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Two office desks available

Could your organisation make use of a good quality office desk?  The desks are identical in size, (L) 160 cm (W) 78 – 98 cm.  Extension 42 cm, maximum depth with extension 120 cm.  The desks are available, free of charge, on a first-come basis. 

Delivery can be arranged if your organisation is based within Sandwell, but not until after the 9th October.  Should you wish to arrange your own collection before that date, a star-shaped allen key is required to disassemble the desk(s) when you arrive to collect.

Please contact SCVO on 0121 525 1127.

Wanted: Research and Evaluation Partner for the Voluntary and Community Sector

NHS England Voluntary Partnerships Team are seeking to commission a research and evaluation partner to undertake work to establish and develop an evidence repository to understand existing activity taking place within ICSs.

The repository will focus on impact and explore current barriers to embedding existing evidence into decision making and build upon this to develop a VCSE Impact Framework.

NHS England (NHSE) is working to facilitate and embed effective partnership working between the VCSE sector and ICSs. The NHSE Integrated Care Systems: design framework states: “The VCSE sector is a vital cornerstone of a progressive health and care system. ICSs should ensure their governance and decision-making arrangements support close working with the sector as a strategic partner in shaping, improving and delivering services and developing and delivering plans to tackle the wider determinants of health.

This work will be a part of the current Embedding the VCSE in ICS national programme which strengthens system level VCSE alliance and building on programme learning.

Within this work there are a number of elements to be included:

  1. Desk research to gather existing information and evidence in this area, to build on existing knowledge (bringing the lens of ICS establishment) to inform the development of the work.
  2. Connecting with systems currently undertaking work in this area (6 – 8 systems that NHSE will make introductions to).
  3. Co-development of a VCSE Impact Framework (that connects to existing tools and resources, where appropriate, NHSE will share these) to support and enable the VCSE sector to evidence the impact they have on people and communities and NHS services.
  4. information sessions over the lifetime of the work for all 42 ICSs taking part in the Embedding the VCSE in ICSs Programme to update them on the work and present the VCSE Impact Framework.

Please see links below for more information and how to apply: CF-10270 – Embedding the VCSE & ICS’s Impact Project

To register as a supplier and find out more information please use this link:  Contract Finder –

Once registered as a supplier use this link: Atamis –

Closing date: Monday 12th September 2022

Estimated Contract Commencement date: Monday 26th September 2022.

Citizens Advice free Budgeting and Saving training course

Citizens Advice Sandwell and Walsall will be running a budgeting and saving workshop from 10 am – 1 pm on Wednesday, 28th September.  The session is back for another round, after proving very popular in June.

The aim is to share sound advice and resources to “spread the word” to the people we work with and care about being more financially capable.  The training will be conducted face to face at the Training Room at Smethwick Citizens Advice, Unit 6, Tollgate Shopping Centre, High St, Smethwick B67 7RA

There will be an in-depth look at budgeting and savings to cover priority bills, budgeting, banking, savvy-shopping and energy saving advice.  The focus will be on practical ways of helping service users/families, including looking at the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

The training will look at a range of free services available, using trusted local websites including Resilient Residents, Route2Wellbeing and Healthy Sandwell.

Please email or call 07377 556395 to book a place, stating the course you wish to attend.


Free education to employment programmes for West Midlands residents, 19 to 29 years-of-age

Generation UK is a non-profit organisation, which run free education to employment programmes, recruiting motivated people, providing specialised training and supporting them to access life-changing careers by connecting them to employers who are seeking to access and recruit highly skilled and diverse talent.

No experience or qualifications needed.

Generation UK have funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority to specifically support West Midlands residents.  Further information on Generation UK.

For the eligibility criteria and details of the current programme, a career in Cloud Technology, for which the organisation is currently recruiting, please click here.


Community Transport Let’s Chat Initiative

Community Transport is taking part in the Let’s Chat Initiative, aimed at tackling loneliness through transport in our local communities. If Community Transport is successful, the initiative will be split into three parts:

  1. A mobile facility travelling around local destinations across Coventry, Mid-Birmingham and the Black Country, allowing local people to hop on board, have a cup of tea or coffee, a biscuit or a cake, and a chat.  On here, they will be able to access information about local organisations and services that may be beneficial to them.  The aim is to get people connected, reduce loneliness and isolation, and increase social interaction
  2. Bus Station facilities.  Much the same as the mobile service, but in a static building at selected Bus Stations in the same three areas.  This is a space that will be open at various times during the week, for residents to use to meet people, and for other organisations to use, free of charge, to speak with people and give out information for the benefit of the end user
  3. Passenger Transport.  This third element is to provide subsidised transport to allow people to travel more freely, at reduced cost, to local groups, organisations, and activities to promote social wellness and inclusion.

