Safer, Stronger Communities

Category Archives

Become a Governor of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT)

Are you 16 years or over and live in either Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Dudley or Birmingham and the wider West Midlands? Are you passionate about the NHS and want to make a difference by helping shape the future of mental health, learning disability and children’s services?

If so, why not nominate yourself in this year’s governor elections to become a Governor of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT). As a Governor, you will sit on our Assembly of Governors and represent your own views and the views of local people, as well as have the opportunity to shape the future and delivery of services that better meet the needs of the people that we serve.

To be a governor, all you need to have is enthusiasm and commitment for the role and an interest in your local NHS services. Whilst the role of the governor is a voluntary one, you will receive on-going training and support to give you the confidence and skills as well as the right knowledge to enable you to take on this important role.

If this is an opportunity that you have been looking for, don’t delay in submitting your application online, from Wednesday 2 June.  Nominations close at 5 pm on Wednesday 30 June.

For more information about being a Governor, see how to apply, details of drop-in Zoom sessions, contacts and useful links, click here.

If you have any queries or would like to request a hard copy nomination form, contact Ciara Hutchinson at Civica Election Services on 020 8889 9203 at


“Understanding Extremism” training – FREE to attend

The Sandwell Council Prevent Team are pleased to offer FREE Understanding Extremism training for community groups & staff.

This training explores issues relating to the ideology of global jihadism and the Extreme Far Right and also covers: The Prevent Strategy, including case studies of extremism and radicalisation.

There is also the opportunity to hear from two guest speakers:

Dave Allport – Founder and Director of REWIND UK
Dave has been challenging racism and extremism for over 25 years in Sandwell. He specialises in the Extreme Far-Right and has worked as a Home Office intervention provider, working with over 200 individuals including members of the EDL, National Front, and many more. His organisation, Rewind UK, now delivers training to schools and organisations.

Sarfraz Khan – Sandwell Childrens Trust Prevent Youth Officer
Sarfraz has been at the forefront of Sandwell’s Prevent work for over 10 years, working as the Youth Officer across the Council and the Children’s Trust. He specialises in ‘Islamist’ and ISIS- inspired terrorism and its ideological foundations and has worked with numerous young people in Sandwell. He also delivers Prevent training to organisations across the borough.

The training takes place on Wednesday 2nd June 2021 at 15:00 – 17:00 and will be delivered online via Microsoft Teams (no software required!)

If you are interested, please email:

West Midlands Police and Crime Panel seeks Independent Panel Member

The West Midlands Police and Crime Panel are looking for a community-minded individual to become a member. You will act as an independent voice, sitting alongside Councillors from the seven local councils in the West Midlands area, to scrutinise the work of the elected Police and Crime Commissioner.

The West Midlands has recently elected a new Police and Crime Commissioner whose job it is to make sure West Midlands Police is run effectively and community needs are met. They set the police budget and priorities and bring together community safety and criminal justice partners to fight crime and help victims.

The Panel is an independent body that publicly scrutinises the activities and priorities of the Commissioner – acting as a critical friend by providing both constructive challenge and support. The Panel is an integral part of the governance structures for policing by promoting open, accountable and transparent decision-making.

This is an exciting opportunity for a member of the public with community-based experience and an interest in policing, community safety and victim support, to apply their insight and skills to reviewing the strategic plans, budget and performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Term of appointment:
Fixed three-year term, starting in July 2021.

This is a voluntary role but travel and carers expenses can be claimed.

Induction and other appropriate training will be provided.

Time commitment:
Attendance at approximately six meetings a year plus preparation time. Meetings are usually held on Mondays 1 pm – 5 pm, across the West Midlands. Dates for the year are set in advance. More information about the Police and Crime Panel and the Independent Panel Member role is in our Recruitment Pack

See details on how to apply at  Applications forms should be returned to

The closing date for applications is 6 June 2021. Interviews will be week commencing 28 June 2021. The first Panel meeting will be on 12 July 2021.

For informal inquiries please contact the Panel Officer on email at

Applicants must be over 18 and live or work in the West Midlands. Please see full eligibility criteria in the recruitment pack. The Panel welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, including those with caring responsibilities.


