May 2018

Monthly Archives

Jo Cox Memorial Strengthening Grants Programme

Small not-for-profit organisations and charities registered in the UK; one of the lowest 50 countries in the UN HDI, or in a country considered to be of high or moderate fragility, can apply for grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 through the Jo Cox Memorial Strengthening Grants Programme.

The programme helps to further women’s social, economic and political empowerment; and to combat identity-based violence. To be eligible the applicant organisation needs to have an annual income of less than £500,000 and the funding is available for projects of 2-3 years.

The grants will be made across 2 thematic areas:

Theme 1: Women’s social, economic and political empowerment through supporting women-led civil society. This thematic area will support civil society to take an integrated approach to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls – to tackle the combined and simultaneous disadvantages girls and women experience – in different areas and at different times of their lives. This will include contexts where space for these civic actors is closing or at risk.

Theme 2: Strengthening civil society capacity for early prediction of identity-based violence including mass atrocities; and amplifying and supporting response to early warnings in order to prompt timely and effective interventions that prevent escalation and better protect populations from the threat of violence.

Applying for a Jo Cox Memorial Strengthening grant is a 1 stage process – the submission of a detailed concept note.

The closing date for submitting these is 5 pm on Wednesday 13 June 2018.

More information

War Memorials Trust

The War Memorials Trust is providing grants for the repair and conservation of free-standing war memorials in England.These grants are intended to help those who are responsible for the upkeep of war memorials.

The grants support the care and preservation of war memorials to a high standard, and to prevent the decay of this important part of our built heritage. Grants will normally be for up to a maximum of 75% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of £30,000.

The fund is open to anyone to apply; individuals or organisations, including councils.

The next closing date for applications is the 30th June 2018.

More information

The Contribution of the Voluntary Sector to Mental Health Crisis

The University of Birmingham is undertaking a research study to understand the contribution that the voluntary sector plays in providing support to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Focus groups are being organised, one to involve mental health service users and one to involve carers and family members. Each focus group will involve 8 -10 people and will explore the experience of using different kinds of services for support during a mental health crisis and what kinds of support people value at this time. This information will inform the next stage of the research.

The Focus Group is taking place on 24th May, 11 am -1 pm
at Kuumba (Sandwell Afro-Caribbean Mental Health Foundation), Boulton Road, West Bromwich, B70, 6NW

We are inviting people who have had experience of supporting someone in a mental health crisis during the last two years and have used voluntary sector services for support. This can be any kind of mental health crisis but one that led to seeking support from a voluntary sector organisation or the NHS. You must be over 16 years to take part.

The focus group will last about two hours. Refreshments will be provided and you will be reimbursed for any travel expenses and receive a payment of £15 as a thank you for taking part. Once you have notified us that you are interested, we will send you more information and let you know the location of the focus group.

We will share the findings of the research with you afterwards in a short written report. All the findings will be anonymised and you will not be identified. It is hoped that the findings of the research will help improve the care and support that others receive during a mental health crisis.

If you would like to take part in this focus group, you can find out what is involved by contacting Francesca Tomaselli on for an information sheet and to reserve a place in the focus group. You can also contact Rebecca Ince, the Research Fellow, at or on 0121 24643673, or Karen Newbigging, the principal researcher, on or 07974-929367 for more information.

More information about the study and the research team, which includes people with personal experience of a mental health crisis, can be found at:


Town Plans to Benefit All Sandwell People

Dedicated plans are being drawn up for each of Sandwell’s six towns to keep improving public services and the quality of life for residents and businesses.

From boosting health to improving community safety, the council is working with a number of partner organisations and community groups to agree town plans tackling a wide range of issues as part of its Vision 2030 for Sandwell’s future.

Council leaders are building on the positive findings of two recent independent reports, which praised Sandwell’s new vision, budget planning and the pride and passion of staff.

The reports highlighted the council’s relatively new leadership team of senior officers and cabinet members, and the opportunities this provides to keep making improvements.

The council’s cabinet is next week (16 May) set to formally receive the findings of a Local Government Association (LGA) ‘peer challenge’ and an Investors in People (IIP) assessment, in which the council received a silver award – its highest-ever accreditation. Read the cabinet report here.

Cabinet members will also confirm how the council is responding to recommendations made in the reports that will help continue improving services. This includes making good progress on tailored town plans for Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich, which will launch later this year.

Council leader Councillor Steve Eling said: “These independent reports were a clear thumbs-up for our sound budget, protection of frontline services and vision for Sandwell’s future. Most importantly, they showed how everyone here is committed to doing their best for Sandwell residents.

“People want to see what the Vision 2030 actually means for them and their neighbourhood. That’s why we’re putting in place a dedicated plan for each of our six towns, tackling issues that matter most to people in each area, so that everyone in Sandwell benefits.”

Councillor Eling added: “The LGA team also felt we were dealing robustly with historic standards matters involving a very small number of people and supported our ongoing work to strengthen governance across the council.”

The LGA peer challenge took place in January 2018, with a team of six experienced local government experts spending four days in Sandwell, speaking to more than 130 people. Cabinet members are set to invite the LGA to carry out a follow-up visit in a year’s time, to see how the council is making progress.

GDPR Guidance for Charities

A new eBook from Blackbaud Europe has pulled together various elements of charity-specific GDPR guidance.

