Black Country Consortium – The Black Country Awards are open for nominations!

Black Country Consortiumlogo_blcak_country

Do you know of, or have you been involved in, an amazing project, person or group who you think really deserves the opportunity to be celebrated??

Our Sport and Physical Activity Awards are now open! Working with our media partner, the Express & Star, we want to celebrate the best of the Black Country. The award categories are:

Sportsperson of the Year (age 19 and over)
Disabled Sportsperson of the Year (open age)
Young Sportsperson of the Year (age 18 and under)
Community Club of the Year
Community Coach of the Year
Community Project of the Year
Newcomer of the Year (age 18 and under, and based on 18 months achievements)
School of the Year
Business in Sport
Unsung Hero

The link to the website to download nomination forms is:  The criteria for each category is on each nomination form.

Closing date is 10th September.

If you have any questions just give me a shout.

James Connolly
Economic Development Co-Ordinator
tel : 01384 471161

Black Country Consortium Ltd

The Deckhouse
Waterfront West
Dudley Road
Brierley Hill
Tel : (0)845 8 151515

Why we volunteer in hospice care …

Originally posted on Hospice Volunteering:

Yesterday, I had a meeting with one of my coaching clients shortly after my afternoon hospice shift. Though I’d taken a little time to debrief with the wonderful volunteer who was replacing me, still the losses of the preceding week and my conversations with the current residents were still fresh in my mind (and my heart). After I’d shared with my client that it had been a bit of a rugged shift, she asked me this question: “Do you volunteer there because you know that you are helping other people? Or do you get something out of it for yourself?”

I suspect most of us have been asked this question at some point. And certainly I’ve asked it of other volunteers in my research. My own answer is always the same: “I get an enormous amount from this work. I suspect I get more than I give.” My client, however…

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OPP OF THE DAY: Get Set to Go Gym, Football and Swim volunteers, Dudley MIND @GStGDudley

Mind’s new sport programme Get Set to Go aims to remove barriers to sport participation, so thdudley MINDat those of us with a mental health problem are more confident about getting active. We want people to see physical activity as being an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The programme is supported by Sport England and the National Lottery. Dudley Mind is one of eight local Minds across England delivering Get Set to Go nationally.

People with a range of mental health problems will be supported to participate in weekly sessions that focus on a particular sport. We will work in partnership with local sport providers to run taster sessions so people can find a sport that best suits them.

The Peer Navigator volunteer role is ideally suited to people who have experience of using physical activity as a way of improving wellbeing, and/or for people with direct experience of mental health problems – this could be from your own experience or from family or close friends.
It’s an excellent way of gaining practical experience and developing skills. You will be part of a team of volunteers, providing tailored support to people with mental health problems and developing skills within the sport sector. You will meet new people and make new connections, and you will be part of an exciting new national programme.

What will I do?
As a volunteer your role will include providing one-to-one peer support to Get Set to Go participants. You will help people as they build their confidence using community sport facilities, either on a 1-2-1 basis or as part of a group. You will:

– Work with participants to help them achieve realistic goals and attend sport related activity sessions together in the community
– Build the confidence of individuals by encouraging and motivating them to overcome any barriers to sport and physical activity
– Create a mutually helpful and supportive relationship between yourself and the Get Set to Go participant that will be of benefit to both of you
– Support the individual so they are confident joining local sport groups with the aim of sustaining their participation on a longer-term basis once they leave Get Set to Go
– Encourage participants to consider their health and wellbeing more broadly, for example improving their diet, smoking cessation, sleep hygiene and developing social networks that can benefit their mental wellbeing
– Give information about local services that can offer support to participants with needs not related to sport
– Complete brief records of the sessions with the individual, as directed by the Get Set to Go Coordinator
– Support participants to fill out questionnaires and surveys as part of the Get Set to Go evaluation
– Be able to work within agreed boundaries which are professional and non-discriminatory, which respect confidentiality and promote equal opportunities for all
– Be a positive role model – showing how physical activity has helped your own mental wellbeing
– Regularly review how participants are progressing towards their goals and promote their ongoing participation

How much time will I give?
We hope that you will be able to offer us a regular slot each week where you can work alongside participants. As you will be the main support for people trying out a new sport it is vital that you are able to be a reliable companion for that person while they are building their confidence.

