December 2016

Monthly Archives

Join Jigsaw for a fundraising Balti evening in January

jigsawJigsaw is about friends, good times and going places.  It aims to increase community inclusion and social opportunities for people living in Sandwell and Dudley who have limited opportunities.  It is especially for people with a learning disability who do not get support from services.

Jigsaw organises a range of trips and regular activities and one off events. Volunteers support people on activities which currently include coach trips, a curry club, and a walking group, which provides day walks in the local countryside.  There are also activities such as evening bat walks in local parks and an annual cycle ride on the Tissington Trail in Derbyshire.

Jigsaw invites you to join them for a fundraising Balti evening – vegetarian option available –  on Thursday, 12 January 2017, 7.30 pm at The Alachi International Restaurant in Old Hill, 126 High Gate Street, Cradley Heath B64 5RU. Drinks not included but there is a licensed bar. Please let Jigsaw know of any other dietary requirements in advance.

Tickets are £13 in advance, £15 on the door.

Contact Aldo Mussi, Bill MCormish, Michelle Hadley and Liz Tilly at or telephone 0121 559 9197.

There will be a raffle and a quiz.  Donations of raffle prizes welcomed.

Free parking in front of and at the side of the restaurant.




Healthy Town Fund

Sandwell CouncilSandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has funding available via the Healthy Town Fund to reduce alcohol related harms. Constituted voluntary and community groups within the Borough can apply for either capital or revenue of up to a maximum of £10,000 per application.

Applications will be supported where they seek to meet the following Public Health priority: Delivery of innovative projects around preventing and reducing alcohol misuse harms and raising community awareness of alcohol harms. This could include but is not limited to the following:

1. Raise awareness among local people about the harm of excessive drinking and the effects of alcohol.
2. Improve the health and wellbeing of local people by decreasing levels of alcohol consumption and challenging risky behaviours.
3. Improve access to, and availability of, low/no alcohol products and social places where they can be enjoyed.
4. Promote access to alcohol training in order to build skills and capacity within the community workforce to identify and address alcohol harms.
5. Identify and support alcohol awareness ‘champions’ among your staff, volunteers and/or local people to maintain the message about healthier approaches to alcohol.

The closing date for applications is 30th January 2017.

For further information and a copy of the funding criteria / application form please contact Ian Cooper or Dawn Maycock. 07837 602 320 0121 569 5053


Christmas Health Information Funday

health-fundayThe Terrence Higgins Trust and the Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board are hosting a Christmas Health Information Day on Tuesday, 20 December 2016. The event will be from 10 am to 2 pm at West Bromwich Town Hall, High Street, West Bromwich.

There will be a variety of information and craft stands.

Light refreshments and entertainment will be available throughout the event.

Entrance is free and all are welcome.

Heart of England Community Foundation

Heart of England NewSupporting fellowship, social interaction and companionship for those aged 65 and over, across Birmingham, Black Country, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire.

The fund is aiming to help small charities, community and voluntary groups by supporting activities such as those detailed below (though not exclusively):

• Sports and social activities
• Day trips
• IT courses
• Lunch clubs
• Venue hire
• Befriending schemes
• Intergenerational activities and events

Grants are available for between £1,000 – £5,000 to organisations with an annual income of less than £250,000.

You must be able to complete your project within one year, and supply satisfactory monitoring before applying for further funding from this programme.

For more information click here.

Church Urban Fund

cufThe Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is providing the funding for the new Common Good Fund which is being administered by the Church Urban Fund.

The new grants programme is part of Near Neighbours, a charity set up to bring people together who are near neighbours in communities that are religiously and ethnically diverse, so that they can get to know each other better, build relationships of trust and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community they live in.

Grants of between £250 and £5,000 are available to be used as seed funding for locally-led projects which address the fund’s key objectives:

• Creating a common agenda – to see local people reach a shared vision of how to work together to improve their areas.
• Promoting a sense of personal responsibility – the recognition that everyone has something to contribute and should feel ownership over local initiatives.
• Increasing levels of participation and social cohesion – the belief that the local community is strongest when everyone is involved in social action.
• Promoting an alternative to hate, tolerance, and prejudice – the feeling that meaningful relationships can develop where there is shared understanding, as well as trust and respect for each other.

There is particular interest in receiving applications from:
• Emerging local groups
• Small organisations with a low annual turnover.
• Groups comprising people from more than one ethnic or faith group.

The deadline for applications is 1 February 2017.

For more information click here.

Friends provident Foundation

fpf_logo_strapline_2016-finalThe Friends Provident Foundation provides financial support to projects that promote a more resilient, sustainable and fairer economic system.

