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Healthwatch Sandwell Directory of Information

To help local people and support the community and voluntary sector in the borough, Healthwatch Sandwell have compiled a directory of information and advice to help people during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes local and national sources as well as information relating to many long term conditions.

The directory is available on Healthwatch Sandwell’s website.

This information is updated regularly and any suggestions for additions etc., can be sent to

The Digital Culture Network Series of Webinars

The Digital Culture Network is generating a series of resources to help you and your organisation respond to the current crisis, and enhance your organisation’s digital standing on a permanent basis.

From working and collaborating with others remotely, to continuing to engage with your audiences and generating income for your organisation, the Digital Culture Network is on hand to help you become more digitally engaged. These learnings will not only benefit you now, but continue to offer your organisation renewed energy in the digital realm for many years to come.

Thursday 16 April 2020 at 2pm Google Analytics for absolute beginners

Heard about Google Analytics but don’t know where to start?

What, why and how Arts and Culture organisations can use Google Analytics for greater insight.

Register now

Thursday 14 May 2020 at 2pm How to audit your Google Analytics account

Learn how to improve the data quality in Google Analytics and customise your account to unlock actionable insight for your organisation.

Register now

Thursday 18 June 2020 at 2pm Google Tag Manager for absolute beginners

What is Google Tag Manager?

How is it different from Google Analytics?

Find out why Arts and Culture organisations should be using Google Tag Manager.

Register now

Source: Arts Council England

The Big Book Weekend – Online

Join The Arts Council and BBC Arts for a free online literature festival from 8-10 May 2020. The Big Book Weekend will broadcast interviews, discussions, and conversations over the first May bank holiday weekend. Developed and curated by authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt and hosted by publishing start-up MyVLF, they’re currently on the lookout for literature festivals of any size to join the project.

The Big Book Weekend is a three-day virtual festival that brings together the best of the cancelled British festivals, with a range of events ‘sponsored’ by the relevant festival, featuring the authors and other artists that would have appeared. It has been co-founded by the authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt, is supported by the BBC and Arts Council England, and will be hosted by startup MyVLF.

As well as keeping book lovers in touch with the artists and festivals they love, it offers an opportunity to engage with a whole new audience who may have previously been unable to attend a literary festival due to geography, access or cost. We are deeply committed to ensuring that the BBW reflects all of the communities across the UK, and the widest choice of reading tastes.

Where will it happen?        

The MyVLF website acts like a ‘real’ venue but is infinitely more flexible and expandable. It is a virtual event space with a 2D site overlay for easy navigation and use.

The event space will be totally free to enter, with just an email required for sign up. This is used to allow people to have their own ‘bookbag’, from which they can download free book excerpts and other assets. It is also a safeguarding mechanism for the chat room monitoring of members.

As part of the venue, there is a virtual Exhibition Hall. Here every festival ‘sponsor’ can have its own stand to showcase information and content, and link to its website and social presences.

MyVLF also has a virtual Bookshelf. Here, we can load images of digital books from the authors being featured on each day. These can link out to pages on the festival or author websites, on which the festival or author can nominate a local independent bookshop from their region where attendees can buy the books.

Find out more by clicking here.


Creative Connections Commissions

Inspired by the positive responses around the world from balcony singing in Italy to digital choir platforms and #lockdownkitchendisco, Creative Black Country are looking for creative responses to the social distancing challenge which bring fun, joy and creativity to local people in the Black Country, and keep people connected.

There’s commissions of between £500 and £2,000 for projects that develop creative activity with and for local communities.

The deadline is the 13th April. Find out more here.

Citizens Advice Sandwell Help to Claim Service

The doors of Citizens Advice may be closed, but they are still here to help! Citizens Advice Sandwell’s Help to Claim team are currently supporting clients with their Universal Credit claims and enquiries via web chat and advice line.
During these difficult times, people need help more than ever and that’s why Citizens Advice have advisers working from home to assist with the increased demand. To contact the Help to Claim team, please call on 0800 144 8444 or use Help to Claim web chat by clicking on this link.
Generalist advisers are also on hand to answer other queries, including debt.  You can contact them on 0300 330 9017. They are available on web chat by going to and selecting ‘chat online to an adviser’.

Brook: Update on Services available to Children and Professionals in Sandwell

Brook have produced an update in relation to the services it is providing in light of the current situation we are facing.

To access the update please view –

The Breastfeeding Network Sandwell

It’s a strange and unsettling time for everyone right now, especially new parents.

We’ve had to make some changes to our service to fit with venue closures, infection control measures and sensible distancing precautions, but there’s still lots of support we can offer you.

Here’s what you can expect from us over the coming weeks:

At any time (before or after birth) … Call us on: 07505 775357 and leave your details — our answerphone will be updated with any changes in service, and we will get back to you as soon as we can (between 9am -1pm daily).

If you have any issues with feeding, such as pain, difficulty getting baby to take the breast, or worries about how much or how often baby is drinking, our first step will be to offer you a call back for telephone support.

While you wait for us to call you back you can look here for general breastfeeding information.

For further info click here –

New Funding Programme Announces to Keep Children Safe From Crime and Violence

A new £6 million fund has been launched to support organisations working to prevent youth offending and make communities safer.

Comic Relief and the Youth Endowment Fund have joined forces to help keep children safe from violence by co-designing a new funding programme with help from young people affected by youth violence; and those organisations and individuals with experience of prevention.

The programme will aim to ensure that children most as risk of being drawn into crime and violence receive the support they need, and in particular will address rising knife crime.

Further details of the programme will be announced later in the year.

View further information here –

Tesco Bags of Help Funding Update

Tesco has decided that due to the current uncertainties around Covid-19, their Bags of Help (blue token voting scheme) has been suspended in stores until further notice.

The fund is still open to new applicants who wish to apply online for up to £2000 please visit

Anyone who has applied and is waiting to hear if they have been selected to go to store vote will unfortunately need to wait a bit longer.

Groundwork staff are available to support groups to apply for funding via email –

For more information, please visit Bags of Help Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions by clicking here.

People Invited to Take Part in Art Project – From Their Homes

People from across Birmingham are being invited to use their time at home to unleash their creative energy and be part of a unique artwork to celebrate the 110th anniversary of John Taylor Hospice.

Fleeting Moments will be staged at Library of Birmingham in November and December 2020 and will feature work from people of all ages and backgrounds.

The hospice is asking everyone across the city to make their own fabric birds to be included in the artwork, alongside pieces created in community settings.

The birds will then be brought together as a flock in a special artwork in the foyer of the Library of Birmingham where Fleeting Moments will be free to view and visit.

Birmingham-based artists Jane Thakoordin and Margaret Murray have created instructions which are downloadable from John Taylor Hospice’s website so that anyone who wants to participate can make their own birds at home.

Fleeting Moments is being created during the 110th anniversary year of John Taylor Hospice which was founded in the city in 1910. One of the oldest hospices in the country, John Taylor teams have been caring for generations of local families through two world wars, economic hardships and numerous changes to health care.

Founded by philanthropists in Birmingham and led by pioneer Mary Darby Sturge, the hospice is named after leading doctor and gynaecologist John Taylor who worked in the city and died in 1910. More than a hundred years later the hospice still relies on donations from the public to provide care.

To read the full Charity Today news story click here.

Source: Charity Today

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