Forum Attendees: Harry Jones, Vicky Bolton, John Gallanders, Val Connelly, Natasha Borton, Elwyn Hughes, Paul Tincello, Nic Heart, Ian Simon, Judith Alexander, Jackie Tomkinson, Ruth Richards, Peter Humphreys
Forum Apologies: Michelle Wynne, Ruth Thompson, Andrea Porter, Justine Godfrey, Trevor Bates
The Forum Chair, Harry Jones, welcomed everyone to the meeting. Harry went on to describe his role within AVOW and the Wrexham community and surrounding rural areas.
AVOW employee, Vicky Bolton to discuss the changes within AVOW, and how the organisation may bring change within the local communities.
Vicky went on to state her role within AVOW and how that works within the community. Vicky introduced the other AVOW colleagues in attendance, Val Connelly, John Gallanders and Natasha Borton – each of whom gave a brief introduction of their role and how they operate within AVOW and the community. John Gallanders stated that his tenure with AVOW is coming to an end shortly and that a replacement for the role is currently being looked into. It was also mentioned that AVOW is looking at recruiting a new BAME officer.
Vicky brought up that AVOW offer support in governance, DBS checks, finance, ‘Shopmobility,’ ‘Little Sunflowers’ and the Play Centre. The role of AVOW is to support other third sector and charity organisations in Wrexham. Work is currently being done on assisting organisations ‘coming out’ of Covid, and offering support in getting through the pandemic.
Community Funding Update
AVOW’s former Community Funding Advisor, Nigel Davies, has now retired, meaning all funding enquiries are to come through either AVOW’s Harry Jones or Vicky Bolton.
- Community grants that are currently available:
- Community Assets Fund: Community Asset Loan Fund – WCVA
- Youth-Led Grants: Youth Led Grants 2021 – 2022 – AVOW | Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham
- Winter Pressures Grant (Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board & AVOW)
Supporting people with mental health and/or learning disabilities – Organisations are able to apply for up to £10,000, this can be spent on capital: Winter Pressures Grant – AVOW | Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham
- Wrexham Community Lottery: Boost your cause’s fundraising with Wrexham Community Lottery – Wrexham Community Lottery
- Wales is in Alert Level 0 (Zero): At Alert Level 0, from 7 August 2021, there are no legal limits on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events. In addition, all businesses and premises may be open.
- COVID-19 remains a risk: It is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.
- Understanding the risks of COVID-19: The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 can be higher in certain places and when doing certain activities. In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher in crowded and enclosed spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious and limited fresh air. REMINDER: Please consider the time of year when having windows or doors open to circulate air at a venue/premisis.
- Keeping yourself and others safe: There are still cases of COVID-19 in Wales and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated. This means it is important that you understand and consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19 in all situations. While no situation is risk-free, there are easy and effective actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us.
Harry introduced a document which discusses how to help people re-introduce into society following lockdown(s) and also how to help people who have anxieties regarding Covid and going into public spaces with new people: How to cope with anxiety about getting back to normal after lockdown – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Reiteration was made regarding that the government issues guidelines and NOT laws, meaning that it is up to each individual organisation whether they wish to follow these and what rules they want to introduce. This is always subject to change – please keep updated!
Harry offered assistance in helping organisations with their Covid protocols, offering Covid Risk Assessment and Register templates and would help in getting venues the equipment they need. i.e., Covid Pass, Digital Thermometers, Track and Trace QR Codes.
UPDATE: Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport – but hospitality settings will be exempt from the changes (in England ONLY). For more information, please visit: Covid: Travel and mask rules tightened over Omicron variant – BBC News
To be scheduled for Thursday 25th January 2022, commencing at 11.00 a.m. via Zoom.
The topic of the meeting will be dependent on the availability of a guest speaker (this will all be confirmed in the weeks prior to the next Forum).