UCB summer internships — calling all enterprises that can offer 8-week roles

University College Birmingham’s Summer Internship scheme is now open for 2017.

The university is looking  to offer internships to its food development, business, tourism and sports students. The internship can start any time after June when the students finish the semester.

University College Birmingham will pay up to £1000 towards the salary of each student, reimbursed at the end of the internship. To qualify an internship should last at least 8 weeks or 40 days if part time.

For more information see flyer, watch the videosend mail to UCB, or ring Natasha Lawson-Hollingsworth (0121 232 4322) or Sandeep Mahli (0121 232 4157).

City Drive — the Great Depressed Bake-Off event

Living Well Consortium is teaming up with City Drive 2017 to bring you The Great Depressed Cake Off event.

In recent years mental health and culinary experts have come round to the idea that baking can be helpful in relieving the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Kneading dough, weighing ingredients, decorating a cake — they all help bring feelings of calm and achievement.

So join us on Tuesday 4th April 2017, 2 -4pm at St. Martin In The Bull Ring Church B5 5BB, for The Great Depressed Bake Off event — and help raise awareness of mental health through this city centre drop in for cakes and treats…all with a message of support for those facing mental health challenges.

You can get involved by…

  • Baking some tasty treats to bring along, just be as creative as you want but keep it glum!
  • Dropping in and buying some cakes, biscuits or traybake to show your support and enjoy at the office or at home later!
  • Being a Star Baker and enter our Cake Off!


Kindly, and happily, sponsored by Living Well Consortium.

Book here.

City Drive — Be the Board event

A brand-new event for City Drive 2017 is Be the Board on Thursday 6th April 10am – 12noon hosted by The Women’s Enterprise Hub.

This interactive event is for early start social enterprises or those who would like to gain more experience of board meetings, strategic planning and decision making.

The topic for ‘Be the Board’ is expansion and business growth.

The Board will investigate, discuss and deliberate a growth strategy, a challenge faced by many social enterprises.

As a ‘Board member for the day’, you will have the chance to engage with other social entrepreneurs, work together and challenge each other to get to a good solution for the social business.

  • You will look at the costs involved, the social value and what difference it will make to the existing business.
  • You will have decided the best way to monitor social impact and social value.


At the end of the workshop you, the Board, will have made the decision as to whether the social enterprise should expand.

This will be a lively workshop, with ‘the Board’ having the final say!

Please do come and join us at the Women’s Enterprise Hub where you will be able to engage with like-minded individuals and add your views to a situation which could turn into a reality.

Book here.

FOLLOW US: @iSE_CIC #brumcitydrive

Graduate and Placement Jobs available from PSIAMS Systems


PSIAMS Systems, are currently recruiting to their Graduate and Undergraduate Placement Scheme for students that are leaving university or wanting to undertake a placement this year.

PSIAMS Systems provides a range of solutions for use in the Voluntary and Community sector to assist organisations, such as, charities and social enterprises to measure the impact they have in the local community and local economy. Staff within these organisations will use PSIAMS on a daily basis to record, track and support a range of customers.

Based in Dudley there are a number of full time and part time in the following areas:

  • Software Development
  • Programming
  • App or Website Development
  • CRM Administration
  • Sales/Marketing

All roles come with a Competitive salary, Volunteer and work placements opportunities, Training and CPD (Continual Professional Development) and Flexitime.


Applicants will need to demonstrate practical knowledge in their specialist area, commitment to their studies, working well under pressure whilst showing accuracy and efficiency in work. Problem solving skills, along with motivation and a good attitude to handling tasks to a high standard. Applicants will be keen to develop or expand their skills set and looking to make progression within their career.

Interested applicants should send CVs to PSIAMS Systems

Round one of applications close on 4th April 2017

Transformation and Social Value: Social Prescribing Keynote

PSIAMS Systems will be hosting a data focussed conference during City Drive Week in Birmingham. The event will feature a range of presentations and workshops on how data is transforming the way the Voluntary and Social Enterprise Sector are responding to change and the needs of commissioners and funders for outcomes focussed results and improved efficiency in service delivery.

The event on the 5th April 2017 will feature a keynote presentation from the award winning Integrated Plus, a Dudley based Social Prescribing project that has been identified as an exemplar of work in the sector.

