Many donations to charities have come from the profits of the immoral, unethical, or even criminal behaviour, raising the question of whether the source matters more than the destination.
The West Midlands Digital Roadmap identified increasing access to digital opportunities for everyone as a key opportunity. Currently 45% of people in the West Midlands are either using the internet infrequently or not at all.
The digital divide has been thrown into sharp focus by the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting issues around lack of devices and/or connectivity, the latter often due to ‘data poverty’, the inability to afford the connectivity options available.
For others, some people may use digital for entertainment such as using social media, but they may not have the skills needed to get a better-paid job or to use technology to help with their finances such as switching online to a cheaper utility provider or banking online.
The West Midlands Coalition for Digital Inclusion is bringing together partners representing the public and private sectors and voluntary, community, and faith organisations to share best practice and to use partners’ collective voice to secure investment to help close the digital gap.
A first step is to ask groups for their input into creating a map of device and connectivity availability across communities in order to identify any gaps (and develop ways of filling them).
There’s a short questionnaire that’s available for completion – HERE – and return to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Country Mental Health started in 1976 as Dudley Association for Mental Health and over the years has morphed into the current name.
The charity was established to promote the preservation and maintenance of good mental health as well as assisting with the recovery of and providing support for those people experiencing emotional or mental distress in the Black Country, (The Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton) and such other areas as the board of Trustees shall from time to time define.
The organisation’s core work includes:
- Peer mentoring groups around anxiety and depression meeting face to face either in the evening, daytime, or evening group via Zoom.
- Oliver’s Legacy groups for anyone affected by suicide face to face meeting early afternoon or early evening.
- Loss bereavement group face to face for loss of the individual through dementia or natural causes.
- Female only face to face evening group for anyone who has experienced a trauma.
- Horticultural project managing a Walled Garden and glasshouses.
- Drop in Place of Welcome Sundays between 3.00 pm & 5.00 pm.
- Support telephone line 7 days a week, 10.00 am till 11.00 pm
- Regular telephone calls to support people, daily, weekly, or less frequently.
Black Country Mental Heath work with primary schools to train pupils as peer mentors to support their peers with anxiety issues and to work with teaching and support staff. Volunteers always welcomed to help in the office, fundraising, support or help to run groups.
Call 01384 685060 or 07951580792. Email: email@example.com
Visit the website at www.blackcountrymentalhealth.org.uk
The Dorothy Parkes Centre has recently achieved the Trusted Charity Mark Level 1 recognising the excellent work it does as a third sector organisation in England.
Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at Dorothy Parkes Centre on Church Road in Smethwick, is delighted and stated that “This is a fantastic achievement for our organisation. The process has taken a couple of years and has been very comprehensive, but it has helped us ensure that we operate to a high standard in areas such as governance, finance, and managing people. I would like to thank our Trustees, Staff, Volunteers and Stakeholders who have all been involved in the process. We now hope to build on this and ensure that our Charity is efficient, sustainable, and providing more opportunities for our local community to enjoy a better quality of life.”
The Trusted Charity Standard is owned by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and delivered by The Growth Company and is the only UK quality standard designed to help third sector organisations operate more effectively and efficiently. The Dorothy Parkes Centre has been accredited with the Level 1 Trusted Charity Mark meaning they have met the minimum legal obligations and have systems and structures in place to protect the rights of users and employees. This was determined by being assessed against the 11 quality areas of The Trusted Charity Standard: governance, planning, leadership and management, user-centred service, managing people, learning & development, managing money, managing resources, external communications, working with others, and assessing outcomes and impact.
The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a thriving, award winning Community Centre providing a variety of groups, classes, activities, and a community allotment plot. The Centre aims to help tackle local issues such as physical and mental health, obesity, social isolation, low educational attainment, poverty, and unemployment. The Centre supports over 900 people per week and also hosts community events, fundraising events, and private functions. Please visit www.dorothyparkes.org or call 0121 558 2998 for more information.
NCVO Reports Most Charities Experienced Increased Demand for Services in the last month with over half (57%) of charities experienced an increase in demand for their services.
The penultimate instalment of the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer, compiled by NCVO, Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University, studied the relationship between infrastructure bodies and charity infrastructure during the pandemic.
To read the full Civil Society News article click here.
Nick Moore, Civil Society News, looks at the strengths, and drawbacks, that define faith-based charities and their place within the wider charity sector.
Writing about the faith-based charity sector is fraught with difficulties, not least how to define them. Nick’s intention in his article is to consider what some of the things are that make faith-based charities distinctive and how these challenge leaders and influence their behaviours, and hopefully to provide some useful insights for those in non-faith charities.
To read the full Civil Society News article click here.
The Charity Commission is working with the Church of England on plans to register 35,000 church charities over the next decade.
Church charities currently have “excepted” status, which means that although they are regulated by the Commission they do not appear on the register. Plans to bring churches onto the Register of Charities have been delayed a number of times, but the Commission’s business plan for 2021-22, published earlier this year, sets out plans to begin the process.
The plan said: “We will also begin preparations for an expanded Register, working with the Church of England to pilot and manage the receipt of applications from cathedrals applying for charitable status and then up to 35,000 excepted church charities over the next decade.”
To read the full Charity Civil Society article click here.
Healthwatch Sandwell plan a new project launching January 2022 exploring the pathway experiences of “patients in waiting” for hospital treatment.
Healthwatch Sandwell (HWS) would like to listen to the experiences of patients in Sandwell who have been referred by their GP but are still waiting for hospital treatment.
They would like to work in collaboration with the Voluntary and Community Sector and other interested parties who engage with and support residents of Sandwell to ensure patient voices help inform and improve local health and care services.
The project will seek to understand the impact of the longer delays for hospital treatment (due to Covid-19) on patients’ health and wellbeing, and their experience of services while waiting for treatment. They would like to hear what is good, what is poor and what is needed to improve the experience of being a “patient in waiting”. They would like to identify what adjustments to services would help make the patient in waiting experience more positive and enable patients to be fully informed and prepared for their treatment journey.
HWS will be arrange conversations with individuals and groups by phone, email, face-to-face or virtually to suit participants. Virtual conversation events scheduled include:
Waiting for hospital treatment – “What health, care & support services are needed?” First event: 19th January 2022 1 pm – 2.30 pm https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84242092192
Planning for hospital treatment – “What does good preparation look like?”
First event: 2nd February 2022 1pm – 2.30 pm https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87258377579
If you would like to share your experience or be involved in the project please contact:
Sophie Shuttlewood – Projects and Partnerships Lead
Healthwatch Sandwell, Walker Grange, Central Avenue, Tipton, DY4 9RY
Mobile: 07732 683483 Email: Sophie.Shuttlewood@healthwatchsandwell.co.uk