June 2020

Monthly Archives

Age UK Sandwell – Supporting Veterans

The service is available to all veterans, aged 50 and over, whether they served in the Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy or Merchant Navy, in Regular or Reserve forces and includes time spent during National Service.

How we can help:
We can help with a broad range of matters, including:
• Managing at Home – support to access services enabling you to live independently at home, understanding your housing options, ensuring you have enough support at home and accessing aids and adaptations.
• Money – We can ensure that you are claiming all of the welfare entitlements available to you, including relevant service related benefits and grants. We can also advise and review other money matters such as utility bills, pensions, tax and bank accounts.
• Safety – We can help with accessing equipment and adaptations in the home, assist in accessing local authority support services and direct you to other services and age appropriate products.
If we are unable to help then we can put you in touch with someone who can.

Get in touch:
Emma Humphries – Community Support Manager
Tel: 07426 713 788 or 0121 437 0033
Email: emma.humphries@ageuksandwell.org.uk
This is a completely free service and funded by – Because Veterans Should Not Be Forgotten Supporting Veterans


The Ethical Property Foundation’s Charity Property Matters Survey 2020

The Ethical Property Foundation is delighted to be launching its Charity Property Matters Survey 2020.
The last edition attracted the most respondents we ever but this year we want to do even better!
We are asking every voluntary group in the area to spend six minutes filling in the survey so that funders and policy makers will understand the bricks and mortar reality what we are coping with.
This Survey – run every two years since 2012 – is the only research which asks all voluntary organisations in England & Wales specifically about their property assets and issues. The results are published later this year.
This is the ONLY independent survey of its kind and is your chance to make a big difference to the UK’s charity sector in only SIX minutes!
Overheated local property markets; rent rises; asset transfers; falling core funding; hard to find affordable premises…there are major issues facing the sector. The Survey takes less than 6 minutes to complete so fill it in today and help our sector finds its collective voice.

Report Recognises Key Role of Sandwell VCS During Lockdown

A new report published by SCVO has outlined the extent to which Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) has had to adapt to the challenges posed by the Covid 19 lockdown, and has highlighted the immense role played by local organisations in supporting residents through the crisis.

The ‘Covid 19 Impact on Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector’ report draws on the views and experiences of a wide range of local VCS leaders during April and May 2020 as organisations found themselves navigating the uncharted territory of the emerging pandemic.  More than three-quarters of organisations contributing to the report were able to keep operating and adapting to new ways of working, providing vital help to their communities.   The report also acknowledges the challenges ahead for communities and those organisations that serve them.

Mark Davis, SCVO’s Chief Executive Officer, commented “This report highlights the crucial part that our local voluntary sector plays in the life of our borough.  VCS leaders, staff and volunteers have once again gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that those adversely affected by the lockdown have received the practical and emotional support that they need.  Their skill and commitment in a period of real adversity is to be commended, and we should be especially proud of our voluntary sector at this time.”

A copy of the report is available on SCVO’s website here.


Be Bold For Brass

As businesses throw open their doors again, Black Country Women’s Aid (BCWA) needs a few bold people to step in and say please!

BCWA is an independent charity which has supported survivors of violence and abuse for more than 30 years. It offers a range of community services and refuge for women, children and men who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking, exploitation and modern day slavery. The holistic approach not only deals with immediate trauma but also helps survivors re-build life for them and their families.

The charity seeks outgoing, sociable helpers who have the confidence to approach places such as local hairdressers, pubs and golf clubs and ask them to ‘host’ a collection tin. You would be responsible for finding good homes for the tins, keeping track of them and returning them to BCWA with the cash collected.

As your relationship with the businesses grows there may be opportunities for further fundraising by organising events such as quiz nights.

If you’re interested in being involved in this fun new project, please contact:
Denise Turner, Volunteer Coordinator
Email: Volunteers@blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk
Mobile: 07876 871682
Office: 0121 553 0090


Worried about an adult at risk? See something, do something

Sandwell Council continues to protect residents from other dangers during Covid-19.

The Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB), Sandwell Council and other partners including West Midlands Police are providing support to victims of abuse and advising on how people can report their concerns.

Councillor Farut Shaeen, cabinet member for living healthy lives said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a lot of focus on health protection and looking after the vulnerable in our society. Sadly, some people who need our care and support the most become victims of abuse.

“We are continuing to do all we can to protect residents and provide support to victims. If anyone has any concerns I urge them to contact us immediately.”

If you have concerns that an adult with care and support needs is at risk of abuse or neglect, please visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/reportabuse or call us on 0121 569 2266 (out of hours 0121 569 2355).

In an emergency, dial 999.


Two Sandwell charities receive COVID-19 cash grants

Two charitable organisations in Smethwick have received funding to help support local projects in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money comes from VINCI, an international organisation that builds, equips and manages facilities such as factories, offices, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, airports, telecommunications and energy networks. It is founded on the principle that sustainable economic success is linked to an ambitious social commitment.

The VINCI UK Foundation is one of 13 foundations and endowment funds across Europe that form the VINCI network. The umbrella organisation made €10m available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, €400K of which was allocated to projects in the UK.

In April 2020, VINCI UK urged charities to get in touch to apply for funding to:
• Help medical staff with transport, accommodation and food
• Help schools continue to educate through equipment and learning materials
• Provide community welfare, such as shelter, food, cleaning and caring.

In Sandwell, VINCI worked with Sandwell Council to identify local projects that would have the most impact, allocating a total of £5,000.

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre, based on Church Road in Smethwick, received nearly £3,000 to pay for workers to maintain its community allotment and classroom, where local people come to develop their skills and employability.

Dorothy Parkes, Chief Executive Officer, Robert Bruce, said: “This funding will help us in paying essential staff who are not furloughed, which helps as we aren’t receiving any trading income.”

Another Smethwick organisation to benefit from the fund was St Albans Community Association on St Albans Road. It received £2,000 which will cover key worker salaries and enable the association to provide 200 meals a week to those in need of support.

Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Wasim Ali, said: “It’s wonderful that these two very deserving organisations are able to benefit from the VINCI funding and continue to support our local community in meaningful ways at this difficult time.”


Black Country Festival 2020 – ‘Hold Still’ Photo Project

Sandwell Libraries and Sandwell Archives service are launching a new photo project for Black Country Festival 2020 this July.

This year, the theme is inspired by the National Portrait Gallery’s ‘Hold Still’ photo project.
The ‘Inspired by Hold Still’ project aims to capture life in Sandwell during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sandwell Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Wasim Ali said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is a once in a generation event and has changed life for us all. This project is a chance to chronicle this period in our lives as a record for the next generation. I want as many people as possible to get involved.

“We want your photos showing life in lockdown and throughout the pandemic, covering ‘Everyday Life’, ‘Family’, ‘The Outdoors,’ ‘Isolation’ and ‘Shielding’. They will serve as a record showing how Sandwell came together as a community to help and support each other.”

Sandwell Archives will put the photos into an online gallery. The service would also like any other records residents have of life in lockdown, including video, audio recordings or in writing.

Anyone interested can email their contributions to Archives_Service@sandwell.gov.uk, each contributor will be sent a deposit form so the material can be kept in the archives for the years to come. If anyone is sending several contributions or the file size is especially large, they can be sent via WeTransfer.

Other online events will be held during Black Country Festival, including the Black Country quiz on Black Country Day (Tuesday 14 July), on the Sandwell Libraries Facebook page.

For more information on the Black Country Festival and all other online projects visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/libraries or follow Sandwell Libraries on Facebook www.facebook.com/SandwellLibraries


Why More Charities Should be Using LinkedIn

Charity Digital News examines why engaging with LinkedIn’s audience of conscientious professionals should be part of all charities’ social media strategy.

LinkedIn is an effective social media platform for the voluntary sector. But too often it is being ignored by charity marketers in favour of more familiar platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Even when LinkedIn is used, it can be seen as an afterthought, with content for other, more personal style social platforms merely copy and pasted in.

But it is a mistake to ignore LinkedIn’s engaged and professional focused audience and the distinct social media marketing advantages it offers.

Here we will examine the benefits of using LinkedIn for charities and how it can help in their wider social media strategy.

Understanding LinkedIn

According to research cited by LinkedIn, almost all (96 per cent) of UK business to business (B2B) marketers use the platform for content and six out of ten describe it as “highly effective”. Around eight out of ten of all their leads for new business come from LinkedIn.

Knowing more about LinkedIn, its audience and functions are key for charities in harnessing this marketing power.

The platform is primarily used for professional networking, which means its user base is highly engaged, keen to network and receptive to social media marketing campaigns. They are a B2B group of professionals who want to see relevant content for their job and are eager to learn from other professionals across a wide range of sectors.

The right content

Creating strong content that appeals to this professional user base is key. This includes recruitment announcements, such as board appointees and new hires. Promoting the work of your volunteers and firms that are volunteering or fundraising for your good causes is also effective.

Blog posts used on charity websites can also be repositioned for a LinkedIn audience.
Links to interesting, professional articles, that will assist a wide range of people in their job, are also of interest.

Be warned though. This audience is not interested in personal content. So, while a cute picture of your CEO’s dogs may work Instagram, it is less likely to appeal to LinkedIn’ users.

In addition, political news that is not relevant to people’s working life is not welcome by this audience. Such issues can also be divisive in the workplace. Treat them as such on LinkedIn.

Instead, LinkedIn users are looking for content that can help in their job and working life. This is why recruitment opportunities can be so appealing.

The quality of LinkedIn’s audience is clear, but the platform also has the quantity of audience to back up its use in marketing. As of May 2020, it boasted more than 690 million users, across 150 countries. Around half are regular, active users each month.

Source: Charity Digital News


Message from Sandwell’s Prevent Team

Due to the horrific stabbing incident in Norbury Gardens, Reading on Saturday, June 20th. This attack has left 3 people dead and 3 people seriously injured with many affected by the incident.

Our thoughts are with the victims and the victim`s families. We also know that this will affect many of you and bring back hurtful memories.

The Sandwell Prevent team wanted to offer their support to anyone affected. If you are aware of any colleagues, friends or communities who need support please contact any of us. If you have been affected in any way by a terrorist attack, emotional and practical support is available here victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk

Please also be vigilant of any concerns related to this attack and let us know. There will be a lot of talk and discussion on online platforms and social media, so please ensure children and the vulnerable are keeping safe online. If you need any advice, guidance or resources on online safety please contact our Prevent Education Officer on justin_nixon@sandwell.gov.uk

We are all trying to cope with current pandemic restrictions and these incidents could test the best of us in different ways, so please do reach out.


/Together Coalition

 /Together is a new coalition that invites us all to help build a kinder, closer and more connected society, at a local and national level, in the aftermath of COVID-19.

How you can be involved
To succeed, this coalition needs to involve people and communities from every corner of the UK. We want everyone, from community groups across the country to some of the UK’s best-known organisations, to be a key part of /together, amplifying their work, feeding their experiences into the talk/together consultation to shape future outputs and engaging people to take part.

Please view for further information about /Together – https://www.scvo.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/About-Together-002.pdf

Please view for further information about /Together Civil Society Resource Pack – https://www.scvo.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Together_Civil-Society_pack_2f.pdf

Please contact us at info@together.org.uk to find out more about /together and how you can be involved.


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