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Helpers Alert!! Arts Volunteers Needed for Events Throughout July, In Smethwick, Bearwood And Wolverhampton

If you could give us a hand on one or more days we would really enjoy your company, and you’ll get to see some exciting arts events and meet interesting people.

No specific skills are required; you will be shown exactly what you need to do. Jobs will include things like showing people to their seats and making sure artists and audiences have all they need to enjoy the event.

Dates are:
July 1 and 2 for the South Asian Mela event in Smethwick
July 7, 8 and 9 for the fabulous play ‘Life’s a Beach’ in Wolverhampton
July 13, 14, 15 and 16 for ‘Life’s a Beach’ in Bearwood

There are shows all day, so we need volunteers from 9.30am to 7.30pm – but you can do just part of the day if that suits you better.

Get in touch with kim@creativehealthcic.co.ukto find out more.

Sent on behalf of Black Country Touring and Creative Black Country. More details at www.bctouring.co.uk

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.


Maker-Centric Taster Session

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for participants to get involved with their Maker-Centric Project, which examines the power of making and crafts in helping people to understand and play a part in their communities. Participants don’t need to have any prior experience of crafts as this opportunity is open to everyone regardless of their crafting ability or experience.

Want to find out more? Then why not come along to the taster session being held on:

Monday 19th June 2017, 2-4pm at University of Wolverhampton, Room MK204, George Wallis (MK) Building, Molineux Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DT.

Alternatively for more details on the taster sessions or to confirm your attendance at the session please contact Kauser Husain via email at k.husain2@wlv.ac.uk or makercentricblog@gmail.com.

You can also visit their website at http://www.maker-centric.comto find out more information on this exciting new opportunity.

Maker-Centric Project – Participants Needed!

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for participants to get involved with their Maker-Centric Project, which examines the power of making and crafts in helping people to understand and play a part in their communities. Participants don’t need to have any prior experience of crafts as this opportunity is open to everyone regardless of their crafting ability or experience.

The University is working in collaboration with Craftspace (a charity that initiates artistic programmes which stimulate creative excellence and understanding of contemporary crafts in the widest social and cultural contexts) on the project and there will be an opportunity to network with other groups and discover what else is happening in the area.

Participants are being sought by The University who will be running a series of workshops in June 2017, in which people from the Black Country will be invited to create an object that responds to the unique industrial and social heritage of their area.

All workshops are entirely free for participants and include:

  • materials and travel,
  • free access to state of the art fabrication technology at FabLab, Sandwell,
  • guided tour of the Wolverhampton Art School exhibition,
  • specialist artist talks,
  • artist led walks,
  • photography sessions and much more.

You will also have the chance to showcase your creation at an event to be held in London.

Not sure if this is for you? Then why not come along to a taster session to find out more and see what will be involved. You’ll need to get in touch with Kauser Husain via email at k.husain2@wlv.ac.uk or makercentricblog@gmail.com for more details on the taster sessions or alternatively the University can come out to your organisation to explore and explain the project in more detail.

You can also visit their website at www.maker-centric.com for more details on this exciting new opportunity.

Grace Mary 2 Lion Farm Big Local Volunteers’ Party

As part of the UK’s National Volunteers’ Week which runs from 1 – 7 June 2017, GM2LF Big Local are holding a party to celebrate their volunteers on Tuesday 6th June 2017, 1 pm – 3 pm at Rounds Green Library, Martley Road, Oldbury B69 1DZ.

The party is being held to say, ‘Thank You’ and to recognise the outstanding contribution which is made by volunteers in the area. Volunteers are a shining example of how we can all make a big difference to other people lives and the communities we live in.

Nominate a Volunteer
If you know of someone who volunteers in the GM2LF Big Local area you can nominate them for an award and help to celebrate the difference they make. See nomination form.

Spotlight on Friends of Thimblemill Library

1.       Tell us what you do.
We are a group of volunteers who help to plan and stage events and activities at Thimblemill Library.  Friends help in lots of different ways; leading singing or craft classes for children and families; hosting and organising film nights, putting out chairs at events, serving and selling refresh-ments, raising funds for the library and in many other ways, all to help make the library a warm and welcoming place for our local community.

