Our Commonwealth: People of Sandwell

We are delighted to announce our new Arts Council England and SMBC-funded project Our Commonwealth. The Living Memory Project is teaming up with Sandwell Advocacy to celebrate the rich diversity of Sandwell using story, photography and film and we want you to get involved.

To mark the staging of Commonwealth Games 2022, we will be creating a new photographic exhibition and an accompanying film to highlight the extraordinary contributions made by ordinary people across Sandwell who make it the rich and vibrant place it is today. In particular, we will be working with individuals and communities who have links to countries from across the globe.

What’s happening?

Photographer Anand Chhabra will work with 25 community-nominated participants to produce a series of contemporary portraits and recorded stories that will be exhibited at venues across Sandwell in May/June 2022

Filmmaker Joseph Potts will produce a new film with individuals and groups across Sandwell to explore themes of community, belonging and commonwealth.

A series of creative workshops with community groups and local schools to explore aspects of photography, family history and personal artefacts.

Call for nominations

We are looking for nominations for 25 individuals who have contributed to making Sandwell the warm and supportive place it is today. Their contributions could be in the area of family, caring, education, sports, the voluntary sector, health, the emergency and welfare services, or something else!

Do you know someone who you think should be recognised for who they are and what they do? You can nominate yourself!

What will happen

25 individuals will be selected from all the nominations who will be invited to have their portrait made with Anand and to record some of their life stories with the project team.

Do you know anyone who should be nominated?

Please view the website to completed a very simple form below or if you prefer, email – geoff@livingmemory.live

VCSE Leadership Alliance Co-design Workshop: 27th September 2021

The Black Country and West Birmingham Healthier Futures Partnership is helping to facilitate a voice for the Black Country and West Birmingham VCSE, through the Leadership Alliance Co-design Workshop on 27th September 2021, from 12.25 pm to 2.30 pm,

The workshop, replaces that which should have taken place on 13th September.
The Healthier Futures Partnership want to begin unpicking how the 4,000 VCSE’s in the Black Country and West Birmingham feel engaged, and find out how they are able to participate, influence and contribute according to their capacity and appetite. From those who operate at grassroots/neighbourhood level, to those who have a footprint across the whole of the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Don’t worry if you didn’t make it to the first Co-design Workshop in July. Your voice and opinion matter and the Partnership want you to be a part of the Alliance co-design journey for as much or as little as you can.

If you’re keen to learn more or help shape plans for a VCSE leadership Alliance, then register your attendance for the second workshop on 27th September, here.

Email sterry@wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk if you have any questions, if you would like help with the registration process or if you have any accessibility requirements in order to participate in the workshop.


Tipton College Open Day – 30th September 2021

Tipton College cordially invites you to attend their Open Day from 3 pm to 7 pm on Thursday, 30th September 2021. Find out more about what is on offer and how the college, located in Alexandra Road, Tipton, work with the local community.

Tipton College delivers community and skills based training for adults aged 19 plus in Sandwell. Tutors can also come out to your groups to support with training or deliver fun family learning sessions.

There will be a variety of activities for you to try, in a friendly relaxed atmosphere and staff will be on hand to answer questions. They look forward to welcoming you.

Email contact_safl@sandwell.gov.uk or visit the website www.learnsafl.ac.uk.

New weekly social walk in Brunswick Park, Wednesbury

Alison Hartshorne, from the Neighbourhoods Partnership Team, has organised a new social walk in Brunswick Park, Wednesbury.  The weekly walk will be on Monday mornings, with the first walk to be on Monday, 27th September.  Participants meet at the Sons of Rest building at 10.15 for a 10 .30 start. Stay after the walk for a cuppa and a biscuit too!  Please see flyer.

The Partnership Team are also looking for volunteers who may want to assist with this session or start a new walk – to be a walk leader. You will need to complete some training. For details of the next course below:

The next Ramblers Wellbeing Walks Sandwell Stride Walk Leader training course is on Wednesday, 20 October, 10.00 am – 1.00 pm on MS Teams.

There are several pre-learning requirements before doing the training.
Ramblers Wellbeing Walks Online Introduction (approx. 40 mins)
Walk Leadership Foundations e-learning (approx. 90 mins)
Shadow a Sandwell Stride Ramblers Wellbeing Walk

See link for a list of the Sandwell walks so you can find one to shadow that works best for you.

