June 2015

Monthly Archives

Summer in the Park 2015

Complete-KidzSummer in the Park 2015 is coming to Sandwell!  Dartmouth Park,West Bromwich, Victoria Park, Smethwick and Britannia Park, Rowley Regis, will all be the hosts of this inaugural event funded by Sandwell Council.

Summer in the park will provide fun activities for young people in the local area. The activities will be fully inclusive for anyone and everyone. If you want to join in with the fun, sessions will run from 20th July to 4th September, seven days a week, 9 am till 9 pm.

Complete Kidz in Smethwick, who are overseeing the arrangements, are excited to announce that the application process for organisations to express their interest to run activities at the parks is now open.  They are looking for local voluntary and community groups, sports groups, dance groups, arts and crafts groups, health and wellbeing club etc., to deliver sessions and promote themselves and their activities in a safe and fun environment in local parks.

If you would like more information on these upcoming events and the opportunity to work towards making Summer in the Park 2015 a huge success, please contact Hannah at Complete Kidz on 0121 552 2006 or email hannahgamston@completekidz.co.uk.

Kaleidoscope Plus Gala Ball

KaleidoscopeLast year Kaleidoscope held a charity ball which was a great success and helped to raise the profile of mental ill health. They are in the midst of organising this year’s event which will be held on Friday, 9 October 2015, at the Birmingham Town Hall.

Over the last few years charities have been hit hard in terms of income reductions and the sector have not been sheltered from those cuts. The focus of the event this year is to raise funds to enable them to continue delivering much needed services to the local communities.

Kaleidoscope already have a number of partners supporting them in sponsoring the event or providing them with raffle/auction prizes.

Fundraising is increasingly becoming an important aspect of their business and they are seeking as much support for their event as possible. View link which details the packages available, along with comments from some people who attended last year.


Is the NHS Standard Contract a barrier to commissioning VCS organisations?

Regional VoicesRegional Voices and the NHS have identified that VCSE organisations find the NHS Standard Contract a barrier to having their services commissioned by the NHS.  Consequently NHS chief, Simon Stevens, committed to exploring a shorter version of the NHS Standard Contract for low-value contracts, in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

Regional Voices, working with NHS England, is carrying out this survey to help understand specific issues which organisations have experienced in using the NHS Standard Contract. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes. The survey will close at 10am on 27 July.

Take the survey about the NHS Standard Contract for VCSE organisations

More information about VCSE commissioning issues in health and wellbeing and the background to this work on the Standard Contract

Building Better Opportunities Register of Providers reminder

BC LEPBlack Country LEP would like to remind service providers who are interested in attending the Building Better Opportunities Networking Event on Wednesday 8th July 2015, they need to sign up to their Register of Providers network. This will enable your organisation to be best positioned to receive information and be part of emerging partnerships.

It will also assist Black Country LEP  in understanding the range of organisations, experience, innovation and impact the organisations have on each of the priorities for the Big Lottery Fund and will help organisations in ensuring they are ready for future opportunities.

In order to join the Register, please click here to complete the LEP’s online questionnaire.

The event in July will enable the LEP to meet with applicants who are applying for funding and help to clarify the potential opportunities available for providers.

The networking event will be held at West Bromwich Albion Football Club and the agenda will be centred around:-

• Meeting applicants
• Understanding the potential of the fund for you as a provider
• The rationale for the priority themes for the Black Country
• Working with EU/Big Lottery funding

For further information on Building Better Opportunities in the Black Country, please email Simon Hall at simon_hall@blackcountryconsortium.co.uk or call Simon on 01384 471136. Alternatively visit the Black Country LEP website. If you have already signed up to the Register of Providers network, a formal event invitation will be sent to you in due course.

Mental Health First Aid Youth – Training Opportunities

Murray Hall Com TrustMurray Hall Community Trust is working with MHFA Youth to deliver an internationally recognised training programme designed specifically for people who teach, work, live with or care for young people aged 8 – 18.   The training programme is delivered by approved MHFA Youth instructors who provide information, tools and techniques to promote a young person’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

The MHFA Youth course is split up into four manageable chunks. These are: 

  • What is mental health?
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Suicide and psychosis
  • Self-harm, substance misuse and eating disorders

Other topics covered specific to young people, include child and adolescent development, bullying/cyber bullying and promoting protective factors and reducing risk factors.

The sessions will be a mix of presentation, group discussions and group work activities.

MHFA Youth teaches practical skills that can be used every day. 

  • Gives a deeper understanding of the complex issues relating to young people and mental health.
  • Helps people recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health difficulties and enables them to provide initial help.
  • It enables a young person to access appropriate professional help and develop self-help strategies.

The cost for the 2 day course is £270 per person this includes the above training, a MHFA Youth manual full of useful information and a Certificate of having attended the course from MHFA England.

