June 2017

Monthly Archives

EAGA Charitable Trust

The EAGA Charitable Trust has announced that its grant making programme has re-opened for applications. The Trust provides financial support for work that contributes to understanding and addressing the causes and effects of fuel poverty.

Grants of up to £20,000 are available during this funding round, and projects should be completed within 12 months. During 2017, priority will be given to projects that address health, wellbeing and social cohesion aspects of fuel poverty, low-carbon policies, behaviours and practices.

The Trust strongly encourages applicants to seek co-funding of projects wherever possible.

The closing date for applications is the 28 July 2017.

More information

Kingfisher Buddies

Kingfisher Buddies is a new service from local social enterprises Agewell and Dementia Pathfinders, which supports older people across Sandwell who are in the early stages of dementia.

Seeking and receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be a frightening time for an individual and their family. By contacting Kingfisher Buddies you will not be left on your own to worry and wonder what to do next. Kingfisher Buddies are there to provide you with support, information and guidance, both pre and post diagnosis.
The new service aims are to:

• Support you in seeking a diagnosis
• Be there to provide the advice and support you need to take it all in
• Guide you and your family through what can be done now to better prepare for the future.
• Encourage you, and your carers to take part in enjoyable activities in the community.
• Help you to make the most of your life post diagnosis.

So, don’t try to cope on your own, make an appointment with one of the Community Pathfinders who will visit you at home.  Contact Agewell on 0121 796 9333 or email info@agewelluk.org.uk.

What’s the Latest at Community Foundation?

Community Foundation is organising a trip to Blackpool on Saturday, 5 August 2017, for people from the local community. The coach departs at 9.30 am and is due to return at 9.00 pm. 

The cost is £10 per person but is free for anyone over 50. The trip is open to all but places are limited.  Seats to be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


The Foundation is also pleased to announce that their Rainbow Day Nursery has been judged as a ‘GOOD’ Early Years Provision by Ofsted, following its first inspection in April 2017.

There are a limited number of FREE full time nursery places for children aged 2 – 4 years old. The nursery is open Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 3.30 pm.

You can visit the nursery during office hours at 20 St Silas Square, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1QW, telephone 0121 238 3282 or email info@thecommunityfoundation.org.uk.

Family Health & Happiness Day at Brasshouse

Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, is having a free Family Health and Happiness Day on Saturday, 17 June, 10 am to 3 pm.

There will be lots to do including Children’s Gardening Activity, Music, Cookery Demonstration, Arts & Crafts, Face Painting, NHS Health Checks, Health Information and Advice, Storytelling, Information from Citizen Coaching CIC and a visit from Cradley Heath Creative Oss Box.

Ever had a Reiki, a hand massage or an Indian Head massage? You will be able to experience these with experienced and fully qualified therapists.

Mindfulness. What is it? How does it work? Find out at the Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop, and lift your mood with Laughter Yoga.

Take the family or friends  to Brasshouse for a happy and fun day!

100 Masters and Express and Star Collaboration

The Express and Star have printed their first article promoting the 100 Masters project and one of our Masters; fashion designer and illustrator Elizabeth Ilsley.

Read the Express and Star 100 Masters article here!

“This is an exciting first, as we have worked in collaboration with the Express and Star, the country’s biggest regional newspaper, to bring artwork into 80,000 households across the West Midlands.” Comments 100 Masters creative producer Liam Smyth.

“The lead artists on 100 Masters, Juneau Projects, have produced special Augmented Reality animations that are triggered by readers viewing the newspaper through their smartphone. This is one of the first non-commercial uses of AR technology in a UK newspaper and an incredible achievement.”

To use, simply download the ‘Layar’ app on your smart device; open the app and let it access the camera on your phone; hold the phone 15-20cm above the anvil image on the front of the postcard and then tap the screen to scan. You won’t believe your eyes as Juneau Project’s beautiful handmade animations dance across the page.

“This is what the future of media looks like and, as ever, the Black Country are leading the way in revolutionising the way we make, see and do things.”

More of Juneau Projects hand-painted animations will be released throughout the campaign.

The 100 Masters project is open to nominations until the end of June.

Maker-Centric Taster Session

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for participants to get involved with their Maker-Centric Project, which examines the power of making and crafts in helping people to understand and play a part in their communities. Participants don’t need to have any prior experience of crafts as this opportunity is open to everyone regardless of their crafting ability or experience.

Want to find out more? Then why not come along to the taster session being held on:

Monday 19th June 2017, 2-4pm at University of Wolverhampton, Room MK204, George Wallis (MK) Building, Molineux Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DT.

Alternatively for more details on the taster sessions or to confirm your attendance at the session please contact Kauser Husain via email at k.husain2@wlv.ac.uk or makercentricblog@gmail.com.

You can also visit their website at http://www.maker-centric.comto find out more information on this exciting new opportunity.

