Wellbeing in Partnership E-Bulletin – Bromsgrove and Redditch – January 2023

Dear all,

Please find the January 2023 Partnership bulletin below that includes all the latest information on the Household Support Fund, as well as other news and updates.

Due to the date, can we draw your attention to the Cost of Living / Wellbeing Support Events locally being held at Bromsgrove Library on 27 January and Redditch Library on 8 February – space is limited so if you’d like a stall at the community event, you need to act TODAY by contacting Nicki or Michele.  See ‘Events and Roadshows’ section below for further details.

Reminder – Household Support Fund Phase 3 (ends on 31/3/23) – Latest information on local support available

Quick reminder that eligible Redditch and Bromsgrove residents who are struggling with the cost of household essentials can get help with food and household costs and there are 2 ways they can apply:

 

Act on Energy – help with energy costs, energy debt, broken heating systems etc**OPEN for New Applications**

 

This scheme offers qualifying residents across Worcestershire support with their energy costsfuel debt and where required, assistance to replace broken boilers and heating systems, subject to funding.  Eligibility criteria for support is not restricted to solely vulnerable households in receipt of benefits, but criteria will be applied for the different elements of support on offer.  Further information can be found online at:  WORCESTERSHIRE HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT FUND (actonenergy.org.uk). Residents can apply online or by calling 0800 988 2881.

Citizens Advice Bromsgrove and Redditch – help with food and other essentials**Complete an Online Request Form**

If you are working with residents that are struggling and need support with food and wider essentials, please direct to Citizens Advice Bromsgrove and Redditch (who are working closely with Bromsgrove District and Redditch Borough Councils to provide this support).  They can complete a simple online request form – further information, including eligibility criteria, is available on the CABR website.   Bromsgrove residents can complete the online request form here: Bromsgrove Household Support Fund and Redditch residents can complete the online request form here: Redditch Household Support Fund

In addition, did you know about the extra support for eligible pensioners, carers of any age and people with disabilities or long term health conditions in Worcestershire?  Citizens Advice Bromsgrove and Redditch (CABR) are one of a number of agencies part of Worcestershire Advice Network (WAN) working with Worcestershire County Council to identify those who are eligible for an additional £75 voucher.  Anyone contacting CABR to apply for the above local scheme who are eligible for this extra support, will be identified.  Other local agencies assisting to identify eligible residents are Age UK Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wyre Forest, North Worcestershire DIAL (Disability Information Advice Line) as well as their counterparts in South Worcestershire, who are all part of WAN.

Bromsgrove & Redditch Cost of Living Webpages & Leaflets

Don’t Forget……FREE printed copies of the attached cost of living leaflet are available for agencies to collect and help distribute.  Pick them up at Customer Services at Parkside or the Town Hall.

There are cost of living webpages on both Redditch Borough and Bromsgrove District Councils’ websites too at: www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/costofliving and www.redditchbc.gov.uk/costofliving.

See something missing on the webpages?  Let us know as they can be updated anytime.

 

Financial Support Leaflets – one for Redditch and one for Bromsgrove

A reminder that these leaflets are in addition to the joint cost of living leaflets and contain more detailed information about help that is available locally.  A printable and a website version can be found attached.

Are you a front line worker in Worcestershire?  Want to understand support available for your customers during the energy crisis?  Free 1.5 hour training available for staff and volunteers on various dates/times during Jan to March!  See ‘Training/Workshops/Courses’ section below for details.

 

Services / Support – Information Updates

 

NHS – Help us to Help You – Winter campaign

There is a new NHS campaign urging people to do six things to help themselves, their loved ones and the NHS.  Here is a link to a recent press release and further details are also attached:

Six things people can do to help themselves and the NHS this winter :: Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System (hwics.org.uk)

 

Being Well in Worcestershire – Useful Resources

A recent ‘Being Well in Worcestershire – Making it Happen’ event took place. The aim of the event was to bring together all those working in wellbeing roles in Worcestershire, particularly roles within primary care and the voluntary and community sector. The event organisers have shared a list of links and resources that may be helpful.

Living Well for Longer project

The project was launched in July 2022 and the Public Health’s Living Well for Longer team has been busy promoting free resistance bands and seated exercises to over 50s across Worcestershire. More information about the work of the team can be found here: Looking back over the year – The Living Well For Longer Project! | Worcestershire County Council

Did you know?…..

Coming soon…..

  • At the end of January 2023, the public will be able to access a new resistance band web-based tool via the Living Well for Longer webpages. This will enable people to assess their strength and balance and mental wellbeing through using resistance bands over a 12 week period. The assessments will provide the programme with consistent evidence of improvement to strength and balance in the over 50s.

Important to Note: The ‘LifeCurve’ App (which was another initiative running under the Living Well for Longer project) has now been discontinued.  However, this should not be confused with the resistance bands initiative, with is going from strength to strength.  Work also continues on new initiatives, all of which will form part of the Living Well for Longer Project)

HWFRS Winter Warmth Campaign

The Prevention team at Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service have developed a Winter Warmth Campaign.  The campaign encourages people to take simple steps in the home to protect themselves from accidental fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.   Further details on this campaign can be found here – Cost of living: Steps to stay fire safe (nationalfirechiefs.org.uk)

The service has purchased Winter Warmth Packs for high-risk members of the community who meet relevant criteria. The Winter Warmth Packs contain: Fleece Blanket, Thermos Mug, Hat, Socks, and Gloves. A stock of oil filled radiators and extension leads are also available for those who are currently in fuel poverty during the winter months.

To access any of the equipment outlined above, individuals must be referred to the Prevention Team who will undertake a HFSV and will provide relevant equipment.  This can be done the following ways:

  • Members of the community can complete an online Home Fire Safety Check for themselves or their friends / family. The form can be accessed via the Service website Request a check | Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (hwfire.org.uk)
  • Call the Prevention team on 0800 032 1155 where the skilled team can offer fire safety advice and take details to arrange a visit.
  • Partners only can refer using the HFSV referral form attached

Damp and Mould – Messages from Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (bdht) & Redditch Borough Council

Please find attached a messages from bdht and a briefing note from Redditch Borough Council regarding damp and mould which were circulated separately during December.  Please note that the Council’s briefing note covers both Redditch Borough Council’s housing stock and private sector housing, including relevant contact details should you need any further information.

