Stuart Ashmore

Author Archives

Migration: Policy & Practice – 1st Network Meeting, Jan 27th ’22.

Migration: Policy & Practice is in the process of organising an initial meeting for groups in the sector to come together and discuss the findings of their first Sector Assessment – BARRIERS TO MIGRANT INTEGRATION: CHALLENGES FACING MIGRANTS AND THE MIGRATION SUPPORT SECTOR IN BIRMINGHAM AND THE BLACK COUNTRY.

They are keen to build on the momentum following the release of the report and look to bring together a broad coalition of groups working on the issues raised, develop responses and ensuring the needs of migrants are included in strategic planning.

The date for the first meeting is Thursday 27th January at 3pm and you can register at this link:

Could you benefit from a University of Birmingham Student Placement in 2022?

The University of Birmingham College of Arts and Law is now starting to compile the 2022 Placements Bank and is seeking suitable projects that could benefit from additional capacity, including taking a hybrid approach.

A quick summary of the key points of the placement module:

  • Placements are based on 70 hours (10 days), undertaken between June and December 2022.
  • They can be full-time or part time in summer; or part-time in autumn, working around the student timetable.
  • Placements can be virtual, site-based, or hybrid and you can recruit more than one student to the same, or  multiple, roles.
  • Students take ownership or responsibility for a project or focus, under your supervision, that will develop their professional skills and experience.
  • The module is open to second and final year students from a range of arts and humanities disciplines

You can find further information and download examples of the many ways students supported organisations in 2021 on the University’s webpage:

2022 placements

As in previous years there are two formal application rounds:

  1. Round One is the Placements Bank launch in mid-March. This will be the primary focus for students, so employers are strongly encouraged to submit placement proposals by 25 February, if possible.
  2. Round Two is an opportunity to introduce new roles or to re-advertise any roles that were not filled in the first round. This round tends to attract a smaller candidate pool, but often includes students who register later, or opt to apply after their assessment period.

For further information, or to arrange a meeting, contact Lesley Griffiths, College of Arts & Law Placements Officer:

Sterling notes and coins

Grant Funding Available for Counselling Children and Young People

Sterling notes and coinsDoes your organisation currently deliver counselling services to children and young people in Sandwell? Or in Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton or wards in the West of Birmingham?

If so, and you have capability to deliver support between February 2022 and the end of August 2022, you may be interested in applying to the Winter 2021-2022 Round of the Emotional Wellbeing Grant Programme.

Due to the limited time period for delivery, and the funding requirements, eligibility is focused on those organisations currently delivering counselling services to children and young people in the areas specified above.

For an application form and guidance notes please send an email to stating

a) What counselling services  you currently deliver to children and young people (please describe in a couple of sentences);

b) Where you currently deliver – which town or ward.

c) Who do you support? What is the age range of beneficiaries receiving counselling services?.

If you meet the eligibility requirements then the documentation will be forwarded to you.

Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 10.00am Monday 17 January 2022.  

In addition, there will be an open meeting for potential applicants on Thursday 6 January between 11-12 noon to ask any questions they have about the application process, details of which will be included with the application form.

Covid Vaccination Pop-up Clinics

With the recent rise in cases of the Omicron Covid variant and the Government’s drive to offer vaccines to everyone that’s eligible, a programme of local Covid-19 Vaccination Pop-up Clinics is being rolled out across Sandwell:

Wednesday 15th December, Greets Green Resource Centre, 11am-4pm

Friday 17th December, The Hawthorns, 10am-4pm

Saturday 18th December, Queen Square Shopping Centre, 10am-4pm

Monday 20th December, Cradley Heath Community Centre, 10am-3pm

More dates and venues are being added all the time, so please use and refresh the following link for the most up to date list:

Please also check the NHS website for the most up to date eligibility criteria regarding doses and boosters,

Sustrans Winter Walking Challenge

Sustrans are hosting a Winter Walking Challenge, which aims to encourage people to stay active during the winter period and hopefully build a routine of walking on a more regular basis.

You’ll find a recording form HERE, where participants note down how many minutes they spend walking each day between now and the 31st December and then send a photo (by email or text) or post the completed record form to the Sustrans Birmingham office, to be entered into a prize draw.

One lucky winner will win a £200 FitBit watch and a £50 shopping voucher for a supermarket or store of their choice.

Information on what to do and how to be entered into the prize draw is also on the record form itself.

Migration: Policy & Practice – First Annual Assessment published

Funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Migration: Policy & Practice works with the voluntary sector in Birmingham and the Black Country to support the effective settlement of migrants and a positive integration agenda for the region.

