Libby Mahoney

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New Chair for Active Black Country

Following recent recruitment, Active Black Country are delighted to welcome Amanda Tomlinson as the new Chair of the Active Black Country Partnership Board.

Amanda is the current Chief Executive Officer of Black Country Housing Group and brings a wealth of experience to the role alongside an in depth knowledge of the Black Country, its communities and needs of stakeholder organisations.

Serving on the Active Black Country Board since 2017, Amanda is an advocate for the role physical activity and sport can play in improving people’s lives, possessing a strong vision for the enabling role the partnership has to perform in contributing to desired health, social and economic outcomes across the Black Country.

On her appointment, Amanda said:

I am really excited to lead the Board and Partnership over the next few years, it is a very exciting time with the Commonwealth Games in 2022 presenting a huge opportunity for the Black Country. Active Black Country has some fantastic local partners that we work with and I am looking forward to developing new partnerships in due course. I want to ensure the Partnership’s actions impact positively upon local communities and we play our role in enabling transformational change in activity levels across the region.”

Find out more here.


Keeping Active at Home

Active Black Country have partnered up with Sport England and a breadth of local stakeholders to run a local campaign in response to the Covid-19 virus. The virus has resulted in a number of necessary measures that require us to limit the amount of time we spend outside our homes. The great news is the Prime Minister is telling everyone to be active every day!

Take a look at their website for ideas on how to keep active by clicking here.

Sport England is running a national campaign called ‘Join the Movement’ which seeks to bring greater attention to #StayInWorkOut – and inspire and inform the public about the many fun, and creative ways they can keep moving, The national campaign website is – www.stayinworkout.org

Locally, in the Black Country, they will be sharing ideas, good practice and positive stories to help people keep active during this time encouraging people to go outside for one piece of exercise a day, in line with government advice. They will be asking people to share their own hints, tips and home-based exercise inspiration with us through video and photo supporting the hashtag #StayInWorkOut.

Understandably, people may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. Mood and feelings are affected and people may feel low and miss being outside with other people. It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. Even a small amount of activity will have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, and there’s plenty you can do at home – we recognise everybody’s circumstance differs – and bearing this in mind we have tried to signpost you all to some ideas to keep you moving.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Active Black Country


Sport England – Join the Movement

Sport England is running a national campaign called ‘Join the Movement’ which seeks to bring greater attention to their social media campaign #StayInWorkOut – and inspire and inform the public about the many fun, and creative ways they can keep moving.

Take a look at their website by clicking here.

We’re all now spending a lot more time at home than we might like, which is why staying as physically active as possible is more important than ever.

Join the Movement is our brand-new campaign, funded by The National Lottery, giving you the advice and tools you need to help you do this while the country deals with the coronavirus outbreak.

Official advice is to stay at home, and to only go outside for one form of exercise a day, to shop for basic necessities, if there’s a medical reason and travelling to and from essential work.

Source: CBC


Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust – COVID Early Years Preventative Work

As a response to the current pandemic, the trust has changed its application guidelines and processes. Changes will apply for the spring application period march 16th – April 28th, in the first instance, by providing up to £5,000 unrestricted funding to small and medium charities under their Early years’ preventative work grants programme. 

These changes are intended to assist small and medium sized charities with small sums of unrestricted funding during this difficult period. We will be able to make more grants than usual but we do not expect to be able to fund all applicants.

Please read the new guidelines carefully before deciding whether or not you are eligible to apply.

The Trust will make grant to organisations working to  improve the life chances for some of the most disadvantaged children in England and Wales by investing in early intervention and preventative work. We support organisations whose work is with targeted groups of 0-3 year olds in England and Wales which will specifically improve the reach to these targeted groups and bring about improved defined outcomes for them.

Who can apply

  • Charities registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales whose last audited accounts show an income of less than £750,000 and
  • Charities that can demonstrate the likelihood of increased demand for their services and/or can demonstrate a loss of anticipated income attributable to the current pandemic

Duration and size of grants – Grants will be a one off payment of up to £5,000 and will be unrestricted.

Application date – Spring applications: applications can be submitted between  March 16th and April 28th 2020, with grants for successful applicants being as soon as possible after the closing date.

For more information click here.


Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme

The Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme (CECP) will award small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Priority will be given to organisations supporting vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups within our programme areas during this period.

Please note that this programme is not open to charities whose beneficiaries are based in London. We will be announcing separate initiatives for London charities over the coming days.

We recognise the immediate need for capital items and aim to make quick decisions on applications. However, if we receive a large volume of applications it may take up to two weeks for a decision to reach you.

We expect the criteria for this programme to evolve as our understanding of the needs of organisations supporting beneficiaries in our programme areas develops.

Key features of the fund:

  • Applications are only open to charities whose beneficiaries are not based in London
  • They will award capital grants of up to £5,000 (but we will not award grants equal to more than 50% of your annual income)
  • They aim to communicate a decision within one week (but it may take up to two weeks)
  • Capital projects that are planned as part of your organisation’s ordinary course of business are not eligible; for these you may wish to review the What We Fund page for our Open Grants Programmes

Key organisational eligibility:

  • Income of less than £2 million per annum
  • Work of the applicant organisation must fall within our nine programme areas
  • They do not support organisations that promote a particular religion or that only provide services to people of a particular religion

You must demonstrate your not-for-profit status in the application form and your accounts. We fund the following types of charitable and not-for-profit organisations:

  • Charities registered with the Charity Commission including Community Interest Organisations (CIO)
  • Community Interest Companies (limited by guarantee without share capital)
  • ‘Exempt Charities’ (in which case we require details of your principal regulator and/or evidence of HMRC exemption)
  • Special Schools

Please note that a ‘Constitution’ document alone is not a sufficient demonstration of eligibility.

Click here to apply or here for more information.

Source: Get Grants


Heritage Fund – Emergency Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  

The UK-wide fund – money raised from The National Lottery – will address immediate pressures over the next three-six months for those organisations most in need. It will be open for applications within the next few days.

We will continue to support more than 2,500 projects that we have already committed to – an investment of more than £1billion.

Eilish McGuinness, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Executive Director, Business Delivery, said:  “We know that circumstances are incredibly challenging for our heritage community right now and we want to do everything we can to support them. We hope this new fund will be a lifeline and a beacon of hope for organisations affected.

“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting personal wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from this current crisis.”

Heritage Emergency Fund

The £50m fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000.

It is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.

Organisations which have received funding in the past or are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply.

Priority will be given where:
•there is limited or no access to other sources of support
•where heritage is most at risk
•where an organisation is at risk of severe financial crisis due to COVID-19

A raft of extra support

We know that the majority of heritage organisations are facing temporary closure, severe impact on their revenue and staff shortages. Many face threats to their long-term futures. A small percentage fear they will not be able to last into the summer.

This is why we are taking a short, medium and long-term approach to our support for your immediate challenges and longer-term resilience and recovery.

For more information click here.


Food Donations Urgently Required – West Bromwich Food Bank

West Bromwich Food Bank located in West Bromwich Community Church, 23 Victoria Street, West Bromwich B70 8EX urgently needs your help, to continue to meet the increasing demands being place on them for food from those in need. We appreciate that this is a challenging time for everyone however, any food items that you can spare to help out are gratefully welcomed.

Can you help by donating any of the following or other items:

  • Cereal
  • Soup
  • Beans
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned meat
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Rice pudding
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned fruit
  • Coffee
  • Tea bags

The food bank is open Monday to Friday between 12.00 and 1.30pm at the West Bromwich Church. If you are able to donate you can drop the items off during this time. Please remember social distancing will be in operation to keep everyone safe.

For more information please email Keith Turner at keith@elimwestbrom.com


Sport England Emergency Funding

Sport England are making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The package, which is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, is made up of the following:

  • A £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available.
  • A £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they’re facing specific financial difficulty.
  • An additional £55 million to support our sector during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment.
  • A £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.

Alongside this, given cashflow concerns in the sector, we’ve also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50% of awards) to our partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

The package follows our recent decision to offer major flexibilities to those who currently receive funding – including the ability to change timings, key performance indicators, targets and conditions, and redirect money to new activity in response to coronavirus.

For more information click here.


Updated Guidance on Independent Examination of Charity Accounts

If your charity’s income is over £25,000, the trustees must arrange for an independent person or accountancy firm to carry out an audit or independent examination of the charity’s accounts.

The purpose of this is to give the charity’s trustees, supporters, beneficiaries and the wider public, some independent assurance that the charity’s money has been properly accounted for. The trustees of most charities are able to choose to have an independent examination instead of an audit. Independent examination is a ‘light touch’ scrutiny that usually costs less than an audit.

To help trustees we have updated our guidance Independent examination of charity accounts: guidance for trustees (CC31), to make it easier to read and more accessible.

This guidance will help you appoint an independent examiner with the ability and practical experience needed to carry out a competent examination of your charity’s accounts.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter Issue 64


Safeguarding and Protecting People

Safeguarding is a key governance priority for all trustees, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has recently launched a range of safeguarding resources, supported by other organisations.

The resources were jointly funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the National Lottery Community Fund.

NCVO Safeguarding resources – click here.

You should use these alongside our guidance about safeguarding duties for charity trustees by clicking here.

It is also important that you contact The Charity Commission about any safeguarding issues, or serious safeguarding incidents, complaints or allegations which have not been reported to us.

Find out about reporting serious incidents in your charity as a trustee by clicking here.

Find out about reporting serious wrongdoing at a charity as a worker or volunteer by clicking here.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter Issue 64


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