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Literature Festival set to launch at Sandwell Libraries

Sandwell Libraries’ Literature Festival gets under way on 14 March, with a range of daytime and evening events across the six towns over the two-week festival.

With a mix of author talks, history fayres, live music and theatre, the festival runs from the 14 to 28 March.

This year, Sandwell Libraries are thrilled to announce Roger Ellory, Mike Gayle and Joanna Toye among the line-up of authors attending. They will be discussing their work and writing experiences and on hand to answer questions and sign books at libraries across the borough.

The festival will open on Saturday 14 March with Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer at Thimblemill Library, a funny and visually stunning one-man performance which includes a bedazzling mixture of theatre, dance and film.

Actor Neil Gore will be bringing the novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists to life in his one-man magic lantern show at Central Library West Bromwich on Saturday 28 March to close the festival. The well-received theatre production by Townsend Productions brings the 1914 novel, set in the building trades of Edwardian England, to life.
The Whiskey Poets, featuring bestselling author Roger Ellory and Martin Smith (formerly of ELO), will be showcasing their country-blues music at Blackheath Library on Saturday 21 March in a show not to be missed.

During the festival fortnight, there will be two local history fairs which will have guest speakers, stallholders and book signings showcasing the Black Country. Wednesbury Library will be hosting their fair on Tuesday 17 March between 10am-3pm and Smethwick Library on Tuesday 24 March 10am-3pm. There will be different speakers each day so pop into Smethwick Library and Wednesbury Library for a programme of the available talks.

Author Grace Caroline Holte will be appearing at Wednesbury Library and Oldbury Library on Tuesday 17 March as part of the local history talks programme during the festival.

Details of all the events are available in all Sandwell Libraries, on and on the council’s site.

The Prince’s Trust: Speak Up Sandwell

The Prince’s Trust, in partnership with Outspoken, will soon be delivering sessions in West Bromwich for the ‘Speak Up Sandwell’ project.

‘Speak Up’ and join the Prince’s Trust to make a short film or podcast about issues that impact you and your community! If you are aged 16 – 30 and feel passionate about your community and young lives, the Prince’s Trust want to hear from you. You may be an artist, musician, film maker, social media influencer or just want your voice heard, this is the project for you.

Go and meet representatives of the Prince’s Trust at the first session on Tuesday, 24th March, 2.00 pm at The Arts Café West Bromwich.  They want to hear from you about the issues you care about and the project you want to be part of. Subsequent sessions will also be on a Tuesday, between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm, on the dates listed below, at The Arts Café in West Bromwich.

Gain a fun insight into the performing industry, develop your performance skills. Create a short film or podcast showcasing your skills. Travel expenses will be reimbursed and taking part will not affect your benefits.

Subsequent sessions will also be on a Tuesday, between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm. on the dates listed below, at The Arts Café in West Bromwich.  Take part in all, or as many sessions as you can.

Tues 31 March
Tues 21 April
Tues 28 April
Tues 5 May
Tues 12 May
Tues 19 May
Tues 2nd June

If you’re interested in taking part or have any questions, send a text to 07534 556 859, or call the Customer Services Team on 0800 842 842.

The Art Yard – Call for Artists for March 2020 Exhibition

The Art Yard would like to invite local arts to register their interest in being apart of their Open Media Exhibition. This is an opportunity for the artist to showcase their work regardless of the medium (i.e. paint, photography, ceramics, sculpture, film metalwork, crafts and much more).

Artists should complete the Submission Form listing all works you would like to exhibit stating the Media, size and selling price, please include any digital images of each work.

The Art Yard charge a small fee for exhibiting your works in their gallery and are to be paid when delivering your works.

For more details see the links below:

They very much look forward to seeing your work and hope you enjoy what we believe will be a successful and exciting Exhibition.

For more information or to submit your completed form please email The Art Yard directly at or call 01384910968.

