September 2014

Monthly Archives

HMRC Grant Funding Opens for UK

Funding2HMRC has £2 million to allocate to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to provide advice and support to HMRC customers who need extra help in understanding and complying with their obligations and claiming their entitlements. Registered charities, voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, mutual and co-operatives based in the UK can apply to one of two categories of funding.

Category One – offers grants of up to £350,000. This is open to VCSE organisations to complement HMRC’s new service, launched in May 2014, for customers who need extra help. This is specifically to target HMRC’s hardest to reach customers or those whose relationship with HMRC has broken down, who need independent advice and support or can/will not interact with HMRC for whatever reason. VCSE organisations must be able to help these customers to form or rebuild a relationship with HMRC that enables them to engage directly with HMRC in the future.

Category Two – offers grants of up to £200,000. This is open to VCSE organisations with the expertise and infrastructure to take referrals by telephone or email from HMRC extra help service to assist customers who need independent advice and support with more complex tax issues, such as complex PAYE issues, completion of Self-Assessment tax returns – often from incomplete records, claims for Special Relief and appeals. Applicants would be responsible for bringing individual cases to conclusion.

Application forms (Category One or Two) are available upon request by sending an  The deadline for applications is 31 October 2014.


Further Development Opportunities for the Heritage Sector

Resources & ToolsDon’t miss your chance to book onto the many learning and development opportunities for the heritage sector

FREE 1:1 Support and Consultancy Sessions: If you have a particular fundraising issue, would like to discuss development areas or would like any other type of support for your fundraising then this is for you! These one hour sessions can be accessed either face to face at the IoF offices, or remotely via telephone/Skype making them available to everyone no matter what their region. Those who wish to book a place should send an

Workshops at £20: Further topics in the Giving to Heritage Programme are now ready for bookings! We have already received huge interest in our full day training workshops and many have already booked their place – have you?! A variety of topics are being delivered across a number of regions. Find a workshop near you.

Free Mentoring Programme for the Heritage Sector: The programme is free to both mentors and mentees, and designed to enable more senior heritage fundraisers to mentor and support other fundraisers with less experience. Mentoring training is provided for mentors that are selected for the programme. Application forms can be found on the Giving to Heritage page. All applications must be returned by 13th October to:


Sandwell Disability Activation Fund

PrintThe Sandwell Disability Activation Fund has been established to help and support more people stay and get involved in sport.  Local sport clubs and other organisations that deliver in Sandwell have the opportunity to bid to the fund for a maximum of £1,000 per application to increase opportunities for young people and adults with a disability aged 14+ to get into and stay involved in sport. 

Sandwell Disability Activation Fund is a new partnership initiative with Black Country BeActive Partnership.

Round 2 of the funding is now available. All projects must target participants with a disability age 14+ and or families who support these individuals.  The funding must be for a sport or activity with a Sport England recognised governing body.  Projects must be delivered in Sandwell and must have a cash or in-kind contribution.

Please view for further information and for details of how to apply.

The closing date for applications is 7 November 2014

Consultation on Sandwell Council’s Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Sandwell CouncilOn the 30 July 2014, following a Judicial Review Hearing, a Judge ruled the 2-year residency requirement in Sandwell’s Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme to be unlawful.  As a result of this ruling, Sandwell Council needs to review its scheme for next year (2015/16).

Consultation on the proposals for the 2015/16 scheme has now commenced and as your feedback is very important to the Council they would like to invite you to attend a stakeholder event.  At this event, the Council will provide you with an update on proposals being considered and give you the opportunity to feedback your views and ask any questions.

Engagement Events are being held on 17 October from 1.00pm – 4.00pm and 20 October from 1.00pm – 4.00pm both at The Town Hall, West Bromwich, B70 8DT.

To confirm the date you would like to attend or if you would like any more information about the event, please contact the Council’s Stakeholder Relations Officer, Oliver Wright on 07779317351 or e-mail no later than 10 October 2014.


Sandwell Deaf Community Association – Volunteers Wanted

SDCA logo_JPEG imageSandwell Deaf Community Association (SDCA) aims to actively encourage, empower and enrich the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people in Sandwell by providing accessible community-based services, and to lead by example, an accessible society without barriers.

SDCA welcome any volunteers but are seeking particularly to increase the number of male volunteer befrienders as they are currently under-represented within their organisation.  The role of the befriender will be to befriend deaf and hard of hearing males within the Sandwell area.  Individuals are matched with a volunteer to enable them to achieve their aims and objectives.  The support provided is diverse and ranges from assisting people with daily living tasks, providing communication and companionship, assisting with integration and access to social opportunities.  Volunteers will be based within the community, home or SDCA.

This is an excellent opportunity for people interested in gaining valuable experience to further develop their CV, improve communication skills and try new challenges as well as providing the opportunities to meet new people, especially for those who are seeking the rewards and sense of achievement through sharing their time with others.

Volunteers will receive an organisation induction, on-going support, development and training opportunities.  Applicants will require a minimum level 1 in British Sign Language, DBS clearance and two references.

