Category Archives

Bringing Employment and Skills Support to those that need it most

Employability provides the key not just to a person’s financial position but also impacts hugely on their health, and the wellbeing and prospects of them, their family and their community.  Developing skills, building confidence and moving people closer to the job market is therefore hugely important and there are many local and regional programmes providing support to those who need it. 

SCVO, working in partnership with Sandwell Council, invite local voluntary and community organisations with an interest in increasing employability for Sandwell residents to come together to look at how we can make the most of local support provision.  Whether you are working directly in this field or your organisation supports people and communities within the work of your organisation who can benefit from this type of support, then this event is for you.

The event will offer you an opportunity to:-

  • Reflect on the challenges facing those seeking employment in Sandwell and current initiatives to address these
  • Find out moreabout support being offered at a grassroots level by the voluntary and community sector
  • Hear from some of the larger scale employment and skills programmes currently being delivered in Sandwell
  • Network with others – learn and share information on local support
  • Consider with others how together we can improve access, quality and sustainability of employment and skills support in Sandwell

The event is being held on Wednesday 3rd July at The Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA.  Registration/networking will be from 1.30pm with the meeting starting at 2.00pm and closing at 4.00pm.

To book a place please use the following Evenbrite link:

Do you know your CIO from your CIC? Let us help you choose the right legal structure for your project.

People who are passionate about making a difference in their community will, at some stage, be faced with the fact that they will have to form an organisation to make progress.

Choosing a legal structure can often reveal a lack of knowledge or understanding of the advantages/disadvantages of those on offer.

The purpose of choosing a structure should be that it is an “enabling structure”.

At this stage, the temptation can be to treat the matter like buying a car – “I’ve heard that Toyota makes reliable cars, so let’s buy one!” (Irrespective of whether Toyota has a suitable range of vehicles to choose from).

So do you know the difference between a CIO and a CIC, or a Community Benefit Society and an unincorporated association?

This seminar on legal structures will provide ‘food for thought’ to those at the very start of their journey and existing/established organisations.

There will be an opportunity to consider the factors to take into account when choosing a legal structure – either for the first time or when considering a change.

Those looking to make decisions about choosing the ‘right’ structure will find information and support to help them and, in some cases, revise the thought process.

If you are an established organisation, you can examine whether your current structure serves you as well as a legal structure should… and there will be an opportunity to undertake a considered critique of current circumstances.

It is FREE to attend for Sandwell VCS groups. For attendees outside the Sandwell Borough there is a £10 fee. To BOOK YOUR PLACE visit:

Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector – Use of Digital Survey

SCVO would like to canvass your views around your current use of digital technology to support the effective delivery of your organisation’s aims.

Digital technology can mean many things to different people. For the context of this survey, we are specifically looking at 5 key areas for the Voluntary Sector – promotion, fundraising, service delivery, evaluation and information security.

You can complete the survey from the following link –

The results of this survey will help us identify if there is a need to hold workshops or briefing sessions around any of the areas.  Your responses are valued and we thank you in anticipation of your time.

Although SCVO may share findings from this survey, the detail of individual responses will not be shared.

Please complete the survey by Friday 24th May 2019

If you’ve any questions about the survey please contact Leona Bird – 0121 525 1127 or e-mail –

Sandwell Aquatic Centre – Voluntary Sector Briefing Event

We are sure that you have heard about the Aquatic Centre which is going to be built in Sandwell to support the 2022 Commonwealth Games, but would you like to know more about what’s been agreed to date and learn about future hopes for the legacy of the Games and the Centre?

SCVO, in partnership with Sandwell Council, would like to invite you to a briefing session for local Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in Sandwell to find out more about these plans.  This session will provide an overview of plans for the new Centre and a chance to ask questions.  There will be more specific focus groups organised to discuss the long-term community impact and legacy following this briefing and details of these will be available at this session.

Please join us on Tuesday 14th May 2019 from 11.45am – 1.00pm.

The venue will be confirmed nearer the time of the event.  To book your place, please do so through this link


An Introduction to the Voluntary Sector Briefing Session

Are you in a new role and would value an overview of the vast range of services available to help and support Sandwell residents? Or are you new to the area or part of a newly formed community group and would like to find out more about other groups and organisations who are delivering activities locally?

This session is informal and open to anyone who feels they have a limited knowledge of the VCS in Sandwell or would like to improve their knowledge and also find out about SCVO’s support offer.

The session will cover:-

  • Information about the range of VCS organisations in Sandwell
  • What is Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)?
  • How can SCVO support your organisation grow and thrive into the future?
  • Opportunities for networking and help with promoting your services
  • How you can keep up to date with local developments and help to shape and influence local decisions.

The session is taking place on Tuesday 11 June 2019 from 12.30pm – 2.30pm at SCVO Offices, 1st Floor Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER.

Please book your place through the Eventbrite link –

Promoting Services in Sandwell – Help us to Help You

SCVO is working hard to promote the valuable services being provided by Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Organisations, but with your help we could so much more.

We are promoting service through two online portals:-

route2wellbeing –  helps people find support around health and well being whether for yourself, your family, your colleagues or your community wherever you are in Sandwell.

Sandwell Family Life –  helps people find support for children, young people and families to get the best from life, supporting them to access a variety of community-based services and activities. These range from sports activities to improved emotional well being, from youth clubs to music, arts and culture – as well as support for parents.

Have you got your services listed?

If you haven’t, you are missing out on a great opportunity to let people know about the valuable services you are providing.  It’s simple to do and importantly it’s free! Please contact the office to start listing your services today – 0121 525 1127 or e-mail

Help us with promotion

Have you got a screen within your community setting, or do you know somewhere that does?

We have produced two short videos (scroll down to the bottom of our home page) demonstrating the portals. We want to get the message out as far and wide as possible and f you can help us spread the word, please contact the office on 0121 525 1127 or e-mail

An Introduction to the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s new five-year Funding Framework and Grants Programme

We are pleased to invite you to an event that will tell you about the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s new funding framework and National Lottery Grants for Heritage.

Over the last six years, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (formally known as the Heritage Lottery Fund) has supported 50 new projects in Sandwell, totalling over £6.33 million.

If you are interested in applying or considering applying for funding for a heritage related project, this is your opportunity to find out more about what’s involved, check your eligibility to apply and find out about this new funding programme.

Jackie Lee, part of the development team at the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Birmingham office will lead the event. She will explain how the new funding framework provides a simpler and more flexible funding offer.  She will introduce the audience to the new single open grants programme, which is for all types of heritage project, and which includes new resources and digital guidance on the website to support applicants.

This event will help you recognise the range of heritage and activities National Lottery Heritage Fund supports and explain how you can access guidance and advice that will help your develop your heritage project idea.

The event will take place on Thursday 11th April 2019, 10am until 1pm in SCVO’s Board Room, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER. Registration opens from 9.45am for a prompt 10am start for those booked onto the event.  This event is targeted primarily at those groups from Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector and groups whose main beneficiaries live in Sandwell.  Groups from outside the borough may attend but priority will be given to Sandwell groups as above.

There is a maximum of 25 places available for this workshop. Please book two tickets only per organisation. All places must be booked through Eventbrite by clicking here.

**PLEASE NOTE** – a cancellation policy applies to the workshop bookings – details will be provided at the time of booking.  There is NO public car parking available at Landchard House.  However, there is plenty of on street and pay-and-display parking in the immediate vicinity,  We are (more or less) opposite the Lodge Road Metro stop, and within 5 mins walk of West Bromwich central bus station.

A Conversation with the National Lottery Community Fund (Surgery Session)

SCVO in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund are hosting a series of monthly surgery sessions for those wishing to discuss their submitted initial outline proposal in more detail. The surgery sessions will be held on the second Monday of the month, from 10am until 1pm at SCVO’s Offices, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER.

The Lottery’s Grants Officer will be available for booked appointments to further discuss your initial proposal and potential next steps. Prior to booking an appointment you must have completed and emailed the National Lottery Community Fund at with your initial outline proposal (shaped around their 6 bullet points which can be found by clicking here and looking under the ‘What we need to know’ Section on their website).

Future dates for the surgery sessions include:

  • Monday 12th August 2019,
  • Monday 9th September 2019,
  • Monday 14th October 2019,
  • Monday 11th November 2019 and
  • Monday 9th December 2019.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity and want to book your time slot with The National Lottery Community Fund please email Donna Adams at or call on 0121 345 7661 to avoid disappointment.

Cradley Heath Trail Drop-in Sessions

SCVO in partnership with Cradley Heath Community Centre have commenced a trial monthly drop-in sessions  over the next three months for Sandwell Community, Voluntary  and Social Enterprise organisations at Cradley Heath Community Centre, Reddal Hill Road, Cradley Heath, B64 5JG.

Libby Mahoney, SCVO’s Small Groups Development Officer, will be available on the first Friday of every month from 10am till 12pm.

The drop-in sessions will take place on:

  • Friday 7th June 2019.

This is your opportunity to discuss your project ideas, business plans or funding application(s) and receive practical support, advice and tips on how to improve the success of your project/application and much more.

Please note your organisation must be based or delivering here in Sandwell to be able to access this service.

To see what other services SCVO provides please visit our website at

VCS Online Directory Survey

SCVO would love to hear about your experience of using our Voluntary and Community Sector Directory, as part of a review to improve the site and make it more useful, now and for the future.

We should be grateful for your feedback by completing a short two minute survey.

Thank you for your help.

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