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Spotlight on Kaleidoscope Plus

Tell us what you do
An award-winning, national mental health and wellbeing charity, we are committed to making sure that we not only provide effective services of the highest quality, but that they are diverse and relevant, addressing the holistic health and wellbeing needs of the communities we serve, and that they are accessible to, and inclusive of, everybody who needs them.

Our key aims are to support recovery for people experiencing ill-health, whilst also promoting independence; to support inclusion and facilitate community integration and participation for people with health problems; and to raise awareness of mental health issues, challenging stigma and promoting positive health and well-being.

To meet the needs of our community, our diverse range of services include residential and independent living services, national 24hr text crisis support, phone and instant messaging support lines, suicide prevention services, bereavement support, counselling in the community, mental health services for children including those in care or at risk, community support and activity groups aimed at promoting inclusion, support, recovery, wellness and self-care. We offer a wide range of services so that we can help each person that needs us, meeting their unique, individual needs. In addition to our service provision, we are dedicated to making mental health everyone’s business, challenging stigma, and using our voice and the voices of our ambassadors and partners to facilitate real change.

What is your proudest achievement?
In 2015 we achieved our first placement on the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For List and have achieved a place on the list every year since. We hold Gold Investors In People accreditation and are also a Mindful Employer and Positive About Disability.

We are incredibly proud to work in partnership with, or signpost to, other charities, local authorities and organisations to provide collaborative, holistic support to aid recovery, integration and inclusion, extend our reach and amplify our voices.

Aside from our direct services, we are committed to using our voice, collaborating with our ambassadors and other health and wellbeing organisations and influencers to raise awareness of holistic mental health wellbeing, making it ‘everyone’s business’, challenging stigma, normalising self-care and addressing current mental health issues, such as online bullying and barriers to accessing services for men, BAME and LBTQ+ individuals.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
Kim Fuller the Growing Participation and Volunteering Mentor at SCVO has supported our new volunteer coordinator at KPG since July. We have now started to introduce new volunteer opportunities on the ‘Let’s Go Sandwell’ site. Our volunteer coordinator is looking forward to becoming an active member of the quarterly Sandwell Volunteer Coordinators Forums. Kim also proposed KPG joined the Sandwell Networkers meeting which has been a wonderful link to other organisations in Sandwell that we have not worked with in the past.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?It may be easy to give up, but people and providers in Sandwell don’t! We work across many local authority areas but there is something really unique about Sandwell in that despite the many challenges the area faces, and to some extent, more than others, the community and its supporters still fight on!

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?

Our long-term aim is to provide our services on a national level and partner with other Organisations to improve efficiencies and sustainability.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
By keeping us up to date with all the latest health and social care developments in Sandwell and continuing to be a fantastic resource for those who provide services to the community.


Youth Mentoring Course for Volunteers

A few spaces are available for our Introduction to Youth Mentoring course taking place in January 2022.

The free course is primarily for volunteers helping out with children and young people and will be delivered by Mentoring West Midlands on Thursday January 13th from 9.30am-3.30pm at a venue in Smethwick.

The course focuses on progressing conversations with youngsters to help them find their feet, and covers topics such as safeguarding, confidentiality and the importance of accuracy in reporting.
Participants on previous courses said it was very relevant to their roles in supporting young people and gave them a better insight into how to help them stay on track.

For more information and to book a place contact kim@scvo.info

Co-producing a strategy for working with people and communities

You are invited to a co-production workshop to design what Black Country and West Birmingham CCG Integrated Care System (ICS) engagement approach should look and feel like, across the Black Country as part of the strategy for working with people and communities.

There will be keynotes from:

• Alex Boys, National Association Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
• Olivia Butterworth, Head of Participation, NHS England

Taking place: Thursday 9 December 2021 from 09:00 am to 12.30pm at The Hawthorns Stadium or Zoom depending on your preference.

Aim of session
Being an ICS means working more closely with Hospital Trusts, Local Councils and our Voluntary and Community Sector.

Working together, Healthier Futures want to co-produce an engagement strategy that is reflective of the community, shaping the way engagement looks and feels and more importantly, how your views and your lived experience influence the work of partners across the Black Country.

We are excited to provide both an in-person option and online option for this event to suit your needs.

Please register online via this Eventbrite link and select how you would like to participate.

