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Friday, December 5th, 2014

Could you be the trustee a Solihull charity is looking for?

Solihull’s charities and community organisations are running short of trustees and board members.

Explains Dave Pinwell of Solihull Sustain, who helps recruit volunteers for such roles: “This year has seen a surge in requests for help to recruit new board and management committee members. In fact, there have been six in the past fortnight. Charities which are looking for Trustees include Elizabeth House, a residential care facility for the elderly, ReCOM, which helps with digital inclusion, and Shopmobility, which everyone knows, of course.”

A wide variety of professional and managerial skills and experience are being sought, especially secretarial, financial, health and social care and marketing, but overall a passion and enthusiasm to help others along life’s journey. The time commitment can be as little as a few hours a month or as much as about a day a week, depending on the role and the time a person has to give.

eliz_house_2Eileen Ward, one of the existing Trustees at Elizabeth House, says: “Being a Trustee is extremely rewarding. Our Board Members get to meet some really interesting older people, who have fascinating stories to tell, and they have the satisfaction of knowing that what they offer is both valuable and pleasurable.”

Adds Dave Pinwell: “Participating on a charity board can suit a wide range of people, from folk who have retired from paid employment and looking for a fresh challenge to mothers looking for an interest whilst the children are at school to those setting out on a career and looking for some useful experience in their chosen field.”

Anyone who thinks they might be interested can ring Dave on 0121 711 3148 or email to find out more and hear about the various vacancies that our local charities and community organisations are trying to fill.

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Just4You – young people’s sexual health resources

Sexual Health Promotion Service Birmingham have produced the eighth edition of their e-zine for professionals working with young people around sexual health.

Introducing the seventh edition of the Just4You E-zine!

Offering easy access for professionals working with young people in health and education to current campaigns, teenage pregnancy updates plus local and national issues relating to teenage pregnancy and sexual health across Birmingham and Solihull.

We’re delighted to release the seventh edition of the Just4You E-zine.

Which highlights:

  • Consultation feedback on the procurement of Solihull Sexual Health Services.
  • Information of the removal of the over 25’s age bar from Solihull Contraceptive and Sexual Health Services.
  • Updates on the re-launch of the Condom Distribution scheme and details the C… Scheme Solihull re-launch event in May.

For further information please contact Jodie Smith, Health Promotion Specialist – on 0121 717 4370 or email

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Keep a local child warm – donate a coat!


Any unwanted coats can be taken to Bosworth Community Centre, where they will go to a child who needs it this Winter. If you know of any children that would benefit from a coat you can use this referral form – or they can contact us directly.

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Board members for Colebridge Enterprises

Board members sought to help disadvantaged people

Have you time to spare to use your skills and experience to help others? We are looking for new directors for Colebridge Enterprises to help us to take our work with disadvantaged trainees to the next level.

Colebridge Enterprises is a young and innovative, not-for-profit enterprise arm of a Solihull based charity that seeks to improve the life chances of learning disabled and other disadvantaged people by offering a combination of employment and training in our manufacturing sub-assembly business.

Our Board is seeking additional members to assist in steering the organisation through a planned programme of growth, with a view to increasing our social impact whilst achieving a reduction in our grant dependency. We are looking for three energetic, experienced and committed people to join our board of directors and bring their influence to bear upon our development.

There has never been a greater need for the service which we provide, as the tide of employment turns whilst the benefits system undergoes increasing restriction. Our beneficiaries are those who struggle to get a foothold on the employment ladder and our aim is to give them that secure first step from which they will not look back. Whilst we have only been operating our assembly business for eighteen months, we already have success stories to report.

We are ideally seeking people with the experience in the following areas:

  • One new member with a financial background to become our Treasurer
  • One new member with business development experience to support our quest for new customers
  • One new member with a manufacturing background to support operational growth.

However, if you have other experience you think could be valuable, and are willing to invest your energy and time in our work then we would still be delighted to hear from you.

These roles are likely to require up to 8-15 hours of your time per month, including attendance at a monthly board meeting.

To discuss our requirements further and express an interest, please contact our CEO, Dave Pinwell, on 07500 081216 or via in the first instance.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, October 24th, 2014

HS2 Community and Business Support Funds (from 2017)

The Government has announced that communities and businesses near the new HS2 high speed railway will benefit from grants. The Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) will make up to £30 million available for residents and local communities between London and Birmingham to invest in public projects such as the refurbishment of local community centres, nature conservation and measures to support local economies and employment.

Community groups, charities, non-governmental organisations and business support organisations will be able to bid for grants from the new funds, which are expected to be rolled out when construction starts in 2017.

Grants will be awarded until the end of HS2’s first year of operation in 2026.

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Rough Sleeping – protocol for Solihull (October 14)

The updated Solihull Rough Sleeper Protocol has been published by Solihull Council.

The full protocol can be downloaded below. The appropriate responses to rough sleepers are:

Download the protocol: Solihull Rough Sleeper Protocol – 2014-15 Update

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Talent Match Birmingham and Solihull

talent_match_logoTalent Match is a 5 year programme, equipping 1000 long-term unemployed young adults (18-24) across Birmingham and Solihull with the skills to sustain employment. The programme is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the local partnership is led by BVSC with Solihull SUSTAiN.

We aim to achieve…

  • By May 2018, 1000 young adults will access Talent Match support with at least 50% entering the paid work experience option for at least 6 months.
  • Each year, 70% of participants report improvements in skills, confidence, and self-perception as a result of involvement in paid work experience & complementary volunteering placements with local charities.
  • 150 young adults specifically access enterprise mentors and business support and as a result, by May 2018, 100 of these are self-employed and/or engaged in local enterprise & social enterprise.
  • By May 2018, at least 200 TM participants are in sustainable paid employment with 100 local employers, and both groups actively share their positive TM experience with peers and policymakers

Talent Match can work with 18-24 year olds living in Birmingham or Solihull who have been out of employment or training for at least 12 months.

In particular, Talent Match Birmingham & Solihull can offer support to:

  • Care leavers
  • Ex-offenders
  • People with learning difficulties or disabilities

Download the Talent Match flyer with essential details of the programme for young adults.


Further details from

T: BVSC 0121 643 4343 (8) | Solihull SUSTAiN 0121 711 3148

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Resource to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation

A website has been launched at, which contains information about CSE and how to spot the warning signs.

Child sexual exploitation, CSE, is a crime that can affect any child, anytime, regardless of their social or ethnic background. It is child abuse and involves perpetrators grooming their victims in various ways, such as in person, via mobiles or online, to gain their trust before emotionally and sexually abusing them.

It can take place in many forms, whether through a seemingly consensual relationship, or a young person being forced to have sex in return for some kind of payment, such as drugs, money, gifts or even protection and affection.

Solihull Council has joined forces with neighbouring authorities and West Midlands Police to raise awareness of this shocking and horrific abuse crime.

The enclosed CSE materials are aimed at parents, children/young people, the general public and those working with children and young people.  Please read and distribute / upload onto your website as appropriate.

Through the ‘See Me, Hear me’ campaign we hope to protect children at risk by increasing people’s understanding of child sexual exploitation and how to spot the warning signs in a child’s behaviour.


Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Hoarders’ Support Group

Clouds End CIC is starting a support group for people with hoarding issues.

Please see their flyer for the group.

The first meeting is 30th September at Solihull Fire Station
620 Streetsbrook Road
Solihull, B91 1QY

Contact details for Clouds End CIC:

0121 680 5287

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Children’s Clothing project

Children’s Clothing scheme launched in Solihull

We are writing to introduce our children’s clothing scheme that has been set up for families living in Solihull going through a difficult time/crisis/trauma. We believe this scheme could be of use to families you are supporting in Solihull.

Childrens Clothing.Solihull is a Community Interest Company and is a non profitable social enterprise aimed to benefit the local community.

The clothing scheme donates children’s clothing to families living in Solihull, aged 0 – 16 years. The children’s clothing is given to us by Schools, Children’s Centres, Churches as well as the local community. All clothing donated to families is wearable and clean.

A referral system is in place and the referral form must be completed by a professional who knows the family. The clothing is usually delivered to the referrer, rather than the family home.

A referral can be made for a family if they are affected by any of the following :

Domestic abuse
Single parenting
Teenage parenting
Having to access a food bank
Financial hardship

Childrens Clothing.Solihull has been making links with Agencies/Organisations in Solihull to ensure all ‘Families In Need’ can benefit from the clothing scheme. We are extremely keen to make agencies and community services aware of the referral system to enable easy access and to reach as many struggling families as possible.

Download a Referral Form (with contact details to send it to).