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‘Celebrate Sandwell’ At Free Community Event

‘Celebrate Sandwell’ at a fun free event organised by the local community at West Bromwich Town Hall on Friday 30 June 2017.

Come along between 10 am and 4 pm to be entertained and find out what a wide range of local organisations and community groups in Sandwell have to offer.

From Caribbean steel pans, a wandering troubadour, poet and storyteller to a guided meditation walk and hula hoops, there’s a real mix of things to enjoy and explore.

Sandwell’s new Mayor, Councillor Ahmadul Haque MBE, will officially open the event at 12 noon.

Check out the many stands promoting scores of local services and community groups; enjoy free snack food and drinks; and enter a raffle to win some great prizes, including a free night out (a Harvester meal for two and two cinema tickets).

Event co-ordinator Richard Flatley said: “By running this event we are bringing people together to honour the kindness and compassion of the people and services of Sandwell.”

Councillor Syeda Khatun, Sandwell Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all things Sandwell and for people to find out more about local services and community groups.

“We are very proud of Sandwell’s thriving community and voluntary sector and I encourage people to come along to learn more about the wide range of support available across the borough.”

Follow the event on social media:

Twitter: @Sandwell2017
Instagram: @Celebrate Sandwell
For more information, email

For further information please contact:
Sandwell Council Communications Unit
0121 569 3031

Out of hours/emergency: 07920 027 723


People in Sandwell and West Birmingham Urged to Stay ‘Sun Safe’ This Summer

With the temperature set to rise over the next few days, Dr Nick Harding from NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people in the area to take care when enjoying the sunshine.

Keeping active in the fresh air is good news for our health but exposure of unprotected skin to the sun’s harmful rays can cause serious problems including sunburn, heatstroke and even cancer.

Now, Dr Harding has issued some top tips to help you stay safe in the sun:
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration in hot weather
• Apply sunscreen with a factor of at least 15 and preferably higher
• Use sunscreen to protect babies and children, and ensure they have plenty of fluids when outside in the open air
• Make sure children do not become overheated or dehydrated when indoors
• Avoid sunbathing between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest
• If travelling by car, take drinking water for the journey and ensure children do not become overheated
• Never leave children or pets in cars parked in the sun
• Wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton
• Use sun glasses that offer your eyes 100 UV protection.

Statistics show that poor sunbathing habits are causing higher levels of malignant melanoma, which is one of the least common but most serious types of skin cancer. In the UK more than 8 in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn.

Dr Nick Harding from NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“Because of the temperate British climate it can be very tempting to bask in the sun when the high temperatures arrive. While this is perfectly understandable, it also carries a risk. So, I’m urging people to alter their sunbathing habits and cover up vulnerable skin in the midday sun so we can all enjoy the sun more safely. Far from trying to stop people from enjoying the sunshine, we just want people to take a few simple precautions to ensure that they can make the most of the weather safely.”
For more information on skin cancer, visit

Stories, Statistics and Strawberries

Have Beat the Street and Make, Move and Munch Club helped Sandwell to move more and eat better?

Join the Accord Group and partners to explore the learnings, impact and future of community health in Sandwell. The Stakeholder Event will be on Thursday, 29 June 2017, 12 noon to 1.30 pm at Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, West Bromwich B66 1BB

Lunch will be provided.

Contact 0121 442 5066  on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for further details.


Nominate a Master

Do you know someone with strong links to the Black Country who has mastered a skill, trade or artform? Are they an expert in their field? You can nominate them below for inclusion in the 100 Masters project.

The term ‘mastery’ is characterised by a person having devoted their life to one particular pursuit, whether it be expert knowledge in an artform, trade or profession, and who are held in high esteem by their peers. We are looking to unearth the stories of commitment, refinement and diligence and are asking you to help us by nominating the Masters you know.

You can read the Nomination and Voting Guidelines here.

For more information on the 100 Masters click here.

Closing date for nominations is 30th June 2017.

Sandwell’s Answer to Britain’s Got Talent

For those already missing Britain’s Got Talent, Sandwell Council’s SHAPE Team have the answer. More than 90 young people aged 8 to 19 came along to the SHAPE Your Talent auditions during May to showcase their talents. These have now been whittled down to 17 semi-finalists and voting is now open for members of the public to choose their favourite act.

Online voting is open until Sunday 18 June. Once the votes have been counted they will be combined with judges votes and the finalists will be announced.

Tickets are now available for the SHAPE Your Talent grand final which is taking place on Friday 30 June at St Michael’s C of E High School in Rowley Regis. The show starts at 7 pm with doors opening at 6.15 pm. Tickets cost £5 each and the will be light refreshments and snacks available. Finalists will take to the stage and perform in front of a panel of judges with encouragement from the audience.

Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services said: “We have some very talented young people in Sandwell and our judges were very impressed at the auditions last month. Thank you to all those who entered. “The grand final promises to be an exciting evening with some great performances. I urge people to come along and see for themselves how talented our young people really are.”

Winners of the talent competition stand to win prizes of up to £500 with runners-up getting £100 for second prize and £50 for third prize. Winners will be chosen in two age categories – age 8 to 13 and age 14 to 19.

To get tickets and to vote go to You can also email or call 0121 569 6164.

Great Get Together in Sandwell

Scenic Sandwell Valley Country Park is hosting a Great Get Together on Saturday 17 June, as part of nationwide events to celebrate the life of Jo Cox MP. People from all walks of life are being invited to celebrate the things that unite them and champion being good neighbours from 16-18 June, a year on from Jo’s murder.

Jo lived her life spreading her belief that we have more in common than divides us, and charity Near Neighbours has joined with Jo’s family and the Jo Cox Foundation to invite people to hold Great Get Together events in their community. Sandwell’s Great Get Together will be held at the paddock area near Sandwell Park Farm, on Saturday 17 June from 11 am to 12 noon.

Guest speakers will talk about Jo and what she meant to them as well as inviting people to celebrate her values together.
People can get crafty with a competition to decorate a pot and plant it with seeds to take home or give it to a neighbour. Prizes will be awarded at 12 noon for the pots that best display the Love Your Neighbour message. People are also invited to stay on for a bring-your-own picnic.

Sandwell’s Great Get Together is being co-ordinated by the Love Your Neighbour team, which includes Near Neighbours, Sandwell Churches’ Link, the Faithful Friends project and Sandwell Council. Laura Nott, director of Sandwell Churches’ Link, said: “Sandwell is at its best when our diverse communities, of all faiths and none, come together to celebrate those values we share. “Sandwell Valley Park is a lovely setting for our Great Get Together, where we can enjoy being with old and new friends to listen, talk, create and eat together. Everyone is welcome – let’s make it a really special day.”

A Great Get Together bring and share picnic is also being held at Lightwoods Park, Bearwood, on Sunday 18 June from 12 noon until 3pm. This has been organised by Crafty Muthas and the Bearwood Pantry, together with other local groups. Everyone is welcome. Meet by the grassed area in front of Lightwoods House.

Follow the #GreatGetTogether and #LoveYourNeighbour on Twitter.

Bearwood Street Festival – Sunday 11 June 2017

On Sunday 11 June from 11.30 am to 5.30 pm, Bearwood High Street will host its first ever community-led music and arts festival right in the centre of the neighbourhood.

Odd things have been happening and Bearwood’s own paranormal investigator Ivor Goosebump, has been reporting this in his regular blogs. Could the recent reinstallation of Bearwood’s iconic timepieces somehow have caused time to go wrong?

A theatre trail performed by Highly Sprung will bring to life the mystery. Characters from Bearwood’s past and future will help visitors to find the missing ‘cogs’ needed to repair time. Highly Spring’s innovative blend of physical performance and animated storytelling is sure to excite audiences.

Younger visitors will have plenty to keep them busy with futuristic themed crafts, games and street art workshop.

Live music on the main stage will reflect Bearwood’s eclectic musical heritage with something for all tastes. Headliners, The Electric Swing Circus, bring an explosive sound fusion that reverberates back through time.

There will be cultural and audio feasts provided by the Community Stage.

Some of the best in regional street foods will be available in the Food Parade and a host of local entrepreneurs and crafters showing their goods in Bearwood Indoor Market.

If travelling by car, you can park for free at Lightwoods Park Extension and catch a vintage Midland Red courtesy bus to the festival drop-off point by St Mary’s Church.

Make Sunday 11 June a date in your diary to visit this amazing free event.

visit We are Bearwood

George Road Community Church Surgery Sessions

Do you have an idea for a project, but you just need that extra little bit of support to get your application at its best or to get your project idea off the ground?

Do you need advice or support with your project planning or business plans?

SCVO in partnership with George Road Community Church have commenced fortnightly surgery sessions at Hope House, George Road Community Church, George Road, Oldbury, B68 9LN.

Libby Mahoney, SCVO’s Small Groups Development Officer, will be available fortnightly on Wednesday’s from 9.30am till 12.30pm at Hope House for booked appointments.

This is your opportunity to discuss your project ideas, business plans or funding application(s) and receive practical support, advice and tips on how to improve the success of your project/application and much more.

Surgery Session dates:
• Wednesday 28th June, 9.30am till 12.30pm
• Wednesday 12th July, 9.30am till 12.30pm
• Wednesday 26th July, 9.30am till 12.30pm
• Wednesday 9th August, 9.30am till 12.30pm
• Wednesday 6th September, 9.30am till 12.30pm

If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity and want to book your time slot with Libby please email at or call on 0121 5251127 to avoid disappointment.

To see what other services SCVO provides please visit our website at

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


Auditions for Annual Talent show announced

Young performers are being urged take part in a series of auditions to claim a place in a popular Sandwell talent show. This year’s SHAPE Your Talent contest, supported by Sandwell Council’s Youth Service and the Library Service, is on the hunt for gifted young people who want to showcase their talents.

This could include singers, comedians, musicians, dancers, actors, poets and magicians.

Would-be stage stars can enter one of two categories – ages 8 to 13 and 14 to 19 with the winners each in line for a £500 prize.

Click here to see where audition heats will be held in May throughout Sandwell:

There are limited spaces at each of the auditions so places will be given on a first come, first served basis. Entrants may be asked to perform at an alternative venue if places are full.

Winners at each heat will go through to a public vote where members of the public can watch recordings of the auditions on the web and vote for their favourite.

Those with the most votes will then perform again at the final on Friday 30 June before judges at St Michaels School in Rowley Regis. As well as the two winners receiving £500 in each category there are also £100 prizes for second place and £50 for third.

The deadline for applications to audition is Friday 28 April. To register go to

Entrants must either live, work or study in Sandwell and members of the public can watch the audition heats at Sandwell libraries for just £2 per ticket.

The talent show is part of Sandwell Council’s SHAPE programme; a series of events the council has organised after young people voiced their views on what activities they wanted. SHAPE stands for Sandwell Council’s five children and young people outcomes: staying safe, being healthy, achieving and enjoying, making a positive contribution and economic wellbeing.

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