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Yes, it's that time of year already. Christmas Challenge 2022 applications are now open! The Christmas Challenge is the UK's biggest digital match funding campaign. The Christmas Challenge gives your donors the chance to double their donations as you raise vital funds for your work. This year it will run from midday Tuesday 29th November to midday Tuesday 6th December. Last year, the Christmas Challenge raised a record-breaking £24.1m for 928 charities!

To apply for Christmas Challenge 2022:

  1. Log in or sign up for Big Give account
  2. Click on Big Give Campaigns
  3. Click on Apply now for Christmas Challenge 2022

Up to £25,000 of match funding is available per charity. There are millions of pounds of match funding available for a wide range of charities and causes. They will have more match funding available this year than ever before. This means that they can support more charities and raise even more money for good causes. 

As well as accessing Champion funds, evidence shows that donors are more likely to give and to give more in match funding campaigns. The Big Give also offers a free suite of resources, training and guidance for all participating charities. 

The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 1st July. For more information, the eligibility criteria, and to apply, visit the Christmas Challenge page on the Big Give website.

If you would like to find out further information about the Christmas Challenge, the Big Give is hosting an introductory webinar to the Christmas Challenge on Monday 23rd May, from 12pm - 1pm, to give further details on how the Christmas Challenge works and the opportunity for you to ask the Big Give team your questions.

Charities working to improve the lives of vulnerable, disadvantaged or underrepresented women and girls in England and Scotland can apply for Women and Girls Match Fund through the Christmas Challenge. They will be holding a special webinar on Monday 30th May, from 12pm - 12:30pm for charities interested in applying for the Women and Girls sector of the Christmas Challenge.


The VS6 Partnership would like to invite you to an event with the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector in Liverpool City Region to discuss the proposed approach to the sector delivery of the UK-Shared Prosperity Fund.


In 2017, the UK government announced its intention to set up the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UK-SPF) as a replacement for European funding following Brexit. In April this year, the guidance for the UK-SPF was released along with a list of proposed interventions for the fund, many of which are areas that the VCFSE sector in LCR have a great track record of delivering. In the Liverpool City Region the Combined Authority are responsible for developing the local plan for the UK-SPF in consultation with many local partners, including the VCFSE sector.


The VS6 Partnership have been working over the past few months to develop a framework for VCFSE UK-SPF delivery. This event is an opportunity for the VCFSE sector in LCR to come together to contribute to the development of the VCFSE UK-SPF Framework that will be submitted to the Combined Authority for inclusion within the Local Investment Plan. We will also explore the impact of the ending of the European Social Fund (ESF) on the VCFSE sector and how the Combined Authority can address this risk within its UK-SPF planning.


The VCFSE sector is best placed to deliver positive outcomes for our communities in LCR via the UK-SPF.

Join us on 25th May to explore this further.


Sign up via Eventbrite here:


Agenda TBC.


Zoom joining details will be emailed to all registered attendees the day before the event.


Should you have any accessibility requirements for attending this online event, please let them know - either through the registration form or by emailing Anna Cooper,

PCC marks anniversary by launching summer Youth Diversion Fund to help ease holiday hardship and offer positive activities for thousands of young people

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner is marking her first year in office by announcing the launch of her summer Youth Diversion Fund to offer safe, engaging activities for thousands of young people and help ease holiday hardship across the region.

Emily Spurrell, who started in post a year ago today (Friday 13th May 2022), warned that the school holidays can be a particularly hard time for young people from families who are struggling.

The six week’s holiday is also a time when communities across Merseyside often see a spike in anti-social behaviour, causing concern and distress for local families and acting as a drain on police resources

To help ease the pressure, the PCC is extending her successful Youth Diversion Fund to run over the summer months and is inviting community and grassroot organisations to bid for funds to run projects which will provide positive diversionary activities, such as sports, arts, or cultural activities, for young people right across Merseyside.

A total of £100,00 is available from the fund and organisations can bid for a one-off cash boost of up to £5,000 to provide safe, supervised summer activities for young people and help reduce ASB in their communities during the six week’s holiday.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “People across Merseyside have told me that ASB can be a blight on their communities during the summer months, particularly during the six week’s holidays when young people are not in school and there are long light nights with very little for them to do.

“Many young people who get involved with behaviour which becomes anti-social don’t have access to positive activities and opportunities to keep them safe and engaged. They feel have nowhere to go and nothing to do.

“Families who were already struggling and are now facing a huge rise in the cost of living, simply don’t have the money to pay for holidays or organised clubs during the six week’s school break. They are striving to make ends meet and are focused on paying for food and rent.

“Community-based activities can provide a lifeline for these kids. By releasing a new round of my Youth Diversion Fund for projects running over the summer holidays, my goal is to ensure there are safe, fun, enjoyable activities for young people right across Merseyside.

“ASB is sometimes, wrongly, viewed as ‘low-level’, but for victims it can have a hugely damaging effect, causing fear, distress and anxiety.

“The more we can offer exciting, safe opportunities for young people which keep them occupied and engaged, the fewer victims there will be and the safer our communities will feel. This gives young people a brighter future, while helping to create nicer, better places to live, and reducing the burden on the police during a particularly busy time of the year.”

