Head of Development, Meena Bharadwa and I set off for a very humid London on Tuesday to share UK Online’s celebration of one million learners accessing the internet. The afternoon was kindly hosted by Facebook’s UK office and we had a great tour of what goes on there. Facebook’s Director of Policy chatted about the importance of the work that UK Online Centres do in helping to reduce social exclusion across the country and UK Online’s Managing Director, Helen Milner provided an inspiring insight into the work that’s already been carried out, compelling us towards another million! To see more about the impact that this work is having in the UK check out Helen Milner‘s blog. It was a great day all round and we met some fantastic organisations involved in this work like Action Acton. We chatted to one of their volunteers who had previously been a UK Online learner. He saw so much value in what Action Acton do that he now volunteers to support other people get online and involved. Birmingham Settlement is a registered UK Online Centre and we’ve got some great stories like the one below about how people are benefiting from a bit of support to get online.
We’re holding a two day event at Centre for the Aston Family that’s bringing together people who want to see change in their communities. It’s a free event that’s booking up fast so if you want to make an impact on what’s happening in your community you need to be here! Whether you are frustrated that things don’t change fast enough or if you and people in your community feel left out, we can help you to change that. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done projects in the community before or if you haven’t – it’s your passion that makes the difference.
In conjunction with the Tutu Foundation UK, The conversations for Change programme [C4C] is a community based facilitated workshop, with an “Ubuntu” action-planning workshop. Sessions are dynamic, fun and interactive, and include games for social cohesion, story-telling and are people centred.
Barriers between the young and older people are broken down as common experiences, concerns and visions are identified and skills are shared that deal with anger, conflict and respect for difference.
As part of C4C we also provide project delivery and community capacity support. C4C participants are supported by the Tutu Foundation UK to deliver their own local & unique community based projects. All projects are devised, prepared and implemented by our participants themselves.
To register and for more info please contact: Saqib Amin
T: 0121 250 0764
We’re delighted that one of our expert money advisers, Tash Ramrous, just keeps getting invited back as a guest on Radio WM! Every month Tash is doing a special programme about money issues where she’s taking the calls of Midlands listeners. Tash has decades of experience in providing specialist debt and welfare benefits advice so tune in if you want to get useful, independent info about this issue. Tash is part of a team of money advisers here at the Settlement so you can always stop by in person to get some guidance about debt or welfare benefits. We’re open week days between 09:30am-4:30pm and all of our advisers have a lots of specialist knowledge and experience so there’s not much we can’t help resolve!
On Saturday, we had a fantastic time celebrating International Women’s Day at King Edward’s School in Handsworth. Our stand was right next to the cakes but we were meeting so many great people that we managed to avoid temptation! Good to see city representation from the Lord Mayor and Cllr Sue Anderson stopped by our stand to say hello as well. We felt very honoured to be part of such an inspirational day with other organisations such as Aquarius, the Samaritans, Christian Aid, Enta, Midland Heart and many others. To finish the day off on a high we bumped into Janet, a former money advice client. Janet introduced herself by saying “Birmingham Settlement saved my life” – high praise indeed! Check out the video below to hear Janet’s amazing story about overcoming adversity; it’s a wonderful reflection of the strength of women in today’s society.
Our Nail Care Service is going strong with nail carers based at locations across the city. Why not check out our new Nail Care website www.bhamnailcare.co.uk to find out more? It provides lots of information about the services available including a postcode checker to find out where your nearest nail carer is located
Yesterday we were getting geared up for working with an innovative social enterprise called Greenhat Interactive. They’re working on lots of exciting projects that help people overcome barriers . We’re currently working with them to look at some unique ways that we can offer financial capability support to some of our most vulnerable clients. The idea is to use serious games to help people build their confidence when dealing with various financial situations from budgeting to supermarket shopping. The project will be going live shortly thanks to a grant from the Money Advice Trust so watch this space for some stories about how service users are getting on with the software!
We’re joining forces with Women & Theatre on 29th February to perform a unique piece of community theatre full of fantastic stories and tips, all designed to help people make their money go further.
As a charity, debt management is something at the very heart of our work so the 29th is planned as an Open Day, featuring money surgeries and advice, as well as a chance for potential volunteers to visit and find out more about what we do. It will then culminate in the performance, entitled ‘Make, Do & Mend.’
Make, Do & Mend is a project Women & Theatre have been developing across Birmingham over the last 5 months. The company has been researching with a variety of community groups to understand the issues people face, and collect advice and information to resolve any problems. They have had informal sessions and conversations, as well as running a series of intergenerational workshops to develop the project. The performances have been designed so that community members can join the company in the morning to be ‘reheased into’ the performance to share with audiences in the afternoon. This will create an exciting mix of professional and community performers – a participation technique Women & Theatre have delivered successfully a number of times.
Terina Talbot, Women & Theatre’s Associate Director said; “We’ve been working for several months with community members, and it’s looking very exciting. With stories and songs, and contributions from all generations, ultimately, it’s a feel-good piece of theatre that everyone can enjoy. So if anybody wants to get involved, or needs debt advice, or simply a good afternoon out – we’d encourage them to get in touch.”
All activities will be happening from 11am at the Centre for the Aston Family, 359-361Witton Road, B6 6NS. For more information or to book free tickets to the performance (which starts at 1.15pm) call 0121 250 0777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Following a successful application to Zurich Community Trust, we have become the insurance company’s local partner for the next three years. We’re receiving £7,500 a year for Ageing Well, our older people’s programme, and they’re going to be helping out in a range of areas from business support to challenges. Some of the manager’s from the Birmingham office came to visit the Centre for the Aston Family to see what we do. Along with Martin Holcombe, our Chief Executive and Ageing Well service users they took part in a cobweb shaker designed to raise the heart rate and get people feeling good. The group of 10 had a tour of the Centre, seeing the Little Settler’s Day Nursery, Stay and Play and the Cyber Suite we offer there. Everyone really enjoyed the day and stayed for spot of lunch before heading back to the office.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society visited Birmingham Settlement’s Centre for the Aston Family to speak to our Community Organisers. Also present were individuals from local community groups and some of our Community Facilitators who work to prevent tensions from erupting into more serious civil disputes. The Community Organisers are part of a government funded project to train 5,000 individuals to work in local communities and bring people together. Over a cup of tea and a biscuit Nick heard firsthand from the new cohort of Birmingham Organisers why they wanted to be involved with the programme.
For more info download Birmingham Settlement Press release – Community Organisers – 22.09.11