We believe it takes a community to make people and places thrive.
Health & Wellbeing
We want to work with our local community to improve health and wellbeing.
We want to work with our local community to reduce the impacts of poverty.
Children & Young People
We want to help and support our children and young people reach their full potential.
Proud of our community
We want to make our local community a place where people feel pride in where they live and work.
We want to work with our local community to help transform it, into a place that is thriving, safe and an ideal place to live and work. Having a local voice means we can help transform our community directly, through positive change, regeneration of our local area and by supporting those who need it most.
To be widely recognised as a leading community anchor organisation providing services for our community.
Locally owned with active involvement from the community, the Trust will continue to make a real and positive contribution to the lives of people in North Smethwick. It will be seen as an essential partner for agencies operating in North Smethwick and the wider area. The Trust will be financially independent with income streams derived from its own assets and social enterprise.
Our work with others
We are a part of a bigger network and collaborate with a range of organisations to help make North Smethwick a community to be proud of.
How we started
North Smethwick Development Trust has its roots in housing regeneration when in 1988 a group of local residents successfully challenged a Compulsory Purchase Order on older, local housing.
Led by the Rev Janet Full James residents secured funding to employ a community development worker who worked with local people and Sandwell Council to manage the grant aided renovation of local homes that had previously been earmarked for demolition. By 1992 the resident group formalised as a Company Limited by Guarantee and Charity under the name of North Smethwick Housing Development Trust.
Following the success of the previous housing development project, the Trust began work in 1997 on the Albion Estate Regeneration Project, which saw the renovation of 160 council and privately-owned properties. This development programme was completed in 2001 and totalled more than £3,5m of investment in local housing.
Those early days of local people in action did not diminish and over time the Trust became more active in the running of the local community centre in Smethwick which was owned and managed by Sandwell MBC. Eventually in 2007, the Trust took the decision to assume management responsibility of the Brasshouse Community Centre focussing more on supporting local people with the emphasis on community engagement and community development. To this end, The Trust removed Housing from its title and formally changed its name to North Smethwick Development Trust.
NSDT now delivers a variety of activities and services that include a combination of community businesses and community projects and services. Since, activities at the centre have increased significantly. The Trust continues to grow, building on its earlier successes as it strives to meet its overall aims and responding to local need developing projects and partnerships with other organisations, schools, our statutory partners and most importantly our community members.
Our values are CLEAR and have been built to ensure we remain a committed development trust and that everything we do helps to provide support and services for the community.
Respecting our team, each other, our volunteers, our partners and our beneficiaries.
Understanding and promoting our social responsibilities; having due regard to its environmental impact, explore working in Collaboration – it’s only by working with others that we can be stronger.
By always striving for our cause and the challenge that lies ahead and to go the extra mile and drive the change that must happen.
Through genuine and open two-way communication that celebrates successes and demonstrates willingness to learn from mistakes, helps to build trust and confidence in our services, activities and community businesses.
Focus on providing the best service possible so that we deliver the most we can achieve for our clients/customers.
How we are governed
We are proud that our Board represents the diverse gender and ethic profile fairly typical of the area as a whole. Find out more about how we are governed.
North Smethwick Development Trust (NSDT) is a Charity (registered in England and Wales – 1035308) and Company Limited by Guarantee (Registered in England 02736636).
Since being established, NSDT has been locally led with most of our Directors made up of local residents. Being locally owned provides the strategic link between community and organisation.
Here we use the term Management Committee to describe our governing body.
Broadly, the Board of Directors responsibilities are to ensure that our charity:
- – Does what it was set up to do
- – Manages its finances well
- – Works within the law
- – Works together and makes effective decisions
- – Has effective Fundraising practices
- – Recognises equality, diversity and inclusion across our team and in the services and activities we offer
- – Is compliant with Health and safety, safeguarding and insurance
- – Is compliant with Regulations and licences
- – Has appropriate policies and procedure in place to mitigate risk
- – Is compliant with Charity and Company Law
- – Legal liability of committee members
- – Is a good employer to paid workers and recognises our volunteers
- – Is compliant with the requirements of leasing premises
Our Chairman of the Board directly line manages the Chief Executive. We regularly seek input and engagement from local residents in our work through organising meaningful consultations which also act as an accountability mechanism for feeding back on the achievements of the Trust and to check whether we are making an impact. We work with local leaders and people of trust within the community, we seek feedback from the many services we deliver to ensure we are getting things right.
Following our governing document
We have to operate within our charity’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. This means keeping to the agreed aims of your organisation, and sticking to the rules we agreed about how our organisation is run.
All policies are reviewed by the Board either annually or bi-annually or when legislation requires.
As a registered charity, our Memorandum and Articles of Association has already been approved by the Charity Commission. It states when we need to have our AGM, how many times our Management Committee will meet during the year, and how our accounts should be kept.
How we manage and report our Finances
As a charity, we prepare annual accounts and make them available to the public on request.
As we have an income above £25,000, we have our accounts examined by an Independent Person. We also keep our accounts for at least 6 years after their date. This means all the records – bank statements, receipts, cheque books – not just a summary of the account.
The Board is presented with the management accounts at every quarterly Board meeting, these reports provide details about the charities profit and loss, monies owed, cashflow and our balance sheet including Bank balances. Management accounts are presented at each bi-monthly Finance and Human Resources Sub-Committee meeting.
Budgets are prepared by the Chief Executive Officer with the support of the Finance & Administrative Officer and presented to the Finance and Human Resources Sub-group for approval before being confirmed. The Finance policy states the requirement for Board approval by mid-February each year.
NSDT employs a Finance & Administrative Officer to manage the day to day income and expenditure.
Trustees annual report
As a charity, we must produce a Trustees’ Annual Report. This report forms part of the Annual Accounts and is presented at the charity’s Annual General Meeting.
An annual return is how we inform the Charity Commission of the work of a charity over the year. We have to ensure that this is done within 10 months of end of their financial year.
Meet the team
Our board of Trustees
Award winning development trust
We are proud to announce we are Silver award winners of Sandwell Family Life and are also the only community based organisation in Sandwell to have received a Silver award from Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, “Eat out and Eat Well Scheme”.
The award is in recognition of our work making it as easy as possible for our customers to make healthier choices when eating out.
“Help at Brasshouse means a lot to us, our family is very grateful. Having no job income for 2 months at the start of the pandemic and benefit delays, means that we have been struggling and having been given food at Brasshouse has been a massive help.”
Susan (aged 28) is a parent to 2 children aged 5 and 3 years, living in the Smethwick area, Susan’s husband lost his job as a result of the Covid outbreak. Susan has been using the service since we started having been referred to us by the local foodbank.
Susan told us “we took on financial commitments that we were able to meet with my husband’s income. The loss of his salary has meant that we are struggling to make ends meet and are relying on family to help us financially”.
Susan, does have access to the local foodbank and food pantry service. However, this did not always give her enough food for the week and some days she struggled emotionally to cook a meal.
Susan and her family accessed the service twice weekly and this gave her confidence to access support to access benefits to help her family. She talked of how this boosted her confidence and helped her husband with his guilt too.
Find out more about life at NSDT
If you want to find out more about what we do at NSDT or how we can support you, get in touch with us and take the first step to transforming your life.
Disability confident employers
We are proud to be disability confident employers and are committed to working with local academic institutes to provide equal opportunities.
Real living wage employer
NSDT are a real living wage employer and are committed to providing a fair wage for everyone.
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