Bromsgrove Walking Sports Centre

Bromsgrove walking sports centre are an independent group and offer 7 walking sports sessions a week in Bromsgrove. The sessions offer fun, friendship, and fitness through sport; with over 100 participants each week taking part in walking hockey, netball, cricket, football, and rugby. Please see the link to a mini documentary that a local film maker has put together about the walking sports centre.  The short video provides a good insight to what the centre has to offer and find attached a poster that provides further details.

 

*New* Stop Smoking Service

Please find information attached about the new stop smoking service for mums and other household members with a child up to 3 years old.

The service will:

  • Support families (with young children up to 3 years old) to quit smoking
  • Provide 1:1 support by a stop smoking advisor
  • Offer free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Chat Health – Sexual Health Support

Chat Health provides a service for 11-19 years that enables them to speak to a School Health Nurse for confidential advice and support around a variety of issues, including sexual health, bullying, emotional health, relationship problems, alcohol and drugs. Please find attached a sexual health support flyer to display and/or share, full details of the ChatHealth service can be found on the Starting Well Website.

Suicide Prevention: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

Public Health in Worcestershire commissioned a suicide prevention film with Rural Media called ‘Hold out a Hand’ to stimulate conversations around mental health and suicide within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community.  The film also encourages people to engage with available support in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and on a national level. A report was also produced detailing barriers and recommendations around engaging with traveller communities on mental health and suicide.  Both the film and report can be viewed and downloaded here Traveller’s Times website and further information can be found here Friends, Families and Travellers.

PLUS – The Loneliness Service

Please find attached an information leaflet regarding the PLUS [People Like Us] service that works across Worcestershire to support anyone aged over 18 registered with a Worcestershire GP who is experiencing loneliness and/or isolation. The service is delivered by Onside with their two delivery partners Worcester Community Trust and Simply Limitless. The PLUS service provides skilled and trained staff and volunteers who can provide support and encouragement to help people build the confidence to become more active and engaged in their communities. For more information, please visit https://www.onside-advocacy.org.uk/plus.

VCSE Worcestershire Alliance – Trustee Briefings

The Alliance was launched on the 1st July 2022. It is a collective of Worcestershire Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations working together to strengthen the sector and develop partnerships, helping to make our county a better place to live and work. The Alliance has set up some briefing sessions to provide trustees with the following information:

  • The purpose of the VCSE Alliance
  • How the Alliance is being developed and its future plans
  • How the Alliance is working within the newly established Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System (ICS)

Briefing sessions will be online and in-person across the county, full details can be found attached.

Redditch District Collaborative – Communications & Engagement Role

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the team working with the Redditch District Collaborative. For more details and how to apply, please see the attached advert.

Training/Courses/Workshops

*NEW* The Energy Crisis – what help is available? *FREE  1.5 hour training for both staff and volunteers*

Are you a front-line worker in Worcestershire helping people who may be in fuel poverty? If so, this training is designed for you, delivered by Act on Energy, and will cover: 

Fuel Poverty  

·        What is Fuel Poverty?  

·        Fuel Poverty impacts in Worcestershire 

·        What does Fuel Poverty actually look like – how can you spot it? 

·        The issues with damp and mould 

 Energy Crisis  

·        Myth busting  

·        Top tips on talking with suppliers 

·        How we can mitigate against higher prices 

·        Grants and funding available 

 To view and book onto planned dates (January – March) please click on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/energy-update-myth-busting-and-cost-of-living-advice-tickets-510531612797

*Some dates already sold out – but plenty of dates still available so don’t miss out.  Click on ‘more options’ under the ‘date and time’ to see the full list of dates/times*

 

*New Dates* Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Workshops

Want to know more about what ABCD actually is? This is a great opportunity to attend a one-day, interactive workshop, presented by the ABCD team. This free, in person ABCD workshop is open to everyone working & living in Worcestershire. Professionals & community groups working to improve community health & wellbeing will find this workshop of interest.  With a focus on community building, ABCD looks at what is strong, building on the gifts (skills, experiences, knowledge & passion) within local communities and connects neighbourhood assets together to build citizen power. The workshop will help attendees: Understand & apply ABCD principles, become aware of the tools & support available in ABCD application; communicate the value of an ABCD approach with teams & partners. Use this link to book and for more information: Exploring Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite  Also find attached an ABCD promotional social media flyer to share within your networks.

Adult Learning – IT courses at Bromsgrove Library – Digital Skills & Excel & Smartphone/Tablet

Please find attached details of IT based courses that are starting early January at Bromsgrove library. There’s something for absolute beginners and for those who already have some IT skills. There’s also a FREE course for those who’d like to get the most from their smartphone and tablet, the course starts in January with a further course starting in February.  Information is attached but all courses offered by Worcestershire County Council can be found here Courses Search (worcestershire.gov.uk)

Age UK BRWF Groups & Activities – 2023

Age UK BRWF’s groups and activities will be resuming after the festive period from Monday 9th January 2023.  There is a change of venue for some classes with those groups/ activities previously held at Community House moving to YMCA Willow Trees Community Centre (Loxley Close B98 9JS). For full details on what’s on offer, please visit https://www.ageuk.org.uk/brwf/activities-and-events/

Events and Roadshows

 

*REMINDER* Cost of Living / Wellbeing Support Events – Bromsgrove Library & Redditch Library – have you booked a space?

Still time to get involved…… Bromsgrove and Redditch Libraries have organised Cost of Living support events, and still have a few spaces available if any organisations not already involved would like to attend and have a free stall. The Fairs will offer residents easy access to advice, guidance, and support in one place, in a friendly and relaxed environment with free refreshments.  Large libraries have around 5-600 visits a day without this type of event so it’s a real opportunity to engage with people needing support. These ‘Worcestershire Winters Well Events’ are taking place as follows: Bromsgrove Library – Friday 27 January 10am-1pm and Redditch Library – Wednesday 8 February 10am-1pm

If your agency can offer support to our local residents and you haven’t already got a space, get in touch with Nicki (Bromsgrove)  or Michele (Redditch) at  by no later than 16th January. Libraries will arrange everything for the event – your team member would just need to come along with any promotion material.

Early Help in the Community Events

Worcestershire Children’s First are running 6 Early Help in the Community events that will provide an exciting opportunity to bring together a wide range of organisations and groups who work in your community and county wide who offer support, advice or services to children, young people, and their families locally. The local events will take place as follows:

  • Bromsgrove – Wednesday 15th February 2023, 4:00 – 5:30pm
  • Redditch – Wednesday 8th March 2023, 4:00 – 5:30pm

For more information and details about all the events visit here or to book a free place at an event, please email 

Redditch Pride Parade 2023

This year’s event will be held on Saturday 3rd June, starting at 11am from Redditch Town Hall. To get involved or to book a free stall to promote your organisation, please contact Karen Martin:  to receive a booking form.

Health Data / Strategies

 

Worcestershire Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022 to 2032 – Good Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Health and Wellbeing Board is required to develop a strategy for improving the health and wellbeing of people who live / work in Worcestershire. Following consultation with residents, partners and stakeholders, good mental health and wellbeing was identified as the main priority. View the strategy and further details online at:  Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022 to 2032 | Worcestershire County Council.

Worcestershire JSNA Annual Summary  

The Worcestershire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Summary 2022 has been published as part of the Worcestershire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. The JSNA summary is used to determine what actions are required to meet health and social care needs, reduce inequalities and to address the wider determinants that impact on health and well-being. It is designed to inform and drive future investment priorities to plan services more effectively ensuring services meet the needs of the population. The report can be found here: https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/16286/jsna_summary_2022.pdf and on the website along with further information: https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20122/joint_strategic_needs_assessment/1500/jsna_summaries Data can be explored further using the Worcestershire Insights tool https://data.worcestershire.gov.uk/

 

Funding/Grants

Barnardo’s Grant – Support for Refugee Families

If you are working with or know of any Ukrainian families that are in need, funding is available for clothing, toiletries, household items and other support – Full information on attached flyer

(Note: We’ve been made aware the support has been extended to include all refugee families, not just Ukrainian, although not stated on the attached).

 

Other Newsletters

DWP Touchbase – 13 January 2023 – Find attached

DWP weekly update – 6 January 2023 – Find attached

Get Active and Creative in Bromsgrove in 2023 – Find attached

Get Active and Creative in Redditch in 2023 – Find attached

Community First E-Bulletin- January 2023 Newsletter– Find attached

Stop Loan Sharks Winter Newsletter – See here

We hope you find the above useful.

The contents of these bulletins are made up of whatever you decide to send through so if you have information you think is relevant and helpful to share with other local organisations, you can email it to: 

Many thanks,

Della McCarthy & Ali Wakeman

Bromsgrove Partnership & Redditch Partnership

Email: 

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From: PERRY-SMITH, Helen (NHS HEREFORDSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE ICB – 18C) <>
Sent: 13 January 2023 2:27 PM
To: partnership <>
Subject: FW: Help us help you – please share the six things campaign

Can you please help to share the new campaign – six things people can do to help us help them. Please share this with other partners as well for them to share onwards.

The press release explains the campaign: Six things people can do to help themselves and the NHS this winter :: Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System (hwics.org.uk)

Here is the link to the assets, including the video, poster, social media etc, but please download them before Wednesday when the link will expire: https://we.tl/t-QYtqxFELfm

Thank you very much

Helen Perry-Smith

Senior Engagement Manager

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire

01905 896884 


Please note my working days are Wednesday – Friday

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From: Anderson,Graeme
Sent: 06 December 2022 8:58 AM
Subject: Damp &
 Mould Communication

Dear all,

Clearly, the death of Awaab Ishak in a housing association property in Rochdale has shocked the nation. However, the uncomfortable truth is that damp & mould in properties of all tenures has been a problem for years. The causes are complex, and individual but some of the issues are:

  • In a small number of cases, persistent leaks that penetrate the fabric of the building, and provide moisture for mould to grow
  • In most cases, condensation from normal family living (cooking, bathing, drying clothes, occupancy levels) will result in seeing surface moisture within the home, and enabling mould growth
  • Poor ventilation doesn’t allow air movement or moisture to escape, compounding the issues. Also, the addition of thermal improvements within the home such as double glazing, external insulation, uPVC doors, and modern heating systems has seen more homes becoming ‘sealed’ homes creating more condensation problems
  • Overcrowding doesn’t help (as more humans produce more moisture) and too many families need to move
  • The cost-of-living crisis means homes will be colder, and people will be even more reluctant to use heating systems or open windows and ventilate

None of these issues remove our obligation and duty as the largest provider of affordable housing in Bromsgrove to do everything in our power to resolve problems. I have spoken to all my staff about having the right attitude, to listen properly, and empathise. We have a robust process to tackle problems, and we are constantly reviewing that.

If during your casework, you see problems that you don’t think are being resolved properly, please contact us immediately on 0800 0850 160. This is especially true if there are vulnerabilities within the household (under 12s, over 75s, any pre-existing respiratory conditions).

If you have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Graeme

Graeme​

Anderson

(He, Him, His)

Chief Executive

Bromsgrove District Housing Trust

t: 01527 557502

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w: www.bdht.co.uk

a:

Buntsford Court, Buntsford Gate

,

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B60 3DJ

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From: Department for Work and Pensions <>
Sent: 13 January 2023 2:40 PM
Subject: Touchbase – 13 January 2023

Touchbase

Brought to you by the Department for Work & Pensions

13 January 2023

 

Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

 

New Cost of Living Payments from Spring 2023 

Millions of the lowest-income households across the UK will get up to £1,350 from the Government in 2023/4 to help with the cost of living. Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time but are spread across a longer period to ensure a consistent support offering throughout the year. They will be broadly as follows:

 

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2023 
  • £150 – Disability Cost of Living Payment – during Summer 2023
  • £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023 
  • £300 – Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – during Winter 2023/4 
  • £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024 

Those eligible will be paid automatically, and there will be no need to apply. For more information, please visit GOV.UK.

