The Loneliness Engagement Fund

The Loneliness Engagement Fund is open to organisations that have a track record of delivering effective communications and engagement activity at a national level. Grants of between £15,000 to £50,000 to organisations that engage with those most affected by loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds will be will be from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

Organisations must have a proven reach and track record of engaging with one or more of the following target groups:

• young people aged 16-24
• people with diagnosed mental health conditions
• people living alone
• people from lower income households
• people who are unemployed
• people with disabilities

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 13 October.

More details

Sandwell’s Safer 6 campaign is back for 2021

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign gets under way on Monday 27 September, promoting a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice for people of all ages.

The six-week campaign, now in its 12th year, has a special online focus this year, with activities also being planned across Sandwell’s six towns including speed awareness, walkabouts, litter picks and skip days. We will also be launching the resident consultation for Sandwell’s new Community Safety strategy.

Safer 6 runs from 27 September to 7 November 2021. Each of the six weeks will have a different theme:

Week 1 (27 September-3 October): Substance misuse
Week 2 (4-10 October): Under 25 violence and county lines
Week 3 (11-17 October): Hate crime
Week 4 (18-24 October): Exploitation
Week 5 (25-31 October): Anti-social behaviour and crime
Week 6 (1-7 November): Violence against women and girls

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.

Visit for more information on the campaign.



Simple as ABCD!

If you’re passionate about helping to develop your local community, pop in to one of the upcoming meetings hosted by Sandwell Council and Sandwell Churches Link.

A series of friendly, practical workshops have been organised across the borough to introduce the idea of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD).

Asset Based Community Development is a local, ‘grass roots’ approach to strengthening communities.

Through a process of recognising, identifying and harnessing existing ‘assets’ that individuals and communities have – things like skills, knowledge, capacity, resources, experience or enthusiasm for example – ABCD aims to help strengthen and improve things locally.

Instead of looking at what a community needs or lacks, the approach focuses on best using the ‘assets’ that are already there.

The workshops are a chance to learn more about ABCD, and network and chat about what it would look like to work together in your area. Representatives from any sector are welcome.

Workshops will take place at:
Holy Trinity Church, Smethwick
Sandwell College Arts Café
Friar Park Millennium Centre
The Oak Tree Centre, Oldbury
Cradley Heath Community Centre
St Mark’s, Ocker Hill

Find out more, and how to book HERE

Aviva giving a boost to climate change projects

The Aviva Community Fund supports small UK causes to make a big difference in their communities. The organisation has partnered with Crowdfunder to drive fundraising and help to get ideas off the ground.

Every year £250,000 of funding is distributed by Aviva, supported further by donations from the public.

To celebrate COP26,  the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties,  which is being held in Glasgow in November, Aviva have created the Aviva Climate Fund, to boost the final round of the Community Fund in 2021, with an extra £150,000 for projects leaving the way on climate action.

Click here to find out more


iTrust Programme win prestigious public service award

Sandwell Council’s iTrust Programme was declared the Best Community and Neighbourhood Initiative including Community Safety in the prestigious Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) Annual Service Awards 2021.

The APSE Awards recognised frontline service teams and special initiatives delivered by UK local authorities and public sector partners. This year’s awards, with 22 categories covering the vast majority of local services, were agreed by a panel of expert judges, following a rigorous selection process.

The winners were announced at the APSE Annual Charity Awards Dinner, in aid of Parkinson’s UK, at the ICC in Birmingham.

iTrust (Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Programme) was developed by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children’s Trust, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations and West Midlands Police Sandwell Partnership Team to meet the principles of the national Troubled Families Programme, which included early identification of those children and families at greatest risk.

The programme was delivered by a small team within the council, who worked closely with partners in the police and the voluntary sector, schools and families to identify and support children in years six and seven in the Smethwick and West Bromwich areas, taking an approach based on very early intervention to increase confidence, build resilience and drive aspirations.

The programme engaged with 28 primary and secondary schools in the two towns, seeking to provide universal activities for 700 children and targeted one-to-one mentoring for 85 children. It significantly exceeded these goals, with over 1,500 children attending universal sessions and 241 receiving individual mentoring support.

Thinking about teaching? SAFL’s Level 3 Certificate in Education and Teaching can help

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning service are proud to announce that they will be delivering the Level 3 Award in Education and Training AET course, formerly known as PTLLS. The course starts 6th October 2021.

The course certifies individuals to teach at a nationally accredited standard. This Level 3 qualification is for those who work or want to work as teachers or trainers in the further education and skills sector. This includes those currently not in a teaching role, or who have just started a teaching role.

The Level 3 Award in Education and Training is an introduction to teaching that will give an insight into the roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training, how to plan and deliver inclusive teaching sessions and how to assess and give constructive feedback.

In the words of Henry Brooks Adams “Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops”.

Teach with confidence and learn to teach with SAFL.

Full course details and to enquire, click here.


Compassionate Communities Care Coordinator for Murray Hall

Murray Hall Community Trust is a rooted anchor charity operating across the West Midlands, using a community development approach to promote health and wellbeing, enabling and supporting people in need to overcome the challenges of inequality. Murray Hall advocate, facilitate empowerment, pioneer new solutions and delivering innovative services for stronger communities. The charity is seeking to recruit a Compassionate Communities Care Coordinator.

Salary: £17,578 per annum (£20,013 FTE)
Hours: 32.5 hours per week
Location: The Bridge, Tipton, West Midlands
Contract: To 31st March 2022 (thereafter subject to funding)

Day-to-day duties include:
To assess clients’ needs using the Bridges assessment procedure, including a narrative based assessment and network mapping exercise to understand client’s needs. Visiting clients in their homes, hospital, hospice or other appropriate setting as preferred by client, enabling them to access support services to manage their domestic, social arrangements to maximise their quality of life at home.

The organisation will offer:
28 Days annual leave, plus 8 days bank holiday (pro rata for part time employees)
Flexible working
Auto-enrolment into a workplace pension scheme
24/7 access to Employee Assistance Programme

To read the full job description and to apply, visit the website.
This role will be subject to an Adult Workforce Enhanced DBS check.

For an informal discussion please contact Debbie Robinson on 0121 612 2934

Applications must be submitted by 23.59 pm on Friday, 8th October 2021.
Interviews are expected to take place week commencing 18th October 2021.
Start Date: ASAP

Client Relations Officer for Murray Hall

Murray Hall Community Trust is a rooted anchor charity operating across the West Midlands, using a community development approach to promote health and wellbeing, enabling and supporting people in need to overcome the challenges of inequality. Murray Hall advocate, facilitate empowerment, pioneer new solutions and delivering innovative services for stronger communities. The charity is seeking to recruit a Client Relations Officer.

Salary: £8,654 per annum £20,013 (FTE)
Hours: 16 hours per week to be worked flexibly
Location: The Bridge, Tipton, West Midlands
Contract: Part-time permanent (Subject to probation period and continued funding)

This is a key new role which will be instrumental in introducing our range of services to established and new customers. Building business through face-to-face and outbound communication, on-line presentations, and group meetings. The focus will be to maintain good relationships, improve the client experience, understand client issues and requirements and match them to our service solutions.

For a full job description, person specification and application form, see here.

Applications should be to be completed and emailed to or posted to HR Recruitment, Murray Hall Community Trust, The Bridge, St Marks Road, Tipton, West Midlands DY4 OSL.

Applications must be submitted by 23.59 pm on Monday, 4th October 2021
Interview date: TBC

Free training for Line Managers in understanding Mental Health within the workplace

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are pleased to announce they have secured funding to offer a workshop on Employment Retention Service, which is about helping people who experience mental health issues to stay in work, or return to work following a period of absence.

The Trust is running standardised workshops via teams on the following dates/times:

Wednesday 1st December 2021: 10 am – 12 pm
Wednesday 5th January 2022: 10 am – 12 pm
Wednesday 2nd February 2022: 10 am – 12 pm
Wednesday 2nd March 2022: 10 am – 12 pm

If you are interested in attending a session, please contact with your name and email address. You will provided with the link to join.

Please note: there are 14 places available for each date, so book as soon as possible.

Attendees will have the opportunity to refer colleagues who have been identified as needing support, for a free consultation and completion of a wellness action plan. The information can be shared with the referring manager, if the colleague consents.

Alternatively, if you would like a bespoke training session, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust can discuss your organisation’s requirements.



Narrowing the digital divide: Sandwell businesses urged to donate unwanted PCs and laptops

A new Sandwell partnership is urging local businesses to donate unwanted PCs, laptops and tablets to people in need. Sandwell Digital Donation is a partnership between Sandwell Council, Black Country Housing Group and West Bromwich-based social enterprise REPC Ltd.

It is hoped the programme will help to narrow the ‘digital divide’: the gap between people in society who have full access to digital technologies and those who do not.

The project team collects old PCs, laptops and tablets from business premises. They ensure all data is deleted safely and legally, then they repair and recondition the equipment before passing it on to households within the borough.

If the equipment can’t be reused, REPC will ensure it is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Read more here

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Tel: 0121 525 1127

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B70 8ER