November 2015

Monthly Archives

SCVO’s First Funding Network Invitation

NetworkingInterested in funding for your group? Want to hear about the latest developments? Then this Network event is for you!

SCVO is pleased to announce the first event of its new ‘Funding Network’ pilot, which will be held at Hawthorns House on the morning of Wednesday, 9th December 2015 between 10am and 12 noon.

We know that access to funding support is always flagged as a key need by organisations across the sector so we’re looking to explore ways in which groups can access such support and information through peer-to-peer learning and networking, together with targeted support information from SCVO and key funders.

The pilot ‘Funding Network’ is initially planned to deliver three events between now and April 2016, which focus on sharing best practice and information – events will consist of opportunities for organisations to meet and share ideas and good practice, focus on resources (such as SCVO’s ‘Funding Portal’), how to find funders, how to evidence need, how to develop trading / social enterprise ideas and other relevant information. Organisations will be encouraged to participate and share their own successes.

The Outline Agenda for this first meeting is:
09:45 Arrival – tea/coffee
10:00 Welcome / Introductions / Idea behind the Network
10:15  Introduction to Funding Resources
10:45 Funding Presentation – incl. Q&A (Funder to be confirmed)
11:15 Introduction to Group Discussion (what participants would like to see at future events etc.) followed by discussions
11:45 Group Discussion feedback and closing summary
12:00  Close

Places are limited, so to book your FREE place visit

Plunkett Foundation – Our Urban Shop Grant

The Plunkett FoundationThe Plunkett Foundation’s Our Urban Shop Grant pilot programme is offering funding for communities in urban areas of the UK to develop and run a community-owned shop that will stock food and other basic provisions.

Any urban community group or organisation in the UK can apply for grants of between £20,000 and £30,000 to set up an urban community shop that will stock food and other basic provisions.

The grants can be used for:

Incorporation fees / Planning applications / Accountancy support / Other professional fees / Purchasing and/or refurbishing premises / Printing and promoting a community share offer (up to £50) / Other essential costs, such as fixtures, fittings, equipment and stock.

To be eligible, a community must:

Be based in an urban area of any size within the UK / Actively work together to encourage participation and engagement / Be in the early stages of exploring the potential of a new community-owned shop or be more developed / Want to set up and run a community-owned shop, not a private business / Show a need for both business and community development support / Show a commitment to multiple forms of investment from the community and other sources, and therefore will not be solely dependent on an ‘Our Urban Shop Grant’ / Meet the ‘Our Urban Shop’ pilot’s goals and values including overcoming any local community issues and challenges / Be willing to work with the ‘Our Urban Shop’ team in 2015/16.

The deadline for applications is 18 December 2015

BBC Children in Need Main Grant Programme

Children in NeedBBC Children in Need has announced that the next applications deadline for its Main Grants Programme has been changed from the 15th to the 13th January 2016.

Through the programme funding is available to organisations that work with young people who:

• Are suffering from illness
• Are in distress
• Suffer abuse or neglect
• Are disabled
• Have behavioural or psychological difficulties
• And / or are living in poverty or situations of deprivation.

The Main grants programme is open to applications for grants of over £10,000.  Please view further information

Architectural Heritage Fund

AHFThe Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is an independent charity that was established to encourage and support the work of registered charities and constituted not-for-profit organisations that is dedicated to the preservation and renewal of buildings of architectural and historic significance which have failed to find a viable re-use on the open market.

To be eligible for funding, the building must:

• Have statutory protection through listing, or be in a conservation area and of acknowledged architectural or historic merit, and be at risk (on account of functional, structural, financial and/or other problems).
• Be capable of beneficial re-use.
• Have, or intend to obtain ‘title’ to the building (‘title’ means either the freehold, or a leasehold of at least 25 years and one day).
Grants of up to £25,000 are available to cover some of the costs of developing and co-ordinating a building project and taking it towards the start of work on site. Applicants are generally expected to cover at least 50% of the cost of the work
The total may include a combination of non-recoverable professional fees up to 100% of the costs up to a limit of £15,000 and project organiser costs up to 75% of the costs up to a limit of £15,000. Project organiser claims are paid at an agreed daily rate, up to a maximum of £350 per day.

Please note that the AHF is currently updating its grant scheme details and eligibility and strongly encourage organisations to discuss any potential application with the relevant Support Officer in their area before submitting an application in order to get the most up to date information.

Further information can be found on the AHF website
The 2016 deadlines are 10 February 2016, 11 May 2016, 17 August 2016 and 26 October 2016

How Charities Big and Small Can Help the NHS

Health6When Simon Stevens took on the role of chief executive of NHS England last year, he announced that the NHS must “become a better partner with voluntary organisations and local communities” if it is to fulfil its commitment to provide comprehensive healthcare for a growing, ageing population against a background of building pressure on services and budgets.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is one of the most ambitious cross-sector partnerships to have emerged since that strategy was published. A joint equal partnership between NHS England, Public Health England and the leading charity Diabetes UK, it is working to develop and roll out a national diabetes prevention programme. If it succeeds it will be a global first.

Olivia Butterworth, head of public participation at NHS England, says that although the voluntary sector has had a long history of involvement in the health service, the arrival of Stevens and the publication of the Five Year Forward View “has absolutely given some real impetus and permission for people to build those partnerships”.

She adds that it has helped people “think creatively about how they bring in the strengths of different sectors for the local health and care economy”.

Read the full article here

Source: The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network

Points to note for Charities in Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

OsbourneFollowing the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review on 25th November, Michael Birtwistle, Senior Policy Officer at NCVO reports that the announcements weren’t as bad as first feared, but there was plenty for charities to get up to speed on.

A reprieve for the Big Lottery Fund
The best news for many was a very welcome step back from a planned £300m raid on BLF’s funding.  The chancellor and prime minister both spoke about the importance of maintaining BLF funding for community organisations, as well as protecting current levels of investment in the arts, sports and heritage sectors. Our members’ work in drawing their MPs’ attention to the issue was invaluable in securing this outcome.

U-turn on tax credits
Perhaps the most notable wider announcement was the chancellor completely cancelling his plans to cut tax credits, causing him to breach his self-imposed welfare cap. He plans for welfare spending to fall back in line with the cap by the end of the parliament, largely as a result of further changes to housing benefit.

Departmental spending cuts
In what is becoming something of a tradition, the chancellor announced further LIBOR fines allocation to armed services charities, museums, and a children’s hospital, amounting to £25m over three years. He also announced the creation of a new annual £15m fund to support women’s charities.

While this funding will be welcome news for the relevant charities, the real impact of the chancellor’s spending review for the sector will be felt in the departmental spending settlements.

The local government spending picture is going to be particularly important. The DCLG local government budget is going to fall by £6.1bn in cash terms over the next five years, with OBR forecasts predicting this will be offset by significant increases in council tax and business rates revenue increases. We await further analysis on what this will mean for public services.

The NHS will still be expected to make a previously announced £22bn of efficiency savings, but is receiving £10bn of additional funding, with the majority frontloaded in 2015/16. However, the rest of the Department of Health is seeing a 25% cut.

Funding for the Charity Commission is being held at £20m in cash terms – once you take inflation into account, this is effectively an 8% real terms cut by 2019/20. The Commission is expected to consult on charging for some of its services in the near future. We don’t yet have a definitive picture of the Office for Civil Society’s budget, other than confirmation it will continue to exist, albeit with reduced headcount

Apprenticeships and volunteering
The previously announced apprenticeship levy will now be introduced in April 2017. It will be set at a rate of 0.5% of employer’s pay bills, but only for employers with payrolls over £3m a year. At first glance, it looks like on average, the 1,000 or so largest charities with a payroll over £3m will see a payroll cost increase of around £30,000 a year – although the picture is complicated by how much they already spend on apprenticeships.

In volunteering news, the chancellor also announced further funding for the National Citizen Service, expanding it to deliver up to 300,000 places by 2019-20. We’d like to see NCS providers do more to support and draw on the knowledge and expertise of local volunteer infrastructure, to help secure the best volunteering experiences for young people to support local charities and communities. It’s important that the additional funding is used to improve how well the scheme works as well as the number of volunteers.

Business rates and the Small Donations Scheme
Having heard the business rates review would report before Christmas, it would now seem we will get no clarity on charitable reliefs until the March budget, although we got reaffirmation of the chancellor’s previous announcements on 100% local retention. DCLG is expected to consult on changes to the local government finance system, including the implementation of business rates changes.


NCS Christmas Leader Networking Event

NCSAre looking for a new challenge in youth and community development to either coincide with your current career or are looking for a new direction?

Do you have management or leadership experience?

Can you commit to 10 – 14 consecutive days over summer 2016 between June – September?

If you are passionate about young people and being part of creating a more cohesive society – come to our NCS The Challenge ‘Buzz Event’ where you will get the chance to network with like-minded people and find out how you can be involved in one of the largest youth and community development projects in the UK over summer 2016.