The organisation aims to improve coordination, communication and collaborative working, bring together local evidence and experience to influence local, regional and national policy.


It is intended to provided a detailed look at the issues affecting integration for migrants in the region across the four thematic areas of the Project.

The findings highlight the increasing challenges faced by migrants in effectively settling and building lives within the region. Systemic issues continue to hamper many in accessing not only training and employment, but basic needs such as healthcare, adequate housing and other fundamental rights.

Visit their website to read the report HERE.

Sterling notes and coins

Vision 2030 Community Grants – applications being accepted

Sterling notes and coinsSCVO Vision 2030 Community Grants – Vision 2030 sets out the ambitions towards making Sandwell (in 2030) a thriving, optimistic and resilient community. Central to this vision is the message of closer partnership working between all sectors and communities across the borough. The aspiration is for Sandwell (now and in the future) to be where we call home and where we’re proud to belong – where we choose to bring up our families, where we feel safe and cared for, enjoying good health, rewarding work, feeling connected and valued in our neighbourhoods and communities, confident in the future, and benefiting fully from a revitalised West Midlands.

SCVO is delivering this grant programme, on behalf of and in partnership with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, to enable voluntary and community groups to deliver activities in Sandwell, and to Sandwell residents, to support the following priorities:

      • Building Social Connections (tackling loneliness/social isolation)
      • Youth Activities (tackling loneliness/social isolation amongst young people)
      • Healthy Lifestyles (promoting / supporting healthy living)
      • Vaccination Support (activities that encourage, inform or enable Sandwell residents to take up the vaccination opportunity)

Paperwork for the programme is available as follows:

PLEASE NOTE: it is an integral part of the application process to discuss your project ideas/proposals with SCVO PRIOR to submission of an application – you can email: or contact Liz  on 07923 259821 / (or Stuart on 07703 823226 /

Once you’ve had your initial conversation the application form will be sent to you.

Applications for the CURRENT round of the main programme are being accepted on a rolling basis, with a next scheduled assessment date Monday February 28th 2022 at 12 Noon.


We aim to turnaround Vaccination Support grants on a regular rolling basis while the programme is in operation.

DigiQuick – Online training to help you run a community organisation

Are you a voluntary and community organisation that’s looking for relevant and accessible digital training?

Then look no further than DigiQuick – an online training platform of easy videos that help people learn how the internet can help them run their community organisation. That means they can get back to the work they love, knowing the IT is doing the boring work for them.

The courses are all FREE to access until January 2022, after which there will be a charge of £9.99 per month per user.

Click HERE to see the available courses, with more being added in the New Year.

‘Ask Marc’ support service is launched.

What is Ask Marc?

Ask Marc will offer men living in the Black Country specialist support around rape and sexual violence, childhood sexual abuse, grooming and exploitation, domestic abuse, stalking, forced marriage and so-called “honour”-based violence. Ask Marc sends out a clear message of hope telling victims you don’t have to deal with it alone: someone is here to listen. The service has been made possible with funding from the Office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, and was developed by Black Country Women’s Aid in consultation with male survivors of abuse following many years of men accessing the services.

The website has now launched and hope you find this a useful resource.

As well as information, you can download leaflets and posters and sign up to join the Ask Marc email list … just visit the ‘Information for professionals’ page (Info for professionals | Ask Marc), which will also give you information as to how to make a referral to the service.


“Recycled Christmas Arts Festival” on 27 November

Cradley Heath Creative invite you to their ‘Recycled Christmas Arts Festival’ on Saturday, 27th November 2021.
There’s an action-packed programme:
  • Award-winning local artist, Martyn Harris, demonstrates his oil painting techniques (2pm);
  • Billy Spakemon, Black Country poet and singer, leads a ‘Poetry Hour’ – bring your own [poetry] on the day! (4.30pm);
  • Andrew Thayer plays the piano and Open Mike with James Harris – all welcome (5.30pm);
  • Art Auction, Raffle and showing of films from the Short Film Competition with Mr Chuckles (6.30pm),
  • Bands and dancing (8-11pm).
Throughout the day – Make, Make, Make! Deck the pub with your best recycled decorations, make recycled Christmas tree hangings. And more to come……
Refreshments during the day, and a warm welcome at all times!
The Festival will be held over two venues: 2-11pm at The Holly Bush Arts Centre, Newtown lane, B64 5EA and 10am – 4pm at The Art Yard, Upper High Street, B64 5HX

Page 1 of 13123...Last

Contact Us

Tel: 0121 525 1127

1st Floor, Landchard House
Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER