Help YMCA prevent Youth Homelessness in the midst of Covid-19

For any teenager, experiencing family breakdown is one of the most challenging life experiences that they could ever face. However, the risk of homelessness for 16-18 year olds leaves them with an even more daunting prospect during the Covid-19 outbreak, as many teenagers are left wondering what will happen and where they will go.

Since the outbreak hit the UK, YMCA Open Door has been helping over 50 young people across the Black Country who have found themselves in the precarious position. The Open Door project has been placing young people at risk of Homelessness with Host families for over 10 years, but at this particular time, there is even more need for more Hosts – people who have a spare room within their house and a caring heart.

Find out how you can help

Save the Date – SCVO’s 2020 AGM and Conference

SCVO Members, local voluntary sector organisations, stakeholders and strategic partners are invited to SCVO’s Annual General Meeting taking place this year on Tuesday 29th September.

This will be an opportunity to reflect on an eventful year for Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector and learn about new developments and changes at SCVO. Further details on the programme and agenda for the event will follow nearer  the time.

The event is taking place on Tuesday 29th September 2020 from 9.30am – 12.30pm. Given the current situation, it will be held virtually and joining instructions will be sent to ticket holders in advance of the event.  The timing of the event may alter slightly, but again we will give you advance notice.

We do hope that you can join us and many others from across Sandwell for what we hope will be an enjoyable and informative occasion.

In order to book your place please go to –

Funding to Help Disadvantaged Young People and Children

Charities in England and Wales can apply for grants of between £500 – £5,000 per year for up to 3 years to help disadvantaged children and young people (up to the age of 25 years), overcome the barriers they face to achieve the best possible start in life.

To be eligible the charity needs to have an annual income of below £500,000 per year. The funding is being made available through the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Early Years Opportunities Grant scheme.

The next closing date for applications to the small grants programme is 4 pm on the 31st August 2020.

The Foundation also offers funding of between £20,000 and £60,000 per year for up to three years through its large grants programme.

The closing date for the large grants programme is 5 pm on the 31st July 2020 for stage 1 applications.

Further information

Funding to Strengthen Creative Opportunities for People with Mental Health Problems

The Baring Foundation has announced the first call for applications for their new Arts programme supporting Arts and Mental Health to strengthen the creative opportunities available for people with mental health problems.

The funding programme is being made available to established organisations in the UK that focus solely on offering creative opportunities to people of any age living with mental health problems using the skills of professionally trained artists. An amount of £900,000 is available for this work in 2020 and it is envisaged that grants of between £12,000 and £15,000 will be awarded.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on the 18th August 2020.

Further information

Government pledge £1.57 Billion Investment to Protect Britain’s Cultural, Arts and Heritage Institutions

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has announced that cultural and heritage institutions, such as theatres, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music venues and independent cinemas, can now access a share of £1.57 billion that has been made available to help with the impact of Coronavirus.

The funding will consist of a mix of grants and low cost loans. The funding will include £120 million to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic. Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).

Further information

Funding for Charities Supporting the Over 60’s and BAME Communities

Grants of up to £1,000 are available to UK charities that focus on the often complex issues that have arisen from the Covid 19 pandemic for people aged 60 and over.

The funding is being made available through the Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust. The Trust will also be prioritising charities that work in BAME communities, in light of Black Lives Matter and the growing awareness that these communities are being disproportionately affected by the Covid 19 crisis.

The funding is available to UK registered charities that have an operating income and expenditure of between £100,000 and £1 million.

The closing date for applications is the 31st July 2020.

Apply here

Free Online Training Multi-Agency Safeguarding Training

Free online multi-agency Safeguarding training available to officers in Sandwell

Please find attached details of multi-agency training that is available for organiastions to attend.

This includes training from the:-


Safer Sandwell Partnership
Sandwell Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership
Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board
Sandwell Children’s Safeguarding Partnership

Please view for further information on the variety of training available and how to book your place –


Can you help ‘Home from Hospital?

If you have a car and a clean licence you could be a great help to older people needing to get to and from hospital.

Age UK Sandwell urgently needs helpers please who can support with transport to appointments and help older people to settle in to their home after a stay in hospital.

Other requirements include:

• Willing to complete an enhanced DBS check

• Willing to undertake any training required

• Available for minimum 3 hours Monday – Friday

• Live within 30 mins drive from either City Hospital, Heartlands or the QE

• Not in at risk groups for COVID 19

Find out more by contacting or call 0121 437 0033

Big conversation about mental health ● learning disabilities ● autism in Sandwell

As a newly merged organisation we have an ambition to support the people of Sandwell to lead healthier and happier lives. We cannot do this alone, and we want to work with you in genuine partnership to develop our clinical strategy, to listen and learn, in order to achieve meaningful change.

As the system starts to prepare for future demand for services, we are holding a series of ‘big conversations’ about the services we deliver; one Black Country conversation for those specialist service areas where we come together to achieve greater quality and scale for all our populations, and one in each of our localities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) for those core services where we know that the needs of our local communities need to be locally driven.

We want to start the conversation with two simple questions:

1. What does the very best healthcare provision for those with mental health, learning disabilities and/or autism look like in 3 years’ time?
2. What are the most important steps we should take to achieve this?
We wanted to share these with you in advance so you can discuss them with others you may represent or advocate for.

Our ‘Big conversation’ will be virtual for now and will take place for via Zoom on 30th July, 10.30am – 12noon.

We hope you can join us. Let us know you’re attending by emailing and we will send you the link to the session. If you can’t make this date but would like to share your feedback please contact us

New Community Initiative Fund by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

New £200,000 Community Initiatives Fund launched by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to community and voluntary organisations to help overcome social effects of Coronavirus isolation

The new Community Initiatives Fund which comes into effect on Wednesday 1st July 2020, will be funded from money which has been allocated from items seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Each year, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner invites local community groups to bid for a grant from the existing Active Citizens Fund which is money which must go into community projects and cannot be spent on recruiting Police officers. The Community Initiatives Fund temporarily replaces the Active Citizens Fund.

Following a surge in voluntary and community activity to help vulnerable people during the COVID 19 crisis, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, has made £200,000 available over the next six months, to support active citizenship within local communities.

Sandwell will have £15,000 to spend on projects which tackle vulnerability, fear of crime and work with the WMP response to COVID


• Digital formats contacts with the public supporting vulnerable via media social media etc, IT equipment, youth online media , networking communities
• Social isolation and mental health
• Elderly vulnerable supporting them, food, tackling elder abuse , communication
• Families food poverty, support for children and families especially as the schools could be closed over summer, demand on Police, Mash, Foodbank etc
• Domestic Violence this is a key matter across force we should consider this for some bids, families isolating together with a DV perpetrator,
• Consideration for messaging support to BME/Eastern European groups around support on reporting Domestic Violence plus advice on Social Distancing
• Encouraging Communities to sign up to WM NowThere is a maximum bid of £5k

This is the link to the detail on the OPCC website which includes process map and also the documents for organisations to complete

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