Category Archives

“Planning for Growth” in your organisation – workshop.

Organisational growth is Exciting… and Scary!

In today’s climate, where there are too many (?)  small charities & social enterprises, development through Growth provides substantial opportunities to improve the reach & effectiveness of your organisation.

Come and find out more about the challenges and benefits of Growth; the current climate and the landscape of charities & social enterprises does provide real growth opportunities –  if you are up to it!

The need for the services of charities & social enterprises in alleviating poverty and disadvantage is (unfortunately) growing. At the same time some funders are poised to support growth for those brave enough to attempt it as they see the benefits of scaling up and being able to reach a wider group of beneficeiries.

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This seminar is for organisations that have been operating/trading for a while and feel that there are growth opportunities they could pursue but are afraid to ask!

This seminar/workshop will examine the complexities of scaling up an organisation and the key skills that leaders need to develop to have a good chance of implementing change of this type.

The seminar will be delivered in a workshop style, with opportunity to participate in the learning process. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about successful examples of scaling up of which the facilitator has personal experience.

The seminar is on Tuesday, 8 October 2019, from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm.

To book you place (FREE for groups delivering to Sandwell residents) – visit: 

EPIC Funding (Round Two) is Go! Grant application window now open…

SCVO is working in partnership with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to help build long-term resilience within Sandwell Communities.

The purpose of the EPIC Grant Programme (Empowering People In Communities) is to enable local voluntary and community organisations to access funding that supports the following broad outcomes:

  • Increased resilience within communities
  • Increased self reliance
  • Improved and stronger relationships within the community
  • Residents are involved in the design and delivery of activities that make a positive change in their communities
  • Asset and strengths based – building on what exists in communities

Extensive community conversations have helped to shape the elements of this programme.  EPIC is a three year grant programme aimed at improving the wellbeing of communities, and tackling isolation and loneliness. It does this by developing stronger relationships and building on what exists within communities. This could include making the most of community spaces, improving access to transport and using people’s skills, talents and experience.

Grants up to £80,000 will be available for projects that are aimed at people (of all ages) who feel lonely or isolated, and projects that aim to improve the wellbeing of communities.

There are three tiers of funding available:

  • under £10,000
  • £10,001 to £40,000
  • £40,001 to £80,000 (working in collaboration)

Applications for Round 2 open on Monday 9th September 2019 and will close on Monday, 14th October 2019 at 12 noon.

Application paperwork (in Word format) and guidance notes (in pdf format) are available for download as follows:

For applications under £10,000:


For applications over £10,000 (incl. collaboration):


If you would like to discuss any proposals before submitting an application, or you have any general queries, please contact Stuart Ashmore, Operations Manager, T: 0121 525 1127 / E:


Voluntary and Community Sector Breakfast Meeting Invitation

The next voluntary sector breakfast meeting will be held on Thursday 12th September 2019 at Brook Street Community Centre, 1 Brook Street, Tipton, DY4 9DD from 7.30 am to 9.00 am.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with peers from the Sector to find out what’s new, what’s happening in the borough or simply just to have a have a catch-up.

Please come along and join us for this very informal networking opportunity.  Light refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to book a place please e-mail or

Route2Wellbeing Reaches New Milestone

Sandwell’s popular Route2wellbeing website reached a new milestone this week with the listing of its 500th service.

The website, available at, provides residents, local agencies, GPs and health professionals with information about a wide range of community-based activities and guidance which support and promote peoples wellbeing.

Since its launch in 2013 the website has become a well-established signposting tool which enables small voluntary and community groups as well as larger charities to advertise their support to the wider community. Over 200 organisations now use the website to promote their offer to Sandwell residents. Use of the website has also increased dramatically over the last couple of years with a 50% rise in visits since 2018.

Groups and organisations wishing to advertise themselves can do so by contacting Mazeline Hemmings at SCVO on 0121 525 1127 or Services can be listed free of charge.

Invitation to SCVO’s 2019 AGM – ‘Making Sense of Wellbeing’

You are invited to SCVO’s 2019 AGM and conference – ‘Making Sense of Wellbeing’.  This year, in addition to the main AGM business, we will be having a variety of speakers attending to share their inspiring and thought-provoking insights on wellbeing in its broadest sense. 

This will include examples from organisations who are delivering activities that help enhance the overall wellbeing of their communities, as well as tips and guidance around the importance of our own and our staff’s wellbeing so we can all do the best job we can under the pressures that we all face in daily life.

The event is taking place on Wednesday 9th October 2019 from 9.30am – 12.30pm at Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA.

We do hope that you can join us for an informative, challenging and light-hearted event and to help make our AGM a success – please book your place through

Please find below the calling notice for the AGM which will take place as part of the overall event.

10.20 am  SCVO’s Annual General Meeting

  1.  Chair’s Welcome
  2. Apologies
  3. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2018
  4. Matters Arising
  5. Review of the Year 2018/19
  6. Annual Accounts 2018/19
    Treasurers Report
    Approval of the Annual Accounts
    Appointment of Auditors 2018/19
  7. Election of Board Members
  8. Date of Next Annual General Meeting 2020
  9. Any Other Business
  10. Closing Remarks by Chair

 11.00 am – 12.30pm – ‘Making Sense of Wellbeing’ event to follow


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 –

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