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Scheme Manager Becomes First Ever Recipient of Prestigious National Award

Kate Morgan, Registered Manager for the Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives Scheme, based in Stourbridge, has won the Shared Lives Champion of the Year Award for 2019, at the annual Shared Lives Plus conference in Liverpool last week.

The Shared Lives Scheme supports people with additional/complex needs to live with specially trained carers.

Across the UK, the Shared Lives model currently supports approximately 14,000 people with a variety of needs. Once training is completed, carers are carefully matched to support the person to lead as independent life as possible in the community. Carers are paid according to the level of support they provide and qualify for tax relief via HMRC.

If you are interested in finding out more about Shared Lives then please visit the website at or call on 01384 441505.

Closure of Volunteer Centre Sandwell

Volunteer Centre Sandwell has announced its closure after 42 years of promoting volunteering in Sandwell.  The Centre has released the following statement.

It is with regret that Volunteer Centre Sandwell and The Hands On Project ceased to operate on 31st October 2019.

On behalf of staff and trustees we would like to thank all of our volunteers and partner organisations for your help and support over the past 42 years! The decision to close was not taken lightly.

We sincerely wish you all the best for the future.

With regards to the future of volunteering in Sandwell, local charity SCVO is currently developing a new service around volunteering which supports community organisations and charities in Sandwell to promote opportunities that they have for Sandwell residents to help out through volunteering.  SCVO will also be launching a volunteer opportunities website in the coming months which will enable would-be volunteers to find the experience they’re looking for from a range of different activities and settings. 

For more information visit and sign up to SCVO’s weekly e-bulletin through the home page.



The School for Social Entrepreneurs

Do you run an organisation or project that exists to improve your local neighbourhood? Running organisations and projects like these is different from running other types of business, that’s why the School for Social Entrepreneurs has designed a support programme to help.

The Community Business Trade-Up Programme offers a Match Trading grant of up to £10,000 and a learning programme to help organisations grow.

The deadline is 27th November 2019.

Register now for more info and a deadline reminder at

Christmas Give a Gift Campaign

The St Albans and Dorothy Parkes Centres are launching their annual Christmas Give a Gift Campaign, working in partnership with Your Trusted Charity.

The Centres would like to work with local VCS organisations, businesses and schools to request donations for both children and older people.  Gifts for children will be donated to Your Trusted Charity, to distribute in Sandwell General Hospital. Gifts for older people will be distributed to local care and nursing homes, giving to those without family who do not receive gifts. The response to last year’s Give a Gift Campaign was incredible.  There were some very generous donations.

St Albans and Dorothy Parkes hope this year’s response will be equally generous, to enable them to reach as many children and older people as possible.

Gifts may be donated at:
St Albans Community Centre, St Albans Road, Smethwick B67 7NL. Telephone 0121 558 0018.

Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, Smethwick B67 6EH. Telephone 0121 558 2998.

The closing date for donations is Friday, 6 December, 2019.

Yemeni Community Association Collect Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

A Sandwell group of volunteers who help new migrants and refugees settle in local communities have been presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Yemeni Community Association’s team of volunteers provides educational, recreational, cultural, spiritual and emotional wellbeing activities for people of all ages.

Volunteers work to meet the needs of the whole community and in particular the needs of the Arabic speaking people and specifically support new migrants and refugees to settle in the area.

Now the organisation, which is led by chief executive officer Ragih Muflihi and based at the Greets Green Access Centre, in Tildasley Street, West Bromwich, has received the award from the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands John Crabtree.

Mr Muflihi said: “It was a great honour that our group of volunteers has been recognised at such a high level for the impressive standard of services it provides in meeting the needs of the local people.

“We have about 40 volunteers who range from 15 years old to 70-plus from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who act as peer mentors to support people with a variety of issues.

“They include emotional wellbeing support and helping to develop the English language skills of new migrants to enable them to access the wider community.”

Over the past 12 months about 920 individuals have been helped. “Our work has helped to reduce community tensions and helped to ease the transition and settlement of new migrant families into the Sandwell community,” he said.

Mr Muflihi said that Sandwell had long been a destination for migrants but people who were less proficient in English “tended to live in silos” by not mixing with one another.

The organisation also runs mosque tours for local schools to help with the religious education curriculum and give live examples of how Muslims worship.

For more information, go to or call 0121 525 3909.

Sandwell Language Network – Partner Funding Framework

We are seeking to work with local voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver a range of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses for residents of Sandwell.

Groups or organisations based in Sandwell are invited to submit proposals to deliver courses using the attached application form. This document sets out the courses we are seeking to deliver through this programme.

1. Informal Conversation Courses
• A total of 20 Informal conversation courses
• Total of 300 adult learners engaged (15 per course)
• 48 hours per course
• Expectation to deploy volunteers to support delivery

2. Entry Level Courses
• A total of 60 courses
• 12 week course (48 hours) – expected to be 4 hours per week
• Minimum of 10 adult learners per course
• £2,977.50 per course
• Funding available separately for the cost of sitting exams

3. IELTS Courses
• 3x 12 week courses
• Up to 14 learners per course
• Cost for one course £5,820

All successful providers will be expected to contribute to the aims of the wider Sandwell Language Network (SLN) project by:
– Supporting the volunteer workforce (identifying volunteers eligible for training) and incorporating volunteers to assist with delivery.
– Adopting resources provided by the ESOL Coordinator
– Adopting the use of Advice Pro case management system to record course content, learner progress and evaluate success
– Participation in a newly established ESOL forum
– Ensure that their organisational details are kept updated on the Route to Wellbeing website
– Seek to support learners to progress into further learning opportunities with key partners (SAFL and Sandwell College) and to engage with employment support initiatives provided locally.
– Contributing to the overall programme evaluation

Providers may seek additional funding to provide Crèche facilities for learners participating in entry level courses.
Interested parties can email to request a project proposal form.

Maximising The Long-Term Return From Your Fundraising Events

Statistically, events fundraising has never been one of the more profitable forms of fundraising. While both special events (e.g. a gala dinner or concert) and challenge events (e.g. a marathon or sporting challenge) can sometimes raise a lot, promotion costs are often high and a lot of staff time is required. For example, while you might expect a return on investment of 10:1 (£10 raised for every £1 spent) from trusts fundraising, or 5:1 from corporate fundraising, events are often closer to 2:1 or 3:1.

Even this figure is decreasing as fundraising events are hit by the current financial climate, market saturation and supporter fatigue (the challenge of keeping on going back to the same limited pool of supporters). If you have a small fundraising team, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether it’s worth your time committing to new fundraising events at all.

So in what circumstances are events still worth your time, and how do you decide whether they’re right for you?

To capitalise on these advantages, you need to be crystal clear what you’re looking to achieve from your fundraising events, and plan accordingly

Maximising The Benefits Of Special Events

Special events are excellent for engaging corporate and major donor prospects, encouraging existing supporters to introduce people from their own network, and recognising the contributions of key supporters. Particularly when your event features stories and speeches from the people you support, or creates an inspiring and celebratory atmosphere, or when senior staff and trustees are on hand to mingle with people.

When planning an event, liaise with people across your organisation to map out who should be invited. Then invite them well in advance, warmly, and with a personal message. Depending on how much you want them to be there, you can consider offering discounted or free tickets where appropriate, particularly if the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term cost.

On the night, make sure key prospects get plenty of time and attention, and take every opportunity to educate and inspire them about your organisation’s work. If you have a long-term plan about how you ideally want them to support your cause, you might be able to cunningly sow some seeds on the night.

Carry on the personal touch after the event, by thanking people and sending any follow-up material promptly, personally and creatively (for example with a handwritten card or colourful social media image). This often requires some advance planning, particularly if staff plan to take some much-needed time off after your event.

Bear in mind that high-value prospects expect ‘senior’ attention, so you need to enlist support from management and trustees at every stage – before, during and after your event. Particularly for corporate and major donor fundraising, it’s rare to be successful without senior level buy-in.

To read the full Lime Green Consulting article click here.

Source: Lime Green Consulting

9 Tactics to Grow Your Charity’s Revenue with Digital

Charity Digital News have taken a look at some of the effective ways charities can grow their revenue stream using digital technology.

While total giving declined by 4.2% in the UK last year, one area of fundraising stood out like a beacon: online giving to UK non-profits bucked the trend, skyrocketing by an astonishing 5.5% in 2018, according to the Charitable Giving Report 2018. So what are charities doing to grow their revenue with digital?

1. Focus on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks have become integral to the lives of millions of people. So it makes sense to ensure you have an effective social media strategy that may include sponsored posts and advertising.

The results of a well thought out social media presence can be impressive: 72% of NGOs worldwide agree that social media is effective for online fundraising, according to the 2019 Global NGO Technology Report, and Facebook alone is responsible for raising over £1.6 billion for charities through its social media platform.

2. Find digital match funding. Match funding – where a business or other large organization pledges to match funds raised by a charity – is a highly effective way for non-profits to increase revenue with digital: match giving leads to more people donating and some people donating more compared to regular donations to a cause, according to A Great Match, a survey commissioned by digital match funding platform Big Give.

Big Give and other digital match funding platforms help charities access match funds provided by foundations, trusts, and individual philanthropists.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

7 Tips on Leveraging Social Media for Fundraising Campaigns

Social media can be a powerful tool to build relationships with supporters and donors – here’s a list of tips to get started.

Social media giant Facebook has just announced that charities have now raised a total of £1.6bn through the platform, with £803m raised through Facebook birthday fundraising.

And according the 2019 CAF giving report, one in seven people who donate using a website or app do so through social media, such as Facebook’s ‘donate’ button.

There isn’t always a strong connection between charities’ social media efforts and their fundraising, but the stats we just cited show that social media can be a powerful tool for those that get it right. Whether or not supporters give directly through a charity’s social media channels, these platforms represent a cheap or even free opportunity for charities to build valuable relationships, raise awareness, get people involved in their cause and build an engaged community of fans.

So how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of social media for your charity’s fundraising campaign?

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Nominations open for the WMCA 2020 Thrive Mental Health Star Awards.

Nominations are now open for the 2020 WMCA Thrive Mental Health Star Awards. The aim of the awards is to celebrate work across the region to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Nominations can be made for individuals and teams, services or organisations across the WMCA area.

Click here for further information and how to nominate.

Nominations close on Sunday 3rd November 2019.

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