Stuart Ashmore

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Free Community Event to Celebrate West Smethwick Park Refurbishment

A £5.1 million transformation of West Smethwick Park is being celebrated with a free community event for local residents next Sunday, 21 August.

The restoration and improvement project – which includes the new Pavilion with café, historic restorations and landscape improvements, and a dedicated West Smethwick Park community engagement coordinator – has been made possible thanks to a £4.5 million National Lottery Heritage Fund Parks For People grant with the remaining monies coming from Sandwell Council.

The restoration and improvement project has benefited from engagement and input from the Friends of West Smethwick Park, community groups, and residents.

The community launch event – which will see the official opening of the new West Smethwick Park Pavilion Building at 11am by the Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, Councillor Laura Rollins – will see a free family fun day of activities, events and celebration to mark a new chapter in the history of the much-loved park.

Attractions include: * live music and stage performances all day * crafts and storytelling * Bollywood dance and Dhol drumming performance and workshops * steel pan performance and workshops * circus skills, stilt walkers and giant bubbles * Farm to Town with animals and fake milking goat * free sporting activities * community stalls * food and drink including hot samosas and a bar and pizza tent heritage display and other local live performers include Gary Bell (Jazz), Tom Heyes (Brat Pack) and local band Thunder Chunky.

The official opening of West Smethwick Park Pavilion takes place on Sunday, 21 August at 11am with a full day of community activities, events and celebration from 10am-7pm.

In addition, drop-in sessions are being held for local residents to visit the Pavilion and to suggest ideas for use. The next two are: Wednesday, 17 August from 4pm until 8pm, and Thursday, 18 August from 6.30pm-8pm.

For more information on the community launch event, facilities at the Pavilion and details of drop-in sessions, go to


Commonwealth Games equipment giveaway

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Sport England are pleased to invite community organisations to apply for sporting equipment which was used at the Games.

The opportunity is open to organisations providing inclusive and accessible sports, physical activity and wellbeing activities in communities in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Black Country, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire).

The organisations will be encouraging participation and cohesion through sport, while promoting the benefits of physical health and wellbeing for their community.

Our main purpose is to help everyone in England to get active regardless of their age, background or ability.

This complements Birmingham 2022’s pledge to deliver an inclusive, accessible and sustainable Games.

Both us and Birmingham 2022 are committed to tackling inactivity and extending the reach of sporting and physical activity opportunities, and these are set out in Birmingham 2022’s Physical Activity and Wellbeing Legacy Plan.

This sporting equipment includes an array of items from across the Commonwealth Games sports, such as basketballs, netballs, boxing gloves and rugby equipment.

There’s also a range of consumable items which may indirectly help your organisation run activities, such as vacuum cleaners, mops, buckets and ice machines.

A full list of the lots available are available via the sports equipment gifting legacy catalogue.

Please note, at the point of releasing the list of “lots”, we’re still collating equipment from each Games venue. There’ll be some items that have been broken/damaged or lost during the Games and/or in transit. Therefore, the final lots may differ from those published.

To find out more, (including eligibility criteria), and to make an application, please visit: Commonwealth Games equipment giveaway | Sport England

**PLEASE NOTE** Applications close at 5pm on 15th September 2022

FREE Body & Mind Fitness Classes

Do you want to be a STAR?

Magical MC CIC is running a set of FREE body & mind fitness classes where you can:

  • Develop your SOCIAL skills
  • Track your THOUGHTS and emotions
  • Do AEROBIC exercises (Couch25k)
  • Access self-development books to READ

Who is it for? Available to anyone over 18 years old

When does it take place? Sundays, 9-11am from 8th September to 27th November 2022 inclusive

Where does it take place? Victoria Park, Tipton

How can I take part/book my place? Email: or call: 07931 347142

Cost of Living Payments

Millions of people on means-tested benefits will receive the first of two Cost of Living Payments totalling £650 from 14th July 2022 as part of a £37billion government package to help families with cost of living pressures.

The first £326 instalment for qualifying low-income households in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be paid by their usual instalment method form 14th July 2022, continuing to the end of the month. For those eligible, the rest will follow in a second instalment in the autumn.

People receiving tax credits and no other eligible benefits will receive their first payment from HMRC in the autumn and the second in winter.

In total, millions of vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 from the Government this year to help cover rising costs. These are specific payments for those on means-tested benefits, pensioners, those on disability benefits and to help people with energy bills.

