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Call to Artists:  Open All Media Exhibition – 30th May to 25th June 2022

The Art Yard are pleased to invite artists to submit work for their Open Exhibition. You can submit up to five pieces or work. There are no special requirements on the type of art or subject matter, all work is very welcome.

The exhibition will be at their new venue which comprises of a spacious exhibition space, balcony gallery, three studios and two dedicated tuition rooms, over two floors.

Please see the attached Introduction and Submission Forms on how to enter.

Submission forms are to be returned by Saturday 28th May 2022.

The Art Yard look forward to seeing your art works and supporting the development of Artists and the arts in the community.

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Apply now for the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) Grant Programme 2022

The Department for Education have awarded grant funding to local authorities to provide Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) to cover the Easter, summer and Christmas holiday period for 2022.  The grants are to support school aged children and young people (reception to year 11), including those with SEND, who are eligible for benefit-related free school meals to access healthy food and enriching activities free of charge.

This grant is open to voluntary and community sector / not for profit organisations / schools and other educational settings / private sector organisations / clubs.

The closing date for applications is Friday 10 June 2022 at 4.30 pm. Applications received after this deadline will not be processed.

Click here for application form and guidance notes.


Help is at hand!

Could your organisation use a few helping hands, or a fundraising campaign boost? Young people taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS) are looking for projects as part of their Social Action commitment.  Students aged 15-17 from Sandwell schools take part in the scheme over the summer.

As well as taking part in team building activities and different workshops, the young people look at the local issues in their area and what they can do to help the community they live in.

They then go on to plan a social action project, which can be anything from a fundraising event to decorating, clearing up a public area/community centre or raising awareness of a worthy cause.

Action days are July 14th and 28th, and August 11th and 26th.

For more information contact Danawebster@pilot-uk.com

Can you help with some research?

Community Matters (Yorkshire) is about to undertake some research to look at the costs of hiring community spaces across the country.
It would be very helpful to them if groups might be willing to spend a few minutes completing a survey, with all information being kept confidential.
They are planning to produce some comparisons about the capacity of spaces that are available, and also the hire costs broken down by government region.
When the report is completed later in the year, the hope is that organisations will find the data useful.
You can complete the online survey HERE.

Wednesbury Community Awards – Nomination process

Wednesbury Community Awards will acknowledge people and organisations whose voluntary work in Wednesbury makes a difference to others. 

Nominations are now open to recognise Wednesbury volunteers who have helped others over the last two years. You can nominate an individual or an organisation. This could be a neighbour who helps with the shopping or calls in to see if you are okay. It could be someone who organises weekly groups or outings, or maybe a club or group whose work in the community has made a real difference to people in the borough.

Individual nominations must be for someone who gives their time in an unpaid capacity and who lives in Wednesbury, or someone who volunteers to benefit the people of Wednesbury. Nominations for a group or organisation must be Wednesbury based and give unpaid time to benefit Wednesbury people.

Volunteers make the difference!

Deadline for nominations to be completed and submitted by 5 pm on Friday, 22nd July 2022.

 Please email completed forms to comm_partnerships@sandwell.gov.uk or return to:

Millennium Centre: Friar Park Rd, Wednesbury, WS10 0JS.

Wednesbury Local: Wednesbury Town Hall, Holyhead Road, Wednesbury, WS10 7DF (10.00 – 2.00 Mon – Fri), or

Riverside Housing Offices: St Vincent Crescent, West Bromwich, B70 0LG

Nominees will have a choice of how to receive their award. However, it is hoped that some will be presented by the Mayor and the Queen impersonator at the Jubilee event in Union Street on 31st May.  There will also be an opportunity for partners to bring leaflets and information for the public.  Market stalls will be available on the day for that purpose.

Please email alison_hartshorne@sandwell.gov.uk or Mandy_Williams@sandwell.gov.uk to book a space.

The awards are organised in partnership with Sandwell MBC and Riverside Housing.



How Charities are reaching new audiences through Tik Tok

Thinking about creating a Tik Tok account for your charity? In her article, Third Sector reporter, Sam Wait, shows examples of how charities are using TikTok to reach new audiences.

  Read more



Made in Smethwick: A lively season of events exploring 200 years of local history, hosted by Chance Heritage Trust

This summer, Chance Heritage Trust is hosting Made in Smethwick – a lively season of events exploring over 200 years of local history in Smethwick and the surrounding area. Already love history? Want a fun day out or want to try something new? Chance Heritage Trust would like to invite you  to get involved.

The first events begin on 8th May, and run all the way through to July, with new events being added all the time:

  •     Guided walks and behind-the-scenes tours to museums and historic places
  •     Family fun with ‘History Cold Case’
  •     How to uncover your own family and social history
  •     How to photograph historic places around Smethwick
  •     Get involved in a community-wide effort to create an interactive map of all the lighthouses around the world that were ‘made in Smethwick’
  •     And loads more!

How to get involved?  Made in Smethwick is open to everyone, and anyone can sign up to the events. Take a look at the programme, see what you like, and register – it’s all free.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to find out more, or are interested in a group booking for your community, please email leanne@chanceht.org

Rescheduled Energy Question and Answer Session

Soho Victoria Friends and Neighbours are pleased to advise of the rescheduled Energy Q&A session, in place of the session which was recently cancelled.  The event has been rearranged for Friday 29th April, 12 noon – 2 pm.

Soho Victoria  hope everyone interested will be able attend the rearranged session.  Households have been affected by the price increase for energy and the price will increase again in October.  Don’t bury your head in the sand!

For further information or queries, please contact 0121 532 2011.

Community Transport Minibus hire and MIDAS Training

Community Transport is a multi-regional, registered charity, which has been operating in local communities since the 1960s. One of the many things in which they specialise is accessible passenger transport with the added CT touch!

The organisation works regularly with schools, local authorities, West Midlands Ambulance Service, and many community groups in their operating regions of the Midlands and the North-East of England.

The MIDAS trained drivers are fully equipped to transport passengers of varying degrees of mobility. Undergoing strict background checks, the friendly and professional drivers take passengers to and from their destination safely, in comfort and ease.

If you use your own transport or wish to hire one of CT’s vehicles on a self-drive basis, the charity can offer accessible and standard MIDAS training to ensure that your nominated driver is driving to a safe operating standard.

Community Transport have sites based in Sandwell, Birmingham, Bilston, and Coventry covering the West Midlands and Newcastle, covering the North-east.

Bilston Office: 01902 491 209.   Manager:  Sue.cozens@communitytransport.org  Admin: Catherine.ranson@communitytransport.org

Coventry Office: 02476 691 433.  Manager: Shaun.loakes@communitytransport.org  

Birmingham Office: 0121 771 1520 1520.  Manager: Rafal.piecha@communitytransport.org  Admin: Tom.kelly@communitytransport.org


MIDAS Training

For MIDAS related enquiries, please contact the trainers for more information.

Richard Figg on 07889 417 029  Richard.figg@communitytransport.org or

Anil Heer on 07974 626 841 Anil.Heer@communitytransport.org

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Stress Awareness Month – Community

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. This years theme is ‘Community’ because lack of support can cause loneliness and isolation, which in turn lowers people’s wellbeing, impacts mental health and can lead to mental illness.

Social isolation is an important risk factor for both deteriorating mental health and suicide. As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s vital that the community support experienced by many people during this challenging time continues – people need support now more than ever as they adjust to a new way of living.

A community is much more than just a group of people. It’s about having a sense of belonging and connection to others and feel supported and accepted by them. Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives. People who are more socially connected to family, friends, or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer, with fewer mental health problems than people who are less well connected. People in neighbourhoods with higher levels of social cohesion experience lower rates of mental health problems than those in neighbourhoods with lower cohesion, regardless of how deprived or affluent a neighbourhood is.

Conversely, a lack of community support can result in feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Feeling lonely has a negative impact on mental health, particularly when these feelings are longstanding, and research suggests that it is associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.

Socialising with others has multiple benefits for our mental health . Whether it’s a sport, hobby classes (visit Route2Wellbeing to find a new hobby or interest) or volunteering (visit Let’s Go Sandwell), activities like these all give meaning and purpose to our lives and make us more confident. Having the opportunity to laugh and chat with others in social situations serves to temporarily distract us from our worries by turning our focus outwards instead of inwards. And being able to talk through problems and share our worries with others decreases our stress levels. As the saying goes, a worry shared is a worry halved, and less worry equals less stress.

Volunteering may be especially good for reducing stress because, much like socialising, it turns our focus outwards. Moreover, helping others with their problems, can help us gain a more positive perspective on our own difficulties. Plus, there are the associated benefits of working together with other like-minded people to achieve a worthwhile goal. These factors all weigh heavily on the positive side of the mental health spectrum, and so increase our mental wellbeing while uniting in us in a shared sense of purpose.

For free resources, facts and more information visit The Stress Management Society


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