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Sandwell Early Help Partnership Event – ‘Supporting our most vulnerable children: Let’s work together’

You are invited to be part of our next Sandwell Early Help Partnership event, taking place on Monday 20th May, 1.45 pm – 4.00 pm at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Ln, Smethwick B66 1BA. The event will, as always, give you the opportunity to meet other agencies from across Sandwell who are working with children, young people and families to provide early support around some of life’s challenges. 

The event will give you the opportunity to …

  • make new contacts and meet with colleagues from other organisations
  • think about and share with others how we can best support vulnerable young people
  • consider how we can make the most of existing holiday provision and activities
  • receive an update on important new local initiatives to support young people, and on the Early Help Partnership

The event is open to staff of organisations which are signed-up members of the Sandwell Early Help Partnership, or which are shortly to sign up as members.  All tickets for this event are free and we encourage members to bring along their colleagues (max 3 per organisation) and of course if you can’t make it feel free to send someone in your place.

Participants are encouraged to bring along promotional information on any services that they are providing to share during the networking time.

To book your place please click here:

The Sandwell Early Help Partnership comprises a range of local organisations including schools, health workers, voluntary and community organisations, Sandwell Police and Fire, and Sandwell Council Children’s Services. Membership of the Partnership is free and all member agencies share a commitment to work together to achieve the shared ambitions for children and families in the borough.

For any questions or queries please email:

VCS Mentors sought for new Youth Programme

Sandwell has secured funds to deliver a local programme of the Government’s ‘Supporting Families Against Youth Crime’ initiative. This fund is focused on areas of the country where gang and youth crime is an issue to provide local authorities with additional capacity to help them respond to their local needs.

The aim of this programme in Sandwell is to help our local children and young people to have increased resilience and to feel empowered through accessing support to steer them away from becoming involved in gang and youth crime. The programme also seeks to equip parents and families to better identify and deal with issues at an earlier stage through a network of support.

Local organisations from the Voluntary and Community Sector are now invited to apply to become an approved partner in delivering youth mentoring from June 2019 to the end of March 2020.

Interested and eligible organisations can apply to be an approved delivery partner, the deadline for which is 9.00 am, Monday 3rd June 2019.

There will be a briefing event held on Monday 13th May, 2 – 3 pm at SCVO offices, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER. This meeting will be an opportunity for potential applicant organisations to discuss and learn more about the programme as a whole and the mentoring element more specifically.

Key documents are as follows:-

Please note that this is a different funding opportunity to the Early Intervention Youth Fund, for which Sandwell Council is currently seeking local youth organisations to deliver targeted interventions with young people.  Details of that opportunity can be found here.

Survey to Help Create Better Community Workspaces

Delivering your activities and managing your voluntary group or charity from good quality premises or a suitable base within the local community ranks as a high priority for most VCS leaders. However, we know that finding affordable workspace can be challenging – and even moreso with tight budgets or short-term funding.

Increasingly organisations are looking to find flexible premises to operate from – whether this is co-locating with other like-minded organisations, ‘hot-desking’, or operating outreaches or surgeries in community spaces.

SCVO is keen to support organisations who are looking for better accommodation to find improved short or long-term solutions. This can sometimes mean helping to bring together and connect organisations with similar requirements, signposting organisations into specialist help, or linking organisations with peers in the Sector who can share their past experiences of seeking and securing premises. Following our last accommodation survey of the VCS in 2014 we supported a number of organisations to find new premises and organised a ‘Finding the Right Premises’ training event.

Whether you are currently looking to find premises for the first time, or to relocate your operations to somewhere new, we would like to hear from you.  All information shared will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The survey can be viewed here: 

Please complete the survey by Friday 14th December 2018.

AGM celebrates SCVO’s 20 years supporting Sandwell’s VCS

Members of Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector and strategic partners came together at the Brasshouse Centre, Smethwick, last week for SCVO’s AGM 2018 and to celebrate 20 years since SCVO was launched.

Mark Davis, SCVO’s Chief Executive Officer, presented a review of the last years activities and developments for the organisation.  SCVO’s Annual Review 2018 can be viewed here.

Jatinder Singh Basi, President of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick was elected onto the Board of Trustees. A full list of current SCVO Trustees and Staff can be viewed here.

