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Sugar Smart Sandwell Launched

The Sugar Smart Sandwell campaign was launched today with the aim of helping people reduce the amount of sugar in their diet.

Based on the national Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign, Sugar Smart Sandwell is inviting local companies and organisations to get involved in promoting healthier food choices.

This may involve promoting a healthy workplace scheme, holding a healthy recipe demo or removing adverts for sugar. There are so many ideas that can encourage changes.

Sandwell Leisure Trust has made the first pledge to improve vending options.
Sandwell Leisure Trust chief executive Ash Rai said: “As a healthy workplace, Sandwell Leisure Trust is looking to get involved with as many Sugar Smart Sandwell actions as possible. Some people consume as many as 40 teaspoons of sugar every day. That is more than five times the recommended daily allowance!’’

Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s director of public health, said: “Earlier this year we saw hundreds of Sandwell kids give up sugary drinks during Fizz Free February. We also promote the Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign to local schools.
“But this isn’t just an issue for kids. All of us, through our businesses and organisations, can help make healthy food choices easier.”

The campaign aims to recruit 50 organisations across Sandwell sign up to the Sugar Smart initiative by February 2020 and pledge to raise awareness and encourage action to reduce sugar intake. A network of ambassadors will be recruited to work across all sectors (e.g. workplaces, schools, health, businesses, leisure centres and community organisations).

People interested in the campaign should go to

Do you have a fundraising in your team who has gone above and beyond this year?

Do you know a fundraiser who has had a significant positive impact on an event, campaign or the charity as a whole?

If so, you should nominate them for the Institute of Fundraising West Midlands Fundraiser of the Year Award 2019.
This annual award recognises fundraisers in the West Midlands who have made a difference in their organisation.
Whether the fundraiser is new to fundraising or has been in the sector for 20+years… we want you to nominate your stars.

The only criteria is that they must be a paid fundraiser.
Nominations can be made by completing this form and emailing to

The chosen winner be informed by 1st October 2019 and awarded with a free ticket to the Institute of Fundraising West Midlands Conference on Thursday 24th October 2019. On the day they will also be presented with a trophy.

Nominations are open until 23rd September 2019, 5pm so don’t delay.

Looking to revamp your wardrobe?

BUDS will be hosting a fashion show on Friday 6th September, from 7.30 pm, at Brandhall Labour Club, Tame Road, Oldbury. There will be up to 75% off the price of well-known brands including River Island, Miss Selfridge and Next.

Tickets are £5 each and the proceeds will be divided between BUDS and Breast Cancer Charities.

To get your ticket please telephone BUDS Reception on 0121 565 3721.

Healthwatch Sandwell – Health and Social Care Group

Healthwatch Sandwell are holding a public meeting on Tuesday 24th September from 1pm until 3pm at The Yemeni Community Centre, Tildasley Street, West Bromwich, B70 9SJ (bus routes – 44, 47 and 79).

Come along to find out more about:-

The Sandwell Better Lives Dementia Strategy – Find out what is promised to Sandwell people in the Sandwell Better Lives Dementia Strategy.

Community Connections – Social prescribing is an approach that links patients in primary care with non medical support in the community; leading to improved social and clinical outcomes for people with long terms conditions, and to the development of a wider, more diverse range of local community services.

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals Respiratory Service Change – How this service will look, and how you can give your views.

Everyone is welcome – to book a place please call 0121 569 7210 or e-mail

You can also book online from here

Friends of Central Library Need Your Help – Volunteer Opportunity

Friends of Central Library, West Bromwich (FoCL) is the most recent “Friends” group, dedicated to promoting, improving and sustaining the services available in Sandwell Libraries. Unlike many of the other Libraries in the Borough, which are part of their own local communities, West Bromwich Central Library, the “flagship” of Sandwell Library Service, is set in the High Street Business area.

FoCL was formed by a group of volunteers already assisting in the Library, aiming to represent the views of users, and to contribute to the management and development of the service. Members offer ideas and enthusiasm in promoting both the normal functions of the Library and also a wide range of special events. They are also active in fund raising, to support the programme of special events aiming to encourage the public to see for themselves the facilities of this beautiful historic building.

