June 2017

Monthly Archives

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Arts Access and Participation Fund

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has announced the latest grants to be awarded through its Arts Access and Participation fund. Through the fund, grants are available for not-for-profit organisations to test, implement and develop ambitious plans to widen access to and deepen participation in the arts.

Priority will be given to projects working in areas of social and economic deprivation outside of London.

Two types of grant are available to support work at different stages of development:
The Access and participation ‘explore and test’ grants provide funding of up to £60,000 for up to two years to help test new approaches or gather evidence for the first time about approaches that have been used before.
The Access and participation ‘more and better’ grants provide larger grants of up to £400,000 for up to four years to help increase the impact and effectiveness of work which has already shown promise or positive impact.

There is a rolling deadline, applications for funding can be submitted at any time.

More information

Arts Council Strategic Touring Programme

The next closing date for grant applications to the Arts Council, England Strategic Touring Programme is the 14 July 2017.

The £45 million Strategic touring programme provides in excess of £15,000 for projects that encourage collaboration between organisations, so more people across England experience and are inspired by the arts, particularly in places which rely on touring for much of their arts provision.

The funding is available to both arts organisations and individuals working in the arts. Partnerships, networks and consortia can also apply.

More information

What are reserves really for?

The failure of the charity Lifeline Project has renewed talk of whether charities need to keep more money aside. Kate Sayer, partner at Sayer Vincent, says that discussion on this subject often miss the point of reserves.

Whenever a charity fails, there are comments that the reserves were inadequate. Measures often relate the level of reserves to the income of the charity. But this is based on the false premise that reserve levels should be based on a formula, whereas the reserves policy should be based on the risks facing the charity.

We need to remember that reserves are unspent unrestricted income. Charity income is meant to be spent on the charity’s objects to benefit the charity’s beneficiaries. It is not intended that charities should hoard reserves for the charity to continue in perpetuity or to allow trustees to sleep better. In fact, there is a strong argument that high levels of reserves can lead to complacency and poor financial practices, such as allowing long credit terms to those who owe the charity money. Organisations that are short of cash are more likely to steward those funds carefully. That is not to say that charities should not hold reserves; charities should hold appropriate levels of reserves.

Risks that should not be managed by reserves

I often see charities using reserves to help them manage problems that have their root cause in the charity’s failure to manage some other aspect of risk.

If a charity must close, then it has not successfully managed its risks. While it has opportunities to improve the position, it should seek to do so. If the trustees see early warning signs of problems, then they should consider merger at an early stage, rather than hope that ‘something will turn up’. So this is not a signal to trustees that they should not consider financial sustainability – it is an existential risk that should be on every charity’s strategic risk register. But it should be framed in positive terms – ‘what can the charity do to improve financial sustainability?

From Civil Society Voices.    Read the full article


‘Think Big with O2’

Telecoms provider O2 “Think Big with O2” youth programme is currently open for applications. The programme supports young people in the UK (aged between 13 and 25) who want to use digital technology to make positive changes to their communities.

Initially funding of £300 is available to get projects off the ground. Projects need to be completed within six months. The programme is open to individuals and groups of young people and the money can be used to cover project related costs such as materials and equipment; cost of renting space; transportation; and advertising, etc.

If the project is completed successfully young people may be invited to apply for the second level of the programme –Think Bigger where O2 provides funding of up to £2500.

There is a rolling deadline for applications.

More information

Youth Music

Youth Music, England’s largest children’s music charity, which provides funding for music-making projects, has announced new application deadlines for its grant making programmes. Grants are available to fund developmental music-making projects for children and young people in challenging circumstances as well as projects that support the development of the workforce, organisations and the wider sector.

Youth Making’s funding programme is made up of three separate funds. These are:
Fund A which offers small grants (£2,000 to £30,000) for high quality music-making projects.
Fund B offers medium-sized grants (30,001 – £100,000 per year for up to two years) for larger programmes of work.
Fund C offers grants (£50,000 to £180,000) for strategic programmes to help embed sustainable, inclusive music-making across a local area.

The types of organisations that are eligible to apply include charities, not for profit organisations and schools. Schools will however have to justify how activities are to be funded and do not duplicate Department of Education funding.

The closing dates for applications to Fund A is 5 pm on the 18 August 2017, Fund B the 10 November 2017 and Fund C the 23 June 2017.

