Category Archives

Cycle More Sandwell

Are you a keen cyclist and interested in leading rides in and around your local community?  If you would like to help people move more and gain confidence on a bike, then we want to hear from you.

We are offering FREE volunteer courses that will earn you a British Cycling ride leader qualification as well as kit worth over £100.

You don’t need to be super fit, you just have to enjoy cycling and want to encourage more people to get on their bikes. The rides on offer will be a combination of guided rides and learn to ride sessions and will be a great way for people to get outside, improve their fitness and get more confident on a bike!

For more information on how to become a ride leader, please get in touch:
By phone- 0800 011 4656 or 0121 569 5100
By text- text GETHEALTHY to 87007
By email- LS@nhs.net
Or visit- healthysandwell.co.uk/cyclemoresandwell
for more information

Closure of Volunteer Centre Sandwell

Volunteer Centre Sandwell has announced its closure after 42 years of promoting volunteering in Sandwell.  The Centre has released the following statement.

It is with regret that Volunteer Centre Sandwell and The Hands On Project ceased to operate on 31st October 2019.

On behalf of staff and trustees we would like to thank all of our volunteers and partner organisations for your help and support over the past 42 years! The decision to close was not taken lightly.

We sincerely wish you all the best for the future.

With regards to the future of volunteering in Sandwell, local charity SCVO is currently developing a new service around volunteering which supports community organisations and charities in Sandwell to promote opportunities that they have for Sandwell residents to help out through volunteering.  SCVO will also be launching a volunteer opportunities website in the coming months which will enable would-be volunteers to find the experience they’re looking for from a range of different activities and settings. 

For more information visit www.scvo.info/volunteering and sign up to SCVO’s weekly e-bulletin through the home page.



Citizens Advice Witness Service: Outreach Volunteer Information Day

The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free and independent support for both Prosecution and Defence Witnesses giving evidence in a criminal court.. Trained volunteers provide practical information about the court process as well as emotional support to help witnesses feel more confident when giving evidence.

If you are available to volunteer for at least one full day a week, or per fortnight, and able to attend training, then this may be a volunteering opportunity for you.

Citizens Advice will be holding an Outreach Volunteer Information Day at their offices in Birmingham on Friday, 1st November, 10 am and 1 pm. Go along to find out more information about volunteering roles and meet the team.

Please click on the link to register your place at this event.

You can also contact Bev Carty on 07738 329320 or via email beverley.carty@citizensadvice.org.uk, for further information.

Visit the website: Citizens Advice Witness Service.

Volunteer Trustees and Board Adviser Opportunities

Greets Green Community Enterprises (GGCE), is an independent charity supporting and serving the diverse communities in and around the Greets Green, West Bromwich.

Greets Green Community Enterprises owns and manages the Wood Lane Community Centre, which provides the community-facing work of the charity, a nursery and a base for volunteers, along with two small industrial estates that provide the income the charity needs to sustain the community centre and the services delivered from it.

The charity is looking for volunteer Trustees and Board advisers to assist with realising its strategic objectives. Whilst the positions are unpaid, the work is rewarding and reasonable expenses will be paid.  Applicants with a skills background in Finance, Business Development, HR, People, Leadership and Organisation Development, Marketing, Communications and web design/development, Commercial Property Management, Early Years and Nursery Management would be particularly welcomed.

For an informal discussion/more information about the roles, please contact Sue Bartleet-Cross on 0121 525 2772 or email susan.bartleet-cross@ggce.co.uk.

Beat It Percussion seeks Volunteers for new project

Beat It Percussion has a new project, Rhythm and Sound for Well-being, starting in October. Rhythm and Sound for Wellbeing is for people, and their carers, living with memory loss and the early stages of dementia. The sessions will focus on the benefits of group music-making, mental and physical stimulation, inclusion and creativity.

Beat It Percussion is looking for volunteers to become sessions buddies and undertake other roles.

There will be an informal information session on Wednesday, 25 September, at South Staffs Water Community Hub, 17 Union Street, Wednesbury.  The session will be 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.  Go along to find out more and join in an ice breaker rhythm activity.

Tel: 07875 090 946

Email: beatitpercussion@gmail.com

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

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