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).

3 3

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 /

Design: Cuthbert Design / Cover photo: © Ian Cuthbert /

Printing: Pinstripe Print Group / 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 /

John Taylor Hospice’s top fundraiser

© Rmarmion |

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

and backgrounds.”

© Kate Green |

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: /

@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: /

07841 504419 /

© Rmarmion |

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:

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: / 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: / 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:

6 Update 250 /// February & March 2016

BVSC centenary

A hundred years

of voluntary


Jhon McPhail

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.


Update 250 /// February & March 2016 7

Support for homelessness people



most vulnerable

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.

Drop-in service

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.

*Name changed

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 / /

Update 250 /// February & March 2016 9

Practical mindfulness



at work

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

Practical mindfulness

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.”

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.

New beginnings

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.

Next steps

• Find out how mindful you are by doing a quiz at:

• Find out more about mindfullness online:

• 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 in the first instance.

Update 250 /// February & March 2016 11

Talent Match

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: / Text: PSKM55 £5

to 70070 / Find out more:

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: /

Sport 4 Life:

12 Update 250 /// February & March 2016

Project management

What does

a project

manager do?

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 – /

Consultancy and support services – /

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:

Follow us: @volcentrebrum


View hundreds of volunteering opportunities at


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



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