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Hong Kong BNOs – ‘Meet & Greet’ event

In July 2020, the British Government announced a new visa route enabling Hong Kong citizens with British National Overseas (BNO) status to settle in the UK.

Come to our ‘Meet & Greet’ workshop to find out why this was done, how many Hong Kong BNOs have migrated, their needs & expectations and what this means for local organisations and residents.

Date: Thursday, 21st July 2022

Time: 10.30am to 1pm

Venue: Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA

Who is this workshop for?

  • Organisations and individuals in Sandwell who wish to engage with and support newcomers from Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong BNO visa holders who have settled in the area.

What to expect?

Quiz / videos / stories / discussion – BNOs share experiences of settling in the UK.

For catering purposes, please call Chloe Yip to book on 0121 685 8510 during office hours.

Call to artists: Open All Media Exhibition – Monday 4th to Saturday 30th July 2022

The Art Yard is now accepting submissions for the July Open Exhibition.  You can submit up to five pieces or work. There are no special requirements on the type of art or subject matter.  All work is very welcome.

Please ensure that:

  • Your work is ready to hang and has cord or fixing plates fitted to the rear of the work.
  • There are no protrusions, such as eyelets or fixings, from the back of the work.
  • There is a label is attached on the back of the work.
  • The submission form should be returned by Saturday, 2nd July 2022.

Visit the website to download the submission form and other documents.

Direct any questions to The Art Yard on 01384 910 968Email

If you have work in the June exhibition which has not been collected, please arrange to collect from the gallery before the Saturday deadline.  Contact the gallery should you wish to carry work over to the July exhibition.

The Art Yard look forward to seeing your work and supporting the development of artists and the arts in the community.


Diabetes UK increasing content and information Online for South Asian Community

Staff at Diabetes UK are working towards increasing the content and information on their online learning platform The Learning Zone for people from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities with diabetes across Birmingham and Sandwell.

To do this, Diabetes UK wish to recruit people from these ethnic backgrounds to join focus groups, to hear first-hand about what it’s like to live with diabetes, or care for someone that does, and to find out what information and support would further help them.

As a gesture of thanks, an e-gift-card up to the value of £25 for is will be offered to participants who fully engage in their focus groups or in one-to-one conversations.  If there are enough people interested in taking part (minimum of eight), Diabetes UK would be willing to visit an organisation or hire a room in the local area to conduct the focus groups.  Refreshments will be provided.

If you have any questions please email

Please get in touch by Friday, 8th July 2022.


WMCA Community Green Grants: Increasing Biodiversity Webinars

The West Midlands Combined Authority Community Green Grants offers small and large grants to organisations in the West Midlands to run projects that increase access to green/blue space and improve biodiversity.

The Combined Authority is running a series of short webinars on various topics that will equip projects with the knowledge needed to make sure increasing biodiversity is part of the project plan.

The second Increasing Biodiversity webinar “Making a Splash- Small Ponds for Biodiversity” will be 10.00 – 10.30 am on Tuesday, 26th July 2022.

Find out more and register for the 30 minutes event here.

Sandwell Achieves Another Regeneration Milestone: £19m secured for Rowley Regis Towns Fund

Sandwell’s Towns Fund Programme has taken a leap forward this week, with £19m funding for five regeneration projects in Rowley Regis being approved by the government.

In 2020, Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich were among 101 places selected by central government to bid for funding in the national Towns Fund initiative. All three bids were successful.

This week the government has approved the funding for the five individual Rowley Regis projects.

Together, the Rowley Regis Town Fund projects will deliver ambitious projects that will have a positive effect on Rowley Regis residents through improved transport links and community space, and a new skills centre. As it is a five-year programme, projects will come to life at different points during this period.

The five Rowley Regis Town Fund projects are:

• Britannia Park Greenspace and Community Hub (Sandwell Council) – improving the infrastructure, facilities and environmental quality of Britannia Park through the delivery of a new low-carbon community building. This will provide changing rooms, new allotment plots, tree planting, reconstructed skate park, new play and fitness equipment and improve the main entrance and driveway, car park and constructing footpaths within the park.

• Canal Network Connectivity (Canal & River Trust) – improving active travel connectivity within and across Rowley Regis by upgrading the Old Main Line Canal and Dudley No.2 Canal towpath surfaces, and access points onto the canal from surrounding areas.

• Rowley Regis Satellite Education Hub (Sandwell College) – a new, dedicated education and training centre in Cradley Heath, Rowley Regis, to enable the engagement of young people and adults. The Hub will work in conjunction with local community groups to provide access to social, medical and other education advice and services – providing a ‘resource centre’ with Sandwell College as the anchor institution.

• Blackheath Bus Interchange and Public Realm (Sandwell Council) – the creation of a central bus interchange around Blackheath Market Place. This will improve arrangements for pedestrians and cyclists, creating new public realm and a focal point to the town centre, adapting delivery arrangements and excluding through traffic.

• Rowley Regis Connected (Sandwell Council) – a phased set of infrastructure improvements to link transport (rail, bus) and employment hubs in Blackheath, Cradley Heath and Oldbury. Delivering new pedestrian and cycle routes including segregated cycle routes, resurfacing and widening footpaths, upgrading crossing facilities and lighting, introducing traffic calming, improving signage and road markings.

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “The council, working in partnership with Sandwell College and the Canal & River Trust, has achieved government approval for the £19 million funding for the five Towns Fund projects, which will enable us to drive the town’s economic regeneration.

“As a result, we will deliver long-term economic growth that will benefit Rowley Regis’ residents and businesses, gearing up the skills of our workforce so they can respond to changing business needs and play their part in a growing, resilient economy.”

About the other Towns Fund bids in Sandwell

Sandwell Council has worked in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Canal & River Trust, Greets Green Community Enterprise Centre and Sandwell College (Sandwell’s Towns Fund Partnership) to help secure £67.5 million Towns Fund investment in total for Sandwell. This is the largest amount for any local authority area under the Towns Fund programme.

To date, 13 out of 16 projects have been approved by the government, securing £46m for the benefit of Sandwell. Sandwell’s Towns Fund Partnership looks forward to receiving a response from the government on the remaining West Bromwich Town Deal projects.


National Lottery Awards £420,000 to help Black Country Children Rebound from Lockdown Anxiety

Children struggling to readjust to life after Covid-19 and life under lockdown will now get specialist care after a £421,180 grant from the National Lottery.

SinglePoint Plus in Oldbury, Dorothy Parkes Centre, Smethwick and Breathing Space Therapeutic Services at Baggeridge Country Park in South Staffordshire were awarded the money from The National Lottery Partnerships Fund.

The three organisations will deliver Rewire, a recovery project to support local children and families.

Rewire offers targeted and open access community services aimed at building community resilience to enhance the wellbeing of local people. Rewire includes child and adult counselling, family support services, peer support and youth clubs and therapeutic woodland activities.

SinglePoint manager Lisa Harrison has noticed how the pandemic and its consequences impacted local people in a variety of ways including increased anxiety and lower motivation to get involved in activities.

Read the full Express and Star article by clicking here.

The show must go on…and on…. : Everyone has talent, what’s yours?

Drama and Some CIC would like to invite you to participate in ‘The Show Must Go On and ON’ taking place on Friday 3rd June 2022 from 1.30pm at Sandwell Irish Community Association, Langley Park Lodge Community Centre, Langley High Street, B69 4SL.

Talents can be anything from knitting or crochet to spelling or telling a funny story? What’s your talent?

Come along to have the chance to join in with their drama inspired workshops and you could showcase your talent and have fun.

What will happen in the workshops:

  • You will find your voice and share your stories! Find your funny stories, make friends and discover hidden talents.
  • Using fun exercises, we will build confidence in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
  • The workshops are led by Rachel Sambrooks writer, comedian, performer, published poet and Suzan Spence a writer and performer.

Who is it for?

  • The workshops are aimed at people who want to discover their talents.
  • You should be aged 18 or over.
  •  Sandwell residents.

Our aim

  • To improve mental health and confidence through fun and laughter.
  • We hope to build up a group of enthusiastic volunteers to join in the interactive parts of the main show.
  • During and after workshops we will talk to you and support you in sharing your talents and stories.

I am interested so what do I need to do?
Email Suzan at for more details and to confirm attendance on the workshop as places are limited.

If you play a musical instrument please bring it with you.

Statisticians for Society – helping you to collect, analyse and present your data

Statisticians for Society is a pro bono scheme that connects professional statisticians and charitable organisations that need expert help with collecting, analysing and presenting data. Set up by the Royal Statistical Society in 2017, the scheme has become an effective way for organisations to receive support from statistical experts at no cost. Over 100 organisations have been matched with statisticians, helping to fulfil their charitable aims and objectives.

It is free and open to charities and other third sector organisations with an annual income of less than £1million. You can read case studies of some organisations that have benefitted from the service HERE.

They are hosting an event called ‘How data and evidence brought chamber music to Welsh communities’. The event will be held on Friday 10 June 2022 from 1pm – 2.30pm where you will have the chance to hear about the impact the initiative has had on Ensemble Cymru. This is a fantastic opportunity to find out how the charity worked with a statistician to understand their audience and gained insights into securing new audiences for their performances across Wales. Book your FREE place HERE.

This event will be of interest to voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations if you are interested in better understanding the data your organisation collects, and using data & evidence to make important decisions, to fundraise or even promote your organisation

Places of Welcome – Want to Find Out More?

Transforming Communities Together is hosting an informal, one-hour, online workshop for anyone interested in joining the Places of Welcome network, starting their own Place of Welcome or just wanting to know.

The Connecting Communities with Places of Welcome event is at 10.30 am on Friday, 24th June 2022.

Click here to register your interest via Eventbrite.

We Want to Hear from Residents

Sandwell Council are currently undertaking a Needs Assessment about Alcohol and other Drugs.  As part of the Needs Assessment we are consulting a host of stakeholders- most important is that we hear from Sandwell residents.

Alongside future planned focus groups we are hoping to seek feedback and views via the below online survey:https://wh1.s

The survey is aimed at everyone – not just those who currently/ever used but to hear from residents impacted by drug or alcohol use including the impact on the wider community and environment.

The survey closes on the 20th May 2022


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