Local Impact Spotlight

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Spotlight on Home School Social Enterprise

Homeschool is a registered Christian Charity with a strong Christian ethos.  We run a Primary School with the central aim to educate and support children with a rich and varied education along with strong Christian Values.  Though Homeschool is our Trade Mark, the school is a registered Independent School.  We also offer a diverse range of services for all age groups including Tuition, Childminding and care for the Homeless.

 

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


Spotlight on Creative Black Country

1. Tell us what you do.

Creative Black Country (CBC) is a three year campaign, funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places project, which aims to make the most of creative talent in the Black Country.

We work with local people to discover, explore and grow an exciting and meaningful programme of arts activity in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. We have a range of projects where we engage with communities putting them at the heart of each idea. In 2016, two of the major projects included Imagine That! and Desi Pubs.

Open Access Awards
We have Open Access awards which supports activities that build audiences and is open to individuals, groups and organisations in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. If a project builds audiences, connects local people with professional artists and brings great performance, art and creativity to the Black Country, Open Access could help make that project happen.

To apply or for more information click here.

Groundwork Groups
We work with community groups as ‘Groundworks‘ which offers local community groups the opportunity to start an exciting creative journey, supported by an Arts Advisor to help develop and shape the groups creative ideas and a Development Worker who offers support in areas such as:  governance, funding, training and information.

Groundworks groups, as part of the journey, have the opportunity for their members to Go and See a wide range of performance and visual arts to spark off ideas of their own.

2. What is your proudest achievement?

In our short time, CBC has had many proud moments but programming and organising the 2016 Sandwell Arts Festival was a brilliant one!  Two fantastic days of performances, workshops, pop up cinema, music and the famous Ceramic Garden were offered to the Sandwell public. We worked with volunteers whose enthusiasm helped to make the festival really special!

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO

CBC makes the most of SCVO’s connections particularly around knowledge of local relationships which connects the voluntary, the arts and cultural sector.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?

One of the most valuable lessons has been listening to what people wish to see in their area and working with Sandwell individuals and groups to help turn their arts and cultural ideas into reality.

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

We have an exciting year ahead, keep an eye on our website, as we are currently firming up future events or better still sign up to our newsletter.

The challenges are no different to other organisation i.e. around funding and sustainability.

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?

SCVO can carry on supporting groups that CBC connects with and help us to spread the word about what’s happening in Sandwell which are linked to the activities that we are developing in partnership with others.

For more information on how to get involved please contact Creative Black Country on 0121 525 1127 or alternatively drop us a line via email at info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk


Spotlight on Listening Ear

Tell us what you do.
Listening Ear is a service based in Cradley Heath Salvation Army that provides counselling to people with a range of emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, bereavement and relationship issues.

What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement is working with people to better understand the reasons why they are feeling the way they do and support them in the counselling process, to make changes that enables them to improve how they feel and respond to these situations.

For us it is so rewarding to see the positive shift in people’s emotional well-being after counselling and know that the service has had such an impact on a person’s life, often in a very short time.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO
Listening Ear received invaluable hands on support from the SCVO when applying for a grant and without it, it is unlikely the bid would have proceeded, or indeed been successful. SCVO has also been helpful in providing advice around our constitution and has further offered support in the future.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most valuable lesson we’ve learnt is what a privilege it is to work with people in a counselling capacity, who open up and share very personal and private details about their lives; it is very humbling.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans for the future are to continue to serve people in Sandwell and provide a counselling service which has been supported by the grant that will be awarded. The challenge is to maintain the volunteer base and continue to source funding opportunities to ensure our valuable service continues, and provide stability for those accessing us.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO will be able to support our organisation moving forward, by aiding us to identify new funding possibilities for our organisation and with providing advice to around these potential funding opportunities which enables us to access these funds.

For more information on this service please call Cradely Heath Salvation Army and ask to be referred to Listening Ear on 01384563570.


Spotlight on Rowley Community Activity Network

Tell us what you do.
Rowley Community Activity Network (CAN) forms part of Sandwell Council’s drive to boost the physical activity within the six Sandwell towns. The network brings people of all ages and abilities together to organise and develop sporting, physical and well-being activities.

CAN also supports community organisations with their ideas to introduce new sports facilities or improve existing ones and actively encourages residents to become more active and lead healthier lifestyles within their community.

What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement has been empowering local community organisations to develop activities that improve the health of local residents’ and seeing the positive differences these activities are having on those participating within Rowley.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
Rowley CAN has engaged the services of SCVO to support the development and establishment of new and existing community organisations within Rowley and to assist with the identification of funding opportunities and the development of these applications.

We have also recently worked in partnership to promote a local funding opportunity to community organisations located in the Rowley Regis ward which proved to be a great success and demonstrates what can be achieve with a little joined up thinking.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most important thing is to listen to the residents and groups, take time to understand their issues, opinions and aspirations and then together design activities and programmes. Involving the people you are trying to help in designing the activities and programmes is vital to success. The organisations in Rowley have great passion, skills, knowledge and ideas. The Rowley CAN just brings people together to share those attributes and offer support, advice and guidance where needed.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans for the future are to continue to support the community organisations within Rowley and help them to develop activities that are meaningful and worthwhile for both the organisations and participants.

