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Experts by Experience

National charity, Diabetes UK, are looking for local people to spare a little time sharing their experience to help others. Diabetes UK recognises that people with diabetes are the experts on their own lives and condition, and the best people to help them develop support, services and information for others.

Diabetes UK need help with the new ‘Live Well, Move More’ programme. The initiative targets people living with diabetes in England who do less than 30 minutes of activity per week. They particularly need input from people who are:

• living with type 1 diabetes
• living with diabetes who are of South Asian heritage
• newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Other requirements are participants must be available for a monthly online meeting, and feel comfortable sharing their experience and understanding of Diabetes. As advisers, their contribution will help create resources for other people living with the condition.

To find out more about how contributing your experience could really make a difference, contact Sally.Smith@diabetes.org.uk.



Macmillan Coffee Morning Online!

Great news, you’re invited to Macmillan’s Coffee Morning Online! They would love for you to join them via Zoom on 25th September between 11 am and 3 pm. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can go to the hub and take-away a slice of cake or two, too!

The coffee morning will be at Utilita Energy Hub, 3D Astle Park, West Bromwich B70 8NS: (located on West Bromwich High Street, next door to the German Donner Kebab Shop)

Log on and join in for a brew, a slice of cake and a lovely chat to all participants – all for a fantastic cause.

See joining details below.

Topic: MacMillan Coffee Morning
Time: Sep 25, 2020 11:00 AM London

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 910 3697 5849
Passcode: 3WzTyt

If you cannot attend, but still wish to make a donation, see here.

For those who wish to attend, please get back to Jack Badger at jackbadger@utilita.co.uk to accept the invite.

Macmillan look forward to seeing you!

A Powerful Pound

Food charity FareShareUK has had to triple the amount of food they deliver to frontline charities since the start of the pandemic.

If you would like to be a ‘virtual helper’, just a pound to the @sainsburys Food Donation Programme would ensure FareShare can keep feeding people who need it most. http://bit.ly/FoodDonationProgramme

Safeguarding Adults Board Survey

The Safeguarding Adults Board would like to hear individual’s experiences of being supported through the Safeguarding Process in Sandwell. 

If you work with any individuals who have been supported by the Safeguarding Team could you please direct them to this survey? You may have referred the individual yourself and have a relationship where you may be able to support them to share their views.  The information gathered will be used to improve the service and therefore individual’s experiences.

The Closing date for responses is 31st October 2020


If you have any queries relating to the survey, please contact leanne_abbott1@sandwell.gov.uk

Black Country NHS Trust Supporting BAME Communities

Recognising there was a need to further strengthen the resilience and understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust appointed two new Senior Community Development Workers earlier in the year.

Supporting the wider work around tackling health inequalities in BAME communities, Nazima Esscopri and Fareen Hussain have been working hard over the past few months to establish vital links with communities and improve access to and experiences of mental health services across the Black Country.

As well as making links with voluntary organisations and setting up grassroots initiatives, they have also been working with internal NHS colleagues to support the Covid-19 risk assessment process and supporting the development of equality and diversity projects across the Trust.

Across the STP, Nazima and Fareen have contributing to work around pooling resources and information so that we can support our BAME communities collectively to ensure these groups have access to a sound framework of information, guidance and support on their resilience during COVID-19 pandemic.

The team are currently developing a webinar that will bring voluntary sector/stakeholder organisations together to further discuss the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities and how that might impact service delivery and change.

If you would like to find out more about the work of our senior community development workers or would like to participate in the webinar which is taking place on the 28th September at 11.00-12.30pm, please email nazima.esscopri1@nhs.net or you can contact her directly on 07771583635.

If you would like to know more about the BAME workforce you can contact Fareen Hussain via email fareen.hussain1@nhs.net or directly on her mobile on 07435920675.

Helping Health and Wellbeing through Sandwell’s Residential Service

Are you looking for opportunities to develop the health and well-being of those in your community group? Are you interested in alternative ways to help people in your community recover and reset, following the challenges of lockdown?

How about trying one of the centres in the Sandwell Residential Service.

We are four centres with one basic goal; to create enjoyable, meaningful opportunities and experiences for the people who step through our doors. We can work with you to develop experiences that use a variety of environments to:

• Build self-confidence and self-esteem in the aftermath of lockdown.
• Provide opportunities for vulnerable groups to develop in a safe, supportive environment.
• Facilitate team work and leadership opportunities
• Develop resilience and a growth mindset through the medium of adventure and challenge.
• Use engagement with the outdoors and/ or creative arts to develop mental health and a sense of wellbeing.
• Create opportunities for people to engage in meaningful environmental activity that develops their sense of community.

If you are interested in forming new and exciting partnerships that will benefit the people around you then please get in touch.

Dan Jackson – Senior Tutor at Plas Gwynant Outdoor centre – dan_jackson@sandwell.gov.uk
Richard Oakes – Head of Service – richard_oakes@sandwell.gov.uk

If you want to get a further taste of what we offer then have look at our website www.sandwellresidentials.co.uk or follow us on Facebook.

Charity Commission launches New Online Charity Register to Provide More Information to Public

The Charity Commission has launched a new online charity register to allow the public to have greater insight into how charities are run.

The regulator said the new and improved public register ‘widens the public’s window’ into how third sector organisations are managed by making more information about individual charities available to donors and the public.

Around 40 million people currently use the regulator’s ‘check a charity’ facility a year, showcasing the public’s need for greater transparency.

The new and improved register aims to increase the level of transparency, providing donors and the public with more information about where charity money goes and the efficient use of resources.

‘Regulatory alerts’ will be issued when a charity has been held to account by the regulator, highlighting the specific action taken or underway.

Furthermore, financial information will be available, including the number of staff within a charity that receive total income packages over £60,000 and whether trustees are paid for their services. It also highlights income that individual charities receive from government grants and contracts.

The new display also shows whether individual charities work with a professional fundraiser and whether they have specific policies in place, including on safeguarding.

Better service for charities

The new display is also designed to make it easier for trustees to access and update their charity’s information with the Commission.

New data download functions also aim to help sector professionals better analyse information about the charity sector as a whole, including trends and developments in the size and make-up of the sector.

An additional function of the tool will allow potential supporters – donors or grant makers – or those thinking of setting up a new charity to search for charities in their area, or to identify charities that promote a certain cause.

Charity Commission CEO, Helen Stephenson CBE said she hopes the new display will “encourage charities to continue to respond to growing public expectations around transparency and accountability”.

“Recent months have demonstrated the volunteering spirit of the British public and its generous support for charities. The Commission’s online register has an important role to play in ensuring that generosity supports good causes, and we continue to urge people to check the register before donating to be sure that their money is going to a genuine charity,” she said.

Source: Charity Times

Free Trees for Schools and Communities

The Woodland trust want to make sure everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. So they’re giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities.

Successful tree pack applicants will receive their trees in March 2021. All their subsidised or free products have defined eligibility criteria; should you not meet those, or they consider the product to be otherwise unsuitable, they will offer the most appropriate product available.

For more information or to apply for a pack click here.

Highways Improvement Works Begin for Sandwell Aquatics Centre

Sandwell Council will shortly be starting highways improvement work surrounding the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick. These much-needed works are the start of a phased approach to the improvement of the highways infrastructure in the area and will have a focus on sustainable forms of travel.

The initial works, which will be completed by March 2021, are detailed are below:
• Holly Lane / Manor Road Junction Improvements: The mini roundabout at the junction of Holly Lane and Manor Road will be upgraded to a signalised junction that will improve road safety, create safe pedestrian crossing points and provide cycle advanced stop lines for improved cycle safety.

• Londonderry Lane / Manor Road Junction Improvements: The mini roundabout at the junction of Manor Road and Londonderry Lane will be upgraded to a signalised junction that will improve road safety, create safe pedestrian crossing points and provide cycle advanced stop lines for improved cycle safety.

• Pedestrian crossing facilities at Holly Lane and St Pauls Road: A new signalised junction at Holly Lane and St Pauls Road to incorporate full pedestrian crossing facilities. This will also help with concerns raised previously by Councillors and residents around speed and pedestrian facilities on St Pauls Road. In addition to this, the crossing would have additional benefits of improving pedestrian routes and encourage a modal shift for Holly Lodge High School pupils.

• Bristnall Hall Road Crossing: Install double Zebra crossing with central refuge, widen footway and resurface carriageway as necessary.
• Dog Kennal Lane Crossing: Install double Zebra crossing and resurface carriageway as necessary.

The completion of these highways works will not only improve safe, sustainable travel in the area but will also support access to the new world-class Sandwell Aquatics Centre that is being delivered in the area.

DSC’s Landing a Grant: Ten Top Tips

The Directory of Social Change (DSC) has been publishing information on grant-making charities for over 40 years. So, it’s fair to say that they’ve learned a few things along the way. They are sharing their top ten practical tips to help boost your chances of securing a grant.

1. Accounts count

A grant-makers’ decision to accept or reject an application may by influenced by more than just your proposal. Grant-makers may also check your account filing history.

In 2013, DSC asked a sample of grant-makers if they check applicants’ filing history on the Charity Commission website. A total of 53% said that they did, of which 17% reported that they would refuse an application if accounts were submitted late.

Grant-makers need to assess the risk to their investment before they commit. If your charity has submitted accounts after the deadline, it doesn’t inspire confidence in your governance or your timekeeping and may harm your chances of securing funding, so don’t get caught out.

2. Keep an eye on timescales

The timescales for decision-making vary greatly between grant-making charities, with some trustee boards only meeting once a year to discuss applications. Be sure to factor this into your planning. If a grant-maker does not have a website, dates of trustee meetings can often be found in annual reports and accounts which are usually available on the Charity Commission or OSCR website.

3. Consider crowdfunding

In recent years, popular crowdfunding platforms such as JustGiving, which raise money for projects by consolidating small donations by members of the public, have become an essential element of any digital fundraising strategy. While most crowdfunding platforms focus on individual fundraising, platforms such as Spacehive and The Good Exchange have more recently begun to collaborate with grant-making charities, companies and local councils to offer innovative solutions to the challenges of grant-funding.

4. Develop strong relationships with your funders

Your funder is also your partner, so working together and maintaining good communication is key. Establish a strong relationship with your funder by sharing information about progress and the positive impact their funding is having on your beneficiaries.

When applying for a grant, some funders may ask for references form former or current funders, so its always good to have a track record of excellent partnerships.

5. ‘Show off’ your funders

Some funders may view causes with support already behind them, or charities with a history of delivering funded work as a safer investment. A simple way to demonstrate a strong track record of working with funders is to list them on your website (with their permission) along with details of work that their funding helped you to deliver. It’s also a good idea to mention relevant examples of successful funder partnerships in your applications.

6. Keep an eye out for new grant-makers

Researching recently registered charities can give fundraisers a head-start in applying for funds. It also provides a chance to establish relationships with those new to grant-giving. The Charity Commission registers over 1,200 grant-makers each year, some of which will have the potential to fund your charity.

Information on newly registered charities is often scarce, and the amount of research involved in retrieving the relevant data is time consuming. For this reason, DSC publishes The Guide to New Trusts each year, which contains 100 new grant-making charities, carefully selected for the guide.

7. Invest in fundraising

Across the UK there are thousands of grant-makers big and small, supporting all kinds of charitable causes, so finding the one to suit you may feel like a needle in a haystack!

Researching funders, deciphering eligibility criteria and finding out what funders potentially support can be a massive endeavour for charities with limited resources. Fortunately, DSC have done the heavy-lifting for you. Our Funds Online website allows you to concentrate on the application, rather than the research.

8. Make it measurable

Grant-makers increasingly want to demonstrate the impact of their funding, so questions on how a grant’s impact will be evaluated are becoming commonplace on funding applications.

Getting this right may give you the edge. If your proposal can clearly state what the outcomes will be and crucially how you will measure their impact, then your application will be all the more enticing to a funder.

It’s important to choose outcomes that are actually measurable, because a funder will recognise those which are not. So be specific and consider your evaluation at the proposal stage. Getting this right will also help your charity demonstrate its own impact, which in-turn can be used to support future funding applications and inspire confidence from grant-makers.

9. Tempting, not impossible!

Sometimes a project looks great on paper, but in reality, the timescale and costing make it unachievable. Trying to create a proposal that will tempt a funder can easily lead to developing an over-ambitious project.

Experienced grant-makers will notice when a proposal is too ambitious, which risks the application being rejected entirely. There is also the risk of being awarded a grant to undertake a project which is unachievable, and the effect of failing to deliver on overly optimistic proposals can carry a significant reputational risk to your charity.

So, be ambitious but also realistic in your application by making sure that your proposed costings, time-scales and staffing are completely achievable. Finally, when writing your application, consider other competing priorities, which although not connected to your proposal, may affect your charity’s ability to deliver what you are promising.

10. A fresh pair of eyes

Before submitting any application, find someone impartial to assess your proposal. As well as spotting any errors, they may be able to provide constructive criticism and raise new questions that will help further refine your proposal.
Some funders will also send your proposal to independent reviewers for assessment, so it’s a good idea to take the same approach before you apply. It’s always better that your team find any issues, rather than the funder and their assessors.

Remember SCVO’s Development Team are here to help you to help others, drop us a line at support@scvo.info to see how we might be able to support your organisational needs.

Source: DSC

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