November 2014

Monthly Archives

Flu Vaccination Information

post - Health & Social Care - Medical staffIn support of the national flu vaccination campaign the Clinical Commissioning Group are offering flu vaccines to vulnerable hard to reach communities. 

They are asking for any organisation in Sandwell that support vulnerable people who are homeless, no fixed abode, traveller communities, new migrants  not accessing health services, to promote the service on offer.

The SWIFT clinical team has flu vaccinations in stock and would like to reach out to these communities to protect them this winter from flu and other secondary infections such as Pneumonia.  The team offers an outreach service and will come out to community venues and organisations to administer the vaccines.

If you would like to access this service then please contact Gursharan Kaur, Commissioning Manger at Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group on 0121 612 4131 or e-mail:

Inspiring Impact and Measuring Up Resource Hub

Resources & ToolsThe Inspiring Impact Hub is a one-stop shop for impact resources and tools. It pulls together the widest possible range of resources relevant to improving impact practice, and enables users to search and filter results according to their needs.

Measuring up! is a new, online, step-by-step self-assessment tool that helps charities and social enterprises – whatever their size, sector or budget – review and improve their impact practice. It has been created as part of work with Inspiring Impact.

The tool can be used by those who have just begun thinking about their impact or who have some experience and want to improve. It gives you an accurate and detailed picture of where your impact practice is going well, and where it could be improved. Completing the self-assessment will generate a report outlining your strengths and weaknesses across each area. You can then download an action plan and search for resources and tools through the Inspiring Impact Hub to help your organisation improve.

New Third Sector Loan Fund Launched

Funding4The Fund invests in social enterprises and charities across the UK through secured and unsecured loans. The Fund’s investors are Santander, Big Society Capital and the Social Investment Business Foundation.

The Fund invests between £250,000 and £3 million in charities and social enterprises across the UK.  The Fund can support organisations across all social sectors, focused on improving the economic and social well-being of individuals, particularly those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.

See the website for more information or to complete the Expression of Interest Form.

Impact Readiness Fund

ValueGrants will be available to help ambitious social ventures manage their performance and increase their social impact to attract social investment and win contracts.

Social investors and commissioners are interested in the social impact ventures achieve, but demonstrating this impact can be difficult. Many worthy social ventures struggle to quantify their achievements without the right systems and expertise.

The new £1.5 million pilot fund managed by the Social Investment Business for the Cabinet Office will offer grants and support to social ventures to understand and improve their social impact and demonstrate improvements to investors and commissioners.

Grants between £15,000 and £150,000 will be available until late January 2015 to help ventures build infrastructure and skills required to manage their performance, increase their social impact, and attract social investment / win contracts.

Applications can now be made to the Impact Readiness Fund – please view

Deafinitely Employable

Services - Support ServicesZebra Access is delighted to announce that they have been successful in securing a European Social Fund (ESF) grant awarded by Heart of England Community Foundation to run the ‘Deafinitely Employable’ project from November 26th 2014 – May 31st 2015.

The ‘Deafinitely Employable’ project will provide weekly drop in sessions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Wednesdays from 1-5pm and is aimed at Deaf adults from the Black Country area who are looking for employment, training and voluntary opportunities or who are interested in setting up their own business. There will also be 10 separate workshops arranged (more details to follow shortly) during this period for Deaf people who may want to work on their confidence and team building skills, job/training/volunteering research, CV, Interviewing skills, money/benefit management and IT skills. Alongside this there will be the opportunity to understand their Equality rights in the work place and how ‘Access to Work’ should support them.

The sessions will be managed by Deaf people and will be accessible to all Deaf people (Hard of Hearing, SSE, BSL users). Drop in sessions will also have access to a laptop and iPad for Deaf people to use alongside access to an Interpreter to assist with phone calls, online assessments/applications, etc.

Deaf people residing within and just outside the Black Country area are very much encouraged grab this rare opportunity to explore development opportunities available to them.

Please do not hesitate to contact Chris Beech by email, or on 07761096732 (text only) if you have any queries or want more details.

JustGiving Launches Free Guide to Raising Money Using Social Media

InternetJustGiving and social media consultancy Social Misfits Media have launched a guide to how charities and social enterprises can use social media to reach more people and raise more money.

The report, Friends with Money, looked at how the majority of charities and social enterprises now include social media in their online activities. It follows the launch of a new social plugin from JustGiving that allows any charity to embed social giving into their website. The report asked 250 UK charities and social enterprises about their social media footprint, and found that 94 per cent asked have a presence on Twitter and Facebook. This is up from 2012, when only 75 per cent of UK organisations asked were on Facebook and 70 per cent on Twitter.It also found that 66 per cent of those asked used YouTube and 64 per cent were on LinkedIn.

When asked which social media platform the organisations used most frequently, 60 per cent said Twitter and 40 per cent said Facebook.

The guide has been produced to help charities and social enterprises, of all sizes, budgets, and remits, think more broadly about fundraising on social media.

It says that social media can play a role in each stage of the fundraising process, from the identification and cultivation of new supporters to solicitation and acknowledgement.

The report looks at case studies of fundraising success on social media including Cancer Research UK’s use of the #nomakeupselfie trend.
Claire Diaz-Ortiz, head of social innovation at Twitter, said in an interview in the report: “Social media is not just about the ask, it’s about a) the relationship and b) the story. These are the two most critical elements that any fundraiser needs to build a strategy for how to best fundraise on Twitter, or indeed any social media platform.

The report also revealed that from July 2013 to June 2014, Facebook posts about JustGiving were viewed 905 million times, bringing 47 million visit to JustGiving’s website. Those coming directly from Facebook donated a total of £63m through the site. It also said that all the people who visited JustGiving directly from Twitter donated a total of £3.8m.

Revenues and Benefits Consultation

Sandwell CouncilSandwell Council’s Revenues and Benefits service is currently reviewing their policies.  They are seeking your feedback on these and suggestions on how you think they could be improved for next year.

Please view links to the documents which are being consulted on:-

Council Tax Discretionary Relief

Discretionary Housing Payments

Local Welfare Provision

Please e-mail your feedback and suggestions to the Council’s Stakeholder Relationships Officer, Oliver Wright at before 31 December 2014.

The Council will consider all feedback and suggestions received in January 2015 and where necessary will make changes to the 2015/16 Policies.  Once the Policies have been approved they will be published on the Council’s website.

Rowley Campus School Hire Facilities

Rowley Campus SchoolRowley Campus is a set of new buildings in Rowley Regis which is made up of three schools and the rooms there are now available for the community to hire in the evenings and weekends.

The stunning new school facilities at Rowley Campus (St Michael’s CE School Westminster School and Whiteheath Education Centre) have once again opened their doors for the community to use early in November.

Interserve (Facilities Management) Ltd, in partnership with Kajima Community, are now operating and managing the facility hire of the Campus in the evenings and weekends. “We would be very interested in speaking to community and voluntary organisations who would like to use the facilities as there maybe opportunities for us to work together” said Samantha Bell of Kajima Community.

Room hire is from as little as £12 per hour and there are many small and larger spaces to hire. Our aim is for Rowley Campus to become the hub of the community with lots of different groups and organisations making best use of the wonderful spaces.

The school would welcome suggestions of what activities people would like to see offered in the evenings and weekends. So please contact Rowley School with your ideas at  or visit their website.

Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Services - Supporting PeopleBlack Country Housing Group have partnered with the Adavu Project, Sandwell Irish Community Association, Unchosen and local support groups to raise awareness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in order to help prevent and report this crime that affects thousands in the UK but often goes unreported.

The  free event will take place on 2 December 2014 at Black Country Housing Group – Blackheath Library Building, 145 High Street, Blackheath, B65 0EA, entrance to building on Henderson Way.  There are 3 repeated sessions being held from 10am – 12pm, 2pm – 4pm and 6pm – 8pm.

Register at Eventbrite:

Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.  Light refreshments will be provided.
Contact Surie Patel at  or Harry Johnson at for further details.


#bostinLIFE – A Celebration of Living Life to the Full

Black Country LEPApproximately 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning difficulty and despite experiencing preconceptions and discrimination, many of them lead a #bostinLIFE. Black Country Housing Group have partnered with Leading Players to host an informative and fun event to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with learning difficulties and to celebrate their achievements and contributions.

As part of their Diversity Week Black Country Housing Group will be hosting an event on 3 December 2014, 11 – 2 pm at The Savoy Centre, Dudley DY2 9ES.

The event will include music, drama and poetry performed by people with learning difficulties as well as information on how your support and action can improve the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with learning difficulties.

Register for this FREE event at through the following link 

Places are limited so please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Contact Tina Hanson Jones at for further details.

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