Black Lives Matter

Common-Unity and the Excellence in Third Sector Award

Screenshot from the online awards ceremony

Early in 2020 we were excited to be told that we had been shortlisted for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Award “Excellence in The Third Sector.” This nomination was alongside 7 other local organisations who provide essential community support across our region. The other nominees were:

  • Black Country Living Museum
  • Breast Cancer Haven, West Midlands
  • Family Society Adoption Focus
  • Gro-Organic CIC
  • Millennium Point Charitable Trust
  • Suited for Success
  • University Hospitals Birmingham Charity

Recognition

Common Unity were shortlisted with recognition of over a decade of hard work in supporting communities to engage with their own health and wellbeing.

Particular programmes of work were highlighted including our Suicide Prevention work with the development of the SCHEMA Suicide Prevention Training Programme, our Male Peer Support Programme known as ManMade and our hugely successful online directory of health and wellbeing services known as The Waiting Room.

The Awards Night

With the pandemic hitting hard in April, the event was moved online for broadcast in July. The event witnessed over 1,500 viewers with the event trending 3rd in the whole of the UK on social media during broadcast due to the diligent work of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to make best of a challenging situation.

Thank-you

On the night we didn’t win the award but are still hugely thankful for the experience and very humbled to have been nominated for the Chamber Award in this area.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work of our Associates and supporters over the years including Forward For Life, Cruse Bereavement Care Birmingham, Public Health Birmingham, Birmingham and Solihull CCG, Birmingham City University (well done on your award by the way!) and many more.

Get in touch

If you want to engage with us and hear more about the work we do and how we could link with yourselves please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Challenging times require a proactive approach

We are in unprecedented times and facing uncertainty as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect our daily lives. We want to assure you that Common Unity is fully committed to the safety and health of our communities.

During this period we all need to be there for each other even more so than usual which is somewhat ironic as the lockdown means that for many people they are finding the experience of life with little or no contact a real challenge to cope with.

But there are opportunities especially through the links we have online.

For overall Health & Wellbeing service information there is The Waiting Room (TWR) . Although many of the services are struggling regarding staffing numbers available and the amount of support they can practically put in place they are still providing as much support as they can personally, online, via text and the telephone. 

TWR also provides you with links to Birmingham and Solihull local NHS website which gives advice to the public around this challenge as well as links to all the national websites provided by the NHS and the Government. TWR also provides you with directories to all GP surgeries across Birmingham and Solihull.

We are also conscious that even after all of this is over the longer term impact and issue of loss will remain with many of us for years to come so TWR has also included within its listed services access to the national Cruse Bereavement website which provides crucial advice as to how best be supported through these difficult times.

Another key thing to look after is our own wellbeing – The NHS backed Every Mind Matters website provides loads of tips to improve your mental wellbeing. Looking after yourself is priority during these challenging times, after all, we need to be as well as we can so we can continue to help and support those around us that we love. We have added this link to TWR but you can also read it HERE

During this period of lockdown there are also rising concerns in respect of there being an increased risk of domestic abuse. We have added the Governments advice and guidance page to TWR but there are a number of superb services in Birmingham and Solihull that support people at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse including RSVP and Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid. There are also a range of Helplines listed in TWR because as we all know, it’s good to talk. Organisations include Samaritans, Calm and for those under 25, The Mix helpline. 

We also have listed Foodbanks in Birmingham and Solihull as currently there are many who are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet as well as the National Debtline link that many community members might find useful which includes the Webchat option.

Don’t forget, there are loads of other areas including Mental Health, Virtual Support, Therapeutic Support and more besides that you can tap into from home.

If there are any services that you are aware of that have recently popped up to support Birmingham and Solihull citizens and it is not on TWR, please do not hesitate in letting us know either by clicking on ‘add a service’ at TWR or emailing us directly at [email protected].

Common Unity and the Waiting Room team will be highlighting other relevant and useful services over the coming weeks that may be able to support you, your family and friends. In the meantime, look after your wellbeing and please keep yourself safe.

Best Caron x

TWR Resource Key – A Road To Somewhere

It’s a clever way of linking people with local support with the least amount of stress, hassle or disappointment

Back in the 80’s there was a song called “Road To Nowhere” – pretty good as well – but when I think of online resource directories, or worse still, paper directories for health and social care services, they are often just like this song. They are, too often, a Road To Nowhere. The telephone numbers are often wrong or discontinued; the organisation you are searching for has either moved, closed or changed the services they provide; the website links don’t work or the pages you are looking for don’t exist anymore – so we designed The Waiting Room in Birmingham (known as TWR) and the TWR Resource Key.

It’s a clever way of linking people with local support with the least amount of stress, hassle or disappointment – access to information is instant, information is current and making contact is do-able for both professionals and the public. In December of last year we started testing the TWR Resource Key with 25 GP Surgeries to see how it went down with their staff and their patients. The results are astounding and demand for TWR both in Birmingham and wider is growing fast with both Professionals and the public realising that access to local services can be up-to-date and are quite literally at their finger-tips.

Please check out our Pilot Overview document by clicking on TWR below and tell us what you think of it.

We think it’s a road to somewhere.