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Dorothy Parkes Community Centre Jumble Sale

Come and join Dorothy Parkes Community Centre for a good old fashioned rumble in the jumble sale at the Centre on Saturday 26th January 2019. Stall holders will be selling clothes, toys & bric-a-brac at bargain prices.

The Centre will have some tables selling donated goods with all proceeds going to the Centre to support their community activities. We are accepting donations of clothes, toys & bric-a-brac.

Please note that doors will open at 2pm and close at 4pm.

There are a limited number of tables for sale and they are selling fast (priced at £7.50). Please complete their online booking form and make payment via their website –

If you’d like to find out more contact the Dorothy Parkes Centre on 0121 558 2998 for more details.

Suicide Bereavement Support Services Sandwell

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group hosts a Suicide Bereavement Support Service. The service is funded by money that has been raised for the organisation for this purpose.

The service provides a safe space for people who have been bereaved by suicide to come together and talk openly about their experiences.  Groups are facilitated by trained professionals who bring with them skills and knowledge around coping with grief, loss and bereavement.

If you have been bereaved by suicide, and would like to access the groups, please contact Kaleidoscope on the number provided prior to attending.

The sessions are held on the Second Thursday of the month, 2 pm to 4 pm, at The Mezz, Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane B66 1BB.

For more information call Gillian Reeves on 0121 565 5605 or email

See Beauty and the Beast

Join Dorothy Parkes for a post Christmas ‘pick me up’ as they work in partnership with Black Country Touring.

Multi Story Theatre Company presents Beauty and the Beast – A pre-Disney version of a well-loved tale.

An old woman who claims to be a princess and a reluctant security guard use music, song, puppetry, and projection to play out the traditional tale of Beauty and the Beast. Nothing is quite as it seems in this lively and inventive version of the hugely popular story presented by on one the UK’s most respected children’s theatre companies.

Children and adults alike enjoy both the bravura fun of the storytelling and the genuine drama and pathos of the tale as it unfolds.  The production, for children aged 5 – 11 and their families,on Saturday, 19 January 2019 at 2.30 pm and 4.00 pm.

Tickets are £3.00 adults and £2.00 children and can be purchased online or at the Centre, Church Road, Smethwick B67 6EH.

There will be light refreshments and the chance to enter a raffle.

Still Time for a Say on Design of Aquatics Centre

There’s still time for residents to have their say on the design of Sandwell’s state-of-the-art Aquatics Centre.

A public survey and drop-in sessions are seeking the views of local people who can help shape the £60million building in Smethwick.

Alongside the swimming facilities, the centre will boast a dry-dive facility, 108-station gym, a 25-station lady-only gym, three activity studios, an eight-court sports hall, indoor cycling studio, sauna/steam room and café.

The centre will also host the swimming and diving competitions for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Plans include a 50m Olympic-sized competition swimming pool, a 25m diving pool, a studio pool and 1,000 spectator seats – plus temporary seats that will be added for the Games.

The site, at Londonderry Playing Fields, will also include 450 on-site car parking spaces, a football pitch and changing facilities, an improved urban park and children’s play area.

The council has organised consultation sessions for residents to come along and discuss proposals ahead of a planning application being put forward.

The drop-in sessions will be held on:

•          Tuesday 8 January – 5pm-8pm at St Mark’s Church, Thimblemill Road
•          Thursday 10 January – 9am-5pm at St Mark’s Church, Thimblemill Road
•          Tuesday 15 January – 4-6pm at Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road

Residents can also have their say by completing an online survey at

The pre-planning consultation closes on Sunday 20 January.

Charities SORP Open for Consultation

The Charity Commission have launched a consultation to seek views on how best to reform the process for developing the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), and to make recommendations for any necessary changes to ensure the SORP remains fit for the future.

The consultation will run until 4 February 2019, with responses published by 30 April 2019.

