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Vigil for Manchester in Oldbury Civic Square – Thursday Evening, 25 May at 7 pm

Communities in Sandwell are joining together for a vigil in memory of the victims of Monday’s Manchester concert attack.  Everyone is welcome at the vigil in Oldbury Civic Square outside Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, tomorrow, Thursday 25 May, from 7 pm to 8 pm.

People can bring candles and tributes if they wish, and there will be an opportunity to sign a Sandwell letter of solidarity that will be sent to Manchester.

Should you need more information, please contact gary_bowman@sandwell.gov.uk.

#WeStandTogether


‘Learners’ Art Exhibition’ at Central Sixth

SAFL (Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service) will be holding an exhibition of paintings and images from their adult learners’ art classes, at the Art Café, Central Sixth, New Square, West Bromwich until 5 June 2017. SAFL have lots of talented and enthusiastic learners in its art classes which are run on a termly basis, so please go along and support them.

You can find out class times and venues by visiting SAFL’s website where you can download a copy of the prospectus, or give SAFL a call to register your interest for classes starting September 2017.

If you have people in your organisation who would be interested in attending learning opportunities, SAFL could deliver in your venue, if you have a suitable learning space. Please call to discuss.

SAFL could work with your group to produce crafts that would be suitable to sell and raise funds for your group, or deliver First Aid awareness, basic nutrition awareness or knitting and crochet classes.

For more information please visit the website and click on the course guide or alternatively call on 0121 557 0837.
Follow SAFL on Twitter – @learnsafl

 


Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2017

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. Volunteers Week runs from 1 – 7 June every year.

Locally, Volunteer Centre Sandwell has held Volunteer Recruitment Fairs, Sandwell Volunteer Awards and last year invited over 140 volunteers to West Bromwich Albion Football Club for a Thank You Lunch.

This year, in partnership with NHS Recovery College, Volunteer Centre Sandwell will be hosting a community play entitled The Ward on Tuesday 6 June at West Bromwich Town Hall. There will be two performances and entry is free for both. The first performance begins at 10.30 am; the second at 1 pm.

The play which features a community cast, is aimed especially at clients, carers, and professionals in the mental health service.

To reserve your place contact Volunteer Centre Sandwell 0121 544 8326 or email Reuben@volunteercentresandwell.co.uk.

 

 


Near Neighbours – The Great Get Together

Will you join the Great Get Together?

Near Neighbours is a charity that has been bringing people together in diverse areas across the country since 2011. That we have more in common than divides us is at the core of what we do. By hosting a Great Get Together with Near Neighbours you can join a movement of people across the country that have been celebrating our diversity for years.

We have joined with the Jo Cox Foundation to invite you to hold a Great Get Together in your community. Inspired by Jo Cox MP, the Great Get Together is encouraging people to host street parties across the country to celebrate all that we have in common with our neighbours.

In that spirit, her family and friends are inviting people across the country to mark the anniversary of her murder by organising or attending a celebration in their community on 16-18 June 2017.

Archbishop Justin has commended the Great Get Together and is encouraging groups to get involved through Near Neighbours, a programme that has been bringing people together in this vein since 2011. This is Archbishop Justin’s message to you:

“I encourage you whole heartedly to host a Great Get Together in your community and to do so in partnership with Near Neighbours, whose inspiring work has enabled local communities across the country to work and live together effectively.”

Could you bring your neighbourhood together to celebrate a Great Get Together? Find out more here or to register click here.


Eat Well Spend Less

Brasshouse Community Centre is running a six week free course, learn how to cook and eat healthily on a budget. The sessions are from 10 am to 12.30 pm on Mondays.

If you wish to book a place on the course, please contact Hanna Nadershahi, the Volunteering Engagement Co-ordinator, on 0121 5555672.

