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Our Commonwealth: People of Sandwell

We are delighted to announce our new Arts Council England and SMBC-funded project Our Commonwealth. The Living Memory Project is teaming up with Sandwell Advocacy to celebrate the rich diversity of Sandwell using story, photography and film and we want you to get involved.

To mark the staging of Commonwealth Games 2022, we will be creating a new photographic exhibition and an accompanying film to highlight the extraordinary contributions made by ordinary people across Sandwell who make it the rich and vibrant place it is today. In particular, we will be working with individuals and communities who have links to countries from across the globe.

What’s happening?

Photographer Anand Chhabra will work with 25 community-nominated participants to produce a series of contemporary portraits and recorded stories that will be exhibited at venues across Sandwell in May/June 2022

Filmmaker Joseph Potts will produce a new film with individuals and groups across Sandwell to explore themes of community, belonging and commonwealth.

A series of creative workshops with community groups and local schools to explore aspects of photography, family history and personal artefacts.

Call for nominations

We are looking for nominations for 25 individuals who have contributed to making Sandwell the warm and supportive place it is today. Their contributions could be in the area of family, caring, education, sports, the voluntary sector, health, the emergency and welfare services, or something else!

Do you know someone who you think should be recognised for who they are and what they do? You can nominate yourself!

What will happen

25 individuals will be selected from all the nominations who will be invited to have their portrait made with Anand and to record some of their life stories with the project team.

Do you know anyone who should be nominated?

Please view the website to completed a very simple form below or if you prefer, email – geoff@livingmemory.live

An Invitation to SCVO’s AGM 2021 – Creating Positive Change

SCVO members, other local voluntary sector organisations, stakeholders, and strategic partners are invited to SCVO’s Annual General Meeting taking place, this year, on Tuesday 12th October 2021 from 10.00am – 12.30pm.

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. We will also be considering the post-pandemic challenges and opportunities for the Sector.  You will have a chance to hear from speakers on a range of topics, to include how to promote positive health and wellbeing in the workplace to both your staff and volunteers.  The role your organisation can play to help to contribute to a greener environment and also how we can all take positive action around the issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.

The event will take place through Zoom and access details will be sent to you once you’ve confirmed your attendance.  Please note, if you don’t have internet access or suitable equipment to access the video content, you will still be able to ‘dial in’ from a standard landline (to a ‘local rate’ number).

To secure your place, please book via our Eventbrite page – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scvos-agm-2021-creating-positive-change-tickets-161453328251

SCVO are currently undertaking a 5 Minute Leaders Survey for you to tell us about your recent experiences, your thoughts on what opportunities and challenges you face and how you see the future working out.  A summary of the findings will be presented at the AGM.  If you haven’t already completed the survey, we would welcome your input – the survey can be accessed here –https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XSTLLR3

Funding Boost for a Safer Sandwell

Do you have a project which supports the local community and helps make Sandwell a safer place to live and work?

If the answer’s yes, you could be eligible for a cash boost from West Midlands Police Active Citizens’ Fund (ACF).

The purpose of the ACF is to support local communities actively involved in projects which aim to make a positive difference, and which make the West Midlands a safer place to live and/or work. All funded projects, which can receive up to £5000, must contribute to crime prevention/reduction or community safety in the local area.

Through this funding, the Police & Crime Commissioner is encouraging active citizenship and a closer working relationship between members of West Midlands communities and West Midlands Police.
In Sandwell, priority will be given to Impact Areas, identified as Tipton Princes End, West Bromwich Central and Smethwick Soho&Victoria, but this will not exclude other areas.

Deadline for submissions to the Neighbourhood Policing Unit is by noon on Friday, 17 September 2021.

Decisions will be made by local panels comprising local community representatives and West Midlands Police by 30 September 2021. Any queries or questions please contact Sandwell Partnerships – sandwell_partnerships@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk or for more information go to https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/active-citizens-fund/

Consultation on Black Country Plan launches

People can now have their say on major housing plans to help shape developments across Sandwell borough for the next two decades.

Last month Sandwell Council’s cabinet gave the go ahead for a consultation on the latest phase of the Black Country Plan.

The draft plan outlines potential future developments across the Black Country and is now being consulted on by the four Black Country councils – Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The plan aims to identify land for housing and employment purposes across the Black Country whilst continuing to protect green belt land from development.

The government projects that the Black Country will need just over 76,000 new homes over the next 20 years. To support this growth, it also needs 560 hectares of land to accommodate new jobs by 2039. This is equivalent to 835 football fields.

The consultation gives people the chance to have their say on the proposed sites for development and where they think new development should be in the Black Country.

The consultation runs from Monday 16 August until Monday 11 October, 2021. Find out more and complete the survey at blackcountryplan.dudley.gov.uk/

Alternatively you can visit your local library or Sandwell Council House reception, Oldbury or email: blackcountryplan@dudley.gov.uk

5 Minute Leaders’ Survey 2021

Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown have turned normal life upside down and presented many challenges for us all, the Voluntary and Community Sector have remained steadfast throughout and, in Sandwell, have extended their lifeline to residents and communities in many different and innovative ways.  This last year has demonstrated the value we all know and see every day within the Sector: the commitment of staff and volunteers to ensure no-one is left behind, the skill and expertise to think differently and move quickly to do what needs doing.

