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Buds Counselling Service

Buds (Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell) is offering a free confidential counselling service to Carers of people with Dementia.

The service is available on Tuesdays, 1 pm to 3 pm, at Great Bridge Library, Sheepwash Lane, Tipton. A session will last up to an hour.

If you would like to book a session, please telephone Buds on 0121 565 3721.

Volunteering is good for people – how can we encourage those who would benefit the most?

Recent years have seen a huge push by the government and voluntary sector to encourage youth volunteering. Rates of volunteering among 16-25 year olds rose by 50% between 2010 and 2015. Millions of young people have been mobilised. It’s a great success story.

But at the same time, and without any of the same kind of attention, people at the other end of the age spectrum have continued to do their bit. Those aged over 75 are just as likely to volunteer once a month as people aged 16-49.

That is vital, because volunteering has always been an important way of combating the loneliness epidemic currently besetting older people in this country. People over 50 tell the Centre for Ageing Better that social connections and a sense of purpose matter just as much to them as health or financial security. Consistent evidence has been found that older people who make a contribution to their community are happier as a result. They are less likely to be depressed and there’s even evidence that people who volunteer regularly are likely to live longer. By meeting new people and doing something that matters for others, they gain increased self-esteem and a sense of purpose.

Yet older volunteers tend already to be healthier and wealthier than non-volunteers, and they already have stronger relationships and social networks. People who have the most to gain from volunteering in later life – because they are lonelier, for instance, or don’t feel much sense of meaning and purpose in their lives – are actually less likely to take part.

From the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network.

Read the full article

Looking for something exciting to do over the Summer holidays?

Connexions Sandwell and Black Country Impact are offering one and two-day fun activities for 16 -18 year olds. You can choose from:

* Team Building/Motivation (with activities like paintballing, ten pin bowling, mini golf etc.)
* Introduction to Construction Trades * Preparing for the World of Work
* Independent Living and Budgeting * Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
* Positive Use of Social Media * First Aid
* Design Animation * Games Design

To book and for more information please contact Connexions Sandwell on 0121 569 2955.




Join NSDT’s 25th Birthday Celebrations!

North Smethwick Development Trust celebrates their 25th Birthday this year. Join them on Saturday 5 August, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, at the Brasshouse Community Centre for a fun filled activity packed family open day.

• Learn how to make bath bombs

• Join in with the clay art workshops

• Have your face painted
• Relax with a hand massage

• Or simply sit back and enjoy food from the café and an ice cream.

Brasshouse Lane Community Centre
Brasshouse Lane
B66 1BA
T: 0121 555 5672

Visit the website to find out more about North Smethwick Development Trust.


Free Fishing Sessions

Community Foundation in partnership with the Canal & River Trust are running free fishing sessions in the Aston Canal (Mill Street off A38) opposite Matalan, on Saturday 29 July 2017. You can attend any time between 10 am – 4 pm.

Try taster fishing sessions with professional coaches. Go along and reserve a time slot with a coach to learn the basics of fishing and find out how you can enjoy your local waterway. Fishing coaching sessions are open to everyone including those with disabilities. You will be asked to provide further info when booking your fishing coaching slot.

The fishing coaches will provide the equipment for you to use during your session.

Limited street parking is available nearby.

If you are interested please register via Eventbrite.


HIV Training Awareness

Terrence Higgins Trust will be running two HIV Training Awareness sessions on 25 July: 10:30 am – 1 pm and 31 July: 10 am – 1 pm. The sessions will be at THT’s Pure Offices, 61 Broadwell Road, Oldbury B69 4BY.

The training is designed to increase professionals’ knowledge on HIV. The instruction was used to raise awareness at Oakham’s Doctor’s surgery earlier in the year and received positive reviews. The training session includes information relating to drug use and the risk of HIV within Sandwell, Equality Act 2010, HIV transmission routes, and the services provided by Terrence Higgins Trust.

Certificates will be given on the day to everyone who attends one of the sessions.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Please register your attendance on Eventbrite.  If you have any questions contact Natalie Quinn on 0121 314 2510

If travelling by car, there are public spaces around Pure Offices but no visitor parking. There are public transport services: Pure Offices are located next door to Sandwell and Dudley train station and there are regular bus services from West Bromwich, Dudley, Blackheath, Rowley Regis and Walsall (4, 121, 289, 4H, 4M).

Sandwell and West Birmingham Equality Awards 2017

Did you know nominations for the Sandwell and West Birmingham Equality Awards 2017 close on Wednesday 26 July?

The categories are:

• Learning Disability Award
• Partnership Award
• Statutory Sector Award
• Voluntary Community and Faith Sector Award
• Primary Care Award

Not heard about the Awards?  Click here to find out everything you need to know.

The Awards Ceremony will be on Thursday, 2 November.


Rise of The Social Seniors Confirmed In New Report

Charities are urged to ensure they’re using the right methods to attract the right audience after an Ofcom report revealed record numbers of older people are embracing smart and social technology.

Over a quarter of over-75s are using tablet computers, and half of online baby boomers have already taken to social media according to Ofcom’s annual Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes report, which reveals how people use, understand and feel about the media and communications they rely upon each day.

This year’s report shows striking growth in older people’s use of technology between 2015 and 2016. Baby boomers aged 65-74 are increasingly connected, with four in ten (39%) using a smartphone, up 11 percentage points in a year.

There has been a sharp rise in over-75s using tablets, from 15% to 27%. And the use of smartphones among this age group has nearly doubled, from 8% to 15%.

Nearly half (48%) of internet users aged 65-74 now have a social media profile. Among over 75s, the proportion with a profile has nearly doubled – from 19% to 41%.

Around nine in ten (87%) social seniors aged over 65 opt for a Facebook account, but a smaller proportion use WhatsApp (6%) and Instagram (1%).

But while 44% of over-75s go online, more than half do not, and most of these (86%) have no plans to do so.

Social savviness

While older internet users are increasingly active online, some older people lack online confidence. A fifth (20%) of people over 65 describe themselves as ‘not confident’ online, much higher than the average (7%).

One reason could be that many older users are new to the internet. Some 21% of internet users over-75 went online for the first time in the last five years – twice the wider average.

For those older internet users lacking confidence, this is particularly pronounced when managing personal data. Almost one in five internet users over 65 say that are ‘not at all confident’ about this.

And 16% of internet users over 55 said they ‘never’ consider the data or privacy implications when posting photos online – the largest proportion to say ‘never’ among all age groups.

Some older internet users were also unsure about sponsored links in search results. A quarter (27%) of search engine users aged over 75 said they were unsure, and less than half (46%) felt able to identify sponsored links.

Similarly, awareness of personalised advertising seems to be lower among some older users – with seven in ten (72%) over 75s, and six in ten (60%) 65-74s saying they were unaware of this type of advertising, compared to the average of 44%.

Source: Charity Digital News


Beat It Percussion CIC: PRIME Cymru Growth Business Award

Social enterprise, Beat It Percussion CIC is delighted to have been shortlisted for PRIME Cymru’s Growth Business Award. Their mission is ‘to improve people’s lives through the medium of group music activities. Through our workshops people experience physical and cognitive skills, gain confidence and experience social inclusion.

Based in Herefordshire Beat It is establishing a presence in the West Midlands and is currently delivering taster sessions across Sandwell. Beat It Percussion runs Dementia-friendly sessions for older adults at community settings and exciting new projects are in the pipeline. Over the last year, Beat It Percussion has grown significantly in turnover and scope and has recently recruited and trained a team of local volunteers and a new music practitioner. The organisation also works across the border in Wales hence the connection with PRIME Cymru.

PRIME Cymru (the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise in Wales) is the Prince of Wales’s charity that supports people over the age of 50 to start their own business or find employment.

‘’PRIME Cymru supports such a wide range of fantastic businesses and the Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate them and to thank them and our mentors for all the hard work they do,” said David Pugh, Chief Executive, PRIME Cymru. The Awards categories for 2017 are:  New Business, Growth Business, Green Business and Mentor of the Year. The results will be announced on 11th July.

Lynn Kay, Beat It’s CEO says ‘’Being shortlisted for this award is significant because it recognises not only my work but also the great effort put in by Beat It’s Directors, volunteers and practitioners who have all been instrumental in our success over the last year. Older people often face loneliness and isolation. Drumming Together gives people the chance to come together to play drums, chat and enjoy mental and physical exercises which are really good for retaining skills and flexibility. This programme is becoming recognised as a significant development in supporting people who are at the early stages of dementia.’’

To find out more please contact Lynn at Beat It Percussion on 07875 090946 or via email at

We’d like to hear your views on…

We’d like to hear your views, via our next poll, regarding some forthcoming legislative changes that have far-reaching implications for all organisations that handle ‘personal data’ (think UK Data Protection Act…and then some!).

Hardly a month seems to go by (well, that’s what it feels like!) without a headline that tells of the latest data breach – I’m sure we can recall a number of the more high profile ones…Tesco Bank had details of 40,000 of their account holders compromised, with 20,000 of those having money stolen from those accounts.

Then there was TalkTalk (back in 2015) when 157,000 personal records were compromised (and this was the second such breach in a year!).

And, of course, how could we not mention Yahoo and its two data breaches – the first in 2013 when 1 billion (yes, 1 billion!) user accounts were breached and then again in 2015 when a further 500 million accounts had their details stolen.

It is against that backdrop that European-wide legislative changes are afoot, which will be implemented in 2018.

So, our poll question is as follows (click the link if the graphic isn’t visible):

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