October 2016

Monthly Archives

Community Radio Fund

fundingTelecom’s Regulator Ofcom, has announced that the Community Radio Fund has re-opened for applications. Funding is available to not-for-profit radio stations that have a social purpose, and work to involve their target community in running the service.

Funding will be available to Community Radio Stations towards their core running costs. These can include:

• Management costs
• Administration, financial management & reporting costs
• Fundraising to support the station
• Community outreach work
• The costs involved in using volunteers; etc.

There was no upper limit of grant that can be applied for, however applicants are asked to take note of previous grants awarded for an indication of realistic award figures. Grants can only be made to community radio licensees which are broadcasting under a community radio license (and not an RSL, for example). The average grant awarded over the last few years has been in the region if £15,000.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 16th November 2016.
More information at: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadcasting/radio/community-radio-fund/

#iwillWeek 2016 Is Coming – Get Involved

iwillweekBetween 21st-25th November we want you to join a UK-wide celebration of the impact young people are making and to enable others, young and old, to get involved.

We are asking #iwill supporters to highlight the benefits of youth social action through new and existing events and activities during #iwillWeek.

Show local people what youth social action is all about. Get adult volunteers, parents, teachers, employers, local MPs, journalists and of course young people involved. We want them to see and hear the benefits of enabling 10 to 20 year-olds to make a difference.

Tell them about the double-benefit of youth social action (to young people AND their communities) and why they should get involved in the #iwill campaign.

Why not ‘do’ some social action at your event? It could be part of a campaign to improve something locally, an opportunity to fundraise for a local or national cause or you could include some volunteering to enhance your community?

This is an opportunity to engage with schools, colleges, businesses, hospitals and the wider community in your area. Why not get in touch with local politicians and the media too?

Below are some specially created resources to support your #iwillWeek celebration. There are invites, posters, background #iwill information, a guide to running an event and much more – please do take a look.

If you are planning to join in with #iwillWeek please tell us about it. To do this simply click the ‘submit an event’ banner under the map, add in some headline information, click submit and your activity will become part of our UK-wide celebration. If you want to pass on more detail or have any further questions about #iwillWeek, send an email to hello@stepuptoserve.org.uk.

More information at: http://www.iwill.org.uk/

Allchurches Trust Ltd

allchurches-trustAllchurches Trust Limited (ATL) supports the mission and work of the Christian church and charitable projects that have a Christian foundation.  We like to assist in areas of greatest need.  We especially favour projects that show vision, illustrate enthusiastic support and demonstrate financial sustainability.

Churches seeking funding should be members of Churches Together in England (CTE), Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS), Churches Together in Wales (Cytun) or the Irish Council of Churches.

Beyond that, there are no firm rules that determine what we will support and we are frequently impressed by the imagination and scope of the projects that seek ATL grants.

Most of our grants are between £1,000 and £5,000 but we do make larger grants.  Examples of recent grants are on the recent grants  page and the news page.   Our annual reports and annual reviews also include information about projects we have supported; browse through them here.

For more information about what we support, please read our grant giving policy. or visit:

Deadline: rolling

Heritage Lottery Fund

heritage lottery fundThe First World War affected millions across the globe and shaped the world we live in. The Centenary is a chance to understand the war better, uncover its stories and explore what it means to us today.

Everyone should have the chance to discover more about the war and mark the Centenary. That’s why we are providing this special grant programme for community projects. You can apply at any time up to 2019. We also provide grants of more than £10,000 for First World War projects through Our Heritage, Young Roots and Heritage Grants.

We want the projects we fund to make a real difference for heritage, people and communities, so we assess applications against a set of outcomes. You can read about these in the application guidance. As a minimum, we expect a project under this programme to achieve at least one of our outcomes for people.

You can apply quickly and easily, and we will assess your application within eight weeks.

Deadline: rolling
More information at: https://www.hlf.org.uk/looking-funding/our-grant-programmes/first-world-war-then-and-now

Transport Regeneration Fund

trfThe Combined Authority’s Transport Regeneration Fund (TRF) provides grants to organisations and communities wanting to pilot innovative transport ideas which support public transport, equalities, accessibility, social well-being and aid regeneration.  Through the Transport Regeneration Fund, Centro aims to provide opportunities that impact positively on the local communities in which we operate.

Funding in the region of £30,000 is currently available which we are hoping to allocate to innovative local/regional projects.

