October 2015

Monthly Archives

Spotlight on Lion Farm Action Centre

Lion Farm ImageTell us what you do
We are a community based adult training centre that is situated at the heart of the Lion Farm Estate in Oldbury, in the ground floor of Harry Price House. Our centre provides a variety of activities for a wide range of groups. These include – Art classes which are delivered by a qualified art tutor from SAFL  Our craft sessions are a chance for people to come together and share their craft skills with the rest of the group.  We also provide online computer training.  Job clubs are another method of support that we provide for the community. These take place four mornings a week, helping unemployed people produce a CV, register with ‘Universal Jobmatch’, set up an email account and apply for jobs.

We also provide a number of activities specifically for children – we run our own After School Club which operates five days a week. Children will attend our club straight from school where they will take part in a range of activities until 5 o’clock. This is supported and funded by BBC Children In Need. Lastly, we also provide our own holiday play scheme during the summer break and this year we also delivered a February Half Term Holiday Play Scheme as well.

What is your proudest achievement?
We are particularly proud of the friendly approach and individual support we have continued to provide for the community. Centre users feel extremely comfortable here and enjoy the activities and support we provide.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
The Centre has been a member of SCVO for many years. SCVO has supported the centre through several funding applications and through achievement of PQASSO standards levels 1 and 2. SCVO is currently acting as a Local Trusted Organisation for Lion Farm to Grace Mary Big Local Area (gm2lf).

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most valuable lesson we have learnt is that appearances can be deceptive. The Lion Farm Estate has not always had the best reputation, but having worked with local people we have found that there is a strong community spirit and our users are very supportive of us and each other, they look upon the Centre as ‘one big family’.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We are currently in the process of registration with the Charities Commission. We feel that this is more appropriate to our operations and will open up more funding opportunities. Currently the main challenge we face is finding the resources to help low skilled, long term unemployed people back into employment, this may include people with long term health problems and learning difficulties that have been assessed as fit for work.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We have always been happy with the support we have received from SCVO and would like this close relationship to continue.

For more information please contact 0121 544 3094 or lionfarmactioncentre@yahoo.co.uk


Spotlight on Sandwell African Caribbean Mental Health Foundation

SACMHF

Tell us what you do
We provide a range of mental health services for people from predominately African Caribbean backgrounds and their families and careers in the Sandwell and West Birmingham area.

What is your proudest achievement?
It is probably the range of client outcomes that the service users achieve with some support from us. We are a small organisation with a small staff base but we manage to support many people to move on, recover and eventually no longer need to use our services.
What is your experience of support received from SCVO (if relevant)?

It’s been great. Sporadic in nature but we’ve had more support in the last few years. SCVO always do what they say deliver what they say they will.  In the past we have had help with funding bids as well as strategic support when the organisation was threatened with being decommissioned.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Working with our beneficiaries has taught us to never judge a book my its cover. Never underestimate people as their potential will surprise you.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
The challenges we face impact our plans for the future. We want to tighten up our infrastructure and try to address the imbalance between money from grants and generated income. This has been improving over the last 12 months and we want to see this continue so that our organisation becomes more sustainable and strong.
In August we set up a user led service called Ujima which was initially a quite challenging.  Now though the beneficiaries have taken on roles and responsibilities to help each other so what was a challenge is now a source of support for our organisation moving forwards.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
What SCVO offers in terms of support and how they deliver it fits nicely with our needs already. We look through the newsletter to keep up to date with what is happening in the sector and the funding digest is really helpful too.  Just keep providing the range of services that are currently available.

For more information you can visit their website at www.sacmhf.co.uk or ring 0121 525 1629