Funding to Help People Self-Isolating Under Covid-19 Restrictions

Funding to Help People Self-Isolating Under Covid-19 Restrictions for Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton areas.

Community and voluntary organisations can apply for grants of up to £5,000 to help fund voluntary and community activity which helps and supports people self-isolating under COVID-19 restrictions in Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has made £200,000 available over the next six months from money which has been allocated from items seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Funding from this second round of their Community Initiatives Fund will help organisations responding and organising in new ways to connect with each other within their communities. This includes online, providing practical and spiritual support, and using local supply chains.

The deadline for applications is the 3rd August 2020.

For more information go to

‘Relax and Chat’ Sessions – Beat It Percussion

Can we help? Beat It Percussion is reaching out to provide free support to people in Sandwell who are being touched by mental health or anxiety issues in this difficult time of COVID19.

Beat It Percussion are offering live Zoom sessions contact them for the zoom joining instructions.

‘Relax and Chat’ sessions offer a live sound relaxation experience using gongs, singing bowls, bells and other beautiful instruments to create a sense of total relaxation and give you some quality ‘me-time’. We work with small groups to give people the chance to chat and share their stories, creating a sense of community and friendship at this time when many of us are still feeling isolated.

Who is this for? Anyone who wants to take a break from the cycle of anxiety, to recharge their emotional batteries and enjoy an informal chat. Get in touch to find out more.

‘It’s like a deep tissue massage for the mind’

Free taster sessions!  Please contact us to get your Zoom invitation:

  • Tuesday July 14th at 12 noon
  • Tuesday July 14th at 2pm
  • Friday July 17th at 7pm
  • Sunday July 19th at 12 noon

Volunteering opportunity. We are looking for people to support the groups by:

  •  Directly by joining the session and taking an active part in the ‘chat’
  • Assisting people with Zoom and helping them build their confidence
  • Helping with phone call reminders and gathering feedback after the session

We look forward to hearing from you by phone: 07875 090946 or email at

Getting Started with Editing Software for Charities

Creating great content isn’t just for digital whizzes. We’re all creators now and using video and imagery can motivate digital fundraising efforts, so it is important to make sure content is sharp where possible. With editing software, charity digital professionals can create Instagram worthy photos and professional videos.

Starting with a few digital concepts, we showcase some of the most popular editing software tools available for users of all levels.

What are the key digital elements in photos and videos?
Starting with the basics, digital photos and videos have key elements which for the most part, are editable. Understanding pixels, size, sound, and picture quality impacts the extent to which photos and videos can be edited.

Pixels, in both videos and images, determine the quality and sharpness of the visual. Roughly, a pixel is a very small area of the screen, perhaps the size of a pinprick, which displays colour. Take lots of pixels together, and an image is formed. The resolution of the screen, video or photo tells you how detailed the picture is. At a low resolution and large size, pictures and videos will appear blurry and ‘pixelated’.

Digital sound works in a similar way. The term ‘high-res audio’ is a measure of how good the sound quality is by both the sampling rate and bit depth. Digital Trends online magazine explains that the sampling rate is the number of times sound is capture digitally per second, while the bit depth is the number of bits of information taken per second. Both measures need to be high to have high quality sound.

What elements are editable in photos?
Photos can be relatively easy to edit, particularly as many charity digital staff are already familiar with basic editing features for email marketing and other communications.

When selecting photos, remember that the resolution is important. The raw, unaltered content may ultimately be the deciding factor of how you use a photo because the resolution is very difficult to improve. Realistically, making the image smaller might work, but blowing up the size will dilute the quality of the image.

Basic photo editing software can then help with exposure, colour, contrast, sharpening, and for more experienced editors, layering. Editing software can fix problems of over-exposure, enhance colour, sharpen silhouettes, and add special effects like focus, blurred background, or filters. For more complex images, layers can also be edited – software can change a single layer of a multi-layered image.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

SWEDA is Open

SWEDA’s premises are now open, Covid-19 compliant and delivering new projects to clients from across Sandwell and the Black Country.

SWEDA is working hard to engage with those most affected by Coronavirus and help get back on track with employment support, Welfare Benefits Advice, IT and Digital training as well as supporting those considering self-employment. The organisation also have a dedicated team of Advisors to support local small businesses and entrepreneurs with running and growing a successful business in such difficult times.

Contact SWEDA on 0121 525 2558 or email for support needs or to discuss projects in detail.

Outdoor Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation COVID-19 Guidance

Public Health have created an overview from the official Government COVID-19 guidance and Sport England resources to aid organisations returning in their delivery of outdoor physical activities, sport and recreation.

Please note, there is separate guidance for Out of School Activity for children. If you are providing out of school activities for children, please refer to this guidance as well.

The report can be accessed by clicking the adjacent link Physical Activity Providers V3.

Source: Public Health


The UK Civil Society Almanac 2020 is here

The annual UK Civil Society Almanac is now available to download.

Drawing on a range of sources, the Almanac provides a snapshot of what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteering and its impact.

Key highlights include:
• 19.4m people volunteered at least once a year during 2018/19 through a group, club or organisation
• The voluntary sector contributed £18.2bn to the economy in 2017/18, representing about 0.9% of total GDP
• The voluntary sector has a paid workforce of 909,088, 5% more than in 2018

Click here to view the UK Civil Society Almanac 2020.


Free Virtual Introduction to Writing an Elevator Pitch Webinar

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression! Whether you are raising funds, promoting your services, seeking participants or trying to attract new volunteers to your organisation. It is important that you communicate effectively who you are and your values to your intended audience. An elevator pitch is meant to do just that, by instilling enough intrigue to get the prospect to ask you to tell them more.

SCVO’s introduction to writing an elevator pitch webinar will explain this concept, enabling you to write and develop your own elevator pitch in our free one-and-a-half-hour long webinar, being held on Thursday 30th July 2020, 10am via a Zoom Conference call.

This webinar is aimed at Community Groups and Charities who are interested in learning how to craft their own elevator pitch with confidence and increasing their income through being able to effectively sell themselves to a variety of audiences.

The aims of the webinar are to:

  • introduce the concept and potential uses of an elevator pitch
  • understand the essential principles of an effective elevator pitch
  • explore the different approaches to crafting your elevator pitch
  • provide hints and tips that enable you to develop your own elevator pitch based on the principles discussed in this webinar

There is a maximum of 20 places available for this virtual webinar and all places must be booked through Eventbrite by clicking here.

Why not go to our website at to subscribe to our free weekly e-bulletin, so you get information automatically on SCVO webinars and training news straight to your inbox.

Invitation to Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG Annual General Meeting

You are invited to attend Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 23 July 2020, from 6 – 7 pm.

This will be a virtual meeting.

Please confirm your attendance by 17 July, by email at or call 0121 612 1447.

You will be sent joining instructions once you have booked a place.

West Smethwick Enterprise – Business and Finance Administrator Vacancy

West Smethwick Enterprise is a charity set up in 1984 in Smethwick, Sandwell. We are a community-based organisation with an aim to improve outcomes for children and families.

Our services are inclusive to all and we are committed to supporting children and families within the local community. We currently offer Pre-School facilities for children aged between 2-5, two of which are currently Ofsted rated Outstanding, family support services for children and their families within the local community, stay and play sessions for families and children, parenting programmes and a supported child contact centre.

We are looking to recruit a Business and Finance Administrator to join our team. This is an exciting opportunity for someone looking to support the development and growth of a community-based organisation. We are seeking a highly motivated and organised individual with energy and vision to join our dedicated team. We are looking for a strong, proactive candidate who can provide finance administration and business support to ensure the smooth running of the organisation. The candidate must be able to work independently within a supportive team. The successful candidate will be forward thinking; have excellent interpersonal and time management skills; high expectations; excellent numeracy and literacy skills and be able to use their own initiative.

The Business and Finance Administrator will be responsible for all financial accounting associated with West Smethwick Enterprise including budgeting and forecasting reports. They will provide key business and management expertise to the organisation, working with the Director to support the day to day running of the finance department as well as developing systems to drive efficiency and develop business growth.

We can offer the opportunity to work within a welcoming and enthusiastic environment and a commitment to your professional development including access to training.

The post offers 25 days paid holiday plus Bank Holidays and pension.
The position is subject to an enhanced DBS.
Salary: £20,000 – £25,000 depending upon experience
Full time: 37.5 hours per week – 8am – 4pm or 9am – 5pm

Closing date: 31st July 2020
Interview date: W/c 3rd August and W/c 10th August 2020

For an application form please email Laura Richmond:

Sandwell Valley attractions move towards reopening

A range of activities at Sandwell Valley Country Park in West Bromwich are to be released from lockdown restrictions, starting from Monday 13 July.

Outside staff are returning to normal working to provide maintenance work and services to the public. Staff have been working to make sure animals are cared for and to remove rubbish and tidy the site.
The shops at the visitor centres at Sandwell Park Farm and Forge Mill Farm will reopen from Monday 13 July to provide refreshments, ice creams and other products such as honey and preserves. The tea room at Sandwell Park Farm will also operate a takeaway service. Forge Mill and Sandwell Park Farm will remain closed for now.

This follows the re-opening of Swan Pool to the Sandwell Sailing Club and the mini-runway for Sandwell Model Aircraft Club which is also available to members.

These changes come under phase one of the council’s recovery plan for the Valley and will be welcome news for the many thousands who visit the Valley to use the facilities and to walk and cycle through the local beauty spot.

There will also be an increase in agricultural operations on the farmland and the start of grounds maintenance across all green open spaces and the adjoining Dartmouth Park.

The re-opening of other facilities such as the pedalo boat hire, the farms at Forge Mill and Park Farm will come at a later date, as part of phase two.

Also still on hold is the reopening of play areas and fitness equipment and the toilets at the pavilion. All play areas will need to be inspected and government guidance on their usage considered, before the council can reopen them.

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