Children & Young People

Category Archives

Barnardo’s 175 Challenge

Thomas Barnardo’s has a significant birthday (175) on Saturday July 4th.

We thought it would be a good time to come together and do something positive and show what a great organisation Barnardo’s is, especially given how challenging the last few months have been.

Local challenge
Between Barnardo’s colleagues in the Black Country/Central region we are going to complete a 175 kilometre run/walk on Saturday 4th July. Please feel free to join us for the run/walk by either completing 1.75K, 17.5K and anywhere between. Do as a team/individual (10k, 5k, 2.5=17.5k). Or why not do 175 minutes/seconds of exercise/s.

Your challenge
If Running/Walking isn’t for you how about doing something else with 175 in it? Examples 175 seconds of juggling or balancing something on your head, star jumps, dancing! It could be minutes, seconds, meters, miles, anything it doesn’t matter. The more creative the idea the better. You can join us on Saturday July 4th or the closest day to it that suits you.

Post it
Post a picture/video of you doing you activity. Wear something green and post on workplace if you can.

Solidarity and Reflection
We will be supporting the Black Life Matters campaign at the start of our run by ‘taking a knee’. It can also be a time to think about our colleagues that have lost loved ones during the pandemic and those that have lost their own lives.

If you want to raise much needed funds for Barnardo’s why not support our Crisis Appeal.

If you are able to join us whatever you are doing stay safe and well and follow government guidelines.

For more information please contact Jonathan Oldham – Children Services Manager, Barnardos –

T:  01384 411 722, M: 07739 256266 or e-mail –

Vouchers to provide Free Meals over the School Summer Holiday Period

The UK Government has launched the Covid Summer Food Fund to support children over the summer holiday period who usually receive benefits-related free school meals.

Through the Fund, schools can support eligible pupils with a £90 voucher to cover the standard six-week holiday period, or £105 if the school’s summer holiday lasts seven full weeks.

Vouchers must be ordered by schools through the Edenred portal at least one week before the end of term. Parents will be issued with an eGift card within seven days which can be used to buy food at a range of supermarkets.

Further information

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Governor nominations are open!

Do you want to be involved in helping us shape the future of our services?

Are you 16 years or over and live in either Sandwell, Walsall, Dudley or Birmingham and the wider West Midlands? If so, why not nominate yourself to become a governor of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT) and be an advocate for what matters the most for people of the Black Country with regards to mental health, learning disability and children’s services.

The governor role is very rewarding and it gives you the opportunity to:

  • Make a difference and have a positive contribution to the work of our Trust
  • Help us shape the future of our services and ensure that our patients and carers get the best possible care
  • Support and help continually achieve the Trust’s vision of: ‘Together we can achieve healthier, happier lives for everyone’,
  • Represent your own views and experiences that will have a positive impact on our Trust
  • Be an advocate for what matters the most to our communities, and share these with our Board of Directors
  • Be updated on the Trust’s performance and developments, as well as seek performance assurance from our Board of Directors
  • Act as an ambassador for your area of expertise or interest group
  • Attend and support the planning of member engagement events
  • Help build our membership community to ensure that it is representative of the communities we serve

To be a governor, all you need to have is enthusiasm and commitment for the role and an interest in your local NHS services. Whilst the role of the governor is a voluntary one, you will receive on-going training and support to give you the confidence and skills as well as the right knowledge to enable you to take on this important role.

If this is an opportunity that you have been looking for, don’t delay in submitting your application online at

Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Monday 6 July 2020

You can find out more about the governor role by getting in touch with Erica Pearce in BCHFT membership office on 0121 612 8061 or email

Kooth: Online support for young people

Kooth is a web based confidential support service available to young people from 11-18 years of age (or up to 25 years for care leavers/SEN) in Sandwell. Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people.

Support can be accessed through discussion boards, live forums, articles and a counselling service. There are also lots of activities that young people can access to support their wellbeing. Content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.

If a young person would like to chat to a counsellor,  a team is available from 12 noon to 10 pm on weekdays and from 6 pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year, on a drop-in basis. Young people can also access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours young people can message the team and get support by the next day.

To find out more and to register for the service visit

View a short video about the service here.

The Black Country Rainbow Hour Pledge


The Black Country Rainbow Hour Pledge is encouraging all schools to commit and provide all pupils access to one hour of wellbeing and physical activity each day.

Sign up to the Black Country Rainbow Hour Pledge by visiting Active Black Country’s home page at

We want to encourage all schools across the Black Country to incorporate wellbeing at the heart of all learning for their pupils. We are encouraging all schools to commit to and provide all pupils access to one hour of wellbeing and physical activity each day, whether that’s during your school curriculum or for your pupils still learning remotely from home.
The Rainbow Hour can be flexible in format so schools can tailor it to their school day. You can split your hour into various intervals throughout the day, staggering activities based on your schools needs and to help with maintaining social distancing and adhering to the latest government and DFE guidance. Likewise, you can deliver this in a one hour block. It’s completely down to you and your school!

Let’s ensure all pupils get to experience a rainbow hour of activity each day.

Click here for the Rainbow Campaign toolkit for fun ideas to keep you and your family active.

Introducing the Let’s Create Pack

Thanks to National Lottery funding and the incredible hard work of their Bridge organisations and partners, they’ve launched their brand-new Let’s Create Art Packs. They have worked with Teacher of the Year 2018, Andria Zafirakou, to create packs bursting with creative ideas as well as essential art supplies.

To kick things off, they’re sending 25,000 packs to children and young people across England who are most in need of the support. We think creativity should be available to everyone and this is just one of the ways that we’re trying to make that happen.

There’s also a digital version available, so you can join in with young people in your life too. Share your creations on social media using #LetsCreate!

Download the pack by clicking here.

Source: Arts Council

Mental Health Awareness Week: 18th – 24th May 2020

This week, 18th – 24th May, is Mental Health Awareness week, and Kooth has highlighted how Covid-19 has affected the mental health of children and young people in the UK.

Kooth has made available a suite of resources available, which can be uploaded to your website, social media or be sent out to young people.

There are nine PDF e-Posters addressing relevant themes pertinent to the lockdown, i.e. isolation, lack of routine and concern around returning to school.

Please also see link to a Kooth data release infographic, which contains information around how COVID-19 has affected the mental health of children and young people in the UK.

For more information email Jennifer Shergill at

Two temporary positions at Murray Hall

Murray Hall Community Trust, one of the leading health and wellbeing charities in the Black Country, Birmingham and specifically Sandwell, is seeking to recruit to two fixed term posts.

The Trust invites applications for a Creative Therapeutic Services Project Assessor and a Children and Young People’s Worker. Both fixed term contracts end on 31 December 2020.

For full details, including job summary, pay and how to apply click here.

Applications close at 9.00 am on Thursday, 28th May 2020.

Early Years Funding Update: Temporarily Extending 2 Year Old Free Early Education Entitlements

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Sandwell Council are temporarily extending 2 year old entitlements eligibility to include children assessed as being vulnerable and meeting the definition in Section 17 (s17) of the Children Act 1989 and who have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).

The Secretary of State for Education has decided to temporarily extend eligibility for the free early education entitlement to two year olds from families in receipt of s17 support who have NRPF, for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak only. This is to support their safety and wellbeing whilst the lockdown is in place. Eligible children are British-born child(ren) who are entitled to be here, yet not receiving support by virtue of the parent’s immigration status which triggers the NRPF. This is a temporary measure during COVID-19, is intended to support vulnerable children usually not eligible for a free early education place.

Local authorities will be reimbursed for eligible children who have physically taken up a temporary free 2 year old early education place by attending an early years childcare setting during COVID-19.

If you think you are eligible for a place or know someone who could be, please pass on this information for them to apply.

Apply using the adjacent link –

For support or to contact the team, please email or for further information.

World Art Day – Let’s Celebrate!

As we round the corner into the thick of Spring, it’s time once again to celebrate World Art Day. The global event directs our attention to the world of fine arts, emphasizing the importance of the cultural touchstones which have been and will be created through visual art, music, and the theatre.

Art has the power to connect communities, enabling the learning and appreciation of new skills and acting as a transformative force in the lives of adults and children alike. Though celebrations of World Art Day take on a different face this year as we all practice responsible social distancing, the open-ended nature of arts education makes it a perfect fit for kids during this unique time.

Learning about and engaging with the arts extends quite handily beyond the classroom, and arts learning both in school and at home are poised to offer an impressive multitude of benefits to our kids. As we encourage their healthy mental and emotional growth and development, it’s a testament to the power of art that its study can do so much for young people.

Through experimenting with new colours, mediums, techniques, and skills, children become more comfortable with trial and error, risk-taking, and exploration, making them naturally more interested in and comfortable with engaging with their surroundings, trying new things, and taking normal, age-appropriate risks. It also helps some kids to find their motivation, as results-based learning where tangible improvements can be seen may make them significantly more interested in refining their skills. That’s not all — kids who receive formal arts education in school also tend to venture further into civic engagement and demonstrate a lower rate of dropping out, as one study by the California Alliance for Arts Education notes.

These are only a few of the many benefits that arts education is poised to offer our kids. We The Parents have put together a handy infographic detailing these claims and more, as well as the research that backs them — have a look by going to

Source: We The Parents


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