University joins forces with local charity to raise aspirations and improve health in Chesterfield

18 January 2019

The University of Derby and a Chesterfield-based charity are joining forces for a National Lottery-funded project to support voluntary and community work in the town.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) has been awarded almost £487,000 over the next three years to fund COMMuniTY CHESTERFIELD, which aims to raise aspirations in the area, as well as to help local people live healthier lives. 

The charity will work with the University’s College of Health and Social Care, based at the St Helena campus in Chesterfield, and the town’s voluntary sector to explore how those aims can be achieved.

The funding will also enable the creation of a community innovation centre and four new jobs.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action chief executive Jacqui Willis said: “We’re thrilled to have won this exciting opportunity to bring new support and resources to Chesterfield’s community sector.

“In the current climate of funding cuts and uncertainty, it’s vital that we build new partnerships and find different ways of working. We hope the COMMuniTY CHESTERFIELD programme will strengthen our sector through opportunities for volunteering, training, work placements and research projects.”

Michelle Brown, Head of Adult Nursing at the University of Derby, said: “As the county’s only university we are committed to having a positive impact here in Chesterfield. The majority of our students are local and will stay here to become the health and social care workforce of the future. 

“Our partnership with Derbyshire Voluntary Action will provide great new opportunities for our students and staff – and for many of the exciting things that we’re working on here in Chesterfield to be integrated into the community.”

The COMMuniTY CHESTERFIELD Centre will open in April. 

For more information contact Derbyshire Voluntary Action at

For more information about the University of Derby’s College of Health and Social care, visit

From left, Jacqui Willis, chief executive of Derbyshire Voluntary Action, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, Heather Fawbert, Chair of Derbyshire Voluntary Action, and Michelle Brown, Head of Adult Nursing at the University of Derby.
From left, DVA Chief Executive Jacqui Willis, University Vice-Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell, DVA Chair Heather Fawbert, University Head of Adult Nursing Michelle Brown

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