August 2022

Monthly Archives

Wanted: Research and Evaluation Partner for the Voluntary and Community Sector

NHS England Voluntary Partnerships Team are seeking to commission a research and evaluation partner to undertake work to establish and develop an evidence repository to understand existing activity taking place within ICSs.

The repository will focus on impact and explore current barriers to embedding existing evidence into decision making and build upon this to develop a VCSE Impact Framework.

NHS England (NHSE) is working to facilitate and embed effective partnership working between the VCSE sector and ICSs. The NHSE Integrated Care Systems: design framework states: “The VCSE sector is a vital cornerstone of a progressive health and care system. ICSs should ensure their governance and decision-making arrangements support close working with the sector as a strategic partner in shaping, improving and delivering services and developing and delivering plans to tackle the wider determinants of health.

This work will be a part of the current Embedding the VCSE in ICS national programme which strengthens system level VCSE alliance and building on programme learning.

Within this work there are a number of elements to be included:

  1. Desk research to gather existing information and evidence in this area, to build on existing knowledge (bringing the lens of ICS establishment) to inform the development of the work.
  2. Connecting with systems currently undertaking work in this area (6 – 8 systems that NHSE will make introductions to).
  3. Co-development of a VCSE Impact Framework (that connects to existing tools and resources, where appropriate, NHSE will share these) to support and enable the VCSE sector to evidence the impact they have on people and communities and NHS services.
  4. information sessions over the lifetime of the work for all 42 ICSs taking part in the Embedding the VCSE in ICSs Programme to update them on the work and present the VCSE Impact Framework.

Please see links below for more information and how to apply: CF-10270 – Embedding the VCSE & ICS’s Impact Project

To register as a supplier and find out more information please use this link:  Contract Finder –

Once registered as a supplier use this link: Atamis –

Closing date: Monday 12th September 2022

Estimated Contract Commencement date: Monday 26th September 2022.

Black Country Health Inequalities News Update

The Health and Care Act 2022 has meant big changes for UK health and care systems to deliver better, more joined up care to communities.

The latest change is the creation of an Integrated Care Board on 1st July, bringing together partners from the NHS, local government and the Voluntary and Community sector, as well as others, to tackle the needs of our communities as a whole.

This means that there is now further drive from the Black Country Integrated Care System (ICS) to involve the Voluntary and Community sector in plans for improving people’s health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to areas with lots of health inequalities in communities.

This year, funding is being made available by the ICS to the four Health and Care Place-Based Partnership Boards in the Black Country to allow this work to take place. Each area has its own priorities that it will focus on, with opportunities to work with the voluntary sector in delivering them.

To find out more about your Place-Based Partnership, contact Sarah Taylor at

To find out more about how your Health and Social Care System is changing, visit the King’s Fund YouTube Channel here.

Citizens Advice virtual coffee morning to explore financial capability: 15th September 2022

Join Cheryl Sewell, Citizens Advice Sandwell & Walsall Financial Capability Trainer, for a virtual coffee morning via Zoom, 10 to 11 am, on Thursday, 15th September.

Cheryl looks forward to the opportunity to meet with representatives of organisations to explore financial capability and the cost of living crisis, with a link to the Sandwell Resilient Resident website.  There will be a guest speaker.

If you would like to work with others to build better awareness and confidence in financial capability in Sandwell,  this is your opportunity.

Email Cheryl at or call 07377 556395 / Cradley Office, telephone number 01384 634351 (Option 3)

Citizens Advice free Budgeting and Saving training course

Citizens Advice Sandwell and Walsall will be running a budgeting and saving workshop from 10 am – 1 pm on Wednesday, 28th September.  The session is back for another round, after proving very popular in June.

The aim is to share sound advice and resources to “spread the word” to the people we work with and care about being more financially capable.  The training will be conducted face to face at the Training Room at Smethwick Citizens Advice, Unit 6, Tollgate Shopping Centre, High St, Smethwick B67 7RA

There will be an in-depth look at budgeting and savings to cover priority bills, budgeting, banking, savvy-shopping and energy saving advice.  The focus will be on practical ways of helping service users/families, including looking at the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

The training will look at a range of free services available, using trusted local websites including Resilient Residents, Route2Wellbeing and Healthy Sandwell.

Please email or call 07377 556395 to book a place, stating the course you wish to attend.


Changes Antenatal Offer

The Changes Antenatal Offer is being promoted to expectant parents across Sandwell by the Parent Support Team at the Children and Education Directorate.