If you have any questions or need any help, please do not hesitate to contact the engagement team on 0121 612 1447 or bcwb.engagement@nhs.net

*NB For in person attendance, you will be required to present a negative lateral flow test to enter. We will be following social distancing measures and ask that you wear a mask when walking around the building.

Agenda – More details to follow
09:00 am – Welcome and Introductions
09:30 am Registration and Networking
12:30 pm Wrap up and Lunch

NHS Guidance – Food for Thought
Please view the principles from recent NHS guidance as some food for thought before the event.

Ongoing engagement
We hope to work with as many of you as possible to truly co-produce a strategy which is inclusive for all our communities. This will be the first in several workshops before our strategy is ready to launch on 1st April 2022.

Introduction to the Voluntary Sector – 1st February 2022

Did you know there are over 1,000 voluntary and community (VCS) groups operating in Sandwell? Are you in a new role and would value an overview of the vast range of services available to help and support Sandwell residents? Or are you new to the area or part of a newly formed community group and would like to find out more about other groups and organisations delivering activities locally?

This session is informal and open to anyone who feels they have a limited knowledge of the VCS in Sandwell or would like to improve their knowledge and also find out about SCVO’s support offer.  

This is the fifth session we have held and feedback has been extremely positive “I’ve increased my knowledge about the services out there and how SCVO can help to support me to find out more”.

The session will cover:-

Information about the range of VCS organisations in Sandwell

What is Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)?

How can SCVO support your organisation grow and thrive into the future?

How you can keep up to date with local developments and help to shape and influence local decisions.

Book your place – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-the-voluntary-sector-1st-february-2022-tickets-204362392417

The session is taking place on 1st February 2022, 11.00am – 12.30pm through Teams. Once you have secured your place through Eventbrite, a separate e-mail with joining instructions will be sent to you nearer the date.

If you need any further information please contact Leona Bird, Strategic Engagement Officer at SCVO leona@scvo.info.

Sandwell Advocacy’s Annual General Meeting 2021 – ‘Lockdown & Beyond – Emerging From The Pandemic’

Sandwell Advocacy would like to invite you to our Annual General Meeting scheduled for the 25th November 2021 at 4.15 pm. Please note the Event will be virtual through Zoom.

As part of this event we will talk about:

  • How we had to adapt our operational activities during the pandemic
  • An overview of some of our operational activities including the Sandwell Together befriending service
  • Our volunteers experiences during a time of crisis
  • The session will be followed by the business part of our AGM which you will be very welcome to stay with us for.

Please register for this event to confirm your attendance via https://sandwelladvocacyagm.eventbrite.co.uk a Zoom invitation will then be sent to you in due course.

Have your say on the SAFL Ron Davis Centre Expansion in Smethwick

The Sandwell Adult Family Learning (SAFL) Ron Davis Centre in Smethwick currently works with adults over the age of 19 and families, offering a wide range of support including education, training, skills and careers advice.

The Towns Fund Ron Davis Centre Expansion project will provide two additional specialised digital classrooms to deliver transformational change in the Smethwick area for residents and expand targeted education and skills support. This project will also see the regeneration and upgrade of a local asset, allowing residents to access modern learning facilities.

Ron Davis Centre Expansion – Project details

We want your input on the future use of the Ron Davis Centre. To have your say, please complete our short online questionnaire by Friday 17 December 2021. You can also attend the drop in session taking place on 22 November 2021 from 2pm – 8pm (open access – no booking is required).

The Ron Davis Centre
Ballot Street
B66 3HH

Breaking the taboo around death with young people

Anyone with an interest in young people and building resilience is invited to the free ‘Dying 2 Talk Practitioner Online Event’ on Thursday 9th December 2021, 12 – 5pm.

The ‘Dying 2 Talk’ project aimed to co-produce resources with, and for young people, to prompt conversations about death, dying and bereavement.

And now partners want to share learning from the project, both in terms of working co-productively with young people and in relation to breaking down barriers to helping young people talk – and feel more comfortable about – this sensitive subject.

Partners welcome both those who have an interest in this subject and those who have expertise they would like to share, such as

• Practitioners and professionals who work with young people
• Practitioners and professionals who have experience and/ or expertise in bereavement, death and dying
• Practitioners and professionals who are interested in developing a model of a compassionate community for young people
• Researchers in co-production with young people
• Researchers in death, dying and bereavement
• Researchers in the Compassionate City model
• Anyone interested in developing their knowledge and experience of this subject area.

