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Rough Sleeper Provisions Survey

Sandwell Council are reviewing all provision for rough sleepers across the borough to understand what additional provision may be needed and to understand how our developing model can integrate with existing services and support. We are looking at the whole end to end system and are focused on intervening at the earliest opportunity with a holistic offer of support.

Sandwell Council are working with partners to develop a multi-agency network through the Sandwell Homeless Forum, which your response will directly feed into and help shape future decisions, in particular future service development and commissioning decisions. The information we collect will be compared against the demand data we hold for each person which focuses on the real issues to solve and not just meeting immediate housing or essential needs. This will allow us to understand the gaps.

The aims of this exercise are:
• To be better equipped to effectively signpost individuals to support, services and provisions
• To build better networks and relationships with, and across, wider community organisations
• To better shape future provisions by identifying current needs and gaps
• To enable SMBC to better support organisations across the borough

To complete the survey please go to – https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=m_jApLkj60movyRPsKTP_M5LMtJiXTtCtRvrDIR_n-1UN0xMUDROWFE5V1c2OE02V1U4SEYwVVBEOS4u

If you have any queries, please contact: jennifer_collins@sandwell.gov.uk

Funding to Improve Homes & Community Spaces

Grants of up to £5,000 are available to registered charities across the UK & Ireland for projects that support people experiencing bad housing or homelessness, as well as community projects looking to improve their spaces. This could be a community hall or care centre, hostel or hospice.

The B&Q Foundation provides funding to support people in need including those suffering financial hardship, sickness, disability, or other disadvantage or distress.

The Foundation has previously awarded grants to charities ranging from homelessness and abuse charities, to children’s hospices and rehabilitation centres. Funding can be used for projects including creating community gardens, redecorating properties, and converting rooms at hostels to additional bedrooms.

Applicants are required to submit expressions of interest and funding will be awarded before the end of the year.

For further information please view – https://www.diy.com/corporate/bandq-foundation/

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Launches New Strategy

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is launching a new strategy, which will focus on three interdependent aims:

• Improving the natural world:
• Tackling injustice to deliver a fairer future;
• Creative, confident communities.

Under the new strategy, the Foundation will be providing larger and longer-term grants of over £30,000, as well as social investments of between £100,000 and £2 million to charities or initiatives with ideas working towards these aims. The new strategy is supported by the need to tackle structural inequality, racism and the causes and impacts of climate change.

Funding can be used to cover core or project costs, including staff salaries and overheads. Collaborative approaches are encouraged.

Expressions of interest can be submitted at any time

For further information please view – https://esmeefairbairn.org.uk/

Funding to Tackle the Disproportionate Impact of Covid-19 on BAME Communities

Small Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) -led charities, voluntary and community groups, and social enterprises in England can apply for support to help tackle the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Voice4Change England’s Covid-19 Partnership Fund will provide organisations with grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 to deal with emerging issues in the community, as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus, the need for self-isolation, and potential for further exacerbation of loneliness and isolation.

Funding can be used to cover running costs and small capital costs, and support for services such as foodbanks, domestic abuse and violence groups, tackling homelessness, and providing access to technology.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on the 3rd November 2020.

For further information please view – https://voice4change-england.com/covid-19-grants-programme/

Find Out More About Community Advocacy

Community Advocates speak up for people who, for reasons such as illness or their age, might find it difficult to be heard regarding their rights and issues.

On Wednesday October 21st at 3pm, Community Advocates from POhWER host an open event on Facebook to explain more about the free, confidential service and how you can get involved.

Whether you are interested as someone who may like to use the service, or as a potential volunteer, you can join the event via Empohwer West Midlands Facebook page www.facebook.com/EmpohwerWestMidlands

To find out more about helping out at POhWER search for it on www.letsgosandwell.info

Debt Adviser Required – Sandwell and Walsall Citizens Advice

This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of a charity that is a member of a national brand. Join a growing organisation that excels in delivering a great service to clients and cares about employees. Become a part of a team that puts excellence and clients at the forefront.

Citizens Advice Sandwell and Walsall are seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and experienced Debt Adviser, to work in a busy office and across local outreach sites. The ideal person will have knowledge of undertaking in-depth debt advice work for clients with multiple debts and providing comprehensive specialist debt advice.

The Debt Adviser must be flexible with their approach to work, target driven, able to work well under pressure while maintaining high quality and standards in all aspects of their work.

A positive manner in addition to good organisation and time management skills is important. The ideal person must have excellent communication skills to enable them to advocate for clients with the aim to achieve results. The candidate must be willing to work as part of a team, use their initiative to work independently and develop external partnerships.

It is vital they can carry out and monitor their own casework and related administrative tasks, with minimal supervision. Accuracy is essential, as well as meeting deadlines. Travel across Sandwell and Walsall will be required.

Hours: 37 hours per week – full time
Salary: £25,335 pa.
Contract: Permanent
Closing date: Monday, 2nd November 2020 at 5.00pm
Interview date: Tuesday, 10th November 2020

Interview and Test: – Please note there will be a test on the day of the interview.

Please note that due to the volume of applications we will only respond to applicants who are shortlisted for interview.

If you enjoy a challenge and think you have the skills in addition to knowledge to do this role, then please contact us to obtain an application pack for this post. Please email: recruitment@citizensadvicesandwell.org.uk

Invitation to Voluntary Sector Briefing Session with Dr Lisa McNally

Sandwell’s public health team would like to engage with community and voluntary sector partners to update on the current covid-19 situation.

We are scheduling in monthly virtual briefing sessions on Microsoft teams which will be delivered by Sandwell’s Director of Public Health, Dr Lisa McNally.


Dates scheduled are:

27th October 2020- 10:30-11:30am
24th November 2020- 10:30-11:30am
22nd December 2020- 10:30-11:30am
26th January 2021- 10:30-11:30am
25th February 2021- 10:30-11:30am
23rd March 2021- 10:30-11:30am

If you would like to book onto the briefing sessions, please contact katie_deeley@sandwell.gov.uk

In the meantime if you require any covid-19 assistance or support, please contact:  PHCovid19_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk.

Sandwell Advocacy Event for Advocacy Awareness Week

26th – 30th October is Advocacy Awareness Week and here at Sandwell Advocacy we are hosting an online event to let other professionals, volunteers and partners know which projects we are currently working on and to give a more detailed insight to what advocacy involves.

We would love you to join us between 2.00-3.30pm via Zoom on Thursday 29th October 2020. Book your tickets on Eventbrite, there are limited numbers so be quick. Once registered we will send you the link and any other information you will need in due course.


Money Advice Service Announced

We are pleased to announce that Citizens Advice Walsall, Sandwell and Staffordshire North & Stoke on Trent have come together to deliver a new project funded by the British Gas Energy Trust.

The Trust exists to alleviate the detrimental impact of poverty. Helping people in or at risk of financial hardship meet their energy needs and manage their energy costs through support, education and raising awareness of sound money Management.

Locally it will be delivered by Potteries Money Wise alongside their normal financial capability and energy advice work. The staff will be working within their respective communities and will be helping families to make the most of their income, reduce their debt and feel more confident in managing their finances in the future.

Advisers will help families look at their energy providers and see if they could save money by switching, or being more energy efficient and help them to get grants to improve the warmth of their homes.

We will also carry out benefit checks with families to make sure they are receiving the money that they are entitled to and where needed, families will be referred to our Specialist Debt Team to help them manage any debts they are struggling with.

Referrals can be made using our existing referral contacts or by emailing moneyadvice@snscab.org.uk or calling 01782 408625 and leaving a message for a call back within 24 working hours.

What If….you could change mental health services

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust want to know what you think so we can make positive change for our Black Country communities!

If so, we are hosting three online conversations in October and November where people of the Black Country will get an opportunity to share their views of our mental health services.

Anyone that is interested can register their interest by clicking on the links below. The dates available are as follows:

Date:                               22 October
Time:                              6.00pm – 7.30pm
Registration details:    bit.ly/2GxpHak
This session is dedicated to conversations about our children and young people mental health services

Date:                               27 October
Time:                              2.00pm – 3.30pm
Registration details:    bit.ly/30ItI2X

Date:                               3 November
Time:                              6.00pm – 7.30pm
Registration details:    bit.ly/2GhFNVC

The invite is open to everyone from our service users, carers, community organisations, general public and more.

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