News

Voluntary Sector Breakfast Meeting

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 20 July 2017 from 7.30 am – 9.00 am, at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick B66 1BA.

Ample parking.  Refreshments provided.

If you are interested in attending, please confirm your attendance by emailing mazeline@scvo.info or telephone 0121 525 1127 by Tuesday, 18 July 2017.


The Sandwell Community Learning Offer 2017-2018

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service (SAFL) is a direct contract holder with the Skills Funding Agency for the provision of Community Learning. SAFL work in collaboration and partnership with other learning and training providers delivering learning opportunities and supporting adult learners annually in Sandwell.

In delivering a balanced offer for 2017-2018, SAFL seeks to sub-contract some of their provision to partners who can help them widen participation by delivering teaching and learning to those who engage for personal development and well-being, or to develop stronger communities and families.

New and/or current local learning providers, including voluntary non-profit and community sector groups and private organisations who are interested in becoming an Approved Sub-Contractor for 2017-2018 should visit SAFL’s website for the funding offer and how to apply. If you have any questions, please contact Kerry Davison at Tipton college on 0121 557 0837.  The closing date for applications is the 14 July 2017.

Sandwell Adult & Family Learning also wishes to create a learning network of local training providers to share relevant information on funding and delivery. The aim is to improve provision and access of adult learning opportunities across Sandwell and other areas within the combined authority. The plan is to meet on a termly basis.

Any organisation that is interested in joining this learning network to share information and to set out our shared aims in relation to lifelong learning, training and skills should contact Linda Matthews at Hateley Heath Further Education and Training Centre. Telephone 0121 556 7426.

 


What does the Queen’s speech mean for charities?

This year’s Queen’s speech was delayed due to the recent snap General Election and subsequent negotiations between the Conservatives and DUP (still ongoing at the time of writing). Indeed, the next speech won’t now be until 2019 as there won’t be one in 2018 in order to give more time for parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit legislation.

So what does this year’s speech mean for charities?

Chris Walker, Senior External Relations Officer at NCVO, gives us his views in this blog article…

Two-year legislative programme

At the weekend the government announced that there would not be a Queen’s speech in 2018 as it wanted to give more time for parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit legislation. Bills fall at the end of each year-long session unless they are carried over, meaning there will be less pressure to push things through quickly. Though some critics have pointed out that this also helps the government avoid a potentially awkward vote on next year’s Queen’s speech.

It is likely however that a significant amount of time will be given over to MPs and peers to discuss the detail of Brexit legislation so this could provide an opportunity for charities to really influence the detail. Following the election, few votes will be a formality in the way they would have been in a parliament with a strong government majority, and given the commitment to allow proper scrutiny, it’s likely parliament will seek to assert itself. It’s particularly worth looking out for votes on programme motions, which set out how much time MPs will have to debate individual bills – MPs often argue they don’t have enough time to scrutinise legislation, but this time they may vote to give themselves more.

Repeal bill

The centrepiece of the Queen’s speech is the repeal bill, which will convert EU law to UK law and allow technical changes to be made to ensure the law operates effectively on the day we leave. These changes will mostly be made through statutory instruments, which require significantly less parliamentary scrutiny, so it is essential that safeguards are in place to ensure that this procedure is only used for technical amendments and not substantive policy changes.

The bill itself is likely to be relatively short, setting out a framework for change rather than tackling the detail, but parliamentarians in both houses will be sceptical of too much power being held in the hands of the executive.

 

You can read the FULL article at: https://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2017/06/21/what-does-the-queens-speech-mean-for-charities/

 


SMETHWICK ALLOTMENT HOLDERS FEATURE ON BBC ADVERT

Allotment holders from Smethwick are appearing on TV screens across the country, after being chosen to star in one of the BBC’s newest adverts.

The green-fingered bunch from Bearwood Road Allotments appear in the short adverts – known as idents – featured on BBC1 between programmes.

You can watch the advert online: www.bbccreative.co.uk/projects/bbc-oneness/

The group of five adults and four children are shown tending a plot in a series of clips filmed on location by a BBC crew and renowned photographer Martin Parr last month (May).

Chair of the allotments association Mick Brooke said: “It was great that Bearwood Allotments were chosen by the BBC to be part of their ‘one-ness’ campaign and fascinating to see behind the scenes of filming. The film crew seemed to genuinely love our green and productive oasis in Smethwick”

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure Councillor Richard Marshall said: “It’s fantastic to see Smethwick on national television. The allotments are really well looked after and they have a fabulous community feel.”

Bearwood Road allotments has four half plots and five full plots available. Allotment plots are also available at Londonderry and Wood Green allotments.

To enquire about an allotment email amy_robinson@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 3440.


