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The Better Care Fund: Voluntary and Community Sector Consultation Event

Commissioners from the Sandwell Better Care Fund (BCF) have engaged with local people and communities, local providers and professional staff across Health and Social care.

The engagement is aimed to gather their views on the development and delivery of a new community offer for Sandwell residents. This new offer will support the growth and development of communities, whilst promoting and supporting individual health, wellbeing and independence and the transformation of health, wellbeing services.

The Consultation Event will be  on Wednesday, 2 October 2019, 9.30 am – 12.30 pm, at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick B66 1BA.

To book a place, please email BCF_admin@sandwell.gov.uk

Refreshments will be available.


Harmonisation of clinical treatment policies

Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group and Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, are undertaking patient and public engagements on the harmonisation of clinical treatment policies.

National clinical evidence is continually changing. Therefore, NHS commissioners must periodically review and update commissioning policies to ensure the clinical treatments commissioned are based on the most recent clinical evidence. However, it is important that commissioners understand any impact to patients, their carers and families, on proposed policy changes before final decisions are made. For this reason the Commissioning Groups are undertaking a patient and public engagement process commencing on 5 September 2019, for six weeks.

The policies being reviewed are:

• Arthroscopic sub-acromial decompression
• Image guided therapeutic intra-articular joint injections with corticosteroids with/without local anaesthetic.
• Image-guided High Volume intra-articular injections (40mls+) of saline with or without corticosteroid and/or local anaesthetic Exogen Bone healing
• Liposuction for lymphoedema & lipoedema
• Bariatric Surgery
• Knee arthroscopy – Acute
• Non Invasive Ventilation
• Sleep Apnoea
• COPD
• Neurodependent
• Biological mesh
• Body Contouring
• Adenoidectomy
• Hysteroscopy for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

For an explanation on each of the clinical treatment policies and more about the proposed changes please visit:

https://sandwellandwestbhamccg.nhs.uk/consultations
https://www.birminghamandsolihullccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/consultations-surveys-and-events

It is really important that commissioners hear your views as clinical treatment policies inform treatments available from the NHS. All feedback will be analysed and a report prepared for consideration by the decision makers at each CCG before any changes to policies are implemented.

Please take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire or send in your feedback to agem.treatmentpolicies@nhs.net.

The questionnaire is also available in hard copy.  To request this format call 0121 611 0611.

You are also invited to attend one of the engagement events taking place during the engagement period. To see the full list of events and to book a place click here.  Please note, the event can only go ahead if enough people wish to attend.

If you are part of an organisation, please pass on the information to your members and contacts to allow other stakeholders, patients, and carers to let the Commissioning Groups know their views. If you are an individual receiving this information, please tell your family and friends. It is important that commissioners hear from as many people as possible..


West Midlands Trains online Stakeholder research: Autumn 2019

As part of the commitment to developing their partnerships with stakeholders, West Midlands Trains have commissioned an independent research organisation, Jungle Green Ltd, to conduct an annual online Stakeholder Research Survey. The research involves a short questionnaire about what, in your opinion, West Midlands Trains are doing well and where they can improve, in the way they work with stakeholders.

Your feedback will help shape how the train company develops stakeholder relationships in the future, as they continually seek to improve their service.

Please click here to take part in the survey. There are 15 questions that they would like to ask you.

West Midlands Trains do hope that you will be able to help. Your contribution, which is anonymous, would be greatly valued.


National Express Foundation unlocks £250,000 more funding to help young people

Applications are invited from community groups and educational institutions for a share of a new pot of funding which is being made available to help young people succeed in life.

Earlier this year, the Foundation committed over £250,000 to support 3,000 young people in the West Midlands and Kent. This second £250,000 round of funding aims to increase the number helped this year. The Foundation is also making the process simpler for community groups to apply.

The application process for community groups in this round will involve two stages. Initially, groups will simply be asked to provide a single paragraph setting out the proposed activity.   The application form can be found here.

The deadline for the first round is 6 October. Applications will be assessed, and those which are considered most likely to succeed will be invited to submit a more detailed application.

Educational institutions can find their application form here, with a deadline of 25 October.

James Donnan, Foundation General Manager, explained: “We recognised that for many small community groups, the process of completing detailed application forms is time-consuming and can be particularly frustrating if unsuccessful.

“By simplifying our application process we are encouraging any group that works with young people to apply and pitch us an idea of how their activity helps to support, develop and engage young people. We can then assist successful organisations to progress these ideas in to a full proposal”.

For full details of the respective projects and bursary programmes that can be supported by Foundation funding this year please visit www.nationalexpressgroup.com/foundation.


Travel Grants for International School Visits

Travel grants are now available to enable groups of secondary school pupils to visit a partner school in any country (Europe, or wider World) for a minimum of four nights.

Visits can be used to enhance curriculum teaching, improve language learning or help build soft skills. Priority is given to applications that feature young people from disadvantaged backgrounds as visitors or hosts. Offered through a new £2.5 million Department for Education programme in partnership with the British Council, it is anticipated that the visits will offer up to 20 students at a time per school a truly intercultural experience.

Visits must be started by 31st May 2020; the last date for applications is the 14th February 2020.

