Worcester Crown and County Court 01.07.2022

Absolutely fascinating day in Worcester Crown Court putting more pieces in the jigsaw of the care system and the criminal justice system.  The day was notable for the professionalism and wisdom demonstrated in court but more so for the kindness, sincerity and compassion.  We are well served. 

Met Amanda Tipples, High Court Judge, and sat with her whilst she dealt with case management issues on the David Venables murder trial, and joined His Honour Judge Christopher Plunkett, Circuit Judge on Family Circuit listening to custody application and restraining order application.

Cleobury Mortimer Men’s Shed Opening 02.07.2022 

How do you get 120 people to an industrial estate in the back end of Cleobury Mortimer in the rain?  Open a “men’s shed”!  Brainchild of a few for the benefit of many.  Lots of hard work to get it off the ground and it looks amazing.   

Already over 20 members and room for many more to join and share skills, experience or just chat.  Fantastic initiative 580 open mens sheds in the UK and another 138 in development. 

Community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. They help reduce loneliness and isolation, but most importantly, they’re fun. 

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn the light on” Albus Dumbledore.  May the light in this shed ever be on. 

For more information or to get involved:


Love Wellington organised celebration of winning of Shropshire’s Outstanding Community at Sunnycroft.  03.07.2022 

Award instigated by Staffordshire Community Foundation. Met at Sunnycroft to celebrate Wellington being the very first winner of the Shropshire’s Outstanding Community Award – no mean feat with over 40 communities starting out as entries.  I looked up the definition of Community and rather agree with a lady who came up on my google search who said that the dictionary definition – based on shared location alone is outdated.  She offered up as a definition “a group of people that care about each other and feel they belong together”.  That is what Wellington has and is – in an outstanding way. The magic of a community happens when people care about each other, they develop trust. And trust unlocks collaboration, sharing, support, hope, safety and much more.  

I keep quoting Mother Teresa: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things”. 

The Shropshires Outstanding Community Award was designed to celebrate the work of thousands of volunteers who play an active role in their local area, helping people to live fulfilling lives and overcome disadvantage, and shine a light on the community spirit that exists – the market and the festival, “happy to chat” benches, the love wellington campaign, shopping locally, looking after open spaces, or running the cinema, being litter pickers or first responders, supporting neighbours in need, young people or the homeless. 



Shrewsbury Music Therapy Unit and Trust Fund 04.07.2022 

Shrewsbury Music Therapy Unit and Trust Fund (Registered Charity 702974), established 1988, provides music therapy mainly for children and adults with learning and physical disabilities following a professional referral. 

The unit caters for children and adults from Shropshire and Border Counties. The Head of the Unit is a professional Music Therapist registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (hcpc). Music therapy is the clinical use of music to make direct contact with the emotions of children and adults. It is first and foremost therapy, the music therapist has been highly trained to use the language of music to communicate with clients, enabling them towards resolving inner tensions and developing their potential. 

As well as addressing emotional needs and patterns of behaviour, the therapist aims to develop communication skills and stimulate specific areas of the brain to either support, or help take over, the roles of impaired areas and thus aid cognitive development and sensory integration. Sessions are provided face-to-face or online. 

For more information or to get involved:



Market Drayton Visit 05.07.2022 

Fordhall Farm

Met Charlotte Hollins the inspirational CEO. It is a very early community ownership facilitated model farm. After a real fight to stay, they engaged in local community consultation to ask locals what they wanted from the farm – wanted produce, access, school trips, and to farm it – so put structure together so both could have what they wanted – a community benefit society (with charity status).  Had 6 months to raise £800k, the Fordhall Community Land Initiative was born and the board developed. With over 8,000 shareholders her brother Ben swapped 1 Landlord who didn’t want him for 8,000 who did.  Opened 2006 and have annual free event for members.  It is all about collaboration and is the partnerships which keeps them evolving and incredibly strong foundations.  School visits – pre covid doing about 90 a year of groups of 30, now can do overnight stays for 25 in straw building too.

Volunteer weekends to help with conservation, wildlife and access focused projects.  Volunteering in the office, the shop, the café, with projects.  Youth project – “growing confidence” works with small numbers of students who may be struggling to engage in the conventional education setting.  They use agricultural and conservation activities to develop their skills, confidence and self esteem.  Also a care farm for adults with learning difficulties, started with volunteers now 4 staff and is sustainable, been going 11 years.  Food waste goes into compost and veg grown goes to clients and vols if surplus. 

For more information or to get involved:


Market Drayton Junior School

Unveiling of Platinum jubilee bench in presence of donor governor John Cole, and Ian Nurser CEO of Empower Trust, Sam Scott Executive Head teacher and Sally Brayne Head of School, as well as a variety of volunteers and children. Huge school, lovely flow through classrooms 350 + pupils and when added to infant school it is 800 and largest in Shropshire.  Lots of opportunities for learning outside the classroom, shared values within Academy but each run themselves. 

Passion for learning, skills for life.  Collaboration, aspirations, respect and positivity. 


Mencap who raised the money to build their new building and are rightly proud of that.  Some donated by Drayton Action for Health. They have about 37 users and 15-20 volunteers.  Provides a wide range of social activities for adults with learning disabilities, their carers and families, but is only open one day a week. They share the premises, and have become quite a community hub, they would like to offer more but need volunteers. 
For more information or to get involved:


Market Drayton Townswomen’s guild uniting women since 1929, supporting women and women’s rights, they have a cause nationally which is voted on like WI but born out of suffragettes so a bit more political and have speakers etc.  fun and companionship there are over 700 guilds in UK with 25,000 members.

For more information or to get involved:


Market Drayton Community Enterprise CIO under the auspices of Eric Davis – the CIO aims to provide facilities, activities and opportunities to help persons of all ages to lead fulfilled, healthy and active lives by tackling the causes of loneliness, lowliness, rural and urban social isolation. Among other things, they put on several festivals throughout the year, championing the work of the voluntary sector. 

