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Victim Support Service Provision

In light of Covid-19, Victim Support are still providing services to those in need across the Sandwell area. Face to face support is now temporarily being provided via skype meetings. Telephone support continues as normal.

Victim Support’s Beyond Crime toolkit is now also accessible on YouTube and links are being sent to service users.

Further information is available on or via the local twitter account @VS_WestMidlands

Food Donations Urgently Required – West Bromwich Food Bank

West Bromwich Food Bank located in West Bromwich Community Church, 23 Victoria Street, West Bromwich B70 8EX urgently needs your help, to continue to meet the increasing demands being place on them for food from those in need. We appreciate that this is a challenging time for everyone however, any food items that you can spare to help out are gratefully welcomed.

Can you help by donating any of the following or other items:

  • Cereal
  • Soup
  • Beans
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned meat
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Rice pudding
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned fruit
  • Coffee
  • Tea bags

The food bank is open Monday to Friday between 12.00 and 1.30pm at the West Bromwich Church. If you are able to donate you can drop the items off during this time. Please remember social distancing will be in operation to keep everyone safe.

For more information please email Keith Turner at

Coronavirus: Digital marketing action plan published for charities

Mediaworks has published guidance for charities and businesses on the digital marketing opportunities and threats caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Switching retail operations to eBay and Amazon and updating online calls to action are among key advice given in a digital marketing action plan for charities and businesses during the coronavirus (Covid -19) pandemic.

The action plan has been released by digital marketing agency Mediaworks for charities and businesses on how to be “agile and adapt your marketing approach based on potential digital opportunities and threats” caused by the pandemic.

“Over the last few weeks, marketing departments across the world have been faced with the unrivalled challenge of changing strategy, adjusting budgets, and deploying untested tactics,” said the agency.

The action plan has been released following a survey of charity leaders revealed a drop in confidence in using digital as the sector battles to attract donations and revenue amid rising demand.

Online information such as contact details, office opening hours and available services needs to be updated on charities’ own websites and also via third party listing sites.

Charities are advised to “check their contact details on their online and offline assets and listings, including Google My Business, Bing Maps and Waze”.

A constant update on ensuring such information is accurate “is crucial” said Mediaworks.

Read the Full Charity Digital News Article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital

£240,000 Committed to Help Food Banks Respond

CADENT Foundation, a new charitable foundation has committed £240,000 to help food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network as they seek to support people affected by coronavirus.

The fund’s advisory board agreed to fast-track a grant to the Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food bank centres.

Julia Dwyer, Director, Cadent Foundation, said:

“Food banks are facing a huge challenge right now, with supplies low and many of their army of volunteers falling into categories that really must self-isolate – just at the time when the need for food bank services is greatest.

“Part of the core mission of our new foundation is to help people living in vulnerable circumstances. We had to do something in response to the coronavirus. Our advisory board met on Wednesday and unanimously agreed to this financial support.”

Sophie Carre, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Trussell Trust, said:

“As the coronavirus pandemic develops, more people than ever may need help from food banks across our network. This presents a huge additional pressure on already overstretched resources. We may start to see a reduction in food donations and volunteers may become unavailable if they are in the at-risk categories or are self-isolating.

“It’s hard for us to say exactly what the picture will look like in the coming weeks across the UK as each food bank in our network is a local charity, run by a community for their local community, and each will be affected differently.

“We’re working closely with our network to understand each food bank’s situation, offer guidance, and work out how we can best support them. We know we won’t be able to do this alone, so we are truly grateful for this support from Cadent Foundation.”

More information on eligibility and how to apply for grants is at

To read the full Charity Today news story click here.

Source: Charity Today

Gift Aid – The Half Billion-Pound Fund for Charities

Let’s fast forward to the new Chancellor’s first Budget speech. Amongst the inevitable headline-intended spending increases, below the radar tax rises and jokes about his or her favourite tipple, there is a surprise announcement for the charity sector… a half a billion-pound HMRC funding pot!

The good news is it’s open to all charities regardless of size and purpose, immediately available and, at lower levels of funding, requires only minimal paperwork. The only requirement is that the charity receives donations from individuals. Great!

Ok, so before you get too excited, the above announcement is highly unlikely (sorry). But that is in effect what HMRC are offering with £560m of Gift Aid going unclaimed each year. So, what exactly is Gift Aid and how, if you’re not already, can your charity go about claiming it?

What is Gift Aid and how does it work?
Gift Aid is a government-operated scheme that allows registered charities or community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) to claim back 25p for every £1 donation made to that charity. The charity does this by reclaiming from HMRC the basic rate of income tax the individual has paid on the donation. Let’s imagine your donor earns £125 gross pay, at a basic rate of 20% she receives £100 and £25 is paid to HMRC. She then donates that £100 to you (a charity) who can reclaim the £25 tax she paid.

Key to this process is that the donor must have paid an equivalent amount of income tax or capital gains tax and provide the charity with a Gift Aid declaration. Gift Aid declarations require the donor’s name and address, identification of the charity, identification of the gift(s) to which the declaration should apply, a tax to cover statement and an HMRC model declaration.

To read the full Charity Today news story click here.

Source: Charity Today

The Difficulty of Recording Impact Accurately

Whether as a fundraiser, project coordinator or director, if you work for a charity a big part of your role is about being accountable. And this accountability ultimately comes down to one thing: impact. Now, of course, different charities will report on different aspects of impact, but fundamentally the challenge remains the same. How do you capture your impact, and why is it important?

What do we mean by impact?

As mentioned before, every charity will have different criteria by which they measure their impact. What number of organisations have you worked in partnership with? How many people have you trained or supported? How many capital projects have been delivered? How many vulnerable people will benefit? And arguably more importantly, how has it benefitted them? What changes have we seen?

This brings us to the two different types of impact: qualitative (outcomes) and quantitative (outputs). The latter deals with facts and statistics. How many people did you reach? How many resources did you provide? The former, more anecdotal approach refers to all the benefits, positives, changes and impact that are a bit harder to put a number on. It could be a quote from a beneficiary, a photo, video or case study capturing the positive effect of a project for one person in particular.

To read the full Charity Today news story click here.

Source: Charity Today

HofECF Coronavirus Resilience Fund

Heart of England Community Foundation have launched an appeal for a Coronavirus Resilience Fund which will go live week commencing 23 March.

So far £53,000 has been raised. One hundred per cent of the donations will go towards supporting the community and the Foundation will relinquish all of its management fee in these difficult times.

For more information call 024 7688 4434 or email

Click here to donate to the Fund.

Help needed to pack food parcels

Around 50 individuals and families in need each week rely on food parcels from Smethwick Food Bank, and organisers really need a hand to help them out.  If you can spare some time on Tuesdays and Fridays, it would be a big help to pack food parcels at Holy Trinity Church, Church Hill Street, Smethwick B67 7AH.

Smethwick CAN (Church Action Network) also runs a food pantry at the High Street Library and a café at Raglan Road Church, where there are other opportunities for volunteering.

If you could help out at Holy Trinity Church, please call 0121 517 0141 or email

For other opportunities email

Families Together Programme

The Families Together Programme, delivered by Family Action, is currently taking referrals for their next course in May.

Families Together is a unique programme designed to support men and women to recognise and overcome low level domestic abuse. Ultimately it aims to support families to feel safer and have the tools to improve their family relationships and improve their awareness, confidence and self-esteem.

If you are working with a family who you think would benefit from attending the programme please email for a referral form.

Attendee comment: “I feel it has really helped me in my relationship with not only my partner, but my children. It has helped me see where we have both gone wrong and where we both have to step up to make it right. It has also taught me how to communicate with my children better.”

Sports Photography Workshop – Call For Photographers

As part of Cradley Heath Green Landscapes project being run by Midland Film And Art (c/o The Art Yard), you are invited to take part in a free community sports photography workshop and follow up studio session led by Peter Lopeman.

The workshop and studio session will take place on two successive weekends in April and/or early May 2020. Amateur league fixtures are only released for the Birmingham County Football Association on a monthly basis, therefore, the workshop day and date can only be arranged at very short notice. Participants should be prepared to commit to taking part on that basis.

Booking is essential and is on a first come basis.

For further information about the project click here.

To book your place telephone Martyn Harris on 07954 306223 or email

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