Communities supported to be better connected

‘Feeling Connected Fortnight’ runs from 17th October until 28th October. This amazing community initiative is the brainchild of the ‘Feeling Connected’ team, part of Derbyshire Voluntary Action, based at their welcoming Hub on Lower Pavement in Chesterfield Town Centre.

Project Manager James Starky told us: “We are planning an exciting fortnight of championing local groups and individuals who bring their community together. This will include a ‘thank you’ event on the 19th October at our Hub. We have produced 3000 copies of our fantastic free newspaper called ’Nurturing Neighbourliness’, offering 50 great ideas for people to use in their neighbourhood. We’d love it if people would get in touch to let us know about any events they plan to host or any groups already happening.”

Feeling Connected has played a vital part in the creation and continuation of many valuable community initiatives in recent months. Here are some great examples of funding proposals which have recently been awarded a grand total of £30,672.30!

The Grassland Hasmoor Big Local Senior Citizens Group and Friends of Eastwood Park applied together for funds for their ‘Let’s Chat’ benches and ‘Let’s Chat’ friendship and IT Group. They have added ‘Let’s Chat’ plaques to two benches in Eastwood Park to encourage people to do just that. The funding has enabled them to begin a new weekly drop in session in Hasland offering people a chance to chat with others and develop internet skills and surf the web. Sessions take place every Friday morning at Hasland Club from 10am-12noon. Contact: for more information.

Derbyshire LGBT+ are being supported to set up 3 new social groups for LGBT+ over 18s at the LGBT+ Centre on Rutland Road in Chesterfield. The funds will go towards staffing, materials for activities, and promotion. It is expected that these groups will reach out to around 60 people in the community. Visit to see their calendar of events.

Barrow Hill Community Trust applied for funds to restart New Haven Rest Centre, an amazing community facility which sadly closed in 2020. Following a Feeling Connected grant, the Trust is now able to reopen the centre, initially as a community venue. Spokesperson Ann Lucas said “A small group of wonderful volunteers will manage the room on a day-to-day basis and plan to provide a safe, WARM and friendly space this coming winter. Visitors can enjoy refreshments, social activity, information and advice and the company of other people.” For more information contact Ann Lucas by email:

East Peak Countryside Associates will be working with members of the community in Chesterfield to support people to be healthy using the outdoors. Outdoor space from Staveley to Stonegravels / Whittington Moor will be utilised. To find out more about this project follow them on Facebook: East Peak Countryside Associates CIC.

Compassionate Voices received funding to provide 4 wellbeing and empowerment workshops entitled ‘The Power of You’. It is intended that the workshops will support up to 50 women by offering them twice monthly meetings to stay connected and encourage them to reconnect with others socially. You can find Compassionate Voices at the Feeling Connected Hub, Lower Pavement, Chesterfield on the third Thursday of each month from 6pm-7.30pm or visit

Chatsworth Wellbeing Centre were recently awarded funding for a monthly peer support recovery group for 20-30 people living with a chronic exhaustive condition. These include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Post Viral Fatigue (including Long Covid) and Fybromyalgia. The free support group will take place monthly at Lifehouse Church, 90 Chatsworth Road or you can join them via Zoom. To find out more visit their Facebook page: Chatsworth Wellbeing Centre.

B:friend is a face-to-face befriending project. Its Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Group have recently received funding to support new work in our area, where volunteer befrienders pledge to visit an isolated older neighbour once a week for an hour. Find more information on their website:

If you would like to find out more about Feeling Connected, you can contact James Starky, Project Manager on 07743 514934 or message FeelingConnected via Facebook.