June 2020

Monthly Archives

Active Black Country Survey

Active Black Country are launching a survey that aims to understand better the changes in residents activity habits over the course of the last 3 months and are inviting organisations and individuals to complete their survey.

They would like to develop an insight across 5 main areas:

1. To understand how, if at all, habits have changed, for the better or worse in relation to activity
2. To understand the extent to changes to levels in physical and mental health
3. To understand the extent of any behaviour change
4. To understand, in relation to ‘already actives’, how did they maintain activity levels and what had to change
5. How will people build any new habits into a post-Covid lifestyle, such as active travel

Following analysis, a Black Country wide report will be produced that collates all the main findings. In addition, if response rates allow, Local Authority summary papers will also be produced.

The survey takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. One respondent will be selected at random to receive £200 in vouchers towards physical activity equipment. We’ll be distributing across our networks and social media channels. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in sharing the survey across your networks using the link below.

Source: Active Black Country

Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund for Charities and Social Enterprises

In response to the coronavirus, Social Investment Business have launched a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund for social enterprises and charities which have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.

The new £25 million fund will provide emergency loans of between £100,000 to £500,000 without requiring personal guarantees and charging no interest fees or interest for twelve months.

The Fund is intended to provide working capital until normal business can resume for organisations that are facing financial difficulty. Loans could be used to cover delays in trade payments, or for business modification to meet increase in service demand.

The initial £25 million has been provided by Big Society Capital, with loans backed by the Government’s existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Applications can be made at any time.

Further information

Covid Funding for Specialist Women’s Organisations

Rosa, is a grant making charity that funds grassroots women’s organisations. It seeks to help make the UK a fairer, safer place for women, and has announced that is making grants of up to £10,000 available to specialist women’s organisations across the UK through its Covid-19 Response Fund.

The purpose of this first stage response fund is to provide quick and straightforward grants with very basic eligibility criteria. Rosa particularly welcomes proposals from women’s organisations that address the critical needs of marginalised women and girls that miss out the most and operate in less economically resilient towns, cities and rural areas within the UK.

There is no deadline for applications. Rosa will consider them on a rolling basis from 5 pm on Friday, 5th June 2020.

Rosa aim to notify applicants of the decision within approximately two weeks of submitting an application.

Further information

Active Communities Programme Now Open (West Midlands)

The Health Lottery West Midland has announced that it is seeking applications for funding through the Active Communities Programme. Grants of between £5,000 and £40,000 are available to local community groups in certain areas of the West Midlands region of England for projects lasting up to two years with great ideas to make their communities even better places to live.

Eligible organisations that can apply are community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year or an average of £350,000 over two years.

The programme also supports Communities of Interest. These are groups of people who have things in common and wish to come together to address something that is important to them.

The closing date for applications is 1pm on the 24th June 2020.

For more information click here.

Lloyds Bank Foundation Announces Changes to it Grant Making in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Lloyds Bank Foundation has announced changes to their grant making programmes in response to the Covid-19 crisis. These changes include fast tracking those organisations that have already made significant progress with their application. However, the Foundation will only fund projects for 12 months. These charities have also been able to access organisational development support as they made their applications.

The foundation has also set aside £2 million to support its current grantees that are facing difficulties. Current grantees can apply for grants of up to £15,000 to fund unanticipated costs incurred as a result COVID-19.

The Foundation will also launch a new grants programme in the summer including organisational development support.

For more information visit their website by clicking here.

Mindfulness with Sandwell Adult and Family Learning

“Remember to live in the moment and be thankful for all the positive things in your life.”

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning (SAFL) is the adult education service for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. As with so many organisations during this period of lockdown SAFL are aware of how isolating it can be when you are unable to visit friends and family, and this can take a toll on us all. That is why they have created a short video encouraging you to be more mindful and focus on the positives in life. Lisa Espinosa, a member of the senior leadership team, reminds us of six areas of our lives where we can focus on wellbeing.

They are:
• Connect
• Notice
• Give
• Move
• Talk
• Learn

You can access the video via YouTube or visit the website.

SAFL offers a variety of accredited and non-accredited courses for adults 19 plus. These courses range from Functional Skills qualifications in English and Maths, to art classes and support for families, with courses like Paediatric First Aid and baby massage.

Six Ways Digital Helps Charities Fundraise on a Budget

If your charity is dealing with a sudden restriction in funding, you’re not alone – charities around the UK are reporting that they expect to lose a third of their total income on average as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with 83% saying they will need access to emergency grant funding to survive.

But while the situation is unprecedented and worrying, in 2020 charities also have unprecedented opportunities to fundraise and spread the word about their cause on shoestring budgets thanks to digital technology and social media.

Here are some ways digital can help stretch your fundraising budget that little bit further:


Social media channels represent a cheap or even free opportunity for charities to reach a wider audience, forge valuable relationships and build an engaged community of fans. According to the 2019 CAF Giving report, one in seven people who donate using a website or app do so through social media.

But how do you manage the constant flow of social media posting and responding, with limited resources and time?

Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite, Buffer and TweetDeck can help charities automate a lot of the hard work behind scheduling content and understanding metrics to get the most out of their posting – we’ve covered a few of them here that feature free plans.

Google offers charities the chance to compete for free advertising space as part of its Google Grants programme, with over £7,500 a month in grants offered towards search engine marketing that can help your charity’s donation ask be seen.

To read the full Charity Digital article click here.

Source: Charity Digital

HoECF Harry Payne Fund

The Harry Payne Fund was founded in 1939 (as the Harry Payne Trust) by Harry Payne, a Birmingham businessman. He was a man of strong faith – a pacifist who spent some years in prison in the First World War. His business was one of the early models of co-partnership and profit sharing.

Harry Payne had a particular interest in helping the disadvantaged and in helping the smaller causes where a modest donation can be seen to make a difference. The current members of the selection panel at Heart of England Community Foundation try to follow these principles in their grant making decisions and restrict giving to organisations with an income of less than £500,000.

The panel meets four times a year, it is suggested if applicants are concerned about the timing of submitting an application to contact the HoECF grants team on 024 7688 4434.

For more information about this fund read the fund factsheet.




Key Worker Free Bike Hire Scheme

Sandwell Council is offering Health and Social Staff who live and work in Sandwell, free access to their bike fleet. We are working in partnership with Cycling UK to enable key workers to have the opportunity to cycle to and from work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Scheme has been extremely popular, and we need more bikes.  We are calling out for donations of adult bikes that may be unused or in need of a bit of TLC to get back in action.

If you can support this scheme by donating your unwanted bike, then please get in touch.

Staffbike Pool – Staffbike_Pool@sandwell.gov.uk

Or call 07790 945109



New Funding Support for Small Micro Businesses

Sandwell Council is inviting applications from today from local businesses for a new COVID-19 support grant.

The council has £3.362m from the government’s Discretionary Business Grant Fund to allocate to local businesses.

This funding is specifically to support small and micro businesses with high fixed property costs which are not eligible for the other Small Business and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure support grant schemes.

Because it is a discretionary scheme, the criteria used to determine which businesses will get a grant is set by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and a panel of council officers and local business experts.

Businesses should apply via the council’s online form: my.sandwell.gov.uk/service/Local_Authority_Discretionary_Business_Support_Grant

If they meet the eligibility criteria, their application will be assessed by the panel.

Users will need a MySandwell account and be logged in to complete the form.

The fund is cash-limited, so grants will be given out on a ‘first come first served’ basis, we therefore urge businesses to get their applications in as soon as possible.

Sandwell Council has designed a local scheme with specific criteria which will help identify and prioritise which companies will be likely to receive the available funding.

Small businesses are defined as:
• Having a turnover of no more than £10.2m
• Having a balance sheet total of no more than £5.1m
• Employing no more than 50 people
Micro businesses are defined as:
• Having a turnover of no more than £632,000
• Having a balance sheet total of no more than £316,000
• Employing no more than 10 people

Further information regarding this grant funding is available on the Think Sandwell website www.thinksandwell.com/contact/ or via e-mail at think_sandwell@sandwell.gov.uk

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