Stuart Ashmore

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Third Sector Trends in the West Midlands 2022

This study (Third Sector Trends 2022) of voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, cooperatives, societies and clubs (the ‘third sector’ or ‘VCSE sector’) started in 2010.

A lot has happened since the last survey in 2019.  So it’s time to find out what has changed in the last three years.

Whether your organisation or group is big or small, flourishing or struggling – or just carrying on more or less as normal – your input is invaluable.

It’s (genuinely) an interesting survey and only takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The responses help to build a picture of how organisations and groups work and what they achieve. This helps funders make good decisions on how to invest in the sector.

Join the Third Sector Trends survey here ==>> Third Sector Trends in England and Wales 2022 (

Art & Craft Exhibition – Saturday, 6th August 2022

The 291 Creative Hub would like to invite you to their Art & Craft Exhibition on Saturday, 6th August.

Taking place at the Wesley Methodist Church, High Street, West Bromwich B70 8ND from 11.00am to 2.00pm, it is an opportunity to showcase the talented work of those attending a variety of art & craft activities offered by the 291 Creative Hub.

Admission is FREE and you can find out further details by visiting: or contacting Dawn – e: / m: 07979 763415

School Uniform Donation Day in Tipton

Have you got school uniform you no longer need?

Drop off any clean school uniform you no longer need so other local children can benefit from it.

Date: Monday, 25th July 2022

Time: 10am – 1pm

Place: Jubilee Park Community Centre, Powis Avenue, Tipton. DY4 0RJ

Supported by Healthy Sandwell / The Community Link, Cradley Heath / Bangladeshi Women’s Association.

Sterling notes and coins

Small Grants to Support Climate Change Ideas in Sandwell

Sterling notes and coinsOn the back of the award-winning Covid Vaccination Leaders programme, Sandwell Council has obtained funding to expand this approach to the field of climate change.

The Council is keen to learn from its community-led approach in dealing with the Covid pandemic to see how this can evolve into the area of climate change – where all nations, organisations, communities and individuals will need to act to reduce our emissions as well as to prepare for our present and future climate.

SCVO is working in partnership with Sandwell Council and is pleased to offer a small grants programme – awards of up to £2,500 – that support a community response to climate change in Sandwell in either:

  • Mitigation: reducing carbon emissions; or
  • Adaptation: making communities more resilient to changes in the climate.

Activities that might be delivered via this grant programme could include:

  • Green infrastructure: for example, tree planting, growing fruit & vegetables, gardening, urban greening;
  • Active travel: for example, increased cycling for local travel, better use of public transport;
  • Increased resilience: for example, how to better cope with heatwaves – community-level information, water bottles etc. or flood risk – encouraging preparation via ‘grab bags’ (to assist with speedy evacuation of flood-risk areas);
  • Developing the existing workforce or volunteer base: for example, supporting the development of climate change  community groups.

You can find a full set of Guidance Notes to download at: SCVO – Local Grants – scroll down the page and look for the link.

To register your interest, please email: and enter ‘Climate Change Grants – Q&A’ in the subject line. We’ll acknowledge receipt and write to you with the meeting link approx. 24 hrs before the event (which will be delivered via Microsoft Teams).

Sandwell’s population sees a rise of 11% in 10 years (Census data)

Many of you may recall the Census that took place last year, an event that has taken place once a decade since the first one in 1801 (apart from 1941).

It’s the only time that every person and household is counted in England and Wales (with Scotland now conducting its own census) and it remains the largest single source of social statistics (in England and Wales).

The first set of data was released on 28th June 2022 and further data will be released every two to three weeks throughout autumn and winter 2022.

Did you know, for example, that the 11% rise in population since the 2011 Census (above) is the highest in the West Midlands Metropolitan County area – the next highest being Coventry (at 8.9%) … and there’s plenty more where that came from!

Data like this is invaluable for a whole variety of reasons, but it’s particularly helpful when submitting background and context to funding applications for voluntary and community organisations … and your local repository of such information is Sandwell Trends.

There is a wealth of statistical information about Sandwell, not just census data, that’s available to support such applications including profiles for each of Sandwell’s six towns.

And, of course, SCVO is here to help you make sense of some of that data in relation to your funding applications – drop us a line to: or call us on 0121 525 1127 to find out more.


Hong Kong BNOs – ‘Meet & Greet’ event

In July 2020, the British Government announced a new visa route enabling Hong Kong citizens with British National Overseas (BNO) status to settle in the UK.

Come to our ‘Meet & Greet’ workshop to find out why this was done, how many Hong Kong BNOs have migrated, their needs & expectations and what this means for local organisations and residents.

Date: Thursday, 21st July 2022

Time: 10.30am to 1pm

Venue: Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA

Who is this workshop for?

  • Organisations and individuals in Sandwell who wish to engage with and support newcomers from Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong BNO visa holders who have settled in the area.

What to expect?

Quiz / videos / stories / discussion – BNOs share experiences of settling in the UK.