Emily added: “There are lots of brilliant community and grassroots organisations across our region which are committed to giving to young people the best start in life, offering them positive activities, and improving their future prospects and I’m proud to be able to support their work through this fund.”

It is the second round of funding from the PCC’s Youth Diversion, using money raised through the Police Property Act which sees money from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police which cannot be returned to be diverted into worthwhile causes supporting communities.

Nearly 6,500 young people enjoyed activities during Halloween and Bonfire Night, thanks to the last round of funding which was released to fund projects running over the busy autumn half term.

One of the successful projects was The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre, known as ‘The Brunny’ which received £2,000 to run Halloween parties and activities aimed at keeping 120 young people safe in an area of high levels of ASB,

The Brunny’s Centre Manager Keith Lloyd said: “The Police Commissioner’s fund enabled us to target young people who are quite vulnerable in our community.

“It’s really difficult to engage young people, but this fund allowed us to do something different, to make a difference and to encourage young people back into this facility. We did a whole range of things - trips out, we had an outreach team out engaging young people and bringing them into the organisation and making sure they had a safe place to go to.

“It was a great success and if it wasn’t for the Police Commissioner’s fund we’d have really struggled and there would be a lot more young people experiencing difficulties.”

The Youth Diversion Fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.

CFM’s Programmes Director James Proctor said: “The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Diversion Fund is a fantastic funding opportunity to support our local grassroots community organisations and their engagement work with young people.

“It is so important to recognise the valuable community projects on offer over the summer school holidays which allow young people to get involved in sporting, cultural, educational and crucially, fun activities which keeps them safe and helps to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour.”  

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 4pm on Friday 10th June 2022.


Please visit their website to apply.



The Haton Dementia Action Alliance web page has links to local activities, support, information and resources to support people living with dementia, family and professional carers. Whilst the page was largely dormant over the last 2 years, there is still lots of information on there and this will now be kept updated.


Do you know someone who is not confident in using their iPad/ Tablet or Laptop?

Is someone you know missing out on today's technology?

Maybe thinking of purchasing an iPad / Tablet or laptop as a present for someone not digitally confident?

St Helens Adult and Community Learning have the course that can help make the most of their device

For course enquiries telephone 01744 676671 / 01744 677328

Salary: £26000 FTE
Location: Home-based
Hours: 28
Benefits: 30 days annual leave, auto-enrolment pension
Salary: £26,000 FTE

Parents in Mind are looking for a talented individual to manage Parents in Mind perinatal mental health peer support, in St Helens – initially until April 2023, but with the possibility of extension, subject to funding.  This role is home-based but will include regular meetings (sometimes at short notice) in St Helens, so the ability to travel and a flexible approach to working are essential. The post will be for 28 hours per week.

With some support, the post holder will need to use their excellent networking and people skills to recruit and mobilise local volunteer teams, promote pathways into peer support for new clients, and network with other local services to continually integrate Parents in Mind into their pathways too.

You must have excellent written and oral communication skills and be able to quickly create rapport with commissioners, volunteers, service users, NCT practitioners and a range of staff from local services. An understanding of mental health support is also essential to the post, as you will be the first point of contact for new referrals. This is a complex project, so you must be able to confidently prioritise your own work, be highly organised and able to work independently. In this leading role, the post holder will be an ambassador for the service across the locality, so outstanding relationship building skills are vital. Good IT skills will also be required – including use of Outlook, Word and Excel – and preparing professional quarterly reports for funders will be central to the post. Ideally you will also have the skills to be able to engage with parents via social media.

It is essential for this post that you are, or undertake the training to become, a Parents in Mind peer supporter. This training requires lived experience/close support of another who has experienced mental health difficulties during the transition to parenthood, and the accredited training would be undertaken in addition to your paid hours.

Closing Date: 25 May 2022 23:59

For more information and to apply please see the link below:


Is your organisation working to improve access to sustainable and affordable food in Liverpool City Region? Are you a voluntary, community, faith or social enterprise organisation supporting LCR residents to access food? Do you run a community farm, allotment or centre that grows, supplies and/or distributes affordable, healthy food in LCR?

If any of the above sound familiar for your organisation, it would be great to share your knowledge and insights of how we can develop a Liverpool City Region where everyone has access to affordable and sustainable food. VS6 Partnership, in collaboration with LCR Combined Authority, are holding an Affordable and Sustainable Food Assembly event in June to develop innovative and community focused solutions to food insecurity, with a view to supporting the developing of an LCR Food Poverty Reduction Strategy.

This event follows on from the first Sustainable and Affordable Food Assembly (2020) held with the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector and hosted by VS6 in collaboration with LCR Combined Authority which explored the issues and challenges facing LCR in developing access to sustainable and healthy food, particularly through the lens of COVID-19.

Attendees at the event will have the opportunity to provide their expert insights into how we can develop a more accessible and sustainable food system across LCR that will form the initial development of an LCR Food Poverty Reduction Strategy. Additionally, attendees will also be updated on progress of the previous assembly recommendations from 2020, VS6 work so far on mapping community food organisations across LCR and have an opportunity to be a part of the development of an LCR Food Network.