Can you help Friends of Tividale Park and their new Community Hub?

Friends of Tividale Park are looking for a handy person / someone who does a bit of community engagement for their organisation who can build a single step to aid access to the hub.
You can click on the photo below to see what sort of solution is required (circled in pale blue) and the Friends group will purchase all the necessary materials … they just need your time and skill.

A picture of the area for which the step is required.

The community hub in Tividale Park has gone from being a weed trap, which was cleared with the help of Litter Watch last year, to a fully tarmacked area, with brand-new car park, access to toilets and running water in the refurbished changing rooms adjacent.
One of our current goals is to start a community gardening social and friendship group, with finding support from Tesco and its Covid grant funding to help fund new community services.
Is there anyone who can help us kick off this project? It will be based at the hub, and we are looking at buying planters, gardening equipment, flowers and plants, and have access to the hub for tea coffee and a chat.
The group is also holding its Annual General Meeting in May and are looking for nominations for anyone who might be interested in either the role of Secretary or simply just getting involved in new community projects.

To find out more, contact: or complete the online form on the group’s website (above).

Brum YODO and Dying Matters Awareness Week

So what is BrumYODO?

We’re a Community Interest Company made up of growing group of artists, undertakers, food artists, hospices, palliative care professionals and generally all-round interesting folk.

We believe that there is such a thing as a good death – but it will only happen if we, the people demand it. We will only demand it if we understand what we need to demand, and we will only understand it if we talk about it.

Our Vision is a society which talks openly and honestly about death

We believe talking openly about death helps us prepare for dying and loss. We design and create safe spaces for conversations through collaboration, and deliver life-enhancing public events.

In 2017 we created a new Birmingham-based festival as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week called “A Matter of Life and Death” – everything you wanted to know about death and dying but were afraid to ask. Which has run annually with a diverse programme including panel talks and debates, films, creative workshops, performances, exhibitions, and other arts activities.

During 2020 because of Covid we switched to online provision spreading out our events throughout the year and in Spring 2021 we are returning with a mixed menu of online events and In Memoriam in Aston Hall combined with ‘Without Walls’ community engagement programme.

Covid-19 vaccination support for people with a learning disability

Jigsaw Events is a small charity that provides a range of support to people with a learning disability in Sandwell.

We are working with Sandwell Council to support the vaccine roll-out to people with a learning disability in the borough. We will have a particular focus on the group of people who are not eligible for formal support and have limited family and peer support.

We can help people with a learning disability who are referred to us in the following ways:

  • booking an appointment
  • sending a letter to remind them when and where their appointments are
  • making sure their GP practice knows they have a learning disability
  • talking to them about Covid-19 or the vaccines if they have any concerns
  • helping them to work out a travel plan to get to the vaccination centre
  • reminding them on the day
  • giving easy read information about the vaccine
  • talking to them afterwards to see how they got on

In addition we will

  • ensure all people with a learning disability are registered with a GP, and that their records note they have a learning disability.
  • accept referrals from Healthy Sandwell and other partner agencies
  • make referrals to Healthy Sandwell and other partners in order to provide additional support and resolve any issues the residents might be experiencing
  • share our learning about the barriers and solutions in working with this hard-to-reach group
  • develop joined-up approaches with public health to improve the health and well-being of residents with a learning disability

To refer people, please contact us on 07543 194887 or email

The project will be running until the end of August 2021.

Learn about Hate Crime from the Crown Prosecution Service

The Independent Members of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, Black Country Innovate and the Crown Prosecution Service would like to invite you to attend a workshop on hate crimes. The event takes place on place on Wednesday, 17th March 2021.

The aim of the workshop is to explore what constitutes a hate crime, how to report one, raise awareness and build resilience in communities to tackle hate crimes.

The workshop will end with a Q&A session, when you will have the opportunity to put questions to the CPS.

This event is open to all.  To register click here.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Victims Summit

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has announced his final annual Victims Summit will be taking place virtually on Thursday, 25th February 2021. The theme of this year’s summit is ending Violence against Women and Girls.

Violence against women and girls has been defined by the United Nations as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.’

Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the reduction in the perpetration of some crime types, violence against women and girls has been referred to as the shadow pandemic with the number of victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence continuing to rise.

A core priority of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan has been preventing and detecting hidden crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage and honour based abuse, FGM and sexual exploitation, many of which have also been held as key priorities of the Victims Commission. The majority of these hidden crimes disproportionately impact women and girls.

The prevention and eradication of violence against women and girls must continue to be prioritised across the whole system and the Victims Summit will enable key stakeholders and partners to come together to hear from Keynote speakers Dame Vera Baird and Jess Philips MP, and engage in discussion on tackling these issues. Themes which will be discussed on the day include violence against women and girls, working effectively with domestic abuse perpetrators, the impact of Covid-19 and PCC priorities.

The agenda and further details of how to access the meeting on Zoom will be shared once partners have signed up to attend.

Please direct any queries to Jennifer Alder, Sexual Assault and Abuse Services Coordinator, on 07436 781920.

‘Strengthening the Sandwell Economy’ – invitation to a Community Conversation

Business in the Community (BITC) and Midland Metro Alliance would be delighted if you could join us for a virtual ‘Community Conversation’ where we will explore how people from all sectors can support the recovery and rebuilding of the Sandwell economy. We believe that resilient communities are made up of collaborative partnerships that are willing to work together and build on local knowledge resulting in long term change.

A Community Conversation is a cross-sector networking event enabling fruitful conversations between business, the voluntary sector and local government. They explore, how everyone working together can build a healthier community.

A key outcome from a Community Conversation is a commitment amongst participants to continue to work together and agree on collaborative actions that can make a real difference in a place.

We want all participants to share their knowledge and perspectives in order to address local needs, we want to draw on the strengths of everyone in a place

BITC will assess actions / pledges / offers after the event and plan for further action.

This Community Conversation will focus on the benefits of improved connectivity with areas of opportunity and major employment sites. To complement this, we would like to explore wider social and environmental issues that all three sectors can address in a collaborative fashion.

In session two, local community organisations have been invited to present a current challenge or idea.

In light of restrictions brought about by Covid-19, we will now be delivering this community conversation as two virtual sessions.

Outline of session one – 24th February, 10:30am click here to register for session one
• Welcome and overview – Business in the Community
• Opening speakers – Midland Metro Alliance and Sandwell Council
• Working together to ‘Build Back’
• Cross sector breakout rooms
• Report back and wrap up
• Close

Outline of session two – 10th March, 10:30am click here to register for session two
• Welcome back and recap from previous session – Business in the Community
• Local Community Presentations x 3 – presenting priorities / opportunities for engagement
• Q & A
• Cross sector breakout rooms
• Report back and actions
• Wrap up / close

The break-out sessions are designed to discuss challenges and ideas and workshop collaborative solutions as a group. This will provide an opportunity for participants to work as part of a cross-sector team, sharing their knowledge to provide real support to local communities.

For questions, please contact Kelly Stackhouse: email – or call – 07921 493274.

You will need access to Zoom to attend this meeting, please click on the links for both sessions above to book your place.

On-line Workshop to Prevent Radicalisation available to Community Groups

Sandwell Council are pleased to be able to offer community groups the opportunity to receive a free workshop from provider Nicola Benyahia. Nicola is an accredited counsellor who lost her son to radicalisation in 2015 as he fought for ISIS in Syria and sadly died whilst in the process of being de-radicalised.

Nicola set up her organisation, Families for Life, as a result of this experience, and she now runs workshops about online safety, boundary setting, communication, healthy relationships and mental health – all of which are of huge importance during this current lockdown.

The workshops aim to provide empowerment and resilience-building and Nicola can tailor her sessions to match the needs. of your group.  The session can be delivered either to the members of your group, or as training for your staff.

Given the current situation, sessions will take place online, so you must be able to access online video platforms such as MS Teams, Skype or Zoom. Sessions typically last an hour and are free for community group to access. However, places are limited so it will be first come first served.

For further information, or to book a session, please contact Lauren Bond on 0121 569 2894 / 07739489241 or email

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