August 2014

Monthly Archives

Community Offer Co-ordinator Vacancy

site_logoThe Kaleidoscope Plus Group have an exciting opportunity for a Co-ordinator to work on a new pilot community service for 12 months focusing on the West Bromwich, Greets Green and Lyng areas of Sandwell (subject to potential continuation of funding). The post carries a salary of £20,000 per annum (pro-rata). Flexible working conditions are available.

The role will be to work with  their Support Services Manager to co-ordinate, develop and deliver the Community Offer. Working with a range of local partners and voluntary and community organisations to deliver a range of targeted interventions to people in the community.

Helping people to access flu vaccinations; Support carers; Delivery of advice for people vulnerable to cold weather episodes; Practical advice and support to reduce the likelihood of slips trips and falls; “Friends and Neighbours” style services designed to address social isolation; Signposting to other preventative and lifestyle services like smoking cessation and weight loss.

A job description and person specification is available from the Kaleidoscope website or by calling 0121 565 5605. To apply please send your CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for the role to:

The closing date for applications is 5 pm on Friday 29 August, 2014.   If applicants do not hear from Kaleidoscope Plus within 28 days of the closing date, please assume you have been unsuccessful.

SCVO’s AGM – Date For Your Diary – 21.10.14

logo[1]This year, SCVO will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 21st October 2014 from 9.30am – 12.30pm at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich.  The theme this year is “New Opportunities in a Changing World – Opportunity for Change?” 


As well as the usual AGM business, there will be a chance to hear more from local organisations who have seized upon opportunities and sought change  both with their organisation, but also in the way they delivery their services.

The AGM will also be an opportunity for the membership to elect new Trustees to the SCVO Board.  Member organisations wishing to put forward a representative from their own Board/committee or staff/volunteers to serve with SCVO are invited to do so.  The Nomination Form (available here) needs to be completed with the endorsement of another SCVO member organisation and submitted to SCVO no later than 5 pm,10 September 2014.

Further details about the AGM will be publicised in the coming weeks, however, if you would like to secure your place now then please contact Mazeline Hemmings – or telephone 0121 525 1127


Sandwell Talking News – Wednesbury Launch

NewsSandwell Visually Impaired (SVI) in partnership with Sandwell Talking News, is delighted to announce a re-launch of the postal delivery service of the long established Talking Newspaper.  This service was stopped a couple of years ago when the organisation who used to support it cut its funding and stopped all audio transcriptions.

Afternoon tea and cakes are available on Wednesday 27 August from 1pm to 3pm at Wednesbury Library, Walsall Street, Wednesbury, WS10 9EH where you can hear more about the Sandwell Talking News, find out how to register for this free service, try out their brand new ‘Boombox’ players, as well as collecting your free taster Sandwell Talking News CD.

If you are unable to attend the launch afternoon but would like to know more, please either email or ring the SVI office on 0121 525 4810.

Sandwell Guarantee

JobOpps4Sandwell Council is blazing a trail in the fight against youth unemployment by guaranteeing every young person the opportunity of a paid job or training for up to 12 months. It is launching a multi-million pound partnership with businesses to create thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships.

The Sandwell Guarantee will help people aged 16 to 24 on benefits or not in education, employment or training.

It is thought to be the first time a Council has given such a comprehensive guarantee to young people.

Sandwell Council leader Councillor Darren Cooper said, “lots of young people are trapped in unemployment – they can’t get a job without work experience and can’t get experience without a job.

We are determined to break this cycle and give a cast iron guarantee of a job or training for up to a year.

Every young person will get the skills, experience and confidence to succeed.  Youth unemployment is falling as the job market improves so it is more vital than ever we help those young people who have fallen through the net, for whatever reason.  We have thousands of forward-thinking businesses in Sandwell that can provide the expertise and resources to make a real difference.”

Under the scheme the Council will match young people with local businesses seeking to fill new posts.

Employers can offer jobs, apprenticeships or work experience but they must be paid and new, not existing.  The Council will split the cost of wages 50/50 for up to one year.

The Council will work with organisations such as Job Centre Plus, schools, colleges and the voluntary sector to get young people on board, including those at risk of becoming NEET.

Placements can start with a six-week pre-employment course in a wide range of sectors.

The Guarantee comes amid calls for local Councils to be to given greater powers to tackle youth unemployment as latest figures show there are almost 800,000 ‘NEETs’ (Not In Education, Employment or Training) in England.  Currently there are approximately 700 NEETs in Sandwell aged between 16 and 19.  Youth unemployment among 18-24 year olds is also high, with 2,925 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

To find out more visit










Report Abuse in Sandwell Now!

Sandwell Safeguarding Adults BoardVisitors to the Sandwell Show this weekend can find out more about a campaign against suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults.  Volunteers from Sandwell Safeguarding Adult Board will be at the event to encourage people to keep an eye on those who are vulnerable and to report any suspicions they have.

