June 2017

Monthly Archives

Tracey Crouch to be announced as minister for civil society

Tracey Crouch, who is the Conservative MP for Chatham and Ayelsford, has been appointed as minister for sport and civil society, following a shake up at at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Crouch said: “I couldn’t be happier to be working on the civil society brief. The sector has always been close to my heart, having been a volunteer for years as a football coach, while off the pitch I’ve championed mental health and animal welfare causes among others.

“I can’t wait to meet the sector and look forward to being a real advocate for the positive impact that charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises have on millions of lives up and down the country.”

Her full brief comprises of: gambling, horse racing, Office for Civil Society, sport, the National Lottery and society lotteries.

DCMS had initially said that the new minister for civil society would be John Glen, who was appointed to the junior minister role to fill the gap left by Rob Wilson, who lost his seat at the election.

Glen said on Twitter that he will be minister for arts, heritage and tourism at DCMS. He will also have responsibility for libraries, which had been part of Wilson’s portfolio.

Crouch was elected in 2010 and was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee from 2012 to 2015 and a member of the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission, and of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee from 2013 to 2015.

She was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage on 12 May 2015.

On her website she describes herself as a “keen sports enthusiast” and has become a FA qualified football coach and manages a local girls football team.

She lists a number of patronages on her website, they are:

  • Patron, Conservatives Against Fox Hunting
  • President of RSPCA Medway
  • Honorary member of the Royal Engineers
  • Honorary member of the Friends of Mental Health, West Kent and Medway
  • Patron of the Medway Branch of the National Osteoporosis Society
  • Honorary Member of Bradfields School Student Council
  • Vice President of Kent branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • Patron of Peter’s Place
  • Independent Chair of Medway Council’s Physical Disability Partnership Board
  • Patron of Blenheim CDP: The London Drug and Alcohol Agency
  • Patron of the Halpern Charitable Foundation

Crouch has also supported a wide range of charities in her local area, including the  British Heart Foundation, NCS and Macmillan Cancer Support.

In 2010 she campaigned against bogus charity bag collections, securing a debate in Parliament on the issue.


Sandwell’s Answer to Britain’s Got Talent

For those already missing Britain’s Got Talent, Sandwell Council’s SHAPE Team have the answer. More than 90 young people aged 8 to 19 came along to the SHAPE Your Talent auditions during May to showcase their talents. These have now been whittled down to 17 semi-finalists and voting is now open for members of the public to choose their favourite act.

Online voting is open until Sunday 18 June. Once the votes have been counted they will be combined with judges votes and the finalists will be announced.

Tickets are now available for the SHAPE Your Talent grand final which is taking place on Friday 30 June at St Michael’s C of E High School in Rowley Regis. The show starts at 7 pm with doors opening at 6.15 pm. Tickets cost £5 each and the will be light refreshments and snacks available. Finalists will take to the stage and perform in front of a panel of judges with encouragement from the audience.

Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services said: “We have some very talented young people in Sandwell and our judges were very impressed at the auditions last month. Thank you to all those who entered. “The grand final promises to be an exciting evening with some great performances. I urge people to come along and see for themselves how talented our young people really are.”

Winners of the talent competition stand to win prizes of up to £500 with runners-up getting £100 for second prize and £50 for third prize. Winners will be chosen in two age categories – age 8 to 13 and age 14 to 19.

To get tickets and to vote go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/shapeyourtalent. You can also email shape_events@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 6164.

Project Aspie – Special Session, 21st June 2016

On the 21st June Project Aspie (in conjunction with BMAG museum) presents a special ‘Alphabet 12’ conference, exploring the gender experience of Asperger’s Syndrome and the Autistic Spectrum. The session will comprise of 2 local female speakers, followed by special guest webinars from leading academics, authors and physicians aimed at raising awareness and understanding of how gender and sex affects the diagnosis, treatment and perception of Asperger’s Syndrome and Autistic adults.

