Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

South Derbyshire CVS is seeking new Trustees

Operating since 2003, our mission at SDCVS is to improve the quality of life for people in South Derbyshire and nearby districts and it’s never been more relevant than it is today. Over the last six months throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been providing crucial services to individuals in need, as well as supporting voluntary groups and communities to help themselves and others.

We’re now looking for three additional trustees to help deliver our ambitious plans to create even more social and community impact in 2021 and beyond.

We need creative, entrepreneurial and motivated individuals to help make SDCVS a driving force for change in the charitable sector. Not only will you be making a difference in a COVID-19 impacted society, you’ll join a fantastic team of fellow trustees working together to support the communities of South Derbyshire.

We are working to improve diversity in all of its forms on our board and we therefore encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.

For more information/to apply, please visit:

Closing date for applications: 16 October 2020.

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 Opportunity with South Derbyshire CVS

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

South Derbyshire Community Forum 21 August: Mental Health & COVID-19

Our online Community Forums are FREE and open to volunteers, local charities and community groups in South Derbyshire. They offer a chance to chat to each other & our community workers, to share best practice and good ideas as well as any problems or gripes, and to catch up on what’s happening in the local area.

21 August 2020

Our next Online Community Forum will take place on Friday 21 August 2020 at 9.15-10.15am. It will focus on Mental Health & COVID-19, with a presentation from Jo Hall, Clinical Psychologist at Derbyshire County Council.

For more information / to book visit:

Help us improve our online Community Forums

We have created a short survey to gather feedback on our online Community Forums. You do not have to have attended a forum to take part. As well as anyone that has attended, we would also like to hear from those that would like to attend but have not, for whatever reason. There are 11 questions, all optional and it should only take around 5-10 minutes to complete.

To take the survey visit:

Thank you!

Important Service Update From SDCVS

Hello Everyone,

We feel it is a good time to reach out as we, like other organisations, are having to review our service offer in response to the easing of the lockdown.

In many ways it feels far more confusing than the total lockdown that was imposed in March, and people remain concerned about their safety.  We hear daily how people are not quite sure of the ‘rules’ now, and we want to let you know how we are tackling this.

Firstly, please be assured that we are working on getting our services back to normal as soon as reasonably possible. But we have to be very careful about how we do this, making sure that we do so in a safe way and that we have measures in place to keep everyone safe.

We have to be particularly mindful that many of our service users are in the clinically extremely vulnerable ‘shielded’ group, and many more are vulnerable due to their age or health conditions, and so we have to be particularly careful to protect them from risk of infection.

We are looking at each of our services one at a time and planning for as safe a return as possible. There will be changes and please bear with us during this complicated time.  We need to undertake specific risk assessments to keep staff, volunteers and our service users safe whilst the coronavirus is still in general circulation.

South Derbyshire CVS – Our Building 46-48 Grove Street
The building remains closed and the majority of staff have moved to new ways of remote working. This is largely from home and occasional face to face meetings where absolutely necessary. You can still contact us by phone or email and we are still open Monday to Thursday 8:30-16:30 and Friday 8:30-16:00.  The food bank has moved to Hill Street Baptist Church – more information below under Food Bank.

Changes to our Services
All our group activities, and most community-based face to face services remain closed for the time being. This includes befriending visits, befriending groups, Travelling Lunch Club, Social Car and Shopmobility.

Our telephone befriending service continues, however for the time being our volunteers will not, for now, be making any home visits (indoors or outdoors). As Government guidance changes, we are reviewing the service and in particular assessing how and when we might safely start to resume face to face visits. We will update you as soon as there are any changes.

Practical Support (Home from Hospital)
We continue to provide practical support to people at home, including to those who are vulnerable or self-isolating due to the pandemic. This includes our shopping service and collection and delivery of prescriptions. The service is provided maintaining strict social distancing, with assessments and referrals all taking place by phone, email or using online platforms.  This support is available countywide, with delivery partners providing the Home from Hospital Support Service in other districts – see our new website at

As ‘shielding’ restrictions are lifted we know that some support (such as NHS food box deliveries) are going to end over the next few weeks. Please be assured that our services will continue to be there for as long as people need them.

Active Travel/Social Car
We hope to resume our Active Travel scheme ASAP and will confirm when we can take bookings in due course. When we do start again we will only be providing this as a service for patients who need an urgent face to face medical appointment, and who do not have any family or friends who can provide transport. For the time being, we will not be able to take bookings for routine podiatry or dental appointments etc. nor can we take Social Car bookings for shopping or social activities.

