Category Archives

Voluntary Sector Breakfast Meeting and Meet the Funder Session

Are you a Voluntary and Community Group based or working in Sandwell? Do you want an opportunity to meet with other people on a very informal basis and promote and share information about the services and activities you offer?

Please join us on Thursday, 25 May 2017, 7.30 am – 9.00 am, at the Salvation Army, Meredith Street, Cradley Heath B64 5EP

Refreshments provided.

If you are interested in attending, please confirm your attendance by e-mail to or telephone 0121 525 1127 by Tuesday, 23 May 2017.


Meet the Funder Session

Have you got a project idea your organisation is considering and want to run your idea by the funder first? Do you want to find out what funding is available from Children in Need, Awards For All or The Lloyds Foundation? Do you want to save time now by finding out if your project or organisation is eligible to apply?

Book yourself onto the meet the funder session which will follow on from the Breakfast Meeting.  We will be joined by representatives from each of the funders on Thursday 25th May 2017, 9.30am till 11.30am at the Salvation Army.

This is your opportunity to hear first-hand what funding opportunities they have available and to speak to the funders informally about your project idea or concept.

If you are interested in attending, please book your place via Eventbrite by clicking here. Places are limited so you need to be quick if you want to attend the session.

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

‘Understanding Outcomes’ Workshop

‘Outcomes’ – What are they? What are they NOT? How can my organisation evidence them? What information do I need to collect in order to evidence and report the outcomes for our activities?

These are just some of the questions (amongst others) that will be addressed in our ‘Understanding Outcomes’ workshop on Thursday, 11th May 2017 at SCVO’s offices in West Bromwich.

This workshop is FREE to groups that deliver all, or part, of their services to Sandwell residents. For all other groups/attendees there is a £10.00 fee.

For more information and to book your tickets visit our EVENTBRITE page.

Commissions Callout for 100 Masters and Funny Things

Creative Black Country are seeking to commission artists (open to all art forms) to collaborate with them and the communities they are working with to deliver their two Landmark projects; 100 Masters and Funny Things.

100 Masters
This project aims to discover and profile Black Country experts of today through public nomination. This means one hundred talented, skilled, and pioneering people who are living, working or connected to the area will be profiled through a creative media campaign.

You can invite someone you consider a master to put on some expert talks, you might want to organise an event to celebrate a local master or you might want to go and see or meet one of your masters!

For Commission information click here.

Please contact 100 Masters Producer Liam Smyth at if you would like more information or discuss an idea.

Funny Things
A celebration of Black Country humour and comedy. Creative Black Country are currently developing a comedy festival in Wolverhampton which will take place from 26th October to 5th November 2017. You can programme events, create events or develop some activity related to comedy as part of the festival.

For Commission information click here.

Please contact Funny Things Producer Jenny Smith at if you would like more information or discuss an idea.

Deadline for proposals for both projects is Thursday 20th April 2017 and we will respond to shortlisted proposals by 28th April 2017.

Event reminder: FUNNY THINGS Open Meeting Invitation on Thursday 6th April, 6pm -7:30pm at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Come along to find out more the FUNNY THINGS and discuss how you could get involved, to help us make the first comedy festival in Wolverhampton a success.

RSVP by 31st March 2017 to

Nominations Wanted for 100 Masters

100 Masters is a new campaign produced by Creative Black Country that aims to identify contemporary skilled people from the region and help inspire future talent. The public are being asked to have their say and nominate someone they know who is brilliant at what they do. No achievement is too big or small; maybe your neighbour bakes the best bread you’ve ever tasted, or your local landlord brews the best beer?

Did you know that a West Bromwich cactus-breeder has received gold at RHS Chelsea for the last seven successive years? What about the Dudley-born fashion illustrator who counts RnB star Rihanna and the Kardashians as her fans? Heard about the Wolverhampton lecturer who has won an unprecedented international accolade for his pioneering research into the medical uses of sugar? Only last year at the Edinburgh Fringe, a care worker from Sandwell beat 14 professional comedians to win the ‘Joke of the year 2016’.

The Black Country was forged at the hands of men and women from all walks of life who honed their skills to the highest levels. It was through their craftsmanship and diligence that the region became renowned as the industrial heartland of the UK, and while we successfully recognise our great industrial heritage, we believe it is time to represent the present-day masters who have been making tremendous strides.

Creative Black Country know there are more stories out there of local people receiving attention and accolades for their work and they want to find and promote these individuals. The project is open to ideas of noteworthy people who have forged their own path and displayed outstanding ability that has influenced others in their field.

A master can be from any walk of life and there are no restrictions in specialism but they must have either been born, educated, lived or worked in Sandwell, Walsall, Dudley or Wolverhampton for a significant period of time.

Do you know someone that deserves to be recognised for their passion and commitment? Then you can nominate them here.

