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Sandwell Council Tenant Engagement – Tenant & Leaseholder Scrutiny Group

Through partnership with its Voluntary and Community sector partners, Sandwell Council wants to encourage people to get involved in a genuine long-term Tenant Involvement programme of positive change. They are establishing a Tenant & Leaseholders Scrutiny Group, which provides the opportunity for a group consisting of Council tenants and Council leaseholders to scrutinise, shape and make recommendations to improve housing services.

Sandwell Council is delivering a series of drop in sessions across the borough, in community venues, to promote and engage with local council tenants and council leaseholders about the opportunity to get involved and have a positive impact on the quality and delivery of housing services.

These sessions will commence early October and further information will follow. In addition, there will be a range of different opportunities in which people can get involved.

As part of this endeavour Sandwell Council wants to work with its Voluntary and Community sector partners and would like support in encouraging as many council tenants and council leaseholders as possible to attend so that there is a good diverse group reflective of Sandwell’s’ communities.

The sessions will be informal and an opportunity for those interested in being involved to find out more and meet the community partnerships team and have a chat. Alternatively, those interested can call the team on 0121 569-2537 or email at:

For further information please visit our website: Sandwell Tenants and Leaseholders Scrutiny Group –

Sandwell council is committed to championing the voice of tenants and the opportunities for transformational change outlined in the housing white paper.  In addition, there are also further opportunities for everyone who resides in Sandwell to engage with Sandwell Council via the Residents Panel.

Our Commonwealth: People of Sandwell

We are delighted to announce our new Arts Council England and SMBC-funded project Our Commonwealth. The Living Memory Project is teaming up with Sandwell Advocacy to celebrate the rich diversity of Sandwell using story, photography and film and we want you to get involved.

To mark the staging of Commonwealth Games 2022, we will be creating a new photographic exhibition and an accompanying film to highlight the extraordinary contributions made by ordinary people across Sandwell who make it the rich and vibrant place it is today. In particular, we will be working with individuals and communities who have links to countries from across the globe.

What’s happening?

Photographer Anand Chhabra will work with 25 community-nominated participants to produce a series of contemporary portraits and recorded stories that will be exhibited at venues across Sandwell in May/June 2022

Filmmaker Joseph Potts will produce a new film with individuals and groups across Sandwell to explore themes of community, belonging and commonwealth.

A series of creative workshops with community groups and local schools to explore aspects of photography, family history and personal artefacts.

Call for nominations

We are looking for nominations for 25 individuals who have contributed to making Sandwell the warm and supportive place it is today. Their contributions could be in the area of family, caring, education, sports, the voluntary sector, health, the emergency and welfare services, or something else!

Do you know someone who you think should be recognised for who they are and what they do? You can nominate yourself!

What will happen

25 individuals will be selected from all the nominations who will be invited to have their portrait made with Anand and to record some of their life stories with the project team.

Do you know anyone who should be nominated?

Please view the website to completed a very simple form below or if you prefer, email –

VCSE Leadership Alliance Co-design Workshop: 27th September 2021

The Black Country and West Birmingham Healthier Futures Partnership is helping to facilitate a voice for the Black Country and West Birmingham VCSE, through the Leadership Alliance Co-design Workshop on 27th September 2021, from 12.25 pm to 2.30 pm,

The workshop, replaces that which should have taken place on 13th September.
The Healthier Futures Partnership want to begin unpicking how the 4,000 VCSE’s in the Black Country and West Birmingham feel engaged, and find out how they are able to participate, influence and contribute according to their capacity and appetite. From those who operate at grassroots/neighbourhood level, to those who have a footprint across the whole of the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Don’t worry if you didn’t make it to the first Co-design Workshop in July. Your voice and opinion matter and the Partnership want you to be a part of the Alliance co-design journey for as much or as little as you can.

If you’re keen to learn more or help shape plans for a VCSE leadership Alliance, then register your attendance for the second workshop on 27th September, here.

Email if you have any questions, if you would like help with the registration process or if you have any accessibility requirements in order to participate in the workshop.


Tipton College Open Day – 30th September 2021

Tipton College cordially invites you to attend their Open Day from 3 pm to 7 pm on Thursday, 30th September 2021. Find out more about what is on offer and how the college, located in Alexandra Road, Tipton, work with the local community.

Tipton College delivers community and skills based training for adults aged 19 plus in Sandwell. Tutors can also come out to your groups to support with training or deliver fun family learning sessions.

There will be a variety of activities for you to try, in a friendly relaxed atmosphere and staff will be on hand to answer questions. They look forward to welcoming you.

Email or visit the website

Children Living With Autism – fundraiser

Change and disruption has been a huge part of everyone’s lives over the past 18 months. One way the Norvic GP Surgery is tackling this is by holding events to raise awareness and supporting local charities.

Their next event is on Friday 24th September at The Lyng when they will be raising awareness for Children Living With Autism and are supporting the charity Autism West Midlands. Staff will be wearing a purple item of clothing and donating money, and there will be a cake sale as well as colouring activities for children, and leaflets and information on how to get support should you have a family member who may need support with autism. The aim is to not only raise money for this wonderful charity, but to inform people that support is available, and that they are not alone. Many people do not understand autism and it is important to use local resources of support as well as educating yourself and others.

All proceeds raised on the day will go to Autism West Midlands, and if you would like to be a part of it or donate, please come at 10.00am to The Lyng, Frank Fisher Way, West Bromwich, B70 7AW on Friday 24th September

Dr Arora and the team would like to say a massive thank you in advance for supporting Autism West Midlands

* * * * * * * * * * 

Some info about Autism-

  • Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways. Like all people, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice.
  • Autistic people may want to travel the same way to and from school or work, wear the same clothes or eat exactly the same food for breakfast.
  • Autistic people may experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light, colours, temperatures or pain
  • Many autistic people have intense and highly focused interests, often from a fairly young age
  • Anxiety is a real difficulty for many autistic adults, particularly in social situations or when facing change. It can affect a person psychologically and physically and impact quality of life for autistic people and their families.

(The info was taken from

CG2022 – “All Roads Lead To Alexander” project

Caudwell Children transforms the lives of disabled children across the UK, acting as a safety net for families who are unable to gain the help they need. Since it was founded in March 2000, Caudwell children has helped more than 58,000 children and families, supporting children with more than 650 different medical conditions and providing more than £45m of services.

‘All Roads Lead To Alexander’ is a new and exciting project that will feature a unique series of music and arts workshops, for disabled and non-disabled children and young people, that will showcase the talent of West Midlands communities.

Following a grant received from the ‘Spirit of 2012’ funding body, and working in partnership with a number of organisations across the locality (including, in Smethwick, SAFS), Caudwell Children will deliver over 100 creative and cultural workshops, in partnership with the specialist music group K’antu Ensemble. The workshops will lead to the co-creation of a live mass participation performance of all the young people at an iconic Birmingham venue.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged at various venues across the West Midlands, including at the flagship Alexander Stadium in the city of Birmingham. Our workshops will run alongside the sporting event, as part of the wider cultural festival.

Want to take part?

If you’re aged 8-25, live in the West Midlands and would like to perform alongside the K’antu Ensemble – we want you to get involved! Place are limited, so please register an interest at:

Want to volunteer?

If you would like to volunteer to support the programme and work with young people on this project, visit:

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre: Loss Matters Programme

Following a successful pilot in the summer, and now with funding from SCVO Vision 2030 Community Mental Health grant, the Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick is delivering Loss Matters – a group based support programme for anyone who has been affected by loss of any sort, whether bereavement, redundancy or a relationship ending. Each programme is made up of a weekly session, for eight weeks.

This project is run in partnership with Smethwick Old Church and they have trained volunteers who will lead activities and discussions to help the group to think, to talk and to support one another. This is a confidential, safe space for all those who attend. The Dorothy Parkes Community Centre feel that this programme is needed more than ever due to the effects of COVID and all the restrictions and lockdowns which resulted in changes for funerals, increased unemployment, relationship breakdowns etc.

Places are FREE but we do ask that attendees commit to attending for the full eight weeks. The project will be rolled out over the course of the next twelve months and the first programme starts on Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 7pm – 8.30pm.

For more details, or to express your interest, please complete the enquiry form on their website by clicking here.  Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Black Country Women’s Aid Go Purple Campaign

Go Purple campaign, is Black Country Women’s Aids (BCWA) annual event in October where they ask organisations, residents and business for their support to help them raise much needed funds by Going Purple, as part of October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness month. The colour Purple is worn to show you care for women and children going through this traumatic time.

It’s easy to get involved, you choose a day in October and ask staff, friends and family to each put a £1 into BCWA’s purple collection tin and wear something purple on that day such as spraying your hair purple, painting your nails purple or bake and sell purple cakes or of course your own idea, or simply make a donation.

Last year they supported over 9,000 adults [10% Male] with their children to escape violence, overcome trauma and get these families back on their feet.

Domestic Violence is a massive problem in our area and we need your help to raise awareness and to help us to continue to supply our vital services. BCWA currently receives 24 calls every hour.

For more information or to obtain a fundraising pack get in touch with Deborah Slater by emailing her at

U Island Touring Exhibition

U Island CIC and arts organisation Juneau Projects have been working with families from Russian speaking countries as well as Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and the UK to create imaginative sculptural birdhouses telling their stories of migration to Birmingham and the Black Country and sense of home.

The touring exhibition features five amazing exhibits that all have a unique story to discover, enjoy, share, and celebrate with others.

For more information please visit:

Thimblemill Library – Saturday 11th September, 10am – 4pm
Thimblemill Road, Smethwick B67 5RJ
0121 569 4943

(Please call the library in advance of attending to avoid disappointment, as Covid safety rules may affect access. Further information can be found here

Lightwoods Park and House – Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th September, 11am – 4.00pm
Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick, B67 5DP
0121 569 4141

Covid Safety Measures – Venues continue to ask you to wear a face covering inside their buildings and respect other people’s personal space. Please use the sanitisers provided on entrance and before exiting. Please check with venues and our social media channels as Covid safety rules are subject to change and may affect access.

This has been made possible thanks to Arts Council England, SCVO Vision 2030 Fund, Creative Black Country and Discover Sandwell.

SLT On Road To Recovery After Weathering COVID Storm

Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) is heralding its latest independently verified success story of generating and delivering £16.5 million of social value* back to the borough.

In the last full operational year prior to the impact of COVID-19, the Black Country-based charity (which runs nine leisure facilities for Sandwell Council across the borough) achieved 16.1% local resident attendance figures. The national average is 15.9% – but with seven of its centres sitting in the top 50% of sites it places them all well above standard for the industry.

The Social Value report measures and benchmarks the contribution services make on improved health, improved subjective well-being, increased educational attainment and reduced crime – and is a key measure of how charitable and leisure operators contribute back to their local areas.

This positive news comes with SLT retaining all frontline staff as all nine centres have re-opened successfully following pandemic restrictions lifting, plus the Trust being given a clean bill of health by an independent Health & Safety advisor following no less than 46 separate inspections of their COVID-secure procedures prior to and during lockdown re-openings.

Click here to read the article in full.

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