Update 250 /// February & March 2016
all things voluntary and community in Birmingham
BVSC: a century of voluntary action:
John McPhail looks back to 1916 and BVSC’s
beginnings as we celebrate 100 years / 7
Supporting Birmingham’s most
vulnerable: SIFA Fireside’s comprehensive
range of services for homeless people / 08
Tarick thrives at Sport 4 Life: Tarick
goes from strength to strength and has great
plans with Talent Match and Sport 4 Life / 12
Update 250 /// February & March 2016
In this edition...
100 years of BVSC,
250 editions of Update
It’s a special time in the
history of BVSC; not only
is 2016 our centenary
year, we’ve also reached
a major milestone in
the history of Update –
our 250 th edition! So to celebrate we’re
delighted to present a fresh new look!
On 19 January staff, trustees and
volunteers marked the occasion of the 100 th
birthday by enjoying an Edwardian style tea.
Michele Saul and Richard Dawson, our longest
serving and newest members of staff (at 30
years and two days respectively) were invited
to cut the cake. See cover for picture and read
about BVSC’s 100 year journey on page 7).
Turning to this edition, we feature a well
established charity that supports some of
the city’s most vulnerable people – SIFA
Fireside. Read about the range of services
and activities that they provide from
their base in Allcock Street, Digbeth.
There’s also news of the Ageing Better
Team’s trip to Downing Street (page 5),
Tarick’s experiences with Talent Match, an
introduction to Mindfulness (page 10) and
a guide to Project Management (page 13).
Tills ringing, business
booming: Upcycle Birmingham
opens new store
Ageing Better group has lunch
with the prime minister
John Taylor Hospice’s top
fundraiser, Kate Phipps
Stan’s Café presents
Trailblazers: In A Visible City
BVSC – hundred years of
voluntary action: John McPhail
SIFA Fireside: Supporting
Birmingham’s most vulnerable
Mindfulness at work
Tarick thrives at Sport 4 Life
and Talent Match
Nikki-Dee Haddleton: What
does a project manager do?
Published six times per year by BVSC: © BVSC 2016. All rights reserved.
Editorial and advertising: Helen Cobain / 0121 678 8830 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Design: Cuthbert Design / www.cuthbertdesign.com Cover photo: © Ian Cuthbert / www.cuthbertdesign.com
Printing: Pinstripe Print Group / www.pinstripegroup.co.uk Distribution: PA Publishing Co. / 01527 540909
Views and opinions expressed in Update are those of the individual authors and not necessarily those of BVSC. BVSC is in no
way responsible for and does not endorse goods or services supplied by organisations which advertise in Update.
Birmingham Voluntary Service Council Ltd (BVSC) is a registered charity (no. 218795) and a company limited by guarantee (no. 421688).
Tills ringing, business booming for Upcycle Birmingham
The brand new Upcycle Birmingham store has
officially opened to the delight of residents in Castle
Vale who have been busy snapping up bargains.
Upcycle Birmingham is an innovative social
enterprise that helps people in need transform their
homes with affordable, high quality goods.
The furniture recycling business was officially launched
two years ago, operating from a warehouse in the OYO
Business Park. Selling a wide selection of recycled items
for the home – including tables and chairs, cabinets, beds
and sofas – it has proved so popular that the business has
expanded with the new shop at 4 High Street, Castle Vale,
now offering clothes and smaller household items.
Upcycle Birmingham provides employment, training
and volunteering opportunities for local people who
are looking for work. As well as giving residents the
chance to make home improvements that they can really
afford, it also helps them to become more employable
by providing access to skills based qualifications.
An appeal is now underway for donations and items
that can be upcycled and resold. These can be collected
or delivered to the Upcycle Birmingham unit.
“We are urging people, businesses and even
community organisations to take a good look around
We have a team of people, led by
experienced trainers, waiting to
inject new life and transform items so
they can be re-sold and re-used.”
their homes, offices and centres and think about donating
items that they no longer want or need,” said Judy
Tullett, Project Manager of Upcycle Birmingham.
“We have a team of people, led by experienced
trainers, waiting to inject new life and transform
items so they can be re-sold and re-used.”
Upcycle Birmingham is part of the Castle Vale Tenants
and Residents’ Alliance (CVTRA), an organisation that
has provided help, information and support for residents
across east Birmingham for more than 20 years. At
the very heart of the community, CVTRA is unique as
it is the only resident-led organisation of its type in
Birmingham, and one of only a few in England.
If you have items you would like to donate, or would
like to find out more about training and volunteering
opportunities, contact Upcycle Birmingham.
i 0121 747 5932 / www.upcyclebirmingham.org.uk
John Taylor Hospice’s top fundraiser
© Rmarmion | Dreamstime.com
JustGiving, the online funding platform, has confirmed that John Taylor
Hospice chief executive, Kate Phipps, was one of its top fundraisers in 2015.
Of over 532,000 fundraisers on JustGiving in 2015, Kate’s page raised £14,000, placing her in
the top 1%. But this didn’t come easily. Kate’s fundraising effort was a tandem skydive – and first
she had to lose 41 pounds to meet the body mass index requirement set by skydiving schools.
Kate set herself a target of raising £14,000 – the cost of providing a full 24-hours’
palliative care either at the hospice or in patients’ homes – after seeing the
example set by one of the hospice’s corporate supporters, Connect Distribution.
Her skydive funded the hospice’s care throughout Christmas Eve.
Update 250 /// February & March 2016 3
Stan’s Café presents Trailblazers: In A Visible City
I was impressed with the intelligent
and sensitive way Stan’s Café
engaged students from different schools
© Kate Green | kategreen.co.uk
Stan’s Café’s 25 th anniversary year began with an art
project on 3 February that saw 120 teenagers from
twenty schools across Birmingham gather in the
council chamber to act as the City Council of 2030.
Commissioned by Birmingham City Council to gather the
opinions of its young citizens, the ‘future council meeting’
introduces its young participants to the seat of local government
and is the culmination of Trailblazers, a project that saw
twenty groups of six year 10 students plan and execute a series
of walking adventures across the city. These walks and the
photographs taken during them have informed interviews with
the young people about their relationship with the city and their
visions of its future, and the project will result in the publication
of a report in the shape of An Alternative Map of Birmingham.
At the meeting of 2030, the students will participate in
a series of practical activities that will challenge them to
imagine reorganising the city, resetting its priorities, finding
routes to political activism and writing persuasive speeches.
To help them with these challenges the teenagers will
be joined by figures from local and national politics.
James Yarker, Artistic Director of Stan’s Café said, “It has
been a privilege to walk and talk with all these young citizens of
Birmingham. Their passion for the city has been heart warming
but they have also expressed strong concerns around many issues
including their environment, equality and safety. Our next step is to
see how they can be engaged in helping to solve these problems.”
Stan’s Café is celebrating its 25 th anniversary in 2016. Alongside
a string of hit productions this internationally acclaimed theatre
company has been committed to progressive work with schools
for more than a decade. In 2014 they made Any Fool Can Start
A War with Billesley Primary School, a play exploring the Cuban
missile crisis with sixty year 6 students, and in April 2015 they
worked with Saltley Academy on the politically charged notion
of ‘teaching British values’; the result was St George’s Steps.
Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children’s
services, said: “I was impressed with the intelligent and sensitive
way Stan’s Café engaged students from different schools
and backgrounds with debates around British values and was
keen to work with them on a project based on young people’s
voices. I can’t wait to see their re-imagined map of our city.”
Councillor Shafique Shah, cabinet member for inclusion
& community safety, added: “Birmingham has the youngest
population in Europe and we need to ensure the city
is shaped by them, encouraging their involvement and
understanding of local democracy and decision-making.
I look forward to seeing the final Trailblazers report.”
Trailblazers was supported by Arts Council England
and commissioned by Birmingham City Council.
i Stan’s Café: www.stanscafe.co.uk /
@stanscafe – #trailblazers
Beanstalk is looking for volunteers who love reading
Do you have a passion for reading? Are you
looking for a really rewarding volunteering
experience that will change a child’s life?
Life is better when everyone can read well and express
themselves confidently. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Last
year one in four children in Birmingham left primary school
unable to read to the required level, something that will
have devastating consequences on their future prospects.
Beanstalk is a children’s literacy charity that aims
to rewrite this story with the help of local volunteers.
Beanstalk recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to
work with children who are struggling with their reading,
ensuring that they have the skills and confidence to
reach their true potential and lead successful lives.
Beanstalk’s trained reading helpers work with children
on a one-to-one basis, giving them consistent support to
improve their reading levels, increase overall confidence and
enjoyment of reading. Together, they read, play and talk and
with Beanstalk’s support
the child’s approach to
learning and enjoying
reading is transformed.
Beanstalk is looking
for volunteers to
become reading helpers
in a variety of schools
across Birmingham. If
you or anyone that you know loves to read and are looking for
a worthwhile volunteering opportunity, please get in touch.
Volunteers must be fluent in English and a competent
reader and able to commit to two 90 minute sessions
a week in a local school during term-time.
Visit their website to complete a volunteer application
or contact Liz Gordon at Beanstalk to find out more.
Liz Gordon, Beanstalk: email@example.com /
07841 504419 / www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk
© Rmarmion | Dreamstime.com
4 Update 250 /// February & March 2016
Ageing Better group has lunch with the prime minister
© Birmingham Post & Mail
The group of older people involved with co-producing
Ageing Better in Birmingham were kindly invited to a
festive luncheon at Downing Street on 15 December 2015.
The prime minister hosts an annual Christmas meal
themed around issues affecting modern society. 2015’s
event focussed on isolation which is at the heart of what
Ageing Better in Birmingham is aiming to reduce for
older people. Organised by the Birmingham Mail and
supported by Virgin Trains, ten of the Age of Experience
Group travelled down first class to London for Christmas
canapés and a glitzy surprise visit from some TV stars!
Diane Waring, a member of the Age Experience group
who attended said, “It was very different, it was completely
outside of my experiences. I found it very interesting!”
She found the staff at Downing Street to be very kind as they
introduced her to lots of new people from all over the country.
Diane really enjoyed hearing their different views. The older
people attending were treated to surprise performances and
dances with the finalists of last year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
One member of the Age of Experience group was completely
elated to be asked for a dance by Anton du Beke himself!
Diane said, “I found the Prime Minister to be very
pleasant; he talked to all of the older people there and
listened to what they had to say. I also really enjoyed the
star treatment on the train, I did not expect to travel first
class. I was impressed – Virgin Trains were very good!”
David Cameron told the Birmingham Mail: “Christmas is
a time that should be filled with joy and celebration – not
loneliness and isolation. And yet there are too many people,
often older people, who will spend this festive season alone.
“Everyone can do their bit to change this, by reaching out to
these people. Whether it’s popping round for a chat, making a
It was very different, it was
completely outside of my
experiences. I found it very interesting!”
© Birmingham Post & Mail
cup of tea, donating a gift, or just keeping in touch, you can’t
underestimate what a big difference small, caring acts and
companionship can make to someone who is on their own.
“I am so pleased to have older people and volunteers from
Birmingham here today to raise awareness of this important issue.
“Ageing Better in Birmingham is doing incredible work to
help older people by securing £6 million from the Big Lottery
Fund to support and re-engage older people with their
communities to help them lead happy, active and fulfilled lives.”
Ageing Better in Birmingham’s aim is to facilitate
change in the way older people are considered and
engage and empower them to take part in and influence
activities for older people across Birmingham.
BVSC would like to extend thanks to the Birmingham Mail,
10 Downing Street and Virgin Trains for providing their older
people with a wonderful and well-deserved day out.
i Ageing Better in Birmingham:
Update 250 /// February & March 2016 5
Experts by Experience new year’s resolutions
Following the success of the Experts by Experience launch film
in 2015, the team at Birmingham Changing Futures Together
decided it would be fitting to create a new film for 2016.
The film features some new year’s resolutions, a variety of stories and
successful journeys and recommendations for services for 2016.
Birmingham Changing Futures Together will continue to work
with Experts by Experience to help improve services across
Birmingham, and make the lives of their users more fulfilled.
Hopefully you’ll find the film as rewarding to watch as they found it to make.
i Birmingham Changing Futures Together: www.bvsc.org/experts-experience
Citizen Coaching invites aspiring
social entrepreneurs to Do it For Real
A new initiative to help young people in Birmingham
to start, grow and build their own social action projects
has been announced today by Citizen Coaching CIC.
As one of 22 partners in the first national Do it For
Real programme funded by Spirit of 2012, Comic Relief
and UnLtd, Citizen Coaching is set to help budding
entrepreneurs aged 16-30 to discover their enterprise
potential and contribute to their communities.
With varied business interests spanning digital marketing,
retail, counselling therapy and anger management, the
team at Citizen Coaching will share their real world business
know-how with up to 20 young social entrepreneurs in the
Ladywood area. A pot of up to £20,000 will be used to make
small grant awards to kick start business ideas alongside a
tailored package of expert help, networking and peer support.
“Do it For Real is one of the most exciting projects we have
been involved with in our ten years of business,” says Martin
Hogg, founder and managing director of Citizen Coaching.
“The opportunity to make it easier for young social
entrepreneurs to start-up and thrive is incredible. We want
to inspire, support, resource and connect them to the
dynamic social enterprise community in Birmingham. It
really could be a life changing experience for those who
are motivated and ready to do it for real,” adds Martin.
Do it For Real in Birmingham is open for expressions of
interest. Anyone aged 16-30 and living in Ladywood can apply.
i Citizen Coaching: www.citizencoaching.com / 0121 314 7075
Marie Curie provides care and
support through terminal illness
Marie Curie gives people with all terminal illness the choice
to die at home surrounded by their family and loved ones.
Their nurses provide them with hands on care and
emotional support in their own homes, right until the end.
There is also a Marie Curie Hospice based in Solihull,
with 24 en-suite rooms, where free specialist medical care
is provided for those with serious illnesses and emotional
support for their families, giving them the best quality of
life. They also have a range of services available to patients
and their families including day hospice, day clinics, social
worker, bereavement service, chaplin and therapists.
The layout of the Hospice incorporates privacy and
dignity for patients and visitors as well as a supportive and
active working environment for staff and volunteers.
Marie Curie’s home nursing service is nationwide
and last year 31,589 people were cared for by Marie
Curie Nurses in their own homes. In the West Midlands
77 Marie Curie Nurses provided 51,496 hours of care
to 838 patients at a cost of £757,774 to Marie Curie.
Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal starts in late
February and runs through the month of March. They
need your help. Can you spare two hours to collect for
Marie Curie during the appeal? On 19 March a number
of collections will be taking place across Birmingham,
so please get in touch if you can help out.
i Tracey Finnegan, Marie Curie:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0121 703 3713
James Voller appointed deputy CEO at Freshwinds
Freshwinds has announced the appointment of James
Voller to the position of deputy chief executive.
James has worked at Freshwinds for nearly seven years.
His appointment is part of the expansion of the organisation’s
management team which began with the appointment of
Ian Dalton as operations manager. Freshwinds will also be
recruiting a business development manager and a senior trusts
and corporate fundraiser, growing the functions of the senior
management team as their new work develops and expands,
especially in relation to their major international funding.
James said, “I am honoured to serve as the deputy CEO
of Freshwinds in what is to be a very exciting and positively
challenging time for the organisation. I am sure that together
with my fellow directors, managers and all our staff and
volunteers we can continue to provide excellent services and
make a significant difference to the lives of Birmingham’s
citizens. I would like to thank Mohammed Al-Rahim and all the
board of trustees for their faith in me and for their continuing
support over many years and, I am sure, into the future.”
i Freshwinds: www.freshwinds.org.uk
6 Update 250 /// February & March 2016
A hundred years
2016 will be a very significant year in the life of
Birmingham Voluntary Service Council. Not only
may it be a year of a change in location, it is also
its Centenary. A hundred years of supporting
charities and voluntary action in the city.
This is not to say that there weren’t any attempts to
organise charitable work or volunteering in the city prior
to this date. The Society for the Organisation of Charitable
Relief and the Repression of Mendacity was established
in 1869 as an attempt to place a mass of unregulated
charitable activity on a more constructive basis.
In Birmingham the Charities Organisation Society was formed
in the same year. Later, in 1891, Joseph Chamberlain founded the
West Birmingham Relief Fund which led to the establishment of
the Birmingham City Aid Society (BCAS) in 1906. The objectives
of this society were: comprehensiveness; individual responsibility;
uniformity of administration; and adequacy of resources.
The two organisations worked together in the years
before World War I, with growing examples of co-operation
with the Poor Law Authorities in the city as well as many
churches and chapels. In 1912 George Nutt, the secretary
of the BCAS reported the establishment of a library as
a bureau of information and details of all charities and
public bodies in the city and its neighbourhoods.
The onset of war increased the need for help for servicemen
and their families. This resulted in louder calls for better means
to identify need, allocate resources and avoid duplication.
Consequently, on 19 January 1916 a meeting of the two
organisations, the Birmingham Charitable Organisation
Society and the Birmingham City Aid Society was convened
at the Council House, chaired by the city’s Mayor, Neville
Chamberlain. There it was decided to amalgamate the
two organisations into the Birmingham Citizens Society.
It is this organisation we celebrate as the first official
body to offer systematic support services to member
organisations. There was a development of CVS-type
activities throughout the inter-war period, including:
• Developing methods to rationalise funds, especially
those set up for servicemen, ex-servicemen and
their families during and after the Great War
• Establishing a system of mutual registration
• Building a library of information on charities
and voluntary organisations
• Supporting new organisations to write constitutions
• Gathering feedback from members on
the usefulness of services offered
• Working with other large cities and the
National Society for Social Services
• Undertaking a mapping of organisations for the
Juvenile Organisations Committee in 1924 –
there were almost 700 clubs on the register.
