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No Job? Get Sorted!

Are you aged 16 – 19 and unemployed?  IMPACT training providers and Connexions Careers Advisers will be hosting Get Sorted from 1 pm – 4 pm at the Town Hall, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8DY on Wednesday, 29 November 2017.

Advisers will be on hand to talk about employment, training, support, life skills, apprenticeships and employability.

Connexions also has a One Stop Shop every Monday and Wednesday, 11 am – 1 pm, at the Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury B69 3DE.  Bright Futures can help with training, jobs and apprenticeships.

For more information, please call Connexions Sandwell on 0121 569 2955.

Big Local GM2LF Project’s Winter Newsletter – Now Available

The new winter newsletter for GM2LF will be making its way through letterboxes across the project area in the next week or so.

Alternatively, pick up a copy from your local library, St James Church, Oakham Church, Holy Cross Church or Lion Farm Action centre at their new centre at The Vicarage.

Read the latest issue online

National Financial Capability Week 13-19 November 2017

During Financial Capability week Sandwell Financial Services Hub, its partner agencies and Black Country Housing Group – BC Click Start, will be celebrating the work they do to improve financial capability within the community by hosting events in and across Sandwell at local libraries.

The theme for Financial Capability Week is ‘Ways to Save Money/Money Saving Tips’ and at the events SFSH will be sharing money saving ideas and:

• a ‘Taste test’
• saving money on shopping
• saving money on energy usage
• healthy eating recipes
• Christmas dinner on a budget
• Information regarding Universal Credit, new BetterOff Sandwell website www.sandwell.betteroff.org.uk etc.

See when Sandwell Financial Services Hub will be in your Town.


Give Back with The Albion Foundation

The Albion Foundation is a registered charity that uses the power of football to make a difference, raise aspirations, grow their people and participants and connect West Bromwich Albion Football Club to its communities.

The Foundation prides itself on inspiring to achieve and delivering the highest quality of provision to show that ‘Albion Cares’.  It has four main departments Education, Engagement, Sport Development and Disability.

The Albion Foundation has teams of staff available to visit and support other charities or community organisations in the local area.  As a charity it likes to do a ‘Give Back’ day every year.  There are around 70 staff who are sent out to different organisations to help out for the day. This might be face to face work or just general work that might need doing at your facility.  Previously, The Foundation has supported organisations in the following ways:

Cleaned up the local canals and wastelands of Sandwell
Worked with adults with learning disabilities
Painting/decorating and gardening
Supported and spent the day with elderly residents
Cleaned kennels and walked dogs for an animal charity

 The Foundation is looking to do something on Thursday, 21 December, roughly between 9 am & 3 pm and could send at least eight staff.

If your organisation has anything you think The Albion Foundation could assist with please contact anna.pincher@albionfoundation.co.uk

Visit the website

Invitation to The Victims Summit

You are invited by David Jamieson, West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner, to the Victims Summit being held on Tuesday 28 November 2017, 9.45 am – 16.00 pm.

The venue is the Lord Knight’s Suite, Tally Ho!, Pershore Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7RN. The Summit will showcase some of the services David Jamieson has commissioned regionally as a result of recommendations made by his Victims Commission.

Click here to read more about the Victims Summit and to register your attendance.


Understanding Extremism Training

This one-day training is available to all staff and partners in Sandwell. Extremism Training explores issues relating to the ideology of global jihadism and the extreme far right.   It will equip delegates with the ideological understanding that underpins different extremist groups.  It will also:

Enhance knowledge of extremist ideology
Challenge terrorist narrative
Help to understand drivers and influencing factors
Look at safeguarding and referral processes
Identify signs and symbols of extreme groups
Promote cohesion.


21 November:  9.30 – 4.30
12 December:  9.30 – 4.30
18 January:  9.30 – 4.30
20 February: 9.30 – 4.30


Online at https://training.sandwelllscb.org.uk/events-list

Email Manjeet Pangli, Strategic Prevent Coordinator at majeet_pangli@Sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 2252 for further information.


Sandwell Adult Learning Network

Sandwell Adult and family learning (SAFL) is a direct contract holder with the Skills Funding Agency for the provision of community learning. SAFL works in collaboration and partnership with other learning and training providers delivering learning opportunities and supporting adult learners in Sandwell.

Partners have expressed a strong interest in being involved in a Sandwell learning network to work together to underpin and promote community learning opportunities around Sandwell, whilst encouraging new development across all adult learning providers in the area.

SAFL would like to share relevant information on learning opportunities and funding.   The next meeting for agencies that would like to be involved in a network and have within their remit Adult learning, Community Learning, Family Learning or Lifelong learning, is Wednesday 8 November 2017, from 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm at

Hateley Heath Further Education & Training Centre
Huntingdon Road
West Bromwich
B71 2RP

Any organisation interested in joining this learning network please email Linda_matthews1@sandwell.gov.uk  or call SAFL on 0121 556 7426

For more information please visit SAFL’s website and click on the course guide.

Follow SAFL on Twitter @learnsafl.

A new website is helping people in Sandwell to manage their money

BetterOff Sandwell will help residents to:

  • access advice on benefits and ways to improve their job opportunities
  • apply for welfare benefits
  • find work that pays and record their job search activity
  • see how their money changes when they move into work.

You can also use the website to get debt advice, appeal a benefits decision and find childcare.

It’s easy to create a BetterOff account – you can do this through Facebook or Google, or by registering your email address or mobile number.

Keep on top of your budget, search for jobs and see what benefits you may be entitled to – go to www.sandwell.betteroff.org.uk and get the support you need.

How Can Charities Ensure They Make the Most of Their Online Presence?

Charities who aim to reach and engage with audiences online can now benefit from a new digital resource, which will actively support the creation of their user-centric and results-driven online presence.

Before proceeding with a detailed strategy that involves allocating time and financial resources to create an effective, customer-centric website design and build; it is necessary to have thorough understanding of a charity’s online users, combined with proper scoping.

User experience and digital agency DotLabel has just launched a free e-book that promises to do just that; empower decision makers with key insider information, previously unavailable, as well as actionable advice and top tips to consider when planning their new website.

Matt Oxley, DotLabel co-Founder and Director commented: “Information on how to get the most out of a website isn’t readily available. Budgeting for a website can often be educated guesswork, so this e-book aims to change that.

“We are very excited to be able to offer this handy resource which decision makers can consult and refer back to, when building or revamping their brand’s online presence. The aim is to use it as a guide, to help them raise key questions and highlight important aspects they need to consider. We have provided as much in-depth analysis as possible, of how each practical tip can lead to holistic online user experience; whilst saving money and time in the process.”

You can download the e-book here.

To read the full Digital Charity News click here.

Charities Overpaying for IT As ‘Unscrupulous Suppliers’ Take Advantage Of Brexit Confusion

A new study has found that charities could be paying over the odds for IT products thanks to excessive mark-ups blamed on Brexit.

According to the IT Margins Benchmarking Study, an annual report published by KnowledgeBus, charities are paying an average margin of 26%. However, in one case, a charity was charged a whopping 1,165% margin.

Best procurement practice, as guided by the Society of IT Managers, states buyers should not pay more than a 3% margin.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Al Nagar, head of benchmarking at KnowledgeBus, said: “Although there was a period of rapid inflation in the tech market not all prices increased. Some product prices stayed the same and some went down. But what we witnessed was unscrupulous suppliers taking advantage of the perception that price increases were going up across the board.
“Many organisations – without the tools to check what was really happening in the market – were caught out by these actions.”

The Cheapest Option
Many of the largest tech companies in the world donate software to UK registered charities through the tt-exchange donation programme run by Technology Trust. Charities can register to access software donations for free and only pay admin fees per licence received, which is usually around 96% under market costs.

Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and a range of others all list products that they make available to charities. More than 30,000 charities have made use of the programme to date, but Richard Craig, CEO of Technology Trust, says this is not enough.
“We’ve been running the donation programme for over a decade and are constantly adding new partners and hitting new milestones, but there’s still a long way to go until we can say we’ve fulfilled our mission and can go home.”

“The donation programme really is a no-brainer for charities – it takes away the pressure of relying on old systems that aren’t fit for purpose and allows charities to focus on what’s really important. We’re happy that we get hundreds of new charities registering each month, but seeing as the programme would help the vast majority of the c.260,000 charities in the UK, you can tell that the majority still aren’t making the most of the resources available to them.”

Source: Charity Digital News

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