The event will also feature service change in Children and Young people Services, social care services and peer to peer support.

Additional places added: Register Here Now!


City Drive partners with Grant Thornton to host “Leading the Way” event

City Drive week has always been a catalyst for bringing private sector organisations, public sector commissioners and social enterprises together and creating great conversations.

For City Drive 2017, we are delighted that Grant Thornton are hosting a high-value evening of networking and TED style talks that will stimulate enterprising leaders across all sectors as we explore what it means, and the benefits of, an ‘inclusive economy’. Thursday 6th April from 6pm until 8.30pm.

Grant Thornton has launched an exciting initiative across the UK, ‘Vibrant Economy’, that seeks to bring together all demographics, both business and social, to look at how we can achieve so much more when we work together.

Becky Eagle, Head of Commercial Audit for Grant Thornton, will be our first ‘TED Talker’ and share some of the findings form the Vibrant Economy Live Labs that have been taking place, and reflect on the Grant Thornton values-led culture that is a business imperative for CEO Sacha Romanovitch.

Martin Hogg, Founder of Citizen Coaching CIC will describe his journey from lone entrepreneur to a social enterprise ‘placeshaper’ and his view importance of social enterprises in growing the regional social economy.

As a relatively new ‘fourth sector’, we know we can make a difference. By harnessing the passion to ‘do more good’, whether it’s in how we manage our businesses, opening up recruitment to see the potential of the individual in front of us, improving how staff are supported and improving talent retention, to managing waste and reducing emissions… we can all ‘lead the way’ and realise the shared potential of businesses, cities, people and communities across the UK.

Come and join the conversation at “Leading the Way” hosted by Grant Thornton.


TWEET US: @GrantThornton @iSE_CIC #brumcitydrive

City Drive Bus SE — tour of North Birmingham social enterprise sector

In an exciting development for the North Birmingham Social Enterprise Network, we are planning our first tour event of the social enterprise community as part of our City Drive 2017 week of events.

NBSEN was officially launched  two years ago at the first City Drive and has been growing from strength to strength ever since. A wide variety of social enterprises in the North Birmingham area now regularly take advantage of the knowledge sharing and networking opportunities on offer through our meetings.

This successful model for forming new networks for social enterprise development will reach its newest phase of expansion during City Drive week with the launch of The Soho Network across West Birmingham and Smethwick.

In recent months, we have had speakers at the network meetings covering topics from social value to social media, green energy and bid writing, and attendees regularly report the benefits of meeting like-minded businesses in a supportive environment.

The NBSEN Bus Tour follows on from a successful model iSE has championed in our native Digbeth, visiting sites in the locality to promote the amazing work going on in the social enterprise community to interested parties, be they fellow social entrepreneurs, local politicians, students or just individuals with an interest in being inspired by seeing social enterprise in action.

The Bus SE tour is starting at iSE’s office in Digbeth on Wednesday 5th April 2017, 11.00am, and will be visiting three of the gems of the North Birmingham network, including Upcycle CICRoots to Fruit and the YMCA Birmingham facility at The Orchard.

The opportunity to hear these social enterprises’ great stories, as well as seeing their operations up close is a fantastic insight into the work of our sector, and one that anyone keen to learn more about how different social enterprises operate should not miss out on.

Book here.

TWEET US: @MyBCU  @iSE_CIC #brumcitydrive

More news on City Drive — book your places at the events you don’t want to miss!

Further to this post and this post, here’s some fresh news about what’s happening during City Drive week from the 3rd-7th April — especially the built environment-themed hackathon event on Wednesday 5th April from 12.30pm-5.30pm.

A new event for City Drive 2017 is a HACKATHON at the Impact Hub on Wednesday 5th April 12.30pm until 5.30 pm. The HACKATHON is aimed at involving young, socially-minded people who are interested in social enterprise and innovative solutions to social challenges.

The theme is the ‘Built Environment’ and we will be hacking some of the many social issues within this sector, seeking social enterprise solutions. We are delighted that the event will be facilitated by Pauline Roche from RNR CIC – she has a wealth of experience both in social enterprise and group problem solving. Pauline will be ably supported by Beatfreaks – another social enterprise which has great experience running Hackathons.  

