MVSC eBulletin 30th April 2019

This fortnight's news

Key INVOLVE and MVSC meetings

  • 1st May - Wellbeing Services at the Wilson: open meeting
  • 7th May - INVOLVE
  • 14th May - Mental Health Forum
  • 6th June - MVSC Annual Volunteering Awards
  • 1st July - Merton Voluntary Sector Conference

Merton Partnership Volunteer Awards 2019

Nominations are open.

Now in their seventh year, the Merton Partnership Volunteer Awards are the borough’s annual celebration to acknowledge and pay thanks to the tremendous contribution that local volunteers make.  Each year, thousands of local residents dedicate more than 40,000 volunteer hours to help make the borough of Merton a pleasant place to live, work and learn.
There are eleven award categories in total this year, including several new categories such as health and wellbeing and schools volunteers.  We will also be honouring two much-loved and admired local figureheads who have been pioneers and champions of the local voluntary sector in Merton.  The two main awards will be the Cllr Maxi Martin Memorial Cup - Young Volunteer of the Year Award - and the Chris Frost Memorial Shield – Volunteer of the Year Award.

Nominations and can be made via the nominations page.  The deadline has been extended to 7th May 2019.

There are eleven award categories:

  • Volunteer Manager of the Year
  • Volunteer-involving Organisation of the Year
  • Volunteer Team Award
  • Young Volunteer Team Award
  • Cllr Maxi Martin Memorial Cup - Young Volunteer of the Year
  • Chris Frost Memorial Shield - Volunteer of the Year
  • Employee Volunteering of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution Award
  • Merton Schools Volunteer of the Year
  • Sports Club Volunteer of the Year
  • Health Services Volunteer of the Year.

All volunteers and organisations shortlisted for awards will be invited to the Merton Partnership Volunteer Awards 2019 ceremony on Thursday 6th June 2019.

Charity Digital News

There’s plenty as ever from Charity Digital News.  Highlights this time include:

Off the Record

Off the Record is an established charity which has been providing free, professional support to young people for 25 years.  Their vision is ‘Bringing an end to mental health misery for children and young people in South London’. 

Off the Record offers young people individual, face-to-face and online counselling.  
With additional funding from Merton Clinical Commissioning Group and the Wimbledon Foundation, they can now offer more support to more young people in Merton. 

Young people aged 11 to 25 can access emotional support including walk-in counselling, outreach work, online and face-to-face counselling.  They also offer workshops for parents and carers of young people who are struggling with self-harm.

Young people (aged 11 and 25 who live in Merton or are registered with a Merton GP) can refer themselves by contacting Off the Record directly on 020 3984 4004 or emailing them at  Young people (aged 11to 17) can also be referred to us by CAMHS Single Point of Access.  They are about to start accepting referrals from GPs, schools and other professionals via

Merton Heritage Discovery Day

The Merton Heritage Discovery Day will take place at Morden Library, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden on Saturday 11th May from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. 

This popular annual event is a major showcase for our borough’s rich and colourful past.  It features displays, activities and events for all ages.  Whether you are a history enthusiast, want to know more about your area, love nostalgia or are simply looking for a family day out with a difference, the Discovery day promises something for everyone.

The 2019 event will feature open air cinema from the London Screen Archives, photographic displays, craft workshops and activities for young and old, and storytelling.  You can also visit the Heritage Marketplace which includes stalls from Merton museums, local history societies, community groups, local artists, sports, environmental and educational groups. 

There will also be a varied programme of bitesize local history talks covering everything from award-winning Afro-Caribbean storytelling, to wartime film, Arts & Crafts, Jamdani saris, Cricket Green and the life of the Daffodil King.

Admission to the Discovery Day is free and refreshments will also be available.

Archaeological dig volunteers needed

Remember watching Time Team and wondering what it would be like to be part of a dig?

The Canons House and Grounds Lottery-funded project is undertaking an archaeological dig on 23rd, 24th and 25th May 2019 on the East Lawn of The Canons, next to the dovecote.

They are looking for volunteers to help the project team and archaeologists with digging, cleaning, categorising and illustrating them; as well as helping to oversee the participants and looking out for their needs, health and safety.

They need volunteer assistants on each of these days between 10:00am and 6:00pm.  If you would like to join them for a half day, whole day or multiple days, they would love to have you.  You will be provided with water, lunch, a safe place to your belongings and breaks.  You will get a full health and safety briefing as well as training on archaeological activities.

Please send an email to if you are interested in this volunteering opportunity, and they’ll get in touch with more details and confirm with you.

Homeless Link funding

Homeless Link have funding available.  Launched in May 2017, the Homeless Link Social Investment Fund has, over three years, £4.5m to invest in charities and social enterprises working to reduce homelessness across England.  The aim is to test and learn where social investment can be most effectively used alongside other forms of funding to improve outcomes.

Trust for London news

Trust for London‘s April newsletter has information on including the London Housing Panel, which the Trust has established with the Mayor of London.  It will bring together voluntary and community organisations with a particular interest in housing in London. 

They're recruiting for Panel members and a Panel Chair.  Full details of who they're looking for can be found on their website.   There will be an information event about the Panel on Tuesday 23rd April at Trust for London's offices from 2.00pm to 4:00pm.  The deadline for applications is 7th May.

Campaign win for London Migrants' Rights Network

On a strong note.  Following a legal challenge from Trust for London grantee London Migrants' Rights Network, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Office's use of terror-related laws on highly-skilled migrants had been ‘legally flawed’ and ‘must change’.

Campaign for Learning events

2 July 2019.  Case study writing workshop: The power of compelling stories
Join Des Waddy, professional copywriter and communications strategist, for this half-day immersive workshop on how to create meaningful case studies that demonstrate your impact.

10 July 2019.  Transforming your thinking
A powerful workshop to grow your confidence, get clarity about your future and improve the way you work. This immersive one-day workshop will be led by best-selling author, international speaker and trainer Jackie Beere OBE.

13 November 2019.  Peer to peer coaching workshop
A practical workshop to help schools increase wellbeing and reduce bullying. This workshop will show how to develop a peer coaching programme that grows connections for staff and students by partnering with each other to support personal development, it will be led by best-selling author, international speaker and trainer Jackie Beere OBE.

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.


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Next edition and copy deadline

The next edition of the eBulletin will be on 13th May 2019.  The copy deadline for this is 11.59pm on 8th May 2019.  Sorry, we are not able to accept copy submitted after this.