Health & Wellbeing

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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.

Sport England Call for Innovation

Challenges to solve – Many people are facing significant, disproportionate barriers to being active during the coronavirus outbreak.

This open call is aiming to support innovative solutions that respond to these challenges and support those most affected so they can be active at this time.

We’re looking for solutions from individuals and organisations specifically developed to support women, people on low incomes, people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, disabled people or people living with long-term health conditions.

What is the open call and what are we trying to achieve?
Our research shows there are major inequalities within society, with too many of us not able to access activity in the same way and missing out on the health benefits.

These inequalities aren’t new, but they are being exacerbated by the pandemic, which is why we want to act now to ensure they don’t get worse.

We believe innovation can play a key role in helping people overcome these challenges so they can lead more active lives, and in turn help tackle the inequalities that exist within society.

Innovation doesn’t have to be complicated for users – brilliant ideas can have a big impact on people’s habits. For example, Google’s feature allowing users to find wheelchair accessible places with just one click.

Innovation doesn’t have to be about technology, either – some of the best ideas are local, simple and start with people at the heart. For example, London’s Library of Things, who are on a mission to make borrowing things better than buying them, thanks to a network of local volunteers.

Our work to support innovation is beginning with this open call for solutions that remove barriers for the communities that are currently least well-served.

We believe now is the time to act, innovate and do things differently to affect positive change and address inequalities.

The open call will initially be open for two weeks, closing on Wednesday 24 June at noon.

To see the full details go to

CCG Patient Experience Survey – COVID-19

Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all our lives considerably. It has transformed our views of what is important and posed a considerable challenge to our health and care services.

As part of the ongoing work to respond to the pandemic, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG are asking you to share your experience of the pandemic and the impact it is having on you and your family’s access to health services locally, by completing an online survey. Please note the CCG will not be producing paper copies of this survey due to changes to staff working and limited resources.

The feedback you share via this survey will help the CCG to make decisions and design new ways of working. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Your feedback is very important.

At the end of the survey, personal details, such as age and gender, will be asked for to help with the analysis. Your postcode and GP practice will be needed to help pinpoint the town or city you live in. Your house number or house name is not asked for.

The information will be kept secure. The CCG will not be able to identify you through your answers and will not share your personal data with anyone else.

The survey will close at 11.59 pm on Tuesday, 23 June 2020.

Mindfulness with Sandwell Adult and Family Learning

“Remember to live in the moment and be thankful for all the positive things in your life.”

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning (SAFL) is the adult education service for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. As with so many organisations during this period of lockdown SAFL are aware of how isolating it can be when you are unable to visit friends and family, and this can take a toll on us all. That is why they have created a short video encouraging you to be more mindful and focus on the positives in life. Lisa Espinosa, a member of the senior leadership team, reminds us of six areas of our lives where we can focus on wellbeing.

They are:
• Connect
• Notice
• Give
• Move
• Talk
• Learn

You can access the video via YouTube or visit the website.

SAFL offers a variety of accredited and non-accredited courses for adults 19 plus. These courses range from Functional Skills qualifications in English and Maths, to art classes and support for families, with courses like Paediatric First Aid and baby massage.

Invitation to join Sandwell Citizen Forum on-line video Conference

During the coronavirus pandemic, Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been exploring new ways to keep in touch with local people. The regular Citizen Forums – which were previously held as face-to-face meetings – are now being held virtually via live video conferencing.

Dr Ian Sykes, the CCG’s clinical chair, has been leading these monthly virtual briefing sessions to provide local people with an update on the CCG’s work, including updates on primary care (GP practices) and other local healthcare. These sessions also provide participants an opportunity to submit questions before and during the session to be answered by Dr Sykes and other CCG staff.

The next online Citizen Forum will take place on Thursday 18 June, 2 pm to 3 pm.

Patients, Citizen Forum members and other stakeholders are welcome to join these sessions to get an update on the CCG’s work in Sandwell.  Agendas for the sessions will be available soon.

To find out more and to sign up to join one of the online forums, please call 0121 612 1447 or email  Please give your email or postal address and you will sent joining instructions nearer the date.

SDCA Still Providing Support

Sandwell Deaf Community Association are continuing to provide support to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and professionals working with the Deaf Community throughout COVID-19.

Some staff are office based (safely), while others are working from home.   Some are continuing to provide support in the community.

Should you need to contact us please call/text/WhatsApp/FaceTime on 07885 913225.

Visit the website.


Active Black Country would like your help…

Active Black Country have launched a survey with the aim of better understanding the changes in activity habits of Black Country residents of all ages over the course of the last 3 months, with a view to developing insight across 5 main areas;

  1. To understand how, if at all, habits have changed, for the better or worse in relation to activity
  2. To understand the extent to changes to levels of physical and mental health
  3. To understand the extent of any behaviour change
  4. To understand, in relation to ‘already actives’, how did they maintain activity levels and what had to change
  5. How will people build any new habits into a post-Covid lifestyle, such as active travel

Following analysis, a Black Country wide report will be developed that collates all the main findings. In addition, if response rates allow, Local Authority-level summary papers will also be produced.

The survey takes around 15-20 minutes to complete and one respondent will be selected at random to receive £200 in vouchers towards physical activity equipment.

You can access the survey by following the link below.

Become a Street Champion during Clap for Carers and support your local Food Bank

Food banks are being relied on more than ever at the moment and are really struggling with supplies. All kinds of people are having to seek out a food bank – especially domestic violence victims who may usually rely on family and friends to help them out.

You can make a real impact in your local area by becoming a Street Champion and collecting donations during Thursday’s ‘Clap for Carers’.

What you need to do:
Message your neighbours to tell them what’s happening. Be safe and follow the rules if you have to do this through the letterbox rather than social media.

Join in your street’s ‘Clap for Carers’ on Thursdays at 8 pm and make yourself visible as a collection point for any items they wish to donate – at a distance.

Safely collect the items in bags/boxes and drop them off at your local Foodbank Collection Point. If you don’t know of one nearby you can donate at the West Bromwich Community Church Food Bank, Victoria Street, West Bromwich B70 8EX (between 11am and 1.30pm Monday to Friday).

For more info contact Denise Turner, Volunteer Coordinator, Black Country Women’s Aid. Call (mobile) 07876 871682, (office) 0121 5530090 or email

Share your experience of Health and Social Care Services during Covid-19

Healthwatch Sandwell would like to invite adult carers (unpaid) to a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, 2nd June, at 2.00 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to find out how things are for you and your experience of health and social care services during Covid-19.

If you are interested in joining Anita Andrews, Engagement and Information Lead, click this link to register. Once you have registered, you will be sent joining details.

If you do not have access to a computer or smart phone, Anita would still like to hear from you and is happy to call you. Please contact Anita directly on 07885 214421 (after 1st June 2020). You may also email at or at

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

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