Geoff Foster, Chair of the Board said “it is important people don’t turn away from anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.  They can report suspected abuse easily, and anonymously, if necessary.  I would urge everyone to keep an eye on people in the community who may be vulnerable to abuse or neglect.  If you have contact with vulnerable adults through your work, volunteering, or caring responsibilities, or would just like to know more about how to raise an alert, read our leaflet, got to our web pages, complete our free e-learning, or book yourself onto our free training”.

Anyone who knows of a vulnerable adult who needs help should contact Sandwell Council ASSIST on 0845 352 2266 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday.

They can also e-mail or, after 8pm Monday – Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, ring 0121 569 2355.

In an emergency always call 999.

For more details please visit Sandwell Safeguarding Adult Board’s website

For free training and development opportunities, including e-learning please view

To download and print free SSAB leaflets, posters and other free resources please view

Black Country Near Neighbours Launch

Funding2Black Country Near Neighbours are holding a launch event – Near Neighbours offers grants of £250 – £5000 to groups and organisations who want to do work that brings different faith communities together.  The launch will be a chance to find out more about the grant and will involve a workshop on how to fill out the application form, with some insights on what the panel are looking for. 

The launch is taking place on Wednesday 24th September 2014 from 1.00pm to 3.30pm at West Bromwich Community Centre, Gayton Road, West Bromwich B71 1QS.  The meeting will include a presentation on Near Neighbours and optional application form workshops.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Ruth Burgess, Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator, at or telephone (office) 01922 700 952 (mobile) 07530 741 923

Want To Know More About Social Value? – Launch of New Social Value Hub

Resources & ToolsAll resources relating to social value in the UK have been brought together in one place, with the launch of a new online portal, making it much simpler for those interested in delivering and commissioning for social value.

The website aggregates information and best-practice from across all sectors with practical ‘how-to’ articles, case studies and videos. The new Social Value Hub has been created to help councils, public sector commissioners and providers from across the social and private sectors take advantage of the Social Value Act. The hub has been created by Social Enterprise UK in partnership with NCVO, NAVCA, the National Housing Federation and the NHS Confederation. For further information and to access the Hub, follow the link

Power to Change Your Community

Funding4Power to Change is a new initiative which will invest up to £150 million to support the development of sustainable community-led enterprises across England.

It will be delivered by an independent Trust to be established later this year. For more information go to the Big Lottery fund site.

If you want to find out more , Locality are hosting Power to Change Roadshows – across the country during September – see the link for dates, locations and booking details

Power to Change Trust – Support is being provided by Locality, the Plunkett Foundation and UnLtd ahead of the launch of Power to Change. The Power to Change programme will be open for applications later this year.

Voluntary Sector Survey – Your Experience of Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group

Online SurveyIn April 2013 Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (SWBCCG) was formed to take a lead role in the delivery of local health services, largely replacing the local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). This new body, set up as a consequence of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, aims to give GPs and other clinicians the power to influence commissioning decisions for their patients.

From the earliest days of the CCG, local VCS infrastructure organisations, SCVO in Sandwell and BVSC in Birmingham, have sought to broker engagement between the CCG and our local voluntary and community organisations. Now, 18 months after the creation of the CCG, we would like to hear from you about your experience of the CCG to date and to learn where the relationship can be strengthened.

The information you give to us will be treated in the STICTEST CONFIDENCE. Figures drawn from this survey will only be shared as a collection of data: no individual information/names of participants will be disclosed to any third party.

Please access the survey here

Please complete as much as you can of this survey. If you have any questions relating to this survey, or if you feel that SCVO can help you in any way, please contact Leona Bird on 0121 525 1127, e-mail: Please complete the survey by Friday 12 September 2014

Free ERDF Capacity Building Workshops

European Social FundThe Black Country Technical Assistance Team have organised a number of free ERDF Capacity Building Workshops to support existing and newly funded Black Country ERDF Projects to enhance their understanding of complex ERDF regulations and to manage their projects in a robust and efficient manner.


Follow link here to list of all training available:

The workshops include:

• EU Public Procurement – covering the Regulatory Framework and public procurement processes and legalities. Follow link for further information.

• State Aid – covering guidelines, State Aid tests, block exemptions and procedures to adopt. Follow link for further information.

• ERDF Financial Management – comprehensive overview of ERDF finances and eligibility factors affecting delivery. Follow link for further information.

• ERDF Monitoring and Audit – covering the requirements of the 2007-2013 Programme Articles 13 and 16, project monitoring systems, MCIS record keeping and risk management. Follow link for further information.

• ERDF Project Closure & Exit Strategy – effective project planning for closure, archiving requirements and managing sustainable exit strategies. Follow link for further information.

The workshops are suitable for Black Country ERDF project staff, funding, finance and procurement officers and accountable bodies and guarantors. Each interactive session is expected to attract 20 attendees with a mix of ERDF knowledge and experience. On completion participants will receive a programme certificate and copies of course material.


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