We may ask you to attend meetings from time to time to give us feedback about Get Set to Go so that we can learn from what we do.  We will also expect you to attend  regular support and supervision sessions with the Get Set to Go Coordinator.

What skills, knowledge, qualities or experience will I need?
– Experience of using physical activity to improve physical and/or mental wellbeing is essential
– We welcome people who have their own lived experience of a mental health problem, either personally or from a close relative or friend
– Experience of working with people with mental health problems would be desirable
– As would experience of providing one-to-one peer support
– It is essential for you to know the health benefits of physical activity
– And desirable to have knowledge of mental health problems

There are several skills and qualities that we think are essential for the volunteer role, which are:
– Ability to communicate with both men and women of different ages and backgrounds in a friendly and supportive manner
– Ability to provide positive feedback
– Good time management skills and reliability
– Ability to maintain professional boundaries and confidentiality
– Open and non-judgmental attitude
– Positive, patient and tolerant approach towards supporting people with mental health problems

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

James Austin
Sport Coordinator
Te: 01384 442938

How Voluntary Work Enhances Your Job Search

Last week we were delighted to share with you that one of our volunteers, Shanice, had managed to secure an apprenticeship with a local charity after volunteering for Dudley CVS for 12 months. She felt the skills she’d learnt had really helped and was much more confident.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share a series of scheduled posts about the benefits of volunteering if you are trying to improve your employment prospects! Why not join us on a Thursday at this time for the next five weeks and see just what volunteering can do for you, or the people you support?

“In the never-ending search for better work and higher pay, it can be extremely easy to brush off volunteering. After all, isn’t volunteering just for school fundraisers and community environmental projects? Most certainly not! Volunteering can provide a unique, powerful, and possibly even fulfilling way to improve both yourself and your future job prospects if you have the drive to take advantage of it.”


What would I be doing?computer
–     Supporting library users to develop basic computer skills. This includes instruction in use of basic hardware – e.g. keyboard and mouse skills.
–     Supporting library users to develop practical online skills, such as use of email and search engines, awareness of internet safety, document creation and completion of online forms.
–     Assisting users to access public services online, such as Universal Job Match, GOV.UK, NHS Online, Schools Admissions and Housing services etc.
–     Delivering 1-to-1 and drop-in style I.T. support to library customers.
–     Supporting library staff in delivering group sessions.
–     Delivering I.T. support through prescribed resources, such as ‘LearnMyWay’, Digital Unite and BBC Webwise
–     Supporting the libraries’ contribution to national initiatives such as ‘SpringOnline’, ‘iTea & biscuits’ or ‘Get Online Week’
–     Supporting the libraries ‘Open to All’ policy, which may include working sensitively with people from all backgrounds

When can I do my volunteering?
–     Volunteers must be available for a minimum number of hours per week as mutually agreed at interview

Where will I be volunteering?
–     Volunteers will be assigned to a library locality of their choice (subject to post availability).
–     Volunteers may be asked to travel between library branches to support particular needs.

Who will be there with me?
–     Volunteers will be allocated a supervisor of senior grade. This person will be based within the same locality and will be the first point of contact for queries raised by the volunteer role.
–     Volunteers may be asked to work one-to-one with library customers, but there will always be library staff on hand within the building.

–     I.T. Buddy Volunteers must be able to demonstrate a good standard of I.T. skills, including use of computer hardware, knowledge of internet safety, ability to set up and use email, use of search engines and a working knowledge of basic Office functions.
–     Good interpersonal and communication skills are essential
–     An interest in libraries, computing and adult learning is required
–     Good punctuality and reliability are essential
–     Ability to present themselves and the library service in a positive manner is essential

What will I get from volunteering?
–     Experience of working with adult learners
–     Experience of working with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds
–     Chance to gain experience of supporting national learning campaigns
–     Opportunity to gain a reference from the library to add to your C.V.
–     To take an active interest and make a valuable contribution to your local community

FOR MORE INFO OR TO APPLY please contact:

Tel: 01384 815533 [Mon-Tues] 01384 812829 [Wed-Fri]