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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

The Foundation for Social Improvement Birmingham Online Training – 7th October

Booking for The FSI’s next online regional training event is now open for small charities in Birmingham and Midlands area. This event supported by the 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust will be delivered online, offering 60 delegate training places over 1 day so that small charities, wherever they are, can access the skills they need to become self-sustaining.

You can access a choice of 3 full day interactive webinars covering the popular topics: Developing Your Earned Income, Supporting and Managing Volunteers, Major Donor Fundraising. Spaces normally fills up fast, so book your heavily subsidised place today!


Cradley Heath Green Landscapes Project – Plein Air Painting Sessions – Free

The Art Yard are holding  a series of informative sessions for those interested in learning how to paint “Plein air” in various locations in Cradley Heath. If you want to find out more about materials and techniques used or want to join in and create your own work of art by spending the day with our experienced group, you would be very welcome.

The Plein air painting dates and times are listed below:

Visit any or all CHGL location to create your landscape (all media).  The locations are:
1.      Mouse Sweet Brook Nature Reserve, New Pool Rd,  B64 5BX – WEDNESDAY 9th SEPTEMBER 10:30 – 16:30
2.      Mary MacArthur Memorial Gardens, Lower High St,  B64 5AJ – WEDNESDAY 16th SEPTEMBER 10:30 – 16:3
3.      St Luke’s Green Space, Upper High St,  B64 6BL & Bearmoor Playing Fields Sutherland Rd,  B64 6EA – WEDNESDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER 10:30 – 16:30

Could you please confirm if you wish to attend by contacting Martyn at

Please note:-  Government guidance for COVID-19 applies

Big Conversation About Autism Services Across the Black Country

As a newly merged organisation we have an ambition to support the people of the Black Country to lead healthier and happier lives. We cannot do this alone, and we want to work with you in genuine partnership to develop our clinical strategy, to listen and learn, in order to achieve meaningful change.

As the system starts to prepare for future demand for services, we are holding a series of ‘big conversations’ about the services we deliver. So far, we have held one focusing on each of the localities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) and have a Black Country-Wide session planned on 11 August as well.

A strong theme throughout each of the sessions and from discussions with partners is the need to strengthen support for people with autism. We felt it was really important that we have an opportunity to have a dedicated conversation around this so we are holding an autism specific workshop on:

Friday 28 August, 3 – 4pm and this will take place virtually via MS Teams.

We hope you can join us. Let us know you’re attending by emailing and we will send you the link to the session. If you can’t make this date but would like to share your feedback please contact us on the e-mail above.

The Art Yard – Call for Artists for September 2020 Exhibition

The Art Yard would like to invite local arts to register their interest in being apart of their Open Media Exhibition. This is an opportunity for the artist to showcase their work regardless of the medium (i.e. paint, photography, ceramics, sculpture, film metalwork, crafts and much more).

Artists should complete the Submission Form listing all works you would like to exhibit stating the Media, size and selling price, please include any digital images of each work.

The Art Yard charge a small fee for exhibiting your works in their gallery and are to be paid when delivering your works.

For more details see the links below:

They very much look forward to seeing your work and hope you enjoy what we believe will be a successful and exciting Exhibition.

For more information or to submit your completed form please email The Art Yard directly at or call 01384910968.

Move 4 Summer – Active Black Country

Active Black Country are launching a summer campaign called “Move4Summer”.

The overarching objective of the campaign is to encourage people to be active with flexibility to accommodate different audiences and partners approaches, programmes and interventions.  The campaign will also act as a vehicle to promote and push a range of Active Black Country activities.

Therefore, click here for a template in which organisations/clubs/groups can fill in and Active Black Country will either promote your activities via social media or their rainbow book or both – all under the Black Country Campaign Move4Summer campaign.

The main target audiences for the campaign are Children and Young People, Families and Inactive Adults.

The campaign will also:

• Focus on inclusivity and flexibility for people to be active their way with diverse suggestions on being active including different digital offers
• Signpost to green and open spaces

Why not tag us into your post promoting your activity using the hashtag #EveryDayYourWay

If you would like for your summer activity/programme to be promoted across Active Black Country’s networks then please send the completed form to: Joanne Booker by email at

Source: Active Black Country

Region is Awarded UNESCO Global Geopark Status

Good news for the region, as we celebrate the accolade of achieving UNESCO Global Geopark status. Think Sandwell reported back in November last year that Sandwell was part of a consortium of the four Black Country authorities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) that submitted an application to become a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Since then the group has waited to hear whether the bid would be successful and now the wait is over. More than ten years on since the project was first conceived it has become a reality, the Black Country has been officially recognised as an area of outstanding geological heritage.

The executive board of UNESCO confirmed that the Black Country has been welcomed into the network of Global Geoparks as a place with internationally important geology. The park encompasses sites in Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall and becomes the UK’s eighth UNESCO Geopark.

Unesco said the area had been recognised due to its cultural heritage and the active partnerships committed to conserving, managing and promoting it.

The role the region played in the Industrial Revolution was at the heart of the bid for status which was backed by partners including Natural England, the Canal and River Trust and the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Think Sandwell

Covid-19 Lockdown Encourages Black Country Residents to be More Active

A new insight report launched today (13th July) by Active Black Country demonstrates how the physical activity habits of Black Country residents have been impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a month-long campaign to engage with residents and groups across the Black Country, evidence shows that lockdown has encouraged previously inactive people to start moving more.

The measures imposed by HM Government to promote social distancing have had an unprecedented impact on the lives of Black Country residents.

The restrictions on movement for non-key workers meant that forms of exercise previously considered normal by many, such as going to a leisure centre, gym or group exercise class became impossible and people had to find new means of staying fit and healthy, including online exercise classes on YouTube, group sessions via Zoom and outdoor exercise in the local vicinity.

Some of the key findings from the research include:

• 53.5% of respondents who had previously self-described as Inactive actually increased their levels to Fairly Active during the lockdown. Additionally, a further 23.3% went the extra mile and were Active.
• One factor that positively impacted on activity levels during lockdown was the reduced number of people in the streets during the early stages, with 60.9% of respondents stating this encouraged them to be more active.
• Of all the new habits that people picked up during lockdown, 23.6% of respondents indicated that they’d like to continue walking in one form or another

Michael Salmon, Head of Insight, Health and Wellbeing for Active Black Country said:

We have witnessed new audiences benefiting from an active lifestyle; when the Prime Minister announced the new measures, they included the caveat that people could leave their residence once-a-day for exercise, prompting some residents to become more active than they’d ever been before. It’s important that we continue to engage with local residents as we transition out of this phase and provide all the support we can to help nurture these new habits.”

The report can be found by clicking here.

If you have any queries regarding the Insight Hub, or would like to find out more about this piece of research, please contact

Source: Active Black Country

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