For more information, please visit: Cost of Living Payment – GOV.UK (

Funding to Improve the Lives of Vulnerable Young People

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to support the needs of vulnerable children and young people who have experienced a recent crisis or change in life that has had a significant impact on their social and emotional wellbeing and their education.

The funding is being made available through the Buttle UK’s Chances for Children Grants. Support might include items and activities to support learning and development such as laptops, books, wi-fi, educational toys, tuition, etc; clothing and school uniforms; and social, sporting and leisure activities; and items for children/young people’s bedrooms.

Buttle UK will only accept applications from frontline professionals (from a registered charity, housing association or public sector organisation):

  • who are working directly with the children/young person
  • ideally, have carried out at least one home visit
  • and have made a full assessment of the children’s or young person’s needs

Applications can be made at any time. Visit: for more information.

Funding for Projects Connecting People & Communities to Heritage

Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available to not-for-profit organisations and private owners of heritage across the UK for projects connecting people and communities to UK heritage.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Heritage Fund will prioritise heritage projects that:

  • promote inclusion and involve a wider range of people;
  • boost the local economy;
  • encourage skills development and job creation;
  • support wellbeing; create better places to live, work and visit;
  • and improve the resilience of organisations working in heritage.

All projects must also consider long-term environmental sustainability.

Applications for National Lottery Grants for Heritage can be made at any time.  Visit: for more information.

Third Sector Trends in the West Midlands 2022

This study (Third Sector Trends 2022) of voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, cooperatives, societies and clubs (the ‘third sector’ or ‘VCSE sector’) started in 2010.

A lot has happened since the last survey in 2019.  So it’s time to find out what has changed in the last three years.

Whether your organisation or group is big or small, flourishing or struggling – or just carrying on more or less as normal – your input is invaluable.

It’s (genuinely) an interesting survey and only takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The responses help to build a picture of how organisations and groups work and what they achieve. This helps funders make good decisions on how to invest in the sector.

Join the Third Sector Trends survey here ==>> Third Sector Trends in England and Wales 2022 (

Art & Craft Exhibition – Saturday, 6th August 2022

The 291 Creative Hub would like to invite you to their Art & Craft Exhibition on Saturday, 6th August.

Taking place at the Wesley Methodist Church, High Street, West Bromwich B70 8ND from 11.00am to 2.00pm, it is an opportunity to showcase the talented work of those attending a variety of art & craft activities offered by the 291 Creative Hub.

Admission is FREE and you can find out further details by visiting: or contacting Dawn – e: / m: 07979 763415

School Uniform Donation Day in Tipton

Have you got school uniform you no longer need?

Drop off any clean school uniform you no longer need so other local children can benefit from it.

Date: Monday, 25th July 2022

Time: 10am – 1pm

Place: Jubilee Park Community Centre, Powis Avenue, Tipton. DY4 0RJ

Supported by Healthy Sandwell / The Community Link, Cradley Heath / Bangladeshi Women’s Association.

Sterling notes and coins

Small Grants to Support Climate Change Ideas in Sandwell

Sterling notes and coinsOn the back of the award-winning Covid Vaccination Leaders programme, Sandwell Council has obtained funding to expand this approach to the field of climate change.

The Council is keen to learn from its community-led approach in dealing with the Covid pandemic to see how this can evolve into the area of climate change – where all nations, organisations, communities and individuals will need to act to reduce our emissions as well as to prepare for our present and future climate.

SCVO is working in partnership with Sandwell Council and is pleased to offer a small grants programme – awards of up to £2,500 – that support a community response to climate change in Sandwell in either:

  • Mitigation: reducing carbon emissions; or
  • Adaptation: making communities more resilient to changes in the climate.

Activities that might be delivered via this grant programme could include:

  • Green infrastructure: for example, tree planting, growing fruit & vegetables, gardening, urban greening;
  • Active travel: for example, increased cycling for local travel, better use of public transport;
  • Increased resilience: for example, how to better cope with heatwaves – community-level information, water bottles etc. or flood risk – encouraging preparation via ‘grab bags’ (to assist with speedy evacuation of flood-risk areas);
  • Developing the existing workforce or volunteer base: for example, supporting the development of climate change  community groups.

You can find a full set of Guidance Notes to download at: SCVO – Local Grants – scroll down the page and look for the link.

To register your interest, please email: and enter ‘Climate Change Grants – Q&A’ in the subject line. We’ll acknowledge receipt and write to you with the meeting link approx. 24 hrs before the event (which will be delivered via Microsoft Teams).

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