Health & Wellbeing

Category Archives

Fizz Free February is here – make your pledge!

Friday 1st February marks the start of Fizz Free February – meaning it’s time to ditch sugary drinks for 28 days.

Launched by Southwark Council in 2018, Fizz Free February is a great way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet and make it easier to cut down on fizzy drinks for the rest of the year, too. It can also help you to save money, stay healthy and keep your teeth. For instance, did you know that you could save £438 if you stopped drinking one bottle of soft drink, per day, for a year

Through the campaign, Sandwell’s Public Health Team will be raising awareness of the health implications of drinking fizzy drinks, which often contain high amounts of sugar.

Pledge to give up fizzy drinks for 28 days and tweet about it using #fizzfreesandwell and #gofizzfree

You can find out more about the reasons to quit fizzy drinks and sign up to take part at:

Wellbeing & Recovery Worker for SACMHF

Sandwell African Caribbean Mental Health Foundation provides a range of services for African and African Caribbean adults recovering from mental ill health. The Charity is currently looking for an Outreach Support Worker to join the team, to deliver a range of interventions, including one to one outreach support.

Salary: £10,086 per annum
Hours per week: 21 hours over 3 days

The post-holder will predominantly support Black African, Caribbean and Black dual heritage adults experiencing or recovering from severe mental illness, their families and carers. You will take the lead on supporting the development of a user led carers group and their activities.

The post holder will need to have experience or personal experience of working with this client group, knowledge of the issues that may characterise the experiences of Black African, Caribbean Black dual heritage and BME adults who are recovering from mental ill health would be helpful.

Click here to see the job description.

For an application pack contact the Office & Finance Manager on 0121 525 1629 or send an email to CV’s will not be accepted.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Monday, 21 January 2019.

Interviews will be held on Thursday, 31 January 2019.

Health & Young People in Sandwell – Your views wanted

iSandwell is a collaborative project between Sandwell Council, community organisations, and residents that looks to encourage the use of digital in the borough.

iSandwell Lab is one strand of the project – a safe space where local people can discuss ideas for social change in Sandwell on monthly topics that can lead to collaborative projects and/or campaigns, and influence content for our Digital Champion.

For this month’s iSandwell Lab theme we are looking into how we can get the community to use and better understand open data.

Digital Champion Leila Malik, from Tipton, has created a project that is collecting data on youth health issues, which can then be used as ‘data journalism’ to influence policy in Sandwell – here she is to tell you more…

“Why do people, generally, identify health issues only if they physically perceived?

You’ve all heard of the saying,

“don’t judge a book by its cover”

If someone looks alright from the outside does not always mean they are okay from the inside.

Mental health & physical health both reflect on a person’s well-being – the two should not be thought of as separate.”

Read the rest of Leila’s blog and take part in the survey.

React Martial Arts

Who are React Martial Arts?

React Martial Arts was set up in August 2014 as a kickboxing organisation designed to make kickboxing and martial arts more accessible to all.

For more information on the organisation visit their website at

1) Tell us what you do.

We run Kickboxing classes for ages 5+ at St Michael’s School, Rowley Regis on Tuesday evenings between 19:00-20:00. Classes are taught in a controlled and fun environment to encourage everyone to develop at their own pace, with regular grading’s to allow students to show what they have learnt.

We also take a small group of fighters to compete locally, nationally and internationally. And lastly we sometimes do work in schools such as special martial arts taster days.

2) What is your proudest achievement?

Our proudest achieve is having two England squad members who recently won a gold medal each at the ICO World Championships. In total taking 6 medals from 6 categories.

3) What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?

The most valuable lesson we have learnt about working with people in Sandwell is that people need to take things at their own pace and it’s important to listen to what they want and where they are on their individual journey.

4) What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?

Our plans for the future are to continue to make Kickboxing accessible to all and to educate our community that despite common misconceptions that martial arts promote violence and fighting, martial arts is about teaching control, discipline and can help to tackle mental health concern.

5) How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?

SCVO can help through reiterating the above point that Kickboxing is not just about fighting but about teaching respect, discipline, and control whenever possible and supporting is to share our accomplishments and success to a wider audience enabling us to demonstrate to others where kickboxing as a sport can take them.

If you’d like to find out more about these services and Tuesday evenings session at St Michael’s school please contact Arron Walker on 07539 383 299 or via email at

Rough Sleeper Estimate for 15th November 2018

Following the feedback from its Rough Sleeper consultation, Sandwell Council has been able to gather some very useful information to enable it to submit a rough sleeper estimate to the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government). 

The Council would like to focus on Thursday 15th November, the night from which the estimate will be based.  The Authority is again working in partnership with  the neighbouring Local Authorities of Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley, who are also conducting their estimate on the same night.  Please use the attached form with the guidance to inform the Authority of any persons sleeping rough on that particular night and who fell into the criteria below:

“People sleeping, about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next to their bedding) or actually bedded down in the open air (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments).  People in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations, or ‘bashes’)”

Please respond by 21th November 2016.

Should you not be the right contact for this then please can you forward this email to the most appropriate colleague or service.

Please note :  Any information that is provided on the form will only be used by the Council to calculate how many rough sleepers will be reported to the Government.  The Government return includes the number of rough sleepers and some data, if known, relating to age, nationality, sex but does not contain the names or dates of birth of individual rough sleepers.