This follows the recent expansion of the SORP-making body that sets the framework for charity financial reporting to incorporate the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland with the Charities Regulatory Authority for the Republic of Ireland as observer.

The SORP-making body welcomes feedback to explore changes to the way the Charities SORP is developed, to ensure it continues to serve the information needs of those with an interest in the charity sector and the sector itself.

Judith Hayhow, Head of Support Services at the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said:

“If the Charities SORP isn’t right, the accounts that charities produce won’t be right for those who need to use them. That’s why we as regulators are committed to opening up and inviting feedback on the way in which the SORP is developed.”

You can have your say by clicking here.

Source: FSI

Sandwell in the Spotlight Thanks to National Lottery Players

Parks, nature reserves, local history and community memories are among the many features of Sandwell life that have been boosted since the area was given special status by the National Lottery.

Prior to 2013, Sandwell had not benefitted from HLF support as greatly as other parts of the West Midlands. It was decided to make the borough, one of three priority development areas in the region.

Between April 2013 and October 2018 HLF has awarded no fewer than 46 new grants totalling more than £6million thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

In addition to this new investment into the area, a further £4.19million National Lottery funding was confirmed in 2013 for the delivery of two major projects in Sandwell.

Sandwell’s flagship award saw £3.8m to support the restoration of Lightwoods Park and House. Rescued from serious decay, the Grade II listed House dating back to 1791, has been restored to its former glory. It is now a popular high-quality venue for a wide range of community activities as well as public and private events.

Meanwhile the surrounding park has seen numerous historical elements brought back to life, including drinking fountains, the 19th century bandstand and the unusual Shakespeare Garden, featuring plants and shrubs from the Bard’s plays.  The restoration was carried out by Sandwell Borough Council and was boosted by a further £1.5m from the Big Lottery.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was given £630,000 to improve its Sandwell Valley Nature Reserve, a site teeming with more than 200 bird species and many more hundreds of plants and butterflies. The grant meant that a larger, better visitor centre could be built, replacing an earlier building that had been devastated in an arson attack in 2010.

The project has also enabled the RSPB to attract volunteers and publicise more widely the much loved 10-hectare site that provides a vital ecological habitat just outside Birmingham.

Sandwell Citizens Advocacy received just over £85,000 for its Living Memory project to share the unique photography collections and life stories from the diverse communities across the Black Country.

The work, which is well underway, is busy documenting different aspects of everyday life that have been captured through people’s own photographs.  The images hidden in family albums, stored away in shoeboxes, and treasured in the collections of local enthusiasts can all offer rich perspectives on a rapidly changing society. A special website has been created, more than 50 workshops hosted, 60 personal stories shared, more than 900 historic photographs are been professionally archived, and a travelling exhibition put together.

A much more modest but no less important HLF-supported project was Within Walking Distance – Landmarks of Langley, which help the local community celebrate the unique heritage of their area. Centred on Langley Library, where the Friends group was given a £9,800 grant, the project mapped out twenty-four historical landmarks within a square mile, revealing the story of this living and working environment over the past 170 years.

Local people explored different aspects of heritage through workshops, presentations and displays.  A travelling exhibition will have visited several venues by January when elements of it go on permanent display at Langley Library. An animated film with poetry composed by Black Country poet Emma Purshouse is available on YouTube and local primary school children went on guided walks led by older members of the community sharing information across the generations.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “Our focus on Sandwell as a priority area for funding over the past six years has resulted in a fantastic range of projects that have transformed so many aspects of local history and heritage. And we have the generosity of National Lottery players to thank for making this possible.”

The National Lottery has awarded a total of £23.25m to 162 projects in Sandwell between November 1994 and March 2018.

Source: Heritage Lottery Fund

Something Magical This Christmas for Vulnerable People

Socially-isolated people will get to enjoy a magical Christmas concert from The People’s Orchestra for free thanks to a town grant from Sandwell Council.

The aim is to give people who might not usually get to hear a live orchestra – perhaps due to being older or having a disability – the opportunity to enjoy a new experience.

