March 2015

Monthly Archives

Invitation to Black Country Voluntary Sector Community Safety Summit

Event - Seats_530x330Voluntary and Community Sector organisations active within the Black Country with an interest in community safety and support for local victims of crime are invited to come together and meet the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson at a special networking event on 11th May 2015.

This event is for organisations which provide services supporting victims of crime, or which have an interest in helping local residents and communities to stay safe, eg through project initiatives or by signposting victims to more specialist support agencies.

The event, run jointly by Dudley CVS, Sandwell CVO, Walsall Voluntary Action and Wolverhampton VSC, will provide participants space to network with similar organisations across the Black Country and discuss opportunities for cross-border collaboration.  It will also give organisations the chance to hear Police and Crime Commissioner Jamieson’s views on the important role VCS organisations have in building safer communities and supporting victims locally, as well as an update on the work of the emerging West Midlands Victims Commission.

Participants are encouraged to bring marketing hand-outs to share about their organisation to make this a really productive networking occasion.

The event is taking place at Bilston Town Hall, Church Street, Bilston, WV14 0AT, and opens with lunch at 12.30 pm, running until 4 pm.  Places are strictly limited and offered on a first come first served basis.

To find out more or book your place please contact Leona Bird 0121 525 1127 – by Friday 1st May 2015

Immigration Training Offer

Governance - Business Team PlanningFollowing on from previous sessions last year, Rights and Equality Sandwell are please to offer the opportunity for further training to organisations to support families and individual access their correct rights and entitlements.  The training  resulted from schools and community organisations  reporting that new families were coming into the area and were destitute and this was having a direct impact on the pupils’ learning. 

The session offered can be either a morning or afternoon and is an opportunity for up to 20 practitioners, groups and individuals to find out about Immigration status, the legal framework, entitlements and benefits and duties towards children in need.  In order to cover the cost of a trainer (from an immigration rights organisation) there would be a charge of approximately £20 per participant for attendance.

The session covers:-

  • Immigration status (exploring and explaining the statuses people subject to immigration control may present with).
  • Statutory framework  (legislation affecting migrants’ access to welfare support).
  • Section  17 of the Children Act 1989: overview of LA statutory powers & duties   towards ‘children in need’ Legal definition of ‘child in need’.
  • Regularising status: how to obtain leave to remain.
  • Case studies – group work exploring agency responses to real-life scenarios.

If you are interested in this, please contact Belinda Blake at Rights and Equality Sandwell – 0121 541 1775 or e-mail:

Free Services Offered by Community Foundation

Community FoundationCommunity Foundation is a grassroots voluntary organisation supporting people in inner city areas to change their lives by improving their conditions and creating opportunities for people to reach their full potential.  They hope as many people as possible will take advantage of the following free initiatives. The classes take place at 20 Silas Square, Lozells.

Creative English

Community Foundation is running a Creative English Course. A women only class, learning practical English for everyday use. If you need help with booking an appointment, helping your child with their homework or asking for assistance in a shop, then this class is for you. You can join us anytime. Date and Time: Every Wednesday and Thursday 10.00 am – 12.00 pm (with tea breaks) Contact Nazia on 0121 238 3282 ext 4 E:

Mendhi Class
Henna art classes running every Tuesday 10.00 am – 11.00 am.  Mendhi classes for women from the age of 16.  You will learn how to make a henna paste and henna cone.  Learn how to draw unique Mendhi designs from basic to very detailed.   Create your own portfolio with your own unique designs. The Mendhi Classes will not only help you gain a useful skill, it will also improve your English language.  It will give you confidence to meet new people and enhance your communication skills. Telephone Nazia on 0121 238 3282 ext 2 E:

Girls Youth Club and Health and Fitness
Community Foundation is now running a youth club for girls only. There are two sessions every Thursday and Friday from 4.30 pm – 6.30 pm, including health and fitness. The youth club is open to girls aged 12 years and over.  All indoor activities are free. Why not go along have fun, learn and get active. For more info contact Sonya Ahmed on 0121 238 3282 ext 2

Fire Safety Referrals
Community Foundation is supporting West Midlands Fire Service to promote their Home Fire Safety Scheme. The Fire Service is offering a Smoke Alarm and a Home Safety Check. All you have to do is provide your details to Community Foundation, who will pass the information to the Fire Safety Department. The West Midlands Fire Services then carry out a thirty minute smoke alarm and home safety check.  Every house holder is eligible.  Not many people are aware of this valuable service so why not take advantage of the opportunity. If you would like a free Home Safety Check and Smoke Alarm, or know someone else who would be interested, please contact Calvert on 0121 238 3282 ext 3 Email:

The 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme

Funding & Finance - Piggy BankThe 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme has now been launched and includes €3.6 billion of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and €3.5 billion of European Social Fund (ESF), including the Youth Employment Initiative. Organisations can now apply to run projects that create jobs and economic growth.

The programmes’ key objectives include:

• Research and innovation
• Supporting small and medium size enterprises
• Creating a low carbon economy
• Increasing labour market participation
• Promoting social inclusion
• Developing people’s skills
• Supporting micro and small rural businesses
• Investing in small scale renewable and broadband investments
• Supporting tourism activities

Information about the programme, including outline application forms and guidance on Technical Assistance can be accessed via the following link

Further information on Black Country Technical Assistance can also be found here

If you would like any further information regarding the ERDF programme or have a project idea that you would like to discuss, please contact:-

Paul Mountford, Economic Regeneration Manager; Business, Sandwell MBC  telephone: 0121 569 2101

If you would like any further information regarding the ESF programme or have a project idea that you would like to discuss please contact:

Kelly Thomas, Economic Regeneration Manager: Social, Sandwell MBC a telephone 0121 569 3743.

Storytelling Café is Back

Infamous Community ArtsThe Traditional Arts Team is brining their highly popular Storytelling Café back to the Black Country, with plans on making this a regular event from Infamous Community Arts’ new building in Oldbury.

Come and enjoy the renowned partnership of Graham Langley and Pam Bishop along with guests from Storytellers Studio, and share in their unique blend of music and passionate storytelling, as Graham tells a mixture of tales, from romantic and stirring to exciting and jovial, enveloping the audience in an atmosphere of exhilaration with their latest offering ‘A Feast of Storytelling’.

Taking place on Friday 10 April at 7.30pm – 10.30pm at Unit 1, Izons Industrial Estate, Oldbury Road, West Bromwich, B70 9BS.  Tickets are £5 for further information please contact or telephone 07971255795 or visit –

The Bridge Employment Hub

Summit House SupportSummit House Support (SHS) is a registered charity which has been operating in Dudley and Sandwell for over 21 years with an excellent reputation for delivering customer focused successful interventions.  Their mission is to empower the people they support to set their own goals and vision, realise their full potential and live free from discrimination, equipped with the confidence and skills to contribute to the communities in which they live.

Summit House Support services provide support which is specific to the needs of the individual, and the key to providing quality services is their excellent and dedicated staff and volunteer team.

The Bridge Employment Hub is their exciting new project funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and will run across the Sandwell and Dudley Boroughs.

The Bridge aims to improve the confidence and skill set of vulnerable unemployed people enabling them to move forwards and engage in education, training and volunteering opportunities leading to better employment prospects.

Moving forward the project will deliver:-

  • Monthly peer support groups
  • Coaching
  • Specialist workshops including information on self-employment and social enterprise
  • Activities to improve confidence including creative arts and drama
  • 1:1 benefits advice supporting transition to employment
  • Activities to improve teamwork and reduce isolation including yoga and football
  • Volunteering opportunities and Back to Education support
  • Access to a weekly job club and advice on CV writing, job search and interview preparation

To find out more information please view Summit House Support website or contact or telephone 01384 243220

£484,000 Awarded to Community Connect Foundation from the Big Lottery Fund to Continue Good Work in Smethwick

Community Connect FoundationThe Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Programme has continued to support Community Connect Foundation with a further grant of £484,440 over 5 years to improve the capacity of the local community in order to enable residents to build a better family life, to achieve and prosper, and to contribute towards a stronger community.

The project ‘Achieving Together’ will work with in excess of 1000 people over a 5 year period with the aim of improving their economic prospects through skills development, employment support and advice on money management.  Over the next 5 years, CCF will be continuing to develop further partnerships with other community organisations, colleges and adult education providers to ensure the widest choice of services are available for the communities of Smethwick.

Smethwick has one of the most diverse communities in the West Midlands conurbation and has a particularly youthful profile.  Unemployment is much higher than that of the UK average and skill levels tend to be low.  This project will help to address these issues by supporting people to develop their skills, gain qualifications and improve employment prospects.

Bashir Ahmed MBE, Chairperson at Community Connect Foundation said, “we are delighted to receive a continuation grant from the Big Lottery Fund for our Achieving Together project.  These funds will enable us to work closely with residents of Smethwick to improving their skills, capacity and confidence levels and support them to access employment opportunities.  This project will ensure that residents of Smethwick continue to have every opportunity to reach their full potential.”

For further information, please contact Johur Uddin, Chief Executive, Community Connect Foundation Tel: 0121 565 3311 or e-mail:


Community Connect Foundation to Deliver AAT Qualifications

Community Connect FoundationCommunity Connect Foundation has been accredited by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) to deliver its accounting qualifications.

AAT is a professional qualification and membership body. Its qualifications give students practical skills to work in a range of finance and accounting jobs. People with AAT qualifications go on to work at all levels and in all sectors of the economy with some running their own accountancy practices.

Community Connect Foundation, based at Edgbaston House, Birmingham will offer AAT apprenticeships at Level 2 and 3. In addition, Level 2 and 3 courses start running from April including weekend and evening study to accommodate people to work around their commitments.

Only AAT Approved training providers are allowed to deliver the AAT Accounting Qualification and they must first go through a rigorous verification process. Students should therefore only register with an AAT Approved training provider to ensure they receive the highest standard of teaching.

Commenting on the announcement Johur Uddin from Community Connect Foundation said: “We are delighted to be offering the AAT Accounting Qualification. Our tutors bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in training accountancy students.”

Mark Farrar AAT Chief Executive said: “Every business needs well trained finance staff and an AAT qualification demonstrates to a prospective employer that you have the skills to perform well in such roles. Gaining a recognised accountancy qualification with AAT is the first step into a professional finance career.

For further information, please contact: Johur Uddin, Chief Executive, Community Connect Foundation
Tel: 0121 565 3311 or Email:

Provision of Mindfulness-Based Community Programmes

Funding4Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council invites tenders for an opportunity to provide a new service that aims to bring the practice of Mindfulness into the lives of Sandwell Residents.


This commission forms part of the borader Sandwell implementation plan focusing on promotion of wellbeing and public mental health.
The expected Key Performance Indicator’s are –  320 clients to complete the programme with 80% of these clients completing Mindfulness-Based Community Programmes.

The maximum budget available for this is £150,000 (excluding VAT) from 1 June 2015 to 31 March 2018.

Please view for further details and how to express an interest.  If you require any further help in respect of the Supplier Portal please contact the Support Team on 0844 272 8810.

Easter Holiday Camp Places Now Available

Fit for Sport.1Keep fit and active in the holidays with Fit For Sport holiday camps.  Fun activities will include volleyball, basketball, balloon art, quizzes, cool cap parade and skip around the world to name just a few.

All activities are full of energy and include the opportunity to get creative and make and take home your creations.

There is a camp at West Bromwich Leisure Centre from the 30th of March and ending on Friday 10th of April.  The cost is £18 for standard day 9.30-4.30pm, £20 extended day- 8.30-5.30 £12 for half a day (3 & 4 year olds) 9.30-1pm.  The target age groups is 3-12.

All holiday camps are Ofsted registered with a fun, qualified and experienced team at competitive prices. Childcare vouchers are accepted.

For further information please view or call 0845 456 3233


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