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Creative Black Country Desi Pub Crawl: Sunday 28th May 2017

Hop onto the Creative Black Country’s Desi Pub bus for a tour around the Black Country’s best kept secret; its Indian pubs.

Tours start at 3pm on Thursday 28th May 2017 from The Red Cow (296 High Street, Smethwick, B66 3NL ) where you can meet the landlords, see some Desi Pub art, enjoy your complimentary pint and order some seriously tasty Desi Pub food, before you set off for the tour.

Tickets are £10 and includes transport to various Desi Pubs, complimentary pint on arrival at The Red Cow, Desi Pub coasters and map of Desi Pub trail.

Pubs on the crawls include: The Red Cow (Smethwick), The Ivy Bush (Smethwick), The Fourways (Rowley Regis), The Red Lion (West Bromwich), The Prince of Wales (West Bromwich), The Sportsman (West Bromwich), The Island Inn (West Bromwich).

The tour starts at The Red Cow and finishes at The Prince of Wales in West Bromwich with two other Desi Pubs being visited along the way.

For more information about the tour email info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk

The event is part of Southbank Centre’s Alchemy – a contemporary festival exploring the cultural links between the UK and South Asia – through live performance, talks, film, exhibitions, workshops and music.

#AlchemyBC


Spotlight on Beanstalk

1. Tell us what you do.
Beanstalk is a literacy charity working with Schools to offer a service of trained ‘Reading Helpers’, who on average work with three children, to provide constant support on a weekly basis, for a whole school year.

We recruit, train and support volunteers to provide consistent, one-to-one literacy support to primary school children who may have fallen behind with their reading, lack confidence, or struggle with their fluency, comprehension or vocabulary.

Our aim is to develop their love of reading and improve their confidence levels.

Why not visit our website at www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk to find out more about us.

2. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most valuable lesson we have learnt is that connecting our volunteers with the children is a great way to inspire confidence.

Jack Ogalbe, a Reading Helper said, “The joy on their faces when they discover a new word is hugely rewarding”.

Being a part of Beanstalk is a great way to make a difference to a child’s life and is a satisfying volunteering experience.

3. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our future plans are to break into Nursery Schools with a view of supporting children aged 3 upwards. Our challenge to turn this dream into reality is for us to recruit new Reading Helpers to support our growth into Nursery Schools.

4. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
In the future, we’d like SCVO’s support to help us to promote our activities and attract new volunteers’. This would enable us to continue to provide the simple yet highly effective service.

For more information or to become a volunteer with Beanstalk please contact us on 0121 7712922 or by email at westmidlandsapplications@beanstalkcharity.org.uk


Carnegie UK Trust – Engaging Libraries Fund

Engaging Libraries is looking for public libraries across the UK and Ireland that want to pilot creative and imaginative public engagement projects on health and wellbeing. Public libraries have a key role in delivering on health and wellbeing as outlined in national library strategies across the UK and Ireland and the Society of Chief Librarians’ Universal Health Offer. The programme is a partnership between the Wellcome Trust and Carnegie UK Trust and is the outcome of joint work between the Wellcome Trust and the Society of Chief Librarians.

The programme – Engaging Libraries offers:

  • £5,000 – £15,000 to deliver a public engagement project on a health or wellbeing theme. While most applications are expected to fall within this bracket, there is an opportunity to request up to £25,000 for more ambitious projects.
  • A package of support from library and public engagement experts.
  • Kick-starter day with the opportunity to share project ideas, get advice about public engagement and support to think about your evaluation. There will also be the chance to meet other projects.
  • An external evaluation to ensure learning and experience can be shared more widely.

We are aiming to support between 8 – 10 libraries and activities must be completed between October 2017 and October 2018.

How to apply

Potential applicants are invited to attend one of the applicant workshops running during May 2017. Workshops will be experiential and aimed at building understanding of the Engaging Libraries programme. They will also support ideas generation and development through group and one-to-one sessions with experts and representatives from the two Trusts. Workshops will be led by public engagement expert Ellen Dowell. The workshops are now full. Those who cannot attend a workshop are still very welcome to apply to the programme. Please refer to the resources below and feel free to contact us should you have any queries.

Applications are now open!

Please use the resources below to apply to the programme. Applications can be submitted up until 5pm on Wednesday 23 August 2017.