For more information or to get involved:


Drayton Civic Society

Met Mike and Carol Higgins they look after the museum in the town “The Story of Drayton Museum” run by volunteers (17) but need more, reaching out to town organisations.  Only open a couple of days a week, but would happily open for other events.   
For more information or to get involved:


Met JAYS Bereavement (Just about You Support) mother and daughter team, who help others deal with bereavement, not counsellors but don’t need to be because lived experience works. 

Operate through church but some don’t like being in church so also out of Phoenix Centre and raise money for other charities – it helps her to help others.  Lost husband and son in Spain In tragic accident in 2007.  Set up in 2015.

Market Drayton weather climate and environment group raising community awareness – 2000 followers on facebook.  The Market Drayton Climate Action Group also started this year. 

Youth Club not used as much as it could be, U3A (university of the third age) has 222 members.  New Rotary Club over 20 members now and is self standing – not typical, very informal, just want to help  the community and make a difference – have done pyjama collections for the hospital, foodbank support driving deliveries during Covid etc.  Senior Citizens Forum – want to be heard, not enough being done for young people in particular.  Would be good to do more intergenerational activities.  listens to, supports and represents the views of older people living in Market Drayton and the surrounding area, also an informal and sociable group.  

Drayton arts fest organiser Suzanne Edwards, also schools calendar project – Set up in 2014 and each year over 2,000 children take part and local businesses sponsor, £10,000 raised so far for schools, workshops with professional artist Malcolm Hague as not enough art In schools.   

For more information or to get involved:





Met representative from Drayton Action for Health and Market Drayton Patient Group talked about youth/mentoring scheme had 75 people on it mentoring 150 children and worked very well, was national example. 



Met representative from Samaritans of Shrewsbury she is also involved in Scouting


Also met representative from Market Drayton Scout Group have their own scout hut, but also short of volunteers and have a waiting list. 

https://www.facebook.com/marketdraytonscoutgroup/   https://www.shropshirescouts.org.uk/  

Met regional rep for Alzheimers society – raising awareness, dementia friendly spaces. Carer and peer support, dementia friends and dementia champions. 


Met members of a group who have adopted a mile of the canal and work with volunteers to maintain it for all. Volunteers also help look after Walkmills Nature Park

Drayton Town Hall Met Mark Whittle new mayor, second term, took me to new Estate Agents and bespoke tailor, lots of nice independent shops and exciting developments in the High street.  His charity is Market Drayton Deaf Society.  Small town, big village – population about 12,000 and growing rapidly.  Still some lovely Tudor buildings after the great fire of MD. 

He took me to the Festival Drayton Centre where I met management and volunteers. The Festival Drayton Centre is owned and run by the community of Market Drayton and has been since 1984. It has solely evolved as a direct result of the time, dedication and commitment of its many volunteers – a staggering achievement. Recognised and admired by many as an outstanding state-of-the-art facility that prides itself on its professionalism and was honoured as the Best Regional Winner of the West Midlands Market Town Awards in 2006 in recognition of the most outstanding Market Towns Project. Indeed the Festival Centre provides activities for a broad and wide spectrum of community needs. Within the walls you will see dance classes, martial arts, adult educational courses, a licensed coffee shop and a state of the art cinema and theatre experience that is admired by many. In addition to these arts and leisure activities there are rooms that are hired by numerous local businesses and associations, County and District Councils and chambers of trade and commerce.  With an annual footfall of 140,000, the community owned Festival Drayton Centre is seen as the ‘hub of the community’, in many respects!  The many grants and donations that have been received thus far, the income generated by internal business operations and, most importantly, the invaluable and extremely committed volunteer network that now exceeds 120 people, are the secret to the Centre’s success www.festivaldraytoncentre.com  

Met staff at Market Drayton Library, so much going on and really great community hub. They have scrabble club, bank of computers, do home library visits for those elderly and infirm who can’t get there, squishy circuits and lots of events for young people – jolly jigsaws, rhyme time, pins and needles craft time really inventive ways of getting people in to the library and lots of volunteers as well. 



Charter Court to meet with Community Resource staff members (Care and share project) and (Wise and well project) care and share groups offer a warm and welcoming place to socialise and take respite for family carers and members with mild to moderate dementia.  Wise and well supports people to stay fit and well and connected in the community – 350 people supported so far, talks and events around managing health issues, long term conditions such as diabetes, healthy eating, one to one fitness tests, balance and risk of falling. 


Moor Park speech day 06.07.2022 

Position as an untied prep school is very important as they can be totally objective.  They are bucking the national trends for schools of its type, so lots to celebrate.  Important transition/right of passage leaving prep school – change, challenge, overcoming difficulties.  Help them onto next stage of their lives – people leaving with something to give. 

Massively impressive array of scholarships, delightful children and exciting life journeys ahead for this year’s leavers – and for the school itself, where the strengths of every child are celebrated and kindness is a culture.  Turning challenges into opportunities.  Replacing ‘screen time’ with ‘kindness time’.  Learning that the giver is bigger than the receiver – as Anne Frank said “no one has ever become poor by giving”.  Great messages for life. 


Shropshire Music Service visit 08.07.2022 

The shropshire music service has been going since the 1960s. Allison was first involved as a child in various activities. There is a service in Telford and Wrekin as well, but it is not large enough for ensembles, so the two meet together for ensembles.  

The music service provides curriculum activities and instrumental lessons to the whole class, CPD for staff, individual instrumental lessons and much more. Allison runs the Shropshire sings events – the first one since 2019 happened this year. Every two years they hire the show ground and fill the grandstand with children. The largest choir they’ve had yet has been 542 strong. They have a beginner orchestra, adult ensemble. There was money given for a vocal project which will include six schools. 

The main point of the Shropshire music service is to be as inclusive as they possibly can. Should be for all – they have a charity which is registered called Sympho. This is their fundraising arm so that they put in for grants and accumulate a hardship fund which will pay for lessons for those who can’t otherwise afford them. Allison also does singalongs with a care home which have developed into a club and now linked with social prescribing. 

There is a new national music plan for education, which states that every state school child should receive one hour of music a week


Shrewsbury Colleges Group Higher Education Awards and Graduation 08.07.2022 

Shreswsbury Colleges Group graduation for the higher education students, students graduated in electronics, construction engineering, education counselling, outdoor activities, music and performance. The students were commended for having a formidable strength of character resilience and for their hard work. They were sent forth as an inspiration to others. With many thanks to their families and friends for supporting them in their journey. Ask not what your county can do for you, ask what you can do for your county. 

Shrewsbury Colleges Group was formed by the merger of Shrewsbury College of Arts & Technology and Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and was formally constituted on 1 August 2016. The merger allows the two colleges to focus wholly on what they do best: offer an exceptionally high performing Advanced Level centre for academically motivated students at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and a leading vocational centre of excellence at Shrewsbury College. It also allows an increased focus on the development of much needed Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships. 

 They are the largest college in Shropshire with the widest choice of courses available for school leavers to study.


Derwen College visit 09.07.2022 

Visited Derwen College a specialist further education college for 16 to 25 year olds. They pride themselves on their non classroom vocational learning, with departments in hospitality and food, retail and enterprise, horticulture, learning for life and a new department for profound and multiple learning difficulties, which focuses on a sensory pathway to increase communication skills. For example, learning how to direct support staff with the use of talking mats, eye gaze and switch.  At the moment there are three in the cohort but they are moving to six.  

They are a 95 year old charity which has had up to 200 residential students at a time. Derwen is part of NATspec, which is the National Association of specialist colleges that has 7000 Students nationally and they have a print shop which does village newsletters etc. They are wanting to develop the volunteer offer.

There are 350 staff at Derwen 50% of them are care staff. They have a mini Premier Inn as part of the hospitality offer with three beds. This is known as hotel 751 Because it was the 751st Premier Inn to be opened. There are 50 acres with 84 buildings which come with their own pressures. Learning for life is pre vocational. Some people only do learning for life but most are on both that and vocational courses. There is a bungalow housing estate built in 1953 with residences on it as near to a real life experience as possible.  

They have been doing Duke of Edinburgh for eight years. It gives them friendship, trust, support, communication and fun.  It is truly an opportunity for all, empowering the students to show the resilience, determination and resolve that they do. They are no longer young people with disabilities but Duke of Edinburgh Award holders. It is the highlight of the Derwen year awarding these children.  Bespoke onsite DofE Centre, training resources such as bouncy canoe simulator, styles and gates and balance beams – succeed as a team.  2018 accredited DofE course deliverer.

For more information or to get involved:


Ironbridge Brass Band Festival 09.07.2022 

Met with the Iron Bridge brass band Festival Committee, five man team who have been organising this for the last 18 years. The organisers of this registered charity hope to have around 2000 visitors to the festival which is entirely free over the two days. They do workshops for the two weeks before in schools in the area, trying to get more people interested. Their objects are about promoting a love of brass band music. They expect around 20 bands over the weekend. They have an evening concert, for which they do charge and the chosen charity this year is the Severn Hospice. They are supported by the Ironbridge rotary this year, but are running out of money and need sponsors to continue into the future. Probably Britain’s biggest free brass band festival 

For more information or to get involved:



The 136th Annual Wenlock Olympian Games 2022  10.07.2022 

In Much Wenlock.  For competitors and volunteers alike it was a very hot but highly successful summers day.  Medals presented by, and in the presence of, the mayor of Much Wenlock, Duncan White, Alison Williams from the British Olympic Association and Cllr Dan Thomas. 

The legacy of William Penny Brookes is extraordinary – the man who basically invented sports science and got PE into the national curriculum in schools as well as reviving the Ancient Greek games into the modern Olympic Games.  “To promote the moral, physical and intellectual improvement of the inhabitants of the town of Much Wenlock and surrounds”.  If the participants today were not massively international, they were certainly from far and wide within the UK. 

Today was the culmination of months of hard work and days  of heats and trials – athletics, netball, cricket, fencing, swimming, archery and more.  We are hugely indebted to the Wenlock Olympian Society and the literally hundreds of volunteers involved in making it all happen. 

There are two other festivals – the arts festival 600 took part and it has been going 43 years, they do inclusive dance but otherwise no paralympics, there is also creative writing which started in lock down – but is part of William Penny Brookes legacy for “body and mind” being active.  Creative writing had almost 100 entrants last year and is adult only but aiming to be global.   

For more information or to get involved:


Meeting with Sean McCarthy and Sarah Kerr – Armed Forces Covenant 11.07.2022 

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. 

To those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment, the Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s commitment to you. 

It is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives. 

Sarah working with RJAH and have new bespoke veterans centre due to open there where will need more volunteers so it can be open 9-5 5 days a week, whether just meeters and greeters, or more than that and able to listen and signpost. 

Discussed volunteering opportunities and how they can help deal with isolation, or befriending, or confidence building prior to getting a job. 

Want more signing up to Armed Forces Covenant even if only 2 or 3 employees.   

Good work in SaTH with over 100 armed forces champions across the trust and making them veterans aware. 

WE have approx 20,000 veterans in Shropshire Telford and Wrekin

For more information or to get involved:


Volunteer Police Officer Event at Malinsgate Police Station 11.07.2022 

Special superintendent Leigh Barnes hosted and medals for jubilee for all those who served more than 5 years and Covid coins for all those who served through Covid. 

‘Special’ by name, special by nature!  This evening awards were given to some of the 56 active special constables who contributed to the 1,300 volunteer police hours across West Mercia only last month.  As fully-trained Special Constables, they have full police powers, work alongside regular police officers and help to keep us safe.  We are hugely indebted to them. 

They are looking to recruit 40 more this autumn and another 40 in the spring.  They used to have 350odd and would like to be up there again. 

The police officer who presented the awards was a special himself for 2 years and said it was not only the making of him as a police officer but the making of him as a man. 

For more information or to get involved:


Energize School Games at Shrewsbury Sports Village 12.07.2022 

“United by Birmingham 2022”.  Fabulous celebration event in Shrewsbury to support the legacy of the Commonwealth Games.  Hosted by Energize as part of their school games programme, over 200 children from 15 schools took part in some great quality squash, rugby, boxing and basketball. 

Opening ceremony acts from Ray Malone from Lawley primary, Longlands choir, Elite Dance and guest appearance from Perry the Bull, the Commonwealth Games mascot. 

