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National Churches Trust

National Churches Trust has changed its grant programmes in line with the new Building Resilience Strategy for 2019-2023 and now offers three grant streams.

The Cornerstone Grant Programme supports the conservation and sustainable use of church buildings, focusing on larger and more complex projects.

Grants are offered towards the cost of urgent structural repair projects costed at more than £100,000 including VAT. The Trust will also consider projects that introduce kitchens and accessible toilets to enable increased community use, costed at more than £30,000 including VAT.

Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are awarded to represent a maximum of 50% of the project cost.
Applications are accepted from listed and unlisted Christian places of worship, of any denomination, across the UK. The Trust particularly encourages applications from priority areas i.e. North East England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The next deadline to apply for a Cornerstone Grant is 1st July 2019 for a decision in July 2019.
More information at: https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/cornerstonegrants

Sandwell Summit 2019 – Come and Join the Conversation

You are invited to attend the Sandwell Summit 2019 to celebrate the great things we’re doing in Sandwell and explore how we can work together to achieve more.

We need your help and ideas about keeping it local. Focusing on our community assets, getting the most out of the Sandwell pound and involving local people and local businesses in shaping solutions for Sandwell.

Thursday 11 July, 4.30pm – 7.30pm
The Hawthorns, Richardson Suite, West Bromwich Albion Football Club, B71 4LF. Light refreshments will be available at 4.30pm

Please book your place by 12th June 2019 by e-mailing vision_2030@sandwell.gov.uk

We also want to hear your good news stories about the great projects going on in your town. If you’ve got a story to celebrate, tell us at vision_2030@sandwell.gov.uk

Please let us know if you have any food allergies or special dietary needs.

Join Us For Armed Forces Family Day

A military parade and a host of family fun and entertainment are being lined up to celebrate Armed Forces Day in Sandwell on Saturday 29 June.

The event at Dartmouth Park starts with a parade at 11am, followed by a fun day with entertainment, singing and military-themed stalls running until 2pm.

Entry is free and entertainment includes singer Maggie O’Hara and Creative Academies putting on sports and children’s activities. Young people can also check out the youth bus.

The celebration gives people an opportunity to show their support for men and women in the armed forces. It will have added significance this year with 2019 marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

Better Care Fund Community Consultation

The Better Care Fund (BCF) is a national programme delivering Health and Social Care integration.

It is proposed to develop services to support growth and development of our communities, promoting individual health, wellbeing and independence.

This short questionnaire aims to gather views around effective community led services that will support vulnerable people to be cared for at home or in the community when they need it.

Please click on the following link to the online link to the online survey.  Please note the deadline for responses to the survey is Sunday 4th August


Bringing Employment and Skills Support to those that need it most

Employability provides the key not just to a person’s financial position but also impacts hugely on their health, and the wellbeing and prospects of them, their family and their community.  Developing skills, building confidence and moving people closer to the job market is therefore hugely important and there are many local and regional programmes providing support to those who need it. 

SCVO, working in partnership with Sandwell Council, invite local voluntary and community organisations with an interest in increasing employability for Sandwell residents to come together to look at how we can make the most of local support provision.  Whether you are working directly in this field or your organisation supports people and communities within the work of your organisation who can benefit from this type of support, then this event is for you.

The event will offer you an opportunity to:-

  • Reflect on the challenges facing those seeking employment in Sandwell and current initiatives to address these
  • Find out moreabout support being offered at a grassroots level by the voluntary and community sector
  • Hear from some of the larger scale employment and skills programmes currently being delivered in Sandwell
  • Network with others – learn and share information on local support
  • Consider with others how together we can improve access, quality and sustainability of employment and skills support in Sandwell

The event is being held on Wednesday 3rd July at The Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA.  Registration/networking will be from 1.30pm with the meeting starting at 2.00pm and closing at 4.00pm.

To book a place please use the following Evenbrite link: https://employmentandskillsbriefing.eventbrite.co.uk

Queens Award for Voluntary Service – Great News for Sandwell Group

A Sandwell group of volunteers who help new migrants and refugees settle in local communities have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Yemeni Community Association’s team of volunteers provides educational, recreational, cultural, spiritual and emotional well-being activities for people of all ages.

Volunteers work to meet the needs of Arabic speaking communities and specifically support new migrants and refugees to settle in the area.

The organisation, which is led by chief executive officer Ragih Muflihi, is based at the Greets Green Access Centre, in Tildasley Street, West Bromwich.

Mr Muflihi said: “It is a great honour that the Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell has been recognised for the high standard of services it provides in meeting the needs of the local people.”

“We work with a group of about 40 volunteers who range from 15 years old to 70-plus from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who act as peer mentors to support people with a variety of issues.

“They include emotional well-being support and helping to develop the English language skills of new migrants to enable them to access the wider community.”

He said that over the past 12 months approximately 920 individuals had been helped. “Our work has helped to reduce community tensions and helped to ease the transition and settlement of new migrant families into the Sandwell community,” he said.