Amongst the invited guests were Sue Brueton from Big Lottery and Ruth Gripper from national charity New Philanthropy Capital who delivered insightful presentations on the theme of ‘People Power and Partnerships’ and provoked some interesting discussion with delegates.

Poppy Dhatt, Chief Executive of SAFS, who is a former SCVO Chair and founding trustee, reflected on SCVO’s roots and her recollection of the work during the 1990s that led up to the formation of SCVO in 1998. Delegates also enjoyed a short video which featured current leaders from Sandwell’s VCS sharing their thoughts on the importance of working together and of working with SCVO, which can be viewed here.

Leading West Bromwich Charity looking for Independent Chair

A big opportunity to make a huge difference improving life for people in Sandwell.

SCVO is a leading local charity based in West Bromwich and working across the borough of Sandwell.  Our mission is to help local residents and communities access support which enables them to take greater control of their lives, overcome challenges and make the most of opportunities available to them. 

We work for a fairer and brighter future for all of Sandwell’s residents.  We do this by promoting the services of local charities, community organisations and social enterprises and by supporting those organisations to develop, sustain themselves and provide the best possible support for those who need it.  We also work closely with a wide range of partners, including the local authority, health and the business community, to create an environment where communities can take a lead in addressing local problems and where voluntary activity, alongside professionalised not-for-profit services, can grow and thrive.

SCVO offers assistance to over 1,000 local community organisations of many different shapes and sizes, providing face-to-face support to 300-400 organisations and community groups each year.  Drawn from its 600 member organisations, SCVO’s Board currently comprises 10 trustees who lead the organisation and work with an expert and committed staff team to deliver their mission.

SCVO is now seeking both an independent Chair of the Board as well as independent Trustees/ Directors to strengthen the organisation further.  Independent Board Members are not linked to SCVO member organisations nor associated with any voluntary sector groups/ organisations within Sandwell.

  • The independent Chair will lead the Board and staff through the next phase of its development, overseeing the delivery of a new organisation strategy. This pivotal role will harness the experience, passion and energy across the Board, the staff team and the wider membership, creating ever greater impact and building on sustainable foundations.   SCVO is looking for a high-calibre individual with experience at Board level and in leadership roles who has an interest and passion for our mission and values.  Time commitment for the role is approximately 1 day per month. This is a voluntary role with reasonable out of pocket expenses reimbursed.
  • Independent Trustees/ Directors give their time alongside those who are elected from SCVO’s voluntary and community sector membership, and assist in setting strategy, policy and objectives; making decisions; implementing and communicating decisions; overseeing the financial controls and managing risk, and performing an ambassadorial role effectively. SCVO provides the necessary support, training and development where required.

To find out more about these exciting opportunities please contact SCVO Chief Executive Officer Mark Davis on 0121 525 1127 or SCVO Chair Claire Dale via  To apply for the role of independent Chair or independent Trustee/Director please send your CV with a covering letter outlining your interest and credentials to by no later than Monday 21st May 2018.

More information on SCVO’s mission, values, current strategy and activities is available at  SCVO’s most recent Annual Review can be viewed here.

New Partnership Aiming to Increase Support for Children and Families in Sandwell

Nearly 80 frontline practitioners drawn from across the public and voluntary sectors in Sandwell gathered on Wednesday 28th February to launch a new partnership initiative aimed at improving access to support for local children, young people and families.

The Sandwell Early Help Partnership is the culmination of many months of discussions between schools, health agencies, Sandwell Council, the police, fire and the voluntary sector.  These have focused on how to ensure families can find the support they need to improve their health, happiness and wellbeing and to address at the earliest stages challenges that growing up and family life can bring.  Jon Grant, Chief Executive of local youth charity Krunch and Chair of the Sandwell Early Help Partnership, led the event which highlighted the value of ‘early help’ and promoted a ‘joined up’ approach where agencies work effectively together to provide a range of different support activities.  Cllr Simon Hackett, Sandwell Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, and Frances Craven, newly installed Chief Executive of the Sandwell Children’s Trust, gave strong backing for this new venture, and Mark Davis, SCVO’s Chief Executive, launched a new online portal which providers of family support can use to advertise their services.

Membership of the Early Help Partnership is open to any local public or voluntary sector organisation that commits to the principles of good partnership working and safeguarding of children and young people, and the Partnership is free to join.  Members receive regular communications including case studies of good practice and information on training opportunities, and the Partnership will be finding ways to come together to build local networks across all sectors and to strengthen relationships between key agencies.

To find out more about the Early Help Partnership, how to join, and how to get listed on the new portal please contact Barbara Murphy at SCVO on 0121 525 1127

Improved Better Care Fund – Briefing Events

Local Voluntary, Not for Profit and Social Enterprise organisations are invited to attend one of two Briefing Events being held in the coming weeks, focusing on a new grant programme which forms part of the Improved Better Care Fund.

This new Delayed Transfers of Care (DToC) project plans to use Improved Better Care Fund (iBCF) funding to allocate grants for several new, creative and outcomes based schemes. The aim of this will be to see less people admitted to hospital and less people, once admitted, waiting for care to allow them to leave hospital.

The Project will seek to award grants only to schemes which will evidence a positive contribution to quality and costs of one or multiple areas:
• Reablement and Prevention;
• Residential and Nursing Home placements including CHC;
• Carers Services;
• Early Discharge;
• Elderly Frail;
• Dementia Services;
• Intermediate Care.

It is hoped that the project will include grants to increase Sandwell’s offer to support people diagnosed with and caring for, people with Dementia.

To support the initiative the iBCF Team are holding 2 information and engagements events:

Thursday 1st February 2018, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm.
West Bromwich Town Hall, Council Chambers, High Street, West Bromwich B70 8DT

Friday 2nd February 2018, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm.
Brasshouse Community Centre, 92 Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick B66 1BA

To secure a place at these events being organised by Sandwell MBC and Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG, please email stating your name and the name of your organisation, the event you wish to book on to and any specific requirements you may need to enable you to attend. Please also note that the number of attendees from each organisation is limited to two.

Your views on the ‘State of the Sector’ wanted

SCVO has launched its latest VCS Leaders Survey and is inviting trustees, volunteers and lead staff of Sandwell community groups and voluntary organisations to take part.

The VCS Leaders Survey 2017 is the sixth survey of local leaders since 2009, and each has created a rich picture of the state of our local Voluntary and Community Sector – highlighting changes within organisations, pressures and challenges, opportunities for growth and how support needs of local organisations are changing.  These insights allow SCVO to work with strategic partners in Sandwell with an aim of providing better support for the Sector, ensuring greater influence and giving a voice to local communities.

Leaders wishing to participate in the survey can do so by following this link:

The survey runs until Wednesday 22nd November 2017 and findings from the survey will be published on SCVO’s website and in our e-bulletin shortly after.

‘Positive Change for a Positive Future’ – Invitation to SCVO Annual General Meeting

SCVO is pleased to invite you to its 2017 Annual General Meeting which is taking place on Thursday 19th October 2017 from 9.30 am – 12.30 pm at Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, Smethwick B66 1BB.

Focusing on how we can all play our part in a positive future for Sandwell, our keynote speaker will be Gary Topp, an experienced leader with a background in regeneration and in the cultural and not-for-profit sectors, and current CEO of Culture Central.

The event will also provide you with a chance to hear about SCVO’s current activities and priorities, to learn about new developments and support opportunities to grow capacity in the Voluntary and Community Sector, and to network with local strategic partners and others from Sandwell’s VCS.

We do hope you can join us for this event. Please reserve your place by visiting the Eventbrite page for this event.

Please view for Nomination Statements for SCVO’s Board of Trustees

Please view for Agenda for the AGM

HR Legal Update: Salary Sacrifice, Unfair Dismissal and Disability Harassment

Our latest HR update explores discrimination in a case regarding religious attire, discussing a case of unfair dismissal for an act of physical violence; looking at disability harassment and highlighting issues surrounding long-term absence dismissal. We will also look at the salary sacrifice scheme’s recent limitations and we give an update on issues relating to the budget.

This HR update is provided by Higgs and Sons solicitors, working in partnership with SCVO to provide accessible legal advice and expertise to Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector.

The HR newsletter can be accessed at:

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