The project is a partnership between the Universities of Bradford and Wolverhampton and Child Bereavement UK, funded by AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council).

Drawing on the work of Allan Kellehear, the project aims to build a model of a compassionate community that can be adopted by schools and youth groups, building resilience in the next generation, buttressing their mental health for the future and helping to break down the taboo around the subject of death.

Booking is here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dying-2-talk-practitioner-event-tickets-199727960707

Rough Sleeper Estimate – 18th November 2021

As part of this year’s Rough Sleeper Estimate, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council will be undertaking an evidence-based estimate which includes a spotlight count. The spotlight count will take place on Thursday 18th November (commencing at midnight) and into the morning of Friday 20th November 2020. The purpose of the estimate is to assess the numbers of people rough sleeping on this typical night.

Since last year the Council has undertaken several interventions to support rough sleepers and increased its local rough sleeper intelligence, therefore the forum was of the view that the estimate this year would also benefit from a spot count, alongside the intelligence provided by our colleagues and partners.

To ensure this year’s figure is as robust as possible, we are asking colleagues and local agencies that may encounter people who are sleeping rough to participate and send us any intelligence you may have, using the attached ‘Estimate Notification Form’ and associated guidance.

Can we ask that you please the form to send us any intelligence you have about people you encounter who are sleeping rough on the chosen night of Thursday 19th November and into the morning of Friday 19th November 2021.

Please can you submit this information to us by midday on Friday 19th November so that all data can be collated and our final figure determined.

Please send your returns to myself pam_mandermasonde@sandwell.gov.uk and Ellen_OBrien@sandwell.gov.uk

Sandwell Young Carers looking to recruit Sessional Workers

Sandwell Young Carers is looking to recruit Sessional Workers to assist in supporting young carers using a hybrid service. Workers will be required either via virtual platform and/or at our Young Carers Family Centre in West Bromwich.

Sandwell Young Carers are looking to recruit:

Youth and Play Leaders – £10.25 per hour (Play; 5-10 years / Youth; 11-18 years)
A team of sessional youth and play leaders to work within the short breaks programme offering centre based Saturday play sessions, evening youth sessions, day trips out, school holiday scheme and occasional residential breaks. We are looking for individuals who could commit to 3-6 hours per week/fortnight on a rota basis to enhance the current team who work with over 300 young carers per annum. Those applying must have (or be working towards) Level 2 in Childcare or equivalent.

VIRTUAL Youth and Play Leaders – £10.25 per hour (Play; 5-10 years / Youth; 11-18 years)
We are searching for people who can entertain, engage, and support children and young people whilst they enjoy Virtual play and youth sessions through cloud video systems (Zoom).
The role requires you to join colleagues on the virtual platform in providing fun and entertaining activities that will offer young carers a distraction from their caring role, a chance to communicate with other members, and reduce the feelings of isolation felt by many at present.

All the above positions require the post holders to be flexible, sensitive, child-centred, trustworthy, and reliable, have experience of working with both children and young people and able to work to the organisation’s policies and procedures.

The organisation will be closing these vacancies on receipt of suitable applications. Therefore, it is recommended that if you are interested, to complete and submit an application with immediate effect.

You can do this by emailing ellen.hardwick@sandwellyc.org.uk for an application pack, stating the vacancy you are applying for. You are required to complete an application for each post that you are applying for.

Sandwell Young Carers are only accepting online applications at present to prevent delay in appointments.

Women’s Sector Resilience Fund Phase 2

The Smallwood Trust has just opened a new funding opportunity – The Women’s Sector Resilience Fund Phase 2. It is a £1.5m fund that has been set up to support local networks of organisations working with and for women to make change to systems that cause women’s poverty in their area.

It is a place-based approach to systems change that is open to networks in and around specified areas, including Birmingham. The Smallwood Trust aims to fund approximately three place-based networks. Each network can apply for up to £500k to be spent over three years.

Expression of interest deadline: 10th December

Please visit our website for more information, including Q+A webinar dates and full guidance: https://www.smallwoodtrust.org.uk/organisations

And follow us on Twitter for further updates: @SmallwoodTrust.

If you have any questions, please email grants@smallwoodtrust.org.uk

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Contact Us

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

1st Floor, Landchard House
Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER