Children and young people

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Engagement Opportunity – Transforming Care For Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities

Service users, families and carers, professionals, members of the public and local community organisations are invited to attend our event to help shape local services for children and young people living with Learning Disabilities and /or Autism in the Black Country.

The event is being run by the Transforming Care Partnership which was established in April 2016 to transform health and care services for children and young people with Learning Disabilities and /or Autism who may display behaviour that challenges.

As part of NHS England’s Building the Right Support plan, the programme aims to reduce the number of children and young people with learning disabilities residing in hospital so that more can live in the community, with the right support, close to their home.

The event will take place on Thursday 25 July, 10am to 3pm at Village Hotel, Walsall, as part of our ongoing engagement with service users, their families and other stakeholders about the proposed changes; We would now like to share the feedback we have received so far and continue to build on this great work alongside all of you, to improve learning disability services for children and young people.

To book your space please visit our Eventbrite page:

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

If you have any queries please contact Helen Codd at or feel free to contact me directly if you need any support.

We hope you will be able to join us and look forward to seeing you there.

Can You Help Increase the Number of Young Trustees?

Taken on Trust research published by the Charity Commission shows that 92% of trustees in England and Wales have an average age of 55-64 rising to 65-74 in smaller charities.

While older trustees are over-represented in the current landscape of trusteeship the opposite holds true for younger trustees.

This is highlighted by the Charities Aid Foundation, despite making up 12% of Britain’s population, 18-24 year-olds account for less than 0.5% of all charity trustees.

Younger people are a vital part of our society, they offer skills, perspectives and outlook that could give great value to charities and their boards.

This has been recognised by reports published by Roundhouse in 2017 and most recently, in the government’s Civil Society Strategy (2018).

We want to transform the landscape of trusteeship

The Young Trustees Movement was created to challenge and transform the current landscape of trusteeship in England and Wales and to bring new and younger voices to the boardroom.

It aims to catalyse change and to start breaking down the barriers faced by younger people who want to be trustees.

Funded by the Blagrave Trust, this movement takes a systemic approach working with young people, existing trustees, and sector leaders to encourage change so we can grow the numbers of young trustees in England and Wales.

Underlying this is the movement towards fundamentally challenging and changing the perception of what it means to be a leader. What this means is to widen the definition and perception of who a trustee is beyond the traditional view of someone that is at the pinnacle of their career or someone with senior management experience.

This may mean valuing different factors such as age, lived experience, socio-economic background and so on.

To read the full Charity Commission blog click here.

Source: GOV.UK

Frontline training opportunity to support children where there is parental conflict

All relationships have their high and lows, their good times and their challenges. However, new research has shown that frequent conflict between parents with dependent children can cause both immediate harm and have a long term impact on children. In response to this a series of training courses for frontline practitioners supporting families in Sandwell has been announced.

The research, produced by the Early Intervention Foundation, shows that conflict between parents which is frequent, intense and poorly resolved, can cause long term negative outcomes for children. This can affect their early emotional and social development, their educational attainment and even their later employability. The data behind the research shows that more than one in ten children living with both parents have a parent who reports this type of relationship distress – and children living in families where no one works are three times as likely to experience this.

A new programme called Reducing Parental Conflict will focus on supporting families and will aim to support agencies to improve the support that they can give to parents in conflict. Training will be open to Sandwell-based services and organisations which support children and families across a range of different settings including voluntary groups, sport clubs, youth organisations, community centres and children’s centres, schools, health workers, Sandwell Council and Sandwell Children’s Trust teams.

Further information on this training programme, which will be provided at no cost to delegates, will be published in the coming weeks. To express an early interest in attending these courses please email your name and contact details to Debra Hill

Volunteers Urgently Needed!

Special Olympics Sandwell provides sport and leisure opportunities for local people with learning disabilities. They are looking for volunteer to help them as part of their Special Olympics Regional Athletics Competition being held on Sunday 14th July 2019, 10am till 5pm at Hadley Stadium.

