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Building Better Lives – Black Country Funding Success!

The Heart of England Community Foundation has pledged over £3m to support a trio of charities across the West Midlands.

The charity awarded £2.7m in its last financial year so to award over £3.1m to just 3 organisations is a monumental step change for the Foundation.

Thanks to incredible anonymous donors the funds will be shared between YMCA Birmingham, St Basil’s and Black Country Women’s Aid. The grants are being awarded through the Foundation’s ‘Building Better Lives’ Programme, which focuses on the need for purpose-built housing for vulnerable people across the region. These three charities have been chosen because of their unwavering commitment to provide stable and rehabilitating living conditions to those who need it most.

Commenting on the need for Building Better Lives, Chief Executive, Tina Costello, said:

“The statistics around the housing crisis in the West Midlands and Warwickshire are nothing short of catastrophic, with a substantial lack of accommodation meeting the needs of society’s most at risk. The need for additional housing is the third most talked about topic in the Houses of Parliament, behind Brexit and climate change. The anonymous donors were clear in how they wanted their generous donation to be spent and chose the Foundation to develop and implement their ambitions, making it a reality.

“The work of YMCA Birmingham, St Basil’s in Coventry, and Black Country Women’s Aid cover the breadth of our region, and each focus on relieving the pressures felt by those feeling the pinch of the housing crisis most: from homeless adults and children, to those who have suffered domestic abuse. Being able to support them with our largest grant ever is something that the Foundations is immensely proud of.”

The Building Better Lives initiative is the icing on the cake for a tremendous 12-months for the Foundation, ahead of its 25th birthday next year. Having received £4m from generous anonymous donors, this was further increased by £1.58m when the donors were so impressed by the plans the charity put in place. This has allowed the charity to continue its mission of developing community activity across a number of diverse projects in the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

“This once in a lifetime donation made to the foundation has had a phenomenal impact on the charity’s development, allowing us to restructure our strategic direction significantly. What’s more, it has shown just how flexible we can be in the creation of bespoke grant programmes: we’re big enough to have a huge reach and impact; whilst still being small enough to be an agile funder.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Heart of England Community Foundation


Dorothy Parkes Christmas Fayre

The Dorothy Parkes Community Centre (located in Church Road, Smethwick, B67 6EH) are holding a Christmas Fayre on Saturday 30th November 2019 from 9.30am till 2pm. With live entertainment, games and activities, craft stalls, festive refreshments and much more.

There will be an opportunity to have breakfast with Santa between 9.30am till 11.30am  for £2.50 per child but booking is essential – click here to book your places. The fee includes a visit to Santa’s Grotto, a gift and Breakfast.

For more information please call the Dorothy Parkes Centre on 0121 558 2998.


SOCIAL TALKS- Get Started Series for Funders

Aspire4U and iDeal Directions Marketing are running a workshop for those looking to get started and gain clarity around social media and driving their organisation forward in the digital age, to help funders get to grips with using social media platforms, to help them connect and engage with potential service users/community organisations.

The workshop is taking place on Thursday 16th January 2020 from 9am till 1pm at Keys Court Business Centre, 80 Moseley Street, Birmingham, B12 0RT. This is a ticketed event via Eventbrite costing between £11.37 – £16.76.

Why come?

Throughout this series of workshops delivered by That’s All Media and iDeal Directions marketing, you will get practical solutions on social media.

What will I gain?

An understanding of social media, gain practical skills and the knowledge required to move your organisation forward in a 2019/20 context. You will learn:

  • Where to start – choosing the right platform to connect with your communities and service users.
  • Grow communities and show skills/quality of your organisation
  • What to post and how to grow your community.
  • Information on how to grow relationships with philanthropists and donors

Who is for?

Teams, leaders and aspiring grants/giving organisations looking to get to grips with how social media can work and help you sustain your business.

To book your place or to find out more about this upcoming workshop by clicking here.


Increase in Real Living Wage Announced During Living Wage Week 2019

The Living Wage Foundation has this week announced a new UK Living Wage hourly rate of £9.30 per hour, an increase of 30p per hour. The UK rate is £1.09 per hour more than the government minimum wage for over 25s, and the new London Living Wage (£10.75 per hour) is £2.54 per hour higher.

This announcement means that over 210,000 people working for almost 6,000 real Living Wage Employers throughout the country are set for a pay boost. A full-time worker paid the £9.30 real Living Wage will receive more than £2,000 in additional wages compared to current Government minimum – equivalent to 9 months of a typical family’s food and drink bill.

This year 1,500 more employers have accredited with the Living Wage Foundation and businesses and civic leaders in Salford and Cardiff have also announced ambitious plans to become the first Living Wage cities in England and Wales.

The Living Wage Foundation is calling on all major employers to step up and tackle the rising problem of low pay by committing to go beyond the government minimum and pay a wage in line with the real cost of living.

You can read more about this here and keep up to date with this week’s news on Twitter: #LivingWageWeek2019.


The Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands and Mayor of Sandwell Celebrate Volunteers with Black Country Touring

The Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands and Mayor of Sandwell will be attending a special event at The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick on the 15th November 2019, 6.45pm to celebrate the role of Black Country Touring’s promoters and volunteers who are instrumental in helping put on  a range of exciting events in their local communities.

Bringing professional touring theatre, dance and film from the UK and beyond to the communities of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, Black Country Touring works with local promoters and volunteers to programme events in local venues across the region.

This month The Dorothy Parkes Centre have chosen a performance by professional theatre company Little Bulb who have collaborated with arts centre Farnham Maltings on a new music and theatre production called ’Mountain Music’.
The story creates an unforgettable tapestry of culture, migration and history exploring the roots of what we now call country music and its impact on popular music today.

John Crabtree, OBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, said: “Centres like Dorothy Parkes and events like this are part of the glue that help hold communities together, they allow people to come together to experience great entertainment and also to connect with friends and neighbours.

Of course, non of this would happen without staff and volunteers; and Black Country Touring who support a whole network of volunteers and local community promoters to bring theatre, dance and cinema into the heart of local communities.”

For the past 21 years Black Country Touring have continued to put the local community at the very heart of decision making, from finding the stories for new shows to hosting the events that are most important to and resonate with them.

Frances Land, Co-artistic Director, Said: “ Black Country Touring works hard in supporting local promoters to bring the very best entertainment right into the heart of local communities.  We are delighted that both the Lord Lieutenant and Mayor of Sandwell will be joining the audience at the Dorothy Parkes centre on the 15th November to see just how vital events like this and centres like Dorothy Parkes are in bringing local communities together.”

From Rajasthan Circus in Smethwick to Afghani Rap in Wolverhampton, Seaside tales in caravans in Coseley and shared stories beamed onto Facebook live from shops in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, Black Country Touring, alongside their team of volunteers and promoters, has been entertaining and inspiring local people right on their doorsteps for the past 21 years.

To attend the photo call please email: frances@bctouring.co.uk


Christmas Lights Celebrations In Sandwell

Christmas is just around the corner and people in Sandwell can get in the festive spirit with a series of community events across the six towns.

Sandwell Council is making sure town centres are looking Christmassy and is working together with community organisations to put on a number of Christmas lights celebrations.

Go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/lights for full details of events across Sandwell


Project Administrator Vacancy at Creative Black Country.

Creative Black Country (CBC) on behalf of Black Country Together is looking to appoint a Project Administrator.

This is an exciting time of development for Creative Black Country as it expands its programme beyond Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton into the borough of Dudley following a four-year funding award from Arts Council England. The successful applicant will be part of small, dynamic, talented and well networked team delivering high impact projects to a region of 1.1 million people.

CBC is led by a Core Consortium of Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations, Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council,  One Walsall and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (working as Black Country Together CIC) Multistory, Black Country Touring and Black Country Living Museum (which are all Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations). This consortium brings together the community and voluntary sector and the expertise of professional arts producers with a long-standing commitment to the Black Country’s creative and cultural ecology and a depth and breadth of knowledge of leading contemporary arts practice.

Key principles of the role:

The postholder will provide administrative support to the Directors and CBC team, specifically in Dudley, for the development and delivery of a programme of work with and for communities across the Black Country. The role will include creation of online content to increase CBC’s profile.

Salary :

  • NJC spinal points 12-17 (£21,589-£23,836 per annum) pro rata at 3 days a week and depending on experience; 6% employer contribution pension

For an informal conversation, contact Jenny Smith (Creative Director – Maternity Cover) 07967 187 822 or Sajida Carr (Director of Operations and Development) 07793 244 031.

Timeline:

  • Closing date: 2nd December 2019 at 12 noon.
  • Interviews : 17th December 2019

Downloads:

We request no contact from recruitement agencies.


Fundraising Manager Vacancy at Creative Black Country.

Creative Black Country (CBC) on behalf of Black Country Together is looking to appoint a Fundraising Manager.

This is an exciting time of development for Creative Black Country as it expands its programme beyond Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton into the borough of Dudley following a four-year funding award from Arts Council England. The successful applicant will be part of small, dynamic, talented and well networked team delivering high impact projects to a region of 1.1 million people.

 

CBC is led by a Core Consortium of Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations, Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council,  One Walsall and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (working as Black Country Together CIC) Multistory, Black Country Touring and Black Country Living Museum (which are all Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations). This consortium brings together the community and voluntary sector and the expertise of professional arts producers with a long-standing commitment to the Black Country’s creative and cultural ecology and a depth and breadth of knowledge of leading contemporary arts practice.

Key principles of the role:

To work with Creative Black Country to develop and increase its fundraising activities, identify further opportunities to grow its work for 2020 and beyond, and to raise the profile of the work that CBC delivers.

Salary :

  • NJC spinal points 20-31 (£32,029- £33,799 per annum) pro rata at 3 days a week and depending on experience; 6% employer contribution pension

For an informal conversation, contact Jenny Smith (Creative Director – Maternity Cover) 07967 187 822 or Sajida Carr (Director of Operations and Development) 07793 244 031.

Timeline:

  • Closing date: 2nd December 2019 at 12 noon.
  • Interviews : 16th December 2019

Downloads:

We request no contact from recruitement agencies.


A consultation on changes to Charity Governance Code

The steering group behind the Charity Governance Code are continually looking to improve the code, taking into account the evolving understanding of what is good governance, and the changing expectations of the sector’s various stakeholders.

As such, they have launched a consultation on how the code can be improved in anticipation of a ‘light refresh’ in 2020, followed by more far-reaching changes taking place in 2023.

You can find out more and take part in the consultation here.


Page to Stage: Music for Mental Health

Passionate about mental health? Want to create new music? As the world is beginning to open up about mental health, The People’s Orchestra and Show Choirs provide a platform to share your experiences and raise the profile of this important issue through the Page to Stage project.

Join The People’s Orchestra for a composition workshop, on Saturday, 16 November, 1 pm to 6 pm. You do not need to have musical training to take part, just an interest in sharing your experiences of mental health and being part of the creative process.

Ideas and soundscapes from the day will be combined into a specially commissioned piece of music for The People’s Orchestra and Show Choirs, to be premiered in a concert next year.

1.00 pm Welcome and Warm up

1.15 pm Poetry Workshop: contribute thoughts and experiences around mental health.

2.30 pm Collaborate and create: a musical composition workshop with Kirsty Devaney

5.30 pm Informal performance to family and friends.

Get in touch on 0121 569 2616 to let The People’s Orchestra know you are coming.

Visit the website on www.thepeoplesorchestra.com


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