September 2021

Monthly Archives

The Importance of Impact Measurement – Why, How and What

Catalyst have summarized a recent two part blog by Dr Lucy Maynard’s following on from a set of workshops, packed with take away tools to get going with impact measurement.

The first workshop blog by Bobi Robson’s opened up thinking about ‘why’ we should measure impact and talks in detail about the ‘how’ and ‘what’: it summarises Lucy’s workshop and is packed with take away tools to get going with impact measurement.

What they are clearly adopting is Simon Sinek’s now popularised approach to starting with ‘why’ and applying this to their discussions around impact measurement. We’re all good at understanding ‘what’ which is the funders most commonly asked question is usually something along the lines of ‘what tool do I use to measure this for my funder?’

Within the article they signpost useful impact tools and resources that an organisation can use to help them in their reporting and understanding of impact measurement.

To read the full article by Catalyst click here.

Funding Approved for New Windows at Community Centre in Smethwick

Community groups in Smethwick are set to see improvements at their local Community Centre thanks to an £8,634 grant from FCC Communities Foundation. One recipient has been the Dorothy Parkes Centre in Church Road,  where the money will be used to install new windows. 

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer, at the Dorothy Parkes Centre believes the Community Centre makes a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area.

He says: “Our Centre provides a real boost to the people of Smethwick. We provide opportunities to bring people and organisations together in a spirit of friendship and equality, enabling our local community to thrive. It’s fantastic that FCC Communities Foundation has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to the installation of new, modern, secure, energy efficient windows at our Centre.”

FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Richard Smith, FCC Communities Foundation Grant Manager says: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Dorothy Parkes Centre project and pleased our funding will make such a difference to so many groups of people across the area. FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”

Robert Bruce hopes the installation will be complete by the end of November.

Black History Month 2021: Promoting Equality

Black History Month (BHM) was first celebrated in the UK 1987 and takes place every year in October.

Black History Month 2021 will be promoting equality, to inform, inspire and honour the contribution of black people. Equality for BHM recognises that historically, the history of black people needs to be unearthed to eradicate ignorance.

Equality for BHM acknowledges and values the significant contribution of black people that affects the community and everyday lives.

For more information on Black History Month, visit

Sandwell Change into Action

Change into Action is an alternative way for members of the public to help rough sleepers or those at risk of becoming rough sleepers.

Donations, made online via the Change into Action website by members of the public, support specialist charities and street teams working to change the circumstances of rough sleepers.

The campaign is jointly supported by Sandwell Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) with support from other partner organisations to help make real difference to the lives of those rough sleeping, or at risk of rough sleeping, in Sandwell. So far SCVO, Brushstrokes, Cranstoun, YMCA, Centrepoint, West Midlands Police and Sandwell Homeless and Resettlement Project (SHARP) are partner organisations in Sandwell.

Through Sandwell’s Change into Action, your donations will be distributed across local charitable organisations to support projects and services working towards reducing rough sleeping. Every donation will go towards providing the best resources and support to those who are rough sleeping or are at risk of rough sleeping. By working together, we can see small change turn into big change.

To find out more about Sandwell Change into Action, or donate, please visit the following website:

If you are a local organisation, agency, charity, faith or community group that supports those who are rough sleeping, or at risk of rough sleeping, and are interested in becoming a partner organisation or finding out more about the funding process please contact:

Are you a carer? Join a conversation about helping to shaping specialist mental health needs

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust would like to invite carers to join a friendly online chat about helping to shape specialist mental health needs. The conversation will  assist the Trust to make positive change for the people that you care for and Black Country communities

The conversation will be via Zoom on Tuesday, 5th October 10 am to 12 noon.  Learn more.

If you would like to be involved, please email to book your place.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to share your views, please complete this short survey or get in touch on the above email.

A Supportive Home: new grant round now open for applications

The Youth Endowment Fund and Comic Relief’s £10 million, A Supportive Home grant, is open for applications. Having a supportive home helps to keep children safe from involvement in violence.  Where children live in homes where there’s conflict or domestic abuse, alcohol or substance misuse or where other family members are involved in crime, they’re at higher risk.