The theme of ‘The Built Environment’ was suggested by Wates, City Drive sponsors, who through their ‘Buy Social’ policy are great examples of a corporate using their purchasing power to create social value. They will be with us on the day and be presenting a couple of the social issues alongside Andy Reeve (Impact Hub) and Tony Bhajam (Beatfreaks). We will be considering technology and the built environment, housing shortages, recycling and the environment and young people.

We are really excited about this event because should a really feasible social enterprise idea — and perhaps even more than one — emerge there is the potential to support this to start up beyond City Drive.  

There will be a meet up session on Monday 3rd April at 6pm at the Impact Hub B5 5NY, to find out more about the social issues and to help those taking part make choices about which issue to explore.   

Everyone attending will get a goody bag (social enterprise based) and lunch etc will be provided. DO JOIN US.

TWEET US: @WatesGroup #BCD17Hackathon and @iSE_CIC #brumcitydrive

And don’t forget that BSSEC is sponsoring “Birmingham — social enterprise city?” from 2pm-4pm on Thursday 6th April at the Impact Hub.

School for Social Entrepreneurs Mids announces new FREE 40-place programme

The School for Social Entrepreneurs Midlands has just announced the following:

Free programme to help you start a Social Enterprise + £3,000 to get things going

The School for Social Entrepreneurs Midlands is looking for 40 start-up social entrepreneurs from across the West & East Midlands to join its award winning Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs programme.

It starts in October. It’s free (yes, free) and 40 places are available. 15 days over 12 months. A Big Lottery Grant of £3000 to boot.

The deadline for applications is 26th April.

To help you decide if it is right for you, we are running a series of free 2 hour Information Events across the region. They are:

Leicester 23 March from 5:30pm Booking essential
Coventry 28 March from 6:00pm Booking essential
Birmingham 30 March from 5:30pm Booking essential
Nottingham 6 April from 5:30pm Booking essential
Birmingham 11 April from 5:30pm Booking essential
Wolverhampton 12 April from 6:30pm Booking essential

If you have a desire to address a social or environmental issue; if you have an idea for a social enterprise; if you have a desire to learn or need help, this is for you.

Jericho Foundation secures £440K funding to support victims of modern slavery & trafficking

L-to-R: Patrick Masih (Client Support Manager), Louise Gore (Client Support) and Richard Beard (Chief Executive) of the Jericho Foundation

Further to this post, the Jericho Foundation has just announced that it has received £314,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and a further £128,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to support its “Labour for Change” project which supports victims of modern slavery.

These disadvantaged people became the focus of attention last year when Theresa May pledged £33m to fight human trafficking. It is a huge problem in Britain today – it is estimated that in 2015 there were 13,000 people enslaved in the UK alone, while last year 3,266 individuals were rescued and referred to the National Referral Mechanism.

The “Labour for Change” Project improves the economic, social and personal outcomes of the survivors of modern slavery and those at risk of this kind of exploitation. The project provides supported employment, apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities in Jericho’s eight social enterprise businesses. The Jericho Client Support Team delivers information, advice, guidance, personal development, language skills training and other services throughout the employment period or apprenticeship. Hope for Justice is one of the partners Jericho will be working closely with on this project and they will be sharing expertise while providing referrals and legal advocacy support.

Richard Beard, Chief Executive of Jericho, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the funding provided by the Big Lottery Fund and the Esmée Fairburn Foundation. It will truly transform the lives of victims of modern slavery. Our holistic programme ensures these survivors achieve a regular income, personal development and a feeling of safety and security. They are able to end their dependency on benefits, secure sustainable employment and become an inclusive and integrated part of their local community.”

For more information about this work send mail to Richard Beard at Jericho or ring 0121 647 1960.

Birmingham Volunteer Centre signs up with easyfundraising

Birmingham Volunteer Centre, the city’s volunteering support service provided by BVSC has just announced the following:

Did you know you now can help support the Volunteer Centre by shopping? Yes it is true! We have signed up with easyfundraising to raise funds for events like volunteers week and continued development of the services we offer.