Whether you are a community group/organisation, a neighbourhood, an individual, a social entrepreneur or practitioner, if you have a project which could assist the unemployed, elderly, youth, disabled people, minority groups, health groups or a whole community, we welcome your ideas.  Applications are welcome from any eligible project which identifies a community transport priority or details an innovative transport proposal.

Please view for information on the Transport Regeneration Fund and an application form.  If you would like to discuss your initial project idea, if you have any questions/queries or if you need support filling in your form please contact me via email or on 01212147401.

Applications need to be submitted by the 4th of January 2017.  Grant decisions will be made by the end of March 2017.

Bonfire Night and fireworks in Sandwell

fireworksSandwell Council are having two firework events this year at Smethwick and West Bromwich with addition of a bonfire display at West Bromwich.

Friday 4 November 2016 – Victoria Park, High Street, Smethwick
• 5.30pm – event starts
• 8.15pm – large fireworks display

Admission for Victoria Park event is free and there will be a stage with entertainment.

Saturday 5 November 2016  – Dartmouth Park, Lloyd Street, West Bromwich (near Sandwell Valley)

• 5.30pm – event starts
• 6.15pm – lighting the bonfire
• 7.15pm – children’s fireworks display
• 8.15pm – large fireworks display

Admission charges apply for event in West Bromwich for adults are £3, children £1.50 and family ticket £7.50 which incluces two adults and two children or three children and one adult.

There will be a stage with entertainment, licensed bar, glow lights and hot and cold food stalls.

There is no on-site parking at these events.

For the West Bromwich event, please park in the town centre.

For the Smethwick event, please either use public transport or park locally, but please do not block driveways or access.

Can you donate pallets?
We are looking for wooden pallets to be donated for the bonfires.  If you would like to donate then please call Lorna on 0121 569 8276 or email for further details.

Sandwell Sports Club Partnership Re-launch

logo_sscp_primary-3Participate is about the re-launch of the Sandwell Sports Club Partnership with a website, refocused meeting schedule, marketing and training. We’d like you to join us to promote what activities or services you have available for young people in the Sandwell are.

This is your group’s opportunity to promote your club directly to young people living in Sandwell that may be looking for something new to do.

Saturday 5th November 2016 at Solvay Function Room, Station Road, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 4LU between 10am to 1pm.

And on Monday 11th November 2016 we will be holding a Social Media Training course at Krunch Centre Oldbury.

If you are interested in having a stand please email Spencer Lamb at Spencerlamb40@gmail.com

Charities and Fraud – What Are Your Thoughts?

fraudSCVO is conducting its second Poll into the experience your organisation has of fraud.

According to the dictionary, fraud is defined as, “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain”.

The Annual Fraud Indicator 2016, (produced by the partnership of Experian, PKF Littlejohn and the University of Portsmouth) estimates the cost of fraud to charities to be approximately £2bn per year.

When talking about fraud against organisations, the first thing that springs to mind would probably be cyber-related. How many emails have you received telling you you’ve won the Canadian, Spanish or Australian lottery but that you just need to pay a fee and/or provide your bank details in order for the prize to be released?  Or maybe your CEO has sent you an email from their overseas holiday to say that they’ve been mugged / had their passport, wallet etc. stolen and need you to send some money immediately so that they can purchase a flight home. What about the ‘new kid on the block’ Ransomware? A particularly nasty way of extorting money whereby an organisation’s data is ‘locked’ and released only upon payment of a fee.

Indeed fraud, in its broadest sense, doesn’t even have to be that sophisticated – how about expense claims? Seeking re-imbursement for one level of travel when actually using a cheaper method may seem ‘low level’ by comparison, but it is still fraud.

We’ll publish the results in due course, but please be assured that your responses are completely anonymous.


Sandwell Citizens Advice – Square One Finance – Vote to Support The Project

Aviva Community FundOur project would like to work with local schools and colleges to give advice and information to young people as they become able to access finance.

The project will help young people understand what interest rates and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) really mean, how to avoid taking on contracts, for example mobile phones, that are beyond their means. We will advise on how to manage their money, make it go further, and how to build a healthy credit score and above all how to avoid expensive debt.

The increase in payday lenders is particularly high among young people aged 24 and over who are turning to desperate means to make ends meet.

New figures that show 42 per cent of Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and the mid-1990s, have turned to alternative finance including payday lenders and pawnshops in the past five years.

We want to help them manage their finances so that it doesn’t get to that point and that they have a healthy credit score so that if they want or need to get finance in the future they can use reputable lenders who would assess affordability for any finance as well as charge a much lower APR.

The project would produce information in terms that young people know and understand and would use technology and information films to raise awareness.

Citizens Advice is not an organisation traditionally used by people under the age of 24 – only 7% of our clients are in the 17 -24 age group. However that number rises to 31% at 24 with 48% of our overall clients seeing us about debt problems. This project would help people stop getting into unmanageable debt

We are proud to give free advice and support to the community this is mostly given by volunteers, Citizens Advice is at the heart of the community and we want to help people before crisis hits. We support over 10,000 people a year to have a better future.

Vote for us in the Aviva Community Fund.  Vote opens 21 October and closes on 18 November. You can cast up to 10 votes to support our project.  Please view for further information.

Sandwell Early Help Innovation Fund – Making a Difference

early-helpRegular visitors to our ‘News’ pages will know that the Sandwell Early Help Innovation Fund (SEHIF) was launched in November 2015 to enable local voluntary groups and not-for-profit/charitable organisations to deliver preventative community-based interventions for children and families in Sandwell.

Funding has been available at two levels; Small Grants (up to £5,000) and Large Grants (between £5,001 and £15,000) and to-date the fund has approved 18 grants, split evenly between large and small.

A snapshot of some of the projects funded so far was recently published here: https://www.scvo.info/sandwell-early-help-innovation-fund-the-story-so-far/ and this article is designed to take you a little ‘deeper’ into one of those projects.

Local charity Ideal for All was awarded a grant in the second round of funding earlier this year to deliver their ‘Early Help’ engagement model – a three stage process of:
1. Engaging outreach sessions: ‘hands on’ gardening, food growing, cooking, healthy eating awareness workshops and short courses delivered in community facilities as a referral route into the main programme;
2. Focused intensive sessions lasting 1-3 hours, once a week, for a minimum of 6 weeks where participants undertake meaningful seasonal activities in a practical, inspiring and alternative setting to the classroom (using food, gardening, basic skills, crafts/creative, games and cooking-related activities to reach stated outcomes);
3. Sustained progression pathways and sign-posting: including further volunteering options, progress to further skills courses and sustained development of co-produced, self-managed voluntary groups, meeting once a month across a variety of venues.

So, how have they got on?
Here’s a selection of feedback from participants at some of the outreach (Engaging) sessions:
“I like it because I made it myself and I love it so much and it is so yummy”
“There really, really needs to be more of this kind of service and/or groups available in Smethwick. It enables families like mine to be more involved in healthy eating and it’s a great opportunity for communities to meet.”
“Wow this far exceeded expectations we have planted, picked and weeded along with learning where food comes from we tasted physalis (never had this before) my kids loved discovering plants and picking too.”
“…picking fruit and veg, learnt about nature, eating fresh veg, learnt to make wraps so will be making some at home, lovely to wander around, organic food.”
“Showed how you can make dips without using unhealthy foods”
“Learned to plant salads and use compost, working muscles digging”

Moving into stages 2 and 3, here’s a short case study that tells Prasad’s story (name changed):
Prasad came to the programme as someone who had worked all his adult life but who had recently been made redundant from a full time job that he was passionate about. As a result he felt despondent and ‘hopeless’ about his future and in need of a new direction. Though he had many skills relating to his previous role, many of these were not considered to be relevant to the jobs he was applying for. He was concerned about mounting debts and falling into a cycle of reliance on support services and welfare payments.

As a result of wanting to develop a new skill set and to re-build his confidence and self-esteem, Prasad was directed to Ideal for All and took part in our floristry course and gardening programme for 6 weeks. Since then he has received ongoing support to pursue new opportunities and reduce reliance on welfare benefits.

Prasad has been a keen participant and very willing to share his progress with staff and fellow participants to ‘stay on track’. He feels he has benefited from ongoing tapering support as he excels in reaching new goals. As his confidence and self-esteem “hit rock-bottom” he was greatly at risk of acquired mental health and wellbeing issues but he has continued to positively progress on a new journey into work (securing a new full time position) and now enjoys horticulture and floristry as a hobby to keep him active and “happy”. He stays in touch regularly since completing the programme.

In Prasad’s own words -“Working on the project has boosted my confidence. I was ready for a change but unsure of which direction to take, I lost my confidence. Now I am working fulltime and feel more like myself again. Trying something different has been great for me, the staff are fantastic and I have met some wonderful varied people.”

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