To let: Portway Lifestyle Centre Café

Portway Lifestyle Centre includes a Cafeteria within the building, which provides users of the facility an opportunity to purchase healthy eating snacks and basic meals. Sandwell Council seeks to let the café area to a Charitable / Voluntary / Not for profit / Community Interest Company / Educational establishment.

Occupation of the Café will be by way of a five-year internal repairing lease basis subject to a sealed bid process. The lease will be contracted out of Sections 24-28 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1954. Applications to rent the Café must be made on Formal Application Form by contacting Property Services on 0121 569 3923.

Viewings may be arranged by contacting Property Services on 0121 569 3923. Rent will be payable monthly in advance via standing order. The Lessee will be responsible for payment of the council’s legal costs in connection with preparation of the lease.

Prospective tenants are required to provide identity information such as a government photo ID, home address proof (for example personal bank statement, utility or council tax bill). In addition, a satisfactory bank reference and a satisfactory credit report from an accredited credit reference agency are necessary for the formal offer of a lease.

If an offer is accepted the property will be placed “Under Offer” and taken off the market. For the property to be formally “Under Offer”, however, the offeror will be required to pay an initial payment of £750 towards the council’s legal and surveyors fees. This should be paid within five working days of confirmation that the offer has been accepted and formal Heads of Terms have been issued. Until a property is formally “Under Offer” the council will continue to market the premises. The under offer fee will only be returned if the lease does not proceed because of reasons beyond the control of the prospective lessee.

For further information with regards to non-domestic rates payable, please contact Business Rates on 0121 368 1155.

All offers are to be submitted on the Council’s Sealed Offer form and submitted with a complete Application to Lease form in accordance with its sealed offer procedure. To obtain both the Sealed Offer and Application to Lease forms please contact Property Services on 0121 569 3923 or email property_services@sandwell.gov.uk.

Please submit your best offer on rental no later than noon on Friday, 30 June 2017.

Spotlight on West Bromwich Operatic Society

West Bromwich Operatic Society (founded in 1938) is a theatre company that has built a reputation of producing the best in Musical Theatre to the highest of standards. They produce two full-scale productions each year, and pride themselves on taking on challenges and exceeding expectations.

Find out more by viewing our ‘Spotlight Video’ below:

If you would like to contact WBOS or you require any further information about them, then please feel free to drop them a line by simply contacting the company secretary Hilary Matty:-

Tel: 0121 550 3667 or by email: hilary@wbos.co.uk

Interested in becoming a member?

Whether you want to perform in one of their productions, work backstage or just get involved, please make contact with the company secretary.

Prospective ‘Acting’ members will be required to pass an entrance audition before becoming a member.

How to use more secure IT systems

To complete the third article in our series about protecting you and your organisation online (with information from NCVO’s KnowHowNonProfit website) we look at some important measures that even the smallest organisation can take.

Charities are as exposed as any organisation to threats to their computer systems, whether the threats are software-based – such as viruses, worms, malware and spyware in downloads or even on websites – or come from direct human intervention through hacking.

Smaller charities, however, may be more exposed than most because they don’t have the investment or skills necessary to bring their IT security up to a level that is among the best. Here are some important measures that organisations should undertake, along with guidance on how enterprise-level security can be made affordable.

1. Check your equipment’s physical security
The security of the property that a charity’s computer system is housed in is a basic check. Is the building or room secured with smoke and burglar alarms? Can people walk in and out without being checked? Are your computers secured to their desks or are all portable items locked away from sight when not in use?

A mobile device (such as a laptop) should never be the sole place where your important data is stored and should always be password protected. Better still is to encrypt the data held on the computer.

When travelling with your mobile device be extra vigilant and don’t take any risks when using it in public places such as cafes or on public transport.

If you need to connect to the internet from a public WiFi hot-spot always check it is a trusted network or via a reputable supplier and be cautious about making financial transactions over these networks.

2. Use strong passwords
After the physical security of your office, passwords are the next most important thing to consider. Use strong passwords with a combination of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols. This will help you defend against hackers who make random and systematic guesses that are based on commonly used words.

Use different passwords for different websites, use password management software (e.g.LastPass) to help you remember them. To thwart unauthorised password recovery that’s based on commonly-known information (your date of birth, the model of your first car, or your pet’s name), consider whether you can use related but nonsense answers, for example the colour of your friend’s car or name of your neighbour’s pet.

Don’t write down your passwords and put them in your drawer or attach to your monitor on a sticky-note!

Read the full article

Veolia Environmental Trust

The Veolia Environmental Trust, has announced that the next closing date for stage 1 applications is the 31st August 2017.

Constituted, not-for-profit groups within the vicinity of a qualifying Veolia site, can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £75,000 towards community buildings; parks and paths, play and recreational facilities; nature reserves and biodiversity projects.

To qualify for funding, projects must have a total cost of under £250,000 (including VAT and professional costs).
There is a two-stage application process and applicants successful at stage 1 must have secured 20% of funding towards the project prior to submitting a full (stage 2) application.

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2017.

More information

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