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Ingeus looking for local partners to assist with Voluntary Work Placements

Ingeus is a government project to help people back into work who have been affected by COVID 19. Since 2002, the employment service has helped find meaningful jobs for over 400,000 people.  Ingeus is looking for partners able to assist them with voluntary work placements and job opportunities in all sectors, including administration, retail, hospitality, cleaning, warehousing, industrial, care, customer service.

The Restart Scheme staff include an experienced and expert frontline team of Advisers, Employment Psychologist, Career Coach – Self Employment, Debt Advisers and Employability Trainers who provide one-to-one advice and support to clients.

Ingeus can provide:
• participants who are carefully screened as per requirements of a role
• interview facilities
• the opportunity for you to meet suitable candidates face to face at their premises.
The local Ingeus office is based at Kingston House, High Street, West Bromwich.

If you have a voluntary work placement or would like to a have discussion on work experience / job placement support for local participants, please call Jeff on 07443 194174 or email

For further information regarding Ingeus and the Restart Scheme, please visit and
Restart scheme – GOV.UK (

SWB CCG “What if”…..Community Conversations

Join Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (SWB CCG) and help to continue the conversation about what really matters to us, barriers to health and happiness and what we can do together to create thriving communities across the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Everyone has story to tell. Jane shared her story at February’s Community Conversation. The CCG want you to invite at least one person to the next workshop on 14th April. Who do you know who has a story to tell but for one reason or another, has felt unable to share their experiences, or perhaps even silenced by the system?

The CCG is listening and learning. So, if you have any ideas on how the organisation can continue to improve the Community Conversations, or how they can reach people and communities who are often left out, they would like to hear from you. You can get in touch by calling 0121 612 1447 or email

To register for the next Community Conversation, via Zoom, on Wednesday 14th April, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm, click here.

Networking After party 12.30 pm – 1.00 pm

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



FREE Funding for Your Organisation!

SCVO is now working with fundraising website easyfundraising to provide voluntary organisations in the region with a source of free funding. While traditional face to face fundraising is on hold, we think this offers a good online alternative and it’s free too.

As part of our aim to provide funding support to voluntary groups and charities in these difficult times, SCVO are now working in collaboration with fundraising website easyfundraising to help your organisation generate additional income. Click here for frequently asked questions.

How easyfundraising can help your organisation

easyfundraising turns the everyday online shopping of your staff, members, volunteers and supporters into funds for your organisation. When they use the easyfundraising website or app to shop with leading retailers, the retailer sends your organisation a free donation at no additional cost.

It’s free to register and use. With many more people shopping online these days and traditional face to face fundraising methods on hold, this is an easy way for your volunteers and supporters to raise money for your organisation safely from home through their normal online shopping.

There are over 4300 retailers involved including Amazon, eBay, Argos, John Lewis, Trainline,, Currys, Aviva, M&S, Viking, Waitrose and Direct Line. It means that no matter what your supporters are buying online, they can earn free donations. They can even raise money for you when they buy their Friday night takeaway from Just Eat.

easyfundraising has enabled good causes to raise £34m to date, including £4m in 2020 alone. Your organisation does not need to be a registered charity to use easyfundraising and it is open to voluntary organisations of all shape and size.

Getting started

All you need to do is create an easyfundraising page for your organisation. It’s free and quick to set up and requires very little ongoing management.

Once you’ve set it up, you’ll get support from easyfundraising to help you get the message out to your supporters, and you can also book a free advice call with one of the Fundraising Coaches.

What do other organisations think?

“Having such a simple and effective way of fundraising has been a big boost to our Centennial project; to place a defibrillator in each of Stoke’s six towns.” Bill, Stoke on Trent Lions.

“I cannot help but recommend it to all charitable organisations. It is such an easy way to raise funds. We have raised over £800. Register and start benefitting.” Derek, Treasurer, RPSB, Macclesfield Local Group.

“We would highly recommend it. It’s fantastic that supporters can help make a significant difference to people’s lives simply by doing online shopping.” Just Caring Midlands

About easyfundraising

A member of the Institute of Fundraising, easyfundraising has helped UK good causes raise over £34m to date. Founded in 2007 by Walsall based businessman Ian Woodroffe, easyfundraising is still proudly Midlands based, with offices in Lichfield.

Click here to get started!

Save the date!

SCVO in partnership with easyfundraising will be running a Virtual Meet the Funder Webinar on Tuesday 13th April 2021, 10am-11.30am via a Zoom Conference Call. Sign up to our e-bulletin at to ensure you don’t miss out when the booking goes live.

YMCA Family Matters Offer

Family Matters is one of four projects within Building Better Opportunities. Working across the Black Country in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell, the project help people move into, or closer to employment, by developing their skills and confidence.

YMCA Family Matters Mentors work one-to-one with individuals to understand their goals and their challenges, and then offer the support that’s needed to help them achieve their goals.

If you are aged 16 or over, and out of work, then Family Matters could help you with any of the following:

Family support
Confidence building
One-to-one mentoring and support
Information, advice and guidance
Help with CVs and application forms
Job search support
Volunteering opportunities

Family Matters also works with young people aged 15 or over who are not in education, employment or training.

For more information about Family Matters in the Black Country, please call 07712 522431 or email

Make that call. Family Matters can help you get ahead!

A Partnership approach to Settling Well in Sandwell

Do you know of any Sandwell residents who have arrived in the UK in the last two years, who are in need of practical help and support to enable them to adjust to life in Sandwell and access the services that they need?

Citizens Advice Sandwell have a team of skilled Community Navigators who are able to:

• Accompany clients to appointments at job centres, GPs
• Help clients to register with GPs, dentists
• Obtain a NI number
• Access other services such as English classes
• Access advice on benefits, housing, immigration
• Give information on healthcare including covid-19 public health guidance.

The support is delivered in partnership with Brushstrokes who are able to provide specialist advice.

Although funding conditions mean that Settling Well is unable to support asylum seekers or people with no recourse to public funds, Navigators are able to refer them to other services funded to provide that help.

Navigators have a range of community languages including Bangladeshi, Polish, Italian, French, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Dutch and Dari. They can provide longer term support than most services. Even if a resident has been helped with an immediate issue, Settling Well can assist them to put down roots and make a positive contribution to Sandwell.

The team of Navigators are returning from furlough in and have lots of capacity to support newcomers. They will be able to provide face to face support in a neutral community venue, such as a community centre, place of worship or coffee shop.

To make a referral Telephone: 0121 553 6431 (Option 5) or email

Further information

Sterling notes and coins

Charities Need Government Cash To Avoid ‘Dire’ Situation

Sterling notes and coinsCharity representatives across the west of England have asked the government for £30m over the next five years to avoid “dire” consequences for local charities.

The group, which includes Bristol mayor Marvin Rees and the leaders of all three local councils, as well as charities and businesses in the region, has written directly to charities minister Baroness Barran, in a campaign coordinated by the Quartet Community Foundation.

The joint letter says that one in five local charities expect to cut services because of income lost due to the coronavirus crisis.

Five-year plan
The £30m would back a recovery plan for the west of England, which includes financial projects to stabilise income for local charities and support for mergers of voluntary organisations where that is in the best interests of beneficiaries.

The letter says: “80% of our local VCSE organisations have kept going through the crisis, using great imagination and energy to keep supporting people in need.

“With recovery on the horizon, 22% of our local charities, voluntary and community groups think they will have to cut services, and a further 20% are uncertain what the future holds.

“With income severely impacted and needs increased, it is a dire situation.”

Sue Turner, chief executive of the Quartet Community Foundation, said: “If charities don’t get financial support now, they won’t be here to help our most disadvantaged people through the tough days ahead.”

ACEVO: No signs of finances improving
The bid for regional support comes as the latest data from ACEVO warns there is no sign of improvements to the sector’s financial situation.

