News and Events

Category Archives

Big conversation about mental health ● learning disabilities ● autism in Sandwell

As a newly merged organisation we have an ambition to support the people of Sandwell to lead healthier and happier lives. We cannot do this alone, and we want to work with you in genuine partnership to develop our clinical strategy, to listen and learn, in order to achieve meaningful change.

As the system starts to prepare for future demand for services, we are holding a series of ‘big conversations’ about the services we deliver; one Black Country conversation for those specialist service areas where we come together to achieve greater quality and scale for all our populations, and one in each of our localities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) for those core services where we know that the needs of our local communities need to be locally driven.

We want to start the conversation with two simple questions:

1. What does the very best healthcare provision for those with mental health, learning disabilities and/or autism look like in 3 years’ time?
2. What are the most important steps we should take to achieve this?
We wanted to share these with you in advance so you can discuss them with others you may represent or advocate for.

Our ‘Big conversation’ will be virtual for now and will take place for via Zoom on 30th July, 10.30am – 12noon.

We hope you can join us. Let us know you’re attending by emailing bchft.communications@nhs.net and we will send you the link to the session. If you can’t make this date but would like to share your feedback please contact us bchft.communications@nhs.net


Barnardo’s 175 Challenge

Thomas Barnardo’s has a significant birthday (175) on Saturday July 4th.

We thought it would be a good time to come together and do something positive and show what a great organisation Barnardo’s is, especially given how challenging the last few months have been.

Local challenge
Between Barnardo’s colleagues in the Black Country/Central region we are going to complete a 175 kilometre run/walk on Saturday 4th July. Please feel free to join us for the run/walk by either completing 1.75K, 17.5K and anywhere between. Do as a team/individual (10k, 5k, 2.5=17.5k). Or why not do 175 minutes/seconds of exercise/s.

Your challenge
If Running/Walking isn’t for you how about doing something else with 175 in it? Examples 175 seconds of juggling or balancing something on your head, star jumps, dancing! It could be minutes, seconds, meters, miles, anything it doesn’t matter. The more creative the idea the better. You can join us on Saturday July 4th or the closest day to it that suits you.

Post it
Post a picture/video of you doing you activity. Wear something green and post on workplace if you can.

Solidarity and Reflection
We will be supporting the Black Life Matters campaign at the start of our run by ‘taking a knee’. It can also be a time to think about our colleagues that have lost loved ones during the pandemic and those that have lost their own lives.

Fundraising
If you want to raise much needed funds for Barnardo’s why not support our Crisis Appeal.

Safety
If you are able to join us whatever you are doing stay safe and well and follow government guidelines.

For more information please contact Jonathan Oldham – Children Services Manager, Barnardos –

T:  01384 411 722, M: 07739 256266 or e-mail – jonathan.oldham@barnardos.org.uk


New Scheme proving successful in recruiting BAME carers across the Black Country

National charity, Camphill Village Trust, is leading the way in recruiting BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) carers to its innovative Shared Lives scheme on behalf of Dudley Council, which offers adults who need support, the chance to live with an ordinary family.

Having only been operational since September 2018, the scheme has drawn on the strengths of the diverse communities throughout the region and recruited nineteen new households already, including seven from the BAME population. There are also many other households registering genuine interest in wanting to become Shared Lives carers given its recent raise in profile across the UK by all local authorities.

Although figures for the local scheme are relatively small in comparison, their upward trajectory is a reflection of wider national statistics according to Skills for Care (2019), where the BAME population represents 21% of the adult social care workforce in England.

Shared Lives is a unique model of personalised support and accommodation, with a very strong track record of transforming lives, going back many years. Shared Lives is extremely flexible, and the person is carefully matched to live or stay on either a live-in, short-break or day support basis.

Married couple, Caroline and Gary Reid from Sandwell, who were approved as Shared Lives carers by the Camphill Village Trust scheme just over a year ago, have after several introductory visits now been matched with Meg, who has a learning disability and was previously living in residential care after her mother passed away some time ago. ‘The scheme was very clear from the start that we wouldn’t necessarily receive BAME referrals, which was never a concern anyway.’

The assessment process can take between three to six months before being approved by an independent panel. By being part of a registered scheme, Shared Lives carers are paid according to the level of support they provide, up to £570 per week, and because of their self-employed status, also qualify for tax relief.

