Children and young people

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New Inclusive Choir Launching in Sandwell

A choir without barriers, accessible to all young people, including those with severe and profound learning disabilities, launches this month in Sandwell.

Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) and national music education charity, Soundabout, will launch the new inclusive choir for children and young people of all abilities at Cradley Heath Community Centre. The choir is free to join and rehearsals are designed to help young people of all abilities share their voice.

The Sandwell group will be part of a wider musical community called the West Midlands Inclusive Choir, open to young people of all abilities up to the age of 25 and their families and carers. The choir will meet and sing together once a month at Cradley Heath Community Centre, and join the rest of the West Midlands Inclusive Choir online once a month.

There will be lots of opportunities to help choose songs, create your own music, and make new friends. You can also apply to be a volunteer at LetsGoSandwell and help run rehearsals with the West Midlands Inclusive Choir team.

Parking is available at the Community Centre. There is a ramp access and an accessible toilet.

For more information and to sign up, see here.

NHS Cadets Opportunity with St John Ambulance

NHS Cadets is a new programme created by St John Ambulance in partnership with the NHS, providing opportunities to explore skills, knowledge and volunteering roles within healthcare. It is aimed at young people aged 14 to 18 who are from communities currently under-represented within the NHS and St John Ambulance.

The programme offers young people health awareness sessions, courses to develop their leadership and communication skills and insight or experience in volunteering within the NHS.

This is a great opportunity for the young people to build on invaluable life skills as well as enhancing the chances to progress further in health/social care.

Find out more


Launch of VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund

pound-850369_1280The Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Fund 2021/22 is now live with a focus on providing support to families and children’s services due to a predicted increase in paediatric respiratory viral infections during autumn and winter 2021.

Funding is available for both local and national VCSE organisations who are already delivering existing services that can be expanded to provide additional support for children, families and children’s respiratory and acute services during autumn/winter 2021 and raise awareness of management of respiratory infections within communities that experience the greatest health inequalities.

Grants are available between £75,000 – £300,000 with the closing deadline of noon on 27th August 2021. Further information can be found by clicking here. Applications and questions regarding the fund must be submitted through our online portal by clicking here.


£50 Million Investment to Build and Improve Grassroots Football Pitches 

The UK Government has announced a £50 million investment to build and improve grassroots football pitches across the UK. The funding will be made available in 2022 to enable more people to access high-quality football pitches that can be used for football and other sports.

The investment, which will prioritise disadvantaged communities, will aim to address health inequalities, encouraging children and young people to get more active while ensuring more people can enjoy football.

The Football Association, Premier League and other local partners have contributed to this latest funding commitment which will build 185 new 3G artificial pitches, improve 5,000 existing grass pitches and create 9 ‘hub’ sites with multiple pitches.

For more information click here.

Council’s iTrust Programme shortlisted for prestigious award

Sandwell Council’s iTrust Programme, which supported families against youth crime, is a finalist in the prestigious MJ Achievement Awards 2021, where the early intervention programme to address knife crime and violence has been shortlisted in the Transforming Lives category.

This acknowledges programmes, initiatives or changes to service delivery that have demonstrably transformed the lives of groups or communities of people.

The judges looked for evidence of why programmes were started; how needs were assessed; what the priorities and success factors were; how innovative programmes were; and how feedback from participants was used to shape the initiative.

ITrust (Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Programme) was developed by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children’s Trust, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations and West Midlands Police Sandwell Partnership Team to meet the principles of the national Troubled Families Programme which included early identification of those children and families at greatest risk.

The programme worked with children in Years 6 and 7 in the Smethwick and West Bromwich police impact areas and, by taking an approach based on very early intervention, aimed to engage children at this key transition period in school life. This linked to other successful programmes delivered in Sandwell and contributed to Sandwell Council’s Vision 2030 ambitions and the Safer Sandwell Partnership priorities.

The winners will be announced at the MJ Achievement Awards event on Friday, 17 September.

For more information, read the iTrust Sandwell evaluation here.

Sandwell Council providing food vouchers to help parents and children during summer holidays

Sandwell Council is providing food vouchers during the summer holidays to help families whose children would usually be eligible for free school meals during term time.

Schools are contacting parents and carers who will receive a £70 voucher per child to go towards the cost of food for the six-week break which runs from 22 July – 1 September.

Once verified, vouchers are being sent to parents electronically with an alternative being offered to those parents and carers without mobile phones or internet access.

Sandwell Council has budgeted £1.322 million to help around 17,300 children. Eligible families will receive a voucher for £70 for each child.

Families, communities and local organisations across Sandwell are also working together to provide eligible children and young people between the ages of 5-15 with fun activities as part of the ‘Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF2021’.

Parents and carers can check if they are eligible for the holiday activities scheme and register at



Princes Trust Smethwick recruiting for next 12-week Team Programme

Princes Trust Smethwick are now recruiting for the next 12 week team programme for 16 – 25 year olds. The new schedule is due to start on Monday, 9th August. The face to face timetable will run every day.

Upon completion, attendees gain a level 1 in employment, teamwork and community skills, as well as food safety awareness and first aid awareness certificates. Young people will have the opportunity to take part in outdoor team building activities and try fun pursuits such as rafting, zip wire and archery. They will also undertake fundraising, and engage in community projects, work experience and employability skills.

Jack Dytor, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, is happy to have a chat with potential attendees or receive referrals. Call Jack on 07787 245 832.

If your organisation is looking for a work experience placement volunteer, need assistance with a community project or would like the Prince’s Trust to attend your recruitment event, please contact Jack at or call the above number.


YMCA looking for Young People’s Volunteer Mentors

YMCA are looking for volunteers who are eager to make a difference in the life of a young person. The mentors will regularly meet up with a young person, offering a friendly ear, support, guidance and advice on making positive life choices. In this instance, to engage with girls in the 9 -14 age group.

Volunteer Mentors will also need to build a relationship with the young person’s parent or guardian, but the main focus is the young person.

Full training will be given. A comprehensive DBS check will be undertaken.

To find out more about the Y’s Girls Mentoring role, click here.

Applications close on Monday, 21st June 2021.

SDCA is Here For the Kids

Know any young people with hearing loss, or who are the children of Deaf parents? Sandwell Deaf Community Association (SDCA) runs a Youth Service offering loads of fun activities, holiday clubs, educational events and guidance sessions.

Activities are for children and young people aged between 6-18 years old, and up to 25 years old with additional needs, with any variety of hearing loss such as Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Cochlear Implants. The service is also offered to children of Deaf adults.

SDCA is based at the New Deaf Centre, Summer Street, West Bromwich. For more information contact Ruth Allden, Youth Service Development, email Mobile (text/FaceTime) 07903 337 741

NCS Social Action in Sandwell – Partnerships with the Albion Foundation

The NCS programme is a national programme aiming to give young people the skills and experience required to take their next steps in life. A big part of this is the Social Action that the young people propose, pitch and then deliver in their local community.

In previous years, this has been done only during the summer and autumn programmes. However, there is a new push to try and make this impact year-long to benefit both the young people and the charities they work with.

For further information click here.

If your charity/organisation would like to partner with the Albion Foundation on this programme, please contact  Ben Woodvine at to discuss further.

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