To book your place please complete the attached booking form and return to Wendy.brook@merulae.org. For further information can also contact Wendy by phone on 07874 033042.

SCVO Complete Strategic Review

SCVO-brand-colourSCVO have today made available for its Voluntary and Community Sector membership, and for statutory partners, a document summarising the findings of the recent review into its current Strategic Plan. This independent review, which was undertaken on behalf of SCVO in early 2015, engaged a wide range of local voluntary and community organisations, as well as leaders within the local statutory partnership arena, and sought their views on SCVO’s delivery of their 2011-16 Strategic Plan.

Claire Dale, SCVO Chair of Trustees, stated “On behalf of the Board and staff team at SCVO I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for taking the time to participate in SCVOs’ Strategic Review earlier this year.

The findings of the review have been incredibly interesting and have afforded us with a wonderful opportunity to build on the incredible work that SCVO currently carries out whilst making informed improvements based on feedback from key stakeholders all of which will inform our strategic plan from 2016 onwards.

We hope that you find the Executive Summary of the Review informative and we will keep you appraised of developments in relation to our work moving forwards which will be reflective of and encompass many aspects of the feedback you have provided.

Your continued support of SCVOs’ work is much appreciated now and in the future.”

The Strategic Review document can be found here.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation – £2m Fund Ideas and Pioneers Fund

PPaul Hamlyn Foundationaul Hamlyn Foundation is to launch a new £2m fund aimed at enabling people with “big ideas” to develop activities and ideas that can help tackle major social issues.

The Ideas and Pioneers Fund will support “people who have an idea with unusual promise to improve the life chances and opportunities of individuals and communities in the UK”.

The foundation is looking for ideas which relate closely to its own charitable mission – helping people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. The new fund is expected to go live in August 2015, offering grants of up to £30,000 to around 30 individuals or organisations in 2015 and again in 2016.

For further information please follow the link to the funders website.

Social investment — made understandable, relevant and available

social investmentWhat do social investors look for in organisations? What’s it like for a social enterprise to go through the process of securing investment?

Big Issue Invest (BII) and Charity Bank have put together a social investment workshop to answer these questions. Peter Hughes (Charity Bank) and Kevin Lloyd-Evans (BII) have been working with social enterprises and charities for the past 15 years. They will share their insights and experiences alongside Bromsgrove based charity NewStarts, which recently secured a £400,000 joint investment from BII and Charity Bank (more in this post).

The workshop takes place from 2.00pm-4pm at Unit G2, The Arch, Floodgate Street, Birmingham B5 5SL on Thursday 30th July 2015. It will be informal, open to all and of particular interest to charities and social enterprises seeking to borrow to:
» purchase a property
» purchase a piece of equipment
» boost working capital to scale up existing operations

If you want to book up, follow the link.

The Covenant Fund is Coming – Message from the Ministry of Defence

Armed Forces CovenantWe know that people out there are eagerly awaiting the new Covenant Fund and wondering what it is all about. It is currently in development, but we are able to give you a preview of what is to come.

The Covenant Fund will have four broad funding themes now and in future years. They are: non-core healthcare services for veterans; removing barriers to family life; extra support after service for those that need help; and measures to integrate military and civilian communities and allow the Armed Forces community to participate as citizens.

The themes will shape the Fund, and annual priorities will ensure that it stays focussed and current. For 2015-16 these priorities will be projects that support:-

  • local Armed Forces Community integration projects
  • the coordination and delivery of support to the Armed Forces Community
  • veterans in the criminal justice system.

To address the priorities, we will make funding available for:

1. Small grants up to £20,000, primarily for community integration projects, which will be launched and open to applications in mid August, with a deadline in mid September. The deadline for the second round will be before the end of 2015.

2. Large grants up to £500,000, for more strategic, higher impact projects (one round this year) which will launch in mid August with a deadline in late September.

Decisions on both small and large grants will be made by a national panel based on the recommendations of regional panels.

We have learnt from previous schemes and have made improvements. The new Covenant Fund will be more strategic and more closely targeted at areas of need. It will have new aims, new rules and a new application process.

We know there is demand out there for this funding, so we understand it’s important to get the Covenant Fund running first and foremost, and then to keep consulting, listening, reviewing and improving it month on month and year on year. It is, after all, an annual £10 million which is available in perpetuity.

More information on criteria and eligibility will be publicised in late July, ahead of the launch of the formal application process in mid August. Watch this space!

Minister for Civil Society’s announces the launch of a £20m Local Sustainability Fund

Funding1The Local Sustainability Fund  will provide targeted support for organisations with a strong track record of delivering services which are experiencing current challenges, but which, with targeted support, could secure a strong future.

Click here for full details of the Local Sustainability Fund and details of how to apply.

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