Domestic Abuse Consultation Event

The Government is transforming its approach to domestic abuse to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experiences, safe in the knowledge that the state and the justice system will do everything it can to support them and their children, and pursue their abuser.

The Home Office has committed to introducing a draft Domestic Abuse Bill this session, which will include the introduction of a new statutory definition of domestic abuse, an independent domestic abuse commissioner and a new domestic abuse protection order. It also recognise that it will take more than legislation to help victims and survivors rebuild their lives and to combat domestic abuse, that is why the administration also developing a Cross-Government package of action to raise awareness, support victims, and ensure perpetrators are stopped.

The purpose of this event is to offer professionals, experts and victims the opportunity to provide their expert suggestions in developing the programme of work. Your input is invited on what changes will make genuine tangible improvements in further protecting and supporting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.

The event will also provide discussion opportunities and forums to allow comments and feedback on Government proposals.

The consultation will take place from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm on Thursday, 22 March at Edgbaston Stadium, Edgbaston Rd, Birmingham B5 7QU.  A map can be found at this link.  Places are limited to 120 attendees and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. You will be notified by email to confirm whether you have received a place at the event.

To register your interest, please reply to
before Wednesday 21st March. A sandwich lunch and tea and coffee breaks will be provided, so please advise of any dietary requirements. Unfortunately, travel costs will not be reimbursed. Parking will be available on the day.

Please note that this event is part of a series of regional consultation events across England and Wales – further details of these will be provided.  If you are aware of any relevant stakeholders who you think would like to attend other events, please contact the Home Office, on the above email address, with details.



People in Sandwell and West Birmingham urged to choose the right care as NHS pressures increase

People in Sandwell and West Birmingham are being urged to use health services wisely as Sandwell and City Hospitals are experiencing extremely high numbers of attendees at their Accident and Emergency departments.

The hospitals are seeing large numbers of people who are attending Accident and Emergency departments with minor illnesses when they could be treated elsewhere.

As many as one in four people who go to A&E could care for themselves or use alternative treatment. A&E should only be used for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, ingestion or poisoning. People with minor injuries and ailments should not attend at the A&E department and are warned they will face longer waits than normal as more serious cases are prioritised.

Norovirus is also very common at this time of year and outbreaks of the virus are being reported around the country. For most people it is no worse than a short bout of diarrhoea and vomiting that should clear up within 24-72 hours.  Health professionals are asking the public to help prevent the spread of norovirus, which can be very dangerous to elderly and sick people, by staying away from hospitals if they have had any diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms.

Dr Nick Harding, a local GP and Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Emergency health services are under pressure in Sandwell and West Birmingham this week so we want people to think before they go to A&E or call 999. These services need to be free to deal with real emergencies and should only be used in genuine emergency situations.

“We are also urging people to do everything they can to speed the discharge of loved-ones in hospital who are well enough to leave, to free up space for other patients. This includes caring for them at home for a short time until alternative arrangements (such as home visits or a place in a care home) are finalised. Our priority is to keep our patients safe.”

People are being urged to use alternative NHS services where appropriate such as local pharmacies, walk in centres, make an appointment with their GP in the normal way, call NHS 111 and you can download the Ask NHS App.

Most GP practices are now offering weekend access. To find out if your practice is participating in this scheme please call the usual practice phone number and listen to the full instructions. Alternatively, you can check your practice’s opening times on NHS Choices

A&E departments will provide the best possible care for life-threatening illness and injury, but people should only go there in a real emergency. Those with minor injuries such as cuts or sprains have the option of attending local walk in centres including:

Parsonage Street Walk in Centre, Parsonage Street, West Bromwich 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
Summerfield Urgent Care Centre, 134 Heath Street, Winson Green, Birmingham, 8am-8pm, 7 days a week

Staff are continuing to do all they can to ensure that everyone coming into hospital who need help gets the care they need.

Development Officer (New to Walsall)


One Walsall is seeking an enthusiastic, committed and experienced individual to increase the reach of their community development and voluntary sector capacity building support within the borough’s new communities, particularly those of Central and European backgrounds (Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovakian and Polish speaking).

As Walsall becomes more diverse, it aims to support all residents, regardless of background, to participate in local voluntary and community action, and support cohesion and understanding between new, existing and emerging communities. Working in partnership, this role will contribute to the priorities of Walsall Council’s Community Cohesion and Integration Strategy and assist new and existing Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations to develop and embed an inclusive approach.

The successful candidate will have experience of working with individuals from Central and Eastern European backgrounds and the ability to communicate in at least one Eastern European language, ideally both verbally and in writing.

Please click link to the job description and application forms.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Dave Benge, Development Manager, on 01922 619 840.

The closing date for applications is 28 March 2018.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview between 5 & 6 April 2018.


Concert in benefit of Black Country Women’s Aid

Halesowen Orchestra, supported by The Rotary Club of Halesowen and Rowley Regis, will be performing in a concert in benefit of Black Country Women’s Aid, 7.30 pm on Saturday, 17 March 2018 at the Cornbow Hall, Halesowen.

Music will include Beethoven: Symphony No. 7; Weber: Bassoon Concerto and Mendelssohn: Fingal’s Cave. The conductor will be Christopher Hoggarth and Bassoonist, Richard Tattam.

Tickets cost £10 and are available on line at, by telephoning 0121 550 0956 or at the door on the evening.  FREE admission for children under 12.  Full time students £5 (ID required).

Please book early for an evening of wonderful classical music.

Stakeholder Consultation: proposed changes to 3 GP Practices in Sandwell and West Birmingham

Sandwell and Birmingham CCG is currently reviewing the contracts at the three GP practices, below, as they are due to end on 31 March 2019. The Clinical Commissioning Group need to decide on their future, so that it can best meet the health needs of local people. The CCG is therefore asking patients, their families, carers and other stakeholders for their views on the different options and the impact of the changes on  registered patients.

Malling Health Centre Sandwell, Parsonage Street, West Bromwich, B71 4DL

Malling Health Great Bridge, 18 The Great Bridge Centre, Charles Street, West Bromwich, B70 0BF

Summerfield GP Practice (attached to the urgent care centre), 134 Heath Street, Winson Green, Birmingham, B18 7AL

You can respond to our online survey at  If you would prefer a hard copy of our questionnaire, or you require a different format, please email or call 0121 612 1447.

The CCG is also running a number of drop-in sessions as detailed below:

For the Parsonage Street Practice
Gayton Road Community Centre, Gayton Road, West Bromwich B70 1QS

20th Feb. 2.00 – 4.00pm
21st Feb. 5.00 – 7.00pm

For the Summerfield Practice
Summerfield Community Centre, Winson Green Road, Winson Green, Birmingham B18 4EJ
22nd Feb. – 2.00pm – 4.00pm
26th Feb.5.00pm – 7.00pm

For the Great Bridge Practice
YMCA West Bromwich, 38 Carter’s Green, West Bromwich B70 9LG

27th Feb 5.00pm – 7.00pm
28th Feb. 2.00pm – 4.00pm

You do not need to register to attend – just turn up when’s convenient between the times above.

The consultation will run from 5 February until 19 March, so please give us your views between these dates. This consultation focuses on the GP practices themselves, not on the walk-in centre services at Parsonage Street or Summerfield. There will be a separate consultation running on the walk-in centre services and details will be found on the CCG website

Thank you very much for your input. If you have any queries, please contact or call 0121 612 1447.

Disabled Access Day at Black Country Living Museum

Black Country Living Museum will be hosting its second Disabled Access Day 10.00 am to 4.00 pm Saturday, 10th March. The Museum is working hard to develop links with services providers and support mechanisms that can help to support access for everyone.

How this will work: BCLM will have a free disability information hub where organisation and community groups can book stalls. All stalls will have a 6ft table with 1 or 2 chairs as requested. You will need to provide a cover for the table and refreshments you need on the day. Alternatively, you could purchase a range of sandwich and hot snacks in the Rolf Street café.

Arrival and set up: Stall holders will need to arrive between 9.00-9.30 am with a view to be ready to start at 10.00 am. All stall holders will be given two drink vouchers on arrival and a free car park token.

Hall 2 will host activities throughout the day which includes Assistance Dog demonstrations from K9 partners, British Sign Language tours in the main visitor reception and on site in the Museum, as well as sight loss aids and low vision demonstrations from Beacon Centre for the blind.

With over 1,000 visitors to the Black Country Living Museum at this time of year, it’s a great opportunity to try something new, promote your organisation and network.

Book your stall today to avoid disappointment.  Email:   Telephone: 0121 521 5697

Youth Hostel Associations – Challenging Lives Support Programme

The Youth Hostels Association (YHA) has announced that the Challenging Lives Support Programme will open for applications on the 1st March 2018.

The Youth Hostel Associations breaks programmes aim to reach young people and families with the most challenging lives and provide them with life changing experiences. They create unique opportunities for people from all backgrounds to experience amazing places, share extraordinary journeys and take a different path through life.

The Challenging Lives programme aims to reach those children and young people who are or have recently experienced life threatening medical or mental health conditions, bereavement or homelessness. Support is also available to those living with a disability or life threatening medical conditions or who take on a caring role.

Organisations such as schools, registered charities, community and voluntary organisations who work with young people who face these challenges, can apply for a 2-night break package at one of the YHA’s iconic destinations.

Further information

War Memorials Trust

The War Memorials Trust is providing grants for the repair and conservation of free-standing war memorials in England.

These grants are intended to help those who are responsible for the upkeep of war memorials. The grants support the care and preservation of war memorials to a high standard, and to prevent the decay of this important part of our built heritage. Grants will normally be for up to a maximum of 75% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of £30,000.

The next closing date for applications is the 31st March 2018.

More information

National Churches Trust

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to help churches of any Christian denomination develop high quality sustainable repair and community projects.

Priority in this round will be given to applications from the North East of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as from Baptist and Presbyterian churches.

Buildings must have been built as churches originally and 50% of the funds needed must be in place. The funding can be used to:

Diagnose issues affecting the church
Test the viability of proposed solutions to improve sustainability.
Develop guiding policies and plans that will be implemented through an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, or other large church heritage funders.

The next application deadline is the 25th April 2018.

More information

5 Handy Tools You Need to Create Irresistible Marketing Visuals

Let’s face it – visuals have a huge part to play in a successful marketing strategy. The images and video clips that users see have to represent your brand perfectly – after all, this is what will grab their attention and hopefully convert them into customers.

With so many tools available, it can be a bit daunting to try and test them all in search of the best ones.

That’s why we’ve rounded up five of the best tools and apps you can use to create standout marketing visuals.

The best part? Most of these are free and super easy to use!

When it comes to free web-based image editing tools, PicMonkey is one of the best you’ll find. Don’t be fooled by the simple, user-friendly interface – this tool packs a good punch with features that are very similar to Photoshop, but way easier to use.

You may not be able to access all of them using the free plan – but you’ll certainly have everything you need to create a professional-looking graphic in minutes.

With a huge variety of fonts, overlays, customisable templates and photo editing tools and filters, PicMonkey is perfect for the blogger who wants to create Pinterest-friendly graphics, or the small business owner who wants to spruce up their social media pages.

To read the full 123 Reg Blog click here.

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