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Free guide to GDPR and data protection for charities

A free guide to help charities understand General Data Protection Regulation and comply with data protection law has been published. GDPR is a new EU law governing data protection, which will supersede the Data Protection Act in 2018.  GDPR will not introduce widespread changes to existing law, but will increase the monetary penalties for non-compliance.

The new guide, “Fundraising and data protection: a survival guide for the uninitiated”, has been published by consultant Tim Turner, a former policy manager at the Information Commissioner’s Office, who has been highly critical of charities’ understanding of data protection, and of the Institute of Fundraising’s guidance and approach.

The guide is also critical of charities’ handling of newspaper criticism, and of some reaction to recent actions from the ICO, who are responsible for ensuring charities comply with data protection law.

The guide includes key points for fundraisers to be aware of – read the FULL article HERE.


Rapid Testing Clinic Drop-ins

Terrence Higgins Trust is having Rapid HIV testing clinics across Sandwell, from 28 February.  No appointment required.  Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss sexual health and undertake HIV and Chlamydia testing.  Testing kits will provide results within a few minutes.

Date and time of the sessions are:

28 February: 5 pm – 7 pm
Portway Leisure Centre Oldbury

6 March: 10 am -1 pm
Brandhall Library, Tame Road, Oldbury

7 March: 5pm – 7 pm
Portway Leisure Centre Oldbury

14 March: 9 am – 5 pm
Oldbury Pharmacy, Causeway Green Road, Oldbury

18 March: 10 am – 1 pm
Great Bridge Library, Sheepwash Lane, Great Bridge

Further clinic dates will be shared on the Terrence Higgins Trust Sandwell Facebook page.

The contact numbers for the Terrence Higgins Trust Sandwell Office are 07468 726029 / 0121 314 2510.

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.

Community Organisations Spotlight Articles

Are you a not-for-profit organisation situated within Sandwell?  Would you like to attract new users, members or volunteers to your organisation or its activities?

If you have answered yes to the above questions, then why not  feature in SCVO’s weekly e-bulletin in a Spotlight Article. This  aims to raise awareness of Sandwell based organisations and the beneficial activities being delivered to local residents.

SCVO’s e-bulletin currently goes out to over 2,000 readers in Sandwell and surrounding areas..

A Spotlight Article is  easy to do. Simply answer six questions about your organisation. That’s it! Take at a look at previous Spotlight Articles here.

Interested? Then please call Mazeline or Libby on 0121 525 1127 to find out more about this free opportunity for your organisation.


Church Urban Fund’s Lookup Tool

Resources & ToolsThe Church Urban Fund lookup tool has been recently updated with the latest statistics to provide you with in depth and easy to access insight into the area that you live. Just enter your post code and get the stats straight away.

One regular user is the Bishop of Jarrow who had this to say about the lookup tool: “it has been immensely helpful. We are increasingly using this tool in the diocese to help members of our congregations stand a little bit more in the shoes of those in the wider community.”

For more information about the Church Urban Fund why not click here.


How to engage and retain volunteers in your charity work

Services - Supporting PeopleWorking as a volunteer coordinator, event manager and campaigner over several years has meant Lynsey Burrows, Charity event management student and volunteer at various charities in Northern Ireland, is often a volunteer one day and then in charge of 50 volunteers the next. This has given her a particular insight into the real reasons why volunteers might leave an organisation. Here’s her advice for holding on to your volunteers.

Meet face to face
The first moments of contact with a volunteer are vital. Granted, this is normally by email or a phone call, but she encourage a face to face meeting as soon as possible. If you’ve ever arranged a large scale event by email for months and then wondered why only half your volunteers turned up, this may be why. It’s far easier to disengage with someone you’ve only ever emailed with, than it is someone you’ve met. Have a group meeting, say hello and start to develop a relationship with each volunteer.

Click here to read Lynsey’s full article about how to engage and retain volunteers.

Free Health and Wellbeing Support for Staff and Volunteers in the Sector

Mytime ActiveMytime Active Sandwell would like to offer your organisation or any of the community groups you work with the chance to participate in a FREE programme available to staff and volunteers within your organisation or to people who use your service.


Walkwell/NHS Health Checks

The Walkwell service can be delivered at your organisation or venue of your choice. The service offers a free health assessment and a free pedometer to all participants who will be given a goal of walking more over 12 weeks and making small health improvements. We then come back to carry out a free re-assessment at 12 weeks with an incentive scheme offering participants a £10.00 voucher if they achieve measured improvements in key health areas.

The NHS Health Check Programme is offered to anyone aged between 40 and 74 who lives in Sandwell, have a Sandwell GP or work within Sandwell and are not already on a CVD register. Eligible participants will be have a health assessment as part of the Walk Well programme but will also be offered the extra one off cholesterol and glucose blood testing with on the spot results and advice.

The health assessment only takes about 30 minutes in total and all you have to do is let us set up in your venue, encourage staff/volunteers to attend and we will do the rest. We are very flexible on times so can fit in with your organisations needs. This is a great way to encourage staff and users to be more healthy .

These key assessment questions and measurements can act as an early warning system for identifying any existing health problems or the possible onset of health problems.

If you are interested in these programmes or would like any, further information please contact

Ricky Byrnes = -Tel no. 07792946955

Cathy Ferriday – – Tel no. 07970864072

Free Services Offered by Community Foundation

Community FoundationCommunity Foundation is a grassroots voluntary organisation supporting people in inner city areas to change their lives by improving their conditions and creating opportunities for people to reach their full potential.  They hope as many people as possible will take advantage of the following free initiatives. The classes take place at 20 Silas Square, Lozells.

Creative English

Community Foundation is running a Creative English Course. A women only class, learning practical English for everyday use. If you need help with booking an appointment, helping your child with their homework or asking for assistance in a shop, then this class is for you. You can join us anytime. Date and Time: Every Wednesday and Thursday 10.00 am – 12.00 pm (with tea breaks) Contact Nazia on 0121 238 3282 ext 4 E:

Mendhi Class
Henna art classes running every Tuesday 10.00 am – 11.00 am.  Mendhi classes for women from the age of 16.  You will learn how to make a henna paste and henna cone.  Learn how to draw unique Mendhi designs from basic to very detailed.   Create your own portfolio with your own unique designs. The Mendhi Classes will not only help you gain a useful skill, it will also improve your English language.  It will give you confidence to meet new people and enhance your communication skills. Telephone Nazia on 0121 238 3282 ext 2 E:

Girls Youth Club and Health and Fitness
Community Foundation is now running a youth club for girls only. There are two sessions every Thursday and Friday from 4.30 pm – 6.30 pm, including health and fitness. The youth club is open to girls aged 12 years and over.  All indoor activities are free. Why not go along have fun, learn and get active. For more info contact Sonya Ahmed on 0121 238 3282 ext 2

Fire Safety Referrals
Community Foundation is supporting West Midlands Fire Service to promote their Home Fire Safety Scheme. The Fire Service is offering a Smoke Alarm and a Home Safety Check. All you have to do is provide your details to Community Foundation, who will pass the information to the Fire Safety Department. The West Midlands Fire Services then carry out a thirty minute smoke alarm and home safety check.  Every house holder is eligible.  Not many people are aware of this valuable service so why not take advantage of the opportunity. If you would like a free Home Safety Check and Smoke Alarm, or know someone else who would be interested, please contact Calvert on 0121 238 3282 ext 3 Email:

Handyperson Scheme for Residents in Sandwell

Black Country Housing GroupBlack Country Housing Group is running a Handyperson Scheme across the borough of Sandwell.  The offer entitles eligible customers up to 3 free hours of labour and material costs of up to £50.

The Handyperson scheme is available to people:
• Aged 60 or over; or
• In receipt of disability living allowance / personal independence payment
• Living in privately owned or privately rented housing within the Sandwell borough.

Examples of some of the work that can be done via the handyperson scheme include:
• Paint external doors and window frames, main living or bedroom
• Replace guttering and/or drainpipes
• Repair, re-attach, replace and/or clean out guttering
• Installing of Draft proofing to external doors or Windows
• Minor plumbing works
• Even out Patio/slabbed surfaces
• Removal of rubbish
• Erect fencing
• Stain and/or treat Gates & Fencing
• Overhaul front gardens
• Change and/or fit light bulbs where no longer working and/or are missing
• Test smoke alarm batteries and replace those no longer charged
• Fit smoke alarm/smoke detector/ carbon monoxide detector batteries
• Repositioning of furniture to improve access and mobility around the home and reduce the incidents of falls and injuries
• Supply and fit spy hole to front door

If you would like more information and or a referral form please contact Rebecca Gilbert Customer Services Assistant or Mark Dorkins Customer Services Assistant at Black Country Housing Group on  0121 561 3845.

New Money Wise and Debt Free Service Starting January 2015

post - consultation - 1-2-1

Based at Paul and Barny’s, at 151 Castle Road West, Oldbury, a new service has been set up for people to talk to trained and sympathetic debt advisers who will help you to regain control of your finances. The service is free, face to face, confidential, independent and practical.


The advice offered will:-

  • Help you to understand how to take control of your finances and set a realistic budget.
  • Discuss the most suitable options and help put in place the most appropriate solution.
  • Sort out those worrying letters and explain any difficult financial terms.
  • Help you to understand and complete those confusing forms.
  • Negotiate with your creditors on your behalf.

To access the service you can book an appointment for an informal chat by contacting 0121 422 6700

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