#Giving Tuesday is Coming

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, a day when everyone, everywhere can do something to support good causes. Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following the well-known shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is celebrated this year on 3 December 2019.

It is a great opportunity to celebrate the work that your charity does on social media using the #GivingTuesday hashtag. It’s a chance to amplify your voice, get your cause in front of a new audience and be connected with a global generosity movement that saw 1.5 million people say they would be more likely to do something for charity as a result of Giving Tuesday. Find out more about how your charity can get involved here.


Funding to Make Community Spaces More Sustainable

The Co-op Foundation is offering interest free loans for enterprising ideas to improve community spaces.

Community organisations that manage community buildings and outdoor spaces such as parks and community centres; etc which are for the use of the whole community can apply for loans of up to £50,000 to grow their trading activities to generate more sustainable income.

Organisations based in a more deprived area, or whose work mainly benefits more disadvantaged members of the community may also be able to apply for grant funding alongside a loan.

Applications can be submitted at any time. For further information please view – https://www.coopfoundation.org.uk/funding_support/


One Stop – Carries for Causes

Groundwork is working with One Stop stores to administer the Carriers for Causes grants initiative, to fund good causes within two miles of a One Stop shop.

The types of projects funded will be very broad and will cover the direct costs needed to deliver the project, this could be buying litter pickers and bags for a community cleanup days, plants, spades and forks to plant up a new community garden, the cost of a minibus for a day trip for a community group or the materials needed to paint a room at the local hospice.

Grants of up to £1000 are available to support projects that benefit local communities through the money raised from the 5p bag charge in One Stop stores in England, Wales and Scotland.

To apply and for further information about the grant click here.


Guardian Public Service Awards: Public Health and Wellbeing Winner!

An integrated project is helping people in the West Midlands with alcohol dependence.

When people with an alcohol dependence are in the depths of despair, they can sometimes be quite suspicious of support. They may be suffering from complex physical and mental health problems compounded by other social issues. Gaining the trust of those with a drinking problem can be a battle. But the Sandwell Blue Light project is breaking through these challenges and changing lives.

Developed by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in 2015, the project has created a new system that identifies, engages and then builds a long-term rapport with the most difficult to reach drinkers. This includes those who do not engage with treatment, who are regular users of NHS services, or others involved in criminal behaviour.

While there were existing alcohol services in place in the borough, resources were limited and there was a risk people could fall through the net. With this in mind, the Blue Light project set out to ensure that people in need had access to an engaging, non-judgmental support system.

The project brings together a cross-section of partners, including public health professionals, the ambulance and probation services, and the police. Local GPs, mental health specialists, alcohol treatment providers and other NHS professionals are also on board.

The team coordinates its own work, identifying those having the greatest difficulties with alcohol in Sandwell, and develops jointly-owned action plans to provide them with support. Team members talk regularly to ensure they identify and monitor any clients at high risk. For example, a probation officer may have a phone call with a local GP to share information about a drinker’s risk and vulnerability. Every month, the team meets to review and assess client progress and agree on the next steps they can take to help.

Lisa McNally, the director of public health for Sandwell, says the project does not define people by antisocial behaviour. Instead, it looks to root causes. “Unless we get past people’s behaviours and look to see what’s driving them to continue to drink year on year, and not engage with services, we will never get anywhere,” she says.

To read the full article click here.

Source: The Guardian Newspaper


YMCA Open Door Offers ‘Host Placements’ Service

There are hundreds of young people across the Black Country who every year experience family breakdown and also find themselves with nowhere to stay.  Within the Black Country there are some amazing and truly remarkable people who are opening up their homes to help young people who would otherwise be roofless.

Having recently celebrated it’s 10th Anniversary, YMCA Open Door provides ‘Host placements’ for young people who have experienced family breakdown. There are over 80 YMCA Hosts who use their spare room to provide a homely environment for young people aged between 16-18 who provide either ‘emergency Nighstop’ or longer term ‘Supported Lodgings’.  YMCA is seeking to recruit more Hosts to provide safe places for young people. Do you have a spare room and a caring heart?  Please consider if you could provide a homely environment for a young person who has nowhere to go.  All Hosts receive over £100pw, full training from the YMCA and support from a dedicated project worker.

To find out more visit www.ymcabc.org.uk/hosts


Tina’s Story raises domestic abuse awareness

The sister of a murdered Sandwell woman has made a short film to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the support that is available for victims and their families.

The film – Tina’s Story – was launched on Monday 25 November on White Ribbon Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The film also launches Sandwell’s support for this year’s 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse.

Tina Billingham was murdered by her partner in 2017. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour. He was jailed for life for a minimum of 24 years for her murder.

Tina’s sister Mandy wants to help other families avoid losing a loved one through domestic abuse. She has worked with the Safer Sandwell Partnership to make the seven-minute film, which people can watch at www.sandwell.gov.uk/tinasstory and on YouTube https://youtu.be/peFns0ZMNSM

Mandy hopes the film will help others recognise the signs of domestic abuse and know how and where to seek support.

Support available
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is, call Black Country Women’s Aid on 0121 552 6448.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Samaritans: 116 123


Options for Life are Recruiting Trustees

Options for Life is a not for profit voluntary organisation. We provide opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to improve their confidence, develop their skills and live as independently as possible enjoying the same rights and opportunities as everybody else.

We are passionate that we support all of our participants to make their own choices about their own lives.

Based in Oldbury in the West Midlands we work with participants across the West Midlands, we have an annual turnover of £2.2million and employ over 95 staff. As a leading learning disability organisation, we want to recruit new Trustees with a breadth of skills and talent to help us with our ongoing growth and continual improvement.

We are particularly keen to recruit a diverse board of trustees and welcome applications from all sectors of the community with lots of different experiences. Previous Trustee experience is not essential.

To find out more you can visit:
Website: https://www.optionsforlife.info/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OptionsforLifeWM/

Alternatively contact our Chief Executive, Nicola Thomson for an informal chat on 0121 544 6611 or email Nicola.thomson@optionsforlife.info and request a Trustee Recruitment Pack


SAFS Winter Wonderland

SAFS is getting all festive and holding a Winter Wonderland on Friday 13th December 2019

The Wonderland is being held at SAFS Offices, Windmill Community Centre, Messenger Road, Smethwick, B66 3DX starting at 3.00pm and finishing at 7.00pm.

There’s lots of entertainment including Santa’s Grotto, Refreshments, Performances, Table top sales plus lots, lots more.

Call Kam on 0121 558 2198 if you would like more information or if you would like to volunteer.


Finnis Scott Foundation

Established under the Will of Lady Montagu Douglas Scott (Valerie Finnis) in 2006, the Finnis Scott Foundation makes grants for any charitable purpose, but their present policy is to focus grant-making in the areas of horticulture and plant sciences, as well as fine art and art history.  The funding is open to charities and charitable organisations, including School Parent Teacher Associations.

Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available. Exceptionally, larger grants may be considered at the Trustees’ discretion. Preference is given to making grants to smaller charities where the grant would have a significant impact. The Foundation funds both capital and revenue projects.

Previous organisations supported include:
• Flower Pod – a horticulturally based Social Enterprise in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.
• Rhyl Primary School PTA
• The Horticultural Therapy Trust
• Hestercombe Gardens Trust

Apply by the 13th December 2019 for the next trustees meeting of the Finnis Scott Foundation.

For more information about The Finnis Scott Foundation, please email: administrator@finnis-scott-foundation.org.uk or telephone 01604 233233

For more information click here.


Managing the Essentials – ‘Food and Finance’

The impact of ‘Food and Finance’ on children, young people and families in Sandwell is a growing concern. The stresses and pressures, be they financial, social, employment, relationships and health are bigger than ever. By working together and supporting one another in the work that we do, we can help to ensure these needs are met.

Our event will bring together a range of organisations and look at what ‘Food and Finance’ means in Sandwell, what the concerns/worries are and how we can work together to address them, and what are the early indicators.

Wednesday 15th January 2020
9:30am – Arrivals and Networking
10.00am – Start
12.00pm – Finish
Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, B69 1HE

All tickets for this event are free and we encourage members to bring along colleagues (max 3 per organisation) and of course if you can’t make it feel free to send someone in your place.

You are welcome to stay for more networking (and cake!) after the event.

For any questions or queries please email: earlyhelp@scvo.info or call Angel on 0121 525 1127.

To book your place please do so through Evenbrite


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