Energize is primarily funded by Sport England and exists to “improve the quality of life through the benefits of physical activity”.  The School Games programme is focused around seven key values all created by young people highlighting the spirit of the games and identifying what the experience should be about.  Determination, passion, honesty, self belief, teamwork, eco friendly and respect. 

According to recent Sport England figures 8 out of 10 children across Shropshire do not get enough exercise.  More than 20,000 children do less than half an hour a day. 

So many opportunities to volunteer and help get Shropshire’s children active – doing a sport you love! 

For more information or to get involved:


Lingen Davies Awards Evening at Shrewsbury Colleges Group 12.07.2022 

There can’t be many charities in the country who have raised over £1million in the last year. But Lingen Davies announced at their awards evening tonight that they have raised an incredible £1,074,609 in the last year.   

Lingen Davies is a Shropshire cancer charity – improving early diagnosis and prevention; enhancing cancer services; and supporting people to live life well with and beyond cancer.  

It is close to many people’s hearts. One in two of us are likely to get cancer at some stage in our lives. One person dies of cancer every four minutes in the UK, and 10 million people died of cancer across the world in the last year.  It is the second leading cause of death worldwide after heart disease. 

In the presence of the charity’s patron Lady Jane Heber-Percy, and over 170 other trustees, staff, supporters, friends and volunteers. The awards tonight were given for:  the best challenge event, social engagement award, clubs and groups, young fundraiser, business supporters, outstanding staff award, Volunteer of the Year, rising star, and community fundraiser. 

The Eryl Williams Award winner said that “walking into the fundraising office at Lingen Davies was like walking into a hug”. It must be to garner this amount of support.

For more information or to get involved:


SIP volunteer celebration event at the Qube.  13.07.2022 

The Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership  – “strengthening the voluntary sector together” was formed by SYA, Energize, Qube, Community Resource, HTL, Shropshire VSA, Mayfair, MHS, Citizen’s Advice Shropshire.  To acknowledge the hard work of Shropshire volunteers supporting a variety of voluntary groups and charities across the county. 

There are 1,682 registered charities and possibly the same number again of unregistered ones.  35,947,704 annual volunteer hours donated worth £578million.  On average that is 59 days per year per organisation.  For just the Qube alone that is 8,892 hours or £93k. 

Approx 90,687 people in Shropshire formally volunteer at least once a month.  These are testament to my mantra that you never meet an unhappy volunteer, inspiring wonderful people. 

The council are funding the SIP to provide a volunteer brokerage, advise and mentor other organisations, infrastructure resources, training workshops and information and community connectors networks – now 660 people on the virtual network. 

Oxford dictionary a volunteer is a person who does a job without being paid for it – soulless definition it should be about enriching someone’s life. 

Quote from Longfellow – gift of our time costs us nothing but the rewards are endless… 

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless but because they’re priceless.”  Sherry Anderson 



Robert Jones and Agnes hunt Hospital in Oswestry. 14.07.2022 

The RJAH is a world class centre of excellence for the treatment and care of orthopaedics. The Friends give essential support for patients, relatives and staff by providing services, organising volunteers, funding equipment, issuing grants and supporting wellbeing for RJAH. From providing toothbrushes to funding an endoscopic surgical kit, they are at the heart of RJAH as a good friend should be.   

Discussed  “Volunteering Futures Funding”. The grant funding pays for transport. The most obvious place for them to volunteer would be working on the spinal injuries ward  – they have to be age 16 or older. If they are younger than 16 they can work in the shop supervised.  There are also digital opportunities for volunteers – patient journeys, social media, particularly on fundraising for young volunteers. Volunteers are needed at the LOF Shop, LOF Coffee Shop, Covid-19 Screening Desk / Helpdesk, Reading & Visiting, Meal Assisting, Tea & Coffee Trolley, Chaplaincy Support, Fundraising, Therapeutic Care Services, Ward Friend, Vaccination Hub, Veterans Support, Patient Library, Disabled Swimming Pool. Prior to COVID, they had about 400 volunteers it’s now down to 100.

Visited the vaccination centre and Horatio’s garden.  The League of Friends started in 1961, and since then, the group has raised in excess of £20 million to improve and maintain an exemplary quality of patient care. Their support is central to providing the best available and most up to date medical equipment thus helping to ensure that the best medical, clinical and nursing staff are attracted to work at RJAH. 

For more information or to get involved:


Connect for Life 14.07.2022 

Then visited Connect for life, who have been running for six years with between 20 and 30 service users over two days. They have different themes each session and are keen to possibly upscale share what they do elsewhere.  It costs £10 for four hours and they have a maximum of 15 people per session. It gives a break for the carers.  

The founders had a particular concern for older people, especially those with memory difficulties or dementia who are often isolated, lack confidence or feel unable to go out. They had also met many carers who were struggling with the challenges of caring for someone with dementia and who were often longing for even a few hours away from their caring role. They provide a day support service for older people, particularly those with memory difficulties or dementia, providing carers with an opportunity to have a few hours to recharge their batteries.  Activities which create laughter, stimulate memory, competitive spirit, team work and fun. 

Since their first session on October 5th 2016 they have continued to grow and develop and feedback from referrers, service users and carers continues to be overwhelmingly positive.  

For more information or to get involved:


OsNosh 14.07.2022 

6.7million tonnes of surplus food thrown away each year in the UK at an annual cost of £10.2 billion.  Helping you save money, eat better & prevent food from ending up in the bin… 
Growing Community through food – from weekly cooks and volunteering opportunities, to educational and growing projects, they seek to bring Community together through being active in every part of the food cycle. 

Building community gardens with local growers, creating a space to learn, grow and belong, helping to fight food poverty and promote food equality, preventing waste through surplus food recycling, using creative cooking to educate, inspire and nourish. 

Passionate about giving people the skills to feed themselves well.  They sometimes provide learning opportunities and training at their own kitchen and through other venues.  Members of the public can host a class, or learning programme, and the team are also available for talks and sessions at events and gatherings.  