The Charity Health Check, which tracks charities’ financial confidence and is released each month, found that attitudes overall among surveyed organisations had not changed between May and June, although confidence has improved since the first weeks of lockdown in April.

Working with the Centre for Mental Health, ACEVO surveyed 88 charities in England and Wales. ACEVO says that, while the financial decline appears to be stabilising, a third of respondents reported a decrease in donations or new business compared with last month, and a third reported worsening reserves.

One in four reported cash flow was worse.

‘More vulnerable’
Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at ACEVO, said: “It is positive that the charities we have surveyed are reporting less acute financial health challenges this month.

“However, talking to our members, and looking at data from the previous two months, I am deeply aware that an unchanged picture in June, is still a much poorer, less resilient and more vulnerable outlook than four months ago.”

Read the full Civil Society article by clicking here.

Source: Civil Society


Coronavirus: Spending on Frontline Services in Decline as Income Continues to Fall

DeclineSpending on frontline services is in decline as charities battle with an increase in income loss, new research has shown.

In a survey conducted by ACEVO and researches at the Centre for Mental Health, more than half of charities (54%) said spending on frontline services has worsened in the last month.

The organisations surveyed 124 charities for the second consecutive month on financial changes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Charities were quizzed on new business and donation income, cashflow, FTE number of employees, reserves and spending on frontline services.

The overall score for June sat at 42.8 out of a maximum of 100, which is deemed a negative score, showcasing the financial deterioration among the sector.

A score of 50 means no change, and a score of 100 means every area has improved.

The score is, however, higher than April’s score of 30.8, suggesting that although challenges are worsening, it’s at a slower rate.

New business and donations were worse for 40% of charities responding; 36% reported worse cashflow and 44% reported that reserves had got worse.

Furthermore, in a new development, the number of charities reporting spending on frontline services was lower than the previous month increased sharply from 30% in April to 54% in May.

ACEVO said these findings suggest that charities that have been relying on reserves to maintain frontline services are now having to reduce their activity at a time when they are never more needed.

“In April, the chancellor announced emergency funding for charities to support the relief effort but much of it is yet to reach charities,” Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at ACEVO said.

“This money was always too little, and it is now also too late to stop charities from being forced to scale back frontline services at a time when they are never more needed. The government needs to act urgently to increase funding to charities and civil society groups in order to reduce the risk of further harm being caused to people and communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Source: Charity Times

The Prince’s Trust: Speak Up Sandwell

The Prince’s Trust, in partnership with Outspoken, will soon be delivering sessions in West Bromwich for the ‘Speak Up Sandwell’ project.

‘Speak Up’ and join the Prince’s Trust to make a short film or podcast about issues that impact you and your community! If you are aged 16 – 30 and feel passionate about your community and young lives, the Prince’s Trust want to hear from you. You may be an artist, musician, film maker, social media influencer or just want your voice heard, this is the project for you.

Go and meet representatives of the Prince’s Trust at the first session on Tuesday, 24th March, 2.00 pm at The Arts Café West Bromwich.  They want to hear from you about the issues you care about and the project you want to be part of. Subsequent sessions will also be on a Tuesday, between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm, on the dates listed below, at The Arts Café in West Bromwich.

Gain a fun insight into the performing industry, develop your performance skills. Create a short film or podcast showcasing your skills. Travel expenses will be reimbursed and taking part will not affect your benefits.

Subsequent sessions will also be on a Tuesday, between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm. on the dates listed below, at The Arts Café in West Bromwich.  Take part in all, or as many sessions as you can.

Tues 31 March
Tues 21 April
Tues 28 April
Tues 5 May
Tues 12 May
Tues 19 May
Tues 2nd June

If you’re interested in taking part or have any questions, send a text to 07534 556 859, or call the Customer Services Team on 0800 842 842.

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Tel: 0121 525 1127

1st Floor, Landchard House
Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER