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Would You Like Your Future to be Bright?

Would you like your Future to be Bright? Are you looking for training, jobs or apprenticeships? Then Connexions Sandwell is where you want to be.

Bright Futures is held every Monday and Wednesday 11 am – 1 pm, in the One Stop Shop, Oldbury Council House. Here you can speak directly to Training and Apprenticeship Providers.

Call Connexions Sandwell on 0121 569 2955 for more information


An Introduction to the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s new five-year Funding Framework and Grants Programme

We are pleased to invite you to an event that will tell you about the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s new funding framework and National Lottery Grants for Heritage.

Over the last six years, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (formally known as the Heritage Lottery Fund) has supported 50 new projects in Sandwell, totalling over £6.33 million.

If you are interested in applying or considering applying for funding for a heritage related project, this is your opportunity to find out more about what’s involved, check your eligibility to apply and find out about this new funding programme.

Jackie Lee, part of the development team at the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Birmingham office will lead the event. She will explain how the new funding framework provides a simpler and more flexible funding offer.  She will introduce the audience to the new single open grants programme, which is for all types of heritage project, and which includes new resources and digital guidance on the website to support applicants.

This event will help you recognise the range of heritage and activities National Lottery Heritage Fund supports and explain how you can access guidance and advice that will help your develop your heritage project idea.

The event will take place on Thursday 11th April 2019, 10am until 1pm in SCVO’s Board Room, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER. Registration opens from 9.45am for a prompt 10am start for those booked onto the event.  This event is targeted primarily at those groups from Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector and groups whose main beneficiaries live in Sandwell.  Groups from outside the borough may attend but priority will be given to Sandwell groups as above.

There is a maximum of 25 places available for this workshop. Please book two tickets only per organisation. All places must be booked through Eventbrite by clicking here.

**PLEASE NOTE** – a cancellation policy applies to the workshop bookings – details will be provided at the time of booking.  There is NO public car parking available at Landchard House.  However, there is plenty of on street and pay-and-display parking in the immediate vicinity,  We are (more or less) opposite the Lodge Road Metro stop, and within 5 mins walk of West Bromwich central bus station.


Free Training Event: How to Spot a Loan Shark

The England Illegal Money Lending Team is running a free training session on How to Spot a Loan Shark on Thursday, 14 March 2019. This training is aimed at anyone who is involved in providing a front facing service with customers. There will be a Questions and Answer element to the training.

How to Spot a Loan Shark will give in-depth information about the illegal money lending,  key things to look out for as a frontline worker, the relevance of loan sharks for your organisation and a better understanding of information and intelligence. Attendees will also be shown the impact that loan sharks have on victims, families and communities.

Time: 10:00-12:00
Venue: Oldbury Salvation Army, Merton Close (off Pound Road), B68 8NG

The training will benefit staff who have an involvement with households’ finances and poverty issues, to raise awareness of how the symptoms of financial distress may present themselves and give an overview of key resources available to your client group.

Click here to book a place.


A Journey of Colours Exhibition

A Journey through Colours is a new exhibition by one of Creative Black Country’s 100 Masters, Ranbir Kaur which will be taking place at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery from 3rd April – 20th June 2019.

Ranbir is a national and international recognised Rangoli artist , this will be her second exhibition in a major museum where she is presenting her entire work to date.

A highly celebrated artist, Ranbir has received many awards and create the largest Rangoli in the World in Nottingham that has since entered the Guinness Book of Records.

Free Entry into Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery, Holyhead Road, Wednesbury, WS10 7HD.

Opening hours:

  • Wednesday to Thursday 11am till 4pm
  • Saturday 2pm till 5pm
  • Last admission 30 minutes before closure.

Save the Date: Heritage Fund – Launch Event

SCVO in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund are planning to hold a Heritage Fund Launch Event on Thursday 11th April 2019. The Launch Event will take the participant through the recent changes to the Heritage Funds Grant programmes, who is eligible to apply and the processes you will need to follow to access these funds.

Heritage can mean different things to different people, it can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations. The Heritage Funds Grants Officer will discuss what heritage means to them and how you can access grants to support your heritage project.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage will provide funding for all types of heritage projects with grants starting from £3,000 upwards. They want to inspire, lead and resource heritage projects across the UK, to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

This event is free for Sandwell voluntary and community sector groups and groups whose main beneficiaries live in Sandwell (subject to attendance). For those wishing to attend the workshop from outside of Sandwell there will be a small booking fee.

Further details to follow so watch this space!


Arts and Culture Sector Survey Launches

Arts and culture charities are being urged to take part in a survey to assess the impact of digital technology across their sector.

This is the fifth year the Digital Culture survey has been carried out by the Arts Council England in partnership with arts, science and technology innovation foundation Nesta.

The aim is to build up a comprehensive picture of digital behaviour among arts and culture organisations in England and measure trends and compare data with previous year’s findings.

The survey’s results are used by government, funders and to help arts and culture organisations with their digital strategy.

This includes helping inform the government’s Culture is Digital report and this year’s findings will provide evidence in support of its commitments.

This includes the creation of a Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Code and Maturity Index, which aims to help organisations benchmark and improve their digital maturity.

Another is the launch of Arts Council England’s Digital Culture Network which brings together ‘tech champions’ to help digital development in the arts and culture sector.

Adapting to digital change

“As digital technology becomes an increasingly ubiquitous part of everyday life, it is important for arts and cultural organisations to keep pace with the rate of change so that they can successfully integrate new technologies into their working practice and remain relevant to artists and audiences,” says a Nesta statement.

“This survey will take the pulse of the sector on how it is adapting to digital change and where it requires further support.”

The survey’s research partner MTM London has sent out an invite to take part to thousands of arts and culture organisations. Any arts and culture organisations that have not received an invite and want to take part are urged to contact MTM London direct by emailing them at digitalarts@mtmlondon.com.

The survey takes around 30 minutes to complete and closes on 3 May 2019.

Source: Charity Digital News


Great Art and Culture for Everyone – Session

“Do you have an idea for a creative project but need some advice?

This May, Creative Black Country are hosting four surgeries with Arts Council England, on how to apply for Arts Council Project grants and Creative Black Country’s Open Access Awards.

The session will take place on 23rd May 2019 between 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Sandwell Business Solutions Centre, Sandwell College, 1 Spon Lane, West Bromwich B70 6AW and will contain a presentation on applying for Project Grants from Arts Council England and there’s the opportunity to book a one to one session with an Arts Council representative to discuss project ideas, receive advice into funding bids and much more.

There will also be information about Creative Black Country’s Open Access Award which supports activities that build audiences and promote creative and artistic excellence across the Black Country.”

This event is for individuals, groups or organisations who are interested in finding out more about Arts Council’s Project grants work and bringing creative work/activity to the Black Country.  It’s a good opportunity for Black Country creatives to meet with a representative from the Arts Council and connect with Creative Black Country.

They will be given valuable insight and advice into the application process for both Arts Council Project grants and the Open Access Awards. It’s also an opportunity to network with individuals, groups and organisations who are looking to deliver creative activity in the Black Country.

1pm – 1.15pm: arrivals / book in for a one to one session with ACE representative*
1.15pm – 2pm: presentation by Arts Council England representative & Creative Black Country representative
2pm – 4.30pm: One to one surgeries with Arts Council England

*One to one sessions will be allocated on a first come first serve basis and each session will be approximately 20 minutes long. Attendees will be able to book a session when they arrive for the event.”


I Love Small Charities Day – 17th June 2019

Small Charity Week’s annual hashtag competition is back to help you engage with new and current supporters and to win a donation for your charity.

To be in the chance of winning £450 all your supporters need to do is tell the world why they love you.

How to enter:
Ask your supporters to take a photo of themselves holding up a poster that reads:
“I love (your charities name) because (why you love them)”.

Or they can take a video of themselves with the poster, shouting out loud about why they love your charity or they can simply post a message of love.

Then they simply post it to either Twitter, Instagram and/or the Small Charity Week Facebook page.

Visit our website for details on how your supporters should enter their messages, poster templates, supporting toolkits and the full rules.

In previous years, the secret to winning this competition has been to start early! Even though the competition is officially open on Monday, 17th June 2019, it is a good idea to start building your plans now.

Source: Small Charity Week


The Big Lunch 2019!

Great Things happen when you bring people together! The Big Lunch is about millions of people getting together to share food, have fun and get to know each other better. 

It’s a simple idea – that for a few glorious hours, cars stop, shyness stops and neighbours come together in the street to meet, greet, share, swap, sing, plan and laugh. That’s why the Eden Project are inviting you to join them on 1-2 June 2019 for their annual get-together for neighbours and communities.

The Big Lunch idea from the Eden Project is made possible by the National Lottery. It doesn’t matter if you are big or small – whether you’re having a cup of tea with a neighbour or a full-on street party, The Big Lunch is an opportunity to help build connections that create stronger and happier communities.

Sign up for your free starter pack to join in the fun by clicking here or for more information on the Big Lunch click here.

Don’t forget to share your photos using the #TheBigLunch hashtag.

Source: The National Lottery


Sandwell Literature Festival

Sandwell libraries are running their first literature festival during March at Central Library in West Bromwich.

The literature festival runs from Saturday 16 to Saturday 23 March and includes storytelling, local history talks, author events and musical performances.

The opening event on Saturday 16 March is The Brontë Legacy – Keeping The Flame Alive, a musical tribute to the Brontë family in a series of songs based on their poetry and characters by award-winning British jazz singer Val Wiseman, who grew up in West Bromwich.

The event starts at 7pm and admission is £3 in advance or £5 on the night.

Free admission events include:
David Hallam: Taking On The Men, 2pm, Thursday 21 March
A tale of three women who took on the men at the 1918 General Election

Ian Tucker: Your Simple Path, 11am, Friday 22 March
Bringing calm to a crazy world with simple techniques to improve wellbeing and reduce stress

An Afternoon with Roger Ellory, 2pm, Friday 22 March
Meet an award-winning crime author as he talks about his books, career and inspiration

Matt Black: An Hour of Fast Fun with Roald Dahl, 10.30am-11.30am, Saturday 23 March
A fun family event, listen to the best moments from Roald Dahl

Councillor Syeda Khatun, Sandwell Council deputy leader, said: “Our first literature festival promises to be a real feast of exciting entertainment and fascinating talks, all in our wonderful Central Library in West Bromwich.

“For the opening event, Val Wiseman will be making a welcome return to West Bromwich following her fantastic performance fronting the Lady Sings The Blues concert during last summer’s jazz festival.”

For more information, go to the Discover Sandwell website or call 0121 569 4904 / email central_library@sandwell.gov.uk


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