Candy and Derrick Foster from Tipton and who were previously foster carers before recently moving over to be approved with Shared Lives added, ‘Shared Lives provides a great opportunity for individuals with the right values and commitment, to develop a social care career, in what is such a rewarding role. It really does challenge the assumptions of what people who require extra support can achieve whilst living within the comfort of an ordinary home, but with extra-ordinary carers.’

To find out more information about becoming a Shared Lives carer with the Camphill Village Trust scheme, please call on 01384 441505 or go to www.camphillvillagetrust.org.uk


Sandwell Parks Survey

A Sandwell Parks survey is currently looking for responses for people to tell the Council about how they use the parks and what type of activities or programmes they would like to take part in the future

The survey closes on 17th July – https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=159299853032


Unlocking the Power of Community for Our Common Good

At Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) we want people in Oxfordshire to have better lives. For us, this means that no-one should have to sleep rough on our streets and everyone should have a place to call home; where every child has aspirations and the opportunity to thrive; and no-one has to experience the despair of loneliness, but instead can enjoy a true sense of belonging.

To make this a reality, we believe in unlocking the power within our communities enabling charities, businesses and the public sector (city, district and country councils) to work collectively in shared endeavour to improve opportunities for those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Therefore, with the new year 2020 almost here, I am delighted with the progress Oxfordshire Community Foundation has made during 2019 which has seen the launch of two key strategic programmes Growing Minds – a school readiness project to reduce educational disadvantage and Oxford Homeless Movement – a partnership of 38 organisations working to ensure that nobody should have to sleep rough on the streets of Oxford.   What better evidence of how Oxfordshire Community Foundation is already working in collaboration with others to unlock the power of community and starting to build an unstoppable movement for Our Common Good.

We believe OCF has a role to play at the heart of such social transformation, providing a voice for the community and the space for partnerships to come together.

We acknowledge that our aspiration to find local solutions to national problems is simply beyond the capacity of any one organisation. However, the real challenge we see is often not a lack of money but more a lack of co-ordination between all our various efforts as individuals and organisations.

Whenever, I talk about OCF, I am always minded to mention Our Common Good and the collective priority we share to inspire more “place making” by enhancing the role of national and local philanthropy to renew and empower communities to seek out ever more collaborations and cross-sector partnerships.

In 2020 Oxfordshire Community Foundation will be celebrating 25 years working across Oxfordshire looking to find local solutions to the national problems that are holding our communities back – homelessness, educational disadvantage, inequality and loneliness.  With this experience behind us we are becoming increasingly outspoken, seeking out every opportunity to share our knowledge and insight, adding our voice and influence to achieve greater impact.

To read  the full UK Community Foundations Article click here.

Source: UK Community Foundations


UK Community Foundations Appoints Interim CEO

UK Community Foundations is delighted to announce that Rosemary Macdonald, CEO of Wiltshire Community Foundation, has been appointed as Interim CEO of UKCF. Rosemary will be replacing Fabian French who, after 5 years in post, is standing down in April.

Rosemary has been seconded for a 6-month period from Wiltshire CF and will be starting work on 2nd March to allow a good handover period with the departing CEO. Rosemary served 6 years on the Board of UKCF until 2018, and during that period was Vice Chair for 3 years and Chair of the Membership Committee for 3 years.

Rosemary Macdonald said: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on this exciting new position. I am committed to the wider success of the whole Community Foundation network, of which I have been part of for 12 years.’

Jerome Booth, Chair of UKCF said: ‘We are very fortunate to have Rosemary joining us as interim CEO. She brings enormous experience of our network as well as a passion for the work of Community Foundations.’

On Fabian French’s departure, Jerome Booth said: ‘The Board is sorry to see Fabian go. He leaves UK Community Foundations financially much stronger than when he joined, with a diverse and sustainable income. The Board is grateful for his leadership at an important and challenging time in the network’s development, and thanks him for his considerable contribution to both UKCF and the wider Community Foundation movement.’

Source: UK Community Foundations


Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Governor nominations are open!

Do you want to be involved in helping us shape the future of our services?

Are you 16 years or over and live in either Sandwell, Walsall, Dudley or Birmingham and the wider West Midlands? If so, why not nominate yourself to become a governor of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT) and be an advocate for what matters the most for people of the Black Country with regards to mental health, learning disability and children’s services.

The governor role is very rewarding and it gives you the opportunity to:

  • Make a difference and have a positive contribution to the work of our Trust
  • Help us shape the future of our services and ensure that our patients and carers get the best possible care
  • Support and help continually achieve the Trust’s vision of: ‘Together we can achieve healthier, happier lives for everyone’,
  • Represent your own views and experiences that will have a positive impact on our Trust
  • Be an advocate for what matters the most to our communities, and share these with our Board of Directors
  • Be updated on the Trust’s performance and developments, as well as seek performance assurance from our Board of Directors
  • Act as an ambassador for your area of expertise or interest group
  • Attend and support the planning of member engagement events
  • Help build our membership community to ensure that it is representative of the communities we serve

To be a governor, all you need to have is enthusiasm and commitment for the role and an interest in your local NHS services. Whilst the role of the governor is a voluntary one, you will receive on-going training and support to give you the confidence and skills as well as the right knowledge to enable you to take on this important role.

If this is an opportunity that you have been looking for, don’t delay in submitting your application online at www.cesvotes.com/blackcountry2020.

Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Monday 6 July 2020

You can find out more about the governor role by getting in touch with Erica Pearce in BCHFT membership office on 0121 612 8061 or email bchft.membership@nhs.net


The Art Yard Is Reopening!

The Art Yard (TAY) team Thank You for your continuing support during the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down.

When the gallery and studios reopen adjustments will have been made to reduce risk. Our primary aim is to remain an accessible community art space, that is, a place where all artists of any age or ability can exhibit their work safely.

Therefore, as government advice on COVID-19 prevention will change from time to time we ask TAY visitors to always comply with the guidelines and what our volunteers request.

Reopening for Exhibitions
The gallery is re-opening in stages. The front gallery will open first with 2 successive Solo Shows, as follows:

  • 1st week: From 27th July to 1st August an exhibition by ‘Learning4Life’ led by art tutor Tim Jarvis.
  • 2nd week: From 3rd August to 8th August a solo show by Luke Hudson (artist and art tutor).

Opening the centre and rear galleries: 3rd week: Normal exhibitions will resume on 10th August with the Open Art exhibition held over from 16th March – 11th April 2020. That 4 week exhibition will now run to 5th September. We wish particularly to thank all artists who have had their art held in this exhibition for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.

Cradley Heath Green Landscapes (CHGL) project
Meanwhile, CHGL project led by Martyn Harris is continuing but with adjustments. A separate email will be circulated shortly letting you know how you can get involved.

Finally, TAY team appreciate that adjusting to life after lock-down will affect people in different ways. Whenever possible our volunteers will be sympathetic to your needs, especially when you drop off or collect work, and when you visit to show friends about the gallery.

Unfortunately, exhibition ‘opening nights’ are suspended but artists will still be able to showcase work exhibited in the gallery to their friends, subject to prevailing guidelines.

Please contact the team at any time to discuss any concerns you may have on 01384 910968.


The Ethical Property Foundation’s Charity Property Matters Survey 2020

The Ethical Property Foundation is delighted to be launching its Charity Property Matters Survey 2020.
The last edition attracted the most respondents we ever but this year we want to do even better!
We are asking every voluntary group in the area to spend six minutes filling in the survey so that funders and policy makers will understand the bricks and mortar reality what we are coping with.
This Survey – run every two years since 2012 – is the only research which asks all voluntary organisations in England & Wales specifically about their property assets and issues. The results are published later this year.
This is the ONLY independent survey of its kind and is your chance to make a big difference to the UK’s charity sector in only SIX minutes!
Overheated local property markets; rent rises; asset transfers; falling core funding; hard to find affordable premises…there are major issues facing the sector. The Survey takes less than 6 minutes to complete so fill it in today and help our sector finds its collective voice.

Report Recognises Key Role of Sandwell VCS During Lockdown

A new report published by SCVO has outlined the extent to which Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) has had to adapt to the challenges posed by the Covid 19 lockdown, and has highlighted the immense role played by local organisations in supporting residents through the crisis.

The ‘Covid 19 Impact on Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector’ report draws on the views and experiences of a wide range of local VCS leaders during April and May 2020 as organisations found themselves navigating the uncharted territory of the emerging pandemic.  More than three-quarters of organisations contributing to the report were able to keep operating and adapting to new ways of working, providing vital help to their communities.   The report also acknowledges the challenges ahead for communities and those organisations that serve them.

Mark Davis, SCVO’s Chief Executive Officer, commented “This report highlights the crucial part that our local voluntary sector plays in the life of our borough.  VCS leaders, staff and volunteers have once again gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that those adversely affected by the lockdown have received the practical and emotional support that they need.  Their skill and commitment in a period of real adversity is to be commended, and we should be especially proud of our voluntary sector at this time.”

A copy of the report is available on SCVO’s website here.


Page 1 of 86123...Last