Training Support and Resources

Category Archives

Organisations are urged to take on apprentices

Local companies are being offered the opportunity to develop and upskill their staff free of charge with support from Sandwell Council’s Apprenticeship Levy Fund.

Sandwell Council wants to support eligible local businesses to recruit new apprentices or upskill existing staff to increase the number of apprentices in Sandwell and boost the local economy.

They are being given the chance to take on apprentices under new rules on funding because apprenticeships are no longer limited to the former NVQ frameworks.

Now the apprenticeships standards are employer-led and industry specific to ensure that learners develop occupational competencies and demonstrate the knowledge and skills expected of someone in their job role.
The council is anxious to highlight the fact that apprenticeships are not necessarily for a new member of staff or school leavers.

The learning can be undertaken by any employee of any age and can be a cost-effective means of upskilling and enhancing your team.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017 saw employers with a wage bill of £3m-plus begin to make payments into a Levy ‘pot’ which is used to pay for apprenticeship training.

Funds not spent expire after a period of 24 months and are returned to Treasury.

Further advice on the Apprenticeship Levy and eligibility criteria for businesses, receiving transferred Levy funds, the recruitment of new apprentices or which qualifications could be suitable for your staff can be obtained from Think Sandwell – the Employment and Skills team at Sandwell Council.

For more information please email or call 0121 569 2099

Free Bid Writing Workshop Information

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 our 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

Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 1.00pm – 3.30pm


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

FREE Sight Loss Awareness Training

If you know anyone who is living with sight loss and you’d like to know the best ways to communicate with and guide a person, or you’d like to know more about eye conditions and their impact, then Beacon can help!

Beacon’s Sight Loss Awareness Training offers a friendly and fun training session that will enable you to:

• Learn how to safely guide a person with sight loss appropriately, negotiating stairs, doors and chairs
• Experience what it is like to be visually impaired using our sight loss specs
• Gain information about aids and equipment that can help visually impaired people
• Gain an understanding of the most common eye conditions
• Learn the importance of eye health
• Understand the emotional impact of sight loss
• Know more about the services Beacon Centre offer to people living with sight loss

You will gain confidence to better assist and support people living with sight loss, as well as a certificate upon completion of the session.

The training is open to both individuals and groups.

These sessions are completely FREE and take place at the Beacon Centre, Wolverhampton Road East, WV4 6AZ. Available dates/times are:

Wednesday, 25 September, Wednesbury, 30 October and Thursday, 28 November 2019. All from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Please book online at or call 01902 880 111.

“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: 

Sandwell Adult Safeguarding Board Training Needs Survey

The Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board are currently conducting their annual Training Needs Analysis survey.

They are looking for everyone’s views across the spectrum to see what safeguarding training different organisations require and in what format delegates prefer.

The Safeguarding Adults Board would like to to put together a safeguarding training offer for 2020/21 that reflects the needs and topics required by all organisations working to safeguard the residents of Sandwell. They also want to increase their eLearning packages in line with the outcome of the survey.

Current training is a mix of eLearning and face to face sessions and covers the following areas:
eLearning courses include Understanding Adult Safeguarding – introduction for all employees, Understanding Adult Safeguarding – introduction for employees who work in Adult Services and Understanding Adult Safeguarding – your responsibilities as an elected member.

Face to face sessions currently cover Raising Awareness in Safeguarding Adults, Safeguarding for Managers, Safeguarding for Practitioners and Mental Capacity Act 2005/Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards – Managing Authorities Practice Sessions.

Training offered at present is in line with previous surveys and as such has been offered historically with a mix of responses regarding attendance. Are there any area’s you would like included in current training or completely new topics perhaps? Let us know.

All current training is available via the following link:

The Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board would like to extend the training offer to reflect new topics and training gaps that may have arisen so please let them know either via the training survey link below or email at

Please complete their short training needs analysis survey?

The deadline is Friday 27th September 2019.

What Should Feature in a Fundraising Strategy?

If you are thinking about putting together a fundraising strategy for the first time, or you’re in the process of doing so, there are some things you will need to think about.

Successful fundraising starts with a fundraising strategy which, in short, should serve to identify what resources will be required in order to reach a fundraising goal; although a fundraising strategy does not necessarily have to focus on just raising money, but could also help you to meet your other charitable aims.

The Institute of Fundraising has found that a lot of charities do not actually have clear fundraising plans, and are not clear what a fundraising strategy looks like – so if you are thinking about putting together a strategy for the first time, or you’re in the process of doing so, there are some things you will need to think about.

The three main elements of a fundraising strategy, like many other strategies, are:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to get to?
  • How are we going to get there?

So, firstly, you’ll need to outline the main aims and objectives of your project – or your project’s mission statement. This might include details on why you are raising the money, as well as the kinds of work your organisation has been doing. Think about what is happening in the wider world outside your organisation – factors like the current economic situation may have a direct effect on how much you can raise!

