SCVO is Recruiting for a Community Partnerships Coach

Are you a real ‘People Person’ with a passion for working with local people and communities in order to build and grow individual and community resilience?

SCVO seeks to appoint a high-calibre, creative individual to join our Development Team who will play a key role in supporting our aims of building the capacity, sustainability and resilience of the local Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS).

SCVO is an independent charity that takes a lead role in strategic representation on behalf of the local VCS, and provides a range of development support services to sector organisations within the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell.

This important role within the SCVO Development Team will focus on bringing together individuals, community groups and voluntary organisations to consider community needs and develop new projects, services or activities to address these needs; looking at new ways of building capacity and confidence amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised in our local communities and growing community resilience.

SCVO is looking for a self-confident, creative and adaptable individual, who is able to create effective engagement amongst people and communities of diverse backgrounds. The successful candidate will likely have experience as a trainer/facilitator and can adapt their training/facilitation style to that of their audience – delivering bespoke training and support that meets the identified needs of the audience.

Remuneration: a competitive package that includes:

  • Salary: NJC SCP 31 – 34 (£27,668 – £30,153) plus 6% employer contribution stakeholder pension.
  • Working hours: 37 hours per week (with flexible, regular out-of-hours working).
  • Holidays: 28 days per annum, plus bank holidays.

You can request an application pack by emailing or by calling Debra Hill at SCVO on 0121 525 1127.

If you wish to have an informal discussion about this opportunity, please call Stuart Ashmore at SCVO on 0121 525 1127

Deadline for applications is 9.00am on Monday, 13th November 2017. Please ensure that your application is received within the stated timescale. SCVO cannot be held responsible for postal and/or email system failures.

Interviews will take place on Monday, 27th November 2017.

Click here to download the job description and personal specification.

Click here to download the application form (Word version)

Click here to download SCVO’s 2017 Annual Review.

Click here to download SCVO’s 2016/17 Annual Report & Accounts

Click here to ’11 Facts about Sandwell’s VCS’

Applications can be emailed to SCVO at or sent to: SCVO, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich B70 8ER.

SCVO strives to be an equal opportunities employer. Registered charity no. 1071514


‘Positive Change for a Positive Future’…SCVO’s AGM Round-up.

Thursday, 19th October 2017 saw the gathering of 64 delegates for SCVO’s 2017 AGM at Hawthorns House in West Bromwich.

39 Member organisations were represented across a wide range of voluntary and community sector delivery, with delegates enjoying an informative mix of ‘SCVO News and Developments’, formal AGM proceedings and an engaging keynote address from Gary Topp, CEO of Culture Central.

Stuart Ashmore, SCVO’s Operations Manager and Deputy CEO opened proceedings with a round-up of ‘News and Developments’ that included:
 ‘Meet the Funder 2017’ (book your place HERE);
• Development Support Surgeries at the Dorothy Parkes Community Centre (more information HERE);
• SCVO Breakfast Meetings: next one is Thursday, 23rd November 2017 at the Ebeneezer Church in Langley (further details available on our website shortly);
• Healthy Sandwell Micro Grants: awards of £500 available for ‘Engagement Activities’ that promote the services of Healthy Sandwell and the NHS Health Check programme (more information HERE);
• Children and Young People Forum: Networking event (with Jacquie Smith and Audrey Williamson). Reserve your place HERE;
• Leaders’ Survey: your opportunity to let us know about your experiences and views on issues relating to working within the Sector and supporting communities in Sandwell. You can complete the survey online HERE (closes 22nd November 2017);
• GDPR Implementation Workshop: scheduled for Tuesday, 5th December 2017 to look at practical steps to complying with the forthcoming GDPR in May 2018. More details to be released soon;

…followed by a couple of ‘bigger’ announcements…

• Community Partnerships Grant Programme: designed to encourage the development of new and/or different ways of working or engaging with people that has a focus on increasing self-help within communities over the long-term. Full details to be released shortly;
• Esmée Fairbairn Partnership: forged through discussions over the last 12 months and culminating in a new partnership for the next 5 years that focuses activity on building resilience at an individual level, within local communities, and across the wider sector. Full details of the programme are still being developed, but this partnership is a strong endorsement of the Sector; a long-term commitment that underpins the Foundation’s recognition of the work already undertaken by the Sector and partners and our desire to build capability and confidence amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised in our local communities and grow resilience.

The more ‘formal’ element of the AGM heard Mark Davis, SCVO’s CEO, talk about the achievements of the last 12 months together with the re-election of Mohammed Loan (Chair & General Secretary, Oldbury Jamia Mosque) and new election of Vicki Fitzgerald (CEO of Citizens Advice Sandwell) to SCVO’s Board of Trustees. You can see more detail of the year’s activities in the following documents:
• Annual Report and Accounts: Financial Year Ended 31st March 2017
• Annual Review 2017

The morning was concluded with a keynote address from Gary Topp, whose theme was ‘The world is changing – how can we work together to create a better future?’ Gary’s thought-provoking talk was well-received by the audience, and certainly generated a number of talking points in the post-talk Q&A.

The year ahead looks to be an interesting, and exciting, one – join us again in October 2018 to see how it all pans out.

How Vulnerable Young People Experience Digital Exclusion

The year-long #NotWithoutMe pilot programme challenge the assumption that younger generations are ‘digital natives’ and have basic digital skills or access to learning opportunities.

Carnegie UK Trust provided £40k to fund the pilot programme and partnered with local projects in Glasgow, Cumbria, Belfast and London to run over 80 practical sessions which saw 100 vulnerable young people get involved to improve their skills.

Report participants came from a variety of backgrounds and faced different barriers to digital inclusion.

The combined outcomes highlight the challenges society faces in tackling the perception that all children and young people have equal opportunities in developing the required digital ‘life’ skills.

The combined outcomes highlight the challenges society faces in tackling the perception that all children and young people have equal opportunities in developing the required digital ‘life’ skills.

The pilot programme has prompted the Carnegie UK Trust to outline key recommendations:

  • Digital participation strategies should take specific consideration of vulnerable young people.
  • Existing long-term skills development programmes in formal and informal education settings should embed digital skills learning.
  • Young people should be involved in shaping digital skills projects.
  • Appropriate ongoing training should be provided for the family and professional support networks for young people.

Gina Wilson, Carnegie UK Trust, said: “As a society we are guilty of assuming that young people are digitally proficient and have access to the benefits that digital skills can bring. Digital exclusion, particularly amongst vulnerable young people, is an important and often overlooked issue.

“These four pilot projects highlight the need to invest in young people facing extra challenges in life, whether that be their background or the fact they have a learning disability. In supporting vulnerable young people to develop relevant digital skills and understanding, we can also empower them to access more opportunities, and in turn improve both their social and mental well-being. This week is ‘Get Online Week’ and, as we encourage more people to explore the digital world, we should be mindful of those who are at risk of exclusion and how we can facilitate much needed support.”

To read the full Charity Digital News click here.

The New Charity Governance Code

The Charity Commission are delighted that the charity sector’s governance code is now in its 12th year and its 3rd edition. The Commission has supported and endorsed the code since its inception. The latest edition has raised the bar in response to the challenges that the sector has faced over the last two years. And awareness of the code is also growing. It’s good news that the consultation on the updated code received over 200 responses including from key players in the sector.

It’s vital that charities get their heads around governance. Following good governance practices, not just paying lip service but really understanding and applying them, could have averted many of the bad headlines of the last two years. It’s more than ticking the boxes. It’s about attitudes and culture, whether a charity puts its values into practice. It’s about how trustees make decisions and how well they understand what’s going on. We have seen the consequences of failing to do that.

But more than avoiding bad, it’s about realising potential, understanding and maximising the difference you make. Everything in good governance should point to your mission and your strategy for achieving it.

In other sectors – the corporate sector, housing, sport, there are potential financial consequences for not complying with the relevant governance code. The Charity Governance Code doesn’t work like that. It’s not enforced by the regulator. The rule is not ‘comply or explain’ but ‘apply or explain’, recognising the diversity of the sector. The same core principles apply to all charities, but they apply in different ways in terms of tailored good practice.

The code starts with a ‘foundation principle’; it should be a ‘given’ that all trustees understand their legal duties (as explained in The Essential Trustee) and are committed to their cause and good governance. We don’t take trustees’ commitment for granted, but it should be reasonable to expect commitment to translate into finding out about their responsibilities. In practice this is not always the case, and it’s an area where we continue to focus our efforts.

The code then develops seven principles – leadership; integrity; decision making, risk and control; board effectiveness; diversity; openness and accountability; all underpinning organisational purpose. Why these qualities matter should be self-evident. Many of them are also key drivers of trust and confidence, and can help to demonstrate to beneficiaries, funders and donors that a charity is trust-worthy.

To read the full Charity Commission Article click here.

Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation has announced that the next closing date for stage 1 applications to its Health and Disability Grants Programme is the 5th January 2018.

Through the programme, the Wolfson Foundation, makes grants of between £15,000 – £100,000 for new buildings, refurbishments and equipment for a range of organisations delivering excellent care and support. The funding is focused on:

Palliative Care and Hospices
Older People

Match funding is required for projects over £50,000. The Foundation does not provide funding for clinical care which might be considered the proper responsibility of the National Health Service (e.g. refurbishment of hospital wards or other facilities, or provision of surgical equipment).

The Foundation also encourage applications from all parts of the UK, especially regions that have few alternative sources of funding.

More information

The Finnis Scott Foundation

The Finnis Scott Foundation has announced that the next closing date for applications is the 31st January 2018.

Grants are available of between £500 and £10,000 to UK charities and individuals in the areas of horticulture and plant sciences, as well as fine art and art history.

Funding can be used for both capital and revenue projects. In the last five years, over one million pounds has been awarded in grants to a great variety of projects. Preference is given to making grants to smaller charities where the grant would have a significant impact. For grants made to individuals, the Trustees usually require a grant to be made through a sponsoring university or registered charity.

More information

New SCVO Member Feature: The Walk of Life (West Midlands)

The Walk of Life (West Midlands) is the lastest group to become a  member of SCVO. 

The charitable incorporated organisation is based on West Bromwich High Street and has 14 years’ experience of supporting the Eastern European Community, in particular, recognising the specific needs of the Roma Community.

The Walk of Life (West Midlands) assist clients by providing household items such as appliances, furniture, clothing and books.  Its helps to improve education by providing tools and books, as well as classes.  It facilitates events where the Roma community meets with others to share their culture and build trust and relationships.

The Walk of Life works closely with Healthy Sandwell and the local police to organise various awareness training, in its aim  to tackle mental and physical problems among Roma community and improve their safety.

Find out more about The Walk of Life by visiting its website

Help Creative Black Country find our funny roots!

The Black Country has a reputation for its unique sense of humour and local people aren’t short of a few jokes. Creative Black Country is preparing to make a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2018 for its project ‘Finding Our Funny Roots’ which will uncover what people find most interesting and funny about their humour heritage.

CBC is asking members of the public to help the Black Country find its funny roots by completing a short survey with the results being used towards the project’s application.

The survey will only take a few minutes and by contributing you will be helping to shape how we preserve Black Country heritage.

By sharing what has made different generations of Black Country people laugh – the regional ‘in jokes’ – CBC can track how living in the area has changed over time, make connections between past and present and celebrate the diverse cultures that make up the Black Country. The Black Country accent and dialect is often at the root of its comedy, associated to regional pride and identity, showcasing Black Country language will be key to understanding comedy culture and traditions.

CBC hope you will take part in the survey and will share the link with your family and friends.

 The survey will close on Sunday 5 November 2017.


Transport Solutions need Volunteer Drivers

People often struggle to find appropriate transport to attend their  hospital appointments. Transport Solutions Volunteer Drivers make a positive  difference by enabling people to access vital hospital appointments.  Have you got time to give?

If you are interested in volunteering, you will be making an invaluable contribution in supporting people through some of the most difficult times of their lives. You will:

• be volunteering at a time to suit you
• be supported by volunteer co-ordinator and team
• have out of pocket expenses reimbursed
• find it an enriching experience
• meet new people

If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Volunteer  Co-ordinator for more details.   Telephone 0121 612 2939
or fax 0121 612 2934

Review of Sandwell Make a Difference Day Volunteer Recruitment Fair

Staff and volunteers from Volunteer Centre Sandwell and over thirty voluntary and community groups, attended Sandwell’s highly successful Make a Difference Volunteer Recruitment Fair, on Tuesday, 17 October.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with so many people actively seeking volunteering opportunities. It was a real pleasure to be able to have a chat with those interested in finding out more about what we do!

Over 60 individuals expressed an interest in current opportunities, 27 individuals completed registration forms after having a chat with groups recruiting volunteers on the day!

Feedback from 95% of organisations said that the day was extremely well organised. Several  groups took to twitter to spread the word about Make a Difference Day!

Although there were dozens of other organisations keen to recruit new volunteers,  North Smethwick Development Trust based in Brasshouse Lane, seemed to capture the imagination of quite a few of the people who attended the Fair.

Positive reports were from received reports from Sandwell Libraries, Victim Support, Age UK Sandwell, National Memorial Arboretum, all who are seeking to recruit volunteers from diverse communities.

The Volunteer Centre is currently on the lookout for additional volunteers to help out with finance, legal, fundraising, marketing, web design, reception duties, ground maintenance also nursery management.

Jean Taylor chief executive officer said “with over 230 new volunteering opportunities being offered by organisations and groups, we always welcome new volunteers who are interested in bringing new ideas initiatives and skills, to benefit local causes. So if that sounds like you, please be in touch! We’d love to hear from you”!


Page 1 of 238123...Last