Safer, Stronger Communities

Category Archives

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

New Rapid Covid-19 Testing to Start in Sandwell

Rapid coronavirus testing will start on Monday (21 December) in Sandwell.

West Bromwich Town Hall has been converted into a large testing site able to accommodate 12 testing points at any one time.

In contrast to traditional testing methods which can take a few days to return a result, the new rapid testing technology offers a result on the same day.

The fastest and easiest way to book a test is online at

Anyone not able to access the internet can call 0121 569 6999 (weekdays).

To be eligible for a test you must not have any Covid-19 symptoms and you must not be self-isolating. Anyone experiencing symptoms should book a standard swab test at the Government website at

Sandwell’s Deputy Council Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “If you have no Covid-19 symptoms but want to take a test, then this rapid method gives you a quick result – I’ve been one of the guinea pigs testing out our process and I can tell you it’s very easy.

“Some people will want to get tested on a regular basis so that they can reduce the chance that they will accidentally pass the virus on to someone they love.

“Rapid tests are also being made available to health and care workers, as well as other frontline staff, via their organisations.

“Having a large site at West Bromwich Town Hall will mean we can test lots of people quickly. We will also look to open up more sites in other areas of Sandwell in the near future.”



Charity Fraud In A Pandemic

The Fraud Advisory Panel has released a new help sheet to help Charities stay safe during the pandemic and beyond. The help sheet has been created in partnership with Cancer Research UK, Charity Commission for England and Wales, Charity Finance Group, National Cyber Security Centre and the Small Charities Coalition.

By changing the way many charities must operate, the coronavirus pandemic has created new vulnerabilities which fraudsters and cybercriminals may exploit. This brief guide looks at what they are and how you can respond.

Click here to view the help sheet.

Source: Fraud Advisory Panel

The Wider Determinants of Healthy Life Expectancy (WHoLE) Programme

The Wider Determinants of Healthy Life Expectancy (WHoLE) Programme is one of the first pieces of work led by the Healthier Futures Partnership and has produced a report called Working Together for a Healthier Post-COVID Future.

Healthier Futures want to hear what you think it’s like to live well in the Black Country & West Birmingham.

Phase two needs your input as Healthy Futures explore “What if”

Take the opportunity to discuss your ideas with your peers and consider if you lived in a world where everyone in the Black Country & West Birmingham thrived.

What do great communities look like?
What does everyone need to thrive?
How do we get there?
Who would you involve?

Everyone is welcome: service users, patients, families, carers, members of the public, community organisations and more.

Sign up here and join the discussion on 10 December 2020, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm.

In the meantime, visit the Healthier Futures website for more information on the work they are doing.



Ovacome is launching its Multilingual Awareness Campaign.

Ovarian cancer charity Ovacome is launching the first multilingual awareness campaign in the West Midlands outlining the symptoms of the disease — which is characterised by bloating — in seven languages.

The campaign, running from November 18th, is aimed at reaching at least 40,000 people across the region from diverse communities, with printed material, press coverage and short educational videos which can be shared on social media.

Leaflets from the charity, which opened a hub in Dudley last year, will start appearing in medical centres and other public spaces across the region in Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu and English.

And for those people who do not have English as their first or preferred language, Ovacome has set up phone lines in each of these languages, in a bid to support as well as to reach out to more diverse groups with the symptoms message.

With many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer being in common with less serious conditions, they are often easy to dismiss, says Ovacome. It has come up with the easy to remember BEAT acronym of the main signs of what to look out for:

B is for bloating that doesn’t come and go; E is for eating difficulty and feeling full more quickly; A is for abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days and T is for toilet changes, in urination or bowel habits.

If you have these symptoms chances are that you will not have ovarian cancer, but it is worth getting checked out by your GP if they are new and persistent.

This is the central message of the campaign — made possible by an £86,485 grant from the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund. It comes at a crucial time in cancer diagnosis, with the pandemic causing many people to delay getting symptoms checked out, says the charity.

“We want to get the message out there loud and clear, in seven languages, that if you have persistent bloating, or any of the other main symptoms don’t put off contacting your GP”, says Ovacome’s West Midlands regional hub co-ordinator Laura Nott.

“The smear test will not pick up the disease and so it is for us all to be aware of changes to our body and not be too ready to brush off any abdominal changes as being nothing to worry about,” she adds.

Laura is also keen to hear from local partnership organisations and people in the NHS who might want to share the charity’s multi-language resources, even if they are outside of the West Midlands.

“We recognise that we are in a unique position to have this invaluable awareness material in so many languages and of course we want to make the most of this for the wider good,” says Laura.

The campaign has been welcomed by Ameena Muflihi, community officer of the Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell, who helped Ovacome put together the film and leaflet in Arabic.

“What this is doing is putting out a friendly hand and saying that ‘we are here for you in the language that you feel most comfortable communicating in’,” says Ameena. “Medical material can be overwhelming, but this content is in laymen’s terms and will build the bridge between the barriers of language. Being able to sit and listen to a video in your own language will make the information easier to process and could make all the difference between somebody getting symptoms checked out or not.”

  • If you would like to get in touch with Laura contact
  • The support line telephone numbers ask callers to leave their name and contact details and information of what support they need and Ovacome will arrange to return their call with an interpreter.

The numbers are:

Arabic – 0121 647 6630

Bengali – 0121 647 6631

Gujarati – 0121 647 6632

Polish – 0121 647 6633

Punjabi – 0121 647 6634

Urdu – 0121 647 6635

Advice and guidance from the Counter Terrorism Policing to Faith groups

Following the recent attacks in France and Austria, the local Policing Unit at Sandwell would like to send a message. West Midlands Police are always here to help and support, and understand that these times can raise community concerns.

To report a crime, incident or any concerns, please contact the police via Live Chat on the website, www.west-midlands.police.ukbetween 8 am and midnight or call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

This is an emotive time for all faiths, communities and those people affected. Please be vigilant of any concerns related to these attacks with individual or groups, and let the police know. There will be a lot of talk and discussion, on online platforms and social media, so please ensure children and the vulnerable are kept safe online. If you need advice, guidance or resources on online safety, please contact Prevent Education Officer, at or call 07790396643.

Sandwell Prevent Team contacts.

Further information.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Lifestyles

Since March 2020, when the UK Government introduced COVID-19 ‘Emergency Lockdown Measures’, there has been very limited information on how different ethnic groups have managed or are managing throughout this health crisis.

The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) has funded Community Education Academy of Leadership (CEAL) to compile a research report of ethnic communities to learn more about how they coped and opportunities that can come out of this health situation to readdress issues to do with lifestyles, health and wellbeing. As part of the project, we will be devising a Lifestyles Toolkit for all communities.

Please therefore spend a few minutes completing this questionnaire. For each question, you can tick as many boxes as possible; the answers you give will remain strictly confidential.

The project starts from October 2020 and is due to finish in March 2021. Please submit your questionnaire back to us before 10 November 2020.

You can access the (Google Form) Questionnaire HERE

Anti-Slavery Day Events at Medaille Trust

Medaille Trust’s mission is to provide refuge and freedom from modern slavery. The Charity is the largest provider of supported safe house beds for victims of modern slavery in the UK.

Medaille Trust began in 2006 when one lady – Sister Ann Teresa SSJA (now life president) – said ‘something must be done’ and began tackling the scourge of modern slavery. Specialist teams support clients 24/7 on the road to restoration and independence.

With less than three weeks to go until Anti-Slavery Day 2020, Medaille are delighted to announce they will be taking events on-line.   Check out their events page and join them for a series of interactive webinars, covering Spot the Signs, how communities can combat modern slavery, Interactive Day in life of our houses, Story of Medaille Trust and Q&A panel event with CEO Garry Smith and guests.

There is an opportunity to view a fantastic photographic collaboration between their clients and photographer Fiona Yaron-Field throughout the week of the 18th October.

Medaille look forward to seeing you there!

For more information email or visit the website.

Young people sought for Hands, Face and Space Focus Group

Are you between 16 – 25 years old?  Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG would like to hear from you. The Clinical Commissioning Group would like to invite you to participate in an informal group chat, which will last for about an hour and a half. They would love to hear your thoughts on:

• The various national campaigns about Coronavirus. For example, the most recent one on hands, face and space
• Hand sanitising/washing hands
• Face coverings/masks
• Social distancing
• Government Guidelines.

The information and insight gathered from talking to the Focus Group will help the CCG frame messages aimed at young people in the future.

You will have the opportunity for:
• A one to one talk with a team member virtually
• A group chat with a member and other young people virtually
• A group chat with a team member and your friends virtually.

To book a place
If you would like to take part, please email or telephone 0121 612 1447, so that you can be sent the joining details.

If you live, work or study in Sandwell, please book onto Monday 12th October 2020: 2 pm – 3.30 pm.

If you live, work or study in West Birmingham, please book onto Monday 12th October 2020: 10 am – 11.30 am.

The CCG need your help to get the message through to other young people about this virus and see how we can work together to beat it.

New-look Autumn Safer 6 Campaign Has Online Focus

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign is getting under way today (Monday 21 September) with a special online focus this year.

The Safer Sandwell Partnership campaign, now in its 11th year, will promote a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice over the next six weeks.

The campaign will also support the ongoing promotion of advice and guidelines around Covid-19, to help protect people from the virus.

Each of the six weeks will have a different theme:
• Week 1 (21-27 September): Health and wellbeing
• Week 2 (28 September-4 October): Exploitation
• Week 3 (5-11 October): Domestic abuse
• Week 4 (12-18 October): Hate crime
• Week 5 (19-25 October): Modern slavery
• Week 6 (26 October-1 November): Crime and anti-social behaviour

As well as online activities, the Safer 6 team will be targeting advice and information to people via posters, leaflets and community networks.

The campaign is led by Sandwell Council for the Safer Sandwell Partnership, which brings together the council, Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and many other partner organisations.
Sandwell Police Commander Chief Superintendent Ian Green, who chairs the Safer Sandwell Partnership, said: “Organisations work closely together day in, day out throughout the year to make Sandwell a safer, cleaner place.

“Safer 6 builds on that by providing extra advice, information and reassurance as the nights draw in – and it’s especially important this autumn with Covid-19 still giving real challenges and worries for people in our community.

Follow the campaign on Twitter and Instagram using the #Safer6 hashtag and on the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for Safer Sandwell Partnership organisations and services. Go to for a list of key social media accounts taking part in the campaign.

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