About the Masters
-West Bromwich cactus breeder – Stan Griffin
-Dudley born fashion illustrator – Elizabeth Ilsley
-Award winning Wolverhampton lecturer – Moses Murandu
-‘Joke of the year 2016’ winner from Sandwell – Masai Graham

See the current Masters here.

Vinci UK Foundation – Deadline: 31st March 2017

VINCI recognises that its sustainable economic success is linked to an ambitious social commitment. The UK Foundation brings to life VINCI’s determination to be a long term partner to the communities for which it builds, equips and manages facilities such as factories, offices, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, airports, telecommunications and energy networks in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The VINCI UK Foundation supports projects that promote social cohesion and fight exclusion.

How to submit a project?

The application period for the submission of projects in 2017 runs until the end of March. Before requesting support from the Foundation, you can test the suitability of your project with this first questionnaire. It is important that the project fits with the selection criteria of the VINCI UK Foundation defined by the following areas of action.

  1. Promote access to the labour market
  2. Integration through housing
  3. Inclusive mobility
  4. Building better communities

For FULL application information click HERE.

Improving your charity’s digital storytelling

Do you use ‘digital’ to communicate your message? A website, Facebook, Twitter etc? Producing fresh and engaging content can feel like hard work sometimes. If you feel your content needs a bit of a refresh, considering these few tips for the technology trust could make all the difference.

1. Set yourself apart

Offering something that others don’t can really help drive traffic and increase engagement. Finding a ‘niche’ makes competing for funds and donors a little easier because you are providing something different.

This can be difficult when there are multiple organisations behind a single good cause. For these, your content, campaigns and methods will set you apart, rather than your overall cause.

Creating videos, telling your story, doing interviews, etc. are just a few ideas. It’s good to take a look at charities similar to yours, bigger or smaller. You may take inspiration or spark an idea for something new or you can assess what is/isn’t working about their content and see what you’d do better.

An example of a charity that’s made their content stand out is Gift of Water. Their 2012 video used the hashtag #firstworldproblems. It worked effectively by making people reevaluate their fortune.


2. Leverage images, memes or pop culture references

Integrating dynamic images, memes, infographics or pop culture references is a simple way to improve your content.

Marketing statistics suggest people are over 50% more likely to remember information when paired with a fitting visual.

This is because images can makes your digital story more exciting, help readers relate to your brand and have a more powerful and immediate effect.

However… stock images can be damaging if they’re just used as filler. You need the image to contribute to the text to ensure people don’t glaze over the content as easily as if it was just text.

There are tons of charities doing a good job with their images. A great example is Childs I, who tell stories with their photographs.

We have written a separate article all about effective image use that you can check out here.

Read the FULL article (and the other 4 tips) HERE.

Oldbury Viaduct Major Renewal Scheme

Regular users of the M5, between junctions 1 and 2 particularly, may already be aware of the impending major renewal works that are scheduled to begin after Easter 2017.

Intervention is required to repair damaged sections in order to prevent bigger challenges and further disruption in the future.

So, what is this likely to mean for users of that particular stretch? Well, I guess the most obvious answer is some major disruption…until Autumn 2018!

However, the positive news is that the contractors have collaborated with local authorities to consider their work programmes and suggestions for traffic management and agreed diversion routes – all designed to keep the traffic flowing as much as possible.

To find out more, read the information leaflet from Highways England HERE.

You can find out additional information about the scheme at: and

The Spring Budget – implications for the Sector.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his Spring Budget last week (8th March 2017).

Ruth Breidenbach-Roe, from Locality, takes a look at the implications (& opportunities?) for the Sector…

Whilst economic growth is higher than initially predicted, Philip Hammond chose to limit major public spending and stick within the austerity framework. Despite barely getting a mention in his speech, the future economic uncertainty of Brexit hung over the Budget as the Chancellor warned that there was ‘no room for complacency’ in current improved public finances.

£2bn of new funding was made available for local authorities for social care over the next three years. A new green paper on health and social care was also announced which will seek a longer-term, sustainable plan for social care funding. We will be working with our member-led network for health and wellbeing to input into this consultation.

The Chancellor also announced a new funding package to help businesses (and charities, at local government discretion) to manage business rates costs, in the face of massive opposition from retailers and his own colleagues to rates revaluation. We have been working with sector colleagues in the lead up to the budget to call for 100% mandatory rate relief and these announcements bringing concessions for small businesses, as well as pubs, strengthens our campaign ask.

Read the FULL article at:


The Children’s Health Fund – Deadline: 7th April 2017

The Children’s Health Fund recognises the importance of encouraging children and young people to drink more water in order to improve their overall health and development. It is currently inviting organisations such as schools, community groups and registered charities, grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to improve access to free drinking water for the children and young people that they work with, or who congregate in their spaces. All projects must be completed within 12 months of receiving a grant and the closing date for applications is the 7th April 2017.

For more information visit:


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