The coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak is going to have an impact on everyone’s daily lives, as the government and the NHS take necessary steps to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention.

During this time, you may be bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also feel low, worried, anxious, or be concerned about your health or that of those close to you. Everyone reacts differently to events and changes in the way that we think, feel and behave vary between different people and over time. It’s important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and to get further support if you need it.

Click on the link below for guidance on mental health and wellbeing:

Derbyshire Voluntary Action remains open for business during this unsettling period and we will continue to support our members, clients and our community, albeit in a more virtual way.

The Derbyshire Voluntary Action team is dedicated to supporting you and your group to stay connected and continue to support your beneficiaries wherever possible. Our projects, ‘Community Chesterfield’ and ‘Connect to...’ continue to be fully operational and are working virtually too. If you want to speak to a member of our teams, contact us in the usual way.

We already have a variety of ways to keep the Derbyshire Voluntary Action community connected, including our telephone calls, emails, bulletins and newsletters, but we are also exploring new ways of networking virtually so that you can see familiar faces and engage in discussions from your laptop. We are also exploring ways of helping you to connect with your members through online platforms and for us all share in this learning as we go along.

We have made the difficult decision to postpone upcoming Derbyshire Voluntary Action face to face forums and events until the ongoing situation becomes clearer.  At present, this includes all events up to the end of June 2020.  Be assured we are not going anywhere and you will definitely see us, just in a different format.

If you are a Derbyshire Voluntary Action member please send us your news, experiences, any advice you may have, or general updates on your group, so that we can continue to raise awareness of your good work and of course, support one another.

In addition, we are creating our soon-to-be-released, ‘COVID-19 Connect’ Facebook site where you will find useful information, lots of activities and ways to stay connected, plus some uplifting stories demonstrating how our communities are helping to tackle the challenges this pandemic will bring.

If you would like to get involved in webinars, blogs, shared learning or have ideas on topics, activities or team challenges you would like to share online please do let us know. 

There will be challenges for all of us in the coming months so if there is anything Derbyshire Voluntary Action can assist with or if you have any questions, get in touch with a member of the team and we will do our utmost to help you.

Our telephone numbers and email addresses remain the same.

We look forward to continuing to work with you during this uncertain time and as ever, we are here to support you.

Thank you,

The Derbyshire Voluntary Action Team

Network newsletter - Spring 2020

Thursday, 12 March 2020 09:04 Written by

The Spring issue of our Network newsletter includes articles on:

Macmillan Expert Patient Volunteer Programme
Staveley Talent & Hobby Share
Community Chesterfield
The Swim Against Loneliness
Pathways Sleep Out 2020
Plastic Free Chesterfield
Workers Memorial Day
DORA 2017 Small Grants Scheme
Derbyshire Carers Association
Project eARTh
East Midlands Ambulance Service
and much more!

Click here to read the latest issue.


‘Social Connectedness’ is about a person’s social support network – their personal relationships and interactions with others that make them feel good and bring them happiness.

The ‘Feeling Connected’ project wants to find out about social connectedness in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield. We want to understand how we can help people who feel lonely and isolated to make more and better social connections, so that they feel happier and enjoy better health and wellbeing.

Community venues come in many shapes and sizes. They play a vital role in helping people to feel connected, whether they’re community centres, community hubs, community cafes, sports club pavilions, church halls, places of worship providing community use, former Miners Welfare Institutes, community fire stations, scout huts, WI halls, or community-minded pubs providing function rooms and putting on community events.

Please tell us about your venue by filling in this short survey by Friday 21st February 2020.

A PDF version of the survey can be downloaded HERE.

For more information contact Derbyshire Voluntary Action: 01246 555908 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

‘Social Connectedness’ is about a person’s social support network – their personal relationships and interactions with others that make them feel good and bring them happiness.
The ‘Feeling Connected’ project wants to find out about social connectedness in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield.  We want to understand how we can help people who feel lonely and isolated to make more and better social connections.
Over the next four months we will consult and engage with local residents, groups and organisations, and community venues, so we can:

- raise the profile of the benefits of being socially connected

- raise awareness of existing services which support social connectedness

- identify current provision

- identify where targeted interventions could help

- identify interventions, initiatives and activities which help people to feel socially connected and which could be further supported and developed in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield.

Stage 1 of our engagement is with local residents.  Please help us by clicking on the link and completing our residents’ survey.

A PDF version of the survey can be downloaded HERE.

A large print PDF version of the survey can be downloaded HERE.

The survey closing date is 14 February 2020.
For more information contact Derbyshire Voluntary Action: 01246 555908 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Derbyshire Carers Strategy

Friday, 06 September 2019 14:17 Written by

Derbyshire Carers Association and Derbyshire County Council want to strengthen the ways in which mental health carers are supported through the carer’s service and reinforce partnership working to strengthen the help available to mental health carers across the health and social care system.
They are holding two workshop sessions and invite mental health carers and all partners to join them to explore the current barriers, priorities and solutions in supporting mental health carers effectively. An action plan will be produced from the sessions which will form part of the Derbyshire carers strategy.
Join them to share your knowledge, experiences and views on either:
Thursday 3rd October 2019 10.00am -1.00pm Strutts Centre, Derby Road, Belper DE56 1UU
Tuesday 8th October 2019 10.00am -1.00pm Coney Green Business Centre Wingfield View, Coney Green Road, Clay Cross, Chesterfield S45 9JW
Please book onto one of the sessions by calling Derbyshire Carers Association on 01773 833833 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Refreshments will be provided.
If you require further information please contact Derbyshire Carers Association on 01773 833833

Active Age befriending project

Friday, 06 September 2019 14:13 Written by

CAFE 101

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 12:14 Written by

Derbyshire LGBT+ Drop In

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:27 Written by

Derbyshire Carers Association newsletter

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 10:47 Written by

Click here to read the newsletter.

Carers in Derbyshire newsletter

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 10:42 Written by


The first edition of the Carers in Derbyshire newsletter is now available!
The newsletter is aimed at unpaid / family carers who support someone living in Derbyshire and will share information, news and events.
You can read the May 2019 edition and also sign up to receive future editions of the newsletter straight to your email inbox on the link below.

Young Persons Support Group

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 10:34 Written by

Community efforts to tackle isolation and loneliness in Derbyshire are to receive a boost from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The IsLAND Project (Isolation and Loneliness Action Networks Derbyshire) will support local voluntary organisations and community services to work together and reach more isolated and lonely people.

This will include raising awareness of social isolation and its impact, finding new ways to reach out and support people, and encouraging more people to take action in their community to prevent people being lonely. The project will also offer specialist training for staff and volunteers to better understand and support people who have complex needs, such as dementia and mental health conditions.

The project will be managed by Swadlincote-based charity South Derbyshire CVS.  Kerrie Fletcher, Corporate Services Manager, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have this new funding, which will help grassroots voluntary and community groups across the county work together to tackle social isolation.

“We know that being lonely has a terrible impact on people’s health and quality of life - equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  We also know that small interventions can really help. By encouraging and supporting individuals, groups and communities to take action we can all make a difference.”

The project will build on the work of Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network, expanding its membership and remit to address wider issues of social isolation. Research by the network estimated the value of the support its members provide in mitigating social isolation is worth £7 million per year but costs £800K – a social return on investment of £8.59 for every £1 spent.

Anyone interested in supporting the project or wanting to know more should contact Rich Murrell at South Derbyshire CVS on 01283 219761 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Free IT Support Classes

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 15:47 Written by

Derbyshire Voluntary Action has been working closely with colleagues at the University of Derby in Chesterfield for the past 18 months to think about ways in which the community and the university could work more closely together to share their resources, make the most of their assets and generally strengthen the community sector in Chesterfield. 

In autumn 2018, we applied to the National Lottery Partnerships Fund for funding for a three-year work programme, including research, work placements, volunteering, training and joint project work. 

We are thrilled to say our bid has been successful, and that on 1 April we will be taking on three new offices to form the “COMMuniTY CHESTERFIELD Centre” at Derby Uni’s St Helena Campus.  The Centre will be a focal point for the project, performing a linking and liaison role between our VCS groups and organisations and the University’s health and social care staff, researchers and students.  

We want this exciting new project to be 100% community-led.  From the outset there’ll be many opportunities for our members to be involved and to benefit from the activities we’ll be developing.  We’ve already held some very successful Focus Groups and there’ll be more of these to come over the next couple of months.

We’ll be sending out regular updates via our bulletins, Twitter and press releases, so you won’t miss out on any of the fantastic opportunities coming.

Read the full press release HERE.

Pic1 - Vice Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell (4th right) with University and Derbyshire Voluntary Action colleagues at St Helena Campus.

Pic 2 - Pictured outside the new COMMuniTY CHESTERFIELD Centre at St Helena are: L-R: Derbyshire Voluntary Action Chief Executive, Jacqui Willis, University of Derby Vice-Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Chair of the Derbyshire Voluntary Action Board, Heather Fawbert and University of Derby Head of Adult Nursing, Michelle Brown.

Share your current or past experience as a breast, colorectal, prostate cancer patient, carer or supporter by:

·      Sharing your views on our local programme
Becoming a member of the programme advisory group

Interested, want to know more?  Sam would love to hear from you:  email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mobile: 07926 361183

5 Ways to Wellbeing Small Grants Scheme

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:40 Written by


Click here to open the 5 Ways to Wellbeing guidance notes

Click here to open the 5 Ways to Wellbeing application form

Mental Health at Work - new digital gateway launched

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 09:35 Written by

A major study into workplace wellbeing by the mental health charity Mind has revealed that poor mental health at work is widespread, with half (48 per cent) of all people surveyed saying they have experienced a mental health problem in their current job.

The survey of more than 44,000 employees also revealed that only half of those who had experienced poor mental health had talked to their employer about it, suggesting that as many as one in four UK workers is struggling in silence.

These findings are revealed as a new online Mental Health at Work ‘gateway’ is launched today by HRH the Duke of Cambridge. Mind, with support from The Royal Foundation, Heads Together and 11 other organisations, has created the UK-wide portal as a free resource for both employers and employees.

The gateway brings together information, advice, resources and training that workplaces can use to improve wellbeing and give employees the mental health support they need.

In-depth analysis of the survey has revealed that offering managers proper support can make a huge difference. Managers who felt their employer supported their mental health, or actively built their skills in supporting team members with mental health problems, were far more likely to feel confident in promoting staff wellbeing.

Manager confidence, in turn, is closely linked with whether employees feel able to disclose. Those staff who felt their manager supported their mental health or could spot the signs that someone might be struggling were far more likely to say they would be able to talk about their mental health at work.

Mental Health at Work can be found at

The 11 partners are Heads Together, CIPD, the Federation of Small Businesses, the City Mental Health Alliance, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, the Work and Health Unit, Public Health England,

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The Market Hall
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Tel: 01246 555908
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