Rowley Regis Community Awards 2019

Friday, February 8th 2019 saw the Rowley Regis Community Awards 2019 take place in Cradley Heath, attended by 260 delegates.

Anam Choudhury, of Sandwell Community Hubs, writes:

On behalf of Sandwell Community Hubs and Sandwell Council, I would like to thank everyone for coming together to celebrate the Rowley Regis Community Awards 2019, which took place on 8th February 2019 and was attended by 260 delegates involving representatives of the local council, community sector, local businesses, the nominees and the finalists of the community awards. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Independent Awards Panel Members- Cllr Susan Eaves, Prabha Patel (SMBC Neighbourhood Manager), Paula Cope (TESCO) & Sergeant Cheryl Reed (WM Police) for their involvement in the awards process.

 Please follow the link to view pictures from the event.

 Following the event, we have had a number of emails and phone calls with positive feedback. Cllr Julie Webb said “this event was so special to so many people.  It was long overdue.  I look forward to next year’s event”.

“A huge thank you and congratulations to everyone involved in arranging such a splendid evening. Receiving the award has done wonders for the volunteer team who are justly proud of being recognised for their efforts to support artists in the community”, said Harry Bloomer from the Art Yard.

“Just wanted to say a big thank you for the awards ceremony, which we attended on Friday, and was awarded the Community Partnership Award,” said Pauline Withey from Agewell.

 “Thank you for an Amazing Evening at the Rowley Regis Awards Ceremony. It was an absolutely fabulous event – so good to see so many outstanding volunteers praised for their hard work. The finalist Certificates were well received. Many thanks for organising this event” said Norma Hyde from Special Olympics Sandwell.

“I would just like to show my appreciation for a lovely evening. It was a very enjoyable evening” Tracy Lowe, the winner of Outstanding Volunteers Award.

Councillor Susan Eaves, town chair for Rowley Regis, said: “This awards ceremony has been excellent in giving a big thank you to people who have gone the extra mile for the area.”

The winners and (runners-up) of the Rowley Community Awards 2019 were:

  • Outstanding Volunteers Award: Tracy Lowe (Ernie Locke)
  • Partnership Working Award: Agewell Kingfisher Buddies & Your Health Partnership Living Well with dementia (Haden Hill Leisure Centre & Old Hill Cricket Club)
  • Good Neighbour Award: Mrs Balbir Kaur and Mr Shinda Singh (Kelvin James and Pat James)
  • Community Project Award: Student Voice (The Art Yard)
  • Community Organisation Award: The Friends of Haden Hill Estate (Cradley Heath Community Link)
  • Young Persons Award: Jordan Goodridge (Student Voice)
  • Community Special Award: Daya Singh Nagi (Christine Smith).

Football Foundation

The Football Foundation has announced that its “Grow the Game” grant scheme has re-opened for applications until the 28th March 2019.

Through this funding round grants of up to £1,500 are available from organisations wishing to set up women and girls football teams and disability teams.

Applications are welcome from not for profit organisations that are planning to set up two new football teams over the next two years. To be eligible for funding organisations must have a signed constitution (with a dissolution clause), child protection policy, equal opportunities policy, bank statement and income/expenditure records. The type of activities that can be funded include (but are not limited to):

Facility hire
Referees fees
CRB checks
Affiliation fees
League entry
Promotion and publicity
FA coaching courses
Additional courses
Football kit/equipment through a bespoke voucher

Organisations are able to receive a grant of £1,500 per new team created over two or three years with financial support being reduced in the second or third year of the project.

Prospective applicants should initially consult their County FA Development Manager and should apply for a grant by completing an online application form and submitting your supporting documents.

More information

Information on Support for Carers in Sandwell

CARES Sandwell, the long-established Smethwick-based charity that has supported carers in the borough for many years, regrettably closed down its services on 31st January 2019.

The CARES board took the decision due to not having sufficient resources to continue operating.

In response to this, Sandwell Council has set-up a helpline for anyone who has concerns relating to caring or carers on 0121 569 2266. The Council will be working with other voluntary sector organisations to look at how support can be provided for carers.

The Vinci UK Foundation

The VINCI UK Foundation has announced that is now accepting applications to its funding programme.

The Foundation offers one-off grants of £3,000 to £20,000 to independent small and medium sized registered community interest or not-for-profit organisations that support people who suffer social or employment exclusion.

The Foundation will only fund capital items such as tools and equipment, vehicles, IT, furniture, building works; etc.

Projects supported will:
• Promote access to employment
• Promote integration through housing and inclusive mobility
• Help to build better communities
• Be located near to an office or worksite of VINCI companies.

The VINCI UK Foundation only supports projects involving at least one VINCI employee (sponsor). Organisations that do not know of any VINCI employee, can still apply and the Foundation will help to find the sponsor fitting in the project.

The closing date for applications is the 31st March 2019.
More information at:

The Vegetarian Society Grants Available

The Vegetarian Society is making grants available to help support community activities and events taking place around National Vegetarian Week, which is in May 2019.

The grants are available to:

• Not for profit organisations in the UK (e.g. community groups, schools, and social housing schemes, Cubs, Brownies, Scouts or Guides etc.)
• Vegetarian groups, local network groups and student vegetarian and vegan societies
• Informal groups of friends, parents or students.

Activities need to take place around National Vegetarian Week in May and must promote National Vegetarian Week exclusively as the primary purpose of the funded activity. Activities funded have to be exclusively vegetarian or vegan (so no non-vegetarian food or drink).

The Society is accepting applications for both large and small grants this year. Small grants will be up to £200 and large grants to be up to £2,000. Large grant applications need to demonstrate how their activity will have a bigger impact.

Grants could cover, for example:
• Food and ingredients
• Room hire
• Equipment hire
• Transport costs
• Cookery demonstration materials
• Public liability insurance
• Direct costs of delivering an activity

Closing dates are as follows:
• Large grants – apply by Sunday 3rd March 2019
• Small grants – the first deadline is Sunday 17th March and the final deadline is Sunday 14th April 2019
More information at:

Dunhill Medical Trust

The Dunhill Medical Trust offers two funding schemes for community-based organisations that work directly with older people who need some form of extra support to make everyday living that bit easier:

Project Grants cover applications of between £5,000 – £40,000 for time-limited projects that focus on the development of care and support services for older people which are innovative and/or based on evidence of best practice and which can become self-sustaining within a planned period. Priority will be given to services that are focused on older people, enhance existing mainstream services and which are not currently funded by statutory organisations elsewhere in the UK. The Trust will expect the beneficiary organisation to have a robust plan to create the ongoing revenue to maintain the service as the charitable funding diminishes and to have processes in place to ensure minimum disruption to the beneficiaries in implementing these plans. Grants can support up to 36 months work.

Building and Infrastructure Grants of between £5,000 and £100,000 are awarded for the provision of accommodation /developments in the built environment for older people to enhance and maintain their health, well-being and independence and/or specific pieces of equipment or furnishings which can be used for the care and support of individuals. Priority will be given to care facilities that are focused specifically on older people and where it has not been possible to obtain the necessary funding from statutory organisations. The beneficiary organisation is required to give a written commitment to bear the revenue costs of the environment and/or equipment, including its maintenance and staffing.

Applications can only be considered from organisations or groups that are charitable as defined by UK charity law. This includes UK registered charities and relevant exempt charities.

The next deadline to apply for both grant streams is 29th March 2019 at 17.00.
More information at:

Armed Forces Covenant Trust

A £3 million funding programme to fund renovations and improvements to veterans’ community centres has been launched by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

Grants of up to £30,000 are available to fund renovations, refurbishments and improvements to existing community centres being used by veterans. A small number of grants of up to £150,000 will be made to more complex projects.
Eligible organisations will be Charities or Community Interest Companies supporting the armed forces community that own or have a long lease on an existing community centre used by veterans that is in need of renovation, refurbishment or improvement.

There will be three rounds of funding; and applications for the first round need to be received by 11th March 2019.
More information at:

Understanding Dementia Training

Dementia awareness training for carers and families living with dementia.  BUDS – Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell provide dementia awareness training for carers and families living with dementia.

The training will cover a number of area including:


  • What is dementia
  • The most common types of dementia and how they present
  • Exploring the myths
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Communication
  • Supporting someone living with dementia

Why do I need training?

The informal training sessions will help you to understand how dementia affects the person, what to expect as the dementia progresses and how you can best support the person you care for.

The cost of the session is £5 per person.  We have open access courses available for carers and families to book onto.  Please contact 0121 565 3721 or e-mail to find out dates and venues.

£5K Funding Available to Boost Cycling

Community groups have the chance to bid for £5,000 to help increase the number of people cycling in Sandwell.

Sandwell Council is inviting community voluntary organisations to apply for the cash, which is particularly aimed at helping people develop the skills to cycle safely on the road and getting families cycling together for leisure.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection Councillor Elaine Costigan said “We want residents in Sandwell to live healthy lives for as long as possible”.

The funding is being made available after public consultation identified that people wanted to cycle more for recreation and travel, but didn’t have enough opportunities or the confidence to get on a bike on the road.

For more information about this grant or other grants from the Council, e-mail or call 0121 569 5377.

Boxing Sessions Help Young People Gain Confidence

A Wednesbury-based boxing club has been boosted by a special grant from Sandwell Council which will help support young people in the area.

Wodensborough Community Amateur Boxing Club, which has been running since 2008, hold four sessions a week in a bid to improve fitness and diet and to build confidence in people aged seven to 60-plus.

Now the Council is awarding the club, which is based in Oxford Street, a grant of £1,7000 to buy new equipment.

The grant will pay for new head guards, gloves, skipping ropes and training mats.

Club spokesperson Steve O’Rourke said: “We are grateful for the grant and it will help us to do more to engage with young people and reduce anti-social behaviour and obesity in the community.  The new equipment will allow us to continue sessions as the current equipment is not fit for purpose any more”

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