They are offering opportunities for Volunteers to help out at this event. Don’t worry you do not have to be sporty, as they need people to help to register athletes and present medals as well as take the names of winners from one end of the track to the other!

Even if you can only volunteer for half the day it would be a great help to their organisation and them being able to run this competition. Refreshments will be made available to those who register to volunteer for this event.

For more information or to register as a volunteer please email Norma Hyde – Chair on

How Clubs Can Develop Effective Safeguarding Strategies

Regardless of whether or not you have statutory safeguarding obligations, if your non-profit club comes into contact with children or adults at risk, you have a responsibility to protect them from abuse and neglect.

This means you will need to have a robust safeguarding strategy, and ensure that everyone involved with your club understands their safeguarding role and responsibilities, and is aware of important developments regarding statutory safeguarding guidance and legislation.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is about protecting vulnerable people from harm. While anyone can become a victim of abuse or neglect, only certain groups are considered to be at particular risk for safeguarding purposes.

Children, by virtue of their age, always fall into this category. Adults are also classed as vulnerable, if they are unable to protect themselves against the risk of abuse or neglect. This could be for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: a physical disability, a learning disability, or a mental illness.

While the principles of how you safeguard both of these groups are very similar, the ways in which they are dealt with are very different. There is also different legislation, statutory requirements and responsibilities for each.

To add to the complexity of safeguarding, the UK’s four nations each have different laws, statutory guidance and ways of governing and monitoring safeguarding. In England, the main bodies are, Ofsted and CQC. In Scotland, there is the Care Inspectorate and HMIe. Wales has Estyn and CSSIW, and Northern Ireland has an ETI and RQIA.

But whichever part of the UK your club is based in, it is important to consider the safeguarding requirements of staff and volunteers as well as your members and service users, and put in place a strategy that puts their wellbeing at the heart of decision-making.

Changes to safeguarding children statutory guidance

The second half of 2018 saw important changes to guidance and legislation concerning safeguarding children. These changes currently only relate to children in England, but pave the way for future changes in the rest of the UK.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 (KCSIE) has updated rules for safeguarding in schools and colleges, and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (WTSC) sets out what different organisations’ roles are and how they should work together to safeguard children within society. The WTSC 2018 changes include an emphasis on not-for-profit organisations.

Another useful resource for sports clubs who work with children is the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU). The website includes information on how to create a safeguarding policy, various training and events, and safety and safeguarding help for both clubs and parents.

To read the full Zurich Municipal article click here.

Source: Zurich Municipal


Active Black Country have an amazing opportunity for Black Country Employers

Active Black Country have an amazing opportunity for Black Country Employers that represents the future of sports coach apprenticeships. In partnership with Royal Foundation, Coach Core is an apprenticeship programme that helps young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training to build a career.

The aim is to work with a group of Black Country employers to recruit 20 new apprentices who will gain a level 2 community activator coach qualification, across a 15 month employment programme. The apprenticeship will involve 3 – 4 days working with the employer and 1 – 2 days within education, provided by Lifetime Training.

Coach Core will also support employers with a grant to help ensure the right young people are given this opportunity to reach their full potential, be an asset to your business and the wider community. Nearly 450 apprentices have now come through Coach Core and Active Black Country want to make the Black Country part of this legacy.

If you are a Black Country Employer who is interested in this programme, please contact for more information.

Black Country and West Birmingham Perinatal Mental Health Event

This is an opportunity to hear about the newly launched ‘Specialist Community Perinatal Mental Health Service’ and to celebrate the difference it is making to local people.  The event is on Tuesday 11 June 2019, 9.30 am – 3.30 pm at The Stadium Suite, Banks’s Stadium, Bescot Crescent, Walsall, WS1 4SA

Attendees will get an overview of the service model that is supporting new and expectant mothers in the Black Country and West Birmingham, along with updates from the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) and the national perinatal programme.

Networking sessions throughout the event will enable attendees to listen to people with lived experience of perinatal mental health problems and talk to staff working within the new service.

