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A Covid-19 Grant can help you stay safe indoors and out this autumn

As the weather cools and we move to more indoor activities the risk of infection from colds, flu and Covid-19 increases. Whilst deaths and serious illness from Covid-19 are a lot less than at the beginning of the pandemic, none of us want to be ill or put vulnerable members of our family and community at risk.

Over the past two years there has been funding to help Voluntary and Community Groups promote safe practices and ensure accurate information is available about vaccinations. If you would like to continue this message and help your community group stay as safe as possible this winter, then this funding may be for you.

Recent funding has helped pay for personal hygiene packs with masks and hand gel for individuals. Additional resources to organisations have assisted to keep premises and members safe, support the translation of relevant information into community languages and facilitate phoning people to arrange to get them to their vaccination appointments.

There have been lots of other very creative ideas so come and talk to us.  If we your idea qualifies, you will be given a simple application form and guidance notes and we will work with you through the application process.

Please contact Liz or Barbara at SCVO to find out more, at Liz@scvo.info call 07923 259821 or Barbara@scvo.info call 07859 913363.


Community Asset Transfer Opportunities in Sandwell

Community Asset Transfer – Expression of Interests Required to manage and develop three Community Centres in Sandwell.


The council would be interested to hear from community based organisations that are interested in exploring the potential of Asset Transfer of the following local Community Centres:

Charlemont Community Centre – Beaconview Road – West Bromwich B71 3PJ




Cradley Heath Community Centre – Reddal Hill Road – Cradley Heath B64 4JG



Hurst Road Community Centre – Hurst Road – Smethwick B67 6ND



Asset Transfer is the transfer of land, buildings or structures owned by a public body to community/voluntary groups or social enterprises via a lease arrangement. That group or organisation then becomes responsible for running, managing, and maintaining the asset, including all the associated costs.

Interested organisations will need to demonstrate a track record in delivering community based services, building management and the ability to attract external resources/funding.

If you think this is something your organisation would be interested in, and would like additional information, please contact Nick Garratt (Sandwell MBC) M: 07859034087, E: nick_garratt@sandwell.gov.uk

Could You Offer A Work Experience Placement?

Sandwell College is seeking work placements for its students as part of their study programme.

Work Experience

All 16-19-year-old students on full-time study programmes are either required or encouraged to complete a high-quality work experience as part of their programme.

At Sandwell College, we aspire to provide work experience of 30 hours to all our students where possible, giving them the opportunity to work in a genuine workplace environment, developing their employability and industry skills. As a young person, they gain essential skills required for their future career or further study.

Sandwell College courses are designed to give our students the skills for modern workplaces.


What are the benefits for you as an employer?

By offering a work experience, you can benefit from:

  • Opportunities to trial the abilities of a potential employee or apprentice
  • Working with students who are interested in working in your line of business and the ability to set them specific projects
  • Flexible placements – you can vary them to suit your particular business needs and come in all shapes and sizes
  • Attracting new skills and fresh perspectives from students that may benefit your business
  • Promotion of your business
  • Working with the college to develop programmes of study for your sector/business
  • Benefiting from the knowledge and enthusiasm that students can bring

This could have a positive impact on your business as they put relevant skills learnt in your specific industry sector into practice and develop as potential employees to help your business grow.


How can you get involved?

We work with employers who can offer our students 30 hours’ work experience or a group of students who can work on a project.

All of our employers are key to our future workforce and by providing work experience or working with Sandwell College, you are helping to build the skills of future employees. It will allow you to trial the abilities of a potential employee, meaning you can vary them to suit your particular business needs.

We are always looking for industry experts to share their experiences with our students, either at the College, or better still, at your premises. It all helps to develop our learners’ employability skills, which in turn benefits business.

We are seeking employers who can support Sandwell College by providing work experience for students in all subject areas. These include but are not exclusively:

  • Art, Design & Media
  • Business & IT
  • Construction; Engineering and all Dry trades
  • Hair, Beauty, Make-up and Production Arts
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Sport
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Sciences (all sectors)
  • Health and Safety

We appreciate that not all employers are able to provide the full 30 hours’ work experience but if you are interested in working with Sandwell College. We would love to hear from you.

If you can offer work experience relevant to one of these subject areas, or if you have any questions, please contact: Stuart Williams, Work Experience Officer: T – 0121 667 5074 E – Stuart.Williams@sandwell.ac.uk


Oldbury Community Awards

Do you know someone whose voluntary work in Oldbury makes a difference to others?

Nominations are now open to recognise Oldbury volunteers who have helped others over the last two years.

You can nominate an individual or an organisation.

Individual nominations must be for someone who volunteers and lives in Oldbury or who volunteers to benefit the people of Oldbury.

Nominations for a group or organisation must be Oldbury-based and benefit Oldbury people.

Deadline for nominations to be completed and submitted by Friday, 16th December 2022 at 5pm.

Nomination forms can be collected and/or returned to the list of venues below:

  • Oldbury Library – Council House Oldbury, Freeth St, Oldbury B69 3DE.
  • Bleakhouse Library – Bleakhouse Rd, Oldbury B68 9DS
  • Sandwell Irish Community Association – Langley Park Lodge, 34 Langley High St, Oldbury B69 4SL.
  • George Rd Community Centre – George Rd, Oldbury B68 9LN.

or downloaded HERE.

Please return completed forms by e-mail to comm_partnerships@sandwell.gov.uk

TV Licensing – Dispensation for the Queen’s Funeral

TV Licensing offer their deepest condolences to the Royal Family following the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Her Majesty was the embodiment of public service.

Many communities may wish to come together and observe the funeral of Her Majesty The Queen and so the BBC is providing local communities a TV Licence dispensation. The dispensation will allow any communal setting where TV is not usually watched, such as town halls, community centres and libraries across the UK, to screen the live programmes without needing to purchase a licence.

TV Licensing would like to reach out to communities and those who are making arrangements to let them know that the dispensation is in place.

By law, if live television or BBC iPlayer is viewed on any premises, those premises must be covered by a valid TV Licence. However, in exceptional circumstances, the BBC can grant a dispensation for the temporary viewing of television, so long as the viewing is for the sole purpose of screening an event which is judged by the BBC to be of national importance.

If an organisation needs any further information to help to support your clients, if you have any queries or if you would like to know more please contact Dan Cooper, Senior Communications Specialist at TV Licensing, on 07756 215298.

Twitter: Follow @TVLicensingNews for news and updates

YouTube: Visit YouTube channel at youtube.com/TV Licensing


Free Carbon Literacy Training Opportunity

Are you hearing messages about climate change, but not sure what you need to know?

Want to make a difference, but not sure where to start?

Want to know more about the role you can play in the climate and nature crisis?

Climate Change can be an overwhelming topic but we all have an important role to play, and informing yourself is such an important first step.

The West Midlands Combined Authority and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have worked together to produce an accredited Carbon Literacy training course, freely available to West Midlands citizens to empower and go on from the Games to make positive change.

During the engaging and interactive online modules you’ll learn about the science behind climate change, how it’s affecting both the world and our region, how you can influence others to drive action, and what you can do personally.

On successful completion of the course – you’ll receive formal accreditation as carbon literate which you can proudly display on your social media or CV or keep to yourself! (or you can just dip in and learn more about the parts that interest you the most!)

Click here or B2022 to find out more!

Weekly Befriending and Drop-in Sessions at Friends and Neighbours

Every Friday Friends and Neighbours, based at Regent Street, Baptist Church, Regent Street, Smethwick, host befriending and drop-in sessions. From 9 am to 11 am, you can:

  • Have a cup of tea and a chat
  • Find out about local activities and services
  • Build relationships, make new friends and neighbours
  • Access information and advice and practical solutions to help with debt
  • Access NHS, Council and other services
  • Learn new everyday skills like how to complete forms; how to complain using different methods; how to report concerns via Sandwell MBC “My Sandwell” website; or help with dealing with any day-to-day matters important to you
  • Research local employment and training opportunities
  • Access information on vaccinations, plus limited availability of lateral flow testing kits.
  • Help to resolve your IT issues
  • And lots more!

Up for a Walk and Talk?

Join Friends and Neighbours after the weekly Befriending and Drop-in sessions for a Walk and Talk from 11 to 11.45 am at Victoria Park, Smethwick.   Go along and meet new people while taking part in a gentle walk around the park. The meeting point is the main gates at the Heritage Centre.

Contact (T) 0121 532 2011 or (M) 07422 660680

Email: community@friendsandneighbours.org


Black Country Health Inequalities News Update

The Health and Care Act 2022 has meant big changes for UK health and care systems to deliver better, more joined up care to communities.

The latest change is the creation of an Integrated Care Board on 1st July, bringing together partners from the NHS, local government and the Voluntary and Community sector, as well as others, to tackle the needs of our communities as a whole.

This means that there is now further drive from the Black Country Integrated Care System (ICS) to involve the Voluntary and Community sector in plans for improving people’s health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to areas with lots of health inequalities in communities.

This year, funding is being made available by the ICS to the four Health and Care Place-Based Partnership Boards in the Black Country to allow this work to take place. Each area has its own priorities that it will focus on, with opportunities to work with the voluntary sector in delivering them.

To find out more about your Place-Based Partnership, contact Sarah Taylor at sarah.taylor@wcva.org.uk

To find out more about how your Health and Social Care System is changing, visit the King’s Fund YouTube Channel here.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Outstanding Citizens Awards 2022

Unsung heroes from across the West Midlands are being given their moment in the spotlight. The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has launched his Outstanding Citizens Awards 2022, celebrating those who make our communities safer and happier places to live and work.

They want to show appreciation to people who have made an outstanding contribution to their community and recognise outstanding acts of good citizenship across the whole of the West Midlands.

The deadline for nominations is 12th September 2022 and the ceremony will take place on Saturday 8th October 2022, where winners can collect their awards

There are four awards categories up for grabs including:

  • Outstanding Citizen
  • Outstanding Young Citizen (under 18s)
  • Outstanding Community Project
  • Outstanding Young Community Project

So, if you know a tireless community campaigner or a member of the public who went above and beyond, nominate them now.

Further details and nominations forms are also available here.


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

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