For catering purposes, please call Chloe Yip to book on 0121 685 8510 during office hours.

Healthwatch Sandwell – Priority Projects Programme for 2022/23

Healthwatch Sandwell are the independent voice of the public in health and social care services in Sandwell. We carry out projects each year that are based on the priorities of the public, service providers and commissioners. The purpose of the projects is to gather insight on patients’ experiences and views of services. This information is used to help inform and influence change in health and social care delivery in Sandwell and as part of the wider Black Country health and care system.

Healthwatch Sandwell – Priority Projects Programme  for 2022/23:

  • The patient experience of accessing primary care services
  • Accessibility for patients – meeting information and communication needs
  • Exploring the impact of language barriers in health and care services

If you or your organisation would like to help ensure Sandwell residents’ voices and views are heard in health and care services please get in touch to explore how you could support the projects:

Sophie Shuttlewood – Projects and Partnerships Lead – Email: Mobile: 07732 683483

Tell us about Bostin People or a Bostin Place and help us celebrate Sandwell!

Sandwell Council is looking for Bostin People and Places to feature on their new Celebrate Sandwell website and on social media in the run up to the Commonwealth Games – and they  know that Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector has lots of absolutely fantastic folk.

It might be a Bostin Person, like Makena, who’s going to be one of Sandwell’s Queen’s Batonbearers, or you might know someone who goes the extra mile for others, has overcome diversity, achieved great things … or simply makes others smile.

A Bostin Place could be somewhere you run a group or club, a place you enjoy walking, cycling or exercising – or simply somewhere close to your heart in Sandwell.

Nominations can be made via the online form on the Celebrate Sandwell website or by emailing

Don’t be shy … nominate your Bostin Person / Bostin Place now!!

Can your organisation make One Small Change for autistic people?

One in every 100 people is autistic. Every autistic person is different, but for many autistic people a lack of understanding from the community, or overwhelming sensations can make everyday life more difficult. One Small Change is a local campaign (from Changing Our Lives(COL)) that aims to make Sandwell more autism friendly by asking businesses, community spaces and public services to make one small change to show your autistic customers that they are welcome and valued. 

What small change could you make?

You could: 

  • start a quiet hour in your shop or café; 
  • find autism awareness training for your staff or volunteers;
  • create a social story on your website so customers know what sensory environment to expect;
  • speak to autistic staff or customers about what change they would like to see.

How do you get involved?

  • Sign up by contacting holly[at]
  • Tell COL where your organisation is starting from. Some will never have thought about being autism friendly before, others will have made lots of small changes in the past. Either is fine!
  • Speak to autistic people that you already know. You may already know of autistic customers or staff involved in your organisation. You could start by finding out what would make things easier for them.
  • Check out some of the changes that other organisations are making. COL will share examples of small changes on their website and on social media. These may inspire your change.
  • Make the change and tell COL about it. Tag COL on social media (Twitter: @positive_lives Instagram: @changingourlives) using #OneSmallChange and share your stories or photos about the changes you’ve made.

Employment Opportunity: Volunteering and Engagement – Project Lead, Black Country

Creative Black Country are looking for a dynamic, organized, and engaging individual to work with us on the West Midlands Volunteering Programme, delivering in the Black Country.

The purpose of the role is to engage those from underserved communities into volunteering opportunities that will support creative and cultural sector organisations.

The role requires you to lead a programme of activity across the Black Country region. You will work closely alongside creative and cultural sector organisations, upskilling and building the capacity for inclusive recruitment in order to support, celebrate, and retain local volunteers. The programme will help create a legacy of organisations that will be more confident and better equipped to reach out and help local people enjoy the many benefits of volunteering.

What is the West Midlands Volunteering programme?
Creative Black Country are working in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust, Stoke Creates, and Open Theatre, led by Culture Central, to deliver a volunteering development programme.
The programme focuses on areas where people are more likely to experience barriers to community involvement leading to low take-up of local volunteering. This reduces opportunities for people to access the many benefits that volunteering brings, including social interaction, renewed purpose, skills development, and improved well-being.

What we’re looking for
A member of the team to lead, drive and co-ordinate the programme in each of our four boroughs, working closely with the four Voluntary Sector Councils and local people to encourage more volunteers. You will provide support to organisations so they can best work with volunteers coming forward. The successful applicant will be part of a small, dynamic, talented, and well-networked team, delivering high-impact projects to a region of 1.1 million people.

This is a full-time role (37 hours per week) that runs until March 2024.

To find out more, including how to apply, please download the following documents:

Closing Date for receipt of completed applications is: 9am on Monday, 11th July 2022.

For an informal chat, please do contact us: Sajida Carr (Director of Operations and Development 07793 244 031 or Yvonne Gregory (Fundraising Manager) on 07851 256 928).

We encourage you to do this as we can tell you more about our work and the great team you will be working with if you are successful.

We will confirm receipt of all applications but feedback can only be supplied to applicants who are interviewed.

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Tel: 0121 525 1127

1st Floor, Landchard House
Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER