Category Archives

Praise for Big Spring Clean Volunteers

More than 1,600 Sandwell volunteers helped out in this year’s Big Spring Clean campaign to collect a staggering amount of rubbish from sites across the borough.

Volunteers signed up to clean up their areas at 242 events across Sandwell’s six towns in the latest effort by the scheme run by Sandwell Council, its waste partner Serco and local charity Litter Watch.

The 1,665 volunteers came from a range of community groups, local companies and schools across the borough.

They collected huge quantities of litter and filled 2,249 bags of rubbish during more than 2,650 hours of volunteering.

Fun Activities Set for Autumn at West Smethwick Park

People are invited to join the first volunteers’ day at West Smethwick Park later this month to help with conservation work.

It’s all part of the £5.2 million restoration project at the park and inviting the local community to get involved.

Come along on Friday 20 September to join in with woodland conservation activities. No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided. Just wear clothes you don’t mind getting a bit dirty.

Meet at the changing room building at 10.15am for the morning session which runs until 12.45pm or 1.15pm for the afternoon session which runs until 3.30pm. People are welcome to stay for both sessions.

Volunteer sessions will run on the third Friday of each month.
It’s also the park’s first history talk with Ewart Johnson, including memories of the park, on Thursday 19 September, 12.45-1.45pm, at the pavilion in the park. Free entry.

To register for the volunteers’ day or the talk, email WSP_Project@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 4247.

Sandwell Leisure Trust has already started a Wednesday jogging club at the park, with boot camp and ‘dog and jog’ sessions set to launch on Saturday mornings soon. The boot camp starts on 14 September and the ‘dog and jog’ from 21 September.

A junior parkrun will also get under way on Sunday mornings this autumn.

The first phase of the project is restoring historical features including the Grade II listed James Chance Memorial, the John Chance fountain and airmen’s memorial, as well as both entrance gates on West Park Road and Victoria Road.

Building work, including creating a brand new two-storey pavilion, is due to start early next year. The pavilion in the centre of the park will replace the original refreshment rooms that were demolished back in the 1980s.

The work is being funded by a £4.5 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People programme and around £600,000 from Sandwell Council.

The park’s new pavilion, run by Sandwell Leisure Trust, will have a café, public toilets and space for events, classes and exhibitions. The pool will be improved and there will be new outdoor gym equipment, new CCTV and lighting.

Work on the pavilion is expected to be completed by 2020 and the project on the wider park will continue to 2022/23.

For all updates, keep an eye on the park notice board, Facebook page (search ‘West Smethwick Park’) and webpage www.sandwell.gov.uk/westsmethwickpark or email WSP_Project@sandwell.gov.uk

Friends of Central Library Need Your Help – Volunteer Opportunity

Friends of Central Library, West Bromwich (FoCL) is the most recent “Friends” group, dedicated to promoting, improving and sustaining the services available in Sandwell Libraries. Unlike many of the other Libraries in the Borough, which are part of their own local communities, West Bromwich Central Library, the “flagship” of Sandwell Library Service, is set in the High Street Business area.

FoCL was formed by a group of volunteers already assisting in the Library, aiming to represent the views of users, and to contribute to the management and development of the service. Members offer ideas and enthusiasm in promoting both the normal functions of the Library and also a wide range of special events. They are also active in fund raising, to support the programme of special events aiming to encourage the public to see for themselves the facilities of this beautiful historic building.

Why not get in touch with us on 0121 569 4904 to find out how you can become a volunteer and help us to continue to provide activities for our community.

Since FoCL was formed in 2018 members have been able to assist with the funding of activities in the Children’s Section, as well as events featuring local personalities and performers, including well known bands during the Annual Jazz Festival.

West Bromwich Central Library is undergoing a period of considerable change and improvement, and volunteers are needed to assist in many of its activities. FoCL is engaged in developing the Library Cafe in order to offer a daily mid-day facility to act as a meeting place for individuals and groups, to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, to meet new friends, as well as using the Library facilities. Daily newspapers and magazines are always available, and it is hoped that lunchtime programmes of music will be introduced, though there are still dedicated “quiet” areas for study and contemplation.