 

 

Winter Fuel Payment videos

DWP has created a further two short videos answering key questions about Winter Fuel Payments. The videos are now also available in British Sign Language and Welsh Language versions.

We would encourage you to share these videos:

Winter Fuel Payment – British Sign Language

Winter Fuel Payment – Welsh language

Winter Fuel Payment Information

Most of those eligible do not have to claim their Winter Fuel Payment, as it is awarded automatically.

People who have not been paid by 13 January 2023 are encouraged to check their bank account before contacting the Department’s Winter Fuel Payment Centre.

 

 

Vital help with energy bills for more homes

 

Support with winter energy bills is on the way for millions more households across the UK with additional schemes that include:

 

  • All households in Northern Ireland will receive a single payment totalling £600 to help with their energy bills, with payments starting in January
  • Households across Great Britain that use alternative fuels like heating oil will receive a £200 payment this winter
  • 900,000 households in England, Scotland and Wales without a direct relationship to an energy supplier – such as care home or park home residents – will be able to apply online for £400 of non-repayable help with their fuel bills.

 

These schemes sit alongside the Energy Price Guarantee which saves a typical household in Great Britain around £900 this winter and an equivalent level of support in Northern Ireland.

 

Read the press release for Great Britain

 

Read the press release for Northern Ireland

 

 

Holiday help: Children to continue to benefit from holiday activity clubs in 2023 

To continue supporting families most in need, the Government has confirmed over £200m in funding for local authorities for the Holiday Activities and Food programme in 2023, enabling every local authority across England to continue to provide for their communities.

These free holiday clubs support parents with childcare costs over the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays by providing free, nutritious meals and enriching activities, such as football, play sessions and cooking classes. Over 600,000 children benefitted from the scheme over summer 2022 across over 8,000 clubs in England.

Find out more

 

 

 

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From: Sherriff Gwyneth DWP Mercia District Partnership Manager <>
Sent: 06 January 2023 9:57 AM
Subject: DWP weekly update

Good Morning

Below please find this weeks updates.

Regards

Gwyn

Gwyn Sherriff | Partnership Manager, Herefordshire and Worcestershire/Ex-Offender Lead Mercia | Department for Work and Pensions | Work Services Directorate | Coventry, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Mercia District) |  mobile 07741 296030 | www.gov.uk |

 Follow us @JCPinWorcester and @JCPJobsPlusMore

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Find out more about the Disability Confident scheme here

This week’s updates includes:

  • Cost of living payments
  • Disability confident
  • Planning for retirement
  • Local travel

 

Millions of low-income households to get new Cost of Living Payments from Spring 2023

Millions of the lowest-income households across the UK will get up to £1,350 from the Government in 2023/4 to help with the cost of living.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has today announced more detail on the payment schedule for the next round of cost of living support unveiled in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, building on payments made to over eight million people in 2022.

The new £900 cash boost for over eight million eligible means-tested benefits claimants, including those on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits, starts in Spring and will go direct to bank accounts in three payments over the course of the financial year. There will also be a separate £150 for over six million disabled people and £300 for over eight million pensioners on top of their Winter Fuel Payments.

Exact payment windows will be announced closer to the time, but are spread across a longer period to ensure a consistent support offering throughout the year. They will be broadly as follows:

  • £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2023
  • £150 – Disability Payment – during Summer 2023
  • £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023
  • £300 – Pensioner Payment – during Winter 2023/4
  • £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024

The Guidance  on getting an extra payment to help with the cost of living if you’re entitled to certain benefits or tax credits has been updated to include a link to information about Cost of Living Payments during 2023 and 2024.

 

Employers that have signed up to the Disability Confident scheme

Updated 4 January 2023

This document lists the employers that have signed up to the Disability Confident scheme, and their status (committed, employer or leader).

The Disability Confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives. The Disability Confident scheme has 3 levels that have been designed to support employers on their Disability Confident journey. Employers must complete each level before moving on to the next.

It is free to sign up and use the guidance

 

Plan your retirement income: step by step

Check what pensions and financial support you can get, and decide when to retire.

New Year cheer: £2 bus tickets for thousands of routes

Millions of people across England can now save money and ‘Get Around for £2’, thanks to £60 million government funding to cap single bus fares until the end of March.

From 1 January 2023 until 31 March 2023, over 130 bus operators outside of London will charge no more than £2 for their single tickets across over 4,600 routes, helping families, commuters and other passengers save money on travel.

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If you believe this message is a phishing email please forward it to 
If you have already clicked on any of the links, it is imperative you call the ICT helpdesk immediately
on ext 1766 internally or 01527 881766 externally. Failure to do this is a breach of the Information Security Policy.

Read all about our updates from the Development Services team and local providers below

Get into Running!

Start your running journey with one of our beginner friendly Couch 2 5k courses.

A free, 9-week program led by a professional coach.

Click here to find out more

Strong and Steady

A FREE exercise programme designed to improve strength and balance and reduce falls.

Multiple sessions are available.

Click here to find out more

Walking Football

Join us at Hagley Playing Fields to play walking football.

Tuesdays – 10.30am

Sessions are FREE and suitable for all ages and abilities

Click here to find out more

Bromsgrove Arts Alive!

Read the latest arts and culture news from across the district in the new Autumn newsletter from Bromsgrove Arts Alive!

Click here to read the Autumn newsletter

Community Exercise Sessions

We’re glad to be back at many of our local venues. From Yoga to Zumba to just a walk – we have our community in mind.

Click here to see what sessions are on!

Community SEN Football

Football sessions for young people with disabilities, specifically designed to support those with Autism, Downs Syndrome, ADHS, SLD, and MLD

Sessions are on THURSDAYS at Rigby Hall, there are three different sessions for different age groups.

Click here to find out more

Bromsgrove Health Walks

Walks are popping up all over Bromsgrove – take at look at our Health Walks page to see what walks are talking place in your area

BRAVO

We currently have opportunities to volunteer in your local community including:-

Worcestershire Health Walks
Walking Football
Walking Cricket
Walking Hockey

Visit here for all enquiries

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Bromsgrove District Council
Parkside
Market Street
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
B61 8DA

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on ext 1766 internally or 01527 881766 externally. Failure to do this is a breach of the Information Security Policy.

Read about our updates from the Development Services Team and partners below

Get into Running!

Start your running journey with one of our Couch 2 5k courses.

A free, 9-week program led by a professional coach.

Click here to find out more

Live Well Be Well

Take control of your health and get tailored advise from a Health Specialist.

Live Well Be Well is a 6 week program that will give you a personalised plan to follow to help you reach your goals as well as full peak membership to The Abbey (including classes) for the duration of the course.

Please visit here for more information.

Super 1s Cricket Programme

The Super 1s Cricket programme gives young people aged between 12 and 25 with both physical and learning disabilities the chance to play regular, competitive cricket.

Please visit here for more information.

Evening Walking Football

Join us for walking football session Arrow Vale High School.

Mondays – 8pm

Sessions are FREE and suitable for all ages, abilities and genders!

Click here for more info

Reimagine Redditch

Read the latest news from the new large scale Creative People and Places Project taking place across Redditch borough.

Click here to find out more

Community Exercise Sessions

We’re glad to be back at many of our local venues. From Yoga to Zumba to just a walk – we have our community in mind.

Click here to see what sessions are on!

Walking Rugby

Join us for walking Rugby sessions at the Abbey Stadium, a gentler version of the game, but just as much fun.

Fridays – 10.30am

Sessions are FREE and suitable for all ages and abilities!

Click here for more info

Strong and Steady

A FREE programme designed to improve strength and balance, and reduce falls.

Multiple sessions are available.

Click here for more info

Cancer Rehab

Referrals are currently open for Cancer Rehab.

If you have a Cancer diagnosis or are in remission, we can provide help and guidance to help you to improve your health, making it easier for your body to deal with surgery and recover from treatment.

Click here for more info

Walking Football

Join us for walking football session on the Abbey Stadium Outdoor Pitch.

Mondays – 10.30am

Sessions are FREE and suitable for all ages, abilities and genders!

Click here for more info

BRAVO

We currently have opportunities to volunteer in your local community including:-

Worcestershire Health Walks
Walking Football
Walking Cricket
Walking Hockey

Visit here for all enquiries

Women’s Walking Football

Join us for walking football session Arrow Vale High School.

Mondays – 9.15am

Sessions are FREE and suitable for all ages and abilities!

Click here for more info

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Rural Communities

Community First’s Newsletter for Herefordshire and Worcestershire

 An audience for you to share your news – 1500  circulation to VCSE and public sector stakeholders


Happy New Year from everyone at Community First

“Allotment for All” Project.

Craig Ward (one of our own at Community First) is asking you to “Dig Deep” (excuse the pun) and help support his “Allotment for All” Project.
He is hoping to hold “Dig Days” with local community groups, donate food to the local food banks and to help share knowledge on living greener utilising solar power.
Any and all donations will be gratefully received as the project needs everything including tools and equipment.
Please help to spread the word and share, and if you can please donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/allotment-for-all

Worcestershire Community Rail Partnership

We would like to offer you the opportunity to review our activities in 2022 and keep you informed of our plans for the coming year.
A link to our Annual Report can be found here Documents – Worcestershire Community Rail Partnership (wcrp.org.uk)

Plans for the coming year include projects to raise awareness and help combat county lines activity on the railway network; the development of Rail Trails for the Cotswold and Malvern Line and Wyre Valley Line; line guides for the four lines in Worcestershire; supporting existing station adopters and encouraging new ones; supporting a new Technology Station at Great Malvern; promotional media enticing visitors to Worcestershire destinations.

We are working with partners including Worcester Cathedral, Worcester University, Worcestershire Ramblers, station adopters, MRATHS and Visit Worcestershire to deliver these exciting projects over the coming year to showcase Worcestershire at its best and ensuring that rail travel is safe for all.

Please do contact me if you would like to make any comments or have any queries about our activities. My phone number is 07385939467 or you can email me at 


Herefordshire and Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College

Did you know that there are over 70 courses on offer from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College that you or your clients could be accessing no cost*

The course offer is being updated on a weekly basis, so please do keep looking to discover what we have available

Courses cover a diverse range of topics from “Male Mental Health “Be in your mates corner””  to  “Menopause and Mental Health” and legal matters for carers.  Not forgetting courses such as “Digital Photography” and “Show stopping greeting cards”
*some courses do have eligibility criteria
Click here for more details: https://hwwellbeingandrecoverycollege.org.uk/home


How is mental health affecting young people accessing the labour market and quality work?

The National Lottery Community Fund is the leading non-statutory funder of opportunities for young people. This means we have a wealth of insight and learning from our programmes that have focused on supporting young people with their mental health and employment journey.
Read more>>>>>


£2 bus fare cap

A list of bus companies and bus routes included in the £2 bus fare cap scheme.
Read more>>>>


2023-2024 Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement Proposals And What It Means For Rural Communities

Under the Provisional Settlement proposals, the gap in funding between rural and urban areas will, in fact increase. There is therefore a continuation of historic underfunding and unfairness for rural communities.
Read more>>>>>


Younity launches kickstarter to help grow the community energy sector

Younity, the joint venture between Octopus Energy and Midcounties Co-operative, has launched the Community Energy Kickstart initiative, to help bridge the funds needed to kickstart community energy groups’ renewable projects.
Read more>>>>>


Introducing Social Procurement Connect

Launching in January 2023, Social Procurement Connect is a new initiative from Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) created to support organisations add social value and impact into their supply chains.

Building on the successes of SEUK’s Buy Social Corporate Challenge, which has directed over £250 million towards social enterprise suppliers, Social Procurement Connect will take our social procurement experience and expertise to a broader community of organisations.
Read more>>>>>


Regulation inspiration: Ian Adderley of the FCA on the rules for the co-op sector’

Compliance and correct governance may seem daunting but it can have a real impact on people’s lives’The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the conduct of over 50,000 firms in the UK to ensure they comply with standards of business governance and stick to the letter of the law.
Read more>>>>

New ‘Village Office’ set up to tackle rural isolation

Community First are delighted to be working in partnership to set up our first ‘Village Office’.

A new ‘Village Office’ has been set up in Lindridge to tackle isolation and provide a working space for people living in rural areas.

Malvern Hills District Council is working with Community First to trial the concept across rural areas of the district, with Lindridge Parish Hall, Tenbury Wells, as the first location.
Read more>>>>


Join our Wellbeing Providers Network, a network that brings people together who can share ideas that can make things happen!

If you have health and wellbeing content for our newsletter, please email it to Fran, ; 01684 312730

Community First services include: 

The Wellbeing Team – click here

 Worcestershire Works Well – website

Dry January 2023

Click on image for more information


Time to change is changing to “Stamping Out Stigma”

Time to Change started in 2007 as a social movement to change the way people think and act about mental health problems, supported by Mind and Rethink.  Following a successful funding application to Mind, the partnership which made up Time to Change Worcestershire was set up in March 2018.  Following on from this in November 2019, Worcestershire County Council identified funding to continue the co-ordination of Time to Change Worcestershire. Funding also provided a ‘Champions Fund’ to enable local people with personal experience of mental health problems to run anti-stigma activities until November 2022.   This enabled work to continue locally even though the national Time to Change programme closed on 31st March 2021.

The Worcestershire team are proud that so much has been achieved in changing attitudes towards mental health, however, there is still work to be done and this will now continue through a number of channels. The Champions group will continue to campaign as “Stamping Out Stigma” aligned to the Experts by Experience group of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Wellbeing Recovery College. Anti-stigma activities will also be embedded into existing opportunities including:

  • Now Were Talking, (Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust)
  • Worcestershire Works Well workplace standards
  • Herefordshire & Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College
  • Active Allyship training
  • New Joint Local Health & Wellbeing Board Strategy which is focusing on Mental Health and Wellbeing


Time to Change Pledge

It is now more important than ever that we challenge the stigma that exists around mental health and encourage people to speak up.

Signing the Time to Change Worcestershire Pledge is a great way to actively show your support in ending mental health discrimination. If you have already signed the Pledge, thank you so much.
Time to Change Worcestershire Pledge

Your activities to support The Time to Change Worcestershire Pledge could include:

  • Becoming an ambassador for Time to Change Worcestershire by promoting its aims at every opportunity
  • Promoting and support Time to Change Worcestershire events and campaigns
  • Promoting and encouraging activities around Time to Talk Day, World Mental Health Day and World Mental Health week
  • Holding Time to Change and mental health awareness events within our own organisation
  • Using the Time to Change Employer Action Plan
  • Actively supporting Time to Change Worcestershire awareness raising and campaign events on social media
  • Identifying and taking up speaking opportunities where appropriate to promote Time to Change Worcestershire and our aims
  • Signing up as  Champion yourself and encouraging others to do so
  • Join or set up a Champion campaign group
  • Attending or hosting Time to Change Training such as “Challenging Stigma and Discrimination,” “Social Contact,” and “Running an activity”
  • Training Time to Change trainers in your organisation and hosting your own
  • Join our employer group
  • Starting conversations about mental health

Find out more about Pledge activities here

We can offer you:

  • Access to free training
  • Access to free resources
  • Access to funding of up to £500 for community events to get people talking about mental health

If you are thinking about signing the Pledge, please turn your thought into action!
Please email   and we will be in touch.
Your organisation or name will appear on our real and virtual Pledge wall and you will receive a certificate which you can proudly display.


Worcestershire Works Well Webinar

This webinar is by Invitation Only, to Worcestershire Works Well Members.
Start: 17th January 2023
From: 10:00 to 11:00
Click here to book


Suicide Prevention: Hold out a Hand to our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

Hold Out a Hand is a powerful short film that we hope will stimulate conversations about mental health and suicide within the Gypsy and Traveller community.
Visit www.travellerstimes.org.uk/hold-out-a-hand to find out more.


Free support to help you stop smoking

Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible. Quitting is the best thing you can do to protect you and your family.
Available to mums, dads, carers, in fact anyone living with a child under the age of three in Worcestershire.
Read more>>>>

Moonstone Support Services

Moonstone Support Services is a not for profit organisation working within the local community and Worcestershire for individuals and communities mental health and well-being.

It offers workshops and events to the community to help with mental health and well-being offering stress management programmes, solution focused therapy, meditation, advocacy and befriending.  It works to promote mobility, self advocacy, inter generation links and prevent loneliness and isolation.

Find out more>>>>>

OK Rehab

OK Rehab, a website that offers guidance and support for people experiencing problems with substance misuse and co-occurring mental health problems in Worcestershire.
Read more>>>>>>


Downloadable resources

Click here for a list of resources produced by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust available to download for free.

If you require these documents in a different format please email  


Safe Haven (Herefordshire)

Herefordshire Mind is delighted to have recently expanded its Safe Haven service so that it is now open 7 nights a week from 5-10pm, at Heffernan House, 130-132 Widemarsh Street, Hereford, HR4 9HN. The service offers a safe space to anyone in Herefordshire over 18 who is experiencing emotional distress.

They work with people experiencing a wide range of issues and can be contacted by telephone and email as well as providing face to face support and a social space. If you are struggling emotionally, please get in touch. Tel: 01432 372407, or email: 

‘Better Health’ children’s nutrition campaign

A new campaign from the Department of Health and Social Care’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) has launched, heroing the NHS Food Scanner App as part of its first ‘Better Health’ children’s nutrition campaign.
The App is the ideal hack for families, helping them to swap food and drink that are higher in sugar, saturated fat, and salt to healthier alternatives. The App comes on the back of a record rise in obesity amongst children over the last school year, with latest data highlighting that 1 in 4 children of reception school age are overweight or obese; this rises to 4 in 10 in Year 6 (ages 10-11).
Read more>>>>

Click here for HVOSS Latest News

Other Wellbeing Newsletters




Community First support people running – or hoping to run – every type of community building: village halls, parish halls, community centres and churches reaching out to a wider community. The community buildings advisory service is operated by Richard Timney who is available to provide information, advice and support on the phone, via email, through written material and limited visits.

Read more>>>>

Join Community First’s Village Hall Network!

Please click here:
if you would like to join our network to get discounts and free advice notes and model documents
and occasional extra briefings.
You can also bask in the glory of being in a club of halls – able to share information and experiences – to allow your village hall to prosper and to do so efficiently and practically.


Village Hall Update

Car charging points at village halls – an update
Our project to evaluate the use of solar panels, batteries and car charging points at village halls is nearly done.  Our partners, SharEnergy, have visited halls across both counties to look at the issues and to learn from halls that have already installed some of these items.
Their draft report is written and the conclusions are really interesting.   The report highlights the strong reasons for having car charging points in rural settings and explores affordable installation packages for village halls.
This is a section of the executive summary summing up the work.

Fitting such a system would improve the facilities of the hall and give some protection against future electricity price rises.   It would also give opportunities for local residents to charge their cars, allow for the development of electric car clubs and reduce the load on the local grid.   There are likely to be some replacement costs for chargers and inverters after 10 years or so, but the scheme with the £15k of grant funding and/or donations would show considerable savings for the halls after the initial investment and replacement costs have been paid off.   Carbon savings for a 10kW PV system and dual EV charger would vary between 6 and 8 tonnes of CO2 per annum, depending on usage of the EV chargers.   Therefore, each hall fitting such a system could save 140 tonnes of CO2 over 20 years.

The conclusion of the report is that fitting PV panels, batteries and EV charge points to village halls can help to save village halls money and reduce carbon emissions.   Each such scheme would encourage more people to move to electric vehicles and could enable electric community transport solutions and/or car clubs.   Most of the village halls we have visited would benefit from such a system, but a few are relatively underused or would have additional costs for long cabling distances, so we are not recommending that all of them consider this.   When all of the costs are taken into account, there are still long payback periods evident.
Typically, a 10kW PV system with 10kWh of batteries and two 7kW EV chargers would require around £15,000 of grant support or donations to bring about a reasonable payback period for the rest of the costs.”
We would be very interested in the latest views and comments of village hallers in relation to car charging points potentially being installed at your hall or in use around your community.   We will add some to the final report.

New fund for village hall improvements being launched in the New Year.
A new fund to help halls improve has been launched.  Its linked to the Queen’s Jubilee and is worth around £3m.  It is time limited with the first round taking first submissions by 25th January but do not worry if you won’t be able to make this initial deadline.  There will be more rounds over the next couple of years.
The details of the fund can be found here.   To be in the best shape to apply halls should have a project of reasonable size … over £37,500, have a good idea of costs and some evidence of local consultation about the project or its features.   Quotes are needed for stage two of the process and should include any VAT payable.

Competition will be strong and not all halls will get funded.  The funding might be worth between £7500k and £40k but the grant can only be worth a maximum of 20% of eligible costs.
If you are interested in taking up the chance of this funding get in touch with me to register your interest.  Setting out your plans a little.

Village Hall Week  23rd – 30th Jan 2023
I will be holding an online village hall briefing meeting on Tuesday 24th January at 10.30.

The theme will be Warm and Welcoming Spaces.
We will be able to hear from halls about their various types of coffee and social events and about any extension to hours that have taken place to provide warm hubs over the winter.
It will be interesting to learn from halls how energy bills are being affected by the fluctuations in the market and what steps have been taken by halls to manage any changes.
We will talk about the steps that can be taken to improve the fabric of your buildings.  To upgrade energy efficiency and to generating your own power through solar arrays.    We will talk through the benefits of utilising solar power for charging cars and onsite batteries making funding for such works easier to justify.
So do come along.   If you would like to invite anyone else from your hall committee or user groups to join in, do drop me an e mail to .    Hallers on my data base will be sent a link nearer the time.

Bird Boxes for Village Halls in Worcestershire

We are looking for 10 halls who might be interested in having up to 10 nest boxes, including one for Owl, to place on and around the hall.
If this is something of interest please contact Richard Timney on 

Become a member of Community First’s Herefordshire & Worcestershire
Community Oil Buying Scheme!

Great value and convenience.

In 2013, Community First set up a bulk buying group for heating oil for anyone in the two counties.  The scheme keeps money in the local economy, builds a greater sense of community and cooperation and helps tackle fuel costs.  Over the years, with hundreds of members, we have saved many thousands of pounds across both counties.

How does it work?
At the end of each month we collate orders placed by our members and negotiate with a number of suppliers.  Our savings are often between 2p and 4p a litre against the average English price and can be much more against local individual quotes.  Our prices are the same for 500 as for 1500 litres, which is good for spreading your costs.
To register your interest or ask a question please contact   or ring Richard on 07515 881231.

Membership costs £20 per year.  We are very happy to work with established local groups too for instance by sharing good practice and energy efficiency tips.

  • Community First will negotiate on your behalf with the oil suppliers
  • The best deal will be secured
  • You pay the supplier direct for the oil they deliver
  • Deadlines for orders are approximately around the 26th-28th of each month

To become a member please complete the form and return with payment or for more information please call 01684 312730 or 07515 881231.

Oil Buying Deadline (Members Only)

 January Order Deadline Date (for February Delivery):
26th January 2023

Email  to place your order.


Herefordshire Affordable Warmth Network (HAWN) – Online Network Meeting

Wednesday 1st February 11am – 11:30am

Severn Wye Energy Agency will be hosting an online meeting of the Herefordshire Affordable Warmth Network, on Wednesday 1st February 2023 starting at 11am.
Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 331 352 380 524
Passcode: jbPh9g

Community Events


Leominster Wassail – Corn Square

Come with us as we process with the Jenny Pipes Morris down to our Community Orchard below the Priory Church and playground, and join us in the wassail ceremony to ensure a fruitful future harvest for our apple trees.

All welcome including musicians and singers. Organised by the Friends of Grange Court Gardens, Grange Court cafe will be open for lunch/refreshments afterwards. The festivities will start 11am 14th January in Corn square Leominster.
Read more>>>>

Wellbeing Events

‘Behind the Smile’ peer support group


Writing for Wellbeing

Free writing for wellbeing workshops, facilitated by professional poets and teaching artists. Participants of our courses are invited to contribute to a published anthology. These anthologies are distributed for free throughout Worcestershire (through Worcestershire Libraries, community centres, literature festivals and Pride events etc). Our work is funded by The National Lottery, Arts Council England and various smaller funding bodies.

We have two new writing for wellbeing courses starting in November and would like to invite people who interact with your services to join us. Please share the attached flyer with your network and/or anyone who might benefit from our courses.

Click here for more information

Time to Talk

Morrisons’ Café
Monday 17th October 2023: 3-4pm

We want to make a real difference on the next Time to Talk Day Thursday 2nd 2023  by doing something dynamic and positive to challenge the stigma that still exists around mental health and mental illness.

Join us for a coffee for hour to help plan activities in Malvern to promote positive ways in which we can change the way that people think and act about mental health.

To join in or to find out more about Time to Change Worcestershire scan the QR code here:

(Please note this is not a peer support group)

or contact us on the details below:
Email: 
Tel: 01684 312730


Free Mental Health and Wellbeing Workshops

We at Farming Minds Charity want to help challenge and break down the stigmas associated with Mental Health in the farming community
If you would like to find out more about the workshops, please contact Emily
Mobile: 07506 567500
Email: 
www.wearefarmingminds.co.uk


Free Training Opportunities

Calling all Youth Workers

Do you work with young people in Worcestershire age 11 – 19?
Do you wish to gain a qualification and improve your skills, knowledge and understanding in youth work?
Then this is for you-Level 2 Award in Youth Work Principles
Click here for more information and dates

Elmley Small Arts Grants Scheme 

This scheme is for community groups in Herefordshire and Worcestershire planning arts events or art equipment purchases. There are two funds – Events and Activities and Arts Equipment.  Both offer up to all the projected cost, to a maximum of £1,000. (There are separate Guidelines for each fund.)

The scheme is administered on behalf of the Elmley Foundation by Community First, Guidelines and application forms are available to download online.

If you have any questions about your eligibility or whether your ideas fit the scheme, please email your questions to Gail Mattocks at Community First using email  or phone 07790 049322

PLEASE EMAIL YOUR APPLICATION BY THE DEADLINE, WITH ANY ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTATION TO 

The next round of application dates: 20th January for decision by 3rd February 2023


CLA Charitable Trust – apply by 6th February 2023

The CLA Charitable Trust provides grants to non-profit organisations supporting disadvantaged children, young people and adults through delivering access, recreational and educational opportunities within and about the countryside.
Grants can be for core costs, capital works or specific projects.
Please apply by 6th February to be considered in the next round of grant making.
For further information and how to apply see: www.cla.org.uk/about-cla/charitable-trust/ or contact .

Funding Information

Bromsgrove and Redditch Network


Job Vacancies

  • Practitioner – Telephone Triage
  • Active Monitoring and Mental Health Link Worker Team Leader
  • Telephone Triage Team Leader
  • Active Monitoring Practitioner (Children and Young People Specialist)
  • Safe Haven Practitioner

Click here to read more

FREE PUBLICITY– Community First are keen to help you publicise your Herefordshire and Worcestershire voluntary, community and social enterprise sector jobs and volunteering opportunities in this space. Send them to: Fran 

Community First Our Current Work

Specialist Advice

Collaborative initiatives: 

  • VCS Provider Group – working together to maximise our collaborative impact for our local communities

Become a Member of Community First – Join Community First to support our work with rural communities and supporting voluntary and community sector organisations. Membership

For contact details relating to the above areas of our work, please follow the web links, or phone Community First’s general number and ask to be put through to the appropriate advisor: 01684 312730; or you can email us 

We would like to hear from you:
Please send us any local news/information/events that you would like included in our monthly newsletter info@comfirst.org.uk
Add us to your address book


Join Community First’s Networks and stay informed about what matters to you:  

Wellbeing Network

Village Hall Network

Community First Newsletter

FACEBOOK: 
“LIKE” our Community First Facebook  page to be the first to hear about our funding opportunities and use our facebook to reach a wider audience with your news and updates.

Become a Community First member and support our work
in Herefordshire and Worcestershire and have a say at our AGM

Our vision is of strong, successful and healthy communities thriving
across Herefordshire and Worcestershire where everyone can achieve their full potential

By strong we mean that communities are resilient to challenge and adaptive to change.
By successful we mean that economic and social interactions are as good as they can be.
By healthy we mean that everyone’s physical and mental health is as good as it can be and that people live in a healthy environment.
By communities we mean not only communities of place but also communities of interest. It is particularly important to address communities of interest in a world where so many interactions are online.
By communities we include all in Herefordshire and Worcestershire with a special emphasis on smaller rural communities where their rurality poses particular challenges.

Our mission is to support the wellbeing of communities
across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

To deliver our mission we must
Support – provide expert support to those communities, particularly through organisations in those communities.
Advocate – act as advocate, representing the diverse interests of those communities, particularly where they may find it difficult getting their voice heard.
Deliver – provide direct support to individuals where there are no other suitable organisations able to provide such support.
Manage – ensure that our own organisation is fit for purpose and able to deliver our mission in an efficient and effective way.

Become a Community First member today!

Copyright © 2019 Community First, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Community First
First Floor, Unit 3, Harmac House,
Chequers Lane
Enigma Business Park
Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 1GP

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