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Change at Ideal for All

Ideal for All’s Direct Payment team no longer operate from Hawthorns House. The team have moved to Dudley Biz Hub, Castle Mill, Burnt Tree, Dudley DY4 7UF.

Ideal for All’s other services/premises are not affected by this move.

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Princes Trust Team Programme Smethwick

The Princes Trust Smethwick are now recruiting for their next team Programme, due to start on the 17th February. The 12 week course is for 16 – 25 year old and is aimed at increasing confidence, communication, leadership and employability skills, alongside gaining nationally recognised qualifications.

Learners gain a first aid and food safety certificate, a new CV, two weeks work placement and much more. Learners are also provided with a bus pass. The course will not affect benefits.

To refer a young person, please email or text Jack Dytor, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, with details. Jack will contact the individual to arrange a meeting.

If you would like further information or would like Jack to come and speak to your staff or a group of young people, it can be arranged.  The Prince’s Trust is also available to attend any events.

Email Jack at Dytorj@wolvcoll.ac.uk or call 07787 245 832.


Black Country community groups receive funding from European Social Fund Community Grants Programme

The European Social Fund Community Grants Programme is open until July 2021 and is currently accepting new applications. The next round deadline is 2nd March 2020. Third sector and not for profit groups that help improve the skills and job prospects of local residents are welcome to apply.

Small Black Country third sector organisations have successfully applied for funding from the Community Grant Programme. The programme- worth £990,000 – is jointly funded by the ESFA and ESF and offers grants of up to £20,000 for each organisation. The current Community Grants has been open since June 2019 and has funded 21 projects across the Black Country area with more in the pipeline. Funded projects run six month programmes that focus on helping local people progress towards and enter the jobs market.

Sandwell Community Hubs have successful applied for and secured £20,000 to deliver the Rowley and Bristnall Employment Hub Project. Over the past six months, the project has been supporting a cohort of local people who would like to re-enter the job market. The project provides one to one and group support, covering CV writing and tips on completing application forms. Practical support such as mock interviews and presentation skills have contributed to building the confidence of participants. The project also offers a variety of workshops and non-accredited courses to improve the chance of gaining employment or going onto further training.

To be eligible organisations need to have an annual income below £300,000 and demonstrate an innovative approach to helping people who are out of work or disadvantaged learn new skills and move closer to the workforce.

Applications can be made to Walsall Council who successfully tendered to act as the local Grant Co-ordinating Body on behalf of the ESFA for the second time running. Application materials, eligibility criteria and guidance are available by contacting Walsall Council External Funding Team at communitygrants@walsall.gov.uk.

The Community Grants team are available to offer support to organisations interested in making an application. If you would like to discuss a project in more detail please contact Community Grant Manager Ruth Burgess at communitygrants@walsall.gov.uk. Successful applicants will also be able to access bespoke training and capacity building support to enable them to deliver the part EU funded project.


The Art Yard – Call for Artists That’s Life Exhibition

The Art Yard would like to invite local arts to register their interest in being apart of their That’s Life – Life Drawing Exhibition. This is an opportunity for the artist to showcase their work regardless of the medium (i.e. paint, photography, ceramics, sculpture, film metalwork, crafts and much more).

Artists should complete the Submission Form listing all works you would like to exhibit stating the Media, size and selling price, please include any digital images of each work.

The Art Yard charge a small fee for exhibiting your works in their gallery and are to be paid when delivering your works.

For more details see the links below:

They very much look forward to seeing your work and hope you enjoy what we believe will be a successful and exciting Exhibition.

For more information or to submit your completed form please email The Art Yard directly at infoartyard@gmail.com or call 01384910968.


ICO Launches Direct Marketing Consultation

The regulator has released draft guidance urging charities to ensure they comply with legislation around the electronic storage of data such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published draft guidance to help charities comply with regulation around their use of data in direct marketing.

Its draft direct marketing code of practice is aimed at ensuring charities are compliant with regulation including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and 2003’s Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

This draft code aims to build on previous direct marketing guidance and offer a “practical life-cycle approach to direct marketing”, said the ICO.

It added: “It starts with a section looking at the definition of direct marketing to help organisations decide if the code applies to them, before moving on to cover areas such as planning marketing, collecting data, delivering marketing messages and individuals rights.”

The draft code also signposts other resources around using electronic communications around direct marking. This includes information supplied by Ofcom and the Fundraising Regulator.

Online consultation

The code is out for consultation until 4 March 2020 and a final version will be released later this year. This is available online for charities to respond to by clicking here.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News


Launch of Sandwell Language Network Funding Event

The launch of Sandwell Language Network will outline new resources which have become available, to help improve English language skills for Sandwell residents.

It is widely recognised that lack of knowledge and confidence with the English language can create significant barriers for individuals, families and communities with regards to health, happiness, wellbeing and future prospects. It also limits employment opportunities and access to services and informal community support.

The Sandwell Language Network is a new project funded by the Government’s ‘Controlling Migration Fund’ and led by a partnership of local organisations that include Sandwell Consortium, Sandwell College, Sandwell Public Health and SCVO.

It aims to increase the availability of English language support in the borough (including English for Speakers of Other Languages – ESOL), improve the quality of provision and support language learners towards employability.

The launch event is taking place on Thursday 30th January, 1:30 pm- 4:30 pm at the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, B69 1HE.  The information provided will outline grant funding available for language support, ranging from conversational English sessions in community settings to more formalised ESOL language provision, as well as other resources, support and training for volunteers helping with English language.

This event may be of interest to:-

· Community and not-for-profit organisations already delivering formalised English language training, or those with an interest in doing so
· Community organisations already delivering conversational English activities or those who would like to develop this in their area
· Volunteers already involved in English language provision or those with an interest in volunteering in the future
· Those active within Sandwell communities where there are challenges around English language skills

Places can be booked via Eventbrite. Tickets are free but places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. For further information or to book a stall, please contact Sulma Begum at Sandwell Consortium on 0121 533 2668. Email sulma@sandwellconsortium.co.uk.

Free parking available on site.


You’re invited to the Launch of Your Local Pantry, Smethwick

Smethwick CAN (Church Action Network) was formed in 2014 to jointly set up a food bank. Since then, they have developed a wide range of food action initiatives, including an allotment, a community café, and delivering cooking and shopping lessons.

Smethwick Pantry is a community group for people living in the area. For just a few pound a week, members can have access to affordable food. The Pantry will be opened by Smethwick CAN on Thursday, 21 January 2020 between 11 am and 1 pm, at Smethwick Library, High Street, Smethwick B66 3AP.  The initiative  is a joint response from Smethwick churches to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunities and support the most vulnerable.

Your Local Pantry will offer food bank users choice and dignity, and is viewed as a great move-on option from food bank. Other local residents will also be able to become members. The aim is to develop Your Local Pantry into an integrated, welcoming, community space.

If you would like to attend the launch please RSVP to Smethwick_Library@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 4940.

Enquries regarding Your Local Pantry shoud be directed to foodaction@smethwickcan.org.


Free ESOL English Courses and Teacher Training

Did you know that you can access free ESOL English courses at the Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick and at the Oak House Museum, in West Bromwich?

The course at Dorothy Parkes is women only and comprises of ESOL and work skills.

The courses are delivered by Fircroft College of Adult Education, which also offers free ESOL teacher training for anyone interested in delivering an English course. The next ESOL teacher training will be on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th January 2020.

If you would like your organisation to become a partner to host English courses, Fircroft College would welcome a call.

To discuss teacher training or the possibility of becoming a delivery partner, please email Neena Chauhan, Project Manager, on Neena.Chauhan@fircroft.ac.uk for telephone 0121 415 2510 / 07719257319.


Volunteer opportunity with Smethwick CAN

Smethwick CAN is a local charity that was set up as a joint response from local churches to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunities and support the most vulnerable within the community.

Smethwick CAN have several food projects supporting the local community and providing access to good quality food to people in need.

They currently have a volunteer position available within Smethwick CAN Community Cafe for a kitchen assistant. The role involves assisting other members of the team in preparing and cooking food for a busy lunchtime session which runs every Thursday.

For further information please contact Christina Murray, Food Hub Manager, at foodaction@smethwickcan.org or call 0751 724 1195.


NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group Listening Exercise

NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (SWB CCG) are undertaking a listening exercise from 6th January to 14th February 2020 on the future of walk-in centres in Sandwell and West Birmingham.

SWB CCG want to hear from as many people as possible during the listening exercise on their proposals for the future of the Summerfield Urgent Care Centre in West Birmingham and the Parsonage Street Walk-in Centre in Sandwell.  For further information about the proposals please view here

To provide feedback and let SWB CCG know your views please visit –https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SWB_UTC


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