The Parent Support Team have added some new FREE courses to the offer from September; some still have spaces and they want as many Sandwell families as possible to benefit. Information on the antenatal offer (and to book) can be found here

  • Changes Antenatal: a three-week course – face-to-face and virtual sessions.
  • Changes Antenatal Community language: a two-week course – face-to-face sessions with interpreters available. Pilot course starting Thursday, 29th September.
  • Breastfeeding support: provided by BfN – virtual sessions..
  • Aquanatal Sessions: held at West Bromwich Leisure Centre. A four-week course (can book on multiple times).
  • Top-to-Toe Pregnancy Health and Wellbeing: face-to-face sessions on Tuesday, 27th September and Wednesday, 2nd November.
  • Bump to baby: highlighting the importance of early communication – virtual sessions.
  • Changes Grandparents: virtual session – for grandparents-to-be.
  • Changes First Grandchild: face-to-face event – 1st October. Lots of fun and freebies at this event!

The Parent Support Team also have a range of printed posters, leaflets, business cards and some small marketing items that they can send out to you.  Please contact  07717 430117.

Preparing for UK Shared Prosperity Fund in Sandwell

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s ambitious Levelling Up agenda, replacing previous European Union funding streams, and is a significant component of government support for places across the UK. It will provide £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation via a funding formula rather than a competition.

In Sandwell discussions are underway between Sandwell Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on how UKSPF funds can best be utilised in the borough. SCVO, in partnership with Sandwell Council, are inviting voluntary sector organisations who deliver employment and skills or placed-based support to residents in Sandwell to attend a briefing event where they can find out more.

This briefing is a chance for Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector to:-

  • Find out more about UKSPF.
  • Understand the respective roles of Sandwell Council and the WMCA, and explore how providers can engage with this opportunity.
  • Find out what’s happened so far and what the plans are for delivering UKSPF in Sandwell.

The briefing is being held online on Thursday 22nd September from 12.30pm – 2.00pm.

If you would like to attend the briefing, please book a place through Eventbrite –

Men’s Mental Health Sessions for Community Organisations in Sandwell

Tough Enough to Care is offering 90-minute sessions to raise awareness of male mental health issues and to tackle the stigma surrounding it head on.

Tough Enough to Care aims to give attendees a better knowledge and understanding of mental health awareness, whilst spotting signs and symptoms both in themselves and other. There is advice on self-care tips and how to start a conversation with someone who is identified as struggling with their mental health.

The session finishes with ways to signpost those in need to professional services and then there is a chance for a peer support session to converse with other attendees to discuss real life scenarios that they may have dealt with, enabling one another to learn from and support each other.

These sessions are completely FREE and furthermore, attendees will leave with handy folding support cards and contact literature. These sessions have already proved themselves invaluable to previous attendees.

Recent feedback:

“I have struggled for over 10 yeas with my own demons and have been through countless therapies.  This session has helped me to look at my own mental health in a different light and I cannot wait to support myself and others around me”.

“Within a week of attending your session, I put it into action at my rugby club and I am happy to say I think we have saved a life. We followed your guidance and the person in question is now seeking professional support. Without your session, we would 100% have missed the warning signs! Thank you.”

If your organisation would like to book a session, please email or call/text 07572313953.


Never learned to ride a bike? Here’s your chance!

Know someone who never learned to ride a bike? The Sikh Helpline Cycling Club is offering 10 free sessions to adults throughout August and September.

Sessions will take place at Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib and Dartmouth Park/Sandwell Valley in West Bromwich. There are even limited bikes available for use if you don’t have your own.

Book places via



West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Outstanding Citizens Awards 2022

Unsung heroes from across the West Midlands are being given their moment in the spotlight. The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has launched his Outstanding Citizens Awards 2022, celebrating those who make our communities safer and happier places to live and work.

They want to show appreciation to people who have made an outstanding contribution to their community and recognise outstanding acts of good citizenship across the whole of the West Midlands.

The deadline for nominations is 12th September 2022 and the ceremony will take place on Saturday 8th October 2022, where winners can collect their awards

There are four awards categories up for grabs including:

  • Outstanding Citizen
  • Outstanding Young Citizen (under 18s)
  • Outstanding Community Project
  • Outstanding Young Community Project

So, if you know a tireless community campaigner or a member of the public who went above and beyond, nominate them now.

Further details and nominations forms are also available here.


Need help with the socials?

Love it or hate it, social media and digital technology are not going away any time soon. But for many charities it’s all still a mystery and could be losing them both support and much-needed cash.

Volunteers can help bring those skills into an organisation and give them a new lease of life in this digital age. So in September we’ll be highlighting opportunities for volunteers to help out with setting up an Instagram account for example, or switching your accounts to an online platform rather than paper and pencil.

If you would like to promote an IT volunteering opportunity on our site please get in touch with

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Tel: 0121 525 1127

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