Further information


The Lottery’s 25th Birthday Thanks To You campaign

This year the National Lottery is celebrating its 25th birthday and the difference it has made to heritage, the lives of people and communities throughout the UK, over the past quarter of a century. Thanks to National Lottery players, over £30 million goes to good causes each week.

The annual Thanks To You campaign is the perfect opportunity for you to be involved in the birthday celebrations and to say thank you to the National Lottery players who have made so many projects possible. It’s also a chance for you to highlight the difference you have made in your local community.

The principle of the campaign is simple: anyone who visits a participating National Lottery-funded venue or project between 23 November & 1 December 2019 and shows a National Lottery ticket gets free entry, or another special offer.

Some fantastic organisations and projects have already registered across the good causes family, including Westonbirt the National Arboretum, The Fitzwilliam Museum, The Old Vic, National Holocaust Centre and Museum, Pleasance Theatre, Black Country Living Museum, National Justice Museum, University Museum of Zoology, Derby Arena, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, V&A Dundee, Worcester Cathedral, the National Trust for Scotland, RSPB, Bath Comedy Festival, The D-Day Story, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and many, many more.

If you haven’t already done so (and thank you if you have!) please register your interest in being a part of the campaign on the Lottery Good Causes website.

If your organisation has not taken part in Thanks To You before, and/or you are not sure what your special offer might look like, the Lottery can help. Their dedicated project manager, Stacey Reed, is on hand to work with grantees to make sure your offer reaches new audiences and benefits from the national promotional profile of the 25th birthday celebrations.

There are many ways for everyone to get involved. In previous years, some of the special offers have included:

• free entry to venues for all or part of the Thanks To You period
• an expert talk or a guest panel
• guided facility or venue tours
• setting aside tickets to an event coming up in the future
• a membership discount
• hard hat / in-construction / behind the scenes tours
• a day, weekend, or week of activities
• workshops or lessons
• a special view of a collection or archive not usually open to the public
• an in-store or restaurant offer
• the chance to sit in on a rehearsal or training session
• something totally different to your usual programme of activity – maybe a group walk or fete

Need more inspiration?

Julie from Fairhaven Lake, Lancashire, has written a blog about how taking part in the Thanks To You campaign made a big difference to a small project.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Thanks To You project manager, Stacey Reed, on Stacey.Reed@lotterygoodcauses.org.uk or 020 7211 3928 if you have any questions.


Princes Trust Team Programme Smethwick

Princes Trust Smethwick are now recruiting for their next 12 week Team Programme for 16 – 25 year olds, starting 7th October 2019. The Programme offers skills such as team building, confidence and leadership. Young people will gain nationally recognised qualifications and certificates in First Aid and Food safety.

Alongside this, young people:
• can build a CV
• will be taught interview skills
• will have two weeks work experience and
• will be introduced to employers and training providers in a field that they wish to progress into.

A bus pass is provided which does not affect benefits.

If you have any questions please get in touch with Jack Dytor, the Prince’s Trust Team Leader, on 07787 245 832 or by email Dytorj@wolvcoll.ac.uk

If a group has an upcoming event which the Princes Trust could attend to aid recruitment, please contact Jack Dytor at Smethwick Police Station on the above number.

Further information


Opportunities at Health Exchange

Health Exchange was formed in Birmingham in 2006, with the aim of creating a dialogue with the community about health and wellbeing.

The organisation’s guiding belief was, and remains, that everyone should and could be empowered to take positive control of their own health and wellbeing.

Health Exchange is looking to recruit to three vacancies. Please click links for full job description and instruction on how to apply.

Link Worker – Birmingham based
£19,000. Full-time

Link Worker Supervisor – Sandwell based
£21,000. Full time

Health and Wellbeing Partner Supervisor – Birmingham based
£21,000. Full-time

The closing date for all three vacancies is 12 October, 2019.


FREE Sight Loss Awareness Training

If you know anyone who is living with sight loss and you’d like to know the best ways to communicate with and guide a person, or you’d like to know more about eye conditions and their impact, then Beacon can help!

Beacon’s Sight Loss Awareness Training offers a friendly and fun training session that will enable you to:

• Learn how to safely guide a person with sight loss appropriately, negotiating stairs, doors and chairs
• Experience what it is like to be visually impaired using our sight loss specs
• Gain information about aids and equipment that can help visually impaired people
• Gain an understanding of the most common eye conditions
• Learn the importance of eye health
• Understand the emotional impact of sight loss
• Know more about the services Beacon Centre offer to people living with sight loss

You will gain confidence to better assist and support people living with sight loss, as well as a certificate upon completion of the session.

The training is open to both individuals and groups.

These sessions are completely FREE and take place at the Beacon Centre, Wolverhampton Road East, WV4 6AZ. Available dates/times are:

Wednesday, 25 September, Wednesbury, 30 October and Thursday, 28 November 2019. All from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Please book online at wwww.beaconvision.org or call 01902 880 111.


London Mathematical Society – Small Grants for Education

Grants of up to £800 are available to stimulate interest and enable involvement in mathematics from Key Stage 1 (age 5+) to undergraduate level and beyond.

The funding is being made available through the London Mathematical Society’s Small Grants for Education scheme and aims to enhance and enrich mathematical study beyond the curriculum; engage the public with mathematics; and encourage unusual ways of communicating mathematics.

There are four application rounds each year and the next closing date for applications is the 30th November 2019.

Further information


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