In order for you to donate all you need to do is register and shop as you would normally do so. You will receive discount offers from high street retailer and supermarkets and may well save on your purchases whilst still supporting a worthy cause. See the link below for further information

Do you shop online? Do it via this link and raise a free donation for Birmingham Volunteer Centre every time you shop! 

Thank you, and happy shopping, Birmingham Volunteer Centre

Birmingham — social enterprise city?

Further to this post about City Drive, we’re delighted to say that BSSEC is sponsoring an event during the week — an afternoon of interesting and provocative debate entitled, What We Want — Is Birmingham a Social Enterprise City?

This takes place from 2pm-4pm on Thursday 6th April at the Impact Hub.

Expect lively and passionate presentations from our speakers representing business, social enterprise and stakeholders across Birmingham as we explore the concept of social enterprise cities, and whether we have got one, want one, or are in the process of building one.

Places will be limited so book soon

City Drive is back for 2017

City Drive, iSE’s week-long showcase of all things social enterprise has rapidly become a fixture in the calendar — and it’s back again this year, from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th April, with a packed programme of free events, workshops, debate and networking.

More programme details and booking links for all events here.

Questions, offer to host an event, or to publicise your own event, send mail to Sallie Ryan.

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view


This year, celebrate International Women’s Day at the Women’s Enterprise Hub

You are warmly invited to celebrate International Women’s Day at the Women’s Enterprise Hub.

Drop in any time on Wednesday 8th March between 10:00-14:00 to browse the stalls of local creative goods and mingle with inspiring and ambitious like-minded people.

Stalls and exhibitors include:

  • Herbs and allotment kits
  • Mini pamper treatments including massages and manicures
  • Henna artist
  • Bakhur, halal perfumes and girls’ abayas
  • Popcorn & candy floss
  • Children’s bicycles
  • Scarves for special occasions
  • Anthology book stall, awarded best seller on Amazon. ‘Beyond The Scars’ real encounters about women overcoming diversity
  • Bespoke jewellery & hair accessories


And many more.

You will also get the opportunity to meet all our fantastic tenants and the services they provide.

Refreshments and cake will be provided throughout the day.

The event is FREE, but you are asked to please reserve tickets via Eventbrite

A fire safety company — with a difference

Fire Safety Managers Ltd is a fire safety company with a difference.

It is the UK’s only fire safety provider operating as a social enterprise

It reinvests part of its profits in teaching schoolchildren fire safety techniques and has developed interactive fire safety workshops that make learning fire safety fun and enjoyable for all children. It is also looking to help victims of fire who have no insurance policy.

The company is currently offering a 35% off special offer to social enterprises and charities.

For more information ring 0121 439 1220 or send mail to Paul Hughes, Director.

Transformation & Social Value Event – 5th April 2017

Transformation and Social Value taking place in Birmingham on 5th April 2017 is an opportunity to hear from the charities leaders and social enterprises in the West Midlands who have embraced new technology and data to empower their organisations to work differently and demonstrate the difference they make to their communities.

Keynotes and workshops

  • Hear about the transformation of service delivery in Dudley.
  • Establishing an evidence base for future funding applications.
  • Going Mobile – freeing your staff from paper and office work.
  • Consortia Building – the benefits of using a collaborative system.
  • Increased Income Generation – manage every aspect of marketing, sales and finance.
  • Organisational Development – make change a positive experience.


Who should attend?

  • Voluntary sector leaders.
  • Social enterprises.
  • Service commissioners (Local Authorities and CCGs).
  • Business support agencies.
  • Funders.
  • University and college research departments.


Event Registration

Part of City Drive Week: 3-7 April 2017

Save Our Support plans flash mob demo 27th February — against cuts to services for city’s most vulnerable

Further to this post, yesterday’s huge lobby against the cuts to Birmingham’s services for its most vulnerable groups showed just how passionately service users, advocacy groups and others are fighting to defend these services (coverage: here, here, here).

Save Our Support is planning a final push to try and halt these cuts with a flash mob demo on Monday 27th February 2017 at 12.00 noon in Victoria Sq — the day before councillors take a final decision on the proposed budget cuts.