For more information or the application pack click here.


NCVO Almanac 2017

The charity sector is unlikely to experience an increase in donations or income from the government over the next few years, NCVO has warned. They made the prediction alongside the release of their  UK Civil Society Almanac 2017, which covers the 2014/15 financial year and is based on analysis of financial data from a sample of more than 7,800 charities.

NCVO said earned income was the best prospect for future growth and that money from dormant assets, such as shares or bonds, should be used to help local charities.

It says that 90 per cent of the sector’s £112.7bn of total assets – such as property, cash and investments – are held by just 3 per cent of charities, with the top 100 asset owners accounting for half of the sector’s total. It says the vast majority of charities “have little reserves to speak of”, which it describes as a “long-standing challenge”.

Approximately 48 per cent of all charities are described as “micro”, defined as those with annual incomes of less than £10,000, the almanac says. Another 34 per cent it categorises as “small”, with annual incomes of between £10,000 and £100,000.

The almanac says that 14 million people volunteered at least once a month that year, with the highest rate in the 16 to 25-year-old group.


Fraud costs people in the UK around £10.9 billion every year.

In the first of a series of articles we explain some of the common scams to look out for and some tips for staying safe. (Information provided by Santander)

Telephone Scams

Requests to transfer funds:
• This involves a fraudster calling you and posing as your bank or another organisation. The number they’re calling from may be ‘spoofed’ to make it look like it’s from your bank or another legitimate organisation.
• They tell you that you’re at risk of fraudulent activity and must transfer your funds into a ‘safe account’.
• You will often be pressured to act immediately.
• This ‘safe account’ is actually the fraudster’s account, so your money is sent directly to the fraudster.

Look out for the second instalment next week.


HR Legal Update: Misconduct, Workplace Monitoring and Brexit

Welcome to the April edition of the HR Newsletter. In this issue, we will be exploring indirect and caste discrimination, looking at a case of gross misconduct and highlighting issues surrounding unfair dismissal. We will also be discussing workplace monitoring and exploring how Brexit could affect your business with regards to the employment law landscape.

Read more

This HR update is provided by Higgs and Sons solicitors, working in partnership with SCVO to provide accessible legal advice and expertise to Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector.


Old Meets New As Contactless Payment Tech Added To Collection Devices

A new partnership is enabling charities to accept cashless charity donations via traditional-style collection boxes and buckets.

Charity collection box maker Angal has teamed up with cashless transaction provider Thyngs to incorporate QR/NFC technology into collection boxes and buckets, enabling charities to take card payments and Apple Pay donations as well as cash. The organisations say Android Pay and PayPal will follow later this year.

Supporters will be able to donate an amount of their choice using their smartphones, and the contactless technology will also allow Gift Aid declarations and remote monitoring of each collection device’s performance.

Lee Woodford, managing director of Angal said: “The Thyngs technology allows Angal to pioneer a safe and secure way for our clients to accept cashless donations. Supporters simply scan or tap their mobile phone on our collecting boxes and can donate in less than 15 seconds. This ease of use was one of the key reasons we joined up with Thyngs. Any boxes with the old FRSB tick logo will need replacing soon, so now is the perfect time to upgrade.”

The technology does come at a price though – the collection buckets and boxes will cost at least 60p more per unit, depending on the order volume. Thyngs, which takes a 2.5% fee on each donation in addition to any card-processing costs taken by payment processors, says a single £1 donation made using the technology will cover that cost.

Source: Charity Digital News


Charities ‘Missing Vital Opportunity’ To Show How They Benefit The Public

The Charity Commission has published the findings of its work to scrutinise charity accounts, finding that 54% of those reviewed did not meet the public benefit reporting requirement. The regulator says these charities are missing a vital opportunity to tell their story and explain their impact.

As part of its regular programme of charity accounts scrutiny, the regulator analysed a random sample of 107 charity accounts against two criteria:

 how charities are reporting on the public benefit requirement
 whether the accounts meet readers’ needs

Separately, the Commission scrutinised a random sample of 109 accounts of charities with incomes of under £25k to examine their overall quality.

Public Benefit
The Commission found that 54% of charities (58) did not meet the public benefit reporting requirement. Out of these charities, 13 failed the requirement as they did not describe the difference that their charity had made; 21 charities did not include the statement that they had complied with the public benefit requirements and read our guidance and 24 charities did not do either.

The report includes an example case study from the sample, demonstrating that it can be easy for trustees to get this right and explain succinctly and clearly how their work benefits the public and the difference that they make.

Nigel Davies, Head of Accountancy Services at the Charity Commission of England and Wales, said: “Many charities do a great job of explaining how their work benefits the public. But this review indicates that too many charities are missing out on an important opportunity to tell the public why their work matters, and what difference they are making.

“We know from wider research how important it is for donors and supporters to know how charities are spending their money. Your report and accounts say a lot about your charity’s attitude to accountability and transparency and so don’t miss out on this opportunity. The easiest way to improve the quality of your accounts and report is to use our templates; we know the charities that do use our templates produce accounts of much better quality.”

The full reports are available on GOV.UK.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.


Pilot Study – Participants Wanted!

Managing cases and measuring impact

• Are you part of a not-for-profit organisation?
• Do you have a turnover of less than £500,000 pa?
• Do you provide services for individuals or other organisations?
• Would you like to improve the way you record and manage information about your service users and the work that you do?
• Do you struggle to effectively demonstrate outcomes and impact to funders and commissioners?

If the answers to these questions are yes, then you could be eligible to join an exciting new initiative being delivered in partnership between and commercial tech company Iizuka and social enterprise capacity4change.

It has never been more difficult and competitive to generate funding for delivering essential services or establishing new initiatives in communities. Increasingly, funding is only attracted by proposals that contain evidence-based data that unequivocally demonstrates how services or initiatives provide social value or impacts positively the community they serve. The onus is on organisations to prove that they have the capacity and track record to deliver tangible returns on investment. It would seem therefore that outcomes-based commissioning is here to stay, so naturally, managing data and relationships is a challenge that is essential for not-for-profits to overcome. But how?

Capacity4change and Iizuka have teamed up and intend to support a small cohort of up to 10 organisations to trial and test a free version of relationship and outcomes management system, Case Manager. Amongst other things, they want to learn is exactly what third sector organisations need in order to self-configure their system and manage their data efficiently and strategically.

Case Manager is an online system which manages information, processes activities and generates management information quickly, simply and efficiently. It’s scalable, flexible, easy to implement, intuitive and simple to use. The system is currently used by a variety of public, private and voluntary organisations and several case studies can be viewed here.

What’s in it for me?
• Each participating organisation will receive Case Manager completely free of charge
• This study is an opportunity to improve your organisation’s data management systems
• It is also an opportunity to improve your organisation’s ICT skills and competence

What is my commitment?
• We ask that you participate fully in the scheme
• We also ask that you provide a key contact from your organisation with responsibility for data management
• You would need to commit to attend up to 6 meetings and provide feedback via focus groups, interviews and questionnaires (the total time commitment is estimated at 20 contact hours)

It is  anticipated the process will last around 6 months. The evidence gathered will be collated and considered and used to design and launch an innovative free product for the third sector that enables charities to cheaply and efficiently manage and track their service provision. This will enable users to provide outcomes and impact information to all their key stakeholders including funders.

However, please note numbers are very limited on this study so please act now!

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The first meeting will be hosted by Iizuka on Tuesday 23rd May 2017, 10 am-12 pm at their new headquarters in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. If you would like to find out more or apply for a place in this study, please call Georgina Watts on 07870 620909 or email georgina@georginawatts.co.uk


Tipton Library – “For Shakespeare and St George Fun Day”

Tipton Library is holding a “For Shakespeare and St George Fun Day” in honour of the birthday of William Shakespeare and of course St George. It’s a free event for all the family to enjoy with opportunities to get creative with children’s crafts, eat cake or just simply listen to Tipton Community Choir.

The fun day will be held at:

Tipton Library, 17 Unity Walk, Tipton, DY4 8QL on
Saturday 22nd April 10.30am—12.30pm

Activities include:

Free face painting and children’s crafts
Games
Toy sale
Community stalls
A special performance from the Tipton Community Choir
Home-made cakes and refreshments by Sally Gutteridge

For more information on the fun day please contact Tipton Library on 0121 557 1796.


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