Libby Mahoney

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Simple as ABCD!

If you’re passionate about helping to develop your local community, pop in to one of the upcoming meetings hosted by Sandwell Council and Sandwell Churches Link.

A series of friendly, practical workshops have been organised across the borough to introduce the idea of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD).

Asset Based Community Development is a local, ‘grass roots’ approach to strengthening communities.

Through a process of recognising, identifying and harnessing existing ‘assets’ that individuals and communities have – things like skills, knowledge, capacity, resources, experience or enthusiasm for example – ABCD aims to help strengthen and improve things locally.

Instead of looking at what a community needs or lacks, the approach focuses on best using the ‘assets’ that are already there.

The workshops are a chance to learn more about ABCD, and network and chat about what it would look like to work together in your area. Representatives from any sector are welcome.

Workshops will take place at:
Holy Trinity Church, Smethwick
Sandwell College Arts Café
Friar Park Millennium Centre
The Oak Tree Centre, Oldbury
Cradley Heath Community Centre
St Mark’s, Ocker Hill

Find out more, and how to book HERE

Sandwell Digital Donation

A new Sandwell partnership is urging local businesses to donate unwanted PCs, laptops and tablets to people in need.

Sandwell Digital Donation is a partnership between Sandwell Council, Black Country Housing Group and West Bromwich-based social enterprise Repc Ltd.

It is hoped the programme will help to narrow the ‘digital divide’: the gap between people in society who have full access to digital technologies and those who do not.

Read all about how you can get involved on the Think Sandwell website.

Job opportunities with The Wolves Foundation

Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation is the official charity of Wolves FC. The Foundation delivers creative, innovative and diverse engagement initiatives using the power of Wolves to motivate, educate and inspire people in communities to improve life chances.

Wolves currently have seven vacancies for which they would like to invite applications:

Schools Educator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Health Officer – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Health Activator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Health Administrator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Funding and Events Coordinator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Active Through Football Project Officer – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

For more details or for the application forms click here.

Please direct any questions to Laura Cowley, Governance & Compliance Manager, on 01902 828366 or email

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre: Loss Matters Programme

Following a successful pilot in the summer, and now with funding from SCVO Vision 2030 Community Mental Health grant, the Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick is delivering Loss Matters – a group based support programme for anyone who has been affected by loss of any sort, whether bereavement, redundancy or a relationship ending. Each programme is made up of a weekly session, for eight weeks.

This project is run in partnership with Smethwick Old Church and they have trained volunteers who will lead activities and discussions to help the group to think, to talk and to support one another. This is a confidential, safe space for all those who attend. The Dorothy Parkes Community Centre feel that this programme is needed more than ever due to the effects of COVID and all the restrictions and lockdowns which resulted in changes for funerals, increased unemployment, relationship breakdowns etc.

Places are FREE but we do ask that attendees commit to attending for the full eight weeks. The project will be rolled out over the course of the next twelve months and the first programme starts on Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 7pm – 8.30pm.

For more details, or to express your interest, please complete the enquiry form on their website by clicking here.  Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Black Country Foodbank: 2021 Harvest Campaign

Harvest (September to the end of October) is one of the most important times of the year for Black Country Foodbank. It’s a good time to restock our shelves after the demands of the summer holidays. This year, in the wake of the Covid-19, your donations will be crucial.

Black Country Foodbank are thankful that many schools, faith groups, community groups and businesses donate vital food, toiletries and finances to help support food banks as they navigate new challenges and families manage increasing financial pressures.

The past year has been a real struggle for many families and the future looks just as problematic as benefits are about to be cut and furlough is reaching an end. The aftermath of the pandemic means that many families are in debt and are not sure where to turn. As they continue to help people get through these unexpected times, all the support is very much appreciated.

In 2020 they provided 440,000 meals with 110,000 being for children under the age of 14, with your support they can continue to provide for all those that need us.

Please see their website for school resources, shopping lists etc. If there is anything specific you’d like to know or to arrange a collection, then please get in touch using or 01384 671250.

Things to Consider When Managing Fundraising Risks

UK Fundraising, in their article, explain what their 10 key fundraising risks are and what trustees can do to mitigate against them. As trustees know fundraising can be a risky business and it is important for organisations be aware of whet theses are and take the necessary actions.

The risks they discuss include:

  1. Lack of a robust fundraising strategy – so that fundraising is conducted ad hoc with no real targeting of investment in the most promising areas. The answer here is to develop and maintain a costed fundraising strategy, linked to your organisational business plan, that focus on the future growth areas you have identified as your best future opportunities.
  2. Over reliance on a few income sources – such as too much funding from statutory sources. The answer to this is diversification, which can take time but is usually possible and makes your organisation more sustainable. The risks of not diversifying are financial decline and even organisational closure.
  3. High staff turnover – This can be very damaging for your income, as new staff take time to learn about the organisation and possibly to develop their skills. Departing staff can also take their contacts with them. If your organisation is affected, find out why people are leaving and seek to win greater loyalty – it will pay for itself in the long run. If you have an effective fundraising team, try to keep them at all costs.
  4. Compliance issues – In recent years especially, data protection has been a major hygiene factor for fundraising charities, so it is imperative to have someone who understands your obligations in handling personal data – GDPR is here to stay, Brexit or no Brexit. Other compliance risks include late filing with the Charity Commission, which funders will notice, so ensure your finance team is on track to file on time.

To read the full article click here.


Black Country Women’s Aid Go Purple Campaign

Go Purple campaign, is Black Country Women’s Aids (BCWA) annual event in October where they ask organisations, residents and business for their support to help them raise much needed funds by Going Purple, as part of October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness month. The colour Purple is worn to show you care for women and children going through this traumatic time.

It’s easy to get involved, you choose a day in October and ask staff, friends and family to each put a £1 into BCWA’s purple collection tin and wear something purple on that day such as spraying your hair purple, painting your nails purple or bake and sell purple cakes or of course your own idea, or simply make a donation.

Last year they supported over 9,000 adults [10% Male] with their children to escape violence, overcome trauma and get these families back on their feet.

Domestic Violence is a massive problem in our area and we need your help to raise awareness and to help us to continue to supply our vital services. BCWA currently receives 24 calls every hour.

For more information or to obtain a fundraising pack get in touch with Deborah Slater by emailing her at

Win a £100 Donation

Fundraising website easyfundraising puts the easy back into fundraising by enabling your voluntary organisation, non-profit, charity, or CIC to earn donations when your volunteers and supporters are shopping online.

easyfundraising works with over 5,900 retailers who will donate to your organisation, to say ‘thank you’ when your volunteers, staff and supporters shop with them. We’re all shopping online anyway, so why not make it work in your favour? Plus, if you register before 31 October, your organisation will go into a draw to win a £100 donation. Register by clicking here.

£1m in Funding for Community Organisations

It’s payment season at easyfundraising, which means good causes in our area are receiving a share of almost £1million in donations!

If your organisation isn’t a part of the easyfundraising community yet, give it a try; you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Each time your supporters (volunteers, staff, service users, etc.) shop online at over 5,900 leading retailers, your organisation will receive cashback donations at no extra cost.

Register to ensure your organisation is on the list to receive a share of donations next time by clicking here.

U Island Touring Exhibition

U Island CIC and arts organisation Juneau Projects have been working with families from Russian speaking countries as well as Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and the UK to create imaginative sculptural birdhouses telling their stories of migration to Birmingham and the Black Country and sense of home.

The touring exhibition features five amazing exhibits that all have a unique story to discover, enjoy, share, and celebrate with others.

For more information please visit:

Thimblemill Library – Saturday 11th September, 10am – 4pm
Thimblemill Road, Smethwick B67 5RJ
0121 569 4943

(Please call the library in advance of attending to avoid disappointment, as Covid safety rules may affect access. Further information can be found here

Lightwoods Park and House – Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th September, 11am – 4.00pm
Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick, B67 5DP
0121 569 4141

Covid Safety Measures – Venues continue to ask you to wear a face covering inside their buildings and respect other people’s personal space. Please use the sanitisers provided on entrance and before exiting. Please check with venues and our social media channels as Covid safety rules are subject to change and may affect access.

This has been made possible thanks to Arts Council England, SCVO Vision 2030 Fund, Creative Black Country and Discover Sandwell.

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