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Free office equipment

Sandwell Council wish to donate the following office machines, which are surplus to requirements:

Rexel CB256 Simply Bind Office Comb Binding Machine
Fellowes Home Laminator Mars A3.

If you could make use of the either, or both, please contact Heather Chinner at


FareShare FoodCloud

Are you a charity, non-profit organisation or community group that uses food to support people in need? You could benefit from FareShare FoodCloud, a new scheme which will match you with a local Tesco store that has unsold food available for you to collect, for FREE!

FareShare FoodCloud is easy to use and makes use of really simple technology combined with an experienced team of people on the ground who will work with you every step of the way. Once you have contacted FareShare, you will be fully supported through the process of signing up. When you are registered, you will be linked to a Tesco store who will contact you by text to tell you about the food available. All you have to do is organise for a member of staff or volunteer to go into the store to pick up the food on a weekly basis.

Alternatively, if its more and/or specific food you are looking for on a regular basis FareShare can connect you to its regional centres based throughout the UK.

If you are interested please do get in touch with or call/leave a message on 0757 222 8273 and she would be more than happy to expand on this further.

Office cupboard to donate

Options for Life is an Oldbury based not for profit charitable organisation which provides a range of innovative opportunities for people with learning disabilities. The charity has a 6ft (h) x 2½ ft (w) pine effect cupboard, which is excess to requirement.  The top half is open shelves, the bottom half a two-door cupboard (not lockable).  The item is in very good condition and Options would like to donate it to a voluntary or community group.

Options is unable to deliver, so collection would need to be arranged.  Please contact Rachel Palmer or Lesley Shorthouse 0121 544 6611 if you are interested.

Free guide to GDPR and data protection for charities

A free guide to help charities understand General Data Protection Regulation and comply with data protection law has been published. GDPR is a new EU law governing data protection, which will supersede the Data Protection Act in 2018.  GDPR will not introduce widespread changes to existing law, but will increase the monetary penalties for non-compliance.

The new guide, “Fundraising and data protection: a survival guide for the uninitiated”, has been published by consultant Tim Turner, a former policy manager at the Information Commissioner’s Office, who has been highly critical of charities’ understanding of data protection, and of the Institute of Fundraising’s guidance and approach.

The guide is also critical of charities’ handling of newspaper criticism, and of some reaction to recent actions from the ICO, who are responsible for ensuring charities comply with data protection law.

The guide includes key points for fundraisers to be aware of – read the FULL article HERE.


Rapid Testing Clinic Drop-ins

Terrence Higgins Trust is having Rapid HIV testing clinics across Sandwell, from 28 February.  No appointment required.  Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss sexual health and undertake HIV and Chlamydia testing.  Testing kits will provide results within a few minutes.

Date and time of the sessions are:

28 February: 5 pm – 7 pm
Portway Leisure Centre Oldbury

6 March: 10 am -1 pm
Brandhall Library, Tame Road, Oldbury

7 March: 5pm – 7 pm
Portway Leisure Centre Oldbury

14 March: 9 am – 5 pm
Oldbury Pharmacy, Causeway Green Road, Oldbury

18 March: 10 am – 1 pm
Great Bridge Library, Sheepwash Lane, Great Bridge

Further clinic dates will be shared on the Terrence Higgins Trust Sandwell Facebook page.

The contact numbers for the Terrence Higgins Trust Sandwell Office are 07468 726029 / 0121 314 2510.

Spotlight on Listening Ear

Tell us what you do.
Listening Ear is a service based in Cradley Heath Salvation Army that provides counselling to people with a range of emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, bereavement and relationship issues.

What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement is working with people to better understand the reasons why they are feeling the way they do and support them in the counselling process, to make changes that enables them to improve how they feel and respond to these situations.

For us it is so rewarding to see the positive shift in people’s emotional well-being after counselling and know that the service has had such an impact on a person’s life, often in a very short time.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO
Listening Ear received invaluable hands on support from the SCVO when applying for a grant and without it, it is unlikely the bid would have proceeded, or indeed been successful. SCVO has also been helpful in providing advice around our constitution and has further offered support in the future.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most valuable lesson we’ve learnt is what a privilege it is to work with people in a counselling capacity, who open up and share very personal and private details about their lives; it is very humbling.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans for the future are to continue to serve people in Sandwell and provide a counselling service which has been supported by the grant that will be awarded. The challenge is to maintain the volunteer base and continue to source funding opportunities to ensure our valuable service continues, and provide stability for those accessing us.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO will be able to support our organisation moving forward, by aiding us to identify new funding possibilities for our organisation and with providing advice to around these potential funding opportunities which enables us to access these funds.

For more information on this service please call Cradely Heath Salvation Army and ask to be referred to Listening Ear on 01384563570.

Community Organisations Spotlight Articles

Are you a not-for-profit organisation situated within Sandwell?  Would you like to attract new users, members or volunteers to your organisation or its activities?

If you have answered yes to the above questions, then why not  feature in SCVO’s weekly e-bulletin in a Spotlight Article. This  aims to raise awareness of Sandwell based organisations and the beneficial activities being delivered to local residents.

SCVO’s e-bulletin currently goes out to over 2,000 readers in Sandwell and surrounding areas..

A Spotlight Article is  easy to do. Simply answer six questions about your organisation. That’s it! Take at a look at previous Spotlight Articles here.

Interested? Then please call Mazeline or Libby on 0121 525 1127 to find out more about this free opportunity for your organisation.


Church Urban Fund’s Lookup Tool

Resources & ToolsThe Church Urban Fund lookup tool has been recently updated with the latest statistics to provide you with in depth and easy to access insight into the area that you live. Just enter your post code and get the stats straight away.

One regular user is the Bishop of Jarrow who had this to say about the lookup tool: “it has been immensely helpful. We are increasingly using this tool in the diocese to help members of our congregations stand a little bit more in the shoes of those in the wider community.”

For more information about the Church Urban Fund why not click here.


How to engage and retain volunteers in your charity work

Services - Supporting PeopleWorking as a volunteer coordinator, event manager and campaigner over several years has meant Lynsey Burrows, Charity event management student and volunteer at various charities in Northern Ireland, is often a volunteer one day and then in charge of 50 volunteers the next. This has given her a particular insight into the real reasons why volunteers might leave an organisation. Here’s her advice for holding on to your volunteers.

Meet face to face
The first moments of contact with a volunteer are vital. Granted, this is normally by email or a phone call, but she encourage a face to face meeting as soon as possible. If you’ve ever arranged a large scale event by email for months and then wondered why only half your volunteers turned up, this may be why. It’s far easier to disengage with someone you’ve only ever emailed with, than it is someone you’ve met. Have a group meeting, say hello and start to develop a relationship with each volunteer.

Click here to read Lynsey’s full article about how to engage and retain volunteers.

Free Health and Wellbeing Support for Staff and Volunteers in the Sector

Mytime ActiveMytime Active Sandwell would like to offer your organisation or any of the community groups you work with the chance to participate in a FREE programme available to staff and volunteers within your organisation or to people who use your service.


Walkwell/NHS Health Checks

The Walkwell service can be delivered at your organisation or venue of your choice. The service offers a free health assessment and a free pedometer to all participants who will be given a goal of walking more over 12 weeks and making small health improvements. We then come back to carry out a free re-assessment at 12 weeks with an incentive scheme offering participants a £10.00 voucher if they achieve measured improvements in key health areas.

The NHS Health Check Programme is offered to anyone aged between 40 and 74 who lives in Sandwell, have a Sandwell GP or work within Sandwell and are not already on a CVD register. Eligible participants will be have a health assessment as part of the Walk Well programme but will also be offered the extra one off cholesterol and glucose blood testing with on the spot results and advice.

The health assessment only takes about 30 minutes in total and all you have to do is let us set up in your venue, encourage staff/volunteers to attend and we will do the rest. We are very flexible on times so can fit in with your organisations needs. This is a great way to encourage staff and users to be more healthy .

These key assessment questions and measurements can act as an early warning system for identifying any existing health problems or the possible onset of health problems.

If you are interested in these programmes or would like any, further information please contact

Ricky Byrnes = -Tel no. 07792946955

Cathy Ferriday – – Tel no. 07970864072

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