April 2016

Monthly Archives

West Smethwick Enterprise Achieves the Ultimate Accolade

WSEWest Smethwick Enterprise which runs a Children and Families Centre in St Pauls Road, Smethwick has achieved the ultimate accolade.

Stepping Stones Pre School has been rated as Outstanding in all categories by OFSTED – the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills.

West Smethwick Enterprise was established as a Charity in 1999 and now manages a range of pre school and family support services across the local area and employs over 30 staff in 4 separate locations.

It’s Chief Executive Officer, Sue Raisin Jones has paid tribute to her staff.

Quoting from the Ofsted Report she agrees that the partnership created between staff, parents , children and ultimately the local community is truly outstanding.

“ We operate in one of the most deprived and multi cultural communities in the United Kingdom with young families experiencing multiple challenges on a day to day basis. The level of integration and personal development of both parents and children managed by the expertise and commitment of our staff is truly amazing and I am really proud of what they have achieved.

We focus our efforts on training and support of staff and are backed up by a management committee who all provide their time and expertise on a voluntary basis to assist the operation”

As one of the larger employers within the Smethwick area WSE are now looking for additional premises in the local area to accommodate their administrative staff and provide additional training facilities for staff and parents.

Sue Raisin Jones concludes

“The contribution to the local economy made by voluntary organisations often goes unrecognised. Without organisations like West Smethwick Enterprise many parents would be unable to access these important services. West Smethwick Enterprise provides provision which is a vital stepping stone for children as they prepare for full time education”

For further information please contact our team on 0121 565 3209

GM2LF would like you to clean and party with them!

Gm2LfGrace Mary 2 Lion Farm Big Local Partnership invites you to join them on Saturday 11 June 2016 for a Big Local Clean for the Queen followed by a Queen’s Party in the Park to celebrate her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

Clean ups start at 10 am and are happening across the area. If you take part in a clean-up, you will get FREE entry into the party afterwards

The Queen’s Party starts at 2 pm and will be held at Wallace Park in Wallace Close. If you are unable to make the clean-up in the morning, you are still more than welcome to join in with the fun at the party. (Please note there will an entrance fee).

For more information, please see the attached flyer.

GM2LF Big Local in Bloom Competitions
Grace Mary to Lion Farm Big Local (GM2LF) Partnership invite you to enter their annual Big Local in Bloom competition. Prizes are awarded for the most improved gardens and balconies in the Big Local area. For more information, please see the attached flyer.

This year, alongside their gardening competition, GM2LF Big Local are holding a competition for young and enthusiastic artists in the Big Local area.

Children of all ages who live in or attend a school or club in the Grace Mary to Lion Farm area are invited to submit a colorful, eye-catching poster of flowers seen outside in summertime. The entry chosen as best overall, will be used to illustrate a special poster to publicise next year’s Big Local in Bloom Competition. For more information, please see the attached flyer and rules.

Short Breaks Market Development Workshop

EventsSandwell Metropolitan Borough Council are holding a ‘Short breaks’ Providers Market Development Workshop

At this event you will hear directly from young people about what they want from a short break.

Sandwell MBC will set out the plans for the next 18 months and also commissioning intensions going forward.

There are a maximum of 2 places per organisation.

Please confirm attendance with Dawn Porter on: – dawn_porter@sandwell.gov.uk or telephone: 0121 569 5650
by Friday 13th May at 5.00 p.m.

The event is taking place on Monday 16th May 2016 at 2.00 p.m at Coneygre Youth Arts Centre (in Theatre A), Sedgley Road East, Tipton, West Midlands, DY4 8UH  (Note: If you are using a sat nav, the postcode for directions is DY4 8XA)


On Track: Young Unemployed To Get Ahead with Barnardo’s and Santander

BarnardosLong term unemployed young people will be benefiting from Barnardo’s innovative ‘On Track’ tailored employment support programme with Santander. On Track offers marginalised young people up to six months one-to-one coaching, helping them develop the crucial skills they need to get into work, training or education. Three new On Track services are opening in Birmingham, Basingstoke and Newcastle.

Santander is providing funding of £750,000 for the programme as part of its three year partnership with Barnardo’s.

The programme will build up young people’s confidence, develop leadership skills and boost motivation, through activities such as DIY skills workshops and learning street dance along with CV writing workshops and interview tips.

Taster days offering young people the chance to sample work they enjoy and build up relevant work experience are also part of the On Track programme.

Participants will be nominated to take part, and will be drawn from local young people who are disabled, leaving care, lone parents or have been unemployed for six months or longer.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan, said: “Too often marginalised young people fall behind in the race to get a job. With the support of Santander, On Track will help those with the least opportunities to get ahead.”

Sharon Squire, Head of CSR Santander, said: ”Through our new community programme The Discovery Project we want to help people to develop the skills they need to succeed. We’re delighted to fund the On Track programme to support marginalised young people, helping them to develop their potential and ultimately secure work.”

Barnardo’s is marking its 150th anniversary in 2016. Thomas Barnardo’s vision was for no child to be turned away from the help they need. During its 150 year history the charity has helped transform the lives of millions of disadvantaged children in the UK, and continues to help families to build a better future. Last year 240,000 children, young people and families were supported by Barnardo’s through more than 960 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes.   Visit the website.


