March 2017

Monthly Archives

Open Access Round 8 Open!

The Open Access Award supports activities that build audiences and promote artistic excellence in the Black Country. Whether you’re a professional artist, performer or community group who have never experienced an arts activity before, this could be for you.

Open Access is open to individuals, groups and organisations to apply but project activity must take place within Sandwell, Walsall or Wolverhampton. Open Access is a flexible award to support the seed of a great idea through to the growth of a great project. If it builds audiences, connects local people with professional artists and brings great performance, art and creativity to the Black Country, open access could help you make it happen.

There are three levels of awards:
Seed (up to £500)
Grassroots (up to £2,000)
Growth (up to £4,000)

Deadline for applications is Friday 21 April at 5pm.

Creative Black Country has two exciting Landmark projects in the pipeline for this year and we’re looking for Open Access applications which can align activity with upcoming Landmark events.

Funny Things 
A celebration of Black Country humour and comedy. We are currently developing a comedy festival in Wolverhampton which will take place from mid October to early November 2017. You can programme events, create events or develop some activity related to comedy as part of the festival. Please contact Funny Things Producer Jenny Smith at if you would like more information or discuss an idea.

For more information on this opportunity click here.



Sandwell Businesses Invited to Health Event

Sandwell businesses are invited to an event to discuss how they and the council can best work together to improve the health of their employees and customers.

The key message of the free event at Sandwell Council House, Oldbury, on Tuesday 28 March is that what’s good for health can be good for business too.

This includes reducing sickness costs, boosting productivity and helping to generate jobs and growth.

Hosted by the council’s public health team, the event from 8.45am to 11.30am will bring together representatives from local businesses and a range of council services.

Councillor Preet Gill, the council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “We really want to hear the views of Sandwell businesses on improving health and wellbeing.

“This event is a great opportunity for us to hear what they have to say and how we can better support them and work with them to improve health.

“Businesses have great influence over the lives of their staff and customers, so they have a crucial role to play in encouraging people to make healthier choices.

“Improving health and wellbeing is good for business. Healthier employees are happier and more productive. And, as people become increasingly health conscious, businesses offering healthier products increase their market share.

“I would encourage as many Sandwell businesses as possible to join us at this event.”

To reserve a place for the event, or for more information, contact Nick Laws on 0121 569 5159 or email

For more information click here


Free NHS Health Checks

The check happens every five years, so if you have had one recently you don’t need to see us. If you are already seeing your GP for some conditions like diabetes and angina, again you don’t need to come for the check, as you are already getting the treatment you need. We can go through the eligibility criteria over the phone, or click here for further information.

The check is completely FREE, and will only take 30 minutes of your time. In the private appointment, the professional will take a few measurements (height and weight), test your cholesterol levels and check your blood pressure.

They will go through the results with you there and then, so you don’t need to wait. You will get some advice about how to reduce your risk of serious conditions like diabetes, or heart problems, and suggest free support and services that you can access in Sandwell.

To check your eligibility and for more information click here.

Commissions Callout for 100 Masters and Funny Things

Creative Black Country are seeking to commission artists (open to all art forms) to collaborate with them and the communities they are working with to deliver their two Landmark projects; 100 Masters and Funny Things.

100 Masters
This project aims to discover and profile Black Country experts of today through public nomination. This means one hundred talented, skilled, and pioneering people who are living, working or connected to the area will be profiled through a creative media campaign.

You can invite someone you consider a master to put on some expert talks, you might want to organise an event to celebrate a local master or you might want to go and see or meet one of your masters!

For Commission information click here.

Please contact 100 Masters Producer Liam Smyth at if you would like more information or discuss an idea.

Funny Things
A celebration of Black Country humour and comedy. Creative Black Country are currently developing a comedy festival in Wolverhampton which will take place from 26th October to 5th November 2017. You can programme events, create events or develop some activity related to comedy as part of the festival.

For Commission information click here.

Please contact Funny Things Producer Jenny Smith at if you would like more information or discuss an idea.

Deadline for proposals for both projects is Thursday 20th April 2017 and we will respond to shortlisted proposals by 28th April 2017.

Event reminder: FUNNY THINGS Open Meeting Invitation on Thursday 6th April, 6pm -7:30pm at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Come along to find out more the FUNNY THINGS and discuss how you could get involved, to help us make the first comedy festival in Wolverhampton a success.

RSVP by 31st March 2017 to

Creative Arts Launches the Pull of Wool Knitting Project

Creative Arts, part of the team behind the award-winning Ceramic Garden, is looking for people to get involved in their latest community project – The Pull of Wool.

The team wants to collect interesting photos of people knitting in unusual locations as well as photos of people who don’t normally knit.

People are also encouraged to donate unwanted wool or woollen items, and get involved with the team at Creative Arts to help knit items for display.

These are all set to be displayed to the public later this year to raise awareness of Creative Arts and its positive contribution to the local community.

Creative Arts is a council-run team that provides day opportunities for people with a range of physical and learning disabilities, as well as bringing together local people ranging from four-year-old pupils to 92-year-old pensioners.

This latest project by Creative Arts follows the award-winning Ceramic Garden project, which is due to feature in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Malvern Spring Show from 11 to 14 May.

Councillor Ann Shackleton, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for social care, said: “They did some amazing work on the Ceramic Garden initiative and deserve support to come up with another interesting piece of creative work.

“I would hope that anyone who can help this excellent organisation on their latest exciting project will get in touch.”

Richard Flatley, from Creative Arts, added: “We’re after photos of people knitting in unusual places, or just photos of people who you would not expect to be knitting. We hope to make an exhibition of these photos to accompany the knitting when it is on display.”

