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Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Commission Opportunity

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning (SAFL) wishes to commission provision to support local voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver learning opportunities to targeted priority groups of residents. Any organisation that receives funding from SAFL will be classed as a subcontractor. 

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning have grants available of between £10,000 to £50,000 per project for the delivery of training in security, logistics, warehousing and digital skills on our behalf.

Full details can be found by clicking here.

Applications open 28th September 2020.


  • Release of the 2020-2021 Community Learning Offer – 28th September 2020
  • Invitations to submit applications for delivery to commence from November 2020 28th September 2020 – 9th October 2020
  • Notification of results from Project Panel Review 19th October 2020
  • Contracts Awarded W/C 19th October 2020

All applications for funding will be received using the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council procurement process. If you are interested in submitting an application, please complete an application form available from the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council procurement web page by clicking here.

To access the full specification and application form, organisations will need to be registered on the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council procurement system click here.

Please note: Applications will be approved subject to sufficient funds being available. Projects can be short or long but all activity must be completed by 30th June 2021

Community Learning Specification and Guidance can be accessed by clicking here.

For an informal chat about this opportunity please call SAFL on 0121 557 0837 or email

Black History Month 2020

Black History Month 2020 recognises the achievements of black people in the city of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands area, from the eighteenth century to date.

One such person is the Revd. George Cosens, noted for being the first black African Caribbean minister in the Black Country in 1837.   George Cosens died in 1881 and was buried in the cemetery of Brierley Hill Baptist Church, where he was the minister.

To find about the contribution of other black people in the area, click here.

Town Fund Phase Two – Sandwell Town Deal Survey

In September 2019, the Government announced it had selected Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich to submit a Towns Fund application for up to £25 million per town.

The towns able to submit a bid and the associated criteria were selected by central Government. Sandwell Council continues to identify and seize investment and regeneration opportunities for all six towns.

Next steps
Sandwell Council recently carried out a Phase one survey (in August 2020) looking at priorities in your local town. The results helped inform project ideas that should be considered for submission to the government for the Towns Deal funding.

These ideas then went through rigorous analysis to see if they meet both the Town Deal criteria outlined by Government, and Sandwell’s aspirations as set out in the Vision 2030.

Those project ideas which met the rigorous criteria have now been compiled into a shortlist.

They now need your views on these shortlisted project ideas as part of this Phase Two by completing a short survey by clicking here.

The phase two survey is now live until 30th September 2020.

The three of the main priorities for the Programme are:

  • Urban Regeneration
  • Skills and Enterprise Infrastructure
  • Connectivity (Transport adn Digital)

For the full details on the Town Fund click here.

Helping older people stay active

Sandwell Council and Active Black Country have teamed up help older people stay active.

The Council is working with Active Black Country to distribute older age care packs to older people living in supported accommodation in Sandwell. The packs include exercise equipment such as a stress ball and exercise band along with a set of simple instructions for the residents to follow.

Active Black Country Director, Ian Carey, said: “The response from our Black Country partners and communities to keep people active has been fantastic. Working together, we have been able to develop these care packs, to help keeping older aged people physically and mentally active, which is crucial during this period of self-isolation and social distancing.

“We hope the packs provide a meaningful intervention for older age groups during this extraordinary period.”

For more information on staying active and healthy visit

Residents asked to help shape the future of Sandwell

Sandwell Council wants to hear from residents and businesses as its Towns Fund proposals move to the next phase.

In September 2019, the Government announced it had selected Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich to submit a Towns Fund application for up to £25 million per town.

The towns able to submit a bid were selected by central Government. Sandwell Council continues to identify and seize investment and regeneration opportunities for all six towns.

Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member for Inclusive Economic Growth, said: “In August we launched the first Towns Fund survey and I want to thank everyone who responded to that survey.

“We have listened to residents and I’m happy to announce the project proposals are ready for consultation.

“I want as many residents and businesses as possible to tell us what they think about these proposals and help us put forward the best plans to improve the lives of residents and shape the future of Sandwell.”

Sandwell Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, added: “The Towns Fund is a fantastic opportunity to bring investment into Sandwell. These proposed projects will not only benefit selected towns but the whole of Sandwell. I would therefore ask everyone to have their say by completing the short survey.”

The Towns Fund Phase 2 survey is now live and people have until Wednesday 30 September to take part. To have your say or for more information visit

£200,000 awarded to Black Country art and culture project through Spirit of 2012 collaboration with Birmingham 2022

£200,000 has been awarded to Creative Black Country to create a new, inclusive art and culture project linked to the Commonwealth Games, following a collaboration between Olympic legacy funder Spirit of 2012 and Birmingham 2022.

The participatory performing arts project, entitled Shine A Light, aims to build bridges between D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled people using theatre and mime to tell stories of people around the Commonwealth.

The project will include live taster activity sessions and workshops for 280 people, with 165 adults going on to participate in regular performance workshops which will culminate in a touring performance and set of films to share across the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.