National Volunteer’s Week

On Tuesday 6 June, Volunteer Centre Sandwell in partnership with NHS The Recovery College, celebrated National Volunteer’s Week with two free drama productions. Midland Actors Theatre, performed their latest masterpiece, The Ward, to over 140 volunteers at West Bromwich Town Hall, written by the playwright David Calcutt.

The powerful, inspiring play gave the audience an insightful view of mental health, whilst exploring attitudes of how service users, professionals, and carers managed the condition.

Overall feedback from the audience of the performance was extremely positive. Many shared the view that they were better informed about mental health and a few shared their memories of real lived experiences.

Jean Taylor Chief Executive Officer said. ‘This year we took the opportunity to build upon on our working relationships with NHS Recovery College to raise the profile of mental health and the impact the condition can have on the lives of individuals.”

Mick Morrow, Recovery College Lead, supported the event with Joanne Newton, Chair of Black Country Partnership Mental Health Foundation Trust. Volunteer Centre Sandwell manages a 5 year Big Lottery funded Hands on Project, which supports individuals with a long term health condition into supported volunteering opportunities.

See photograph of Mick Morrow, Joanne Newton, Jean Taylor & Mayor Cllr Haque MBE, taken by Deva Singh Bhogal, Volunteer.

 


Stories, Statistics and Strawberries

Have Beat the Street and Make, Move and Munch Club helped Sandwell to move more and eat better?

Join the Accord Group and partners to explore the learnings, impact and future of community health in Sandwell. The Stakeholder Event will be on Thursday, 29 June 2017, 12 noon to 1.30 pm at Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, West Bromwich B66 1BB

Lunch will be provided.

Contact 0121 442 5066  on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for further details.

 


Free 1-2-1 Employability Workshops

North Smethwick Development Trust are delivering a free one day employability workshops for adults where they can access 1-2-1 support on the day.

The workshops will be three workshops being held covering:

Workshop 1: 9.30am till 3.30pm in CV writing, covering letters and interview skills.
Workshop 2: 9.30am till 12 noon in Money Management
Workshop 3: 1pm till 3pm in Money Management

The one day workshops are being held on:

Tuesday 27th July 2017 at  Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA.

It is essential that you book your place in advance by calling us on 0121 5555672 or via email at volunteering@nsdt.org.uk.

For parents on a low income we may be able to offer free childcare at our Ofsted registered Breakaway Holiday Club to enable you to attend the training workshops.


Invitation to The Sandwell Community Learning Offer 2017-18 Event

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service (SAFL) is a direct contract holder with the Skills Funding Agency for the provision of Community Learning. SAFL work in collaboration and partnership with other learning and training providers delivering learning opportunities and supporting adult learners annually in Sandwell.

In delivering a balanced offer for 2017-2018, they are seeking to sub-contract some of their provision to partners who can help them widen participation by delivering teaching and learning to those who engage for personal development and well-being or to develop stronger communities and families.

New and/or current local learning providers including Voluntary and Community sector groups, other private and third sector and non-profit organisations who are interested in becoming an Approved Sub-Contractor for 2017-2018 are invited to attend the Community Learning Offer briefing session to obtain further information. Being held on:

Thursday 22nd June 2.00pm – 4.00pm at Hateley Heath Further Education & Training Centre, Huntingdon Road, West Bromwich, B71 2RP

To confirm your attendance or for more information about this opportunity please contact Linda Matthews on 0121 556 7426 or via email at linda_matthews1@sandwell.gov.uk


SCVO’s Funding Network Event – 18th July 2017

SCVO’s latest ‘Funding Network’ event will be held at the Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell, Greets Green Access Centre, Tildasley Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 9SJ on Tuesday, 18th July 2017 between 10 am and 12 noon.

We know that access to funding support is at the forefront of many VCS organisations’ needs so we’re keen to explore ways in which groups can access such support and information through peer-to-peer learning and networking, together with targeted support information from SCVO and key funders.

‘Funding Network’ events are a great place for organisations to meet and share ideas and good practice, focus on resources (such as SCVO’s ‘Funding Portal’), how to find funders, how to evidence need, how to develop trading / social enterprise ideas and other relevant information. There’s also the opportunity to hear from external guests, who make a short presentation about their organisation’s role in the broader spectrum of funding opportunities.

Click here to find out more about the proposed agenda and to book your FREE place.


Lord’s Taverners – Sensory Packages/Grants

The Lord’s Taverners have announced that the next closing date for applications to its Sensory packages and sensory small grants programme is the 30 June 2017. Children with sensory impairments and autism have found that regular access to a sensory room or sensory equipment can have significant improvements on a child’s emotional health.

Through the programme, grants of up to £5,000 are available for schools that cater for young people under the age of 19 who have a physical/ sensory/ learning disability to purchase portable sensory equipment.

All equipment needs to be purchased through Experia Innovations and the school is required to pay a self-help contribution of around 25% of the total cost of the package.

More information


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