It’s important to us to be a part of the positive changes in improving people’s health and encouraging new social networks within our community.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Rowley CAN is looking forward to working in collaboration with SCVO in the future to support the diverse number of community organisations delivering valuable community services in Rowley.

If you want to find out more about the Rowley Community Activity Network or come along to our next networking meeting please contact Matt Hill on 07790 945111 or via email at rowley_cando@sandwell.gov.uk


Spotlight on Walk Works CIC

logoTell us what you do.
Walk Works CIC offers bespoke guided walks around the Black Country and surrounding areas. Our walks focus on local heritage, education, recreation or creative activities; with the aim of enhancing the social welfare opportunities and improving the understanding of the Black Country to visitors.

Our outdoor events are open to everyone including families and children providing they are accompanied by an appropriate adult for the duration of the walk. We want to get people talking about our area, and looking at their surroundings with fresh eyes.

What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement was organising our Christmas Lights Switch on event with three weeks’ notice on behalf of Sandwell Council. Although organising the event was a mad rush with all the on-street entertainment, community stalls and small independent retailers participating in the event. We feel it was worth all the effort with over 2,000 individuals attending making it a very successful event for our community.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
SCVO has provided us with an array of advice, support and help since our inception which includes providing practical advice on starting up as a Community Interest Company and our charitable purposes to us taking advantage of our membership to obtain a discount on our Public Liability Insurance.

After an initial discussion with SCVO regarding our legal structure, their advice enabled us to save time, effort and money from the onset.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most valuable lesson we have learnt so far, is that people are very interested in their community but aren’t always sure on how to turn their ideas or energy into a positive community contribution that enables change to happen.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Moving forward we envisage our future challenges to be finding the finances to continue and develop future positive activities which will involve local research and planning to continue to make a positive contribution within our community.

How can SCVO help to support your organization in the future?
We feel we will value from the continued support and advice from SCVO with the identification of funding opportunities that will enable us to invest in our volunteers.

For more information on our group or to get involved with our activities please email Fran Wilde at walkworks.cic@gmail.com


Spotlight on Sea-Change Theatre Company

logoTell us what you do?
Sea-Change Theatre Company is a Performing Arts group that has been running for several years and is based at Coneygre Arts Centre, Tipton. We give young people between the ages of 6 to 21 the opportunity to discover and develop their Performing Arts skills – singing, dancing and acting – then to apply and showcase these skills by taking part in musical productions and concerts.

What is your proudest achievement?
Sea-Change’s proudest achievement has been two-fold. Firstly, we are proud and honoured to be part of the on-going development of our membership with regard to their performance skills and personal confidence. Secondly, we are proud of the development of the company, surviving in its infancy with little financial support, yet continuing to fund quality activities, concerts and productions via much determination, resolve and community support.

What is the most valuable lesson learnt about working with people?
So much is learned through working with others. If you work with others, it is soon learned that there are good, honest people out there who are generous with their time and support within our community, many of whom have helped us over the years with the development of our performances and community shows. It is clear that we are co-existent as a community, that we all need and rely upon each other for support. However, the most valuable lesson that can be learned about working with people is that if you give someone the chance, they will flower – and when a community of people give young people such chances, whether it be a single organisation such as Sea-Change or the wider community itself, then the results are life-changing.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Moving forward, what we see as the main challenge currently being faced by Sea-Change Theatre Company is maintaining the quality of what we are delivering with limited financial resources and advertising. We would like as many people as possible within the community to find out about Sea-Change and the opportunities we offer for young people to enjoy taking part in its workshops, rehearsals and productions. We love inspiring young people through staging with them exciting community performances and, in order to do this, we have to focus seriously on fundraising in order to continue to maintain and develop the work that we do.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We would greatly appreciate the support of SCVO in helping us to develop a funding strategy and to apply for financial support in order to sustain our community activities.

If you are interested in getting involved in our group, please contact Ann Cartwright on 07902730175 or by email at ann.cartwright@outlook.com.


Spotlight on Smethwick Community Association

logoTell us what you do?
Smethwick Community Association provides support to the homeless and vulnerable members of the community; by providing social networks for those living on their own or who may be lonely and just want to get out the house, to providing health checks, luncheon clubs and meals on wheels services.

What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement so far has been setting our organisation up in Smethwick for the benefit of those in need within our community and embracing the financial challenges we have ahead of us to be able to deliver our activities to those who need us.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
Excellent! The support and input from SCVO has always been positive, nurturing and they willingly share information with us which. SCVO’s services are a real life line to us as newly formed organisation.

What is the most valuable lesson learnt about working with people?
We have learnt that there is support and services out there that are able and willing to help us on our journey, with this kind of support it has helped us develop and grow to the organisation we are now. It’s made it easier for us to get where we need to be quicker than if we had to do this on our own.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Moving forward we need to increase our volunteers so we can develop the range of activities we are able to offer and work to generate funds to support our work.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
The support we’d like to access in the future from SCVO is with helping us to develop our policies and business planning to help us focus in on the key prioritises that we’d like to address within our community.