Anyone who wishes to find out more, provide photos, get involved or donate some woollen items can visit Creative Arts, 37-39 Cyprus Industrial Park, Cyprus Street, Oldbury, call 0121 552 8095 or visit the Creative Arts Project Facebook page.

Creative Arts set up the Ceramic Garden project last year with arts organisation Creative Black Country. The garden won a top award from the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom Award for the It’s Your Neighbourhood category. The project received a Level 3 award.

Nominations Wanted for 100 Masters

100 Masters is a new campaign produced by Creative Black Country that aims to identify contemporary skilled people from the region and help inspire future talent. The public are being asked to have their say and nominate someone they know who is brilliant at what they do. No achievement is too big or small; maybe your neighbour bakes the best bread you’ve ever tasted, or your local landlord brews the best beer?

Did you know that a West Bromwich cactus-breeder has received gold at RHS Chelsea for the last seven successive years? What about the Dudley-born fashion illustrator who counts RnB star Rihanna and the Kardashians as her fans? Heard about the Wolverhampton lecturer who has won an unprecedented international accolade for his pioneering research into the medical uses of sugar? Only last year at the Edinburgh Fringe, a care worker from Sandwell beat 14 professional comedians to win the ‘Joke of the year 2016’.

The Black Country was forged at the hands of men and women from all walks of life who honed their skills to the highest levels. It was through their craftsmanship and diligence that the region became renowned as the industrial heartland of the UK, and while we successfully recognise our great industrial heritage, we believe it is time to represent the present-day masters who have been making tremendous strides.

Creative Black Country know there are more stories out there of local people receiving attention and accolades for their work and they want to find and promote these individuals. The project is open to ideas of noteworthy people who have forged their own path and displayed outstanding ability that has influenced others in their field.

A master can be from any walk of life and there are no restrictions in specialism but they must have either been born, educated, lived or worked in Sandwell, Walsall, Dudley or Wolverhampton for a significant period of time.

Do you know someone that deserves to be recognised for their passion and commitment? Then you can nominate them here.

About the Masters
-West Bromwich cactus breeder – Stan Griffin
-Dudley born fashion illustrator – Elizabeth Ilsley
-Award winning Wolverhampton lecturer – Moses Murandu
-‘Joke of the year 2016’ winner from Sandwell – Masai Graham

See the current Masters here.

The Saintbury Trust

The Saintbury Trust is a medium-sized grant-making registered charity which seeks to help charities in its geographical area of the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and North Gloucestershire (please see Eligibility for further details).  A major part of its interest is in Birmingham itself and around Worcester.

The Trust will only accept applications for grants from registered charities that are both based and operate (wholly or mainly) within its geographical area.  For our purposes, a charity is “based” where its main office is located or where its principal activity is performed (and often a combination of the two).

The Trust’s interests are wide-ranging. But the trustees have a particular interest in:
• the arts
• heritage
• the environment
• helping those with disabilities.

The majority of the grants awarded are either £1,000 or £2,000. Relatively few exceed £5,000.  Larger grants tend to be awarded to charities of which the trustees (or at least one of them) have special knowledge or in the work of which they have a particular interest.

The trustees meet twice a year to consider applications, once in the Spring – usually April or May – and once in the Autumn – usually October or November.

The usual closing dates for our receipt of applications for the Spring and Autumn meetings are 28 February and 30 September respectively.

For more information and an application form please click here.

Community Alcohol Awareness Team Marketplace Event

Did you know Alcohol is a significant cause of ill health here in Sandwell? Are you aware of what services are available to help and what they can do for you?

The Community Alcohol Awareness Team are hosting a drop in marketplace event to launch their new Alcohol Awareness Team and raise awareness of the different services available to help in Sandwell.

The Community Alcohol Awareness Team’s ‘marketplace’ event is being held on Monday 10th April 2017 between 12 and 3pm at Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, B69 3DE (Sat Nav users B69 3DB).

Stalls include:
• Sandwell – Alcohol Recovery Service
• IRIS – Drug Recovery Service
• DECCA – Drug and alcohol treatment and education for young people in Sandwell up to the age of 18.
• CAP – Community Alcohol Project
• Public Health Weight Management Team
• Public Health Community Activity Team
• Healthy Sandwell

You’ll also have the opportunity to sample some alcohol free beverages.

About the Community Alcohol Awareness Team:

The Community Alcohol Awareness Team has been established to deliver targeted support which enables individuals to identify their level of alcohol and their related risk with a view of the individual taking ownership of managing that risk to improve their health.

They also work with community organisations to raise awareness of the risks of significant alcohol dependence.

For more information on the event please contact Sandwell Council’s Community Alcohol Awareness Team on 0121 612 8752.

Comic Relief Community Cash 2017

Comic Relief Community Cash grants of £500-£1,000 are available to small organisations in Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives. If this sounds like you, make sure you apply for a Comic Relief Community Cash grant now.

Who is eligible to apply for a Comic Relief Community Cash grant?

• constituted voluntary and community groups
• charities
• social enterprises
• co-operatives
• community interest companies

Groups which have been established for less than 12 months are eligible to apply.

There is a rolling deadline.

Further information

Ministry of Defence

Individuals and local groups that would like to hold an event to celebrate Armed Forces Day (Saturday 24 June) can apply for funding from the Ministry of Defence.

The event can be anywhere in the UK and the funding can be used for:
• A picnic in the park
• Themed BBQ
• Knees up in your living room
• Street party or fête etc.

Applicants should try to hold their event on or in the weeks around Saturday 24 June 2017.

The amount of funding the MoD will provide must cover 50% or less of the total costs of running the event. Event organisers should in the first instance register their event on the Armed Forces Day website.

The deadline for submitting applications is the 30 April 2017.

More information

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