They cook amazing hot food, using food donations and surplus from local producers and have a food share table which runs on Wednesdays and Fridays 10.00-1.00 and a delivery service on Tuesdays and Thursdays in partnership with Qube.  They encourage everyone, no matter what background to come and eat, so they can save as much food from landfill as possible. 


Osnosh is made possible by their fantastic team of volunteers. They help with collecting food from supermarkets, preparing and cooking meals, deliveries and share tables.  Our volunteers enjoy being part of the OsNosh team, learning new skills to take home and use in their own kitchen.  

OsNosh is very much about education through food. They currently have about 25 to 30 volunteers and 10 or 12 doing the gardening club which they have created a vegetable garden on the roof terrace.

For more information or to get involved:


Oswestry Talking Newspaper 14.07.2022 

Edition 1,328 of the Oswestry Talking Newspaper came out of the recording studio this week. 

Every week a stalwart group of volunteers read and record an audio version of local news and information taken from the local papers for the blind or partially sighted. 

It is a free service and uses free postal delivery provided by Royal Mail as well as internet access. 

What a wonderful community spirited thing to do.  They need a helping hand with recording – for a volunteer wanting a new skill? And help with social media? 

The Talking newspapers Foundation is a national body that supports them and they tend to put soundings from them downloaded onto the memory stick as well as Ted Talks. Malcolm is a volunteer who is helping to upskill some of the clients on their IT.  (British Council for the Blind)

They are all volunteers.  

For more information or to get involved:


Meeting with Jay Moore, the mayor of Oswestry 14.07.2022 

Met with Jay Moore. The mayor talked about the pebbles people who deal with mental health and the Big Lottery who funded the OsNosh building and the “my place” initiative. There is talk about future ownership of the OsNosh building. And he is keen to do a launch event with volunteering at the heart to get more people working in this space. 



Meeting with Zoe Wigley on teams 15.07.2022 

Zoe used to be an ISVA an independent sexual violence advisor she was talking about the fact that the youth engagement team is undergoing a restructure at the moment but she is excited about the future there are 12 new cadets. Telford have had £1million safer streets funding and she has just got a grant for Shropshire. She talked about the Empower initiative and was keen to work with us on crime beat also asked about cadets helping at the Cow Palace for memories.  

Meeting with Eddie Hulme on Zoom 15.07.2022 

There are group leaders district, county, regional and national divisions – there are 14 groups in our district and three districts in the county. 987 adults are involved and 2900 young people, with waiting lists of somewhere around 600. 

Priorslee just opened a squirrels drey and already have 60 on the waiting list.  A county inclusion team are setting up now to ensure that scouts is as accessible to people with disabilities and other disadvantages as for anyone else.  Equal opportunities within the scouts is a big deal.

The Scout Association already provides Duke of Edinburgh they also have an award called the Queen’s Scout. You have to do more to get that than you do for gold DofE

The County Youth commissioner is appointed because everything they do in the scouts has to include a young person in the decision making.

For more information or to get involved:



 Telford and Wrekin Interfaith Council Queen’s Jubilee Celebration 16.07.2022 

Face painting, Music, and an out of season Iron man Santa!  Incredible array of international food at the Interfaith Community Hub in Wellington provided by the local community, and a great sense of pride and belonging to that community from the many many people who dropped in and joined the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.  Conversations with people from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Poland and India as well as Liverpool, Exeter and Zimbabwe were a reminder of what a rich and diverse community Wellington is. 

For more information or to get involved:


Celebration of the Platinum Jubilee and Windrush Day – Event at Hadley Learning Community School 16.07.2022 

TAARC seeks to showcase the best in African and Caribbean cultures by honouring the past, understanding the present and celebrating the future. One of their aims as a registered charity is to educate others about African and Afro-Caribbean history and culture through social events such as their Cultural Family Fun Day, Commemorative Windrush Day, Black History Month (BHM) Celebration, BHM School Workshops and seminars, and Over 60’s get together, – all in Telford Shropshire.  

They also have groups such as weekly Football in The Community, and have partnered with Telford Elim Community Church which delivers weekly Youth Club sessions.  They are in the planning stages to deliver a few more sessions like ‘Art and Chat’ group sessions, Netball for women, Cooking/healthy eating sessions, Seated exercises – online and in person, Health and Wellbeing/Bench-to-Bench Walks.  

For more information or to get involved:



Street Pastors in Shrewsbury 16.07.2022 

Shrewsbury Street Pastors is a volunteer-based initiative with a mandate to be a tangible Christian influence in Shrewsbury. 

The 37 Christian volunteers are drawn from 17 churches from 7 different denominations, and work in partnership with Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council, Team Shrewsbury and the West Mercia Police, known as “The Urban Trinity”. 

A team of Street Pastors (consisting of 3 or 4 trained volunteers) patrols the town centre every Saturday (and the occasional Friday, Sunday and Wednesday), between the hours of 10.30pm. and 4 am (approx.) to help, care for and listen to those in difficulty without judgment or discrimination. A bottle of water for those who are dehydrated, a pair of flip-flops for those struggling to walk in high heels, a space blanket for those without a coat, a phone call to track down missing friends or arrange a taxi home, or simply a listening ear – all are part of a night’s work for a Street Pastor. 

Since March 2018 they have had the use of a 3.5 Tonne vehicle that has been donated by The Office of Police and Crime Commissioner West Mercia Police. This vehicle is the Shrewsbury Street Pastors Triage Support vehicle, nicknamed ‘The Donkey’. It has been used to support the work of foot patrols out on the streets of Shrewsbury.  The future aim is to use the vehicle for outreach, preventative work and promotional activities, to raise the awareness of the charity’s objectives.  

How valued they are – so many people came up to say thank you for past, present or future kindnesses, or simply to say hello, or to ask for the trademark lollipop which they give out with gay abandon. 

And how valuable they are – so many people need their help, whether due to excessive alcohol consumption, drugs, mental health problems, the proximity of the River Severn, or problems around getting home, or homelessness.  

Making Shrewsbury a better pace to live work and play 

Shrewsbury Street Pastors is proud to be a part of TEAM SHREWSBURY, a partnership launched in 2014 as part of the Government’s Our Place programme to tackle a range of issues faced by people living and working locally. 