If you’d like to volunteer or find out more about Smethwick Community Association please contact Sheila Lagenza on 07872451526.


Spotlight on Old Hill Boxing Community Club

logoTell us what you do?
Old Hill Boxing Community Club has been established promote community participation, exercise and healthy living through the practice of boxing and other health related activities. We do this by providing a facility that is accessible for our community, local young people and schools, with the aim of improving their health.

What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement is securing the boxing gym and setting ourselves up within Old Hill. We’ve been lucky enough to get support from other community services and the local businesses that are helping us to raise awareness of our club and what were here to do.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
SCVO are helping us set up and working with us to ensure we’re fit for purpose by assisting us with our constitution and other governance concerns we have. We are keen to get this right from the start and I’m confident with SCVO’s support we’ll be able to do this.

What is the most valuable lesson learnt about working with people?
We are aiming to bring together what we feel is a drifting community here in Old Hill and we are keen to create a community hub using boxing and health as the mechanism to create a more community minded environment where everyone wants to live and work.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans for the future are to register ourselves with the Charity Commission so we are able to access funding opportunities that will be of real benefit to our community.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We’re keen to access SCVO’s assistance in developing our policies and accessing funding for our community projects which will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our community.

If your interested in getting involved with the club please email Catherine O’Rourke mailto:oldhillboxingcommunityclub@gmail.com or call Rauf Raja on 07876387719


Spotlight on Hill Top Sons of Rest

hill-top-sons-of-rest-008Tell us what you do?
Hill Top Sons of Rest is a leisure club for 50+ year olds that provides recreational facilities, such as snooker, cards, dominoes and darts. We organise social activities aimed at creating new friendships and social networks for our members. We have 25 active members within our organisation all of whom have a really enjoyable time.

What is your proudest achievement?
Project focus is on attracting new members expanding on what we already do with adding evening events. We are always looking to increase our membership, so why not drop into the Eliza Corbett Memorial, Hill Top Park, B70 0RZ Monday to Friday from 9am till 12pm.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
We are very happy with the level of support we have received from our SCVO representative. They are very helpful and have provided us with informative and practical advice to assist us on our funding journey to develop the range of social activities our group is undertaking.

What is the most valuable lesson learnt about working with people?
Working with a diverse range of people has taught me not to take myself too seriously and just have fun with the people we’re here to support. It’s enabled me to increase my own social networks with individuals that I may not otherwise have become friends with.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Basically our plans for the future are to sustain our clubs activities for the benefit of our members and to increase our membership. This is challenging as our club unfortunately is in need of updating and altering to enable disabled users to access our services.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Moving forward we’d like support to develop our plans to refurbish our club to make it more inclusive and accessible to all members of our community. SCVO’s support in helping us to plan and attract the funds needed to make these improvements would be invaluable.


Spotlight on The Pen Museum

pen-museum-imageTell me about what you do?
We started the Birmingham Pen Trade Heritage Association in 1996 as we felt there ought to be a museum to educate people on the history of the pen trade. At one point, Birmingham made up to 75% of the pen nibs in the world which were then exported globally.

As a result, we opened the museum in 2001 in order to educate people on Birmingham’s Steel pen trade and today we have over 5,000 objects which display its fascinating history.

What is your proudest achievement?
The aim of our organisation is to spread the word and educate people on the history of the steel pen. Our proudest achievement is the fact that a large number of people come to visit our museum from all over the world. As well as this, we were recently on TV on the Antiques Road Trip which shows the large amount of interest we have received.  We are becoming worldwide now and this is definitely the best achievement we could have ever wanted to achieve.

Tell me about any experiences you have had with SCVO?
We have not had any experience with SCVO before.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt from working with people in Sandwell?
It is surprising how a large number of the local people had no idea Birmingham had anything to do with the pen trade. You find this in a lot of places that the local people aren’t clued up with what their ancestors did. We think it is therefore up to us to bring this out in the open and make people aware of the role Birmingham played in this industry.

What are your plans for the future? Any challenges you face?
In terms of the future, we just want to stay in existence. As we are a charitable trust we don’t charge people to enter the museum and therefore rely on donations.  So the biggest challenge to us is an issue of funding. The cost of electricity and rent is very expensive even with a sponsorship from our landlord.

In addition to this, because we are a small company it is very hard for us to advertise. Even for a small advert it is still expensive for an organisation like us.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO could certainly help us by advertising on their website and elsewhere to make it known that there is a pen museum in Birmingham. At the moment we don’t charge for people to visit but as our costs are due to rise we may have to start asking for a small charge. However, we don’t want to have to do that. So funding is another area in which SCVO can possibly help us as it will allow us to meet these demands and remain in existence.

One last area would be through volunteers, we could certainly do with some for the long-term. Most of our volunteers tend to be short-term which means they are only here for a small period of time.

For more information please contact 0121 236 9834 or visit http://www.penroom.co.uk


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