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Sandwell Young Carers: What they Offer

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Sandwell Young Carers provide support to young carers, aged 5 -18 in Sandwell. They work with various local agencies, including local schools, GP surgeries and social services, to identify young carers in the local community.

Many young carers, some as young as five, are so fearful of the consequences of others finding out about their caring role, that they try to hide their home lives from their friends and teachers. Sandwell Young Carers offers them the opportunity to talk openly about what they are dealing with at home with other young carers and Sandwell Young Carers specialist caseworkers.

The service provided by the charity, aims to improve the well-being of young carers, primarily by being able to take a break from caring responsibilities and interact with other young people in similar circumstances.

Sandwell Young Carers also aim to allow young carers to have improved levels of education attainment, reduced levels of social isolation and increased levels of self-confidence and resilience, to be better equipped to manage their caring responsibilities.

The organisation offers:

A Short Breaks Programme
A Study Programme
Family Events
A Support Package.

Do you know some under 18 who is a young carer? Would they be interested in accessing the services provided by Sandwell Young Carers, or perhaps to speak to someone, please call 0121 525 8667 or visit www.sandellyc.org.uk.


Youth Social Action – Opportunities Required!

Young people accessing Nova Training are looking for ways to make a positive impact on Sandwell communities.

As part of the organisation’s Youth Social Action programme, they’re asking for local voluntary organisations to set them tasks that will be of benefit to their community.

In small teams of young people aged between 16 and 24, they’re willing to tackle a variety of challenges such as gardening and clearing, and can offer anything from a day’s work to a six-week programme.

Co-ordinator Kelly James is keen to build up a list of opportunities, particularly in Oldbury and West Bromwich where courses are based, so that young people have a choice of where they go.

“Having that choice means they do something they’re interested in, which in turn means they can be inspired to do more in the future and develop further skills,” she said.

If you have any opportunities please email kellyjames@novatraining.co.uk


Princes Trust Team Programme Smethwick

The Princes Trust Smethwick is now recruiting for its next team Programme, due to start on the 17th February. The 12 week course,  for 16 – 25 year old, is aimed at increasing confidence, communication, leadership and employability skills, alongside gaining nationally recognised qualifications.

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

To refer a young person, please email or text Jack Dytor, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, with details. Jack will contact the individual to arrange a meeting.

If you would like further information or would like Jack to come and speak to your staff or a group of young people, it can be arranged.  The Prince’s Trust is also available to attend any events.

Email Jack at Dytorj@wolvcoll.ac.uk or call 07787 245 832.


Queen’s Speech Commits Government to Online Harms Law

The Government has committed itself through the Queen’s Speech to bringing in online harms legislation to protect children and vulnerable adults from digital threats.

The protection measures, outlining tougher checks on social media platforms to prevent online abuse, had been introduced by the government in April 2019 through an online harms white paper.

In this week’s Queen’s Speech the government has confirmed that it “will develop legislation to improve internet safety for all”.

“Britain is leading the world in developing a comprehensive regulatory regime to keep people safe online, protect children and other vulnerable users and ensure that there are no safe spaces for terrorists online,” states the Queen’s Speech, which was introduced into parliament on Thursday following the Conservative Party’s general election victory this month.

It adds: “ The April 2019 online harms white paper set out the government’s plan for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. The government will continue work to develop this legislation, alongside ensuring that the UK remains one of the best places in the world for technology companies to operate.”

The white paper measures had received the backing of a number of charities supporting vulnerable people from internet harm, in particular relating to children at risk from sex offenders.

The proposals include appointing an independent regulator to ensure tech companies have a duty of care towards their users.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News


What Matters to Young People Roadshow – November 2019

During November (Monday 18 – Friday 30 November), Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), are asking young people, aged 16 – 25, “What matters to you, about your healthcare?”

Young people have already said their mental health and wellbeing is an important issue.  The CCG want to hear their views on the area of healthcare.

Staff from the CCG will be visiting local colleges, universities and other venues to speak to young people to canvass views.

To take part in this survey click here. If you would like the survey forwarded to you in an alternative format, please contact swbccg.engagement@nhs.net.

Information provided will be confidential and will used to plan and improve patient services for the future.


Spotlight on Girls Friendly Society

Tell us what you do
Girls Friendly Society (GFS) recruits women volunteers to run groups where girls can go make friends, build confidence, have fun and be inspired. At the groups, girls focus on six key themes; feeling a part of their community, being creative, getting active, learning to be happy with who they are, developing skills for life and having a lot of fun.

What is your proudest achievement?
We are a really long-established organisation – we were founded in 1875! – and we are proud of our ability to keep changing with the times while holding the core value of supporting and empowering women. We have a number of volunteers who have been with us for 40 or more years, and their willingness to develop and grow with us to provide something that is relevant for today is something we are also, extremely proud of.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
From the first contact, we had with the SCVO a couple of months ago, we received lots of support in terms of local knowledge and useful contacts. Staff have been really helpful and welcoming to Jennie Crosby, our Midlands Regional Development Coordinator.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Everyone Jennie has met have been really friendly and interested in finding out what Girls Friendly Society is about and what we can offer in local communities. Organisations and community groups have been keen to share information about us, putting Jennie in touch with lots of people. We are also finding out what a large and diverse Metropolitan Borough Sandwell is.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We are just about to launch two new groups for girls aged 7-12 in the area – one in Cradley Heath and one on Hurst Road, Smethwick. Recruiting volunteers who are passionate about empowering girls and can commit to running the groups for a medium to long term is the challenge. While short term volunteers are welcome, we’re particularly interested in people who can commit to helping us maintain some consistency within the group.

How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Your knowledge of the local area (especially venues) is really useful, as we plan to continue to open groups nearby. Our goal is to establish a reputation for providing amazing opportunities for girls in this area.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Then why not check out their volunteering page by clicking here.


Been Thinking About Volunteering?

If you’re interested in helping girls and young women in our community, Girls Friendly Society has some roles that might just interest you.

GFS trains volunteers to run weekly social groups that are just for girls. At the groups volunteers run activities that aim to improve girls’ confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing. They are opening two new groups locally in the next few months, and you could be a part of helping get them established!

They are looking for Group Leaders and Activity Leaders for GFS Hurst Road (meeting Mondays) and GFS Cradley Heath (meeting Tuesdays). Find out more about the roles at girlsfriendlysociety.org.uk/volunteer-vacancies or by going to the volunteer meet and greet they’re holding at Hurst Road on 2 December – book your place by clicking here.


Young people and their experiences of health and social care

Healthwatch Sandwell have started a project to find out the needs of young people and their experiences of health and social care in Sandwell.

This project seeks to understand young people’s knowledge of health services and their involvement with the services, with particular emphasis on mental health services.

There is a short survey, which Healthwatch would like young people to complete. There is also the opportunity to take part in focus groups.

Further information is available from the Healthwatch website.


‘Completing the Picture’ – Tipton

Do you feel it’s difficult to keep on top of who’s who and what they do? Are you left trying to find missing pieces and links when looking for that little bit of extra support for the young people and families you are working with? If so, this event is for you!

Taking place on Tuesday 3 December 2019, 10.00am – 12.00noon at Murray Hall Community Trust, The Bridge, St Marks Road, Tipton, DY4 0SL

Sandwell Early Help Partnership will bring together organisations, services and schools from Tipton, and provide an opportunity for members and prospective members to:

– engage with others
– find out what services are available locally
– build new partnerships, and
– share ideas of how to best support children, young people and families

If you work, or offer support services in Tipton, and would like to ‘Complete the Picture’ about what support services are available locally, book your place now by clicking here

For any further information about the event or about the Early Help Partnership, please contact Angel Lakha, Early Help Partnership Co-ordinator – earlyhelp@scvo.info or telephone 0121 525 1127.


An Open Evening for a Targeted Support Worker at The Albion Foundation

The Albion Foundation (registered Charity 1081948) is an established and successful provider of sport, education and disability programmes. The Albion Foundation uses the power of football to make a difference, raise aspirations, grow their people and participants and connect West Bromwich Albion Football Club to its communities.

The Charity prides itself on Inspiring to Achieve and delivering the highest quality of provision to show that “Albion cares”. The Education and Engagement Team aim to engage young people to improve attainment, change behaviour, increase attendance, raise self-esteem and boost confidence. The charity works with a range of schools and partners.

The Albion Foundation has recently applied for funding, through the Premier League and Children in Need, to offer a targeted programme for 8 – 14 year olds in the Sandwell area. The targeted work, in partnership with West Midlands Police, will accept referrals for young people who are at risk of being involved in knife crime and gangs.

This role is dedicated to those who want to inspire a young person for the better. In this modern time, young people go through so much and often with little guidance. Without knowing the reason it is easy apportion blame. If you have a passion for working with young people and would like to inspire them to make a difference, this role could be for you.

The right candidate will need to be confident and have a strong approach when handling challenging situations. You should have experience of youth work, gang violence, social and emotional behaviour and sexual exploitation. You will be required to demonstrate a clear understanding of safeguarding.

The ideal candidate will know how to resolve or de-escalate a situation in a correct and efficient manner. You will be resilient with a strong work ethic.

You must have a good understanding of social, emotional and mental health difficulties and know how to implement education and care to young people with this need. You will need to have a positive approach as well as being patient with good behaviour management. It is desirable to have mentoring/support work experience.

The majority of the role will require you to work directly with referred clients on a 1:1 basis. You will develop and support relationships with partner agencies and third sector organisations for effective case communication and management. The outcome data will be collated, monitored, SMART, and inputted in line with organisational processes and procedures.

The Albion Foundation will know the outcome of the funding bid at the end of January 2020. The official advert for the Targeted Support Worker will be released immediately after this time. The salary will be circa 20,000 – £25,000 for a 12 month Fixed Term Contract.

The Foundation will be holding an open evening on Tuesday 10th December, from 6 pm, at The Albion Foundation (Education Site), 8 Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick (opposite Galton Valley Primary School).  If you would like to register your interest for the event please email anna.pincher@albionfoundation.co.uk


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