Oscar Sandwell seeks Volunteer Treasurer

The Organisation for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research and Thalassaemia Support (OSCAR) was first set up in the United Kingdom in 1975. OSCAR was developed to provide a direct service to the public and act as a link between Sickle Cell sufferers and the communities that were at risk from the conventional service providers.

OSCAR Sandwell is looking for a Volunteer to undertake the role of the Treasurer to the Board of Directors and to work with the staff team to:

• Oversee the financial affairs of the organisation and ensure they are legal, constitutional and within accepted accounting practice.
• Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures are in place.
• Monitor and report on the financial health of the organisation.
• Oversee the production of necessary financial reports/returns, accounts and audits.

Specifically, the Treasurer will:

Liaise with relevant staff, committee members and/or volunteers to ensure the financial
viability of the organisation.

Make fellow committee members aware of their financial obligations and take a lead in interpreting financial data to them.
Attend committee meetings (Board and sub-committee)

Regularly report the financial position at committee meetings (balance sheet, cash flow, fundraising performance etc).

Oversee the production of an annual budget and propose its adoption at the last meeting of the previous financial year.

Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures and controls are in place, ie
Purchasing limits
Purchasing systems
Petty cash/float
Salary payments
PAYE and NI payments
Others as appropriate

Appraising the financial viability of plans, proposals and feasibility studies.

Lead on appointing the liaising with auditors/as independent examiner.

If you would like discuss the voluntary position or have any questions, please contact Rachel McFee on 0121 525 0556 or email

EMI Music Sound Foundation

Schools in the UK, that wish to purchase musical instruments and equipment can apply for funding of up to £2,000 through the EMI Music Sound Foundation’s Instrument and/or Equipment Awards.

To date, the Foundations has made awards to over two thousand schools, individual students and teachers to improve their access to music through the purchase or upgrade of musical instruments and equipment. The funding has to be made for music education that is beyond statutory national curriculum music teaching.

The Foundation cannot fund retrospectively and schools are not eligible for financial assistance under this scheme if they have already purchased their instruments or if they do so before their application has been approved.

The closing date for applications is the 31st January 2018.

More information

Dan Maskell Tennis Trust

Grants of up to £1,500 are available to special schools, disability groups and associations, etc for equipment and specialist wheelchairs to enable disabled people to play tennis.

Individuals can apply for grants of up to £500 and can receive support for sports wheelchairs, tennis rackets, coaching lessons with a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) licensed coach or course fees for official LTA development/coaching courses.

Groups can apply for Wheelchairs; Court hire; Coaching fees and equipment packages which will include Rackets / Balls / Mini net / Coaching aids such as: cones and throw down marker lines.

In the case of wheelchairs, a deposit will be required; for individuals, the amount of deposit required will depend on the wheelchair type requested, clubs will need to raise a deposit of £250.

The next closing date for applications is the 13th December 2017

More information at:

DM Thomas Foundation

The next application deadline to the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People is the 6th February 2018.

The Foundation supports registered charities that work to improve the lives of disabled and sick children and young people by awarding grants for equipment, training, and support. Through the Foundation’s Central Grants scheme, awards of a few hundred pounds and up to £30,000 can be made, although most grants will be under £10,000.

Examples of grants awarded in 2016 include:
• £30,000 to Disability Challengers for a sensory room.
• £21,033 to Drove Road Residential Centre for a new playground.
• £2,932 to Ichthyosis Support Group ISG for residential activity camps for children affected by the condition.

More information at:

Mental Health, Faith and Communities

The Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell (YCA) is delighted to invite you to a lecture on Mental Health, faith and communities.  The lecture will be delivered by Prof. Rasjid Skinner, Prof. of clinical psychology on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 6 pm – 8 pm.

Prof.  Skinner read Anthropology and Psychology at Durham University, and went on to post-grad research in Anthropology, and then training in Clinical Psychology, at Queen’s University Belfast. While at Queen’s he also underwent Jungian training analysis. He has been working as a Clinical Psychologist since 1976, mostly within the NHS.

He began collaborating with others, in the 1980s, on Islamic approaches to Psychology. Four years ago, with several colleagues, he set up, in Bradford, ‘Ihsaan’; a voluntary sector provider of Islamically based psychological therapies. He holds the Visiting Chair of Clinical Psychology at the University of Karachi, and lectures at Sheffield University and the Cambridge Muslim College.

Publications include:
Skinner R. (2010). An Islamic approach to psychology and mental health. Mental Health, Religion and Culture. 13(6) 547-551.
Kaplick P.M. and Skinner R. The evolving Islam and psychology movement. European Psychologist. 22(3) 198-204.

To book, please contact Saeed Nasser at the YCA on 0121 525 3909 or email

Arabian food served from 5.30 pm.

This lecture is free and open to all especially those interested in promoting good mental health and wellbeing in their community.


Dementia and Black, Minority Ethnic Communities

The Race Equality Foundation with Faith Action and Friends, Families and Travellers, as member of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, have been commissioned to help undertake a set of events on dementia and black and minority ethnic communities.

The aims of these event are to:
• raise awareness of dementia
• explore issues around risk reduction for dementia; and
• explore dementia support for black and minority ethnic communities,
These events are aimed at practitioners, individuals and organisations working on dementia. See here for more details about the overall project, see here.

The first three events are up on Eventbrite and are open for bookings:

London – 29th November
Leeds – 5th December
Birmingham – 11th December

A second set of events will take place in the new year in Rochdale, Bristol and Peterborough.  Please contact Samir Jeraj, Policy and Practice Officer, on 0207 428 1886 if you would like details.

Black Country ESF Community Grants Funding Event

Looking for Funding? Walsall Council is holding a Funding Event in Dudley later this month to promote the Community Grants programme.

The Funding Event will from 9.15 am to 12.30 pm at the Village Hotel, Dudley, on Wednesday 29 November 2017.

Up to 15,00 is available for not-for-profit organisations to deliver projects that prepare people for work in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.   Go along and learn more!

To book your place please email or call 01922 652 544.

This project is financed by the European Social Fund and Education & Skills Funding Agency.

Spotlight on Black Country Women’s Aid

1. Tell us what you do.
Black Country Women’s Aid  [BCWA ] was formed 30 years ago by a group of local ladies from West Bromwich who opened a small refuge to help women and children escape from violence and sexual abuse.

Today our charity has 6 refuges providing a safe place to stay, helping to re build and save lives.

Last year we supported over 8,000 women and children to overcome trauma and plan for their future. Our Refuge is more than just a bed, we help families to feel safe, re locate and get back on their feet through specialist support.

Our Domestic Abuse Team support victims in the community and at court.

We provide practical advocacy and specialist counselling to help victims of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse.

Our Young People’s Team support children and young people who have suffered domestic abuse, rape and sexual exploitation

We also offer safe refuge and community support to people trafficked to the UK for forced labour and prostitution through our Modern day Slavery Team.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
Making sure that whenever a victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse presents across our borough needing help they can always reach us for support.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
We have received great support with sign posts to funding, other partners, networking and advice.

4. What is the most valuable lession you learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
To Listen.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans are to raise our profile across The Black Country Area in order to raise funds for our vital work.

The statistics in the Black Country area are shocking for Domestic Violence and sexual abuse. We need local businesses and the community to help by making donations of food, toiletries, clothes, toys and money so we can educate our next generation and look after the people in our care.

Our challenge is to let everyone know how we are helping vulnerable people and children and gain local support. We also need volunteers to help us spread the message.

6. How can SCVO help you to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO has helped BCWA with many things we look forward to receiving your weekly updates and advice on new opportunities and information on other members so we can work in collaboration.

To find out more information on Black Country Women’s Aid please call 0121 553 0090 or visit their website by clicking here.

B&Q Community Re-Use Scheme for Schools and Community Groups

DIY store B&Q operates a community re-use scheme through all its branches across the UK. The scheme donates unsellable products and materials for re-use by local schools, other educational institutions and community groups, for the benefit of the local community and the environment.  

All items are donated on the understanding that they will be re-used or disposed of responsibly if they aren’t used. Eligible groups include: Schools and colleges; Child minders, playgroups and nurseries; Allotment associations, community gardening projects; Youth groups including scouts, guides and cadets; Registered charities; Hospices; Conservation groups including The Conservation Volunteers and Forest Schools; Community projects organised by local churches and other religious groups; Women’s Institute, Lions Clubs, Rotary, Townswomen Guilds; Royal British Legion; Adult education projects, University of the Third Age and other local community groups. 

For more information, please contact your local store directly and speak to a duty manager.

B&Q also works with Community Repaint, a network of schemes that collects any surplus, re-usable paint and redistributes it within their communities to individuals and families on low income, charities and community groups.  



Condition Improvement Fund and Healthy Pupils Capital Fund opens for application

The Department for Education has launched the 2018-19 bidding round for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). The fund is available to some academies and sixth-form colleges for capital funding. The main priority for CIF is to keep academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order. This includes funding projects to address health and safety issues, building compliance and poor building condition.

CIF also supports a small proportion of expansion projects. These are for Ofsted-rated good or outstanding academies and sixth-form colleges that need to expand their existing facilities and/or floor space. As part of the CIF bidding process £100million of revenue generated from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy will be used for the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF).

This fund is intended to improve children’s and young people’s physical and mental health by enhancing access to facilities for physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and wellbeing and medical conditions, such as kitchens, dining facilities, changing rooms, playgrounds and sports facilities.

The same criteria apply to bids for HPCF as to all other CIF bids. Responsible bodies that receive School Condition Allocations (and are therefore not eligible for CIF) will receive a direct allocation from the HPCF. This direct allocation is in addition to their normal SCA and will be announced and paid alongside it. New applicants have until 5pm on the 30 November 2017 to register.

The deadline for submitting applications is 12 noon on the 14th December 2017 for all applicants.

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