The Birmingham Citizens Society had various locations
in its early years; at one time having an office with the
Birmingham Settlement in Newtown. It finally settled in
its central location of 161 Corporation Street in 1927, and
remained there in various guises for over 50 years.
It was wound up in 1947, with the Birmingham
Council for Social Services having been formed
in July 1946. This organisation was renamed
Birmingham Voluntary Service Council in the 1970s,
which moved to 138 Digbeth in the 1980s.
Information related to BVSC’s centenary will be
posted throughout the year to the BVSC website.
i BVSC: www.bvsc.org/bvsc-centenary
Update 250 /// February & March 2016 7
Support for homelessness people
SIFA Fireside is probably best known
to people in the city through its
drop-in centre and services based
at Allcock Street, Digbeth, where we
work with some of Birmingham’s
most vulnerable adults – people who
are homeless or vulnerably housed.
Many of our clients have multiple and complex needs
and may be affected by alcohol, face mental and physical
health problems, or be otherwise socially excluded.
SIFA Fireside was formed in 2007 through the merger of
two well established Birmingham charities: SIFA (Supporting
Independence from Alcohol) set up in 1982, and the Fireside
Charity (1983). We moved to our current flagship building
in Digbeth in 2011. This gave us space to develop a wider
range of services and work with partners such as the NHS.
2015 saw a change of focus following the recommissioning
of Birmingham’s drug and alcohol services and we’re pleased
to be working closely with CRI, the new service providers.
We took this opportunity to speak with our clients,
look again at their wants and needs and, as a result,
refocus our activities. We found our core mission,
‘meeting immediate needs and creating lasting change’
remained the same and so we continue to support people
who are homeless or vulnerably housed through:
• Immediate and essential support to those in crisis
• Advice, guidance and support to access
emergency, short-term and long-term
accommodation and other housing support
• Debt and benefits advice and support to access financial aid
• Training and employability services
• Interventions to reduce reoffending
• Access to healthcare, including counselling and
mental health and wellbeing services.
We run a daily drop-in service where we provide over 1,000
breakfasts, 2,000 lunches and 400 showers each month. Our
drop-in sessions are the frontline of SIFA Fireside’s operations,
acting as a gateway for our clients to access longer-term support
services. As well as making sure people don’t go without the
basic necessities, such as food and showers, we provide access to
We run a daily drop-in service
where we provide over 1,000
breakfasts, 2,000 lunches and 400
showers each month.”
a nurse, opticians, and dentistry clinics, drug and alcohol support
services, and tenancy support. We act as advocates for our
clients, for example campaigning for improved access to statutory
health services. To help us in these tasks we’re very fortunate
to have assistance from over 80 volunteers (aged from 18 to
84!) as well as a range of faith groups and corporate partners.
Training and employment
SIFA Fireside believes that everyone should have access
to opportunities to train and work. We have a number of
employment and training programmes such as Changing
Lives (a Big Lottery funded initiative) where we offer a
practical approach through increasing skills and confidence
along with a range of employability workshops, including
CV writing and interview techniques. The Changing Lives
team also operates an outreach service to local hostels and
organisations, providing support within the community,
and in particular to help prevent re-offending.
Clients on this programme face a complex range
of barriers to work so we address the wider issues by
offering workshops around budgeting and IT skills and
healthy eating and providing counselling and mentoring.
8 Update 250 /// February & March 2016
Support for homelessness people
SIFA Fireside has used its 30 years of
experience of helping people with
complex needs to develop experiential,
realistic and evidence-based training.”
We also run fun team-building activities and a weekly job
club, Future Steps, where clients can look for jobs online,
create universal job match accounts, e-mail addresses
and get support to complete application forms. We are
looking for volunteers to run various workshops. Contact
the Changing Lives team for more information.
Multiple and complex needs
We are involved in Birmingham Changing Futures Together,
part of a national BIG Lottery funded programme where
Shelter, in partnership with SIFA Fireside and Birmingham
Mind, has been awarded funding by BVSC to deliver the
lead worker and peer mentor service. This programme
is designed to provide intensive support to people who
have previously disengaged with services and who have
multiple, complex needs across homelessness, mental
health, substance misuse and offending behaviour.
The service is focused on ‘hard to reach’ individuals,
and our team is made up of four skilled lead workers
who each take responsibility for a case load of clients,
supported by peer mentors who have first-hand experience
of using services. The team is based at SIFA Fireside
Out of the Woodwork
SIFA Firesides’ social enterprise, Out of the Woodwork,
provides training and employment support through
furniture restoration and upcycling for long-term
unemployed people and vulnerable adults facing
issues including homelessness, alcohol misuse, mental
and physical health problems and social exclusion.
