Southampton University National Study on Long Term Conditions

This new approach involves the use of NHS data to group (or ‘cluster’) people together who have similar health conditions and sociodemographic factors, to predict social care needs.

The aim is to use these clusters to develop an intervention to help people get support with their social care needs (e.g. from community groups, charities and self-management etc.)

They are currently doing exploratory interviews with people living with long-term conditions, and also anyone who is involved in the care of people with long-term conditions (including health care professionals, social care professionals, people working within community groups or charity sectors, database managers and people who are carers). This is the study they are currently recruiting to, to find people views on the new approach and how this relates to their experiences of multiple long-term conditions.

They have two websites:

One for people living with multiple long-term conditions –  

And one for health and social care professionals –

Empowering Communities through Property Education in 2024 webinars

Join us for Ethical Property Foundation for their 21st Year Webinar Series – new online property topics designed to empower local voluntary organisations to manage their premises, owned or rented, with property knowledge and confidence.

Webinar Series Highlights

1. Title: Negotiating & Managing Your Lease – BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE

Date: 8th February 2024
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Hosted via Zoom by EPF

2. Title: Everyday Premises Management – BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE

Date: 14th March 2024
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Hosted via Zoom by EPF

The webinars, delivered by experienced property professionals and with follow up guidance and resources, are tailored to help voluntary organisations across the UK with practical know-how to manage their premises sustainably.

This engaging webinar is offered at no cost to participants and features a dynamic 1-hour session.

The content includes a 45-minute presentation followed by an interactive discussion to address participant queries and insights.

EPF will handle all bookings, either through its management system or via agreed-upon platforms like Eventbrite.

Event details can be found on there website at

Park Lodge Project – Service Manager

Job title: Service Manager

Scale: Adopted: PO2 – £36,648.00 starting salary

Park Lodge Project is seeking an experienced service manager to lead its Clarendon Park Hub.

You will be responsible for delivering excellent accommodation and support services to young people impacted by homelessness.

You will do this by leading a team of dedicated support workers to deliver person centred support. Acknowledging that many of the young people who live with us have suffered traumas within their lives, you will be inspired to develop a psychologically informed environment and strive for continuous improvement in the services we can offer young people.

You will see the potential in young people and the staff team and be motivated to develop service delivery to ensure excellence for the young people we support.

You will be a skilled communicator, forming good relationships with stakeholders, staff and young people alike.

You will lead an accommodation hub, where approximately 40 young people live and are supported, across a range of properties by your team of support workers. You will be capable of supervising, supporting and coaching staff teams to deliver high quality supported accommodation services.

The successful candidate will be an experienced manager within the health, social care, housing, or youth work sectors.

Once in receipt of your CV, we will arrange for you to complete an application form should we wish to pursue your application further.
Please send a CV in the first instance to

Friendly Connected Communities of Leicestershire

Details of the Friendly Communities approach at that time can be found here:

Using the feedback from the consultation, VAL has assisted LCC colleagues to look at how this approach can be implemented by meeting individually with a number of VCSE organisations who completed the consultation.

This has led to the initiative being rebranded as Friendly Connected Communities.

The concept of Friendly Connected Communities of Leicestershire is a simple and easy way to help and support communities to be more resilient, and to help individuals to feel welcome, supported, safe and integrated wherever they live in Leicestershire.

A guide to Friendly Connected Communities of Leicestershire aims to support communities around Leicestershire to coordinate this approach, which can be accessed here.

The How to Start a Friendly Connected Communities guide goes into more detail on implementing this approach such as who can be involved and sustaining the approach. The guide can be accessed here.  

In addition a Friendly Connected Communities of Leicestershire Supporting Values and Principles document outlines what the core values and principles are of a Friendly Connected Community, which can be accessed here.   

If your community group or organisation wishes to endorse and support a Friendly Connected Community approach you are invited to commit to those core values and principles and to contact Leicestershire County Council to request a copy of the Friendly Connected Communities logo.

