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Liz Hingley Photography Exhibition

We are delighted to present Home Made in Smethwick, an exhibition of photographs by local photographer Liz Hingley, which will tour to six Sandwell libraries. Liz worked with residents for two years to create an intimate photographic portrait of the people and the food cooked in Smethwick in the Black Country, one of the most culturally diverse towns in the UK. A book of the work was published in August 2016 but this is the first time an exhibition of photographs has been exhibited publicly.

The launch event was in January 2017, at Smethwick Library but at the start of each leg of the tour there will be a special afternoon preview with the chance to see the work and taste homemade bread from Albert, a project participant.

We are delighted to present Home Made in Smethwick, an exhibition of photographs by local photographer Liz Hingley, which will come to Tipton Library from 13 April to 12 May 2017.

Liz has worked with residents for the last two years to create an intimate photographic portrait of the people and the food cooked in Smethwick in the Black Country, one of the most culturally diverse towns in the UK. A book of the work was published in August 2016 but this is the first time an exhibition of photographs has been exhibited publicly.

The exhibition will be at Tipton Library, Unity Walk, Owen Street, Tipton, DY4 8QL until Friday 12th May.

This event is part of a series of special exhibitions and film screenings brought to you by Multistory and Sandwell libraries.

Free entrance – no ticket required.

Tour Schedule:
Blackheath Library (0121 559 1884) 15 May – 9 June
Central Library, West Bromwich (0121 569 4904) 12 June – 10 July

Dying Matters Awareness Week

This year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from the 8 – 14 May 2017. Dying Matters is ultimately about having the conversation regarding death and dying, and Murray Hall Community Trust would like you to get involved.

Murray Hall has created a Memory Tree where you can get involved at any time between now and Dying Matters Week, to donate a leaf to put on their Memory Tree. The money raised will go towards supporting the bereavement group.

Bridges Support Services will be holding a Memory Café on Tuesday, 9 May 2017, 10 am to 12 noon, at The Bridge, St Marks Road, Tipton DY4 0SL.

Bridges Support Services hope you can join them for tea, cake and to discuss death, dying and funeral plans. The aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their lives.

For further information please contact Pat Turner or Jaz Seehra on 0121 612 2939.

Announcing BCNA’s First Meeting!

Black Country Neurological Alliance is often asked about its meetings. Well, the truth is, up to now the only meetings have been Roadshows and more recently a Question Time Forum. The committee meets monthly to organise its work and more Forums.

So, BCNA has decided to give it a try! The first meeting will be on Thursday, 27 April, at Queen’s Cross Network in Dudley, on the outskirts of the town centre. It has been designed with people with disabilities in mind, so is fully accessible. Attendees are asked to meet in the cafe at 1 pm.

There is no agenda just a chance to meet other people, including the committee, over lunch, chat with them and see what Queen’s Cross network has to offer. There is no charge for this, but BCNA cannot fund lunch this time.

The address is Queens Cross Network, Physical Disability Support Centre, Wellington Road, Dudley DY1 1RB (not far from the Leisure Centre). Telephone 01384 813 460.

Pilot Study – Participants Wanted!

Managing cases and measuring impact

• Are you part of a not-for-profit organisation?
• Do you have a turnover of less than £500,000 pa?
• Do you provide services for individuals or other organisations?
• Would you like to improve the way you record and manage information about your service users and the work that you do?
• Do you struggle to effectively demonstrate outcomes and impact to funders and commissioners?

If the answers to these questions are yes, then you could be eligible to join an exciting new initiative being delivered in partnership between and commercial tech company Iizuka and social enterprise capacity4change.

It has never been more difficult and competitive to generate funding for delivering essential services or establishing new initiatives in communities. Increasingly, funding is only attracted by proposals that contain evidence-based data that unequivocally demonstrates how services or initiatives provide social value or impacts positively the community they serve. The onus is on organisations to prove that they have the capacity and track record to deliver tangible returns on investment. It would seem therefore that outcomes-based commissioning is here to stay, so naturally, managing data and relationships is a challenge that is essential for not-for-profits to overcome. But how?

