People work together – learning and development at VAS

24th January 2018

Over the last few years it has become clear that the pressure on our sector to do more with less has been felt at all levels.  Capacity is stretched for all of us within organisations, as well as at a personal level, in dealing with more people with greater needs.  This has impacted on the time and funding available for people in the sector to engage with learning, and especially classroom-based training.

The numbers of learners on the VAS training programme has been dwindling and as it has moved to a fully paid for service, VAS have been increasingly cross-subsidising delivery.

We have therefore taken the decision to close the published programme of classroom learning (the training programme) at VAS at the end of March 2018.

As a result we will lose our dedicated staff team of Christine Healey, Carron Charlesworth and Hannah Norris, who have all been fantastic in developing and delivering the training service and have been with VAS for a long time. We thank them for their great service and contributions over the years.

The future of Learning and Development at VAS

Learning and development remains key to our mission that ‘People work together to make a vital and growing contribution to the quality of life in all of Sheffield’s communities’.  Whether it is called training, learning, coaching, mentoring, we will take a new focus to make it happen, focused on the changing needs of the sector.

Our learning and development support will continue to create collaboration spaces through the work of the Volunteer co-ordinators forum, the development team and our new leadership series, Space to Think.  We will also build on our Moodle learning hubs and create other online collaboration spaces.

Our accredited programme of training will continue and we will be working with Christine Healey on our popular Award in Education and Training. We will also continue to work with our existing network of freelance tutors who support our Volunteer Management qualifications and ILM offer.

Our new website will continue to provide online booking to events and training.  And we’re building our bank of useful digital content and communities of interest.

We know that many of you will have worked with the VAS training team over the years and will be sad to hear of these changes, but we hope you will work with us to identify the themes and people that you want to hear from, whether you are at The Circle or listening and interacting online.

If you have any questions regarding this communication or any suggestions and thoughts about meeting future learning needs, please contact us at

How will the changes affect me?

Will these changes affect my training booking?

No.  All currently published training courses are going ahead.  Unless you have been contacted by the training team to advise of a cancellation, your course will be going ahead.

If you are registered for an accredited course as an online learner, your course will not be affected by the changes.

If you are exploring a tailored training opportunity with the team, we will continue to work with you to deliver your course, subject to trainer availability, before the end of March 2018.

What will I do if I need training?

Get in touch.

We offer a range of informal learning and peer support through the Volunteer co-ordinators forum, the development team and our new leadership series, Space to Think.

You can check on our events calendar for regular learning opportunities, or get in touch with our team to ask about support:

Development team- Speak to Saima or Elaine 0114 253 6634

Volunteer Centre- Speak to Roo or Amala 0114 253 6600

Bespoke training and access to our bank of trainers/ consultants- Speak to Helen Sims on 0114 253 6605

We will continue to offer accredited training online and you can find out more about courses and register on our website at or email