August 2013

Monthly Archives

Sandwell Financial Services Hub for Tenants

Funding & Finance - CalculatorSandwell Financial Services Hub is a five year BIG lottery project aimed at helping social housing tenants become more confident in, and more aware of, how to take control of their finances.

The project is being led by Black Country Housing Group in partnership with: Accord Group, Midland Heart, Sandwell Community Information & Participation Service Ltd, Sandwell Consortium CIC, Sandwell Council and 6Towns Credit Union.

The service is aimed at tenants from specific target groups, namely those who are social housing tenants living in Sandwell AND who are ONE of the following:

  • A first time tenant of any age
  • A tenant moving in and out of work of any age
  • A young tenant aged 16-24 years old

For more details please contact Sandwell Financial Services Hub on 0121 561 7935 or email

Black Country Tool Bank opens

Tools from ToolBanksHigh-quality, low-cost tools for hire to voluntary and community organisations and community projects.

The Tool Bank lends tools to charities, community groups, schools and social enterprises at 3% of their retail value for up to eight weeks at a time. This 97% discount cannot be matched by commercial tool hire companies and is available only to Black Country Tool Bank members. Instead of spending time asking for £1,000 to purchase tools you might use for a limited period and need to maintain and store, the Tool Bank can lend that equipment for £30 per week.

Most organisations join for £25 for a 12 month access agreement. This agreement gives organisations an online ID and password to peruse their catalogue, make an order and a reservation so you can pick up tools from their Dudley service centre at Ionic Business Park. This tool handling fee allows us to maintain and grow the tool bank by keeping tools in circulation for at least five seasons.

The Tool Bank accepts donations of tools and equipment to help increase the range of equipment in stock and they are looking for volunteers. Stock includes dozens of shovels, spades, hoes, shears, loppers, scythes, saws, pitchforks, paintbrushes and other gardening and DIY implements. Based on member advice, they are now preparing a new order including industrial strength garden shredders, lawn mowers, soil tampers and strimmers.

You can learn more at