The Henry Smith Charity - Case Study - SHINE@NechellsPOD

Amount Given: £104,500 over 3 years (funding from 2019 to 2022)

This application was made under our Strengthening Communities grant programme towards the running costs of an organisation providing a range of activities and services, including a job club and language classes, for disadvantaged communities in Nechells, Birmingham. The organisation is based within the bottom 10% of deprivation based on the government Indices of Multiple Deprivation.

Mary Mosinghi, Grants Manager

SHINE@NechellsPOD aims to develop the capacity and skills of the members of the socially and economically disadvantaged community of Nechells in such a way that they are able to identify and help meet their needs and participate more fully in society. The organisation provides services to improve life chances, develop skills and offer support and guidance. SHINE@NechellsPOD delivers tailored activities on a daily basis through group led projects, one to one support sessions dependent on the individual’s need and choice of activity, all of which is used to promote long-term change in a person’s life.

The Henry Smith Charity grant supported 1,919 people in 2019.  Activities in 2019 included;

  • Coffee and Chat: these sessions gave attendees the opportunity for an informal chat with friends and neighbours
  • Walking and Tai Chi Fitness: these sessions helped improve health and wellbeing and also provide meaningful social experiences for those that may be more isolated
  • Regular community lunches for all POD members: An opportunity to come together and share a meal
  • Talking Tots: helped parents improve their spoken English, alongside their child
  • Happy Healthy Holidays: provided fun activities and healthy food to children during the summer holidays, 52 children attended this activity.

SHINE@NechellsPOD recruited a Volunteer Coordinator with the Henry Smith Charity grant which has resulted in an increased number of volunteers, who have developed new skills and moved on to sustainable employment or training.  SHINE@NechellsPOD also held an event at the POD attended by 40 local residents and stakeholders to map existing talents and resources and co create an action plan of how local stakeholders can work together to affect change in the area.

Find out more about the work of SHINE@NechellsPOD

Noran Flynn MBE, Charity Director, SHINE@NechellsPOD

The grant from the Henry Smith Charity has enabled SHINE@NechellsPOD to reach out and support a greater number of local people from across the community.  The grant has helped us increase our capacity which has facilitated consultation with local people and stakeholders ensuring we offer a needs led package of activities addressing the diverse range of issues within the Nechells community.

The support from the Henry Smith Charity has enabled us to bring together the community, improving cohesion, reducing isolation and increasing skills and confidence.  We have done this by offering structured learning opportunities, individual skills development activities and very informal social gatherings that have bought together huge numbers of local people

Soon after getting married RB moved to Birmingham from London with her husband. RB is a qualified teacher and always wanted to return to work when her son started school. She was looking for volunteering opportunities to maintain her teaching skills and ensure she stayed connected with others. After making some enquiries she was signposted to Nechells POD. RB visited the centre to ask about volunteering and Stay and Play sessions. RB was made to feel welcome by Nechells POD staff and was pleased to have the chance to engage in activities as well as carry out a volunteering role in the same place. RB has been attending sessions at the centre since 2019 and stated that by joining in activities her confidence has grown.

Each week RB volunteers during the Talking Tots sessions as well as attending the Stay and Play with her son, this gives her a real sense of belonging. During her time at the centre she has made new friends and community connections. She is particularly grateful for the opportunity to socialise with other mothers who attend the sessions as she finds it rewarding and supportive. RB recognises as a mother she could become isolated, especially as her husband works away a lot. The location of Nechells POD is suitable for RB to walk to as she finds it can be costly to visit other places with her son. RB really enjoys how the community can get together while attending the centre and said Nechells POD is a really positive way to fit in. RB intends to return to work as soon as her son goes to school and sees the volunteering as a routine which is useful preparation for work.

She said without attending Nechells POD she feels she may have become depressed by staying home and not meeting people, it has offered her an opportunity to establish herself in her community, make friends and support her child to make friends.

Case Study