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Sandwell Visually Impaired CIO (SVI) Annual Forum Request for Volunteers

Sandwell Visually Impaired (SVI) CIO’s largest event of the year is fast approaching and they are seeking your help to make the day enjoyable and stress  free for their blind and visually impaired guests.

They do hope you are able to help them this year by being a volunteer as part of their Annual Forum.

Event:  SVI’s Annual Forum – attracts around 100 people every year.
Event date:  Monday 18 November 2019 from 9am to 3pm.  Note, if volunteers are only able to stay for part of the event, please contact the SVI team to discuss.

Venue: Portway Lifestyles Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, B69 1HE

Role description and duties:

Volunteer helpers are needed to assist SVI [Sandwell Visually Impaired] blind and partially sighted members to safely move around while at the event, to escort to seats, offer refreshments i.e. drinks and biscuits on arrival and at morning break, read programmes etc. on request from members, accompany members to exhibit stands, offer sighted guide support to toilets [note there is no personal care requirements, PA’s are available should this be required] and to help with the distribution of a pre packed ‘meal deal’ lunch.  Volunteer helpers also have a key role to enable visually impaired members to make best use of the day and to make every effort to make the event enjoyable and stress free for those present.

A volunteers pre-event meeting and Sighted guide instruction session is taking place at the Portway Lifestyle Centre on Tuesday 5 November 2019 from 1pm to 2.30pm.  If anyone is unable to attend the pre-event meeting, a short briefing session will take place on the day of the event from 9am for a short instruction/refresher session – note sighted guide technique is not difficult and can be easily learned in around 30 minutes.

If volunteers would like to learn more about the role but are unable to attend the volunteers meeting, please ring the SVI office for an informal chat on 0121 525 4810.

Travel expenses are claimable at standard Day Saver pass rate or mileage at 45p a mile.  Volunteer helpers are also provided with a ‘meal deal’ lunch and general refreshments throughout the event.

SVI value their volunteers and as well as supporting SVI we would encourage volunteers to make the most of the event for themselves, it’s a wonderful opportunity to gain greater awareness of visual impairment and to obtain a broad range of information about support and services available to people living with sight loss – a good opportunity for anyone seeking to look for employment in a care and support capacity.

A full volunteer pack is provided following the volunteer meeting.

If you are able to help SVI, they look forward to hearing from you and to meeting you either at the pre-event volunteers meeting, or on the day of the Annual Forum.


Citizens Advice Witness Service: Outreach Volunteer Information Day

The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free and independent support for both Prosecution and Defence Witnesses giving evidence in a criminal court.. Trained volunteers provide practical information about the court process as well as emotional support to help witnesses feel more confident when giving evidence.

If you are available to volunteer for at least one full day a week, or per fortnight, and able to attend training, then this may be a volunteering opportunity for you.

Citizens Advice will be holding an Outreach Volunteer Information Day at their offices in Birmingham on Friday, 1st November, 10 am and 1 pm. Go along to find out more information about volunteering roles and meet the team.

Please click on the link to register your place at this event.

You can also contact Bev Carty on 07738 329320 or via email beverley.carty@citizensadvice.org.uk, for further information.

Visit the website: Citizens Advice Witness Service.

Volunteer Trustees and Board Adviser Opportunities

Greets Green Community Enterprises (GGCE), is an independent charity supporting and serving the diverse communities in and around the Greets Green, West Bromwich.

Greets Green Community Enterprises owns and manages the Wood Lane Community Centre, which provides the community-facing work of the charity, a nursery and a base for volunteers, along with two small industrial estates that provide the income the charity needs to sustain the community centre and the services delivered from it.

The charity is looking for volunteer Trustees and Board advisers to assist with realising its strategic objectives. Whilst the positions are unpaid, the work is rewarding and reasonable expenses will be paid.  Applicants with a skills background in Finance, Business Development, HR, People, Leadership and Organisation Development, Marketing, Communications and web design/development, Commercial Property Management, Early Years and Nursery Management would be particularly welcomed.

For an informal discussion/more information about the roles, please contact Sue Bartleet-Cross on 0121 525 2772 or email susan.bartleet-cross@ggce.co.uk.

Beat It Percussion seeks Volunteers for new project

Beat It Percussion has a new project, Rhythm and Sound for Well-being, starting in October. Rhythm and Sound for Wellbeing is for people, and their carers, living with memory loss and the early stages of dementia. The sessions will focus on the benefits of group music-making, mental and physical stimulation, inclusion and creativity.

Beat It Percussion is looking for volunteers to become sessions buddies and undertake other roles.

There will be an informal information session on Wednesday, 25 September, at South Staffs Water Community Hub, 17 Union Street, Wednesbury.  The session will be 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.  Go along to find out more and join in an ice breaker rhythm activity.

Tel: 07875 090 946

Email: beatitpercussion@gmail.com

Fun Activities Set for Autumn at West Smethwick Park

People are invited to join the first volunteers’ day at West Smethwick Park later this month to help with conservation work.

It’s all part of the £5.2 million restoration project at the park and inviting the local community to get involved.

Come along on Friday 20 September to join in with woodland conservation activities. No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided. Just wear clothes you don’t mind getting a bit dirty.

Meet at the changing room building at 10.15am for the morning session which runs until 12.45pm or 1.15pm for the afternoon session which runs until 3.30pm. People are welcome to stay for both sessions.

Volunteer sessions will run on the third Friday of each month.
It’s also the park’s first history talk with Ewart Johnson, including memories of the park, on Thursday 19 September, 12.45-1.45pm, at the pavilion in the park. Free entry.

To register for the volunteers’ day or the talk, email WSP_Project@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 4247.

Sandwell Leisure Trust has already started a Wednesday jogging club at the park, with boot camp and ‘dog and jog’ sessions set to launch on Saturday mornings soon. The boot camp starts on 14 September and the ‘dog and jog’ from 21 September.

A junior parkrun will also get under way on Sunday mornings this autumn.

The first phase of the project is restoring historical features including the Grade II listed James Chance Memorial, the John Chance fountain and airmen’s memorial, as well as both entrance gates on West Park Road and Victoria Road.

Building work, including creating a brand new two-storey pavilion, is due to start early next year. The pavilion in the centre of the park will replace the original refreshment rooms that were demolished back in the 1980s.

The work is being funded by a £4.5 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People programme and around £600,000 from Sandwell Council.

The park’s new pavilion, run by Sandwell Leisure Trust, will have a café, public toilets and space for events, classes and exhibitions. The pool will be improved and there will be new outdoor gym equipment, new CCTV and lighting.

Work on the pavilion is expected to be completed by 2020 and the project on the wider park will continue to 2022/23.

For all updates, keep an eye on the park notice board, Facebook page (search ‘West Smethwick Park’) and webpage www.sandwell.gov.uk/westsmethwickpark or email WSP_Project@sandwell.gov.uk

Friends of Central Library Need Your Help – Volunteer Opportunity

Friends of Central Library, West Bromwich (FoCL) is the most recent “Friends” group, dedicated to promoting, improving and sustaining the services available in Sandwell Libraries. Unlike many of the other Libraries in the Borough, which are part of their own local communities, West Bromwich Central Library, the “flagship” of Sandwell Library Service, is set in the High Street Business area.

FoCL was formed by a group of volunteers already assisting in the Library, aiming to represent the views of users, and to contribute to the management and development of the service. Members offer ideas and enthusiasm in promoting both the normal functions of the Library and also a wide range of special events. They are also active in fund raising, to support the programme of special events aiming to encourage the public to see for themselves the facilities of this beautiful historic building.

Why not get in touch with us on 0121 569 4904 to find out how you can become a volunteer and help us to continue to provide activities for our community.

Since FoCL was formed in 2018 members have been able to assist with the funding of activities in the Children’s Section, as well as events featuring local personalities and performers, including well known bands during the Annual Jazz Festival.

West Bromwich Central Library is undergoing a period of considerable change and improvement, and volunteers are needed to assist in many of its activities. FoCL is engaged in developing the Library Cafe in order to offer a daily mid-day facility to act as a meeting place for individuals and groups, to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, to meet new friends, as well as using the Library facilities. Daily newspapers and magazines are always available, and it is hoped that lunchtime programmes of music will be introduced, though there are still dedicated “quiet” areas for study and contemplation.

The Cafe will be run entirely by volunteers, and there are many other opportunities to become involved in the work of one of the most prestigious buildings in Sandwell, helping a dedicated team of staff to develop services for the future.

If you are interested in helping in the Cafe for just 4 hours a week, or any other of the many opportunities in West Bromwich Central Library contact 0121 569 4904 or simply visit the Library and talk to a member of staff or one of the volunteers.

Volunteers wanted for British Transport Police Scrutiny Panel

The British Transport Police is looking to recruit Volunteers willing to assist with the British transport Police Hate Crime or Domestic Abuse Scrutiny Panel. The Panel is designed to improve policing of hate crime and domestic abuse.

The British Transport Police is the police department that covers the rail network throughout the UK and the Scrutiny Panel would look at crimes investigated throughout the country by BTP.

The purpose of the Panel is to impartially review a random selection of reported related crimes. Its aim is to determine whether the police response was appropriate to the circumstances of the report, with the information available at the given time. It is not intended to apportion blame. However, decision maker explanations may be required to rationalise actions taken or not taken.

The Panel is scheduled for the following potential dates:

23rd – 27th September 2019
30th September – 4th October 2019
21st – 23rd October 2019

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer on the panel, please email the Vulnerability Unit at VulnerabilityUnitBirmingham@btp.pnn.police.uk as soon as possible.

Help Creative Black Country Find Our Funny Roots

Did you ever see Black Country comedy legends Tommy Mundon, Aynuk and Ayli or Dolly Allen on the famous Black Country Night Out?

Did you get the giggles watching Lenny Henry or Frank Skinner?

As part of Creative Black Country’s National Lottery Heritage Funded project ‘Finding Our Funny Roots’, they’re looking for people to share their stories and memorabilia of seeing comedians in an effort to find out just what is so unique about Black Country humour.

With your help they’ll unearth stories of comedians and comedy from 1950 to 2000 and produce a new set of performances.

They’re open to ideas; from collections of old ticket stubs; to photos from events or people at comedy clubs; people’s favourite jokes from the comedians; or stories of meeting them. All of the stories will go towards a new piece of work written, produced and performed by Dave Pitt, Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse – Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists.

This month we’re holding drop-in sessions in libraries across the Black Country:

  • Tuesday 20 August, 1.30pm–3.30pm at Dudley Library, DY1 1HR
  • Wednesday 21 August, 2pm–4pm at Wolverhampton Central Library, WV1 3AX
  • Thursday 22 August, 10.30am–12.30pm at Central Library West Bromwich, B70 8DZ
  • Friday 23 August, 12.30pm–2.30pm at Lichfield Street Hub, Walsall, WS1 1TR

For more information either call Creative Black Country on 0121 525 1127 or visit their website at https://www.creativeblackcountry.co.uk/blog/2019/8/10/come-and-share-your-stories-of-comedy-in-the-black-country-with-us


Grants for Small Organisations Making Good Use of Volunteers

The Woodward Charitable Trust primarily funds charitable organisations (charities, social enterprises and community interest companies) in the UK and can make grants for overseas projects usually via UK charities.

Priority is given to projects that make good use of volunteers, encourage past and current users to participate, ensure that funds awarded are being well used and fall within the following areas:

  • Children / young people who are isolated, at risk of exclusion or involved in antisocial behaviour.
  • Prisoners and ex-offenders and prisoners’ families.
  • Disadvantaged women, covering refuges, domestic violence and parenting.
  • Disability projects, including rehabilitation and training.
  • Arts outreach work by local groups involving disadvantaged people.
  • Projects that promote integration and community cohesion amongst minority groups, including refugees and travellers.

Three types of grant are awarded following bi-annual meetings in February and October:

  • Small grants of £100 – £5,000
  • Large grants over £5,000 – these are usually given to charities known by the Trustees
  • Preference is given to small to medium-sized charities with an income of less than £300,000 where small grants can have more impact. Most grants made are for one-off projects although some grants fund salaries and running costs.

To apply for funding applicants will be required to complete an application form and submit it with a project budget.

The deadline for receipt of applications for the February meeting is noon on the 31st July 2019.

For more information or to apply click here.

Healthwatch Sandwell: Board Members and Volunteers sought

Healthwatch Sandwell is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in the borough, delivered by Engaging Communities (ECS). The Healthwatch network is made of up of local Healthwatch across each of the 152 local authority areas and Healthwatch England, the national body.

Healthwatch champions the views of patients and social care users across Sandwell. It works to help local people get the best out of their local health and social care services and provide information and signposting, so they understand what services are available and be able to access the right services.

• An Advisory Board member will need to have a good understanding of health, social care and well-being policy issues and challenges facing the NHS and Local Authorities, together with a good awareness of the local environment in Sandwell and how health and social care services are delivered. Please note this is a voluntary position.

If you would like to play a leading part in shaping the future of a vital organisation as a Board member, then Healthwatch would welcome your application. Recruitment packs are available from Aileen Farrer at aileen.farrer@ecstaffs.co.uk or 01785 887809. If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please call Elizabeth Learoyd on 07776090003.

• There is also a range of opportunities for general volunteering. From helping to spread the word about the work, to representing the organisation at meetings, reading and reviewing information and visiting health and social care services on its behalf.

The people that Healthwatch help and support come from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures with a wide range of needs. That is why the organisation seeks volunteers with varying experiences and skills.

For more information or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Healthwatch Sandwell on 0121 569 7210.

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