You can contact Leicestershire County Council for this purpose by emailing:


Kevan Liles MBE receives his Lifetime Achievement Award by new CEO of VAL, Kevin Allen Khimani. 
[Image by Saul Morgan]

The VAL Awards, originally established in 2019, has become an annual tradition for the Leicester-based Voluntary Action Leicestershire charity ‘hub’ and a chance to shine a spotlight on the invaluable work of volunteers, community groups, and charities that go above and beyond to make a positive impact, and whose dedication and passion make Leicester and Leicestershire a better place for us all to live.

The ticketed event, which was compered by BBC’s Rupal Rajani and CEO of VAL, Kevin Allen Khimani, was held in front of a packed audience of over 230 guests in the Grand Hall at Leicester’s The Grand Hotel.

Speaking for the first time as newly appointed CEO of Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, Kevin Allen Khimani said;

“Tonight we are both humbled and inspired by the many individuals and groups working within our charity and voluntary sector in Leicester and Leicestershire.  Like you, I have shed many tears listening and learning about some of these incredible individuals, who, without their tireless efforts and determination, so many people would live more difficult lives.  I’m immensely proud that the VAL Awards 2023 enable us to celebrate some of these inspirational people and stories that might not otherwise be recognized.”

He continued;

“If you have been inspired by the finalists and winners celebrated in this year’s awards, I’d ask you: “what are you doing to make life better for others?”  At VAL, we support over 3500 charities and grassroots organisations that all need support, so we invite anyone to get in touch with us and, together, we can help connect you to a cause or project that inspires you enough to get involved – and help others lead a better life.”

Lesley Vernon, Chief Engagement Officer at MHBS:

“Congratulations to all the charities and individual winners and nominations who have dedicated their time, resources and passion to help strengthen our communities. Being a mutual Society, this is at the heart of our purpose too, and together we can create a brighter and more inclusive future for all. Your efforts have truly made a difference and will inspire others to join in helping our communities thrive.”

Monies raised by the local sponsors allowed the event to run without charge to all finalists and their chosen guests, so special thanks must go to headline sponsor, Market Harborough Building Society, alongside Aspire Pharma Ltd; Fraser Urquhart Media; PPL PRS; Meesh Consulting and Paragon Sales Solutions.

Winners of the VAL Awards 2023 are confirmed as:

City Charity of the Year
Big Difference Company

County Charity of the Year
Helping Hands Community Trust

Social Enterprise of the Year
Team Hub CIC

Volunteer-Led Organisation of the Year
Feed the Need Coalville

Trustee of the Year – sponsored by Paragon Sales Solutions
Eileen Richards

Fundraiser of the Year – sponsored by PPL PRS
Chris Shaw

Charity & Business Partnership of the Year – sponsored by FU Media

Kathryn Burgess Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Meesh Consulting
Jas Kainth

Inspiring Leader of the Year – sponsored by Aspire Pharma
Jaimini Bharakhada

Charity of the Year – sponsored by Market Harborough Building Society
Helping Hands Community Trust

Lifetime Achievement Award
Kevan Liles MBE

Click here to view our VAL Awards 2023 page, view pictures of our winners and find out how you can get involved in 2024!

Finalists Announced for prestigious VAL Awards

Pictured: VAL Awards 2022 Volunteer of the Year Winner, Praful Thakrar – Shreeji Dham Haveli. Photo by Saul Morgan.

The VAL Awards, originally established in 2019, has become an annual tradition for the Leicester-based Voluntary Action Leicestershire charity ‘hub’ and a chance to shine a spotlight on the invaluable work of volunteers, community groups, and charities that go above and beyond to make a positive impact, and whose dedication and passion make Leicester and Leicestershire a better place for us all to live.


The ticketed event will be held on Friday 10 November in the Grand Hall at Leicester’s The Grand Hotel.  The awards are made possible by the generous support of local businesses, which include headline sponsor, Market Harborough Building Society.  Confirmed category sponsors include Aspire Pharma Ltd; Fraser Urquhart Media; PPL PRS; Meesh Consulting and Paragon Sales Solutions.  Monies raised allow the event to run without charge to nominees and their chosen guests.

Finalists for each category are as follows:

City Charity of the Year

  1. One Roof Leicester
  2. Big Difference Company
  3. Cook E-Learning Foundation (E2)

County Charity of the Year

  1. Helping Hands Community Trust
  2. Falcon Support Services
  3. The Jubilee Food Bank

Social Enterprise of the Year

  1. Team Hub
  2. The Hub Educational Services CIC
  3. Leicester Community Links CIC

Fundraiser of the Year – sponsored by PPL PRS

  1. Darren Bradbury
  2. Chris Shaw
  3. Arif Voraji

Trustee of the Year – sponsored by Paragon Sales Solutions

  1. Glynis Wright
  2. Eileen Richards
  3. Jay Webb

Inspiring Leader of the Year – sponsored by Aspire Pharma

  1. Rehana Sidat – Jamila’s Legacy CIC
  2. Jaimini Bharakhada – Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association (BNCHA)
  3. Dee Dixon – Goldhill Adventure Playground
  4. Grant Paton – Advance UK
  5. Lindsay Young – The Friendly Bench CIC

Volunteer Led Organisation of the Year

  1. Leicestershire Junior & Youth Disability League
  2. Fleckney Kitten Club
  3. The Baldwin Trust
  4. Feed the Need Coalville

Charity & Business Partnership of the Year – sponsored by FU Media

  1. Pedestrian Ltd
  2. Leicestershire Cares
  3. Axiom Energy

Kathryn Burgess Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Meesh Consulting

  1. Kathy Oliveira – Helping Hands Community Trust
  2. Richard Bryt – Arnold Lodge
  3. Wayne Francis – Home-Start Horizons
  4. Graham Pote – Eyres Monsell CYP
  5. Jas Kainth – Living Without Abuse (LWA)

Kevin Allen-Khimani, CEO at VAL, commented:

“It has been wonderful and awe-inspiring to see so many amazing nominees come through for this year’s VAL Awards – the first in my tenure as CEO. I am incredibly proud of the challenges the sector has overcome in the last few years, and very much look forward to celebrating all the amazing achievements on awards night.”

Lesley Vernon, Chief Engagement Officer at MHBS:

“Giving back is at the heart of everything we do and we’re proud to support an event that recognises the hard work and dedication of the amazing volunteers and charitable organisations in our local community. We look forward to honouring the remarkable nominees and coming together to celebrate their achievements next month.”

Voluntary Action Leicestershire looks forward to an unforgettable awards ceremony and invites you to join them in celebrating the outstanding individuals and groups that make our community stronger and more vibrant.  Ticket sales are still available, at the time of issue.

For more information about the awards click here.

Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health

Through the charter we’ll receive the right training and processes to equip our team with the necessary skills to meet the challenges of mental health at work.

As an employer we recognise that in the UK, people experiencing mental ill health continue to report stigma and discrimination at work. Having signed the ‘Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health’, we are committed to creating a supportive and open culture, where colleagues feel able to talk about mental health confidently, and aspire to appropriately support the mental wellbeing of all staff.

As an employer, we have made an on-going commitment to:
Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to staff experiencing mental ill health.
Not make assumptions about a person with a mental health condition and their ability to work.
Be positive and enabling towards all employees and job applicants with a mental health condition.
Support line managers in managing mental health in the workplace.
Ensure we are fair in the recruitment of new staff in accordance with the Equality Act (2010).
Make it clear that people who have experienced mental ill health will not be discriminated against, and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both the employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.

First Signed: 29 June 2021, Last reviewed 12 September 2023

Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland VCSE Alliance

We wanted to have a really good understanding of all the communities we served and recognised how valuable voluntary and community groups were in helping us to achieve this. We worked closely with many local voluntary and community groups to develop a new way of them working in partnership with us – a way that would involve them in decisions about designing and providing healthcare services – and together, we created the VCSE Alliance.

It’s completely free to become a member and all voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are encouraged to join, no matter how small or big they are!

At the first VCSE Alliance annual conference in May this year, we asked our members what they thought had been going well. Here is just a snapshot of their feedback:

“Good/strong relationships between NHS and VCSE sector”

“We have more recognition – VCSEs are value for money & trusted”

“Opportunities for networking, collaboration and greater impact”

“Groups here represent seldom heard voices from different communities”

“Greater exposure of what is happening (in the local NHS)”

“Increase in referrals for service users”

“We feel part of the co-design”

“The forum is helpful – access to funding opportunities and vacancies”

We hope you would agree that our existing members seem really pleased with the progress of the VCSE Alliance.

There are lots of perks to becoming a member, including:

The VCSE Alliance webspace, which has:

      • a VCSE Alliance Directory containing descriptions and contact details of all groups that have joined (181 so far!). Anybody, including members of the public, can register for access to the webspace – at present, there are over 600 people registered who can search the directory and find groups that are interesting or helpful to them.
      • an Applications and Opportunities Hub, where we advertise all local NHS funding opportunities. We also advertise opportunities for some of our partners, such as the local councils.
      • a Skills and Resources page, where we share information, training and events that might be useful to you.
      • a tool for you to send us insights about your community (information that could help us better understand your community’s wants, needs and opinions) that we will save in our Insights, Behaviour and Research Hub. This means that our colleagues in the NHS can access your community insights when they are improving or designing services.
  • Access to the VCSE Alliance Forum, where you can communicate with other local voluntary and community groups. You can ask questions; start conversations; share events, opportunities, skills and resources. There are some great examples on the forum of groups working together. We also share useful NHS updates on the forum.
  • The exclusive opportunity to bid for funding – the NHS funding opportunities we advertise are only available to VCSE Alliance Members. It’s easy for them to apply for funding because we already have their details from when they joined the VCSE Alliance.
  • Monthly newsletters – we update members on all new opportunities, useful health information, and what people have been talking about on the forum.
  • Invitations to events and webinars – several times a year, we invite all our members to join us for a face-to-face meeting. Our members value this opportunity to network in-person. We also hold online ‘health update’ sessions to let you know what your local NHS is currently focussed on, and we invite you to join online learning sessions (webinars). We listened to what our members told us they wanted to learn about, so the topics of our upcoming webinars will be:
    • How to promote your services to local communities
    • How to understand health data to demonstrate impact and need
    • How to understand the impact of health inequalities (unfair and avoidable differences in health between different groups of people)

If you like the sound of any of these perks and you want to help your local NHS better understand and serve all communities, please join the VCSE Alliance today!

Net Zero Toolkit

It has been developed in partnership with Green Living Leicestershire and aligns to the Leicestershire Climate and Nature Pact.

We anticipate the toolkit helping to:

  • Support you in starting or furthering your net zero activities
  • Give practical tips and advice to encourage and support local residents and businesses to adopt lower carbon practices
  • Share examples of good practice within Leicestershire

Further information:

Investing Charity Money:

The refreshed guidance follows a Commission ‘call for information’ and consultation on financial investment and reflects a significant High Court judgment on charity trustees’ investment duties (the ‘Butler-Sloss’ case). Trustees can have confidence in the decisions they make when following the guidance, knowing it is up to date and properly reflects the relevant law.

The guidance:

  • Includes examples of various issues which may be relevant for trustees to consider when making investment decisions, such as the potential for an investment to conflict with the purposes of the charity, or the reputational impact of an investment decision.
  • Lists steps trustees ‘must’ take to be compliant with the law and those trustees ‘should’ do which are strongly recommended as best practice but not legally required.
    explains that acting in the best interests of a charity is about ensuring that above all else any decision furthers its purposes. It also warns trustees to not allow personal motives, opinions, or interests to affect the decisions they make.
  • Incorporates previously separate guidance on social investment and no longer uses terminology that could get in the way of trustees’ understanding, such as ‘ethical investment’, ‘mixed motive investment’ and ‘programme related investment’.

Further information: