Micro-grants Available for VCSE-led community engagement support – November and December 2022 – apply now!

The NHS is setting out plans and intentions for the next 5 years and commissioners and providers in the Black Country need your help!

We are inviting local groups and organisations across the Black Country to host a series of events or community conversations which help us to ‘listen, act and respond’ to people’s views and experiences, this is one of our key principles in the new Black Country People & Communities Involvement Approach.

We have small grants available of up to £300 to support the costs of hosting an event or community conversation. What the events or conversations look and feel like is entirely up to the host. Our only request is that you ask and share with us the answers to the following 3 questions from at least 5 people you support or who find it difficult to have their say;

  1. What’s worrying you and how will this impact your health now or in the future?
    • What’s on your mind? What’s causing you to feel stressed? What’s concerning you/your loved ones?
  1. What should the NHS be focussing on?
    • Now and in the future?
  1. What steps could health and care leaders take to support people and communities to manage their own health and happiness?

The NHS knows it needs to improve the ways it supports people to have their say and share their experiences; that’s especially true of specific people and communities whose voices are unheard.

Although we welcome bids from a range of communities, we’d be particularly interested to hear from those of you working with and supporting victims of domestic violence, people in the criminal justice system/ex-offenders, sex workers, homeless and rough sleepers, asylum seekers, refugees or people who’ve recently settled in the UK, children and young people, people living with a sensory impairment, People living with autism or a learning disability, people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, people approaching end of life, Gypsy/Roma/Travellers, LGBTQ+, long term unemployed, Black, Asian and/or minority ethnic communities.

We’re open to any creative suggestions you might have for hosting an event. Maybe you’d run an art, dance or cookery class. Perhaps you already have something planned and the small grant would help make it that little bit better, encourage more people to attend or ensure you are able to lay on tea, coffee, cake and other snacks. Maybe you’d use it to buy a piece of equipment which would benefit the people you support or your neighbourhood. Or have you been waiting for an opportunity to experiment or try something new?

We’d also encourage you to be creative in how you capture responses – feel free to use a mix of written, video, audio, illustration and anything else that you and your participants are comfortable with.

Successful hosts will be required to share responses to the above questions with us, by no later than Friday 9th December 2022.

Responses to the questions can be returned to us via post, email, Whatsapp or we can collect them, using the below EOI form.

Responses will be shared with senior leaders making critical decisions about the health and wellbeing priorities for the Black Country and to inform our NHS Five Year Forward Plan.

Download the micro-grants Expression Of Interest form here.

Send your expression of interest form to involve.blackcountry@nhs.net as soon as possible as we’ll be awarding grants weekly on a first-come, first-served basis. And if you have any questions about the invitation or would like some assistance completing the expression of interest, email us at the above address or call us on 0121 612 1447.

Please feel free to share this invitation with other groups or organisations working with the people and communities we’ve identified above. Partnership bids are also welcome where you’d like to co-host an event.

We look forward to receiving your expression of interest!

– Black Country Involvement Team and VCSE Alliance

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