Why not get in touch with us on 0121 569 4904 to find out how you can become a volunteer and help us to continue to provide activities for our community.

Since FoCL was formed in 2018 members have been able to assist with the funding of activities in the Children’s Section, as well as events featuring local personalities and performers, including well known bands during the Annual Jazz Festival.

West Bromwich Central Library is undergoing a period of considerable change and improvement, and volunteers are needed to assist in many of its activities. FoCL is engaged in developing the Library Cafe in order to offer a daily mid-day facility to act as a meeting place for individuals and groups, to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, to meet new friends, as well as using the Library facilities. Daily newspapers and magazines are always available, and it is hoped that lunchtime programmes of music will be introduced, though there are still dedicated “quiet” areas for study and contemplation.

The Cafe will be run entirely by volunteers, and there are many other opportunities to become involved in the work of one of the most prestigious buildings in Sandwell, helping a dedicated team of staff to develop services for the future.

If you are interested in helping in the Cafe for just 4 hours a week, or any other of the many opportunities in West Bromwich Central Library contact 0121 569 4904 or simply visit the Library and talk to a member of staff or one of the volunteers.

Help Creative Black Country Find Our Funny Roots

Did you ever see Black Country comedy legends Tommy Mundon, Aynuk and Ayli or Dolly Allen on the famous Black Country Night Out?

Did you get the giggles watching Lenny Henry or Frank Skinner?

As part of Creative Black Country’s National Lottery Heritage Funded project ‘Finding Our Funny Roots’, they’re looking for people to share their stories and memorabilia of seeing comedians in an effort to find out just what is so unique about Black Country humour.

With your help they’ll unearth stories of comedians and comedy from 1950 to 2000 and produce a new set of performances.

They’re open to ideas; from collections of old ticket stubs; to photos from events or people at comedy clubs; people’s favourite jokes from the comedians; or stories of meeting them. All of the stories will go towards a new piece of work written, produced and performed by Dave Pitt, Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse – Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists.

This month we’re holding drop-in sessions in libraries across the Black Country:

  • Tuesday 20 August, 1.30pm–3.30pm at Dudley Library, DY1 1HR
  • Wednesday 21 August, 2pm–4pm at Wolverhampton Central Library, WV1 3AX
  • Thursday 22 August, 10.30am–12.30pm at Central Library West Bromwich, B70 8DZ
  • Friday 23 August, 12.30pm–2.30pm at Lichfield Street Hub, Walsall, WS1 1TR

For more information either call Creative Black Country on 0121 525 1127 or visit their website at


Charity Risk Seminar – Birmingham

In partnership with Zurich, NCVO is pleased to introduce a series of Charity Risk Seminars in 2019. Their half day seminar will cover three key areas in risk management; risk assessment, data and security management and safeguarding.

The Charity Risk Seminar will take place on Tuesday 26th November 2019, 9am till 1pm at BVSC, 138 Digbeth, Birmingham , B5 6DR.

Join Sharon Kearns, Casualty Risk Consultant at Zurich as she discusses the importance of risk assessments and the vital role they play for key stakeholders and the facilities you own and manage. In addition, Sharon will discuss how effective risk assessments can enable organisations to put resources in the right place to manage risk.

Data and Security
Information risk is often managed in a piecemeal way without an overall view of how the risk should be managed. Matthew Hardwick, Strategic Risk Consultant at Zurich, will explain ‘what data is’ whilst considering tools and best practices to ensure the safe management of your data.

The final part of the seminar will look at safeguarding.  Now, more than ever, the topic of safeguarding is high profile and any organisation that has contact with vulnerable people must have appropriate safeguarding arrangements in place.   In this session, we will explore the basic principles of safeguarding and how safeguarding impacts insurance and what you as risk managers can do to play your part.


NCVO Members – £35.00

Non Members – £50.00

Email or phone (020 7520 2587) if you’ve any questions or queries for NCVO’s training team.

To book your place click here.

Source: NCVO

Creative Black Country Expands to Include Dudley

Creative Black Country has been awarded £1,403,154 of National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme (CPP) to expand its current CPP activity to include Dudley, in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service.

Black Country Together has led the Creative Black Country CPP project in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton since 2015, with Arts Council investment of almost £4.5 million to date. Since then it has been producing creative events, performances and activities bringing inspirational cultural experiences to thousands of local people.

This includes the Creative Communities and Open Access programmes that support community groups to experience the arts and produce their own events; Funny Things comedy programme celebrating Black Country humour; and the 100 Masters campaign raising the profile of expertise, innovation and craftsmanship. It also includes the unique Desi Pubs partnership between artists and pub landlords, which helped redefine pub culture in the Black Country, reinventing the traditional handcrafted pub sign using Punjabi text.

Arts and culture have a significant role to play in building thriving villages, towns and cities, bringing people together and making them proud of where they work and live. Creative People and Places allows more people to choose, create and take part in arts and cultural activity – encouraging long-term collaboration between local people, artists and partners, and embedding lasting change in communities.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture make the places we live vibrant and exciting, entertaining and inspiring, benefiting our wellbeing and helping local economies.

“This National Lottery investment in Creative Black Country will see the team build on their achievements so far, with great work such as the Desi Pubs projects and 100 Masters, ensuring more people across Dudley and the Black Country can take part in and enjoy creativity in their communities.”

Creative Director of CBC, Parminder Dosanjh, said: “We are over the moon. Expanding to Dudley feels like a natural step; the prospect of working as a regional programme in the Black Country is hugely exciting and we look forward to local residents benefitting from the investment.

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, who will play an instrumental role in supporting the expansion programme going forward.”

Creative Black Country is one of 12 successful arts projects to receive a share of almost £17.5 million National Lottery funding to create arts and cultural experiences in areas across England where people tend to engage less with arts and culture. These twelve projects, part of the Creative People and Places programme, will take place between 2019-2023 and will be co-created with their local communities.

Andy Gray, Chief Executive of Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, said: “We’re delighted to work with Creative Black Country to build audiences and bring more opportunities to the people of Dudley. We’re looking forward to supporting communities across the Borough to create and choose the arts activities and experiences that are right for them. We’re confident Dudley will rise to the occasion and really get involved.”


Centre secures £78,812 youth funding from Children in Need!

The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick has been allocated a three-year grant of £78,812 to provide a weekly youth club and holiday activities for disadvantaged children and young people facing poverty and deprivation locally. Through the programme of support the project aims to build the young people’s life skills and improve their overall health and wellbeing whilst increasing their confidence and self-esteem for the future.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at Dorothy Parkes Centre, commented on the funding award, saying: “This funding really will go on to make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged children and young people locally.  Through engaging with enjoyable social activities their skills and confidence levels will improve, helping them to feel happier and more empowered for a positive and fulfilled future. Thank you, BBC Children in Need.”

The youth club, for those aged 11 – 18, will be launched in September and will be led by a Senior Youth Worker supported by sessional Youth Workers. Details regarding the day and time of the club will be released soon.

Source: Dorothy Parkes Community

Fire Station Fun Day to Launch 10th Annual Safer 6 Campaign

Sandwell’s autumn Safer 6 campaign launches next month (September) – promoting safety, crime prevention and healthy living across the six towns.

The Safer Sandwell Partnership campaign, now in its 10th year, will officially launch at a free fun day at Haden Cross Community Fire Station, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath, on Saturday 7 September.
Come along from 11am to watch live rescue demonstrations, explore fire engines, enjoy food, music and entertainment.

There will be rides for young children and a bouncy castle. You can also find out about becoming a fire fighter.
A wide range of partner organisations, including local charities and community groups, will be promoting their services. Don’t miss out on all the free safety and crime prevention advice available too. The event runs until 4pm.
Each of Sandwell’s six towns will have a focus week with roadshows and activities during the six-week campaign, which runs from 7 September to 20 October.

Sandwell Council is leading this year’s campaign with support from Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and a wide range of partner organisations and community groups.
The key themes are:
• Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour
• Supporting young people
• Tackling environmental issues
• Supporting vulnerable people
• Working with partner organisations and local people

Events and activities across the six towns will be announced soon at
You can also follow the campaign on Twitter using the #Safer6 hashtag

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