For more information or to get involved:


A Good Thing Anna Rose Bowler 

Online platform making it easy for businesses to donate unwanted items to charities not landfill. Looking for eco champions passionate about the power of local to spread the word.

Here’s the link to the blog https://www.agoodthing.org.uk/blog/volunteer-with-a-good-thing-help-send-less-to-landfill-and-more-to-a-good-cause 

The link also has the post on charity jobs. 

Bridgnorth Food Bank 18.07.2022 

Met Liz who started it 9.5 years ago on 4th February 2013.  They are a charity under the Bridgnorth Community Trust, independent, but with their own bank account, christian ethics and combination of churches on the committee.  Open Mondays and give out parcels worth £29 – £34 per week for single and £44 for couple.  In May 2020 helped 43 people total, May 2021 40 and this year 66. They also get meat and veg vouchers for Mike and Sarah Butchers and Dean on high street for veg. 

Also have volunteers from CAP christians against poverty (Mark), Star housing and once a month support for carers, sometimes hairdresser. Do deliveries for those who can’t get out. 

Different volunteers bring different things – have had some young students too and back for the holidays.  Also have people who have been clients who now volunteer and it has it has changed lives,

Get food through neighbourly scheme sainsburys M&S Tesco and Co-op. Also Greggs.  Thinking of starting cookery lessons at St James’ Hall church, have someone who can teach. 

Direct support provided to well over 300 different people just last year, and in total 1,604 parcels containing over 61,000 food and non-food items!   If “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members” then Bridgnorth is certainly on the way to being a “great community”. 

For more information or to get involved:


Visit to STAY in Telford 18.07.2022 

Preventing homelessness and supporting brighter futures, Stay is a charity that provides housing and support services to homeless and vulnerable people in the Telford & Wrekin Borough. With the right support, at the right time, they know people can realise their aspirations to live independent and fulfilling lives. 

Stay has been a specialist charitable housing provider and a provider of person-centred support, for over 30 years and we help over 1,000 people each year. STAY’s role is to respond effectively to the accommodation and housing related support needs of vulnerable and homeless people 

Over 750 hours of community support provided each week.  24/7 on call outreach 

There are 13 trustees at STAY with a broad range of skill sets. With regard to volunteers, Terry is looking for digital inclusion buddies, so there is some funding for that.  There are currently seven or eight volunteers. He also wants homelessness buddies teams which will work with Mind. He does a lot of delivering training, everything from case note recording to professional boundaries, training – and this is put on for the wider sector not just for STAY. 

STAY lead on the blue light project. They lead on the Thrive floating Support Project and the KIP project, so they do look like the largest charity in Telford and Wrekin with over a million-pound turnover, but most of it does not go to STAY itself. They try and tackle homelessness at every point of the journey.

For more information or to get involved:


Welcome to the Queen’s Baton Relay to Shrewsbury at the Castle and the Quarry 18.07.2022 

Organised by Sean Macarthy and the QBR team, hosted by Vince Hunt. Town Crier, Martin Wood granted Baton Bearer, Kelda Wood entry into Shrewsbury Castle, where a reception committee awaited.  16th official QBR ahead of the Commonwealth Games this summer – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, visiting all 72 nations and territories.  Inspiring baton bearer stories.  Shropshire Festivals organised event at the Quarry to receive it there, and arrived in helicopter, then flaxmill, then Sabrina and another boat on the river Severn. 

Meeting with Andy Begley from Shropshire Council. 19.07.2022 

He spoke about the LGA financial review, which has undoubtedly given much needed organisational confidence for the next steps. He’s also got the LGA to come and do a comms review. How they describe what they’ve got and then how they engage. And the last bit will be a governance and scrutiny review.  

They’ve got quite a few new executive and assistant directors in the council. And the future is looking a lot more positive – there will be an internal launch in September of the Shropshire plan, which is their new vision document. He said that the care market is very precarious because there are insufficient people coming into the workforce. He talked about early intervention and prevention.

We touched on the Community Foundation and updated, also asset transfers and levelling up.

Swearing in ceremony for the newly appointed magistrates 19.07.2022  

The Shropshire bench Shrewsbury Crown Court. The Master of Ceremonies was Anita Price in the presence of Judge Barrie, Anna Turner and Angela Channon. The three new justices and the mentors were present.  They have had all of their training and are likely to start sitting in September.

EEEP – empathy, energy, enthusiasm and passion and they were all congratulated and wished the very best of good luck. 

Patrol with West Mercia Police, Shrewsbury 20.07.2022 

417 logs by 3.00pm not all for deployment, category 5 don’t need a visit, but some being followed up on from several days ago.  8 police on shift, there are 3 shifts a day. They address everything from drugs, modern day slavery, immigration, a lot of mental health support.  Nights are double crewed but all day on their own. . 

Very young police force. Everyone starts on response, blue light training not normally until about three years in. No two days the same and don’t always know what they will find behind closed doors. Great bravery and compassion

High Sheriff of Herefordshire Sarah De Rohan Party 21.07.2022 

Yuliia polish refugee family we are hosting. Arrived 22.07.2022 

Meeting with Mayor of Ludlow, Councillor Glenn Ginger 26.07.2022 

And Erica Garner Councillor.  Discussing the need for collaboration with others, especially those who feel disconnected/disaffected. Lots of crime centred around drugs.  Council want to help and be part of the solution, being creative, have a vision for the town, include the community.  Play area blighted, but if have vision on future for it, the young people have to own it.  They feel marginalised, he wants to spread the mayoral duties through the council and get them to spend more time out in the community.  He is a working mayor, but has been out talking to young people, engaging with the public, and is seeing things in a different light.  South Shropshire Youth Forum is his chosen charity and he has been consulting on installation of a new teen shelter in Wheeler Road recreation area.   Discussed Crimebeat, Community Foundation and volunteering.