The session takes place at The Learning Zone, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery between 2:30-4:30pm. Refreshments and the opportunity to network will occur between 1:45pm-2:30pm

Tickets can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/project-aspie-presents-asd-gender-and-parenting-tickets-35345872456

For more information about Project Aspie and ‘Alphabet 12’ visit: http://projectaspie.org.uk/videos

Great Get Together in Sandwell

Scenic Sandwell Valley Country Park is hosting a Great Get Together on Saturday 17 June, as part of nationwide events to celebrate the life of Jo Cox MP. People from all walks of life are being invited to celebrate the things that unite them and champion being good neighbours from 16-18 June, a year on from Jo’s murder.

Jo lived her life spreading her belief that we have more in common than divides us, and charity Near Neighbours has joined with Jo’s family and the Jo Cox Foundation to invite people to hold Great Get Together events in their community. Sandwell’s Great Get Together will be held at the paddock area near Sandwell Park Farm, on Saturday 17 June from 11 am to 12 noon.

Guest speakers will talk about Jo and what she meant to them as well as inviting people to celebrate her values together.
People can get crafty with a competition to decorate a pot and plant it with seeds to take home or give it to a neighbour. Prizes will be awarded at 12 noon for the pots that best display the Love Your Neighbour message. People are also invited to stay on for a bring-your-own picnic.

Sandwell’s Great Get Together is being co-ordinated by the Love Your Neighbour team, which includes Near Neighbours, Sandwell Churches’ Link, the Faithful Friends project and Sandwell Council. Laura Nott, director of Sandwell Churches’ Link, said: “Sandwell is at its best when our diverse communities, of all faiths and none, come together to celebrate those values we share. “Sandwell Valley Park is a lovely setting for our Great Get Together, where we can enjoy being with old and new friends to listen, talk, create and eat together. Everyone is welcome – let’s make it a really special day.”

A Great Get Together bring and share picnic is also being held at Lightwoods Park, Bearwood, on Sunday 18 June from 12 noon until 3pm. This has been organised by Crafty Muthas and the Bearwood Pantry, together with other local groups. Everyone is welcome. Meet by the grassed area in front of Lightwoods House.

Follow the #GreatGetTogether and #LoveYourNeighbour on Twitter.

British and Foreign School Society

Grants will be made for education or training for children and young people up to the age of 25. Priority will be given to projects which widen educational access and opportunity and reduce the barriers to achievement, in keeping with the Society’s vision to maximise educational opportunity for all. Priority will also be given to projects in areas of deprivation or educational disadvantage.

Applications are expected to address needs for which resources from the state-sponsored education system (including the Pupil Premium in the case of UK projects) are not available or adequate. Trustees will expect to see evidence as to how the service will become sustainable once the Society’s grant comes to an end.

Innovation through pilot projects may also be supported, provided that effective arrangements for evaluation are put in place from the outset. Research projects may also be considered for funding where it is clear that they will have a direct impact on educational service development, for example through the active involvement of participating schools or other institutions ideally as partners in the research.

Funding is project based which means that the British and Foreign School will only fund projects for a defined period of up to 3 years. The Society also only fund new projects, and expect BFSS funding to form a significant proportion of the total project grant. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that they are able to fulfil the requirement to evaluate the impact of their grants.

The deadline for application is 14 August 2017.

More information.

William and Jane Morris Fund

The next closing date for applications to the William and Jane Morris Fund is 31 August 2017. The Fund accepts applications from churches, chapel and other places of worship built before 1896.

The Fund offers grants of between £500 – £3,000 towards work concerned with the conservation of decorative features such as stained glass windows, sculpture, furniture, internal monuments and tombs, wall paintings etc.

The decorative feature, monument etc. must be dated before 1896 (the date of William Morris’s death). Applications for features after 1896, even if they are in churches dated before 1896, are not eligible.

More information

The Dulverton Trust

UK registered charities can now apply for funding of up to £35,000 from The Dulverton Trust. The Trust prefers to support medium sized charities (with an income of £200,000 to £5million) where their grant can make a difference and will also consider applications from newly registered charities.

The trust currently supports a wide range of activities in  Youth Opportunities, General Welfare, Conservation and Preservation. Priority will be given to projects which are open to all members of the community. Trustees meet three times a year to consider grant proposals: in February, June and October. Applications can however be submitted at any time.

The Trust also operates a Minor grants programme, providing funding of up to £5,000 for locally operating charities with an income below £200,000. This programme is administered by selected Community Foundations.

