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:


SCVO Member Feature: Creative Support

Creative Support is a not for profit agency and high quality provider of  social care services for people with learning disabilities, mental health and other needs, in the West Midlands.

To support their clients Creative Support provides a range of services to meet their differing needs, including supported living, supported housing, residential care, community and home support, floating support, extra-care and day services. The agency work with people who have a wide spectrum of needs, ranging from those who require short term support to regain their independence to people with complex needs who require intensive support to enjoy a good quality of life.

Visit the website.

Opportunities at Citizens Advice Dudley

Citizens Advice Dudley Borough is a charity that offers free, impartial and independent advice to over 15,000 people per year, resolving 55,000 advice issues to diverse communities across the Borough, many of whom often have complex support needs or complex casework issues. The agency is recruiting to the following posts:

Money Advice Caseworker
Hours: 29 hours per week
Salary: £21,277 to £23,118, depending upon experience SCP24-27 (pro rata)
Closing date: Midday Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Generalist Advice Caseworker
Hours: 30 hours per week
Salary: £21,277 to £23,118, depending upon experience SCP24-27 (pro rata)
Closing date: Midday Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Business Development Manager
Hours: 24 hours per week
Salary: SCP 30-32 £25,984 – £26,804 pro rata, depending upon experience
Closing date: Midday Friday, 14 April 2017.

If you are enthusiastic and committed to making a difference to the lives of others and interested in any of the above posts, please contact Citizens Advice Dudley Borough for an application pack via email on

Please note CV’s will not be accepted.

Wanted: Chair of Board and Trustee for Relate Birmingham

Relate Birmingham is a local independent charity and leading provider of relationship support. They aim to help individuals, parents and families build better relationships by delivering a range of services, including counselling, groups, education and training and professional development.

Relate Birmingham have recently grown and diversified its services and now operate across most of the West Midlands and South Staffordshire.

The charity is seeking to appoint a Chair and Trustee. Please click here to download a pack. Applications for both posts will close on Friday, 7 April 2017.

For more information about this role contact Ruth Levesley, Chief Executive at or call on 0121 643 1638.

For more information about Relate Birmingham visit or

The Harry Payne Fund

The Heart of England Community Foundation is accepting applications for The Harry Payne Fund. This fund provides grants of between £250 and £1000 to support causes in Birmingham and within a 25 mile radius of the city centre, including Black Country, Coventry, Warwickshire, and parts of Worcestershire and Staffordshire.

Registered charities and Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO’s) with an income of less than £500,000, that support the disadvantaged, are welcome to apply and funding is available for specific projects and general running costs.

Examples of the types of causes that have previously been supported include care of the elderly, victims, offenders and their families, disability organisations, organisations encouraging understanding between different faiths, relief of poverty; particularly food poverty, local environmental projects and homelessness.

This programme has a rolling deadline with funding decisions being made four times a year. See here for more information.

Reaching Communities England (Big Lottery)

Voluntary or community groups can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £500,000 to cover the costs of projects which improve communities, by using local knowledge, strengths and assets to test and implement the ideas which matter most to communities, as well as sharing learning about what went well, and what did not.

Eligible projects must:
• Have people with an interest in the project who are significantly involved in the planning, design and delivery of the project.
• Enable people to address a clearly defined need that matters to their community.
• Seek to fill a gap in, or complement other services and activities.
• Make a positive difference to the community.
• Be delivered by an organisation who:
– Are best placed to deliver and achieve the proposed outcomes.
– Have appropriate links with the target community.
• Support lasting and sustainable changes to places and spaces.
• Support communities to develop happier and stronger relationships with each other.
• Take action which focuses on the root causes of social problems to tackle them at the earliest possible stage.

Grants are available to cover all of the costs associated with delivering a project, including staff salaries, training, volunteer expenses, management costs, equipment, premises costs, monitoring and evaluation and overheads.

Smaller grants (of up to £100,000) are available for small scale capital work, such as refurbishment, the purchase of vehicles, land or buildings.

There is a rolling deadline. Applications may be made at any time.

Visit here for more information.

National Churches Trust (Community Grants)

The National Churches Trust has announced that its 2017 Community Grants programme is open for applications. 

The Community Grants Programme provides grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 for projects which introduce facilities to enable increased community use of places of worship.

Projects must have an estimated cost of at least £25,000 (including VAT and fees) to qualify. To be eligible applicants will need to have raised 50% of the total project cost.

The deadline for applications is the 3 July 2017.

See here for more information.

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