Stuart Ashmore

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Sandwell’s population sees a rise of 11% in 10 years (Census data)

Many of you may recall the Census that took place last year, an event that has taken place once a decade since the first one in 1801 (apart from 1941).

It’s the only time that every person and household is counted in England and Wales (with Scotland now conducting its own census) and it remains the largest single source of social statistics (in England and Wales).

The first set of data was released on 28th June 2022 and further data will be released every two to three weeks throughout autumn and winter 2022.

Did you know, for example, that the 11% rise in population since the 2011 Census (above) is the highest in the West Midlands Metropolitan County area – the next highest being Coventry (at 8.9%) … and there’s plenty more where that came from!

Data like this is invaluable for a whole variety of reasons, but it’s particularly helpful when submitting background and context to funding applications for voluntary and community organisations … and your local repository of such information is Sandwell Trends.

There is a wealth of statistical information about Sandwell, not just census data, that’s available to support such applications including profiles for each of Sandwell’s six towns.

And, of course, SCVO is here to help you make sense of some of that data in relation to your funding applications – drop us a line to: or call us on 0121 525 1127 to find out more.


Hong Kong BNOs – ‘Meet & Greet’ event

In July 2020, the British Government announced a new visa route enabling Hong Kong citizens with British National Overseas (BNO) status to settle in the UK.

Come to our ‘Meet & Greet’ workshop to find out why this was done, how many Hong Kong BNOs have migrated, their needs & expectations and what this means for local organisations and residents.

Date: Thursday, 21st July 2022

Time: 10.30am to 1pm

Venue: Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA

Who is this workshop for?

  • Organisations and individuals in Sandwell who wish to engage with and support newcomers from Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong BNO visa holders who have settled in the area.

What to expect?

Quiz / videos / stories / discussion – BNOs share experiences of settling in the UK.

For catering purposes, please call Chloe Yip to book on 0121 685 8510 during office hours.

Healthwatch Sandwell – Priority Projects Programme for 2022/23

Healthwatch Sandwell are the independent voice of the public in health and social care services in Sandwell. We carry out projects each year that are based on the priorities of the public, service providers and commissioners. The purpose of the projects is to gather insight on patients’ experiences and views of services. This information is used to help inform and influence change in health and social care delivery in Sandwell and as part of the wider Black Country health and care system.

Healthwatch Sandwell – Priority Projects Programme  for 2022/23:

  • The patient experience of accessing primary care services
  • Accessibility for patients – meeting information and communication needs
  • Exploring the impact of language barriers in health and care services

If you or your organisation would like to help ensure Sandwell residents’ voices and views are heard in health and care services please get in touch to explore how you could support the projects:

Sophie Shuttlewood – Projects and Partnerships Lead – Email: Mobile: 07732 683483

Tell us about Bostin People or a Bostin Place and help us celebrate Sandwell!

Sandwell Council is looking for Bostin People and Places to feature on their new Celebrate Sandwell website and on social media in the run up to the Commonwealth Games – and they  know that Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector has lots of absolutely fantastic folk.

It might be a Bostin Person, like Makena, who’s going to be one of Sandwell’s Queen’s Batonbearers, or you might know someone who goes the extra mile for others, has overcome diversity, achieved great things … or simply makes others smile.

A Bostin Place could be somewhere you run a group or club, a place you enjoy walking, cycling or exercising – or simply somewhere close to your heart in Sandwell.

Nominations can be made via the online form on the Celebrate Sandwell website or by emailing

Don’t be shy … nominate your Bostin Person / Bostin Place now!!

Can your organisation make One Small Change for autistic people?

One in every 100 people is autistic. Every autistic person is different, but for many autistic people a lack of understanding from the community, or overwhelming sensations can make everyday life more difficult. One Small Change is a local campaign (from Changing Our Lives(COL)) that aims to make Sandwell more autism friendly by asking businesses, community spaces and public services to make one small change to show your autistic customers that they are welcome and valued. 

What small change could you make?

You could: 

  • start a quiet hour in your shop or café; 
  • find autism awareness training for your staff or volunteers;
  • create a social story on your website so customers know what sensory environment to expect;
  • speak to autistic staff or customers about what change they would like to see.

How do you get involved?

  • Sign up by contacting holly[at]
  • Tell COL where your organisation is starting from. Some will never have thought about being autism friendly before, others will have made lots of small changes in the past. Either is fine!
  • Speak to autistic people that you already know. You may already know of autistic customers or staff involved in your organisation. You could start by finding out what would make things easier for them.
  • Check out some of the changes that other organisations are making. COL will share examples of small changes on their website and on social media. These may inspire your change.
  • Make the change and tell COL about it. Tag COL on social media (Twitter: @positive_lives Instagram: @changingourlives) using #OneSmallChange and share your stories or photos about the changes you’ve made.

Employment Opportunity: Volunteering and Engagement – Project Lead, Black Country

Creative Black Country are looking for a dynamic, organized, and engaging individual to work with us on the West Midlands Volunteering Programme, delivering in the Black Country.

The purpose of the role is to engage those from underserved communities into volunteering opportunities that will support creative and cultural sector organisations.

The role requires you to lead a programme of activity across the Black Country region. You will work closely alongside creative and cultural sector organisations, upskilling and building the capacity for inclusive recruitment in order to support, celebrate, and retain local volunteers. The programme will help create a legacy of organisations that will be more confident and better equipped to reach out and help local people enjoy the many benefits of volunteering.

What is the West Midlands Volunteering programme?
Creative Black Country are working in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust, Stoke Creates, and Open Theatre, led by Culture Central, to deliver a volunteering development programme.
The programme focuses on areas where people are more likely to experience barriers to community involvement leading to low take-up of local volunteering. This reduces opportunities for people to access the many benefits that volunteering brings, including social interaction, renewed purpose, skills development, and improved well-being.

What we’re looking for
A member of the team to lead, drive and co-ordinate the programme in each of our four boroughs, working closely with the four Voluntary Sector Councils and local people to encourage more volunteers. You will provide support to organisations so they can best work with volunteers coming forward. The successful applicant will be part of a small, dynamic, talented, and well-networked team, delivering high-impact projects to a region of 1.1 million people.

This is a full-time role (37 hours per week) that runs until March 2024.

To find out more, including how to apply, please download the following documents:

Closing Date for receipt of completed applications is: 9am on Monday, 11th July 2022.

For an informal chat, please do contact us: Sajida Carr (Director of Operations and Development 07793 244 031 or Yvonne Gregory (Fundraising Manager) on 07851 256 928).

We encourage you to do this as we can tell you more about our work and the great team you will be working with if you are successful.

We will confirm receipt of all applications but feedback can only be supplied to applicants who are interviewed.

Supporting Children and Young People in Sandwell

The last couple of years have been tough for the community and especially challenging for children and young people of all ages in Sandwell. Some have been more affected than others by anxiety, bereavement, stress, and a host of other complex problems for young hearts and minds to deal with.

If you know of anyone between the ages of 5-18 who would benefit from some 1-1 counselling to help support them, please contact one of the organisations below. No matter how much love and care a young person has from family, friends, and school sometimes a skilled professional can be the key to unlocking the problem and helping them move on. There is no charge as it is funded by Sandwell Council although children and young people will need to be assessed as requiring the service.

To find out more please contact one of the organisations below. They are here to help.

  1. Relate offer Time for You: 1-1 counselling for those aged 8-18 in various locations in Sandwell either face to face or via Zoom. Contact Michelle Jones on 0121 824 0303 or email:
  2. Murray Hall offer Future Foundations: a counselling service for those aged 5-18 in various locations in Sandwell either face to face or via Zoom. Contact Creative Therapy Services on 01902 826 306 or email:
  3. Aspire4U offer Lyfeproof: offering 1-1 counselling to those aged 12-18 years either face to face or via Zoom. For more information, please email

For other specialist local support for please look at Sandwell Family Life – a directory of local activities and services for children, young people and families in Sandwell. It provides information on a wide range of support that aims to make life better for young people and their parents and carers.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Tickets for Schools, Clubs and Groups

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (28 July – 8 August) will be the biggest multi-sport event to be staged in the UK for a decade. The Games will create a fantastic legacy, especially for the next generation, and we want as many people as possible to experience the Games.

The Birmingham 2022 Group Ticketing Programme provides an opportunity for schools, clubs and community groups to attend the Games together. The programme is available for a number of selected sessions across nine different sports;

  • Athletics and Para Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket T20
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rugby Sevens
  • Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis

1. Visit:
2. Submit the expression of interest form to enquire about a group booking.

Once submitted, the request will be reviewed by Birmingham 2022 and you will be notified on the status of your request no later than Thursday 30 June. For a group booking, a minimum of 11 tickets can be purchased for a session.

All bookings are subject to Birmingham 2022 approval and are subject to availability. Terms and Conditions must be agreed to before you submit a request.

Special Olympics Sandwell receives The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Special Olympics Sandwell, a group of volunteers based in Sandwell, West Midlands, have just been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

Special Olympics Sandwell is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year and is part of Special Olympics Great Britain, a sporting organisation for children and adults with intellectual / learning disabilities that operates in England, Scotland and Wales. Special Olympics GB is part of the global Special Olympics movement.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the Anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Norma Hyde, the Chair of Special Olympics Sandwell, on behalf of the Committee, says “ I am absolutely delighted that our group’s work has been recognised with this great honour. We started in 1983 and I would like to thank all our Volunteers, both past and present, for their hard work throughout almost 40 years. Our Wonderful Volunteers are very dedicated throughout the year, supporting our Amazing Athletes in their numerous sports. Volunteers are committed to help them with their weekly training sessions to enable them to enter Annual Competitions. Our Committee of Volunteers work hard behind the scenes to enable it all to happen and all our Volunteers are extremely committed to enabling our members to fulfil their true sporting potential.”

Our Special Olympics Motto is :–

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt

Representatives of Special Olympics Sandwell will receive the award crystal and certificate from John Crabtree OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands later this summer.

Statisticians for Society – helping you to collect, analyse and present your data

Statisticians for Society is a pro bono scheme that connects professional statisticians and charitable organisations that need expert help with collecting, analysing and presenting data. Set up by the Royal Statistical Society in 2017, the scheme has become an effective way for organisations to receive support from statistical experts at no cost. Over 100 organisations have been matched with statisticians, helping to fulfil their charitable aims and objectives.

It is free and open to charities and other third sector organisations with an annual income of less than £1million. You can read case studies of some organisations that have benefitted from the service HERE.

They are hosting an event called ‘How data and evidence brought chamber music to Welsh communities’. The event will be held on Friday 10 June 2022 from 1pm – 2.30pm where you will have the chance to hear about the impact the initiative has had on Ensemble Cymru. This is a fantastic opportunity to find out how the charity worked with a statistician to understand their audience and gained insights into securing new audiences for their performances across Wales. Book your FREE place HERE.

This event will be of interest to voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations if you are interested in better understanding the data your organisation collects, and using data & evidence to make important decisions, to fundraise or even promote your organisation

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Contact Us

Tel: 0121 525 1127

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