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Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Not Getting Outdoors

How did you get on when the snow came?

Personally, I chose not to venture outdoors on the Sunday when it the fall did not seem to stop at all during daylight hours, even sacrificing my Sunday paper in favour of the online version. Then, as darkness loomed, it took two of us almost an hour

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Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Leveraging Local Investment Several Times Over

This Blog has looked previously at the ‘Keep It Local’ campaign run by Locality and those who attended the 2016 VCS Conference will have heard about it first hand.

There is a central argument that investment in a local community organisation is worth more than its face value, and that, in making decisions about grant giving or about

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Friday, November 24th, 2017

Blowing Our Own Trumpet and Changing Face

We don’t often blow our own trumpet. After all there is barely time for putting the bugle to the lips when there is constant demand from people needing help and support. And, anyway, it doesn’t feel right to pull the spotlight away from them.

However, Wednesday night’s celebration of the Colebridge Trust’s 15th Birthday providing the opportunity

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Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Facing Up to the Funding Challenges

On Monday this week, two papers affecting a number of our local charities commissioned by the Council went before the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health. They can be found at Items 5 and 8 on the meeting Agenda.

Item 5 dealt with the dissolution of the Community Initiatives Fund and the transfer

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Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

An Example to Us All

I had the privilege on Wednesday night to attend the official opening of the new extension at SoLO’s Walnut Close premises and the launch of its new Supported Living programme.

This represents an exciting new stage in SoLO’s exemplary work in Solihull and the culmination of an ambitious and testing period of planning and development.

But the mood of achievement

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Friday, October 13th, 2017

Libraries at the Heart of Communities

This week (9-14 October) is the very first Libraries Week, and an opportunity to reflect on the role of, and importance of, libraries in the community.

The public announcement for this new themed week in the calendar stated:

“Libraries Week is an opportunity to celebrate the very best that libraries have to offer.” Accordingly, our libraries have

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Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Great Service – When They Get There

Have you seen the BBC series BBC series ‘Ambulance’?

If not, you really should. It takes a ‘fly on the wall’ on ambulance provision in the West Midlands, filming both in the central control centre in Brierley Hill and on the ground with crews.

For me, three things come across very clearly.

The first is what a great

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Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Does this Action Plan go Far Enough?

The Department of Transport has launched a Consultation on its Accessibility Action Plan. Personally, I don’t think it goes far enough, but it is not my field, so I would encourage those in relevant support organisations to get involved.

The Plan set out in the document does seek to tackle some longstanding issues, such as:

Consistency in

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Thursday, August 31st, 2017

A Shot in the Arm for a Whole Community

I want to commend this article (“Collaboration with communities is key to the future of local government”) as a worthwhile, thought provoking read.

It talks of a successful Big Local project and the difference it is making in a local area by fostering greater community ownership of ‘place’ and new levels of collaboration between the community

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Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Ooh Err, Missus! Strife at the Beeb

Well, what a farce. There stands the BBC, caught on stage, with its trousers down, in the heat of one of its own spotlights.

We in the Third Sector can stand proud on the other side the Stage Door. Any vestiges of unequal pay appear to be long banished from our doors. Women are an able, 

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