The services will run Monday – Saturday 8.30 am – 6 pm.   Community Transport is looking for local organisations, groups and activity providers that may want to use the mobile or static units to participate in this project. You will be able to provide information for your own groups, free of charge, and to chat to people within our local communities to tackle loneliness.

The project is due to start mid-August.

Please let Liz Rowe, Operations Director South, know if you are interested, or if you know other like-minded organisations that may be.  Contact Liz on 01902 491209, (M) 07912 388171 or email


Regulator changing the data it collects on charities – have your say!

If you are  trustee or in charge of running a charity, especially if you perform a role like Treasurer, Secretary, or Finance Director, the Directory of Social Change is urging you to respond to the Charity Commission’s consultation on the next version of the Annual Return, which is open until 1 September.

Read the report by Jay Kennedy, Director of Policy and Research at DSC, and take part in the consultation here.


What to Consider When Buying Insurance for Small Charities

As a trustee of a small charity, one of your duties is to protect your charity and its assets and resources. Buying insurance is one of the ways that you can help fulfil this responsibility.

If you’re confused about what insurance cover you need for your charity, check out this article from Zurich Insurance. Using clear and simple terms, it explains about the different types of cover and answers some frequently asked questions. What to consider when buying insurance for small charities.

The government website also provides helpful guidance – click here.

Building A Digital Fundraising Stream

Many small charities have asked about how to build effective digital income stream, FSI’s discusses their tips to help your organisations,  whether you are thinking about fundraising through third party sites, email fundraising, social media, virtual events, textgiving or contactless donations. It’s really important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. 

1. Make sure your website is up to date

Think about how you can add stories and news in a visible way. It is relatively easy to make your own video without specialist equipment, post it on YouTube or Vimeo and embed it on your site. Unless your cause prevents it, make sure you put beneficiaries centre stage, telling their own stories and explaining your role in their lives. Do the same with funders and volunteers to inspire others to help.

2. Review what the donate button and process is like on your website

What is the journey for your potential donor – is it easy to donate, do you connect them with the impact of their gift, and does your thank you process effectively engage and warm up your supporters?

3. Publicise your site

Publicise your site and campaigns as widely as possible, including social media, emails and Google Ad grants which you can use to highlight your ‘support us pages’ and the magic donate now page. Google Grants give you up to $10,000 worth per month of free advertising in Google searches. It can put your ads prominently in Google’s search results, and give a big boost to your website traffic.​

Read the full article by clicking here.

Developing a Fundraising Plan Post-Pandemic

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on most charities’ fundraising plans, and many charities were struggling to maintain stability even before this. Small charity fundraisers have told FSI they feel like they have been in firefighting mode following the pandemic. Now is the time to take a step back, review and develop your fundraising plans for the future.

Here are their tips:

1. Start by reviewing what has happened over the last 18 months.

What worked well for you? What didn’t work – and what could you learn from that, to inform your future fundraising plans? Also think about how your organisation adapted and served its community, and how you can share that with your supporters. A SWOT analysis, which looks at your fundraising strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can help you to reflect and analyse both internal and external factors that can help or hinder your fundraising.

2. Look outside too.

What have other charities done, what interesting trends or innovations can you adapt for your own organisation? One of our members attended an FSI networking event a few years ago where she heard a speaker from Meningitis Now talking about their virtual fundraising events – something very new at the time! She came back to her charity excited about testing this with their supporters – so when lockdown came along two years later they already had a tried and tested product that continued to provide a vital source of income when all other events were on hold. Be open to new ideas and learning from others.

To read the full article click here.

Invitation to be part of National Third Sector Study

‘Third Sector Trends’ is a well-established study which aims to understand and widely promote the impact of the Voluntary and Community Sector.  First undertaken in 2010, the latest study has recently been launched and voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, co-operatives, societies and clubs in Sandwell are being invited to take part.

A great deal has happened in Sandwell and across the West Midlands since the last survey in 2019, so the study is keen to find out what has changed in the last three years.  Whether your organisation or group is big or small, flourishing, struggling or going on as normal, those leading the study want to hear from you.

The survey is interesting, easy to do, and only takes about 10 minutes. It can be done on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC.  The survey can be accessed by clicking this link: Join the Third Sector Trends survey here

The study builds a picture of how organisations and groups work and what they achieve. This helps funders decide how they can invest in organisations within the Sector.

All survey responses are securely stored completely anonymously.

Further information about the study can be found here, or by contacting Professor Tony Chapman, St Chad’s College, Durham University, 18 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3RH,

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