FVAF support and run a number of projects that involve volunteers and help to improve the well-being for those within the Forest of Dean who are disadvantaged in one way or another.  

If you have an idea for a project or would like some help with your current project then please e-mail

Best Butties* Project – part of the Best Buddies UK organisation

Here in the Forest, the word ‘butty’ doesn’t just mean a sandwich: in the local dialect ‘butties’ are friends. The Best Butties project has been created to help friendships blossom, because we know that having a friend helps people to live happier, healthier, longer lives.

Some people are happy with their own company, but others feel lonely and isolated every day. For many people in the Forest of Dean, the television is their only companion. We want to help friendships to flourish in the Forest and would love to hear from people who feel that they would like to get involved.

There are plenty of groups in the Forest that try to help lonely people. Best Butties, as part of Forest Voluntary Action Forum, has been funded to help those agencies work together rather than compete for the same resources.

Please get in touch with Kate O’Keefe.     
• If you feel you could be a good friend 
• If you know someone who is lonely and isolated
• If your organisation has tackling loneliness as one of its aims
• If you have any ideas about ways to bring people together to promote friendship

You can call Kate on 01594 822073 
Or email
Kate works two days a week, usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

*Best Butties’ has been funded by The Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund and the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to address loneliness and isolation in the Forest of Dean.

Foresters’ Forest is a Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Programme to raise awareness of what makes the Forest of Dean special in terms of its build, natural and cultural heritage. A key part of the programme is to involve and inspire large numbers of local people and communities through volunteering. FVAF is the Volunteering Hub for the programme and is co-ordinating many volunteers to take part in a wide variety of activities - from wildlife surveys and conservation to local literature reviews or photographing heritage features.
There is a Foresters’ Forest Volunteer Update, which provides regular information about opportunities to volunteer and get involved. You can find out more and subscribe to this on the Foresters’ Forest website or by emailing 

You can also follow us on Social Media to keep up to date:

Mobility Project (Development Stage)

FVAF believes that everyone should have the opportunity to see and experience the beauty of our Forest. In order to achieve this, we are hoping to run a mobility project based at Pedalabikeaway that will offer two trampers (off road wheelchairs) to rent at very affordable rates in order to explore our beautiful cycle trail and all of the things that lie within it. The trampers are designed to aid people who may have a disability or condition that could stop or limit them from being able to access places that many of us take for granted. As well as catering for those with physical conditions, we will also look to utilise various technology to enhance the experience for those with sight and hearing impairments whilst offering volunteer guides for those who may need them. We are also delighted to see the launch of the fantastic Hidden Heritage app which we are sure will further improve the users overall experience.

For more information please contact Chris Brown on 01594 822073 or e-mail

As well as playing a part in a number of projects, FVAF has helped the following groups and organisations in the past 12 months:

St. John's Playgroup, St. John's Cricket Club, Ruspidge and Soudley Early Learners, Greensquare Housing Support,The Orchard Trust, Awre Village Hall, Forest of Dean Citizens Advice Bureau, Lydney Community Centre, Sheppard House, Forest of Dean District Council, Forest Routes, Forest Youth Off Road Bike Project, The Aston Project, Hilltop Children's Centre, Barnwood Trust, Dean Heritage Centre, Forest Pulse, Forest of Dean Children’s Opportunity Centre, Forest of Dean Walking For Health, Lydney Skiff Project, ArtSpace, Gloucestershire County Council, Forest of Dean Health Forum, Peer Support Art Group in Mitcheldean, Rooftop Housing, Cinderford Royal British Legion, Forest of Dean Crossroads, Worcester Road Lunch Club, Cinderford Miners Welfare Hall, Foxes Bridge Day Centre, Hanover Court Housing Association, Littledean Allotments Association, Forest Fitness Centre, CANDI (Cinderford Area Neighbourhood Initiative), The ASHA Centre, Building Circles, Great Oaks Hospice, Great Western Ambulance Service, Parkrun Forest of Dean, 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust (Forest of Dean), Forest of Dean Scout Association, Age Concern - Forest Of Dean, Forest Read Easy Deal (FRED), Wye Valley Music, Host UK (Forest of Dean), Lydney Dial-A-Ride, Gloucestershire Army Cadet Force, Marie Curie Cancer Trust, Gay-Glos, Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA), Drybrook Rugby Club, Camphill Village Trust (Oaklands Park Farm), Dean Forest Food Hub, Dean Green Team, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council, Sparks (Forest of Dean), The Forest Bee, James Hopkins Trust, Cancer Research UK, Royal Forest of Dean and Devaudon Carriage Driving Group, Mitcheldean Gardening Club, Connect (FOD), The Orders of St John Care Trust, Toucan for Children (FOD), Coleford Town Council, Forest Talk, Coleford Area Partnership, Dr Charley's Lunch Club, Library Service (County), Bream Community Library, Dean Forest Railway, Bream Voluntary Car Services,Forest of Dean Sea Cadets, 1st Aylburton & Lydney Scout Group, The Golden Triangle Club, The Victoria Centre, Two Rivers Housing, International Centre for Birds of Prey, Taurus Crafts, Chill Out Zone, Newent Association For The Disabled, Fair Shares Glos (Newent Branch)

More to follow...
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