November 2016

Monthly Archives

Brook Training

BrookBrook is the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under 25. It is the only charity working across the UK and Channel Islands that specialises in working with young people to promote their sexual health in the wider context of health and wellbeing.

Brook Midlands is delighted to advise it has free funded training for its Sexual Behaviours: The Traffic Light Tool. The toolkit is designed to support professionals working with children and young people and helps them to identify, assess and respond appropriately to sexual behaviours.

Places are limited and available on a first come first served basis. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

If you have any questions please telephone Natalie on 07733 263 784, or email

Christmas Workshops

christmas-workshopsSandwell Adult and Family Learning Service is running a series of Christmas workshops at Tipton College, Alexandra Road, Tipton DY4 7NR.

Beaded Bauble Workshop – use beading skills to create a beautiful festive decoration. Friday 2 December 10 am – 3 pm

Christmas Cupcake Decorating – learn techniques to create fabulous festive cupcakes. Friday 9 December 10 m – 3 pm

Christmas Flower Arranging – bring a candle with you and learn how to create a stunning table decoration. Tuesday 13 December 6 pm – 9 pm

Christmas Paper Craft Novelty Gifts – get creative with paper craft and learn how to make your own novelty gifts. Friday 16 December 10 am – 3 pm 

Booking is essential.  Call 0121 557 0837.  £10 per workshop

New Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Health

stpEighteen local health and social care organisations have jointly developed a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for the Black Country and West Birmingham, which sets out their plans to transform health and social care services over the next five years.

The publication of this document is seen as the beginning of a conversation about these plans with partner organisations and the local population. Organisations that have been involved in developing the STP will be putting the plan through their respective governance mechanisms over the coming months and there will be discussion within those organisations regarding the detailed content within the plans.

The current health and social care system is facing many challenges at present: a diverse and changing population, increased demand on services and financial constraints.

The STP aims to be a catalyst for transformation in the Black Country and West Birmingham. A successful approach to this planning process would include:
• Engaging patients, staff and communities from the start, developing priorities through the eyes of those who use and pay for the NHS
• Developing services that reflect the needs of patients and improve outcomes by 2020/21 and, in doing so, helping to close the three gaps across the health and care system that were highlighted in the NHS Five Year Forward View (health and wellbeing, care and quality, and finance and efficiency)
• Mobilising local energy and enthusiasm around place-based systems of health and care, and developing the partnerships, governance and capacity to deliver
• Providing a better way of spreading and connecting successful local initiatives

Health and social care leaders will be engaging with local people in more detail as the plans develop both in terms of the overarching ambitions of the plan and the individual service changes that will stem from it. This will begin with a public event on 6 December at the Bethel Convention Centre, Kelvin Way, West Bromwich, B70 7JW. Members of the public are being asked to book onto the event via

The Sustainability and Transformation Plan document can be viewed here.

Voluntary and Community Sector umbrella organisations in the Black Country and West Birmingham have recently secured representation within the main Sponsor Group for the STP.  This representation is being led by Ian Darch, CEO of Wolverhampton VSC –  For discussion on what the STP may mean for services for Sandwell residents, and for engagement with health and social care colleagues in our borough, Sandwell VCS organisations are welcome to attend SCVO’s regular VCS Health and Social Forum.  For further details please contact Mark Davis,

Have your say: future funding of Sandwell Visually Impaired

Sandwell CouncilSandwell Council is carrying out a consultation on how it funds Sandwell Visually Impaired. SVI is a user-led charitable organisation which provides a range of support services for visually impaired people in Sandwell. The Council currently pays for administration and staffing costs for two part time workers at 18.5 hours each. The Council also provides the office premises for SVI.

As the Council tries to deal with the biggest budget cuts in its history, it is seeking views on proposals for the future funding of SVI. Your views about this proposal are very important and the Council would like to hear from you.

Join them from 10 am – 1 pm on Tuesday 6 December at The Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury B69 1HE.

Please confirm your attendance by email or phone. This will help to plan the numbers expected on the day. Email or   Telephone (0121) 569 5424.

Event information

Staff will be at reception to meet you upon arrival, and a number of staff will be available on the day to support with scribing and note taking. You are very welcome to bring someone with you.

Transport costs  to and from the event will be reimbursed, where a taxi receipt or bus ticket is provided. A photocopy of the bus ticket will be taken, if the ticket is required for your return journey.

Other ways you can have your say

The Council is carrying out a public survey. This can be completed electronically (in a plain text Word format) and returned by email. The survey is available printed in 16 font size, which can be returned using a pre-paid envelope to Adult Social Care.

You can request the survey, printed, electronically or on audio, using the contact details above. If you require assistance to complete the survey over the phone please also contact details above.

You have the option of completing the survey online on the Council’s website if you would find this format more suitable.

Drop in session

The Council is holding a drop in session from 10 am – 2 pm at Oldbury Library, on Thursday 8 December. Everyone is welcome to attend, complete a survey or fill in a comments card to share their views about the proposals.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation – Arts Based Learning Fund

Paul HamlynThe new Arts-Based Learning Fund from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) has grants available to support charities, community organisations, social enterprises and not-for-profit companies active in the arts that are working with schools, further education colleges and teachers to enhance the lives, development and achievements of children and young people.

Two types of grant are available to support work at different stages of development:
◦The Arts-based Learning ‘explore and test’ grants provide funding for up to two years to help test or evaluate new approaches
•The Arts-based Learning ‘more and better’ grants provide longer, larger grants to help increase the impact and effectiveness of work which has already shown promise or positive impact.Applications can be submitted at any time.
•More information at:
•The Foundation welcome a range of applications and are particularly interested in funding work for the benefit of primary-age children (this could include, for example, projects involving a secondary and local primary schools) and work taking place in areas of social and economic deprivation outside of London.

Applications can be submitted at any time.
More information at:

Community Pub Business Support Programme

the-community-pub-business-support-programmeCommunities looking to take responsibility for and ownership of their local pub, through purchase or long-term lease can now apply for financial support through the Community Pub Business Support Programme.

A total of £3.62 million is available over the next two years and the support package includes business development support, advice and loan and grant funding. The financial support includes:
• Flexible bursary awards of up to £2,500 to fund pre-feasibility costs such as public consultation and valuations
• Combined loan and grant funding up to £150,000 but not exceeding £75,000 in grant contribution.
Although the programme is aimed primarily at communities considering taking responsibility for and ownership of their local pub, in some cases existing community-owned or managed pub-based businesses may be considered, if they are looking to diversify for community benefit and can demonstrate a clear economic case.
To apply, communities need to fill out an initial enquiry form or call the programme advice line for more information on 01993 810730.

More information:

Lord Taverners Minibuses Grant Programme

Lords TavernersThe Lords Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, has announced that it will re-open its Minibuses grants programme on the 1st December 2016.

Applications will be accepted from schools/ organisations that cater for young people under the age of 25 who have a physical/ sensory/ learning disability. Please note that the Lords Taverners are unable to support schools that cater for socially disadvantaged children, or mainstream schools for children with behavioural problems. Last year the Lords Taverners, delivered 32 specially-adapted, wheelchair-accessible minibuses to schools, clubs and youth organisations across the UK. These vehicles give young people with disabilities access to new places and experiences. Lord’s Taverners minibuses are based on the current Ford Transit model, with a diesel engine. The average cost to the charity of an accessible minibus is £52,500.

The closing date for applications will be the 28th February 2017.
More information at:

Sport England Announces New Funding Programmes

sport-englandSport England’s new funding programmes come six months after the launch of its 2016 strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’ which outlines what it will do to increase the number of people getting active and achieve its vision of everyone in England, regardless of age, background or ability, feeling able to take part in sport or activity.

Between 2017 and 2021, Sport England says that it will invest £22.5 million through its range of new funding programmes which include:
• Volunteering – In December 2016, Sport England is announcing the full details of a £3 million volunteering fund to diversify the range of people who volunteer. The fund will open in early 2017, and it is expected the first awards will be made in spring.
• Local delivery – In December 2016, Sport England is inviting expressions of interest to become one of 10 places that will receive funding from Sport England to develop and implement local strategies for physical activity and sport. A number of working sessions will be held in January and February 2017 to help interested partners develop their ideas, with the first three or four pilots identified by March.
• Tackling inactivity – In December 2016, Sport England is publishing an investment guide on inactivity. It is also opening the first phase of the Inactivity Fund, which will provide up to £10 million for projects that help older adults (55+) to get active. Expressions of interest will be due by 13 February 2017, with the first set of awards planned for June 2017.
• Facilities – In December 2016, Sport England is launching the first phase of the new Community Asset Fund which will have £7.5 million available. It will also publish the wider facilities investment guide in January 2017.
• Supporting sport’s core market (major events) – In December, Sports England is launching a £2 million fund to help engage a much broader range of people in and around major sporting events.

Full details of the funding programmes will be provided as the information becomes available on the Sport England website at:


ConcertinaThe registered charity, Concertina which makes grants of up to £250 to charitable bodies which provide musical entertainment and related activities for the elderly has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 30th April 2017.

The charity is particular keen to support smaller organisations which might otherwise find it difficult to gain funding. Concertina has made grants to a wide range of charitable organisations nationwide in England and Wales. These include funds to many care homes for the elderly to provide musical entertainment for their residents.

More information at:

Spotlight on Sea-Change Theatre Company

logoTell us what you do?
Sea-Change Theatre Company is a Performing Arts group that has been running for several years and is based at Coneygre Arts Centre, Tipton. We give young people between the ages of 6 to 21 the opportunity to discover and develop their Performing Arts skills – singing, dancing and acting – then to apply and showcase these skills by taking part in musical productions and concerts.

What is your proudest achievement?
Sea-Change’s proudest achievement has been two-fold. Firstly, we are proud and honoured to be part of the on-going development of our membership with regard to their performance skills and personal confidence. Secondly, we are proud of the development of the company, surviving in its infancy with little financial support, yet continuing to fund quality activities, concerts and productions via much determination, resolve and community support.

What is the most valuable lesson learnt about working with people?
So much is learned through working with others. If you work with others, it is soon learned that there are good, honest people out there who are generous with their time and support within our community, many of whom have helped us over the years with the development of our performances and community shows. It is clear that we are co-existent as a community, that we all need and rely upon each other for support. However, the most valuable lesson that can be learned about working with people is that if you give someone the chance, they will flower – and when a community of people give young people such chances, whether it be a single organisation such as Sea-Change or the wider community itself, then the results are life-changing.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Moving forward, what we see as the main challenge currently being faced by Sea-Change Theatre Company is maintaining the quality of what we are delivering with limited financial resources and advertising. We would like as many people as possible within the community to find out about Sea-Change and the opportunities we offer for young people to enjoy taking part in its workshops, rehearsals and productions. We love inspiring young people through staging with them exciting community performances and, in order to do this, we have to focus seriously on fundraising in order to continue to maintain and develop the work that we do.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
We would greatly appreciate the support of SCVO in helping us to develop a funding strategy and to apply for financial support in order to sustain our community activities.

If you are interested in getting involved in our group, please contact Ann Cartwright on 07902730175 or by email at

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