Who should attend?
The event is aimed at the workforce supporting perinatal mental health patients, as well as local women and their families. This includes General Practitioners, Midwives, General Nurses, Practice Nurses, Health Visitors, Allied Health Professionals, Social Workers, Adult Mental Health Nurses, Emergency Services staff, Children’s Centre staff, Obstetricians, Psychiatrists and third sector organisations who support women and families.

Book your place

Sandwell Early Help Partnership Event – ‘Supporting our most vulnerable children: Let’s work together’

You are invited to be part of our next Sandwell Early Help Partnership event, taking place on Monday 20th May, 1.45 pm – 4.00 pm at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Ln, Smethwick B66 1BA. The event will, as always, give you the opportunity to meet other agencies from across Sandwell who are working with children, young people and families to provide early support around some of life’s challenges. 

The event will give you the opportunity to …

  • make new contacts and meet with colleagues from other organisations
  • think about and share with others how we can best support vulnerable young people
  • consider how we can make the most of existing holiday provision and activities
  • receive an update on important new local initiatives to support young people, and on the Early Help Partnership

The event is open to staff of organisations which are signed-up members of the Sandwell Early Help Partnership, or which are shortly to sign up as members.  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.

Participants are encouraged to bring along promotional information on any services that they are providing to share during the networking time.

To book your place please click here:

The Sandwell Early Help Partnership comprises a range of local organisations including schools, health workers, voluntary and community organisations, Sandwell Police and Fire, and Sandwell Council Children’s Services. Membership of the Partnership is free and all member agencies share a commitment to work together to achieve the shared ambitions for children and families in the borough.

For any questions or queries please email:

VCS Mentors sought for new Youth Programme

Sandwell has secured funds to deliver a local programme of the Government’s ‘Supporting Families Against Youth Crime’ initiative. This fund is focused on areas of the country where gang and youth crime is an issue to provide local authorities with additional capacity to help them respond to their local needs.

The aim of this programme in Sandwell is to help our local children and young people to have increased resilience and to feel empowered through accessing support to steer them away from becoming involved in gang and youth crime. The programme also seeks to equip parents and families to better identify and deal with issues at an earlier stage through a network of support.

Local organisations from the Voluntary and Community Sector are now invited to apply to become an approved partner in delivering youth mentoring from June 2019 to the end of March 2020.

Interested and eligible organisations can apply to be an approved delivery partner, the deadline for which is 9.00 am, Monday 3rd June 2019.

There will be a briefing event held on Monday 13th May, 2 – 3 pm at SCVO offices, 1st Floor, Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER. This meeting will be an opportunity for potential applicant organisations to discuss and learn more about the programme as a whole and the mentoring element more specifically.

Key documents are as follows:-

Please note that this is a different funding opportunity to the Early Intervention Youth Fund, for which Sandwell Council is currently seeking local youth organisations to deliver targeted interventions with young people.  Details of that opportunity can be found here.

Early Intervention Youth Fund – Grant Funding Available

An exciting opportunity has arisen for providers to bid for grant funding of £26,000 as part of the Sandwell EIYF provision of the wider West Midlands project. The funding is administered by Sandwell Council on behalf of the West Midlands PCC.

Providers would be expected to deliver targeted interventions to provide support to at least 15 young people over until end of March 2020 who have been assessed as Tier 2, and are displaying risk factors associated with violent crime, in particular those at risk of exclusion from school.

Successful providers must be in a position to start working with 5 young people from the cohort immediately.

Tier-2 working with YP that are identified as being at risk due to them being siblings or friends of known gang nominals /YOS families

The aims would be:

  • Equip young people with life skills
  • Divert them from crime
  • Develop resilience and coping skills
  • Raise aspirations

Support would be take the form of:

  • One to one mentoring and group sessions
  • Working with schools to ensure that the young people are receiving the necessary support
  • Working with parents to equip and support them with the necessary parenting skills to sustain the work done with young people
  • Introducing young people to positive role models

For an informal discussion, please contact Denise Hooper or Rebecca Low on 0121 569 3352 or 0121 569 6374

You can download the application form HERE. (Word format)

 Please email completed application forms  by 10th May 2019

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