More information

FareShare FoodCloud

Are you a charity, non-profit organisation or community group that uses food to support people in need? You could benefit from FareShare FoodCloud, a new scheme which will match you with a local Tesco store that has unsold food available for you to collect, for FREE!

FareShare FoodCloud is easy to use and makes use of really simple technology combined with an experienced team of people on the ground who will work with you every step of the way. Once you have contacted FareShare, you will be fully supported through the process of signing up. When you are registered, you will be linked to a Tesco store who will contact you by text to tell you about the food available. All you have to do is organise for a member of staff or volunteer to go into the store to pick up the food on a weekly basis.

Alternatively, if its more and/or specific food you are looking for on a regular basis FareShare can connect you to its regional centres based throughout the UK.

If you are interested please do get in touch with Sarvjit.kaur@fareshare.org.uk or call/leave a message on 0757 222 8273 and she would be more than happy to expand on this further.

Mental Health Liaison Service at Sandwell General Hospital

The mental health liaison team is a nurse-led service and receives referrals from the Emergency Departments at Sandwell General Hospital.

The team consists of psychiatric nurses based at the hospital who see patients following a referral from the medical team. The team provides a person-centred, non-judgmental and supportive assessment of a patient’s mental health. There is a strong link between the impact of physical health problems on mental health and vice versa. Often, patients present with other social factors that are having an impact on their mental health.

Following assessment, the Mental Health Liaison Team will work with the patient to identify an appropriate discharge plan. This might incorporate referral or signposting into community services.

The team is keen to establish links with voluntary services in Sandwell, in order to broaden the options they can offer their patients. If you feel that your service would be able to provide support to some of their patients, then they would really like to hear from you.

The team leader, Abbie Gogarty, would like to invite organisations to contact her, either by email at abbie.gogarty@bcpft.nhs.uk, or phone 07970733821, to discuss the services your organisation provides and how patients can access them. If a representative from an organisation would like to visit the unit, you can also discuss this with Abbie.

M&S Energy Community Energy Fund

The M&S Energy Community Fund has announced that not-for-profit organisations can apply for funding for renewable energy projects that can demonstrate they have the support of their local community.

A total of £300,000 is available and the maximum available for each project is £12,500. Applicants can include Parish or Town Councils; Community groups, Colleges and School; etc.

Applicants will need to submit their application form by the 23rd June 2017. Projects that are then shortlisted, will need to organise support from their community to vote for their project on the competition website. The projects with the most validated votes per region be awarded funding.

Previous projects funded include the Arcola Theatre Production Company which was determined to become the first carbon neutral theatre by installing a sustainable heating system; and Carrington School which wanted to install solar panels to enable generate revenue to help the school continuously improve its educational facilities.

More information

Poll Results – West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor

Following the recent election of Conservative candidate Andy Street to the post of West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor, we posed the question, “is this a good thing for the voluntary and community sector?”

Well, the results are in and are as follows:

The clear majority of respondents suggested ‘don’t know’ as their response, which could suggest all sorts of things e.g. lack of information/understanding about the role of the WMCA Mayor, lack of information/understanding of Andy Street’s campaign manifesto, part of the significant majority who didn’t vote – the turnout across the seven area that make up the region was just 26.68%

So how can we (the voluntary and community sector), as stakeholders in the Combined Authority Area, hold the Mayor to account?

The independent, non-partisan think tank, Centre for Cities, has produced a very useful tool called the ‘West Midlands Mayor’s Dashboard’. It’s a tool for the mayor, and stakeholders in the combined authority area, to monitor performance on priority issues in the local economy. The tool plots performance against the national average and is updated on a regular basis so that progress can be continually tracked.

So, whatever your thoughts might be as to the role of the WMCA Mayor, we now have an online tool that helps us monitor its effectiveness on an ongoing basis.

Once Upon a Time…

Sandwell Museum and Arts Service is calling for dance schools and companies to be part of a new performance event “Fairy Tales at the Valley” on 19th & 20th August 2017.

The Museum and Arts Service is looking for organisations to deliver a variety of dance based performances around the fairy stories of Hans Christian Anderson throughout the weekend. It is looking for a 45-minute performance based on one of the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson. Performances can be in any medium of dance from ballet to bhangra, contemporary to tap.

Interested? Please get in touch with alex_howell@sandwell.gov.uk for an informal discussion or to request a face to face meeting, or full brief.

Expression of interests must be sent to Alex Howell by noon on Friday 16th June 2017 in no more than 1000 words (this can include links).

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