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Understanding Safeguarding within Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector

SCVO are undertaking a short survey into how charities, voluntary organisations and community groups understand and respond to safeguarding issues or concerns within their organisations and in the community.

The aim of this survey is to bring together an accurate and up-to-date picture of the knowledge and capacity within Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector around safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults that they support and/ or have contact with.  A vulnerable adult is described as a person who is aged 18 or over who may need care support because of a disability (mental or other), age or illness and is someone who could be unable to look after themselves, or protect themselves from harm or exploitation.

This report is not a review of your organisation and can be completed anonymously; we encourage you to be as honest as you can be about your organisation’s or group’s current practice and culture around safeguarding. All findings will be brought together in summary form and individual contributions will not be shared.

The survey can be completed directly using survey monkey or with the assistance of someone in the SCVO team. If you would like assistance or have any questions relating to the survey please contact Leona Bird via leona@scvo.info 

The survey can be completed from the following link – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/safesandwell2020

Once the survey is closed the findings will be brought together by SCVO into a report which will be shared with the Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB) and the Sandwell Children’s Safeguarding Partnership (SCSP) and will include any recommendations for how these Boards, or local strategic partners, might better engage and support Sandwell VCS organisations to improve safeguarding.

Many thanks for your assistance with this important project.


How are you coping using digital technology in Primary Care services?

Covid-19 has led to more doctor, pharmacy and other health services being delivered using technology. Many patients have adjusted well to digital access, whilst others face challenges or barriers and could be digitally excluded.

Healthwatch Sandwell would like to capture how this has impacted on local people by collecting experiences and opinions in a survey.

They would like to know for example:

• How does a virtual appointment compare to face to face?
• What is working for you? What is not working for you?
• What would you like to see improved?

PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR NETWORK and encourage anyone aged 16 and over to sign up and be heard.
For a printed copy by post, to fill in over the phone or for more information please contact info@healthwatchsandwell.co.uk or call Melissa on 07885 214547, or Sophie on 07732 683483.

Healthwatch Sandwell is the independent voice of the public in health and social care. Feedback from the public using health and social care services is shared with service providers and commissioners to improve services.

Healthwatch Sandwell welcomes a collaborative approach with other organisations to ensure the voices of those who might be digitally excluded are heard.


Report Recognises Key Role of Sandwell VCS During Lockdown

A new report published by SCVO has outlined the extent to which Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) has had to adapt to the challenges posed by the Covid 19 lockdown, and has highlighted the immense role played by local organisations in supporting residents through the crisis.

The ‘Covid 19 Impact on Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector’ report draws on the views and experiences of a wide range of local VCS leaders during April and May 2020 as organisations found themselves navigating the uncharted territory of the emerging pandemic.  More than three-quarters of organisations contributing to the report were able to keep operating and adapting to new ways of working, providing vital help to their communities.   The report also acknowledges the challenges ahead for communities and those organisations that serve them.

Mark Davis, SCVO’s Chief Executive Officer, commented “This report highlights the crucial part that our local voluntary sector plays in the life of our borough.  VCS leaders, staff and volunteers have once again gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that those adversely affected by the lockdown have received the practical and emotional support that they need.  Their skill and commitment in a period of real adversity is to be commended, and we should be especially proud of our voluntary sector at this time.”

A copy of the report is available on SCVO’s website here.


Understanding the Future for our Resilient Sector

Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector has been demonstrating typical resilience during this period of life under lockdown, with many examples of organisations adapting to change brilliantly and going the extra mile to support our local communities. Now SCVO is seeking feedback from VCS organisations to understand better how the Covid 19 situation is impacting them and what the future may hold for them.

The coronavirus situation has created huge challenge, anxiety, upheaval and change across our country and within our borough. This has affected every part of daily life for Sandwell residents and for businesses, public sector providers and, of course, charities and community organisations.

As local VCS organisations, many of you have already provided us with information about new activities and services which you’re putting in place to support local communities, as well as requests for support and offers of help. This feedback has been invaluable in our efforts, with local strategic partners, to secure resources for the Sector and to join up local activities. Thank you to all who’ve responded to date.

Now were asking for your help to bring together a picture of the state of the Sector in Sandwell through our survey of seven short questions. The aim of the survey to help us to..

Provide support for your organisation and others right now

Hear your views on current impacts in the community

Anticipate your future support needs and begin to plan for how we can support you and the Sector

Outcomes and learning from the survey will be shared through our website www.scvo.info

The survey is being run for two weeks, closing on Friday 8th May. It can be found here.