Through our VCS Leaders Survey 2021 we will create, and share with you, a picture of our local VCS in Sandwell.  We invite you as VCS leaders to tell us about your recent experiences, your thoughts on what opportunities and challenges you face and how you see the future working out.  We will share the findings of this quick survey on our website www.scvo.info and via our regular e-bulletin.  We will also ensure, as ever, that local strategic leaders and partner organisations such as Sandwell Council and the health service understand what our Sector brings to Sandwell and how we might work better together in the future.

To complete the survey please view – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XSTLLR3

The information you give to us will be treated in the STRICTEST CONFIDENCE.  Figures drawn from this survey will only be shared as a collection of data – no individual information/names of participants will be disclosed to any third party.

Please complete as much as you can of this survey.  If you have any questions relating to this survey, or if you feel SCVO can help you in any way, please contact Leona Bird on 0121 525 1127 or e-mail leona@scvo.info.  Please complete the survey by Thursday 30th September 2021.

Introduction to the Voluntary Sector – 14th September 2021

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.

The session is taking place on 14th September 2021, 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.

To book a place please view – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-the-voluntary-sector-14th-september-2021-tickets-158552076529

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

Do you Know a Carer?

Life is often tough for people caring for a family member or friend. But COVID 19 has led to even deeper impact on carers who provide support in their own homes or elsewhere.

Healthwatch Sandwell (HWS) would like to understand more about carers’ experiences during the pandemic and gain a picture of what health, care and support services carers may need as society and services start to restore to a “new normal”.

HWS would appreciate your support signposting carers to  https://engagingcommunities.researchfeedback.net/s.asp?k=162608622954

Healthwatch Sandwell will gain deeper insight into the experiences and needs of carers through personal interviews and focus groups to be conducted over the summer months. If you are carer and would like to be involved please get in touch. If your organisation is able to help support ensuring good representation, and Sandwell carers’ voices being heard, we would appreciate you making contact to look at working together.

Contact sophie.shuttlewood@healthwatchsandwell.co.uk

Shaping the future of Sandwell – A conversation between Sandwell Council and the Voluntary and Community Sector

We know Covid has exasperated inequalities in Sandwell, and as a Council we’ve been working to refresh our corporate plan to ensure we continue to focus and prioritise what matters most to our communities.

Come and have a conversation with us about the challenges ahead, we want to understand the issues from your perspective and make sure what we do supports and compliments your approach.

The conversation is taking place on Friday 23rd July from 11.00am – 12.30pm through Microsoft Teams. To book your place please view the link below.


VCSE Leadership Group – co-design workshop invite

The way health and care is delivered across the Black Country and West Birmingham is changing. NHS and Social Care partners are referring increasingly to the VCSE as the ‘corner stone’ of a thriving, healthy and happy population. But how, in the context of an Integrated Care System (ICS), can the VCSE take more of a lead role and have greater influence and input into decision making?

Stephen Terry, Engagement & Partnership Lead for the Black Country & West Birmingham ICS, would like to share his vision with you for a system wide, VCSE leadership forum. The purpose of the forum being;
– To strengthen the voice and influence of the VCSE at system level
– To act as a vehicle for the VCSE to operate as equitable transformation, innovation and integration partners.
– To connect the amazing work that’s already happening at neighbourhood and place, bringing together insight and activity at system level.
– This isn’t just a one way street. The leadership forum will improve the 2 way flow of information with members of the system group acting as brokers for place and neighbourhood structures.
– To provide a single point of contact for the ICS to engage with the VCSE ensuring that VCSE leadership is present around the decision making tables at the earliest possible point in time.
– Develop a culture of ‘working together’ with the VCSE able to play a lead role in shaping policy, strategy, new cultural emergence and commissioning frameworks. All whilst building the capacity of the VCSE, helping health and care partners cement themselves as ‘anchor institutions’ and critically, reducing inequalities and improving population health.

If you’re keen to learn more or help shape plans for the VCSE leadership group, then please join us for a co-design workshop on July 19th between 12:30-2pm. You can register your attendance at the workshop here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/vcse-leadership-group-co-design-workshop-tickets-162053385037

Email sterry@wolverhamptovsc.org.uk if you have any questions or would like help registration process.

Commonwealth Games Briefing – Find out more and get involved!

This session is being delivered in partnership with Sandwell Council and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Committee

With the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in summer 2022 approaching fast, this briefing event offers Sandwell voluntary organisations a chance to find out about the many exciting plans for activity around the Games, and receive an update on the progress of new developments such as the Aquatic Centre, located in Smethwick. This session is an opportunity to find out how your group and the residents and communities you serve can make the most of this global event on our doorstep and ensure a strong legacy for Sandwell. It will include information on pre-Games community activities and celebrations, sports sessions, programmes during the Games and volunteering opportunities.

The session will take place on Tuesday 7th September 2021 – 2.00pm – 3.30pm

To book your place please go to the link – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/commonwealth-games-briefing-event-find-out-more-and-get-involved-tickets-160559605101

The briefing will be held through Microsoft Teams and the joining instructions will be e-mailed to you a few days before the session.

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

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