More details on

 #Save Our Support

West Midlands Academic Health Science Network — ‘Celebration of Innovation’ awards now open

West Midlands Academic Health Science Network’s (WMAHSN) annual Celebration of Innovation Awards will be formally launched today (15 February) at the Merdian LIVE event.

Following on from the success of last year’s awards — which saw more than 80 entries from across the West Midlands — this year, there will be even more categories, celebrating innovation in healthcare across the region.

The awards will be presented at a glitzy ceremony at the WMAHSN’s annual stakeholder event in June, and reflect the WMAHSN’s dual aim of improving health and creating wealth, as well as the organisation’s key priorities and themes. There are also special awards for innovative individuals or teams and innovative organisations. The categories are:

— Economic Impact Award
— Excellence in Wellness and Prevention of Illness
— Innovative Organisation Award
— Innovator/Innovative Team of the Year Award
— MidTECH Award for Best NHS Invention or Innovation
— Patient Safety Award
— Supporting Self Care Innovation Award
— Social Enterprise Award
— Medicines Optimisation Award
— Mental Health Innovation Award
— Industry Collaboration Award
— Advanced Diagnostics, Genomics and Precision Medicine Award.

You can take a look at the full list of awards criteria here, as well as the application forms for individuals and organisations (to apply for the Innovative Organisation and the Innovator/Innovative Team of the Year Awards) and for innovations (to apply for the other categories).

A panel of experts will assess the entries, with shortlisted entries invited to attend the ceremony in June. As well as a trophy, winners will receive promotion of their win through print and digital channels, support from WMAHSN communications team to raise their profile, mentoring and support to adopt the innovation across the region and a winner’s logo for email signatures and websites.

The closing date for all entries is 12 noon on 5 May. If you have any queries, please ring Tammy Holmes on 0121 371 8061 or send her mail.

Locality says “Keep it local — for better services”

Locality, the national network of neighbourhood development organisations, has just published How to Keep it Local — A Five step guide for councillors and commissioners.

As part of its national Keep It Local campaign, Locality is calling on councillors and commissioners to keep their commissioning local and break the cycle of large, inefficient out-sourced contracts that are unresponsive, inflexible and almost invariably awarded to national providers.

The guide highlights five steps can be taken which will not only save money but ensure more responsive local services that offer better outcomes:

1. Take a place-based approach and utilise the full range of local assets.

2. Demonstrate social value, maximising the potential of the Social Value Act across all commissioning and procurement decisions.

3. Commit to building community capacity through commissioning strategies that support local organisations.

4. Impose a maximum value on contracts to ensure that contracts aren’t out of reach of smaller organisations.

5. Involve local people through co-design.

It is significant that the Social Value Act, if fully implemented, makes it possible for commissioners to do virtually all of these things in a co-ordinated way and within a social value framework — as can be seen in Birmingham City Council’s social value policy and its Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility.

But the sad fact is, in the current climate of spending cuts and crisis management, the Social Value Act is not being as widely utilised as any of us once hoped would be the case. Its application is partial and inconsistent, and this is especially so in health commissioning.

We have been working to try and help social enterprises report more proactively on the social value they achieve — including publishing a simple guide for how to identify additional social value outcomes in contracts. We need to  do more to ensure that commissioners hear the social value message — especially from providers already in their supply-chains.

The Locality guide is a really useful contribution to the current debate about commissioning, service redesign and social value — not least because it goes beyond the blunt “how do we get more for less” arguments that many service commissioners are understandably preoccupied with.

Social Value in health — it doesn’t have to be complicated.

See all blog posts tagged ‘social value’.

See all website material on public services and social value.

 See all website materials on social value and health.

New sport project for young people in Birmingham with mental health illness

With funding from Sport England’s small grants scheme and Birmingham Council’s Community Safety Fund, Start Again Project CIC is launching a new six-month ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ project that uses sport and activity to improve the well-being of young people with Mental Health illness in Birmingham.

Working closely with Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB) — the city’s mental health service for young people — the project will ensure that service users from the Early Intervention Service can access social recovery through sport and activity.

Start Again Project CIC will also be developing further sport-specific ‘well-being clubs’ beyond Early Intervention Servicer users so that other services and agencies can refer young people.

For more information call 0121 604 9637 or send mail to project director Jamie Bunch.