Capacity4change and Iizuka have teamed up and intend to support a small cohort of up to 10 organisations to trial and test a free version of relationship and outcomes management system, Case Manager. Amongst other things, they want to learn is exactly what third sector organisations need in order to self-configure their system and manage their data efficiently and strategically.

Case Manager is an online system which manages information, processes activities and generates management information quickly, simply and efficiently. It’s scalable, flexible, easy to implement, intuitive and simple to use. The system is currently used by a variety of public, private and voluntary organisations and several case studies can be viewed here.

What’s in it for me?
• Each participating organisation will receive Case Manager completely free of charge
• This study is an opportunity to improve your organisation’s data management systems
• It is also an opportunity to improve your organisation’s ICT skills and competence

What is my commitment?
• We ask that you participate fully in the scheme
• We also ask that you provide a key contact from your organisation with responsibility for data management
• You would need to commit to attend up to 6 meetings and provide feedback via focus groups, interviews and questionnaires (the total time commitment is estimated at 20 contact hours)

It is  anticipated the process will last around 6 months. The evidence gathered will be collated and considered and used to design and launch an innovative free product for the third sector that enables charities to cheaply and efficiently manage and track their service provision. This will enable users to provide outcomes and impact information to all their key stakeholders including funders.

However, please note numbers are very limited on this study so please act now!

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The first meeting will be hosted by Iizuka on Tuesday 23rd May 2017, 10 am-12 pm at their new headquarters in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. If you would like to find out more or apply for a place in this study, please call Georgina Watts on 07870 620909 or email

Providers Event for Victims Fund

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner will be running a Providers Event for a Victims Fund workshop on Wednesday 26 April 2017. The workshop will run from 3 pm to 5 pm. The venue is SCVO, First Floor Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich B70 8ER.

The purpose of the workshop is give guidance to those voluntary sector groups that wish to apply for up to £15,000 funding from the Victims Fund which will open in April 2017. Potential applicants will learn more about:

  • Differences between outputs and outcomes
  • Financial information and monitoring
  • Evidencing need
  • Collaborative working
  • Quarterly monitoring returns
  • Explaining your project

The PCC welcomes applications from voluntary and community sector organisations which support victims and help them to cope and recover from their experiences of crime. Individual applications can be made or organisations can apply together as a partnership.

To book your FREE ticket visit the Eventbrite page.

Business in the Community Event

Business needs resilient and prosperous communities in order to succeed and grow. One cannot succeed without the other. Communities are at the heart of everything we do in responsible business.
A key way for businesses to connect with their communities is through employee volunteering; sharing time, skills and expertise to address key social challenges, and in return developing knowledge and insights of the perceptions and values of communities amongst employees.

Give & Gain 2017
Give & Gain is Business in the Community’s day for celebrating the incredible power of employee
volunteering. In 2017, Give & Gain will celebrate the on-going support provided by businesses through
employee volunteers across the year, not just one day. Businesses will be able to Give & Gain at the
most suitable time to effectively address the needs of their community in a way that is relevant to their
Community Conversations
Community Conversations bring together local businesses, community organisations and government
representatives to explore the issues affecting their communities and how they can build a connected
society together. A Community Conversation is a cross-sector networking event, encouraging fruitful
conversations and tri-party collaboration. Our event on 27th April will form part of Business in the
Community’s Responsible Business Week

Community Challenge
We want to invite local community organisations to present a current challenge they are facing and to
network as a participant offering knowledge and expertise to some of the challenges our local
communities are facing. Participants will be divided into break-out sessions to unpack one community
challenge and to workshop collaborative solutions as a group. This will provide an opportunity for
participants to work as part of a cross-sector team, sharing their knowledge to provide real support to
local communities.