Signs of Safety – Sandwell Council’s Children’s Services Approach

Signs of SafetySigns of Safety (SoS) is an internationally recognised and evaluated Social Work approach which was created in the 1990’s in Australia. 

The creators, Steve Edwards and Andrew Turnell, had been using Solution-Focussed Brief Therapy with Aboriginal families and had fantastic results from supporting the community to help themselves.  Over the last 30 years, SoS has been used all over the world in a variety of cultures to great effect.

Good use of SoS leads to: Improved engagement of families, more effective capture of the child and families’ voice, clearer understanding of what is expected from the professionals and the family, improved risk assessment and planning that leads to everyday safety.

A great side effect is the increase in retention of staff and job satisfaction as workers build better relationships and feel more supported by their peers and the team around the family.

It won’t change what we do, but it will change the way that we do it.  Meetings will be held using the ‘3 Columns Method’ where we look at:  What’s working well? What are we worried about? What needs to happen next?

How is it explained to families?
SoS works to give families a greater say in how we keep their children safe and helps them to understand why Children’s Services are involved and how we can support them to help themselves.  SoS recognises and supports the good things a family are doing so that they do them more!  It uses plain English to make sure everyone in the family understands what is going on and what is going to happen next.  Families are telling us they like SoS and to carry on using it.

Who will have training?
All of SMBC Children’s Social Care and Early Help staff will have had the 2 day SoS training by the end of June.  Some of them will also have had the 5 day Practice Lead Training which helps them support their colleagues in Signs of Safety.

SMBC are working closely with the Children’s Safeguarding Board to make sure that agencies are aware of what training is around and how it can be accessed.  Not everyone will need the 2 day training.  There is a short Artemis E-Learning module available: A signs of safety approach to working with families.  To register for an account e-mail Jenny_tarrant@Sandwell.gov.uk placing the course title in the subject line.

For more information please view www.signsofsafety.net or contact signs_safety@Sandwell.gov.uk

Ideas and Pioneers Fund (Paul Hamlyn Foundation)

Paul HamlynThe Ideas and Pioneers Fund from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) supports people with unusual or radical ideas to improve the life chances and opportunities of people in the UK.

PHF is looking for ideas closely linked to their charitable mission – to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. Project ideas should be in the early stages of development and PHF prefer to be the first and main funder to support an idea and welcome applications from people who have not received grant funding before. There is no minimum grant but PHF expect to award around £10,000 per project and are happy to fund 100% of costs.

More information at: http://www.phf.org.uk/funds/ideas-and-pioneers-fund/

Tesco Bags of Help

 TescoThe Bags of Help Programme is funded by Tesco customers from the proceeds of the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags as a result of a Government carrier bag levy which was introduced in England on 5 October 2015 and already in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The programme is managed by Groundwork, an environmental charity, in England and Wales and in partnership with greenspace scotland in Scotland.

Funding will be available for capital improvements to local community greenspaces, such as parks, play areas and community gardens.

Over the next three years, starting in 2015, the funding will be awarded each year to six projects in each of the 428 regions across Britain where Tesco has stores. There will be two voting rounds a year. Nominations will be whittled down to three good causes that customers can choose from to vote for in each area. This means that more than 2,500 different projects will receive funding each year.

Grants of £8,000, £10,000 and £12,000 are available.

Deadline: 3rd June 2016
More information at: http://www.groundwork.org.uk/sites/tescocommunityscheme

Henry Smith’s Charity

Henry SmithThe Henry Smith’s Charity has announced that Holiday Grant for Children Programme will re-open for applications on the 2nd May 2016.

Through the programme, schools, youth groups and not for profit organisations can apply for grants towards holidays or outings within the UK for children aged 13 and under who are from deprived areas or have a disability. Applications can be considered for holidays or outings that have the objective of providing children with a break they would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.

The maximum grant is usually £2,500 for any one trip. Grants are normally limited to a maximum of two-thirds of the total cost of a trip as the charity would expect some local partnership funding to be in place. Activities will need to take place between the 1st July – 31st August 2016.

Applications can be made at any time until the 22nd July 2016.
More information at: http://www.henrysmithcharity.org.uk/holiday-grants-for-children.html

Hilden Charitable Fund

HildenThe aim of the scheme is to help community groups run Summer Playschemes for the benefit of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Some priority will be given to projects which show they are inclusive of children from refugee families, and show BME involvement. Funding of between £500 – £1,000 is available for Summer Playschemes for children aged 5 – 18 years lasting for 2 – 6 weeks with strong volunteer support. The funding is available to voluntary agencies with an income of less than £150,000. Some priority will be given to projects which show they are inclusive of children from refugee families, and show BME involvement.

The closing date for applications is the 20th May 2016.
More information at: http://www.hildencharitablefund.org.uk/summer%20playcheme%20guidelines.htm

Include Me TOO – Black Country Support Group

Include Me TooParents and carers of disabled children and young people will be interested to know that Include Me TOO are having their next support group meeting on Wednesday, 18 May 2016, 10 am -12 pm at The Orchard School, Causeway Green Road, Oldbury B68 8LD

Carol McCauley: Sandwell Commissioner, Deborah Hydes: SEND and Young Carers Manager and Louise Hunter: Community Children’s Nurse, will be in attendance to share views and concerns and receive feedback on short break provision etc.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Places are limited.  To please reserve a place, please complete and email the attached booking form to Syeda Khan at syeda@includemetoo.org.uk by Monday 9 May.

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