April 2021

Monthly Archives

Young People’s Mental Health and Self-Care Matter!

Young people told the Anna Freud Centre that when they are struggling they are usually told to see a professional. They don’t often get much advice about how they could help themselves.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is about the things we can do to look after our own mental health.

The Anna Freud Centre have drawn up a list of strategies aimed at supporting young people’s mental health that they can use – see the process in this self-care infographic. They’ve also published a report following a consultation with young people and their families online click here to go to their website to download their report.

They’re sharing these strategies with you to help you to manage your wellbeing which can be viewed by clicking here. It’s up to you to decide what helps. If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, stop and try something else.

Source: Anna Freud Centre



Let’s Go…

There are more than 80 volunteering opportunities now on display at www.letsgosandwell.info

Latest additions include calls for a minute-taker at Sandwell Churches Link; a trustee for the homeless support charity SHARP and Champions to further the work of an organisation building better futures for blind children.

If you know someone who would like to make friends, build confidence or boost their CV through volunteering, steer them in the direction of the site.

To chat about volunteering and get your opportunities listed email kim@scvo.info

New Course for Budding Volunteer

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service (SAFL) is offering a brand new course for anyone considering stepping into volunteering.

The free course runs on Thursday afternoons for five weeks and there are no formal entry requirements.

The short course will support potential volunteers to:

  • Look at what options may be available by considering your personal circumstances, interests and future goals
  • Consider what skills you have to offer
  • Look at ways to achieve any new skills you may need
  • Research opportunities in the local area
  • Practice applying for volunteer vacancies
  • Plan your next steps

Full details of the course can be found here: www.learnsafl.ac.uk/pages/home/courses/volunteering-courses
And for any general enquiries email Contact_SAFL@Sandwell.gov.uk

How Charity Chair Pulled Out All the Stop to Help Tackle Isolation

In a new report by Association of Chairs, they found that charity chairs are putting in longer hours to help their charities manage the Covid-19 crisis. 

The existential crisis posed by the coronavirus pandemic has been felt by everyone working in the voluntary and community sector. It isn’t just those who are paid to work for charities that are feeling the strain either!

The Association of Chairs found that 62 per cent of chairs reported that they were spending four or more days a month on their chairing role during the crisis, up from 43 per cent before. And 18 per cent said they had spent more than 11 days a month chairing, versus 10 per cent before the pandemic.

Find out more by reading the Third Sector article by clicking here.

Source: Third Sector News

“Can we still hold our AGM online?” and other such matters – updated Charity Commission guidance

As we are all aware, the government introduced a national lockdown across England  in January 2021. (In Wales, the government introduced alert level 4 restrictions in December 2020.)

These restrictions mean if you can, you should hold trustee or member meetings online or by telephone (see the section below on how to do this). However, if you cannot do this, you can hold trustee or members’ meetings in person if this is necessary to provide voluntary or charitable services.

The Charity Commission has updated its Covid-19 guidance for the charity sector and some of the headlines are as follows:

AGMs and other meetings: postponing or cancelling meetings

With the current restrictions in place (under the government’s ‘roadmap’), trustees need to consider how and if they can hold meetings.

Trustees need to check if their charity’s governing document allows them to hold meetings online or by telephone. Where it does not, an alternative may be to amend it to allow meetings to be held in this way.

The Charity Commission does recognise that for some charities virtual meetings are not a viable solution, nor are socially distanced face-to-face meetings. In such instances trustees may consider they have no choice but to cancel or postpone their AGMs and other critical meetings.

If such a decision is considered necessary, trustees should follow any rules in their charity’s governing document that allow for postponement, adjournment or cancellation. If there are no such rules, but they decide that this is still the best course of action for their charity in the current circumstances, they should record the reasons for this decision to demonstrate good governance of their charity. This is particularly important if it is not possible to hold an AGM, which may make it difficult for the annual reports and accounts to be finalised.

Holding meetings online or by telephone

As outlined above, it may be difficult to hold face-to-face meetings in the current circumstances. Some charities have clauses in their governing documents that allow them to meet virtually or to use telephone facilities, so trustees are advised to check their governing document and see if they can make amendments themselves to facilitate changes as to how or when meetings are held.

Generally, if there is no such clause in the governing document and they decide to hold meetings over the phone or using digital solutions, the Charity Commission will understand. However, any such decision(s) should be recorded in order to demonstrate good charity governance. This is all the more important because the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 provisions, which permitted charitable companies and CIOs to hold AGMs and other members’ meetings online regardless of their governing documents, ended on 30 March 2021.


If you are unsure of your own organisation’s position, why not get in contact with SCVO to see if we can help resolve your query/situation? Drop us a line to: support@scvo.info or call 0121 525 1127.

Sandwell Sports Clubs and Activity Providers Re-start Workshop

With restrictions easing and a return to most sport and physical activity sessions possible from early May, Sandwell Council would like to invite you to a workshop that will give lots of practical information, examples and ideas on plans you need in place.   Things to be aware of and how to deliver your sessions as COVID safely as possible.

The Council is conscious that there are lots of information and guidance being published, so that will not be the focus of the workshop.   The focal point will be what it means for coaches and instructors delivering activity in Sandwell and what do you need to do now, so you can re-start safely.

The workshop takes place on Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm.

You will also learn where to go for local help and support plus an opportunity for questions and answers.

To book your place please contact PHCovid19Community@sandwell.gov.uk.

Event: “We need to talk about dying” (part of Dying Matters Awareness Week)

Attitudes to death and dying in the Black Country and West Birmingham will be the focus of a virtual event on 13 May as public services workers, the voluntary and community sector, and the general public gather to share ideas about how we can be more open about the end of life and how that can help us all prepare.

Many people are reluctant to hold conversations with their loved ones about their preferences about end-of-life care, funeral and financial planning. The event will discuss how families, employers and communities can talk openly about death and dying and make a difference for the people we care about.

The event is free and open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter, including NHS and public service workers, community groups, faith leaders, and members of the public.

Bookings can be made via Eventbrite, where you can also see the full programme.

The event is produced in partnership by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Wellbeing & End of Life Group, Black Country & WB STP and SWBH NHS Trust.

Dying Matters Awareness Week, running from 10 to 16 May 2021, is a chance for coalition partners, organisations and individuals to come together and open up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement. It is run by Hospice UK, a registered charity.

Tackling the Digital Divide – A Conversation

SCVO and Dudley CVS are jointly hosting an informal conversation around the ‘digital divide’ that exists within our communities. The conversation is being held on Friday 25th June 21, 10am till 12pm via a Zoom Conference Call.

The session seeks to bring together individuals and organisations from across Sandwell and Dudley boroughs to have an open and honest conversation about different digital concerns that have arisen primarily as a consequence of COVID-19. This session hopes to build upon the previous session held in March – click here to read the report.

Participants will be encouraged to ask questions, share their experiences and digital information, problem solve and connect with digital providers offering support and guidance.

The session is particularly aimed at anyone in Sandwell or Dudley boroughs who:

  • Is interested in sharing their experience or general feedback on digital challenges and concerns from their own or organisations observations;
  • Is interested in learning more about what other organisations are doing to tackle digital concerns and challenges;
  • would like to problem solve with others around digital exclusion and/or
  • have experience of delivering digital or virtual activities within their community.

This virtual session will be held on Zoom and will need to be downloaded onto your chosen device prior to the session. Please register your place via Eventbrite by clicking here to ensure that you are sent joining instructions prior to the session.


Showtime Community Productions Drama Group calling for new members

Showtime Community Productions are a newly formed amateur dramatics group based in Wednesbury. They work with like-minded individuals from their local community interested in developing their skills in the performing arts, which they put to good use by developing and putting on community pantomimes, for the benefit of the local community.

They are looking for new members to join their group, all abilities welcome and no prior experience required, as sessions aim to teach participants the drama skills they need to be able to put on a live community production.

The group meets on a Monday evening in Wednesbury, for more information or to join the group please contact Tammy by email at ShowtimeCP@mail.co.uk

The Curator Programme

The Curator Programme is free to participate, and is open to young people of colour aged 16-25 based in the Black Country. It will run between May 2021 – June 2022, allowing the cohort of Curators access to regular professional development workshops led by industry professionals, and to gain practical experience of curating an exhibition and arts festival at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery. Each participant will receive a £250 bursary, and travel costs and refreshments will be reimbursed when we are able to conduct the programme in person (initially it will take place online).

Spreading the word!
Would you be able to share this opportunity with relevant partners or contacts, and any youth groups or individual young people that you are affiliated with? Any help with spreading the word would be much appreciated, as we want to share this opportunity as far as possible!

Young people can apply by filling out this simple online form: https://bit.ly/2OJvu0m
If applicants have any questions, or need help filling out the form they are welcome to get in touch with me via email – balvinder.everitt@nhs.net

This is a fantastic opportunity, and the deadline is coming around next week! Here is a tweet to share: https://twitter.com/Multistory/status/1387420732041400323


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Email: support@scvo.info
Tel: 0121 525 1127

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