Thursday, 27th April 2017 – 9am to 12;30pm – One Snowhill, Snowhill Queensway, Birmingham B6 4GA

It is useful for community organisations attending to think about their business engagement, what are your priorities? How could a business support your organisation and what do you have to offer business? This will help you get the most out of the event, rather than thinking about it on the spot.
BITC will ask you to complete a Pre-Thinking document prior to the event, this will help us group participants for the breakout sessions and also help us to understand your organisation and priorities which may help nus to sign post you to certain businesses.
For further information or to RSVP, please contact Kelly Stackhouse 07921 493274 or Frances Kenwrick 07786 336246

Tipton Library – “For Shakespeare and St George Fun Day”

Tipton Library is holding a “For Shakespeare and St George Fun Day” in honour of the birthday of William Shakespeare and of course St George. It’s a free event for all the family to enjoy with opportunities to get creative with children’s crafts, eat cake or just simply listen to Tipton Community Choir.

The fun day will be held at:

Tipton Library, 17 Unity Walk, Tipton, DY4 8QL on
Saturday 22nd April 10.30am—12.30pm

Activities include:

Free face painting and children’s crafts
Toy sale
Community stalls
A special performance from the Tipton Community Choir
Home-made cakes and refreshments by Sally Gutteridge

For more information on the fun day please contact Tipton Library on 0121 557 1796.

Details of Christmas Challenge 2017 Announced

The Big Give is celebrating its 10th anniversary and to mark the occasion, the Christmas Challenge is set to be on an even bigger scale this year with more match funding available than in previous years.

The Big Give will be running the new and improved model of the Challenge. Extensive charity facing consultation resulted in significant changes being trialled during last year’s campaign. Feedback showed these changes to be incredibly well received and the Big Give will be rolling out these changes for the Christmas Challenge 2017 and beyond.

What has the Big Give improved?
Match funds are ring-fenced for successful charities so that they are not competing with each other for funds. The campaign will also run continuously over seven days meaning that the message is much simpler  for the generous donors who are supporting the participating charities. The 2017 campaign will launch on #GivingTuesday again this year allowing charities to join the national movement of giving and the enhanced PR buzz that was achieved through this partnership.

The Christmas Challenge is the UK’s biggest online match-funding campaign which helps UK-registered charities raise funds for their causes, having raised over £78m since it launched in 2008.

Donations to participating charities are generously matched by Big Give ‘Champions’ (Trusts, Foundations, Philanthropists and Corporates who support the initiative) and charities’ major donors. This year The Coles-Medlock Foundation and The Hospital Saturday Fund join the Champions for the first time. They will provide funding alongside The Reed Foundation, The Childhood Trust and many others who will be confirmed in the coming months.
“We are really pleased to have received such positive feedback following last year’s trial changes”, said Alex Day, Director of the Big Give.

“Overall, 93% of charities who took part in 2016 preferred the new model. They found that the campaign was simpler  to communicate, that donor satisfaction was higher and that they gained more new supporters. As a result, we’re happy to share that we will be continuing to run the campaign using this model and look forward to welcoming lots of charities to the campaign later this year.”

How to get involved?
Charities wishing to participate should register their interest now to ensure they receive important information on the application deadlines.

Source: Charity Digital News

Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG Prescriptions and Medicines Consultations

Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG would like to advise of  public consultations on the proposed changes to prescriptions and medicines. They are keen to hear the views of patients who are registered with a Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG GP, local groups and communities.

The public consultation runs from Thursday 23 March to Thursday 15 June 2017. All stakeholder views will then be presented to the CCG’s Governing Body before a decision is made on this proposal.

You can have your say at a series of public meetings; by completing an on-line survey; by contacting the CCG Engagement Team or visiting the website. Information is also available on Twitter at SWB CCG.

Find out about the proposed changes.

SAFS’ Car Boot Sale

SAFS provide a range of quality care support services and opportunities to enable South Asian children, young people and adults with disabilities, life limiting or life threatening conditions, and their families, to enhance their quality of life.

On Saturday, 6 May 2017, SAFS will be hosting its second car boot sale. The venue is the car park of the Windmill Community Centre situated on Messenger Road, Smethwick, B66 3DX.

The sale will run from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. Food and refreshments will be available on the day at a small cost.

If you are interested in booking a pitch, please contact Lewis at SAFS as soon as possible on 0121 558 2198 or email

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