Latest News

Important update from Halton Borough Council on the support for Afghan Refugees

Due to the crisis in Afghanistan – there have been a lot of very kind offers coming in from members of the public offering all types of support from donations, to rooms in their homes.

Halton Council has for some time played, and continues to play, a significant role in the various refugee and asylum programmes.  The Council will continue to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to Halton.    We are currently working collaboratively with the Government and our partners across the North West to support the refugees and asylum seekers who have been displaced from their homes around the world.

At the moment our local community organisations who support asylum seekers and refugees have very little space left to receive donations – so we have been directing people to Care 4 Calais, and would ask, temporarily at least, that others do the same:

With regards to those offering accommodation, whilst these are very thoughtful and caring offers, it isn’t something that the Council would directly be involved with organising.

Any person offering such accommodation should be directed to contact Refugees At Home, which is a national Charity – and the link below is to their website which includes an online application form:

You can also offer help to refugees through the .Gov website 

Donations can also be made through:

Thanks very much for your continuing support!


Community Engagement Officer- Full time 37hrs

Salary NJC Spinal Point 22 £27,041

2 year post

This is an exciting opportunity for the right person. CHAWREC are seeking a motivated, enthusiastic person with excellent people skills to join their staff team to lead a new project ‘Transforming community engagement with BAME communities’ in Cheshire East. The successful candidate will have experience working with marginalised communities and understand the barriers to engagement faced by BAME communities around healthcare.


They are looking for someone with experience of community engagement, preferably in a health setting, who is able to work effectively with a wide range of audiences including volunteers, other VCFS and public sector.


Interested? Please contact 01244 400730 for a job information pack and application form.

Closing date: Fri 17 September @ 12 noon

Cyber Security Workshop

13th September  10am

Who is trying to access your data and what are the implications of this. Also what can you do to make it more difficult for people to steal your data.

This workshop will also support your GDPR compliance proving that you have provided training to staff and volunteers about keeping data secure.

Community Matters now offer all their training online. As they are not having to pay for venues they are passing that saving on to you, so all of these courses will cost only £5 per person.

To book places either follow the links below to the Eventbrite pages, or contact 

Events planned to mark World Suicide Prevention Day 

St Helens Borough will be encouraged to take time out to remember those we have lost to suicide next week as part of World Suicide Prevention Day. There will be a range of events taking place across the borough to mark the day on 10th September. Among those will be a memorial event at St Helens Crematorium and Cemetery on Saturday 11th September for families and friends who have lost someone to suicide with support and advice as well as a tree planting in the grounds as part of the event. The event has been organised by St Helens Wellbeing Service in collaboration with St Helens Borough Council and partners. 

To book a ticket visit  

Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: “Last year we were not able to meet in person due to the pandemic so this makes this year even more poignant as we meet to remember those lost to suicide and to have a time of reflection. During the pandemic we continued with our OkToAsk campaign and encouraged people to take the 20-minute Zero Suicide training.  

“We can all have a role to play in supporting our friends and family and that means sometimes having difficult conversations, OkToAsk is about have the courage to ask people if they are feeling suicidal and to know what help is available and preparing yourself for that conversation and that it is the right thing to do. To find out more or to take the free 20 minute online training visit” 

On World Suicide Prevention Day itself on Friday 10th September Heart of Glass will also be hosting screenings of Suicide Chronicles Two: Stand Firm Compassion from artist Mark Storor and filmed with people from the borough talking about their experiences. The screenings will take place at Colliers Moss Common at Bold Forest Park and to book tickets visit  

There will also be an event happening on Thursday 9th September at GreenAcres Cemetery organised by Listening Ear, who provide mental health support and advice on a range of subjects including suicide, with families having the opportunity to submit pictures for a wall of remembrance for the event. To book a space at this event visit 

Councillor Michelle Sweeney, Lead Member for Mental Health at St Helens Borough Council, added: “We know that times have been tough for many people, particularly faced with the difficulties that Covid-19 has brought. That is why this year more than any other we need to recognise that we can all take steps to supporting our own and others mental health. There is a host of organisations that can offer support, advice and guidance – there is no need to fear getting help, taking those first steps is easy.” 

If you are attending any of these events, please remember to get a Covid-19 test within 24 hours of attending and please don’t attend if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19. 

You can find out more advice about where to get help at 

Anyone in need of support can also contact Merseycare Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Line with is free to call from mobile and landlines and available available for all ages including children and young people on 0800 051 1508.

Halton Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) is once again able to subsidise a small programme of training to enhance opportunity and access to learning across Halton. Given the ongoing restrictions resulting from the pandemic, and the adoption of new ways of working as a result they aim to continue the programme as online learning. Links to the relevant Team or Zoom meetings will be sent out on signup to events.

This training is offered free of charge to those living and working in Halton and who have a direct involvement in the care and support of adults with additional needs. This includes volunteers, carers, those employed through a personal budget and those who use services.


For full details on the training programme, please see attached document. 

On 1 September, The National Lottery Community Fund opened a new funding programme called "Together for Our Planet". Later this year, the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). Building on interest and excitement for this international conference, this funding programme will help nurture and develop local ideas through this funding and support a legacy of ongoing climate action projects in hundreds of communities across the UK.

Together for Our Planet will offer eligible groups funding awards of between £1,000 and £10,000 for activities and equipment that meet at least two of the following criteria:

  1. It supports the development of longer-term climate action within communities (that is, taking place after the COP26 event in November).
  2. It encourages communities to plan for the climate emergency - to consider what climate action could mean to them and why it matters.
  3. It celebrates the importance of community-led climate action and encourages more people to get involved.
  4. It builds resilience in communities that are hardest hit by climate change
  5. It provides jobs, skills or training opportunities for communities which support climate action.