Victims Summit at Villa Park

David Jamieson, the Police and Crime Commissioner, would like to invite you to the 2020 Victims Summit on the 27th of February 2020, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm at Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park, Birmingham B6 6HE.

The Summit will bring together services he has commissioned, regionally and locally, as a result of recommendations made by the Victims Commission. The Commission has played an integral role, assisting him to shape delivery for victims of crime across the region and over the past 5 years he has commissioned some new and innovative projects to support victims in ways which are meaningful to them.

The Summit will address ‘Online Abuse and Technological Victimisation’ which will be the theme of the summit.

The morning will address challenges of online abuse and tech victimisation from the perspective of survivors/victims, an academic from BCU and providers funded to support victims through the PCC’s Office. The Victims’ Commissioner, Vera Baird, will also give an overview of the work being undertaken by her office in 2020.

The afternoon slot will address remedies and support available for victims from the point of view of NSPCC, Refuge’s specialist Tech Abuse Service and a panel made up of all the speakers.

Please book your place via Eventbrite.


World Autism Awareness Day – 2nd April 2020

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

There are around 700,000 people on the Autism spectrum also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the UK.

Project Aspie will be hosting a Special Event – Celebrating World Autism Awareness Day at Somerset House between 18.00 pm – 20.00 pm.

This event will be focusing on People’s Stories Celebrating Asperger’s and Autism Awareness and Autism Lived Experience and The Positives of Mental Strength and Neurodiversity and Inclusion in the Work Place.

This event will feature Special Guests and Special Guest Speakers who do amazing work within the community.

Details of Special Guest Speakers for this event will be announced very soon.

Somerset House has a relaxed environment and has easy accessibility for people to attend.

Tickets Required on Entry. Please Register via Eventbritehttps://project-aspie-2-april-2020-celebrating-world-autism-awareness-day-tickets-93568669409

Somerset House is situated 5 minutes from Birmingham New Street Train Station and Grand Central.

Address for Somerset House is 37 Somerset House, Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5DP.

For more information on this Special Event to Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day please feel free to contact Project Aspie on 0121 312 0587 or 07821548904 or e-mail

Shape Summer Festival 2020 Call for Stand Holders

Sandwell Council are looking for organisations who would like to attend SHAPE Summer Festival 2020. They have a stage available if any dance groups would like to perform. If you are interested please return the completed Registration Form by 5pm on 28th February 2020 to and return to

Sandwell Council SHAPE Programme and #MoveMoreSandwell have joined forces to bring ‘Summer Fest 2020’ this year on 2 days Saturday 11th July and Sunday 12th July 2020 at Sandwell Valley.

Aims & Objectives
Summer Fest has traditionally been an opportunity for organisations to promote and showcase services they offer for children and young people, particularly during the summer holidays. It provides a platform to speak to parents and families about the services you offer and keeping their children involved in positive activities. Saturday’s event will be tailored towards children and young people, it will include the careers expo as last year did and on stage will have a Champion of Champions talent show with the winners of SHAPE Your Talent performing.

Move More Sandwell aims to encourage all Sandwell residents to ‘move more’ by being physically active, whoever they are and however they want to. The Sunday Move More Sandwell festival will provide residents with the opportunity to try various taster sessions on offer from local physical activity and sport providers and participate in informal competitions and tournaments. Residents will then be encouraged to sign up to the programmes/ activities that they enjoyed the most.

Local Community Organisations
For the last 2 years we have successfully had a culture theme for the festival celebrating the diversity of Sandwell and linking to Sandwell’s Vision 2030.  This year we would like to do the same. As a community organisation if you would like to promote your services to young people and would like to host some activities to share your culture.

We are also looking for cultural music, dance or entertainment for the music stage, if you are aware of any artists who can bring your culture to life on stage then please also send us details.

Local Businesses/ Careers/ Apprenticeship/Training Providers
If your organisation offers careers, apprenticeship, training or further education opportunities then please also get in touch to be part of the careers expo taking place at the event.

If your organisation would like to be a sponsor for the event please let us know to be sent the details of our sponsorship package.