This is a truly unique opportunity to inspire and be inspired. To be the change you wish to see in our society and to motivate this within others.  Please view for further information and to book your place.





The Challenge Network is a national charity founded in 2009 that builds stronger communities by bringing people together. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. We bring together local people across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society. NCS with The Challenge is an intense programme for young people from different backgrounds, designed to develop their key skills and to inspire them to take on more active roles in their communities, as part of the national citizen service. In summer 2016 we plan to work with over 30,000 young people across the UK.

We are looking for dedicated individuals, with an interest in working with young people to strengthen their communities, working both residentially and in the local community across the West Midlands (including Solihull, Coventry, Warwickshire, The Black Country and Birmingham) London, Surrey, Reading, Buckingham and Berkshire or North West.

Refreshments will be provided.


Training for those Working with Children, Young People and Families

TrainingSandwell Council run a number of different training opportunities for people working with children, young people and families.  These include Lead Professional, E-Caf and Integrated working training.  If you are a voluntary and community sector organisation delivering  services in Sandwell you are encouraged to look at the training on offer to see whether any of your paid staff or volunteers would benefit from attending.


Lead Professional Training
The lead professional is a key element of integrated support. They take the lead to coordinate provision and act as a single point of contact for a child and their family when a range of services are involved and an integrated response is required.

The lead professional acts as a single point of contact for the child, young person and family who they can rely on and trust.

The lead professional:

  • acts as a single point of contact for the child or family
  • co-ordinates the delivery of an agreed action plan
  • reduces overlap and inconsistency
  • acts to support children with a range of additional needs that require integrated support
  • continues to support the child or family if more specialist assessments need to be carried out
  • facilitates TAC meetings, initially supported by the CAF Co-ordinator who will advise on the process only
  • completes and send copies of the TAC plan to the CAF Co-ordinator to disseminate to child/ young person and family and agreed workers
  • ensures that a careful and planned handover takes place it if is appropriate for someone else to take on the role.

Integrated Working Training
This includes an Introduction to Common Assessment Framework, Information Sharing, Lead Professional and Common Assessment Framework (CAF) in Practice.

The range of people trained includes:
Head Teachers and senior staff within schools
Education Welfare Officers
Health Visitors
Connexions Workers
Youth Workers
Social Workers
Family Support Workers
Voluntary Sector Agencies

It is recommended that the Integrated Working Training is completed before the eCAF Training.

eCAF Training
The current Common Assessment Framework (CAF) form is the most appropriate mechanism for practitioners to access and share data quickly and easily.

The local eCAF system will allow a practitioner to electronically create, store and share a CAF securely.

The eCAF system will give practitioners from different sectors appropriate access (following explicit consent) to key information concerning the assessment to allow them to participate in the delivery of the most appropriate services.

Once you have completed Integrated Working Training you can apply to attend eCAF training provided that you have a current enhanced Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) clearance.

Please view for training dates and to book places on any of the above training topics.

Sandwell’s Health Protection Newsletter Launch

NewsletterSandwell Council Health Protection team have the first edition of the Health Protection Newsletter. This new newsletter will come out every two months and the aim is to share tips and information about protecting our health. It is aimed at everyone living or working in Sandwell and should have something for everyone.

This edition is concentrating on seasonal issues – Norovirus and Flu – you can access the newsletter from here

Looking at what the viruses are, how they spread, the symptoms, how people can protect themselves and what to do if you have the virus.

Please share this with anyone you feel will benefit from this information.

For more information contact the Health Protection Team at Sandwell Council on 0121 569 5193 or 0845 352 7659.

Reinvigorating Your Board

Consultations - GovernanceCaroline Cook, PQASSO programme manager at NCVO, was previously a consultant for many years, working with a variety of boards around governance review, strategy and sustainability.  Read what Caroline says about reinvigorating your board.

“At its most basic there are two key ways to generate change or activity amongst trustees – by instilling fear or building enthusiasm. Fear works well to remind what can happen if boards aren’t functioning as they should be or where they’re not clear about their vital role in the organisation.

But, it can also lead to knee-jerk reactions, meaning that things are not well thought through or that policies change but not the practice of how they’re implemented. Risk management becomes about a document, rather than an approach that builds the ability of the board to make good decisions and to create an organisation that is able to look ahead, be flexible and respond to events or threats as they happen.

We’re all familiar with the drip-feeding of disaster stories and reports of bad practice amongst charities. So for a change, why not focus on generating new interest, excitement and discussion about how trustees could do things differently? Enthusiasm tends to lead to more effective individual trustees and a stronger board.”

Click here to read the full article.

Page 1 of 8123...Last