June 2020

Monthly Archives

Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteers from Guru Nanak Gurdwara, a Sikh spiritual centre based in Smethwick, West Midlands have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Established in 1961, the Gurdwara is one of the oldest and largest in the United Kingdom and voluntarily provides a very diverse range of services for the whole community. In 2018 Historic England chose the Gurdwara amongst the top 10 places which bring England’s extraordinary history of faith and believe to life.

The array of activities provide benefit both for those who attend the Gurdwara and the wider community.  Benefits range from spiritual uplift through initiation and nurturing of Sikh practitioners; capacity building of individuals, families and communities with values-based education; engaging in civic activities; providing support to the elderly through youth participation and healthcare; and environmental enhancement and heritage conservation both in Sikh and British heritage.

These projects enable community involvement through voluntary donations coupled with facilitating the provision of physical labour through a planned and professional approach. Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

Representatives of Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick will receive the award from John Crabtree OBE, Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick’s president, Jaswinder Singh says: “We are absolutely delighted with this wonderful award, it serves as great recognition of the amazing work of all the volunteers (Sevadaars) at Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick. The Gurdwara provides a high standard of diverse services to meet the needs of the local community.”

“On behalf of the management committee I want to say a huge thank you to all involved since the establishment of Guru Nanak Gurdwara for making it so welcoming, engaging and impactful for the diverse communities we serve in the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.”

The Black Country Rainbow Hour Pledge


The Black Country Rainbow Hour Pledge is encouraging all schools to commit and provide all pupils access to one hour of wellbeing and physical activity each day.

Sign up to the Black Country Rainbow Hour Pledge by visiting Active Black Country’s home page at www.activeblackcountry.co.uk/rainbow-hour/

We want to encourage all schools across the Black Country to incorporate wellbeing at the heart of all learning for their pupils. We are encouraging all schools to commit to and provide all pupils access to one hour of wellbeing and physical activity each day, whether that’s during your school curriculum or for your pupils still learning remotely from home.
The Rainbow Hour can be flexible in format so schools can tailor it to their school day. You can split your hour into various intervals throughout the day, staggering activities based on your schools needs and to help with maintaining social distancing and adhering to the latest government and DFE guidance. Likewise, you can deliver this in a one hour block. It’s completely down to you and your school!

Let’s ensure all pupils get to experience a rainbow hour of activity each day.

Click here for the Rainbow Campaign toolkit for fun ideas to keep you and your family active.

A handy place for all your Government funding updates and information

The Government has created a page which brings together all the different funding pots linked to the £750m support package for the VCSE, plus other ones.

There’s nothing that we’ve not seen before but it is a handy place to bookmark so you can see all the different funding programmes and announcements.

Click here for the website.

Community Website Brings Together Essential Resources

Produced in collaboration with 11 other community sector organisations, My Community is the go-to resource for all the tools, tips and ideas you need to make a difference in your neighbourhood.


Read the Big Local’s report on why My Community has come at just the right time.

Grants for Tree Planting

Schools and Community groups within the UK can apply for grants of between £300 and £1,500 to get communities and young people up to the age of 21 involved in tree and hedge planting and care during National Tree Week – 28 November to 6 December 2020.

The funding is being made available through the Tree Council’s Branching Out Fund. Applications will be considered as they are received and applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within four weeks.

In addition, free tree packs are available for schools supported by the Tree Angel Orchards Fund.  Schools can register to hear when applications open.

For further information – please view – https://treecouncil.org.uk/take-action/grants-for-trees/

Invitation to join Sandwell Citizen Forum on-line video Conference

During the coronavirus pandemic, Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been exploring new ways to keep in touch with local people. The regular Citizen Forums – which were previously held as face-to-face meetings – are now being held virtually via live video conferencing.

Dr Ian Sykes, the CCG’s clinical chair, has been leading these monthly virtual briefing sessions to provide local people with an update on the CCG’s work, including updates on primary care (GP practices) and other local healthcare. These sessions also provide participants an opportunity to submit questions before and during the session to be answered by Dr Sykes and other CCG staff.

The next online Citizen Forum will take place on Thursday 18 June, 2 pm to 3 pm.

Patients, Citizen Forum members and other stakeholders are welcome to join these sessions to get an update on the CCG’s work in Sandwell.  Agendas for the sessions will be available soon.

To find out more and to sign up to join one of the online forums, please call 0121 612 1447 or email Swbccg.engagement@nhs.net.  Please give your email or postal address and you will sent joining instructions nearer the date.

Equipment Grants for Youth Clubs

Variety, the Childrens Charity, has grants of £250 to £600 available to youth organisations that are affiliated to either Ambition, UK Youth or the or National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs.

The grants can be used to buy equipment to provide challenging activities that engage young people aged 8-18 and provide them with alternatives to becoming involved in the anti-social behaviour that often stems from boredom and peer pressure.

On occasion, applications for improvement of youth club premises, refurbishment of existing equipment or facilities will also be considered.

Applicants have to raise some of the funds and applications that have young people involved in the fund raising will be looked upon favourably.

There are no deadlines when applying and applications can be made at any time.
Please be aware that due to the Covid-19 crisis the funding process is likely to be delayed.

Please view for further information – https://www.variety.org.uk/what-we-do/youth-clubs-grants

Grants for Small Organisations Making Good Use of Volunteers

The Woodward Charitable Trust primarily funds charitable organisations (charities, social enterprises and community interest companies) in the UK and can make grants for overseas projects usually via UK charities.

Priority is given to projects that make good use of volunteers, encourage past and current users to participate, ensure that funds awarded are being well used and fall within the following areas:

• Arts outreach work by local groups involving disadvantaged people;
• Children and young people who are isolated, at risk of exclusion or involved in anti-social behaviour and in particular organisations that work to discourage individuals getting involved in gangs or violent behaviour;
• Disability projects, which can include rehabilitation and training for people who are either physically or learning disabled as well as charities supporting mental health issues, particularly where it relates to our other priority areas;
• Disadvantaged women and their children, covering refuges and domestic violence shelters and groups;
• Disadvantaged families including parenting support;
• Prisoners and ex-offenders and specifically projects that help the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners and/or ex-offenders as well as requests to help prisoners’ families;
• Projects that promote integration and community cohesion particularly amongst minority groups, refugees and traveler communities.

To apply for funding applicants will be required to complete an application form and submit it with a project budget.
The deadline for receipt of applications for the February meeting is noon on the 31st July 2020.

For further information please view – http://woodwardcharitabletrust.org.uk/general_applications/

Rough Sleeper Provisions Survey

The key aims of this piece of work are to map out existing provisions, identify gaps in provisions and to further build relationships between council services and organisations providing services and provisions to those who are, or who are at risk of becoming, homeless.

This project is especially useful throughout COVID-19 as increasingly more individuals may need support from Sandwell Council and Sandwell’s third sector and voluntary organisations.

Responses will be fed into the Sandwell Homeless Forum. We are hoping to use your responses to shape forum meetings and future services and provisions across the borough. If you would like to get involved in the Sandwell Homeless Forum, please fill in the relevant questions on the survey and the team will be in touch.

Please see link below to the Rough Sleeper Provisions survey: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=m_jApLkj60movyRPsKTP_M5LMtJiXTtCtRvrDIR_n-1UN0xMUDROWFE5V1c2OE02V1U4SEYwVVBEOS4u

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