Support is available through the Foundation for projects that aim to transform current financial systems into an ‘engine’ for social benefits. The Foundation works on two levels:

Systems change which aims to support work that can help to transform corporate behaviour, and to stimulate change in the current financial system.

Building local economic resilience which aims to test and review local or small-scale initiatives that build economic resilience through diversity, flexibility and building capabilities.

Trustees will consider applications for grants, loans, underwriting or other forms of financial support.
The next closing date for applications is noon on the 1st February 2017.

For more information click here.

Comic Relief ‘Local Communities’ Programme

Comic ReliefComic Relief have stated that there are still many communities in the UK that suffer from economic and social deprivation[1] and the current economic climate may make this situation worse. For this reason, Comic Relief has decided that £4.5 million should be available to fund projects across the UK which are addressing these issues through the ‘Local Communities’ programme.

[1]  Defined as poverty; lack of access to jobs; denial of social supports or peer networks; and exclusion from services.

Who can apply?
• Community Groups
• Resident Associations
• Community Centres
• Social Enterprises/Community Interest Companies
• Credit Unions

For more information and to apply click here.

Charities ‘must change how they recruit digital specialists’

CharityCharities need to be more proactive in how they recruit people with technology skills, Civil Society Media’s annual Charity Technology conference heard this morning (17th Nov ’16).

Mary McKenna, technology entrepreneur and trustee of CAST, a project intended to increase charities’ use of technology, delivered the opening keynote. She told delegates that many people in the field of technology had never considered working for a charity.

She told delegates they should “tap into your organisation’s outside brain and change the way you recruit”.   She said that charities needed to be more “proactive” in how they hire technology people, and that they need to go beyond the traditional job adverts.

Even though salaries at technology agencies are often comparable to those of charities, she said many people from that background have “never considered working for a charity because of mis-information in their heads”.

“Go to the places they already are,” she said, “and tell them that your organisation is a great place to work for.”

Read the FULL article at:




Five Questions That Will Make You a Smarter Trustee of Your Charity

Governance - TeamworkIf you’ve ever sat in a meeting of a local charity or voluntary group and wondered what you should be asking, you’re not alone. Many trustees, especially when new to the role, want to ask questions, but are worried about looking stupid or naive.

So here’s a list of five questions that every trustee should be prepared to ask. Not only will they help you to look intelligent, they might just help you to ensure that charity is better run:

1) Please can I have a copy of the governing document? Before you turn up to your first meeting it is vital that you’re given a copy of the charity’s governing document – usually called the Articles of Association. This contains broad rules for how the charity should be run and how the business of trustee meetings should be conducted.

Getting this document is fundamental therefore to discharging your duties as a trustee. Too often trustees aren’t given a copy and so can’t hold officers and honorary officers properly to account.

2) Is this within our charitable objects? There’s always someone with a bright idea to help grow the charity and improve its finances. Often these look like they’re fool-proof, and so trustees can come under pressure to agree to them quickly. But one other thing a governing document will contain is a list of charitable objects – this sets out the range of things that the charity is supposed to achieve.

A charity only exists in order to fulfil its charitable objects, so it is vital that, before considering any other factors, trustees consider whether the proposed activity is something that the charity was actually set up to do.

Read the FULL article at:

From: The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network

How Should Charities Respond to Brexit and Trump-in?

BrexitThe parallels between Brexit and Trump are plain to see and are constantly being made, but what does this say about the divisions in our society? What can we learn, and can charities help to heal the divide?

Challenge 1: A rejection of experts and the establishment

Trump and Brexit were fought on anti-establishment lines. Trump was the outsider from Washington who could fix America and make it great again, and Brexit was an anti-elite statement and a rejection of warnings from the experts. Loath as I am to quote Michael Gove, he seems to have stumbled upon something when he said “I think the people of this country have had enough of experts”[1].

Hillary was the quintessential establishment figure. As a former First Lady with 30 years’ experience in politics, she was the status quo candidate. She was the clear embodiment of the Washington institution for those unhappy with the current state of affairs. Trump winning represents a mood that is against the establishment, and wants fresh thinking from those outside of Washington. Luckily our research shows that charities are not viewed as the establishment.

Charities can use their voices and the voices of their beneficiaries to provide information that is trusted, but not viewed as part of the establishment.

One of the most powerful speakers I have heard was an ‘expert from experience’; a former immigration detainee speaking about immigration detention. At the same meeting, academics and members of the UN spoke but none were as arresting and powerful as someone speaking from their own lived experience and knowledge. Lots of charities are in a unique position like this, as they often have direct contact with the people they support.

Message for charities: put passion, conviction and the voice of personal experience above facts and experts if you want to persuade large portions of the population.

To read the full article visit:

From: nfp Synergy

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