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The UK Civil Society Almanac 2020 is here

The annual UK Civil Society Almanac is now available to download.

Drawing on a range of sources, the Almanac provides a snapshot of what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteering and its impact.

Key highlights include:
• 19.4m people volunteered at least once a year during 2018/19 through a group, club or organisation
• The voluntary sector contributed £18.2bn to the economy in 2017/18, representing about 0.9% of total GDP
• The voluntary sector has a paid workforce of 909,088, 5% more than in 2018

Click here to view the UK Civil Society Almanac 2020.


West Smethwick Enterprise – Business and Finance Administrator Vacancy

West Smethwick Enterprise is a charity set up in 1984 in Smethwick, Sandwell. We are a community-based organisation with an aim to improve outcomes for children and families.

Our services are inclusive to all and we are committed to supporting children and families within the local community. We currently offer Pre-School facilities for children aged between 2-5, two of which are currently Ofsted rated Outstanding, family support services for children and their families within the local community, stay and play sessions for families and children, parenting programmes and a supported child contact centre.

We are looking to recruit a Business and Finance Administrator to join our team. This is an exciting opportunity for someone looking to support the development and growth of a community-based organisation. We are seeking a highly motivated and organised individual with energy and vision to join our dedicated team. We are looking for a strong, proactive candidate who can provide finance administration and business support to ensure the smooth running of the organisation. The candidate must be able to work independently within a supportive team. The successful candidate will be forward thinking; have excellent interpersonal and time management skills; high expectations; excellent numeracy and literacy skills and be able to use their own initiative.

The Business and Finance Administrator will be responsible for all financial accounting associated with West Smethwick Enterprise including budgeting and forecasting reports. They will provide key business and management expertise to the organisation, working with the Director to support the day to day running of the finance department as well as developing systems to drive efficiency and develop business growth.

We can offer the opportunity to work within a welcoming and enthusiastic environment and a commitment to your professional development including access to training.

The post offers 25 days paid holiday plus Bank Holidays and pension.
The position is subject to an enhanced DBS.
Salary: £20,000 – £25,000 depending upon experience
Full time: 37.5 hours per week – 8am – 4pm or 9am – 5pm

Closing date: 31st July 2020
Interview date: W/c 3rd August and W/c 10th August 2020

For an application form please email Laura Richmond: l.richmond@wsenterprise.co.uk

Sandwell Valley attractions move towards reopening

A range of activities at Sandwell Valley Country Park in West Bromwich are to be released from lockdown restrictions, starting from Monday 13 July.

Outside staff are returning to normal working to provide maintenance work and services to the public. Staff have been working to make sure animals are cared for and to remove rubbish and tidy the site.
The shops at the visitor centres at Sandwell Park Farm and Forge Mill Farm will reopen from Monday 13 July to provide refreshments, ice creams and other products such as honey and preserves. The tea room at Sandwell Park Farm will also operate a takeaway service. Forge Mill and Sandwell Park Farm will remain closed for now.

This follows the re-opening of Swan Pool to the Sandwell Sailing Club and the mini-runway for Sandwell Model Aircraft Club which is also available to members.

These changes come under phase one of the council’s recovery plan for the Valley and will be welcome news for the many thousands who visit the Valley to use the facilities and to walk and cycle through the local beauty spot.

There will also be an increase in agricultural operations on the farmland and the start of grounds maintenance across all green open spaces and the adjoining Dartmouth Park.

The re-opening of other facilities such as the pedalo boat hire, the farms at Forge Mill and Park Farm will come at a later date, as part of phase two.

Also still on hold is the reopening of play areas and fitness equipment and the toilets at the pavilion. All play areas will need to be inspected and government guidance on their usage considered, before the council can reopen them.

Reset and Recover – Sandwell Communities

Are you looking for opportunities to develop the health and well-being of those in your community group? Are you interested in alternative ways to help people in your community recover and reset, following the challenges of lockdown?

How about trying one of the centres in the Sandwell Residential Service.

We are four centres with one basic goal; to create enjoyable, meaningful opportunities and experiences for the people who step through our doors. We can work with you to develop experiences that use a variety of environments to:

• Build self-confidence and self-esteem in the aftermath of lockdown.
• Provide opportunities for vulnerable groups to develop in a safe, supportive environment.
• Facilitate team work and leadership opportunities
• Develop resilience and a growth mindset through the medium of adventure and challenge.
• Use engagement with the outdoors and/ or creative arts to develop mental health and a sense of wellbeing.
• Create opportunities for people to engage in meaningful environmental activity that develops their sense of community.

If you are interested in forming new and exciting partnerships that will benefit the people around you then please get in touch.

Dan Jackson – Senior Tutor at Plas Gwynant Outdoor centre – dan_jackson@sandwell.gov.uk
Richard Oakes – Head of Service – richard_oakes@sandwell.gov.uk

If you want to get a further taste of what we offer then have look at our website www.sandwellresidentials.co.uk or follow us on Facebook.

Save the Date – SCVO’s 2020 AGM and Conference

SCVO Members, local voluntary sector organisations, stakeholders and strategic partners are invited to SCVO’s Annual General Meeting taking place this year on Tuesday 29th September.

This will be an opportunity to reflect on an eventful year for Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector and learn about new developments and changes at SCVO. Further details on the programme and agenda for the event will follow nearer  the time.

The event is taking place on Tuesday 29th September 2020 from 9.30am – 12.30pm. Given the current situation, it will be held virtually and joining instructions will be sent to ticket holders in advance of the event.  The timing of the event may alter slightly, but again we will give you advance notice.

We do hope that you can join us and many others from across Sandwell for what we hope will be an enjoyable and informative occasion.

In order to book your place please go to – https://scvoagm2020lookingtothefuture.eventbrite.co.uk

Free Online Training Multi-Agency Safeguarding Training

Free online multi-agency Safeguarding training available to officers in Sandwell

Please find attached details of multi-agency training that is available for organiastions to attend.

This includes training from the:-


Safer Sandwell Partnership
Sandwell Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership
Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board
Sandwell Children’s Safeguarding Partnership

Please view for further information on the variety of training available and how to book your place – https://www.scvo.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Safeguarding-Training-Available-1.docx


Can you help ‘Home from Hospital?

If you have a car and a clean licence you could be a great help to older people needing to get to and from hospital.

Age UK Sandwell urgently needs helpers please who can support with transport to appointments and help older people to settle in to their home after a stay in hospital.

Other requirements include:

• Willing to complete an enhanced DBS check

• Willing to undertake any training required

• Available for minimum 3 hours Monday – Friday

• Live within 30 mins drive from either City Hospital, Heartlands or the QE

• Not in at risk groups for COVID 19

Find out more by contacting volunteering@ageukbirmingham.org.uk or call 0121 437 0033

Big conversation about mental health ● learning disabilities ● autism in Sandwell

As a newly merged organisation we have an ambition to support the people of Sandwell to lead healthier and happier lives. We cannot do this alone, and we want to work with you in genuine partnership to develop our clinical strategy, to listen and learn, in order to achieve meaningful change.

As the system starts to prepare for future demand for services, we are holding a series of ‘big conversations’ about the services we deliver; one Black Country conversation for those specialist service areas where we come together to achieve greater quality and scale for all our populations, and one in each of our localities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) for those core services where we know that the needs of our local communities need to be locally driven.

We want to start the conversation with two simple questions:

1. What does the very best healthcare provision for those with mental health, learning disabilities and/or autism look like in 3 years’ time?
2. What are the most important steps we should take to achieve this?
We wanted to share these with you in advance so you can discuss them with others you may represent or advocate for.

Our ‘Big conversation’ will be virtual for now and will take place for via Zoom on 30th July, 10.30am – 12noon.

We hope you can join us. Let us know you’re attending by emailing bchft.communications@nhs.net and we will send you the link to the session. If you can’t make this date but would like to share your feedback please contact us bchft.communications@nhs.net

New Community Initiative Fund by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

New £200,000 Community Initiatives Fund launched by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to community and voluntary organisations to help overcome social effects of Coronavirus isolation

The new Community Initiatives Fund which comes into effect on Wednesday 1st July 2020, will be funded from money which has been allocated from items seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Each year, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner invites local community groups to bid for a grant from the existing Active Citizens Fund which is money which must go into community projects and cannot be spent on recruiting Police officers. The Community Initiatives Fund temporarily replaces the Active Citizens Fund.

Following a surge in voluntary and community activity to help vulnerable people during the COVID 19 crisis, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, has made £200,000 available over the next six months, to support active citizenship within local communities.

Sandwell will have £15,000 to spend on projects which tackle vulnerability, fear of crime and work with the WMP response to COVID


• Digital formats contacts with the public supporting vulnerable via media social media etc, IT equipment, youth online media , networking communities
• Social isolation and mental health
• Elderly vulnerable supporting them, food, tackling elder abuse , communication
• Families food poverty, support for children and families especially as the schools could be closed over summer, demand on Police, Mash, Foodbank etc
• Domestic Violence this is a key matter across force we should consider this for some bids, families isolating together with a DV perpetrator,
• Consideration for messaging support to BME/Eastern European groups around support on reporting Domestic Violence plus advice on Social Distancing
• Encouraging Communities to sign up to WM NowThere is a maximum bid of £5k

This is the link to the detail on the OPCC website which includes process map and also the documents for organisations to complete https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/community-initiatives-fund/.

Barnardo’s 175 Challenge

Thomas Barnardo’s has a significant birthday (175) on Saturday July 4th.

We thought it would be a good time to come together and do something positive and show what a great organisation Barnardo’s is, especially given how challenging the last few months have been.

Local challenge
Between Barnardo’s colleagues in the Black Country/Central region we are going to complete a 175 kilometre run/walk on Saturday 4th July. Please feel free to join us for the run/walk by either completing 1.75K, 17.5K and anywhere between. Do as a team/individual (10k, 5k, 2.5=17.5k). Or why not do 175 minutes/seconds of exercise/s.

Your challenge
If Running/Walking isn’t for you how about doing something else with 175 in it? Examples 175 seconds of juggling or balancing something on your head, star jumps, dancing! It could be minutes, seconds, meters, miles, anything it doesn’t matter. The more creative the idea the better. You can join us on Saturday July 4th or the closest day to it that suits you.

Post it
Post a picture/video of you doing you activity. Wear something green and post on workplace if you can.

Solidarity and Reflection
We will be supporting the Black Life Matters campaign at the start of our run by ‘taking a knee’. It can also be a time to think about our colleagues that have lost loved ones during the pandemic and those that have lost their own lives.

If you want to raise much needed funds for Barnardo’s why not support our Crisis Appeal.

If you are able to join us whatever you are doing stay safe and well and follow government guidelines.

For more information please contact Jonathan Oldham – Children Services Manager, Barnardos –

T:  01384 411 722, M: 07739 256266 or e-mail – jonathan.oldham@barnardos.org.uk

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