Partners including Deaf Explorer, Black Country Touring, Disability Arts in Shropshire (DASH), Zebra Access, Deaffest and Deafscope will support and consult across different areas of the project.
Creative Black Country, based in West Bromwich, works closely with local communities to discover, explore and grow an exciting and meaningful programme of cultural activity in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Please view to find out more.

West Midlands Combined Authority – Mayor’s Giving Day – Voluntary Sector Organisations

On September 22nd 2020, the Mayor’s Giving Day is back for a second year, but this time we’re going virtual!

The day is a simple and impactful initiative that calls for businesses across the West Midlands to come to together to support local charities, community groups and good causes.

As a charity you will have access to a range of Virtual Workshops with key topics ranging from Marketing and Comms to Measuring Impact. There will be Charity Forums, where you will have an opportunity to talk to a panel of businessmen and women from the West Midlands region on any concerns and challenges you may have.

The ‘Giving Day’ strides to build a sense of pride and purpose in the region by showcasing existing work and encouraging us all to do a little extra. Born from the Lord Mayor’s City Day in London it enables companies and employees to celebrate and showcase their philanthropic and volunteering achievements and encourage others to get involved.

A link to the event is here:

Free Bike Checks for Children in Sandwell

Dr Bike is visiting parks in Sandwell to fix children’s bikes this autumn.

The council’s youth services has received a £3,000 grant from Cycling UK as part of the Big Bike Revival initiative.

Children’s bikes can be taken along to any of the sessions where an expert will spend a maximum of 30 minutes repairing and giving bikes safety checks including looking at breaks, gears, tyres. No booking is necessary.

Dr Bike will be at the following parks on these dates:
• Jubilee Park, Tipton – 6pm – Wednesday 16 September 2020
• Victoria Park, Tipton – 6pm – Thursday 17 September 2020
• Brunswick Park, Wednesbury – 6pm – Wednesday 23 September 2020
• Britannia Park, Rowley Regis – 6pm – Thursday 24 September 2020
• Jubilee Park, Tipton – 6pm – Wednesday 21 October 2020
• Victoria Park, – Tipton – 6pm – Thursday 22 October 2020
• Brunswick Park, Wednesbury – 6pm – Wednesday 28 Oct 2020
• Britannia Park, Rowley Regis – 6pm – Thursday 29 Oct 2020

The Charities Aid Foundation Hands Out Record £702m to Charities

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) handed out more than £702m to charities globally last year, a record for the organisation.

The figures gave been revealed in its 2019/20 annual report that says charities in 110 countries benefitted.

The figure for 2019/20 is £56m more than the previous year.

CAF, which manages donations on behalf of philanthropists, businesses and individuals, says the record tally comes amid financial and political uncertainty over the last financial year.

This includes Brexit negotiations, the UK general election and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

CAF chief executive says the figures give him optimism that there will be a continued willingness to give as the health crisis continues.

“Despite a year that ended with uncertainty such as we have never seen in our lifetimes, our community of donors, be they individuals or companies, responded with record levels of generosity,” he said.

“At CAF, we are proud to have facilitated the distribution of those vital funds to so many good causes around the world, especially as many now find themselves in such challenging straits. The numbers in this year’s annual report translate into tangible, vital support for the millions of people who rely on the work of charities.

“The months and indeed years ahead will not be easy ones for both charities and the people they support, but the willingness to give detailed in this year’s report provide a sense of hope that we will be able to recover, rebuild and thrive once again.”

The annual report shows that CAF’s emergency fund paid almost £6.5m to more than 1,250 small UK charities during 2019/20.

Source: Charity Times

Utilita Community Hub Now Open In West Bromwich!

Utilita are an energy company committed to supporting the local community, charities and small to medium locally owned businesses. They have recently opened their Energy Hub in 3D Astle Park, West Bromwich, B70 8NS. Why not pop in to see them Monday to Saturday between 9am till 5.30pm to find out more about them and what they are up to here in West Bromwich.

They are keen to get involved with and help local charities, community and voluntary groups out. They are also able to host energy efficiency workshops within the hub, in their ‘community room’, which is free for community use and community minded activities.

So what have Utilita done since moving into West Bromwich:

  • They have raised over £2,700 for Options for Life a local Charity supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism, where they took part in the Hub2Hub challenge (cycle, walk or run a total of 516 miles).
  • They’ve volunteered with Tipton Litter Watch helping to keep clean the streets of Tipton.
  • They are currently in talks with the local West Bromwich Basketball team to see how they can support them financially and create a partnership.
  • A drop off and collection point for Salma Food Bank food donations, a patron of the Princes Trust.

Utilita have come to West Bromwich to connect and engage with new and existing customers to discuss their energy bills and how they can potentially save you money, receive expert energy advice and look at the possibility of switching energy providers by receiving an energy quote for those looking to change their energy supplier to Utilita.

Why not pop in to see them have a friendly chat and a cuppa to find out how they may be able to help you or your community organisation.

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