November 2020

Monthly Archives

16 Days of Action – help is available for victims of domestic abuse during Covid-19

Sandwell Council and the Sandwell Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership are taking part in the United Nations 16 Days of Activism campaign (25 November – 10 December) to tackle gender-based violence.

The campaign starts today (Wednesday 25 November) on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Sandwell’s local 16 Days of Action campaign highlights a specific issue each day including domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based abuse, female genital mutilation, stalking and harassment.

Whilst women and girls are overwhelmingly the victims of these crimes, men can be victims too. It is important to know that help and support is available for all victims.

Anyone at risk of domestic abuse or sexual violence during the current coronavirus restrictions is being reassured that help is at hand. It’s important to know that victims can still leave their homes to get help and support without breaking the current restrictions.

Domestic abuse and sexual violence support services continue to operate, providing safety advice and emotional support to those at risk.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten a victim.

The partnership is sharing Tina’s Story at to help other families. Tina was murdered by her partner in 2017. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour. He was jailed for life for a minimum of 24 years for her murder.

How do you know if this is happening to you?
Some common examples of coercive behaviour by perpetrators:
• Isolating you from friends and family
• Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
• Monitoring your time
• Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware
• Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
• Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services
• Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless
• Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you
• Controlling your finances
• Making threats or intimidating you.

Useful contacts
Black Country Women’s Aid can provide support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
• Call the 24-hour helpline on 0121 552 6448
• Text or WhatsApp on 07384 466 181 (9am-9pm, Monday-Friday)
• Call 999 in an emergency
• If you are worried about your behaviour towards others, call the Respect Helpline on 0808 802 4040
For more information, visit

The Importance of Supporters Experience During the Pandemic

With supporters coming forward to lend a hand during the pandemic it’s important that an organisation puts the supporters experience at the forefront during these unprecedented times.

In Chartered Institute of Fundraisings article and the accompanying resource on fundraising in the time of COVID they explain how supporters are showing their generosity and innovative ways that they are encouraging giving. They continue by saying how important encouraging and promoting the supporters experience is if fundraising opportunities are going to be capitalised on for the benefit of the intended organisation and ultimately the community they serve.

To read the full article and download the free resource click here.

Source: Chartered Institute of Fundraising

Funding to provide meals for those in need in the run up to Christmas

The Asda Foundation has created the Feeding Communities Grant Scheme to provide meals for those in need in the run up to Christmas.

The funds could be used to provide food parcels, Christmas meal delivery or collection, and Christmas hampers, or provide support for soup kitchens/homeless centres, and local community centres providing meal deliveries.

Voluntary organisations, community interest companies, unincorporated clubs or associations, and other not-for-profit organisations across the UK can apply for grants of up to £1,000 to provide meals costing £4 or less for individuals, families, and children’s healthy holiday clubs.

Applications should be made through each local Asda store’s Community Champion whose role is to support projects.

Click here for information

It’ll be Lonely This Christmas…

Just a few minutes on the phone could make all the difference to someone feeling isolated and lonely at this uncertain time.

Sandwell Together would love to hear from anyone who has time to spare each week to make someone’s day with a friendly chat.

The service was developed during the first lockdown, but has now been funded through Sandwell Advocacy to continue supporting those who have no-one to turn to for a listening ear.

So far, Sandwell Together has reached out to befriend 200 local people in need.

Independent Advocate Juanita Williams, who is leading on Sandwell Together, said it’s a vital service and makes a huge difference to people, especially at the moment. “People are feeling more cut off and Christmas will be lonelier than ever for some,” she said. “We need volunteers who can spare just a short time every week to pick up the phone and have a chat. Some people really only want a quick catch-up, while others appreciate a listening ear for a bit longer. It all depends on the arrangement you make between you.”

Telephone befrienders need listening skills, and stand to gain through training an improved telephone manner; awareness of confidentiality; increased knowledge of safeguarding issues and better knowledge of local services available to Sandwell residents.

Sandwell Advocacy provides independent advocacy throughout Sandwell, promoting rights, voice and empowerment.

For more details contact Juanita on 0121 520 8070 or email

Sandwell Council Events Team receives welcome grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Sandwell Council Events Team receives welcome grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

The Sandwell Council events team has been awarded £97,277 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they are able to work with creative talent across the Borough to bring cultural experiences to the communities of Sandwell.

Sandwell Council is one of almost 2,000 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving this much needed support – totalling over £300 million in awards – from the grants programme administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for culture, Councillor Danny Millard, said: “These funds will help us continue to deliver a variety of Covid-safe cultural events and activities across Sandwell. The council’s Discover Sandwell events team are working closely with teams across the council, local artists, events businesses and communities to find new ways of working and bring enjoyment to residents safely.

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis. We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Dementia Support Adviser required at St Albans

St Albans is a very busy and vibrant community centre providing a wide range of services to the local community. One of the services the Centre provides is a lunch club and day care facility for elderly clients of Smethwick and surrounding areas.

To support its prevention agenda and desire to support a wider network of people in need, St Albans wishes to recruit a Dementia Support Adviser.

Salary: £12.00 – £15.00 per hour depending on experience (£23,088 – £28,860 per annum pro-rata)
Hours: 30 per week – hours to be agreed (Monday 8:30 – Friday 5:00)
Based at: St Albans Community Centre, St Albans Road, Smethwick, B67 7NL
Responsible to: CEO

The Adviser will provide support, information, and guidance to people with dementia and their carers to help maintain independence, create a sense of well-being, and to give individuals more control of their lives. You will assist people with dementia and their carers to identify their needs and help with access to services. Furthermore, you will promote and support dementia friendly venues and have a good understanding of what dementia means to individuals, families, and carers.

If you feel you have the relevant track record, skills and qualifications to fulfil this role, please contact Martine or Carol for an application form, or further details, on 0121 558 0018 or email

Applications close on 5th December 2020.

The interview date is to be confirmed, but will be in January 2021.

Combating Zoom Fatigue

We’ve all been there, a day of back to back zoom meetings that leave you feeling drained. Charity Digital News take you through their seven hints and tips to help you stay positive and feeling energised. Hints and tips include staying focused on the meeting which can help with productivity, cutting out distractions to keep yourself more motivated to minimising your screen so you can focus on others in the meeting.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Digital Influencer computer

The Charity Sector and Digital Exclusion

Digital Influencer computerWith an ever increasing push to do things online, constant digital advancements and innovation, Charity Digital News takes a look at what digital exclusion means for the charity sector. Digital exclusion is a real barrier for accessing essential services from online banking to filling in online forms, causing a real challenge for those who have limited access or no access at all to digital technology or the internet. In real terms this can lead to lower confidence levels and skills which can lead to individuals being digitally excluded from social and economic opportunities. 

The pandemic has served only to highlight the digital divide further and leave many vulnerable groups feeling even more disconnected and removed from the world around them. In their article they discuss the challenges of brining digital resources and skills to everyone. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Championing Digital Inclusion

Charity Digital News explains why charities should be championing digital inclusion to ensure members of their community aren’t being left behind. Often charities are at the forefront of social change and community progress, playing a key role in ensuring beneficiaries aren’t being left behind by the emerging digital divide.

Within their article they discuss the challenges many of our community members face as part of the digital divide, the impact digital exclusion is having and the need for digital champions (who don’t need to be experts) that can take the sting out of going online ultimately making the process simpler and smoother.

To read the article in full click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Digital Support for Vulnerable Communities via National Emergency Trust Funds

Funding for digital support for vulnerable communities is being provided by the National Emergency Trust, as they increase efforts to help charities deliver digital services. Charities are increasingly turning to digital solutions to aid their service delivery across their community, as a consequence of the pandemic’s social distancing rules and restrictions impacting how they operate.

Charities need to be increasingly more innovate in their digital solutions, support and delivery which has not gone unheard by funders.Who realise that these services are particularly important for at-risk communities, who are being hit hard by loneliness, anxiety and other mental health concerns.

National Emergency Trust has over the summer supported a number of organisations to address these concerns to find out more about these projects and to read the Charity Digital News article in full click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

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