Soho Victoria Friends & Neighbours Drop-in Sessions

Soho Victoria Friends and Neighbours would like to invite you to their weekly drop-in session held every Friday between 12 noon and 2pm, at Smethwick Baptist Church where you can have a chat and a cuppa.

You’ll also be able to find out about other local activities and services, build relationships, make new friends and neighbours, access information and advice on the current and future vaccination program with limited availability of lateral flow testing kits and so much more!

Find us at: Smethwick Baptist Church, Regent Street, Smethwick B66 3BQ
Contact: Soho Victoria Friends & Neighbours on 0121 532 2011

Have Your Say on Life in Sandwell Through Residents’ Survey

The enormous impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has been felt across the borough in many different ways. It’s why we are keen to hear what you think.

As we start to move forwards in what we all hope are better times ahead, this important residents’ survey is designed to provide the council with vital information that will help us better understand how individuals and communities in Sandwell have been affected by the pandemic.

This will help us shape our services and ensure we continue to respond to the needs of our residents across the borough.

Surveys should be completed before the deadline of 5pm on Monday 16 August.

Councillor Rajbir Singh, Sandwell Council Leader said: Please complete the survey to have your say so you can help shape our services going forward. “It is essential residents have the opportunity to be able to inform their local council on the things that matter to them.

“We’re aware this is just one snapshot of gauging people’s opinions of our services and life here in Sandwell. Understanding the views of residents is key when assessing our effectiveness as a council. I would encourage residents to fill in this questionnaire, the more responses we get, the more we can be sure we are focusing on the issues local people feel are most important to them.”

You can take part in the survey here.

Love, Protect and Respect Sandwell Parks During Love Parks Week 2021

Sandwell’s welcoming, safe and well-maintained parks provided a vital lifeline for many during lockdown, and now we can Love, Respect and Protect our parks during the annual Love Parks Week, which runs until 1 August 2021.

How can you get involved in Love Parks Week?

Love Parks

Sandwell has 14 parks and green spaces which have been designated Green Flag status, awarded by Keep Britain Tidy to places that are well looked after and that look great. Sandwell’s list includes a park in each of the six towns, a cemetery and a crematorium, as well as Sandwell Valley Country Park and community-run Warley Woods.

For more information about parks in Sandwell, visit

Protect Parks

Sandwell Council asks local people to behave sensibly when they visit our parks and open spaces, to respect the plants and resources, and to report any anti-social behaviour they observe to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Respect Parks

Visitors can follow this code to respect their local parks:

  • Be friendly and share the space
  • Respect those working in the park
  • If the bins are full, take your litter home
  • Care for nature – do not cause damage or disturb wildlife
  • Keep your dog under control, and bag and bin dog poo – any bin will do.

Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member Strong & Resilient Communities, said: “We are very proud to have Green Flag status for 14 of our parks and green spaces. They are a great place for a picnic, for children to keep active on play equipment, a walk with the dog or just a quiet sit down on a bench for a while.

“Our parks are for everyone and we hope to continue to have many visitors not just during Love Parks Week but throughout the year.”

Councillor Rajbir Singh, Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “We hope that the many families who visit our parks over the summer holidays will also Love, Protect and Respect them, even after Love Parks Week has finished. Our parks team work really hard throughout the year to maintain and enhance what we have on offer. And I would also want to thank our many active Friends groups, who volunteer and make such an important contribution to our parks across the borough.”

Love Parks Week is delivered by Love Parks, Keep Britain Tidy and People’s Postcode Lottery.

Youth Mentor Training for Volunteers

By popular demand, we’re repeating our ‘Introduction to Youth Mentoring’ short course in September, for volunteers helping out with children and young people.

We have a limited number of spaces available for the free course, taking place on the mornings of September 8 and 9.

Delivered online by Mentoring West Midlands, the course covers a variety of useful, thought-provoking subjects from safeguarding to starting conversations with ‘troubled’ youngsters.

Participants on the July course said:

  • It was great, I learned a lot
  • Useful, interesting and very respectful
  • Brilliant trainer, very insightful
  • Thank you – it was informative and there was a lot to take in. I’ve actually realised how serious mentoring is, and it’s helped joined the dots with the work I do.
  • I can totally see now how I use this as a volunteer.
  • The topics were very relevant

For more details and to register an interest please contact

Meet the Funder: National Lottery Community Fund

SCVO are delighted to invite you to our October Meet the Funder session, being delivered in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund’s Grants Officer, Donna Adams.

Donna will be joining SCVO on Thursday 14th October 2021, 10am via a Zoom Conference Call, to discuss their current grants programmes.

Our FREE session will enable you to connect directly with the funder, ask any questions you may have and receive tailored advice. This is a fantastic opportunity for your organisation to learn more about the funds available, eligibility to apply, the assessment process and the different options available when applying to the fund prior to submitting your application.