The event is being held online via Zoom on 16th June 2022, 1:30 – 4pm.

To sign up, please go to the Eventbrite page here:

St Helens will once again be the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture in 2023 – a time to shout about our great town.

Following community engagement sessions in 2022, plans are now developing for 2023 and St Helens Borough Council Library Service wants your feedback to inform a funding application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for an application to fund activity as part of St Helens Borough of Culture.

It includes opportunities for creative practitioners, arts/community/heritage groups and the wider public to be involved.

 The survey only take a few minutes to complete and will help to inform the application and to secure funding.

Survey closes Sunday 22 May 2022

Are you passionate about supporting people who have experienced domestic abuse? Are you someone who can help take the organisation forward? If so,  The First Step would very much like to hear from you.

The First Step has been providing services to people affected by domestic abuse since 1996 and provide community-based services for victim/survivors across all levels of risk as well as a refuge for women and children escaping domestic

They currently have 2 vaccancies:

Development/Fundraising Officer

Closing Date: 5pm Friday 27 May 2022

Location: Knowsley, Merseyside (flexible working locations across two offices and own home)
Salary: £26,164.86 + 6% pension contribution
Hours: 35 hours per week

The First Step are looking for a Development/Fundraising Officer to join their team. They are seeking a passionate and committed fundraiser to lead on the development of diverse and sustainable income from a variety of sources including grants from trusts and foundations plus develop a range of unrestricted fundraising income streams that could include Individual Giving, Corporate, Legacy Giving/Gifts in Wills, Events.

This post is subject to an enhanced DBS check and open to women only. (Exempt under the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, Part 1).

This role is generously supported by the Steve Morgan Foundation.


HR & Admin Support Officer

Closing Date: 5pm Friday 27 May 2022

Location: Knowsley, Merseyside (flexible working locations across two offices and own home)
Salary: £18,689.18 (FTE £26,164.18) plus 6% pension contribution
Hours: 25 per week, days to be agreed

The First Step are looking for a HR & Admin Support Officer to support the CEO and managers with personnel compliance and coordination of all aspects of the personnel function. Current staff team is 26 staff members. (We have external personnel consultants for employment law queries/support). Provision of administrative support at First Step Centre.

Minimum of 2 years’ experience in a People/HR team role.

This post is subject to an enhanced DBS check and open to women only. (Exempt under the Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, Part 1).


For more information and how to apply, please see the link below:



Together to Zero will see local VCFSE organisations receive funding and skills training to become greener as part of Liverpool City Region’s commitment to become Net Zero carbon by 2040. The project will also help raise aspirations for young people to pursue exciting, sustainable career opportunities in the local region. Together with St Helens Borough Council and Glass Futures, St Helens Chamber will be engaging with local organisations including businesses, universities, training providers and schools to discover how best to upskill the current workforce.

The project will cover 3 main areas:

Improving Workplace Skills: Our aim is to deliver the right training, awareness and support to management teams and technical staff.

Skills Innovation Grants: Offering a ‘Skills Innovation Grant’ to help employers quickly pursue new curriculum ideas and work individually with businesses to meet their needs.

Inspiring Children: We will work with schools and partners to deliver activities which will inspire children and young people to engage with these careers.

LISTEN to Stephen Sykes from the Liverpool 2030 Hub who came to our VCFSE Forum in St Helens on 11th April to introduce what the programme is about and how we can access all the FUNDING OPPORTUNTIES to support our journey to Net Zero. CLICK HERE

To start your Net Zero Journey, we have created a programme to help local businesses realise their Net Zero capabilities by developing and upskilling leaders, workforces, and supply chains. Our vision is to build a cohort of Together to Zero ambassadors that lead the change we all want to see.

Workshops include: • Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals • Introduction to Net Zero • Introduction to St Helens Data Platform • Data Platform Working Group • Starting Your Journey to Achieving Net Zero • Impact Mindset for a Net Zero Future • Developing Your Net Zero Plan.

The fully funded courses below have been designed for micro, small and medium sized organisations, and individuals with a passion for reducing their carbon impact. In order to receive your certification you will need to attend all 3 sessions which can be found here

BOOK TODAY : and remember to access the grants organisations will need to have one person attend all 3 sessions.

16th May : Session 1 – Starting your journey to Achieving Net Zero – Together to Zero – Book Now

25th May : Session 2 – Impact Mindset for a Net Zero Future – Together to Zero – Book Now

27th May : Session 3 – Developing Your Net Zero Plan – Together to Zero – Book Now

If you are unable to do all three dates please get in touch below and speak to Anita who can help resolve any access issues.

To find out more information please email

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.





Get In Touch

Halton & St Helens VCA 

Halton Office: 01928 592 405
St Maries
Lugsdale Road

St Helens Office: 01744 457100 
2nd Floor Beacon Building
College Street
St Helens
WA10 1TF



Halton & St Helens VCA is an infrastructure organisation that provides advice, information and development support services to voluntary, community, not-for-profit and faith organisations and volunteers in the Boroughs of St Helens and Halton.