Children and young people

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Would You Like Your Future to be Bright?

Would you like your Future to be Bright? Are you looking for training, jobs or apprenticeships? Then Connexions Sandwell is where you want to be.

Bright Futures is held every Monday and Wednesday 11 am – 1 pm, in the One Stop Shop, Oldbury Council House. Here you can speak directly to Training and Apprenticeship Providers.

Call Connexions Sandwell on 0121 569 2955 for more information


Sandwell Literature Festival

Sandwell libraries are running their first literature festival during March at Central Library in West Bromwich.

The literature festival runs from Saturday 16 to Saturday 23 March and includes storytelling, local history talks, author events and musical performances.

The opening event on Saturday 16 March is The Brontë Legacy – Keeping The Flame Alive, a musical tribute to the Brontë family in a series of songs based on their poetry and characters by award-winning British jazz singer Val Wiseman, who grew up in West Bromwich.

The event starts at 7pm and admission is £3 in advance or £5 on the night.

Free admission events include:
David Hallam: Taking On The Men, 2pm, Thursday 21 March
A tale of three women who took on the men at the 1918 General Election

Ian Tucker: Your Simple Path, 11am, Friday 22 March
Bringing calm to a crazy world with simple techniques to improve wellbeing and reduce stress

An Afternoon with Roger Ellory, 2pm, Friday 22 March
Meet an award-winning crime author as he talks about his books, career and inspiration

Matt Black: An Hour of Fast Fun with Roald Dahl, 10.30am-11.30am, Saturday 23 March
A fun family event, listen to the best moments from Roald Dahl

Councillor Syeda Khatun, Sandwell Council deputy leader, said: “Our first literature festival promises to be a real feast of exciting entertainment and fascinating talks, all in our wonderful Central Library in West Bromwich.

“For the opening event, Val Wiseman will be making a welcome return to West Bromwich following her fantastic performance fronting the Lady Sings The Blues concert during last summer’s jazz festival.”

For more information, go to the Discover Sandwell website or call 0121 569 4904 / email central_library@sandwell.gov.uk


Vulnerable Children Risk Becoming ‘Lost in Digital Space’

A not-for-profit online safety organisation is warning that vulnerable children are becoming ‘lost in digital space’ where they face risks such as cyberbullying, cyber fraud and sexting.

A study by Internet Matters found that around two million vulnerable children, including those with disabilities and mental health issues, are at particular risk online.

Other online safety risks they face include seeing harmful content, such as those that promote self-harm and suicide.

The study, based on the experiences of around 3,000 young people aged between 10 and 16, found that children in care and young carers are almost twice as likely to be cyberbullied than their peers.

One in four (27%) of children with special educational needs view sites that promoting self-harm and 25% view sites that encourage anorexia, compared to 17% of their peers in both cases.

Young people with hearing difficulties are also more likely to be involved in sexting and are five times more likely than their peers to say that the internet upsets them.

Those with learning difficulties are a third more likely to spend more than five hours a day online compared to their peers and also a third more likely to have their social media account hacked.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

 

 


Cash for Kids

Sadly for many children across the West Midlands life is really tough.

They could be living in poverty, with a serious illness or disability or be subject to neglect or abuse. Free Radio Cash for Kids is here to make a positive impact on the lives of these children.

Free Radio helps by awarding grants to families, community projects and small local charities who support these children.

Right now they are looking for applications for grant funding that we hope to be able to fulfill from funds raised during their forthcoming Superhero Day campaign.

Consideration for grants will only be given to those who help children up to the age of 18, who match our eligibility criteria and live within the Free Radio broadcast area (see the map located on their website).

They are looking for applications with a maximum value of £2,000 and in keeping with a timeline whereby funding will be made available in June/July 2019.

They will be looking to showcase some of the applications we’ve received during the Superhero Day campaign, to inspire Free Radio listeners and businesses across the area to donate & fundraise. Please indicate within your application (in Section 5. Other Information) how you would support this.

Finally, if you have a bigger project that you are currently fundraising for (or have ambitions to fundraise for in the near future) please include a 2/3 sentence summary of this also within Section 5. Other Information.

Click here to access our online application form (please note we only accept applications via this online form).

Applications close at 11:59pm on Friday 15th March 2019 to get your copy click here.

Source: Free Radio Website


Day of Action to Promote Safer Internet Use

An awareness day to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digitial technology among children has taken place.

Safer Internet Day (SID 2019) takes place on 5 February and aims to inspire a national conversation about ensuring young people and children use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

Online consent

The focus of Safer Internet Day in the UK was on how consent works online, with schools and organisations who were encouraged to ask young people how they ask, give and receive consent online. Issues covered include consent with friends and in relationships, sharing images and videos and how to protect privacy and manage data.

“The campaign encourages young people to explore how the internet works, who owns the information that is shared on it, and how they can actively take ownership of digital spaces, says a UK Safer Internet Centre statement.

“They want SID 2019 to empower young people to take control of their online lives and to feel that they can harness and use the positive power of the internet for good.”

More than 1,000 organisations took part across the UK, including charities, police forces, schools, tech firms and football clubs.

A campaign toolkit including social media assets and images as well as education packs and videos have been made available by the UK Safer Internet Centre.

Source: Charity Digital News


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


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