Tag Archives

How Charity Chair Pulled Out All the Stop to Help Tackle Isolation

In a new report by Association of Chairs, they found that charity chairs are putting in longer hours to help their charities manage the Covid-19 crisis. 

The existential crisis posed by the coronavirus pandemic has been felt by everyone working in the voluntary and community sector. It isn’t just those who are paid to work for charities that are feeling the strain either!

The Association of Chairs found that 62 per cent of chairs reported that they were spending four or more days a month on their chairing role during the crisis, up from 43 per cent before. And 18 per cent said they had spent more than 11 days a month chairing, versus 10 per cent before the pandemic.

Find out more by reading the Third Sector article by clicking here.

Source: Third Sector News

EU Citizens need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30th June 2021

Did you know that if you’re an EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, you and your family have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status), to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021? You can also apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland.

Why do you have to apply?
Settled status for EU citizens will guarantee access to:
• Public services, such as healthcare and schools.
• Public funds and pensions.
• British citizenship, if you meet the requirements and want to apply.

Do you need help with your application?
If you can’t apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by using the EU Exit ID document check app, Birmingham City Council provides the ID Scanning and Verification Service, to help and support citizens with their applications. It is an appointment only service that the council’s Register Office provides free of charge. The ID Scanning and Verification Service is also available during lockdown. Book an appointment here.

Specialised local organisations in Birmingham have been commissioned to assist people with their applications. The advice and support is free. See the list here.

Camphill Village Trust welcomes new CEO

Camphill Village Trust has announced that Sara Thakkar has been appointed as their new Chief Executive. Sara brings with her many years of experience in the sector – holding Chief Executive positions for over a decade – with a focus on housing, inclusion and supporting service users to lead on strategic decisions.

Sara takes over from Huw John who is leaving the charity after 10 years to explore new opportunities in the sector. Brian Walsh OBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees said, ‘On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we would like to offer our congratulations to Sara Thakkar. Sara joins the Trust a wealth of experience as CEO of several organisations within the social care and housing sectors. The Board extends its thanks to Huw John who will step down as CEO after 10 years’ service and wishes him well in his future ventures.’

Sara said, ‘I am really proud to have been offered such a prestigious role for a charity renowned for its forward-thinking approach to adult social care through support, employability and environmental sustainability. I believe that we are forerunners for future fit care, and I am really looking forward to working with all at the Trust to bring the ambition to reality.’

Sara will formally start her role as the Trusts’ CEO on the 1st June 2021.

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Easyfundraising Payments and Webinar

Community groups and  charities in Sandwell that are registered with funding site #easyfundraising are getting a share of £1.1m this month. This is how much was raised for good causes by people using #easyfundraising to collect free donations from leading online retailers. Find out how you can get a share for your organisation by clicking here.

If you haven’t registered for our upcoming funding webinar with easyfundraising yet, you can do that here and filling in the Eventbrite registration.

The Windrush Scandal: The Social Justice Consequences of Identity and Belonging on Victims and their Families in England

Dr Kindy Sandhu is a post-doctoral fellow at Coventry University and leading the research “The Windrush Scandal: The Social Justice Consequences of Identity and Belonging on Victims and their Families in England.” Dr Sandhu is keen to interview participants who experienced the scandal directly so that this episode is not forgotten in our history.

Dr Sandhu is exploring participant’s experiences of the Windrush scandal, interactions with Government agencies, support from family and friends, and how they see their identity and sense of British belonging.

This research has been approved by Coventry University’s ethics procedures and all participants will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. The research also follows GDPR guidelines for data protection.

Should you wish to have an initial phone call so that further details of the research can be relayed and, more importantly, be assured of Dr Sandhu’s values and ethics in conducting the study, please email




Millions More for Charities After Government U-turn

money-351078_640Government u-turn on business grants could signal millions more for charities. In the Civil Society’s latest article they suggest that some charities will now be able to access grants of up to £9m, after ministers raised the amount available to business affected by the national lockdown. 

Charity leaders criticised the government for its decision and promptly lead the campaign to try to rectify the capping of grants at a lower level using old state aid rules as justification. The Charity Tax Group and Charity Retail Association said the new rules will help organisations “bounce back” when restrictions lift.

This change means that trading charities can now claim up to £1.9m in grants to meet uncovered fixed costs, up from €1m (approximately £860,000).