If you are interested in volunteering or the walk leader training, please contact Mandy Williams, Public Heath Development Officer, at mandy_williams@sandwell.gov.uk or call 07768 213211. Once registered, Mandy will arrange for you to have access to Assemble the Ramblers online volunteer portal so you can complete the online pre-course learning.

You may also be interested to know that there is a ‘Brunswick Buggies’ walk, every Friday morning from 10.30 am.


Sandwell Digital Donation

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.

Read all about how you can get involved on the Think Sandwell website.

Job opportunities with The Wolves Foundation

Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation is the official charity of Wolves FC. The Foundation delivers creative, innovative and diverse engagement initiatives using the power of Wolves to motivate, educate and inspire people in communities to improve life chances.

Wolves currently have seven vacancies for which they would like to invite applications:

Schools Educator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Health Officer – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Health Activator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Health Administrator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Funding and Events Coordinator – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

Active Through Football Project Officer – click here for job description

Closing date: Friday 1st October, 5pm

For more details or for the application forms click here.

Please direct any questions to Laura Cowley, Governance & Compliance Manager, on 01902 828366 or email lauracowley@wolves.co.uk

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre: Loss Matters Programme

Following a successful pilot in the summer, and now with funding from SCVO Vision 2030 Community Mental Health grant, the Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick is delivering Loss Matters – a group based support programme for anyone who has been affected by loss of any sort, whether bereavement, redundancy or a relationship ending. Each programme is made up of a weekly session, for eight weeks.

This project is run in partnership with Smethwick Old Church and they have trained volunteers who will lead activities and discussions to help the group to think, to talk and to support one another. This is a confidential, safe space for all those who attend. The Dorothy Parkes Community Centre feel that this programme is needed more than ever due to the effects of COVID and all the restrictions and lockdowns which resulted in changes for funerals, increased unemployment, relationship breakdowns etc.

Places are FREE but we do ask that attendees commit to attending for the full eight weeks. The project will be rolled out over the course of the next twelve months and the first programme starts on Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 7pm – 8.30pm.

For more details, or to express your interest, please complete the enquiry form on their website by clicking here.  Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Emotional Wellbeing of Children

Are you a Sandwell based organisation delivering mental health and emotional wellbeing services to children and young people? Are you able to scale up capacity to provide additional support over the next 12 months? If so, you may be interested in the Emotional Wellbeing Grant Programme Autumn 2021.

You must be a not-for-profit organisation, delivering services to support residents of Sandwell and your organisation must meet the stated requirements for working safely with children and young people.

If you meet the criteria, then please contact Barbara Murphy on 07859 913363 or barbara@scvo.info to check your eligibility and receive an application form and guidance notes.

The closing date for submission of applications is 9 am on Monday, 4 October 2021.

Black Country Foodbank: 2021 Harvest Campaign

Harvest (September to the end of October) is one of the most important times of the year for Black Country Foodbank. It’s a good time to restock our shelves after the demands of the summer holidays. This year, in the wake of the Covid-19, your donations will be crucial.

Black Country Foodbank are thankful that many schools, faith groups, community groups and businesses donate vital food, toiletries and finances to help support food banks as they navigate new challenges and families manage increasing financial pressures.

The past year has been a real struggle for many families and the future looks just as problematic as benefits are about to be cut and furlough is reaching an end. The aftermath of the pandemic means that many families are in debt and are not sure where to turn. As they continue to help people get through these unexpected times, all the support is very much appreciated.

In 2020 they provided 440,000 meals with 110,000 being for children under the age of 14, with your support they can continue to provide for all those that need us.

Please see their website for school resources, shopping lists etc. If there is anything specific you’d like to know or to arrange a collection, then please get in touch using admin@blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk or 01384 671250.

Sandwell Citizens Forum: 16th September 2021

The next meeting of  Sandwell Citizens Forum will be on Thursday 16 September 2021, 1 – 3 pm. Please note that this will be a virtual meeting on the Zoom platform, with options to join using the meeting link or dial-in by telephone.

Topics will include Shared Care Records with Dr Yousef, and Climate Change with Paul Fisher, Deputy Director of Public Health.

If you haven’t already done so but would like to join on 16 September, please email BCWB.engagement@nhs.net. Alternatively, you can telephone the Engagement Team on 0121 612 1447. The Team may not be able to respond in time to any late bookings/ queries so they recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

While it is helpful for bookings to be made in advance, you can still join us on the day without booking, by using the joining details enclosed within the attached agenda.

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Email: support@scvo.info
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