The discourse about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been dominated by the topic of consent: “When do you need it?”, “How do you collect it?”, “How do you prove you have it?”

There are good reasons why consent has dominated the discussion but it’s easy to forget that GDPR also sets out five other legal bases that organisations can use to process personal data, depending on the type of processing.

Below are some examples of how the legal bases may be used to justify some common processing activities:

Consent: sending e-mail newsletters and appeals
Contract Performance: processing payment information when a person buys concert tickets online
Legal Obligation: using donor information to file Gift Aid
Protecting Vital Interests: processing health information to provide emergency health care treatment
Public Interest Task/Authority: universities mailing out student reports at the end of the term
Legitimate Interests: conducting wealth scoring analysis on potential donors

Legitimate Interests
Many non-profits are relying on the legitimate interest basis for some of their uses of constituents’ personal data, like performing analytics. Using legitimate interest requires that you:

Conduct a balancing test
Tell constituents that you’re relying on legitimate interests;
Allow constituents to opt out of the processing.

Here comes the legal bit
The legitimate interest basis makes processing lawful if it is necessary for the legitimate interests of the controller (i.e. the non-profit) and requires the successful outcome of a balancing test between the data subject’s right to privacy and the organisation’s interests.

GDPR does add two requirements to processing for legitimate interests:
First, the controller must explicitly inform data subjects at the time of collection the purposes of the processing and the legitimate interest it is relying on to process the data. In other words, it is not enough for a controller to internally decide to rely on legitimate interests as a basis for processing, it must also outwardly state such determination in its privacy notice or other communication to the data subject.

Secondly, the controller must document and retain its analysis under the legitimate interest balancing test.


To read more on this topic you can download a full e-Book for free here

The eBook this is taken from, produced by non-profit technologist Blackbaud Europe, features chapters by Dan Fluskey (Institute of Fundraising), Zoe Amar (Zoe Amar Communications), and Howard Lake (UK Fundraising) among others.


Homebase Oldbury would like to donate paint

Homebase in Oldbury would like to donate tins of paint, returned to the store, to the voluntary sector.

If your charity / voluntary organisation could make use of some paint, please get in touch with either Roger or Harpreet at Homebase, on 03456 407085, to arrange a collection.

Identification will be required when collecting the paint.

Visit the website for opening times.

WBA Skills Soccer Academy – Launches In May

Tividale Academy in partnership with WBA Academy are running the skills soccer academy commencing on Saturday 19th May 2018, 9.30am at Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, B69 1HE.

Boys and girls from 4 years to 12 years old will learn Brazilian, soccer, futsal, social and technical skills as part of the weekly sessions.
To register send your full name, age, school year, email and phone number to Tividale Academy via email or by text to 07920096151.

Tipton’s Got Talent Athletics Event

The Commonwealth Games is coming in four years’ time, but it never to early to start! Do you have knowledge of a specific sports discipline, or are able to give time to help?

Black Country Housing Group is hosting an event in Tipton and need volunteers.  Go along to Tipton Sports Academy, Wednesbury Oak Road DY4 0BS, from 10 am to 2 pm, on Wednesday, 30th May, and try athletics as a family for the day. There will be sports coaches to help give you a taster.

Bring your packed lunch. Refreshments will be provided.

Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Please contact Alex Hajipavlis on 0780 582 0385 for more information.

Sandwell Volunteer Awards 2018

Volunteer Centre Sandwell will mark Volunteers Week with a prestigious awards ceremony on Saturday 2 June 2018, to celebrate the work of its community volunteers.

Sandwell Council, Big Lottery, West Midlands Police and West Bromwich Albion Football Club are joining forces to stage this special event.

Beginning with a celebration buffet luncheon, prior to the awards ceremony. Volunteer Centre Sandwell will join with invited guests to mark their 40th anniversary, whilst providing local people the opportunity to give back to their communities.

Awards will be presented for volunteering in support of a range of themes; including, Health & Social Care, Long Service as a volunteer, sustaining the environment, Community Organisations, Young Volunteer, Corporate, Trustee and Volunteer Co-coordinator. The awards will recognize individuals and teams of volunteers.

All nominees for awards together with those who have nominated them and their chosen guests will be invited to the awards. This will be held on Saturday 2 June from 1pm -4pm at West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

Civic leaders and Richard Sneekes (former WBA football player) will present awards to the award winners.

Jean Taylor, Chief Executive Officer for Volunteer Centre Sandwell said.

“Volunteers make an enormous contribution to the safety, wellbeing and quality of life of our citizens. Every single bit of volunteering work is valuable in its own right and makes a positive difference. This event is one way for us all to recognise the hard work and dedication that volunteers in the Borough provide.
We look forward to honouring all our loyal, dedicated, special citizens”.

Dementia Awareness Sessions

South Staffs Water will be running 3 Dementia Friends Awareness Sessions on Wednesday, 23 May, 2018, from their South Staffs Water Community Hub, Unit 17, Union Street, Wednesbury, WS10 7HD.

Rachel Dean, a Dementia Friend Champion, will give awareness through one hour sessions.

Please book your place via the links below.

10.30 – 11.30 pm

12.15 – 1.15 pm

2.00 – 3.00 pm

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