Stuart Ashmore

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NEW Resources for No-Deal Brexit Planning

Are you worried about the effects of a no-deal Brexit on your organisation? Have you thought about this yet?
There is no doubt that we live in difficult and uncertain times. Across the country, communities are facing huge challenges and community organisations are often at the heart of trying to solve these problems. A no-deal Brexit is likely to bring challenges for all businesses and community organisations will be no different. You have a unique set of challenges to face and Locality has produced a package of services to help you think about the implications and risks of a no-deal Brexit and how to mitigate these.

Locality has created a free information pack pulling together all the key information you need to think about the implications of a no-deal Brexit for community organisations.

You can download this FREE resource at:

Locality also has a range of other services on offer – visit their website for more information:

Bangladeshi Women’s Association Limited receives ‘Space to Connect’ grant to boost community space

Bangladeshi Women’s Association [BWA Limited] in Tipton has been awarded a £10,000 grant from a
partnership between Co-op’s charity, the Co-op Foundation, and the Department for Digital, Culture,
Media and Sport. BWA Limited will use ‘Space to Connect’ funding to hold a series of workshops across
the Jubilee Park Community Centre and the Tipton Muslim Community Centre to explore what
activities and resources are available in the local community. This will help to identify how best two
spaces can bring residents together. It is one of 57 organisations across England to receive a grant
from the £1.6 million partnership, designed to help communities tackle loneliness by improving and
protecting local spaces that bring people together. Space to Connect follows commitments made in
the Government’s Civil Society and Loneliness Strategies, published in 2018, to help create sustainable
community hubs and spaces where they are most needed. Funding also builds on the Co-op
Foundation’s work to strengthen community spaces where people can connect and co-operate.

Chair of BWA Limited, Razia Sattar, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding and look forward
to holding community conversations with a wide range of community groups in Tipton so that our two
centres can grow and develop new services to meet the needs of local people”. Minister for Civil
Society, Baroness Barran, said: “Strong communities play a crucial role in tackling loneliness and social
isolation. This £1.6 million worth of funding will create and enhance local spaces that bring people
together, encouraging them to make new and lasting friendships. It is part of our ongoing commitment
to work hand in hand with local communities to build a shared, integrated and socially responsible
society.” Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “Our Space to Connect partnership with
Government builds on our commitment to strengthen communities and tackle loneliness through cooperation.
“Grants awarded today will empower people to work together to make better use of spaces
to address local challenges, improving the well-being and skills of their whole community.” Space to
Connect was launched in June 2019, at the same time as Co-op’s Endangered Spaces campaign to
protect, support and improve 2,000 community spaces by 2022.

For further information, contact the BWA Limited Team on 0121 557 6766.

Free Bid Writing Workshop Information

Get Grants’ popular “Introduction to Bid Writing for Charities & Community Groups Workshop” is aimed at organisations who are interested in increasing their income through grant funds.

Whether you have a wealth of experience in fundraising or are new to applying for grants our Introduction to Bid Writing Workshop supports attendees to explore how to identify opportunities with a range of grant programmes whilst providing advice on writing successful applications and exploring the common mistakes made by applicants.

Topics covered include:

– Finding Grants
– Finding the ‘Right’ Funder
– Completing Application Forms
– Need & Outcomes
– Top Tips

Date & Time

Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 1.00pm – 3.30pm


The Moseley Exchange, 149-153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13 8JP.

Booking Process

To book a place on this workshop please contact Get Grants via

This course is Free to attend.

More information is available at

“Planning for Growth” in your organisation – workshop.

Organisational growth is Exciting… and Scary!

In today’s climate, where there are too many (?)  small charities & social enterprises, development through Growth provides substantial opportunities to improve the reach & effectiveness of your organisation.

Come and find out more about the challenges and benefits of Growth; the current climate and the landscape of charities & social enterprises does provide real growth opportunities –  if you are up to it!

The need for the services of charities & social enterprises in alleviating poverty and disadvantage is (unfortunately) growing. At the same time some funders are poised to support growth for those brave enough to attempt it as they see the benefits of scaling up and being able to reach a wider group of beneficeiries.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


This seminar is for organisations that have been operating/trading for a while and feel that there are growth opportunities they could pursue but are afraid to ask!

This seminar/workshop will examine the complexities of scaling up an organisation and the key skills that leaders need to develop to have a good chance of implementing change of this type.

The seminar will be delivered in a workshop style, with opportunity to participate in the learning process. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about successful examples of scaling up of which the facilitator has personal experience.

The seminar is on Tuesday, 8 October 2019, from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm.

To book you place (FREE for groups delivering to Sandwell residents) – visit: 

Your opportunity to help inform the National Food Strategy.

On 27 June, Defra’s Secretary of State commissioned Henry Dimbleby to conduct an independent review to help the government create its first National Food Strategy for 75 years.

The purpose of the review is to address the environmental and health problems caused by our food system, to ensure the security of our food supply, and to maximise the benefits of the coming revolution in agricultural technology.

The National Food Strategy will examine activity across several departments of state, building on the flagship Agriculture Bill and Fisheries Bill currently before Parliament, the Industrial Strategy, the Childhood Obesity Plan and the upcoming Environment Bill.

The purpose of this call for evidence is to gather inspiration to help us transform our food system. We want to hear from anyone who has a good idea: producers, processors, retailers, consumers, academics, policy specialists, inventors, farm labourers, factory workers, health care practitioners, charity workers, or simply interested citizens.

We are looking for ideas big and small. From government policies to simple practical things that make a difference in your community or your business. These might be things that are already working well, here or abroad, and that could be scaled up or used differently. Or they might be new ideas: things that haven’t been tried yet at scale, but which you think have the potential to improve the system. We would like to understand the rationale for your proposals and study the accompanying evidence.

The scope of the strategy is within England, but we would also love to hear from people in the devolved administrations or abroad.

We are looking for innovations you have seen work in your home, your neighbourhood, or your business, in this country or beyond: ideas that help citizens make informed decisions about the food they eat, or which increase access to and affordability of high-quality food; ideas that make food production more environmentally sustainable, creating a flourishing countryside rich in wildlife; ideas that help farming, fishing and food businesses and communities thrive, benefitting employees and the wider community; or that promote the highest standards of animal health and welfare; or that could put England at the forefront of innovation and reshape our food system in the coming years.

The easiest way to submit your ideas is via the online survey but you can also send responses to the email or the postal address below:


  • National Food Strategy Team,
    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
    Area SE, 2nd Floor,
    Seacole Building,
    2 Marsham Street,
    SW1P 4DF

Remember the Millennium Bug? Now it’s the 2020 Problem!

Cast your minds back to the last few months of 1999…and the concern, that grew into panic, that the millennium bug was going to cause computers to malfunction and potentially endanger everything from tills to power stations. It didn’t happen quite like that, as we now know, but IT-related challenges remain an on-going issue for us all … and, not least, the thorny issue of updating (soon-to-be) obsolete software (well, obsolete as defined by the manufacturers!)

The next (sort of) ‘millennium bug’ on the horizon is the imminent ‘end of life’ date for a number of significant Microsoft software products – most notably the Windows 7 operating system.

Local tech support company OfficeTek has produced a very helpful FREE guide that gives you an overview of the potential implications and what you might consider by way of response.

You can download your copy of the guide HERE.

Here at SCVO we understand the challenges faced by organisations in keeping their IT systems up-to-date, not least from a funding perspective…so please do contact us if you’d like a chat about how we may be able to help you. Give us a call on 0121 525 1127 or email:


Anti-knife crime Community Fund – Year 3

The Fund, which is one the commitments outlined in the government’s Serious Violence Strategy published in April 2018, was set up to support community projects delivered by voluntary sector organisations which tackle knife crime.

The Fund is intended to help communities to respond to the challenges around knife crime, and in particular support activities to preventing young people from engaging in knife related offending.

Eligibility criteria

The deadline for completed applications, including all supporting documents is midnight on 24 July 2019.

The Fund is open to voluntary sector organisations. We are inviting bids for funding for single projects of up to a maximum of £30,000. We would expect the organisation to begin delivering its project without delay.

Bids will need to demonstrate a previous proven history of delivering anti-knife crime work, especially to young people, and will be assessed on the basis of the extent to which they demonstrate a proven track record of an organisation’s ability to deliver knife crime interventions in work with children and young people.

Bids must provide references, including the name, phone number and email address of the reference that can vouch for the quality and impact of previous interventions.

Such impact should include provision of support through prevention and early intervention, and provision of immediate, emergency support and conflict mediation and after care. All applications must demonstrate that they respond to the challenges of tackling knife crime within local communities.

For more information and how to apply, visit:

Funding Opportunity – Black Country Community Grants 2019-2021

What are Community Grants? The ESF Community Grants Programme is jointly funded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and provides small grants to be distributed in the Black Country region between 1 April 2019 and 31 July 2021. The aim of the Programme is to engage with local communities and enable people to make progress towards and enter the jobs market. The administration of the Programme is managed by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council (WMBC) who has been selected by the ESFA to act as the Grant Co-ordinating Body.

How much can I apply for? Grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 are available. The grant will need to be fully accounted and evidenced against the costs of delivery and cannot be used to match any other funding source.

Who can apply? The Programme is designed to assist small community and voluntary groups, charities or not-for-profit organisations based in and providing services in the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton). The eligibility criteria is outlined in the guidance (the link is at the bottom of the page).

What kind of activities will Community Grant Fund? Any activity that will help an individual’s progress towards employability/access to employment will be considered.

How to apply: Before considering an application, please fully read our Application Guidance which can be accessed along with the application form on the BCTA Website

Should you need any further assistance or wish to discuss your initial proposal then please contact deadline for the next round is 6th September.

A workshop for organisations wanting to know more about Community Grants and how to apply will be held at SCVO Monday 15th July 10am-12pm: please email to book a place.

Venue: SCVO, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER.

Workshop: An A-Z of ABCD

When considering your local community, do you take the ‘glass half full’ or ‘glass half empty’ approach?

Asset-based community development (ABCD) is a bottom-up way of working with communities that focuses on community strengths and assets rather than on deficits and problems.

ABCD focuses on the half-full glass. The half-empty glass represents the notion that communities are deficient and have many needs. The half-full glass represents the notion that communities (and the people who live there) have many strengths, capabilities and assets.

This workshop will introduce you to the principles of ABCD – a mix of the theory and some interactive fun – and help you to explore how you might consider a different approach to working with your local community in order to build capacity and long-term resilience.

Whether you are new to community development, or you are a well-established practitioner, this workshop has something for everyone.

Sandwell-based groups are able to attend for FREE. Groups from outside the borough are also welcome to attend, but are subject to a charge of £10.

Date: Wednesday, 10th July 2019

Location: SCVO Office, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER

Time: Refreshments & registration from 9.30am for a PROMPT 10.00am start (with conclusion by 12.30pm)

To book your place, visit:

Do you know your CIO from your CIC? Let us help you choose the right legal structure for your project.

People who are passionate about making a difference in their community will, at some stage, be faced with the fact that they will have to form an organisation to make progress.

Choosing a legal structure can often reveal a lack of knowledge or understanding of the advantages/disadvantages of those on offer.

The purpose of choosing a structure should be that it is an “enabling structure”.

At this stage, the temptation can be to treat the matter like buying a car – “I’ve heard that Toyota makes reliable cars, so let’s buy one!” (Irrespective of whether Toyota has a suitable range of vehicles to choose from).

So do you know the difference between a CIO and a CIC, or a Community Benefit Society and an unincorporated association?

This seminar on legal structures will provide ‘food for thought’ to those at the very start of their journey and existing/established organisations.

There will be an opportunity to consider the factors to take into account when choosing a legal structure – either for the first time or when considering a change.

Those looking to make decisions about choosing the ‘right’ structure will find information and support to help them and, in some cases, revise the thought process.

If you are an established organisation, you can examine whether your current structure serves you as well as a legal structure should… and there will be an opportunity to undertake a considered critique of current circumstances.

It is FREE to attend for Sandwell VCS groups. For attendees outside the Sandwell Borough there is a £10 fee. To BOOK YOUR PLACE visit:

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