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‘Celebrate Sandwell’ At Free Community Event

‘Celebrate Sandwell’ at a fun free event organised by the local community at West Bromwich Town Hall on Friday 30 June 2017.

Come along between 10 am and 4 pm to be entertained and find out what a wide range of local organisations and community groups in Sandwell have to offer.

From Caribbean steel pans, a wandering troubadour, poet and storyteller to a guided meditation walk and hula hoops, there’s a real mix of things to enjoy and explore.

Sandwell’s new Mayor, Councillor Ahmadul Haque MBE, will officially open the event at 12 noon.

Check out the many stands promoting scores of local services and community groups; enjoy free snack food and drinks; and enter a raffle to win some great prizes, including a free night out (a Harvester meal for two and two cinema tickets).

Event co-ordinator Richard Flatley said: “By running this event we are bringing people together to honour the kindness and compassion of the people and services of Sandwell.”

Councillor Syeda Khatun, Sandwell Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all things Sandwell and for people to find out more about local services and community groups.

“We are very proud of Sandwell’s thriving community and voluntary sector and I encourage people to come along to learn more about the wide range of support available across the borough.”

Follow the event on social media:

Twitter: @Sandwell2017
Instagram: @Celebrate Sandwell
For more information, email

For further information please contact:
Sandwell Council Communications Unit
0121 569 3031

Out of hours/emergency: 07920 027 723


Prince’s Trust Boosts Access Through New Online Platform

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust is opening up its services to more users by launching a new web-based platform.

Prince’s Trust Online, supported by founding patrons Nominet and NatWest, will allow users to benefit from its programmes even if they can’t attend in person because of where they live, or their personal circumstances. Young people can access The Trust’s programmes online, via their smartphones, tablets and computers.

The platform has launched with a digital version of the Enterprise programme, which helps young people turn their ideas into business reality. Prince’s Trust Online mirrors all parts of the existing Enterprise scheme, with e-learning modules covering everything from business plans to finance and, uniquely, is leading the way by combining online learning with a full e-mentoring service.

All young people will receive the ongoing support of a dedicated e-mentor, allowing The Trust to replicate the quality of their face-to-face programmes, ensuring the same positive outcomes for the young people involved.

Announcing the new platform at London Tech Week’s TechXLR8 event, Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet said: “Britain needs its talent, wherever they live and whatever circumstances they find themselves in, to have the confidence and support they need to make their mark. Our funding helps The Prince’s Trust extend its programmes to those who, due to other commitments or geography, would otherwise miss out.”

The platform has been road tested by an initial cohort of young people, who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to access support from The Trust and will continue to roll out to full capacity over the coming months.

David Ivell, CIO, The Prince’s Trust said: “With the launch of Prince’s Trust Online we will be able to support more young people than ever and, perhaps most importantly, break down barriers that have previously prevented us reaching those who may have the most to gain from one of our programmes.  Prince’s Trust Online will give anyone, anywhere and in any circumstance, the chance to complete a program at their own speed, but with the full support we pride ourselves on delivering face to face.”

The charity says this is just the start of its online activity, with an Employability programme launching imminently.

Source: Charity Digital News

Microsoft Releases Updates for Older Windows Versions Following Wannacry Attacks

Microsoft has issued a number of security updates for its Windows XP operating system to help users protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

The move has been heralded as good news for those charities still using the older operating system.

Windows XP was targeted by the much-publicised WannaCry ransomware attack last month. At least 75,000 computers in 99 countries were affected by the malware, which encrypts a computer before demanding a ransom and unlocking it.

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014, but the software giant is now taking the unprecedented move of including it in the company’s security updates this week.

“In reviewing the updates for this month, some vulnerabilities were identified that pose elevated risk of cyber-attacks by government organisations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors or other copycat organisations,” Adrienne Hall, head of Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center, wrote in a blog.

“To address this risk, today we are providing additional security updates along with our regular Update Tuesday service. These security updates are being made available to all customers, including those using older versions of Windows. Due to the elevated risk for destructive cyber-attacks at this time, we made the decision to take this action because applying these updates provides further protection against potential attacks with characteristics similar to WannaCry.”

For more technical information and links to related articles, visit the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

Source: Charity Digital News


Trust in charities down

Public trust in UK charitable bodies “to do what is right” has fallen by 18 percentage points since 2015, an international study has found. The PR firm Edelman’s Trust Barometer reveals that public trust in non-governmental organisations fell from 50 per cent in November 2015 to 46 a year later. A subsequent supplementary study carried out between 23 December and 7 January found it had fallen to 32 per cent, Edelman reports.

The studies asked 1,150 people in the UK to rate how much they trusted NGOs, government, business and the media “to do what is right” on a scale of one to nine, with one indicating no trust at all and nine indicating a lot of trust. Trust in other institutions “to do what is right” was also down, with the figure for the media falling from 36 per cent to 24 per cent and the figure for government dropping from 36 per cent to 26 per cent.

The falling numbers are part of a dramatic worldwide fall in public trust in institutions, the study says.

The UK study was part of a wider study of 33,000 people in 28 countries, which found that global trust in NGOs had fallen by two percentage points between November 2015 and November 2016 to 53 per cent.

Trust in NGOs fell in 21 countries and 11 countries rated them as less trustworthy than businesses.

The results run counter to those collated in October by the research company nfpSynergy. It found that public trust in charities had reached the highest level since 2013, with 60 per cent of respondents saying they trusted charities “quite a lot” or a “great deal” – up from a low of 47 per cent in October 2015.


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

Sandwell and West Birmingham Equality Awards launched

The 2017 Sandwell and West Birmingham Equality Awards, which champion the support given to vulnerable people in Sandwell and West Birmingham, was launched on 12 June 2017.

The awards have been held annually since 2015. They recognise and celebrate work undertaken by local, groups and organisations to address inequalities in health and well-being. Previous winners include a health visiting service for vulnerable families, a group of churches who provide food for asylum seekers and refugees, a one-stop shop for carers, and a social enterprise for people aged over 50.

The CCG will shortlist projects in September 2017. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony taking place at Villa Park on 2 November 2017.

Click here for find out more about the Equality Awards and how to apply.

Poll Results – West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor

Following the recent election of Conservative candidate Andy Street to the post of West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor, we posed the question, “is this a good thing for the voluntary and community sector?”

Well, the results are in and are as follows:

The clear majority of respondents suggested ‘don’t know’ as their response, which could suggest all sorts of things e.g. lack of information/understanding about the role of the WMCA Mayor, lack of information/understanding of Andy Street’s campaign manifesto, part of the significant majority who didn’t vote – the turnout across the seven area that make up the region was just 26.68%

So how can we (the voluntary and community sector), as stakeholders in the Combined Authority Area, hold the Mayor to account?

The independent, non-partisan think tank, Centre for Cities, has produced a very useful tool called the ‘West Midlands Mayor’s Dashboard’. It’s a tool for the mayor, and stakeholders in the combined authority area, to monitor performance on priority issues in the local economy. The tool plots performance against the national average and is updated on a regular basis so that progress can be continually tracked.

So, whatever your thoughts might be as to the role of the WMCA Mayor, we now have an online tool that helps us monitor its effectiveness on an ongoing basis.

Support Group for Hoarders

The Kaleidoscope Group is offering help for hoarders. A Support Group offers non-judgmental advice and encouragement to develop the skills and confidence needed to regain control over the possessions that have overwhelmed you.

The Group also offers ongoing support to maintain control.  The Group meets:

On the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month, 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm, at The Mezz, Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, West Bromwich B66 1BB

From 20 June the Group will also meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm, at Haden Cross Fire Station, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath B64 7JU.

Please contact Mary Hannibal at The Kaleidoscope Group on 0121 565 5606 for further information.

Historic Vote Sees Andy Street Elected First West Midlands Mayor

Andy Street has been elected the first mayor of the West Midlands.

The Conservative Party candidate was declared winner of the historic first election following the count at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena today (Friday May 5).

The former John Lewis boss will now chair the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and its cabinet of the seven West Midlands council leaders.

Thanking his election team the new Mayor said: “I want to be a mayor who works for everyone across the West Midlands and binds all of our leaders together.

“That’s because ultimately that’s what this job is all about – about building a team to champion the West Midlands, building an alliance with central government, with local people, that will put the West Midlands back in its rightful place as the leading region of the UK.”

The election, on Thursday May 4, saw votes cast in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Mr Street secured victory over Labour’s Sion Simon by 238,628 votes to 234,862.

A West Midlands mayor was part of the devolution deal between the WMCA and the Government, which will see more than £1.1 billion made available for investment in the region over the next 30 years.

Mr Street will:
• Have control over new long term budgets from central government
• Implement transport investment, strategic planning, improve skills and invest in new homes
• Lobby on behalf of their area, on the issues that matter to local people not only in Westminster, but on the world stage
• Work with local business leaders to achieve what’s best for local jobs and the economy
• Capitalise on local strengths and assets like our universities, scientific research and innovation

Mr Street will hold office for three years. The next election is in May 2020, then every four years after that.

The other candidates results were:
• Beverley Nielsen (Liberal Democrat) – 30,378
• Pete Durnell (UK Independence Party) – 29,051
• James Burn (Green Party) – 24,260
• Graham Stevenson (Communist Party) – 5,696

Source: West Midlands Combined Authority

Step-By-Step Guide to GDPR Compliance

On 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force and this will have an impact on the way fundraising operates.

An important part of complying with GDPR is considering how well your CRM system will support your ease of compliance, as well as reviewing and revising your approach to handling personal data.

The Fundraising Regulator’s new guidance has highlighted that organisations should be assessing “what impact their approach to Direct Marketing will have on any existing data management systems (for example, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems; databases) in order that these systems support the delivery of the agreed approach”.

Charity CRM software provider, Access thankQ CRM, has put together an essential guide with practical steps to becoming GDPR compliant and the important role CRM is to play in that.

Download this free guide to understand:
• What GDPR means for your organisation
• The practical steps you can take to prepare for GDPR
• The important role that CRM plays in compliance
• How thankQ CRM has been developed to make compliance easy

Click here to download your free copy of the guide.

Source: Charity Digital News

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