Volunteers and service users will be asked to follow new guidelines to limit the risk of spreading the virus, including using PPE and maintaining social distancing. Service users should expect to wear a face covering and need to be able to get in and out of the vehicle without assistance. We will not in any circumstances transport people with Covid19 symptoms or who have tested positive for the virus.

We will be reviewing this again mid-August and will let you know as soon as we make any further changes. Many of our regular volunteer drivers are themselves clinically vulnerable and we are urgently recruiting for new volunteers to ensure we can provide the required level of service. If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering with us please let us know – they need to be under 70, not clinically vulnerable and with access to their own car. Training and necessary PPE will be provided.

To enquire about the Active Travel service, telephone our main number on 07458 304316.

If you are interested in volunteering as a driver, and would like to find out more please email or telephone 07458 304315.

Safer Homes
Our Safer Homes service has now resumed. The service provides home safety / crime prevention advice to older and vulnerable people in South Derbyshire and Erewash districts who have been victims of crime or who are at risk. The service also installs safety measures such as additional door and window locks and other safety equipment free of charge. 

At the moment we are prioritising Police referrals and any visits that were previously cancelled. We are not accepting self-referrals to this service at present. We will let you know when this changes. To find out more, email or telephone 0758 304316.

Food Bank
Our food bank provides emergency food parcels and other essential supplies to people in financial difficulties. The service has now moved to Hill Street Baptist Church and parcels can be collected by appointment on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 9:00-16:00.

If you need a food parcel or want to make a referral please email or phone in advance to arrange an appointment, so we can ensure social distancing measures are in place. Telephone 07458 305314 or email If emailing, please include your telephone number with your message so we can get back to you as soon as possible.

We are getting some generous donations but always need more – if you would like to donate food you can drop it off to Hill Street Baptist Church on the days/times listed above, or if that doesn’t suit then call the number provided and we can make alternative plans.

If you know of someone in need of a hot meal we do support a hot meal delivery referral service from our partners at Churches Together. Please refer via the Community Response Unit at Derbyshire County Council on 01629 535019.

The clothes bank is currently not physically open but if you need a clothes parcel please contact Hill Street Baptist Church by email or call 07765762286, leave a message and they will get back to you.

Support to Voluntary and Community Groups
Our Development Team have moved all networks and forums, including funding advice sessions online, in fact they are doing even more events now!

If you belong to a community group, whether newly formed in response to the pandemic or an existing group or charity, would like to set one up, need some funding advice for your group, want to recruit volunteers, or need any other kind of support or guidance, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. This includes support or guidance about reopening your services. Email A Development Officer will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

We’ve just launched a survey for all voluntary, community, social enterprise and CV19 response groups. We want to capture their experience of this unprecedented time, find out what the current pressures and issues are, and ask what support will be needed over the next few months. This is being done in partnership with our colleagues across the county.  The survey closes on 31 July and can be found at – please respond and share this information with any local groups known to you.  All respondents also have the chance to win a £25 supermarket voucher!

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

Please get in touch if you have any questions – email or telephone 07458 304316.

Cathy Miles
Senior Manager, Operations
South Derbyshire CVS

COVID & BEYOND: Survey deadline extended to 10 August

Tell us about your experience of the last few extraordinary months, and what support you need – and win a £25 supermarket voucher!

Closing date extended – now 10 August 2020

We want to hear from community groups, voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises of all kinds and all sizes, from all parts of Derby City and Derbyshire.

This includes established organisations (whether or not you have been able to provide services during the lockdown), as well as new informal mutual aid / neighbourhood groups; and faith organisations, parish councils and food banks responding to the crisis.

All completed surveys will be entered into a draw to win 1 of 3 x £25 supermarket vouchers!

We want to find out, capture and share:

  • All the good work that you have been doing to make sure that people affected by COVID, especially the most vulnerable, have been supported
  • What you have learned and experienced
  • What the impact has been on your organisation
  • Crucially, we also want to know what support and resources you will need in future, so that we can make sure that you get this.

The survey should take about 20 minutes, and will ask questions about:

  • Your organisation (what you do, where you work, who you support and your annual income)
  • What you have been doing (if anything) to support people during COVID (including the kinds of support you have provided, the numbers of people you have helped and the number of volunteers who have been involved)
  • The impact of COVID on your organisation, including your income, staff (if any), volunteer numbers, levels of demand, needs and geographical differences
  • Your experience of COVID – what the challenges have been, what you have learned – and what support you will need going forward.

To start the survey visit:

This survey is being carried out by the 3D (Third Sector Support for Derbyshire) network of local CVS, Volunteer Centres and other local voluntary sector support organisations working in partnership with public sector colleagues.

If you have any questions, or if would rather complete the survey on paper or as a Word document, or if you need someone to help you fill it in please email

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.