Local Impact Spotlight

Category Archives

Spotlight on Health for Living

1. Tell us what you do
The Confidence & Wellbeing Team runs a range of free psycho-educational programmes across the 6 towns of Sandwell. These programmes are designed to teach easy self help techniques to manage common life issues such as; stress, anxiety, low mood, sleep issues and how to cope with change. The team consists of 4 workers who deliver the group programmes in a friendly and approachable manner.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
The Confidence & Wellbeing Team has been active in Sandwell for almost 10 years and during that time we have helped hundreds of local residents to better manage their mental health, build emotional resilience and lead more positive and fulfilling lives.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
We are looking forward to working with SCVO to promote our services and reach out to even more people in Sandwell.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Everyone has challenges in life and through coming together at our groups, sharing stories and learning new strategies to cope, we all have the ability to fulfil our potential. People are innately resourceful and sometimes all it takes is a helping hand during a challenging time to get back on track.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans for the future are to continue running our group courses throughout Sandwell and attract even more people to take part! We also encourage people once they have completed one of our courses to become co-facilitators and run future groups with us. This is a fantastic way to keep building self confidence, maintain all the strategies they have learnt and share their experience to help others. Our challenge is to keep a visible profile within the borough so people know we are here!

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
By supporting us with continued promotion through the website and by word of mouth!

For further information please call our office on 0121 558 8815 or to refer yourself call the HUB on 03030339903


Spotlight on FareShare

1. Tell us what you do.
FareShare is a food redistribution charity. We save good food destined for waste and send it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people. We work across 21 regional centres in the UK where we sort and redistribute surplus food, which we give to local charities and voluntary organisations with the help of our own fantastic volunteers.

We also facilitate connections between local groups and nearby supermarket stores, in order for them to receive the surplus food from the store on a regular basis. In the West Midlands, we are currently focusing on Tesco Express stores in Black Country, with the aim of getting as many organisations as possible connected to their nearby store in order to make use of the surplus food on offer.

We work with a range of organisations, including lunch clubs, youth groups, breakfast clubs, foodbanks and various support groups to provide them with high quality surplus food on a regular basis. Across the West Midlands, there are 151 charities signed up to receive food from our Regional Centre in Nechells, and 420 collecting food from their nearby supermarkets. We never give food past its use by date and work with charities to ensure high standards of food hygiene are maintained.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
In March 2017 FareShare in the West Midlands celebrated its 10th birthday. In 10 years we have provided 10 million meals to voluntary organisations across the West Midlands. It is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the real difference surplus food can make to the community.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
We have attended breakfast meetings, which has been a fantastic way to meet other local organisations.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
To never underestimate the dedication of those in the voluntary sector. We continue to find amazing charities and organisations who are committed to doing great work in the area.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We hope to continue to expand our work – reaching more community groups, feeding more people, and tapping into more unsold, surplus food and putting it to good use!

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Networking is so important to us. We are constantly looking for new organisations who could benefit from surplus food, and we always need more volunteers to help us with our work. Any opportunity to get the word out there and meet local groups is invaluable.

For more information on FareShare click here or call Hannah Feld on 0121 328 6640 or email hannah.feld@fareshare.org.uk if your interested in getting involved.

 


7to97 – The Westminster School

1. Tell us what you do.
Currently only 7% of young people in the UK with a learning difficulty get paid employment after leaving education and training. We aim to equip our young people with employability skills and giving them the opportunity to work on all aspects product design and development, marketing and retailing.

The Westminster School is determined to address this issue through the curriculum and opportunities we offer our young people. In September 2016, we established our Social Enterprise initiative, 7to97, which complemented our work experience and vocational further education courses that we already had in place at school.

One of our key aims is to raise awareness in the local business community of the talents and skills of our students (e.g. creativity, work ethic, passion) and how they would be an invaluable asset to any business. All of our young people aspire to work when they leave education, with many saying they want to be able support their families in the future through paid employment.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement is that all students involved in the 7to97 project have had the opportunity to sell to the public through street markets. They have shown confidence when serving customers, and this was particularly evident at Digbeth Arts Market. Students gave up their Saturday to help set up and run the stall. We are extremely proud of all the young people who have taken part in the project.

3. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans moving forward are to diversify and expand our range of products and increase our links with local business. We have been very fortunate to be supported by a local steel company who regularly donate items to us and we are currently in discussions with a wedding company in Birmingham in order to support them with wedding favours. We have also been approached by Digbeth Dining Club and the Arts Market to run more stalls at future events.

4. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We would like SCVO to support us by signposting us to people who could give business advice and guidance to our students, and provide general support to our 7to97 initiative to help ensure that we give our students the best possible chance of getting the skills they need for paid employment.


Spotlight Feature: Action on Hearing Loss

1 Tell us what you do
We are a National Charity providing opportunities for sharing best practice, skills, knowledge and advice to Deaf people or people with acquired hearing loss/tinnitus. We aim to be a key point of contact for commissioners and providers of health and care services including all aspects of audiology and general care and support.

Our core business outlines the prevalence and impact of hearing loss, deafness and tinnitus across the UK. We focus on society’s response and what needs to be done across three key areas – The growing need for better support and care, improved technology and treatments and equality of access to services for people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss.

2 What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement was obtaining a Level A from Sandwell Supporting People Commissioning Team, evidencing they fully understand our service provision and the support we provide. We against a recognised Quality Assessment Framework.

3 What is your experience of support received from SCVO
Action on Hearing loss has been an active member of SCVO’s forum meetings and we find these useful for liaising with other organisations, and knowing what other services are available which we use to signpost our members to other services.

4 What is the most valuable lesson you learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Deaf people need communication support in place to reduce stress; anxieties; mental health and general health issues but more importantly to reduce any misunderstandings due to communication barriers.

More basic support provision needs to be in place to address the needs of our deaf community to increase their opportunities to participate within their community. When support is not in place for deaf people there is a risk of communication break-down; frustration; mental health issues; health concerns and isolation.

5 What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our main focus is working towards meeting our overall strategy aims-Taking Action Strategy 2013-18 and our Care and Support Midlands operational plan. This is pivotal to maintaining our purpose of delivery support to those people using our services, engaging with key commissioners and new customers.

6 How can SCVO help you to support your organisation in the future?
Sharing information about our services with other organisations and exploring potential ways for joint working.

SCVO can also help us to promote our services together with signposting and attracting individuals who are interested in volunteering with our organisation.

Action on Hearing Loss Information Line: Telephone 0808 808 0123 | Textphone 0808 808 9000 | SMS 0780 0000 360
informationline@hearingloss.org.uk

For more information please see their website by clicking here.


Spotlight on West Bromwich Operatic Society

West Bromwich Operatic Society (founded in 1938) is a theatre company that has built a reputation of producing the best in Musical Theatre to the highest of standards. They produce two full-scale productions each year, and pride themselves on taking on challenges and exceeding expectations.

Find out more by viewing our ‘Spotlight Video’ below:

If you would like to contact WBOS or you require any further information about them, then please feel free to drop them a line by simply contacting the company secretary Hilary Matty:-

Tel: 0121 550 3667 or by email: hilary@wbos.co.uk

Interested in becoming a member?

Whether you want to perform in one of their productions, work backstage or just get involved, please make contact with the company secretary.

Prospective ‘Acting’ members will be required to pass an entrance audition before becoming a member.


Spotlight on Friends of Thimblemill Library

1.       Tell us what you do.
We are a group of volunteers who help to plan and stage events and activities at Thimblemill Library.  Friends help in lots of different ways; leading singing or craft classes for children and families; hosting and organising film nights, putting out chairs at events, serving and selling refresh-ments, raising funds for the library and in many other ways, all to help make the library a warm and welcoming place for our local community.

2.       What is your proudest achievement?
The library was recently awarded recognition as a Library of Sanctuary, the first library in the coun-try to do so, and an immense honour. This was due to the hard work of library staff and particular groups’ supporting refugees.  We are proud of their work and of the part we play as Friends in making people from the many diverse communities we serve welcome at the Library.
We are very proud of our library staff and in particular our Librarian Julie McKirdy who is so central to all that the library offers, both in her working role, and as a much-loved member of the commu-nity.  We were very proud to successfully nominate her for an award of the British Empire Medal (BEM).