Visit the website


Volunteers wanted for Bearwood Street Festival

On Sunday 11 June 2017, We are Bearwood, will be hosting the first ever community lead music and arts festival on Bearwood High Street from 11.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Highly Sprung’s innovative blend of physical performance and animated storytelling is sure to excite audiences. There’ll also be cultural and audio feasts provided by the Community Stage.

Younger visitors will have plenty to keep them busy with futuristic themed crafts, games, and street art workshops. Live music on the main stage will reflect Bearwood’s eclectic musical heritage with something to suit all tastes. Headliners, The Electric Swing Circus, bring an explosive sound fusion that reverberates back through time.

There will be some of the best in regional street foods in the Food Parade, and a host of local entrepreneurs and crafters showcasing their goods in Bearwood Indoor Market.

We are Bearwood are in need of art and non-art volunteers.  If you would like to be a volunteer and be part of this exciting Street Festival, please click on the relevant link to register your interest.

Art volunteer

Non-art volunteer

Visit the We are Bearwood website

 


Spotlight on Cradley Heath Creative

1. Tell us what you do.
Cradley Heath Creative highlights the arts and artists in the Cradley Heath area – artists means anyone who creative activity, whether it’s visual, performance, film, crafts. Most of our members are people who have trained in the arts to some level or who are a bit fanatical about what they do as amateur artists. We join in on local festivals and events where possible and we run a free annual arts festival in April/May. This year it expanded to three venues.

2.What is your proudest achievement?
We are gradually converting a horse trailer into a mobile community venue, called Oss Box. So far we have had grants from Sandwell, the Arts Council, ASDA and Creative Black Country. We’ve used it for shadow puppetry; it’s been a pinhole camera – the images are part of Reclaimed Photography Festival at the Black Country Museum; it makes an unusual arts workshop and a stage for small plays.

Oss Box is available for use by other community organisations – we ask for expenses to cover transport and wear and tear.

3.What is your experience of support received from SCVO
SCVO membership gives us a good deal for our group public liability insurance and we look at updates for funding streams. We are really aware of the support available from SCVO staff for small groups, but we are not able to take part in the networking breakfasts at the moment.

4.What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
People have a strong affinity with the area they live in. This makes Sandwell a patchwork of communities that look to their own identity and many perceive a West Bromwich bias in Sandwell. We have found, however, a willingness, despite cutbacks, by Sandwell Council staff to work with people who want things to happen in the community – support for getting events promoted from the Communications Team, facilitating public events in parks, guidance on Sandwell funding applications etc.

5.What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We want to continue to highlight the arts skills of members of Cradley Heath Creative to people who live locally. There is a lot of imagination within the group for community activity. We’d love to see the stable block at Haden Hill House converted to a community and arts resource, which would mean getting together with a lot of other local organisations who could benefit.

6.How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Keep prompting us! It’s good to have the kind of professional advice you can offer at the points when we need it.

For more information on Creadley Heath Creative please email Fran Wilde at franwilde@me.com


Poles In Birmingham-West Bromwich Are Celebrating Their Heritage and Culture

Join Polish Expats Association and Creative Black Country for a Polish Heritage Day on 06 May 2017 at West Bromwich Town Hall and celebrate openness, appreciation and better understanding between our communities in Birmingham.

The project is part of the Polish Heritage Day initiative by the Polish Embassy in London along with over 40 events planned across the UK and supported by the Polish Consulates in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh.

Programme include:
-Presentation of ‘From Exile to Freedom’- exhibition presenting stories of different generations of Polish Migrants
– Traditional folk papercuts workshop
– Craft stalls
– Polish food
– Live music and more!

Taking place on 6-7 May 2017 and intended as an annual festival, Polish Heritage Day is planned for the weekend after the symbolic date of 3 May, when in 1791 Poland proclaimed its modern codified constitution as the first country in Europe and the second in the world after the United States – a symbol of freedom and equality. 2 May is also celebrated in Poland and in Polish communities around the world as the Polish Diaspora Day and Polish Flag Day.

A number of city councils across the country have already expressed their support for the project by offering patronage and raising the white-and-red flags on town halls during the festival as a gesture of openness and symbol of friendship. A virtual map of planned events can be discovered at Polish Embassy’s website.

Project’s logo is based on the design of the white-and-red chequerboard – a symbol painted on the Polish airplanes during the Battle of Britain 1940, in which Polish pilots constituted the second largest Allied contingent after the British. During World War II and later in the time of communism, the United Kingdom was the refuge of the Polish Government-in-Exile and free Poles. The Polish community is a mixture of the descendants of those wartime and anti-communist exiles and those who decided to move to Britain after Poland joined the EU in 2004.

Polish nationals are now the largest minority in the UK, estimated at 984,000. Poles have opened 30,000 businesses in the UK , and pride themselves in the highest rate of individuals in employment or higher education among all ethnic groups in Britain – at 92 per cent.

For more information about the event, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1882562412002704/  or follow #PLHeritageDay on social media.


Liz Hingley Photography Exhibition

We are delighted to present Home Made in Smethwick, an exhibition of photographs by local photographer Liz Hingley, which will tour to six Sandwell libraries. Liz worked with residents for two years to create an intimate photographic portrait of the people and the food cooked in Smethwick in the Black Country, one of the most culturally diverse towns in the UK. A book of the work was published in August 2016 but this is the first time an exhibition of photographs has been exhibited publicly.

The launch event was in January 2017, at Smethwick Library but at the start of each leg of the tour there will be a special afternoon preview with the chance to see the work and taste homemade bread from Albert, a project participant.

We are delighted to present Home Made in Smethwick, an exhibition of photographs by local photographer Liz Hingley, which will come to Tipton Library from 13 April to 12 May 2017.

Liz has worked with residents for the last two years to create an intimate photographic portrait of the people and the food cooked in Smethwick in the Black Country, one of the most culturally diverse towns in the UK. A book of the work was published in August 2016 but this is the first time an exhibition of photographs has been exhibited publicly.

The exhibition will be at Tipton Library, Unity Walk, Owen Street, Tipton, DY4 8QL until Friday 12th May.

This event is part of a series of special exhibitions and film screenings brought to you by Multistory and Sandwell libraries.

Free entrance – no ticket required.

Tour Schedule:
Blackheath Library (0121 559 1884) 15 May – 9 June
Central Library, West Bromwich (0121 569 4904) 12 June – 10 July


Great Bridge Alcohol Outreach Campaign

On 3, 4 & 5 May, 12 noon to 3 pm, James Wareham, Community Alcohol Awareness Officer for Tipton and Wednesbury, will be teaming up with colleagues from across Sandwell Council for the “Let’s Talk Alcohol in Sandwell” campaign on the High Street, Great Bridge.

Contributors include Glyn Parton: Neighbourhood Co-ordinator (West Bromwich), Nik J Wooldridge: Town Lead ASB Officer (Prevention), Katy Anderson: ASB Officer and Mark Bowhay: Senior Street Warden. Lydia Dunne: Project Manager, Community Alcohol Project, Children & Young Peoples Services will be also there, together with Sergeant David Rogers, Police Constable Claire Hankinson and Constable Angela Francis all from Tipton Police. Swanswell, the commissioned alcohol recovery service, will be delivering outreach from Great Bridge Library.

As part of the Public Health campaign, the contributors have created the “You Booze You Lose” three day drive which is aimed at engaging with street drinkers who have been the cause of some issues within Great Bridge. These issues have resulted in a number of incidents and complaints from local residents and shop owners. Swanswell will be working with street drinkers who have declared that they need help and will be attempting to set up each of them on a recovery plan.

An organised litter pick will also be taking place to help tackle the issue of alcohol related waste, as well as engaging with local members of the community.

Nash Dom CIC, the Eastern European and Russian speaking community support group, will participate on all three days. They offer independent, confidential and impartial advice on rights and responsibilities in a number of different European languages to reach out to the street drinkers whose first language is not English.


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