June 2020

Monthly Archives

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Governor nominations are open!

Do you want to be involved in helping us shape the future of our services?

Are you 16 years or over and live in either Sandwell, Walsall, Dudley or Birmingham and the wider West Midlands? If so, why not nominate yourself to become a governor of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT) and be an advocate for what matters the most for people of the Black Country with regards to mental health, learning disability and children’s services.

The governor role is very rewarding and it gives you the opportunity to:

  • Make a difference and have a positive contribution to the work of our Trust
  • Help us shape the future of our services and ensure that our patients and carers get the best possible care
  • Support and help continually achieve the Trust’s vision of: ‘Together we can achieve healthier, happier lives for everyone’,
  • Represent your own views and experiences that will have a positive impact on our Trust
  • Be an advocate for what matters the most to our communities, and share these with our Board of Directors
  • Be updated on the Trust’s performance and developments, as well as seek performance assurance from our Board of Directors
  • Act as an ambassador for your area of expertise or interest group
  • Attend and support the planning of member engagement events
  • Help build our membership community to ensure that it is representative of the communities we serve

To be a governor, all you need to have is enthusiasm and commitment for the role and an interest in your local NHS services. Whilst the role of the governor is a voluntary one, you will receive on-going training and support to give you the confidence and skills as well as the right knowledge to enable you to take on this important role.

If this is an opportunity that you have been looking for, don’t delay in submitting your application online at www.cesvotes.com/blackcountry2020.

Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Monday 6 July 2020

You can find out more about the governor role by getting in touch with Erica Pearce in BCHFT membership office on 0121 612 8061 or email bchft.membership@nhs.net


Funding for Research and Projects that address severe Learning Disabilities

Schools, voluntary organisations and charities can apply for grants to help both children and adults suffering severe learning difficulties. The grants can be used to purchase capital equipment, support capital works as well as covering project and core costs such as staff costs, general running and office costs.

Previous grants have been used to support capital works for residential, nursing and respite care, and schools; employment schemes including woodwork, crafts, printing and horticulture; play schemes and play therapy schemes; day and social activities centres including building costs and running costs; support for families, including respite schemes; independent living schemes; support in the community schemes; and Snoezelen (multi-sensory) rooms.

The next deadline for applications seeking funding in excess of £10,000 is the 1st August 2020.

Applications for £10,000 and below can be submitted at any time.

Further information


Ideal for All Service Recognition

Local Charity Ideal for All are delighted to announce they have been shortlisted in the prestigious national ERSA Employability Awards 2020 as one of only four Disability and Health providers.

Ideal for All (IFA), which is run by and for disabled people, recently celebrated National Employability Day 2020 by showcasing their integrated health, wellbeing and specialist employment support across social media, in collaboration with Future Excel, the Business Development and Employability Specialist.

A great end to the day’s events, Ideal for All were announced as just one of four shortlisted organisations for the ERSA Disability and Health provider of the year sponsored by ICONI software.

The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) is the representative body for the employment support sector. The award recognises an employment services provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in supporting job seekers with disabilities and health conditions to achieve sustained employment. CEO Khatija Patel said, “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for such an acclaimed national award for our specialist support, delivered in partnership with Disabled people. It means so much to all of us to be recognised for the difference we make against such strong competition. A huge well done to all of those shortlisted this year, please join us in celebrating our combined achievements.”

The winners of the Awards 2020 will be announced Wednesday 22 July, 5 pm-7 pm via online video conference compered by Lucy Clayton, entrepreneur and author of  ‘How to Go to Work’. More information about ERSA’s Employability Awards 2020 can be found here.


Laptop and notepad

eBay To Launch Training Programme For Online Charity Retail

Laptop and notepadeBay is launching a training programme to help charity retailers make the most of e-commerce opportunities.

Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions on retail, some physical charity shops remain closed. This is partly due to reduced footfall on the high street that is expected as a result of social distancing measures.

Therefore, eBay UK is urging charities to embrace online retail as a way to help raise funds in the face of the challenges posed by Covid-19.

It has announced plans to upskill at least 500 UK charities to boost their online sales through its new Charity Connect training programme, alongside giving grants to charities affected by Covid-19.

Charity Connect aims to help charity retailers to build an effective online presence through dedicated customer service, onboarding assistance, promotional support and a tailored eBay training programme.

Charity Connect will begin next month with a series of free weekly webinars for new and existing charity sellers on how to boost sales on eBay, including follow-up one-to-one sessions with e-commerce experts. Training will begin from Tuesday 7 July and is free for charities to book.

The charity initiative follows the blueprint of Retail Revival, a 12-month pilot programme with small businesses in Wolverhampton, where over 60 companies increased sales by 33% on eBay with revenues of over £7m through intensive eCommerce training and support.

eBay has also awarded unrestricted grants totalling £1.7m to the 250 charities on its platform which have been most affected by declines in online sales during the pandemic.

To read the full Civil Society New article click here.

Source: Civil Society


Community Navigator Openings at Citizens Advice Sandwell

Citizens Advice Sandwell are delivering E.U citizens support project which provides very practical advice and hands-on support to settled migrants that may be affected by the process of the UK leaving the European Union.

Community Navigators will help vulnerable individuals and families to access local services and support agencies. The Community Navigators will be able to assist with processes that may need to be completed in order for individuals and families to remain, work and be an active part of the community. Accessing services can prove extremely difficult for families and individuals who are facing the pressure, stress, and uncertainty that Brexit may cause.

Community Navigator (E.U Citizens Support Project) – Must be able to speak a European Language.

Community Navigators

We are looking for creative, resourceful, enthusiastic and empathetic individuals who have effective written and verbal communication skills. They will need to be motivated and willing to help others and work across the Sandwell Borough

Candidates must have experience of living or working in a diverse community.
Experience of supporting families /neighbours and or friends and have had or still have involvement in community groups and activities.

There will be a requirement for candidates to be able to work on their own and also as part of a team. Candidates may also be required to work flexibly to meet the needs of individuals and families they will be supporting

This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of a great charity and an innovative project.

Salary: £16,835 pro rata per annum
Hours: 16 hours per week Fte
Contract: Fixed Term till March 2021
Closing date: Monday 13th July 12 noon
Interview date: Friday 24th July 2020

For an Application Pack or more information (CV’s not accepted)
please email: recruitment@citizensadvicesandwell.org.uk


Charity Commission Issues Insolvency Advice

Charities in financial distress will have access to new rules on insolvency, which have been rushed through parliament in the last month.

The Charity Commission has issued guidance reminding charities that the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act, which was passed into law on Friday and aims to address financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, will apply to voluntary organisations as well as private companies.

New rules The new rules include giving charities the right to apply for more time to avoid debt enforcement action, and limits the rights of contractors to terminate supply agreements with charities. The Act also temporarily suspends some provisions in order to reduce the risk that trustees are personally liable during the crisis, and places restrictions on winding up petitions where a charity cannot pay its bills as a result of the pandemic. It also introduces new procedures to help viable charities restructure if they are struggling with debt.

Charities under pressure The sector could lose £12.4bn in income over the year as a result of coronavirus, according to estimates by the Institute of Fundraising. The Small Charities Coalition has previously warned that several dozen small charities faced going out of business because of the impact of the coronavirus. –

Source: Civil Society News


Online Donations to Foodbanks Showing Signs of ‘Compassion Fatigue’

Donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites have declined in May and June after peaking at the beginning of the lockdown, according to data from the University of Kent.

Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby and Dr Tomas Petricek from the University of Kent gathered information on donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites GoFundMe, Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving using data-scraping software.

They found that in February, before the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, fundraising appeals for foodbanks raised about £8,000-£10,000 a week. From early March, the figure started increasing very quickly, going from £50,000 a week at the beginning of the month to £1m week after 23 March, when the national lockdown was imposed.

After that initial peak, donations to foodbanks via crowdfunding websites started to decrease. They amounted to about £600,000 a week in early May and fell to £125,000 a week in early June.

‘Level of support is falling’

The research is partial, because it does not look at other donation channels, such as direct donations via foodbanks’ websites, corporate support, or donation boxes in supermarkets, among others. The crowdfunding websites are scraped every two weeks, so some short-term appeals could also have slipped through the research net.

But it suggests that donors are showing signs of “compassion fatigue”, decreasing their levels of support at a time when need is likely to increase further, the authors of the research have said.

Peter Taylor-Gooby, professor of social policy at the University of Kent, said: “The findings indicate how the amount raised took off in step with the numbers of coronavirus cases and the numbers claiming out of work benefits.

“The results so far show great and unexpected public generosity. Many people gave money to help vulnerable fellow citizens. But the level of support is falling. As the numbers of cases declined from April onwards, so did the income from the appeals.

“Official statistics show that, although the pandemic is in retreat, the number of benefit claimants continues to rise. All commentators believe even more people will lose their jobs as furloughing is wound down and the recession bites home, with a possible further impact from Brexit. Demand for food parcels will rise further. We can expect more urgent appeals for funds.

“Pandemic is widely seen as a common threat. Will people be as generous when we move into recession and very high unemployment? The indications of compassion fatigue are disturbing.”

To read the full Civil Society news click here.

Source: Civil Society News


Ray Lock: There’s A Lot The Charity Sector Can Learn From Military Charities About Data

It’s times like these you give and give again. Foo Fighter’s lyricist Dave Grohl’s song about ‘love and hope and compassion’ is an apt description for a sector whose heart is defined by a desire to help people lead better lives. When it comes to my own sub-sector (Armed Forces charities), rather too often we’re perceived as being in competition and uncollaborative.

Both accusations are unfair, and our pandemic response might even offer an example to other sub-sectors.

At the heart of our sub-sector lies Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities. A membership organisation of some 300 charities with a board of permanent and elected members (such as SSAFA, The Soldiers’ Charity, Help for Heroes), it compares in some ways to the United Nations. It has no executive authority, but gains its strength from the willingness of its members to subordinate their own individual concerns for the greater good of the whole. It helps that the chair is a distinguished retired officer, used to dealing with devious and obfuscating political leaders (abroad of course) and therefore well able to take uncomfortable truths to the Whitehall corridors of power. Like the United Nations, it has been tested in times of crisis.

When, in common with all charities, those supporting the Armed Forces community were faced with an overnight fall in voluntary income at the start of lockdown, Cobseo was able to use the research that we (Forces in Mind Trust) had commissioned from the Directory of Social Change over a period of seven years.

To read the full Charity Times article click here.

Source: Charity Times


Public Fundraising Can Return But Under Restrictions Say Regulators

Charities’ public fundraising can resume amid the government’s easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures, according to guidance released by The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

But the umbrella bodies have warned charities need to ensure they comply with latest government and devolved administrations’ restrictions around social distancing and avoid staging events that are likely to attract mass gatherings.

The guidance has been prepared by the two organisations after talks with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

“The recent changes to lockdown restrictions in England mean that public fundraising may return,” said the Fundraising Regulator.

“It is important to remember that some methods of fundraising, such as community fundraising events involving large groups of people, or mass participation events, cannot safely resume under current social distancing rules.”

Two sets of guidance have been released. The first covers the overarching principles which should be applied to all fundraising methods. While the second offers specific advice on public fundraising, including door-to-door, street and fundraising on private property.

For fundraising to return safely, it is important that organisations carefully consider the risks associated with each type of fundraising activity they carry out. New guidance from @FundrRegulator and @IoFtweets highlights the issues you should consider www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/more-from-us/coronavirus-advice
— FundraisingRegulator (@FundrRegulator) June 26, 2020

“I want to be clear that public fundraising activities should only resume if it is safe to do so,” said the Fundraising Regulator’s head of policy Priya Warner.

“It’s the responsibility of individual charities to exercise judgment about when and how to resume fundraising, and this should only be when thorough risk assessments have been carried out, and informed decisions based on each individual organisation’s unique circumstances have been made.”

Daniel Fluskey, Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s head of policy and external affairs, added: “Public fundraising activities have been rightly on hold during lockdown, but with the return of non-essential shops and other businesses resuming activity, it is appropriate for charities to be thinking about how they can restart fundraising in a safe and responsible way.

“This guidance sets out the key considerations that organisations need to be thinking about as they plan their return to fundraising activities in line with social distancing requirements.”

Source: Charity Times


The Art Yard Is Reopening!

The Art Yard (TAY) team Thank You for your continuing support during the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down.

When the gallery and studios reopen adjustments will have been made to reduce risk. Our primary aim is to remain an accessible community art space, that is, a place where all artists of any age or ability can exhibit their work safely.

Therefore, as government advice on COVID-19 prevention will change from time to time we ask TAY visitors to always comply with the guidelines and what our volunteers request.

Reopening for Exhibitions
The gallery is re-opening in stages. The front gallery will open first with 2 successive Solo Shows, as follows:

  • 1st week: From 27th July to 1st August an exhibition by ‘Learning4Life’ led by art tutor Tim Jarvis.
  • 2nd week: From 3rd August to 8th August a solo show by Luke Hudson (artist and art tutor).

Opening the centre and rear galleries: 3rd week: Normal exhibitions will resume on 10th August with the Open Art exhibition held over from 16th March – 11th April 2020. That 4 week exhibition will now run to 5th September. We wish particularly to thank all artists who have had their art held in this exhibition for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.

Cradley Heath Green Landscapes (CHGL) project
Meanwhile, CHGL project led by Martyn Harris is continuing but with adjustments. A separate email will be circulated shortly letting you know how you can get involved.

Finally, TAY team appreciate that adjusting to life after lock-down will affect people in different ways. Whenever possible our volunteers will be sympathetic to your needs, especially when you drop off or collect work, and when you visit to show friends about the gallery.

Unfortunately, exhibition ‘opening nights’ are suspended but artists will still be able to showcase work exhibited in the gallery to their friends, subject to prevailing guidelines.

Please contact the team at any time to discuss any concerns you may have on 01384 910968.


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