developing communities, changing lives

BTU Unveils New Training Courses

Posted on 14th April 2016 by · No comments

Over the coming year Birmingham Training Unit (formerly Birmingham Tribunal Unit – BTU) is expanding its training delivery programme, introducing a number of new courses. Having already introduced 4 new courses around workforce development due to take place over the summer, we are happy to announce that 4 more courses (details below) are being added to the schedule for the Autumn.


Customer Care & Equalities  – 7th September

This one day course aims to provide participants with a clear understanding of modern day working definitions of customer care.  It considers the Equality Act 2010, the five barriers that impede equal access to the provision of services, the recruitment and retention of customers, how to ensure a balanced approach between customer care vs staff care and fast track techniques to ensure customer facing arrangements are user friendly.  This is an introductory course so is suitable for managers, staff and volunteers across all sectors.


Working with Volunteers  – 20th September

This course is suitable for anyone engaged in the recruitment, management and retention of volunteers as well as volunteers who want to know more about their rights and responsibilities.  It provides participants with a clear understanding of the various legal definitions of the term ‘volunteer’ and ‘volunteer worker’.  It looks in detail at points of convergence and divergence between paid staff and volunteers, the ten laws that can impact on the volunteer relationship, how volunteers are affected by welfare benefits, contracts and volunteer agreements and best practice in managing and developing volunteers.  The course is pitched at introductory level.


Effective Communication & Cultural Communication – 14th October

This introductory course  is for those who have a basic understanding of equality laws, diversity issues and cultural awareness.  Those attending will develop a clear understanding of the definitions of ‘culture’, ‘culture clash’ and associated terms, the benefits of being culturally aware, obstacles and negative thinking, communication differences across various cultures in terms of body language, tone and words, meet and greet, food, timings, dates and environment.  Participants will learn how to ensure their workplace event or customer service activity addresses cultural issues. The course is suitable for managers, staff and volunteers across all culturally diverse sectors who serve communities with a wide demographic base.


Mental Health Awareness – 10th November

This one day course looks in detail at the definition of ‘mental disorder’.  It considers associated legal and non-legal terms, the nine key laws covering mental health issues, the eleven medical and clinical terms, challenges which might present themselves in the workplace or learning environment and appropriate and safe responses to such situations.  This is an introductory course and a useful complimentary subject for anyone who has attended training on equality & diversity, employment law and human rights.


To find out more about BTU and our courses, please visit our website at (soon to be merged with the Birmingham Settlement website) or call Maxine on 0121 250 0781.

Volunteer Drive!

Posted on 23rd February 2016 by · No comments

Volunteering is a great way to gain new skills, share your talents and to make a difference in your community, so why not come and join us?! We’re looking for volunteers across the city who can support us in a variety of roles. From administrative support to retail assistants, there is sure to be something to suit you.

Find out more at:

Ageing Well Coffee Morning.

Posted on 15th February 2016 by · No comments

We are launching a new Coffee Morning for all over 50s in Aston. Starting Wednesday 2nd March and continuing every Wednesday morning 10am-12noon, our Coffee Morning will be a chance to come together with similar individuals for chat, tea, coffee and cake. Our Coffee Morning is also a good opportunity to:

  • Get support on basic issues for example if you need help reading and understanding letters.
  • Bring in treats to share with others.
  • Share your skills with others, for instance teaching others about your hobbies and interests.
  • Find out more about Birmingham Settlement, Ageing Well and Ageing Better, including registering your interest as an Ageing Better volunteer.

For more information please download our flyer below.

Ageing Well Coffee Morning poster cover

Kitts Green Shop Now Open!

Posted on 9th February 2016 by · No comments

Our brand new Kitts Green charity shop is now open!

Are you in the Kitts Green area and fancy a bit of shopping then why not pop into our brand new Birmingham Settlement charity shop?!

Above the shop is also our new community hub from which we will be running our Big Lottery funded community development project over the next 4 years, more details to follow.

If you have any quality unwanted goods or clothes then please pop them into the shop and help us raise funds to support individuals and families across Birmingham.

We’re also looking for volunteers and a Deputy Manager to help run the shop – check out our website for more details:

Shop Address: 316 Kitts Green Road, Birmingham, B33 9SB

Introducing Ageing Better Aston.

Posted on 29th January 2016 by · No comments

Ageing Better logo

Birmingham Settlement work as part of the Ageing Better Network. Ageing Better is a city-wide programme to help people stay health and connected to others as they age – reducing issues such as preventable illness and isolation.

We have established Ageing Better Aston, the ‘Mini Hub’ for the area to support local people. We will be running our Ageing Better Mini Hub in conjunction with our Ageing Well programme, which already supports older adults with activities including yoga, tai chi, arts and IT skills.

We are looking to register older adults as volunteers to help develop and deliver services to their peers – This could be something simple like spending a few hours helping at an event, giving out leaflets about Ageing Better or attending a meeting to share your views. It could be something more regular too such as delivering a weekly session – It’s entirely up to you! Please get in touch to discuss what you could do.

If you live in Aston and would like to find out more about how we’re helping people to age better or would like to volunteer to help out with the project yourself, please contact us today!

For more information about Ageing Better please see the website here.



Reaching Communities Funding Success

Posted on 4th January 2016 by · No comments

Just a few weeks ago we received the fantastic news that our Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities application was successful. We have been awarded 4 years’ funding to expand our work in Shard End with the aim of developing Birmingham Settlement – Shard End. Now the New Year has begun this project will be underway with a range of exciting developments and opportunities for Shard End residents including the launch of a new Champions 4 Skills programme, helping local people take an active role in developing their community.

Look out for more details on our website in the coming weeks or give our friendly Shard End Community Organisers Una and Jamaine a call for more information. Una Townsend: 07764 977 634 / and Jamaine Brown: 07764 977 635 / .

Big Lottery Fund Logo Small

Zurich Community Trust brings new life to Birmingham Settlement’s training rooms!

Posted on 31st July 2015 by · No comments


20150730_142637As part of the Zurich Community Trust’s annual staff Challenge, in July we welcomed a team of volunteers from Zurich offices as far afield as Norwich to give a much needed new lease of life to our two community training rooms. The rooms now look fresh and clean and will offer a lovely environment to the local community who use them for activities including Tai Chi, Yoga and art classes and to local organisations who book them for their own activities or training courses. We would like to say a massive thank you to Rachel, Ben, Sam and John for their hard work and taking the time out of their day jobs to support Birmingham Settlement.

Community Organisers graduation celebrations!

Posted on 20th July 2015 by · No comments


For the past year Birmingham Settlement have hosted four trainee Community Organisers, Gabby, Hazel, Jamaine and Una, who have now successfully completed their accreditation, culminating in a glamorous graduation ceremony at London City Hall in July.

Over the last year they have listened to local residents and supported them to set up a wide range of projects and events. This has included encouraging local people to think about issues that matter to them and assist them to register to vote in the general election. Over 40 people were registered and more shared their views on the election issues.

Another project has seen Organisers supporting community members to plan sports events as part of the ‘This Girl Can‘ campaign, with zumba and kickboxing classes and walks to Cannon Hill Park and the Lickey Hills helping more women to participate in sports.

In Shard End Organisers have supported residents to set up ‘Helping Hands’, a group that encourages volunteers from the community to help one another with small odd-jobs and other tasks, supporting the community as a whole to help itself.

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We are extremely pleased to have the Community Organisers with us and congratulate them on their successful graduation this year. The four Community Organisers will now continue in their roles at Birmingham Settlement, continuing to listen to local residents and helping them to create positive and meaningful change in their own communities.

Community Organisers is a national programme run by Locality, a network of community organisations of which Birmingham Settlement is an active member.

London Marathon success and upcoming runs.

Posted on 24th June 2015 by · No comments

Martin with medal

Earlier this year our very own Chief Executive, Martin Holcombe, took on a challenge like no other… the London Marathon. Despite aches, pains and even injuries from training Martin successfully completed the gruelling 26.2 mile course, crossing the finish line in an amazing 5 hours and 2 minutes. As well as achieving a huge personal feat, Martin raised over £1,000 for Birmingham Settlement to support our work working with disadvantaged, vulnerable people in Birmingham. Just one week later Martin donned his running trainers once again taking part in the first ever Great Birmingham 10k alongside our new fundraiser, Sunita Ottridge.

Doing a sponsored run is a great way to keep fit whilst raising money for a great cause and with so many runs taking place in and around Birmingham, there is sure to be something for everyone. We are putting together teams to run in the City of Birmingham Run (5k and 10k on Sunday 6th September) and the Great Birmingham Run Half Marathon (Sunday 18th October), so if you fancy a challenge why not join us?! For more information please contact Sunita Ottridge on 0121 250 0716 or

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has supported our runners so far this year, without your support we would not be able to raise awareness of Birmingham Settlement or raise the much needed funds required to support our work.


Volunteer Marketplace.

Posted on 26th May 2015 by · No comments

Volunteers' Week

Volunteers’ Week is nearly here and to celebrate we’re holding a Volunteer Marketplace to help you find a new volunteer opportunity. Maybe volunteering could be the start of a new career, a time to make friends, or maybe just the chance to do something new and exciting you’ve not tried before. With our centre rammed full of organisations ready to tell you about the roles they have available, you have plenty of choice available. Whether you’re interested in working with mental health, older adults, children, animals or in the great outdoors, we have it all! Come along and find something new this Volunteers’ Week.

The Volunteer Marketplace will take place on Tuesday 2nd June from 1pm-3pm at Birmingham Settlement Aston, Centre for the Aston Family, 359-361 Witton Road, Aston, Birmingham, B6 6NS.

For further information please download the flyer below:
Volunteers Week poster 2015 jpeg


If you can’t make it to Aston there are also Volunteer Marketplaces taking place at the following locations:

  • Birmingham City Centre – Monday 1st June, 2pm-4pm – BVSC, 138 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DR
  • Castle Vale – Friday 5th June, 10am-1pm – Castle Vale TRA, Spitfire House, Community Campus, 10 High Street, Birmingham, B35 7PR