2.       What is your proudest achievement?
The library was recently awarded recognition as a Library of Sanctuary, the first library in the coun-try to do so, and an immense honour. This was due to the hard work of library staff and particular groups’ supporting refugees.  We are proud of their work and of the part we play as Friends in making people from the many diverse communities we serve welcome at the Library.
We are very proud of our library staff and in particular our Librarian Julie McKirdy who is so central to all that the library offers, both in her working role, and as a much-loved member of the commu-nity.  We were very proud to successfully nominate her for an award of the British Empire Medal (BEM).

3.       What is your experience of support received from SCVO
SCVO is currently helping us to develop some of our activities and make links with other voluntary groups. They are also helping us to seek funding so that we can plan events and activities on a longer-term basis.

4.       What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
‘They are lovely!’ was the response from one of the Friends.
We have a very diverse community with wide ranging languages and cultures. We are very fortutnate in that many people value the library as a centre of the community and want to give their time to bringing different members of the community together.

5.       What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We want to continue to offer a wide range of events and activities, increasing learning opportunities for local people and keeping the library at the heart of the community.

We have a particular project we are focussing on.  We have a number of film groups at the library – for children,  adults, a French film group, and others.  These are very popular and we would like to secure advice and funding to improve both the equipment to show films and for blackout blinds so that films can be shown throughout the year.

6.       How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO can help us by helping us to secure funding, introducing us to other voluntary and statutory organisations can work with and learn from; and sharing good practice from other organisations with us on 0121 429 2039 or by email at Thimblemill_library@sandwell.gov.uk

Find us on Facebook: Friends of Thimblemill Library

Calling ALL Volunteers & Volunteer involving Organisations

The 1 – 7 June is National Volunteers Week and North Smethwick Development Trust will be celebrating the impact and contribution of volunteers by organising a photography exhibition, from 2 – 30 June at Brasshouse.  The exhibition is in partnership with Brushstrokes, St Albans, Friends & Neighbours, Tipton Litter Watch and Smethwick Foodbank.

NSDT want as many volunteers as possible to get involved in the exhibition.

If you’re a volunteer and want to get involved, then please send us a video following the requirements. We would love to hear from as many of you as possible to be demonstrate the different reasons people have for volunteering, and how it has impacted on your life, or those you have helped.

Please see below video and instructions on how to take part. The deadline for submissions is on 22 May 2017. Yes, it is soon, but it is simple to take part and NSDT are able to help with support.

Click here for video link and instructions on how to take part on #iVolunteer exhibition.

In the recording, we ask the volunteer to simply answer the question: Why do you volunteer?

The requirements are:
1. You must start the video with the phrase “I volunteer because…”
2. Video should be no longer than 30 seconds (max.)
3. Behind a clear wall
4. Send it to the email BrasshouseEvents@nsdt.org.uk with the subject #IVolunteer
5. Deadline for submission will be 22 May 2017

There is no limit to the number of volunteers participating.

Disclosure – Videos will be used on social media, website and at the volunteer exhibition which will be running at Brasshouse from 2 – 30 June 2017. By sending NSDT a video recording you agree to the above terms.

To find out more information email BrasshouseEvents@nsdt.org.uk or call 0121 555 5672 to speak to Hanna or Esther.

For Social Media please use #BrasshouseEvents #iVolunteer #VolunteersWeek.

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

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.

Building Blocks Charity seeks Trustees

Building Blocks is the charitable organisation of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.  It aims to provide support to children and young people in order to prevent crime, substance misuse and anti-social behaviour.  It also includes supporting children and young people into education and employment and promoting or supporting activities which allow children and young people to develop their personal and social skills to create confidence and independence.

The PCC is now relaunching Building Blocks to ensure it meets the needs of local young people and also, importantly, attracts further funding that can be used to support local activities.  The Charity is looking for Trustees who have skills in fund raising and bid writing, media and communications, youth services and youth provision.  You will also need to have an understanding of the issues affecting young people.

There are three positions to be filled:

–       Chairman

–       2 Independent Trustees

The Charity is looking for exceptional individuals with the skills and expertise to make a significant contribution, providing guidance, leadership and the skills that will support the Charity and ensure its continued development.  If you are passionate and proactive about ensuring that young people have the support they need to prevent them getting involved in crime, then the Police and Crime Commissioner would like to hear from you.

Please submit your curriculum vitae and a brief supporting statement that details your experience to Karen Dawes at wmpcc@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.

Please state very clearly on your supporting statement which vacancy you wish to be considered for (either independent chairman or independent trustee).

Further information about the Building Blocks charity is available through the following link.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon Friday 5 May 2017.

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