Together for Our Planet opened for applications on 1 September 2021 and will close to applications at 5pm on Thursday 18 November.

You can apply online, and you can find out more about this programme following this link:  or  

If you’ve not applied for funding from The National Lottery Community Fund before, you’ll need to ensure that your group or organisation is eligible to apply. If your group or organisation is NOT eligible, even if they love your idea they cannot award funding.

What is an eligible organisation?

You must be one of the following to submit an application:

  • constituted group or club
  • voluntary or community organisation
  • registered charity
  • charitable incorporated organisation (CIO / SCIO)
  • community interest company (CIC)
  • not-for-profit company
  • school, college, university (as long as your project benefits and involves the wider local communities)
  • statutory body (including local authorities, town, parish and community council)
  • community benefit society.

Cannot accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations that can pay profits to directors, shareholders or members (including Companies Limited by Shares)
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • one individual or organisation applying on behalf of another
  • people under the age of 18

In addition:

  • You must have a UK bank account or building society account for your group or organisation. It needs to be in the legal name of your organisation, with at least two unconnected people who are able to manage the account.
  • It must be with a UK based bank or Building Society which is covered and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. They must also be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • The account must require at least two unconnected and unrelated signatories to authorise all withdrawals and transactions.
  • You will need to submit a bank statement that is less than 3 months old with your online application.
  • Your organisation should have at least two unconnected people on the board or committee. By unconnected, we mean not a relation by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship, or people living together at the same address.
  • You will need to give the details of a main contact (usually the person completing the application form) and a senior contact (usually someone on your Board or equivalent) – their full names, date of birth and their home addresses (not the address of the organisation)
  • You will also need to consider how your project will keep people safe and confirm that you have an up-to-date safeguarding policy in place. For more info on safeguarding please take a look at their website.

You will also need to make sure your project is addressing any potential barriers for people to take part, including communities experiencing ethnic or racial inequity, discrimination or inequality, disabled people, Travellers, LGBTQ+ people, and people who are seeking asylum or who are refugees.

After the programme opens on 1 September there will be webinars available for groups interested in applying.  For more information about the Fund’s commitment to equality of opportunity please see their website.  If you have any questions  you can contact the team at


Our colleagues from Halton Borough Council’s External Funding Team have prepared some Funding Bulletins containing valuable information for voluntary organisations looking for grants to get projects off the ground.

The Monthly funding bulletins offering information on funding opportunities in the following areas:

Arts, Community & Voluntary, Environment & Heritage, European, Faith, Health, Schools, Sports and Youth.

To access the information, please click on the link below:

Qwell ( is free, safe and an anonymous mental health and wellbeing online service. There are no waiting lists, no referrals and no thresholds required to access Qwell and is delivered by Kooth plc, the UK’s largest digital mental health provider.

Qwell has been commissioned by St Helens CCG for all adults aged 26+ across St Helens. Their children/younger person service called Kooth, runs for ages 11-25, therefore they cover a whole population.
The service encourages peer to peer support via moderated discussion forums and self-help through reading or submitting content. Qwell also gives people the opportunity to access online counselling from qualified counsellors who are available from midday to 10pm every weekend day and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends, 365 days of the year. People can drop in for one-to-one instant text-based chats or book a session in advance.



You’re invited to the Deafblind Convention 2021 - Living better with sight and hearing loss

7th October, 9am - 5pm
Free - click here to register today!

Yes, that’s right, Deafblind UK is hosting the UK’s first virtual deafblind convention and we’d love you to join them from the comfort of your own home.

They have a packed agenda featuring world class speakers from across the globe, all with the shared interest of helping people to live better with sight and hearing loss.

Speakers include:

Avril Watson MSc, Newcastle University - Mini Retina: looking in from the outside

Dr. Walter Wittich, University of Montreal - Assistive devices, rehabilitation services and disability policies allow persons with deafblindness to live better - or do they?

Dr. Peter Simcock, Birmingham City University - ‘I just keep going’: The managing and coping experiences of older people ageing with deafblindness

Harriet Dunn, RNIB/ Alder Hey Hospital - The role of the pediatric ECLO in supporting children, young people and families identified as deafblind

Emma Boswell, Sense Usher Service - Sense Usher service - pre and post pandemic

Marcus Hawthorn, NRCPD - An introduction to NRCPD and the importance of registration

Kevin Frost, World Champion Speed Skater

The T-Shirt Twins - A deafblind adventure: Walking and wild camping The Norfolk Coast Path

James Clarke - The Deafblind Runner’s 100 run medals challenge

Lindsey Barrel, Mindfulness, NLP and Reiki practitioner - An introduction to mindfulness

James McVicker and Andrew Barnes, Deafblind UK - Bringing inclusivity to games, apps and sports


Communications support
BSL interpretation and captioning will be available on the two main streams.

Register now!
This event is free to attend, click here to register now and secure your place!

They look forward to welcoming you to the event.

An open invitation is extended to all Centre Users, Groups, Volunteers, Organisations, and Local Residents to come along to the Seventeenth AGM of the Crownway Centre, to be held on Tuesday 28th September 2021, 7pm at Crownway Community Centre, Earlestown WA12 9DA. Light refreshments will be available before the meeting


Crownway Community Centre would also like to welcome Philomena Zilinski to the position of Centre Coordinator starting on 13th September.  The team wish her every success and look forward to the future development of the Centre.

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.