If you would like to discuss this matter or require further information, please contact Pam Mander-Masonde on 0121 569 5224 or email

Free Support, Advice and Training for Leaders of Health and Wellbeing Charities.

Good leadership is key to delivering high-quality services in any sector, and the voluntary and community sector (VCS) plays a vital role in health and care, reaching into all sections of the community.

Cascading Leadership provides an invaluable free opportunity for leaders working in health and care organisations of any size in the voluntary and community sector in the UK to develop their leadership skills and receive practical support.

The programme, now in its third year, offers free support, advice and training to the leaders of health and wellbeing charities based on a ground-breaking model of peer-to-peer support. To date, it has supported 120 voluntary and community sector (VCS) leaders and is now offering a further 64 places on this year’s programme.

In a challenging external environment for many VCS organisations, independent evaluation has shown that the programme can support organisations to tackle substantial challenges and develop the skills and confidence of leaders, whilst building cross-sector collaboration and peer support. Our blog on the programme also reflects on some of our learning from this work.

Successful applicants will be matched into pairs, with a consultant (an established charity leader), working with a partner (a leader who is seeking support). A distinctive aspect of the programme is that those providing the support are current leaders in the sector, who develop their leadership skills and receive training and supervision from The King’s Fund, while they are supporting another organisation.

The programme is open to leaders from all health and wellbeing charities, from small start-ups or support groups to major national organisations. This year, we are particularly keen to support smaller and newer charities. The programme is valued at £5,800 for each pair and is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.


For more information visit:

Centre Awarded £19,985 to Support Community Allotment Project Development

The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick has been awarded £19,985 by the Postcode Local Trust, a grant giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The funds has enabled the Centre to secure an overgrown allotment plot to be transformed it into an outdoor community classroom. It is hoped this will enable members of the local and wider community to develop life, employability and horticulture skills, improve confidence and participate in physical activity.

The funding will support the transformation stage of the project at the plot which is based at Bearwood Road Allotment and it will allow the Centre to employ a Project Coordinator, purchase the relevant tools and equipment and recruit and train volunteers.

The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a community centre based in Smethwick and is a place of welcome and opportunity, accessible to all, and open seven days a week. The Centre aims to help address local needs by providing, or hosting, a wide range of activities and services for children and adults. This new project is the first project which the Centre has delivered off site.

The 12 month project is due to begin at the end of October when the new Project Coordinator, Karen Palmer, will begin recruiting volunteers and clearing up the plot before a new design can be mapped out. The draft plans drawn up are for a fully accessible plot with a shed/summerhouse, poly tunnel, and raised beds. The plot will become fully community led after the initial 12 month transformation stage.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at the Centre, said:

“This is brilliant news because it allows us to run a project which is off site, outdoors, has environmental benefits and educational benefits. We envisage the plot, which is currently in a state of disrepair, becoming an outdoor community classroom which all of the local community can be involved in and reap the benefits which running an allotment plot can bring, including improved mental and physical health.

“We are under no illusions that this will involve a lot of hard work and there will be blood, sweat and tears throughout this journey but it would not be possible without this funding from Postcode Local Trust, so we wholeheartedly thank the trust and the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for this opportunity.”

Anybody who would like to be involved and support this project is asked to contact the Centre on 0121 558 2998 or email

Getting Along: Addressing relationships in dementia care

As part of its Kingsfisher Buddies Project, Agewell works with Dementia Pathfinder CIC.  Dementia Pathfinder, in collaboration with Innovations in Dementia, are hosting “Getting Along”, a one-day training programme which aims to equip front line staff and family carers to address both sides of the care giving relationship.

It is a relationship-centred programme that works with any care giving partnership. It seeks to equip couples/families to live better with the presence of dementia.

The workshop will be 10.00 am to 4.30 pm, on Tuesday, 20 November 2018, in Telford. The cost is £125.00

Prior to the workshop, delegates will be provided with a brief article to read that covers an element of the rationale for the Getting Along approach.

For more details about the workshop and to book a place, click here.

Visit Agewell’s website

New Beam Drop-in at Central Sixth

You hopefully already know about Sandwell Beam’s drop-ins where young people aged 5-18 can access emotional and mental health support.  Beam is opening a new Drop-in on Oct 2nd 2018 at…

The Cafe Area on the ground floor, Sandwell Central Sixth College, New Square, New St, West Bromwich B70 7PG on Tuesdays 3.30 pm – 7 pm (during term time).  No appointments or referrals needed, just drop-in!

PLEASE NOTE: This drop-in is for all young people, not just for college students. The cafe will not be in use.

Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling

HumAnima CIC, a West Midlands based social enterprise, is running a systematic introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy for counsellors, therapists & health professionals.

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is just one of the many forms of Animal Assisted Interactions (AAI) that is being applied in a variety of health and social care settings to access, amongst others, the physical, psychological and emotional benefits than have been evidenced. AAT is most frequently encountered in treatment settings for those with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. However, now there is a growing recognition of its potential application within psychotherapeutic, psychological and mental health treatment.

The three-day course will be held at Exotic Zoo CIC, Lakeside Plant Centre, Priorslee, Telford TF2 9UR from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm on Saturday 22nd September, Saturday 20th October and Saturday 24th November 2018.

Click here for more details and to register for the course.

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