Safer, Stronger Communities

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Bangladeshi Women’s Association Limited receives ‘Space to Connect’ grant to boost community space

Bangladeshi Women’s Association [BWA Limited] in Tipton has been awarded a £10,000 grant from a
partnership between Co-op’s charity, the Co-op Foundation, and the Department for Digital, Culture,
Media and Sport. BWA Limited will use ‘Space to Connect’ funding to hold a series of workshops across
the Jubilee Park Community Centre and the Tipton Muslim Community Centre to explore what
activities and resources are available in the local community. This will help to identify how best two
spaces can bring residents together. It is one of 57 organisations across England to receive a grant
from the £1.6 million partnership, designed to help communities tackle loneliness by improving and
protecting local spaces that bring people together. Space to Connect follows commitments made in
the Government’s Civil Society and Loneliness Strategies, published in 2018, to help create sustainable
community hubs and spaces where they are most needed. Funding also builds on the Co-op
Foundation’s work to strengthen community spaces where people can connect and co-operate.

Chair of BWA Limited, Razia Sattar, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding and look forward
to holding community conversations with a wide range of community groups in Tipton so that our two
centres can grow and develop new services to meet the needs of local people”. Minister for Civil
Society, Baroness Barran, said: “Strong communities play a crucial role in tackling loneliness and social
isolation. This £1.6 million worth of funding will create and enhance local spaces that bring people
together, encouraging them to make new and lasting friendships. It is part of our ongoing commitment
to work hand in hand with local communities to build a shared, integrated and socially responsible
society.” Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “Our Space to Connect partnership with
Government builds on our commitment to strengthen communities and tackle loneliness through cooperation.
“Grants awarded today will empower people to work together to make better use of spaces
to address local challenges, improving the well-being and skills of their whole community.” Space to
Connect was launched in June 2019, at the same time as Co-op’s Endangered Spaces campaign to
protect, support and improve 2,000 community spaces by 2022.

For further information, contact the BWA Limited Team on 0121 557 6766.

How to Give Safely to Charities

Giving to charity is a longstanding and important tradition and we welcome the public’s generosity in their support for charities.

The Charity Commission want to ensure that generous donations do not end up in the wrong hands. They want to make sure that charity continues to thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.

As regulator, they want everyone to make important checks before they give, so that they feel empowered and more confident at spotting and avoiding scams.

Charity scams are small in number compared to how much is given safely, but the charity sector generates an annual income of over £76 billion making it an attractive target for criminals.

They have some simple advice for donors, such as checking the charity register, so that people can feel reassured that their donations go to their intended charitable cause.

Key advice for safer giving

  • check the charity’s name and registration number. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered
  • make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information
  • be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
  • check whether street collectors are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection tin is sealed and undamaged
    ask the collector for more information if in doubt
  • contact the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to find out more about their spending
  • carefully review collection bags for clothing and household goods to check whether they are from a genuine charity
    check whether fundraising materials are genuine. They should feature the charity’s name, registered number and a landline contact number check their contact details on the register
  • never feel under pressure by a fundraiser into making a donation immediately
  • use the same level of caution every time you support or donate to a charity

Reporting suspicious activity
After making these checks, if you think that a collection or appeal is not legitimate, report it to the police. You can also complain about a charity to us and the Fundraising Regulator.

If you think a collector does not have a licence – report it to the relevant Local Authority Licensing Team. Also, let the charity know if you can.

Source: Charity Commission

The Importance of Safeguarding and Protecting People

Safeguarding is a key governance priority for all trustees, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.

You should read the guidance about safeguarding duties for charity trustees which was recently updated.

We advise you to carry out a thorough review of your charity’s safeguarding governance and management arrangements and performance, if you haven’t done in the last 12 months.

It is also important that you contact us about any safeguarding issues, or serious safeguarding incidents, complaints or allegations which have not previously been reported to us.

Find out about reporting serious incidents in your charity as a trustee.

Find out about reporting serious wrongdoing at a charity as a worker or volunteer.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter Issue 62


How Clubs Can Develop Effective Safeguarding Strategies

Regardless of whether or not you have statutory safeguarding obligations, if your non-profit club comes into contact with children or adults at risk, you have a responsibility to protect them from abuse and neglect.

This means you will need to have a robust safeguarding strategy, and ensure that everyone involved with your club understands their safeguarding role and responsibilities, and is aware of important developments regarding statutory safeguarding guidance and legislation.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is about protecting vulnerable people from harm. While anyone can become a victim of abuse or neglect, only certain groups are considered to be at particular risk for safeguarding purposes.

Children, by virtue of their age, always fall into this category. Adults are also classed as vulnerable, if they are unable to protect themselves against the risk of abuse or neglect. This could be for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: a physical disability, a learning disability, or a mental illness.

While the principles of how you safeguard both of these groups are very similar, the ways in which they are dealt with are very different. There is also different legislation, statutory requirements and responsibilities for each.

To add to the complexity of safeguarding, the UK’s four nations each have different laws, statutory guidance and ways of governing and monitoring safeguarding. In England, the main bodies are, Ofsted and CQC. In Scotland, there is the Care Inspectorate and HMIe. Wales has Estyn and CSSIW, and Northern Ireland has an ETI and RQIA.

But whichever part of the UK your club is based in, it is important to consider the safeguarding requirements of staff and volunteers as well as your members and service users, and put in place a strategy that puts their wellbeing at the heart of decision-making.

Changes to safeguarding children statutory guidance

The second half of 2018 saw important changes to guidance and legislation concerning safeguarding children. These changes currently only relate to children in England, but pave the way for future changes in the rest of the UK.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 (KCSIE) has updated rules for safeguarding in schools and colleges, and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (WTSC) sets out what different organisations’ roles are and how they should work together to safeguard children within society. The WTSC 2018 changes include an emphasis on not-for-profit organisations.

Another useful resource for sports clubs who work with children is the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU). The website includes information on how to create a safeguarding policy, various training and events, and safety and safeguarding help for both clubs and parents.

To read the full Zurich Municipal article click here.

Source: Zurich Municipal


Volunteers and Community Cycle Clubs Needed!

Do you want to set up a community cycle club or would you like to volunteer for a community cycle club in the Black Country?

Cycling UK can help you on your journey!

If you are a community group that already provides activities and want to add cycling to your programme then Cycling UK can help. Cycling UK can support you with  funding, training and admin support until you feel happy to go it alone.

We need you! – If you are an individual who has cycled for a long time and would like to help others learn to ride or get back into cycling, we need you! Cycling UK can provide volunteers with the relevant training that makes a volunteer confident to help others ride.

Cycling improves health and wellbeing, helps people develop new skills and it`s FUN!

Mental health support, older people’s groups, health organisations, youth groups, workplaces, refugee charities and veteran groups are just some of the settings in which Cycling UK has delivered community cycle clubs.

We would love to hear from you.

For more information please email

EU Settlement Scheme – Supporting EU Communities

In line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement, EU citizens* and their family members (including children) will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. This allows them to get a new UK immigration status that will protect their rights in the UK once the UK leaves the EU.

The Home Office is putting in place a series of arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs of EU citizens who will require support. To ensure support is available, we want to enable community groups to play a vital role in supporting vulnerable or at-risk communities. We are doing this by providing guidance, a suite of communication materials and regular engagement activity for community groups. We are also providing grant funding for eligible voluntary and community sector organisations.

To support you in raising awareness and delivering activities around the EU Settlement Scheme, we have created a community leaders toolkit to provide accurate, timely and accessible  communication materials for your use and to share with vulnerable or at-risk communities. Further details on the materials available are provided in this pack. You can also find
these on GOV.UK.

This pack introduces you to the community leaders toolkit. It will help you to use the communications materials and share them with EU citizens and their family members in your communities. These materials will also help increase your understanding of the EU Settlement Scheme and the important role you can choose to play in supporting EU citizens.

The information in this pack is about the EU Settlement Scheme in line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement. This information relates to the scheme when it fully opens by 30 March 2019 and does not reflect conditions in pilot phases.

(* EU citizens used throughout refers to EEA and Swiss nationals, who are all eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.)

Do you offer free public access to computers? Get listed on Find My Nearest…

Find My Nearest‘ is an online directory, operated by Sandwell MBC, that lists a range of different services available across the borough.

One of the services listed is that of free access to computers and support – simply enter your postcode and select ‘Computers’ from the dropdown menu to see what’s available near you.

But the listings are only as good as the information available to SMBC…and that’s where YOU can help!

SMBC has created an online survey to collect details of new locations offering FREE computer access and support, and for those organisations already listed to update their details.

You can complete the survey HERE

In an increasingly connected world, we want to see the best possible access for Sandwell’s residents…and this is a great way to help that happen.

Brexit Update

Whilst we’re still none the wiser about the outcome of ongoing Brexit negotiations, there is an ever-increasing amount of information being distributed along the lines of “what to do if…“.

Sandy Adirondack (, in her regular newsletter (to which you can subscribe via her website), has helpfully summarised a number of such sources of information as follows…but it’s not definitive by any means (by her own admission!):

And if there is No Deal…

West Bromwich Summit – Event Feedback and Action Planning

This is a reminder that the next workshop for the West Bromwich Town Summit, will be 10 am-12 pm on Tuesday 5th March 2019, at West Bromwich Town Hall,

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss and agree how solutions and opportunities can be implemented.

If you wish to attend, please confirm your attendance by email to Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing on

West Bromwich Summit Report

Safeguarding Duties for Trustees

Safeguarding is a key governance priority for all trustees, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.

You should read the guidance about safeguarding duties for charity trustees.

We advise you to carry out a thorough review of your charity’s safeguarding governance and management arrangements and performance, if you haven’t done in the last 12 months.

It is also important that you contact us about any safeguarding issues, or serious safeguarding incidents, complaints or allegations which have not previously been reported to us.

Find more about what and how to report to the Charity Commission.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter

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