Category Archives

Space Week to Lift Off at Sandwell Museums

A planetarium show and a series of family fun activities are taking place at Oak House Museum in West Bromwich to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.

Space Week lifts off at the Oak House on Tuesday 23 July, followed by two fun days of space-themed crafts on Wednesday 24 July and Thursday 25 July.

The Explorer Dome Live Space Show on Tuesday 23 July runs from 12noon to 4.15pm and includes a planetarium show for adults and children aged 4+, where you can go star-spotting to discover the constellations and the stories behind them through the gods, heroes, myths and monsters.

Tickets for the show cost £3 per person – there are limited spaces, so please call 0121 553 0759 to book. Face painting, crafts and trails are also available on the day. The tea room and Oak House will also be open.
On Wednesday 24 July and Thursday 25 July from 12noon to 4pm, make space-themed crafts in our barn classroom from 50p and find our space trail hidden around the Oak House. Light refreshments are available.

Meanwhile at Haden Hill House, Cradley Heath, on Sunday (21 July), 2pm to 5pm, people can celebrate the Moon landings by making some space-themed crafts (50p to £2), find a space trail hidden around the house and enjoy space games.

Find out about activities and events across Sandwell’s museum sites at or follow ‘Sandwell Museums’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

CCG Celebration Event and Annual General Meeting invitation

Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group would like to advise you of their celebration event (incorporating Annual General Meeting) which is taking place on Thursday 5 September 2019 at the West Bromwich Albion Football Ground, The Hawthorns, West Bromwich B71 4LF.

This event will be staged in two parts. There is no need to book for the drop-in celebration event.

12.00 – 3.00 pm: celebratory drop-in event. The CCG would encourage you to go along and talk to staff about their fantastic achievements to improve health outcomes for patients/public and enjoy the entertainment.

You are more than welcome to stay for the AGM and evening entertainment but you will need to book a place. Tea and cake will be served in an alternative room while you wait for the AGM to start.

If you would like to attend the Annual General Meeting booking is essential, as this is part of the event is seated.

4.00 pm – 7.00 pm: Registration, Annual General Meeting, refreshments and early evening entertainment to round off the celebrations.

Please book a place by telephoning 0121 612 1447 or email

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:


Introducing Smethwick ChangeSpaces – a new co-working office space

If you are a not-for-profit organisation, community group, social enterprise, charity or individual with a passion for community projects in need of a suitable place to work, then Smethwick ChangeSpaces could be for you!

A small but beautiful office set up in the old vestry chapel of Holy Trinity Church, just off the Smethwick High Street, ChangeSpaces is fully-flexible and affordable.

There are three levels of membership (starting at £25 a month) to suit a variety of needs – so if it’s a couple of days a month, or couple of days a week that you need, ChangeSpaces has something for you.

• Please get in touch with Lizzie Palmer or Sally Taylor for more information or to view the space at

Sally introduces the space just before it opened in June

Multi-Faith Day – Connecting Faith Centres to Community Development

As a part of the Connecting Faith Centres to Community Development theme, Sandwell Community Hubs is working with the Wednesbury Baptist Church to organise a Multi-Faith Community Event.

Please see the attached Multi-Faith Event Poster.

The event will be held at the Wednesbury Baptist Church, Vicar Street, Wednesbury WS10 9HF on Saturday 27th July from 11 am to 2 pm. The aim of this event is to celebrate the diversity also to bring faith groups together in sustainable development of faith centres across Sandwell.

The event will include, cultural food stalls, cultural entertainment, health and various service stalls, healthy cooking demonstration, inspirational talks by faith leaders, face painting and Mendhi, toys crafts, games, refreshments and faith centre capacity building consultation.

Sandwell Consortium looking for a skilled and enthusiastic Project Coordinator

Sandwell Consortium is looking for a skilled and enthusiastic Project Coordinator to lead the development of the Sandwell Language Network – establishing a new project focusing upon the following key elements:

Establishing a partnership of community based providers
Providing training/capacity building to develop the provision of ESOL
Facilitating a network of stakeholders
Identifying existing community provision
Overseeing the allocation of funds for community projects
Monitoring the effectiveness of projects delivered.

Salary: £28,000
Hours: 37 per week
Term: 12 months
Location: West Bromwich

Please click here for more details, job description, person specification and how to apply.

Applications will close at 12 pm on Monday, 29 July 2019.

Top Tips: Creating Effective Corporate Partnerships

A strong corporate-charity partnership is a powerful way to unlock opportunities, form key relationships, attract funding and gain longer-term support for your organisation.

Small charities play a distinct and vital role in building stronger communities and addressing some of our most persistent social challenges. That’s why Aviva works to unlock their potential by finding, funding and empowering small charities to face the future with confidence.

One way we’re doing this is through partnerships. We know that developing strong and fruitful corporate partnerships can be challenging – particularly for resource-stretched, time-poor grassroots organisations. Yet, they have the potential to fundamentally change the trajectory of your organisation.  So, we’ve distilled three fundamentals to getting corporate-charity partnerships right.

Focus on relationship building, over transactional fundraising

Lucrative, strategic partnerships take time. Focus on thoroughly researching each company and the right people to connect with, so you can develop a proposition tailored to their corporate responsibility focus and wider business objectives.

Work as a team and focus on warm prospects. Relationship building shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of fundraisers within your organisation, it’s everyone’s role to get out there, build strong relationships and tap into the connections you already have. Cold approaches rarely bear fruit, so it’s important to only consider how you can meet your contact in person – this really goes a long way.

This type of strategic partnership beyond transactional fundraising is certainly a longer-term game, however the time invested will pay off when the opportunity is ripe.

Think beyond funding and be open-minded 

So often, the first thing charities think about in partnerships is the funding opportunities. To make the most of a strategic partnership it’s important to consider other opportunities and resources you could tap into, such as skills development, IT/software, office space, staff volunteering, and more.

Many corporates out there offer capacity building and resource support, for instance Aviva runs a Facebook Group called Aviva Community Group, where charities of all shapes and sizes can join to share ideas, network with like-minded people, and get advice from experts in the sector. The key with partnership opportunities that go beyond funding is to ensure they’re shaped by clear expectations and mutually beneficial outcomes.

Demonstrate your passion

No partnership ‘pitch’ is static, so when you’re approaching a prospective corporate partner make sure your key messages and story will resonate – speak their language (it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of using industry-specific buzz words…) and make sure you clearly articulate how the partnership will solve challenges they may be facing.

Demonstrate your passion about why you love what you do and the difference you’re making in the community. One of the oldest maxims of fundraising is that “people don’t give to causes; they give to people with causes”. And, this is still true today. The most memorable stories that really shine are those by individuals who have a personal connection, an authentic relationship to the cause they’re promoting.

Source: FSI

How to Reinvigorate Your Fundraising Strategy with Storytelling

How to reinvigorate your fundraising strategy with storStorytelling has always been key to human interaction. Stories engage us, they connect us, and they shape how we make sense of the world. When it comes to fundraising, storytelling is the most powerful way to transform passion into action and connect with the hearts and minds of your supporters.

Now more than ever non-profits need to tap into the power of sharing stories and equip themselves with the tools and knowledge to share a compelling, authentic story that is captivating and memorable. Because no matter what your cause is, your future could depend on the quality of your spiel.

1.Identify your ‘why’

Knowing and clearly articulating the “why” of your organisation can be challenging, but it’s incredibly important. Share your passion for why you love what you do, why it is so important, and why someone should support your cause over another. Take a look at Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk on ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ starting with the golden circle.

•Share your personal connection

The most effective stories come from people who have a personal connection to the cause they’re promoting. This injects passion, life and connection as well as enabling you to demonstrate your strong belief in the impact you’re having in the community. It’s the vulnerability and the personal stories that draw people in and present a stronger, more compelling, and more memorable story.

•Know your ‘WHO’

No pitch is static. It evolves based on who you’re talking to, where you are, and what you wish to convey. That’s not to say you need to do extensive research on your audience, but it is important to do the necessary checks to make sure your language, key messages, and story will resonate. Then, you need to vary your story accordingly.

•Show don’t tell

Let your beneficiaries be heard and let them tell their own personal stories. This is the best way to provide insight into their experiences. Video and photos direct from the field is the most compelling and powerful way to achieve this. It’s also the perfect opportunity to think about how you can keep donors engaged and creatively report on how their money is being spent and the impact it is having.

Source: FSI


Tipton Community Fun Day

A feast of community and family entertainment is set to thrill people of all ages at the 13th Annual Community Fun Day in Tipton. The event will be held at the Victoria Park, Victoria Road, Tipton, from 12 noon to 6 pm on Sunday, 4th August 2019.

A mini zoo, fairground rides, car boot sale, bouncy castle, children’s activities, dancing and a live band are among many attractions. There will be something for all and a lot of fun to be had.

This highly anticipated community and the family event attracts thousands of people from Tipton and across the borough. Please click link to see videos and pictures of previous events.

The event is a great opportunity for public and the private sector agencies to promote their services and take advantage to engage with the community.

To book a stall please contact Syeda Khatun on 07533675358, 01215576766 or email

Summer Sale at the Art Yard

Following the success of last years sale exhibition, The Art Yard would like to invite local artists to submit their work for their Summer Sale 2019 exhibition.

This is an opportunity for artists to submit their work at a reduced fee of £1 per piece (up to 50cm in either direction) for one week only. There is no special requirement on the type of art or subject, all work is very welcome.

Attached are the following documents:-
1. Submission Form

Submission forms are to be returned by Saturday 27th July 2019.

Can you please ensure that your work is ready to hang and has cord or fixing plates fitted to the rear of the work. On the labels could you include the original price and the sale price for each piece of work you wish to exhibit

If you have any questions regarding exhibiting at The Art Yard, about hiring the Gallery facilities for future events, Martyn would be pleased to discuss your requirements either call 01384 910968 or email

Please feel free to share the attached with other artists who may also be interested in taking part.

The Art Yard is looking forward to seeing your work and supporting the development of Artists and the arts in the community.

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