3.       What is your experience of support received from SCVO
SCVO is currently helping us to develop some of our activities and make links with other voluntary groups. They are also helping us to seek funding so that we can plan events and activities on a longer-term basis.

4.       What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
‘They are lovely!’ was the response from one of the Friends.
We have a very diverse community with wide ranging languages and cultures. We are very fortutnate in that many people value the library as a centre of the community and want to give their time to bringing different members of the community together.

5.       What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We want to continue to offer a wide range of events and activities, increasing learning opportunities for local people and keeping the library at the heart of the community.

We have a particular project we are focussing on.  We have a number of film groups at the library – for children,  adults, a French film group, and others.  These are very popular and we would like to secure advice and funding to improve both the equipment to show films and for blackout blinds so that films can be shown throughout the year.

6.       How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO can help us by helping us to secure funding, introducing us to other voluntary and statutory organisations can work with and learn from; and sharing good practice from other organisations with us on 0121 429 2039 or by email at Thimblemill_library@sandwell.gov.uk

Find us on Facebook: Friends of Thimblemill Library


Spotlight on Beanstalk

1. Tell us what you do.
Beanstalk is a literacy charity working with Schools to offer a service of trained ‘Reading Helpers’, who on average work with three children, to provide constant support on a weekly basis, for a whole school year.

We recruit, train and support volunteers to provide consistent, one-to-one literacy support to primary school children who may have fallen behind with their reading, lack confidence, or struggle with their fluency, comprehension or vocabulary.

Our aim is to develop their love of reading and improve their confidence levels.

Why not visit our website at www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk to find out more about us.

2. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most valuable lesson we have learnt is that connecting our volunteers with the children is a great way to inspire confidence.

Jack Ogalbe, a Reading Helper said, “The joy on their faces when they discover a new word is hugely rewarding”.

Being a part of Beanstalk is a great way to make a difference to a child’s life and is a satisfying volunteering experience.

3. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our future plans are to break into Nursery Schools with a view of supporting children aged 3 upwards. Our challenge to turn this dream into reality is for us to recruit new Reading Helpers to support our growth into Nursery Schools.

4. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
In the future, we’d like SCVO’s support to help us to promote our activities and attract new volunteers’. This would enable us to continue to provide the simple yet highly effective service.

For more information or to become a volunteer with Beanstalk please contact us on 0121 7712922 or by email at westmidlandsapplications@beanstalkcharity.org.uk


Spotlight on Cradley Heath Creative

1. Tell us what you do.
Cradley Heath Creative highlights the arts and artists in the Cradley Heath area – artists means anyone who creative activity, whether it’s visual, performance, film, crafts. Most of our members are people who have trained in the arts to some level or who are a bit fanatical about what they do as amateur artists. We join in on local festivals and events where possible and we run a free annual arts festival in April/May. This year it expanded to three venues.

2.What is your proudest achievement?
We are gradually converting a horse trailer into a mobile community venue, called Oss Box. So far we have had grants from Sandwell, the Arts Council, ASDA and Creative Black Country. We’ve used it for shadow puppetry; it’s been a pinhole camera – the images are part of Reclaimed Photography Festival at the Black Country Museum; it makes an unusual arts workshop and a stage for small plays.

Oss Box is available for use by other community organisations – we ask for expenses to cover transport and wear and tear.

3.What is your experience of support received from SCVO
SCVO membership gives us a good deal for our group public liability insurance and we look at updates for funding streams. We are really aware of the support available from SCVO staff for small groups, but we are not able to take part in the networking breakfasts at the moment.

4.What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
People have a strong affinity with the area they live in. This makes Sandwell a patchwork of communities that look to their own identity and many perceive a West Bromwich bias in Sandwell. We have found, however, a willingness, despite cutbacks, by Sandwell Council staff to work with people who want things to happen in the community – support for getting events promoted from the Communications Team, facilitating public events in parks, guidance on Sandwell funding applications etc.

5.What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We want to continue to highlight the arts skills of members of Cradley Heath Creative to people who live locally. There is a lot of imagination within the group for community activity. We’d love to see the stable block at Haden Hill House converted to a community and arts resource, which would mean getting together with a lot of other local organisations who could benefit.

6.How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Keep prompting us! It’s good to have the kind of professional advice you can offer at the points when we need it.

For more information on Creadley Heath Creative please email Fran Wilde at franwilde@me.com


Hip Hop Heritage

Tell us about yourself and your affiliation to the organisation you are involved in.

My name is Martin Jones, and I’m currently the Treasurer of Hip Hop Heritage. My main claim to fame is that I was an entertainment agent in the 1980s, and actor/musician/celeb Goldie’s manager and agent from 1984-90.

Tell us about your organisation and what it does for your local community.

We are an unincorporated charitable association. Our mission is to document and promote the work of Hip Hop’s early pioneers in the UK.

We ran a successful Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Our Heritage’ programme in 2014-15, called ‘The Early Years of UK Hip Hop Archive Project’, based on my photo collection from the 1980s.

What is your organisation’s proudest achievement?

We created and catalogued a 1,500 image record called the ‘Zulu Dawn Archive’, which is based at Dudley Archives and can be viewed at blackcountryhistory.org

In our early days we staged two exhibitions at The Public arts centre in West Bromwich.

Our dancers also hold the Guinness World Record for the most performers motion-captured in real time (19), surpassing the previous record set during filming for Lord of the Rings (15).

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in your local community?

It took us a while to find the right people for our committee. It’s not easy, and takes time to find people who are genuinely committed to your goals and who are in it for the right reasons – however now we have an excellent committee.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?

We were delighted with the help and advice we received from the SCVO Small Groups Advisor when we were setting up the organisation.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?

Our plans include an exhibition called ‘Afterlife’, which we hope to stage at Wolverhampton Arena Theatre’s Artsfest. The show uses the motion capture files of top B Boy breakdancers of the 1980s that we recorded in 2015, and turns them into animated avatars, which will then form part of our archive.

We will also document the technical design process of how the dance figures are modelled and animated.

They will become a permanent, detailed record of the dancers’ trademark moves from the early era of B Boying, recorded while the dancers were still able to perform their moves.

How can SCVO help support your organisation in the future?

We have found the SCVO Meet the Funders events very useful, to identify potential funding sources and to meet others who are in the same position and encountering the same issues as us.


Spotlight on Make, Move And Munch Club Sandwell

1. Tell us what you do.

Accord Group Housing Association are working with the National Charity Partnership, to inspire hundreds of people in Sandwell to eat better, get active and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Make, Move and Munch Clubs are the National Charity Partnership’s intensive support programme being delivered in Sandwell by Kaleidoscope Plus Group, Complete Kidz, Ideal for All and Groundwork.

The free eight session programme is running in Schools until December 2017 and motivates participants to improve health behaviours in relation to physical activity and food consumption. Participants have the opportunity to cook and eat a free healthy meal as well as receiving a goody-bag.

For a video introducing Make, Move and Munch click here.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
We are proud of every life changed through this programme and every single step people in Sandwell take to having better health.

A participating Mum said, “I always add salt to my cooking, these sessions have taught me that I must try my food before thinking about adding salt to flavour the food.”

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
SCVO’s Breakfast Meetings are a really effective way of getting to know people in the voluntary sector and an opportunity for information sharing and support.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
We have learnt that the best places to engage with Mums are where they are already gathered – at Schools. Now working in partnership with Sandwell Schools to deliver Make, Move and Munch is a real asset to the work, and we are delighted to be complementing the hard work Schools are already doing to support families into better health.

We have also seen that despite the negative press about the rise in obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. When offered a fun, interactive programme, families of all cultures and backgrounds are embracing trying new recipes and, with encouragement and support, are enjoying doing a little bit more physical activity.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We are looking for more Schools to work with in the summer term and autumn term as part of our programme and we are looking forward to celebrating all that the programme has achieved

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We value the opportunity to use SCVO’s promotional networks moving forward, to assist us to book more School venues for the summer term.

If you’re interested in hosting a club or for more information please email helen.tomblin@accordgroup.org.uk.


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