SDCA values the time, energy and unique contribution that volunteers can bring.  If you are interested in volunteering for SDCA and would like to find out more information please contact Siobhan Lyne – or text/voicephone: 0121 525 5347

Ending Gang and Serious Youth Violence Workshop

 In 2012/13 Sandwell was allocated £302,700 to improve it’s response to Gangs and Serious Youth Violence, in line with the Government report into the subject following the riots in August 2011.

As well as the grant programme, the Home Office Ending Gangs and Serious Youth Violence Team appointed a national Peer Review team to identify strengths and areas for improvement in each of the 33 national priority areas, under the following seven principles:-

  • Strong Local Leadership
  • Mapping and Understanding
  • Responding in Partnership
  • Assessment and Referral
  • Targeted and Effective interventions
  • Breaking the Cycle
  • Mobilizing Communities.

Significant progress has now been made in addressing the issues of gangs and serious youth violence in Sandwell and as a partnership we must now reflect on the successes to date.  It is appropriate that we now refresh our local problem profile to inform a new strategy, delivery plan, with a clear focus to ensure we mainstream our responses into core businesses, consistent with local developments relating specifically to Early Help and Integrated Offender Management.

This event is targeted at partners, practitioners and managers from the public sector, Police and voluntary and community organisations who work to deliver services to young people and families or are within the criminal justice sector.  Delegates will hear from local and national speakers and provide the opportunity to consider the up to date problem profile to facilitate discussions that will ultimately inform the strategy and delivery plan creating a joined up approach with all relevant partners.

Appropriate early intervention, especially in childhood, is crucial to prevent young people becoming violent and to provide the early help required to address these behaviours.  Improving long-term health and education outcomes will also aid to improve employment prospects of our younger generation.

To reserve a FREE place at the workshop which is taking place on Wednesday 1 October from 9.30am – 2.00pm at The Conegre Arts Centre, please contact Donna Garland on 0845 352 7701 or e-mail

Arts Co-ordinator Vacancies – Creative Black Country

JobOpps4Creative Black Country are seeking 3 exceptional Arts Co-ordinators to help to deliver the Creative Black Country Programme, part of the Arts Council England Creative People and Places Programme.

Creative Black Country is a three year project that will enable more people in Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall to experience and be inspired by the arts, irrespective of where they live or their social, educational or financial circumstance.

The role of the Arts Co-ordinator is to support the development of our work with selected community groups through:-

  • Developing a shared understanding of the breadth of arts and cultural opportunities available to them.
  • Developing a shared understanding of creative arts activity either on offer in the region or a specific need and support the existing group to co-programme opportunities for participation in arts activity.
  • Brokering and supporting the partnership between CBC, local artists and arts organisation to enable creative and arts projects and programmes to take place.
  • Working with the Community Development Worker to forge links and to develop sustainable programmes of work with community groups.

Each Arts Coordinator will be responsible for three groups per year and will work with them throughout the year, also managing a small development budget to support additional activities such as workshops and Go and See opportunities.

Please submit CV, cover letter and Equal Opportunities form by Wednesday 8 October 2014 at 5pm.  Preferably by e-mail:, however if you prefer to apply by post, please ensure a hard copy of your application reaches the office address: Project Administrator, Creative Black Country, SCVO, 1st Floor Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich B70 8ER.

To discuss any parts of the application process, please call Esther Lisk-Carew on 0121 525 1127 between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Interviews: 22 October 2014

Contract and Hours of Work: Freelance Position – up to 40 days of work (including 2 days networking and training) per annum until August 2017 (subject to renewal).

Salary: £8,000 (inclusive of all travel and expenses).

Location: In the community – Black Country

Download the Arts Coordinator-Recruitment Pack
Download the Creative Black Country Equal Opportunities Form



Cruse Bereavement Care: Committee Members Wanted

Cruse Bereavement CareCruse Bereavement Care are a charity supporting people in Sandwell who have been bereaved.  They are currently looking for committed individuals from all avenues of life to bring additional skills and expertise to help develop their services.

Could you help to:-

promote and grow their service;
to mange their finances;
in other ways using your expertise and experience?

The Committee meetings are every two months.  If you are interested and would like to help, or have a chat about what you could do, then get in touch: or telephone 0121 558 1798.

Evaluation and Impact Mergers

Governance - TeamworkThe National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Charities Evaluation Services (CES) are working towards a merger later this year. The move aims to secure CES’ highly regarded work on outcomes and impact measurement, and its popular PQASSO quality standard, for the long term.

See NCVO’s news release.

Meanwhile, the Social Return on Investment (SROI) Network and the Social Impact Analysts Association have announced their merger to form Social Value International.  SROI Network will be the UK branch.

Please see the SROI’s news release.

Charity Commission website now at GOV.UK

The Charity CommissionThe Charity Commission’s Home Web Page can be Found on the Central GOV.UK Website.

Any saved favourites and bookmarks to your most useful pieces of guidance on the Charity Commission website will need to be refreshed. The Commission’s website has been closed and the content has shifted to the mega site

The Commission website was last redesigned summer 2013.

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