Booking onto the session is essential via Eventbrite by clicking here, as there are a maximum of 40 places available for this virtual session. Please note, an email invitation to join the virtual session will be send out by SCVO in advance and prior to the commencement of the session.

Did You Know?

Did you know that Donna is also available for Sandwell based organisations, on the last Monday of every month, for a 1-2-1 timed-slot?

For more information click here or get in touch with Libby by email at with details of the project in the first instance.

SCVO’s AGM 2021 – Creating Positive Change – Save the Date

SCVO members, other local voluntary sector organisations, stakeholders, and strategic partners are invited to SCVO’s Annual General Meeting taking place, this year, on Tuesday 12th October 2021 from 10.00am – 12.30pm.

This will be an opportunity to reflect on an eventful year for Sandwell’s voluntary and community sector and learn about new developments and changes at SCVO. We will also be considering the post-pandemic challenges and opportunities for the Sector, including hearing from a range of speakers on the topics of health and wellbeing in the workplace, climate change and equality, diversity and inclusion.

We anticipate that the event will take place via a video conferencing platform, the access instructions for which will be provided to ticket holders prior to the event. Please note, if you don’t have internet access or suitable equipment to access the video content, you will still be able to ‘dial in’ from a standard landline (to a ‘local rate’ number).

To secure your place, please book via our Eventbrite page HERE.

Nominees of SCVO members organisations also have an opportunity to put themselves forward to be part of SCVO’s Board of Trustees.  In order to be considered, you will need to complete the formal Nomination Form and ensure it is returned to SCVO (details on the form itself) by 10.00am on Tuesday 31st August 2021.

Residents Urged to Look Out for Voter Registration details from Sandwell Council

Sandwell residents are being warned not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.

With elections taking place in Sandwell in May 2022, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The annual canvass ensures that Sandwell Council can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.

This year, residents will receive an email or letter regarding the annual canvass – depending on what contact details the council holds for them.

For the majority of residents, unless there are any changes to their circumstances, they won’t need to respond. Please read your letter or email carefully.

A Sandwell Council spokesperson said: “It’s important that residents look out for messages from Sandwell Council so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the borough.

“We will send you a letter or an email for you to respond to. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions sent to you.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post.”

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from Sandwell Council and check the details.

Research by the Electoral Commission, published in 2019, indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, said: “It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so. Checking the messages that you will get from your local authority is the easiest way to see if you’re registered to vote. If you’re not, make sure you provide the necessary information to your local authority when it is needed and register to vote online at”

Further information on the electoral canvass is available at

Information on registering to vote is available on the Electoral Commission website.

Any residents who have any questions can contact the elections team by emailing or by calling 0121 569 3242.

Cyclists Will Use Pedal Power to Ride from Scotland to Sandwell to Raise Funds for Sikh Helpline

This summer 2021, they look forward to the return of the Sikh Helpline Pro Bike Ride. In their series of rides, the Pro Bike Ride is the most challenging. Using pedal power to travel from the streets of Scotland to the headquarters of the Sikh Helpline in Sandwell, near Birmingham, riders will cover a staggering 350 cycling miles. This ride will take place over 4 days from Thursday 29th July to Sunday 1st Aug 2021.

It will start at 6:00am in Edinburgh, travelling through mountains and steep hills 120 miles to Newcastle, then 100 miles from Newcastle to Leeds, followed by 80 miles from Leeds to Derby and then finally via Derby 50 miles on to the final destination in West Bromwich, Sandwell.

The Sikh Helpline registered charity based in Sandwell offers free and confidential support to anyone in need. High call volumes are received on issues ranging from grooming, suicide, domestic abuse, mental health and wellbeing and hate crime through to racism and substance addiction. Thriving on providing a support platform to help community members without judgement, the Sikh Helpline has been serving the local and national community for over 30 years.

For more information and to make a donation or take part in the bike ride visit


Electronic Signature on Charity Accounts

The Charity Commission have recently updated the accounting and reporting guidance regarding e-signatures.

Unless your governing document has specific requirements on the matter, e-signatures can now be used on both accounts and reports kept by the charity and those filed with us.

To read the full guidance requirements click here.

Three positions at Brushstrokes

Do you have a passion and commitment to working for a charitable organisation? Brushstrokes is an award winning project, based in Smethwick, in partnership with Father Hudson’s Care, The Infant Jesus Sisters and the parish of St Philip Neri, Smethwick. The project is well established with a proven track record in supporting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Sandwell and surrounding areas.

Brushstrokes would like to invite applications for the following three posts:

Advice Service Manager
Employment Support Manger
ESOL and Learning Coordinator

For full details of each role and how to apply click here.

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Contact Us

Tel: 0121 525 1127

1st Floor, Landchard House
Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER