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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.


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 Bchft.employmentretentionservice@nhs.net 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


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.

 


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.


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.


Black Country Women’s Aid Go Purple Campaign

Go Purple campaign, is Black Country Women’s Aids (BCWA) annual event in October where they ask organisations, residents and business for their support to help them raise much needed funds by Going Purple, as part of October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness month. The colour Purple is worn to show you care for women and children going through this traumatic time.

It’s easy to get involved, you choose a day in October and ask staff, friends and family to each put a £1 into BCWA’s purple collection tin and wear something purple on that day such as spraying your hair purple, painting your nails purple or bake and sell purple cakes or of course your own idea, or simply make a donation.

Last year they supported over 9,000 adults [10% Male] with their children to escape violence, overcome trauma and get these families back on their feet.

Domestic Violence is a massive problem in our area and we need your help to raise awareness and to help us to continue to supply our vital services. BCWA currently receives 24 calls every hour.

For more information or to obtain a fundraising pack get in touch with Deborah Slater by emailing her at Deborah.Slater@blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk


U Island Touring Exhibition

U Island CIC and arts organisation Juneau Projects have been working with families from Russian speaking countries as well as Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and the UK to create imaginative sculptural birdhouses telling their stories of migration to Birmingham and the Black Country and sense of home.

The touring exhibition features five amazing exhibits that all have a unique story to discover, enjoy, share, and celebrate with others.

For more information please visit: en.u-island.co.uk

Thimblemill Library – Saturday 11th September, 10am – 4pm
Thimblemill Road, Smethwick B67 5RJ
0121 569 4943

(Please call the library in advance of attending to avoid disappointment, as Covid safety rules may affect access. Further information can be found here capitadiscovery.co.uk/sandwell/home)

Lightwoods Park and House – Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th September, 11am – 4.00pm
Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick, B67 5DP
0121 569 4141

Covid Safety Measures – Venues continue to ask you to wear a face covering inside their buildings and respect other people’s personal space. Please use the sanitisers provided on entrance and before exiting. Please check with venues and our social media channels as Covid safety rules are subject to change and may affect access.

This has been made possible thanks to Arts Council England, SCVO Vision 2030 Fund, Creative Black Country and Discover Sandwell.


Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Annual General Meeting

You, your colleagues, family and friends are invited to join Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 14 September, from 12.30 pm until 4.00 pm.

This year they will be showcasing their achievements in what has been a challenging year for the NHS, as well as exciting and ambitious plans for the year ahead.

There will also be a number of interactive and engaging workshops.

If you’re interested, click here to find out more and register your place.


Kaleidoscope Plus New Support Groups

Kaleidoscope Plus Group are really pleased to be able to share two new services that are being launched in September, to meet the needs in our community. The first groups run on 7th September.

1. Midlands Parent Self Harm Support Group
Supporting someone who self-harms, can be really daunting. Self-harm can be very complex and Kaleidoscope understand families may need support and reassurance.

This new service will provide a safe, supportive environment in a non-clinical setting, for those who are supporting someone who self-harms. Attendees are able to share their experience, their thoughts and meet others who are also supporting their loved ones. The service will help attendees understand self-harm, support conversation and manage wellbeing. Kaleidoscope will be offering a variety of different mindfulness activities, along with resources for both parties relevant to their needs. Please note the aim of this service is to support care-givers and not those who self-harm directly.

This support groups meet on the first Tuesday of the month, 5.30 – 7.00 pm.

2. Midlands Suicide Bereavement Support Group
The service offers a safe space for people aged over 18, who have been bereaved by suicide, to come together and talk openly about their experience and receive support.

Suicide knows no social, ethnic or cultural boundaries. If you feel you have been affected by a suicide and you would like to talk about it, Kaleidoscope can provide a place to listen, to share, to ask questions and to connect with others. This service can be accessed as often and for as long as needed. It is available to anyone regardless of their relationship to the deceased person, the cause of the death or the time that has elapsed since their passing.

This support group meet on the first Tuesday of the month 7.30 – 9.00 pm.

As well as the above new services, Kaleidoscope will continue to run the existing virtual UK bereavement group, every third Tuesday of the month 6.00 – 8 pm.

 


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