The Cafe will be run entirely by volunteers, and there are many other opportunities to become involved in the work of one of the most prestigious buildings in Sandwell, helping a dedicated team of staff to develop services for the future.

If you are interested in helping in the Cafe for just 4 hours a week, or any other of the many opportunities in West Bromwich Central Library contact 0121 569 4904 or simply visit the Library and talk to a member of staff or one of the volunteers.

Healthwatch Sandwell: Board Members and Volunteers sought

Healthwatch Sandwell is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in the borough, delivered by Engaging Communities (ECS). The Healthwatch network is made of up of local Healthwatch across each of the 152 local authority areas and Healthwatch England, the national body.

Healthwatch champions the views of patients and social care users across Sandwell. It works to help local people get the best out of their local health and social care services and provide information and signposting, so they understand what services are available and be able to access the right services.

• An Advisory Board member will need to have a good understanding of health, social care and well-being policy issues and challenges facing the NHS and Local Authorities, together with a good awareness of the local environment in Sandwell and how health and social care services are delivered. Please note this is a voluntary position.

If you would like to play a leading part in shaping the future of a vital organisation as a Board member, then Healthwatch would welcome your application. Recruitment packs are available from Aileen Farrer at aileen.farrer@ecstaffs.co.uk or 01785 887809. If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please call Elizabeth Learoyd on 07776090003.

• There is also a range of opportunities for general volunteering. From helping to spread the word about the work, to representing the organisation at meetings, reading and reviewing information and visiting health and social care services on its behalf.

The people that Healthwatch help and support come from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures with a wide range of needs. That is why the organisation seeks volunteers with varying experiences and skills.

For more information or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Healthwatch Sandwell on 0121 569 7210.

Volunteer to help improve public access for walking and cycling

People can join a volunteer group to help improve public access to land and sites across Sandwell for walking and cycling.

Sandwell Local Access Forum (LAF) provides advice to the council on access and rights of way issues and responds to consultations and draft policy documents.

LAF members are volunteers and include a range of local people, including land owners and land managers, walkers, cyclists and horse riders and those representing other interests, such as health and conservation.
Sandwell LAF meets twice a year at Sandwell Council House in Freeth Street, Oldbury. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 3 July at 5.30pm in Room G5. Email transport@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 4151 if you want to come along.

Councillor Jackie Taylor, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for sustainable transport, said: “This is an opportunity for people to get involved with improving public access for walking and cycling, which are both good for the environment as well as boosting health and fitness. I encourage people to get involved with the forum and make their voices heard.”

For more information, go to our www.sandwell.gov.uk/localaccessforum webpage

Volunteers Needed at Friends of Tividale Park

The Friends of Tividale Park Group are seeking new volunteers to join their management committee and to help them plan and deliver community events, come up with new ideas on how to improve the facilities at the park, help to raise the parks profile and a number of other opportunities within the group.

Don’t worry no prior experience of being on a community committee is necessary, as access to training and support will be provided and you can give as little or as much time as you can spare (as a guide you need to be prepared to spare approximately 1-2 hours every week for attendance at meetings and on an occasional basis a few hours in between meetings as required).

The friends of Tividale Park are a residents’ community group who work to improve the park in various ways, including fundraising for new play equipment or improvements to the park, volunteering at community and social events held in the park. So why not get involved and help them to make Tividale Park a real hive of community activity.

If you would like to become a friend or for more information, please email secretary@friendsoftividalepark.org.uk

They would love to hear from anyone who is interested in making a positive difference within their community or would just like to find out more about what is involved.

The Friends of Tividale Park want to bring Tividale Park back into the heart of their community making it a community facility that everyone can be proud of!

Why not take a look at their website at http://www.friendsoftividalepark.org.uk

Volunteers Wanted For Exploring The Heritage of Humour In The Black Country

Creative Black Country is looking for people to get involved with its project Finding Our Funny Roots, which explores how humour in the Black Country is rooted in the heritage of comedians from the past.

