Funding for Special Schools and Colleges 

Special needs schools and colleges can apply for grants of between £20,000 and £75,000 through the Wolfson Foundation’s Funding for Special Schools and Colleges grants programme. The funding is available for projects that are focused on helping pupils at secondary level to develop skills that would help them to gain employment or live independently after leaving school or college.

The funding covers capital costs such as buildings and equipment. The applicant organisation should be a registered charity, local authority, or be registered with the relevant regulatory authority, where applicable, and have at least a good rating.

The project should be for a new building, refurbishment work or equipment and aim to produce one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Increased access to services for new and existing users
  • Improved quality and range of services
  • Improved financial stability of the organisation

There is a two-stage application process.  The next stage-one closing date is the 5th January 2023. Applications successful at this stage will have until the 1st March 2023 to complete the stage-two application.

Further information

Barbershop Stories: Black men’s mental health

Changing our Lives have a series running currently on YouTube called Barbershop Stories, which is part of a wider work around systemic inequalities and mental health for black men and boys.

It is a series of conversations led by a group of black men in Sandwell, aimed at challenging the myths and stigma that still exist around the lives of Black men, and paving the way for the astute and accomplished young black boys and men who follow them. As well as the online series, the men have been working with local youth groups to facilitate conversations with black boys about black male identity, mental health, career aspirations and systemic inequalities.

There are 4 episodes ready to watch here and 2 more are due to be posted very soon:

Changing our Lives have been tweeting about the series on Twitter @Positive_Lives and sharing it on Instagram @changingourlives



DRSAE Charity, Great Bridge, Tipton

DRSAE is a charitable organisation based in Great Bridge, Tipton.  They regularly meet each Saturday morning where a wide grange of activities take place.  There is yoga and self-defence sessions, run by a qualified yoga teacher and black-belt instructor.  There is free cooking and embroidery workshops, or you can join the music lessons or language classes.  All the activities are free, plus there is always a hot meal available at the end of the sessions.

DRSAE have a strong focus on sustainable living for present and future generations.  For example, resources used at the Centre in Great Bridge are recycled and reused.  The organisation is also part of Spheena (NGO), a non-profit organisation with headquarters in India.  Its aim is to concentrate on reducing global footprint and making an impact in the environment, ecology, and heritage by striving to support ecosystems for all communities.

One of the ways DRSAE promotes and implement sustainability practices on a large scale in Great Bridge, is being involved in an annual International Tree Planation Day.  This encourages involvement from younger members to care for the land at the Community Centre by planting trees, herbs and vegetables, using the principles of organic farming.  All the produce harvested can be used by the community.

Everyone is welcome at the DRSAE Centre at Salem Street, Tipton DY4 7JH.

For further information please contact Indra Kapoor, Branch Coordinator on 07714 279194.

Adults Craft Club seeks pre-owned sewing machines

Essex Avenue Community Tenants and Residents Association, based in Hateley Heath, West Bromwich, run a very busy Adults Craft Club.

Essex Avenue TRA would like to further develop the project and is looking for at least two working sewing machines. Can you help them? Do you own a couple of machines which are no longer used or needed, or know of a group or individual who do?  If so, please contact the Secretary on 0121 532 0731 / 07816 070776.

Sandwell Community Dementia Service

Sandwell Community Dementia Service is a new service that provides advice, information and support to people worried about their memory and those with a dementia diagnosis in the borough of Sandwell.  The service also offers support to carers and family members of someone living with dementia. The support provided will be individually tailored to enhance wellbeing and assist you and your family throughout the dementia journey.

Murray Hall Community Trust in partnership with, Agewell, BUDS, St Albans Community Association, Dementia Pathfinders, West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre, Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society are jointly delivering the Sandwell Community Dementia Service as part from the Dementia Pathway. The service is funded by Sandwell Council and NHS to support people with initial concerns about memory loss.  Dementia Navigators will support people through the diagnosis stage and Dementia Advisors will provide various support to enable people to live well with memory loss.

Referrals can be made via the “Single Point of Access” – Call the service on 01902 826 655 and the individual can ask to speak to one of the Dementia Navigators. This can be done as a self-referral, by an individual’s family member/ carer or by their GP. You can also make contact by email to

Referral Form


New Dementia Friendly Friendship Cafe in West Bromwich Central: 21st December 2022

Creative Active Lives is hosting a Dementia friendly Friendship Cafe every Wednesday starting the  11th January 2023 from 1 – 3 pm, at West Bromwich Central Library.  However, Creative Active Lives will be kicking off  the project  with a festive pilot session on Wednesday, 21st December, 1 – 3 pm.

There will be Christmas-themed crafts, steel pan drumming for some tropical style festive music, and free tea and coffee. There is an optional suggested donation £2 per person, but no charge for accompanying carer. All monies raised will be invested back into the Friendship Cafe Project.

Although the café staff are Dementia Friends trained, everyone will be welcomed.  The aim is to provide a warm, social space to reduce the stigma and raise awareness of dementia, reduce social isolation, provide support to carers, and to increase community cohesion and understanding of dementia. There will be intergenerational activities that are suited to all ages and abilities.

Children and Young People Winter Holiday Activities

Between the 19th and the 30th December Sandwell Council have activities happening in every town, from pantomimes and winter wonderlands, to sports, arts, cooking, and even the opportunity to be part of a rock-band!

See newsletters below which showcase some of the organisations and activities:

A new website has been launched where you can find out more and see the range of activities on offer

Check out social media, follow on Facebook and Twitter @SandwellHAF

To find out what happened over the summer and the difference the Holiday Activity Programme makes to families, please view this short video



Creative Black Country’s Cosy Communities Opportunities

Creative Black Country (CBC) is running two open calls as part of Cosy Communities to deliver creative activities in a warm and comfortable space for local communities in the Black Country.   They are looking for creative responses which will bring fun, joy, connection, and creativity to local people in the Black Country between now and 31st March 2023.

For more information, or if you missed the communities commissions online session on 21st November, please visit Cosy CommunitiesCreative Black Country


What Stops People Becoming Trustees

Charities need to do more to encourage trustees from a wider range of ages, backgrounds and communities. However many charities struggle to know how to do this.

There are about 1 million people in the UK doing a fantastic job as a trustee and they should be proud of their immense efforts. However many charities need help their boards and need to have easier access to the skills, knowledge and experience that their organisation needs – people with lived experience of what we are trying to tackle, or with the skills, knowledge and experience to enhance their board.

Recent research by the insurance firm Ecclesiastical reported that 79% of trustees agree that charities need to do more to encourage trustees from a wider range of ages, backgrounds and communities, but many charities struggle to know how to do this.

To find out the biggest barriers which stop people becoming trustees click here

Listening to Your Beneficiaries – Online Course

The charity sector is unique due to its delivery of social change rather than just monetary gain for an organisation and that places unique demands on its customer service.

On this course you will spend time learning how effective customer service is delivered in the charity sector, how modern customer service teams operate, and how individuals should behave when handling conversations with beneficiaries. It will also look at how to ask for feedback and then record performance to understand how effectively the team is operating.

Online courses take place via Zoom and include a one hour lunch break, as well as brief refreshment breaks.

To find out more about the course and book a place please click here

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Tel: 0121 525 1127

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