Bored to Tears

Dudley CVS blog

There are over 6000 people in Dudley who have been diagnosed with COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and most likely many more undiagnosed. COPD might be something you have never even heard of – or might affect you personally, but it is a condition that is supported by the Dudley Airtime group. The group is facilitated by Integrated Plus, a Dudley CVS social prescribing project,  have been meeting since 2016 at DY1 Community Building on Stafford Street, where the group is held each Thursday from 1pm. The aim of the group, funded through The Health Foundation, and most recently through Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health, is to provide a peer-led group supporting people with respiratory conditions, to reduce social isolation and take pressure off the NHS by reducing hospital admissions and GP surgery appointments that relate to the disease, by providing a safe, caring environment for people…

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Resting on Nonprofit Laurels

volunteerplaintalk

Resting on Non-Profit Laurels courtesy of gratisography.com

I don’t remember the date, but I remember the conversation. It was the first time I’d heard the word “competition” in relation to volunteer organizations. I was in a community meeting and nonprofit experts were discussing the impact of a newly formed non-profit in the area.

“They’ll be looking for the same resources,” one expert said.

“Yes, we now have competition,” another added.

Huh, competition. That’s one way to look at it. But here’s the kicker statement from the CEO of one of the established titan organizations. It’s a statement that stuck with me. “I wouldn’t worry too much, because we’ve been in this community for years and the public knows us and knows we care.”

I might add that the start-up organization did very well.

Do established nonprofits have a monopoly on compassion? Or on knowledge on how to solve societal challenges? I have always suspected…

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Working Together for Change

Dudley CVS blog

cropped-smile-changeIn 2014 Dudley CVS began a journey to support parent carers across the borough to have a voice, influence decisions and collaborate with professionals to ensure that services improve for children and young people with disabilities and their families.

I can honestly say that this has been one of the most joyful, humbling and enlightening aspects of my work. It is a privilege to work alongside parent carers, their passion, energy and honesty knows no bounds. They are so committed to working with professionals so that together they can figure out how to make things better, look at what’s working well and also be honest about what’s not working so well.

Over the four years through Working Together for Change – Dudley Parent Carer Forum parent carers have given over 1,704 hours of their precious time to influence decisions that effect so many lives.

In 2017/18 parent carers through the…

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Building friendships for people with dementia and their carers in Brierley Hill

Dudley CVS blog

Meet Paul and Alison. They’re the team behind the lovely Alzheimer’s and Friendship Group that meets at the Storehouse in Brierley Hill on most Monday evenings. It’s a place where people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia and their carers can come to meet others, share mutual support and make friends.

I visited them recently to learn more about them and what the group means to the people that attend.

As soon as I got to the door, I was greeted by Paul, who welcomed me into the Storehouse coffee shop which was laid out nicely so that everyone could see and talk to each other, or talk in smaller groups if they wanted to. I introduced myself to everyone and soon people started telling me their own stories about caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, which I think was a sign of how comfortable they felt in their surroundings.

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Tips for being successful with your funding applications

Dudley CVS blog

Organisations in the voluntary, community and faith sector have, over many years, carried out essential and important work helping people who are vulnerable, disadvantaged, lonely and unable to access services for a variety of reasons. As a consequence of what they do they are able to apply for grants from a variety of funding bodies such as trusts/foundations (e.g. Lloyds Bank Foundation, Henry Smith Charity and Garfield Weston Foundation) as well as national funders such as BBC Children in Need and the Big Lottery.

In these times of austerity and poverty the role of charitable organisations in society and communities has increased massively however many of them have experienced funding cuts and, as a result, there has been a massive strain on their resources affecting their ability to support vulnerable people to the extent that they used to.

So what are the options facing these organisations? Some…

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