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New SCVO Member Feature: The Walk of Life (West Midlands)

The Walk of Life (West Midlands) is the lastest group to become a  member of SCVO. 

The charitable incorporated organisation is based on West Bromwich High Street and has 14 years’ experience of supporting the Eastern European Community, in particular, recognising the specific needs of the Roma Community.

The Walk of Life (West Midlands) assist clients by providing household items such as appliances, furniture, clothing and books.  Its helps to improve education by providing tools and books, as well as classes.  It facilitates events where the Roma community meets with others to share their culture and build trust and relationships.

The Walk of Life works closely with Healthy Sandwell and the local police to organise various awareness training, in its aim  to tackle mental and physical problems among Roma community and improve their safety.

Find out more about The Walk of Life by visiting its website

Transport Solutions need Volunteer Drivers

People often struggle to find appropriate transport to attend their  hospital appointments. Transport Solutions Volunteer Drivers make a positive  difference by enabling people to access vital hospital appointments.  Have you got time to give?

If you are interested in volunteering, you will be making an invaluable contribution in supporting people through some of the most difficult times of their lives. You will:

• be volunteering at a time to suit you
• be supported by volunteer co-ordinator and team
• have out of pocket expenses reimbursed
• find it an enriching experience
• meet new people

If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Volunteer  Co-ordinator for more details.   Telephone 0121 612 2939
or fax 0121 612 2934

Review of Sandwell Make a Difference Day Volunteer Recruitment Fair

Staff and volunteers from Volunteer Centre Sandwell and over thirty voluntary and community groups, attended Sandwell’s highly successful Make a Difference Volunteer Recruitment Fair, on Tuesday, 17 October.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with so many people actively seeking volunteering opportunities. It was a real pleasure to be able to have a chat with those interested in finding out more about what we do!

Over 60 individuals expressed an interest in current opportunities, 27 individuals completed registration forms after having a chat with groups recruiting volunteers on the day!

Feedback from 95% of organisations said that the day was extremely well organised. Several  groups took to twitter to spread the word about Make a Difference Day!

Although there were dozens of other organisations keen to recruit new volunteers,  North Smethwick Development Trust based in Brasshouse Lane, seemed to capture the imagination of quite a few of the people who attended the Fair.

Positive reports were from received reports from Sandwell Libraries, Victim Support, Age UK Sandwell, National Memorial Arboretum, all who are seeking to recruit volunteers from diverse communities.

The Volunteer Centre is currently on the lookout for additional volunteers to help out with finance, legal, fundraising, marketing, web design, reception duties, ground maintenance also nursery management.

Jean Taylor chief executive officer said “with over 230 new volunteering opportunities being offered by organisations and groups, we always welcome new volunteers who are interested in bringing new ideas initiatives and skills, to benefit local causes. So if that sounds like you, please be in touch! We’d love to hear from you”!


Shared Lives Carer needed to join Independent Panel for CVT

Camphill Village Trust is currently in the process of putting together an Independent Panel for its innovative Shared Lives Scheme, being developed across the Borough of Dudley and the surrounding areas. The Panel which meets in Stourbridge, will sit for half a day on a quarterly basis and ‘approve’ the status of all Shared Lives Carers involved with the CVT Scheme.

The Panel is made up of local social care professionals who have an interest in Shared Lives and wish to ensure there is fairness and consistency to the assessment and approval process. To bring a specific knowledge and skill-set to the Panel, CVT is looking for a current or retired Shared Lives Carer from a neighbouring Scheme to join as a member.

The post is voluntary but CVT will cover travel expenses and the Registered Manager is known to make a mean cup of tea and even provide a plate of biscuits from time to time.

If you are interested, please call Dean Barnshaw on 01384 597264 or 07984 896010 or email
To find out more information about CVT Shared Lives, please go to or follow CVT on Twitter @CVTSharedLives.


Digital Promotions for Business Employability Course

A one-of-a-kind programme is being launched to help teenagers and the unemployed boost their digital skills and find sustainable work.

Digital Me is offering young people, aged 16-18, the opportunity to sign up for a digital employability course, where they can learn everything from setting up an email address and storing data on a device in the cloud to creating digital marketing campaigns for business, developing a mobile app and producing exciting top quality videos for channels including YouTube.

You will also learn business administration and customer service skills to provide you with core skills employers are looking for, as well as assist you to write an impressive CV, apply for jobs and give top tips on how to perform in an interview.

Digital Me is a Bsmart Training initiative and the flexible course has been developed to help attract the hard-to-reach NEETs with subjects that may generate more interest than normally may be the case. More importantly, however, it will give you the skills that employers are desperately short of.

Successful learners will receive a Level 2 nationally accredited qualification in Digital Promotions for Business, as well as more knowledge and new skills to help in their job-hunt.

Digital Me is now looking to work with partners nationwide who have secured funding to help NEETs back into work, and also learners to sign up to this unique and exciting course.

To find out more about signing up, please contact 0121 501 2243 and ask for Lori, or visit Digital Black Country’s website.




Over 50’s Social Club for people living with dementia

The Kingfisher Buddies Club is a fun, welcoming new group for older people living with the early stages of dementia, their carers and family.

Why not go along to the Club on Tuesday afternoons 2.30 to 4.00 pm at the Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, Smethwick B67 6EH

Or starting from 16 October, Monday afternoons 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm at TESCO, Foxoak Street, Cradley Heath B64 5DF.

If you would like more information, please contact Agewell on 0121 796 9333 or email


Almost two thirds of charities have no plan in place for GDPR, finds IoF

Almost two thirds of respondents to an Institute of Fundraising survey said that they do not have a plan in place for new data protection rules that come into force next spring.

Sector leaders have now called on the government for more support getting ready for the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force on 25 May 2018.

The Institute of Fundraising has recently published results from its How Charities Are Preparing for GDPR survey, which received 340 responses from charities.

Just over one-fifth said that they have not done anything to prepare for GDPR, and 40 per cent said they have started thinking, but not come to any decisions. Just 2 per cent are ready ahead of schedule, and only 35 per cent say they have a plan in place.

Nearly 65 per cent of respondents to the survey identified as ‘small’ charities with annual incomes of less than £1m. A further 20 per cent of respondents were medium-sized charities, with incomes between £1 and £10m a year, while just under 15 per cent of respondents said they were large charities with annual incomes of more than £10m.

Read the full article.

GDPR Webinar: Are you ready?

Cyber awareness and security is more important than ever when protecting your business and client information. In this webinar, experts from Higgs & Sons will share a practical insight into how your business can start preparing for the EU GDPR.

What you will learn:
What is data?
What is data protection and what are the data protection principles?
What is the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
What do charities and their trustees need to do to prepare for GDPR?
Cautionary tales of regulatory intervention by the ICO and the Charity Commission.
Event Details

Friday, 20 October 2017

1 pm – 2 pm

The webinar is free of charge.

How To Book:
Places are limited to 100 delegates.  Please click here to book your place.

If you have any queries or require further details please email Sarah Cornick at or telephone 01384 327341.


Make a real difference and volunteer

Community-spirited people are being urged to find out about a host of volunteering opportunities in Sandwell and make a difference.

Volunteer Centre Sandwell is championing national Make a Difference Day on October 17 which puts people and volunteer opportunities together.

The centre has joined forces with more than 40 community groups, voluntary organisations and agencies to promote lots of volunteering opportunities in Sandwell.

And it is encouraging people to go along to Wednesbury Town Hall, in Holyhead Road, between 10am-2pm on Make a Difference Day to find out more about it.

People can find out about everything from helping out in charity shops, getting involved in community art projects, mentoring, befriending, administration, advice work and much more.

Councillor Syeda Khatun, deputy leader, said: “Volunteering is win-win because it not only helps others but also benefits the person volunteering in many ways. There are lots of options and ways to volunteer and I would urge people to go along to Wednesbury Town Hall and find our more on Make a Difference Day.”

Jean Taylor, Sandwell Volunteer Centre chief executive, said “Volunteering gives people the chance to come together and address the issues we all face. Getting involved with charities, agencies and voluntary groups means helping to build a stronger more vibrant community.”

For more information  or email  Telephone 0121 544 8326.




Visit the website

Disability Hate Crime and Wellbeing Event

Do you live or work in the West Midlands?
Do you have a disability or know someone who does?
Safer Sandwell Hate Crime Partnership Group here for you!

The Safer Sandwell Hate Crime Partnership Group is made up of local agencies including West Midlands Police, Sandwell Council, Victim Support and many other agencies that meet once a month to discuss Hate Crime instances in the Sandwell area and look at how we can improve levels of reporting and support in the local area.

In 2015/2016 only 6% of all reported hate crime was reported as disability hate crime.

Come along to the Disability Hate Crime and Wellbeing Event being held on Thursday 19 October 2017, 10am till 2pm at West Bromwich Town Hall, where you can learn more about what a hate crime is, get advice on how agencies can support you, look around the stalls and engage with agencies.

Advice will be available on site on how to report a hate crime.

Easily accessible location, with pay and display car park on site.

BSL interpreters and sighted guides available on the day.

To register your interest go to Eventbrite by clicking here.

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