Training Support and Resources

Category Archives

Free ESOL English Courses and Teacher Training

Did you know that you can access free ESOL English courses at the Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick and at the Oak House Museum, in West Bromwich?

The course at Dorothy Parkes is women only and comprises of ESOL and work skills.

The courses are delivered by Fircroft College of Adult Education, which also offers free ESOL teacher training for anyone interested in delivering an English course. The next ESOL teacher training will be on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th January 2020.

If you would like your organisation to become a partner to host English courses, Fircroft College would welcome a call.

To discuss teacher training or the possibility of becoming a delivery partner, please email Neena Chauhan, Project Manager, on for telephone 0121 415 2510 / 07719257319.

6 Steps to Prepare for Your Next Financial Audit

Audits can be a stressful time for any organisation. Even if your records are completely blemish-free, the experience can still be taxing. This is heightened if you’re a charitable non-profit and your future funding depends on it…

So, how can you prepare for your next financial audit and what should you expect from it?

What is a financial audit?

An external financial audit is carried out by an auditor/certified public accountant (CPA) not employed by the organisation they are auditing. The audit itself is an examination of an organisation’s financial accounts, records, transactions, accounting practices and controls.

The auditor carries out this examination to check whether the financial statements prepared by the organisation meet the ‘Generally Accepted Accounting Practices’ in the UK (UK GAAP). These accounting principles are statutory as defined by the UK Taxes Acts.

Does your non-profit need an audit?

It is not always necessary for charitable non-profits to carry out an audit. In some cases, an independent examination may be acceptable instead. However, situations where an external audit might be required are:

If your organisation’s gross income exceeds £1,000,000
If your organisation’s gross income exceeds £250,000 and its gross assets exceed £3,260,000
If the charity commission requires an audit
If your charity’s governing document requires an audit
If trustees wish to have financial statements audited
If a funder asks to see your audited financial statements
In certain cases where a non-profit is not legally required to conduct an audit, they may choose to do so anyway. One of the main reasons for this is demonstrating a commitment to financial transparency. Furthermore, funding – in many instances – is dependent on conducting audits, as are ratings by charity watchdogs.

Preparing for your financial audit and what to expect

1. Define who will have responsibility for the process

One of the first tasks is to define exactly who will carry the responsibility for the audit process. The trustees of a non-profit have responsibility for the oversight of the conduct related to any external auditor hired. They also have the power to delegate this responsibility to an audit committee if they so choose. Nonetheless, those designated responsible must be familiar with the scope of the end-to-end process and be a member of one of the accepted professional bodies in the UK.

To read the full Charity Financials article click here.

Source: Charity Financials

Understanding Extremism Training – Places available 9th December 2019

The Understanding Extremism Training will explore and discuss issues relating to the ideology of Global Jihadism and the Far Right.

The Training will equip delegates with an ideological understanding that underpins different extremist groups. In addition to this delegates will be given the opportunity to be involved in interactive discussions in understanding the drivers and influences that lead to radicalisation.

The course has been tailored specifically for Sandwell and this will be illustrated in the examples that will be presented. The importance of the Prevent Strategy and the subsequent Prevent referral pathway that will support local partners in confidence in signposting vulnerable individuals who they feel are a concern will be discussed. Delegates will be provided with a counter narrative and this will build on their knowledge base.

Target Audience

Practitioners, faith based community leaders, education establishments, partners

Sandwell Council – Housing (Sandwell Homes, Roway Lane), Direct 2 Industrial Estate, Roway Lane, Oldbury

Monday 9th December 2019 (9:30 – 16:30) – For more information and to book a place please view –

Charity Trustee Responsibilities – Workshop: 11th December 2019

Are you thinking of becoming a Charity Trustee and want to know what’s involved?

Are you an existing Charity Trustee and just want to refresh your knowledge?

Join us for this short workshop that will look at the duties and responsibilities of charity trustees.

We’ll be considering (amongst other things):

  • the six main duties of Charity Trustees;
  • exploring the  safeguarding responsibilities – including an overview of the DBS system;
  • resources available to support Charity Trustees.

Outline Agenda – Wednesday, 11th December 2019

From 9.30am – Arrival, networking and refreshments

10.00am – Workshop starts promptly

12 noon – workshop closes…but please stay for networking if you have time.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This workshop is FREE to attend for representatives of groups that support Sandwell residents (being 100% of their work or the significant majority)

For ALL other groups there is a £10 fee.

Book your tickets at:

4 Ways Charities Can Get More Social Engagement

Four ways in which charities can improve their social engagement, and build a better, content-led social strategy.

Simply being on social media is not enough – silent, observer, accounts with many followers are losing out to charities with voice, impact, and social engagement. Leveraging Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and charity websites, social media managers can get more from social media. For charities on a budget, many of the techniques can be implemented free of charge.

1.) Keep the content coming

Social media engagement is about so much more than the number of followers or likes. Charities looking to do more with their social media accounts should consider how to disrupt mindless scrolling. Crafting regular, quality, engaging content is important. JustGiving suggests using explicit interactive content, which directly asks viewers to engage. For charities, explicit content can be used to:

  • Probe audience personalities and preferences
  • Post a ‘test your knowledge’ Q&A on charitable impact
  • Play a quiz
  • Built in polls from Instagram Stories can also help grab attention, gather feedback, and drive audiences to charity sites.

When fundraising, content is equally if not more important. Using digital tools to enhance the experience of giving is key. Social media platforms have encouraged the use of fundraising tools – Twitter uses the #Donate system by the Good Agency, allowing donors to give directly to charities. Using the #Donate system allows charities to tap into Twitters 15 million UK users.

2.) Curate your content

Curating and producing creative content can help build a relationship with your audience. While charities do want to fundraise, sharing news and brand recognition rank as even higher priorities when planning charitable social media efforts.

Content should generally be mixed – videos, photos, and explicit content can help shape a charity’s social media wall. Cancer Research UK used a social media wall during its #adaytounite campaign, to showcase the nation’s efforts. Miappi, the ad agency also engaged digital billboard advertising to help fundraise – the campaign reached close to £2 million in donations for CRUK and partners.

In general, charity social media marketers can build engagement by following the 70/20/10 rule. DonorBox, a digital donation tool provider, recommends that 70% of content should be news or impact related produced by charities; 20% should be shared content from audiences; while the remaining 10% should be promotional or ask-based content.

3.) Respond to your audience

Once a post has been produced and posted, charity social media managers need to take care to genuinely respond to audiences. SproutSocial, an online social media manager, suggests that social engagement is about interactions, relationships, and engagement over time. In particular, charities can provide a ‘customer experience’ to audiences, by answering questions, commenting on posts, and posting responses across video, photo, and emoji formats.

4.) Measuring your success

Social media analytics can help charities determine which platforms to use, as well as to refine content. A sample of some of the key metrics of success are:

  • ‘Likes’ and ‘shares’ from a post can help measure how popular your posts are
  • Audience and follower growth rates examine how large your network is
  • Followers versus following is a careful balance between networking with those with shared interests and followers – too few followers over the number of accounts followed might give off a ‘desperate’ impression

Source: Charity Digital News

Free Bid Writing Workshop

The Course.
Get Grants’ popular “Introduction to Bid Writing for Charities & Community Groups Workshop,” is aimed at organisations who are interested in increasing their income through grant funds.

Whether you have a wealth of experience in fundraising or are new to applying for grants, the Introduction to Bid Writing Workshop supports attendees to explore how to identify opportunities with a range of grant programmes whilst providing advice on writing successful applications and exploring the common mistakes made by applicants.

Topics covered include:
– Finding Grants
– Finding the ‘Right’ Funder
– Completing Application Forms
– Need & Outcomes
– Top Tips

Date & Time
Monday 9th December 2019, 1.00 pm – 3.30 pm

The Moseley Exchange, 149-153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13 8JP

Booking Process
To book a place on this workshop please contact Get Grants via

This course is Free to attend.  More information is available at

Crossroads: Training Courses for November 2019

Crossroads Caring for Carers, provides domiciliary care to service users and respite care to carers. Crossroads is running a range of training courses in November, from Medication awareness to Health and Safety.

Training can also be tailored to your organisation’s requirements.

Please contact Graham Evans on 0121 553 6483 (Ext. 5) for further information.

Dementia Friendly Worship in Care Homes

Sandwell Council is offering a free training session for those who lead, or plan to lead, worship in care homes. Such services offer residents an opportunity to express their faith (or spirituality) in the place they live. As 7 out of 10 people in care homes live with dementia, it’s important to know how to shape worship to include those living with dementia and connect to their spirituality.

The practical and interactive session will be on Thursday, 14 November 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm at St Hilda’s Church, 269 Abbey Road, Smethwick B67 6NQ. Resources will be provided.

The training session will be run by Su Parker, Dementia Friendly Enabler in the Lichfield Diocese and Rose Akeroyd, Bishop’s Adviser on Dementia in the Birmingham Diocese. They will draw on their own Christian experience of spirituality and dementia.

There will be opportunities for those of other faiths to explore the connections for their own worship traditions.

To book a place, email

If you need more information, please telephone 07566 835 216.

Citizens Advice Witness Service: Outreach Volunteer Information Day

The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free and independent support for both Prosecution and Defence Witnesses giving evidence in a criminal court.. Trained volunteers provide practical information about the court process as well as emotional support to help witnesses feel more confident when giving evidence.

If you are available to volunteer for at least one full day a week, or per fortnight, and able to attend training, then this may be a volunteering opportunity for you.

Citizens Advice will be holding an Outreach Volunteer Information Day at their offices in Birmingham on Friday, 1st November, 10 am and 1 pm. Go along to find out more information about volunteering roles and meet the team.

Please click on the link to register your place at this event.

You can also contact Bev Carty on 07738 329320 or via email, for further information.

Visit the website: Citizens Advice Witness Service.

NEW Resources for No-Deal Brexit Planning

Are you worried about the effects of a no-deal Brexit on your organisation? Have you thought about this yet?
There is no doubt that we live in difficult and uncertain times. Across the country, communities are facing huge challenges and community organisations are often at the heart of trying to solve these problems. A no-deal Brexit is likely to bring challenges for all businesses and community organisations will be no different. You have a unique set of challenges to face and Locality has produced a package of services to help you think about the implications and risks of a no-deal Brexit and how to mitigate these.

Locality has created a free information pack pulling together all the key information you need to think about the implications of a no-deal Brexit for community organisations.

You can download this FREE resource at:

Locality also has a range of other services on offer – visit their website for more information:

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