils from the schools, music entertainment from Cranmer Primary choir and inspirational speeches.

This was the seventh yearly event showcasing hard work, efforts and positive attitude in over 50 students.  

The Mayor of Merton, Mary Curtin, also attended.  The event was supported by Taylor Family Foundation.

Planning for the Future with Age UK Merton

4.00pm to 8.00pm on 10th April 2019

Merton Arts Space at Wimbledon Library, Compton Road, Wimbledon, SW19 7QA

This is a new to provide Merton residents with advice to prepare for later life. It will include:

  • Local businesses and organisations offering support and services
  • Expert speakers holding workshops on financial, legal and care issues
  • Support from local charities, health and care on how to stay active and connected.

This event is for people who are coming up to retirement age or that have loved ones who are, to practical advice over a glass of wine or fruit juice.

If you would like more information, please give Rhiannon Larkman a call on 020 8648 5792 or email  There are more details in this flyer.

Opportunity to become peer support volunteers at Hearts & Minds

Peer Support Volunteers are young adults with lived experience of mental health problems who facilitate weekly peer support group for young people experiencing mental health difficulties.  You would be running activities, keeping discussion flowing, supporting members who are struggling, helping set up/ tidy away materials, getting members drinks and ensuring they feel comfortable.

Hearts & Minds is a peer support charity for young people, between the ages of 14 and 25, who experience mental health difficulties.  They provide young people with a safe space for community, friendship and creativity at their weekly peer support group and in their mentoring sessions regardless of where a young person may live, whether they use statutory services, or whether they have a diagnosis.  All staff and volunteers are young adults with lived experience of mental health issues.

Follow this link for more information about Hearts & Minds.

Arts and culture digital survey

Arts Council England and Nesta are asking arts and culture charities to take part in a survey to assess the impact of digital technology in their sector.

Any arts and culture organisations that have not received an invitation and want to take part are urged to contact MTM London direct.  

Feast on Charity digital news!

Three issues of Charity Digital News have been published since we assembled the last eBulletin.  Here are some of the key points:

The research found that overall giving in the UK declined by 4.2% compared to the previous year.  But online giving continued to grow as a percentage of overall donations made despite the difficult giving environment.

It has been created after research among small charities by the coalition found that many find the registration process difficult and feel overwhelmed with the technical information and jargon involved.

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


If you wish to advertise a local event, please log into our website and add your event to the calendar.


Text content

Short and sweet articles work best for readers.  Here is a suggested format:

  • Begin with a sentence or two summarising what you want readers to understand, feel and do as a result of reading your piece
  • Follow this with a short paragraph with information of your event, activity news and so on.  Bullet points are very useful here
  • Next, say what actions you want people to take next: such as register for an event, complete a survey, or talk to a friend
  • Finally, give a named contact

'We' in articles is MVSC: as in 'We carried out a survey of members last month.  Next month, fantastic Merton charity X will be launching an interim report on the findings'.

If you want your organisation to be the 'we', this works best as a flyer (see below).

In job advertisements and training opportunities, ‘we’ is the recruiting organisation.

Text format

Please send your article in Microsoft Word and font Arial in size 12.

Please do not include a lot of formatting in your article.  Bullet points are good but tables, for example, are difficult to accommodate.  Please spell out hyperlinks so we can make sure that, in the final version of the eBulletin, they work as intended.


A good photo can bring your article to life.  Please use 'real' photos, not generic, stock photos. 

Please use PNG or JPEG (or JPG) format and 300 dots per inch.  Most modern cameras will do this automatically.

Flyers should be in PNG, JPEG (or JPG) or PDF format.  PDF flyers can only be attached to the eBulletin.  Flyers in ther other formats may be attached or included in the body of the eBulletin depending on issues such as the number of other pieces submitted.

If you are unsure about formats, please contact me.

Or you can put your document on your website and give us the link to the page.  We will then include the link to your document in the eBulletin.