The town grant will give free entry to around 200 people who are socially isolated to the Something Magical concert at West Bromwich Town Hall on Saturday 15 December at 6.30pm. Some tickets are still available, to reserve tickets the orchestra is encouraging groups to get in touch.

The People’s Orchestra will be playing film music from family favourites including Cinderella, Home Alone, Polar Express and Aladdin as well as Harry Potter and Star Wars. People attending can also sing along to well-known Christmas classics.

West Bromwich town chair Councillor Shirley Hosell said the £1,575 grant was an early Christmas present to people who might otherwise struggle to attend a live concert.

The People’s Orchestra was set up in 2012 and has grown to become a vital part of the cultural fabric of the West Midlands – providing a forum for talented amateur musicians to come together to inspire and enthuse audiences of all ages.

It is known for its diverse programme of film, TV and popular music arrangements as well as new commissions and it has worked with an array of both established and new composers and conductors. These have included award-winning British film composer John Altman, Conductor Rob Spalton and rising film composer John Koutselinis.

Sarah Marshall from The People’s Orchestra said: “Social welfare is one of our key values. This extends to community inclusion – we believe everyone in our community should have access to arts and culture.

The People’s Orchestra has contacted local care homes, supported living schemes and community organisations to invite people to the Something Magical concert.
If you or someone you know is socially isolated and would like to attend the concert, please call The People’s Box Office on 0121 569 2616 or email for more information.

SAFS’s Winter Wonderland

SAFS will be holding a Winter Wonderland at their offices at Windmill Community Centre, Messenger Road, Smethwick B66 3DX on Friday, 14 December 2018. The fun starts at 4.30 pm.  Everyone is welcome.

There will be refreshments, table top sales, Santa’s Grotto, a selfie station, karaoke korner, choirs/performances and surprises!!!!

Call 0121 558 2198 if you would like more information or would like to volunteer.

Recognising and Reporting Serious Incidents – What You Need to Know

Recognising and Reporting Serious Incidents – What You Need to Know. This joint event with the Charity Commission is being held on Thursday 14th February 2019, from 1.30pm – 6:00 pm Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 6 Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2EP.

The aim of the workshop is to provide an opportunity to hear about the way in which the Charity Commission views serious incidents and how they handle the reports which are made to them. This is about helping you understand the reasons for reporting a serious incident in your charity. Whilst the circumstances of incidents vary in type and in the impact they have, Chairs and trustees can work to limit the likelihood of an incident happening and to minimise the impact on the charity when they do. We will take a closer look at fraud and safeguarding as these are areas where serious incidents are most common. Representatives of the Charity Commission will talk to us about their approach to these issues and lead group discussions on the issues.

Timings for the event are:

  • 1.30 pm- Registration and refreshments
  • 2:00 pm – Start
  • 5:00 pm – Drinks reception and networking
  • 6:00 pm – Close

This event is open to Chairs and Vice Chairs although priority for places is given to our members. It is a free event.

Why not become a member of The Association of Chairs and get early priority booking as well as additional membership benefits such as copies of their guides? You can join if you are a Chair or Vice Chair of a charity or non-profit organisation (see full eligibility criteria). It costs just £50 for those from organisations with incomes under £5 million and £100 if your organisation’s income is over £5 million.

For more information or to book your place click here.

Source: Association of Chairs

West Bromwich Town Centre Summit

This is your invitation to the West Bromwich Town Summit to be held on Wednesday, 19 December 2018, 10 am – 12 noon, in the Council Chambers at Sandwell Council House.

Join Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, to co-ordinate activity to reduce issues currently facing West Bromwich Town Centre, and shape the actions to reduce Homelessness, Rough sleeping, Crime, Organised crime gangs and ASB.

Please make every effort to attend or if you are unable to attend please consider sending a representative. Please feel free to forward the invitation on to colleagues.

To book your place please reply to by the 14 December 2018.

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