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Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Community-led Housing – support for community groups to tackle housing crisis

National umbrella body Locality and MyCommunity are offering support to community groups to lead community housing projects.

If your area is crying out for decent, affordable housing, why not consider taking some local action to set up your own housing project? Communities can now have more of say over what they want to build and where they want to build it.

What is community-led housing?

Community-led housing projects are run by individual community groups determined to build the types of homes that local people need and want. These projects aim to solve local problems by working for and with the local community.

Community-led housing can help address issues like:

  • Affordable housing for:
    • those who are in need (such as unemployed people or single parents)
    • young people looking to buy their first house
    • older residents wanting to downsize
  • Reasonably priced homes for families
  • Housing that meets the community’s wants and needs
  • A long waiting list for council housing.

Find out more at MyCommunity’s website.

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Invitation from Solihull MP to recognise volunteers

Julian Knight, MP for Solihull, has introduced Solihull Points of Light to recognise ‘some of the amazing volunteers who do so much to enhance life in our community’.

He is inviting organisations in the borough to nominate volunteers who deserve recognition and once a month he will choose one volunteer to visit, to give them a thank you for all their hard work and write about them in his column for the local paper.

If your organisation would like to nominate a volunteer, then please email your details and contact information, the details and contact information of the volunteer you wish to nominate and up to 250 words saying why you are nominating them, to

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Armed Forces Community Covenant newsletter

The July 2016 newsletter of the Armed Forces Community Covenant for Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire has been published.

See below.


Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Talk About North Solihull – Jul/Aug 2016

The July/August edition of Talk About North Solihull has been published. You can view below (or open in a separate window)

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Healthwatch Solihull Service Open Again

Healthwatch Solihull LogoThe Healthwatch Solihull service has now re-commenced its operations in full.

Until at least March 2017, the Healthwatch Solihull service has been commissioned by the Council to be provided by a partnership of local organisations under the leadership of Colebridge Trust’s Solihull SUSTAiN team based at the The Core in Solihull Town Centre.

The other partners, Citizens Advice Solihull Borough (CASB), DIAL Solihull, Experts By Experience – Solihull and Independent Advocacy, will work with SUSTAiN to ensure that the Healthwatch Solihull functions, ie to:

  • Gather views and understand the experiences of people who use services, carers and the wider community.
  • Make people’s views known, promoting and supporting the involvement of people in the commissioning and provision of local care services and how they are scrutinised.
  • Make the views and experiences of people known to Healthwatch England (and to other local Healthwatch organisations), and provide a steer to help it carry out its role as national champion.
  • Recommend investigation or special review of services via Healthwatch England or directly to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
  • Provide information (signposting) about access to services and support for making informed choices.
  • Make arrangements for supporting local people with any complaints they may wish to progress in relation to NHS service provision through referral to a third party contracted by the local authority expressly for these purposes.

Colleagues across the Voluntary and Community Sector are asked to please help to promote this by letting service users know that anyone who has feedback about their experience with health and social care service in Solihull, wishes to make a formal complaint about their experience or requires information about access to services can contact Healthwatch Solihull:

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Do you want to help support the Armed Forces Community in your area?

There are ways in which local organisations can support our Armed Forces, Regular, Reserve, ex-Armed Forces and all their families.

To find out more download the latest edition of AFCC News from

This highlights what has been happening across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, plus details of how to access the MOD Covenant Fund. The Covenant Fund can contribute to support the integration of military and civilian communities as well as improve support to the Armed Forces community as a whole.

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Charity IT body – new website and services

The Charity IT Association (CITA) has launched a new website, with a new web address at

The services offered now include:

  • Tech Surgery – free independent advice to help charities make better use of technology.
  • IT Consultancy – a free service that can help you make better use of technology.
  • IT Project Delivery – a free service that helps charities find the right skills for any IT or technology project.

The IT4Communities programme becomes part of CITA’s IT Project Delivery service.

Services are available to charities registered with the Charity Commission (England and Wales) or OSCR.

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Vulnerable people at risk from fire – guidance for professionals and carers

Following the death of a 40 year old woman in Coventry in her own home, which was likely to have been cause from a dropped cigarette or cigarette ignition source Coventry Safeguarding Adults Board carried out an Adult Serious Case Review.

As a result of this review West Midlands Fire Service were asked to develop clear guidance and raise awareness around the responsibilities associated with identifying those most at risk from fire and the need for professional agencies to refer these individuals to West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS), and to work with them to develop appropriate safety plans.

West Midlands Fire Services have developed a comprehensive Guidance document for Professionals and Carers who work with Adults with Care and Support Needs.

The guidance is easy to use and follow and is a useful document to identify risk and vulnerability to fire.  There are also details on how to make a referral for a Safe and Well visit, and details of the equipment and adaptations that the fire service can provide.

Please share this guidance with your staff and volunteers who visit adults in their own homes.

This excellent document can be found on the SSAB Website:

If you are interested to read the Miss G Serious Case Review Executive Summary go to:

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Comic Relief – new grants strategy

Comic Relief have released details of their refreshed grant strategy which will aim to fund new initiatives to help drive great ideas and sustainable change across the UK and the developing world.

In order to pursue Comic Relief’s vision of ‘A Just World Free From Poverty’ – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered – grant making will be focussed on four key programme areas. These are:

  • Investing in children and young people to be ready for the future
  • Empowering women and girls to be free to lead the lives they choose
  • Improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable and disadvantaged people
  • Building stronger communities in areas of disadvantage, deprivation and poverty.

The new funding programmes will be launched in due course.

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Qualifications in volunteer management

Voluntary Action Sheffield is offering its nationally recognised qualifications in volunteer management via distance learning.

Prices start at £350 for a Level 3 qualification.

See details on the Voluntary Action Sheffield website.