Meeting with Hands together Ludlow 26.07.2022 

Being going 5 years started with Methodist church, who identified problems, redistributing food, through lunch clubs to start with but it is much wider now and is to support vulnerable people.  They work closely with the foodbank and networking with other organisations.  not replacing statutory provision but enhancing and filling gaps.  Small group of staff and lots of volunteers so use resources very wisely indeed.  Structures in place but want to stay nimble so they can manage and support others to do what they do.  Theirs is a mixture of direct help and helping others to help. To be effective they have to be rooted in the Community but the intention is that over the next 5-10 years they will still remain flexible to the need – helping the community to help itself. 

During the last year over 90 volunteers, over 6,000 hours of volunteer time and an average of 115 volunteer hours each week – From digital activity to afternoon teas, social prescribing to befriending and mentoring, good grief café to men’s shed and community lunches to parent and toddler groups.  You would think there was nothing more they could do. 

Hands Together Ludlow are not stopping there though!  Moving to new premises, and developing a Community Fridge and Food Hub to continue to reduce food waste, expanding the Men’s shed, growing healthy eating activities, creating a Parkinson’s support group, developing their Social Prescribing activities and growing the Youth Mentoring project – all the time increasing the volunteering opportunities. 

Rooted in their community, they identify gaps in provision for the people of Ludlow and work to fill them – either themselves or by facilitating others to do so.  That is what makes them stand out. 

For more information or to get involved:


Meeting with Ludlow Cancer Support Group Rosemary Wood 26.07.2022 

In their 9th year from September.  It started in July 2014 as a not for profit organisation aiming to offer help and support to people suffering from cancer in the Ludlow area.  They plan to provide  social and relaxed environment where through friendship and shared experiences members can find additional strength to cope with their illness.  Close links with Shropshire Council and liaise regularly with community enablement officer, Severn Hospice, NHS Shropshire and GP practices to try to help members find professional support or meet their information needs.

They meet at St Peters church in Henley and also Wigley’s Field Organic Allotments where they have their own garden, Joan’s Garden named in memory of founder member – meet there every year in stunning location to enjoy food drink and companionship. Kick Cancer is with Shrewsbury town in the Community.  Some are in remission for many years.  For those that are not, they don’t lose their friends they keep them alive in their memories.

For more information or to get involved:


Friends of Whitcliffe Common 26.07.2022 

Shropshire Wildlife Trust hold a 99 year lease on Whitcliffe Common from Plymouth Settled Estates.  They have been doing the maintenance since 1998 when set up a 10 year plan.  Balancing historic importance, wildlife habitat, accessibility, nature and views of town.  Informing, geological importance, management plans, opened up and maintain the lost views of the town, attractive safe place to visit walk and enjoy, and tree safety, maintenance of paths and steps and grassland management.  About 12 regular volunteers and 10 trustees

Teme weirs trust basically done their work restoring the weirs, now just a bit of maintenance.  Banks of Teme are an SSSI and whole of Whitcliffe Common is a conservation area. 

Over 1,000 volunteer hours and over £10,000 raised each year in the last few years – and spent by a small but dedicated team on maintaining and enhancing the wonderful Whitcliffe Common recreation area for residents of and visitors to Ludlow. 

52 acres of conservation area voluntarily cared for by residents of the town since the mid 1800s.  But the youngest trustee is now 70 and there were more grey hairs among the volunteers than any other colour.  Where are the younger people who could help to look after this wonderful community asset?  There cannot be many better views in the country, very few hours spent in a working party make the world of difference, and it is very good for the physique as well as the soul. 

For more information or to get involved:


Working Together Ludlow 26.07.2022 

Meeting Nigel the manager at working together ludlow with volunteers and service users. Charity supporting people with learning by disabilities and difficulties.  They offer opportunities for adults and young people age 11+ and promote the positive role people with learning difficulties can play in the local community. 

Promoting happiness, strong sense of belonging, stimulating and creative environment doing what they can as well as they can.  All are appreciated valued and included. 

Daytime provision 5 days a week cooking and sewing on Monday tues go to town weds foodbank work thurs cook and write and do community lunch in baptist hall, Fridays community garden.  Also do work with the charity bookshop in craven arms.  Income stream for charity but also an opportunity for members to be involved in sorting and cataloguing of donations and for supported volunteering work experience in the shop together with a welcoming destination for travel training and independent living skills.  Twentieth anniversary this year. 

It is a constant source of delight how many different ways there are of supporting people and communities, how they collaborate and work in partnership and how each one has its own USP and it’s own unique vibe.   These guys help at the foodbank, and the charity bookstore, they get involved in festivals and carnivals running the bag crèche or cooking for the community, always doing what they can as well as they can – being part of the community. 

For more information or to get involved:


Signing the Armed Forces Covenant Shrewsbury Castle and Civic Reception 29.07.2022 

If you are a business or community organisation are you Armed Forces friendly?  Have you signed the Armed Forces Covenant, or thought about it.  West Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association celebrated the signing of the Covenant by Shrewsbury Council, WRR Pugh Funeral Directors and the Field Studies Council. 

The Covenant supports serving personnel, service leavers, veterans, and their families, and is fulfilled by the different groups that have committed to making a difference. These include businesses of all sizes, charities and communities  We have approximately 20,000 veterans living in Shropshire. To those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment, the Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s commitment to you. 

The offer is entirely flexible – Reservists additional paid/unpaid annual leave in order to carry out their duties, offering work placements/interviews to veterans seeking employment, insight days to older cadets looking for apprenticeships, working with relevant charities to offer work opportunities to the wounded, injured and sick, establishing armed forces networks within your organisation, or using the Covenant and Employer Recognition Scheme logos in your communications and marketing.

For more information or to get involved:


Bishops Castle Visit 30.07.2022

Bishop’s Castle community celebration day at SpArc sports and arts centre – amazing venue. More than 40 local community projects, clubs, societies and organisations showcasing their work.  Hosted by Bishops Castle Town Council, Community Partnership and Community Resource. 

Bishops Castle Bowling Club – unique octagonal crown green and matching octagonal clubhouse based within the old castle keep a tranquil space for battles of a gentler sort than historically when protecting the town from the wild Welsh Marches – at one time its popularity distracted men from archery practice and led to a statutory ban and an Act of 1541 not repealed until 1845 forbade the ‘working class’ from playing bowls except at Christmas!  Open April – September by appointment. 

Bishops Castle Heritage Resource Centrmail@bchrc.co.uk Church, House on Crutches museum, the Porch House.  BCHRC is owned and run by the House on Crutches Museum Trust, and reserve collection is stored there.  Open 2-5 saturdays and sundays and bank holidays in the summer and other times by appointment – can try out costumes and toys, dates back to early 1600s – interior has not changed much since it was built and has displays about social and economic history of the town and lives of people who lived there.  They all need volunteers. 

The Town Hall belongs to the people of Bishops castle and aim is to make it financially and environmentally sustainable and accessible to all – to enjoy the area’s rich heritage and culture. Info@bishopscastletownhall.co.uk 

Bishop’s Castle Tennis club – unlimited tennis all year around info@bishopscastletennis.org

Shropshire Rural Support – support to farmers their families and people living in rural Shropshire who need support, guidance or a listening ear.  Ruth@shropshireruralsupport.org.uk  

Snailbeach lead mine open sundays June to september and a few bank holidays and the longer tours just once a month and must be prebooked  – can look into the stopes, the spaces left by removal of ore, created by miners working only by candlelight – workings just as miners left them. Bookings@shropshiremines.org.uk  Managed by the mines trust open days run by volunteers 2 hours under or 40 mins under, best preserved lead mine buildings in Shropshire, the need for volunteers is for maintenance and guiding, 3 on a normal day, for visitor centre, or 4or 5 on old workings days, maintenance thurs pm.   

Quakers outreach@quaker.org.uk 500 Quaker meetings in Britain attended by over 20,000 people including almost 2,000 young people aged 11-18 nearly 500,000 worldwide – Peace, equality, truth and simplicity are their “testimonies” guidelines to live out your life rather than just on a Sunday.  All minister, no minister as such at meetings. 

Bishops Castle Walking festival in the Shropshire Hills 11-14 May 2023 www.bishopscastlewalkingfestival.co.uk meet new people, enjoy evening events and get the unique Bishops Castle experience. 

Bishop’s Castle Climate and Ecological Action plan – lots of options for what we can all do “There’s no plan(et) B” what can we do about it townplan@bishopscastle.co.uk food choices, transforming green spaces, forest gardening, reducing energy usage, community resilience etc.  Lightfoot enterprises climateaction@lightfootenterprises.org tie in with children who want to help the climate – tie in with SSYF. 

BC Railway and Transport Museum open once a fortnight – memorabilia and building a model of it as it was in 1932 when it was closed – purposeful and creative sessions. 

Bishop’s Castle Orchestra is a true community orchestra – a group of keen musicians of various ages standards and skills – need young people to join them.

The Community Partnership sits under the Council.  BCCP is an independent charity with the aim to advance citizenship and community development – responsible for delivering the community-led town plan for the benefit of the local community.  Plan brings together existing organisations and local volunteers to run projects and form working groups to tackle specific issues. Not about replicating work, but co-ordinating work. The idea is to have an online community platform through the Hub using moodle www.bishopscastlecommunity.org.uk  There is a real sense of Community, the building together of the town plan for the next few years, with an active Community Partnership and a Community Hub helping to form a connected, optimistic, thriving community full of opportunity and prosperity.  So many opportunities to get involved, people changing lives, and making the most of living in a little gem in the SW corner of Shropshire – always trying to ensure that loneliness and isolation don’t triumph over idyllic unspoilt countryside, history, culture and state of the art 21st century facilities. 

SpArc was about to close in 2016 – so it was rescued, now it is about support rather than rescue, more like “friends” there are 12 trustees. They have just spent £80,000 on their gym and it is being launched on September 23rd.  To help fund the provision through partnerships of Sport , Leisure , Theatre and Arts activities to all members of the Community on a fully inclusive basis which the SpArC centre serves in SW Shropshire.

For more information or to get involved:




Royal Yeomanry Parade to Exercise the Freedom of Shrewsbury 30.07.2022 

Shropshire was honoured by a visit from Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra today, as the Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Yeomanry – 145 of whom also honoured us with their presence, many from Shrewsbury and Telford, at a parade to exercise the Freedom of Shrewsbury.  They marched through the town with swords drawn and bayonets fixed, drums beating and ceremonial flag flying.  

The decision to give the Royal Yeomanry the Freedom of the Town was made to recognise the Army reservists’ work and to seal the bond of friendship that exists between the town and the regiment.  As the Commanding officer of the regiment, Lt Col Charlie Field, said “Army reservists are an essential part of our armed forces, working alongside their regular counterparts to deliver the military capability to get the job done”.  They have recently been deployed in Mali and Poland and, of course, helped out during Covid.  The Royal Yeomanry are the army’s largest reserve light cavalry regiment. 

The regular army depend on them, the nation depends on them, well done Shrewsbury for recognising them.


Shropshire Child Contact Centres AGM 31.07.2022 

They are independent of the judiciary, social services or any statutory agency, don’t make reports or takes sides – only exception is if child believed to be at risk.  Visits are by referral from CAFCASS, social worker, solicitor, family mediators or court orders.  The majority of families now are self-referred, they are interviewed first to make sure no child abuse.  They need more people to know about them –

Opened in 1994, registered as a charity in 2002, where family relationships have broken down, they are a friendly, safe and neutral environment where children can meet a parent or other family members they might not otherwise see.   2,000 children a week across the UK use a Child Contact Centre across the UK. Shropshire Child Contact Centres (SCCC) are entirely run by volunteers, there are three centres in Shropshire and there were 484 registered child visits last year – more and more are self referrals rather than needing a court order or social worker and there is a one off charge of £50 for as many visits as needed – a little known about service that can do so much good.

At the AGM this weekend, yet again 100s of hours of volunteering in the room and probably 100s of years between them – at least three had been there throughout the SCCC’s 26 year existence, and badges awarded to 11 new volunteers who had joined over the last 2-3 years.  “It is the volunteers who helped us to make our family work.” 

They need more volunteers – offered full training, always working in groups of 3 not alone, and can be for as little as one Saturday afternoon a month. 

For more information or to get involved: