November 2019

Monthly Archives

Understanding Extremism Training – Places available 9th December 2019

The Understanding Extremism Training will explore and discuss issues relating to the ideology of Global Jihadism and the Far Right.

The Training will equip delegates with an ideological understanding that underpins different extremist groups. In addition to this delegates will be given the opportunity to be involved in interactive discussions in understanding the drivers and influences that lead to radicalisation.

The course has been tailored specifically for Sandwell and this will be illustrated in the examples that will be presented. The importance of the Prevent Strategy and the subsequent Prevent referral pathway that will support local partners in confidence in signposting vulnerable individuals who they feel are a concern will be discussed. Delegates will be provided with a counter narrative and this will build on their knowledge base.

Target Audience

Practitioners, faith based community leaders, education establishments, partners

Sandwell Council – Housing (Sandwell Homes, Roway Lane), Direct 2 Industrial Estate, Roway Lane, Oldbury

Monday 9th December 2019 (9:30 – 16:30) – For more information and to book a place please view –

Grants of up to £1,000 from The National Lottery

The National Lottery has turned 25 and is celebrating this milestone by bringing people together and offering grants of between £100 and £1000 to people and communities with a great idea.

If you have an idea for an event or community activity or even if you want to buy something, that will bring your community together – this could be for you. Any group of two or more people with a great idea can apply. The National Lottery is particularly keen to hear from people it hasn’t worked with before and to give everyone a fair chance it will use a lottery process, randomly selecting the applicants to be assessed.

The deadline for applications is 2pm on Friday 6 December 2019. Join the celebration and apply today.

Project Development Funding for Churches

Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available to listed and unlisted Christian places towards developing a church building project.

This includes Churches, Chapels and Meeting Houses. The funding is being made available through the National Churches Trusts Gateway Programme.

The closing date for applications is the 9th January 2020.

The Gateway Grant Programme also offers grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 to local church trusts to fund projects that support organisational development, increase their capacity to churches in their area or that deliver new ways of supporting churches in their area.

For further information please view –

#Giving Tuesday is Coming

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, a day when everyone, everywhere can do something to support good causes. Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following the well-known shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is celebrated this year on 3 December 2019.

It is a great opportunity to celebrate the work that your charity does on social media using the #GivingTuesday hashtag. It’s a chance to amplify your voice, get your cause in front of a new audience and be connected with a global generosity movement that saw 1.5 million people say they would be more likely to do something for charity as a result of Giving Tuesday. Find out more about how your charity can get involved here.

Funding to Make Community Spaces More Sustainable

The Co-op Foundation is offering interest free loans for enterprising ideas to improve community spaces.

Community organisations that manage community buildings and outdoor spaces such as parks and community centres; etc which are for the use of the whole community can apply for loans of up to £50,000 to grow their trading activities to generate more sustainable income.

Organisations based in a more deprived area, or whose work mainly benefits more disadvantaged members of the community may also be able to apply for grant funding alongside a loan.

Applications can be submitted at any time. For further information please view –

One Stop – Carries for Causes

Groundwork is working with One Stop stores to administer the Carriers for Causes grants initiative, to fund good causes within two miles of a One Stop shop.

The types of projects funded will be very broad and will cover the direct costs needed to deliver the project, this could be buying litter pickers and bags for a community cleanup days, plants, spades and forks to plant up a new community garden, the cost of a minibus for a day trip for a community group or the materials needed to paint a room at the local hospice.

Grants of up to £1000 are available to support projects that benefit local communities through the money raised from the 5p bag charge in One Stop stores in England, Wales and Scotland.

To apply and for further information about the grant click here.

Guardian Public Service Awards: Public Health and Wellbeing Winner!

An integrated project is helping people in the West Midlands with alcohol dependence.

When people with an alcohol dependence are in the depths of despair, they can sometimes be quite suspicious of support. They may be suffering from complex physical and mental health problems compounded by other social issues. Gaining the trust of those with a drinking problem can be a battle. But the Sandwell Blue Light project is breaking through these challenges and changing lives.