The partners are looking to fund and evaluate projects focused on four areas:

1. Parenting programmes (including programmes for foster carers or people working with children in residential care), which help parents and their children to develop positive behaviours and relationships.

2. Family therapy interventions (including for children in foster care), which offer whole families structured forms of therapy.

3. Programmes to reduce parental conflict, which are specifically designed to improve relationships between parents or carers.

4. Domestic abuse interventions, which are specifically designed to prevent and reduce harm to children and adults.

Further information

Applications can be made via the website and close at 5 pm on Wednesday, 1st December 2021.


Covid-19 Vaccination Grant Funding and the Voluntary Sector

Congratulations to the many organisations that have received funding to help explain to their communities the benefits of having the Covid-19 vaccination. This has really helped make a difference to the vaccination uptake in Sandwell.

However, there is still lots to be done to make sure everyone who is eligible for a vaccine or booster knows and receives it. In addition, we need to remember good practice around infection control, which will keep us and the ones we care for, safe and well this winter.

If you want to promote this message to the people in your community including staff, volunteers and service users and you are a Sandwell based VCS organisation, then there is some funding to help you with this.

To find out more and see if you are eligible please contact Liz Webster, (mobile 07923 259821), or Barbara Murphy,  Thank you.

The Loneliness Engagement Fund

The Loneliness Engagement Fund is open to organisations that have a track record of delivering effective communications and engagement activity at a national level. Grants of between £15,000 to £50,000 to organisations that engage with those most affected by loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds will be will be from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

Organisations must have a proven reach and track record of engaging with one or more of the following target groups:

• young people aged 16-24
• people with diagnosed mental health conditions
• people living alone
• people from lower income households
• people who are unemployed
• people with disabilities

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 13 October.

More details

Sandwell’s Safer 6 campaign is back for 2021

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign gets under way on Monday 27 September, promoting a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice for people of all ages.

The six-week campaign, now in its 12th year, has a special online focus this year, with activities also being planned across Sandwell’s six towns including speed awareness, walkabouts, litter picks and skip days. We will also be launching the resident consultation for Sandwell’s new Community Safety strategy.

Safer 6 runs from 27 September to 7 November 2021. Each of the six weeks will have a different theme:

Week 1 (27 September-3 October): Substance misuse
Week 2 (4-10 October): Under 25 violence and county lines
Week 3 (11-17 October): Hate crime
Week 4 (18-24 October): Exploitation
Week 5 (25-31 October): Anti-social behaviour and crime
Week 6 (1-7 November): Violence against women and girls

The campaign is led by Sandwell Council for the Safer Sandwell Partnership, which brings together the council, Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and many other partner organisations.

Visit for more information on the campaign.



Sandwell Council Tenant Engagement – Tenant & Leaseholder Scrutiny Group

Through partnership with its Voluntary and Community sector partners, Sandwell Council wants to encourage people to get involved in a genuine long-term Tenant Involvement programme of positive change. They are establishing a Tenant & Leaseholders Scrutiny Group, which provides the opportunity for a group consisting of Council tenants and Council leaseholders to scrutinise, shape and make recommendations to improve housing services.

Sandwell Council is delivering a series of drop in sessions across the borough, in community venues, to promote and engage with local council tenants and council leaseholders about the opportunity to get involved and have a positive impact on the quality and delivery of housing services.

These sessions will commence early October and you can find details of ‘where and when’ by clicking HERE. In addition, there will be a range of different opportunities in which people can get involved.

As part of this endeavour Sandwell Council wants to work with its Voluntary and Community sector partners and would like support in encouraging as many council tenants and council leaseholders as possible to attend so that there is a good diverse group reflective of Sandwell’s’ communities.

The sessions will be informal and an opportunity for those interested in being involved to find out more and meet the community partnerships team and have a chat. Alternatively, those interested can call the team on 0121 569-2537 or email at:

For further information please visit our website: Sandwell Tenants and Leaseholders Scrutiny Group –

Sandwell council is committed to championing the voice of tenants and the opportunities for transformational change outlined in the housing white paper.  In addition, there are also further opportunities for everyone who resides in Sandwell to engage with Sandwell Council via the Residents Panel.

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