Sports/Physical Activity Providers
If you are a sports/activity provider and would like to organise a tournament on one or both of the days, then please register your interest.

Register your interest by clicking here and returning to by  5pm on Friday 28th February 2020 (please note all forms after the deadline date will not be accepted).

Climate Change Consultation Event

The consultation event taking place in Wednesbury to hear the views of people who live and work in Sandwell on the Climate Change Strategy. 

Tuesday 25th February
5:30pm – 7pm
At Park Hill Primary School, Coronation Road, Wednesbury, WS10 0TJ

Please consider expressing your own views, and encouraging others to do the same. If you are unable to attend the consultation event, there is an online questionnaire that you can complete instead:


Half-Term fun at Sandwell Park Farm

There’s lots happening at Sandwell Park Farm in West Bromwich this February half-term.

Take the kids along to meet our animals – including the alpacas, goats, chicks and lambs. Plus we have craft activities on every day during the holidays (Saturday 15 February to Sunday 23 February).

Every day, visitors will be able to:

• 10.30am – Meet the alpaca
• 11am – Chick handling
• 12pm – Feed the lambs (limited spaces)
• 2pm – Meet the farmer
• 2.30pm – Chick handling
• 3.30pm Feed the lambs (limited spaces)

Plus there will be craft activities for children to enjoy and every child will receive a free carton of apple or orange juice.

Visitors can also check out the tearooms for breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks.

You’ll find Sandwell Park Farm in the heart of Sandwell Valley, West Bromwich – the address is Salters Lane, West Bromwich, B71 4BG.

Admission charges for Sandwell Park Farm during school holidays:
• Adults – £3.50
• Children and concessions (over 60s and visitors with disabilities) – £3
• Family ticket for two adults and up to three children – £14
• Family ticket for one adult and up to three children – £11
Sandwell Park Farm is open almost every day of the year from 10am until 4.30pm. Last admissions are at 4pm.

If you visit regularly, you may benefit from one of our annual passes. We have cut the price of our 12 month passes – giving you 12 months access for the price of six.
• 12 month adult individual pass – £37
• 12 month adult individual concession pass – £27
• 12 month joint pass for two adults – £53.05
• 12 month pass for two adults (concessions) – £42.44
• 12 month family pass (two adults and up to three children) – £68.96

Find out more about Sandwell Park Farm on our website –

Black Country and West Birmingham STP Leadership Development Session

Healthier Futures Black Country and West Birmingham are holding a short leadership development Session.

The STP (Sustainability Transformation Partnership) is a collaboration of organisations across primary care, community services, social care, mental health, acute and specialised services across the Black Country and West Birmingham.

For more information about the Black Country and West Birmingham STP visit

A leadership development session is being held in Sandwell on Tuesday 10th March from 9.30am – 4.00pm

The Session is aimed at:-
Clinicians and staff who don’t normally access senior leadership development;
Primary Care Network staff including Practice Manager;
Staff from partner agencies, voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

You can register your place from the following link –

The sessions are FREE and there are 30 places available.

Businesses and Voluntary Groups To Give Views on Spending

Company bosses and voluntary groups are to be given the chance to talk to council chiefs on how money is spent on local authority services.

The council has invited business organisations, groups representing local firms and the voluntary sector to a meeting of its Cabinet.

The meeting will give representatives a chance to give feedback to the council on its proposals for expenditure for the next financial year and give their ideas on how services could be improved.

Sandwell Council is required to consult with such groups under the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
An informal consultation meeting will be held at 5pm on Wednesday 19 February at Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury.

Councillor Wasim Ali, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for resources and core services, said: “It is important that the business and voluntary sectors are given a chance to have a say on how they think money should be spent in the borough.
“We will listen to any suggestions or ideas they come up with and they will be discussed by the council at a later date.”

Anyone who wishes to get involved in the consultation should contact Suky Suthi-Nagra on 0121 569 3479

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