Volunteers will support the project by helping to identify research and record the heritage of humour in the Black Country from 1950 -2000 and will work with Creative Black Country, the artists Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists and archives & museums in the Black Country to research and develop four heritage humour tributes celebrating the lives of the Black Country’s forgotten stars.

If you have any questions about this volunteering opportunity, please call me on 0121 525 1127 or email on info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk

The Gap Centre would like to appoint a Company Secretary

The Gap Centre is a vibrant, thriving church-related charity at the very heart of West Bromwich. The Centre offers child care and other children-related facilities, together with youth and community work.

The role of Secretary is to support the Chair and is primarily an administrative role. It will be your responsibility to ensure the Board of Directors conducts itself professionally and effectively and provides sound governance of the charity.

This is a voluntary position with expenses paid, where required.

Main Responsibilities include:
• Responsible for the smooth and efficient running of meetings
• Work collaboratively with the Chair to plan, produce and circulate agendas and supporting papers for Directors meetings.
• Taking minutes and circulating to all Directors
• Checking that Directors and staff have carried out actions agreed at meetings
• Support members in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, organising induction and ongoing training.

Person Specification:
• Experience of undertaking administrative tasks and minute-taking
• Excellent organisational ability and the ability to work collaboratively and provide support to other committee members&
• Knowledge or experience of business and committee procedures
• Experience of senior management or leadership
• Good independent judgement and ability to think creatively
• Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate clearly both in person and in written form and provide timely advice
• Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Directors

Time Commitment and Location:
• To attend a quarterly Board Meeting at The Gap Centre in West Bromwich, or the occasional away day at alternative sites.
• Pre and post board meeting administration.

For further information or to discuss the role, please email Les Trumpeter at ltrumpeter@selectlifestyles.co.uk.

Over 20? Seeking a New Challenge? Volunteers Required


888 Squadron Air Cadets are based in Oldbury and are currently looking to recruit some new volunteers.

RAF Air Cadets Civilian Instructor’s are integral to the success of our organisation and will help the development of young adults as they experience Air Cadet life.

You would help manage, control and organise various activities for our squadron such as teaching, camping, fund raising, sports and any number of available projects. There’s always something to do and the more we do, the better our cadets do and the more you grow!

As the backbone of our organisation we’re always on the look out for high-calibre individuals to become volunteers, helping to run the activities that play such an important role in the lives of our young members.

All kinds of people make up our volunteer staff, coming from a range of backgrounds and interests. Obviously if you have direct experience of working with young people, or any relevant skills such as van driving, flying or rifle shooting, you would be particularly welcome. These aren’t essential though, as we will train and support you at every stage.

That said, you’ll have some personal qualities that are essential, such as patience, maturity and responsibility along with an understanding of young people and their needs. We will aim to develop your own transferable teamwork, teaching, leadership and management skills so you can help us continue our amazing work at 888 Squadron Air Cadets!

You as a staff member will teach by example so we can help you be the best you can be, to motivate, inspire and help the future leaders of our country.

For further information, please contact – training.888@aircadets.org

Healthwatch Sandwell seeks Advisory Board Members

Healthwatch Sandwell is the independent champion for local people’s voices in health and social care in Sandwell.

Healthwatch Sandwell is looking to recruit a number of Advisory Board members who have a passion for developing the organisation as the “consumer champion” for the NHS, public health and adult and children’s social care services across the Borough.

Board members will need to have a good understanding of health, social care and well-being policy issues and challenges facing the NHS and Local Authority, together with a good awareness of the local environment in Sandwell and how health and social care services are delivered.

If you would like to play a leading part in shaping the future of a vital organisation, then Healthwatch Sandwell would welcome your application.

Recruitment packs are available from Aileen Farrer – aileen.farrer@ecstaffs.co.uk or 01785 887809; or online here.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please call Elizabeth Learoyd on 07776090003.

To apply for this role, please submit your application to Aileen Farrer at the email address shown above.

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