Third Sector Digital Leaders Programme

The School for Social Entrepreneurs and Zoe Amar Digital have partnered to deliver Third Sector Digital Leaders, a course to help charity, social enterprise and non-profit leaders to be confident about leading digital change in their organisations, helping them be more sustainable and relevant and creating the digital leaders of tomorrow.

This Free 4 day course is aimed at CEOs, trustees, directors and heads of digital at charities, voluntary & community organisations and social enterprises.

The course will take place from 10:30am – 4:30pm in Birmingham across four dates: 18th March, 19th March, 28th March, and 29th March.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 15th February.

Previous participants, who paid to come on this course, have said …

“A really useful and crucial course. This is one of the biggest areas for CEOs in the 3rd Sector.”Simon Hopkins, Turn2Us.

“This course was amazing, a real transformational learning experience. Really practical and useful and will frame our whole approach to digital”.Tracey Franklin, Inspire.

For more information and to apply for a place, go to


Applications open for SSE Community Business Trade Up Programme

More power to community businesses, with up to £10,000 and a learning programme on offer to help them grow.

Applications are now open for the Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in partnership with Power to Change

Community businesses across England can now apply for a learning programme and a grant matched to their earnings of up to £10,000, to support their growth and increase the difference they make to their local area.

The Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change, is open for applications until Thursday 14th February 2019. This is the third year the programme has run.

The programme supports the leaders of community businesses with:

  • a Match Trading™ grant of up to £10,000
  • a fully funded nine-month learning programme (consisting of 12 learning days)
  • a community of supportive peers

The Match Trading™ grant, created by SSE, is a new type of grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures.

Community businesses from across England can find out more and apply
now until Thursday 14th February 2019, at: 

We will also be running a series of Information Sessions across the Midlands.
Coventry – 9th Jan – Book via
Central Birmingham – 16th Jan – Book via
Leicester – 23rd Jan – Book via
Smetwick – 30th Jan – Book via


Funding and Commissioning for Social Care and Health

Just a quick post for our health and social care VCSE’s in Solihull.

VCSE representatives alongside the NHS, Public Health and the Department of Health, recently published a review of VCSE commissioning in health and social care which can be downloaded here.

For those of you who want to gain further insight into the review findings and the key issues and considerations it has raised, there is a free webinar being held on: 29th October 12:00- 12:45.

The webinar is hosted by NCVO and will have insights from NCVO’s

  • Public Services Manager Nick Davies and
  • Senior Policy Officer Michael Birtwhistle.

See more and book on through this link

Ready for Success

Solihull Council announces new commissioning and tender readiness programme for the VCSE sector.

Ready for Success will assist third sector organisations to strengthen their ability to successfully compete for future contract opportunities with Solihull Council and by doing so also improve their knowledge and confidence when bidding to other commissioning authorities and organisations.

This is a unique business development package offering organisations co-delivered workshops from adult social care and public health commissioners at Solihull Council and sector specialists at Development in Social Enterprise (DISE).

The programme is fully funded by Solihull Council and backed by Solihull Together for better lives, a partnership of local health and social care organisations working together to improve the co-ordination of services in the borough.

Dave Lane, Managing Director of DISE said:

“This investment recognises the essential role the VCSE sector plays in meeting the health and social care needs of Solihull residents particularly the most vulnerable. We’re really excited to be working in partnership with Solihull Council to support the sector to become more resilient, effective, commission and tender ready, leading to improved outcomes for our communities.”

The programme runs until March 2016 and kicks off with a series of workshops to prepare organisations for the changing commissioning and procurement landscape. A limited number of organisations will also be able to access one to one support.

Amongst the topics to be covered include:

  • Data Protection & Confidentiality
  • Safeguarding (Children and Adult)
  • Performance Data, Measurement and Management
  • Intervention Fidelity / Evidence Based Practice
  • Solihull Council Procurement / Commissioning Cycle
  • Tendering / Bid Writing
  • Full Cost Recovery
  • Outcome Based Commissioning
  • Equality and Diversity
  • DDA Requirements
  • Ethics and Codes of Conduct
  • Risk Assessment / Management
  • Role of Trustees
  • Business Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Communication Skills (including Making Every Contact Count)
  • Marketing / Social Media

View November’s workshops and book here

Social Media Cafe

Social media can be powerful and help communities and voluntary groups connect with their beneficiaries and potential customers. The next Social Media Café is being held on

  • Thursday, 1st October, between 9.30am & 11.30am
  • at The Loft at the Bluebell Centre, Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre, B37 5TN (B37 5EX for Sat Nav purposes only).

Parking is available for free for three hours in the ASDA car park.  The Loft is on the 2nd Floor of the Shopping Centre straight ahead when you come up the stairs.

The session is a surgery session with tables for:

  • Getting Started
  • Twitter,
  • Facebook,
  • Yammer’
  • Help table for people who have any other queries in relation to social media.

Drop in at any time – you don’t have to stay for the whole 2 hours. If you want help with using social media on a particular device – your tablet or mobile phone for example – it is helpful if you can bring this with you.

If you can’t make this one but would like to come along in the future, the Café is usually held on the first Thursday of every month between 9.30 & 11.30 am.  Next month’s Café (5th November) is being held at Shirley Library.

Solihull Safeguarding Conference – 12th November 2015

Improving practice; Learning from experience; Safeguarding Conference

Solihull’s Safeguarding Board is holding a Safeguarding conference at the Motorcycle Museum (Coventry Road, Solihull B92 0EJ) on 12th November 2015.

Conference aim  

To bring together leaders, supervisors and managers providing services to children in Solihull to deliver key messages on safeguarding children developments and learning from serious case reviews and national research.

 Conference objectives

At the end of the conference, participants will be informed about;

  • The neglect strategy: lessons learned from serious case reviews.
  • Recent developments in safeguarding children including thresholds, early help and MASH.
  • LSCB safeguarding training, including the trainer’s pool and faculty.

Participants will also work on how managers and supervisors make a positive contribution to continuing practice improvements individually and in multi-agency environments.

Target group

LSCB members, managers, leaders and supervisors of practitioners who work with children and families in Solihull This includes Designated Members of Staff in  education provider settings as well as those working in the voluntary sector .

More info  please contact the LSCB Training & Development team 0121 788 4478

Download full flyer



Chelmsley Wood Jobs fair

A very quick post for those out there who are looking for work.

There is a drop in jobs fair being held in Chelmsley Wood in the “loft”. If you don’t know where this is it’s into the shopping centre next to ASDA and up the stairs (or the lift if you prefer) to the top floor.

There are a range of “live” vacancies (including seasonal ones) on offer and adviser there to support you to apply.

more info: see jobs fair sep 2015

Good luck!

Join Solihull Carers and celebrate their Centre of Excellence Carers Trust Award

Solihull Carers








Solihull Carers Centre wish to invite you to their evening celebration event on 29th July from 4pm – 7:30pm

Venue: Solihull Carers Centre, Fire Station Annexe, 620 Streetsbrook Road, Solihull, B91 1QY

The event is open to all and will be joined by the Mayor of Solihull to showcase the centre’s work involving:

  • Carers of all ages in Solihull
  • Transition work with 14-18 year olds
  • GP and Health Professionals
  • Solihull Carers volunteers
  • School Award Scheme
  • Local organisations and businesses
  • New laws for carers
  • Solihull Carers Strategy

The agenda for the evening includes:

4pm – 5:15pm See our work, have a tour and refreshments

5:15pm – 6pm The Mayor’s speech. Hear carers, volunteers and other professionals experiences about receiving support and working with the Carers Centre.

6pm – 7pm Tour and refreshments … followed by a surprise!

For more information, contact 0121 788 1143 or email

Download the Solihull Carers event flyer here: Solihull Carers Event

Celebrating Your Success booklet

CEFS Case Study Booklet_page1We are delighted to launch a collection of Community Enterprise for Success programme case studies and entrepreneur profiles bringing together the stories and successes of clients we have worked with over the past three years.

Your can download your copy of Celebrating Your Success or request printed copy by emailing us.

Thank you to everyone featured including:

  • Gro-Organic CIC
  • Aspired Education CIC
  • Renewal Christian Centre
  • Inspire Health & Mind CIC
  • Olive Branch Kitchen CIC
  • WBC Fit Club CIC
  • Three Trees Community Centre
  • DIAL Solihull
  • Solihull Indoor Bowls Club
  • A new social value case study of Hope Psychological Services
  • Plus more profiles and case studies

The programme is undergoing a review and we hope to be in a position to announce a new package of support later this year.

Forthcoming social enterprise events for Solihull organisations can be found here.