Mr Muflihi said that Sandwell had long been a destination for migrants but people who were less proficient in English “tended to live in silos” by not mixing with one another.

The organisation also runs mosque tours for local schools to help with the religious education curriculum and give live examples of how Muslims worship.

YCA CEO, Ragih Muflihi and Councillor Syeda Khatun

Sandwell Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for community engagement and equality Councillor Syeda Khatun said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a great honour for the association to receive such a prestigious award.

“The council really values the association’s commitment to supporting the community and the excellent work they do.”

Major Sylvia Parkin, Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands, said in a message to the group: “The announcement of your award is extremely good for Sandwell and the West Midlands.

“I know many people will join me in congratulating you on your achievement which is richly deserved. Those who directly benefit from your voluntary work will also be particularly pleased that the service you provide has been publicly recognised.

“To achieve a Queen’s Award is a tremendous honour and wonderful recognition of an organisation’s work. It is a great way to say ‘thank you’ to your volunteers.”

Imad Almuflehi Chair of the YCA said: “We are absolutely delighted with this wonderful award, it serves as great recognition of the amazing work of all the staff, volunteers and partners associated with the YCA in Sandwell. On behalf of the trustees I want to say a huge thank you to all involved over the history of the association for making it so welcoming, engaging and impactful for the diverse communities we serve”

Strategic Legal Fund

Not for profit organisations and private law firms that work with young migrants can apply for grants through the Strategic Legal Fund (SLF) for Vulnerable Young Migrants.

The maximum grant available is £30,000, however, limited funding is available and therefore lower applications are encouraged. The average grant size is around £12,000. Grants are available to undertake strategic legal work to benefit children and young people (under the age of 25) who are significantly disadvantaged by migration status. The fund will accept applications in any area of law that affects:
• Vulnerable young migrants including immigration
• Asylum and asylum support
• Human rights
• Education; etc.

The SLF only funds two kinds of strategic legal action- pre-litigation research and “third party intervention” in an existing case. The maximum grant length is 12 months, and most grants are for around six months. For information on previously funded projects please click here.

The next closing date for applications is the 5th July 2019.
More information at: http://strategiclegalfund.org.uk/how-to-apply/

 Achieving better outcomes together for the people of Sandwell

Andy Williams, Accountable Officer for Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (SWB CCG), and Toby Lewis, Chief Executive of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospital Trust (SWBHT), would like to invite representatives of the local voluntary, community and faith based sector organisations to meet with them.

Venue: Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick,
West Midlands,B66 1BA (If using a Sat Nav please use B66 1BQ)
Date: Monday 10 June 2019 at 2.00 p.m
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm (1.30 pm registration and refreshments)

At this session there will be an opportunity to hear from Andy Williams around the future role commissioning will have in an integrated care system, and from Toby Lewis about the development of an Integrated Care Provider Alliance for Sandwell and Western Birmingham and to seek your views:
• What does a better healthcare system look and feel like
• What are do the factors of success look like
• What is the Ask and offer to the voluntary sector

We would love the opportunity to talk to you about our ambition and aspiration for the area, but it is equally important to listen to you, representatives from the sector.

Places are limited, so if you are interested in attending please contact the Engagement Team on 0121 612 1447 or swbccg.engagement@nhs.net

Triangle Trust

The Triangle Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its Development Grants programme is noon on the 22nd October 2019.

This Development Grant is aimed at strengthening an organisation as a whole rather than just one specific project by providing core funding to implement a step change in development and therefore build increased sustainability for the future. During this funding round, the Trust will provide grants to not for profit organisations working towards the rehabilitation of offenders or ex-offenders.

The Trust awards grants to help develop sustainable income sources, so that when the grant comes to end, the applicant organisation’s income will not be reduced. Applicants must be a registered charity, not-for-profit social enterprise or community interest company working within the UK with a UK office.

Grants are available from £10,000 up to £80,000 for a duration of 6 months to 3 years. The amount of funding requested must be proportional to the development that will be undertaken. A maximum of £30,000 per year or £2,500 per month for smaller developments can be requested.

Grants can cover any costs incurred by the applicant in undertaking a development to increase resilience.
More information at: https://www.triangletrust.org.uk/

Dan Maskell Tennis Trust

The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications the 29th July 2019.

Individuals can apply for grants of up to £500 for support for sports wheelchairs, tennis rackets, coaching lessons with a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) licensed coach or course fees for official LTA development/coaching courses.
Groups can apply for: Wheelchairs; Court hire; Coaching fees; and equipment packages which will include:
• Rackets
• Balls
• Mini net
• Coaching aids such as cones and throw down marker lines.

In the case of wheelchairs, a deposit will be required; for individuals, the amount of deposit required will depend on the wheelchair type requested, clubs will need to raise a deposit of around £250; depending on the type of wheelchair.

More information at: http://www.danmaskelltennistrust.org.uk/apply-for-a-grant.html

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