September 2021

Monthly Archives

Covid-19 Vaccination Grant Funding and the Voluntary Sector

Congratulations to the many organisations that have received funding to help explain to their communities the benefits of having the Covid-19 vaccination. This has really helped make a difference to the vaccination uptake in Sandwell.

However, there is still lots to be done to make sure everyone who is eligible for a vaccine or booster knows and receives it. In addition, we need to remember good practice around infection control, which will keep us and the ones we care for, safe and well this winter.

If you want to promote this message to the people in your community including staff, volunteers and service users and you are a Sandwell based VCS organisation, then there is some funding to help you with this.

To find out more and see if you are eligible please contact Liz Webster, (mobile 07923 259821), or Barbara Murphy,  Thank you.

The Loneliness Engagement Fund

The Loneliness Engagement Fund is open to organisations that have a track record of delivering effective communications and engagement activity at a national level. Grants of between £15,000 to £50,000 to organisations that engage with those most affected by loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds will be will be from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

Organisations must have a proven reach and track record of engaging with one or more of the following target groups:

• young people aged 16-24
• people with diagnosed mental health conditions
• people living alone
• people from lower income households
• people who are unemployed
• people with disabilities

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 13 October.

More details

Sandwell’s Safer 6 campaign is back for 2021

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign gets under way on Monday 27 September, promoting a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice for people of all ages.

The six-week campaign, now in its 12th year, has a special online focus this year, with activities also being planned across Sandwell’s six towns including speed awareness, walkabouts, litter picks and skip days. We will also be launching the resident consultation for Sandwell’s new Community Safety strategy.

Safer 6 runs from 27 September to 7 November 2021. Each of the six weeks will have a different theme:

Week 1 (27 September-3 October): Substance misuse
Week 2 (4-10 October): Under 25 violence and county lines
Week 3 (11-17 October): Hate crime
Week 4 (18-24 October): Exploitation
Week 5 (25-31 October): Anti-social behaviour and crime
Week 6 (1-7 November): Violence against women and girls

The campaign is led by Sandwell Council for the Safer Sandwell Partnership, which brings together the council, Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and many other partner organisations.

Visit for more information on the campaign.



Sandwell Council Tenant Engagement – Tenant & Leaseholder Scrutiny Group

Through partnership with its Voluntary and Community sector partners, Sandwell Council wants to encourage people to get involved in a genuine long-term Tenant Involvement programme of positive change. They are establishing a Tenant & Leaseholders Scrutiny Group, which provides the opportunity for a group consisting of Council tenants and Council leaseholders to scrutinise, shape and make recommendations to improve housing services.

Sandwell Council is delivering a series of drop in sessions across the borough, in community venues, to promote and engage with local council tenants and council leaseholders about the opportunity to get involved and have a positive impact on the quality and delivery of housing services.

These sessions will commence early October and further information will follow. In addition, there will be a range of different opportunities in which people can get involved.

As part of this endeavour Sandwell Council wants to work with its Voluntary and Community sector partners and would like support in encouraging as many council tenants and council leaseholders as possible to attend so that there is a good diverse group reflective of Sandwell’s’ communities.

The sessions will be informal and an opportunity for those interested in being involved to find out more and meet the community partnerships team and have a chat. Alternatively, those interested can call the team on 0121 569-2537 or email at:

For further information please visit our website: Sandwell Tenants and Leaseholders Scrutiny Group –

Sandwell council is committed to championing the voice of tenants and the opportunities for transformational change outlined in the housing white paper.  In addition, there are also further opportunities for everyone who resides in Sandwell to engage with Sandwell Council via the Residents Panel.

The Faith New Deal Pilot Fund – now open

The Faith New Deal Pilot Fund is a new, competitive grant programme to help support faith-based organisations to use their resources effectively within their community and to build trust between national government, local government and faith groups.

Government wants to recognise the role faith-based organisations play in the resilience of our communities and the importance of local faith groups working collaboratively to respond to societal issues.

The core aim of the Faith New Deal Pilot Fund is to test and strengthen the nature of engagement between national government, local government and faith groups – providing proof of concept of the role faith groups play in supporting communities to solve local problems.

Through effective partnership working with public service providers, such as local authorities or public health bodies, faith groups can use their skills to deliver solutions to local problems that offer communities coherent and sustainable change.

The Faith New Deal Pilot fund will provide up to £975,000 for faith groups to apply for to work in partnership with local public services and philanthropists.

Funded pilots will be innovative projects to strengthen engagement between local and national government and faith groups – testing what can be achieved when they work together. The programme will fund projects to tackle social issues, including those arising from the impact of COVID-19, to support the recovery efforts of communities.

The deadline for bids is at 11:59pm on Thursday 7 October 2021

For more information, including how to apply, visit: Faith New Deal Pilot Fund prospectus – GOV.UK (

Prevention and Promotion Fund for Better Mental Health 2021-22 – further funding launched

This opportunity seeks to invest in prevention and promotion interventions for better mental health, specifically to mitigate mental health impacts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce widening mental health inequalities by targeting at risk and vulnerable groups.

Sandwell MBC Public Health are inviting Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to submit an Expression of Interest against three allocated strands, to receive funding which will be distributed in the form of a grant.

There is one strand; Strand D, which has a total value of £14,350

D. Mental Health literacy – direct delivery of a variety of mental health training courses based on need and demand, for example (but not limited to); mental health awareness, mental health first aid, suicide prevention.

You can download the Expression of Interest Form HERE – and please refer to the appendix for further information, including expected outputs and outcomes.

The Expression of Interest window is open from 28/09/2021 until 12pm on 19/10/2021. Successful EOI notifications are expected by 22/10/2021.

Projects will be expected to have the ability to start delivery quickly, with the mobilisation and promotion period being November to December 2021, and the delivery period starting mid January 2022 at the latest. The provisional delivery period is until May 2022.

For information and advice on how to complete this form please contact

Simple as ABCD!

If you’re passionate about helping to develop your local community, pop in to one of the upcoming meetings hosted by Sandwell Council and Sandwell Churches Link.

A series of friendly, practical workshops have been organised across the borough to introduce the idea of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD).

Asset Based Community Development is a local, ‘grass roots’ approach to strengthening communities.

Through a process of recognising, identifying and harnessing existing ‘assets’ that individuals and communities have – things like skills, knowledge, capacity, resources, experience or enthusiasm for example – ABCD aims to help strengthen and improve things locally.

Instead of looking at what a community needs or lacks, the approach focuses on best using the ‘assets’ that are already there.

The workshops are a chance to learn more about ABCD, and network and chat about what it would look like to work together in your area. Representatives from any sector are welcome.

Workshops will take place at:
Holy Trinity Church, Smethwick
Sandwell College Arts Café
Friar Park Millennium Centre
The Oak Tree Centre, Oldbury
Cradley Heath Community Centre
St Mark’s, Ocker Hill

Find out more, and how to book HERE

Aviva giving a boost to climate change projects

The Aviva Community Fund supports small UK causes to make a big difference in their communities. The organisation has partnered with Crowdfunder to drive fundraising and help to get ideas off the ground.

Every year £250,000 of funding is distributed by Aviva, supported further by donations from the public.

To celebrate COP26,  the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties,  which is being held in Glasgow in November, Aviva have created the Aviva Climate Fund, to boost the final round of the Community Fund in 2021, with an extra £150,000 for projects leaving the way on climate action.

Click here to find out more


iTrust Programme win prestigious public service award

Sandwell Council’s iTrust Programme was declared the Best Community and Neighbourhood Initiative including Community Safety in the prestigious Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) Annual Service Awards 2021.

The APSE Awards recognised frontline service teams and special initiatives delivered by UK local authorities and public sector partners. This year’s awards, with 22 categories covering the vast majority of local services, were agreed by a panel of expert judges, following a rigorous selection process.

The winners were announced at the APSE Annual Charity Awards Dinner, in aid of Parkinson’s UK, at the ICC in Birmingham.

iTrust (Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Programme) was developed by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children’s Trust, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations and West Midlands Police Sandwell Partnership Team to meet the principles of the national Troubled Families Programme, which included early identification of those children and families at greatest risk.

The programme was delivered by a small team within the council, who worked closely with partners in the police and the voluntary sector, schools and families to identify and support children in years six and seven in the Smethwick and West Bromwich areas, taking an approach based on very early intervention to increase confidence, build resilience and drive aspirations.

The programme engaged with 28 primary and secondary schools in the two towns, seeking to provide universal activities for 700 children and targeted one-to-one mentoring for 85 children. It significantly exceeded these goals, with over 1,500 children attending universal sessions and 241 receiving individual mentoring support.

Thinking about teaching? SAFL’s Level 3 Certificate in Education and Teaching can help

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning service are proud to announce that they will be delivering the Level 3 Award in Education and Training AET course, formerly known as PTLLS. The course starts 6th October 2021.

The course certifies individuals to teach at a nationally accredited standard. This Level 3 qualification is for those who work or want to work as teachers or trainers in the further education and skills sector. This includes those currently not in a teaching role, or who have just started a teaching role.

The Level 3 Award in Education and Training is an introduction to teaching that will give an insight into the roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training, how to plan and deliver inclusive teaching sessions and how to assess and give constructive feedback.

In the words of Henry Brooks Adams “Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops”.

Teach with confidence and learn to teach with SAFL.

Full course details and to enquire, click here.


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