Developed by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in 2015, the project has created a new system that identifies, engages and then builds a long-term rapport with the most difficult to reach drinkers. This includes those who do not engage with treatment, who are regular users of NHS services, or others involved in criminal behaviour.

While there were existing alcohol services in place in the borough, resources were limited and there was a risk people could fall through the net. With this in mind, the Blue Light project set out to ensure that people in need had access to an engaging, non-judgmental support system.

The project brings together a cross-section of partners, including public health professionals, the ambulance and probation services, and the police. Local GPs, mental health specialists, alcohol treatment providers and other NHS professionals are also on board.

The team coordinates its own work, identifying those having the greatest difficulties with alcohol in Sandwell, and develops jointly-owned action plans to provide them with support. Team members talk regularly to ensure they identify and monitor any clients at high risk. For example, a probation officer may have a phone call with a local GP to share information about a drinker’s risk and vulnerability. Every month, the team meets to review and assess client progress and agree on the next steps they can take to help.

Lisa McNally, the director of public health for Sandwell, says the project does not define people by antisocial behaviour. Instead, it looks to root causes. “Unless we get past people’s behaviours and look to see what’s driving them to continue to drink year on year, and not engage with services, we will never get anywhere,” she says.

To read the full article click here.

Source: The Guardian Newspaper

YMCA Open Door Offers ‘Host Placements’ Service

There are hundreds of young people across the Black Country who every year experience family breakdown and also find themselves with nowhere to stay.  Within the Black Country there are some amazing and truly remarkable people who are opening up their homes to help young people who would otherwise be roofless.

Having recently celebrated it’s 10th Anniversary, YMCA Open Door provides ‘Host placements’ for young people who have experienced family breakdown. There are over 80 YMCA Hosts who use their spare room to provide a homely environment for young people aged between 16-18 who provide either ‘emergency Nighstop’ or longer term ‘Supported Lodgings’.  YMCA is seeking to recruit more Hosts to provide safe places for young people. Do you have a spare room and a caring heart?  Please consider if you could provide a homely environment for a young person who has nowhere to go.  All Hosts receive over £100pw, full training from the YMCA and support from a dedicated project worker.

To find out more visit

Tina’s Story raises domestic abuse awareness

The sister of a murdered Sandwell woman has made a short film to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the support that is available for victims and their families.

The film – Tina’s Story – was launched on Monday 25 November on White Ribbon Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The film also launches Sandwell’s support for this year’s 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse.

Tina Billingham was murdered by her partner in 2017. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour. He was jailed for life for a minimum of 24 years for her murder.

Tina’s sister Mandy wants to help other families avoid losing a loved one through domestic abuse. She has worked with the Safer Sandwell Partnership to make the seven-minute film, which people can watch at and on YouTube

Mandy hopes the film will help others recognise the signs of domestic abuse and know how and where to seek support.

Support available
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is, call Black Country Women’s Aid on 0121 552 6448.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Samaritans: 116 123

Options for Life are Recruiting Trustees

Options for Life is a not for profit voluntary organisation. We provide opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to improve their confidence, develop their skills and live as independently as possible enjoying the same rights and opportunities as everybody else.

We are passionate that we support all of our participants to make their own choices about their own lives.

Based in Oldbury in the West Midlands we work with participants across the West Midlands, we have an annual turnover of £2.2million and employ over 95 staff. As a leading learning disability organisation, we want to recruit new Trustees with a breadth of skills and talent to help us with our ongoing growth and continual improvement.

We are particularly keen to recruit a diverse board of trustees and welcome applications from all sectors of the community with lots of different experiences. Previous Trustee experience is not essential.

To find out more you can visit:

Alternatively contact our Chief Executive, Nicola Thomson for an informal chat on 0121 544 6611 or email and request a Trustee Recruitment Pack

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