To read the full Civil Society article click here.

Source: Civil Society News

Steps to Bringing England out of Lockdown

The Government has set out its phased roadmap of four steps to bring England out of national lockdown, with restrictions gradually being lifted across the country in four steps, starting from Monday 8th March 2021.

Westminster City Council has prepared a handy guide to the main points of the roadmap they can be found by clicking on onto Step 1 and 2, Step 3 and 4.

Source: FSI

Celebrating 95 years of Black History Month

February 2021 celebrates 95 years since recognition of Black History Month, which began in the United States. Black History Month is intended to recognise the contribution and achievements of black people.

When Black History month started in the UK, there was a focus on black American history. Now, there is more attention on black British history and key black figures. In the UK, Black History Month is celebrated annually in October.

Black History Walk is a virtual walk of the contribution of services, provisions and facilities designed by black people over the years, which have added to the development of society, nationally and internationally.

Click here for Black History Walk.

What if everyone had what they needed to thrive? Latest news and updates!

Back in December, 70 people from across the Black Country & West Birmingham joined the first ‘What if everyone had what they needed to thrive’ workshop.

The ‘listening event’ explored the inequalities we face, what a world without inequality would look like and how collectively, we might begin to tackle inequalities across the Black Country and West Birmingham.

The average healthy life expectancy in the Black Country and West Birmingham is 56 years of age – that’s the number of years someone will live in good health. And whilst the average life expectancy in the area (80 years of age) has plateaued, the length of time someone will live in ill health is growing.

This MUST change. So the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) wanted to start a conversation about what matters most to our citizens and neighbours that transforms the way we connect with each other and the systems around us.

The 2 hour workshop was honest, open, expansive and non-judgmental. Our guest speakers, Dominique and Vanessa, set the tone by generously sharing their stories of unfair treatment due to their race and mental health diagnosis.

A full round up of December’s workshop, which includes all of the wonderful imagery and artwork we co-produced and a link to the full analysis of the feedback gathered, is available here.

At the next event, we’ll continue to explore experiences of ‘barriers’ to being and staying healthy and the problems of inequality. Using the 6 priorities we co-designed back in December, you’ll have the opportunity to further develop the story, continue to build upon the findings from December and put forward ideas for taking action.

The date for the 2nd workshop in the ‘What if everyone had what they needed to thrive?’ series is 24th February, 2021 10:30am-12:30pm. Use the following link to register your attendance

If you were unable to attend the workshop in December, don’t panic. It’s never too late to start sharing your story. And spread the word. Share the workshop details with anyone you think might have a story to share or is passionate about creating healthier, happier communities.

Would you like to get more involved in helping to deliver the workshops? It takes an enormous team effort to co-design and deliver the workshops so let us know if you have any special gifts, talents or connections that could be of help. Or perhaps you’d like to roll your sleeves up and become a facilitator, speaker/host, event artist or Mental Health First Aider? Then let us know.

If you want to be added to our mailing list or if you have any questions about the ‘What if’ series then call us on 0121 612 1147 or email us at

Headway Appoints New Chief Officer

Following the retirement of Stephen Phipps after just over 8 years as Headway’s Chief Officer, they are delighted to announce the appointment of Claire Dale to the role.

Claire will be joining them at the beginning of March 2021 following working for a locally based health and wellbeing charity for the last nine years as Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive.

With a background in the Health and Social Care sector spanning more than twenty years, Claire has an academic background in Special Needs and Inclusion and professional experience of working in care and social housing as well as in providing both strategic development and operational support across the third sector in both employed and also in voluntary Trustee positions.

Claire is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and volunteers for a Crisis Text Messaging Service as well as nearing the end of her studies to qualify as a PersonCentred Therapist. Claire has a passion for people, seeking to develop services in conjunction with others which help people to thrive.

Claire is incredibly excited to be joining the Headway Black Country Team and is looking forward to working together to continue promoting all aspects of brain injury, providing information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers across the region.

Susan Hatton, Chair of the Board of Trustees said “Our thanks go to our retiring Chief Officer, Steve for taking Headway Black Country to the strong position we are now. It is with confidence and great pleasure that I and fellow Trustees welcome Claire to lead our dedicated team forward into a successful future“.

Claire can be contacted on:

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