A useful tool for this is called a STEEPLE Analysis. Once you have looked at the external factors, you should then looks at what the ‘market is doing, for example, if local companies aren’t making profits, then basing your fundraising on generating income from business may be a challenge.  What resources do you have available internally – if you have your office staffed by one volunteers, then perhaps it is unrealistic to plan a fundraising appeal to lots and lots of individual donors – who would deal with the donations, bank and thank?  Pulling this all together, A SWOT analysis is useful in identifying possible Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to your project.

Then you need to think of where do you want to be?  So, for example, would raising £15,000 to fund an office move solve your problems, or do you need revenue funding which will enable you to cover your core costs for the next few years? Once you have decided where you want to be, and what you want to achieve, then you can start to build the strategy for how to get there…

It is vital therefore to spend time to research possible sources for funding, whether it’s through approaching corporates for support, or targeting major donors, for example.

Another area to consider are the extra resources you will need in order to fulfil your plan, such as extra volunteers, or training.

As you work at fulfilling your strategy, it is important to constantly monitor your progression so that you can measure your success, and put into place further steps, if necessary, if the plan does not quite turn out as predicted.

Source: Institute of Fundraising

Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tools

Brook would like to make you aware of the training they are offering all professionals working with young people in Sandwell and was hoping this could be circulated. This training is free of charge.

Our highly acclaimed Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool supports professionals working with children and young people by helping them to identify and respond appropriately to sexual behaviours.

This training is strongly recommended for teachers, social workers, school nurses, youth and outreach workers, health care professionals, safeguarding leads and all professionals working with young people.

Please find this link takes you to our website where you can get further information about the Traffic Light Tool training (sexual behaviours)

We have dates booked on Eventbrite for this training in Sandwell and we would appreciate you circulating these:


There is a choice of am or pm sessions and the training last approx. 3-3.5hrs. This is the link which will take you to the bookings page:

Free Level 2 Qualifications with Orangebox

Orangebox is currently offering free training for a Level 2 vocational related qualifications. The courses are funded by the Adult Education Budget and qualifications are accredited by the NCFE and CACHE.  Eligibility criteria for the courses states that all learners must:

• Be aged 19+
• Have lived in the EU for 3 or more consecutive years and be a resident in England
• Not have completed the course before.

If there is a group of 8 or more learners, Orangebox will ask for a list and then book a suitable date and time to induct learners onto their chosen courses. The group do not have to do the same course but can only complete one course at a time. Learners have to be completely finish one course before another can be started.

Anyone at all can enrol on a course so long as they meet the criteria: parents/guardians/carers/families/friends. For example, if a child suffers from Autism and their parent or guardian wanted to enrol on the Understanding Autism course, this would be possible.

The courses are Flexible/Distance Learning which means the learners do the work in their own time from a location of their choice, including from the comfort of their own homes, they do not have to attend a classroom.

The marking, support and feedback is given remotely by a dedicated tutor.

For further information please call 01429 874 530 or email

Get Your House in Order Before You Recruit Volunteers

Are you thinking of recruiting some new #volunteers when the summer is over? What do you need to consider before even starting?

Traditional routes to volunteering are changing and organisations are competing for volunteers. Those who donate time want to know it is well spent, that work is well organised and their contribution is valued.

Volunteers are any age. They may be school children, young people, parents or family members, or retired. Different groups may have varying approaches to volunteering. Stop to consider your target audience and what you want the volunteers to get involved in with your organisation.

It is important volunteers are clear about their roles and the support they can expect from an organisation.

Organisations need to have systems and procedures in place to ensure their volunteers have a great experience.

Giving volunteers a quality experience

In January 2019 NCVO has published a new report Time Well Spent on the volunteer experience. This national survey of over 10,000 respondents found there are eight key features that make up a quality experience for volunteers:

  1. Inclusive: welcome and accessible to all
  2. Flexible: takes into account people’s individual life circumstances
  3. Impactful: makes a positive difference
  4. Connected: gives a sense of connection to others, to the cause and/or an organisation
  5. Balanced: does not overburden with unnecessary processes
  6. Enjoyable: provides enjoyment, people feel good about what they are doing
  7. Voluntary: the volunteer has freely chosen to do it
  8. Meaningful: resonates with volunteers’ lives, interests and priorities

Volunteering may be regarded as a way to learn new skills, meet new friends, or make a valuable contribution to a cause. It may lead to employment and new careers.

Useful links:
For more information on good practice methods for recruiting volunteers you can download the Investing in Volunteer quality standard framework

Volunteer placements, rights and expenses (Direct Gov).

NCVO Know How.

Source: NCVO

Charities Working Internationally: How to Assess Risk

Charities working internationally can face certain risks because of their operating environment including the application of financial sanctions, greater levels of corruption or criminal activity, the presence of terrorists, proscribed groups or designated entities.

The Charity Commission, as a risk-led regulator, we focus on areas of higher risk and we expect the same of trustees. The Charity Commissions International Charities Engagement Team recently published a blog to help you assess risk more effectively. It also includes links to risk management tools, which can help you protect your charity from harm.

How to assess risk for charities working internationally.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter issue 63

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