Trainees learn new skills and get back into a work
routine. Dev* joined the 12 week programme in early
September, but after just seven weeks was offered a
position at a construction company as a carpenter.
Upcycled furniture is a growing trend and our pieces are
sold via eBay and social media (with all profits invested back
into SIFA Fireside) and we are seeking new opportunities
to showcase the pieces. We are also currently taking on
new trainees and volunteers so if you know someone
who would be interested or you have a suitable space
where we could display our pieces please get in touch.
and also carries out outreach work, working closely
with the teams at Shelter and Birmingham Mind.
SIFA Fireside has used its 30 years of experience of helping
people with complex needs to develop experiential, realistic
and evidence-based training and awareness courses in several
areas. Our training is delivered by qualified practitioners
with a wealth of experience. We’re happy to deliver in-house
courses in your organisation or sessions at SIFA Fireside and
during the first half of 2016 we will be running a number of
training sessions on mental health first aid and a half day
workshop on equal opportunities. We also have a conference
room you can book for your own event or training session.
All our services and projects, including those that provide for
basic needs, require resources. At Christmas we experience a
significant rise in donations of clothes and food and this year has
been no exception. We are deeply grateful for all these donations
and want to take this opportunity also to say thank you to all the
partners and donors and volunteers who work with us on a regular
basis to enable us to keep our drop-in centre open and deliver
vital support services for vulnerable adults in Birmingham.
i SIFA Fireside: 0121 766 1700 / email@example.com /
Update 250 /// February & March 2016 9
Gorja Breeze and Rob Legge
If you could find a way to help you
and your team become more resilient,
better focused and confident, able
to make good decisions and manage
stress would you be interested?
Well, high performing organisations such as Google, First
Direct, General Mill (makers of Cheerios amongst many other
brands) Transport for London, KPMG and GlaxoSmithKline – to
name a few – have an answer. It has come to the attention of
respected institutes like the Harvard Business Review and been
the subject of positive articles in the Financial Times. Is it worth
us in the third sector exploring, to help us be successful?
It is about training our minds to be more focused,
seeing with greater clarity, having space for creativity
and feeling better connected. It is simple to learn and
takes a life time to practice. It is mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, being
aware of our thoughts and feelings – so instead of being
overwhelmed by them we are able to manage them. Practising
mindfulness can steer you towards an inner place of calm,
no matter how demanding our lives. Mindfulness allows us to
become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings we
experience and to see how we become entangled in them in
ways that are not helpful; many of us have a critical inner voice
which manifests as self-doubt and low confidence. Practicing
mindfulness provides the ability to break the cycle of negativity.
Mindfulness has its roots in the Buddhist system of
contemplation. The secular approach was originated
about 30 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn who defines it as:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.”
Mindfulness reduces stress, helps you live in the
moment, and be happier and more productive at work.
Why we need mindfulness at work
Mindfulness is for you if in the last week if you have found yourself:
• Unable to remember what others have
said during conversations
• With no recollection of your commute to work
• Eating at your desk without tasting your food
• Spending too much time on emails/social media
• Dwelling on past events or dreading what the future holds.
10 Update 250 /// February & March 2016
Transport for London indicated the
number of days taken off due to
stress, anxiety or depression has fallen by
71% since introducing mindfulness to
Practicing mindfulness will make you aware of the time
you spend in ‘autopilot’ which often means if you have too
much to do you work faster to fit it all in, becoming more
stressed and less effective. By being present in the moment,
rather than relying on autopilot means you are able to make
conscious choices rather than reacting in a knee jerk way.
How does it work?
Science is catching up with the practitioners and is finding
that through regular ‘meditation’ the following happens:
• Increased strength in brain connections associated with
learning, memory, emotion and perspective taking
• Improvements in attention, compassion and empathy
• The immune system is boosted
• Improvements in medical conditions such as type 2
diabetes, insomnia, phobias and eating disorders.
Mindfulness might sound like wishful thinking but a growing
body of academic research provides a raft of scientific
explanation. For example meditation is shown to reduce levels
of cortisol, a hormone related to stress. When cortisol levels
drop the mind grows calmer and becomes more focused.
What are the benefits at work?
Organisations that have adopted mindfulness into their work
practices declare it causes improvements to physical and
mental health. Transport for London indicated the number of
days taken off due to stress, anxiety or depression has fallen
by 71% since introducing mindfulness to their employees.
In addition organisations report staff having increased resilience
to cope with change, including in some cases, redundancy.
Organisations have demonstrated higher productivity
through improved focus and better decision making by
leaders and managers. In particular managers have trained
themselves to respond not react to situations, better managing
the emotional issues to make improved judgements, rather
than being consumed and stressed by difficult decisions.
The organisations also uniformly reported increased
emotional intelligence with staff showing greater self
awareness, social management and social awareness.
General Mills, an American company, tracked and evaluated
the outcome of the courses they ran with the following results:
• 83% optimise personal productivity (23% prior to the course)
• 80% of managers reported improved decision making
A practical start to mindfulness...
An example of a mindfulness exercise you can do every
day is called Feet on the Floor, from Mindfulness @Work
by Anna Black. This is one of the simplest and most useful
practices to do particularly when things are feeling difficult.
Turn your attention to your feet. Do it now. Feel
the sensations of your feet in contact with the floor.
Push down slightly through the bottom of the feet.
It is as if your feet were glued to the floor. Explore
these sensations, wriggle your toes if you like.
When something is weighted at the bottom, it is
unlikely to fall over. Focusing your attention to your feet
on the floor is like weighting yourself so you don’t fall
over. You instantly bring yourself into contact with the
present moment. A sense of groundlessness eases off.
The thoughts spinning off into the world of ‘what ifs’
slow down. Whatever is going on is still there, but you
are about to face it from a place of stability and strength.
Introduction to Practical Mindfulness
BVSC, 26 April: A fun practical introduction to
mindfulness and its benefits in the workplace,
facilitated by Gorja Breeze and Rob Legge.
• 82% reported success in eliminating tasks with
limited or low productivity (32% prior)
• 89% of managers reported improved listening skills.
A new financial year calls for new beginnings, so if you really
want to positively change your life and open up opportunities,
practising mindfulness is one of the most dramatically
effective things you can do. With its growing popularity,
media interest, increased medical research and proven
outstanding outcomes, there’s little doubt that mindfulness
will continue to grow and improve people’s lives in 2016.
• Find out how mindful you are by doing a quiz at:
• Find out more about mindfullness online: www.mindful.org
• Read: Mindfulness for Busy People by Dr Michael Sinclair and
Josie Seydel; The Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr Patrizia Collard
• Try mindfulness meditation:
Gorja Breeze currently works in further education and Rob Legge
is a leadership coach and trainer in the third sector. To contact the
authors to discuss bringing mindfulness into your organisation please
contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
Update 250 /// February & March 2016 11
Tarick thrives at
Sport 4 Life and
has great plans
Tarick graduated from University
in 2013 and moved to Birmingham
a year later. He had been looking
for paid employment in London
and found the same challenges
when he moved to Birmingham.
He joined Talent Match in March 2015 and before long was
being put forward for roles through Talent Match Company.
From an early stage Tarick showed a real
commitment towards the Talent Match programme
and worked closely with his coach to address some
of the key barriers to gaining employment.
Following some early disappointments, Tarick decided
to take things into his own hands and found himself a
part time role in retail, with the option for more hours.
Although retail was not his passion, Tarick showed
tenacity and a positive attitude in sustaining this role
whilst keeping focussed on his long term goal.
Through trust, positive communication and no shortage
of dedication, Tarick’s work paid off. In September 2015,
following a successful interview, Tarick was offered
a role as an activity assistant with Sport 4 Life.
Tarick's first week went well. Here’s
what Sport 4 Life had to say...
“Although the week has been mainly inductions into Sport 4
Life, going through polices and paper work, he has settled
in nicely. His punctuality and attendance has been 100%.
He has completed and passed two training certificates to
prepare him for delivery. In the sessions Tarick has attended
he has engaged with the young people very well and seems
enthusiastic about the work he will be involved in.”
Part of the team
Since starting with Sport 4 Life Tarick has surpassed
expectations by achieving targets and becoming
an integral part of the team. Most recently he has
completed a level 2 multi-sports course through Sport
4 Life and they are supporting him to take up a two
week voluntary placement in the summer of 2016.
Tarick is looking forward to a role in sport development
and education in the future and is hoping to progress
in his current role before furthering his education, in
order to find sustainable employment in the future.
Help Tarick take
the next step...
I am on a mission to travel from
the United Kingdom to Rio De
Janeiro, Brazil during the 2016
Olympics Games. We are partnering
with the local Rio council and
several Rio based social projects to
deliver three weeks of multi-sport
and cultural impact work within
extremely deprived areas.”
Support Tarick in helping people
from the Favelas of Rio
i Visit: www.justgiving.com/tarick-fullerton / Text: PSKM55 £5
to 70070 / Find out more: Tarick@sport4life.org.uk
In February, Tarick will be bringing his Smoothie bike
to BVSC to raise funds. If you or anyone you know would
like to support Tarick further by hosting him at your
organisation please contact him for further details.
i Talent Match Birmingham & Soluhull: www.bvsc.org/talent-match /
Sport 4 Life: www.sport4life.org.uk
12 Update 250 /// February & March 2016
Projects in the third sector are
about impact, rather than income.
They deliver much needed services
and make a real difference to the
issues and communities they serve.
Project managers in the sector
deal with unique challenges and
need tools, techniques and support
that are tailored to meet these.
Project management is the application of processes, methods,
knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project
objectives. The role of a project manager is to be responsible
for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution,
monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. The role of
the project manager is an intensive role, requiring specialised
project management knowledge, skills and experience.
Project management is more than simply planning or
controlling the project’s delivery. It requires strategic thinking,
leadership and influencing skills. A project manager must be
able to inspire stakeholders and their delivery team. They will
need to be able to liaise with people throughout the business
chain and gain support from senior management and other
areas of the business (such as HR, Marketing and Finance).
They must be good at problem solving and managing
conflict. They must be able to predict the future. They will
need to be able to provide accurate financial forecasts,
anticipate risks and issues that may occur and know where,
when and how delivery will take place. They need to be
mind-readers, understanding what stakeholders, partners,
funders, managers, team members and project beneficiaries
want, need and expect from the project and try to respond
to these various (and sometimes competing) demands.
One of the most critical skills a PM must have is people
management skills. All the PM qualifications in the world will
not create a successful project manager if they are not able to
form good working relationships with their team. Good PMs
do not micro manage – they delegate with confidence in their
team and ensure team members are supported and developed.
Simply put, a good project manager can be the difference
between success and failure. Time spent on project
management is crucial as it allows you to look at how to use
your resources most effectively, streamline processes, avoid
risks and deal with issues, ensure quality and continuously
improve delivery. In short, work smarter not harder!
Project managers and project management principles,
methods and tools are widely used in the private sector
and specialised elements have been developed for many
industries where projects are a core element of their business,
such as construction, IT, engineering and manufacturing.
Incorporating feedback from third sector organisations
and project management professionals, PM3 has designed a
framework specifically for project managers in the third sector.
We want to ensure that your projects and your project
managers have access to the expertise and resources they
need to be successful and offer sector specific project
management training and workshops. In addition we
offer a range of services, from high level support through
consultancy, to low level support through peer networking.
Our services are flexible to meet with your needs and we can
offer both in-house services and bespoke services to suit you.
Bookings are now being taken for project
management workshops in early 2016.
i PM3: Project management workshops – www.pm3.org.uk/training /
Consultancy and support services – www.pm3.org.uk /
Update 250 /// February & March 2016 13
We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities in a variety
of areas including sports coaching, caring, admin and office
work, research work, youth work, conservation... and more!
What is volunteering?
Volunteering involves spending time, unpaid, doing something
that is of benefit to others or the environment.
Who can volunteer?
Anyone! You can volunteer whatever your age, job status or abilities.
Start your volunteering journey...
Visit us at Volunteer Centre Birmingham:
138 Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6DR
Call us: 0121 678 8839
Email us: email@example.com
Follow us: @volcentrebrum
SEARCH OUR VOLUNTEERING DATABASE
View hundreds of volunteering opportunities at
DO YOU MANAGE A VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION IN BIRMINGHAM?
Check out BVSC’s support services at
29 February 2016
9.00 am to 1.00 pm
Data protection, the internet, email and social media £60
* Early birds £50.00
3 March 2016
9.30 am to 3.00 pm
16 March 2016
10.00 am to 3.00 pm
12 April 2016
9.30 am to 12.30 pm
26 April 2016
9.30 am to 12.30 pm
3 May and
Tuesday 10 May
9.30 am to 3.00 pm
Sickness absence, poor performance,
disciplinaries and grievances
Further coaching skills
Taking coaching to the next level
The art and science of good delegation
Tips for survival and success
Introduction to practical mindfulness
A way to improve your life and work
Intensive HR management and
employment law skills (2 day course)
** Early birds £95.00
** Early birds £95.00
** Early birds £50.00
** Early birds £50.00
** Early birds £170.00
* Early bird rate applies to courses booked before 8 January 2016
** Early bird rates apply to courses booked before 31 January 2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE AND OTHER
BVSC COURSES AND TO BOOK YOUR PLACE:
0121 678 8878
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CAN HELP YOU...
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