‘Give Local’ Program – United Way UK

Monday, 22 July, 2019

United Way UK are very pleased to announce the launch of our 2019 ‘Give Local’ grants! Applications are now open and charities are encouraged to apply.

The ‘Give Local’ program commenced in 2016 with United Way and Costco supporting 29 organisations across the UK that were working to help those in their local communities. to date, ‘Give Local’ grants programme has helped more than fifty thousand people across the UK. In 2019 there will be 30 grants of £1,000 each available, charities are encouraged to apply between now and the September 6th closing date.

Grants are available in the following regions:

England: Birmingham, Bristol, Chester, Chingford, Coventry, Croydon, Derby, Farnborough, Gateshead, Haydock, Hayes, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Oldham, Reading, Sheffield, Stevenage, Southampton, Sunbury, Thurrock, Watford, Wembley

Scotland: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh

Wales: Cardiff

These grants are aimed to support small charities delivering services in their local communities. United Way UK is particularly interested in supporting organisations whose work addresses our priority areas of health, education and income and those that support disadvantaged people. 

More information and applications can be found here: http://www.unitedway.org.uk/grants

About United Way UK:

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 8.3 million donors worldwide and $4.6 billion raised globally every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labour leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWayUK.

Briefing on: Proposed changes to some adult services across Solihull, Good Hope and Heartlands Hospitals

Friday, 19 July, 2019

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) is considering reorganising some of its adult services across Solihull, Good Hope and Heartlands hospitals to improve outcomes and reduce waiting times for patients.   

The specific services that the Trust would like to make changes to our trauma and orthopaedics, and gynaecology services. 

The proposed changes are not about removing any services or saving money; the Trust is investing £2.5m in its estate to provide high-quality, dedicated facilities, which will support the creation of centres of excellence for the different specialities.

The proposals mainly apply to surgical procedures only (operations) and may mean that patients may need to attend a hospital which is not their local hospital, for their operation. However, while some people may have to travel further for certain treatments, the vast majority would continue to be treated at their local hospital.

It is estimated the proposed changes would affect around 10 patients a day. To put this in perspective, the hospitals see around 1,200 A&E attendances, over 5,000 outpatients and 500-day case procedures a day.

There would be no proposed changes to where pre and post-operative outpatient, x-ray and scans and therapy (e.g. physiotherapy) appointments take place – they would still take place at the patient’s local hospital. There will be no changes to children’s services.

The planned reorganisation is supported by a significant number of specialist clinicians (e.g. doctors and nurses) who see these proposals as the best and most sustainable way to deliver care to residents of Birmingham, Solihull and South Staffordshire.

This short survey asks for your views on this: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/uhbadultservices

More information about these proposed changes can be found here.

Please be assured that all responses to this survey are anonymous and confidential. Any information that is provided will purely be used for the intended purpose of this survey.

This survey will close at 5 pm on 21 August 2019. 

Over 100 people have tested Levol-app!

Thursday, 18 July, 2019

The third transnational meeting of the Levol-app project took place last week, in Birmingham, UK. In this meeting, the project’s partners reviewed all of the feedback which was gathered from the 120 people across a range of organisations that have participated in the platform’s trial phase. Over recent months, Levol-app was tested by organisations from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovakia and the UK.

The Levol-app project has been underway since November 2017, with the aim of creating a free online training platform on Volunteer Management, in five languages. In this project meeting, the partner organisations focused on reviewing and analysing the feedback gained by the testers and coaches during the testing phase of the platform. Overall, the feedback was positive, however, giving room also for recommended improvements. Following the analysis and discussions on improvements, the final result is planned to be visually more appealing, as well as having more interactive and stimulating exercises.  Amongst other changes, there will also be a certified seal of support for organisations who complete a Volunteer Management plan through Levol-app.

The next and final transnational meeting of the project will take place between 30th September and 3rd October, in Cori, Italy to review next steps before the Platform is launched!

Coordinated by Pista Mágica – Escola de Voluntariado (Portugal) with the support of Neo Sapiens (Spain), Associazione di Promozione Sociale Futuro Digitale (Italy), Platforma dobrovolnickych centier a organizacii (PDCO) (Slovakia) and the Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) (United Kingdom), the Levol-app initiative aims to promote teamwork and exchange of good practices regarding the training of those responsible for the creation and coordination of volunteer management programs (at local or international levels). To learn more about the project development and about volunteer coordination and management, Levol-App’s activities can be followed online, on its website (http://www.levol-app.eu/ and Facebook page ((https://www.facebook.com/Levol-app-775162709275065/).

“Levol-app” is a 28-month strategic partnership funded by the Erasmus+ programme, under its Key Action 2 for the development of VET, that aims to gather organisations from different contexts but working on the development of programmes to train volunteer organisations and managers.

For more information on the project, please contact Stephanie Bloxham, Birmingham Voluntary Service Council, stephanieb[at]bvsc[dot]org.


Healthwatch Birmingham publishes Annual Report 2018/2019

Friday, 5 July, 2019

Our Annual Report celebrates our successes raising the importance and value of people’s experiences in improving the quality of health care in Birmingham during the last year.

Healthwatch Birmingham’s Annual Report highlights how people’s views and experiences are key to improving health and social care services in Birmingham. It showcases the importance of providing patients and the public with independent and accessible ways to speak up about their care and reflects the essential role of Healthwatch Birmingham in supporting people to do this.

It explains how people’s views are being used to influence better outcomes and improvements for people using health and care services in Birmingham. This is by presenting information about the extensive work we have achieved throughout the past year through a range of case studies.

Read the Annual Report 2018/19 on our website https://bit.ly/301qPqR 

  • 59% more people’s experiences being heard and shared
  • 13 investigation reports published to influence positive changes to services
  • More people from diverse communities have had the opportunity to speak up
  • People getting the links they need to health and social care support
  • Our work is being recognised and awarded at a national level

Andy Cave, Chief Executive, Healthwatch Birmingham stated:

‘This annual report demonstrates how we have empowered the citizens of Birmingham to speak up about their experiences of health and social care in the City and how we use this to influence positive change to how services are delivered. We were delighted to have our success recognised as best practice at a national level and thank the citizens of Birmingham and our partners for all their support to achieve this.

My thanks also go to our Board members, volunteers and staff team, whose passion and dedication for improving services for the people of Birmingham drives our ability to grow and improve.’

Help Us Tailor Your Training!

Friday, 5 July, 2019

For a number of years, BVSC has delivered and sourced acclaimed training interventions for the city’s community and voluntary sector. Last year, in partnership with Traverse and supported by the Barrow Cadbury Fund, we secured resources from the Connect Fund to support our members in accessing finance to support their social impact activities. As part of this work we have provided well-received training and support to small organisations, and are now moving forward with developing needs-based training for organisations with incomes over £100K who are interested in developing their business and charitable activities.

This is where you come in! If your organisation meets the criteria, we need your help to ensure that the training we offer you supports your sustainability (and growth plans, if you aspire to growth). Our aim is to provide you with the best quality business development support possible and to ensure your organisation is fully equipped to search for, find, and engage with appropriate finance and funding opportunities. To help us develop this training, we’d like your views which you can send to us via THIS QUESTIONNAIRE.

BVSC’s mission is to help people and organisations to build and benefit from a fair and equitable Birmingham. A thriving, well-supported, and future-focused community and voluntary sector is crucial to this mission. Please give us your guidance here:

BVSC is seeking your support in donating items that can help tackle hygiene poverty

Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

The BVSC Social Committee is kick-starting its new staff initiative by focusing on supporting organisations which need help in fighting the ever-growing rise in hygiene poverty. We are seeking donations of items between now and the end of August that will be donated to 4 local charities supporting different communities across Birmingham supporting 4 very different communities in need.

Between now and the end of August we will be supporting:

  • Community Street Kitchen – items will be donated to friends of the Kitchen, all of which are homeless.
  • Birmingham Settlement – collecting items that support their community pantry in and around Lea Village
  • Accord – one of their sites is a women’s refuge, where items will be donated to women and children who in most cases will have fled their home with nothing to their name.
  • Birmingham Hosting Network – where donations will be donated to support asylum seekers and migrants who will be unable to afford to prioritise purchasing these items.

Items we are seeking to collect should be unused and can include – Sanitary products, Deodorants (male and female), hand soaps, baby wipes, toothbrushes and paste, shower gel, shampoo, nappies

To support Community Street Kitchen further we would welcome any donations of socks, hats and gloves as well as sleeping bags – these items can be 2nd hand.

If you wish to donate any items please bring them or post them to our offices at BVSC, 138 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DR.

Alternatively, if you would like to know how you can support this further, would like to find out more about the organisations we are supporting or have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at socialcommittee[at]bvsc[dot]org

Thank you in advance for your generosity. Even the smallest of donations can make the biggest difference to somebody in need.

Clarion Futures Digital Grants Programme – Applications Now Open

Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Clarion Futures is the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group – the country’s largest housing association with 125,000 homes nationwide. Clarion Futures exists to deliver local support to transform lives and communities for the better.

Our Clarion Futures Digital Team is committed to getting residents online; giving them the basic digital skills and access to equipment and connectivity to safely and confidently access online services on a regular basis.

As part of our digital focus, we are pleased to announce that Round 1 of the Clarion Futures Digital Grant Programme will be open to applications from  Wednesday 22 May 2019. Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 will be available to organisations seeking to deliver innovative, well-designed projects that support Clarion residents and the wider community to address digital exclusion.

The Fund is designed to support residents and communities to get and stay online and to use the internet as an everyday tool, safely and confidently.

To find out more about the Clarion Futures Digital Grant Programme including accessing our grant guidelines, eligibility criteria and to submit an application, please click here. Applications will be open on a rolling basis; with the deadline for Round 1 closing to applications 12 noon Wednesday 19 June 2019.


For further information or enquiries please contact us at grants[at]clarionhg[dot]com 

Funding available for Community Groups, Charities & Schools

Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Do you work with a community or environmental project in Birmingham that’s in need of a cash boost to get a new project off the ground? If so, then funding from Veolia’s EnviroGrant scheme might be able to help.

Here at Veolia, we are very passionate about the environment and giving back to the community.

The EnviroGrant scheme has been set up to help local groups, societies and charities improve their environment and/or community with grants of up to £1,000.

Communities and groups who wish to apply for the grant must work and be based in Birmingham. The groups who may apply for the scheme include; not-for-profit local organisations, voluntary and community groups, charities, schools, sports teams, societies and forums.

The closing date for the next round of grants is 31 May 2019.

If you would like any further information or would like to apply, please visit our website here.

Tendering now open for Hall Green and Hodge Hill Neighbourhood Network Schemes

Thursday, 23 May, 2019

The tendering process for awarding contracts for the Hall Green and Hodge Hill Neighbourhood Network Schemes has now opened.  You can find details via the following:

Please note that the closing date and time for completing and returning tender documentation is 12 pm on Wednesday 5th June.  If you’re interested in these opportunities please direct any queries about the process and what’s being procured through in-tend.

Also, please note that Edgbaston and Northfield will not be retendered until 3rd June, which will coincide with NHS timelines concerning the announcement of Primary Care Network boundaries.  


Share your views with Healthwatch Birmingham and help improve health and social care locally

Tuesday, 9 April, 2019

Have your say on the future of improving NHS services in Birmingham

The NHS in Birmingham is changing, and it needs your help.

The Government is investing an extra £20bn a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Now you can help your local NHS invest in the right support by sharing your ideas with us.

Healthwatch Birmingham is involved in the national campaign ‘What Would You Do?’ to gather feedback from the public on ways to improve local NHS services.
Your views matter. Healthwatch are here to listen to people’s views on how the NHS can help people live healthier lives, what could make local services better or what improvements are required for people with specific conditions.

Find out more at https://healthwatchbirmingham.co.uk/what-would-you-do/ or join the conversation by following #WhatWouldYouDo on social media.