Author Archives: sdcvsdevelopment

South Derbyshire CVS Christmas Closing – Important Information

Please note that South Derbyshire CVS will be closed from 12noon on Tuesday 22nd December until 8.30am on Weds 6th January.

Should you have a food emergency during this time please call 07458305314 to book a food parcel and collection slot. You can arrange collection on the following dates – December 29th, 31st and January 4th, between 10am and 1pm.

We would also like to take this opportunity to say a massive THANK YOU to all our volunteers and everyone who has supported us in 2020 – to say it’s been quite some year is an understatement!

Merry Christmas from all of us at SDCVS!

South Derbyshire CVS Winter Giving Campaign

‘when I was at my most vulnerable, the CVS Food Bank was there to catch my family & I’ – SDCVS Food Bank client

The impact of the pandemic on the lives, health and welfare of local people has been significant. Between March – October 2020, with the support of local people, we supplied 12,654 meals to 552 children and 854 adults.

Demand is growing, and that’s why we’re appealing for financial donations throughout the winter period to help feed families across South Derbyshire. There are people around us facing significant hardship due to redundancy, ill-health or changes to their personal circumstances.

‘food banks forecast to give out six emergency food parcels a minute this winter’ – Trussell Trust

Please make a financial donation today so we can buy the right balance of food, and support those most in need this winter.

  • £5 buys food for a child for 1 day
  • £20 buys emergency food for a family for 3 days
  • £50 buys food for a family for 1 week

For more information / to donate visit:

‘I cannot imagine what would have become of my children if I hadn’t stepped into the Food Bank that day.’ – SDCVS Food Bank client

South Derbyshire Community Forum – Grief and Loss During a Pandemic

Our online Community Forums are for volunteers, local charities and community groups in South Derbyshire.

Grief and Loss During a Pandemic: 26 November, 9.15am – 10am

Using psychological perspectives to understand more about the impact of grief and loss, and what can be helpful during these times. With Jo Hall, Clinical Psychologist from the NHS and Public Health Derbyshire.

For more info/to book visit:

Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Network

Since May 2020 the network has been meeting up once a month, which has been great for voluntary organisations, schools and other agencies to join in, share their experiences and issues during the pandemic, support each other and start working more in partnership.

Next online Zoom meeting – Friday 25 September starting at 10am.

“Extremely useful. It not only gives you a chance to network with like minded people and organisations, but it raises awareness for so many great causes. Of all the meetings I have been too regarding my organisation, these have been the most useful.”

“Brilliant opportunity to meet others who also share a passion to help and support Young Peoples Mental Health in our local area. Great opportunity to learn what services are available and to see where we can join together to help and support each other.”

If your organisation works with children and young people and you would like to join the network on 25 September please email

Volunteer Telephone Befrienders wanted! Don’t let loneliness become the ‘new normal’ again

Do you have 30 minutes a week you could spare to telephone someone who is lonely or isolated for a chat?

Ironically, the COVID-19 lockdown meant that many people found they were more supported by friends and family and the community than usual. Now things are returning to normal, that support is dropping off and people are at risk of becoming isolated once again, especially if they are older or have health conditions that mean they can’t get out and about.

One short phone call to look forward to, can brighten up a person’s whole week! One of our service users said that the phone calls they receive ‘keep me going at the moment’.

Can you help? Telephone Elspeth on 07458 304 319 or email for more information.

Thank you!

Derbyshire Home from Hospital Support Service during COVID-19

The Derbyshire Home from Hospital Support Service offers short term practical support for vulnerable people leaving hospital, or those living at home but at risk of being admitted.

During the COVID-19 crisis the service has concentrated on supporting vulnerable people who have been shielding or self-isolating. One of the people helped by the service in South Derbyshire said ‘I honestly don’t know what I would have done without you’.

The service is managed by South Derbyshire CVS, working in partnership with Amber Valley CVS, The Volunteer Centre Chesterfield & District, Erewash Voluntary Action CVS, Connex Community Support and Bassetlaw CVS, and is funded by Derbyshire County Council.

You can read the short impact report HERE.

For more information about the service visit:

Volunteer Drivers required for our Active Travel Service

Do you enjoy driving and have use of a car? Do you like to meet new people? If so, we would love to hear from you!

Active Travel supports older and vulnerable people to attend hospital and GP appointments. Volunteer drivers use their own cars to collect people from their home and take them to planned medical appointments. As well as providing vital transport to people who can’t drive or use public transport, service users enjoy the support and company that our volunteers provide.

You will need to have your own, 4-door car and a full clean driving licence. We reimburse mileage at 45p per mile for the full journey including travel from your home to the service user’s home. Hours flexible, though we particularly need volunteers who are available during weekday day times.

We have a duty of care to our own volunteers, so while current guidelines are in place volunteers must be under 70, and with no underlying health conditions that make them clinically vulnerable.

You will not be asked to transport people who have tested positive for or have symptoms of Covid 19. Volunteer drivers are given full guidance and provided with Personal Protective Equipment to protect themselves and their passenger.

Due to the nature of the role, an enhanced DBS (criminal record) check will be required (CVS will organise and pay for this) and references will be taken.

If you are interested or would like to know more please email or call 07458 304315.

Letter from our CEO: Look how far we’ve come

‘let’s just celebrate how far we’ve come and how much we’ve achieved in such a short time. No wonder we’re a little tired!’

Hard to comprehend, but this is the 20th week since we went into lockdown. I can’t quite decide whether this feels like no time at all, or at least three lifetimes ago (possibly both).

These days, by the magic of Zoom, I have regular conversations with colleagues, from similar organisations and other walks of life, locally and all over the UK. What’s fascinating is not just the similarity of the practical issues we are all grappling with, but how closely our changes in energy and emotion seem to mirror each other.

At the moment, the prevailing mood seems to weariness, even of feeling more confused and stressed than during the first few frantic weeks, when there were so many new and urgent things to organise.  One colleague commented that people seem fractious, and meetings easily become volatile.  Even (whisper it) a little bit of nostalgia for the clarity and simplicity of total lockdown, and the energy and purpose of those early days. Apparently this ‘war room fatigue’ or ‘regression’ phase is well known to those regularly involved in crisis response. It happens as the energy and purpose of the initial ‘emergency’ phase start to wane, and the scale and complexity of what ‘recovery’ will demand become apparent. You can read about the phenomenon in this article in Harvard Business Review:  I found it helpful to know it’s not just me!

So, with this in mind, let’s just celebrate how far we’ve come and how much we’ve achieved in such a short time. No wonder we’re a little tired!

At the start of the crisis, none of us really knew the scale of what we’d have to deal with.  There are over 3,000 clinically high-risk people (the NHS ‘shielded’ group) in South Derbyshire alone, and of course many, many more people who are vulnerable due to their age or health condition, ill from the virus or self-isolating for other reasons. Our public sector partners were deeply concerned that, if formal services were not quickly put in place, lockdown would leave thousands without access to basic food, medication or social contact.

This never happened. And the reason for that was…well, all of us.  Firstly family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances stepped in to help those closest to them.  Local neighbourhoods and informal groups got together to identify vulnerable people in their area and offer support. Community groups and charities (including CVS) reorganised themselves to offer new services in new ways, to make sure that vulnerable and isolated people who had no-one to help, and nowhere else to go, were not left adrift. By the time the formal offer of help via the county’s Community Response Unit was in place, a whole infrastructure of local volunteers was ready to do what was needed – and, in fact, was already busy doing it. Different organisations – public sector, businesses and voluntary groups – came together and worked hard to make sure no one fell through the gaps.

Here at CVS, we signed up more volunteers in the first few months of the crisis than in the whole of the previous year – quite apart from all those who volunteered with the national NHS ‘Goodsam’ scheme. People who couldn’t offer time gave generously in other ways –  cash donations ranging from generous lump sums from local businesses, to a few bank notes in an anonymous envelope, to those committing as regular givers to our Stronger South Derbyshire Fund. Despite the initial food shortages and shopping restrictions, our food bank has continued to be topped up with donated supplies.  I hope we have managed to acknowledge personally everyone who left a name and address – please tell me if you’ve been overlooked as we hugely and genuinely appreciate each and every one of you: Thank you.

There is lots still to do. We all share concerns about those who have been left vulnerable or more vulnerable by the crisis, who have lost loved ones at such a difficult time, who have struggled with the absence of their normal support networks, whose jobs and businesses have been hit, or who are just fearful of the new world that they are emerging into. Many charities and services that act as a lifeline are themselves suffering loss of income or struggling to reopen services safely. Not to mention all the uncertainty about future waves of the virus and concerns about the long term impact of all this on people’s lives, livelihoods and wellbeing.

As the lockdown measures gradually lift (and, possibly, are lowered…and lifted again) we know it will be an uphill rocky road ahead. What is clear to me, though, is that in difficult times South Derbyshire rolls up its sleeves and stubbornly gets on with it.  We should be proud of all that we’ve achieved already – and confident that, as always, we will rise to the challenge.

Keep well, keep on keeping on, and take care of those close to you.


Kerrie Fletcher
South Derbyshire CVS

Important Message for CVS Befrienders re 4 July Easing of Lockdown Restrictions

As you may know, Government guidance for the general population has changed and lockdown restrictions are easing further from tomorrow (Saturday 4 July).

However, we must stress that for CVS staff and volunteers we are not changing anything yet and volunteers should not make any befriending visits on behalf of CVS at this time and until we advise otherwise.

Please continue telephoning your befriendee and providing contact and support this way – they and we are very grateful.

We want to reassure you that we are working on getting our services back to normal but we have to be very careful about how we do that and make sure that we have measures in place to keep everyone safe.

If you have any questions about this please email

Thank you, as always, for your support during this period and going forward.