January 2023

Monthly Archives

Together Fund Grants Up to £10,000

Thanks to National Lottery funding and Sport England you can apply for a grant of up to £10,000 from the Together Fund to make your ideas on how to tackle inequalities in activity levels come to life!

Health Exchange is working with partners across Birmingham and the West Midlands area* to reach those most in need by supporting both existing activities and new initiatives that can help our priority communities:

  • People with long term health conditions
  • Lower socio-economic groups
  • People with a disability
  • Culturally diverse communities to make better choices about nutrition, diet and exercise to improve their long-term sustainable health and wellbeing.

For more information, eligibility, and to make an application click here. 

Project activities need to be completed by 30 June 2023.

Applications will close once all funding has been allocated.

To discuss your idea before applying, or for help in making an application, please contact the Together Fund Coordinator & Community Engagement Officer at: info@healthexchange.org.uk or 0800 158 3535

Weigh2GO is a FREE lifestyle App

Weigh2GO is a FREE lifestyle App that helps you monitor your weight by weighing yourself at a time that is convenient for you.

You can set personal targets  that monitor your physical activity levels, weight, health information and a food diary that will give you lots of nutritional guidance.

You can track all your results and access a range of online support and resources to help you make a healthy  lifestyle change. Perfect for keeping you updated by qualified nutritionists and Personal Trainers.

Website information is – https://www.healthysandwell.co.uk/weigh2go/

What is ESCAPE-Pain?

ESCAPE-Pain is a programme for people with chronic joint pain of the knees and/or hips, that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for each participant.

It helps people understand their condition, teaches them simple things they can help themselves with, and takes them through a progressive exercise programme so they learn how to cope with pain better.

The programme will help you:

  • Be in less pain.
  • Improves physical function, allowing you to live better and do more.
  • Manage your symptoms.
  • Be more active.
  • Improve your mental well-being, self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Delivered in partnership with Health Sandwell.

Find out more or to book your place at https://tinyurl.com/2p8yaprd

Together We Speak Out Together – Support Group

Together We Speak Out Together is a peer support group for individuals who have been affected by domestic and narcissistic abuse. They provide a safe space for those who have experienced or are currently experiencing abuse, to share their stories with other like-minded people with similar experiences.

Meetings take place on Wednesday’s at either Brook Street Community Centre and Wednesbury Town Hall. For more information about the group and times email togetherwespeakout22@gmail.com or call 07716 405779.

Services they offer:

  • 1-2-1 and group peer support,
  • Private online support group,
  • support via call, text, WhatsApp or email and
  • Creative expressive sessions.


Virtual Meetings and Decision-making – A Reminder.

Many of you may recall a provision that was created by the Government (under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (the Act)) during the Covid pandemic, allowing charities and CIOs to hold meetings electronically (and, by association, be able to make valid governance decisions), even where their governing document did not specifically allow this.

Well, in case you weren’t aware, that temporary provision has now ceased (as at 31st March 2021 for the Act and 21st April 2022 for additional Charity Commission flexibility of the same matter).

As a result, charities must hold meetings in accordance with the provision of their governing document. Where this does not contain a provision for electronic meetings to be held, any such meetings are, therefore, not permissable meaning that any resolutions passed, or decisions made, will be invalid.

Anecdotal evidence suggests an increasing incidence of such situations … where charities are continuing to hold meetings, or pass resolutions, by virtual means where there is no power in their governing document.

If this applies to you, as a charity or CIO, please check your governing document as a matter of urgency. If you do have the power to continue with electronic meetings then all well and good. But if you don’t have a specific clause then you need to take action – either stop holding electronic meetings or, better still, look to update your governing document ASAP.

If you’d like any support or guidance in this matter, then please contact SCVO: support@scvo.info / 0121 525 1127 to see how we might be able to help.

What’s On in Sandwell Libraries in February

There’s always something going on at the library – from regular events like Rhymetime and Knit and Natter to Holiday activities, Author talks, Live Music, courses, and workshops.

Did you know that all of Sandwell’s libraries are Warm Spaces during their normal opening hours. There’s no need to book or call ahead, just turn up. For more Sandwell warm space locations click here.

To find out what’s on in Sandwell Libraries click here.

Building Fundraising Capacity in the Black Country CBC’s new Fundraising Fellowship Scheme

Creative Black Country has developed a new scheme to support communities involved in arts and culture activities to build fundraising capacity.

The Fundraising Fellowship Scheme will offer opportunities to learn, share and practice fundraising skills to support creative ideas.

There are two ways to be involved:
Fellow Are you looking to develop your fundraising skills?
Host Are you looking for someone to help with your fundraising?

What does this mean?
Fellow – you can receive mentor support, training sessions and real-life fundraising experience.
Host – you can host a ‘Fellow’ to support fundraising plans and applications for a project idea.

OR Combination – Fellow and Host can be from the same group or organisation

Who is the scheme for?
Fellow – any person who would like to develop creative fundraising skills who is based, or working, in the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall or Wolverhampton)
Host – any community group, small CIC, charity, festival/event or creative organisation who wants to develop creative or cultural ideas/projects in the Black Country

Sounds like you, or your group and like to find out more?
Information Session – we will be holding an online session on Thursday 2nd February at 10.30am on Zoom where you can find out more and ask questions. Please email yvonne@creativeblackcountry.co.uk to book a place.

Why is this scheme important?
1. supporting emerging fundraisers or those whose role may need these skills e.g. community group lead, coordinator or project lead
2. supporting the community groups, organisations, festivals who may only need someone for a few days, or on a project basis, who can’t afford to pay a fundraiser.
3. creating a fundraising resource that could be shared across the region
4. raising the profile of fundraising as a career choice (a role always in demand!!)

There is limited availability so please register interest by 5pm on 10th February 2023
Outcome – successful or not will be notified by Scheme to begin in March for approximately 6 months
We imagine up to 6 mentor sessions (e.g. monthly) plus 2-3 training sessions and meet-ups with whole group to share experiences. These could be in person or online.

To register interest as a Fellow or Host and for more information please click here

Any queries please email yvonne@creativeblackcountry.co.uk

The Alternative to AmazonSmile

With the news that AmazonSmile is closing soon, we want to remind you that easyfundraising is a very good alternative. With easyfundraising, your organisation receives free donations from more than 7,000 online retailers instead, including eBay, Tesco, Argos, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, M&S and Trainline. 

It’s free to set up and use and is already trusted by lots of organisations around the UK. Find out more by clicking here.

Healthwatch Sandwell published report – The patient experience of accessing primary care services

Healthwatch Sandwell has published a report on The patient experience of accessing primary care services.

The report highlights challenges and impacts for patients in accessing G.P. practice appointments and looks at awareness and uptake of other primary care service options. The report makes 11 recommendations to enhance and ensure access to appointments for all patients.

The reports are available via the Healthwatch Sandwell website links:

Executive Summary – The patient experience of accessing primary care services – Healthwatch Sandwell

Supplementary Information – The patient experience of accessing primary care services – Healthwatch Sandwell

Brief summary:

The report was informed by the experiences, voices, and views of Sandwell residents and complemented by service insights from some Sandwell G.P. practices and the Sandwell Urgent Treatment Centre who kindly helped support the project.

The headline main findings and recommendations are in the Executive Summary report. The Supplementary Information report provides more detail including on patient experiences, voices, and views.

The reports highlight that many patients are failing to obtain access to a G.P. practice appointment and, though awareness of the alternative primary care options is reasonably high, uptake is significantly lower. Some patients are failing to access primary care services to be seen for their health conditions, including those faced with challenges to accessing appointment booking systems such as “digital poverty”, language and accessibility barriers. Case stories of impacts on patients’ health and wellbeing from failure to access primary care services are included.

Healthwatch Sandwell have made 11 recommendations within the report, to enhance and ensure access to appointments for all patients, they align with NHS General practice contract arrangements (October 2022). The recommendations also call for improvements to information available to Sandwell residents on the full range of primary care options and involvement of patient voice within service developments.

For any further information please contact:

Sophie Shuttlewood – Projects and Partnerships Lead

Healthwatch Sandwell, Walker Grange, Central Avenue, Tipton, DY4 9RY 

Website: www.healthwatchsandwell.co.uk 

Mobile: 07732 683483 Email:  Sophie.Shuttlewood@healthwatchsandwell.co.uk

Deadline Extension: Increasing Earlier Diagnosis of Breast Cancer in African Caribbean Women – Co-design funding available – apply now!

Black Country Integrated Care Board want to hear from Black and African Caribbean women about how they think the early diagnosis of breast cancer services can be improved.  They are inviting local groups and organisations across the Black Country to collaborate with them on a project to increase earlier diagnosis of breast cancer in African and Caribbean women.

The project has 2 stages:

Stage 1: You will be asked to host conversations with local women that identify and understands any barriers and stigmas to attending screening appointments or presenting at GPs with symptoms.

You can do this in a way that works for you and the women you work with. There will be 2 initial meetings to attend in this stage; the first at the very start to give you information on the project and the types of questions you might ask. The second being at the end of the conversation period to come together and talk about all the rich insight you’ve gathered. The Board would also like to use this stage to introduce the team informally and drop in to visit you during any of the activities where you are hosting these conversations.

Stage 2: Once the Board understand the barriers, they would invite you to a workshop to take what you’ve heard, and co-design interventions or activities that will facilitate change. The women from the conversations are welcome to join in this process, but numbers will be limited. The workshops will be led by the University of Wolverhampton, following a process they have recently successfully used to work with The Royal Wolverhampton Trust and other groups of people.

There is funding totalling £20,000 for bids to support with the costs and time commitments of speaking to local women and attendance at the workshops. Additionally, the Board would also fund any room hire and refreshments that you may have available for them to utilise for the conversations and workshops. There is a separate pot of funding to implement the interventions and activities that are designed in stage 2.

Timelines and Commitments:

Stage 1 conversations

  • Kick off conversation: 9th February
  • Round up conversation: 9th March.

The Stage 2 co-design workshops will take place across the afternoons of three dates, and you will be required to attend them all: 16th March, 23rd March and 30th March.

Send your expression of interest form to involve.blackcountry@nhs.net by 1st February. The Board will be in touch with successful applications by 3rd February.


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

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Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER