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SAFL Open Days

SAFL will be hosting Open Days on the 4, 5 & 7 September. Why not pop into one of the learning centres to find out about the Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service.  The Open Days will be:

Monday 4 September: 12.00 noon – 8.00 pm
Hateley Heath FETC, 2 Huntingdon Road, West Bromwich B71 2RP

Tuesday 5 September: 12.00 noon – 8.00 pm
Tipton College, Alexandra Road, Tipton DY4 7NR

Thursday 7 September: 12.00 noon – 8.00 pm
Ron Davis Centre, Ballot Street, Smethwick B66 3HH

There will be displays of learners’ work and tutors to talk to about the wide variety of courses, whilst enjoying light refreshments.  SAFL has many talented and enthusiastic learners in classes which are run on a part-time termly basis.

You can find out about how to enrol, class times and venues by going to SAFL’s website or call 0121 556 7426.  If you have a group that would be interested in learning opportunities, SAFL could deliver in your venue, if you have a suitable learning space. Please call to discuss.

Sports Structures Ltd – Employability Programme

Employability programme is a 6 week programme that won’t affect participant benefits

Who are we?
In September 2016, Sport Structures Ltd began the delivery of our Employability through Sport programme which has been based on our national award winning Coaching Communities Programme. We deliver this programme in all four areas of the Black Country; Dudley Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. This programme gives the participants the opportunity to become more employable, by gaining valuable, transferable skills to take towards numerous career paths.

What do we offer?
FREE training to gain accredited qualifications in:

  • Safeguarding and Protecting Children
  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • FREE recognised coaching qualification in Level 1 Principles of Coaching
  • 1:1 workshops to improve; Cover Letter, CV and Interview Techniques
  • Individual support and guidance throughout the programme
  • Develop transferable skills that can be used in ANY industry
  • Progression routes offered by experienced professionals

Our Objectives
To support participants to access further training, enhance their skills and become more employable.
Help the participants take a step closer to enhancing their employment prospects in ANY industry.

How can you get more information to refer?
For any further information on the programme please feel free to contact either Leah or Dan on:
07391 010299
07391 010300

Our Next Programme
We have booked in the Walsall programme at:
YMCA Black Country Group
38 Carters Green
West Bromwich
B70 9LG

The programme starts on Monday 11th September 2017.

Participants must be signed up to the programme prior to this date to begin the programme. Please contact Leah or Dan on the eligibility evidence required to complete the sign up.

“The sessions were informative and relevant, I received help with information regarding coaching and support in the understanding of the programme.”
(Chris Dixon, Sandwell Participant, 2017)

Home Community Event

Creative Academies Network is an integrated multi-layered charity which delivers inclusive programmes, bespoke services and enrichment activities for children, young people and adults within the Black Country. Our alternative learning provision and enrichment activities increase confidence and aspirations and advance independent life skills. Our core mission is to engage, educate and empower the local community through arts, sports, education and employment.

HOME: Heart of Sandwell (Routes to Roots) enables local young people aged 12 – 25 to research the untold stories of multi-cultural communities that have settled, creating homes for themselves within the area of Sandwell. The project highlights the history of Sandwell by discovering the hidden gems of rich culture that are deeply embedded within it’s roots by capturing your stories! We are always seeking to hear new, untold stories to celebrate heritage and we invite everyone within the community to get involved!

If you would like to get involved as a young person or to tell your story for the HOME project, please email

Don’t miss our FINAL upcoming Home Cultural Exchange Event in West Bromwich!

We have hosted 5 Cultural Exchange Events within 5 areas of Sandwell as part of our HOME: Routes to Roots programme. We brought you free fun, food and games while providing a great learning experience of local cultures within the community. “These events have been fantastic for the community and have been a fun new experience for me and the family”.

We have our FINAL 6th Cultural Event upcoming at the YMCA, West Bromwich. Bigger, better and with even more cultural sharing! We invite all local people, places and organizations to attend the FREE offer of engaging activities and the opportunity to embrace the rich multi-cultural landscape of Sandwell. For more information, please visit:

Location: YMCA, 38 Carters Green, West Bromwich, B70 9LG.
Date & Time: Saturday 26th August 2017 @12:00 – 16:00

For more information please contact Daniel Lal,Development Officer, on 0121 524 3232 or via email at

HOME is proudly funded and supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Big Lottery Fund.

Invitation to briefings on new ‘Family Offer’ service for children and families

SCVO, working in partnership with Murray Hall Community Trust and Action for Children, are running two briefing events about the new ‘Family Offer’ service which will be of interest to agencies and organisations supporting children and families in Sandwell.

The Family Offer is a development of the support delivered over many years through Children’s Centres across the borough, and offers town-based ‘universal’ and ‘universal plus’ help and advice to children and young people aged 0-25 and their parents.

The wide range of services provided include an information point for local parents, health promotion, a universal/ universal plus family support service for children and young people 0-19 years (25 for SEND) and their families, a universal Antenatal Education Programme, and a limited Employment and Training role dovetailing with other elements of the service.

The two briefing events will provide local agencies with the opportunity to meet Family Offer staff, gain more information about how to access or link in with the services provided, network with other local providers and take a tour of one of the Family Offer centres and facilities.

The first event will be hosted by Action for Children at their Cape Hill and Bearwood Children’s Centre, Corbett St, Smethwick B66 3PX on Tuesday 19th September, 11.45 am to 1 pm, with tours of the building until 4 pm. Book your place via Eventbrite

The second event will be hosted by Murray Hall Community Trust at their Rowley (Springfield) Children’s Centre, Dudley Road, Rowley Regis B65 8JY on Monday 9th October, 12.45 pm to 2 pm, with tours of the building until 4 pm. Book your place via Eventbrite

Please note numbers for both events are limited and bookings are made on a first come first served basis. For further information on these events please contact Stuart Ashmore at SCVO on 0121 525 1127, email


Alzheimer’s Society Day Support (Day Care Centre)

The Alzheimer s Society is the leading support and research charity for people with Dementia, their families and carers. The Society fights for a better world for people with all types of dementia.

Do you need Day Care support for your loved one, or are you looking for social interaction and meeting like-minded people?

The Alzheimer’s Society Day Care Support runs weekly on Saturdays at Edward Street Hospital. The environment and its Care Support team specialise in the needs and requirements of those diagnosed with Alzheimer s, Dementia and mixed Dementias, in a stimulating, therapeutic, care assisted unit.

The sessions are tailored to individual needs and interests, person centred in groups or one to one with activities to meet all levels of need and capacity. If you or someone you know is ready to make new friends, socialise and have fun, the Day Care Support team meet every Saturday 10 am to 3 pm or if you prefer, 10 am to 1 pm, or 12 pm to 3 pm for half day sessions. There is a three course meal at lunch time.

Transport is provided if you live in the Sandwell area.

For further details, please contact Elaine White the Day Support Manager on 0121 521 3020 / 07710381107 or email


Spotlight on FareShare

1. Tell us what you do.
FareShare is a food redistribution charity. We save good food destined for waste and send it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people. We work across 21 regional centres in the UK where we sort and redistribute surplus food, which we give to local charities and voluntary organisations with the help of our own fantastic volunteers.

We also facilitate connections between local groups and nearby supermarket stores, in order for them to receive the surplus food from the store on a regular basis. In the West Midlands, we are currently focusing on Tesco Express stores in Black Country, with the aim of getting as many organisations as possible connected to their nearby store in order to make use of the surplus food on offer.

We work with a range of organisations, including lunch clubs, youth groups, breakfast clubs, foodbanks and various support groups to provide them with high quality surplus food on a regular basis. Across the West Midlands, there are 151 charities signed up to receive food from our Regional Centre in Nechells, and 420 collecting food from their nearby supermarkets. We never give food past its use by date and work with charities to ensure high standards of food hygiene are maintained.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
In March 2017 FareShare in the West Midlands celebrated its 10th birthday. In 10 years we have provided 10 million meals to voluntary organisations across the West Midlands. It is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the real difference surplus food can make to the community.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
We have attended breakfast meetings, which has been a fantastic way to meet other local organisations.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
To never underestimate the dedication of those in the voluntary sector. We continue to find amazing charities and organisations who are committed to doing great work in the area.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We hope to continue to expand our work – reaching more community groups, feeding more people, and tapping into more unsold, surplus food and putting it to good use!

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Networking is so important to us. We are constantly looking for new organisations who could benefit from surplus food, and we always need more volunteers to help us with our work. Any opportunity to get the word out there and meet local groups is invaluable.

For more information on FareShare click here or call Hannah Feld on 0121 328 6640 or email if your interested in getting involved.


National Citizens Service

A team of National Citizen Service (NCS) participants took to the streets of West Bromwich on Wednesday 12 July on a campaign to raise awareness about Dementia with help from some of the most notable organisations from across the country and for these young people, it all started with them saying “Yes”. Tarique Ramsey-Braithwaite, part of Team Reiss and one of the many young people who became the first ‘wave’ of summer participants on the 2017 programme, talks about their experiences.

The National Citizen Service is a government-funded initiative that brings together schools, community organisations, businesses and individuals to build a stronger and more cohesive society. NCS is a three-part programme for 15-17 year olds that provides unique benefits for personal development. It’s an unforgettable experience which builds confidence and independence and the programme runs during summer, autumn half term, and autumn term time.

As part of the NCS programme, the team undertook volunteering at Dingle Meadows Residential Home in Oldbury. Throughout our time we spoke to residents and were told stories of their lives and their experiences of noticeable events like the World Wars.

Throughout our volunteering time, all members of the team became aware of how Dementia affected the residents, their families and the care staff. As our own awareness about the condition grew, we planned, organised and hosted a Youth-Led Dementia Awareness Campaign Day, which we called ‘Never Forgotten’. Our campaign raised awareness about Dementia within the local Sandwell community, raised awareness of organisations that support those who are affected by dementia and, where required, we signposted individuals to these organisations, and we raised awareness and signposted community organisations and local businesses to access support to become involved in making their services more dementia friendly.

Our team received various forms of support from community organisations and local businesses. We would like to ‘Thank’ Birmingham Dementia Action Alliance, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s West Bromwich High Street Market, Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Society for their generous contributions.

Team Reiss’ experience was a unique and life-changing opportunity. We were empowered and inspired to achieve through monumental challenges and was able to make a positive impact within the local Sandwell community. Therefore, we would encourage young people, local businesses and community organisations to become involved with the NCS programme. Visit, contact your local NCS office in writing at 52 Charlotte Street, Birmingham, B3 1AR or email

Our final ‘thanks’ goes to NCS and The Challenge for allowing us to experience this unique opportunity and to be able to represent them through their programme and dedicated work for young people.

Universal Credit in Sandwell

From the 5 July 2017 parts of Sandwell are moving to what’s called ‘Full Service’ Universal Credit (UC). This change applies to people who live in postcodes which start with the following combinations: B62 8, B64 5, B64 6, B64 7 B65 0 and B65 8

Most people, who are of working-age who live in one of these areas will no longer be able to make new claims for the following benefits (collectively known as legacy benefits): Housing Benefit, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (income based), Employment Support Allowance (income related), Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit. Instead – anyone who would previously claimed one of these benefits will now have to make a claim for UC (although there are certain limited exceptions, such as families with three or more children). If you live in the rest of the borough – you should still claim legacy benefits, although if you have no dependent children living with you and are under retirement age, you may be directed by the DWP to claim UC anyway.

People claiming UC who need help with housing costs should now claim for the Housing Cost element of UC rather than Housing Benefit, although some people aged under 22 are excluded from receiving this and will be unable to claim any support with housing. (Information about exemptions, i.e. young people who can still claim, is available on It is important to stress that anyone claiming UC who is liable to pay Council Tax should still make a separate application to the council to see if they are entitled to Council Tax Reduction. Sandwell residents can do this here.  Landlords and advice agencies etc will no longer be able to chase progress on claims for support with housing costs with Sandwell Council as the council will no longer be responsible for administering those claims.

Sandwell’s Revenues and Benefits Service is putting out updates on Universal Credit progress (and similar subjects) via their Landlords Blog. Despite the title, the blog is aimed at anyone, not just landlords interested in housing or benefit issues. If you sign up as a follower, you will receive regular updates on Universal Credit and related subjects. The blog already has several articles on different aspects of UC, particularly around questions of rent payment/arrears. You can also find full information about UC on If you need more information about Sandwell Revenues and Benefits, please contact their Stakeholder Relations Officer – Oliver Wright at

Please note that the ‘roll-out’ to Universal Credit Full Service is happening at different rates in different areas and is more advanced in some neighbouring authorities than in Sandwell. A complete conversion to Full Service to cover all Sandwell postcodes is expected in July 2018.


Homeschool Social Enterprse – Food Bank

At Homeschool Social Enterprise (an Independent Christian Primary School) we run a weekly food bank through our ministry – Active Christians, where we offer food for those people who need it with the goods donated to us. 

Our supplies vary each week so please contact us for details on how you can donate goods to support this or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer with us or to find out more about this service by:

Telephone: 07500416635/ 0121 649 1599

For more information on what other services we offer please go to

Homeschool Social Enterprise – School Places For September

Are you looking for a new school place for September?  Homeschool Social Enterprise still has spaces left for children aged 5-11 for September 2017.

Homeschool is an Independent Christian Primary School and its central aim is to educate and support children with a rich and varied education along with strong Christian values to prepare them for life.

The school’s initiative is designed to combat underachievement that is common within schools.  Unlike traditional mainstream schools, there are smaller class sizes, a curriculum programme tailored to each child and a work ethic that reflects working life after school. You could say it truly has a child centered focus.  So whether your child is a Gifted and Talented pupil, or suffers with a learning difficulty, Homeschool can place them on a programme to see that they reach their full potential.

Contact Homeschool to find out how it small class sizes can benefit your child.  As an inclusive school it accepts children of all abilities including SEN and prepares them for Mainstream and Grammar school.  The school has a proven success rate and targeted programmes to support all children to achieve that next level.

Call 0121 649 1599 or email at to find out more about its services. Alternatively, why not take a look at the website at

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