Children and young people

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Early Help Partnership Event Invitation

Don’t miss out on our Early Help Partnership Event – taking place on Wednesday 23rd January from 1pm – 3pm at the Yemeni Community Association.

We welcome all who are working with and supporting children, young people and families in West Bromwich, to come together to share, learn and develop new partnerships.

To book your place please e-mail Amelia – earlyhelp@scvo.info


New Year, New Start – Jobs Fair for 14 – 19 Year Olds

Connexions Sandwell, in partnership with The Apprenticeship Works, is hosting the largest Jobs Fair event in the Black Country on Saturday,19 January 2019, 10 am to 2 pm.

There will be advice on careers, apprenticeships, and education and training for 14 – 19 year olds.

Tell your friends and bring the family to this free event.

The Jobs Fair will be at The Town Hall, West Bromwich, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8DY.


Your Library Needs You!

Library friends groups are looking for new members to join and help support their library by:

  • Helping shape future library services,
  • Acting as library ambassadors in the community,
  • Fund raising for local events and activities,
  • Supporting at library and community events and
  • much much more.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn new skills with like-minded individuals, support the development of services and community activities taking place within the library.

We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in making a positive difference within their community or would just like to find out more about what is involved.

Meetings are held every six weeks so why not get involved and help us to keep your library a real hive of community activity.

To find out more please speak to a member of library staff or call 0121 569 4911.


Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership

Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership group are supporting the 3 primary schools Hall Green, Hateley Heath and St John Bosco Catholic in our areas of Hateley Heath and Stone Cross, West Bromwich.

Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership group wanted to ensure that young people aspirations raised, involved with their communities, feel valued and there are reasons [and places] for people to come together. A three year funding application was created for local primary schools to apply for.

We are one of 150 Big Local areas across the country that are quietly bringing about a revolution in how neighbourhoods and communities are supported to change.

Everything we are planning over the next 3 years is in order to achieve the following national Big Local outcomes:

1. Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in
response to them.

2. People will have increased skills and confidence so that they can continue to
identify and respond to local needs in the future.

3. The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises.

4. People will feel that their area is an even better place to live.

We have processed all schools allocation for Year One to deliver their proposed projects for the two strands of the Hateley Cross Big Local 2018-2021 plan which are:

Inspired People:

We will create opportunities for people to get involved with our neighbourhood, get to know each other, develop as individuals and help create a community where people belong – especially for those who feel excluded.

Great Places:

We will work with SMBC and others to support the provision of good quality, clean and safe spaces for our community to use. We will encourage and support people to become involved in the design, development and management of active community spaces.

The examples of projects that the schools will be producing over the next three years will include:
Environmental:  To develop an awareness and respect for the environment – developing new outdoor area and garden to develop a forest area space, growing fruit and vegetables

Inspirational:

To expand pupils vision and raise their aspirations – Promote the process of applying for jobs & running workshops e.g. learning to cook, caring for animals, etc.  STEM projects – Science, technology, engineering and maths
To raise aspirations through reading, bringing local authors into the school

We have presented St John Bosco school in Hateley Heath and Hateley Heath Primary School with their cheques to facilitate the projects. We look forward to coming back in 2019 to see the new projects take fruition.

For more information about the Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership please contact Marc Pearson:

Office: 0121 544 1230
Mobile: 07701355520
Email: marc@scips.org.uk


Sandwell in the Spotlight Thanks to National Lottery Players

Parks, nature reserves, local history and community memories are among the many features of Sandwell life that have been boosted since the area was given special status by the National Lottery.

Prior to 2013, Sandwell had not benefitted from HLF support as greatly as other parts of the West Midlands. It was decided to make the borough, one of three priority development areas in the region.

Between April 2013 and October 2018 HLF has awarded no fewer than 46 new grants totalling more than £6million thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

In addition to this new investment into the area, a further £4.19million National Lottery funding was confirmed in 2013 for the delivery of two major projects in Sandwell.

Sandwell’s flagship award saw £3.8m to support the restoration of Lightwoods Park and House. Rescued from serious decay, the Grade II listed House dating back to 1791, has been restored to its former glory. It is now a popular high-quality venue for a wide range of community activities as well as public and private events.

Meanwhile the surrounding park has seen numerous historical elements brought back to life, including drinking fountains, the 19th century bandstand and the unusual Shakespeare Garden, featuring plants and shrubs from the Bard’s plays.  The restoration was carried out by Sandwell Borough Council and was boosted by a further £1.5m from the Big Lottery.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was given £630,000 to improve its Sandwell Valley Nature Reserve, a site teeming with more than 200 bird species and many more hundreds of plants and butterflies. The grant meant that a larger, better visitor centre could be built, replacing an earlier building that had been devastated in an arson attack in 2010.

The project has also enabled the RSPB to attract volunteers and publicise more widely the much loved 10-hectare site that provides a vital ecological habitat just outside Birmingham.

Sandwell Citizens Advocacy received just over £85,000 for its Living Memory project to share the unique photography collections and life stories from the diverse communities across the Black Country.

The work, which is well underway, is busy documenting different aspects of everyday life that have been captured through people’s own photographs.  The images hidden in family albums, stored away in shoeboxes, and treasured in the collections of local enthusiasts can all offer rich perspectives on a rapidly changing society. A special website has been created, more than 50 workshops hosted, 60 personal stories shared, more than 900 historic photographs are been professionally archived, and a travelling exhibition put together.

A much more modest but no less important HLF-supported project was Within Walking Distance – Landmarks of Langley, which help the local community celebrate the unique heritage of their area. Centred on Langley Library, where the Friends group was given a £9,800 grant, the project mapped out twenty-four historical landmarks within a square mile, revealing the story of this living and working environment over the past 170 years.

Local people explored different aspects of heritage through workshops, presentations and displays.  A travelling exhibition will have visited several venues by January when elements of it go on permanent display at Langley Library. An animated film with poetry composed by Black Country poet Emma Purshouse is available on YouTube and local primary school children went on guided walks led by older members of the community sharing information across the generations.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “Our focus on Sandwell as a priority area for funding over the past six years has resulted in a fantastic range of projects that have transformed so many aspects of local history and heritage. And we have the generosity of National Lottery players to thank for making this possible.”

The National Lottery has awarded a total of £23.25m to 162 projects in Sandwell between November 1994 and March 2018.

Source: Heritage Lottery Fund


Health & Young People in Sandwell – Your views wanted

iSandwell is a collaborative project between Sandwell Council, community organisations, and residents that looks to encourage the use of digital in the borough.

iSandwell Lab is one strand of the project – a safe space where local people can discuss ideas for social change in Sandwell on monthly topics that can lead to collaborative projects and/or campaigns, and influence content for our Digital Champion.

For this month’s iSandwell Lab theme we are looking into how we can get the community to use and better understand open data.

Digital Champion Leila Malik, from Tipton, has created a project that is collecting data on youth health issues, which can then be used as ‘data journalism’ to influence policy in Sandwell – here she is to tell you more…

“Why do people, generally, identify health issues only if they physically perceived?

You’ve all heard of the saying,

“don’t judge a book by its cover”

If someone looks alright from the outside does not always mean they are okay from the inside.

Mental health & physical health both reflect on a person’s well-being – the two should not be thought of as separate.”

Read the rest of Leila’s blog and take part in the survey.


Discovering New Partnerships and Possibilities – Learning Outcomes

Sandwell Early Help Partnership held an event on 21st November 2018.  The aim was for everyone to leave with a better understanding of the issues and challenges that our children, young people and families face, increased knowledge of the services available and lastly a roster of new contacts enabling the building of new partnerships.

The event was really well attended with over 70 people all from different sectors including the voluntary and community sector, education, Children’s Trust and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

Attendees were asked what the most important opportunity they wanted to gain from the event, networking came out on top with knowing what support can be better provided by working together to achieve more.

Delegates were asked what their biggest concern or worry about the issues and challenges facing children and young people – mental health came out as the highest concern.  They were also asked a similar question around issues and challenges facing parents and carers – parental skills came out top closely followed by poverty and personal circumstances.

Questions were then ask around what could be improved

What one thing would improve the way you work with other support organiastions?  35% felt better communication between agencies would improve the way we work together.

What local resources and assets could we make more use of in supporting children and young people? 44% felt our collective knowledge and skills are the biggest assets that we could make more use of.

Sandwell Family Life was promoted and demonstrated. – www.sandwellfamilylife.info is an online portal outlining a range of universal services available for children, young people and families from different Sectors.

What next?

If your organisation’s services are not already registered on the portal then we would urge you to do so.

The Early Help Partnership Team will use the information from the event to inform how it organises, structures and runs events in the future.  They will look to host more town based, borough wide and thematic events, responding to the issues and challenges identified by the Partnership’s Members.

What is the Early Help Partnership?

The Sandwell Early Help Partnership brings together schools, voluntary agencies, community organisations, faith groups, Sandwell Council, health providers, police and fire services and others, to work more closely supporting children and families in Sandwell.  The Partnership believes that all children and young people growing up in Sandwell deserve the best possible start in life and should have access to a wide range of opportunities to grow and develop into healthy, happy individuals and active citizens within our community.  Partnership activities encourage stronger networking between agencies to enable a more helpful, joined up support offer to be available for Sandwell families.

If you are not yet a member of the Early Help Partnership or are not listed on Sandwell Family Life then please get in touch with Amelia at SCVO – earlyhelp@scvo.info or telephone 0121 525 1127


React Martial Arts

Who are React Martial Arts?

React Martial Arts was set up in August 2014 as a kickboxing organisation designed to make kickboxing and martial arts more accessible to all.

For more information on the organisation visit their website at www.reactmartialarts.co.uk

1) Tell us what you do.

We run Kickboxing classes for ages 5+ at St Michael’s School, Rowley Regis on Tuesday evenings between 19:00-20:00. Classes are taught in a controlled and fun environment to encourage everyone to develop at their own pace, with regular grading’s to allow students to show what they have learnt.

We also take a small group of fighters to compete locally, nationally and internationally. And lastly we sometimes do work in schools such as special martial arts taster days.

2) What is your proudest achievement?

Our proudest achieve is having two England squad members who recently won a gold medal each at the ICO World Championships. In total taking 6 medals from 6 categories.

3) What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?

The most valuable lesson we have learnt about working with people in Sandwell is that people need to take things at their own pace and it’s important to listen to what they want and where they are on their individual journey.

4) What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?

Our plans for the future are to continue to make Kickboxing accessible to all and to educate our community that despite common misconceptions that martial arts promote violence and fighting, martial arts is about teaching control, discipline and can help to tackle mental health concern.

5) How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?

SCVO can help through reiterating the above point that Kickboxing is not just about fighting but about teaching respect, discipline, and control whenever possible and supporting is to share our accomplishments and success to a wider audience enabling us to demonstrate to others where kickboxing as a sport can take them.

If you’d like to find out more about these services and Tuesday evenings session at St Michael’s school please contact Arron Walker on 07539 383 299 or via email at reactmartialarts@outlook.com


Discovering New Partnerships and Possibilities – Early Help Partnership Event

This is going to be an energetic event with a new take on networking! Giving you the opportunity to get involved,  learn more about the services in your area and build new relationships and partnerships to best serve our children, young people and families in Sandwell.

All tickets for this event are free and we encourage members to bring along their colleagues (max 3 per organisation) and of course if you can’t make it feel free to send someone in your place.

Wednesday 21st November 2018
9:30am – Arrivals and Networking
10am – Start
12pm – Finish
Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, B69 1HE

All are welcome to stick around after the event for cake and of course more networking!

To book your place please view link

For any questions or queries please email: earlyhelp@scvo.info or call 0121 525 1127 and ask for Amelia.

Can you help? Toy Donations Needed

Bromford Housing are seeking toy donations to support the work being undertaken by LCP Leslie’s Care Packages.

LCP was founded in 2016 as a not for profit organisation, with the aim of providing hands-on practical support and much needed provisions to rough sleepers, hidden homeless, and people facing difficult times across the Black Country and surrounding areas (click here to find out more about Leslie’s Care Packages).

Bromford Housing have noticed that since the new benefit changes have come into place within Sandwell, there has been a rise in families experiencing difficult times and would like, with Christmas fast approaching, to give a toy to a child that needs them.

You can donate your unwanted new and used toys (in reasonable condition) by dropping them off at:

Rainbow Street Community Centre, 49 Rainbow Street, Bilston, WV14 8SX.

Please note The Rainbow Centre is not open all day so calling ahead to confirm your drop off is essential. Please call Mark Bromley on 07850908359 for the centre’s opening times and to arrange your toy donation drop off.


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