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Do You Have Time to Spare to Help Others? Latest News from Voluntary Action SW Surrey

Published on: 27 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 1 Mar, 2023

Listed here is a funding opportunity for local communities, volunteers wanted to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of people through increased engagement with the natural world, and book now for Voluntary Action’s 2023 conference.

Sparks Fund

Voluntary Action South West Surrey’s Sparks Fund is supporting communities that have been impacted by Covid 19 and its wider impact on health and wellbeing.

Grants of up to £2,000 each are available to help communities increase participation, engage and to say how things are done on matters that impact them and where they live.

This is aimed to be via small-scale community-led initiatives that benefits a local community and its residents.

Areas being supported are:

Guildford – Ash Wharf, Stoke and Westborough.

Waverley – Ockford in Godalming and Upper Hale in Farnham.

Priority will be given to applications who invest in resident and community-led activities that will benefit local residents and neighbourhoods; and which will help build community connection and resilience, while mitigating the impact of Covid 19 and increases in the cost of living.

Apply via Voluntary Action’s online form, visit Voluntary Action’s website or email or if you have any questions.

Volunteers wanted by Dose of Nature

Dose of Nature is a mental health charity whose purpose is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people through increased engagement with the natural world.

Its work is rooted in a wealth of scientific evidence that demonstrates the physiological and psychological benefits of spending time in nature.

Dose of Nature delivers ‘nature prescriptions’ to people referred by their GP with a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, trauma, and addiction.

Through a combination of education, first-hand experience, and practical and motivational support, the project encourages a greater connection with nature, and inspire lifestyle changes that have a significant and lasting impact on mental wellbeing. Our model is a positive, hopeful and outward-looking approach to mental health.

Dose of Nature is looking for empathetic, compassionate volunteers with a love of the outdoors to train as guides to help deliver its ‘prescriptions’ across the north Guildford area.

You do not need any specific knowledge or experience as training will be given.

You will then be matched with a client who you will accompany on weekly nature visits, for around an hour, for a period of 10 weeks.

You will meet in a natural space that is local to them. You’ll explain the benefits to health and wellbeing of spending more time in nature and demonstrate activities that encourage mindful engagement with natural surroundings.

You will remain in contact with the client throughout their nature prescription, monitoring, encouraging and motivating where necessary.

Volunteer guides support two or three clients at a time.

Time commitment is half a day per week.

Anyone interested can apply via Voluntary Action South West Surrey’s website. Click here.

Book now for Voluntary Action’s 2023 conference, Tuesday, April 4, at the University of Surrey

The theme of this year’s conference (the first since 2019) is ‘Recovery’.

It will be a day full of interesting discussion and debate, with a line-up of expert speakers and workshop presenters.

The event will give everyone the chance to explore the impact that the pandemic has had on the charity and voluntary sector and how those in the sector have had to adapt working practices to reflect the change in society.

There will be lots of different workshops for delegates to take part in, both in the morning and afternoon, plus an opportunity to visit the marketplace – a space where delegates will have a chance to meet an array of businesses whose services support the voluntary sector.

Plus freeparking and a sandwich lunch included with your ticket.

Speakers include:

Dr Priya Singh, chair designate of the Frimley ICS, deputy chair and FTSU NED of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), and executive director of a medical mutual provident fund with charitable status.
Maria Zealey, Surrey Welfare Rights Unit.
Voluntary Action’s David Rose, Wellbeing through Volunteering.
Jo Woodhams, Green Social Prescribing – How Nature Connection Supports Recovery.

Workshops include:

Explore Refresh Express / Art for All (Afternoon only).
Social Prescribing.
Encouraging young people (19-25) to volunteer.
Fraud – Prevention is better than cure.
Wellbeing Exercise (Morning only).
Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support.
“Friends Against Scams” Let’s all work together.
Re-energising the community after a national crisis.
Action for Carers Surrey.
Zero Carbon Guildford.

Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm.
Location: Rik Medlik Building, University of Surrey.
Tickets: £25.

You can book your ticket now clicking on this Eventbrite link.

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