More information

Bearwood Hosts Poetry Slam for Refugee Week

Bearwood Action for Refugees are celebrating UK Refugee Week 2017 in style and inviting the whole community to join them. On Sunday 25 July, in partnership with Agora Poetry, they are hosting a mammoth poetry slam, SLAMATHON, at Thimblemill Library, 2 – 7 pm. It will be fun-packed for all ages with storytelling, comedy, poetry workshops, crafts and plenty of tasty food with a ‘bring and share’ buffet. The event will be in aid of Aegean Solidarity Network and every penny raised will help support refugees in transit.

Applications are open for any keen poets wanting to apply to take part in the event. Translation, including BSL interpreting, will be available for those who want to perform in languages other than English. Those wanting to apply should email bearwoodactionforrefugees@gmail.com for details. Poets of all ages and levels of experience are invited to apply and the deadline for applications is Sunday 18 June. Any schools keen to get involved should also contact Bearwood Action for Refugees at the above email address for links to a range of resources collated specifically for schools.

Poet and spoken word artist Bethany Slinn will be running a FREE polish up your poem workshop prior to SLAMATHON on Tuesday 20 June, 6.30 -8 pm at Thimblemill Library, for anyone not sure what to expect or who wants the chance to work on their poem with a professional prior to the event.

Audiences will also have chance to view Anon, on its final day of exhibition on 25 June at the Library. The photographs by Maria Falcon and Paul Hill, were taken in refugee camps in Greece last year and portray the reality of life for refugees in transit.

For more information please contact Leonie on
Email: bearwoodactionforrefugees@gmail.com
Mobile: 07973 128 534
Twitter: @bearwoodaction
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/BearwoodAction/

Building Resilience in Arts & Cultural Organisations

Working with Arts Council England, the School for Social Entrepreneurs, will deliver a free 10-month learning programme based around the theme of Diversity & Entrepreneurism. The aim of the programme is to support 25 arts and cultural organisations to develop their expertise and capacity to think long term about creative resilience.

The programme will be delivered from October 2017 to July 2018 and include 4 days of consultancy, followed by six months of self-facilitated action learning. The sessions will take place in London and travel costs and accommodation will be covered.

Eligibility criteria – to apply you must…
• Be based in England
• Be the CEO, Director or senior manager
• Have a turnover of between £75,000 -£1M
• Been operational for a minimum of 3 years
• Have at least 2 full time employees

Find out more…
If you would like to find out more about the programme we are running group conference calls on the following dates:
• Wednesday 14th June at 10.00 am-11.00 am
• Thursday 22nd June at 1.00 pm-2.00 pm
If you would like to participate in one of these calls please email charles@ssemidlands.org and he will send you the joining details.

The Building Resilience Programme Overview
There are 4 distinct strands to this programme
• ’Diversity & Entrepreneurism’ delivered by us at SSE in London
• ’Change Creation’ delivered by People Make It Work
• ‘Survival Skills for the New Normal’ delivered by City University London
• ‘Fundraising & Revenue Diversification’ delivered by Arts Manager International
You can only apply to one of these so choose the one best suited to your organisation’s needs.
The Programme Overview gives a brief summary of what each of these programmes will cover and links to their website to find out more.


The deadline to apply is 5.00 pm on Friday 14th July 2017

Please note, you can only apply to one of the 4 programme strands

Please submit completed applications to kylie.dickenson@sse.org.uk

There will be no interviews: the School for Entrepreneurs aim to let applicants know the outcome by the end of July.

Healthwatch Sandwell Health and Social Care Group

Healthwatch Sandwell is holding a public meeting on Friday, 16 June 2017, 10.30 am to 1.00pm, at the Salvation Army, Merton Close, Oldbury, B68 8NG to find out about developing new ways of working.

In line with the NHS Five Year Forward View, a publication that sets out a vision for a better NHS, Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG is exploring new ways of working that will improve the health and care for local people. As demand for services increases and with people living longer, quite often with lots of different conditions, Healthwatch are keen to explore other ways of doing things to provide quality care for everyone, which wraps services around people.

Speakers at the meeting will be Angela Poulton, Programme Director (New Care Models) Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG and Dr George Solomon, Independent Clinical Lead for New Care Models.

To book a place call 0121 569 7210 or email info@healthwatchsandwell.co.uk

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