Black Country

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Black History Month 2020

Black History Month 2020 recognises the achievements of black people in the city of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands area, from the eighteenth century to date.

One such person is the Revd. George Cosens, noted for being the first black African Caribbean minister in the Black Country in 1837.   George Cosens died in 1881 and was buried in the cemetery of Brierley Hill Baptist Church, where he was the minister.

To find about the contribution of other black people in the area, click here.

£200,000 awarded to Black Country art and culture project through Spirit of 2012 collaboration with Birmingham 2022

£200,000 has been awarded to Creative Black Country to create a new, inclusive art and culture project linked to the Commonwealth Games, following a collaboration between Olympic legacy funder Spirit of 2012 and Birmingham 2022.

The participatory performing arts project, entitled Shine A Light, aims to build bridges between D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled people using theatre and mime to tell stories of people around the Commonwealth.

The project will include live taster activity sessions and workshops for 280 people, with 165 adults going on to participate in regular performance workshops which will culminate in a touring performance and set of films to share across the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.

Partners including Deaf Explorer, Black Country Touring, Disability Arts in Shropshire (DASH), Zebra Access, Deaffest and Deafscope will support and consult across different areas of the project.
Creative Black Country, based in West Bromwich, works closely with local communities to discover, explore and grow an exciting and meaningful programme of cultural activity in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Please view to find out more.

October Coffee Time Conversations Session

‘Coffee Time Conversations’ seeks to bring like-minded individuals from across Sandwell together, to chat about different concerns that have arisen primarily as a consequence of COVID-19. The aim of these conversations is to share experiences, good practice and help others to problem solve around a concern they may have currently.

Our next session is being held on Thursday 22nd October 2020, 10am till 11.30am via a Zoom conference call. The topic for this ‘Coffee Time Conversation’ will be ‘re-connecting with senior members within our community to encourage their participation and engagement.’

Future conversations will be steered by participants during the session which gives you the chance to talk with others working in similar areas and decide upon the topics that are most important to you as a collective.

You are welcome to register for any/all of these conversations, which will be hosted as a Zoom Conference Call. Please use this Eventbrite link to register your attendance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the conversation nearer the time.

We look forward to seeing you all in October.

Transforming Communities Together seeks BAME Trustee

Are you interested in creating change in your community? Does your faith create a strong desire for social action and tackling injustice? Transforming Communities Together (TCT) seeks to support people and communities to thrive and flourish and is looking to recruit a trustee from within the BAME Communities.

Transforming Communities Together was formed in 2014, as a joint venture between a local church and a national Christian charity. The organisation works across the four Black Country boroughs, as well as the whole of Staffordshire and northern Shropshire.

Their mission is to partner with others, seeking the common good. They work for justice as people of hope, so that communities may flourish and those who are vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged might enjoy life in its fullness.

Transforming Communities Together’s goal is to empower churches and other faith groups, individuals, groups and communities to respond effectively to the issues of poverty and social justice that they encounter.

This ethos begins with staff, volunteers, and trustees, who seek to support and nurture all team members to fulfil their vocations to reach out and make a difference.

The staff team at TCT is diverse with BAME communities well represented, but they would also like to improve the diversity of the Board of Trustees.

If you have skills and experience that could help develop TCT’s work, please get in touch with the CEO (David Primrose – or call 07975 644044) for an informal chat.

There is more information on TCT’s current work and impact at


Black Country NHS Trust Supporting BAME Communities

Recognising there was a need to further strengthen the resilience and understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust appointed two new Senior Community Development Workers earlier in the year.

Supporting the wider work around tackling health inequalities in BAME communities, Nazima Esscopri and Fareen Hussain have been working hard over the past few months to establish vital links with communities and improve access to and experiences of mental health services across the Black Country.

As well as making links with voluntary organisations and setting up grassroots initiatives, they have also been working with internal NHS colleagues to support the Covid-19 risk assessment process and supporting the development of equality and diversity projects across the Trust.

Across the STP, Nazima and Fareen have contributing to work around pooling resources and information so that we can support our BAME communities collectively to ensure these groups have access to a sound framework of information, guidance and support on their resilience during COVID-19 pandemic.

The team are currently developing a webinar that will bring voluntary sector/stakeholder organisations together to further discuss the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities and how that might impact service delivery and change.

If you would like to find out more about the work of our senior community development workers or would like to participate in the webinar which is taking place on the 28th September at 11.00-12.30pm, please email or you can contact her directly on 07771583635.

If you would like to know more about the BAME workforce you can contact Fareen Hussain via email or directly on her mobile on 07435920675.

Prince’s Trust Smethwick recruiting young people

The Prince’s Trust Team programme is still recruiting young people aged 16 – 25 years of age, for a personal development course starting 21st September, 2020. The course will run for 12 weeks. 

Attendees will gain a first aid and food safety certificate, a new CV, two weeks work placement and much more. Attendees are also provided with a bus pass. The course will not affect benefits.

To make a referral please contact Jack Dytor, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, at or call 07787 245 832.

Active Lifestyle Community Connectors required to work across the Black Country

Black Country Together CIC has two exciting new opportunities for people who are passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of their community and are experienced in grass roots community engagement. Salary: £21,050. Hours: 30 per week. Contract: Fixed Term for 15 months.

The Black Country has some of the highest levels of physical inactivity nationally with the lives of Black Country residents determined by a unique set of characteristics including high levels of deprivation, low skill levels and high unemployment and health inequalities.

This exciting programme, funded by Sport England and Black Country Consortium Ltd, will trial new approaches in eight wards across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The programme seeks to create strong links within and across communities, understand what is needed to remove barriers to physical activity and, as a result, improve residents’ general health and well-being.

These new Community Connectors will carry out a variety of outreach activities to engage with people living within priority areas that evidence the lowest take up of any physical activity. The successful candidates will bring experience of working with a wide range of both voluntary and community organisations and public bodies. The posts will need to test new approaches to encouraging people to becoming more physically active and contributing to a healthier, more prosperous Black Country.

The posts will work across the North Black Country (Walsall and Wolverhampton) and South Black Country (Sandwell and Dudley), focused primarily in the eight priority ward areas, but with a requirement to work and travel across the area.

Closing date: Monday 5th October 2002 (midnight)

Interviews: Monday 19th October

For further information, including job description and person specification and to apply, please visit the website.

Activity Lifestyle Community Connectors x 2 Posts

Due to continued remote working, we are doing all possible to minimise the requirement for application forms to be posted out. If you are unable to download an application pack, please contact One Walsall via email

For more information, please contact Davina Lytton on 01922 619 840.

About Black Country Together CIC:
Black Country Together CIC was founded in 2013 by the four Councils for Voluntary Service in the Black Country with the aim of increasing levels of funding coming into our sub-region and fostering greater co-operation and collaboration between voluntary organisations and local statutory agencies both within and across borough boundaries.



Activity Lifestyle Community Connectors x 2 Posts



Black Country Touring – Dial a Story…

Fancy something a bit different… Grab a 15 minute free performance on the telephone by poet Adrian B Earle, Storyteller Peter Chand or by singer Sam Frankie Fox during the first three weeks of September 2020.

All it takes is the cost of a local 0121 number.

Black Country Touring has secured funding from Heart of England Community Foundation’s ‘Doing Things Differently’ fund, Sandwell MBC’s Vision 2030 and Creative Black Country to deliver this project which aims to reduce isolation by providing social interaction through a dose of short live performance on your telephone.

Adrian Earle is a Writer, Poet, and media maker from Birmingham, creating journeys through the written word for stage, film and radio under the name ThinkWriteFly.

September Performance Dates and Times are as follows:

Adrian Earle
• Tue 1 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Thu 3 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Mon 7 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Tue 8 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Wed 9 -10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Thu 10 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Fri 11 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Mon 14 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Tue 15 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Wed 16 –  10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Thu 17 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm
• Fri 18 – 10am, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1pm

Peter Chand is an award-winning international Storyteller, hugely in demand for his unique retelling of tales from his motherland, India into English. Whether it is performing in a tiny classroom, or enthralling hundreds of adults in a theatre, he has a story for every occasion.

Peter Chand
• Thu 3 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Fri 4 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Mon 7 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Tue 8 -10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Thu 10 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4

Sam Frankie Fox is a Welsh vocalist, harpist, theatre maker and sound designer based in the West Midlands. Sam has worked locally, nationally and internationally.

Sam Frankie Fox
• Wed 9 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Thu 10 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Sat 12 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Wed 16 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4
• Thu 17 – 10, 10.45, 11.30, 12.15, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4

To book a performance contact Bobby Tiwana on

Black Country Touring is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.


Utilita Community Hub Now Open In West Bromwich!

Utilita are an energy company committed to supporting the local community, charities and small to medium locally owned businesses. They have recently opened their Energy Hub in 3D Astle Park, West Bromwich, B70 8NS. Why not pop in to see them Monday to Saturday between 9am till 5.30pm to find out more about them and what they are up to here in West Bromwich.

They are keen to get involved with and help local charities, community and voluntary groups out. They are also able to host energy efficiency workshops within the hub, in their ‘community room’, which is free for community use and community minded activities.

So what have Utilita done since moving into West Bromwich:

  • They have raised over £2,700 for Options for Life a local Charity supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism, where they took part in the Hub2Hub challenge (cycle, walk or run a total of 516 miles).
  • They’ve volunteered with Tipton Litter Watch helping to keep clean the streets of Tipton.
  • They are currently in talks with the local West Bromwich Basketball team to see how they can support them financially and create a partnership.
  • A drop off and collection point for Salma Food Bank food donations, a patron of the Princes Trust.

Utilita have come to West Bromwich to connect and engage with new and existing customers to discuss their energy bills and how they can potentially save you money, receive expert energy advice and look at the possibility of switching energy providers by receiving an energy quote for those looking to change their energy supplier to Utilita.

Why not pop in to see them have a friendly chat and a cuppa to find out how they may be able to help you or your community organisation.

International Charity Fraud Awareness Week – October 2020

Are you a charity trustee, volunteer or professional adviser? Want to learn more about fraud and how it can effect your charity? Join The Fraud Advisory Panel for International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, taking place between 19 and 23 October 2020.

What is international charity fraud awareness week?
International Charity Fraud Awareness Week brings together everyone involved in the charity and not-for-profit sectors to raise awareness and share good practice in tackling fraud and cybercrime. This award-winning campaign is led by a coalition of over 40 charities, regulators, law enforcers, representative and umbrella bodies, and other not-for-profit stakeholders.

Why is it important?
All charities, NGOs and not-for-profits are susceptible to fraud and can be targeted. Those providing services and supporting local communities may be especially vulnerable to fraudsters attempting to exploit current national and global crises to carry out fraud and cybercrime. This means that now – more than ever– charities need to be fraud aware and take steps to protect their money, people and assets from harm.

This year’s campaign has three core messages: be fraud aware, take time to check, and keep your
charity safe.

Find out more by visiting their website by clicking here or in their Support Pack by clicking here.

Source: Fraud Advisory Panel

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